Book blurb: 

Meet Sammy the turtle. Sammy is a baby turtle who is all alone. Where did he come from? His mother, Luna, was nowhere to be found. Where was she? Who created Sammy and his mother? Sammy goes on an adventure to not only find his mother, but to ultimately find out where he really came from.

About the Author:

Pam Funke is the grand-daughter of a Pastor and was brought up in the church. Her love of reading led her to write for the enjoyment of others. She lives in Hinesville, Georgia  with her son and daughter.


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Each day God looked in on Luna’s children to make sure that they were safe. He had the sun shine on the nest for months to keep the eggs warm. He touched the nest with a gentle breeze every day to show how much He loved them.
     One day one of the eggs started to crack. God watched as the first of Luna’s children wriggled and pushed her way out of the eggshell. He then started pushing his way out of the dirt into the world beyond. A few minutes later, another egg started to crack and then another one. God smiled as He watched each of Luna’s children press his or her way forth into the world.
     “One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Wait where’s the eighth one?” God said smiling.
     He looked back at the nest and saw that the eighth egg had yet to crack. He blew a warm gentle breeze over the nest.
     “Come on out Sammy. The world needs you,” God said coaxing the last of Luna’s children out of his shell.

     Little Sammy stretched out his flippers and heard something crack. He pulled his flippers back and peeked out of his shell. It was dark inside of the eggshell. Sammy closed his eyes and pulled his head back inside of his shell. He was a little afraid until he heard the voice of God encouraging him to come out. Sammy poked his head out again. He used his beak to break the eggshell above his head. A few minutes later, his head poked out of the eggshell and into the warm, soft dirt beyond. Sammy smiled as the heat from the earth warmed his soul. He used his back flippers to push his body out of the eggshell and into the dirt. 

With my third novel, Prince of Malorn, ready to publish by the middle of May, I’m conducting a series of “interviews” with my characters.  This one is the sixth.  Enjoy!

