Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rachelle McCalla Book List

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Interview with Rachelle McCalla
Please tell us five things about yourself that most folks don't know. 
1.    I got my first job (at a Burger King) when I was 14, and I’ve been working ever since.
2.    I once participated in a beauty pageant (no, I didn’t win—I didn’t even place—but I had a lot of fun and met some really awesome ladies who I’m still friends with and so glad I met).
3.    I coached Special Olympics swimming for four years (during college) and loved it!
4.    My husband and I took our four kids (then aged 4, 7, 8 & 10) to Scotland and England for two weeks last summer. We did not see the Loch Ness monster, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
5.    I took my son to taekwondo lessons for about three months before I decided it would be more fun to participate than watch. I’ve now caught up to his belt level and we’re both determined to be black belts.

Name one thing about yourself that would shock readers if they knew. 
I’m an ordained Presbyterian minister.

When not writing, what hobbies do you enjoy? 
I love splitting wood for the wood stove that heats our home (really—it’s great exercise). Speaking of exercise, I registered to run my first marathon this May. And I’ve recently been brushing up on my German (which I haven’t spoken much since college) in preparation for another trip to Europe.

What is the strangest real life situation that is in one of your stories? 
There are quite a few, but one that sticks out in my mind happens early in the book Danger on her Doorstep, when the main character discovers that the cellar door of the home she’s inherited has been pushed in…and the intruder may be lurking inside. My husband and I bought a condemned old house and fixed it up, but not before someone broke into the basement. It was very unsettling looking at that door sagging inward off its hinges—both for me and the characters in the book.

When did you start writing? 
I wrote my first book in the first grade. It was titled What is Fun for Me. I was also the illustrator. It was self-published and had a print run of one.

What is your favorite genre? 
You want me to pick just one? I don’t know if I can do that—I can’t even write in just one. I love fantasy books and time travel books, alternate histories and—swoon—steampunk.

Have you traveled to do research for your books? 
Yes, very much so! My first two books were set in Bayfield, Wisconsin, where my husband and I lived for a year-and-a-half. And I traveled to the Czech Republic and Austria to do research for The Girl Who Started the War to End All Wars. And I’m so glad I did—neither would have turned out one fraction as good without those experiences.

Do you enjoy reading your own stories? 
Surprisingly, yes, no matter how much I might be sick of them by the time I get through all the revisions and editing stages, I still enjoy my stories—in fact, sometimes when I go back to look up a detail in order to be consistent with sequels, I get caught up reading the story for several more pages than I need to read, just because I love the stories so much. If I didn’t love them, I don’t think I could write them.

Do you laugh and cry while writing your books? 
You’ve been spying on me, haven’t you?

Favorite book or character you have written? 
Oh, my, that’s hard to pick. I fall in love with all my heroes. Some of the characters in The Girl Who Started the War to End All Wars are my all-time favorites—both those I created and those based on real people. Karl Kinsky is a fascinating character—both the real, historical figure and the version I present in my books. He’s certainly one of my favorites.

Any advice for those who are just starting out? 
Keep writing. Don’t worry about how good it is or whether anyone will ever see it. Just enjoy the process.

Do you ever forget that the characters are not real? 
What do you mean, they’re not real?

Are you sad to end a series and leave the characters behind? 
Yes. Every series I’ve written had more books planned than published. Someday I might still tell Marilyn’s story, and Tyler and Megan’s story, and, oh mystery of mysteries, the truth about what happened to Natalie. You’d never guess that one!

Do you write about places you have lived? 
Yes—or places I’d love to live.

Do you read the same types of books you write? 
Yes and no. I read broadly. A lot of my reading time goes toward research, mostly reading memoirs and biographies of historical figures, and history books, travel guides, even physics books as I worked out the kinks of time travel for The Girl.

What is your go-to snack? 
Chocolate-covered almonds. And thanks to this prompt, I just ate some!

