Author: Iola Goulton

The amount of female attention her brother garnered never failed to amaze Lucy.

#ThrowbackThursday | Book Review | A Dangerous Legacy

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden. The sequel, A Daring Venture, releases soon, and you’ll want to have read A Dangerous Legacy first!

About A Dangerous Legacy

Lucy Drake’s mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin’s connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they’re wading into will take them.

My Review

I am a big fan of Elizabeth Camden’s novels.

She has a unique ability to find lesser-known historical events or situations, and build a novel around them. A Dangerous Legacy includes the politcal background to the buiding of the first Panama Canal, PTSD, and the invention of the plumbing valve which enables us to have water pressure in multi-storey buildings. It also includes the slightly more familiar telegraph operators, and the necessity for British peers to marry American heiresses to shore up their crumbling estates.

Lucy Drake is a telegraph operator for upstart American news agency Associated Press. Sir Colin Beckwith is the manager of Reuters, AP’s rival. He’s one of those impoverished British gentlemen looking for a heiress, and Lucy is not a heiress. Her side of the Drake family lost control of their revolutionary water valve, and their legal battle is ongoing.

But Lucy and Colin keep getting thrown together, and they become allies of sorts after each finds out an awkward secret about the other. But neither of them realise how dangerous finding the truth will be, to their lives, their sanity, and their hearts.

Colin was a great hero.

He’s willing to do the right thing even at a personal cost to himself. He’s British through and through, almost the perfect gentleman. And Lucy was my favorite type of heroine—intelligent, independent, and hard-working. They made a great couple. I loved their conversations and banter, and wanted them to be together. It was r good to see their romance build bit by bit as they got to know each other.

A Dangerous Legacy had a lot more suspense than I was expecting, but I’m a romantic suspense fan so that worked for me! It certainly made the novel hard to put down.

Recommended for fans of Deeanne Gist, especially her later books which are solid historical romance but without an overt Christian element. A Dangerous Legacy had a few time-appropriate nods to Christianity, but the faith aspect wasn’t even a minor plot point.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

 

About Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.

Find Elizabeth Camden online at:

Website | Facebook

Find A Dangerous Legacy online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK
ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to A Dangerous Legacy below:

Have you written book reviews?

Bookish Question #59 | Have you written book reviews?

Yes! I write book reviews.

500 Book Reviews

I don’t know exactly how many book reviews I’ve written. I have over 600 reviews published on NetGalley (they gave me a new badge at 500!), 800 published on Amazon US and on Goodreads. My original book review blog has exactly 1,000 posts, although not all of those posts are book reviews. I also used to post reviews on the now-retired Suspense Sisters Reviews. Those have now been deleted, so I’m reposting them here as #ThrowbackThursday posts.

It’s ironic that I’ve written and published so many reviews. I loathed writing book reviews at school, because they cut into my reading time. Our teacher gave us half an hour of reading time each day, and wanted us to review each book we read. Well, I read in my spare time, so I seemed to spend all my class time writing reviews when everyone else was doing what I’d rather be doing—reading. And we had to write our reviews in a certain format, which took longer than if I’d been able to write whatever I wanted.

Writing online reviews is easy in comparison!

Do you write book reviews? Why, or why not?

Book Review | A Single Spark by Liwen Ho (Spark Brothers #1)

I loved A Single Spark, and I’m sure that’s not just because I picked it up after struggling through a frustrating YA fantasy trilogy (which only served to remind me why I rarely read fantasy).

Aiden Spark is the thirty-two-year-old former lead singer of a hearthrob boy band.

Now he’s an Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at a local college (a transition which isn’t explained, but which I’d love to know more about!).

Abby Dearan is a morning DJ with a local radio station, and has just received a text from the mysterious Professor Z Spark. It’s obviously a wrong number, but she wants to know more.

So she asks her listeners for help.

