Thursday, December 18, 2014

Guest Post: EDGY INSPIRATIONAL HEROES by Lee Tobin McClain +GIVEAWAY!

by Lee Tobin McClain, special for EIR

Lee Tobin McClain here, guest-blogging about edgy inspirational fiction and everybody’s favorite subject:  heroes!

Specifically: can inspirational heroes be sexy, while also being strong, protective men of God?

I’ll admit it, I’m fascinated by men. Having grown up in a family of girls, worked at a women’s college, and now parenting a daughter, I’ve spent much of my life in a female-centric environment. Men, with their muscles and their testosterone and their inexplicable attraction to sports, guns, and cars, seem like an appealing but very alien species.

So when I write romance, I like my heroes to be, well, manly. I like 'em with muscles and beard stubble and dominant personalities. When one of the Love Inspired editors told me that the Love Inspired heroes aren’t alpha heroes, I cried inside. I adore Love Inspired books, and I adore writing them. But apparently, my super-manly guys wouldn’t have a home at Love Inspired.

And so the Sacred Bond Brotherhood was born. Four men with tough, streetwise histories, so much so that they landed themselves in a Christian reform school. At the Covenant Academy, a wise mentor (with alpha tendencies of his own) encouraged them to turn their aggression and dominance in a positive direction, to help those who need it most. They got tattoos (of course!) to remind them of their promise, and went on to live big dreams and big lives.

A Christmas Bond (see picture above) the prequel novella, features John, a heroic veteran and the boys’ mentor. He falls in love with the girl next door while the four teen boys struggle to channel their energies for good.

His Baby Bond, The Bride’s Broken Bond, and Her Reunion Bond take place fifteen years later after the boys have grown up. They’re now aggressive, impressive men with the strong male drives you’d expect, but when they meet the women they love, they’re too protective to take advantage. It takes a lot of prayer to stay pure. And isn’t that more
appealing than a hero who doesn’t have strong drives to begin with?

Here’s what one reviewer said about The Bride’s Broken Bond:  “So you know how sometimes even a grown woman gets a crush on someone famous....well I have a book boyfriend crush on the hero of this book, Rock. He is masculine, handsome, a man of God, protective, humble, gentle, kind, romantic, passionate, and BUILT. There is a scene where he is shaving and the heroine, Hope, is watching him, and it's about the most romantic scene I have ever read. Get this book!!!! It is so good and will leave you sighing happily and dreaming about Rock.”

If you like the idea of the Sacred Bond stories, come sign up for my newsletter to keep track of release dates and get free excerpts.

Giveaway! Comment below to enter
I’d be honored if you’d try my Sacred Bond series of romance novels. No risk: Book one in the series, His Baby Bond, is free on all platforms!


 GIVEAWAY!!!
I’ll GIVE A FREE E-COPY OF MY SEXIEST INSPIRATIONAL—THE BRIDE’S BROKEN BOND-- TO A RANDOM COMMENTER in the first 24 hours this blog is posted.

Lee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. When she not writing emotional, faith-infused love stories with happy endings, she’s probably driving around a carload of snarky teen girls, playing with her rescue dog and cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.

Connect with Lee: 
Website/Newsletter: http://www.leetobinmcclain.com
Blog:  Flawed. Christian. Woman. http://www.leetobinmcclain.com/blog/

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Karen Reviews OUT OF THE STORM by Jody Hedlund

Click on the title below to find
OUT OF THE STORM by Jody Hedlund at Amazon
Curious about Jody Hedlund’s new Beacons of Hope series?  Out of the Storm provides the opportunity for readers to sample this author’s breathtaking storytelling in a shorter novella form before diving into the full series of novels.  And with a price like… well, free for the electronic edition… you have no excuse not to go download it from your favorite retailer right now.  

Or… ahem… maybe after you read the review?  No?

Oh, okay, I’ll wait here ‘til you get back.  ;)
Got your copy now?  Okay, cool.  Let’s talk about it.

