Tag Archive | Susan Karsten

Spatzle Speaks: Ponder This Novella Collection

My mom had this idea to have authors write a series of romance novellas based on Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (English Standard Version).  It became the PONDER THIS series because WHATEVER sounded too cavalier.

So with a little bit of encouragement, eight authors put forth their efforts and viola, a series was born. It releases this month with two novellas a week, but they are available for pre-order. It would be hard to review them all here so let me give you some highlights for each!

Whatever is True:  Everything About Us by Lisa J. Lickel

Contemporary Romance. Danny Winston wants it all, his dream job and the woman his heart desires, Shelly, who helped make his dreams come true. But things are falling apart and it threatens his future. Shelly isn’t sure she can quit California and move to rural Wisconsin. A horrible secret might ruin it all. Soon another enemy rises up to try to sabotage them, can love prevail when the truth is revealed?

Whatever is Honorable: Field of Forget-me-nots by Rachel James

Historical British Romance. Ana is about to lose her home when her patron dies. She is without home or fortune. Mr. Luke Renshow finds that Ana is an important part of the inheritance his aunt wishes for him. He agrees to a marriage of convenience but soon discovers that Ana is worth more than that. Can he swallow his pride and do the honorable thing?

Whatever is Just: To Complicate Matters by Linda Widrick

Contemporary Romantic Comedy. Angelica Dunn is a baker, and for some reason, when around Thaddeus Wright, a bit of a klutz. Thaddeus is drawn to Angelica, but his secret job with the CIA might just ruin any chances of a match between them.  When she leaves an embarrassing voice mail and tries to remove the evidence, the secrets mount and doing the right thing might lead to justice for criminals, but cost her a chance at love.

Whatever is Pure: Charlotte’s Dilemma by Susan Karsten

Regency Romance. Charlotte was a victim of a London scandal, but society blamed her. As a result, her parents banished her to a remote area to teach school. No family. No friends. A small cottage with barely the basic amenities. Life looked bleak until the school’s handsome patron took an interest in her. Any budding relationship is threatened by a new scandal that breaks around her again.

Whatever is Lovely: A Perfect Fit by Christine Schimpf

Contemporary Romance. Hannah is disappointed when her boyfriend doesn’t propose marriage. The relationship over, she vows to wait on God for a man and takes a new job teaching at a Christian school. She runs into Matt who is an attractive teacher and has a poor history of sticking with one woman. When the two of them meet they become friends determined not to be romantic, but things are about to change when Hannah’s old love comes to reinsert himself into her life.

Whatever is of Good Repute: Buttonholed by Anita Klumpers

Contemporary Southern Romance. A southern rivalry brings Manderley Jessup back to her Tennessee hometown where an old dual, a secret past crush, a forbidden romance, and a news crew are all raising up old ghosts from the past. Will her old rival, Abram Coventry work with her to overcome the issues tearing this town apart? Can a special, hand-crafted button design make a difference?

Whatever is Excellent: Lucy in Love by Kimberly M. Miller

Contemporary Romance. Lucy is doing well with her bakery and her family and friends are great. Her heart is broken over a failed engagement. When a music store opens next door she finds that the hunky guitar player in the band that runs the store, might just be a blast from her past. Henry has loved Lucy for years and when he meets her again he loses his balance. He used to be heavy and he’s lost weight and has been a magnet for the hot girls. Can and old flame be fanned into a new love? Could she trust a man again? Is the old Henry still there in spite of the current trappings of his success?

Whatever is Praisworthy: This Worthy Heart by Dixie Jo Jarchow

Contemporary Romance. Celestina’s romance with Jason is on the outs with a small stroke she’s suffered. No permanent damage but still, a threat to her happiness. As she works to win Jason back, an adorable puppy is dropped in her lap. Through a series of misfortunes, she develops a relationship with the hospital chaplain who talks to her of faith and disapproves of Jason. Cele is ordered by Jason to get rid of the dog. Can she have her happiness with the wealthy up and coming Jason, or does it entail the more humble pastor and a puppy?

 

Think on (Ponder!) these things.

My mom had a blast working with these authors to bring this series about and we both hope you’ll enjoy each and every one! I can’t pick a favorite although the last one does have a cute dog in it!

I give each book five bones because I’m a dog and I don’t have thumbs.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: A Refuge for Rosanna (Book Review)

Susan Karsten loves the Regency period and it shows in her second book, A Refuge for Rosanna.

Rosanna has finagled a way to purchase a home in the country where she can live and not be forced into a marriage with anyone. She’s grieving the loss of her one true love and has no desire to ever marry. She longs to set up a sanctuary for women who want to avoid marriage but runs into a few snags in her plan. Long rambles on the property bring a neighbor to her awareness.

Lord Peter Winstead has a shameful past but it was his father’s sins that caused the loss of his beloved family home, Honor’s Point. Now in reduced circumstances, he lives a humble life on a small parcel of land that he was able to retain. Hiding his true identity for as long as possible, he is struck by the new owner but realizes that if the truth were to come out about his misdeeds, she’d never consider him an eligible suitor.

Romantic encounters, pesky neighbors, hidden treasure, along with challenging rescue all combine to tear them apart or bring them together. Will love overcome all?