I meet with Arden the minstrel in the cozy sitting room of his little cottage near the edge of the city of Sazellia.  He holds a stringed instrument that looks like a cross between a harp and a small guitar, idly stroking the strings and playing random little tunes while we talk.
“I’m sorry the furniture is a little dusty,” he apologizes as I take a seat.  “I’m not actually here very often.  I have a room in the palace, and lately it’s been so much more convenient to just stay there almost all the time, what with everything going on.”  I assure him that I don’t mind a little dust, and pull out my list of questions.
Tell me about your family.
“Well, I grew up with my parents and four sisters.  They were all quite a bit older than I and weren’t interested in playing with a little boy, so I spent most of my time reading and making up stories of my own.  My father served on the king’s palace guard, and I think he had hoped his only son would follow in his footsteps.  But I wasn’t the least interested in learning to fight, and I’ve always hated weapons.  I still don’t know how to wield a sword – that is, I know just enough to write vivid battle scenes in my songs and stories, but I have no interest in learning the skill myself.  Instead, I learned music from my grandfather.  He not only played the malute, he made malutes for a living, and as a boy, I loved to spend time in his workshop.  I’ve enjoyed music and stories for as long as I can remember, and the malute seemed the perfect way to bring both together.” 
Arden smiles fondly at the instrument on his lap.  “Grandfather paid me to help out in his workshop after school, and at first I just ran errands and swept the floor.  But gradually he began to teach me how to use his tools – I wasn’t interested in them for their own sake, but I wanted a malute of my own so badly I was willing to do anything to get one.  We spent months working on it, a little at a time, and he guided me through every step in the process.”  Arden smiles again, remembering.  “I learned more patience and attention to detail at that time than ever before or since.  Everything had to be perfect.  If I made the tiniest mistake that couldn’t be corrected, we threw the piece of wood into the fire and started again.  But in the end, my malute was perfect, and it’s lasted me all these years.”  He gives the strings a loving thrum.
I understand that you knew the late King Kerman back when he was still a prince.  How did you meet him?
“I mentioned that my father was a guard.  He once saved the king’s life when angry citizens were rioting in protest of a controversial new tax law.  Afterward the grateful king told my father to name his reward, and Father asked if his son could be educated in the palace along with the prince.  I was thirteen at the time, painfully shy and small for my age.  Combine that with my complete lack of skill in mathematics and the sciences, and you can see why school was unpleasant for me in the first place.  The thought of switching to a new school was agonizing, let alone a tiny one where the other pupils would all be royalty or the sons and daughters of nobles.  But my parents were determined to seize the opportunity and secure the best possible future for me, and I had no choice.” 
Arden chuckles.  “I can still remember how terrified I was that first day, walking into the palace schoolroom where Prince Kerman and five of his noble-blooded peers sat around a massive oak table.  They were all around my age, but every one of them was taller than I, and much more intelligent and good looking, at least in my teenage mind.  They had known each other all their lives, and I was the newcomer, the odd one out.” 
He pauses, lost in the memory, and his fingers wander over the strings of his malute.  The tune he plucks out feels awkward, reluctant, much like the scene he is describing.
“The prince welcomed me courteously,” he goes on, “but at first I knew they were all laughing at me behind my back.  I was hopelessly far behind the rest of them in so many areas, I’m surprised the teacher put up with my being there at all.  Sometimes he assigned us work to do in twos or threes, and no one ever wanted to be partnered with me because they would usually end up having to explain the concepts to me all over again.  It didn’t help that I daydreamed in class – there were just so many more exciting places for my mind to be than in that room.  But soon as I found out I was allowed to visit the palace library, and that made it all bearable.  I used to go there every afternoon after lessons were over and read books until my father got off of work.  I always brought my malute with me, and if no one else was in the room, I would pull it out and play as I read.  I never could hear a good story without imagining how it would sound put to music, so I would make up my own little tunes to go with what I was reading.  Sometimes I would rewrite a scene in rhyme and turn it into a song. 
“One day in class I was assigned to give a speech about the history of Malorn’s Western Wilderness.  I dreaded the thought of standing up and speaking in front of my noble-blooded classmates, but at the same time, history was one subject I excelled in.  It’s full of so many interesting stories, and the Western Wilderness has seen far more than its share of battles and noble adventure.  My classmates had all been making speeches about the different regions of Malorn over the last few days, and most of them had been dreadfully boring.  It was a tragedy, considering that most of the events they described were quite exciting, or they could have been if they had been told about properly. 
“So, as nervous as I was about taking my turn, I was determined to do the history of the Western Wilderness justice.  The class was surprised when I took up my malute, and I’m certain they had never before heard a speech like the one I gave.  I had prepared it in a style that was a mixture of a poem, a story, and a chant with musical accompaniment.  I’d worked hard for several days on the music, creating a tune that was fast-paced in the exciting parts and slow and sad for the scenes when I described death and desolation. I heard some snickers as I began, but it didn’t take long before the class quieted and I had everyone’s full attention.  I knew I was doing it right when I heard them gasp at all the right moments and chuckle once or twice where I put in some humor; and I saw tears in a few people’s eyes in the tragic scenes. 
“When I had finished, even the teacher was speechless for a long moment.  Then Prince Kerman rose to his feet and began to applaud, and everything changed after that.  Nobody laughed behind my back anymore or looked at me as though I didn’t fit in.  From that time on, the teacher let me do a good many of my assignments in the form of poetry or songs; I found out years later that the prince took him aside and asked him to.  He also requested that I provide part of the musical entertainment at his birthday celebration the next month, and when that went well, my confidence increased immensely.  I started getting invited to social events and asked to perform for many of them.  The prince loved a good story, and the two of us had a real connection from then on.  But more than that, I appreciated his kindness; he was the first person who made me feel that I had actual talent instead of just a hobby that took my attention away from my schoolwork.” 
Arden chuckles.  “I’m sure that was a much longer answer than you wanted, but it’s hard for me not to turn everything into a story.”
What is your idea of success?
A dreamy smile crosses the minstrel’s face.  “A perfect poem, every word just right, married to the perfect melody.  One where every note, every pause, infuses the words with a depth of meaning they never could have achieved on their own.  And a rapt audience, breathless, in tears, on the edge of their seats, their minds so intertwined with the song they scarcely know any other reality, the malute strings binding them to the world the instrument and I have created.”
Have you ever been in love? How did that work out?
Arden doesn’t answer right away.  His eyes are distant and his fingers dance softly over the strings of his malute.  “It was a long time ago,” he replies finally.  “Prince Kerman had begun to show special interest in one of our classmates, Aleris, and romance was developing between several of the others as well.  I suppose something was in the air that spring; I fell head over heels in love with a girl who lived in my parents’ neighborhood.  Jiana and I had known each other for years, but suddenly everything was different.  I composed dozens of romantic poems for her, mostly on the back of my parchment during mathematics lessons, much to the entertainment of my classmates when the teacher confiscated them and read them aloud.  She and I were married the day after I finished school.” 
The music he is playing grows dreamier.  “We moved into this cottage with the help of money I been earning performing at city and palace events.  We were young, and life was perfect.  Just perfect.  Neither of us had ever imagined it was possible to be so blissfully happy.  Looking back, that was by far the most wonderful period of my life, but it didn’t last.” 
His fingers move more slowly, and the tune he is playing grows so sad that I find myself blinking back tears.  “Jiana died of a fever less than a year after our wedding.  I was devastated; I felt as though my world had ended.  I spent most of my days in the graveyard, weeping and composing sad songs.  Prince Kerman, who was married by that time too, was concerned about me.  He and Aleris regularly sent servants with food and drink and implored me to come in out of the cold as winter tightened its grip on the land and on my broken heart.  But nothing could pierce the darkness my soul had fallen into. 
“Finally, after months of lonely grief, spring spread its warmth across the land.  As I huddled in my cloak beside my beloved’s grave, I found the topic of my melodies turning more and more to the new life I saw emerging around me: thirsty flower petals unfolding to sample the dew at dawn, a hard-working robin building its nest in the sunshine, crickets chirping messages to their friends in the falling dusk.  And slowly, my heart began to heal.  At last one day when Kerman came in person and begged me to move into a room in the palace, I accepted.  He convinced me to start playing for special events again, and gradually I found that I could go on with my life.  But my heart has never forgotten my first love, my only love.”
What do you do for a living now?
“Words and melodies are still my livelihood as well as the outpouring of my soul.  From time to time I perform for events around the city, but I spend most of my time in the palace now.  I’ve always written songs for banquets and special events, but shortly after Kerman’s father died and he became king, he and I discovered that my music can have a more practical purpose.  I would sometimes join him in unofficial meetings or for informal conversations with people, sitting at the hearth or in a corner of the room and trying to make myself as unobtrusive as possible.  While the others talked, I would play little tunes that I made up on the spot, much as I’m doing now.  But I would tailor my music to the conversation and try to use it to make people do or think certain things.  It’s difficult to explain how it works, and to be honest, I don’t fully understand it myself, but let me give you an example.  Once a serving girl approached the king and queen to reveal a traitorous conversation that she had overheard between two members of the palace staff.  The poor girl was trying to do the right thing, but she was so timid before their majesties that she could hardly speak a word at first.  I remembered what that was like, and I played a soothing melody that I knew would have calmed my own quaking heart had I been in her shoes.  Sure enough, her confidence grew, and in a few moments she was able to stop trembling and speak clearly about what she had learned. 
“Another time, Kerman told me that he feared a certain messenger had lied to him, but he had no way to prove it.  We sent for the man, and the king questioned him again while I played.  This time I made the tune a tense one, such as I would have used to make the audience nervous at the point in a ballad where a character was about to land himself in trouble or fall into a trap.  Sure enough, the messenger began to stammer and shoot glances around him as though afraid of some danger.  As the king’s questions grew more pointed, I poured more emotion into the music, until my own heart was pounding and the very air in the room seemed to throb with tension.”
As Arden speaks, his fingers move more quickly over the strings, and I can feel the tension he is describing growing around us.  My own breath starts to come more quickly and a sense of anxiety builds in me as he goes on.
“Well, the man started to stumble over his words and contradict himself, and then finally he broke off, dropped to his knees, and blurted out the truth.  As he confessed his lies and begged, in tears, for the king’s mercy and forgiveness, I realized for the first time that music could be a far more powerful tool than any sword.”  The tense tune fades into a slow and peaceful melody, and my pulse returns to normal as the anxiety fades.
If you could go back in time and change anything, would you?  If so, what?
Arden nods soberly, and his music turns more serious.  “In hindsight, I believe the royal family and I were naïve.  I was never privy to many government matters, except for the kinds of conversations I mentioned when I was asked to play in the background, but I knew that some in the government opposed King Kerman’s decisions.  An influential High Councilor named Rampus had begun growing in popularity and causing increasing frustration to the king.  When Kerman took ill one day, we all thought he had simply eaten something that disagreed with him.  The entire city was shocked when he passed away that same night.  Queen Aleris was certain he had been poisoned and that Rampus had something to do with it, but nothing was ever proven.  Kerman and Aleris had two children by then: Kalendria was eight and Korram was thirteen.  Since the prince was still too young to rule, the High Council voted to make Rampus regent of Malorn until Korram came of age.  I can’t see how anyone could have changed what happened, but if I could go back in time, I would do all I could to find a way.” 
How have your job and your relationship with the royal family changed since King Kerman’s death?
“The widowed queen continued to provide me with a salary, and I continued to provide the palace and the royal family with music,” Arden explains.  “I became almost like family to her and her children after Kerman’s death.  While Queen Aleris struggled with her own grief and concern for the kingdom, young Kalendria took to sobbing for hours on end while Korram would fly into furious rages.  I tried to set my own grief aside as much as I could to help them through theirs, and my music was able to bring some peace to their troubled hearts.  But as the years have passed, the family has grown more worried.  Rampus’s power has been growing, and we fear he has no intention of giving it up in a few months when Korram turns eighteen.”  
The malute sounds worried too, anxious notes spilling out around us.  “The trouble is,” Arden continues, “Rampus has his fingers in the military, as well as in every major business and industry in Malorn; and most of the nobility see him as a worthy and capable leader.  Our options have grown more limited as the regent has grown more powerful, so we hide our suspicions and pretend to think we are all on the same side, hoping he will see no need to remove anyone else from his way.  In our long, anxious meetings, my malute and I have counseled the royal family as much as we could.”
“I hear you have become a trusted advisor,” I say.

