Comfort & Joy Review and Giveaway

comfortandjoybanner updated

About the Book

ComfortandJoy updated

Book: Comfort & Joy

Author: The Christmas Lights Collection: Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, Suspense, Christmas

Release Date: October 16, 2018

The third-annual Christmas Lights Collection is pleased to present: Comfort & Joy–four Christmas Novellas. From contemporary romance to cozy mystery and suspense, this diverse collection celebrates the comforts and joys of Christmas.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is a collection of four contemporary romance stories by four different authors that will leave you with a warm glow. Each author weaves a good tale that is well-written, full of great characters, and girded with the theme of trusting God with fears and perceived weaknesses.
Alana Terry’s Frost Heaves has a nice dose of suspense as Jade searches for her missing five year old daughter with the help of Ben, a local law enforcement. Jade needs to break out of her past that blinds and binds her – a past that involved a cult-like church, shame, anger, and mistrust.
Toni Shiloh’s Deck the Shelves brings together Q and Kendall who both have broken pasts and hurts that prevent them from moving forward. With the help of loving family members and friends, they take tentative steps toward freedom from fear.
Cathe Swanson’s Christmas Glory Quilt ties together the stigma and difficulty of dyslexia, the beauty and history poured into quilt-making, and two close childhood friends, Penny and Brian, as their friendship turns into something more.
Chautona Havig’s Ghosts of New Cheltenham gives us a lovely fictional town with a Dickens-era-esque atmosphere during its annual autumn festivities, which includes a Dickens Ghost Storytelling Competition. Mitchell inherits a home and funds but is required to enter the storytelling competition in order to receive all of the inheritance. Brenna is an eclectic antique shop owner full of love, understanding, and patience who lives and owns her shop across the street from Mitchell. Mitchell has a phobia about ghosts and this, along with terrible pranks and misdeeds, becomes a stumbling block as he prepares for the competition. There is a bit of mystery involved, as Brenna’s younger sister Lauren tries to investigate who is harassing Mitchell with these awful pranks.
Overall, the collection was fun and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance.
I received a copy of the book from authors/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Authors

Alana

Alana Terry: Pastor’s wife Alana Terry is a homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. You can find her at alanaterry.com

Toni

Toni Shiloh: Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. You can find her at tonishiloh.wordpress.com

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

Cathe

Cathe Swanson: Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years, and the long Wisconsin winters are perfect for writing and reading books! Cathe enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again. You can find her at catheswanson.com

Chautona

Chautona Havig: Amazon bestselling author of the Aggie books and Past Forward, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave desert where she uses story to connect readers to the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Why Do So Many Christians Love to Celebrate Christmas?

“We don’t celebrate Christmas because we were ordered to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We were never commanded to celebrate His birth.”

Something about that statement didn’t sit well with me, but I was honest enough with myself to admit that it might be because I happened to love Christmas, and the idea of not celebrating it didn’t sit well with my twelve-year-old mind.

No, I didn’t go in for the Santa thing. I never had. As later my children were taught to say, Santa wasn’t “invited to our family celebration.” But still, the family, the joy, the music, the spirit of the thing moved me.

So, I did what I always did when I didn’t understand something. I asked Dad. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?”

If I recall correctly, Dad took a sip of coffee and watched me for several long seconds before he said, “What is Christmas?”

Ever the teacher, Dad had to put on his Socratic robe and make me work for it. I answered. “What we call the day Jesus was supposedly born. His birthday.”

“Okay. So, we celebrate Christ’s birthday on Christmas—on Christmas.”

“Yes.”

He gave me that slight smirk that always meant something good was coming. “And what did God do when His Son was born?”

Dad stumped me there. I blinked. “I don’t know.”

“He sent out the biggest birth announcement ever known to man—a star, angels, music.” Then Dad continued his leading questions. “He…”

I got it. “Celebrated the birth.”

“Yes.” Sometimes Dad was a man of few words.

But I couldn’t be satisfied—not yet.

“So, why do we give presents to each other if it’s Jesusbirthday? Isn’t that backward?”

“Isn’t all of Christianity backward to the fallen mind?” When I didn’t answer, he smiled again. “What does Christ say about doing things for others?”

It wasn’t word-for-word Scripture—not even close. Just as he would have prompted again, I remembered Jesus’ story of the man who was fed, clothed, and given a drink. “When you do things for others, it’s like you’re doing them for Jesus.”

Dad shrugged then. “Maybe it’s just justification for continuing a beloved tradition, but it brings me joy to give you gifts. And Christ had something to say about how fathers love to give good gifts to their children.”

That brought me back to the original question.

“What about the fact that we’re told to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus? We aren’t told to celebrate the birth. Does that make it wrong?”

This time, Dad’s jaw hardened. I saw it twitch, and prepared for a blasting. After all, I had kind of argued with him. I hadn’t meant to, but I could see how it might be taken that way.

“Chautona,” he said, “don’t ever put rules on yourself that God hasn’t. We may not be commanded to celebrate Christ’s birth, but we aren’t forbidden, either. We have God’s example to emulate, and we have this truth.” His voice gentled when he saw he’d startled me. “We would never have been able to celebrate Christ’s death if He had not been born. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.”

What does all that have to do with Christmas novellas (or “noellas” like I prefer to call them)?

Well, people ask me all the time. “Why do you write so many Christmas books? Why do these Christmas collections? Why focus so much on the birth of Jesus and the trappings of cultural Christmas when it’s inferior to the “big thing”—the Resurrection?”

Dad’s answer is mine. Because it points to it. It draws attention to it. And because Christmas is one time of year—the only time of year in which you can walk into almost any building in America and still hear praises sung to God at some point. They slip in between love songs about giving away your heart at Christmas and rocking around Christmas trees to “Jingle Bell Rock.”

