Hooper Safe Haven Review and Giveaway

Hooper Safe Haven

About the Book

Book: Hooper Safe Haven

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: October 26, 2021

Hooper Safe HavenCoverHarbors should be safe havens, but what if you’re harboring secrets?

When Alicia Roberts accepts a job with mobile veterinarian, Kendall Mulligan, she hopes the Independence Islands will give her a safe place to start over. And as much as she appreciates the Mulligan girls’ offer to stay with them while she gets settled, Alicia knows she needs her own place. ASAP.

Hooper Ear Cove Apartments on Hooper Island offers a beautiful ocean view as well as one of the landlord’s hunky son—all at an affordable price. Just what she needs to start a new life. Isn’t it?

When life knocked Jace Young in the head with a literal curveball that ruined his major league chances, he was forced to return to Hooper Island and a job as the maintenance guy at his father’s apartment complex. On the side, he leads the contemporary song service at church as his heart heals.

When Alicia moves to Hooper Island, Jace is drawn in by her sweet personality. However, something hides deep beneath the surface, and Alicia resists any discussion of God. What will it take to convince her to anchor her heart to God and to confide the secrets she harbors?

Hooper Safe Haven continues the Hooper Island stories of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Hooper Safe Haven by Rachel Skatvold  is the sixteenth book in the Independence Island Series and the fourth book set on Hooper. The series is contemporary Christian fiction set on a fictional Island chain off the coast of Georgia, USA. This book features several characters from previous books but it can be read as a standalone with no problems.

 

What you might need to know:

Jace has life threatening epileptic seizures.

Alicia is running from violence in his past.

 

What I think about this book:

 I cannot say enough good things about this book, it was such a sweet story. Alicia is running from her past and hasn’t let anyone get close enough to find out who she really is, but when she comes to the Independence Islands she finds more than she knew she was missing. Jace was such a touching character, I enjoyed how he looked for the good in the situation. I appreciate how he allowed his illness to draw him closer to God instead of pushing him away. The interaction between the characters was fun and realistic. I also loved Cooper and how faithful he was at his job. This was a great addition to the series.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Author-Photo-2019-225x300Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

Read an Excerpt

Alicia Roberts leaned against the railing, watching the seagulls hovering above the ferry as it prepared to dock at the Merriweather slip. They were always waiting for something—tiny fish in the surf or tiny scraps the passengers left behind. In a way, she knew how they felt. Until now, she’d been waiting, too—although it was for something entirely different. She closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of the wind whipping through her long brown hair. In deciding to work on the Independence Islands, had she finally found what she was waiting for? A new purpose? There was no turning back now. After graduating and moving out of her college dorm she had nowhere else to go.

The sound of the apron dropping to allow the cars and people off the ferry drew Alicia out of her ponderings. She approached her blue compact car, packed to the gills with all the belongings she owned and slipped into the driver’s seat as quickly as possible to avoid holding up the other passengers parked behind her. Within a few minutes, she drove up Captains Walk, spying a large RV parked in one of the lots. Kendall Mulligan greeted her the moment she parked and stepped out.

“Welcome back!” her auburn-haired friend exclaimed, pulling her into a tight embrace. “I’m so glad you decided to take the job.”

Alicia pulled back and offered a shy smile. “Me too. How could I turn down such a great opportunity right out of vet school?”

Kendall took her hand, pulling her along. “Here, come inside. There are breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and coffee from Granny’s inside. If we hurry, we’ll have a few minutes to enjoy them before patients start arriving.”

Her stomach rumbled as she followed Kendall up the steps to the mobile clinic. “That sounds wonderful. I forgot to eat this morning.”

“Now you sound like Carly. I always have to remind her to eat breakfast. She calls me a nag, but she’s hypoglycemic, so if I don’t keep on her, she can’t function very well in the morning.”

Alicia chuckled. “No one usually has to remind me. I can’t function without a bowl of oatmeal or some kind of protein first thing in the morning. I think my routine is just off with this new job and all, but I’ll adjust soon enough.” She paused, remembering something. “Speaking of Carly, I heard about her engagement to that billionaire. When’s the big day?”

Kendall shook her head with a slight roll of her blue eyes. “Next month, believe it or not.”

“Well, that was quick!”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” Her redheaded friend shrugged with a sigh. “I suppose when money is no object, a wedding can be whipped up pretty quickly, though. I never thought my little sister would get married before me. She’s always been so opposed to that kind of thing, but I guess when you meet the right one, why wait? I’m happy for them.”

“Me too. So, is that why she’s gone today? Wedding planning stuff?”

“Yeah, it’s going to be pretty crazy around here for the next month. She’ll be in and out of here a lot, but after the wedding she’s going to launch her new mobile art business with Luc. That’s why I’m so glad you could come and work with us.”

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Inklings and notions, November 13

lakesidelivingsite, November 14

She Lives To Read, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

Connect in Fiction, November 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings, November 16

Aryn the Libraryan, November 17

Daysong Reflections, November 17

For Him and My Family, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

deb’s Book Review, November 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 19 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 23

Kayem Reads, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

Splashes of Joy, November 24

Simple Harvest Reads, November 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/133ba/hooper-safe-haven-celebration-tour-giveaway

Shut the Front Door Review and Giveaway

Shut the Door

About the Book

Book: Shut the Front Door

Author: L.M. Karen

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release date: July 15, 2021

Ebook_ShuttheFrontDoor+02The zany story of an alpha male pursuing a headstrong woman and the hilarious entanglements that follow.