“Perhaps, but I often feel inadequate when it comes to knowing the best course of action,” Arden confesses.  “When in doubt, however, I simply imagine what I would have my characters do if this were a story.  Sometimes that ends up being impractically daring, but often it turns out to be the right move.  That’s how I came up with the idea of Korram’s recruiting his own personal army to protect him from Rampus’s schemes; hence the prince’s current mission in the Impassable Mountains.  Korram has always loved adventure stories, and he jumped at the idea.”  Arden sighs.  “Still, I worry that it will turn out to be one of those unrealistic quests that sound wonderful in a ballad but cannot succeed in real life.  I suppose only time will tell.”

Click here to find out about Prince of Malorn, the third book in the Annals of Alasia, and read more interviews with the characters in it.

Click here to read my interviews with characters from my book In the Enemy’s Service.

Are you interested in:
Early Celtic Christianity
Early manuscripts of the New Testament
Archaeology and art
Historical fiction

It all comes together, and more, in the historical novel THE SIGN OF THE DOLPHIN, the second book in the series that started with THE SCRIBES: A NOVEL ABOUT THE EARLY CHURCH.

Set in the year 184 A.D., this book contains a collection of 72 letters which tell the story of a journey through Gaul and Britain. Along the way you will meet fascinating characters like Irenaeus of Lyon and Diognetus and Ulpius Marcellus. You will wrestle with the question of the two versions of the Acts of the Apostles. You will discover the glories of art in Britain under Roman rule, and you will join Marcus the scribe as he seeks to manage an unruly team, deal with an independent young woman, and share the good news with people on the Roman frontier.

This book will be available the week between Palm Sunday and Easter!

Not the official cover. Official cover to be revealed soon!
Not the official cover. Official cover to be revealed soon! 


The Villa of Lucius Marcus to Justin, greetings in the Lord.

Alina is a fascinating but puzzling woman. I came upon her this morning in the garden, where she was singing her Celtic hymns. When she had finished, we talked about our mission to the house of Nepos. And then I changed the subject. “Callistus has told me that you shared with him the news about the library and its treasures. I thought I had asked you not to tell anyone.”

“Libraries must not be kept a secret,” she retorted, “and in any case, as we both know, it is not your library but the king’s library, and we should have no more right to it than Callistus or anyone else. Furthermore, ownership works differently in the world of the Celts than it does among the Romans.”

I was taken aback by her response. It seemed to me that it only could have been rehearsed in advance. I replied, “At least as far as wives are concerned, for Caesar tells us that wives are shared among groups of ten or twelve men, especially between fathers, brothers and sons.”

“That’s the view of the conqueror,” Alina retorted. “They write the histories, but can they really be trusted to understand the conquered? That’s the way it is with Caesar and all the rest of the victors. They come to conquer and not to listen and learn. And they cover over our culture with their own.”

“Alina,” I responded, “I can’t solve the problem of the war of the cultures, and nor can you. We preach a gospel that affirms and judges all cultures. But I did ask you to keep a secret, and I expected that you would keep it, and you didn’t.”

“Well, I am sorry,” she said, and then began playing her kithara again, and singing the song she has been teaching us with the refrain: Love covers a multitude of sins.

As you can imagine, I am both fascinated and frustrated by Alina. I can hardly deny my growing affection for her. We seem to be at one moment of the same mind and in the next to be worlds apart. I don’t know what to make of her growing friendship with Callistus, who seems to be able to charm and delight the women without effort.

Meanwhile, I cannot allow myself to be distracted from the great work of the mission to Britain. I left Alina in the garden, and walked back to the house. Since the place seemed especially deserted, I decided to explore some of the rooms I had not seen. It seems that the tessellated pavements and painted walls are generally of a high quality, though some have been damaged or poorly repaired. Other richly decorated rooms have been relegated to storage areas or workshops. The wear and neglect have taken their toll. The whole place feels like its greatest days are past, and it is slowly sinking into the earth, which eventually swallows up all. Thank God that what is sown in corruption is raised in incorruption, and that death is swallowed up in victory.

In one of the rooms I came upon a man who was repairing a mosaic pavement. I watched him as he carefully removed the broken tesserae, and put new pieces in their place. He spent much time digging away at the damage until all the broken pieces were removed. Beneath it I saw another, earlier floor of black and white pattern. So I see that when fashion and taste change, new floors are simply laid over old ones. And what a remarkable design this new floor was, a Roman myth laid over Celtic patterns. The central roundel enclosed a head of Medusa, simply laid out in black, red and yellow, with a great mat of hair, interwoven with writhing yellow-eyed snakes. The Medusa herself was surrounded by eight octagonal panels, each enclosing a different kind of flower. I could detect the poor quality of the workmanship from the fact that one of the flowers is badly misshapen. It is true that in the myth Perseus killed Medusa, but this Medusa, this Gorgon, seemed so alive that she still had power to kill men or to turn them into stone. The border of this pavement, which also had a great profusion of design, consisted of circles and squares with tails enclosed. The whole was full of life and business, the work of a Celtic artist attempting Roman design, and laying it over an old floor of elegant patterns of the Celtic type.

I could not get out of my mind Alina’s words about cultural conquest. I stood and watched the craftsman, who did not seem to be aware that he was on show. His skill in repairing seemed an improvement on the original. Here was clearly a master at the art of laying and repairing floors. I commented that I thought the floor was remarkable, but the craftsman gave no reply and kept on working in total concentration, the way we like to do when we are copying the scriptures.

