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.

 

11 Reasons to gift Kindle Books ~ Have a merry clutter-free Christmas

How to Give a Kindle Book as a Gift - Have a Merry Clutter-free Christmas

Why to give Kindle Books as Christmas Gifts

Everyone knows that books make great gifts, and digital books are especially nice because they are:
  1. Inexpensive – most Kindle books are under $10. Some are much cheaper!
  2. Environmentally friendly – no physical production or transportation “footprint.”
  3. Fast – forgot to shop in advance? Order online and have the gift delivered instantly. You can also schedule the delivery for later, if you are shopping early.
  4. Convenient – shop from home, in the proverbial pajamas.
  5. Abundant – you can find almost any title on Amazon.
  6. Easy to send – you only need the recipient’s email address.
  7. Free to deliver – you don’t have to pay postage or stand in line at the post office.
  8. Clutter-free – many of us have plenty of “stuff” and limited bookshelf space.
  9. Personal – we share books that we think other people will like.
  10. Easy to read – you can read Kindle books on a tablet, phone or computer. Or even on a Kindle.
  11. Returnable – if your recipient already has the book or is not interested, they can exchange it for an amazon gift card of the same value.

How to Give a Kindle Books as a Christmas Gift

 

Amazon has two options for gifting kindle books: they will send a personalized email and code directly to the recipient, or they will send it to you so you can print it out and deliver it yourself.

 

Amazon makes it easy for you, of course!

 

Comfort & Joy

 

First, find the book you want to send. This is a good one, and it’s just 99 cents, so you can send it to everyone on your list!

Comfort & Joy: the 2018 Christmas Lights Collection

Four heartwarming stories to fill this Christmas season with comfort and joy.

 

Kindle books giftsClick on the “Buy for Others” button:

 

 

 

And fill out the form – super easy!

You can send a fairly long message with it. 

 

Have you ever given a Kindle book as a gift? 

 

Kindle Books Gifts

 

I wish you a bright and blessed Christmas, with time to curl up with a good book!

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Are You a Kindle Unlimited Reader?

Kindle Unlimited Readers and Verified ReviewsI recently learned of a great injustice:  When a Kindle Unlimited subscriber borrows and reads a book and then reviews it on Amazon, that review is not a “verified purchase” review.  It is lumped with the other “unverified” reviews. Now, before anyone jumps in to correct me, I admit that “borrowing” is not the same as “purchasing.”  But you have purchased a membership from Amazon, and they know exactly how many pages of that book you read, because they pay the author according to how many pages you read. If they want to quibble, they could call it a “verified read” or “KU read” or something like that.

Stand up and be counted

If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, it’s because you are a serious reader. Your opinion of a book is worth hearing! You’re paying for that subscription, and you deserve to have your reviews seen and respected. I encourage you to write to Amazon. Emails and phone calls are helpful, but a real letter is most influential. Do all three, if you like.  Let Amazon know that you want your reviews to be given a mark of authority, like that of the “verified purchaser”.  As I suggested above, they could use “verified reader,”

In the meantime, you can preface your reviews with a statement that you are a Kindle Unlimited reader.  Amazon will still bury your review under all of the “verified” ones,  but it will get seen sometimes, and it will lend authority to your reviews.

Kindle Unlimited is still a good thing

$10 a month for unlimited books, magazines and audiobooks is pretty amazing. No, not everything is in the Kindle Unlimited library, but it is BIG. It’s especially nice for readers of series. Audiobooks? I love audiobooks. By the way… both of my books, Baggage Claim and Snow Angels, are included in the Kindle Unlimited library.

In case you were wondering, authors do get paid for the books you read through Kindle Unlimited.  Amazon pays authors by the page. If you read 10 pages of a book, the author gets paid for 10 pages. They don’t pay for re-reads. Amazon knows everything. It’s pretty scary.

Are you a Kindle Unlimited reader? I encourage you to speak up and let Amazon know that your review deserves to be seen!

Bite-size Book Reviews

These were all new, first-time reads for me, from some of my favorite authors. It was a nice variety of styles and time periods.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Random Acts of Murder by Christy BarrittRandom Acts of Murder, audiobook by Christy Barritt, read by Sandy Rustin

This book is the first in a new series. The heroine is appealing, with her good intentions, insecurities and quirky personality.  She fled the scene of a murder and now she’s being framed for it. The hero is an old high school classmate, all grown up and in charge of the murder investigation.  Ms. Barritt does a good job of pacing the mystery and concealing the identity of the killer.  I would have liked to see more about the heroine’s spiritual and physical conditions, but it is a light-hearted story with lots of other action.  The supporting characters seem interesting; I hope they are developed further in the rest of the series.

 

Snow on the Tulips by Liz TolsmaSnow on the Tulips, audiobook by Liz Tolsma, read by Susan Denaker

Ms. Tolsma has created a vivid portrait of a small Dutch village and its residents near the end of WWII. This is an intense, suspenseful story as much as a romance. The aggression of the Nazi troops was frightening and sad.  A fascinating theme was the relationships of the two sisters near the end of the story. They were both scared and heartbroken, begging their men to not leave them. One man would not fight or resist the enemy, and the other was active in the resistance movement.  The plights of the women, however, were the same.

 

 

A Lady of High Regard by Tracie PetersonA Lady of High Regard, audiobook by Tracie Peterson, read by Barbara Caruso

I liked the natural, dynamic family relationships in this book, and I found the heroine’s balanced behaviors refreshing. In spite of her belief that she was the only one who could save the world, she didn’t always rush headlong into dangers; sometimes she made a decision to be obedient and sensible. I would have liked to see the women from the docks portrayed with a little more intelligence and energy.  The story was a little slow at first, but it picked up momentum and the ending was exciting.

 

 

Buried Secrets by Irene HannonBuried Secrets, audiobook by Irene Hannon, read by Therese Plummer and Jennifer Grace

This is the first in Ms. Hannon’s new Men of Valor series. The romantic relationship is different in that almost as soon as they meet, the hero and heroine admit their attraction to each other and make it clear that they are not interested in a casual dating relationships. They can not become involved while they are working on the mystery, so they agree to wait to start seeing each other until the case is solved. It’s a nice twist on romantic suspense. The villain of the story, who is revealed almost immediately, is very villainous, creative and careful. The plot is revealed steadily. The ending, when the villain attacks the heroine, feels a little contrived, but otherwise it’s a solid story from one of my favorite authors.

 

A Matter of Character by Robin Lee HatcherA Matter of Character, audiobook by Robin Lee Hatcher, read by Kathy Garver

I read and enjoyed the first two books in this series – fluffy fun stuff – and picked up this one to finish the trilogy.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was excellent! The characters were solid – much more complex than in the previous two books. There were so many interesting layers to the plot and such conflicting goals that it was hard to imagine a happy ending, but of course all the loose threads were gathered up nicely and tied in a bow.