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Harmony on the Horizon by Kathleen Denly Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Harmony on the Horizon

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: January 4, 2022

Harmony-on-the-Horizon-Kindle

Her calling to change the world may be his downfall.

On the heels of the Great Rebellion, Margaret Foster, an abolitionist northerner, takes a teaching position in 1865 San Diego—a town dominated by Southern sympathizers. At thirty-seven years of age, Margaret has accepted spinsterhood and embraced her role as teacher. So, when Everett Thompson, the handsomest member of the School Board, reveals his interest in her, it’s a dream come true. Until her passionate ideals drive a wedge between them.

After two decades of hard work, Everett Thompson is on the verge of having everything he’s dreamed of. Even the beautiful new teacher has agreed to his courtship. Then two investments go south and a blackmailer threatens everything Everett has and dreams of.

As Everett scrambles to shore up the crumbling pieces of his life, Margaret unwittingly sets off a scandal that divides the small community and threatens her position as teacher. With the blackmailer still whispering threats, Everett must decide if he’s willing to risk everything for the woman still keeping him at arm’s length.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Wow! Harmony on the Horizon, Kathleen Denly’s third book in her Chaparral Hearts series, is just amazing!! While Harmony is set in 1865 San Francisco and San Diego, the issues presented are just as relevant today as they were then. Prejudice in many forms, false rescuer mentality, gossip and mob pressure, self-importance, and the list goes on. I could not believe how many issues Denly covers, including salvation, while creating a very riveting and action-packed storyline.

Fletcher Johnson is one heroic, young man we meet, whose aim in life is to right wrongs, one person at a time. Fletcher believes the end justifies the means, as he defends the downtrodden. Sometimes I liked Fletcher, and other times I really wanted to set him straight.

Katie Mizedale, a hapless, daydreaming maid, shares my sentiments about Fletcher. Katie’s faith is astounding, especially given her background.

Enter center stage the main heroine of the novel, Margaret Foster. Bravely coming west from Boston to teach, the year she ends up with in no way resembles what she had been expecting.

Part of that is due to Everett Thompson, who is determined to build a great city out of San Diego. A floundering businessman, he finds that the school teacher he hires may be more than he bargained for.

A historical western romance not to be missed!!

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

Several children rushed past her to pick up jellyfish and toss them into the water, but Rosa hung back, wringing her hands. “But they’re so dirty and gross.” Margaret bent low to meet the girl’s eyes. “Sometimes we have to get messy to show that we care.”

God’s changes don’t imprison us, they set us free. They help us to become better and give us strength and joy, even when the world would try to steal those things from us.

Why must doing right so often come at great cost?

How could these people hear God’s Word and yet be so hardened as to nurture hatred in their hearts? Did they not know they were in the presence of the One who offered unconditional love?

The story was at complete odds with Fletcher’s idea of God as an angry judge waiting to criticize and condemn everyone for failing to live up to His impossible standards…Had he misunderstood who God truly was?

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! Historical Western Romance Not to be Missed!!

About the Author

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny California with her loving husband, four young children, and two 

Kathleen Denly Headshot 3

cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

More from Kathleen

Who Invented Romance?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but romance novels are sometimes viewed as the black sheep of the fiction industry. For various reasons, some people view romance stories with a disdainful eye. Knowing this, I still choose to write romance stories and some may wonder why.

First and foremost, I’ve had a passion for romance for as long as I can remember. I was absolutely one of those typical little girls who played dress-up in her mother’s clothes (or in my case, her lingerie. Eek! I had no idea. LOL) and planned my future wedding day. For reasons I can’t explain, the idea of a man and woman falling in love and pledging their life to one another has always enthralled me.

Or perhaps I can explain.

You see, I was raised in a Christian family and have always been exposed to the Bible. Have you ever looked at your Bible from a romantic perspective? When you stop to consider it, there is more than enough romance in God’s Word to justify placing it on the Romance Novel shelf in a bookstore. At least there would be if novels weren’t inherently fiction and the Bible wasn’t entirely true. (And aren’t we grateful that the Bible is completely true?)

So, in a way, one could say that God is the first romance author. After all, what is more romantic than a groom sacrificing his life for his bride? It even has the requisite happy ending, because He rose from the dead and will return for His bride.

The thing is, God isn’t just a romance author, He’s the inventor of romance. He was the first to demonstrate what love truly is. He is the one who defines it and describes its fruits so that we can recognize it when we see it. It’s His love that gives us life.

And the thing about romantic love is that it has a unique power to change people, to break down their emotional walls in ways that might not happen otherwise. There is a reason God designed man and woman to be together. Many reasons, in fact. But I am convinced that one of them is His ability to use that beautiful relationship to draw His children closer to His own heart.

