Monday, May 7, 2018



Oh Italy! What a historic wonderland of art and culture! I love Cara’s descriptions of the masterpieces that were sought after for protection by Lieutenant Scott Lindstrom—the Monument Man in this story. Cara Putman shared the landscape of war and desperation with language in hues that were well placed, as though a skillful paintbrush of description brought her story to life.  Italy, during World War II, was not just a fascinating place to visit (in a novel) but also the perfect time and place for Captain Rachel Justice’s journey and exploration. Well done Cara Putman!

The Third Reich moved around Italy devastating ancient art and architecture and killing those who remained in their way. There is tension throughout this novel and I kept turning those pages because of my concern for my new imaginary friends—the heroine and hero! I appreciated the support characters also. This story flowed and was easy to read and enjoy!

I’ve read other World War II novels, though this isn’t the usual time period for me. But never have I explored a novel set in Italy—especially with Nazis attacking and creating havoc on land and in the sky. It only took me a matter of days to enjoy Cara’s novel to the end and I highly recommend this read. I liked her heroine and the hero, and some of the support characters and their reactions to life on the pages. I also appropriately didn’t like the trouble-making bad guy! 

This story made me smile and remember that I’d tried to take Latin in high school, so that I could travel with my class to Italy many moons ago—but my mom was wise to my motivation! Who could blame me for trying!

If you want to enjoy, be entertained, and experience the past with excellent characters and a clean story – I advise you pick this book up and enjoy!

1)     This is a fascinating take on the World War II. How did you choose the Monument’s Men theme?

I have always loved history. That’s one, key reason I love writing historical fiction set during World War II. I also have a great respect for the men and women of the Greatest Generation. I want to tell their stories well and honor what they did.

For Shadowed by Grace, I relied on numerous nonfiction resources. From The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson I learned details about what Naples was like after it had been liberated by the Allies even to Italian women being paid with monopoly money. In Where the Action Was by Penny Colman I learned many details of what it was like to be a woman correspondent on the European front. I discovered War in Val d’Orica, a diary kept by a British woman who married an Italian and lived in Tuscany during WWII. It brought to life what it was like to live in occupied Italy. You can imagine my delight when the author referenced the Monuments Men in her journal.

2)     Do you have a favorite artist or painting that would be represented in this story?

There were so many…I fell in love with art during an Art Appreciation course in college. My favorites didn't necessarily make it into this book, but Primavera is an amazing painting. It’s housed at the Uffizi in Florence, and I’ve stood in front of it twice. It is amazing!

3)     Do you have a fact or scene that you would like to share that had to be left out of this story?

I actually have a couple that I’ve posted on my website. Kind of the hidden scenes. Your readers can access the lost chapters, here:

4)     What is your next story that is coming out?

My next book is Delayed Justice, which releases in October. This is a contemporary romantic legal suspense set in Washington, D.C. I have really enjoyed writing these books because I’m an attorney and lived in the DC area for eight years. It’s been like coming home to write this series involving a group of women who are five years out from law school, and now embroiled in diverse careers and cases. At the same time, they’re finding love, which is so fun!

Here’s more on it:
She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard.
Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women who are in harm’s way drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jamie, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her young life apart.

Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. But as Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.

This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of words given voice and the resolution of wrongs. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

5) How do you wish for your readers to connect with you?
I love to interact with my readers in many ways. They can find me in the following places:


Thank you Cara for an excellent interview! I appreciate your time and talent and your ability to tell a tale! I look forward to reading more of your novels and I believe that the readers here will be excited to read your novels too!

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green


Jocelyn Green is an author to follow! Her depth of character and plot spins the reader into a tightly woven web that does not let go until you finish the last delicious page!

Julianne Chevalier’s story begins in Paris, France in 1719—such a different time and place, especially for those caught in untoward circumstances. Jocelyn takes the reader back to the unfairness and severity of eighteenth century law. Those judgments made were much different than those of our court system today.

I immensely liked and cared about the main character’s journey. The oppositional characters earned my distrust and dislike!

As the story begins I was able to sink myself into the time period and consider for the first time the true-life struggles and conflicts that 1719 French women experienced. Mindsets and social expectations conditioned judgmental attitude toward others when they were accused of a crime.

The pacing and content of this historical provided excellent involvement for this reader. My imagination flew boundless as I followed Julianne’s experiences in France and as she acclimated herself to the heat and humidity of New Orleans, Louisiana. One circumstance lead to another, which evolved into a tale that is unforgettable and gripping.