The Girl Who Started the War to End All Wars
The Girl Who Started the War to End All Wars is an epic story that plays out over many books that take place across the span of three decades.
Book 1 - Part 1
On June 28, 1914, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie Chotek, triggered the deadliest war the world had ever known. While historians have long analyzed the events that led to disaster, few realize humanity only narrowly escaped a far deadlier fate.

The year is 2173. The fallout of nuclear war has rendered Earth uninhabitable, save for a few isolated biodomes where humanity lingers in ever-dwindling numbers. Fourteen-year-old Torin Driscoll has been chosen to travel back in time to fill the deathbed of a young Sophie Chotek. Torin’s only qualification is that she looks just like the dead girl she’s replacing. Her mission is to change history and save the world.

This first part introduces us to Torin Driscoll and her brother Taggart, who live in an isolated biodome in a post-apocalyptic world.  Torin has been commissioned to change places with Sophie Chotek, who died of rheumatic fever in 1885.  But from the moment Torin makes the switch, history begins to change...
 Book 1 - Part 2
In this second installment of the first book, we catch up with Torin (now Sophie) and her brother Taggart as they adapt to their new lives in 1885 Bohemia.  Taggart has found work building a dirigible, only to discover the airship is being built for a covert mission.  Meanwhile, Sophie stumbles into an assassination plot that challenges everything she knows about the good guys and bad guys of history.
Book 1 - Part 3
In the third and final part of The Girl Who Started the War to End All Wars, Book One, Sophie and Taggart's paths cross again on land, air, water, and through the doors of time.  Sophie fears she must abandon her mission to save the world in order to save those she loves...
Survival Series
Book 1: Survival Instinct
Taking place in Bayfield, Wisconsin around the Apostle Islands. 
Abby Caldwell needs to go get a ring she buried on Devils Island 5 years ago. After Trevor Price appeared on her doorstep and threatened her if she did not return it.

She is able to get a ride there with a family of 3 heading there. She remembered Scott Frasier from when she was a freshman in college. She is surprised that he also remembers her. His mom and step dad are the other people on the boat.

After Captain Sal takes off without his passengers Scott and Abby set out to find help. They find power off and wires have been cut. After finding an old canoe they take their chances against Lake Superior and need to get to an Island 2 miles away.

The story only gets more perilous as does their adventure to safety and love.
Book 2: Troubled Waters
Tracie Crandall is a Coast Guard. Her partner died 6 weeks ago and was involved in diamond smuggling. This story is told in the first book Survival Instincts.

Heath Gerlach is an FBI agent. He has been sent undercover as a Coast Guard to investigate Tracie. His boss has told him to get close to her to find out what she knows about her last partners crimes. As her new partner, Heath must get her to trust him, even if he breaks her heart.

This story is full of twists and plots, murders, explosions and false identities.
Holyoake Heroes Series
Book 1: Out on a Limb
The Feud between the McAlister's and McCuteon's has been going on for a long time. It supposedly started that one grandfather was the cause of the other grandfather's crop duster going down in flames.

Eight years ago as Sam & Phoebe prepared to get married Cutch & Elise put together a shower for them and in that short time they fell in love. Even though their families were enemies. On the night of the wedding Cutch was going to announce their love. Instead there was a humiliating situation that left Elise feeling as Cutch never loved her, only planned to attack the enemy. And it worked.

Eight years later as Elise is flying her glider she is shot down. In her escape the one man she detests above all others comes to her rescue, Clutch. She has avoided him for eight years and now within a few days they are trying to find out who tried to kill her and is still after her.

It seems everything is going against them and she must remember he is her enemy even as his closeness brings the love back that she never let go of.
Book 2: Danger on Her Doorstep
In the book Out on a Limb, we meet Sheriff Gideon Bromley. At the end of that book he ends up in jail, they believe he and his brother were involved together in making and distributing the drug meth.

