Who’s that Hero? – A Matching Game

Who's That Hero - Sondra Kraak Guest Post Image

Happy Monday everyone! Today one of my favorite authors has come up with a super fun matching game to share with us as part of her blog tour celebrating the current sale on one of my favorite books, Two Ways Home. While it is the second book in her fantastic Love That Counts series, it can easily stand on its own…. although I loved the first book as well, and highly recommend it!


Two-Ways-Home cover image
On sale for just $0.99 NOW through May 25, 2017! Don’t miss out!

She’s about to lose her home. He never wanted to see his again. And a stalker is staking a claim . . .

Washington, 1892

Mary Smith was never one to back down from a challenge. Her father’s health may be failing, but their dairy farm was her mother’s dream, and Mary will do whatever it takes to keep her father from selling it—even if it means sneaking off to the next town to earn money by playing the piano in a questionable establishment. No one seems to understand why home is so important to her, least of all her childhood nemesis who’s just wandered back into town.

When injured Texas Ranger Luke Thomas is forced to return to Pine Creek, Washington, he’s hailed as a hero and thrust into the town’s first race for sheriff. But no one knows the secret he carried to Texas, nor the secret he’s brought home. Setting his perfect aim on returning south, he refuses to get tied down by the town’s admiration, his brother’s disapproval, or the spirited, hardworking dairy girl who’s less annoying than he remembers.

But strange things are happening at the Smith dairy and in Pine Creek, and Luke’s instincts tell him Mary is in far more trouble than she realizes. One thing is certain: “home” is about to get more complicated for them both.

Full of wit and romantic tension, this Christian historical love story sets forth the true meaning of coming home.

A little about Sondra

Please welcome the amazingly talented, Sondra Kraak! 🙂


Who’s that Hero? A matching game for lovers of Christian fiction.


Challenge #1

Luke is my favorite boy’s name. Unfortunately, my husband isn’t as crazy about the name Luke, so my son is named Silas. Match these four Lukes with their historical romance stories:


Luke #1: is a Texas Ranger, goes undercover and wears overalls instead of his usual fancy duds, loves to bird hunt, but falls in love with a bird enthusiast, has named his guns.

Luke #2: is a twin, desires to be married and have a family, lives with his brother, Silas (another great name!), looks after his stubborn grandma, falls in love with a heroine who is hiding from danger.

Luke #3: has a “fiery” secret and an aversion to hand-holding, is a wounded Texas Ranger falsely accused, falls in love with a childhood nemesis, finds solace by his father’s grave.

Luke #4: falls in love with a woman he rescues, is falsely accused, seeks vengeance for his father’s death and to gain back his ranch.

Can you match them?

Luke Stone, Swept Away, Mary Connealy

Luke Cameron, A Place Called Home, Lori Wick

Luke Palmer, Love on the Line, Deeanne Gist

Luke Thomas, Two Ways Home, Sondra Kraak


Challenge #2

2) My favorite hero is the strong and steady quiet guy who carries deep wounds. Here are some examples. Can you match them with their wounds? (historical and contemporary)


Wound 1: His brother followed him into battle and died.

Wound 2: Grew up in a violent home, faced capture, was forced to watch a woman suffer.

Wound 3: He was abandoned and homeless as a boy.

Wound 4: His mother died after a preacher prophesied she’d be healed.

Wound 5: He disappointed his father, doubts a decision that resulted in the death of team members.

Wound 6: His wife died of cancer.

Can you match them?

Tristan Porter, Such a Hope, Sondra Kraak

Malachi Shaw, No Other Will Do, Karen Witemeyer

Daniel Ranslett, From A Distance, Tamera Alexander

Reuben Marshall, Burnin’ for You, Susan May Warren

Matt Jarreau, My Stubborn Heart, Becky Wade

Dean Watters, Raptor 6, Ronie Kendig


Challenge #3

And how about those outgoing guys with an edge of flirt in them (or more than an edge of flirt as is the case with some)? They’re fun, too. Match these quotes to their books.


Quote 1.

She tapped the green accept button. “Hello?”

“Hey, beautiful you want to grab some coffee?”

Furrows formed between her eyes. Who in the world? “I’m sorry. You must have the wrong number.”

