Saturday, April 24, 2010

ROOMS, by Jim Rubart

"The Family Man" meets "It's a Wonderful Life" in this Christian fantasy where a lifetime's worth of spiritual lessons are brought home to one man--literally--through a living mansion, where mysterious rooms appear and disappear, and spiritual lessons (and danger) abound. Hold on to your hat and get comfortable; you won't want to put this one down.

There are certainly passages where you won't have to remind yourself that it's a FANTASY, and I'd have rather seen more Jesus and less Angel, but it was still a fun read. And, what a fantastic cover! That alone made me want to read this one.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

BOOK REVIEW:To Have and To Hold, by Mary Johnston

To Have and to Hold: A Tale of Providence and Perseverance in Colonial Jamestown To Have and to Hold: A Tale of Providence and Perseverance in Colonial Jamestown by Mary Johnston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was an unexpected delight. Besides the fascinating historicity of 17th century life in the early Virginia settlement (Jamestown), there is a love story, a good meaty villain, and a winsome, well developed cast of characters. The place sketches (land, water, geography, topography) is so well drawn by the author that you can feel the wilderness about you while reading.
The heroine is perhaps the "weak" spot in the book. She is a stereotypical frail beauty, retiring, shy, and breathtaking. She does manage to make a small claim upon the heart by the ending chapters particularly; and the chapters where Indians are prevalent are really eye-opening. We get to see how treacherous life was back then, and appreciate the cunning and subtlety of the native enemies. Great history, fun story, go for it.

View all my reviews >>

Note: This book was a free upload from Amazon Kindle.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

THE MOLLY CONTEST--for Unpublished Authors

*2010 Molly is Open for Entries *

*Purpose:* The purpose of THE MOLLY is to inspire, motivate, and reward
unpublished authors of romance fiction.

*Eligibility:* Participation is open to all unpublished authors of novel
length romance fiction and those who have not published within three years
prior to contest deadline. Previous Molly FIRST PLACE winning entries are
not eligible to enter that winning manuscript. Reformatting and/or title
changes of previous winning entries will result in disqualification and
forfeiture of entry fees. All work must be the author's original work that
has not been contracted for publication prior to the contest deadline. The
official entry form (which may be copied) and entry fee must accompany each

*Contemporary* - Romantic novels, which may also include sensuality that may
or may not be intense. Projected word count: More than 40,000 words.

*Single Title* - Romantic novels released as individual titles. Projected
word count: over 70,000 words.

*Romantic Suspense* - Romance novels in which suspense may constitute a
strong element in the romance plot. Projected word count: over 70,000 words.

*Historical *- Novels that have a strong romantic element throughout. This
includes Regency and gothic romances. Settings must be at least one hundred
years in the past. Word count: over 40,000.

*Paranormal/Time-Travel/Futuristic *- Romantic novels with any time setting
that contain elements such as time-travel, angels, or other
mystical/paranormal themes or set in the future. Word count: over 40,000

*Young Adult - *Novels with a romantic element aimed at teen and young adult
readers. Word Count: More than 40,000 words.

*HODRW reserves the right to return all entries and fees if the minimum
entry number for each category (10) is not received. Entrants will be
contacted to see if they wish to place their entry in another category
before entries are returned.

We accept Electronic entries only in 2010*

*Entry Deadline: *All entries must be received by *May 25, 2010*. Entries
must be *received* by 11:59pm MDT *May 25, 2010*. Please factor in your ISP
may not deliver in mere seconds.

*Entry Fees:* $30 for all HODRW members, $35 for all RWA members who are not
members of HODRW, and $40 for all non-RWA members. *You may pay by using
Paypal .* (click here) Payments
by check or money order should go to** and be marked for
Molly Entry 2010. International entries must use the PayPal method.

*EARLY BIRD Deadline - *

* DEDUCT $5 FROM FEE IF e-mailed BY April 25, 2010


_____ One (1) completed and signed official entry form and agreement for
each entry. *Entry* forms should be in the body of email.

_____ First up to thirty (30) pages of your manuscript. This can be a
combination of Prologue plus Chapter One+, but 30 pages maximum. Formatting
should be standard Times New Roman 12 or 14 or Courier 12, 1 inch margins,
saved in .rtf. Five (5) page max of your synopsis (same formatting as ms
entry). It is best to use the standard Hard Page Break with the synopsis
included in the one file.

_____ One (1) check or money order made out to "HODRW" for the applicable
entry fee for each entry. Or the PayPal receipt of payment or confirmation

_____ Entry sent to the category coordinator

*ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Format/Checklist: Each entry will be formatted and
presented as follows:*
Entries MUST be in an .RTF (rich text format) file. Header on manuscript
and synopsis pages should contain title and category in the upper left
corner and the page number in the upper right. A category subgenre (i.e.
“Regency,” “Time Travel,” “Young Adult,” etc. ) *may* *but need not* also be
included in the header. We understand formatting sometimes changes in
transmission, but every attempt should be taken to maintain proper
formatting and ready for printing. Some of the final round judges still ask
us to print the finalists entries mailed to them. Author's name may not
appear anywhere on the manuscript or synopsis, or the entry will be
disqualified. Author’s name should only be on the separate entry form.

Copy Contest Entry Form and Contestant Agreement into an email with a
subject line of *Molly Entry and Category name*. Attach entry and then email
completed form to proper category coordinator. *(ENTRIES MUST BE .rtf
FORMAT)*. The title of your entry should be the file name.

