Tag Archives: contemporary romance

Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt is an Inspiring Romance that Teaches that Life isn’t Always Planned

cover Catch a Falling StarHave you ever sat pondering and wondering what direction your life should be taking, all while having an internal struggle inside telling you what you are destined to do (or who to become) while the outside world is demanding something else?

In Catch a Falling Star, author Beth K. Vogt pens an inspiring modern tale that encompasses just that feeling. Her protagonist, Dr. Kendall Haynes, loves her career and those she helps. She doesn’t necessarily feel that she has to push her way to get married or even have kids. She isn’t the type of character though that has a hard wall up to a situation such as mentioned and the book doesn’t then spends time picking away at that invisible wall. It’s actually a fresh character perspective with her having a sense of knowing what her true self wants, even if it means fighting against the odds of the rest of what her family and friends think she should be doing at her age.

Sure, she appears independent on the outside and is completely strong, self-sufficient and capable. However, she does a lot of self-talking in her head and wonders if she is making the right decisions. I can relate to that quite a bit myself.  Since it’s an inspirational fiction (meaning it has Christian values and thoughts intertwined within it), she often prays and asks God if she is making the right decision; if she is following the path He’s set out for her. But her enduring faith and desire to help others seems to lead her through.

Concurrently, the co-protagonist Griffin is struggling with his intense career as an Air Force pilot taking a back seat to his needing to take in his younger brother when their parents are killed. He feels with so much age difference between them that he can’t properly care for him and doesn’t understand how to relate to him. He seems to not be able to get out from under feeling burdened. It’s another case of sometimes not understanding your true path and needing to be able to understand that sometimes God puts something or someone in our path that completely changes our lives. He throws roadblocks at us for a reason. With Kendall’s help, he begins to see more clearly how with faith he can endure this change in his life and actually see how his life could be made better. She learns she might fall in love with someone she wouldn’t have though she would be able to fall in love with….so the MORAL for both of them is that we don’t always know our own path. We must be willing in life to be flexible and trust that God is in control. As a reader, I can certainly relate to that too!

Kendall and Griffin’s budding romance throughout the book is endearing and sweet. And I love inspiring, clean, and inspirational romances. Their partnership really shows them both another side to themselves and the possibilities in their lives that they themselves weren’t seeing.

There is so much that goes into this novel, with Vogt’s odd and original character developments. I loved how much Kendall liked Jeeps and how she wasn’t afraid to be a grease monkey with them. I also loved Beth’s decision to make Kendall and allergy and asthma practitioner. Growing up with allergies and severe asthma myself, I again could relate and I appreciate her brining awareness to this cause and its seriousness. I would love to have a doctor like Kendall for myself, and for my son, who also struggles with asthma.

Beyond this, we also have Kendall’s office secretary who also learns with her adoption issues, that life in her world isn’t as cut and dry as she would like them to be as well. It reinforced that all women struggle with various spectrums of motherhood or non-motherhood and no one’s story is any worse or any different; we all have desires and choices we must make for ourselves.

However, through all her interactions Kendall’s faith in God is transparent to those around her. Whether that helps them find God themselves, or not, is not the main focus of the book, but rather the fact that she consistently herself practices what she believes in without worrying what others think.

I liked Vogt’s premises behind the book and the inspirational aspects of her plot. Though it was a quick read for me, without heavy detail or overabundance of explanation, it was still a book that provoked some thought into my own life path, decisions, and also my reaction to the choices of others. I enjoyed her view of relationships and her modern spin on an unlikely romance. I suggest this book if you want a Christian contemporary romance that inspires you to think about where you are in life and where you want to be.

The only recommendation I would make, as a woman who is 38 years old, is that I felt that the characters were more in the age range of 26-30, not 36. I have thought about why I felt that way and can’t really pinpoint it, except the description and mannerisms of Kendall, her friends were only just starting with kids and marriages, and Griffin’s brother being so much younger than he. I am sure she had her reasons for picking this age, and it works fine, I just felt like it was more for this age group, even though anyone of any age could read it.

Catch a Falling Star, Synopsis~

cover Catch a Falling Star What does a girl do when life doesn’t go according to her plan?
 
At 36, Kendall Haynes has seen some of her dreams come true. She’s a family physician helping kids with severe allergies and asthma achieve more fulfilling lives-a childhood struggle she knows all too well. But the feeling of being “the kid never picked” looms large when romance continues to evade her and yet another one of her closest friends gets engaged. Are Kendall’s dreams of having it all-a career, a husband, children-nothing more than childish wishing upon a star? Should she hold out for her elusive Plan A? Dust off Plan B? Or is it time to settle? God says he knows the plans he has for her-why can’t Kendall figure them out and be content with her life?
Griffin Walker prefers flying solo-both as an Air Force pilot and in his personal life. But a wrong choice and health problems pulled him out of the cockpit. His attempts to get out of “flying a desk” are complicated by his parents’ death-making Griffin the reluctant guardian of his sixteen-year-old brother, Ian. How did his life get so off course? Can God get his life back on track … or has there been a divine plan all along?
Catch a Falling Star reminds readers that romance isn’t just for twenty-somethings and that sometimes letting go of your “wish I may, wish I might” dreams is the only way to embrace everything God has waiting for you.
 