Maddy’s dating profile couldn’t be more together. Maddy, however, feels utterly not together when Derek is in the room. She thought living next to her best friend Brittany, (who happens to be married to her brother, Matt) would be the best move of her life; not realizing it came with the complication of Brittany’s older brother Derek. Their undeniable chemistry and passionate personalities make it hard for Maddy to continue ignoring his determined pursuit. This is a feel good romantic comedy with a hint of excitement.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should:

Shut The Front Door by L.M. Karen is the second book in the Oak Street series. It is contemporary Christian Fiction. While this book can be read as a standalone I feel like I was trying to play catch up for the first several chapters from not having read the prior book in the series.
What I think about this book:
Given that the two main characters were a man who is called a stalker more than once and a woman who takes pride in her independence to the point of being reckless I shouldn’t have liked this book, however it quickly caught my attention and I just couldn’t look away. Derek and Maddy have chemistry that is through the roof and I appreciate how the author showed that as Christians it is ok to have amazing chemistry, but how you also need to have boundaries so that things don’t get out of hand. I loved the interaction between the characters including the playful brother/ sister banter. This was a fun and sweet read, I look forward to reading more from this author.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

LM Karen writes contemporary Christian fiction romance. As a longtime lover of words, she can generally be found behind her laptop or with a book in her hand. A graduate of Toccoa Falls College, her heart is in the mountains. She eventually made use of the voices in her head by putting them on the page.

More from LM Karen

I like writing characters who are flawed but are loved anyway. Who have maybe made a mess of things, or are consumed by fear, or have some growing to do, because isn’t that all of us? All of my characters get happy endings because as Christians we all get the happy ending. We are flawed, we are human, we are sinful, but we are loved. We are forgiven.

One of my favorite things about Maddy in Shut the Front Door is that she is fearless. She is bold and unapologetic about who she is. But even Maddy with all her confidence still has insecurities about being accepted, and just wants to be loved at the end of the day. She just wants to know that she will be received for all she is by the one person she loves the most. I think that’s a very relatable desire and what we all really want. One of my favorite things about Christian fiction is that we are reminded within the fun and sweeping nature of romance that we are always and eternally loved by God.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 10

CarpeDiem, November 10

Texas Book-aholic, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 11

Inklings and notions, November 12

Living’ Lit, November 13

For Him and My Family, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

deb’s Book Review, November 15

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 17

Kayem Reads, November 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 18

Wishful Endings, November 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 19

By The Book, November 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 21

Remembrancy, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads , November 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, November 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, LM is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

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/13399/shut-the-front-door-celebration-tour-giveaway

Murder at the Empire Review and Giveaway

Murder at the Empire

About the Book

Book: Murder at the Empire

Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: October 5, 2021

Murder at the Empire CoverGayle Wells is a killer organist, but does a killer have her in his sights?

They call him the Emperor.  John Starek fills his theater with fine artwork and treasures. He’s particularly pleased to have one of the country’s first female organists – and he thinks Gayle Wells is the bee’s knees.

Despite pressure from her social crusader mother, Gayle isn’t interested in changing the world. She just wants a car of her own – and a career playing the organ at the Empire movie palace would be especially ducky.

Then the Empire’s treasures start disappearing and employees start dying. Are a few pieces of art really enough motive for the string of murders? Will Gayle be next?

Murder at the Empire brings the Nightingale into an elegant movie palace in the roaring 20’s – but the real excitement is all off-screen.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

 Murder at the Empire, a Christian Historical Fiction by Cathe Swanson is the fourth book in the Ever After Mysteries.  The series consists of standalone novels set in the 1920s, all as different fairytale retellings.  This story is set in Chicago and features Gayle Wells, the first female Organist hired at the Empire, a movie palace.

What I think about this book:

  I really enjoyed this book, it was entertaining from start to finish.  Gayle was  a fun character, raised by a Mother with feminist views she wasn’t afraid to step into a world that was male dominated.  It is fun to get a backstage look into the world of silent films and what it took to make magic happen.  The mystery in the story kept me on my toes, there were so many “bad” guys that I was left guessing until the end.  I expected John and Gayle’s relationship to develop more during the story, but I think that in the end that the author did a great job. I look forward to reading more by Swanson and in the series.

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

6-20-2016-1000After 40 years of wandering (but always in lovely places and not in a desert), Cathe Swanson has recently returned to her childhood home and family in Minnesota.  In the summer, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and being outdoors, gardening, hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. The long winters are perfect for writing books, playing games, reading, and indoor hobbies. Cathe’s been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years and enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper.

Everything inspires new books! A lifelong love of quilting, Cathe’s Swedish heritage and an interest in genealogy led to The Glory Quilts series, and The Hope Again series is inspired by her life in the Midwest and experiences with the elderly, the military, and inner-city ministry. As a child of the sixties, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in the Serenity Hill series.

 

Cathe writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

More from Cathe

The 1920’s is a fascinating era. Women had recently won the right to vote, and America adopted the Volstead Act – Prohibition – which led to the growth of underground clubs and organized crime. Women were forging new paths in social reform, politics, science, medicine and every other career. America became more urbanized, building suburbs and developing a large middle-class population. The affordable automobile changed the entire culture! It was a time of innovation and rapidly expanding technology. Synthetic fabrics, convenience foods, electric appliances and other inventions made daily life easier. People had more free time, money and access to a variety of entertainments than ever before.

