Thursday, February 28, 2008

Reclaiming Nick & Taming Rafe by Susan May Warren - Review/Interview

Reclaiming Nick (Noble Legacy Series #1) by Susan May Warren
soft cover, 2006, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN 141431017X
370 pgs.

Nick Noble becomes a modern day prodigal son in Reclaiming Nick, Susan May Warren’s first novel in her Noble Legacy Series. Not only is Nick Noble covering a wounded heart, he’s also bitter at the turn of events concerning his family’s ranch, The Silver Buckle. Heading home to right the wrongs he feels have been done to him, the wounds of his past are reopened.

Piper Sullivan is a woman undercover, following Nick home and posing as a ranch cook. Although she can’t cook worth beans, she keeps up the farce hoping to force a confession from Nick’s past cop days and the brother he put behind bars.

Between the high emotion, the attempts to right perceived wrongs, and the attraction between two unlikely people, comes a story of restoration. Susan May Warren writes a powerful story with characters that live and breathe.
Paula Miller


Taming Rafe (Noble Legacy Series #2) by Susan May Warren
soft cover, 2007, Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 1414310188
400 pgs.

It takes 8 seconds to win fame, fortune and glory in the bull riding arena. But it takes less for Rafe Noble to lose everything he has worked for and more. Running from broken dreams and remorse over the loss of his friends' life, Rafe's behavior spirals out of control. Crashing his truck into a ritzy hotel he trashes the lobby and the fund-raising event inside. Broken and bitter he returns to his family's ranch to heal.

Katherine Breckenridge follows Rafe to Montana, furious with his careless behavior that cost her desperately needed funding to save her mother's bankrupt charity foundation. Katherine's determined to get money from him somehow, even if she has to wrangle it out of him. But nothing can prepare her for dealing with Rafe face-to-face. Hard as nails on the outside, Katherine is unprepared for the man she discovers.

Together they try to find a way to help Katherine's charity and uncover what happened to half a million dollars that mysteriously disappeared. As the seconds tick by Katherine's finds her life in danger and Rafe puts his own on the line for one last ride to save her, but will 8 seconds be enough?

Susan May Warren, kept me captivated in her book Taming Rafe. From the sweat-breaking adrenaline ride in the beginning to the taming of a tall, dark and handsome cowboy, I found myself breathlessly turning the pages to the end. After all who can resist a rugged dark-haired cowboy when he turns on the charm?

Gail Quistorff


Award winning author Susan May Warren recently returned home to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND Internationl in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods.

Paula: Susan, thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us here at Reviews By Two - Christian Books. We're full of questions for you so we'll start right off . . .

You will be teaching at the Minnesota Christian Writer's Guild spring event on April 14th. Your topic is How to Get your Groove: The Basics of Novel Writing. Why is this topic close to your heart?
Susan: I lived in Far East Russia, in the middle of nowhere when God gave me the nudges (or should I say, hard push!) to write. I was desperate for “how to” books and classes, and spent hours on my knees praying for instruction and dissecting books that I’d read so I’d learn how to write. There is so much that goes into writing a book, and that can be overwhelming to an aspiring author. I love to teach, so I’ve taken the lessons I learned over the years, added some of my techniques and put them together in a way that (I think!) is fun and allows a beginning (and even intermediate) author to leave the class and put together their own novel.

Paula: The north shore of Minnesota is one of your favorite spots because it's where you met your husband and where your first series is based. Can you tell us a little of those stories?
Susan: My first words to my husband were, “Can I borrow your hammer?” I like to say we “hit it off,” from there. *g* I always loved camping and the wilderness, and he was such a cutie with his long hair, his black leather jacket, his motorcycle. He looked “bad” but under all that was a man who loved the Lord and wanted to be a missionary. What a package! Our first outing together was swimming in the turbulent waters above the Devil’s Kettle, and I nearly got swept downstream. I knew he was the one for me when I found him (after hiking down the river) hanging over the river from a tree branch, getting ready to “catch” me should I float by!

