Saturday, December 31, 2016

AUTHOR CHARLES MARTIN--a remarkable storyteller whose vivid characterizations and involving storylines are uniquely inspiring and entertaining

“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.

Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns to his remote home in the Colorado Mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.

When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it.

A radical retelling of the story of the prodigal son, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

MY REVIEW:  Author Charles Martin’s “Long Way Gone” is an emotional and ultimately uplifting story of redemptive grace and abiding faith. Rich in musical details and the history of gospel music, tent preachers, and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and “Grand Ole Opry”—this fascinating tale borrows from the Biblical legend of “The Prodigal Son”. Cooper O’Connor grew up in the loving and larger-than-life presence of his father, a gifted preacher and musician. Blessed with an innate understanding of music, and a talented singer and songwriter on his own, Cooper would eventually leave his home and the life he knew with his father to reach out for the bright lights of stardom. His journey will be nothing like he expected, and treachery and tragedy will separate him from his dreams and those he holds most dear. At times finding himself in the lowest depths of a despairing existence, Cooper must fight for his very life—both his spiritual life and his life on Earth. However, as the author reminds us throughout this story, no one is ever “too far gone”. Forgiveness and healing are always ours for the asking—if only we have the courage of faith to make that leap. “Long Way Home” holds a special resonance for me, and I appreciate the respect that Charles Martin shows this musical genre and its entertainers, especially Elvis. I am a Southerner and a lifelong fan of Elvis and old hymns and gospel music. My mother, one of the greatest Elvis fans ever, was also quite musically talented. She played the piano and organ, and for many years, she was the only music provider for her little home church in the country. Mama “played by ear”, and I often teased her about the extra notes she added, but she just said “that’s the way it should be played”. Thank you, Charles Martin for your care in creating this story. The musical insights at the heart of this story are simply amazing.

Book Copy Gratis Thomas Nelson Books

Third generation Texas Ranger Tyler Steele is the last of a dying breed-- a modern day cowboy hero living in a world that doesn't quite understand his powerful sense of right and wrong and instinct to defend those who can't defend themselves. Despite his strong moral compass, Ty has trouble seeing his greatest weakness. His hard outer shell, the one essential to his work, made him incapable of forging the emotional connection his wife Andie so desperately needed.

Now retired, raising their son Brodie on his own, and at risk of losing his ranch, Ty does not know how to rebuild from the rubble of his life. The answer comes in the form of Samantha and her daughter Hope, on the run from a seemingly inescapable situation. They are in danger, desperate, and alone. Though they are strangers, Ty knows he can help-- protecting the innocent is what he does best. As his relationship with Sam and Hope unfolds, Ty realizes he must confront his true weaknesses if he wants to become the man he needs to be.

MY REVIEW: I am a longtime fan of the Old West. My family watched all the great TV westerns together when I was growing up, and those times are among my most cherished memories. They’re the stuff which helped to shape who I am as a person. My beloved Paw Paw was also a reader of western fiction, and Paw Paw was the male role model for my life—he still is to this day. “With Thunder and Rain”, author Charles Martin brings together all the elements of classic westerns and blends them thrillingly together with the mores and moral conflicts of contemporary society. Tyler Steele, third in the family line to serve in the Texas Rangers, is now retired and raising cattle on his ranch. The pine knot-tough persona which enabled him to survive the unending danger of his profession also cost him his marriage to his troubled wife, Andie. Now struggling on his own to raise his young son, Brodie,  Tyler encounters the last thing he needs—and the one thing he can’t resist—a woman and child on the run from an abusive situation. Samantha and her daughter, Hope, are almost at the end of their limits when Tyler bumps his truck into their car, which is stranded in the middle of the highway. From then on, anything is possible, and most likely probable, as lives and hearts will cross lines and face challenges from old enemies and new threats. This story is an action-packed adventure, with knuckle-tight suspense, but it is also blessed with wonderful characterizations, with two remarkable young children to keep grounded the adults in their lives. Relationships are heartfelt and ever-evolving as more and more pieces of the pieces are revealed and connected. What will the final picture be? Who will survive, and how will their futures unfold? A highly-recommended read from talented storyteller Charles Martin.

