I Cry Out to the Lord, a post by Susan Karsten

Don’t be alarmed at me crying out…just in prayer! “Just” — that’s an understatement. As one of God’s children, I have access to my Heavenly Father at all times.

While jogging this morning, thoughts whirling, I started calling God’s name. My mind settled and little things started coming into notice. Little things – is not our God a God of the little and the big?

The inside of my right knee stopped twinging. My meager 1-2 mile run could continue apace.

I saw a charming sight. A small boy, in his shade-dappled yard, throwing a ball to himself, and whacking it. Practicing his hitting. He looked surprised when I gave him a little round of applause as I chugged past.

My bandanna, the one I had folded into a makeshift headband to keep my hair out of my face, slipped down over my left ear. Phffft! A large bug hit the bandanna, right over my ear. Just think of the horror if the bandanna hadn’t fallen over my year. A large bug would have gone into my ear – a direct hit. Praise God for slipping bandannas. Is anything left to chance? I wonder at that.

I reached home looking forward to one of my favorite household tasks, hanging laundry on a line. Wow! I have a dryer and a clothesline – I am blessed.

You are a shield around me, O Lord, my Glorious One, who lifts up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud and He answers me from His holy hill.    (an excerpt from Psalm 3)


And, I get to see my grandson later today. Life is still good.

Singapore Secrets, by Irene Onarato

Susan Karsten here with a really great read to tell you about. Irene Onarato is an author I have “met” through my own writing journey. She and I got to know each other while exchanging critiques on some of our novels. I am thrilled to do a review of one of her first published novels, Singapore Secrets, published by eLectio Publishing. (I did not critique this.)

101_0952.JPGI don’t know if Irene has been to Singapore, or had any of the exciting experiences that fill the pages of this book, but it sure felt real. I very much enjoyed the sensitive treatment of the romance between Julia and Gabriel and journeying along on their adventures. But, things aren’t as they seem, and true love has a rocky, bumpy ride until the couple works through some significant hurdles.

The dramatic action and fight scenes near the end of the book are extremely well-written. Not everyone can do a scene like that and pull it off. I felt as if I was in the room with Julia and the realism was excellent.

What a joy it is for me to see the success of such a good writing friend. I recommend Singapore Secrets.

Sea Rose Lane, by Irene Hannon

Susan here, happily sharing about a special novel. It’s now official, Irene Hannon is one of my most favorite Writers in the Christian inspirational romance fiction market. She reliably delivers touching, well-written, creative, and unique romances which one can relax and enjoy.


In her latest offering ~ Hannon’s 50th published novel ~ We are transported off to the northwest United States. To the shore of Oregon. Before I tell you a little bit of enticing information about the novel, I want to mention that Hannon ventured into some new territory this time, featuring a minor character who seemed to have a bit of the “second sight”. The taco vendor (what is the fascination with fish tacos? – tried them and did not understand the sensation they have raised:) is something of a prophet and there is also a seal who seems to rear his head (?) at likely moments. I admire writers who can add whimsical touches like these without losing the thread of the main plot. I enjoyed these elements.

In the book, A female architect meets a laid-off big-time young hot-shot lawyer. Sparks soon fly, and the journey to true love is truly enjoyable. I highly recommend Hannon’s books.


An Elegant Facade, by Kristi Ann Hunter

Hello! Susan  here, with my latest fiction review. Kristi Hunter, the author of this novel, is someone I “know”. She and I were part of a now-folded group blog featuring a group of aspiring Regency authors. Kristi has hit the jackpot with her multi-book contract with Bethany House. I’ve even seen her books at the local Christian book store. So, anyway, this review is done as part of Kristi’s promotional efforts and I am glad to help her out by spreading the news about her fine book.


Delightful from page one, the reader enters the complicated world of the Regency marriage mart, and soon learns that espionage plays a part in the road to romance between these pages.

Intrigued from some of the first few pages, you will enjoy the ride as Hunter reveals characters’ motivations a page at a time. Lots of secrets lurk between the lines and we must read on to the finale we crave.

All Summer Long, by Melody Carlson

Hi, Susan here, with another book review ~~ this time Melody Carlson’s latest fiction: All Summer Long.


Gentle, romantic, interesting — need I say more? Carlson’s trademark (IMO) is her smooth plotting. Not a lot of suspense, but a lot of good content and relaxing escape.

In All Summer Long, you’ll be going along with a young lady,Tia, who is hired to not only be the chef on a restaurant yacht, but to spearhead the renovations. This story takes you away as you go with Tia on her adventure in San Fransisco. She re-unites with her first crush, navigates tricky interpersonal waters, and takes on a lot of responsibility.

Lest I spoil the charming tale for you, I won’t give more details, but I will highly recommend this one as another enjoyable read from the reliable writer, Melody Carlson.

Comment with your favorite thing about SF.

The Saddle Maker’s Son, by Kelly Irvin

Susan here, with another review of the latest book from Kelly Irvin. She’s, in my opinion, the best writer of Amish fiction that I have come across.


From her unusual plots, to her sensitive and realistic portrayals of the Amish life, Kelly Irvin hits many high notes with her plots, characters, and setting.

This time out, you might enjoy the intriguing sub-plot regarding two siblings from South America who are hiding out near the book’s Texas location/community. These lovable, brave children galvanize the tight-knit community to work through the ethics and realities of this little slice of immigration.

The romance is solid, and the writing smooth. I recommend this as another high-quality offering in the Amish fiction genre.

Murder Comes by Mail, by A. H. Gabhart

Susan here, with a review of an exciting new release from Revell Publishing. Murder Comes by Mail is a cozy mystery. Number two in the series, readers will find a charming setting in the little town of Hidden Springs. One will also stumble across a charming, subtle hero in Sheriff Michael Keane.

Things have a way of surprising the townsfolk and taking twists and turns that no one expects. A killer is taunting the town and forcing Keane out of his comfort zone. The cozy mystery is one of my favorite genres to read and now, to write (watch for my cozy: Crazy Dead sometime in the future:).



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