Book Recommendation: Sweet Serenade and Orphaned Hearts in SPLASH!

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Sweet Serenade by Valerie Comer, author of the Farm Fresh Romance series

Sweet Serenade

Book Description: Canadian river guide and canoe builder Reed Daniels stands by as his lifelong friends pair off. After all, he’s waited this long for the right woman… what’s a little longer? But when newcomer Carly shows up at the gang’s bonfire, he’s mesmerized. Could she be the answer to his prayers?

Water-sport enthusiast Carly Thorbergsen is starting over in Riverbend. Hired as a canoeing and hiking guide, she’s ready to focus on work and leave the personal stuff behind. That is until the competition, Reed Daniels, offers her a ride in his cedar-strip canoe. No resisting that!

But no matter how much they have in common, Carly can’t erase her past, and Reed is bound to discover the truth. When a date finds Carly and Reed running rapids on the outside of the canoe, they come face to face with the real reasons their new relationship might capsize.

Narelle’s thoughts: Sweet Serenade is a fun contemporary Christian romance set in a small fictitious Canadian town. Carly’s cousin warns her about getting involved with Reed, who is the handsome, single guy in their church group. Carly can’t help being drawn to Reed, despite the added complication of being employed by Reed’s competitor.

Carly is struggling with guilt from her past and she’s adjusting to life in a small town community. I loved Reed’s integrity and his desire to live out his faith in all areas of his life. The minor characters added a realism to the story that I really liked. The river scenery is gorgeous and I want to go canoeing in a small town just like Riverbend!

Read an interview with Valerie here.

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Orphaned Hearts by Marion Ueckermann, author of the Heart of Africa series

Orphaned Hearts

Book Description: When his wife dies in childbirth, Zambian conservationist Simon Hartley pours his life into raising his daughter and his orphan elephants. He has no time—or desire—to fall in love again. Or so he thinks.

Wanting to escape English society and postpone an arranged marriage, Lady Abigail Chadwick heads to Africa for a year to teach the children of the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Upon her arrival she is left stranded at Livingstone airport… until a reluctant Simon comes to her rescue.

Now only fears born of his loss—and secrets of the life she’s tried to leave behind—can stonewall their romance, budding in the heart of Africa.

Narelle’s thoughts: Orphaned Hearts is a heartfelt contemporary Christian romance set in exotic Zambia on the banks of the Zambezi River. Despite her father’s disapproval, Abigail travels from England to Africa and teaches in an orphanage. She leaves behind an ex-fiance and her luxurious life as Lady Abigail. Simon is a devoted father to Chloe and spends his time caring for orphaned elephants. He is intrigued by the fiesty and beautiful Abigail when she first arrives in Zambia.

A sweet romance develops between Simon and Abigail, and I loved how Chloe bonds with Abigail. Simon is challenged to let go of his grief and rediscover his faith during the story. Abigail has secrets that threaten to destroy her idyllic new life in the small African village. The orphaned elephants are just adorable, and an elephant ride during an African safari is on my travel bucket list!

Read an interview with Marion here.

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His Perfect Catch by Narelle Atkins, author of the Snowgum Creek series

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Book Description: Sydney girl Mia Radcliffe borrows her cousin’s beach house in Sapphire Bay, Australia, to escape the scandal surrounding her ex-fiancé. Her new neighbor is her secret crush from years ago… and she’s still captivated by the handsome builder who was a youth group leader at her church.

Living next door to Mia wasn’t part of Pete McCall’s plan when he started renovating his beach house. The blonde beauty inspires thoughts of settling down, despite her high maintenance ways and big-city dreams.

Love kindles during their time together and Mia’s heart is set on returning to Sydney with Pete. When new opportunities arise, Pete and Mia must decide if their love is for keeps.

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Grab a tall glass of lemonade or iced tea and dip your toes into a cool pool of water on a hot summer’s day while you enjoy the never-before-released Christian romance novellas in SPLASH!

NINE Refreshing Romances Filled with Faith!

Available from Amazon Kindle for 99 cents

http://www.amazon.com/Splash-Refreshing-Romances-Filled-Faith-ebook/dp/B00X4UEK0E/

Splash reviews blog hop

Click here to view the list of SPLASH! review posts.