Book Copy Gratis Hachette Book Group

CHARLES MARTIN is a New York Times bestselling author. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife, Christy, and their three sons.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

SIMPLY THE BEST--"GRAN'S MAC and CHEESE"--my most requested family recipe : )

Gran's Mac & Cheese

Comfort food from Gran herself : )

Boil 16oz elbow macaroni in large pan of salted water until slightly under-cooked. Drain pasta quickly so that it will not continue to cook in hot water. Butter a 13in by 9in baking pan. Layer pasta with at least 16oz grated sharp cheddar cheese (sharper the better). Feel free to be very cheesy! Pour one pint of half-and-half or heavy cream over pasta and cheese. Add some whole milk if needed to bring liquid to top of pasta and cheese. Dot with slices of real butter and a very light sprinkle of coarsely ground black pepper. Liberally top off with grated Parmesan cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let Mac & Cheese set in covered pan for 10 minutes before serving.

GRAN'S PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE--made extra-delicious the old-timey way in Gran's big cast iron skillet : )

My Gran made wonderful Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in her big old black cast iron skillet. She melted the butter in the skillet, added the brown sugar, pineapple rings with the maraschino cherries in the middle, and chopped pecans. Then she added the batter to the skillet and baked it until it was golden brown. My Gran was a small woman, but she could flip that heavy skillet over onto the cake platter and come out with a beautiful cake every time! I wanted something really good today, a treat from me to me, and I decided to make a cake. A very buttery, fragrant cake, rich with pineapple, brown sugar, cherries, and nuts:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a deep 12-in cast iron skillet add two sticks real butter and allow skillet to heat in oven just until butter is melted. Remove skillet from oven. Drain one large can pineapple slices, reserving juice. Add one cup brown sugar to butter in skillet, sprinkling sugar evenly over butter. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer over brown sugar. Fill center of each pineapple slice with a maraschino cherry, adding more cherries between the slices. Top evenly with one cup chopped pecans. Allow pan to set on top of stove and prepare cake mixture. Using one two-layer size butter-recipe cake mix, prepare per package directions, substituting reserved pineapple juice for water in recipe. Pour batter evenly over mixture in skillet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and done slightly firm to touch (until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean). Remove skillet from oven and allow cake to cook in pan at least 30 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Place serving platter over cake, and carefully invert skillet and platter. Allow cake to rest 10 to 15 minutes and remove skillet. Serve warm and topped with whipped cream. Can be served cold.

JUST PERFECT--one small jar of jelly, made with a world of love

The best jelly that I have ever eaten was made with wild grapes. My grandmother was a marvelous cook, and she also knew the names and uses for so many flowers and plants. We used to go on walks, and she would point things out to me and explain what they were. One day we found a patch of wild grapes, small and reddish, and I asked her if she could make jelly. I didn't realize how many grapes it would take to make jars of jelly to line up on the pantry shelf. My wonderful Gran was able to take our small little treasure of grapes and make one perfect jar of jelly. One of the short, half-pint quilted-glass jars. I can still see it and remember the taste of that sweet jelly. When I held the jar up to the sunlight coming through the window, it glowed like a garnet gem.

ONE SWEET RIDE--THE CHRISTMAS BICYCLE--the true story of my gift of a lifetime


I didn't have a sister, but I had Mom. I think that at times, Mom lived her childhood all over again through me. I had a pink training bike for my first bicycle. Mom taught me to ride. I vividly remember that day! She ran along beside me as I rode back and forth until she was sure that I was okay on my own. Mom loved to ride bikes (horses too). She was very artistic and theatrical, and she studied tap, ballet, music, and art. She was also double-jointed and somewhat accident-prone, but I will save those stories for another day. I outgrew "Little Pinkie", and I soon set my eyes on a full-sized, royal blue beauty from our local hardware store. "The Western Flyer"--complete with front basket, double back basket, headlight, and horn! When I came downstairs on Christmas morning and saw "Big Blue" in the living room, you can bet my squeals woke everybody up! I was a chubby kid, but I was always tall for my age, and I had long, strong legs. Nobody out rode me and "Big Blue"--nobody! I have lived in Virginia all but two years of my life. We lived in Nevada at the time that I started the first grade, and that is where Mom taught me to ride "Little Pinkie". We moved back to Virginia, and I got "Big Blue", and then we lived in Florida the year that I was in the fifth grade. Riding our bikes together was one of the few real compatible and happy times between Mom and me. Florida is where we reached the zenith of our riding. We would ride together for hours, late at night, under the street lights of our very nice, quiet neighborhood. Looking back, it was remarkable that no one ever commented on our nightly bike antics. Mom and I not only rode our bikes, we performed on them! Yes, we virtually danced with our bikes. Amazing! So much fun, so much energy--nothing else ever compared to that time. I still have "Big Blue", and she still looks good. I haven't ridden her in a very long time, but she's waiting....and remembering.