This is a well written story which caught my emotions in a vice grip. The characters from Adelaide to Benjamin Chevalier as well as everyone in-between were noteworthy and interesting. I highly recommend this novel and this author for your reading pleasure! If you take my advice grab your tissues, block out some uninterrupted time—for you will not want to put this novel down! Well done, Jocelyn Green. I look forward with expectation to your future reads!

Questions for Jocelyn:

1)     What or who inspired your story?

It started with a list of names I found online. Genevieve, Catherine, Marie-Louise, Angelique….Aged 20. 17, 16, 24…These were names and ages of real women who were transferred from the Paris prison and orphanage of Salpetriere to go settle New Orleans in the early 1700s. I was hooked! I had to find out more, and found history that was both fascinating and new to me. There are many excellent books set in the British colonies, but the French colony of Louisiana seems to be much lesser known. The years of forced immigration, whereby Paris cleaned out its prisons to populate a floundering wilderness, was just too rife with story potential to ignore. It’s a story of incredible hardship and courage, fear and hope, judgment and redemption. It also offered an opportunity to unlock a slice of American history most of us know little about, which appeals to me a great deal.
2)     Have you been interested in France and New Orleans, Louisiana for very long?
I’m interested in France because my brother was a missionary there and married my sister-in-law who grew up outside of Paris. Before I’d heard about the French plan to colonize Louisiana, I was probably about as interested in New Orleans as most people, but the main thing I associated with it for a while was Hurricane Katrina. Now, of course, I think of what it must have been like way back when it was founded. It’s interesting to note that the site for the settlement was contested even then, and it flooded often.
3)     Laura Frantz wrote that you both created a tie between your heroines from her novel The Lacemaker and your novel A Refuge Assured. I LOVE that you did that. How did this come about?
We love the connection, too! It came about because I read her author newsletter, and she mentioned the heroine of her upcoming novel was a lacemaker. Just like mine. Both of our stories were pretty far along in the process, too. I emailed Laura immediately and we compared the similarities and differences in our stories. Laura’s story is set in colonial Williamsburg on the eve of the American Revolution. Mine starts in Paris during the French Revolution and quickly moves to Philadelphia in 1794. The connection between the lacemakers was easy to imagine, because lacemaking is typically a tradition passed down from one generation of women to the next. Laura and I had a great time creating a family tree with roots in France, and determining where the branches reached to England before spanning the ocean to America. Our heroines don’t interact with each other in either book, but the eagle-eyed readers will catch the mention of great-grandmothers they shared in each one.  
4)     If you could become skillful with an eighteenth-century craft – what would it be?
Lacemaking is so amazing but I think I’d go with embroidery. It seems a little more versatile for today’s culture.
5)     Did you have family who were lacemakers or seamstresses? If so, did you have the pleasure of knowing them first hand or did you hear about them and dream...
Not that I’m aware of!
6)     What other fiction stories have you written? What will be next?
Besides The Mark of the King and A Refuge Assured (two stand-alone novels), I’ve also written a four-book Civil War series called Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War. Those books are Wedded to War, Widow of Gettysburg, Yankee in Atlanta, and Spy of Richmond. I’m also honored to have a novella included in The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection, which has four other novellas authored by Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Maureen Lang, and Joanne Bischof. My next book will release February 2019, and it is titled Between Two Shores. It’s set during the Seven Years War in Montreal, New France.
7)     How do want your readers to contact you?

My Web site is and has links on the contact page to all other places online where I hang out.
What do you say reader? Are you as ready to sign up for Jocelyn Green's news letters and do you have an incredible urge to go shopping for her novels! If you do--we are of one and the same mind!
Thank you all for stopping by!




Let us know if your attending so we can save a seat just for you!

MAY 15, 2018

Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Faith Free Church

2201 42nd St.

Manitowoc, WI  54220

This month’s speaker is Susan Marlene. Susan will share a teaching on This, That & The Other Thing! This will be a merging of information regarding dialogue, plot and whatever else captivates Susan’s mind! Come join us as we seek, retrieve and sneak a peek at this hodgepodge of tools and techniques!

Prompt:  This That & The Other Thing! If you wish to use this as practice for your cozy, or poem or short story – etc. the world is your oyster! Enjoy! Yes, you may write a blurb or scene for this prompt if you like.

Pens Novel Readers: Susan Marlene is putting together a group email for those who want to join in picking novels and discussion meetings. (We want to respect those who are too busy or who are uninterested in a reader’s group.)

Stop at a local coffee shop or bring your own coffee or soda and relax with us a while.


May the Lord bless your creative endeavors as you write for Him! Any concerns or questions feel free to contact or