Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Spotlight: Queen by Heather Gray

Hey everyone! Today I have a book spotlight for you. This book was written by my fellow Astraea Press author Heather Gray!

Back Cover Blurb:
You can't hide from the past.

Queen's world was shattered, and she was banished to a foreign land. Years pass before she dares to return, but what she finds is of little comfort. Greed and dishonesty have festered and grown in her absence. Embittered and cynical, Queen trusts few people.

Owen pursues a clandestine investigation and finds himself working side-by-side with a veritable ghost, an agent few have seen, a master of disguise known simply as Queen.  He craves her trust…but then uncovers a secret from his family's past that could destroy her.

Queen once sought refuge in America and now seeks it in disguise. Owen has always found his refuge in God, but will his faith be strong enough for the challenges ahead? Can he convince Queen to stop hiding, or is he doomed to become her most hated enemy?

"I don't want him knowing what either of you look like. You need to leave until I get him back to the inn."
"It's not safe."
"The situation is a disaster, but he's safe. I trust him."
Owen listened to the voices. The first was Isadore/Iola. Thankfully, she'd dropped the horrible screech she'd been using as part of the barmaid act. The other belonged to a man. Older, he guessed, but he couldn't say by how much.
"I don't like it. This isn't part of the plan."
A woman's voice, also older. Isadore/Iola's parents?
The voices talked some more in a hushed whisper, then a door opened and closed.
"You can stop pretending to be unconscious, Mr. Loring."
"How do you know my name?" Owen sat up, his movement slow. He winced at the pain while taking in his surroundings. He was on a pallet in the main room of a small cottage. His hand explored the source of his discomfort and found a tender lump on the back of his head.
"I make it my business to learn things about people." She stood near the front door, not very far away in the smallness of the room. Her frizzy red hair looked as if it might take flight were it not held down by the small linen cap that was part of her uniform at the inn.
"I'm at a disadvantage, then, because I'm fairly certain I don't know your name. Isadore. Or should I say Iola?"
A kind of tired silence was her only response, and Owen decided to go for the jugular.
"Maybe it's Queen?"
Her hissed intake of breath told him he'd hit the mark.
"I stopped to visit Peter on my way here. He mentioned you two went fishing."
She smiled then, and the lines of tension eased from around her eyes. "Peter never mentions anything on accident."
Owen stared, puzzling out her words. "You didn't go fishing, did you?"
A quick shake of the head. "But you and I appear to be fishing in the same pond."
Peter had always been a sly fox. He'd told Owen, but the younger agent hadn't listened.
"Nobody's seen you in these parts for a long time."
She tipped her head in agreement. "Four years."
"Where have you been?"
"Does it matter?" She frowned at him.
"You told someone in this room that you trust me. So trust me now. Tell me what's going on."
"Where do I start?"
"Your name would be a good place."
Her mouth again stretched wide, her eyes crinkling at the corners, and light danced in the blue orbs. "Let's stick with Queen for now."

Author Bio:
Heather Gray authors the Ladies of Larkspur inspirational western romance series, including Mail Order ManJust Dessert, and Redemption.  She also writes the Regency Refuge series: His Saving Grace, Jackal, and Queen - plus contemporary titles Ten Million Reasons and Nowhere for Christmas.  Aside from a long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys are her relationships with her Savior and family.  Heather loves to laugh, and this theme is prevalent in her writing where, through the highs and lows of life, her characters find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

You can find Heather online at, and  She can also be found most days at The Inspired Inkpot, a street team, prayer group, and all around awesome place to hang out -

Buy Links:

Where to Find Me:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Catch Up Friday: TV, Book Signings, Contract, Oh My!

I have been ridiculously busy for a long time, and I am sorry to have neglected this blog!

Here's a little bit of what I have been up to:

1. I dressed as a black and white Audrey Hepburn for Halloween.

2. I signed a book contract with my publisher for Carried Home, sequel to Swept to Sea.

3. I was Dorothy in my school's skit of Wizard of Oz.

4. I was on TV.

(Watch Heather Manning's Report on Fox 4 News.)

5. I met Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

(If you live in the area, go see this amazing show at the Coterie Theatre!)

6. I will be signing copies of Swept to Sea at  the Woodneath Library Center. 
Stop by and get a signed copy of Swept to Sea for yourself and for a Christmas gift!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review Monday: Golden Daughter Review

Hey everyone! I'm sorry I have been neglecting this blog so much lately...between book contracts, writing, homework, and college search, I have been terribly busy!

I have a guest review for you today from Cortney. Here's what she thought of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's latest novel:

Thanks for having me here, Heather!

Dreams, bodyguards, secret orders, divided families and kingdoms, war, adventure, love, and of course… dragons all meld together in this epic new book of the Tales of Goldstone Wood.  With Golden Daughter, Anne Elisabeth Stengl proves once more that she has been blessed with a tremendous gift for writing powerful, moving, and emotional tales.