So much happened in this brief, exciting decade between the end of WWI and the Great Depression! It’s always interested me, so I was flattered and thrilled when Celebrate Lit Publishing invited me to participate in The Ever After Mysteries, a collection of 1920’s mysteries inspired by fairy tales. I’m a great fan of mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and I read at least a thousand fairy tales as a child.

To be honest… I set about it backward. I knew I wanted to write about a young woman playing the Mighty Wurlitzer organ to accompany silent films at a glamorous movie palace, so I Iooked for a fairy tale to match it!

I chose The Nightingale, an old Chinese story about an Emperor with a beautiful palace. Everything in it was exquisite and fragile, and people came from all over the world to admire his palace. He loved to show it off and even tied little bells to the prettiest blossoms in the garden, to make sure no one missed them. When the emperor heard rumors about a bird that sang more beautifully than anything else, he sought it out and brought it home to live in the palace, where it could sing to entertain him and his guests.

At that point, the fairy tale and my story diverge. In the fairy tale, the nightingale lives in the palace singing for the court until the Emperor of Japan presents the Emperor of China with a bejeweled mechanical bird – so much prettier than the plain brown nightingale. The Chinese emperor abandons the real bird and enjoys the mechanical one until it breaks. He falls into a deep depression and is only restored to health by the return of the real nightingale.

None of that happens in Murder at the Empire, but there’s lot of other fun, jazzy excitement as the John Starek – the “Emperor” – fills his magnificent movie palace with fine artwork and beautiful things – including Chicago’s first female theater organist, Gayle Wells. He thinks she’s the bee’s knees, but she’s a pretty independent girl, busy working and saving money to buy her own car.

And then things start falling apart… with murder at the Empire. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 17

Blossoms and Blessings, November 17

Texas Book-aholic, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Sodbusterliving, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

For Him and My Family, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 25 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 25

Connie’s History Classroom, November 26

Genesis 5020, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Back Porch Reads, November 28

Through the fire blogs, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/133b9/murder-at-the-empire-celebration-tour

Garrett Review and Giveaway

Garrett

About the Book

Book: Garrett

Author: Izzy James

Genre: Christian Romance

Release date: November 27, 2020

IzzyJames_Garrett_eCover_HRGarrett Tyler thought he was leaving Ballard House for home, secure in the knowledge that love had finally won-out for his long-time friend Olivia. He steps out the door and into the past, 1769 to be exact. While finding his bearings Garrett stumbles upon a beautiful woman being attacked. He makes sure she gets home and because of his kindness, she allows him to stay in an outbuilding—even believing his time travel story—while he figures out how he will get back to his life in the future. The more time they spend together, the deeper friendship they build, but one thing is going to rip her world apart.

Mercy Hansford is a confidant, independent woman running her own tailor shoppe. Her world is shaken when she is brutally attacked after delivering one of her sought-after shirts. The consequences of this night could be more far-reaching than either of them can guess.

Should Mercy trust a man she barely knows?

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Garrett by Izzy James in a Yorktown Time travel novella.  Set in 1769 it is the second in the series/  While this could be read as a standalone I highly recommend that you read Max, the first story in the series, prior to starting this one. This story features Garrett who was a minor character and does give spoilers about the first novella.

 

What you might need to know:

Mercy was attacked immediately prior to the start of the book.

 

What I think about this book:

While this book started just after a very traumatic incident  it was a very sweet and fun read. I loved getting to see 1769 Yorktown through the eyes of a historian who got to travel back in time.  It was very interesting to see how Mercy reacted to Garrett, his story and his consistent kindness. It was fun to see how many risks Garret was willing to take to get back to his sime and take pieces of the past with him.  I really enjoyed this story and would love to see more in this series and more from James.

 

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

izzy_jamesIzzy James grew up in coastal Virginia. She lives there still with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

More from Izzy

Why did I write Garrett?

While I was writing Max I was working through physical therapy prior to a lumbar fusion surgery. My physical therapist’s assistant was a young man named Garrett. He was intrigued that I was a writer and asked me if I would use his name in a book one day. So I had a name.

As I finished writing Max–who came forward in time from 1769–I started thinking about what it would be like for a young person of today to find himself back in 1769.

Garrett of the book bears no resemblance to Garrett of the physical therapy office! Garrett was fun to write. I hope you will enjoy reading it.

If you’d like to hear more about my books and be included in a monthly giveaway sign up for my newsletter.

Newsletter Link: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/websitesignupform0708201983447pm

Every Christmas I send Christmas cards to each member of my Christmas Club. I pray for each reader as I sign and address the cards. If you’d like a Christmas Card from me please sign up before December 1. It does require your physical address. It will never be used for anything else.

Christmas Card Link: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/websitesignupform0708201975614pm

Both email and physical addresses are held sacred. They will never ber sold or used for anything but what you signed up for.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Britt Reads Fiction, November 16

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

Inklings and notions, November 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 19

By the Book, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, November 20

deb’s Book Review, November 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Kayem Reads, November 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 23

Connie’s History Classroom, November 24

Mary Hake, November 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, November 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 28

Pause for Tales, November 28

Connect in Fiction, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Izzy is giving away the 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/133b3/garrett-celebration-tour-giveaway

God Is Coming Review and Giveaway

God is Coming

About the Book

Book: God Is Coming

Author: Maggie Philpot

Genre: Children’s books, Christian books

Release date: October 15, 2021

Image 8-3-21 at 1.19 PMIn a search for a book that presented the beauty and mystery of the advent season with elegance and simplicity meant to be enjoyed by the entire family, God Is Coming was born. This Advent Journey traces the story of God’s relentless pursuit of His children and all of the anticipation of the holiday season in simple, rhyme and meter. Children and adults alike will be touched by the reminders of the profound truths of the gospel and families will return to these stories and these iconic images year after year.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

God is Coming by Maggie Philpot is an Advent Journey for Children and Families. It is illustrated by Michael Livesay-Wright. It has 25 different poems and pictures.  The Appendix features scripture that aligns with each day and includes a few questions for discussion.