Maggie Arnold is a nurse in Kansas City. Her father's death brings her back to Holyoake, Iowa. She is selling his rental properties and wants to fix up the Victorian house on Shady Oak so she can sell it. She calls the numbers of a handymen given to her by the Realtor. After calling all the  others and being refused she is surprised when the last man is willing to come and look.

Gideon has decided to use the carpentry skills he learned from Glen Arnold to make use of his time while waiting to see if he will be Sheriff again or end up in prison, his brother had it well planned out to have evidence show Gideon as the leader of the drug ring. He feels a failure for not seeing his brothers involvement all these years.

As they work on the house together there are many things happening. Maggie did not realize anyone thought her dad murdered until Gideon told her and now that she has people trying to break in and things constantly being stolen from the house, she believes it to be true as well.

Maggie is carrying her own guilt. When Gideon's niece was a toddler they lived in one of her dads rentals. When Kayla got sick they blamed her dad and the town turned against both of them. When Maggie graduated high school she left town and never returned, until now.

A story of guilt, faith, renewed faith, betrayal and suspense and we can't forget love.
Book 3: Dead Reckoning
Ginny McCutcheon left home right after high school and joined the Dare Divas, an all female stunt pilot troupe. She changed her name to Ginger McAlister. She had always admired Ben McAlister. He was older than she was and had joined the Air Force and she considered him the greatest pilot ever. He was now standing in front of her in a field after almost causing a crash. There had been so many accidents with the troupe lately he had scared her coming into her air space. And he was saying he was there to take her home.

Ben McAlister did not think he would ever get to meet Ginger McAlister face to face. He had seen her show several times. Almost bought her poster, almost. He was surprised when his friend, Cutch, had shown him a recent picture of his little sister Ginny and he recognized her as being Ginger. Cutch had married Ben's cousin Elise and ended a long feud between the McAlister's and McCutcheon's. They had a small wedding because they wanted Ben's dad there before his cancer took him. In a few weeks they were having a large wedding and celebration and Cutch wanted Ginny home early. They had read of all the accidents around her the last few months and decided she needed to come home where they could watch over her.

Ginny was not going to go back to Holyoake, Iowa. She did not want to bring the trouble surrounding her back there and she needed to keep her distance from this handsome airman. She had always admired Ben and now seeing him up close was worse. After he rescues her several times since his arrival she realizes she needs to leave Wyoming though. Trouble don't stop there, a storm and emergency landing in the middle of Nebraska, a sprained ankle and one incident after another allows Ben to continue to rescue her.  
Reclaiming the Crown Series
Free online read from Rachelle McCalla: 
Royal Peril
This is a prequel to Princess in Peril
Adrianna Raff has flown from New York to Albania to surprise her brother and his family. They are missionaries there and her nephew is about to have his 3rd birthday. As she goes to catch the bus she notices two identical  back packs next to each other. She had thought her red plaid one would be unique. She opens the first one and it has papers and guns. She quickly grabs hers before the four burly men who must own the guns notice her. On the way to the bus she sees a soldier she met on the train, Sergio Cana from Lydia, a small Christian country next to Albania. She wishes she could spend more time with the handsome soldier and decides if  it's God's will she'll see him again. She just did not expect it so soon, the burly men catch up to her and Sergio steps in to fight them. They end up taking her back pack and Sergio. And it's up to her to rescue him, and get her backpack. 
Sergio hears that the men are rebels and are planning on killing the entire Lydian Royal family. After the young woman he met, Adrianna, rescues him they go to warn the royals of this plot. The two must part ways but Sergio promises to find her when it's all over and the family is safe. I would suggest reading this short 8 chapter book as I'm sure it will add to the series.
Book 1: Princess In Peril
This is one of those series where you will be biting your nails for the next three books to come out. And if you did not have to hold the book to read you might become a nail biter in this fantastic suspense story. I highly recommend reading the free book, Royal Peril on the harlequin site first as the short prequel definitely leads the way into this story.