She pulled the phone away from her ear but stopped short of disconnecting when she heard the voice on the other end say her name. Her lips turned down. “Who is this?”

“Who do you think it is, babe? I told you I’d call.”


Quote 2.

He smiled. She was scared all right. But so much the better. That would make her wish he were with her. “If we were married, I’d stay and protect you.”

She stiffened. “I’ll have you know I was on my own long before I came here. I didn’t need a man then, and I certainly don’t need one now.”


Quote 3.

I smiled and nudged my shoulder playfully against his. “Are you ever serious?”

His fingers tightened against mine. In the darkness of the underground cave, the flickering flames of the fire cast a glow over his face and lit up his eyes. “I’m serious when I say I’d allow myself to be thrashed any day in order to see you.”

. . .

“You’re crazy,” I whispered.

“Not half as crazy as you,” he whispered back.


Quote 4. 

“How’ve you been, sweet one?”

“I’ve been fine, showboat.”

He grinned crookedly. “Showboat?”

“Yep.” The sizzle of meat on the stove reminded her or her spaghetti sauce. She returned to the kitchen . . . “Since you insist on calling me a nickname, I figured it was only fair to respond in kind.” She positioned herself at the stove and went back to work on the ground turkey.

[He] crossed his muscled arms and leaned a hip against the edge of the countertop. “Was showboat the best you could do? I don’t like it.”


“What about Maverick? Adonis?”

She rolled her eyes.

“This might be too obvious, but how about Stud?”

“Believe me. It’s not in the least obvious.”

“Well, showboat’s no good.”

She made a scoffing sound. “Tough luck. You don’t get to pick.”


Quote 5.

[He] pulled out and she took off her hat, tossed it on the dash, then tugged out the tie from her hair, running her fingers through the strands to work out the snarls.

Only then did she see [him] glancing t her, more than once.


“Nothing, I’m just wondering what’s on your agenda. ’Cause we have work to do.”

She stared at him, and then he smiled. “I’m just kidding, Speedy. I wouldn’t think of hittin’ on you.”

She laughed too, because this was their game.

He flirted, she pushed him away, and round and round they went.

“I wouldn’t date you anyway.”

“Aw, c’mon. I’m fun.” He pulled into the Griz, an all-night convenience store.

“Believe me, I know. Word gets around . . . all fun, all the time.”


Quote 6.

He’d test how much she really wanted his help. He moved his horse beside her and offered a hand. “Climb on.”

Without looking at him, she shook her head. “Walking is good exercise. It allows space to think.”

That’s what he thought. Stubborn. Self-sufficient. “How about space to breathe, or is that unnecessary?”

She grunted, a sound so unladylike his grin shot up the sides of his face. Space between them was a good idea. He’d lost his mind offering to let her nestle in the saddle in front of him. They had enough issues with closeness. No need to encourage more.

She’d be too proper to accept, anyway. Not that sharing a ride was improper. Not out here where priorities shifted from maintaining decorum to being neighborly.

She slipped, reached for a branch, and cried out as her hand slid along a spindly limb.

“You all right?”

She paused, drew in a deep breath, and wiped her brow.

Yeah, she was fine, besides the scowl the size of Washington that settled on her face.

“I’ll take that ride.”

His heart stumbled. He’d have to dig deep for the ability to remain unscathed by her leaning against him.

Who was he kidding? She scathed him in every way. He’d have about as much hope to remain unaffected by her nearness as the sun would have of hanging in the sky longer.

Can you match them?

Joe Denton, A Bride in the Bargain, Deeanne Gist

Ty Porter, Meant to Be Mine, Becky Wade

Sir Collin, A Daring Sacrifice, Jody Hedlund

Barrett Clarke, One Plus One Equals Trouble, Sondra Kraak

Pete Brooks, Rescue Me, Susan May Warren

Trent Carrington, Finders Keepers, Sarah Monzon


Challenge #4

In my interview today with Trisha Robertson, I list several guilty pleasures (I could have listed ten). Name one of them and tell me one of yours!


 Challenge #5

In my interview last Saturday with Katie Donovan, I shared my favorite place to read. What is it? And what is your favorite place to read?


