Monday, August 31, 2015

Serena Recs New Adult Novel: TO GET TO YOU by Joanne Bischof

Click on the title below to purchase
TO GET TO YOU by Joanne Bischof at Amazon
To Get to You
by Joanne Bischof
(reviewed for EIR by Serena Chase)

What it's about: 
(from publisher Mason Jar Books)

To get to the girl he loves, Riley Kane must head off on a road trip with the father he never knew. 

Then pray for a miracle. 

Most teens would love to have a pro surfer for a dad. Just not Riley. Abandoned as a kid, he hates the sound of the ocean and the man who gave himself to it. 

When the eighteen-year-old learns that his best friend is stranded at a New Mexico hospital as her father fights for his life, Riley hits the highway to head east. But when his Jeep breaks down before he even leaves California, he must rely on the one man he despises to get to the girl who needs him the most. And when it comes to the surfer with the Volkswagen van and dog-eared map, a thousand miles may–or may not–be enough to heal the past. 

A story of new beginnings and second chances. 

What makes this novel worth the reading:

To be honest, I entered this novel expecting much more romance than what the story actually contained, but you know what? I didn't miss it. While it's true that Riley and his girl don't spend much page-time actually being together--even though she is always, always on his mind *sweetness*--you never doubt he is being driven by love. But when the story begins, Riley has already fallen for the girl, and it's pretty clear (though subtly) that she feels the same. Yes, he must get to her, but it is the journey--and the company on it--that makes the story (and it's not a girl, by the way, in that old VW. It's two middle-aged surfer dudes and Riley.)

Yes, this could be considered a romance, I suppose, but that label would miss the point, I think. To Get to You is much more of a story of reconciliation--of hope and healing. And I highly recommend it.

CONTENT: EDGY for inspy

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 39: Sarah Sundin casts THROUGH WATERS DEEP

Today on The Author's Casting Call we welcome Casting Director (and author!) Sarah Sundin who has graciously "shown" us her characters from her newest release, Through Waters Deep.

Here's a little about the book, 
from publisher Revell:

Click on the title below to order
Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin at Amazon
It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story

Casting Through Waters Deep
by Sarah Sundin, special for EIR
Click on the names of the actors for links to a picture, via Pinterest
& make sure you follow Serena's Author's Casting Call at EIR board 
for links back to all previous episodes of this feature!

I’m one of the strange authors nowadays who doesn’t “cast” celebrities in my novels. The characters are fully formed in my imagination, and it’s difficult for me to find real people who look like the characters in my mind. For Through Waters Deep, I’m thrilled with the book cover! The models have just the right look for Jim and Mary. But choosing the cover models would be cheating, wouldn’t it?

For Mary Stirling, I might cast classic movie actress Teresa Wright. Mary has dark hair and light blue eyes, and like Teresa Wright, she has the same quiet, glowing, unaffected beauty.

Jim Avery is tougher to cast. Many people have noted a resemblance between the cover model and actor Ryan Reynolds, but the actor doesn’t have Jim’s open, smiling, eager look.

If you watch the behind-the-scenes video of the cover photo shoot, you’ll see why I really would cheat and cast both models in the movie. They’re simply perfect!

Find more inspiration for Through Waters Deep on my novel board on Pinterest:

SARAH SUNDIN is the author of seven historical novels, including Through Waters Deep (Revell, August 2015). Her novella in Where Treetops Glisten is a 2015 Carol Award finalist. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Megan Reviews THE HEART OF BETRAYAL by Mary E. Pearson

This Book: The Heart of Betrayal
Series: The Remnant Chronicles (Book 2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) 
Released: July 7, 2015

About the book (from the publisher):

Click here to find this book on Amazon 

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

Megan’s Thoughts:

Awesome Book #1

= High Expectations for Book #2

That can be a scary combination.

The Heart of Betrayal held the top spot in my ‘I must have you on the very moment you release’ list for my TBR 2015 pile. Why all the hype? It all started because of a jaw dropping moment in the first book of The Remnant Chronicles series: A Kiss of Deception. (click HERE for Megan's Review of A Kiss of Deception)

I knew Mary E. Pearson would have another twist, and she didn’t fail me. But it was different this time around. Instead of one giant plot surprise, I found a series of tiny details, each building upon themselves, revealing more of the characters, more of their world, more of their past, and more of my love for this story.

High Expectations for Book 2: Met!

So as you guessed, The Beauty of Darkness, Book #3 is already inching its way up my 2016 list.

I do predict that my reader’s heart may get broken in the future, but only because I’m Team Kaden. Anyone else?