HERE'S WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT THE HOLIDAY SEASON--can't really touch it or see it...but it's there!

What I love most about the holidays is that very special lightness of heart, a feeling that dreams will come true, and the child-like awe of the real magic of Christmas. It's not something that you can touch...but it definitely touches you! I still believe in the Christmas Story. I still leave cookies and milk for Santa. I still love Christmas music, and I still sing Christmas songs...loudly, badly, and with great gusto! I also love the smell of the holidays...greenery, bayberry, peppermint, hot chocolate, fresh frosty air, gingerbread and cookies!

My grandfather loved the holidays more than all the rest of my family put together. He came from a close-knit, loving family unit. They didn't have a lot of money, but they had a lot of heart, and he had a happy childhood. He was a Christmas Tree Expert Extraordinaire! He also loved all the foods of the holidays, and every year he would ask me to make Spritz Cookies. I can't tell you how many of those little butter cookies we ate, but they were as much fun to make as they were to eat!


2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated white or brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring

food coloring
colored decorating sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine flour and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla (or other flavoring), and if desired, food coloring. Gradually add flour/salt while mixer is running on low speed. Pack dough into a cookie press following manufacturer's instructions (or put into a pastry bag fitted with a large star shaped tip). Press mixture onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets. Top with sprinkles or colored sugar. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, depending upon cookie size.


My grandmother, "the greatest cook ever," used to make delicious snow ice cream. Fresh clean snow (yes, it was cleaner in the "good olde days"), whole milk or cream, sugar, and vanilla. For some reason, I crave ice cream in the Winter--maybe because of Gran's "Snow Cream." One of my mother's favorite holiday treats from her childhood was "boiled custard" (which you must not allow to boil). A rich, cooked drink similar to eggnog, boiled custard is actually a custard which is thin enough to drink from a cup. My grandmother used to make it and pour it into glass jars which she would set down outside in the snow to cool. Mom and her brother and sister would drink it outside straight from the jar and then get "switched" by Gran for stealing the family treat!

Fresh Snow Ice Cream

1 small pkg. regular (not instant) vanilla pudding mix
1 cup sugar
1/2 milk
1 pint cream
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 to 2 gallons fresh, clean snow

In an extra-large, heavy mixing bowl, combine pudding mix and sugar. Stir in milk and blend until dry ingredients are dissolved. Blend in cream, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Cover and chill until ready to serve ice cream. To make ice cream: Stir mixture well and add in enough snow to make desired consistency. Do not over-stir. Serve immediately.

Rich Boiled Custard

1 pint whole milk
1 pint cream
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Into the lower pot of a double boiler, bring water to a medium boil. In the upper pot, add milk and cream. Heat through over medium heat. Beat eggs together until light. Add sugar and mix well. Pour a small portion of hot milk mixture into the eggs and sugar to warm and thin this portion. Pour slowly into hot milk mixture. Cook, stirring constantly until it will coat a spoon. Do not over cook or mixture will become too thick. Stir in vanilla extract. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

I wish you all the very happiest of holiday seasons! I’d love to hear your favorite holiday traditions and funny stories! I absolutely adore Christmas music, even if some of it does make me cry!

HAPPY HOLIDAY "TAIL-WAGGING TALES"--sent with a smile from my house to yours!


There has never been a time in my life when I have been without the companionship of devoted, furry, four-legged friends. For someone like me, a solitary person, there is no equal to the comfort, acceptance, and love provided by my precious pets. I shouldn't even call them pets--they really are my friends and family. During our lifetime together, Mom and I and took in many rescue animals. First it was the dogs, and then the cats came. However, when I was growing up, my family owned a number of Boston Terriers, also known as "BTs". They are really wonderful little dogs, and the ones we had the longest were two sisters. I was nine when we got them, and they stayed with us until I was about twenty years old. My grandmother had a fondness for English Bulldogs, which were the dogs of her childhood, but my grandfather was not quite so fond of the breed. They compromised with the BTs, and we had many wonderful years shared with little black and white "mushed-face" dogs. The two sisters were real characters, and they had opposite personalities. One was slightly aggressive, and the other was more meek in personality. They were very close, although they sometimes bickered just like human sisters.