BONUS Challenge

Finally, a bonus question. Can you guess my two favorite heroes of this entire game—not counting my own. And who of this bunch is your favorite?


Thanks for playing! Feel free to invite a friend to join the fun.

Who’s that Hero? A matching game for lovers of Christian fiction. – Click to Tweet!

Try this Matching Game for Christian Bibliophiles! – Click to Tweet!

Now check your answers and post your score below!




Luke #1: Luke Palmer, Love on the Line, Deeanne Gist

Luke #2: Luke  A Place Called Home, Lori Wick

Luke #3: Luke Thomas, Two Ways Home, Sondra Kraak

Luke #4: Luke Stone, Swept Away, Mary Connealy)


Quiet, wounded heroes:

Wound 1: Daniel Ranslett, From A Distance, Tamera Alexander

Wound 2: Dean Watters, Raptor 6, Ronie Kendig

Wound 3: Malachi Shaw, No Other Will Do, Karen Witemeyer

Wound 4: Tristan Porter, Such a Hope, Sondra Kraak

Wound 5: Reuben Marshall, Burnin’ for You, Susan May Warren

Wound 6: Matt Jarreau, My Stubborn Heart, Becky Wade


Outgoing, flirtatious heroes:

Quote 1: Trent Carrington, Finders Keepers, Sarah Monzon

Quote 2: Joe Denton, A Bride in the Bargain, Deeanne Gist

Quote 3: Sir Collin, A Daring Sacrifice, Jody Hedlund

Quote 4: Ty Porter, Meant to Be Mine, Becky Wade

Quote 5: Pete Brooks, Rescue Me, Susan May Warren

Quote 6: Barrett Clarke, One Plus One Equals Trouble, Sondra Kraak


Guilty Pleasures:

baths, Calvin and Hobbes comics, parentheses


Favorite Reading Spot:

in a cabin on a rainy day by a fire



Dean Watters, Matt Jarreau


How did you do? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Remember, Two Ways Home is only on sale for a limited time! Don’t miss out on this seriously fun read!

If you’re interested in following this blog tour for other interviews, character spotlights, and more, here’s the schedule:

Katie at Fiction Aficionado (interview, excerpt), Saturday, May 20
Kathleen Denly (game), Monday, May 22
Trisha at Joy of Reading (interview), Monday, May 22
Beth Erin at Faithfully Bookish (setting spotlight), Tuesday, May 23
Jessica at A Baker’s Perspective (spotlight on heroine), Wednesday, May 24
Sydney at Singing Librarian (interview, spotlight on hero), Thursday, May 25

Two Ways Home Blog Tour May 2017

First Line Friday – 5.19.17


Friday! Friday! Friday! Three cheers for the upcoming weekend! But before we get there, how about discovering some great reads to distract you from those annoying weekend chores? 😉

As always, I’m sharing a line from a book I think my readers will be interested in. However, I’m stepping out of my norm, this week and sharing a nonfiction book with you. This week’s line is from Victorian Fashions & Costumes From Harper’s Bazaar 1867-1898 which is a book I’ve been referencing a lot for my current work in progress.

Victorian Fashions & Costumes from Harper's Bazar 1867-1898

Again stepping away from my norm, instead of sharing the first line from this book, I am choosing to share the one which most intrigued me because it is the first line of a chapter entitled, “Bustles and Puffs 1867-1874”:

Sometimes fashions take their direction from practical needs.

Isn’t that a surprising start to such a chapter? I know I certainly never associated bustles or puffs with “practical needs.” So of course, I had to read on and discover why the author would choose to begin such a subject with a sentence such as this.

I am admittedly not a very fashion-minded person. I tend to try to choose things for myself which are more classic or timeless so that I don’t have to run out and purchase something new when my current wardrobe becomes embarrassingly outdated. Therefore learning all the ins and outs of the fashion terms and trends of the past is probably my most dreaded part of the historical research I must do. I admit, I would much rather read the diary of an oregon trail pioneer or even the history of a local historical building, than essays on the whys and wherefores of fashion history. BUT this book has made the task far less painful and even a bit enjoyable. Thus, bearing in mind that many of my fellow historical romance readers and writers differ greatly from me in their enjoyment of this topic, I present this book to you as a source of painless knowledge and possibly even entertainment. 😉

Now it’s your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head on over and share your first line with these friends:

Andi @ Radiant Light

Carrie @ Reading Is My Super Power

Rachel @ Bookworm Mama

Sydney @ Singing Librarian Books

Robin @ Robin’s Nest

Katie @ Fiction Aficionado

Bree @ Bibliophile Reviews

Beth @ Faithfully Bookish

Amanda @ With A Joyful Noise

Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective

Trisha @ The Joy of Reading

Jeanette @ C Jane Read

Molly @ Molly’s Cafinated-Reads

CJ @ Moments Dipped In Ink

Heather @ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Sarah @ All the Book Blog Names are Taken

Lauraine @ Lauraine’s Notes

Spotlight – Stealing Jake

Spotlight - Stealing Jake


When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-Fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy—literally while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town—as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off—Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

My Thoughts

As one of the books on my Top Ten Must Read Historical Romance Novels for 2017 list, this book has been patiently waiting for me for months. While I won’t say this book was perfect (there were a couple brief moments I had to swallow some implausibility), I did thoroughly enjoy reading this book. It was one of those where you can’t quite put your finger on what you loved about it – the pacing? the characters? the plot twists? – but you don’t want to put it down and when you’re done, you’re smiling and eagerly looking forward to more by the author.

My Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

First Line Friday – 5.12.17


It’s Friday! Yay! Not only does this mean I get to sleep in tomorrow, but it also means today I get to share the first line from a book near me and then hop around the to all my blogger friends’ posts and discover the awesome new books they are sharing! Yippee! I can never discover too many books. 😀

So without further ado…. This week’s first line comes from Amanda Cabot’s A Stolen Heart which is book one in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy and has been waiting impatiently on my TBR list for far too long! Agh! So many books, so little time! (And yes, I fully intend to continue adding to that list! LOL)


A Stolen Heart

Here’s the first line:

May, 1880
No matter what anyone said, she wouldn’t believe this was a mistake.

Intriguing, isn’t it?

Now it’s your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Then head on over and share your first line with these friends:

Andi @ Radiant Light

Carrie @ Reading Is My Super Power

Rachel @ Bookworm Mama

Sydney @ Singing Librarian Books

Robin @ Robin’s Nest

Katie @ Fiction Aficionado

Bree @ Bibliophile Reviews

Beth @ Faithfully Bookish

Amanda @ With A Joyful Noise

Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective

Trisha @ The Joy of Reading

Heather @ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Sarah @ All the Book Blog Names are Taken

Lauraine @ Lauraine’s Notes

My Review – Heart on the Line

My Review - Heart on the Line


Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can’t let the villain she believes responsible for her father’s death release his wrath in Harper’s Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she’s ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

Why This Book:

It was written by Karen Witemeyer. Sometimes knowing the author is all it takes to make me read a book. Karen Witemeyer is one such author.

It also helped that this is another book set in Harper’s Station – a nineteenth century women’s colony – which I loved reading about it Witemeyer’s first book in the series, No Other Will Do, and her in-between-novella, Worth the Wait.

I did receive a free advance copy of this book from the publisher, however, I was not obligated to review it, only to give them feedback. As always, my review is honest, sincere, and entirely my own.

Opening Line:

January 1894
Denver, CO

The cheerful tinkle of a bell alerted Grace Mallory to the arrival of a guest.

First Impressions:

The prologue for this book was included as a teaser at the end of the preceding novella, Worth the Wait, and tease it did. From the first page, Grace Mallory is someone you want to root for and hers is a story you want to follow.


Grace Mallory – the heroine. Despite her shy demeanor and natural reluctance to be in the spotlight, she is independent, courageous, and has an inextricable determination to do what’s right no matter the cost to herself.

Amos Bledsoe – the hero. Skinny, introverted, and academically inclined, Amos views himself as odd and distinctly different from what the typical female is looking for in a husband.  For that matter, so do the women of his town. Amos has yet to meet a female who finds his uniqueness attractive, so when he finally works up the courage to suggest a meeting with the mysterious “Miss G” he has been conversing with across the telegraph wires, he braces himself for rejection.

Helen Potter – One of the ladies of Harper Station introduced to us in the first book, Helen gets a significant subplot role in this novel. As with most of the women in this colony, Helen’s troubled past has left her with many emotional scars, clouding her view of the world, and even a little of her sense of right and wrong. When a certain situation arises, Helen is forced to decide if she will let those scars dictate her decisions.

Elliot Dunbar – A Pinkerton agent… or is he? There are many questions surrounding this man’s appearance and his true motives.

Emma & Malachi Shaw – Fans will be happy to know that the (now) happily married couple from book one are very much a part of this second book. (Especially Malachi in his capacity as lawman for Harper’s Station.)

Tori (Victoria) Adams & Ben Porter – This couple’s story began in the first book as a subplot and held center stage in the novella. In this book Tori is in a few scenes and Ben certainly lends a hand when danger looms, but they are not a large part of the story.

The rest of the ladies of Harper Station all have their small supporting roles to play and it’s lovely to see them. Amos even comes up with some humorous nicknames for a couple of them.

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

As I mentioned in my First Impressions, section, the heroine is someone you immediately care about and root for. The hero is thoroughly likable and you want him to succeed as well. While this story did not take me as deep nor as high as some other novels, there were times when I laughed out loud and audibly gasped, so I can confidently say I was emotionally engaged.

I enjoyed the pacing of this novel. There is a steady tension to it which appropriately ratchets up as the reader nears the climax. Following the climax there is a bit more tension, though not as intense, prior to the conclusion of the story.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

I enjoy the unique setting of a women’s colony and the problems that come along with it. I liked that the hero was not your typical hero and he knew it, yet he didn’t even try to change himself to fit expectations. He simply kept looking for the woman who would love him as he was.


The theme of this novel is best summed up in this quote:


Heart on the Line Weaver Quote


In the end, all the loose threads were tied up nicely, though not so easily as to seem implausible. I was satisfied and I closed the book with the expected happy sigh.

(none of the links in this review are affiliate links)

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Have you read any of Karen Witemeyer’s books? Has God woven dark and light threads for beauty in your life?



The Master Weaver creates beauty from the light & dark threads of life. 

You’ll root for this hero – rejected for his difference, but doesn’t try to conform. 

Tired of running & hiding, she finally stands her ground, but at what cost? 

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos in this post for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !

First Line Friday – 5.5.17


Have you read any great books lately? Well grab one and share the first line with me!

It’s first line Friday and today I’m sharing the first line from Fire and Ice by Mary Connealy. It’s the third book in the Wild At Heart series which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Mary’s books are my go-to choice for fun adventures in the wild west.

Fire and Ice

Here’s the first line:

October 10, 1866
The bullet spit dirt up in Gage Coulter’s eyes, and he didn’t even flinch.

And it just gets better from there! 😀 The rivalry and chemistry between the hero and heroine in this one had me laughing out loud and cheering them on. A fitting end to this entertaining series.

Now it’s your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Then head on over and share your first line with these friends:

Andi @ Radiant Light

Carrie @ Reading Is My Super Power

Rachel @ Bookworm Mama

Sydney @ Singing Librarian Books

Robin @ Robin’s Nest

Katie @ Fiction Aficionado

Bree @ Bibliophile Reviews

Beth @ Faithfully Bookish

Amanda @ With A Joyful Noise

Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective

Trisha @ The Joy of Reading

Heather @ Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Sarah @ All the Book Blog Names are Taken

Lauraine @ Lauraine’s Notes

Hearts At War Giveaway Winner!

Hearts At War Giveaway Image - WINNER

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this Hearts At War series Giveaway! The deadline for entries was midnight last night and a winner has been chosen!

Here’s how:



You are the winner of this giveaway! Please be sure to contact me within 24 hours at writeKathleenDenly@gmail.com to confirm your acceptance of this prize which will be sent to the email you provided when entering the giveaway.

For those of you who didn’t win, here are the (non-affiliate) links to purchase your own copy of these highly recommended books:

The Scarlet Coatthe-scarlet-coat-cover-image

The Patriot and The Loyalist 

the patriot and the loyalist cover image

My thanks, again, to Angela, for chatting with me during our interview and for providing the winner’s copy of The Patriot and The Loyalist!