I stood and watched him work for a few more minutes, and then I walked away thinking about what I had seen and heard. One culture is always conquering another. But how should we who preach the good news of Christ respond to culture? Should we seek to destroy the old culture and cover it over with the new? Or does the preaching of the gospel salvage all it can in culture? Did not Christ come to transform the world rather than to destroy it? And did not St. Paul urge the Philippians to think on all that was true and honorable and just and pure, and lovely, and of good report? Did he not affirm anything virtuous or worthy of praise, like the skill of this workman or the haunting Celtic melodies that Alina sings? And I am sure that in village after village as we move through this land, we will need to be sensitive about what should be removed, and what should be recruited and redeemed in this culture.

 Pray for us as we pray for you, and greet all the brothers and sisters in Christ in Rome.

NOTES:34. The Villa of Lucius: For Caesar on the Celts see Barry Cunliff, The Ancient Celts, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997, 109. Marcus cites 1 Cor 15:42, 54. For the Medusa Mosaic see Cunliffe, Fishbourne Roman Palace, 113.

swaddling clothes

The Swaddling ClothesBy Amber Schamel

About the Book

Through the ages, many stories have been told about Mary, Joseph and the birth of the Messiah. Stories of shepherds and sheep, kings, angels, and stables. But there is one story that has never been told. One story that has remained hidden in the fabric of time. The story of The Swaddling Clothes. Mentioned not once, but several times in the Scriptural text, what is the significance of these special cloths? And how did they make their way into a stable in Bethlehem? From the author that brought you the Days of Messiah series comes a whole new adventure critics are calling “intriguing…thought provoking… a fresh twist on an age old story.” “I get tired of Bible stories sometimes, but The Swaddling Clothes brings the story to life.” “Heartwarming… truly inspired. A story you will want to read again and again. Rich details and a suspenseful plot will keep you reading while giving you a glimpse of God’s wonderful power and His amazing love.”


Amber Schamel

Amber Schamel is a multi-published author of Christian Historical Fiction. Her passion for history and culture has led her to travel extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. Amber is actively involved in her church and enjoys volunteer work and music ministry. Raised in a family of twelve children and homeschooled throughout her education, she currently resides in the beautiful state of Colorado where she also serves as bookkeeper and marketing director for their family businesses. Find Amber on her blog, or on all the main social media sites.

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Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Amber Schamel! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

With my third novel, Prince of Malorn, hopefully ready to publish by the beginning of May, I’m conducting a series of “interviews” with my characters.  This one is the fifth.  Enjoy!
I meet with Queen Aleris in one of the richly furnished parlors on the second floor of the Malornian royal palace.  Servants have brought in wine and a tray of tiny, delicately frosted cakes, and we recline on velvet-cushioned sofas as we talk.  The queen, resplendent in a scarlet gown, gestures for me to ask the first question.
What object would you save if your home was on fire?
“Korram’s crown – that is, the crown that will be his in a few months.  It belonged to my late husband, King Kerman, and to Malornian kings before that for generations beyond count.  Regent Rampus is determined to get his hands on it, but I’m just as determined that he will not steal what rightfully belongs to my son.”  She smiles.  “Ironically, Korram hates gold and jewels.  He will be one of those kings who wears the crown only on formal occasions, and even then, perhaps only when I remind him.  Still, it will be enough to know that it’s his.”
Have you ever been in love? How did that work out?
She smiles again, sadly this time.  “Kerman was the first and only person I ever gave my heart to, though it happened gradually.  Ours was partly an arranged marriage; we knew each other, but we weren’t close.  My parents were courtiers, and so I was no stranger to the inside of the palace.  Prince Kerman and I had danced together at balls a few times, and I saw him regularly at royal functions.  Once he had even asked me to go out riding with him, and we both enjoyed that.  But I must admit I was quite surprised and flattered when my parents took me aside one day and told me that his royal highness had spoken to them requesting my hand in marriage.  Our first few years together were challenging; he was always busy, and there’s more to building a solid marriage than saying “I do” to a handsome prince.  Things only grew more difficult after his father died and he was crowned king.  But as the years went by we grew to love each other more and more.  Kerman’s death was just over four years ago now, and I still miss him.”
Describe the view from your bedroom window.
“From out on my balcony, I can see nearly the whole back lawn and garden.  It’s a lovely view, especially in spring when the grass is bright green and all the flowers are blooming.  There are dozens of varieties, and I enjoy them all, but my favorites are the purple irises by the pond.  We have a large, winding pond full of brightly colored fish and water lilies, with willows bending over it from the bank and a little arched bridge over the narrowest part.  There are fruit trees and winding paths all through the garden, with marble sculptures and carved stone benches scattered here and there.  Arden likes to sit out under the apricot tree and practice new songs on his malute.  When the breeze is right, I can hear it from my balcony, and sometimes I sit out there in the evenings to listen.  Beyond the garden, the stone wall is covered with climbing morning glories in six different colors; those are Kalendria’s favorites.  And beyond that, the city of Sazellia stretches for as far as I can see from the third floor.”
What makes you happy now?
“My children,” the queen replies simply.  “Korram and Kalendria are my greatest joys in life.  I only wish Kerman could have been here to watch them grow up; he would have been so proud.  To be honest, though, he had little enough time for them when he was alive.  Ruling a kingdom well takes more time and energy than any one person can really give as it is, and the job doesn’t leave much time for family.  That’s the way it was with his father as well.  I know Kerman meant to spend more time with Korram when our son grew older, to start preparing him for the responsibilities of leadership, but that time never came.”  She sighs.  “One never knows how much time one has left until it’s gone.  But Arden has been a mentor and role model to my son in recent years, and I’m thankful for that.”
What is your greatest fear?
She turns to gaze out the window in silence for a moment.  “That Korram will not live long enough to rule Malorn,” she replies finally, her voice low.  “His eighteenth birthday, the day of his coronation, is just a few months away.  If the regent means to try anything – and we are certain he does – it will doubtless be before then.  That’s why Korram has taken on this mission in the Impassables.  We feel it’s his only hope of survival against Rampus’s schemes.  Of course, Rampus hopes he will never return, and I fear that as well.  The mountains are a dangerous place.  But at the moment I believe the capital would be more dangerous for Korram.”
How did you feel when Korram left for the Impassable Mountains?
She laughs.  “Terrified, of course.  And proud – so proud.  My only son, still a boy, voluntarily stepping out into danger and the unknown to attempt a difficult mission for the good of the kingdom.  And to ensure his own survival, of course.  Kalendria and I were afraid we would never see him again.”  The laughter goes out of her eyes.  “We still are, to be honest.  But we heard from him last month.  A messenger arrived from a small town in the foothills and said Korram had been seen there recently.  Apparently he said to tell Kalendria and me that he’s all right and will see us soon.  When ‘soon’ is, though, who knows?  And there was no word as to how his mission was progressing.  I suspect he was being purposefully vague, knowing that Rampus was likely to hear of anything he said.”
What would you say Korram’s best and worst traits are?
“My son is stubborn.  That can be good and bad, but it has led to perseverance and great determination.  He never gives up when there’s something he really wants, and that helps me believe he will succeed in this mission.  No matter the obstacles, he always seems to find a way.  And he’s headstrong, which goes with the stubbornness.  He doesn’t always heed advice or the wisdom of others when he’s set his mind to something.  He’s bold – that can be a fault as well; I’ve had to caution him to be careful in what he says to Rampus.  It doesn’t do to let one’s enemy know you suspect him before you are in a position to do anything about it, after all.  But that boldness is what gives Korram the courage to do things like set out into the wilderness to confidently attempt what most people would say is impossible.  And Korram is open-minded, refusing to accept that things have to be the way they have always been.  For example, most of our people see the Mountain Folk as danger and inconvenience; he sees them as potential.  But he is impulsive and doesn’t always think before he speaks or acts.  And he doesn’t like crowds or attention or etiquette or formal events – all inescapable parts of life for royalty.  His patience in dealing with them is sometimes less than exemplary.”
What would you say Kalendria’s best and worst traits are?
“My daughter is compassionate and understanding, quick to sympathize with others and stand up for them.  She’s creative and imaginative, and she loves animals and has a way with them.  She has a good eye for color and fashion, but I fear she takes it too far sometimes.  Yes, a princess should be fashionable, but if Kalendria put half the focus into her studies that she does into her wardrobe and hair, she would be the best educated young lady in Sazellia.  Still, she applies herself well when she chooses to, and she knows far more about the workings of the government than I did when I was eleven.  And she’s determined too, persevering to reach her goals even when things are hard.”
Finish this sentence: I have never told anyone this before but….
If I’m not mistaken, I see a blush rise to the queen’s cheeks.  “Don’t tell him I said this, but I could fall in love with Arden if I let myself.  I won’t, of course.  It would never do.  The widowed queen, falling for the court minstrel?  Still, he has been my family’s most loyal friend, not to mention an invaluable adviser to both Kerman and Korram.  And he will make some woman very happy if he can ever tear himself away from his music long enough to give his heart away.”
What’s been your favorite travel destination?
“I’ve always enjoyed visiting Alasia.  I fear that sounds a little disloyal, coming from a Malornian queen, but I like to see new places.  Apart from the Impassable Mountains, Alasia is the one destination we really can’t get to easily from here, not to mention all the possible political problems that could arise from attempting to make more frequent visits.  And so I’ve only been twice: once to attend their previous king’s funeral – that was the year after Kerman and I were married – and once for the current king and queen’s wedding.  Their royal family came here for our wedding, too, and for Kerman’s funeral.  If that rickety little ferry across the Grenn River were safer and more practical, perhaps we could visit each other’s kingdoms more often and conduct trade on a larger scale.  As it is, I fear Alasia and Malorn are likely to remain distantly cordial neighbors for the foreseeable future.”
To post this Grand Finale and add your Social Media to the Rafflecopter, email us at PrismBookTours(at) with “Death by the Book GF” in the subject line.
A themed review tour by Prism Book Tours