And even the more “secular” versions that aren’t an outright praise to God like “Silent Night” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” sometimes throw in Jesus anyway because they can’t quite leave out, “Merry Christmas” in some place or another.

So maybe our Christmas books are inferior to what “Easter” books could be. Maybe they are. But if Christmas trees, caroling, and “ghost stories” keep Jesus at the forefront of someone’s mind in October, November, or December, then I think that’s a pretty cool thing.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thanks for coming.

Blog Stops

A Diva’s Heart, November 29

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Multifarious, November 30

Blossoms and Blessings, November 30

Bibliophile Reviews, December 1

Britt Reads Fiction, December 1

Vicky Sluiter, December 2

Remembrancy, December 2

Among the Reads, December 3

A Reader’s Brain, December 3

KarenSueHadley, December 4

Inklings and notions, December 4

Quiet Quilter, December 5

Lots of Helpers, December 5

God’s Little Bookworm, December 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7 (Mindy Houng)

Captive Dreams Window, December 7

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 8

Mary Hake, December 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Janices book reviews, December 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

Bigreadersite, December 10

Kat’s Corner Books, December 11

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Aryn The Libraryan, December 12

Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 12

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, the Christmas Light Collection is giving away a grand prize of a 6-month Kindle Unlimited subscription!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d62a/comfort

Shelter of the Most High Review & Giveaway

Shelter of the most high copy

About the Book

Shelter of the Most High

Book: Shelter of the Most High

Author: Connilyn Cossette

Genre: Christian Biblical Fiction

Release Date: October, 2018

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a city of refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood, yet chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Can they uncover the betrayal in time to save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Post from Mindy Houng

“The Almighty Creator spoke your being into existence. How could you be anything less than precious?”
How can this be the first Connilyn Cossette book I have read? How could I have spent these past few years as an avid reader of Christian Fiction in such ignorance of the pure delight that is Connilyn Cossette’s writing?
Wow, Shelter of the Most High totally blew me away. Kedesh, one of the cities of refuge during the time of Joshua, came to life in the pages and drew me in immediately. I love the way the author melds historical and Biblical facts with believable and realistic fiction to expand and stretch the reader’s horizon. The writing is beautiful and emotional, the plot is complex yet tightly woven, the characters are truly unforgettable, and the faith lessons are relevant.
Sofea, along with her cousin, is a foreigner stranded amongst the Israelites in the city of Kedesh. Eitan is a young man sentenced to Kedesh for events that transpired eleven years ago. Reading Light On a Hill (book one in Cities of Refuge) prior to this book will help the reader understand the events chronologically. However, even without having read the first book, I was able to piece together the pertinent background from the first book by reading this one. Sofea is a fearful yet curious, loyal, determined, tender soul who has to learn a new way of life – from language to religion. Eitan is impulsive, strong, impatient yet kind, generous, loving, dedicated and fun. They both have different fears and hurts from their pasts to overcome as God gently works on their scarred hearts. Their romance is slow and sweet even as their budding friendship is threatened by evil intentions of others and their own insecurities.
If you enjoy Biblical fiction, you don’t want to miss this book. It’s a must read!
I received a copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Cossette_Connilyn

Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out From Egypt series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the Christy Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing’s Best Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of twenty years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com.

Guest Post from Connilyn

Shelter of the Most High, the second book in my Cities of Refuge Series, will be the first I’ve written to have been influenced by my trip to Israel last year. When I started writing Biblical fiction almost nine years ago, I was limited to exploring the Land of Promise via Google Earth, books, and through a plethora of photos on the good ol’ world wide web, but of course nothing can compare to actually experiencing the atmosphere and scenery for yourself.

So although I’d already written Shelter of the Most High by the time I hopped on a plane to join fellow author Cliff Graham’s GoodBattle Tour, once I returned my editing was filtered through the sights and sounds I’d witnessed for myself. It had been a life-long dream to go to Israel and it did not disappoint, in fact it just went way too fast!

One of my greatest fears was that I would see the places I’d written about in my books and realize I totally messed up my descriptions, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that for the most part I’d been fairly accurate (although I did tweak a few things here and there).

Standing on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee I was able to envision Eitan, our hero in Shelter of the Most High, sitting on one of the black boulders there, defeated and weary as he searched for his love. I was able to look toward the snowy peaks of Mount Hermon in the north and over the fertile Hula Valley just below the ancient ruins of Kedesh, the city of refuge, and consider how Sofea must have felt as she experienced the landscape of her new home for the first time, both the fear and the awe.

One of my favorite sites was Tel Dan and although it does not feature in Shelter of the Most High it’s lush greenness and dense forest gave me a better sense of what Israel must have been in the past before deforestation, war, and shifts in climate have done to the fertile land God himself called a land of milk and honey. Since I was so affected by Tel Dan (or Laish in ancient times) that city will be one of the settings in my upcoming third installment of the Cities of Refuge Series, Until the Mountains Fall.

Being a super visual person who is highly sensitive to sensory input, I took great pleasure in absorbing with all my senses as we walked paths, climbed mountains (yes, mountains), slogged through a long, cold, and wet tunnel deep beneath Jerusalem, hiked up to the secret oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul, and rocked along on a boat over the glassy surface of the Galilee. I felt like a sponge just soaking up every little detail and every grand vista.

Smelling the salty breeze off the Mediterranean and hearing the waves crash against the sandy beach in Tel Aviv and Caesarea Phillipi made me imagine our heroine Sofea looking over that enormous, blue expanse and wondering what sort of god had control of such a powerful thing.

Feeling the timeworn cobblestones beneath my feet gave me a sense of what it must have been like for Eitan and Sofea to walk through the streets of Kedesh, their own sandals scuffing against the rough-hewn stone as they went about their daily activities.