We always wrapped presents for them under the tree, and they loved to rip up the paper and find their rawhide chews and other goodies. They had a couple of other holiday habits which took us a while to discover. We kept finding broken Christmas ornaments under the tree. These were the delicate, old-fashioned glass kind, and at first we thought they were falling off the tree and breaking on their own. Then we discovered the real cause of the destruction: the BT sisters were grabbing the little glass balls from the lower limbs of the tree and crunching them! They didn't seem to be swallowing the pieces, they just enjoyed the snap, crackle, pop of the crunching glass. We had to put all non-glass ornaments on the limbs within their reach, and they would sit and look at the tree like they were expecting something! Those dogs were also nog-nippers. Anyone who sat a glass of eggnog within their reach would notice eggnog missing from their glass. When we caught the BTs with eggnog mustaches, we knew who to blame!

One of the most offbeat Christmas gifts that I have ever received was a Betta Fish. This present came after my home had become a cat refuge, and it came from people who had known me for a long, long time. People who knew I had a houseful of cats and still gave me a fish as a present. A beautiful fish, beautifully presented in bowl with greenery, but still a swimmy, swishy, swirly fish whose movements caught the eyes of the cats. I tried moving the fish bowl different places in the house, but I knew it was a lost cause from the first time I looked at Mr. Fish. My mother begged me not to go back to work after the holiday and leave her alone with the cats and the fish. I packed Mr. Fish up as best I could so he would be secure for his return car trip to the home of the clueless gift givers. I apologized to him all the way to their house, reassuring him that it was nothing personal and that it was in his best interest to be returned to the givers. They were not pleased that I returned the fish--even years later they would bring it up in conversation. My Southern manners would not allow me to say what I really wanted to say, but inside I was dying to let it out!

Mom loved yard sales, and I was her chauffeur. At one particular yard sale I didn't buy anything, but I gained one of the greatest treasures of my life. The lady holding the sale had found an adorable little black dog which she couldn’t keep, and she said she would have to find him a home or take him to the animal shelter. He was so bright-eyed, cute, and friendly, and he followed me all over her yard. I already had other dogs, but several days later, I went back and got him. He was a little mixed mini-dachshund, and I named him “Max”. He lived to be almost 20 years old. He was the light of my life. He never thought small–he thought he was a Rottweiler! As a matter of fact, one of his many, many nicknames was “Baby Rottweiler” : ) He had a “radar ear” which seemed to rotate in many directions. He communicated his feelings with that ear! He was always lively, but in his later years, he had a little trouble getting around. He had arthritis and other problems, but he was still "Mad Max". One holiday season, I ordered Mom a Whiskey Cake from Downey's Restaurant in Philadelphia. We had seen the cakes on a home-shopping program on TV, and I knew Mom would enjoy the treat. The first time we sampled the cake, we both agreed that it was delicious, and worth the extravagance. As soon as we unwrapped the cake, and tasted it, Max showed a keen interest in what we were eating. He gave us a piercing stare with the radar ear at a sharp angle. I spooned up a little cake with some of the whiskey syrup (just a tiny amount), and Max loved it! He almost ate the spoon, and then he gave his whiskers a good cleaning. Mom and I had a good laugh, and the next thing we knew, we heard snoring! It was Max, in a blissful whiskey-cake induced sleep. The three of us shared that cake, making the most of it for as long as we could. Marvelous, magical, mischievous Max--I miss you so!

My Mom and I had a tradition of loading up our dogs in the car one night each holiday season to go see the Christmas lights throughout the area. Mom and I would sing holiday songs at the top of our voices, and the dogs were a captive audience. We always ended the evening with a trip to the ice cream store! Mom got eggnog ice cream; I got peppermint candy cane ice cream, and the dogs got vanilla! By the way, occasionally our singing did set the dogs off, and then there was howling and singing!