 

What I think about this book:

This book would make a great addition to any Advent tradition.  Each day contains a short poem and a beautiful picture, which allows it to be used with families with a large variety of ages. The rhyming words help capture the attention of young children and are beautiful enough for adults to appreciate and enjoy. I love that the author included scripture and questions in the appendix so that families can take each day farther if that is what is a good fit for their family.  I look forward to reading this book with my family for many years to come.

 

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Maggie PhilpotMaggie Philpot wrote her first children’s story when she was in middle school (a story about an egg named Eggbert) and she has been dreaming up stories ever since. She lives in Fort Worth with her spectacular husband (whom she calls Husband), her two precocious children, and a rather ridiculous dog, Tucker. She is passionate about anything and anyone who attempts to make beauty, order, and meaning in this crazy world. The simple act of writing is one way to do just that.

More from Maggie

In a search for a book that presented the beauty and mystery of the Advent season with elegance and simplicity, God Is Coming was born. This book traces the story of God’s pursuit of His children and all of the anticipation of the Christmas season in simple, rhyme and meter. This year available in a deluxe hardback edition with full-color illustrations, offering you the opportunity to bring home a truly heirloom-quality book to be a part of your holiday traditions!

Blog Stops

Lighthouse-Academy, November 17

Vicky Sluiter, November 17

Simple Harvest Reads, November 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 19

Inklings and notions, November 19

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

deb’s Book Review, November 22

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 23

For Him and My Family, November 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 24

Labor Not in Vain, November 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 26

Mary Hake, November 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 29

Maureen’s Musings, November 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Maggie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of God Is Coming and a hand-crafted wooden advent spiral!!

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/13cf9/god-is-coming-celebration-tour-giveaway

Unpacking Christmas Review and Giveaway

Unpacking Christmas

About the Book

Book: Unpacking Christmas

Author: Beth K. Vogt

Genre: Contemporary/Women’s Fiction

Release date: November, 2021

Unpacking Christmas - Final internetJohanna, Jillian, and Payton’s excitement about the Christmas holidays is upset when their parents announce they’re selling their long-time family home. Soon the sisters find themselves facing a variety of unexpected changes, including a serious health scare for their dad. Instead of putting up holiday lights and decorating the family Christmas tree, the Thatcher sisters are helping pack up their childhood home. Along the way, they share treasured memories as they try to hold onto valued traditions, discovering the struggles they’ve endured pale in comparison to the love they share with each other.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“You’re moving toward the unknown, and you have to pray and hope for all the goodness there.”

This was a fun Christmas novella to catch us up on how the Thatchers are doing. As usual, the author packs a lot of emotion onto the pages and you will cry, laugh, and love with the characters as the most unexpected and life-changing Christmas happens on the entire family. Though it can be read as a stand-alone, the book will be best enjoyed if read after reading the original series first. The sisters have a complicated yet redemptive history that you’ll want to learn about in detail before diving into this one.
Heather, the mom, has a first person voice in this book and the daughters – Johanna, Jillian, and Payton – have third person voices. Their voices are distinctly unique and the plot flows seamlessly, even with four different narrators. There is a lot to unpack in this book as each character and her significant other deal with tough issues like paralyzing fear, broken past, unforgiveness, infertility, and lingering grief. If you enjoy women’s fiction, this novella will touch your heart.

I received the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Beth-Vogt-Favorites-0001Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Having authored ten contemporary romance novels and novellas, The Best We’ve Been, the final book in Beth’s Thatcher Sisters Series with Tyndale House Publishers, released May 2020. Other books in the women’s fiction series include Things I Never Told You, which won the 2019 AWSA Award for Contemporary Novel of the Year, and Moments We Forget. Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Learn How to Write a Novel and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers group and mentoring other writers. Visit Beth at bethvogt.com.

More from Beth

What’s going on with the Thatcher sisters?

Readers have asked me this question so often since The Best We’ve Been, the third and what I considered final book in the Thatcher Sisters Series, which released in May 2020. In the series, Payton, Jillian, and Johanna each had their moment center stage. Some readers told me they’d come to understand and, yes, even like older sister Johanna. Quite a feat, considering how she annoyed readers in book one, Things I Never Told You.

I ended the series with the trio of sisters in a good place – the best they’d ever been.        The circumstances of their lives weren’t all tied off in nice, neat bows, but then real life isn’t like that, is it? And as the author, I was content to leave the sisters there and let readers imagine what happened next.

And then 2020 disrupted life for all of us. For me? Writing didn’t happen. I promised myself I would dive back into story in 2021. What better way than with a Christmas novella? So many readers love Christmas stories. And what better time to revisit Payton, Jillian, and Johanna and answer readers’ question: What’s going on with the Thatcher sisters?

I wasn’t sure myself. Part of the fun of writing is rediscovering well-known characters as you discover a new story. Set against the backdrop of Christmas? That was just an added blessing.