Running my fingers along the pitted surfaces of ancient buildings and tracing the chisel marks from craftsmen of the Bronze Age wrapped me in a whirl of imagination about who the people were that hefted those same rocks into place and the ingenuity it took to create structures that have lasted so long.

Tasting the unique spices and flavors of the Middle East gave me a sense of the passion Moryiah (our hero’s mother) has for creating delicious new dishes to feed her growing family and the guests at her inn.

Although I write fiction, my stories are woven into Biblical accounts so going to Israel was a perfect reminder for me that the people that lived between the pages of Genesis to Revelations were real. They breathed, they cried, they loved, they mourned, they suffered, and they celebrated with their families. I am so grateful to have gleaned some great new insight into the Land and its resilient, vibrant people and hope that through Shelter of the Most High readers get a small sense of the beauty and wonder I experienced there. I cannot wait to go back!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

The Power of Words, November 20

Among the Reads, November 21

Gensis 5020, November 21

God’s Little Bookworm, November 22

Book by Book, November 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Remembrancy, November 23

Real World Bible Study, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

The Becca Files, November 24

Baker Kella, November 24

Bibliophile Reviews, November 25

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 25

By The Book, November 26

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 26

Aryn The Libraryan, November 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 27

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 28

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

For the Love of Literature, November 29

Janices book reviews, November 29

The Lit Addict, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Just the Write Escape, December 1

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 1

Connect in Fiction, December 2

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 3

Purposeful Learning, December 3

Carpe Diem, December 3

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Connilyn is giving away

Grand Prize: All five of Conni’s novels, including Shelter of the Most High, plus AHAVA Dead Sea Bath Salts

Three other winners will receive a copy of Shelter of the Most High!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d66d/shelter-of-the-most-high-celebration-tour-giveaway

Lost Christmas Memories Review & Giveaway

Lost Christmas Memories FB Banner copy

About the Book

Lost Christmas Memories

Book: Lost Christmas Memories

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense/Christmas

Release Date: November 1, 2018

A witness with amnesia

Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life?

Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Ah, the final book in the Gold Country Cowboys series. Though this is book 4 in the series, it can definitely be read as a stand alone (but I do recommend reading the other books because the Thorn brothers are totally worth it!). There is high octane suspense and action from page 1 and the plot twists will have you on the edge of your seat. The story is fast-paced, well-written, and easy to read. The characters are so real, broken, and hurt….yet when they learn to let go of their past pain and allow reconciliation, forgiveness and healing to enter, such beauty blossoms.
Keegan is an adopted Thorn who has lots of issues from his past that never seem to leave him alone. He’s impulsive and driven by emotions and actions but does have a wonderfully protective and tender side. Tracy is new to town and strong but when she witnesses a murder and becomes the next target, she becomes fearful and more wary. For those who have been following the four Thorn brothers, both Owen and Jack play large roles in the story – which is so much fun!
If you enjoy action-packed contemporary romantic suspense, you will surely love this book. I was given a copy of the book by the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Dana Mentink

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com.

Guest Post from Dana

Writing this book was bittersweet for me. It was lovely to finally be able to tell youngest Thorn brother Keegan’s story, but I sure am sorry to say goodbye to this series! It was such fun to write about these four kinsmen and the family bonds that held them together through all manner of murder and mayhem! Here at Mentink Manor, we have recently sent a bear cub away to college for the first time. It feels like I have lost a limb now that my Boo Boo is gone! Fortunately, we will enjoy having her home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Though it won’t be a cozy country Christmas like it is for Keegan (we live in a city of 80,000 here in Northern, CA) we will be thrilled to have all our family home to celebrate together (Mama Bear, Papa Bear, two cubs, a naughty terrier, and a senior citizen box turtle!) I hope you enjoy this last installment in the Gold Country Cowboy series. I am sending along our best wishes for a blessed holiday season, from our Mentink household to yours!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 22

Christian Bookaholic, November 22

Among the Reads, November 22

Inklings and Notions, November 23

Just Your Average reviews, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 23

Because I said so -adventures in parenting, November 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, November 24

Moments, November 25

Simple Harvest Reads, November 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25

Genesis 5020, November 26

SusanLovesBooks, November 26

Remembrancy, November 26

Kat’s Corner Books, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27

Quiet quilter, November 28

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Book by Book, November 29

A Rup Life, November 29

To Everything A Season, November 29

Older & Smarter?, November 30

Have A Wonderful Day, November 30

Cafinated Reads, November 30

KarenSueHadley, December 1

Lighthouse Academy, December 1

Daysong Reflections, December 1

Bibliophile Reviews, December 2

A Baker’s Perspective, December 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Janices book reviews, December 3

Bigreadersite, December 3

Texas Book-aholic, December 4

Carpe Diem, December 4

Godly Book Reviews, December 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 5

Christian Centered Book Reviews, December 5

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Lost Christmas Memories, a $50 Amazon gift card and this cute reading charms necklace!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d626/lost-christmas-memories-celebration-tour-giveaway

Stratagem Review & Giveaway

Stratagem FB Banner copy

About the Book

9781683227304

Book: Stratagem

Author: Robin Caroll

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release Date: November, 2018

A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

A well-written mystery/suspense novel with a great plot! I am a fan of Robin Caroll’s books and Stratagem definitely lives up to the standards I expect from the author. The plot is full of twists and turns, red flags and red herrings, and well laid-out details that I couldn’t be sure who was the perpetrator until near the end. Grayson is a great character, full of compassion, tenderness, and intelligence. From page one, Grayson pulls the reader into his world of pain, grief, and regret. Brandon and Danielle, the two detectives from New Orleans Police Department investigating Grayson’s ex-wife’s death, have a nice professional partnership and bring a voice of reason to order all the clues in a sequential manner. The theme of forgiveness is prominent in the story and Grayson’s sincere desire to forgive those who wronged him in the name of Christ endears him even more.
If you enjoy well-written suspense, you will absolutely enjoy this book. I was given a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

RobinCaroll

“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her twenty-five-plus published novels. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home. Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as executive director/conference director for ACFW. Her books have been recognized in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

You can find out more about Robin by visiting www.robincaroll.com.