Paula: What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Your first stand alone novel was Letters from the Enemy, by Heartsong in 2004. Since then you’ve written an amazing 15+ novels. With a family, speaking, teaching, and simply being you, when do you find time to write?
Susan: I love to write, so it’s a priority right after spending time with the Lord, and my family. I spend about 4-6 hours/day writing, and the rest of the time researching and learning. I am grateful to have a family who really pitches in to help me with chores and cooking!

Paula: What a blessing to have a family that supports your writing. God brings so many situations into our lives to teach, mold and change us. Was there a time you felt He was doing something extra special in your writing career?
Susan: I’ll never forget sitting in a fishing boat with my hubby and his pals, and discovering that one of them had family out in Montana ! I was hoping to write a series set in Montana , and here was my research connection! God does cool things like that – surprising me with contacts, or ideas, or even spiritual epiphanies as I surrender my writing to Him.

Paula: Novice writers always hear the advice, “just keep writing”. Do you have anything to add to help them along?
Susan: Read!!! I am constantly reading a book, and taking notes on things that work (or don’t work) in a book, analyzing the story structure, the characterization and even the turns of phrases that I love. (and why!) Keep a “craft” journal to capture these thoughts and return to it often.

Paula: Great advice, Susan! Now, you’re the heroine in your own thrilling life story as well. Living in Russia, living out your dreams on the north shore, becoming a published author. . . But we all know characters have quirks - can you share one of yours?
Susan: I’m a little OCD. *g* Can’t sleep if there are closet doors open, or lights shining anywhere. And I have to have my writing “chair” – a big blue leather chair I found on sale with tall arms that sort of “cacoons” me into it. When I lived in Russia , I had another chair – a lovely purple and green one that had the same effect. I thought my writing career was over until I found a new chair in America!

Paula: Taming Rafe just came out and it’s doing great. Congratulations! What did God show you personally while writing your newest novel?
Susan: I think I have situational memory loss because every time I start a book, I panic, and think - -what was I thinking? I can’t write this, and it’s going to be shallow and stupid…and then God reminds me that He called me to this, He will equip me, and that I just have to trust Him for each chapter. I re-wrote Kat’s spiritual epiphany scene about 15 times before I just surrendered and let God do it. I wish I wasn’t such a slow learner!

Paula: What’s your favorite thing to do to relax and get away - even if you‘re still at home?
Susan: READ. And I love to take walks.

Paula: Your writing style is astounding and loved by everyone who reads your works. What is one thing you learned that has helped your writing style?
Susan: Oh, thank you! What a sweet thing to say! I think the most important element is to be true to the voice of the characters. I take a lot of time to understanding who they are and listening to their voice, and doing that helps them speak their story out on the page.

Paula: There was a time you were planning on heading back to Russia. How has God opened ministry doors for you in Northern Minnesota instead?
Susan: We are very involved in our local church – running the children’s church program and helping with the building project. I definitely believe that God called us here, and we’ll stay until He calls us some place else!

Paula: Susan, thanks so much for talking with us and giving our readers a glimpse of Susan May Warren. It was great having you!

You can catch up with Susan at her website at

And here's the link for the contest Susan’s running during the blog tour - don't miss it!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

When the Morning Comes by Cindy Woodsmall - Review

When the Morning Comes by Cindy Woodsmall
softcover, 2007, WaterBrook Press
ISBN 140007293X
336 pages

Cindy Woodsmall once again carries us into the Amish world in her book When the Morning Comes, Book 2 in her series Sisters of the Quilt.

We are brought once again into Hannah Lapp’s life as she flees her Old Order Amish community to find peace and healing in the home of her aunt who was long ago shunned. Plunged into an unknown world Hannah struggles to find her way through the difficulties of education, job hunting, and understanding the Englischer world.

Paul Waddell remains back in Owl Perch eaten away by guilt over his reaction to Hannah’s secret. He tries fruitlessly to find Hannah through the help of her friends and brother. But the Amish life is strict and Hannah’s father refuses to bend causing more anguish to Hannah’s already mentally unstable sister, Sarah.

Hannah begins to find purpose and fulfillment in her new life and friendship with Martin Palmer, but when the past finds her will she face her past and return home?

Ms. Woodsmall once again makes it hard to leave Hannah’s story and leaves us waiting impatiently for the next chapter of her life.

Posted By: Gail Quistorff