Fun (and sparks) ensue as Aiden and Abby meet, fight, make up, and fight again. And again. Plenty of sparks fly as the two are attracted, but are brought together by circumstances and driven apart by misconceptions. It’s a quick, fun read, especially when Aiden’s four brothers get involved …

Yes. Four brothers. A Single Spark is the first book in the Spark Brothers series. And four more brothers means four more books. Yay! It means you can read this as a standalone novel, and then wait for the rest of the series. Because if you like contemporary Christian romance with humour and sass, you’ll definitely want to read all the Spark Brothers series as much as I do.

Recommended for anyone looking for a fun, light romance with solid Christian content.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Liwen Ho

Author Photo: Liwen HoLiwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay at home mom) and an author by night. She writes sweet and inspirational contemporary romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots).

In her pre-author life, she received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children, and blogs about her adventures as a recovering perfectionist

You can find Liwen Ho online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About A Single Spark

He’s a pop singer running from his past. She’s a deejay who’s given up on men. Little do they know divine intervention has a plan for them.

Former boy band hottie, Aiden Spark, distanced himself from everything he valued—faith, family, and fame—when he lost his girlfriend. A decade later, he’s still hiding behind his grief when he accidentally texts a woman who’s all too curious about his identity.

Burned by the men in her life, deejay Abby Dearan has chosen to focus on her newfound faith in God and use her radio presence for good. Her plans are thwarted though when a text message—and the irritating man who sent it—won’t leave her in peace.

Aiden can’t forget the woman who reminds him so much of his first love; Abby can’t remember the last time a man made her feel so beautiful. To make matters worse, it’s impossible to avoid one another when their siblings and friends—not to mention, divine intervention—keep pushing them together. Will the sparks igniting between them end up in flames or romance?

Find A Single Spark online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Read the introduction to A Single Spark:

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 42 | The Theory of Happily Ever After

It’s First Line Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line. Today I’m sharing from The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristen Billerbeck. I’m actually sharing the first two lines, because the first line only makes sense if you also read the second.

Here’s the first line:

First line: Life is filled with irony. I mean, I wrote the book on bliss, and currently I am the most miserable person I know.

About The Theory of Happily Ever After

According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious science, as serious as Maggie takes herself. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies–for instance, why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.

Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.

Filled with memorable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, Kristin Billerbeck’s The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile–because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

You can find The Theory of Happily Ever After online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

#ThrowbackThursday | The Priority Unit by Susan Page Davis

It’s Throwback Thursday, and today I’m sharing my review of The Priority Unit by Susan Page Davis. This review first appeared at the now-defunct Suspense Sisters Reviews, and I’m delighted to be able to share it again. I love Susan Page Davis’s romantic suspense novels. She was one of the first authors I read in the genre, and is one of the big reasons I’m such a fan.

My Review

Jennifer Wainthrop meets Detective Harvey Larson when he visits her workplace to investigate the disappearance of one of her colleagues, and he asks her out.

I’m not always a fan of romances where there is a big age gap between the hero and heroine.  I’ve always found Jane Austen’s Mr Knightley a little creepy, and even as a child I could see the potential for problems in the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana. I think The Priority Unit dealt with the sixteen-year age gap well. This was helped by the fact Harvey Larson was a man of principle and honour, and I could see what Jennifer saw in him.

Equally, while Jennifer was young, she had a maturity and professionalism that belied her age. And she was an outstanding computer programmer (in a world full of too-stupid-to-live heroines, I’m always impressed by a heroine (or hero) with intelligence, competence, and professionalism.

The suspense thread was well balanced against the romance.

The novel was perhaps more focused on the relationship rather than the suspense. The suspense is there, but it’s somewhat low key—without a body it’s hard to know whether a crime has been committed, let alone solve it. Although the missing computer programmer isn’t Harvey’s only problem. Someone seems to have a target on his back…

What impressed me the most was the overt Christian aspect of the novel.