Guest post from Robin

Behind the Scenes: Robin Caroll Shares Her Inspiration for Writing Stratagem

Dear Reader,

Thank you for journeying to New Orleans in a web of deceit and confusion with me. Sharing a place that has such connection for me was a pure joy. South Louisiana offers such a laid-back attitude that I often miss “home.” I hope you’ll enjoy sampling a taste of the flavor of Louisiana.

Years ago I watched the movie The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn and was enthralled. There’s just something grabbing about messing with a person’s mind and life by using their own feelings and instincts against them. When this story of Stratagem first began forming, I wanted to use all that intrigue to mess up the game master’s life. The end result is quite the ride!

As the characters came alive to me, I found the theme of forgiveness and acceptance coming out in the story. Some of the emotions within this story are very personal to me, and I’m honored I was able to share them with you. It is my wish that you may be touched by Grayson’s faith journey as well.

Until next time. . .

-Robin

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17

Midnight Bookaholic, November 17

Back Porch Reads, November 18

Rebekah’s Quill, November 18

Real World Bible Study, November 18

By The Book, November 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 19

Genesis 5020, November 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 19

Lighthouse Academy, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 21

Splashes of Joy, November 21

Moments, November 21

Just the Write Escape, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Bigreadersite, November 22

Aryn The Libraryan , November 23

Multifarious, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

amandainpa, November 24

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Book by Book, November 25

Livin Lit, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 26

Baker kella, November 26

Daysong Reflections, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Painting with Words, November 28

Maureen’s Musings, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Janices book reviews, November 29

Carpe Diem, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 30

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 30

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stratagem!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d629/stratagem-celebration-tour-giveaway

Chosen People Review & Giveaway

chosen people FB banner_edited-1

About the Book

Chosen People

Book: Chosen People

Author: Robert Whitlow

Genre: Legal Drama

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Bestselling author Robert Whitlow dives deep into the legal ramifications of a tragic event half a world away and how it affects two lawyers in Atlanta from vastly different backgrounds.

When Hana Abboud walked into the conference room, she was unprepared for the images of a horrific terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But after watching a courageous mother sacrifice her life to save her four-year-old daughter, Hana knew she needed to help attorney Jakob Brodsky represent the family’s pursuit of justice against those who perpetrate acts of violent jihad. As an Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, Hana is uniquely qualified to step into the gap.
But they need a third partner, an investigator on the ground to help them unravel the snake pit of connections between the terrorists and an organization or company that can be sued in the American courts. Hana returns home to Israel and meets with investigator Hamid Hasan who quickly becomes more than a crucial part of the litigation team.

As Jakob and Hana investigate the case in the US, he is stalked on the streets of Atlanta by affiliates of a terrorist organization. Their pursuit of truth can only be resolved where it began: the streets of Jerusalem. But who can they trust? How deep does deceit go? Can two lawyers and a shadowy investigator impact the kind of violence and terror that has become common in our broken world?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Post from Mindy Houng

This is the first book by Robert Whitlow that I have read and now I completely understand all the buzz surrounding his books. Though not my go-to genre, I have enjoyed well-written legal thrillers and Robert Whitlow certainly knows how to write an intriguing story full of suspense and plot twists, stemming from a horrible crime and a pending lawsuit. The narrative is somewhat matter-of-fact and slightly detached but the dialogue is funny and genuine and leads to development of the main characters. The plot and the setting take main stage in the book and you will be transported to a completely different world where each clue that is unearthed during the lawsuit investigation will leave more questions until the end.
The characters in the book are quite unique – Hana is a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer who is temporarily working in the US and Jakob is a first-generation Russian cultural Jew who works as a lawyer for the underdogs. They are both passionate about helping those who have no one to help them and get involved in trying to find justice and resolution for the family of a woman who was killed in a terrorist attack while visiting Israel. The author tackles the serious issue of terrorism as well as racism in this book. Hana’s faith is real and tangible and Jakob’s journey to faith is admirable and touching.
If you enjoy legal drama, you will definitely enjoy this book. I was given a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Robert whitlow

Robert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Website: robertwhitlow.com, Twitter: @whitlowwriter, Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks

Guest Post from Robert

Inside the Story

Chosen People—a title that reflects both the Biblical designation for the Jewish nation as well as converted Christians—opens during a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. A courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her young daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.

Whitlow’s many trips to Israel and his in-depth research into the culture and laws of the Holy City are evident throughout the story. Furthermore, his experience as a lawyer gives him keen insight into the mind of his main character Hanna Abboud, an Arab Christian Israeli lawyer working in Atlanta.

“This book provides a unique perspective to this region and its peoples through the eyes of an Arab Christian who believes that the faithfulness of God and truths of the Bible are unshakable realities,” says Whitlow. “This viewpoint is rarely expressed, yet it is one that needs and deserves to be heard so that it can become part of our framework for understanding this vital part of the world and the people who live there.”

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, November 8

Genesis 5020, November 8

Multifarious, November 9

Real World Bible Study, November 9

The Power of Words, November 9

The Becca Files, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

C Jane Read, November 11

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, November 11

Book by Book, November 11

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 12

By The Book, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 13

Painting with Words, November 13

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 13

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Robin is Bookish, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Moments, November 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Janices book reviews, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 18

Christian Bookaholic, November 18

Carpe Diem, November 19

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 19

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 20

Bigreadersite, November 21

For The Love of Books, November 21

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, HarperCollins is giving away a grand prize of three finished Robert Whitlow books (to be chosen by the publisher)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d73a/chosen-people-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Light Before Day Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

The Light Before Day-Book Cover

Book: The Light Before Day

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: October 2, 2018

“Henry, this . . . fortune, this sudden wealth . . . I fear it will change our lives. And I don’t want my life to change.”

