Book Recommendation: Family of Her Dreams by Keli Gwyn

Family of her Dreams

Book Description:

A Family to Cherish 

Headstrong Tess Grimsby loves her new job caring for the children of a recently widowed man. But she never imagined that she’d fall for her handsome employer. Yet Spencer Abbott is as caring as he is attractive, and Tess can’t help but feel for him and his family. Though, for the sake of her job, she’ll keep any emotions about her boss to herself.

Between his stationmaster responsibilities in a gold-rush town and trying to put his family back together, Spencer has his hands full. He soon finds his new hire’s kind personality warming his frosty exterior. But could he ever admit to seeing her as more than just an employee?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Family of Her Dreams and I loved the California gold-rush small town historical setting. Tess is a complex and likeable character. Abandoned by her father and raised in an orphanage, she hasn’t had an easy life. She loves caring for children and has worked hard to attain a good housekeeping position. Her long held dream and prayer is to have a husband and family of her own. Spencer is recovering from the loss of his wife and he needs a housekeeper to care for his young children. His baby daughter, Lila, is adorable, and his four year old, Luke, is struggling to deal with the tragic loss of their mother.

Tess loves the children as if they were her own. During the story she develops feelings for their handsome father and she dares not to hope that she can one day become a permanent part of their family. Spencer warms to his housekeeper, who is also a brilliant cook, and they share a sweet romance with tender moments. I really liked the secret in the story, and how the resolution of the secret provided a romantic and satisfying ending. I recommend Family of Her Dreams for readers who enjoy sweet historical inspirational romances.

Family of Her Dreams is Keli Gwyn’s debut book with the Love Inspired Historical line, and I won a complimentary copy in a giveaway.

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Book Recommendation: The Wedding Game (Reality Show Book 1) by Amy Matayo

The Wedding Game

Cannon James has a plan: Sign on as a contestant for his father’s new reality show, marry a blonde hand-picked by the producers, and walk away two million dollars richer. It’s all been arranged. Easy. Clean. No regrets. Until Ellie McAllister ruins everything by winning the viewer’s vote. Now he has to convince America that he’s head over heels in love with her. Not easy to do since she’s a walking disaster.

Ellie McAllister has her own problems. She needs money, and she needs it now. Despite her parent’s objections and her belief that marriage is sacred, she signs on to The Wedding Game…and wins. Now she’s married to a guy she can’t stand, and if she wants her hands on the money, she has six months to make voters believe she loves him. Not easy to do since he’s the most arrogant man in America.

It doesn’t take long for Ellie and Cannon to realize they’ve made a mess of things…even less time for their feelings for one another to change. But is it too late for them? More importantly, can the worst decision they’ve ever made actually become one of the best?

Narelle: I enjoyed reading The Wedding Game, Book 1 in the Reality Show series. I admit to being a skeptic regarding the marriage of convenience plot in contemporary romances. It works beautifully in historical romances because it wasn’t uncommon for people to marry for reasons other than love. It’s a hard plot to write successfully in the Christian/inspirational contemporary romance genre because we believe marriage is sacred and not something to be entered into lightly. Exceptional character motivations are required to make a modern day marriage of convenience romance story both realistic and believable.

The Wedding Game nailed the character motivations for both Cannon and Ellie and set up a story full of emotional conflict for both characters. Ellie is a small town girl who is thrust into the celebrity spotlight when she wins ‘The Wedding Game’. She’s also hiding a big secret that she’s desperate to keep under wraps in order to protect the privacy of a loved one. Ellie comes across as snarky and rude during her initial interactions with Cannon. As the story progresses we learn why she believes he’s arrogant and an all round horrible person. Cannon is a wannabe actor who has lived a self-indulgent rich kid Beverly Hills lifestyle and made decisions that please his powerful and wealthy father. In a momentary act of defiance, Cannon chooses Ellie, America’s sweetheart, instead of the beautiful blonde who was his father and the producer’s first choice.

The camera’s follow Cannon and Ellie’s daily lives as they share a made-for-tv apartment in LA and fight constantly. They can’t stand each other at the start of their temporary marriage and their enforced close proximity creates a lot of drama that’s filmed for their weekly reality tv show. Their romance is rocky and the sensual tension between Cannon and Ellie builds during the story. Cannon has secrets of his own and a whole new set of problems arise when Cannon and Ellie start to care for each other. The faith element in the story is very low key and readers who are looking for a romance with a strong faith message may be disappointed.