It’s the Grand Finale for
Death by the Book
by Julianna Deering

Did you learn a little more about Drew Farthering and this suspenseful series? If you missed any of the posts, go back and check them out now! Then go on and enter the giveaway, if you haven’t already.

Books & Chocolates – Review

There’s murders, controversy and destruction going on in this mind blowing read. Derring will captivate you with each page you turn. “You also wont believe who the real killer is.”

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews – Excerpt

“Not much to go on.” Drew stood and picked up the two halves of the bookend, a bust of Shakespeare only recently separated at the neck. “You did say this had been checked for fingerprints?”

“I did not say. But yes, it has. There aren’t any.” Chief Inspector Birdsong pursed his lips under his shaggy mustache. “Weren’t any.”

Pieces of Whimsy – Author Interview

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your books?

My books vary widely from series to series, but I would say throughout them all is the theme of forgiveness and reconciliation, that God is a merciful, loving God who never leaves us and who walks with us through every trial and that it is never, never too late to turn to Him. Even though my Drew Farthering books tend to be lighter, fun reads, there is still that element in them.

JoJo’s Corner – Review

“Julianna Deering has done it again!!! Spectacular!!!
I love love love this series and I hope it never ends!!!
Drew is absolutely one of my fave all time amateur sleuths- right up there with Hercule Poirot (not an amateur, I know) and Miss Marple.
Who wouldn’t fall for a man who smelled of fresh linen, new books, tea and honey?!?”

Kelly P’s Blog – Excerpt

“I just managed to slip out the back way.” Nick jumped into the car and wiped his sweating face with his handkerchief. “Madeline. She said I had to warn you.”

“What’s happened? Is she all right?”

Crafty Booksheeps – Top Ten Mystery Novels

In choosing my top ten favorite mystery novels, I couldn’t possibly go farther than my trio of favorite authors from the Golden Age of Mystery: Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers.

Continue reading to found out what her top picks were…

The Written Adventure – Excerpt

The chief inspector managed a grim smile. “Ah, Detective Farthering. Good of you to come.”

“Not at all, Inspector. What’s happened?”

“Act Two, it would seem, of our little drama in Winchester last week. I thought perhaps another pair of eyes that saw the aftermath of the Montford murder might help us here.” Birdsong shrugged a little self-consciously. “Saw your car turn into the drive.”

Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Interview About the Cover

About how much time does it take to design a cover like this?

Rules of Murder roughly took 50 hours, give or take, for art direction and design—composition, layout , typography. That included research, team discussions, Illustrator reviews, art direction, thumbnail sketches, type development, character development, image and inspiration research, and revisions/finessing to nail down an approved, final look…

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I loved this book! As soon as I started reading it, I knew it would be hard to put down. I enjoyed everything about it: the time period–1930’s, the location–London (Farthering St. John), a compelling mystery (hatpin murderer), an obstinate aunt, humor, polite society and a light, clean romance.”

Deal Sharing Aunt – Series Inspiration

I am often asked why I started writing my Drew Farthering mysteries. It all came about because I love to read Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers, the queens of the golden age of crime fiction, the 1920s and ’30s. Their famous detectives (Poirot, Campion and Wimsey, respectively) are a delight to read. And the BBC has filmed versions of many of their novels which are always a sumptuous treat. After enjoying the genre for so long, I simply had to try my hand at writing it.