After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when each should marry and whom—a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.

As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side—and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.

Click here to purchase your copy!

The light of day buy 1 get 1

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Boy, if there is no wind, row.”
What a great Nantucket sea-faring family motto. I’ll be thinking about this quote for many days to come. The quote is often repeated by Jeremiah Macy, Hitty and Henry’s paternal grandfather, when the main characters come up against one dilemma after another. This third installment in Nantucket Legacy series follows twins Hitty and Henry Macy as they navigate their maternal grandmother’s wealth upon her death and try to positively influence the future of Nantucket in the mid-1800s. It is a wonderful tale with incredible characters, real historical events blended seamlessly with fictional embellishments, a well-paced plot in the midst of everyday Nantucket happenings with some surprises thrown in, a nice undercurrent of intrigue and suspense, fun dialogue, and a steady dose of lessons in faith. Though it’s not necessary to read the previous two books in the series, reading them first will give the reader a better understanding of the characters and their family history as well as the history of Nantucket that plays a large role in the story. I really enjoyed the almost dual-timeline aspect of the story with Great Aunt Mary’s journal from the late-1600s into early-1700s coming alive within the story as Henry reads the old faded journal for perspective and wisdom.
I totally fell in love with Hitty and Henry. Such wonderfully connected twins yet so very different. Hitty is a warm, tender-hearted, generous woman who loves the best in each person. She is delightful and full of life but feels unworthy due to her dyslexia. Henry is the thinker who waffles and is indecisive but quite intelligent and loyal. He’s somewhat lost in his purpose in life until he finds his voice as the newspaper editor carefully helping to bring in change to the small island of Nantucket. The author looks at social issues – like racism, segregation, consequences of blind belief in what our ancestors believed without thought and the slippery slope of faith without a formed church or leadership – thoughtfully through the eyes of Hittie, Henry, and Jeremiah.
If you enjoy a well-written historical fiction with a touch of romance, this book will enthrall you.
I was given a copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

suzanne woods fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She has also written several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. Fisher lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow her on Twitter @suzannewfisher and Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor.

Guest Post from Suzanne

The Mortgage Button

In each story of the ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series, there’s a reference to a mortgage button in the newel post of a stairway. Phoebe Starbuck, the main character in Phoebe’s Light, made a point to notice it in the captain’s house on Orange Street, the famous residences of sea captains. In Minding the Light, Daphne Coffin touched the mortgage button on the newel post of her horrible mother’s grand house each and every morning. Hitty and Henry Macy were well aware of the absence of their childhood home’s mortgage button—and all that its absence symbolized—in The Light Before Day.

Mortgage buttons meant something to each of those characters. It made a statement to anyone who walked into a house.

Have you ever seen a mortgage button? It’s a very Nantucket-y tradition. In fact, some say the mortgage button originated on Nantucket Island, thirty miles out to sea.

Supposedly, when a house’s mortgage was fully paid and there were no liens against the property, the homeowner drilled a hole in the newel post of the main staircase, rolled up the mortgage document, put it inside, and capped the hole with a decorative plug of scrimshaw.

Scrimshaw is a term for an American folk art developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Whaling in New England was an industry that lifted Nantucket Island to become the world’s wealthiest port. After a whale’s oil was rendered, the ship’s captain would give his crew the sperm whale’s teeth or bones to carve during long tedious hours at sea. Whaling had its exciting moments, but they were far and few between. As a pastime, sailors carved all kinds of useful gifts to bring home to their loved ones: needles, combs, games, clothespins, busks…and mortgage buttons.

But let’s jump back to the mortgage button. Some legends say that the actual mortgage papers were ceremoniously burned and the ashes stashed inside the drilled hole before sealed with the button. However, as appealing a thought as that might be, it is most likely a myth. There’s never been any evidence of ashes or even hidden mortgages found in salvaged newel posts. Still, mortgage buttons are common among Nantucket homes, and the tradition has spread to other parts of the country. In southern states, for example, they’re called brag buttons. Whether myth or truth, today it’s more a matter of a charming nostalgic custom than a nod to your healthy (or…not so healthy) net worth.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, November 4

Just the Write Escape, November 4

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Godly Book Reviews, November 5

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Among the Reads, November 8

Blossoms and Blessings, November 8

Blogging With Carol, November 9

A Baker’s Perspective, November 9

Mary Hake, November 10

Connies history classroom, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Carpe Diem, November 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 12

Simple Harvest Reads, November 12

Inspiration Clothesline, November 13

Janices book reviews, November 13

Captive Dreams, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 15

By The Book, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

Book by Book, November 16

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

Bibliophile Reviews, November 17

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d773/the-light-before-day-celebration-tour-giveaway