About the Novella (from publisher, Bethany House’s Website):
Having grown up in a lighthouse, loneliness is all Isabelle Thornton has ever known--and all, she assumes, she ever will know. But when her lightkeeper father rescues a young man from the lake, her sheltered world is turned upside down.
Bestselling author Jody Hedlund's Out of the Storm is her first ever novella and introduces readers to Beacons of Hope, a new series set in the 1800s amid the romance, history, and danger surrounding the Great Lakes lighthouses of Michigan.

Karen's Thoughts:
Can a scoundrel’s ne’er-do-well ways be reformed by the love of a good woman?  I’d say that depends a lot on the scoundrel in question and on God, but I’m also guessing a lot of romance readers would like to think so.  And I’ll readily admit it makes for an appealing storyline.

Despite being wounded and nearly frozen to death when he arrives at the lighthouse where Isabelle and her father live an isolated life, Henry turns out to be quite the flirt.  Even reading from the Bible together turns into flirtation.  And despite Isabelle’s best intentions to honor her father’s wishes by staying away from Henry, and her own reluctance to develop any sort of emotional attachment that she’s certain could only lead to heartbreak, Isabelle finds him pretty irresistible.   Frankly, I think a lot of readers may find him pretty irresistible too.  His seemingly incorrigible behavior certainly made me smile.

There’s some nursing back to health, a bit of danger and intrigue, and a healthy measure of romance in this story.  Oh, and some very passionate kissing. 

Sigh…

Oh, right, you’re waiting for the end of the review, aren’t you?  Sorry.  I got a bit distracted there.  ;)

So, yeah, you should probably go ahead and download Out of the Storm now if you haven’t already, and when you’re done devouring it in a single sitting, I’m thinking you’ll want to go get a copy of Love Unexpected (Book 1 in the series) as well.  I know I want to read it.

Story: 4.5 stars
Content: I’d put this on the edgy to edgier end of the spectrum for Christian fiction because of that passionate kissing I mentioned.


EIR guest-reviewer Karen Collier writes and reviews Christian fiction, enjoys book discussions, and keeps an audiobook and ebook handy at all times.  For her full bio, social links, and more check out her blog at karencollier.com.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Highly Recommended Contemporary New Adult Romance from One of Our Fave Authors: CAN'T LET YOU GO by Jenny B. Jones

Click the title below to find
Can't Let You Go by Jenny B. Jones at Amazon
What it's about (courtesy of Sweet Pea Productions):
Fresh out of college, Katie Parker had it all—a charming romance, a role in a famous stage production, and an idyllic life in London. Until she found her boyfriend cheating and got herself fired from the play. Leaving everything behind, Katie hops a plane home, only to run into her first love, Charlie Benson. As the couple returns to In Between, Katie questions everything she ever thought she wanted—including a renewed romance with her high school flame.
While she attempts to rebuild her life, Katie's plan to manage the family's theater meets a devastating obstacle, dragging her into a legal battle that will rock her small town. And the boy who once broke her heart seems to have the power to do it again. As Charlie's secrets unravel, Katie must make a choice. Can she overcome her past and trust Charlie with her heart again.
Why you should read it (even if you've never read a Katie Parker Production novel!): If you are a reader who enjoys watching a character unfold through snappy dialogue, you will adore this book! I am a huge fan of Jenny B. Jones' sassy style of writing, and Can't Let You Go did not disappoint! Although this is considered "book four" of the series, it stands perfectly well on its own, so don't be afraid to take the plunge and throw this book in your cart ASAP.
Katie is a feisty heroine. From the moment we meet her, we are drawn into her situation, her life — even her very thoughts — as if we are living them ourselves.
As a romantic hero, Charlie Benson is The Stuff. I love this guy. He's not only a Southern-bred gentleman hottie, but he has a clever sense of humor and a well-developed protective instinct that has Katie's name written all over it. Even so, he is a subtle alpha hero and manages to remain so even when his own secrets drive a wedge between him and the woman he loves.
Fans of the style of humor found in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels will fall in love with this author's voice, this delightful book and its characters — you may even find yourself downloading the rest of the Katie Parker Production novels after devouring this one. Grab it!
This review originally appeared at USA Today's Happy Ever After blog

STORY: 5 STARS
CONTENT: On the edgy side of sweet with lots of spunk

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Giveaway! You and Your Favorite Library Could Win Signed Copies of THE RYN and THE REMEDY!