It’s been Christmas time for me throughout 2021 – a time to enjoy family traditions and face some unexpected changes. Welcome back to the Thatcher family!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 9

Texas Book-aholic, November 10

Livin’ Lit, November 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 11

Splashes of Joy, November 11

Inklings and notions, November 12

lakesidelivingsite, November 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 14

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

Where Faith and Books Meet, November 15

Genesis 5020, November 15

For Him and My Family, November 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 17

SusanLovesBooks, November 17

deb’s Book Review, November 18

Spoken from the Heart, November 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 20

Through the fire blogs, November 20

She Lives To Read, November 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Beth is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, a copy of Unpacking Christmas: A Thatcher Sisters Christmas Novella, and a set of the Thatcher Sisters Series!!

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/12f8b/unpacking-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Yukon Justice Review and Giveaway

Yukon Justice

About the Book

Book: Yukon Justice

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: October 26, 2021

Yukon Justice (1)Sabotage on a family ranch…

Newfoundland Ella and her Alaska State Trooper partner is on the case.

When her estranged uncle attempts to sabotage her family’s reindeer ranch, K-9 team assistant Katie Kapowski heads home to help save it—and becomes his target. With their rocky past, Alaska State Trooper Brayden Ford and his furry partner are the last team Katie wants assigned to protect her. But with the ranch under siege, they must work together…or risk falling victim to a killer.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:
Yukon Justice by Dana Mentink is the seventh book in the Alaska K-9 Unit Series. It is a Love Inspired Suspense. It is a standalone, but it does contain characters and information from other books in the series.

What you might need to know:
Katie’s family was killed in a car accident when she was 10 years old.

What I think about this book:
I have come to the conclusion that anytime you have Dana Mentink and K-9s it is pretty much a guaranteed recipe for success.  Mentink does an amazing job of creating characters who are relatable  and drawing you into their story. Katie’s love for her Aunt and her reindeer is so touching. I also like getting to know Brayden as he realizes that Katie is not who he assumed that she was. I could also envision Ella and her antics that helped bring the story to life. I appreciate the research and details that are put in her books and loved learning more about Reindeer. Mentink’s stories are always a delight!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Author PictureDana 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 the Publisher’s Weekly  and Amazon bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Up on the housetop, click, click, click, down through the chimney with good St. Nick. Does anyone know that line from the famous Christmas song? I’ve been singing it for years but only recently did I learn that the clicking is a real reindeer phenomenon. Those reindeer ankle joints make a clicking sound so they can find the rest of their herd if they are separated in a blizzard. It’s just one of the many things I learned about reindeer while researching to write Yukon Justice. In the novel, Katy has to take over running her aunt’s reindeer ranch and protect it from threats by a dangerous intruder. I had the pleasure of “Zoom” interviewing the owner of the Running Reindeer Ranch in Fairbanks, Alaska! Jane helped me learn all kinds of interesting things about reindeer. How much do you know about these critters? Take my quick three question trivia quiz to test your knowledge!

  1. What’s the difference between caribou and reindeer? They are the same animal but caribou are the wild variety and the domesticated version are called reindeer.
  1. Do males or females grow antlers? Both! Reindeer are a type of deer and the only species where the female grows antlers as well as the males.
  1. How come kids put out carrots for Santa’s reindeer? Good question! Carrots are not, in fact, part of a natural healthy reindeer diet. The animals don’t even have front teeth! A much better treat would be willow or birch leaves, or their favorite food…lichen, which they find by scraping the snow away from the ground with their hooves.

So how did you do? If you want to know more about these amazing creatures, snag yourself a copy of Yukon Justice!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 6

lakesidelivingsite, November 6

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 7

Gina Holder, November 7 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 8

Daysong Reflections, November 8

Genesis 5020, November 8

For Him and My Family, November 9

Lighthouse-Academy, November 9

Bigreadersite, November 9

For the Love of Literature, November 10

Remembrancy, November 10

Betti Mace, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 11

deb’s Book Review, November 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 12

Blogging With Carol, November 13

To Everything There Is A Season, November 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 14

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 15

Vicarious Living, November 15

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings, November 16

Bizwings Blog, November 16

She Lives To Read, November 17

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 17

Splashes of Joy, November 18

Through the Fire blogs, November 18

Kayem Reads, November 18

Labor Not in Vain, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Raining Butterfly Kisses, November 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of the book OR signed copy of the book (U.S. Only)!!

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/12f8a/yukon-justice-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Amish Outcasts Holiday Return Review and Giveaway

Amish Outcast

About the Book

Book: The Amish Outcast’s Holiday Return

Author: Lacy Williams

Genre: Contemporary Christian romance / Amish romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

The Amish Outcast's Holiday Return COverTorn between family loyalty

and her dreams for the future…

Grace Beiler’s shocked when Zach Miller arrives at her family’s farmhouse seeking forgiveness for his teenage mistake that cost her sister’s fiancé his life. But when her father gives Zach a job, Grace gets to know the man he’s become…and starts to want more than friendship. Can love bloom amid hidden secrets and family grief, and give them a fresh start at Christmas?

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

The Amish Outcast’s Holiday Return by Lacy Williams is a contemporary Amish Romance.  It is a standalone Love Inspired Inspirational Romance.  It features Grace Beiler, a young Amish woman and Zach Miller, a man convicted of manslaughter.

 

What you might need to know:

Zach’s parents were killed in a buggy accident when he was ten, he was then taken by his non Amish uncle. As a teen Zach kills an amish man when he is drinking and driving.