I recommend The Wedding Game to readers who enjoy a light hearted contemporary romance that’s a little bit edgy and has humorous moments.

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Friday Weekend Escape to Zambia

By Marion Ueckermann

I’ve taken a weekend escape to Zambia—twice.

Many years ago, my husband and I were privileged to accompany my bosses on a business / leisure trip to the land of my birth. I got the opportunity to go again the following year with the company’s accountants. As the conference coordinator, it was my job to be there and ensure all went off smoothly. I know, some people have it really tough, don’t they?

On the first visit, the group stayed at the prestigious Royal Livingstone Hotel on the Zambian side of the mighty Zambezi River. On the second trip, we stayed on the Zimbabwean side, though we did cross the river into Zambia for our sunset river cruise and dinner. It was wonderful to have seen the Victoria Falls from both sides—the views and experience remarkably different. The Zambian side is filled with rain forests and numerous walking bridges to cross over gorges. The Zimbabwean side is mostly flat and open, the only bridge to be seen, the railroad bridge—home to bungee jumping daredevils.

Victoria Falls - Zambian side

Victoria Falls - Zimbabwean side

Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side

On the first trip, I arranged a water arrival for the delegates. It was exciting. We boarded water taxis berthed beside the African Queen where we’d have dinner and a sunset cruise later that afternoon. The taxis raced down this enormous river and over gentle rapids until in the distance we could see the mist rising from Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders). The Victoria Falls. We were almost at our hotel.

Water arrival - Zambia

The Royal Livingstone was an amazing place to stay—we even had our own butler. On our last night there, the Prince of Oman and his entire entourage of around seventy checked into the hotel. We didn’t get to see him, although we did spot his bodyguards in the gardens while a bunch of Arabian-looking children played close by. And we saw his private Boeing at the airport when we left.

Another exciting guest was the monkey that woke me that first morning. As I opened my eyes, there he was, sitting on the bedside table, helping himself to the nougat that had been left on my pillow the night before. Suffice it to say, a pillow fight ensued. I won!

Only when we stepped onto the balcony of our room, did we see all the havoc this little blighter and his family had caused—below the lawns were littered with papers from the chocolates I’d placed in our delegates’ gift packs. Hubby and I weren’t the only ones to make the fatal mistake of sleeping with the door open.

Later they snuck into my bag at the swimming pool, stealing a pocket pack of tissues, and testing them high in a tree to see if they were edible. They even made a mad dash at the tables of guests taking high tea, pinching the expensive snacks right off their plates.

Not all of the uninvited guests were that wild and unruly. Late that afternoon, Zebra lazily dotted the lawns of the hotel, but we were told not to get too close as they could give a nasty bite.

Monkeys and Zebra - Zambia

Besides visiting the magnificent Victoria Falls, the sunset cruise on the Zambesi River, and riding and feeding the elephants, were the highlights of my visits to Zambia. That’s why I included both these experiences into my newly released novella, Orphaned Hearts.

Sunset Cruise - Zambia

Sunset Cruise

Elephant ride- Zambia

Elephant ride & feeding

If you enjoyed this little weekend escape to Zambia, why not pick up a copy of Orphaned Hearts and spend a few more hours soaking in the beauty of Zambia.

Purchase Links:


Barnes & Noble




Will his past, or her future, keep their hearts orphaned?

Orphaned Hearts

When his wife dies in childbirth, Zambian conservationist Simon Hartley pours his life into raising his daughter and his orphan elephants. He has no time, or desire, to fall in love again. Or so he thinks.

Wanting to escape English society and postpone an arranged marriage, Lady Abigail Chadwick heads to Africa for a year to teach the children of the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Upon her arrival she is left stranded at Livingstone airport…until a reluctant Simon comes to her rescue.

Now only fears born of his loss, and secrets of the life she’s tried to leave behind, can stonewall their romance, budding in the heart of Africa.

I look forward to interacting with readers at any of the following places:







Marion Ueckermann1 - SMALLER

MARION UECKERMANN’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

Marion loves writing Contemporary Inspirational Romances set in novel places and has three Passport to Romance novellas published and contracted through White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint: her debut novella, Helsinki Sunrise; Oslo Overtures (August 2015); and Glasgow Grace (2016).

She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.