So yes, some may look down on romance novels and those who read or write them, but I stand tall and proud, because I know that true romance–the kind God authors–is something to cherish and honor. I am blessed to be able to share God’s truths through the wondrous stories of two hearts joining together as one.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 6

Bizwings Blog, January 7

Austen’s Angle: Jane Austen’s Influence in Modern America, January 7

Texas Book-aholic, January 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 9

Inklings and notions, January 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11

deb’s Book Review, January 12

For Him and My Family, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

Blossoms and Blessings, January 16

Connie’s History Classroom, January 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 19

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, January 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a Kindle Fire HD8 Plus, a custom Harmony on the Horizon Kindle case, a Harmony on the Horizon altered notebook, a Chaparral Hearts pen, a pair of earrings, a pin, and a scripture keychain!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/17190/harmony-on-the-horizon-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite, Purchase

Sing in the Sunlight, #2 Chaparral Hearts, by Kathleen Denly

About the Book

Title: Sing in the Sunlight

Series: #2 Chaparral Hearts

Author: Kathleen Denly

Publisher: Wild Heart Books

Released: March 2021

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk? 

My Impressions

Wow! Sing in the Sunlight, by Kathleen Denly, was so much more than I expected! Set in California in 1857, Clarinda Humphrey feels like neither people nor God views her as loveable or acceptable following a horrible childhood event. Denly uses Clarinda’s character to show how God is faithful even in hard times. Richard is an amazing example of Christ’s love for His bride.
While I expected a sweet, clean historical western with a Christian worldview, I got so much more from this book. God brought this book to me just at the time He was dealing with a certain area of my life and I was really convicted about my wrong attitude, much like Clarinda’s.


I couldn’t believe how many sudden twists Ms. Denly wove into the story that threw me for a loop. How many times I thought, “I didn’t see THAT coming.” These unforeseen turns heightened my enjoyment of the book immensely. There was a lot of plausible, exciting action in this tale. Denly managed to include some pretty amazing historical facts in her love story.
On the strength of this book, I have pre-ordered Denly’s last book of the series, Harmony on the Horizon (Chaparral Hearts Book 3), which includes the story of Clarinda’s cousin.
I received a copy of this book from the author. I am voluntarily leaving these thoughts, which are solely my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting. 

Kathleen is the award-winning author of Chaparral Hearts, a three-book series of stand-alone novels set in nineteenth century Southern California (plus a prequel novella available exclusively to her newsletter subscribers).

Kathleen would love it if you visited her website at KathleenDenly.com.

You can also connect with her on social media: 

Instagram & Twitter @KathleenDenly
Facebook Author Page: KathleenDenly.author
FB Group: Armchair Adventure Krew

To see photos that inspired her novels, follow her on Pinterest.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Pretending to Wed, #2 Frontier Vows by Melissa Jagears Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Pretending to Wed

Author: Melissa Jagears

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 28, 2020

PretendingToWed_Ebook

It’s a match made in heaven…as long as they don’t fall in love!

The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress.

Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow.

When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn’t as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren’t quite as compatible as they thought?

Pretending to Wed is the second book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like marriage-of-convenience stories that deal with the nitty-gritty of making a relationship work, you’ll love this authentic romance set in a time gone by that tackles issues still relevant for today.

Click here to get your copy!


My Impressions

Travel back to a hot summer in 1884 in Wyoming Territory. Nolan Key is desperate, as the ranch he stood to inherit from his father will only pass to him if he marries within 3 months. Otherwise, his unbearable cousin Matt, whom his father always seemed to prefer over his own son, will own the spread.


Pretending to Wed is my first Melissa Jagears novel, but I will be on the lookout for more. I enjoyed the marriage of convenience trope. I liked how some of Nolan’s attitudes were due to his pain, but was amazed at the lengths to which he would go, to be self-sufficient.
I found it amazing to think that there were prosthetic limbs to be had way back then.
Corrine Stillwater, the town laundress, was as stubbornly self- sufficient as Nolan. She also lived with constant pain and was just as determined not to marry as Nolan.
I was happy to see the apparent growth in Uncle Matthias and the softening of some attitudes. Matt was so irritating and arrogant. He seemed to have few redeeming qualities. While Matt may have been two-dimensional, it made for a lighter read.