 

What I think about this book:

This was a very unique concept for an Amish book. Zach spent his childhood in the Amish community, but is ripped out of it and everything he knows when his parents are killed. When a series of bad choices put Zach in prison he starts to seek the faith of his childhood.  Grace is asked to put forgiveness into practice when he comes to seek forgiveness for killing her sister’s fiance. This was such a good book about God’s Grace and Forgiveness and how it is hard for us as humans to grant the same type of forgiveness. Zach was such a heartbreaking character, that I didn’t think I would like, but he quickly captured my attention. Grace was a really neat character and I enjoyed how she grew African Violets.I loved this story and the characters. I would love to read more books based in the community to get more of their story.

 

 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

lacy-williams-author-headshotLacy Williams wishes her writing career was more like what you see on Hallmark movies: dreamy brainstorming from a French chateau or a few minutes at the computer in a million-dollar New York City penthouse. In reality, she’s up before the sun, putting words on the page before her kids wake up for the day. Those early-morning and late-night writing sessions add up, and Lacy has published fifty books in almost a decade, first with a big five publisher and then as an indie author. When she needs to refill the well, you can find Lacy birdwatching, gardening, biking with the kiddos, or walking the dog. Find tons of bonus scenes and reader extras by becoming a VIP reader at www.lacywilliams.net/vip .

More from Lacy

The Best Part of a Barn Raising

Have you ever had your community rally around you? Maybe some of your friends threw you a baby shower. Maybe your church helped with a meal train when you were ill for a time. Maybe you played sports and raised money together as a team.

Has your community ever built you a house?

I’ve written lots of historical books. I’ve written a barn-raising or two into my books. Until I started researching for THE AMISH OUTCAST’S HOLIDAY RETURN, I didn’t realize that community “raising” events still happened in 2021. They do!

In some Amish communities, builders will gather all the materials for the house or barn and on (usually) a Saturday, the entire community will gather to build the whole structure. There’s a really cool timelapse of a barn raising on YouTube that you can check out.

I’ve always loved writing about these events because of the community aspect. We need human connection and there’s something special about having your community surround you and show their love in a tangible way. Imagine walking into your home that your friends built for you. Every time you walked over the threshold you could remember the friend who built the door frame. When it storms, you could appreciate the roof over your head that many friends helped stretch the frame for. What an amazing feeling of belonging.

Of course, barn raisings and house raisings wouldn’t be complete without the food. Typically, the women and girls put together a giant potluck for the men and boys who are doing the physical work of building the structure. Brainstorming for this always makes me remember church potlucks when I was a child. Our church met at the local 4-H building. We would stretch out folding tables and chairs in long rows. And the food. Pasta salad. Fried chicken. Chocolate cake!

(I also remember roller skating in the back of the massive building with my friends, but that is a whole other story…).

Memories and friendships are forged at church potlucks and barn raisings. And when you are on the inside, it creates a lovely sense of belonging. But the hero in THE AMISH OUTCAST’S HOLIDAY RETURN, Zach, is not on the inside. He’s an outsider who has come home and is searching for a place to belong. The barn raising/potluck is the moment when heroine Grace sees a hint of vulnerability in Zach—because he wants to belong. It changes everything in their new acquaintanceship.

Want to know more about this book? Check out the “read inside” feature and try Chapter One on your favorite retailer.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 3

The Avid Reader, November 3

Texas Book-aholic, November 4

Maureen’s Musings, November 4

Lighthouse Academy Blog , November 5 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Inklings and notions, November 5

lakesidelivingsite, November 6

Bigreadersite, November 6

For Him and My Family, November 7

Mary Hake, November 7

deb’s Book Review, November 8

SusanLovesBooks, November 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 10

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

She Lives To Read, November 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 12

Labor Not in Vain, November 12

Older & Smarter?, November 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 14

Splashes of Joy, November 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 16

Vicky Sluiter, November 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lacy is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card & paperback copy of the book!!

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/12f81/the-amish-outcast-s-holiday-return-celebration-tour-giveaway

Speak Now Review and Giveaway

Speak Now

About the Book

Book: Speak Now

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romance

Release date: May 30, 2013

Speak Now REVISED COVER -smSome say you only love once. They’re wrong.

Ask Jonathan Lyman. Still grieving for his wife, he walks into that wedding with no idea his entire life is about to change. It was just supposed to be a simple—oh, who am I kidding? It was supposed to be a typical, lavish, family wedding.

But there’s nothing typical about falling in love with a woman walking down the aisle. So to speak.

Cara Laas is falling hard and fast for a man whose heart doesn’t want to let go of the past and is rushing to meet her in the present. At the same time. That she’s half in love with his children doesn’t help, either.

Their attraction may be their undoing, but is either ready for “till death do us part?”

She’s a master at making others comfortable. He’s never comfortable talking, but if he wants her heart, he’s going to have to speak—now sooner than later, if you don’t mind.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Speak Now is a contemporary Christian Romance by Chautona Havig.

It is set in Havig’s Rockland Universe so it contains some of her previous characters, however this is a standalone novel  so you don’t need a knowledge of her universe to enjoy this book.
What you might need to know:

Jonathan’s wife died prior to the start of this book.
What I think you should know:

I LOVE Havig’s Rockland and automatically read anything she has written, the down side of this is I didn’t pay enough attention to realize that Jonathan’s wife I died, if I had I would have probably skipped this book and for once I am glad that I didn’t pay attention to the blurb. This was such a sweet story, I really enjoyed getting to know Cara and seeing her from both her own perspective and from Jonathan’s. The relationship between them was very interesting to read as their relationship developed. I appreciate that Jonathon recognized that he did not need a physical element to their relationship and drew strong boundaries.  It was also interesting to watch Cara who was raised in a middle class family recognize how Jonathon’s wealth made his choices much different than hers. I love how the story gave small glimpses into some of Havig’s other books. I can’t wait to see what happens next in Rockland.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

media-headshot-sm-240x300Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

All New Cover, All New Edits, Same Great Story?