Princess Isabelle does not trust her new bodyguard. Albert had been with her for four years and now suddenly Levi Granaldo is there. He always wears mirrored sunglasses, even indoors, and he is too good looking. Suddenly their motorcade is under attack and when Levi wants her to leave the bullet proof limo she really has to wonder what he's up to. With no choice she has to follow his lead and go into the catacombs under Lydia. After more attacks and not being able to trust anyone, Isabelle finally has to trust Levi to get her out of her country. She has a royal duty to stay safe and at this point she does not know if her parents or brother and sister survived the ambush, if not...she will soon be queen.

Levi needed to succeed at protecting the Princess. His father would be retiring as President of Sanctuary International, a Christian relief organization to help refugees find asylum, and even though his father favored his young brother, Joe, Levi was hoping his father would entrust him with the position. He needed to keep his focus on protecting Isabelle and not focus on how beautiful she is, he had always thought so but now that he was ending up in such close situations with her, it was harder to remember that she was not for him. She was a princess, he was a lawyer.

They have an unknown enemies, cannot trust anyone, and they don't know if any of the royal family has survived. Parliament wants to name the next ruler before finding out if King Philip is still alive and Levi and Isabelle are fighting to stay alive while they fight an attraction they each feel towards the other. Looking forward to the next books to find out what happened with the rest of the royal family.
Book 2: Protecting the Princess
Princess Anastasia use to adore her brother's best friend, Kirk Covington. Six years ago that all changed when Thadeus disappeared and Kirk went to trial for his murder. Being no body was ever found or other proof, the charges were dropped. But not the accusations of those around him, including Stasi. Now her family is in trouble and the only ally she has is Kirk. She must learn to trust him completely as it seems they can't trust anyone else at this time of upheaval in Lydia.

Kirk and Stasi travel from Milan to the State of Georgia in the USA with their enemies hot on their heels the entire time. Fighting the pull they feel towards each other. Kirk has always been taught that she is a Princess, part of the Royal Family and he is nothing compared to her. He has to focus on protecting her, even from himself.

As with Princess in Peril our hero and heroine are on the run for most of the story. The story keeps moving as well to where I didn't want to put the book down. There are two more books in this series, the Prince's stories. I'm looking forward to this continuing saga. Each book ends with some situations closed but you know there is more coming. 
 Book 3: Prince Incognito
Prince Alexander ‘Alec’ gets out of his limo on the way to the dinner to help his sisters when he sees the action taking place ahead of them. As more grenades hit though, he’s injured and loses his personal memories.

Lillian Bicardi sees the disorientated soldier and helps him- against her families wishes. She trusts this stranger and the kindness he has shown her more than her family who has only used her when she was convenient for them. Her father does everything his brother David tells him, even if that means breaking promises to Lily.

This book is full of adventure, the unexpected and betrayal. Rachelle does a great job of having the story begin again for each character. They are heading for a special dinner and their motorcade is attacked on the way. So each book begins with what was happening right before that time and sees the attack from each of their eyes. A series worth reading from book one.
 Book 4: The Missing Monarch
Prince Thaddeus of Lydia, Heir to the crown, has been in hiding for over six years. His father made a deal with a madman and the only way to escape it was for Thad to leave. Only it didn’t work. Octavian, known as 8, has been terrorizing the small Christian Kingdom of Lydia in other ways. Using whoever he could as his pawns. So far his family have been overcoming whatever the madman threw at them. Only now he found a way to call check-mate….he found out about Thad’s secret wife.

Monica Miller lived with her parents and her son in Seattle. Six years ago her husband of a few weeks had went into hiding and told her in a note not to ever let anyone know of their connection. Someone has found out and is forcing her to find Thad for them with the promise if she does her son will be safe. Never believe a liar. Now Monica has a found a cold hearted man who barely resembles the man she married and her son is in the hands of a lunatic. She must now work along with her husband to find a way to rescue Peter and save this small country from Octavian’s rule.