If you love the Regency genre you will adore this sweet romance by Susan Karsten, book two in her Honor’s Point series! My mom has a hard time putting sweet stories of love and adventure like this down so I’m giving it five bones, because I’m a dog and that’s how I roll.

 

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: A Match for Melissa (Book Review)

Mom has been busy writing and editing for others and hasn’t snuggled up with me with a good book for some time. And yes, I write that to make her feel guilty. She’s always had a liking for Regency romances and to find good Christian ones is even harder. She stumbled upon A Match for Melissa by Susan Karsten and loved this sweet story.

Melissa Southwood is the daughter of an ambitious social-climbing father who wants to sell her off in exchange for a title. It’s his fondest dream. Melissa has dreams of her own, triggered even more so by finding a handsome man in a ditch. But before she could get to know him, she’s whisked back to London to be wooed by someone else.

She wants a man who is a believer and she’s not too sure about this one. When Mark, the man she rescued, shows up in town she finds herself drawn to him. Her father’s mind is set. One aristocrat desperate for money is soon pitted against another with a damaging past who has recently come to know God. Which one will win? How can she get her stubborn father to see reason?

Add in Mark’s aunt, a widow with charms of her own, and meddling relatives of Mark bent on acquiring a fortune by foul means, and you have a complicated but sweet romance that will leave you smiling with her happily-ever-after ending.

The great news is this is the first book in a series of three in the Honor’s Point Series, so we can look forward to more sweet, clean, Regencies from this fabulous new author.

I give this book five bones! Another inspirational Regency author on the scene is always to be celebrated.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop – following Lisa Lickel

I’m following in the blogsteps of the fabulous Lisa Lickel, http://livingourfaithoutloud.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop-following.html   who posted about Meow Mayhem last week.

Today, I’d like to share a bit about my latest work in progress:

What is the working title of your book?

Lord Harrow’s Heart

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
This book is the fourth in my Rose Hill Series. The first is “The Virtuous Viscount” followed by “Lord Phillip’s Folly” and “Lord Michael’s Mischief.” I was trying to keep with the double sounding consonants in the title while trying to convey a bit of what the book is about. Theo (Lord Harrow) is really looking for love, hence the heart.

What genre does your book fall under?

Historical/Regency Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Can you picture him in a cravat?

Can you picture him in a cravat?

I try to look for pictures on-line of people (actors/models etc) that are kind of the image I have of my character. This one was hard because Theodore was kind of the anti-hero. He’s more of a cuddly teddy-bear type. Not the haughty London aristocrat, but a gentle man, strong but soft. He’s not as athletic as the other protagonists from my previous novels. Marcus (Virtuous Viscount) was very controlled and fit. Phillip was a bit anal-retentive but trim. Michael was scrappy, kind of like a street fighter, lean and muscular but on the shorter end of things. Theo is gentle which seems so much more passive in his personality. I finally hit on Emilio Estevez. Not sure if he could handle the British accent though.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Lord Theodore Harrow wants to find love, without the drama, but in Valeria he gets more than he bargained for: adventure.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My series is as of yet unpublished. My first novel is at a publishing house to be considered and my prayer is that a publishing house who believes in the Regency genre would contract for the whole series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote the initial draft (85,000 words) in thirty days during November’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I’ll be doing some light edits and handing it off to my beta readers while ignoring if for a month or more before tearing it apart and polishing it. I can write a full-length novel without NaNo – but it’s fun to do it this way. I have written the previous three in this series that way. I have also written two contemporary romances without NaNo. (check out www.nanowrimo.org for more information on that kind of writing adventure).

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I wish I could say that I write as well as Georgette Heyer, Julia Klassen or Lawanna Blackwell – but to be honest, my Regencies are filled with a bit more mystery and adventure than most would be. They tend to have a faster pace. This is no Jane Austen. My men struggle more with temptation too. Theo really likes kissing. I keep things clean but there is a bit of “heat” there.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing four years ago and the series kind of spun out of that first book. I started writing because of a dream and a story I had in my head for 15 years. I kept writing because I found I loved it! So I guess you could say it’s all God’s fault.

I had decided all five of my male characters from Marcus Remington’s story (The Virtuous Viscount) needed their own tales. After all, these men need wives! They just have a bit more of a challenge finding their “happily ever after.” This year it was Theodore’s turn for love. Next year Captain Jared Allendale will have his opportunity but it will likely occur mostly in France, Spain and Portugal before they end up at Rose Hill.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s some evil afoot. My band of men seem to keep running into a dark, sinister character known as The Black Diamond. He surfaces in the Virtuous Viscount, is in the background of Lord Phillip’s Folly, becomes far more involved in Sir Michael’s Mischief and is quite personally involved in Lord Harrow’s Heart. He’s a threat to the crown as well as to these men – and the women they love. So there’s a thread of mystery and suspense that weaves through the books. It’s not all about stolen kisses!

Look for the animals too. Some play more significant roles than others. My favorite though had to be the ferret that was in Michael’s story. There’s a sweet kitten in Theo’s tale that gives an assist at an important time.

Check out my fellow writer and friend Shellie Neumeier today at:  http://shellieneumeier.com/2012/12/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop/

On December 19th – go visit my friend and fellow Regency Romance author Susan at: www.graciouswoman.wordpress.com.