The Wonderings of One Person – Drew Description

There was a little spark of mischief in his gray eyes that she had already come to know so well. Surely even Aunt Ruth couldn’t dislike him for long. In the weeks Madeline had been here in Hampshire, she had seen him with the older ladies in the village– well, with all the women to be honest. He didn’t intentionally flirt, not really, but he was never lacking in charm, charm that was all the more attractive for its artlessness, charm that made them girlish and indulgent whenever he was around.

Cherry Mischievous – Excerpt
“Hello there.” 

They both turned at the decidedly American voice, and Madeline’s face was all-over smiles. 

“Well, hello to you. What are you doing here? Oh, let me introduce you to Drew Farthering. Drew, this is Freddie Bell. I met him yesterday when I was out.”

My Devotional Thoughts – Spotlight
Beck Valley Books – Excerpt

Madeline turned from the shelf where Mrs. Harkness kept books on lace making and other traditional crafts.

“And just why couldn’t she have done it?” She put her hands on her hips and looked up into Drew’s face, a challenge in her periwinkle-blue eyes and a defiant set to her mouth that made it not a whit less captivating than usual. “You never think women are capable of real crime.”

LDS and Lovin’ it – Review

I also found Drew an engaging, sympathetic character who sincerely cared about those he was trying to help. The romance between him and Madeline was sweet and the interfering Aunt Ruth provided a humorous touch. With plenty of unexpected events and suspicious characters, Death by the Book, provides an entertaining and enjoyable read.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Mikado (book 3) Teaser

Even though Death by the Book, the second in my series of Drew Farthering Mysteries, is hot off the press right now, I am thrilled to tell you a little bit about Book Three, Murder at the Mikado.

After everything that happened during the past summer, Drew is happy to have some peace in his life. His company, Farlinford Processing, is doing nicely under competent, trustworthy management, and his relationship with Madeline Parker is better than ever. Everything is going well until an old flame, Fleur Hargreaves, suddenly makes an appearance at Farthering Place begging for Drew to prove her innocence in a murder case.

Tell Tale Book Reviews – Excerpt

Roger’s voice was scarcely a whisper, and so broken that Drew knew he wouldn’t have recognized it if he hadn’t known who it was.

“Drew. Oh . . .”

Drew heard a wrenching sob, then silence once more.

“Roger? I say, Roger!”

“You’ve got to help me. I just . . . I don’t . . . Sweet mercy, she’s dead. She’s dead.”

The Pensive Chronicler – Review

“Julianna Derring did a remarkable job of weaving a wondrous murder mystery set in England around the late 1920’s. It kept me reading into the wee small hours of morning to find out if my suspicions of who the killer could be were right or not.”

Death by the Book (Drew Farthering Mystery #2)Death by the Book
by Julianna Deering
Christian Mystery
Paperback, 320 pages
March 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl’s tearful confession point to the victim’s double life, but what does the solicitor’s murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem–except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn’t at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

Bethany House

Bethany HouseAmazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository
Other Books in the Series:


ALL readers, who are interested, can receive an autographed bookmark. 
You can see a picture of the bookmark here.

Just send a self-address STAMPED (7″ long) envelope to:

Julianna Deering
P. O. Box 375
Aubrey, Texas 76227

Julianna DeeringJulianna Derring has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014).

Website * BlogGoodreads * Twitter * Facebook * Amazon * Novel Crossing * Bethany House

From the author regarding the fabulous GIVEAWAY:

How could one possibly have a cozy mystery 
set in an old manor house in the English countryside near a quaint little village 
and not have tea? 
Drew doesn’t usually take lemon or milk in his. He prefers honey, 
especially if it’s fresh from the hive. 
Mrs. Devon, his housekeeper, spoils him terribly and makes sure he has it.
Print copies of The Rules of Murder and Death by the Book and a Tea Gift Basket (US ONLY)

March 10th – 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab Our Button!
Are you a blogger and want to receive information about new tours? Go HERE.
Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

With my third novel, Prince of Malorn, ready to publish by the middle of May, I’m conducting a series of “interviews” with my characters.  This one is the fourth.  Enjoy!

I meet Trayven in the room of the inn where he has been staying in the Malornian town of Daveen.  He offers me a seat in the chair at the rickety wooden desk, and he sits on the bed under the window.  I pull out my list of questions.