Payment is encouraged through PayPal, but payment by check for electronic
entries must be received by the HOD treasurer - with a printed entry form
for proper tracking - by May 20, 2010.

Verification of receipt of entry will be made by email address included on
the entry form. If you do NOT receive a verification email within 72 hours,
please notify the appropriate coordinator immediately.


*Judging: *

*First Round: *Two qualified judges will judge the first round. The top 30
percent of entries in each category will move into the second round.
Re-judging will occur in the first round only, and only where there is a
difference of at least twenty (20) points between the two judges, AND the
higher judge gave a score of 85 or more. When re-judging occurs, the lowest
score will be discarded (whether or not it is an original or rejudged

*Second Round:* The second round will be judged by two published authors.
After the four scores from first and second round are received, the lowest
of the four scores will be dropped. The three entries with the highest total
of the three remaining scores will advance to the finals. Additional
finalists will be added in the event of a tie for third place.

Judges for both rounds are encouraged to comment within the manuscript on

*Final Round:* An *editor*/*agent* will select a winner from the finalists.

*Final Round Judges:*

*Contemporary: Patience Smith, Harlequin *

*Historical: TBA *

*Paranormal/TimeTravel/Futuristic: TBA *

*Young Adult: Katelynn Lacopo, BookEnds Literary Agency*

*Single Title: Holly Blanck, St Martins Press*

*Romantic Suspense: Danielle Poiesz, Simon and Schuster, Pocket Books*

*Heart of Molly: TBA*

*Unsinkable Heroine: TBA *

*Notification:* First Round semi-finalists will be notified by APPROXIMATELY
*July 1, 2010. *Second Round finalists will be notified by
5, 2010. *Winners will be notified by* *APPROXIMATELY *October 17,
2010,*following the contest award ceremony.
*Awards: *The first place winner in each category will receive the "Molly
Award Plaque." All other finalists will receive certificates. Results will
be publicized on loops and in the RWR.

*"The Unsinkable Heroine" Award:* Each entry will be judged for "The
Unsinkable Heroine" award. This award is separate from the regular contest
scoring and in no way reflects adversely or advantageously to the general
scoring system. The heroine in each entry will be judged for Spunk,
Imagination & Creativity, and Unsinkability.
Beginning in 2010, all entries with two perfect scores on the Unsinkable
Heroine score sheet will be compared to their overall scores in round
one. Then
the highest three scoring will be advanced to the Unsinkable Heroine
finalists. All those receiving the two perfect scores will receive
Honorable Mention certificates.

*The Heart of Molly Award: *Only Heart of Denver Romance Writers (HODRW)
members (as of January 31, 2010) are eligible for this special award at no
additional charge and in addition to the Molly and/or Unsinkable Heroine
Awards. An agent or editor will select the winner from the first and second
round top HODRW scores for the *2010* Heart of Molly Award.

*Submission: *Entries must be directed to the appropriate category
Payments by check to:

Grace Larralde
719 Butte Pass Rd
Ft. Collins, CO 80526


*Romantic Suspense*


Email entry to: Lesli Lent,
*Single Title*
*Young Adult*

Email entry to: Lisa Pietsch,



Email entry to: Roxanne Kean,

*General Questions?* Email *Lesli Lent at** ** *

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Healer's Apprentice

This is an upcoming book to be released in the Fall from my good friend, debut author Melanie Dickerson. As soon as you watch the fabulous trailer, I know you'll be hooked and want to read the book. : )

When destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love’s kiss.

In this historical romance loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, a woodcutter’s daughter becomes the town healer’s apprentice. Rose’s job is to care for the sick and injured in Hagenheim Castle. But Rose gets sick at the sight of blood and is more suited to making up stories than sewing up wounds. She is determined to overcome her weakness and prove herself a competent healer, or she faces marrying a disgusting old merchant her mother has picked out for her.

Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of the region, is injured and Rose must overcome her squeamishness to save him. He is everything that is noble and good, but loving him is forbidden. He is already betrothed to a mysterious woman in hiding.

With two noble-born brothers vying for her affections, Rose learns that the people of Hagenheim are not always who they seem, and even her own heart can mislead her.

Melanie Dickerson
The Healer’s Apprentice … Fairy Tales Do Come True
YA Medieval Romance, Coming in Sept/Oct from Zondervan
Watch the trailer:

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Prisoner of Versailles

A Prisoner of Versailles is the second book in the "Darkness to Light" Series by Golden Keyes Parsons, from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

I was pleasantly surprised with Prisoner. Although I enjoyed the first book (In the Shadow of the Sun King), this book was even better. The story was fast-moving, the heroine was more sympathetic, and there were lots of "King Louis" scenes, which to me make up some of this author's best writing. There was more of a romance, which is always enjoyable, and a bit more character-development of the key players.

I have to admit that I'd enjoy more authentic-sounding dialogue, and costume description of the ladies, including the hair styles; not in every word or sentence but a bit more to keep me in the time period. But anyone who enjoys a good historical setting with lots of action (derring-do, musketeers, royal courtiers!) will want to read this book. I was happy to return to it whenever I got the chance, and it has a satisfying ending--along with (happily) the promise of another sequel! I definitely look forward to it.

This book gets five stars, and the heroine is a "she's got character" lady for sure. Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a review copy.