SPLASH! Official Release Day and Facebook Party

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Today is the official release day for SPLASH! in North America. My novella, His Perfect Catch, is part of the box set now available from Amazon Kindle and online ebook retailers.

We’re celebrating the release of SPLASH! with an online Facebook Party and there’ll be prizes on offer. Here’s the Facebook link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/879781802060413/

The Facebook Party is being held on June 23, 5pm-7pm EDT (US East Coast). Taking into account the time zone differences, this translate to Wednesday, June 24, 7am-9am AEST (Australian East Coast). Hope to see you there!

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SPLASH! Interview with Marion Ueckermann, author of Orphaned Hearts

Orphaned Hearts

Book Description:

When his wife dies in childbirth, Zambian conservationist Simon Hartley pours his life into raising his daughter and his orphan elephants. He has no time—or desire—to fall in love again. Or so he thinks.

Wanting to escape English society and postpone an arranged marriage, Lady Abigail Chadwick heads to Africa for a year to teach the children of the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Upon her arrival she is left stranded at Livingstone airport… until a reluctant Simon comes to her rescue.

Now only fears born of his loss—and secrets of the life she’s tried to leave behind—can stonewall their romance, budding in the heart of Africa.

Me enjoying a Zambezi River sunset cruise

Me enjoying a Zambezi River sunset cruise

Narelle: Welcome, Marion. Can you please tell us more about the setting for Orphaned Hearts.

Marion: Orphaned Hearts is set in a place close to my heart—Zambia—land of my birth. When asked to write a story set in Africa with a water theme for this boxed set, I knew there was no other place for this story than the Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River. Of course, having been there and seen it all helped cement my choice of African location.

Although the Vic Falls is mentioned in the story, focus is on this great river itself.

Narelle: I love your exotic African setting. How does your novella fit with the SPLASH! water theme?

Marion: South African Simon Hartley has lived close to this incredible river for over a decade where he’s doing his part for conservation with his elephant orphanage.

Having ridden on and fed one of these magnificent creatures, plus seen an eleven-week old ellie up close when we visited Zambia many years ago, I had to bring elephants into this story. What do they have to do with water, you ask? Elephants love and need mud, and so there’s a fun scene with the pachyderms and orphans down at the mudhole (that’s water, too…sort of).

This little baby below has such an amazing story about its conception, but I’d have to share that in a separate blog.

This baby loves mud

This baby loves mud

Feeding Danny, the elephant I rode on

Feeding Danny, the elephant I rode on

When his wife dies in childbirth, Simon buries her on his property beneath a giant sycamore tree on the banks of the Zambezi.

Over five years pass. Raising his daughter and orphan elephants consumes Simon’s life. When he offers help to a stranded Abigail Chadwick, fresh off the plane from England and in Africa for a year to teach the orphans of the Good Shepherd Orphanage, he finds himself reluctantly drawn to her. Their feelings for each other grow with a romantic sunset dinner cruise down the Zambezi on Valentine’s Day.

Narelle: The elephants are adorable and I love how they feature in your story. Is your novella connected to a series?

Marion: Initially it wasn’t. I was writing a story set in Africa for this boxed set, that’s all. Valerie Comer, who has championed Splash!, said I should consider turning this into a series. Series? Even though my first two published books, Helsinki Sunrise and Oslo Overtures (coming August 2015) are part of Pelican Book Group’s Passport to Romance series, and my Helsinki Sunrise hero and heroine make a brief appearance in Oslo Overtures, I’d never considered writing books connected to each other in some way, whether by character, location or theme. It didn’t take long to convince myself this was a great idea, and so my Heart of Africa series was born.

I plan to write and Indie publish two Heart of Africa stories a year. Book 2 will continue where Book 1 finished, but the hero will be one of the minor characters in Orphaned Hearts, and the heroine, someone who earned a one-liner in the same story. There’ll definitely be scenes at Mosi-oa-Tunya—the Smoke that Thunders, better known as the Victoria Falls. Maybe I’ll throw in a lunar rainbow or two for good measure.

I’m really excited about setting stories on my continent—who doesn’t love the idea of an African safari. But because Africa has so much more to offer than just its unique wildlife, there’ll also be, amongst other things, exciting desert experiences or time spent relaxing in the beauty of the Cape winelands. I hope readers will be excited to come along with me to the heart of Africa and fall in love.