Do you prefer cities or the countryside?
“Cities, definitely.  I hate wilderness life; always have.”
What is the one sentence you would never say?
He scowls.  “I volunteer to attend the prince on his futile trek through the wilderness and report back about his every move.”  His voice is mocking.  “Of course, it made no difference in the end whether I volunteered or not.”
What makes you angry?
“Being used.”  He sighs and picks at the woolen blanket on the neatly made bed.  “That’s the dangerous thing about working in the palace.  You’re basically giving Regent Rampus access to your life, to use it for whatever he wants.  It pays well, though, and if you’re lucky you’ll never have to do anything but your actual job.  But you never know when you might be ordered to do something else, and it doesn’t matter how you feel about it.  You’d better do it well, or you may not live to regret it.” 
Where were you born?
“In a village in the foothills of the Impassables.”  He lowers his gaze as though ashamed to admit it.  “I lived there till I was fifteen, and then finally I couldn’t take it any more and ran away to the capital.” 
What do you do for a living, and why did you choose this career?  Do you like your job?  Why or why not?
“I’m a servant in the palace in Sazellia, or at least, I was until the incident with the prince.  I don’t really know if I still have my job now or not, and I don’t think I want it if I do.”  He looks worried.  “When I ran away to the city, I first found work in an inn a lot like this one.  Cleaning the rooms, serving food in the dining hall, that sort of thing.  Did that for six years and was pretty happy with my life.  Nothing glamorous, but I was in the city, and that’s what I’d always wanted.  Lots to see and do, new people to meet all the time, it didn’t get as cold in the winter, and you never had to worry about Mountain Folk.  I should have just stuck with that, but I met a girl who worked as a maid in the palace, and she told me stories about how grand it was.  I heard they had some positions open, so I went and applied, and next thing I knew they had hired me.  I worked there as a servant for twelve years, and at first I liked it a lot.  But then King Kerman died, and things started to change.  High Councilor Rampus became Regent Rampus since the prince was too young to rule yet, and he was stricter than the king had been.  Bad things happened to people who made mistakes or didn’t do their jobs right.  Not just their pay getting docked the way it used to be.  The regent would give them strange and dangerous things to do.  I don’t know most of the details because nobody ever wanted to talk about it, but you’d see how worried they were, and sometimes they’d be gone on errands for days or even weeks.  And it wasn’t just us servants, either.  It was the same with high councilors and nobles and everyone.  It started gradually, but after a few years with the regent in charge, everyone was afraid to cross him.  A few people tried, but then their family members died, or their businesses failed, or now and then they’d just disappear.  But as long as you did what you were told, things went well for you, so I didn’t worry.  At least, not until recently.”  He sighs.
Where do you live? Is it the best place for you?
“Right now?”  He gestures around at the tiny room with its bed, desk, chair, and closet.  “I’ve been living here for the last few weeks, in between expeditions to the foothills.  It isn’t much of a home, but at least I’m alive and have a roof over my head.  I hate the camping I have to do on each trip, but it’s nice to know I’ve got some place to come back to.  I hope when this is all over I can go home to Sazellia again, but it depends on whether I find what the regent wants and he forgives me.  I’m sure I’ll have to look for another job, but at this point, I’ll be content just to keep my life.”  He shivers and pulls his cloak tighter around himself.
What is your most embarrassing memory?
Trayven’s face turns red before he can even reply.  “It was about three months ago.  There was a banquet at the palace, and I was serving wine to the guests after the meal.  Everyone was listening to the minstrel as he sang one of those historical ballads he’s always coming up with; it was really exciting, and I couldn’t help listening too as I went around with my tray of wine goblets.  I should have been paying better attention to what I was doing, but when that minstrel sings, it’s like there’s a magic spell in the room.  If you’ve ever heard him, you’ll know what it was like.  But the spell broke pretty fast, let me tell you, when I fumbled with my tray right as I was serving the regent and the whole thing slipped out of my hands .”  He shakes his head at the memory.  “Eight silver goblets hit the floor with the loudest crash you’ve ever heard, and wine splashed all over him and me and everyone else sitting close by.  I wished it was the floor itself that had shattered so I could just dive into a hole and let it swallow me up.  I’ve never felt so humiliated in my life – or so terrified.  I was sure the regent was going to have my head then and there.  You should have seen his expression.  But that isn’t his way.  He had my job switched so I was emptying chamber pots and scrubbing latrines after that.  And then when Prince Korram announced this plan of his, of course I was the one who got picked to go with him.  I suppose the regent must have asked around and found out that I grew up in the foothills and knew about wilderness living, so it made sense, but I know it was his way of getting back at me.”
What’s the meanest thing you’ve ever done to someone?
Trayven is instantly defensive.  “I didn’t do it to be mean.  If Prince Korram hadn’t sent me away, I never would have.  But how was I supposed to go back to Regent Rampus without him?  Did he think I could just return to the regent and tell the regent I’d failed in the task he assigned me?  He would have had me executed for certain!  I tried to explain that to the prince, but he wouldn’t listen.  He didn’t want me around any longer, probably because he had plans of his own up there in the mountains that were different than he’d told people, and he didn’t want anyone finding out.  So all I could think to do was to go hide somewhere, start a new life in another part of Malorn where the regent wouldn’t find me.  And for that I needed money.”  He glares at me as though I’ve accused him of something.  “I had no choice!”  He thumps his fist against the pillow.  “But how was I supposed to know that Dannel would find out and come after me for it?  And now the regent’s going to have me executed anyway, unless I succeed in my new mission.”
What was it like spending those weeks with Prince Korram in the wilderness?
“I hated it, mostly.  I mean, being with the prince was all right.  He’s the quiet sort, which is what I prefer.  He doesn’t make pointless conversation for the sake of hearing himself talk, like some people do.  And he learns fast.  I figured I was going to have to wait on him hand and foot, but he wanted me to teach him everything I knew about wilderness survival, and as soon as he’d learned, he did his share.  Hunting, fishing, lighting a campfire, finding the spots that made the best campsites, even loading the mules.  It was like he couldn’t wait to get out of the palace and try life in the wilderness, just the opposite of me.  He loved sitting by the fire at night roasting meat on a spit, and all I wanted to do was get home to where I could sleep in a real bed and buy a supper I didn’t have to catch and skin myself.  Worst of all, he wanted to find some of those Mountain Folk.  The boy had some crazy idea he could get them to help him, but anyone who’s grown up in the foothills knows those savages don’t help anyone but themselves.  And then when we actually found some, he insisted on camping close by and spending every day with them, talking to them, trying to get to know them.”  Trayven’s voice is filled with disgust.  “They’re filthy and ignorant and they smell as bad as the goats they keep.  When I was a boy we always had to watch out for them, especially in winter when they come down low to escape the snow on the higher peaks.  They would steal crops and eggs from our chickens, and then either run away like the cowards they are or threaten us with their spears if we tried to stop them.  I hate those vermin!  The whole time we were camped by them, I always felt like they were watching me.  As worried as I was when the prince sent me away, in some ways it was a relief to leave.”
What is your political leaning?
“Oh, politics don’t matter much to me.  Prince Korram’s a decent person, but he’s young and foolish and probably won’t make much of a king.  Regent Rampus is smart and always knows what he’s doing, but he’s dangerous and cruel and I don’t know what kind of king he’d be either.”  Trayven glances over at me worriedly.  “You won’t tell him I said that, will you?”  I assure him I won’t.  “So personally, I don’t care, as long as I can stay out of both of their ways.  I suppose they probably both want my head now.  Fortunately, only one of them is likely to live past the next few months, and then things will be a little simpler.”
What is your greatest fear?
“That I won’t find what I’m looking for.  I’m afraid all the time; I hardly sleep at night.  But if that Dannel fellow is right, I can redeem myself for what I did – as long as I succeed now.  I just hope he is telling the truth and the regent will forgive me.  It’s my only chance.”
Click here to find out about Prince of Malorn, the third book in the Annals of Alasia, and read more interviews with the characters in it.

