Glad you're here. You'll find reviews of various products....books, dvd's, music, and who knows what else you might find with a review! There will be an occasional interview and maybe even a few giveaways! Enjoy your time here and find yourself a treasure or two!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review of Simple Secrets by Nancy Mehl

A city girl and a country boy unite to solve a long buried crime in the Mennonite town of Harmony, Kansas.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I found the characters believable and easy to connect with.

Gracie Temple is a graphics designer in Wichita. Her father calls and gives her the news that his brother Benjamin, whom she has never met, has died and left Gracie his estate. She makes plans to go to Harmony and see what she has inherited. Her initial reaction is to sell the house right away. But she decides to take a week or so to look things over and make up her mind.

When she rolls into Harmony she decides to look around a bit before going to Benjamin’s house. The town she sees is not the town her father had described. There are shops all up and down the street, people everywhere, some dressed in the traditional Mennonite fashion she was familiar with, and others dressed “normally”. She gets a lot of stares but she figures it’s because she is the stranger in town.

After getting settled in and meeting a couple of her neighbors she finds a letter that her uncle left her. He tells her something in that letter that changes everything! Who was Jacob Glick and why is his body buried on her property? Who is the real killer? Why does everyone in town act so strange when she mentions the name of Jacob Glick? Can she even trust her closest friend in Harmony, Sam Goodrich? Gracie and Sam follow clues and do some digging to try and find the answers.

As I read this book, I was drawn into the town and into the lives of the people of Harmony. I could smell the fried chicken that Sam’s aunt, Sweetie Goodrich, was cooking. I could see the rooms of Sweetie and Sam’s house as Gracie was given a tour. Ms. Mehl did a wonderful job in writing the book! I don’t think anyone who reads it will be disappointed. I had a hard time putting it down!
There is NOT a book giveaway with this review, sorry!
I was provided a free pdf copy of this book for review.

We Have A Winner!!

Congratulations to Jan Marie!  You won "The Gladiator" AND "The Protector" by Carla Capshaw!  You will be getting an email from me shortly.  I really believe you will love these books!!  Enjoy them and God bless!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Welcome Carla Capshaw, author of "The Protector"

I'm so pleased to have Carla here today!  Carla is a Florida native and a preacher's kid.  She is a two-time RWA Golden Heart Award winner.  She is talking about her newest novel, "The Protector".

Hi Janet! Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog today. It’s great to be here with you and your readers.

How long have you been writing and when was your first book published?

I’ve been writing about ten years now. I sold in 2007, but the book wasn’t released until Nov. 2009.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

It’s been so long since I had free time, I don’t remember what I used to do. ;-) If I did have extra time, I’d read and travel more.

Tell us how you come up with characters.

The first line of the story usually comes to me first. Then I have to figure out who said it and why. All of it goes along with the time period I’m working on. Once I have an inkling of who the first character is, I imagine who his or her most perfect, seemingly opposite partner would be and…voila.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I wake up and go to work. Once I’m home in the evening, I start writing until 2 or 3 in the morning. I’m a night person, so it’s the perfect schedule for me.

Where do you write?

All over the place.  I write in bed, sitting on my couch or at my desk. Sometimes it depends on the scene I’m working on. There is a scene in my latest book, The Protector, set on the beach. I’m not a beach person, but I only live about five miles from a beautiful one on the west coast of Florida. So when I needed inspiration it was only natural that I took my laptop and trudged out there to sit in the sand and listen to the waves crashing on shore. I think it made the scene more realistic and helped me write faster since I had everything I needed to describe right in front of me.

Tell us about your latest book.

The Protector is a sequel to my first published novel, The Gladiator. The hero and heroine are Quintus and Adiona. Quintus is a Christian who was sentenced to death for his beliefs. While waiting for execution, he was sold to a slave trader, then to a gladiator school. He’s trying to earn his freedom and return to his hometown to make sure his son, who died just before Quintus’s trial, received a proper burial, since funeral rites were paramount to first century people. Adiona is a socialite who hides a lifetime of pain behind a mask of indifference and a lot of attitude. She has good reasons to hate men and has sworn them off for good. Unfortunately for her, she can’t shake her attraction to Quintus. Quintus is hugely attracted to Adiona, but doesn’t want anything to do with her for reasons of his own.
When someone tries to assassinate Adiona, Quintus is made her bodyguard. Adiona has to leave Rome and Quintus accompanies her for protection. Away from the intrigues of Rome and the differences in their social status, they’re finally able to learn the truth about one another and what’s really important to each of them.

What would you like readers to take away from your book?