Narelle: Marion, I can’t wait read more stories in you Heart of Africa series. Thanks for visiting today and sharing more about Orphaned Hearts with our blog readers.

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MARION UECKERMANN’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven, and her debut novella, Helsinki Sunrise (White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint, Passport to Romance series). Her second Passport to Romance novella, Oslo Overtures, releases 2015. Marion lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.

You can find her at www.marionueckermann.com or her Amazon author page.

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NINE Refreshing Romances Filled with Faith!

Releasing June 23 and available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.

SPLASH! Interview with Jan Thompson, author of Draw You Near

Draw You Near

Book Description:

While on vacation in Savannah, Georgia, a year ago, Lars Cargill bought a small watercolor painting to hang in his estate in England. The more he stared at the artwork, the more he wanted to meet the woman in the painting. This summer, Lars returns to Savannah to find the elusive real-life Lady and the Sea. Problem is, the artist says she doesn’t exist. Of course, he doesn’t believe her. Otherwise he wouldn’t be showing up in her art classes and around town where she paints local scenes. He doubts she has the heart to turn him away, not when he shows her that he has artistic potential.

Abilene Dupree is busy trying to make a living as an artist and art teacher in Savannah. She sells commercial art, not personal stories. Although much of her heart goes into her paintings, she doesn’t reveal her soul, not even to the clean-cut guy with cute dimples who is searching for the woman in her Lady and the Sea painting. She keeps telling Lars that the illusive woman in the painting doesn’t exist. Well, the more she tells him that, the more she begins to believe her own words. Before she could give him the real answers he seeks, Lars’ own past shows up and he has to decide on his future. Will their relationship be like an unfinished painting?

Narelle: Welcome, Jan. Can you please tell us more about the setting for Draw You Near.

Jan: Savannah and Tybee Island are two of my favorite coastal Georgia towns by the Atlantic Ocean. I go there quite often. In fact, I had been researching coastal Georgia for my colonial fiction and Civil War series when the idea came to me to write a contemporary series in the same towns to contrast life now with life then. However, it took several more years before I was able to get to this series, and here it is, finally.

Narelle: I’ve always wanted to see the Atlantic Ocean and visit the US East Coast. A lovely location for your research. How does your novella fit with the SPLASH! water theme?

Jan: In Draw You Near, Savannah artist Abilene Dupree keeps her personal life out of her commercial paintings except one, a watercolor painting she called Lady and the Sea. That one painting has now brought Londoner Lars Cargill back to the coastal town and into her art world. Can she hold him at bay before he invades her personal space and paint his way into her heart?

Narelle: Abilene’s watercolor painting sounds intriguing. Is your novella connected to a series?

Jan: Yes. Draw You Near is the third novella in my Savannah Sweethearts series of multiethnic contemporary Christian novellas celebrating faith, hope, and love. Meet local Christians going about their daily businesses when they meet the loves of their lives. Or not. What is God’s will for each of them?

Savannah Sweethearts is all about life by the sea, which in essence, is not much different from life in landlocked cities. Inherently, the human nature is such that we all have in our hearts a need for the Lord, for His salvation, sustenance, and sanctification. There are seven books in the Savannah Sweethearts series, each showcasing a different aspect of man’s need for God and for one another against a backdrop of ocean, sand, and sun.

Savannah Sweethearts Series: www.janthompson.com/savannah

Narelle: Jan, I’m looking forward to reading your Savannah Sweetheart books. Thanks for visiting today and sharing more about Draw You Near with our blog readers.

janthompsonauthor

Jan Thompson blends inspirational women’s fiction with clean Christian love stories to celebrate the grace of God and hope in Jesus Christ. Whether they are multiethnic contemporary Christian romance, international romantic thrillers, or regional historical fiction, Jan’s books are for readers who love inspiring stories of faith, family, friends, and yes, happy endings. Always. Jan is also an avid reader and enjoys reading good books on pleasant days. When she is not busy writing and publishing, she is a wife, mother, educator, family scribe, and chief of staff to the family cat.

Website: www.janthompson.com

Book News: www.janthompson.com/newsletter

Tweet Jan: www.twitter.com/ThompsonAuthor

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 NINE Refreshing Romances Filled with Faith!

Releasing June 23 and available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.