As always there's plenty of adventure and impossible situations that you don't know how your hero and heroine will ever escape. You don’t know who to trust….who is truly a friend pretending to be an enemy or an enemy pretending to be a friend. I found this to be a series worth reading and am looking forward to the the next few books in this series.
Protecting the Crown Historical Series
Book 1:  A Royal Marriage
Castlehead, Lydia, A.D. 801
Princess Gisela, daughter of the Emperor Charlemagne, was to marry an Illyrian. Their ship is attacked on the way to her betrothed and she is injured and near death. If she dies war could break out. They stop in Lydia as King John is known to be a healer. Gisela struggles between the feelings she has towards King John and knowing she is promised to Prince Warrick and that much in the political realm depends upon their union.

Illyrian’s had killed King John’s father four years ago and now he must surrender this beautiful princess to those violent men as well. After his wife’s death three years earlier, John had sworn never to love again or chance losing a woman while trying for an heir. Has God sent this woman into his life to show him he could love again? Only she would be the woman he wants and no other yet duty calls and he must answer.

Rachelle continues to weave an enthralling tale. Going backwards in time from her Reclaiming the Crown series she now goes back in time. Introducing new and exciting characters to build this new series on. King John, a man who has known sorrow and felt failure. A healer who could not save his mother nor his wife and he had watched his father die. Prince Luke, a headstrong young man who wants to take back the Lydia lands they have lost. Prince Mark, a younger brother. Princess Elizabette ‘Bette’ the youngest and only daughter. I am looking forward to this new series and after reading A Royal Marriage I have no doubts each following book will be a new exciting adventure as well.
**Received through NetGalley for review
The Secret Princess
The Soldier's Gift 
Just in time for Christmas, a tall, dark and handsome Scrooge visits Holly Stanwyck's holiday shop, threatening eviction. But once landlord Ethan Pelligrino sees the single mom's plight, the former soldier becomes her protector instead. Suddenly he's helping her with her struggling business and bonding with her troubled son. A wounded veteran come home to heal, Ethan is no stranger to sorrow. But something about the pretty widow fills him with hope. Will Holly be able to let go of her own painful past to see her future by his side?
Protecting the Crown Suspense Series
Book 1: Defending the Duchess
Linus Murati is proud to be a Lydian guard, just like his grandfather had been. The new Queen, Monica, has her sister visiting from America and Linus has been assigned as her bodyguard. Easy enough, he thought. Only not so, someone was after the future duchess and as a professional, Linus knew he shouldn’t be noticing how beautiful she is or how much he enjoys being around her. He is only there to protect her.

Julia Miller couldn’t believe trouble followed her from Seattle, but it had. She knew for sure after being attacked on the beach in while jogging. Thank goodness for her handsome guard who carried her, let her cry on his shoulder and was just there through every twist and turn that came her way. How could she not fall in love with such a man?

It’s a fine line our characters balance on and Linus does his best not to cross it. His best just isn’t enough though. Another adventure filled story from the small kingdom of Lydia. With new and old characters and a man who will put his life on the line for the Royals he serves, and their families. If you haven’t read the Reclaiming the Crown Series you will want to start there as that is where the adventure begins. A great series that just keeps growing.
**Received through NetGalley for review
Book 2: Royal Heist
Ruby Tate is the heir to Tate Jewelery. She blames herself for something that happened some years ago that caused her dad's business to start on a decline. By helping her friend Princess Anastasia create Isabelle's wedding jewels she gains the rights for her father to reproduce them. Maybe that will remove some of her guilt. If she can just find out who is trying to nab her and not fall for the handsome man assigned to guard her.

Galen Harris could lose his job if he slips up one more time. He has two weeks to prove himself. Unfortunately he's been put in charge of watching over Ruby. The young woman he has desired since she started spending summers in Lydia four years ago. He's only a guard and she's an heir. His home is Lydia and America is hers. Tell his heart that any of that matters.