An Hour Unspent Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

An Hour Unspent

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Post from Mindy Houng

“But perhaps if one viewed God like a master clockmaker, then every cog, every gear, every spring was important. If one was out of line, no matter how small and insignificant, the entire device would fail.”
Roseanna White never fails to deliver high-quality, well-researched, and intensely gripping inspirational historical romance. This book is number 3 in the Shadows Over England series and can definitely be read as a stand-alone, though I highly recommend the other two books for background stories of Rosie/Peter and Will/Lukas and just for the sheer joy of reading such well-written novels. The dialogue in this book is quite clever and witty. There is great history, such as women’s suffrage movement in England and the birth of watch making from clock making, weaved into the fabric of the story. There is a good dose of intrigue and suspense and World War I espionage expertly mixed into great writing, intricate plot, and vividly memorable characters. There is even an intimate look at poverty, orphanhood, and racism that is still relevant today. The romance in the book is tender, the theme of faith and sacrificial love is real and down-to-earth, and emotions are so raw yet eloquent that quite a few scenes in the book made me cry.
I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of Barclay until this book. But he has changed dramatically since the beginning of the series and his noble character shines clearly in this story as he realizes whom God wants him to be. He’s an incredible man – resolved to turn away from his life of thievery, resourceful, intelligent, devoted to his family, so so tender and loving, and exquisitely sweet even if a little too overprotective. He has such a big heart and Evelina can’t help but fall in love with him. Evelina is a polio-surviver, brilliant, stubborn, and independent yet unsure of who she is. As the daughter of a renowned clock and toy maker, she feels like one of her father’s automatons. When one of her father’s ingenious designs brings the Navy’s attention and Barclay to her family’s door, sparks fly even as they all become entrenched in the dealings of war.
I really enjoyed the roles that Rosie/Peter and Willa/Lukas had in this book and loved being the witness to their happy unions. The mysterious V – Barclay’s boss – actually reveals himself in this book and we learn about who he was and who he is now, which is so satisfying. And it’s incredibly fun to see how Barclay actually steals an hour from the Big Ben!
I am so sad that the series has come to an end. It would have been wonderful to read about each and every one of Barclay’s adopted siblings… but there is a new series on the horizon so I’m waiting in anticipation for the first book!
I received a copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Roseanna 2018

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna

Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.

That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.

The founder. The caregiver. The leader.

I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.

It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.

There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.

It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 30

The Power of Words, October 30

Back Porch Reads, October 30

Kat’s Corner Books, October 30

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, October 31

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 31

Faithfully Bookish, October 31

Genesis 5020, October 31

Fiction Aficionado, November 1

Among the Reads, November 1

The Lit Addict, November 1

Just the Write Escape, November 1

Multifarious, November 2

Godly Book Reviews, November 2

Real World Bible Study, November 2

Madeline Clark, November 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 3

Christian Bookaholic, November 3

Inspirationally Ever After, November 3

Bookworm Mama, November 3

Bigreadersite, November 3

Blogging With Carol , November 4

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 4

Life with the Tribe, November 4

The Becca Files, November 4

Kathleen Denly, November 5

Cordially Barbara, November 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 5

Simple Harvest Reads, November 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

God’s Little Bookworm, November 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 6

Faery Tales Are Real, November 6

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 6

Carpe Diem, November 6

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 7

Blossoms and Blessings , November 7

Maureen’s Musings , November 8

Connie’s History Classroom , November 8

Book by Book, November 8

Just Commonly, November 8

cherylbbookblog, November 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day , November 9

With a Joyful Noise, November 9

KarenSueHadley , November 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 10

Baker kella, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 11

Inklings and Notions , November 11

Two Points of Interest, November 11

Inspiration Clothesline, November 11

A Baker’s Perspective, November 11

Henry Happens, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway

Miles from Where We Started Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

Miles from Where We Started

Book Title: Miles from Where We Started

Author: Cynthia Ruchti

Genre: Christian Romance/Family life

Release date: October 16, 2018

These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip—and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off ramp.

Weeks away from their one-year wedding anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.

The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition, and an at-risk, trouble-seeking missile of an eleven-year-old is unexpectedly launched into their travel plans. Close quarters get even tighter, and the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.

Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness they expected. How can they find a new beginning when the road ends?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Because I love you, Conner Duncan,” she shouted into the serenity, fists now waving. “I’ll always love you. And because marriage isn’t about avoiding discomfort. It’s about commitment!”
This book was my introduction to Cynthia Ruchti’s writing and now I understand what everyone is raving about. Cynthia Ruchti has a unique style of writing that reads like stream of consciousness with lyrical, flowing, heart-rending prose. Though it’s written in limited third person narrative, it reads like a first person narrative and allows the read to get into the heart, mind, and spirit of the main characters. Though Connor and Mallory’s thoughts, perspectives, and memories are heartbreaking, there also are humorous and funny dialogue and thoughts even in the midst of their tangible and real struggles. As they travel together with a temporary foster preteen in tow, Connor and Mallory learn to find themselves and each other in the journey that engages their bodies, hearts, minds, and souls. This deeply emotional and soul-bearing story is indeed thought-provoking and had me contemplating my own marriage and spiritual journey and how we have also come many miles from where we started.
I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

cynthia ruchti

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope through novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and speaking events. She serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences across the country. She married her grade school sweetheart, and the two live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Guest Post from Cynthia

I have a confession to make. I heart millennials.

My other novels have had a few millennial characters. Some even played starring roles. But I knew there was more to the heart of millennials than I could gain from listening to the often unfair sighing or comedy routines about that generation. As a person, I wanted to know them better—what are they really like? What challenges do they face with which previous generations saddled them? What strengths to they offer our culture?

Until now, I hadn’t written a story about a millennial couple whose marriage was in crisis. Like, serious crisis. I-don’t-want-to-be-married-to-you-anymore. That kind of crisis.

As any good novelist knows, part of what we do to our characters is make the situation worse. So, millennial couple, approaching their one-year anniversary, ready to call it quits because “This marriage thing is really hard. Is it supposed to be so much work?” But what if…? What if they were forced to be together for three weeks…in a micro-camper…on America’s backroads…with an 11-year-old foster boy troublemaker…and both the husband’s AND the wife’s jobs depended on the trip’s success?

Plot idea in hand, I set off to write Miles from Where We Started, not entirely sure when I began the journey where they would end up or how they’d get there. It was an education for me in so many ways. The impact of the turning point of the story? In the words of my millennial friends, “That’s lit!”