Oh goodness, so many things!   I hope readers enjoy the romance and learn something they may not have known about ancient Rome. Most importantly and the reason I love writing Inspirationals, is because I get a chance to impart some biblical truth into the story without being preachy. That truth in The Protector is that God sees each of us as valuable, that no matter how damaged we are He sees us as the precious diamonds He created us to be.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

Never give up.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Meeting the deadline for the first novel I sold on partial. Until then, I’d always written at my leisure.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I speed. I really, really like to drive fast.

How do you reach new readers?

I pray.   And I do my best to write books people will tell their friends about.

How can readers get in contact with you? (email; website; blog; etc.)

I love to hear from readers. My website is I can be found on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Goodreads, too. I have a ‘links’ page on my site so anyone can find me easily at those networks.

Thanks for your time, Carla!  Folks, we will be drawing a winner from all who leave a comment and their email address.  Not only is Carla sending the lucky winner a signed copy of "The Protector"....I will be sending a signed copy of her debut novel, "The Gladiator" to the lucky winner also!  So, the winner will get both books!!  AWESOME!!!!
Just read my review then write your comment after the review.  The winner will be randomly drawn on Sunday, July 24, 2010.  Good luck and God Bless!!

My Review:

This book is a sequel to Carla‘s debut novel, “The Gladiator”. If you’ve not read “The Gladiator”, don’t worry, “The Protector” stands alone. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy stories set in the Roman times. After winning “The Gladiator” in a contest online, I decided to give it a try. Boy, I’m so very glad I did!! Carla is an awesome writer who takes you back to Rome, gladiators, and the persecution of Christians.

Quintus Ambustus is a slave who fights for his life in the gladiator’s ring. He is also a Christian who has sacrificed everything for his beliefs. Adiona Leonia is a wealthy socialite who believes in nothing and no one. Adiona is a friend of Caros, the famed lanista, who owns Quintus as a slave. While visiting with Caros, Adiona sees Quintus and likes what she sees. Adiona is a widow who was badly treated as a child and is sold into marriage at the age of 13. She is treated even worse by her husband and when he dies, she feels that she is finally free. Because of her past she doesn’t trust men nor does she want much to do with them.

Quintus is appointed to take Adiona to see a relative of hers who is ill. Neither one wants the other to know how taken they are with each other. It becomes apparent early on that someone wants Adiona dead. They encounter many obstacles on their journey. Their relationship begins to grow and Adiona begins to ask questions about the God that Quintus serves. Does she put aside the gods she has prayed to and worshiped all of her life? Do her and Quintus find a future together?

You will want to grab a copy of “The Protector” and find out what happens. You won’t be sorry! And while you’re buying it, go ahead and get “The Gladiator”, too! Both of these books will take you back in time and you’ll be glad you went.
Remember, leave a comment along with your email address for a chance to win 2 of Carla's books!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Author:  Bryan Hathaway
Publisher:  WinePress Publishing, 2010

What is your Goliath? We all have one in our lives. We all have something we encounter that seems bigger than we are. With our faith and trust in God, we can overcome any “Goliath” the enemy puts in our path.

This book was hard for me to put down. I really enjoyed reading this book. It kept my interest all the way through to the end! I will definitely read the next in the series.
David is a frustrated, self centered man who appears to have something like ALS. His mind is fine but he’s trapped in a body that doesn’t work anymore. His daughter has put him in a nursing home where he just wishes he would die already! He is visited by an angel, Joelle. She offers him a second chance at life. He thinks, “yeah, right”. But as he thinks about the chance to escape his prison of a body, he begins to want this more and more. Joelle tells him the one condition of this offer is that he must help others find their faith.

David finds himself “dropped” into the lives of people who, in one way or another, have lost their faith. He comes to care deeply for the people he encounters on his adventures as he becomes involved in their lives. One thing he discovers right away is that his ability to speak has been taken away! Actions must speak louder than words! That does present problems along the way but the biggest obstacle is fighting a very powerful enemy who’s purpose is to destroy God’s people.

I think Bryan has done a wonderful job of developing his characters. I felt like I knew them, like I was right there with David and Joelle. I wish his daughter, Mary, could’ve interacted with her dad more at the end but other than that I loved everything about the book. “David & Goliath” is a book I would definitely recommend reading.
This is my honest opinion of this book. I was provided a copy of this book for review and have not been paid for this review.

Monday, July 12, 2010

And the winner is.......

Jo at
You have won a signed copy of "Texas Roads"!  Congratulations!  I will be sending you an email shortly.
Thanks to all who left comments!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Welcome Cathy Bryant, author of "Texas Roads"!!