Rachelle McCalla has written an exception series of books that involve the present and past of this small country, Lydia. If you enjoy a good series I suggest to start with the first series, Reclaiming the Crown, next is Protecting the Crown Historical and finally book one in this series is Defending the Duchess. Full of adventure, suspense and romance from the small country of Lydia to the US and maybe a few countries in between.

Book 3: Royal Wedding Threat
In a tiny Mediterranean kingdom, Ava Wright has her dream job: planning royal weddings. When a killer targets Ava a week before the princess's ceremony, the captain of the royal guard vows to protect her and keep the royal family safe. Ava knows that Jason Selini—a man of stubborn integrity—doesn't think she belongs on palace grounds. But when they uncover why Ava is under attack, Jason shows himself to have the heart of a prince. Suddenly Ava hopes she'll survive long enough to plan her own wedding.
Fitzgerald Bay Multi-Author Series
Book 3: The Detective's Secret Daughter
Owen Fitzgerald loves his family and his town. As a police officer life has been a bit hectic lately. The murder of a nanny who was employed by his brother Charles has the town on edge and the Fitzgerald’s in the spotlight. On top of all that the one gal he ever loved has returned to town. Rumors have it that her daughter is Hank Monroe’s, a fellow officer. Seems the rumors may not have been what they seemed to be though.

Victoria Evans had left Fitzgerald Bay ten years ago. After her father had killed a Fitzgerald while driving drunk she was whisked away by her aunt. When she found out she was pregnant with Paige, she stayed away. Her mother always taught her the truth would set her free, so it was time for her to tell the truth to Paige's father. When her business is suddenly under attack she is thrown back into Owen’s path. Can the truth bring them back together after a decade? Or will her mysterious tormenter pull them apart forever?

This is the third book in this series. Each book brings new challenges to the Fitzgerald family. Rachelle continues to add adventure and mystery to the series. A local lawyer wants to oust them from their offices and take over the town himself, accusing Charles of murder and his family of covering it up. They only make baby steps in each book to find who murdered Olivia Henry but each books takes huge strides in bringing love into one of the Fitzgerald’s lives. The story continues in Book four with The Widow’s Protector by Stephanie Newton. You’ll want to be sure and start with book one to have the story unfold in the order they are written.


  1. I really LOVED this interview!! Found a lot about one of my favorite authors:) Her love inspired books are some of the best!! I would like to read the Protecting the Crown series as I have read most of her other ones.
    Thanks for the giveaway and fun interview!


  2. That is so cool that you're an ordained minister!

    I once posed a question on FB for my author friends about if they read their own books for entertainment after they're done and one replied with, "Well, yeah, if I don't even want to read it again, why should anyone else." Just totally cracked me up. I'm glad you enjoy re-reading yours. I like to re-visit old characters, but by the time I publish a book I've read it so much, I could probably recite it.

  3. I agree with Charity, I loved the interview. I have read a couple books in the Reclaiming the Crown series and really enjoyed it. going to start looking for Protecting the Crown. and any of your romantic suspense.
    I enjoy your writing. Donna (at) MoreThanaReview dot com

  4. I'm so glad to hear that laughing and crying while writing one's own books is a "writer thing." I was beginning to wonder whether there was something wrong with me. LOL! I read and loved "Prince Incognito," and I'd be thrilled to read the other books in the "Reclaiming the Crown Series." I'd be equally delighted to read the "Protecting the Crown Suspense Series." Thanks for the opportunity, Judy and Rachelle. bizzysyb[at]gmail[dot]com. Blessings!

  5. My second job was at Burger King. My first one was at Uncle John's pancake house as a hostess. I have read a couple of your books and loved them. My favorite was the one in the Fitzgerald Bay series. I just loved that series.Thanks for the chance at the giveaway.

  6. What a fun interview! Judy is introducing me to so many new authors! I am looking at your all of your "Crown" series.