One thing that did frustrate me, was the unwillingness of either Nolan or
Corrine to be open about their feelings.
While part of a series, Pretending to Wed can stand alone well. Recommended for those who like light historical romance.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own, and no positive review was required.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Melissa jagears

Award winning author, Melissa Jagears, is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She lives in Kansas with her husband and three children. Her ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com

More from Melissa

The Elusive Electrical Spark to Awaken Frankenstein’s Monster

The plot of Pretending to Wed just wasn’t coming together for me. I had the romantic dilemma, but I didn’t love the characters. They were boring. And if I’m going to write a book, a.k.a. read it a bazillion times, I have to really want to read the book myself. I decided to take a break from the weeks of struggle and read. I was recommended a book because of the author’s great voice (I can’t recommend it because it’s not a clean novel), but I loved the fact that the heroine was a scientific illustrator. I wondered if I could give my heroine a scientific hobby and came up with inventing. That single character tidbit was the jolt that awakened Frankenstein’s Monster. She came alive! The research into what she could have patented at the time led my imagination to the egg hatching romance scene in the middle of the story and I was hooked! I couldn’t wait to read my book that didn’t yet exist.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 17

Writing from the Heart Land, September 17

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

Connie’s History Classroom, September 19

deb’s Book Review, September 19

Batya’s Bits, September 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

lakesidelivingsite, September 21

Genesis 5020, September 21

The Book Chic Blog, September 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 22

The Collaborative Press, September 22

Betti Mace, September 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 23

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 24

Remembrancy, September 24

Wishful Endings, September 24

Life of Literature, September 25

Book Love, September 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Bizwings Blog, September 25

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 26

Bigreadersite, September 26

Labor Not in Vain, September 26

CarpeDiem, September 27

Hookmeinabook, September 27

Splashes of Joy , September 27

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 28

Artistic Nobody, September 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, September 29

Blessed & Bookish, September 29

Simple Harvest Reads, September 30 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Maureen’s Musings, September 30

NovelsCorner, September 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a Gift Certificate for the winner’s Choice of Book (up to 16.99 plus S&H) from Melissa’s Local Christian Bookstore, Faith & Life Bookstore, and a signed copy of Pretending to Wed!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/100e6/pretending-to-wed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Bethany House, BLOG, NetGalley

At Love’s Command, #1 Hanger’s Horsemen by Karen Witemeyer

About the Book

Title: At Love’s Command  53166117._SX318_SY475_

Series: #1 Hanger’s Horsemen

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Released: June 2020

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Western

 

 

 

 

Ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries who defend the innocent, but when a rustler’s bullet leaves one of them at death’s door, they seek out help from Dr. Josephine Burkett. When Josephine’s brother is abducted and she is caught in the crossfire, Matthew may have to sacrifice everything–even his team–to save her.

 

My Review

Karen Witemeyer can be counted on for several hours of enjoyable historical fiction. At Love’s Command, #1 Hanger’s Horsemen, is no exception. Captain Matthew Hanger and 3 other men are so disillusioned with the atrocities of victory at Wounded Knee (1890) that they leave the military and join to form a vigilante service to solve crimes the local lawmen can’t. But this group, Hanger’s Horsemen, agrees not to use their guns to kill unless absolutely necessary.
This is the story of how Matt Hanger and Josephine Burkett meet. This novel proves that adage, “There’s somebody for everyone.”
Matthew seems so grief and conscience-stricken that he is only able to be a commanding military figure, kind and caring to his comrades, but otherwise without emotions or entanglements. He just isn’t the type to go soft in the head over some female.

At Love's Command 1
It takes someone like Jo who isn’t cowed by his “I’m in-charge” demeanor, but who is also abundantly capable in her field to catch his attention. While I appreciated Matt’s growing admiration for Jo, I felt like her lack of listening to him at times could have been downright dangerous. I wanted her to respect him a little more in his area of expertise. Just my opinion.
I look forward to reading the stories of the other Horsemen, but especially Jonah, who is a man of color. He already promises to be a very unique and interesting person, who might educate a few of us.

At Love's Command 2
Another point of interest in the novel for me is the faith element. It is an integral part, without being drawn-out or preachy. Just shown as the basis for life.
Redemption and growing up are also themes of this book, thank goodness. Our God is a God of second chances, but sometimes it is hard to know if you dare trust a promise-breaker again.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to leave a positive review. These are my own thoughts, voluntarily submitted.

 

My Rating

5 Stars – Superior- Hits My Reading Sweet Spot!

 

About the Author

3114906For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit www.karenwitemeyer.com.

 

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Fool’s Notion by Lisa J. Flickinger

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Fool’s Notion

Genre: Historical Romance

Kindle Edition, 187 pages; pb 228 pages
Published September 14th, 2017 by Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications. Pb ed. published Oct. 1, 2017.
ASIN: B075NQRSB5
ISBN: 1775129705 (ISBN13: 9781775129707)

Missouri mules were the best. Alda grew to love the creatures working side by side with her pa on their farm along the banks of the Missouri River. He would be hopping mad when he realized his wife and daughter colluded behind his back to sell a pack string. It wouldn’t matter that they were trying to save the farm. Alda struck out on her own to drive the team over fifteen hundred miles. By day three, her lead mule Bessie refused to take one more step. It was a good thing the handsome cowboy Cord stopped by to lend a hand or Alda might still be sitting in the dust. Now, Alda needed the man to move on so she could continue her journey. Judging by the spark in Cord’s eye … it just might take some convincing.