Side note: I’m a big fan of a young teen musician at our church. The boy has mad skills as a keyboard artist. He approaches life as if it’s an endless game of Ninja Warrior. Why walk when you can vault into the room? Why walk up a flight of stairs when you can hop four at a time? He also sports a perpetual smile and is famous for his kindness, but his eyes give away that a little mischief may be hiding behind that smile. I asked Judah’s permission to use his name (and a little bit of his personality) as the foster child character in Miles from Where We Started. I can’t wait for him to read the part he inspired.

Can’t wait for you to read it, too.

Hemmed in Hope,

Cynthia

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 25

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 25

The Power of Words, October 25

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 26

Lighthouse Academy, October 26

Real World Bible Study, October 26

Quiet Quilter, October 27

Kristin’s Book Reviews, October 27

Christian Bookaholic, October 27

cherylbbookblog, October 28

Simple Harvest Reads, October 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, October 28

Godly Book Reviews, October 29

Captive Dreams Window, October 29

By The Book, October 29

Maureen’s Musings, October 30

Spoken from the Heart , October 30

SusanLovesBooks, October 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 31

Mary Hake, November 1

Book by Book, November 1

amandainpa , November 1

Pause for Tales, November 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 2

Just Commonly, November 2

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 3

Baker Kella, November 3

Two Points of Interest, November 3

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 4

Inklings and Notions, November 4

Bibliophile Reviews, November 4

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 5

Janice’s Book Reviews, November 6

Carpe Diem, November 6

A Baker’s Perspective, November 6

A Diva’s Heart, November 7

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 7

Bigreadersite, November 7

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away a grand prize of the Adventure begins” large tote bag, “This way to adventure” travel notebook, “Home is Where We Park It” metal wall hanging, a teardrop camper birdhouse, PLUS a $50 gift Visa gift card…to start your adventure fund!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ea/miles-from-where-we-started-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Duel for Christmas Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

ChristmasDuel_front

Book Title: A Duel For Christmas

Author: Rosanne E. Lortz

Genre: Regency Romance, Romantic Suspense

Release date: October 1, 2018

After seven long years in Devon, Lady Maud Worlington returns to London to reclaim life on her own terms, but a nefarious shadow and the prospect of financial ruin dog her steps. An impulsive and unforgettable kiss under the mistletoe creates a connection with Geoffrey, the handsome, young Duke of Tilbury. Yet as pleasant as it is to have a suitor, Maud is not sure how a boy of one-and-twenty can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her.
The Duke of Tilbury considers himself as adept at managing matters as he is at swordplay, but his beautiful new acquaintance Lady Worlington has other ideas about how to manage her complicated life. Intrigued by their stolen kiss, Geoffrey pursues Lady Worlington’s affections, only to be foiled by the lady’s own doubts, by rivals for her hand, and by a sudden death that affects both their families. When Jacob Pevensey, the investigator from Bow Street enters the scene, the duke becomes a prime suspect in the murder case. Truths are unearthed that Geoffrey would rather keep hidden, and the twelve days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.
Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Post from Mindy Houng

This book was my introduction to Rosanne E Lortz’s writing and I believe I have missed out much by not having picked up her books earlier! I did not realize that this book was #3 in the Pevensey Mysteries series until Mr. Pevensey was introduced about a third way into the book, but it can definitely be read as a stand alone. The author combines witty, clever, and fun writing with some fascinating facts from medieval English history transposed into Regency era. Add a mix of intrigue and mystery to the plot with quite a few surprises along the way and you get a fantastic read that keeps you guessing as to what will happen next and who really is the villain.
Though the title suggests Mr. Pevensey is the main character, he is one of several. Mr. Pevensey, as a Bow Street Runner, is meticulous, thorough, and fair in his assessment of facts and people. He becomes involved in the affairs of the upper crust when an incident ties all of the characters in a tragic bind. Geoffrey, the young duke, is upright, protective, loyal, tender, and far more mature than his stated age. His younger sister Helena becomes engaged to Will, a future viscount, and that’s when Geoffrey meets Will’s widowed sister Maud and their mutual attraction ignites. Will and Maud’s half-brother Ralph, who is quite like Geoffrey, rounds out the cast of characters who needs to delve through layers of deceit and evil plot to arrive at the correct conclusion. Reading the book was like seeing the board game Clue being played out before my eyes; it’s quite a well-done mystery.
I’m suspecting there will be another Pevensey Mystery book in the future and can’t wait to read it. I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to write a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Author Photo

Rosanne E. Lortz is a writer, editor, teacher, history-lover, and mom to four boys. She loves to read, sing, draw, compose, write, and create. Education is one of her passions, particularly a classical, liberal arts education. She has taught English composition and grammar, Latin, history, music, and various other subjects for ten years at both the elementary and secondary level and is currently the Director of Academics and Admissions at Paideia Classical Christian School in Gladstone, Oregon.
Rosanne’s first book, I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, released in 2009. This book explores the tumultuous landscape surrounding the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and is a tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. In 2015, Rosanne began her Pevensey mysteries, novels of romantic suspense set during the British Regency (with inspiration from medieval characters and events). The first three titles are: To Wed an Heiress, The Duke’s Last Hunt, and A Duel for Christmas.

Guest Post from Roseanne

The year is 1120. The place is the English Channel. A ship puts off from the French port. The passengers have been drinking, far too heavily. A submerged rock shatters the hull of the ship. The vessel goes down into the watery depths, and with it the heir to the English throne.

This incident from Medieval history was the inspiration for my Regency novel, A Duel for Christmas. Set in the early 1800s, the novel has a dash of suspense, a few tablespoons of murder mystery, and a heaping cup of sweet romance all blended together to make the perfect holiday read.