My first independent release: His Perfect Catch

HPC  final

I’m happy to announce that His Perfect Catch is now available for 99 cents (US dollars) as a standalone title in the following stores:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble



It’s exciting to move into the arena of indie publishing and have the opportunity to publish my own books. A special thank you to my awesome editor, Iola Goulton, and brilliant cover designer, Karinne Campbell. Many thanks to my critique partners and beta readers who have provided input and encouragement for all of my books. Thank you to the lovely ladies in the SPLASH! novella group who were very generous with their time and expertise as I navigated the new world of indie fiction publishing. I appreciate you all and I’m blessed to call you my friends.

I’m exploring traditional publishing opportunites with my agent, despite the Heartsong Presents line closing last month. I’m now technically a hybrid author because I’m open to publishing both independently and with traditional publishers in the contemporary Christian romance genre.

If you’d like to be notified when my next book releases, please sign up for my author newsletter.

His Perfect Catch is available, for a limited time, in the SPLASH! box set for the special price of 99 cents on Amazon Kindle. Yes, the SPLASH! box set is an excellent deal – NINE novella’s for the price of ONE! Pick up your copy of SPLASH! today.


ACFW New Releases: July 2015

ACFW New Releases: July 2015.

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Amish Romance:

Her Brother’s Keeper by Beth Wiseman — Charlotte Dolinsky disguises herself as an Amish woman to investigate her brother’s death never, expecting to fall in love with quiet Amish man Isaac Miller. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Contemporary Romance:

The Cowboy’s Surprise Baby by Deb Kastner — Navy veteran Cole Bishop returns to Serendipity Texas to make a new life with his son, only to find he has to work with his high school flame, Tessa Applewhite. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

A Father’s Second Chance by Mindy Obenhaus — Businesswoman Celeste Thompson has one goal: to make her restaurant and hotel a success. She doesn’t need any distractions, even from handsome contractor Gage Purcell and his two adorable little girls. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Historical Romance:

Among the Fair Magnolias by Tamera Alexander, Shelley Shepard Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser— In the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women–destinies forged by birth, hearts steeled by war–face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

The Daughters of Jim Farrell by Sylvia Bambola – Three sisters seek to prove their father innocent of murder in spite of great danger and the possibility they will loose the men they love. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Convenient Bride Collection by Amanda Barratt, Andrea Boeshaar, Mona Hodgson, Melissa Jagears,Maureen Lang, Gabrielle Meyer, Jennifer Uhlarik, Erica Vetsch and Renee Yancy — God can take the best-laid plans and turn them into something even better, as nine couples who marry for convenience soon learn. In fascinating settings from America’s history, the convenient brides take their nuptials out of necessity. . .never dreaming that God might turn them into true love stories for His glory. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Lady and the Mountain Fire by Misty M. Beller — Care-giving granddaughter Claire Sullivan and Bryan Donaghue, a doctor with a bad reputation, can’t seem to get along-until disaster strikes their wild Montana mining town, and Claire’s desire to help lands her in the midst of the fire. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

To Capture Her Heart (The Southold Chronicles) by Rebecca DeMarino — In 1653, when Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, is kidnapped by a rival tribe, she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her long friendship with family friend Benjamin Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice–stay true to her friend or follow her heart. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker Publishing])

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears — Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together as a family, or will past hurts and new resentments leave them lonely forever? (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing])

Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream) by Susan Anne Mason — Two O’Leary sisters search for love and independence from their domineering father in 1911 Long Island, New York. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing])

The Cactus Creek Challenge by Erica Vetsch When a sheriff and a schoolmarm swap jobs for a month, the town of Cactus Creek is thrown into an uproar. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Romantic Suspense:

To Soar on Eagle’s Wings by Renee Blare — Spring arrives to the Snowy Range and instead of relaxation, Rachel finds herself the center of a Timber Springs crime spree, but she isn’t too upset when she discovers the new game warden’s an old family friend. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley — Homicide detective Livy Reynolds’s cousin had disappeared from Logan Point. The last person she wants working the case with her is self-assured private investigator Alex Jennings. But when Alex contacts her with a lead, she’ll have to find a way to work with him-before it’s too late. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker Publishing])

Emergency Reunion by Sandra Orchard — Paramedic Sherri Steele refuses to believe someone’s out to get her-until she’s held at knifepoint in her own ambulance. With every emergency call to the paramedics turning into an attack on Sherri’s life, it still takes her high school crush, deputy sheriff Cole Donovan, to convince her she needs protection. Cole is certain Sherri has a stalker-worse, his brother’s the lead suspect. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])