 

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Lisa J. Flickinger, author of historical novels Fool’s Notion, Ella, and All That Glitters, lives and writes from the cliff of a river along the majestic Rocky Mountains. When not writing or reading, you will find her scouring antique shops or sipping a maple latte with friends and family. To learn more about her visit http://www.lisajflickinger.com or her Facebook author page Lisa J. Flickinger.

 

MY REVIEW:

 Fool’s Notion by Lisa J. Flickinger first caught my eye with its unusual and intriguing cover. A redheaded woman in a beautiful period dress is watching a mule train trek across barren land. I knew there had to be a great story there.

In 1883, Alda Lealand of Kansas has decided to take the California trail as a single lady. Unusual enough, but she is also driving a pack of mules 1500 miles cross-country to be sold following her mother’s death and father’s disappearance. Cord is the bounty hunter who can’t settle down, but can’t keep himself from coming to Alda’s rescue more times than she would like.

I really enjoyed this light-hearted western. I often found myself laughing at situations in which the characters found themselves. The romance is sweet, albeit not smooth, due to the personalities and baggage both Alda and Cord have.

Alda has to learn that God is a “God who cared about His family, not like a fickle earthly father-like her father-but a God whose love was deep and wide.”

I found the perfect phrase for me to remember when I act like a stubborn mule, dig in my heels, and hold on like I’m right and no one better challenge me…
“You’re not above forgiving, are you?…”

All in all, just a great, fun book that I learned a few lessons from as I had a great time getting to know the characters. Highly recommended.

I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. This in no way influenced my opinions. I was not required to leave a positive review.

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Fools Notion meme

Purchase Link:

https://amzn.to/2lD43Uh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Widow’s Plight, #1 The Quilting Circle by Mary Davis

40074247

About the Book:

Paperback, 311 pages
Published July 1st, 2018 by Mountain Brook Ink
Original Title
The Widow’s Plight
ISBN13: 9781943959389
Genre: Historical Fiction

Washington State 1893

When Lily Lexington Bremmer arrives in Kamola with her young son, she’s reluctant to join the social center of her new community, the quilting circle, but the friendly ladies pull her in. She begins piecing a sunshine and shadows quilt because it mirrors her life. She has a secret that lurks in the shadows and hopes it doesn’t come out into the light. Dark places in her past are best forgotten, but her new life is full of sunshine. Will her secrets cast shadows on her bright future?

Widower Edric Hammond and his father are doing their best to raise his two young daughters. He meets Lily and her son when they arrive in town and helps her find a job and a place to live. Lily resists Edric’s charms at first, but finds herself falling in love with this kind, gentle man and his two darling daughters. Lily has stolen his heart with her first warm smile, but he’s cautious about bringing another woman into his girls’ lives due to the harshness of their own mother.

Can Edric forgive Lily her past to take hold of a promising chance at love?

MY REVIEW:

This Christian western takes on an enemy bigger than a gunslinger. Mary Davis, in The Widow’s Plight, shows the reader the tragedy and human ruin caused by domestic abuse. Ms. Davis doesn’t just tackle the most obvious, the physical abuse, but also shows the emotional abuse.

I, personally, had a difficult time reading this as I worked through the ramifications of the two kinds of abuses. Both were perpetrated on children (although the one also involved the heroine), and I wanted to enter the pages of the story to somehow help the victims recover faster.

I loved the characters and their portrayal of loyalty, forgiveness, and support of those who needed their help. I think I really fell in love with the children: Toby, Estella, and Nancy; and their resilience more than even the hero and heroine!

A terrifically sad statement, caused by continual abuse, is made of Lily, after the stampede: “She had succeeded in not feeling what she felt.”

Why is this such a great novel? How does it affect us today? Aunt Henny and Edric never gave up loving Lily and Toby. Those who truly love others CAN bring about healing in broken people, with God’s help, but that love may have to be extended again and again until it is accepted and healing starts.

I gratefully received a copy of this book from the publisher. This in no way affected my opinions, which are solely my own. I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

About the Author:

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Mary Davis

Born and raised in Washington State, Mary now resides in Colorado with her husband of over twenty-seven years, three twenty-something kids, and four pets. She earned her college degree in elementary education and has taken an advanced course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. Mary leads two critique groups, one in the local Colorado area as well as an on-line critique group. She regularly attends the ACFW conference as well as her local writing chapter in the Springs, and she has spearheaded a writing contest for youth for several years. Cascades is her fourteenth book, which contains three previously released novels.

Mary enjoys writing contemporary and historical inspirational romance. She loves reading romance, fiction, mystery, and fantasy books, as well as playing with her cat, Buffy.