Lady Maud Worlington has just returned to London, determined to reclaim life on her own terms, but when an impulsive and unforgettable kiss creates a connection with Geoffrey, the Duke of Tilbury, she must decide if he can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her. A watery death, financial ruin, and a nefarious shadow from the past dog their steps as the Twelve Days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 13

Just Commonly, October 13

Blogging With Carol, October 14

Remembrancy, October 14

Carpe Diem, October 15

Inklings and Notions, October 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 16

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 16

Where Faith and Books Meet, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 18

Wishful Endings, October 18

Faery Tales Are Real, October 18

More Of Him, October 19

Just the Write Escape, October 19

Bibliophile Reviews, October 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 21

Lis Loves Reading, October 21

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 22

Mary Hake, October 22

Two Points of Interest, October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 23 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Book by Book, October 23

proud to be an autism mom, October 23

Reader’s Cozy Corner, October 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 24

Janices book reviews, October 25

Bigreadersite, October 25

Godly Book Reviews, October 26

Living Life Free in Christ, October 26

Have A Wonderful Day, October 26

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rosanne is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d434/a-duel-for-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

This Courageous Journey Review & Giveaway

This courageous journey FB banner copy

About the Book

This Courageous JourneyBook Title: This Courageous Journey

Author: Misty Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: October 9, 2018

As the fifth daughter in a family of nine children, Noelle Grant has spent her life working to be unique. Her love of stories helps define her goal—to be known around the country as one of the top news correspondents of her time. And what better way to uncover sensational stories than to travel through the mountain wilderness to visit the brother she hasn’t seen in years? The trip comes together perfectly as she plans to journey with family friends who will be settling in the same area. Her first inkling that things may not be as perfect as planned comes in the form of the mountain man they hire as their guide for the final leg of the journey.

When Daniel Abrams agrees to guide the small group of easterners along his usual journey northward to the Canadian mountains, his gut tells him he’s making the wrong decision. But if he doesn’t take them, who will? The man in charge refuses to consider turning back. As they start out, Daniel can’t help but notice the woman traveling under the care of her friends. Though she appears too genteel to last long in these mountains, she soon reveals a strength that draws him more than he should allow.

As the dangers of this wilderness become more than the group bargained for, Noelle is faced with the choice to delay her journey northward or proceed alone with the man she’s come to trust against all reason. She never imagines her decision will place her—and the man she loves—in a situation more hazardous than any story her imagination could conjure.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

You can’t go wrong with Misty Beller’s books. If you have been reading the Heart of the Mountains series, this wonderful story of Daniel and Noelle will re-engage your heart and mind as they travel through the wintery wilderness from Montana Territory to Canada in the mid-1800s. If you have never read Misty Beller’s writing, this book is an excellent sample of her storytelling and it can be read as a stand alone though it is book 4 in the series. No matter how many times I’ve read her books, the author never fails to amaze me in her world-building and creating the backdrop setting of stark wintery beauty of the mountainous wilderness as it displays the majesty of the One who created it all. The coming-of-faith component in the plot is tender, real, and believable. The characters are flawed but so lovable.
Daniel is a loyal, steadfast, and tough mountainman born and reared in the wilderness. He’s a loner by nature and has a tough time getting past his heritage. Despite his taciturn and introverted nature, Daniel is quite likable and admirable in character and Noelle, though the opposite in temperament, falls in love with her guide. Noelle’s bright and optimistic outlook, as well as her strong faith and resourcefulness, endears her to the wearied soul that Daniel is and a sweet yet tumultuous romance develops between these two who never set out looking for love. It is also nice to see the other characters from the series make appearances in the book and I look forward to the next one, which will feature Noelle and Simeon’s brother.
I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher as well as via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Misty

Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Guest Post from Misty

Ever Been Struck by Lightning?

One of the fun things about being a writer is the crazy topics I get to research. Without giving away too much of the story, part of my research for This Courageous Journey included uncovering what happens when lightning strikes a person. It turns out anything can happen!

Surprisingly, about nine out of ten people struck by lightning live to tell their story. Each person’s experience seems to be different—some are knocked unconscious, while others are horribly aware of everything happening. One person who was struck said it seemed as if time slowed to a crawl and a white haze surrounded him like a bubble, as excruciating pain shot through him.

People usually try to determine the path the lightning traveled through them, based on where burn marks appear on both skin and clothing, but sometimes that can be difficult if jewelry or coins were touching the body. Survivors might suffer a variety of short- and long-term effects, including—but not limited to—cardiac arrest, confusion, seizures, dizziness, muscle aches, deafness, headaches, memory deficits, distractibility, personality changes, and chronic pain, among others. That may sound like an awful list, but it does beat the alternative!

As I considered the possible effects of a lightning strike when I was writing This Courageous Journey, I was reminded once again how magnificent God’s creation is. Both the incredible power contained in one streak of lightning, and the beautiful inner workings of the bodies He created for us. As the Psalmist said, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made!”

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 11

Among the Reads, October 11

Singing Librarian Books, October 11

The Power of Words, October 12

Multifarious, October 12

Maureen’s Musings, October 12

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 13

Real World Bible Study, October 13

Splashes of Joy, October 14

Artistic Nobody, October 14 (Spotlight)

Joy of Reading, October 15

Mary Hake, October 15

Janices book reviews, October 15

Kat’s Corner Books, October 16

Livin Lit, October 16

KarenSueHadley, October 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool aacademy, October 17

Remembrancy, October 18

Carpe Diem, October 18

Pause for Tales, October 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 19

Bigreadersite, October 19

A Baker’s Perspective, October 20

Blossoms and Blessings, October 20

Bibliophile Reviews, October 20

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, October 21

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 21

Wishful Endings, October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 22 (Guest post Mindy Houng)

Inspiration Clothesline, October 23

proud to be an autism mom, October 23

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 24

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4cf/this-courageous-journey-celebration-tour-giveaway