Click here to read my interviews with characters from my book In the Enemy’s Service.
Death by the Book (Drew Farthering Mystery #2)

Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl’s tearful confession point to the victim’s double life, but what does the solicitor’s murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem–except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn’t at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

Bethany House

Bethany House * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository
Other Books in the Series:
Q&A with Paul Higdon, Bethany House Art Director
Did you base the people on photos of models, and the background on a specific scenery photo, or did you create them from scratch?
To answer this question, I’ll explain the process. At the beginning I needed a brand look for the series. To create this I needed to team with a designer and illustrator. I reviewed perhaps a dozen U.S. and overseas artists before selecting John Mattos from San Francisco for Julianna’s series. Then I chose Jeff Miller, an award winning designer at Faceout Studio in Bend, Oregon for his layout and conceptual skills.
The cover models were established from a mix of character descriptions from the author’s early manuscript, model/photo references, and various time period inspirations. The info was collected to be given to John. This nationally renowned artist used his illustrative genius to envision and create the Drew Farthering and Madeline Parker characters.
John was very in-tune with the styling we wanted for the cover art, so his experience helped push details to next level. The art deco graphic style also influenced the colors and architectural elements in the background and overall composition. Jeff then applied his typographic layout to John’s art. In all I probably evaluated six or seven variations before deciding on the final design.
About how much time does it take to design a cover like this?
Each cover varies in time and is unique to its story, setting, and list of characters. Death by the Book was a follow-up title to the first book, Rules of Murder. So there was some advantage when designing Death by the Book because we were able to pick up and continue a lot of the styles established on Rules of Murder.
Rules of Murder roughly took 50 hours, give or take, for art direction and design—composition, layout , typography. That included research, team discussions, Illustrator reviews, art direction, thumbnail sketches, type development, character development, image and inspiration research, and revisions/finessing to nail down an approved, final look.
Once the series was established the following titles average around 15-20 hours, give or take, of art direction and design. The actual artwork by John occurs separately from this process and each cover takes approximately 30 hours, using his computer illustration skills.
What are the challenges of creating an illustrated cover compared to a more traditional cover?
Creating an illustrated cover can be much more challenging than a photographic and/or traditional cover because the latter is usually driven by photography that is already established, or can be more easily manipulated to suit a cover design. That’s not always the case, but pure illustrative covers require more leg work from the get-go because you’re creating imagery from a blank canvas, and that usually means more heavily involved steps. Finding an illustrator who is a good fit is also an unique challenge, and you have to be able to communicate in visual terms with them in order to get the results our marketing/sales team needs, and the quality our readers expect.
Another challenge facing us today is the reluctance by sales leaders to try new ways of doing things. Because DREW FARTHERING MYSTERIES employs a stylized illustration concept, our sales team had to be convinced this would work for our market. Bethany is known as a leader in fiction cover design and it is important we continually seek out fresh ways of representing our authors and their stories.
Which of the three covers in the series do you like best, and why?
This is tough. I honestly like all three covers for different reasons. Rules of Murder will always be a favorite, because it established the series look and feel. We were proud of the final results. Jeff, the designer, is also a huge car fan, so to be able to include a vintage car from the early part of last century was fun for him. Murder at the Mikado is also a stand out in my mind because of the layering, and slightly more abstract perspectives. It was also a fun challenge to depict the setting with a night scene. Because of the overall dramatic perspective I would have say that Murder at the Mikado is my favorite, so far…
Links to download the covers:

Julianna DeeringJulianna Deering has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, Summer 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, Spring 2014) and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, Summer 2014).

Website * Blog * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook * Amazon * Novel Crossing * Bethany House
ALL readers who are interested can receive an autographed bookmark. 
You can see a picture of the bookmark here.

Just send a self-address STAMPED (7″ long) envelope to:

Julianna Deering
P. O. Box 375
Aubrey, Texas 76227

From the author regarding the fabulous GIVEAWAY:

How could one possibly have a cozy mystery 
set in an old manor house in the English countryside near a quaint little village 
and not have tea? 
Drew doesn’t usually take lemon or milk in his. He prefers honey, 
especially if it’s fresh from the hive. 
Mrs. Devon, his housekeeper, spoils him terribly and makes sure he has it.
Print copies of The Rules of Murder and Death by the Book and a Tea Gift Basket (US ONLY)

March 10th – 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour:
Books & Chocolates
Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Pieces of Whimsy
JoJo’s Corner
Kelly P’s Blog
Crafty Booksheeps
The Written Adventure
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima
My Devotional Thoughts
Beck Valley Books
Mel’s Shelves
Deal Sharing Aunt
The Wonderings of One Person
Cherry Mischievous
LDS and Lovin’ it
My Love for Reading Keeps Growing
Tell Tale Book Reviews
The Pensive Chronicler
3/21 – Grand Finale

Grab Our Button!
Are you a blogger and want to receive information about new tours? Go HERE.
Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

On tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to my Book Tour stop for
His Hometown Girl

His Hometown GirlHis Hometown Girl
by Karen Rock
Mass Market Paperback, Large Print, 331 pages
March 1st 2014 by Harlequin

He’d always managed to best her…

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he’s not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that’s always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

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An Excerpt from the Novel:

    Red, pink, yellow and purple flashed as she watched fireworks paint colorful patterns against black velvet. Her mouth trembled when she felt his eyes on her. “Daniel. Aren’t you going to watch the show?”
     “When I see something more beautiful, I will.”
     She looked at him then, her mouth parted in surprise and, as if unable to resist, he pulled her against him. The feel of him drove away rational thought, the drumbeat of her heart registering in her stomach.
     “Daniel. No,” she murmured, but couldn’t move from such warm arms, every breath drawing in his faint smell of musk and fresh air, her heart full of him.
     He laid his cheek against hers. “Why?” he whispered in her ear, his voice rough.
     “You know why,” she whispered back, though there was no one to hear them, the distant crowd more focused on the sky. It was getting harder and harder to remember her reasons for resisting him.  Her gaze drank in the shape of him—the breadth and contours of his chest, the sharp line of his widow’s peak that her fingers had traced so many times, and his eyes, above all his incredible eyes. Confronted with his nearness, Jodi understood that she was fighting familiarity, a profound kind of recognition.
     He stroked the back of her head. “I know the timing is lousy, but if we—”
     “But we’re not. It makes no sense when I imagine it,” she said, almost to herself, and pulled away. His absence registered, the way it had once before, as cold rushing in to fill the void.
    “So you do think about it.” His eyes lit up. “About us.”
     Her sigh felt as though it came from the deepest part of her. “Oh, Daniel.”
     He cupped her cheeks. “We can make this work.”
     Her brows came together. “Impossible. We both have too much to lose.”
     He seemed ready to argue, opening his mouth and then closing it at her firm head shake. At last, he pulled her close instead. “Our loss, yes.”
     The thought caught in her soul as he let her go.
     She rose unsteadily, an impressive display of pyrotechnics signaling the show’s end.  “I’d better get back in case Tyler wakes.”
     They looked at each other. She didn’t want to go, the thought of leaving him and this beautiful moment behind an almost physical ache.
     “If you’re sure.”
     “I’m sure,” she said, her trembling voice giving her away. There was nothing more to say. Or too much.

Karen Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother’s family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. 
For more information about Karen’s upcoming books, check out her website, Facebook page, or follow her on twitter. She’d love to hear from you!

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