The article condemned the overuse of dialogue. I did a bit of research, and my heart sank. It seemed dialogue was out. Lyrical prose was in. Great. Just what I needed.

I write a decidedly dialogue-driven story. Always have.

Every time I tried to shift character discussions into narrative, my prose took a nose-dive into a tank of boring info-dumping. Blech. Those characters wanted to talk. They didn’t want me to tell readers what they wanted to say. They wanted me to let them tell their story as they lived it.

Characters can be pretty demanding.

Then Jonathan stepped up. He didn’t talk—didn’t want to talk. In fact, he didn’t like it. Refused to do it. And yet… how could he hope to get to know a woman who fascinated him if he didn’t at least ask questions to get her to carry most of the conversation.

Research says that if you gaze into someone’s eyes for four minutes, you’ll develop a strong bond with that person. I suspect that’s what “love at first sight” is. Two people who foolishly keep gazing into a stranger’s eyes long enough to form that bond. Or something.

I also suspect that’s what happened to Jonathan that night.

So here I had a character who did not like to talk. And aside from self-absorbed people, most of us don’t like to carry an entire conversation alone, so the woman he met that night, Cara, wouldn’t enjoy chatting all by herself all night.

Look, I tried to make it less dialogue-driven and not all info-dumpy. I tried to keep it an engaging read without so much discussion. But the dialogue refused to go away. It wanted its place. It needed to be there.

So I caved, certain I was going to be a mediocre writer for the rest of my life.

I hated that book for so long. In fact, I never intended to publish it. Why would I put something out there so very bad? The articles, books, videos—all the things I’d read said I was doing something wrong.

Except one friend. Michele loved the story—begged for new installments. Pleaded with me to finish it. So, I did. For her. I published it, even. Only for her. And you know what? I still hated it.

Despite that book having the best scene I’ve ever written in it.

No joke. There’s a scene in there that I’m always amazed to realize that I wrote. It’s powerful and raw and oh, so poignant. And yes, there are words in it—spoken words by my characters.

A few years passed. I still didn’t like the book. In my mind, it was a failure.

Then someone said something to me one day. “You are so good at dialogue.”

Later, someone else said it again. And later, I heard it again. Here I’d spent all this time and frustration fighting against one of my biggest writing strengths. Because some article made me question the best way to write. When I did searches on writing good dialogue, guess what? I found rebuttal arguments that included references to books I loved. Oops.

To say my eyes opened, and I saw something new in that story might be overkill. If anything, I assumed that meant it was as bad as I thought.

I felt certain that was why I didn’t like that book. It didn’t have “my” dialogue. So I reread it, determined to figure out if I should rewrite the whole thing with more.

Know what I discovered? I like the book.

Okay, Speak Now may never make my top-ten favorites of the books I’ve written. In fact, I guarantee it won’t.

But it won’t make the bottom ten anymore, either. In fact, it’s closer to top than bottom these days. And now it has a new cover, which I’m sure my daughter is pleased about. As the photographer for my original cover, she hated how I blew out the highlights on it. I loved the effect for that book, but with new editing, a few dialogue changes, and of course, that scene I love so much (and one tiny subplot that I never explored well changed for something else), it needed a new cover. And so I have it now. Introducing Speak Now 2.0. I’m so excited to share this book with the world.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Simple Harvest Reads, November 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, November 7

Elly Gilbert, November 7

Texas Book-aholic, November 8

Cultivating Us, November 8

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 9

Lots of Helpers, November 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 12

Blogging With Carol, November 12

She Lives To Read, November 13

Kayem Reads, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 16

Spoken from the Heart, November 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Speak Now!!

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/12f85/speak-now-celebration-tour-giveaway

Christmas Grace Review and Giveaway

Christmas Grace

About the Book

Book: Christmas Grace

Author: Mindy Steele

Genre: Amish Romance

Release date: October 26, 2021

ChristmasGrace_1600Second chances and the Christmas spirit abound in Mindy Steele’s heartwarming novel, one of faith, love, and the power of community.

Grace Miller believed herself in love with the charming Englischer who eventually broke her heart. Now alone except for the secret life growing inside her, she arrives in the unfamiliar small village of Walnut Ridge, Kentucky, to hide and hopefully gain forgiveness.   She is pleasantly surprised, however, to find a tight-knit, welcoming group who help her heart grow right alongside her belly. And with the holidays around the corner, there’s plenty of preparations to occupy her mind. Also occupying her mind? Her strong, protective neighbor, Cullen Graber, the town’s blacksmith, who seems intent on not allowing her to ever suffer alone.

Cullen Graber gave up on love after too many losses early in life. He planned to live out his days focusing on his smithy business, yet the beautiful and mysterious Grace refuses to leave his thoughts. But can they open their hearts to God’s grace and create a new family together before Grace must return home?

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Christmas Grace by Mindy Steele is a contemporary Amish Romance.

 

What you might need to know:

Grace is an unwed mother after becoming pregnant by her “English” boyfriend. She is repentant for her choice.