I certainly could not write about animals and the holidays without telling the story of my cats and the ham dance. My very dear friend Jan, who comments here sometimes, is "The Greatest Ham Cooker Ever". She is so very kind and generous and cooks me a ham and brings me wonderful homemade treats for Christmas. The first time she brought the ham, the cats and I were ecstatic--you would be overjoyed too if someone brought you a superbly cooked ham with pineapple and cherries, and it was still warm from the oven!!! As soon as she left, just barely out of sight, the cats and I started the ham dance. We were on the front porch, in the dark, acting like famished fools about to fall upon that holiday ham, and we were unaware that my mother's best friend had quietly come through the front gate and was watching us. Mom had been gone for a while, but her friend still came by on occasion. Mom would have felt the joy of the ham and joined us in the ham dance. Her friend did not share our sense of humor and our closeness with our pets. When I turned around, and she was right behind me, I almost jumped off the porch! She was looking at me very strangely, and she asked me if I was okay. After just a slight pause, I responded: "Never better!", and I offered her some ham. The ham dance is a much-loved annual tradition between Jan and me and the cats. I make her my Garlic Cheddar Biscuits for her own ham, and we are all well-satisfied...and well-stuffed. The ham dance...don't knock it until you've tried it.

Do you have favorite and funny animal stories from the holidays to share? What are some really strange gifts that you've received? I come from a fruitcake-loving family. Fruitcake--do you, or don't you? What is your all-time favorite holiday treat?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

MAIDS UNDER THE MISTLETOE--a charming "Happy Holidays" contemporary romance series from four top authors, including KANDY SHEPHERD

A Countess for Christmas (Maids Under the Mistletoe #1)

The earl's secret bride… 

Emma Carmichael is shocked when she sees who she's waitressing for at a lavish party—Jack Westwood, the new Earl of Redminster. Her new life comes crashing down when Jack announces to the world that they're married! 

Jack has never forgotten his first love despite the tragedy that tore them apart. When the paparazzi cameras intrude, he proposes they live as man and wife until the fuss dies down. Emma feels like Cinderella, masquerading as his countess…only, behind closed doors, their marriage feels tantalizingly real…

Greek Tycoon's Mistletoe Proposal (Maids Under the Mistletoe #2)

A proposal of convenience! 
When guarded billionaire Lukas Christophedes finds maid Ashleigh Murphy living in his mansion, he strikes a deal with his gorgeous gate-crasher. If Ashleigh acts as Lukas's girlfriend to help him close a crucial business deal, she can stay until the New Year. 

For newly single Ashleigh, agreeing to keep hearts off the table sounds easy…until the line between what's real and what's for show starts to blur! And as Christmas approaches, dare Ashleigh hope that Lukas is considering a different, much more heartfelt, romantic proposal…

Christmas in the Boss's Castle (Maids Under the Mistletoe #3)

The maid who saved Christmas…
Chambermaid Grace Ellis loves Christmas, but after losing her beloved grandmother, she’ll be spending this festive season working. So when her boss, Finlay ‘Scrooge’ Armstrong offers her a magical Christmas in Scotland, it’s a welcome distraction from her grief.

Widower Finlay is haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past, but snowbound together in his Scottish castle, Grace starts to melt the ice around his heart. He never thought he’d find love again, but maybe finding Grace is his very own Christmas miracle…!

Her New Year Baby Secret (Maids Under the Mistletoe #4)

The Italian millionaire's secret heir!

Waitress Sophie Bradshaw is used to being ignored at glamorous parties and, bruised by a disastrous relationship, that's fine by her. Until Marco Santoro offers her his jacket, leading to a magical Christmas evening together

Exasperated by his family's matchmaking, millionaire Marco never gets close to anyone. But one heart-stopping night with Sophie isn't enough, and he invites her to his Venetian palazzo. Little does he know that Sophie is bringing one tiny, life-changing surprise with her!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Author Carol Ericson's "Target: Timberline" series--thrilling contemporary romantic suspense with a decades-old mystery at its core

A 25-year old kidnapping case once again has the town of Timberline, Washington on edge.  As the town grapples with new evidence, long-forgotten secrets, and deadly alliances, four men seek to find justice for the three missing children who disappeared without a trace. 