Neither Harvey nor Jennifer were Christians at the beginning, yet they both commit to making an honest search to see if God is real—a search they commence together. This brings them closer together at the same time as having the potential to drive them apart—what if only one chooses to believe?

Susan Page Davis is the author of Frasier Island, one of my all-time favourite romantic suspense novels. Okay, so there are elements of both novels which stretch the bounds of credibility if you think about them too much, but the characters and story are so strong it doesn’t matter.

Overall, The Priority Unit was a Christian Romantic Suspense novel which actually managed to give all three aspects equal weight—it was overtly Christian, with a building romance, and an ongoing suspense thread. An excellent novel which is especially praiseworthy for the overt Christian aspect. Even better, it’s the first in a series!

Recommended.

About Susan Page Davis

Author Photo: Susan Page Davis

Susan Page Davis writes romantic suspense, historical romance, and mystery. She is a Maine native now living in Kentucky, and a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and KenTen Writers. Her books have won several awards including the Carol Award for her novel The Prisoners Wife; the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award for The Prisoner’s Wife and The Lumberjack’s Lady (Maine Brides series); and the Will Rogers Medallion Award for her novels Captive Trail (Texas Trails series, 2012) and The Outlaw Takes a Bride (2016).

You can find Susan Page Davis online at:

Website | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter

About The Priority Unit

A missing man.

A mysterious computer program –

Even the people constructing it don’t know what it will do.

On the worst night of Harvey Larson’s life, his partner is killed and his wife, Carrie, walks out on him. Ten years later, the Portland, Maine police detective has learned to cope with his grief and depression. When he and the Priority Unit investigate the disappearance of software designer Nick Dunham, he meets a young woman who will change his life. Jennifer Wainthrop was the last person to admit seeing Dunham alive.

Harvey and his partner, Eddie Thibodeau, stay a step ahead of a bomber and put together the clues that tell the truth: Dunham’s kidnapping and the bombings are one case, and Jennifer is caught in the middle. News that Carrie has committed suicide may plunge Harvey back into despair. Harvey turns to God for help untangling his complicated life. He finds strength in his faith as he attempts to save Jennifer from the same grim fate that claimed Nick. But Jennifer must depend on her own wits and God alone when the killer gets too close.

You can find The Priority Unit online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to The Priority Unit below:

Do you enter book giveaways?

Bookish Question #58 | Do you enter book giveaways?

Do I enter book giveaways?

Sometimes. But not often.

I have entered some online book giveaways, and I’ve even won a few. I recently won a paperback copy of the wonderful A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal, in a giveaway at International Christian Fiction Writers.

And I was introduced to the whole world of blogging and online book reviewing when I won a giveaway in late 2011. The prize was an ebook in my choice of formats, and it ended up being delivered to me as a download link from NetGalley (the link expired after 60 days and the book was unreadable, but that’s another story). Anyway, I created a NetGalley account to download my free book, and found loads more books by many of my favourite authors, all free if I promised to review them. So I did.

(Click here if you’d like to learn more about online reviewing through NetGalley.)

Despite this, I don’t enter a lot of book giveaways.

There are three reasons why not.

  1. Geography

I live in New Zealand, and most giveaways are for print books, and are restricted to US mailing addresses. I’ve seen authors justify this online by the cost of posting books to far-away countries like New Zealand. I can understand that, but do they realise how expensive books are in New Zealand? The paperback with a recommended retail price of USD 14.99 (which sometimes sells on Amazon for less than USD 10) generally costs $25 to $30 here. Postage might cost, but the result is we appreciate the book so much more.

2. Capacity

I do not have room for any more paperback books in my house. I’m already faced with some tough decisions on that front! And my Kindle is full to overflowing with unread ebooks. I keep telling myself I’m not going to buy more until I’ve read what I have. (Yes, I’m lying to myself). But I’m reluctant to enter a giveaway when I have no idea if or when I’ll get a chance to read the book if I win.