Vibrant new characters join familiar favorites to create a unique cast of heroes and villains that you can’t help but love.  Sairu, a Golden Daughter, is placed in the service of Lady Hariawan, a Dream Walker.  To the eyes of many, she is nothing more than a handmaiden, but in reality, she is a highly trained bodyguard, devoted to her mistress for the rest of her life.

But other forces are at work, and Lady Hariawan is not the only Dream Walker, nor is she the only one in need of protection.  A fan favorite returns in this book of the series to guard Sairu herself, and the bond that forms between these two is both lovely and unique.

Another returning favorite is the mighty villain, the Dragon, who seeks to fulfill his own dark purpose.  Aiding him are many who feel displaced and angry with their lot in life.

At the same time, two brothers are divided by hatred and jealousy, and readers will be pleasantly surprised to discover a bit more of Sunan’s (from Goddess Tithe) backstory.

Several other mysteries are explained, including one which has been referenced multiple times since the beginning of the series in Heartless.  Also, readers may discover threads woven throughout the story that are reminiscent of the Old Testament accounts of Joseph, Daniel, Esther, and even Adam and Eve.  Truly Golden Daughter is an epic tale with far-reaching effects upon the worlds of Goldstone Wood, yet the struggles of the individual characters makes it relatable, and the powerful description breathes life to the characters and their story.

I would highly recommend Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl to any fan of Fantasy or even any fan of reading.  However, if you intend to read the entire series of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, then I would recommend beginning with Heartless and reading through the rest of the books in the order they were written.  Either way, you are certainly in for a treat with this delightful story and series!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Catch Up Friday: Disney, TV Interview, and Book Sale!

Happy Halloween! Are you doing anything special today?
I am dressing up for yearbook staff is sponsoring a costume contest which I am excited for! I'll post pictures of my costume at some point.

So...I have been incredibly busy lately.

Last week, I got to go to Disney World, which was awesome. I went to all four parks and had an awesome time.

Me and Gaston!

At the 1950's Prime Time Cafe!

I also want to tell you that my TV feature for Fox Four's Reaching for Excellence award will air THIS Wednesday, November 5th at 9:00 PM. It will also re-air several times after that, and I will be sure to post the link for you to see it. 

Finally, yet equally important, I wanted to tell you that Swept to Sea is CURRENTLY ONLY 99 cents! So if you buy it right now you would be saving $3. Sounds like a deal to me! 
So, please consider purchasing Swept to Sea during this limited time if you have not already and sharing the deal with your friends. As I am writing this, Swept to Sea has reached number 38 on the Amazon Bestseller list! Let's see how far we can make it go!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bible Verse Wednesday: Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review Monday: Abandoned Memories

Hey everyone! I just got done reading Abandoned Memories by MaryLu Tyndall.

Now, it is time for a review! But first, here's some info about the book.
"In MaryLu Tyndall’s stunning conclusion to her Escape from Paradise series, Angeline Moore longs to make a fresh start in the Confederate colony of New Hope, Brazil. James Callaway longs to create a city free from immoral women who caused his failure as a preacher. But a series of strange happenings soon lead the colonists to believe they have been brought to this place for a divine purpose."

Now, on to my review.
My Thoughts: 
The Idea:
I have been following this series since the very first, Forsaken Dreams. This trilogy follows a colony of Southerners after the Civil War, who are sailing to Brazil to create a Southern Utopia. This book solves the mysterious events that plagued the colonists in the first two. 
 I was eager to continue the story with familiar characters.

The Characters:
This final book details the story of Angeline, a woman with a dark past, and James, a doctor who hates the sight of blood and has become the colony's pastor. I had seen their interactions in the past two novels and had been awaiting their story the entire time, and was not disappointed. 

The Plot:
This plot definitely kept me intrigued. The entire series, I have been wanting to know what was going on with the mysterious occurrences that have been plaguing these colonists, so I was eager to keep reading! The romance between Angeline and James was kind of predictable, but I did not mind it that much.
The Setting:
All alone in the wilderness of Brazil? This definitely posed some challenges for the colonists, and made for a good story. The setting was unique and well done.

A great read! I definitely recommend starting with Book 1, Forsaken Dreams, and working from there. You will be glad you did! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Catch Up Friday: Am Reading!

Hey everyone!
Lately I have been catching up on my reading. I am kind of in a lull between working on projects, so now I have some peaceful time to READ!

I just finished Abandoned Memories by MaryLu Tyndall, and now I am reading The Westward Brides Collection, which is a series of novellas written by many authors. I am enjoying it so far.

Also, I wanted those of you who were wondering that my TV feature on Fox 4 is still going to happen. However, because the Royals (Kansas City's baseball team) kept winning and is now in the World Series, my feature has been bumped back a few times. I will let you know when it plays!

In the mean time, enjoy this photo of a blue fountain in KC, celebrating the Royals' success!