Fans of Mary Weber's Storm Siren Trilogy will devour this series.

Story: 4.98 Stars
Content: Edgy for Mainstream. (Mild Language, Reference to Sex, Created Religion/Gifts)

MEGAN BESING adores stories with happily-ever-afters. Her own YA writings have received many awards, including being a current finalist in ACFW’s 2015 Genesis contest. She lives in the Hoosier state with her husband and children, where she enjoysan unhealthy love of vanilla cokes. Visit her online at

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Megan Reviews Take and Give (Haven Seekers, book 3) by Amanda G. Stevens

Take and Give: A Novel (Haven Seekers Book 3)
by Amanda G. Stevens

Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: August 15, 2015
About the book (from the publisher):
Austin Delvecchio has tried to use his Constabulary resources to track down his missing girlfriend Violet. He finds a stranger instead, held illegally and mistreated. Rescuing the man will make Austin's boss an enemy, but ignoring the situation will mean the man's death.

Lee Vaughn has lost the most important person in her life. She continues his work her way, providing black market medical assistance to Christians and allowing fugitive Violet to live with her. Then she learns what really happened to Marcus, and the danger following him leaves them all with only one option: to flee.

To make it to freedom, all four will have to rely on their traveling companions. But that's not easy when confronting past hurts, fear, and distrust.
Megan’s Thoughts:

LOVED! My favorite book in this series so far.

All my beloved characters are back—and together. (I do believe Violet is still my #1.) Sure they’re running and hiding for their lives, but the suspense plays out in all the right places. Take and Give holds the most spiritual content out of all the Haven Seekers stories to date. It was well-written, believable, needed, and well-received. The building of love and recovering of relationships satisfied my need for romance. And Austin… for as badly as I should have him stay firmly in the ‘bad guy’ category, I can’t. I’m rooting for him, determined that he’ll get it and get the girl too. (Hint-hint, Ms. Stevens.)

Take and Give should not be overlooked.

A must read (after you read books #1 and #2 first, of course.)

Story: 5 Stars
Content: Edgy

MEGAN BESING adores stories with happily-ever-afters. Her own YA writings have received many awards, including being a current finalist in ACFW’s 2015 Genesis contest. She lives in the Hoosier state with her husband and children, where she enjoysan unhealthy love of vanilla cokes. Visit her online at

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 38: Carrie Stuart Parks casts THE BONES WILL SPEAK

This week we welcome Casting Director (and author!) Carrie Stuart Parks to The Author's Casting Call. Beyond her casting duties *wink* and her work as an author,Carrie is a renowned forensics artist, trained by the FBI. Her thriller The Bones Will Speak released August 11. 

About the book (from publisher Thomas Nelson):
Click on the title below for the Amazon link to
The Bones Will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks
A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter.
When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.
Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter.
The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor.
When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left.

Casting The Bones Will Speak
by Carrie Stuart Parks, special for EIR
(Click on the actor's name for a picture of that actor
for some eye-candy links back to all previous episodes of this feature!)
How delightful to be able to “cast” my book! I’ve thought about it for some time—ever since HarperCollins told me my books were chosen to be shopped around the TV and movie industry. I do want to pick from the “A” list (hey, I’m not paying their salaries, so why not!)

Gwen Marcey (Sandra Bullock) Honest, spunky, brave, resourceful, and with a sense of humor.

Aynslee Marcey (Saxon Sharbino) Self-centered, but gutsy and with a big heart.

Robert Marcey (Leonardo DiCaprio) …hey, nobody mentioned budget…smooth, total narcissist, famous author.

Beth Noble (Anne Hathaway) This could be any age actress, but Anne can be intense, funny, obsessive, and a good friend.

Sheriff Dave Moore (Tom Hanks) Likable, honest, straight shooter.

Deputy Andre Arceneaux  (Gary Sinise) You’d need to ratty him up (think Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump) and add tats, but a good guy.

Tim Hawkins, DVM (Tom Cruise) Good looking, smooth, professional.

Mattie Banks: I blank on this one. She just has to look like Aynslee and be the same age.

Wes Bailor (Johnny Depp) Famous artist, shapeshifter type, can’t decide if you even like him.


CARRIE STUART PARKS is an internationally known forensic art instructor as well as FBI trained, Certified Forensic Artist. She worked for the North Idaho Regional Crime Lab for years before going freelance. A winner of numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and general career excellence, she is also a signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society. She was mentored in her writing by NYT best-selling author Frank Peretti.

Connect with Carrie Stuart Parks
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