Betwixt Two Hearts ~ A Crossroads Collection

I felt very honored to be invited to participate in the new Crossroads Collection: Betwixt Two Hearts. I bought the first three when they came out, and I enjoyed the unique concept – a collection of novellas that are each free-standing book but tied together in a theme, and one full-length book by Amanda Tru that connects them all.  (Note – most of the “novellas” are more like full-length books.)

Betwixt Two Hearts - a Crossroads Collection by Amanda Tru, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig, Carol Moncado, Kari Trumbo, and Alana TerryIn Betwixt Two Hearts,  Amanda opens the collection with a story about two people establishing an online matchmaking agency. Not a dating site, mind you, but a real matchmaking agency with the goal of setting up marriages.  Each of the subsequent books is a contemporary Christian romance about two people who meet through the Betwixt Two Hearts agency. In addition to mine, you’ll find delightful stories by Amanda Tru, Kari Trumbo, Alana Terry, Carol Moncado, Chautona Havig. and ME.

Mine is The Swedehearts Glory Quilt, the second book in my Glory Quilts series. It’s lighthearted – mostly – and features some of the same characters from The Christmas Glory Quilt.  David Reid is a sincere Christian man, eager to move on in his life. He’s an engineer, so he’s got a plan.  But is it God’s plan for him, or is it David’s?  Eleanor has no plan. Her loving, well-intentioned family wants to control her life and doesn’t understand why she would abandon the plan they made for her. So Eleanor runs away to find herself.

David signs up for Betwixt Two Hearts because he wants a wife. Eleanor’s motives are not so pure. She wants a fake boyfriend, to convince her parents she’s doing just fine in her new life.

Readers say they like flawed characters, so I’ve tried to make Eleanor a very human, flawed person. Even when she’s most annoyed with her family, she acknowledges that they’re good people.  But she occasionally crosses the line between a reasonable attempt at independence into selfishness and even lying, “gaming the algorithm” to get the perfect match and then being unwilling to confess when she finds out how much she likes the man they choose for her.  I hope her conflicted emotions resonate with readers.

As I write this, I am impatiently waiting for the publication of The Swedehearts Glory Quilt in paperback, repeatedly checking my email and hitting the refresh button on Amazon. I’m hoping to see it today, so I can share my beautiful cover! The picture on the cover is from 85mm Photography in Minneapolis – artistic, amazing wedding photographers.  They’ve “captured” Eleanor and David perfectly. 

I made a new quilt for this book – as is my plan for the whole series! – and will be offering the pattern as a bonus to anyone who purchases (or reads in Kindle Unlimited) the Betwixt Two Hearts collection or the Swedehearts Glory Quilt paperback before March 31.  More on that later.

 

In other news….

The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe SwansonThe Kindle version of The Christmas Glory Quilt is now available for Kindle and in paperback. (It’s free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, of course, )

If you read and enjoyed it in the Comfort & Joy Christmas Lights collection, I’d be thrilled and grateful if you’d leave a review on the Amazon page or on Goodreads. Thank you!

If you missed the free Christmas Glory Quilt pattern,  you can purchase it on Etsy. The Swedehearts pattern will be available after March 31.

 

Bite-size Book Reviews – Cathe’s Weekly Reading Digest

tomorrowssun

Bite-size, digest… Get it? An intestinal play on words there… and my kids say I have no sense of humor. HA!

I did quite a bit of writing this week, especially as I participated in Jeff Goins’s Intentional Blogging Challenge, but I still managed to read several books. This week’s books were all mystery/suspense, in a variety of styles, from different time periods.

 

  1. “Not Quite Dead Enough and Booby Trap”, both audio, by Rex Stout

Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin make fun reading while I am sewing. Rex Stout’s stories span several decades; these two are set during WWII, and that seemed to give them more substance. Michael Pritchard reads most of these books. I like them.

  1. “Baggage Claim”, kindle, by Amanda Tru

This short book was all action. The characters jumped right in, ran hard until the end and then it ended. The chase was exciting, but I never got to know the characters. Not a bad book, though. Hopefully it’s only the introduction to a series that will have longer stories and more character development. I would read the series. I really only downloaded it because I am writing a story with that same name and I was curious to see if we had similar plots. We don’t.

  1. “Breach of Trust”, kindle, by DiAnn Mills

Christian fiction. DiAnn Mills’s novels are very well-researched, with solid plots that don’t get sacrificed for the sake of a romantic, wrap-it-up ending. She’s not afraid to pull punches, either. I was surprised, several times, and wondered how the author would make it all work out. I can always count on DiAnn Mills for a good story.

  1. “A Key to Death”, hardcover, by Richard and Frances Lockridge

Retro Read! Traditional detective story, published in 1954. A well-plotted murder mystery featuring Mr. and Mrs. North and a law firm that’s rapidly losing senior partners. This one had several twists. Because I have read it before, I knew the ending, but it’s not a predictable solution!

 

CURRENTLY READING:

  1. “Trojan Odyssey”, audio, by Clive Cussler

I’ve read this one before. Mr. Cussler does some audacious things with history – and he almost gets us to wonder if it really happened that way! Dirk Pit saves the world yet again. The nice thing about listening to Clive Cussler novels is that I don’t have to pay close attention. If he mentions a boat, he will tell you when and where it was built, by whom, who commissioned it and for what purpose, what kind of engine it has and why that is a good/bad choice. So if I miss a few minutes, it was probably just description. I like these stories, though. They are clean fun. The bad guys are really bad and the good guys are really good.

  1. “Tomorrow’s Sun”, kindle, by Becky Melby

Christian fiction. I am enjoying this one. It’s a little strange, because it’s set in my own town, and the author really knows the area. At one point, the characters raced within a few blocks of my home, on their way to the hospital. I’m glad they knew the shortcut, or they would never have made it there in time! It’s set in two time periods (don’t worry – no time travel, just two sets of people who lived in the same house, one during the Civil War and one in the present.) The modern hero and heroine of this story are startlingly realistic. As I read the story, their personalities, convictions and motivations seem perfectly natural to me. I look forward to finishing it soon.

  1. “Legend in Green Velvet”, paperback, by Elizabeth Peters

I haven’t read anything by Elizabeth Peters in a couple years, but I pulled some of her books off the shelves for my last blog post and was hooked into this one. It’s one of her stand-alone books, with the usual smart-aleck characters in improbably situations. I love it. She’s one of my favorite authors.