I am so excited to have author, Cathy Bryant with me this week!  We are talking about her debut novel "Texas Roads".  If you would like a chance to win a signed copy of "Texas Roads", please leave a comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS at the end of our book review and interview.  Comments without the email address are not eligible.  Contest ends on Sunday, July 11, 2010, at midnight.  Winner will be notified and announced on Monday, July 12, 2010.  Thanks and God bless!

My review of "Texas Roads":

This is Cathy Bryant’s debut novel and it is awesome! I can’t wait for the next in the Miller’s Creek series. My favorite kind of novel is one you can get lost in…become the characters…become a part of the town. Texas Roads is that kind of novel.

Back home Dani's  daddy and her husband have both died. She is fighting with her mother. It’s time to get away. She decides to visit her aunt in Miller’s Creek whom she has never met, only talked to in an occasional letter. As she gets closer to her destination the unthinkable happens…she runs out of gas.

Steve is on his way home from work when he happens on Dani walking towards town. He offers her a ride and she decides to take him up on his offer. After all, it’s pouring down rain and her keys are locked in the car!

Steve takes Dani into town and she calls her aunt. Turns out everyone knows everyone else in Miller’s Creek. It’s one of those small, Texas towns that are very close knit. She begins to wonder if she will fit in here since she is a stranger. But after meeting her Aunt Beth, all fears are put to rest! Aunt Beth is the type of lady that everyone wishes they knew! Dani falls in love with Miller’s Creek and wants to stay. She decides to do everything she can to help the city bounce back from the financial problems it has experienced. But when bad things start happening around town, Dani is the one they suspect…after all, she is the only “stranger” in town. How can she overcome the suspicions and become a part of the town she loves and feels so at home in?  We can all identify with wanting a place to call home, can’t we?

Cathy does a wonderful job of showing God’s love through the characters, especially Aunt Beth. The characters are very believable and easy to identify with.  Aunt Beth reminded me of my mamaw so much! Full of Godly wisdom and love!  I highly recommend "Texas Roads"!

Cathy, tell us about yourself.
I’m a Texas gal, born and bred, and proud of my Texas heritage. I currently live in East Texas with my music minister husband, Travis. We have two sons, now grown, one beautiful daughter-in-love, and the world’s cutest grandson.

Tell us about your latest book.
Texas Roads is a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist and tells the story of a disillusioned widow’s quest for home. Here’s a blurb:

Dani Davis longs for a place to call home. With quaint country charm, quirky residents, and load of business potential, Miller’s Creek, Texas seems like the perfect place to start over…except for the cowboy who gives her a ride into town. Then malicious rumors and a devastating discovery propel her down a road she never expected to travel.

Cowboy mayor Steve Miller is determined to rescue his dying hometown. When vandals jeopardize the Miller’s Creek renovation he can’t help but suspect Dani, whose strange behavior has become fodder for local gossips. Can he and Dani call a truce for a higher cause and in the process help Dani discover the true meaning of home?

What inspired you to write TEXAS ROADS?
The theme of the story really came from my own desire to put down roots. For several years, my family and I moved from one small Texas town to another. Just about the time we’d start to feel like we’d found home, God would move us somewhere else. Through the process, He helped me realize that for Christians, true home can only be found in Jesus. Nothing else will ever satisfy that home-sized hole in our hearts.

What are you currently writing?
I’m currently working on Book Two in the Miller’s Creek series, tentatively entitled A Path Less Travelled. It tells the story of a single mother and her desire to make it on her own and in her own strength. Through the course of the story she learns to rely on God. The scripture passage for the story is: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)

What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing?
First and foremost, I want to touch people’s heart with the truth of God. I want my struggle and spiritual growth to be a source of healing and learning for others. Truthfully if one person is touched and moved closer to God as a result of my writing, then the hours of hard labor, sweat and tears will be worth it to me. I had one early reader of Texas Roads tell me the story brought healing to her life. I can think of no higher compliment.
I also hope to give readers a brief escape from the pressures and problems of living in this fallen world, and to make them smile and laugh. I want them to get lost in Miller’s Creek, and feel like they’ve arrived in a place that’s vaguely familiar.

Where can TEXAS ROADS be purchased?
E-books copies are available at (Readers can read half the book for free at this site.) Print copies are available at or through me. If anyone wants an autographed copy they can contact me at catbry1 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

How can readers make contact with you?
I’m all over the place (hmm…I think that’s the nice way of saying “I’m scatter-brained”). =) You can find me at my blog WordVessel (, my website (, Facebook and Twitter. I love meeting new friends!!!

Janet, thanks so much for the opportunity to join you and your readers here at your awesome blog!

Cathy, thank you for using your God given talent to write inspiring novels like "Texas Roads"!  And thank you for taking time from your writing schedule to visit here at Janet's Treasures!
Remember to leave a comment with your email address to win a copy of this awesome book!

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