To celebrate the season of giving, I'm offering a signed 2-book set to one EIR reader . . . and another to the local high school library or public library of the winner's choice!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win a signed paperback copy of The Ryn and a signed paperback copy of The Remedy. If you win, I will contact you via email and ask you to provide the name and mailing address of your library-of-choice and I will send the books to you (if they are to be a gift, please let me know to whom you would like them signed!) and to the library, with a note to the librarian about why they are receiving the books (you don't even have to deliver them--I'll take care of it!)

Because the Giving Season is upon us, this will be a SHORT giveaway time frame, so share the snot out of this, would ya? All entries must be received by 11:59pm on Tuesday, December 9th so I can (hopefully) hear back from the winner the next day and get those packages in winner's hands via Priority Mail before Christmas break!

Thanks for stopping by! (make sure you fill in an active email address on the Rafflecopter form --link below-- so I can reach you!)

Good luck and have a merry, story-filled Christmas! 
UPDATE: If you have trouble using the widget (there have been reports of some people not being able to log in via Rafflecopter) simply add in the comments below or on my Facebook Official Author Page that you would like to enter and I will add your name to the list manually. Thanks, and sorry for the inconvenience if you are one of those having issues with the widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Megan Reviews (and recommends!) HAUNTED by Charity Tinnin

What it's about (from publisher ibleedbooks press):

Punish the guilty or save the innocent? He can’t do both.
Click on the title below to buy
HAUNTED by Charity Tinnin at Amazon

As a liquidator, it’s Noah State’s job to carry out justice for the Elite—which is why they send him to Metro Area Four. There’s evidence of a resistance movement and chatter about a dangerous uprising. Noah’s orders? Stop it at any cost. 

Failure means death. But Noah’s haunted by the blood spilled in his past and certain God has condemned him for it. Shedding more isn’t an option. 

Then he meets Maddison James, a hospital apprentice with revolutionary leanings, and glimpses a future he thought was lost. A future within reach if they can survive his brother’s interference, a resistance more threatening than anyone imagined, and one unforgivable choice.

Megan’s thoughts

Typically when life makes it difficult for me to finish a book, the zest with which I approached it at the beginning gradually disappears, and it’s hard to jump back into the story once I've set it aside. Although I was not able to give this novel the ten straight hours I would have liked to, stepping away from Haunted was not detrimental to my excitement to return to the reading! The silly thing haunted me until I stayed up late one night just to see what happened to the characters. (Did you get the play on words—Yes.No.Maybe?)

My favorite character was actually Maddison. She’s the girl next door, except she carries some major baggage—her parents were killed by an Elite. And poor Noah happens to be one. Their budding relationship was the main reason I kept flipping the pages.

Props to Ms. Tinnin: she knows how to create a ‘bad guy’ you can’t help but secretly cheer for. Perhaps it was his quick wit . . . but whatever it was that drew me into his character, I sincerely hope he reappears in book two…a lot!

The Christian themes were not hammered in your face the whole time, which is always refreshing. My favorite part, the epilogue, tied everything up perfectly. 

Hunted book two of THE STATE V. SEFORÉ SERIES comes out winter 2014.

CONTENT: Rated Edgiest for Christian fiction because of one curse word and a bit of killing. (Side note from Serena on content: I haven't read this book, but based on those two things I would probably rate the book "edgy"--maybe "edgier." But it is such a subjective thing, content rating--you'll have to read it and judge for yourself!)
STORY: 4.6 Stars

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