Single Father Sheriff (Target: Timberline #1)

The unsolved case that once tore a sheriff's town apart had resurfaced, threatening both his baby girl and a beautiful witness… 

When two children go missing, every parent's worst fear becomes Sheriff Cooper Sloane's reality. The single father doesn't have a minute to waste, and only a single lead: Kendall Rush. Her return to Timberline stirs up a lot of town chatter, since she was at the center of a similar case twenty-five years ago. Despite Kendall's tragic past, Cooper is more than willing to play the bad guy. But he couldn't prepare himself for her vulnerability, or determination. As the kidnapper's taunts turn horrific, Cooper and Kendall must stop this sick game before it hits even closer to home…

MY REVIEW:  I am a longtime fan of author Carol Ericson, and her new “Target: Timberline” series gets off to a great start with “Single Father Sheriff”. Cooper Sloane never imagined that accepting the position of sheriff in the rural community of Timberline, Washington would lead to so many changes in his life. With his wife’s passing away, he was left with the care of their young daughter, Steffi. Torn between duty and parenthood, he juggles them both as best he can. Coop’s easygoing demeanor belies his sharp instincts and powers of observation—he is as dedicated a lawman as he is a dad. When Kendall Rush returns to Timberline to settle her aunt’s estate, she is haunted by the still-unsolved kidnapping of her twin sister, Kayla, when the girls were just five years old. Two other local children were also taken, and the case became known as the “Timberline Trio”. Twenty five years later, several other children are now missing, and the cases are eerily similar. As strange and dangerous events begin to target Kendall, Coop becomes her protector. The attraction between them is immediate and sparky, but they both know that Kendall wants to leave Timberline behind in her rear-view mirror as soon as possible. Kendall’s life lies in Arizona—could Coop and his daughter be part of an unexpected new future—one filled with happiness? The case hits all too close to home when Steffi becomes a victim of the kidnapper--will they all survive to find out if a dream can come true? Lovers of romantic suspense will enjoy this well-paced story.

Book Copy Gratis Author

Sudden Second Chance (Target: Timberline #2)

 by Carol Ericson

A man with too many secrets. A woman with everything to lose.

As if the Timberline Trio cold case isn't nightmarish enough for FBI agent Duke Harper, he runs into the TV reporter who loved and betrayed him—beautiful Beth St. Regis. Duke quickly concludes she's not after a sensational story. She's there to solve the haunting mystery of who she really is. But all her questions unleash a killer, and Duke steps up to protect her when she becomes a target. Despite their bitter past, Duke finds he's still attracted to Beth, and maybe they deserve a second chance. First, though, he has to keep Beth alive—and from discovering the shocking truth about her past…

MY REVIEW:  “Sudden Second Chance” is Book 2 in author Carol Ericson’s Washington State-set “Target: Timberline” series. FBI agent Duke Harper’s abusive childhood had left him with trust issues, and the betrayal by the beautiful woman he had loved had left him with embittered emotions. Working on a cold case kidnapping that was now possibly tied to a current, similar crime, Duke is taken aback when his former lover, Beth St. Regis, appears in the area to cover the story for her “Cold Case Chronicles” TV show. Seeing Beth again stirs unwanted longing in Duke, but he hasn’t forgiven her for breaking his heart and his trust. Beth has never stopped caring for Duke, but she didn’t get to tell him what really happened when their relationship fell apart. She also has a very deep personal secret that was too devastating to share. Beth is really in Timberline to solve the mystery of her adoption, but someone definitely does not want her to bring the truth to light. When she becomes a target, Duke goes into full protector mode, and he finds the wall between them beginning to crumble. As Duke and Beth grow closer, the attraction between goes from cinders of the past to flames of undeniable desire. If they can keep each other alive, will they get their second chance at romance? When all secrets have been uncovered, can trust be rebuilt along with a new start toward a happy life together? If you enjoy romantic suspense where the story keeps building, then you will the “Target: Timberline” series from author Carol Ericson.

Book Copy Gratis Author

Army Ranger Redemption (Target: Timberline #3)

 by Carol Ericson

A war hero fights for what he lost long ago 

The Timberline Trio was the cold case everyone in town was doomed to remember. Scarlett Easton may have just been a child then, but the fear it spread throughout the reservation haunts her to this day. Jim Kennedy ran off to war to escape this place, and has now returned to fight his own battle on the home front. And when that puts Scarlett in danger, both their loyalties will be tested. Finding themselves on opposite sides of a town that's never recovered from the kidnappings decades ago, Jim and Scarlett discover that not only are their pasts forever tied together, but so are their futures…