3. Value

Most of the giveaways that are open internationally are ebook giveaways, which means the purchase price isn’t expensive. If the book is on sale for 99 cents and it interests me, I’ll probably buy it rather than enter the giveaway. That’s not such an easier decision for books priced at $2.99 or $3.99 or $4.99, but I still end up buying some rather than entering the giveaway. Because if I like the book enough to enter the giveaway, I like it enough to at least consider buying it.

What about you? Do you enter book giveaways? Why or why not?

Quote from Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter: Brady kissed like kissing was the whole point, not a brief stop on a journey to some better destination.

Book Review | Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter

Brady Collins made a mistake.

That mistake left him married with a baby son, then divorced. Now his ex-wife is dead, and he’s learning to navigate life as a solo parent. But then his in-laws sue for custody, saying Brady isn’t Sam’s father. Oops.

Hope Daniels is happy to help.

She loves little Sam as if he was her own. And he might be: Brady’s lawyer mistakenly thinks Hope and Brady are engaged. He points out that being engaged might help Brady in the upcoming custody battle, but not as much as them being married would. So Hope proposes a solution: getting married to make sure Brady gets to keep his son.

The marriage of convenience trope is relatively common in historical romance, but not so common in contemporary. I suspect this is because it can be hard to find a scenario where the circumstances behind the marriage of convenience makes sense. It often reads like a contrived way of getting the characters where the author wants them: married. Sure, the fake engagement and marriage is contrived, but it works for these characters.

My one issue with Honeysuckle Dreams was that Brady was too perfect. Sure, he had problems: his son, his ex-wife’s family, his mother. But they were all external problems. Fixing them relied on other people, not on Brady and his own character journey.

Hope was a much more interesting character.

She’s been in love before, in high school. That relationship ended badly. Her boyfriend collapsed and died in right in front of her at a high school basketball game. It took Hope years to recover and she’s still not sure she’s ready to risk her heart again. And that’s not a good way to begin a marriage, even a marriage of convenience.

Honeysuckle Dreams is the second book in Denise Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series, following Blue Ridge Sunrise. She’s also written Sweetbriar Cottage. It isn’t officially part of the Blue Ridge Romance series, but is set in the same town before the events of Blue Ridge Sunrise, and features some of the same characters.

Overall, Honeysuckle Dreams was an excellent contemporary romance, although I didn’t think it measured up to the outstanding Sweetbriar Cottage. Mind you, that’s a hard act for any author to follow.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Denise Hunter

Denise HunterDenise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 30 books, including “The Convenient Groom” and “A December Bride” which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking good coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest.

Find Denise Hunter online at:

Website | Facebook

About Honeysuckle Dreams

After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

You can find Honeysuckle Dreams online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 41 | A Defense of Honor

It’s First Line Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line. Today I’m sharing from A Defense of Honor by the wonderful Kristi Ann Hunter. It’s a long one!

Okay, it’s long, but doesn’t it make you want to keep reading? Why is he bored? What’s going to get him out of his boredom? Something has to—no one wants to read a book about a bored man.

The other thing that intrigued me about this first line is that it’s the male point of view. Most romance novels start with the lady (or Lady).

About A Defense of Honor

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

You can find A Defense Honor online at

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

#ThrowbackThursday | Book Review | Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

It’s Throwback Thursday, when I share a review of an older book (or reshare a review). Today I’m resharing my review of the brilliant Long Way Gone by Charles Martin. His newest book, Send Down the Rain, released on Wednesday, and I’ll be reviewing it later this month. This review first appeared at Australasian Christian Writers.

About Long Way Gone

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 home to the remote 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 himself.

A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, 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

Well, that’s a great first line—I don’t know who is speaking, but by the end of the first page I know he’s a musician. Who else would describe the worn-out guitar as “an old Gibson J-45”? And then he goes on to say:

The residue of musical genius. That’s strong writing—writing I want to read more of. I’m not going to bore you with all the quotes I highlighted in Long Way Gone, but there were a lot. But I hope you’ll forgive me one more, because it’s a great example of how to get a lot of setting across in one short sentence:

But you’re here to read a book review, not a commentary on the writing.