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/kUDLa
 
Beth K. Vogt, Biography~ 
 
Beth photoBeth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice), though she said she’d never marry a doctor-or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four, though she said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Her contemporary romance novel, “Wish You Were Here”, debuted in May 2012 (Howard Books), and “Catch a Falling Star” releases May 2013. An established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren.
 
Find out more about Beth K. at http://bethvogt.com.
 
To see more stops on Beth’s tour, go to LitFuse Landing page:
Thank you to LitFuse for the complimentary copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
 

Celebrate the release of Catch a Falling Star (Howard Books) with Beth K. Vogt by entering to win a Romantic Weekend Getaway and RSVPing for her June 4th Author Chat Party.

 

FallingStar300

 
One “lucky” winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Perfect for a weekend stay at a hotel or B&B!)
  • Catch a Falling Star and Wish You Were Here by Beth Vogt (Swoon-worthy!)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 3rd. Winner will be announced at the Catch a Falling Star” Facebook Author Chat Party on June 4th. Connect with Beth for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Beth will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

 
So grab your copy of Catch a Falling Star and join Beth on the evening of June 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

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Romance Time with Rhiannon Ellis: Bonded in Brazil and Dark Wolf Protector Reviewed

Bonded in Brazil, Contemporary Romance

Bonded in Brazil, by Rhiannon Ellis, looked so good I could hardly wait to whittle away a sleepless night with it. Normally, I’m not the romance book type, unless it is historical and/or paranormal first and foremost but Ellis’ book called out to me.  Its voice certainly didn’t disappoint, as the cross-culture and society romance found a place in my heart as quickly as I could turn the pages. This was one romance I couldn’t put down as the clock ticked later into the night.

I loved the emotions emitted by both the main characters, Eliana Menino and Hale Forester. I loved how Eliana helped to heal Hale from his loss and loneliness with her vibrant personality and love of life. You could just picture what a gorgeous couple they would make, even as they fought through their attraction, sometimes giving in to desire and sometimes putting up walls. I loved how this book didn’t throw cheesy sex scenes at me that made me feel like I was intruding, but yet revealed their passion for each other slowly.

While reading it, I was reminded of one of my favorite romantic movies, A Walk in the Clouds (the romantic movie with Keanu Reeves). It was probably the strong female character, the hot male character, the lure of a beautiful vineyard of grapes, and the dance of would be lovers.  It wasn’t until later that I found out that the movie was partly Ellis’ inspiration for the book.

In Bonded by Brazil, Eliana’s family owns a vineyard in Brazil which is having financial difficulties and unable to pay back a loan secured by her father through Hale’s business. They are in fear of losing their heritage, the grape fields and Eliana goes to work as a maid for Hale in order to pay it back so her family can keep their vineyard. 

As they both struggle with deep emotions, each is too proud to let the other know how they truly feel.  Their love grows amid a backdrop of a beautiful Napa Valley estate and is surrounded by a cast of characters that assist in taking the story through a puzzle of deceit, drama, confusion, hurt, passion, and stubbornness. All of her characters are so vividly detailed and you’ll feel so intwined with them.

As the story ended as a happily ever after, I still hoped for a sequel to not only see what happens in the lives of Eliana and Hale, but of Eliana’s brother and the new love he also finds during his visit to the estate. My wish has been granted as Ellis has a sequel that is due to come out next year tentatively called Harvesting the Heart.

I love Ellis’ play on the theme of a vineyard and the caring of grapes, tying it to how we can nurture and tend love in our hearts. Her romance is one that melted my senses and I can’t wait to read the sequel. I recommend reading Bonded in Brazil on one of the upcoming chilly Autumn or Winter evening and definitely while enjoying a glass of wine by the fireplace or candlelight.

Buy this book:  http://www.amazon.com/Bonded-Brazil-Rhiannon-Ellis/dp/1603818464/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1301592162&sr=8-1

Dark Wolf Protector, Paranormal Romance

If you’re in the mood for a hot and sexy paranormal romance novella with handsome men, aka werewolves, then Ellis also has another romance you might like called Dark Wolf Protector. It has a strong-minded beautiful native american heroine, a handsome werewolf hero and set in the sultry South. 

But you gotta like it HOT, because this romance is much more steamy than Bonded in Brazil. Maybe it is the animal magnatism (hehe), but the scenes in this book are much more detailed. I don’t prefer these kind of scenes in my romance novels which are always so quick to arouse women right off the bat, but Ellis’ creation of characters and plot far outweigh these instances. I liked how real and strong-willed  Jaci Waters, the main character, is and her emotional journey from normal life into the paranormal.