MY REVIEW:   The thrilling romantic suspense series “Target: Timberline” from author Carol Ericson continues with Book 3, “Army Ranger Redemption”. Wounded in body and spirit, army ranger veteran Jim Kennedy goes home to Timberline to deal with haunting issues from his past and to figure out what his future will be. He isn’t prepared to run into beautiful Scarlett Easton and to then stumble into a murder mystery somehow connected to the Timberline Trio kidnapping case from many years ago.  Scarlett is surprised by Jim’s sudden reappearance, but she is even more stunned by the fact that Jim’s war experience and outward scars have done nothing to take away from his attractiveness. They had attended high school together, and she had always been drawn to his “bad boy”, motorcycle-riding persona. Jim couldn’t fail to notice that the pretty young girl he remembered had bloomed into a beautiful and intriguing woman. Scarlett, a native Quileute and talented artist, had been gifted with her family’s extra-sensory ability of “sight” and enhanced perception and intuition. Touching Jim lets her know that he has suffered much and says little. As the danger surrounding them escalates, they discover that they both have a legacy tied to the Timberline Trio. Will it prove to be a deadly legacy for Scarlett and Jim, or is their hope for them to put the past behind them and look forward to a happy future together? I really enjoyed “Army Ranger Redemption”—my favorite book so far in the series—and its very appealing hero. I am looking forward to Book 4, “In the Arms of the Enemy” to reach the conclusion of the “Target: Timberline” mystery.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Book Copy Gratis Author


In the Arms of the Enemy (Target: Timberline #4)

 by Carol Ericson

As a lawman, he knew she had secrets. Ones that could bust his case wide open. 

Tasked with finding a mysterious murder suspect, DEA agent Cole Pierson was in Timberline on a mission. He didn't need distractions like the lovely Caroline Johnson. Though he didn't think she could be his suspect, she was clearly hiding something and her safety became Cole's top priority.
She'd awoken next to a dead man, her memory gone. When "Caroline" had come to the small town looking for answers, she hadn't counted on meeting Cole. He offered the protection she so desperately needed. But if he found out she'd been lying, that he'd become involved with a suspect, it would mean the end to any future—or happiness—she had imagined.

MY REVIEW:  Author Carol Ericson brings her exciting “Target: Timberline” series to a thrilling conclusion with Book 4, “In the Arms of the Enemy”. DEA agent Cole Pierson is in Timberline, Washington tracking a mystery woman who is connected to the death of the drug dealer who had been at the center of his long-term case. Frustrated by losing the subject of his investigation before all the biggest of the bad guys could be brought down, Cole is searching for any link to information that will tell him what he needs to know. Meeting Caroline Johnson is an unexpected, unwanted distraction. There’s something elusive about her, and Cole has serious trust issues when it comes to women. Caroline is beautiful and vulnerable, and he can’t help but being attracted to her. On the run from an encounter with a dead man which left her hurt and suffering from amnesia, Caroline had one clue of her own to follow—in her pocket she had found a note bearing the words “Timberline, WA”.  Cole is handsome, charming, and definitely a “protector”, but when she finds out he is actually a lawman, Caroline knows the woman whom he is tracking is her, and she fears what will happen when he discovers her connection to the dead drug dealer. She desperately wants to regain her memory and her identity, but will reality come with a horrible cost? The feelings and attraction between Caroline and Cole are very real, but are they strong enough to stand up to the harsh light of all truths revealed? “Target: Timberline” is recommended reading for lovers of terrific romantic suspense with appealing characters and adventure-filled mystery.

Book Copy Gratis Author.


Author Carol Ericson says:

"I was always a bookworm.  I think most authors are.  I started reading romance when I was about 12 or 13.  The first romance novel I read was Victoria Holt’s Secret Woman.  I went on to read all of Ms. Holt’s books and started devouring all the Gothic romances of that time.  I’m also a huge Georgette Heyer fan and have read all of her books.

As an English major at UCLA, I read a heavy dose of the classics, and later I started reading a lot of non-fiction and true crime.  What better way to combine my love of romance with my interest in true crime than by writing romantic suspense?!  I have written over 25 books for Harlequin Intrigue (check out my Books page!), and have self-published a few more books, including a romantic comedy (check out my Indie Books page!).

I live near the beach in Southern California, and when I’m not writing, I’m reading, running on the beach, and going to my son’s water polo and soccer games.  I have two teenage sons and a husband retired from law enforcement, who gives me an idea or two.

I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.  I love hearing from readers, so let me know what’s on your mind.  Also, follow me on Facebook and Twitter for news and contests and check out my blog for up-to-date info."

Happy reading!