Long Way Gone is a retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son, set in high-country Colorado and among the ups and downs of the Nashville music industry. It’s written in first person from the point of view of Cooper O’Connor, an evangelist’s son with a gift for music.

The writing is outstanding, the plot is excellent, the structure close to perfect.

I was fascinated by the musical information—the Ryman theatre, the Nashville Notation System, the whole music vibe. Anyone who watches Nashville or who has ever visited (or wants to visit) the home of country music will appreciate that side of it (and will be able to relate to the characters). I was impressed with the way so much research and setting was dropped in without it ever getting in the way of the central story.

The story spans decades.

So while we see Cooper’s mistakes through his eyes, we see them through the eyes of a man who has matured enough to realise they were mistakes—mistakes he’s repented from, even if he’s still not fully reconciled to the consequences of those mistakes.

It’s a story about a man (who loves a woman—yes, there is a romance element), and his love for music. It’s a story of a man who makes mistakes in his pursuit of happiness. And it’s a story about how sometimes those mistakes can be made right again, and sometimes they can’t.

Recommended for music fans, romance fans, or anyone who appreciates good writing.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Charles Martin at his website, and you can read the introduction to Long Way Gone below:

About Charles Martin

Author Photo: Charles MartinChristy and I married in 1993. If you include dating, I’ve known and loved her for more than half my life. She is and always will be the home for my heart. We have three boys. Charlie, John T. and Rives. Folks often ask me, which of my books do I like the best. You might as well line up my sons and ask me who I love the most.

My hobbies are bow hunting, working out (a blend of old school stuff and martial arts, called Fight Fit) and Tae Kwon Do. In October 2012 I earned my black belt but I’m still the least flexible person you’ve ever met. The guy that trains me, laughs everytime I start warming up. My boys are far better at Tae Kwon Do than I but I doubt they have as much fun – I get to do and watch. They just do.

I also like to write, but that’s another story.

You can find Charles Martin online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Have you contacted an author you admire?

Bookish Question 57 | Have you contacted an author you admire?

I’m a book reviewer and often feature author interviews on my blog, so you’d think my answer to this would be yes.

But it’s not that easy. I’ve never proactively contacted an author I admire, as in I’ve never written a fan letter (or fan email).

But I have come into contact with many authors I admire—and have found them to be as wonderful in real life as in their fiction. Most of this has come through my reviewing, at least at first, when authors have contacted me.

One of the first books I reviewed online was Picking up the Pieces by Australian author Paula Vince. I then pestered my local Christian bookseller to get her other books for me to read. Not long after I started my original book review blog, Iola’s Christian Reads, I received an email from Paula asking if I was the same Iola who had reviewed some of her books on Amazon (I guess it was a safe bet!).

Anyway, that email started a conversation.

It led to me getting involved in the Christian Writers Downunder and Australasian Christian Writers Facebook Groups, and the opportunity to meet other Australian and Kiwi authors I knew of. One of these was Mary Hawkins, the author of one of the first Christian romance novels I ever read, Search for Tomorrow. I still own that original paperback.

Since then I’ve attended what has become the Omega Writers Conference in Australia five times, and the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference three times, and met authors such as James Scott Bell, Marie Force, Kristen Lamb and others, and met and formed relationships with many other authors, including Ian Acheson, Carolyn Miller, Narelle Atkins, Andrea Grigg, Dorothy Adamek, and Rose Dee.

I’ve also met dozens more authors online, through Facebook groups and through my membership of American Christian Fiction Writers. But I’m still reluctant to contact authors I don’t know!

Don’t let my hesitation stop you contacting an author you admire. Almost without exception, the authors I’ve come into contact with have been wonderful people, and they all love to hear from readers.

What about you? Have you ever contacted an author you admire? Who? And what was their response?