 

What I think about this book:

While it had an unusual heroine, what started out as a sweet predictable Amish Romance had so many hidden gems that I will be thinking about it for a long time to come.  When Grace is sent by her father to stay in Aunt’s community until her child is born she feels that the punishment is what she deserves. Instead of being shunned by the community like she has been by her father she is welcomed with open arms, and love that sees past her mistakes. I loved the residents of Walnut Ridge.   The people show her God’s love and mercy and help her to see that since she has repented she has been forgiven. Even a villain in the story had some powerful truth “Paid Enough?….. You think you must pay for making a mistake. That is for Gott. Not Man”  I really enjoyed reading this book and definitely read more by Steele in the future.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Mindy Steele picMindy Steele writes sweet Amish fiction as well as romantic suspense. She is an author of 7 novels. The Miller’s Creek Amish series, Christmas Grace, Christmas in Cranberry, His Amish Wife’s Hidden past, and An Amish Flower Farm, releasing 2021. If not gardening or visiting her Amish neighbors, she is on the family farm writing her newest inspiration.

More from Mindy

Behind the scenes with Christmas Grace:

  1. Many are fascinated with the Amish. Their lifestyle, their faith and family. They are talented craftsman, extraordinary bakers, and wonderful stewards of the land. For me, it was their community as a whole. The Amish are some of the best examples of community. How they tend to one another and work alongside each other even without the need of a disaster or tragedy to occur. I didn’t even realize until a close friend who reads my manuscripts pointed it out, but every book I have written thus far has been mostly centered around community. ( I thought that was cool) Walnut Ridge was the first community I ever fictionalized and I still find myself wanting to go back and writing more about the wonderful people who live there.
  2. As an avid reader of Amish fiction I wanted to write a story that wasn’t so…perfect, because none of us are. Grace Miller made a mistake, and finds herself having to face the consequences of that. I think we all can relate somewhat to her. Getting to know the three local communities near me, I find myself drawn more to the imperfect and how they carry on more than the upright and grounded. There is a scene where a group of women share their imperfections with Grace. It became a turning point in her life.
  3. Walnut Ridge, Kentucky is completely fictional, as are all of my book settings currently. I have a love for setting a stage, building a place from the ground up. Although my hero, Cullen Graber was born and raised in Walnut Ridge, Grace Miller was not. Getting to know a character like Grace was a pleasure, but required a lot of research. Although I have seen much of our great country I live less than a half an hour from my birthplace.
  4. Many books and films paint a picture on the meaning of shunning, but it doesn’t happen as often as you think or to the severity portrayed. I met a woman the year this book was wrote and learned a lot from her own personal plight. She had been shunned from her community and never returned, but still speaks to her mother and siblings, often. Grace was shunned for a time in her community, but even after confessing her sin, asking forgiveness and receiving it from her church and community members, her father sent her away from his house out of shame. As a parent to five, there are few times in those teenaged years I wanted to bann a kid or two, but my heart went out to Grace here.
  5. I love creating characters who are realistic and relatable, but also swoon worthy and Cullen Graber is one I have had in my back pocket for a while. The gentle giant, slow to speak, fast to listen, and has a past too. I hope you come to find him as stoic yet imperfect as I wrote him.
  6. There is a scene in the book where Grace finds herself completely alone and facing monsters. (No, I’m not giving out a spoiler here) I have found myself in such a place a time or two as I imagine many have. That moment when fear and bravery collide. This scene was actually inspired by a horrible nightmare while writing Christmas Grace. After reading, I bet you can guess what I’m afraid of.
  7. I am a panster, not a plotter, but even I was shocked that I wrote this book in three weeks while working full time. I have tried my hand at plotting, but find once my characters start to reveal themselves, I have no more control over the story than I did my children’s choice in careers. My process is scary actually, according to Mr. Steele that is. (wink wink) I get an idea, start drafting out characters, setting, and pace or walk for two days while my head figures it all out. Then its pen and paper until that first draft is complete.
  8. When you hear the word Amish, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Yep, food. I happen to be a food lover and an expert on the subject. Grace found herself unable to work at the job her aunt had set up for her but found she had a purpose, and a place to fit in. We all have a purpose, and a place in our community.
  9. When I first signed with my amazing agent, Julie Gwinn, we both had hopes for the first book I wrote. She had planned on pitching it two months later so there was time to polish it until it shined. Then she called me up and asked me how quick I could write a second book to pitch too, not wanting to simply go in with one book I assume, but I know nothing about the stresses of a agents work. My mother insist this is who I am, the one who best performs under pressure, without time to prep, think. I tend to disagree. But in three weeks Christmas Grace was finished and ready for editing. I have wrote two contemporaries in short time spans, but Grace’s book, my first contracted book, will always be that one I always remember. Mostly because of I ran out of coffee twice, forgot to shower and eat a few days and learned it’s alright to talk to yourself if you really need someone to hear your thoughts. Oh, and the publisher bought a second book too. I can’t wait to share A Cranberry Christmas with you.

Much love, Mindy

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 27

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Inklings and notions, October 29

Britt Reads Fiction, October 29

lakesidelivingsite, October 30

Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 30 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Blogging With Carol, October 31

For Him and My Family, October 31

Older & Smarter?, November 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 1

She Lives To Read, November 2

deb’s Book Review, November 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 3

Elly Gilbert, November 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 4

Simple Harvest Reads, November 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 5

Mary Hake, November 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 6

Splashes of Joy, November 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 7

Spoken from the Heart, November 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 9

Vicky Sluiter, November 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mindy is giving away a copy of her book to five winners!

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/12b80/christmas-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway