Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! This is my favorite season and I can't believe it's here already! Of course, I say that every year. My son came home from college last week, the tree is finally up and the casserole is in the oven in preparation for the family party tomorrow night. Now, all I have to do is finish my current manuscript on time.

Christmas Eve and Christmas day are a huge celebration in my house. I recently did an interview about my family's Christmas traditions. As I answered the interview questions I realized how thankful I am for the many blessings in my life. Part of the fun of Christmas is giving and getting presents, but family, friends like you and the incomparable joy of knowing Jesus as my Savior are the best gifts of all.

Thank you for making my first year as a published author one to cherish and always remember. My next book, The Champion, the third and final story in my Roman series will be out in August 2011. I'll be hosting a fun contest in June & July to celebrate Champion's pre-release. I hope you'll watch for both of them.

However you celebrate the birth of Jesus, I wish you and yours a season of joy, peace and endless love. May 2011 be your best year yet!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Angel-on-a-Move - Review of The Gladiator & book giveaway

To register for a free copy of The Gladiator visit: Angel-on-the-Move.

Here's the review:

The book is The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw (btw, this book is the prize in my contest). Here's a little bit about it from Ms Capshaw's website.

Set in ancient Rome, Caros Viriathos is an ex-gladiator who has everything except inner peace. When he buys Christian slave girl, Pelonia, on a whim, he never expects her or her faith to turn his life upside down and win his heart.

I heard about this book a few months ago and it had good reviews so I decided to buy it. I don't normally read too many books with religious thematic but in August I read the two of them - The Gladiator and Madman (you can find my review of Madman here) and I enjoyed both of them.

The Gladiator tells a story about early days of Christianity when it was forbidden to believe in Christ. I love the main character - the ex-gladiator Caros Viriathos. He was a real alpha hero. He wasn't all charm and beauty but a real man with real problems. He bought Pelonia who is in fact a noblewoman that was sold by her uncle into slavery. Caros threats her well and they become friends. Soon he finds out that she's no common woman and that she's a Christian - a fact that could cost them their lives if discovered. Caros is also very troubled by his past. He was a gladiator from very young age and he had to kill many Christians in arena to survive (hose days Christians were used as pawns in Gladiator games). He's afraid that Pelonia will hate him when she finds out about it. Pelonia is another strong character in this story; she's smart, witty and doesn't take her newfound situation permanent. She's certain that she will find a way out of it.

I won't go any dipper into the story since I don't wish to spoil the book for you. But don't think this is some book that preaches Christianity - it doesn't. The story is about love, faith and character. It questions what would one do for his believes and loved ones; how far would he go; and how strong your character is. It is truly inspirational historical book. I recommend reading it.

I really like Ms Capshaw's website, so if you want to find out more about her and her books please visit it (if for no reason than to see how beautiful it is).

And since I love this book so much I will give one commenter the brand new copy of The Gladiator. All you have to do is leave a comment here. For extra entries, just comment on my previous reviews here and here. Every comment you leave gets you an extra entry. The contest is open until Monday evening (09/20/2010), and I will announce the winner on Tuesday. So stay tuned. It will be the winner's responsibility to get in touch with me. Contest is open to all who can receive a book from The Book Depository.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Once Upon A Time Romance reviews The Protector

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...

The Protector by Carla Capshaw

Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: The Protector - Sequel to The Gladiator
Author: Carla Capshaw
Publisher: Steeple Hill/Love Inspired Historical
ISBN-13: 978-0373828401
Release Date: July 2010

Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Historical Romance
Year/Setting: 81 A.D., Rome
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Very Mild
Violent Content Rating: Very Minimal
Carla's Website/Blog:

Quintus Ambustus has been enslaved for his ‘crazy’ beliefs. He’s fighting for his life and his freedom in the gladiator’s ring. He’s noticed the beautiful Adiona Leonia, but knows nothing can come of his desire to learn more about her. She’s wealthy socialite and caught up in the politics of Rome. She lives the life of the very privileged and can have nothing to do with a mere slave…no matter how much she might like to know more about this handsome gladiator. She keeps her thoughts and feelings under wraps and manages to watch him from afar. When her life is threatened, he is assigned to keep her safe. Will either one of them be able to put their pasts behind them and look towards a future? Will the killer strike again? Can she plan a future life if her life might be ending?

Let’s face it, I’ve read hundreds of romance novels. I’ve read historicals set in England, Scotland, Persia, Asia, China, the United States, but I’ve never read one set in ancient Rome. Carla Capshaw chose a brilliant setting for her book. I was so fascinated by the pieces of history she shared and how places and events talked about in the Bible and in Bible commentaries came to life through her pen.

The story was captivating on many levels. For Quintus to be a slave because of his faith is a rarity—most men cry off Jesus and gain freedom. His integrity and ability to stand fast to his beliefs made him all the more appealing. And when he is tasked with keeping Adiona safe, he puts all of his integrity and energy into the endeavor.

I loved the moment Adiona realizes he’s no ordinary slave. He’s actually a merchant whose wealth and prior social power rivals her own. As her feelings continue to flourish for Quintus, I wondered if they could ever find a way to being happy and being together. It’s obvious that they are both smitten with each other, but each one has a reason to fight the attraction and keep it hidden. It was a constant circling and I rooted for them throughout the book.

I’m so intrigued by this book that I’m now looking to purchase The Gladiator and read the story before this one. While The Protector stands fully on its own as a story, I caught hints of what came in the book before and I’d like to read the full account. If you like inspirational historicals, I think you will love The Protector.


Question or comment regarding the review or the book? Click here and let Robyn know.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tips for writers: Taking your setting from static to fantastic

Originally posted on Seriously Write.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tips for Writers: Taking Your Setting From Static to Fantastic

If I were a betting girl, I’d wager we’ve all read at least one book that could be considered a “wallpaper” book. You know, the kind of story that if it weren’t for the time stamp at the beginning of chapter one or the occasional reference to ball gowns instead of bell bottoms, you’d be hard pressed to remember if the book took place in 1875 or 1975. Regardless of its other redeeming qualities, a “wallpaper” lacks color and pizzazz. There’s a reason jewelers display diamonds on blue velvet. The light may be what makes them sparkle, but it’s the rich background that makes them most noticeable.

As writers, we want every facet of our story to shine. We obsess about plot and characters. We spend hours weaving elaborate back stories, imagining every detail from the flecks of gold in our hero’s eyes to the height of our heroine’s shoe heels. We dream up conflicts we hope seem impossible to overcome and do our best to make certain we have a “because” for every “why.”

Depending on the genre, most of us have spent hours researching historical accuracies, legal proceedings, or devising the rules of our own Paranormal world. So, how is possible, then, that our settings are often relegated to background static instead of being used as a full-fledged orchestra?

In my books, I get to visit a wide range of times and places, but in my opinion a great setting is more than just a certain year or country. To me, it’s what makes the word pictures we write high definition instead of fuzzy black and white.

Here are a few ways I like to use setting to best advantage:

• Use weather or seasons to emphasis your character’s story arc. For example, in my latest release, The Protector, I used the cold, damp days of a Roman winter to magnify the loneliness of my heroine’s life. As the story progresses, she and the hero travel to the Amalfi coast where the warmth and color of their surroundings mirrors the happiness they’re experiencing together. 

• Use setting as a metaphor for your character’s inner emotions. In my book, The Duke’s Redemption, a storm outside is like the tempest of pain raging in my hero after he receives the news of his brother’s death.

• Use a contrasting setting to magnify a character’s personality. Ex: Nothing escaped Agnes’s dreary disposition. Even the daisies lining the garden path seemed to wilt when she walked by.

• Use setting to highlight a character’s circumstances. Ex: Before the war, the Smiths had known every luxury. Now, the parlor’s curtains and threadbare rugs were as faded as the family’s glory.

• Remember to engage not only the characters’ senses, but the readers, too. Whatever the scene, include as much sound, taste, touch, etc. as possible.

I hope these ideas have helped to get your creative juices flowing. What are some of the techniques you use to make the most of your settings?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Protector - First offical review

Book Review from Eye on Romance
Overall: 10
Sensuality: 3
Inspirational Element: 10
This is an Official Review by a Inspirational Romance Writer Official Reviewer
Review for Protector, The
Author: Carla Capshaw

Date of Review: 05/22/10
Reviewer Comments: Have you ever wondered what life was like for gladiators in Rome? Then join Carla Capshaw as she takes us into the depths to these men and women who were persecuted for their belief in a Christian God. Ms. Capshaw breaths life into these people who lived so many years ago and makes her readers feel as though they know her characters.

Quintas Ambustus was a wealthy merchant with a wife, a son and a life he enjoyed. Then one day he returned home from a voyage to find his son dead, his wife had committed suicide and he had been denounced as a Christian. Quintas was thrown in jail, his property confiscated and he was sold as a slave. Fortunately, he found himself at a gladiator training school under the ownership of a fellow Christian who was willing to let Quintas buy his freedom.

Adiona Leonia was wed to an elderly man at the age of twelve. Her life with her husband was a nightmare and as a result, she has vowed to hate all men and to never marry again. Adiona surrounds herself with an ice-cold, harsh persona as protection from all the slights that people throw at her. She lets very few people see inside her outer covering. One of her closest friends is Caros, the owner of a famous gladiator training school. When she meets his newest student, Adiona begins to question her views that all men are evil and untrustworthy.

Unfortunately for Adiona and Quintas, things don’t go smoothly for either of them. Quintas buys the persona that Adiona projects and doesn’t want to be another man who is rejected by her. Someone is threatening Adiona’s life and wants her dead. She can’t figure out whom and must rely on Quintas to protect her. And underlying everything is the fact that Quintas is a Christian and Adiona is not. Will they ever be able to work out their differences?

Carla Capshaw is a master at her craft. She blends so many elements into a story and does it seamlessly. She gives her readers the historical detail of life in Rome in 81 AD and makes us feel as though we are there. The historical context is necessary for her story and lends just the right background to the tale that she wants to tell.

In addition to the historical detail, Ms. Capshaw blends the Christian faith into her story. She doesn’t preach at her readers, but allows her faith to come through the experiences that her characters have. Quintas prays frequently and his faith in God is apparent in the way in which he lives his life. He doesn’t force his religion on the other characters, but he is not shy about discussing it with them either.

She also blends in the suspense of finding out who is after Adiona as well as the building romance between Adiona and Quintas. We have to wait until the end to find out how everything will work, but it is an adventure worth taking.

Ms. Capshaw writes so smoothly. Her story flows from the first page and I could feel her passion for her topic. This book was a joy to read. I loved the companion book The Gladiator and this one lives up to the expectations I had after reading that story. A true delight!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Duke's Redemption - Newest reveiws

Originally posted by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.
The Duke’s Redemption, By Carla Capshaw, Love Inspired Historical. Available through and also It is cheaper through CBD at this point in time. Truly, for the value, this is a steal at $5.00. Add it to your cart right now if you are a colonial fiction fan!

This is a historical romance rather than a historical book with romantic elements. Set during the American revolution primarily at a plantation near Charleston, Capshaw does a good job at explaining how people had to travel during that time and using that in her story line (Elise is a spy). Having lived in Charleston for many years , I was a little disappointed she did not include even more of the geographic features of the area. However, this book delivered more than I was expecting, since the Love Inspired Historical line is fairly new. This book definitely could compete with those from the bigger Christian publishing houses.

Capshaw has some unusual turns in this book and it is not as predictable as some books I have recently read in this genre. I especially like that she was not afraid to include, and process, an element of history that needs more light shed on it – mainly, what happens when your male relative fathers a child into slavery. Cathy Gohlke also addressed this beautifully in her book, “William Henry is a Fine Name”.

This was a great night time read, is a page turner, with good pacing and plot. If you enjoy reading historical fiction (particularly colonial), this will not let you down - surprise you with the English hero but not disappoint you!

Welcome to my blog

I'm not very good at blogging, but I hope to be able to share reveiws, musings and fun stuff with my readers here. Talk to you soon. :-)