Jaci is Tall Oak’s resident animal protector and rescuer, but when the people of the trailer park community cry out against the animal that is frightening them, she works even harder with the Sheriff to persuade them not to kill the wolf. Only she knows she dhas even more of a motive than animal rights.  She is allured by tall, dark and handsome Tall Oaks visitor Dolton Freye.  Dolton has come to Tall Oaks to protect Jaci, but someone else is hanging around too….and in the meantime, she finds out a mystery from her past as well as a secret of her own.

It’s an entertaining, deep south type of romance. It does contain explicit language and detailed sex scenes, but some of you love that (wink). It was a fun read; a paranormal escape with hot sex scenes–a steamy romance for a day at the beach or a rainy day where you want to curl up and be entertained.

Buy this book at: http://www.cobblestone-press.com/catalog/books/darkwolfprotector.htm

Rhiannon Ellis, author

I’ve got to know Rhiannon a little bit and I just LOVE her! She is such young, vibrant, hilarious lady who is a busy mom fitting in her writing as she can. I hope you enjoy her writing and connect with her. From my observation, she loves her children, her husband, writing, and football!!

Rhiannon Ellis turned a hobby into a career in 2008 when she wrote her first novel. Less than three years later, this stay-at-home mom has had two romance books published and there are more in the works.

She is a writer of romance, paranormal romance and mainstream fiction. She is a voracious reader and researcher. Her debut novel–Bonded in Brazil–was released in March of 2011 from Camel Press. She is represented by literary agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency.  Rhiannon’s paranormal romance–Dark Wolf Protector–was published shortly after from Cobblestone Press.

Rhiannon says, “WhenI tell people that I’m a writer, they envision me sitting at a computer all day and late into the night, typing away as my muse has my full attention. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m a mom and my days are for my children. Time to write is sparse and comes sporadically, so I’m constantly throwing my writer’s hat on and off throughout the day.”

Rhiannon resides in Columbia County, Wisconsin, with her husband of eight years, Chad, and their two young children, Cameron and Dane. She is also the proud stepmom of thirteen-year-old Taylor.

Catch the interview below and connect with her on her website or online–those contacts are also below.

Interview

Q: What is your day job?

A:  I’m a stay at home mom to my 3-year-old son and 5 (almost 6 in a few weeks)-year-old daughter. I spend my days like most moms with young kids—cleaning, cooking, battling an endless pile of laundry—and cherish every second of it. Well, except for the laundry. I could without that. I love being at home with my kids and feel very blessed that I’m able to do so when so many moms cannot. My “day job” is something I don’t take for granted.  I’m now homeschooling too, so that throws another interesting element into the mix.

Q: What is the most challenging part of the writing process?

A:  Finding time that is quiet and uninterrupted–and I think most moms can relate to that. When I’m working on a story, I try to write every day, though it usually comes in spurts as I revolve writing around my sometimes-hectic household.

Q:  Did you experience writer’s block?

A:  When I wrote simply for fun, yes I did. Now that I write for fun and career purposes, I don’t. My mindset is this is something that has to get done—like laundry, ugh—so just do it. This works for me.

Q:  What is the biggest misconception about writing a book?

A:  The biggest misconception is that writing is the hardest part. Yes, writing is work and takes skill as well as creativity, but landing an agent and/or publisher is the toughest part. I’ve read dozens of self-published books and have been shocked that these books were overlooked by publishers. There’s a lot of talent out there, but a novel gets turned down if it’s not marketable enough for publishing standards. I feel very blessed to have had agent and publisher interest—sometimes humbled because I wonder why I deserved it more than some other authors I’ve run across.

Q:  Oprah has famously said that there is no such thing as luck, without preparation and a moment of opportunity. Would you agree or disagree with regard to your own success as a writer?

A:  I’m leaning toward agreeing, based on my own experience. I have to wonder if the “opportunity” part is mostly luck, though. I feel like I’ve been given many great opportunities throughout my life in general, whereas others have not. Is this luck? Have I created these opportunities for myself? I truly don’t know. But I’m grateful, whatever the cause.

Q: What do you pledge to your readers?

A:  With every book, I promise to create dynamic, genuine characters and heroic women. I will also place these characters in exciting locations that will take you–the reader–away from the everyday of your own life and offer escape into a world with exotic fragrances and flavors–a metaphorical room with a view.

Thank you so much for sharing a little of yourself with my readers, Rhiannon. It has been great getting to know you. You are a very real example of a young mother with a writing dream, making her vision come true! Keep on the look out, readers, as Rhiannon will be back soon guest blogging here about the life of being a writer/full-time mom!

Contacting Rhiannon Ellis

Website: www.rhiannonellis.com

Facebook page: (Click Here)

Twitter page: (Click Here)

Blog: http://rhiannonellis.blogspot.com/

FOR MOMS: Rhiannon contributes regularly to MomsEveryday.com–a great place for moms!


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