Ladies of Intrigue Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

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Title: Ladies of Intrigue

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: February 2019

Publisher: Barbour

3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep!
Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Oh, what fun! Three of Michelle Griep’s novellas in one book! I would have finished it in one sitting if I hadn’t started the book later in the evening and had to take a break to sleep. All of the author’s trademarks that makes her books delectable are in these novellas – smooth and easy-to-read writing, descriptive historical settings, strong and lovable characters, nicely laid-out plot, and a steady current of faith infused into the characters. If you enjoy well-written historical romance, you will enjoy this collection of novellas.
The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady takes place in 1815 England as Isaac works secretly as a smuggler to help his impoverished tenants and Helen accidentally discovers his identity. The Doctor’s Woman takes place in 1862 Minnesota as James starts a new position as the fort’s physician and Emmy helps as his assistant after her own physician father passes away. A House of Secrets also takes place in Minnesota but in 1890, as Joseph, the city counsel, works to covertly help women in need but the secrets become a bit too entangled when his fiancée Amanda unwittingly becomes involved in the situation. There is a bit of intrigue in each story with plenty of historical fare and sweet romance.
I received 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

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Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com.

Guest post from Michelle

3 Reasons to Read Historical Fiction

Guest post by Michelle Griep

Believe it or not, some readers snub historical fiction, preferring instead to stick to contemporary reads. Several have good reason to, simply preferring one genre over another. But others have never given historical fiction a try. If you fall into that camp, here are some reasons you should consider reading a tale from the past.

  1. Historical fiction books are not as boring as your high school history class.

Does the thought of endless names and dates make you break out into hives? Good news! Historical fiction is a painless way to glean some historic facts without mindless memorization. You can experience a different era and culture vicariously through heroes and heroines that live on the pages of yesteryear.

  1. Makes for great conversation.

In a world that prides itself on keeping up with the Kardashians, dare to add a little cultural zest to your next dinner conversation. Reading historical fiction arms you with interesting tidbits of things that’ve happened in years gone by.

  1. Because truth is timeless.

Some people yearn to go back to a simpler time. The truth is, though, that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the historic side of the fence. People have had tough issues to deal with no matter the era. . .but therein lies a great reason to read historical fiction: truth is timeless. Be it ancient, biblical, medieval, Victorian, or anything in between, truth never changes.

In my new release, Ladies of Intrigue, you’ll experience all these things and more. Find out about the smuggling trade in Cornwall in The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady. Learn about the rough and dangerous life on a military fort during the 1860’s in The Doctor’s Woman. Find out why the gilded age wasn’t as glittery as we often think in A House of Secrets.

Don’t be doomed to repeat history. Grab a cup of tea and master it with a great read!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 23

The Power of Words, February 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 24

Mary Hake, February 24

Kathleen Denly, February 25

Genesis 5020, February 25

Splashes of Joy, February 25

For the Love of Literature, February 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 26

Faery Tales Are Real, February 26

Through the Fire Blogs, February 26

Blossoms and Blessings, February 26

Inspired by fiction, February 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 27

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 27

A Baker’s Perspective, February 28

Andy Carmichael, February 28

Stories By Gina, February 28

Emily Yager, March 1

Multifarious, March 1

A Reader’s Brain , March 1

Baker kella, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Remembrancy, March 2

Just the Write Escape, March 3

Bigreadersite, March 3

Inspiration Clothesline, March 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 4

Vicky Sluiter, March 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 4

Book by Book, March 4

Kat’s Corner Books, March 5

Inklings and notions, March 5

Living Life Free in Christ, March 5

The Morning Chapter, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Pause for Tales, March 6

Simple Harvest Reads, March 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Daysong Reflections, March 6

Texas Book-aholic, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Janices book reviews, March 7

A Humble Cup of Lukewarm Tea, March 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 8

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 8

Carpe Diem, March 8

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of Ladies of Intrigue!!

Be sure to comment on blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/da8c/ladies-of-intrigue-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Secrets of Paper and Ink Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

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Title: The Secrets of Paper and Ink

Author: Lindsay Harrel

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: February 26, 2019

Publisher: Thomas Nelson/

Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.

A year after the death of her abusive fiancé, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England—a place she’s learned to love through the words of her favorite author—and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she’s renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.

Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.

More than 150 years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily’s journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.

The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“But stories do not need to be read by others to have power. We simply have to believe in their importance and trust that the One who wrote them had a reason for doing so. We must embrace that story and remember that who we are is not defined by the ups and downs of our lives -the failures OR the successes. Nay, we are instead defined by Whose we are.”
What a powerful, enchanting, and gripping split-time novel by Lindsay Harrel! In her newest release, the author creates a written world worthy of the title “Secrets of Paper and Ink” as she melds the desperate and heartbroken Emily of 1856 Cornwall with equally desperate and heartbroken Ginny and Sophia who are American transplants in Cornwall of present day. The author’s writing will grab you from the first page and not let go, even after the last page is read. There is so much heartbreak, pain, and suffering portrayed, yet glimmers of hope, forgiveness, and joy will beckon you to travel the journey with these three women in the story. The characters indeed are raw, real, and completely broken but they need to hit that rock bottom to realize who they are and what they are meant to be doing. This story speaks of shattered hearts, deeply forged bonds of friendship, and pursuing dreams despite insecurities and past failures while gently touching on the topic of healing only through God’s grace and mercy. Anyone who enjoys a well-written split-time novel would absolutely love this book.
Emily, Ginny, and Sophia are all independent women who are strong and determined. But beneath their strength lie hearts that are vulnerable, tender, and needing love. Emily, though scorned by others, pursues her dream to be a published author while Ginny hides from her dream of becoming a pastry chef and Sophia has no idea what her dream even is. The men who walk alongside these women are all loyal, honorable, tender, and amazing but each relationship takes different twists and turns as the story unfolds.
I am holding my breath for the next book by Lindsay Harrel! I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and also 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

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Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at LindsayHarrel.com.

Guest Post from Lindsay

With every book I write, it seems God has something new to teach me. That certainly was true of The Secrets of Paper and Ink.

Lately, I am learning more and more about the power of our words. I’ve become more conscious of the words I speak over myself as well as what I say to other people. It’s more than “positive thinking”—the words we say ultimately contribute to the stories we weave, and I want my story to be as positive and hope-filled as possible, regardless of my circumstances.

I’ve also become much more aware of the lies that I tell myself—“you are not worthy, you are not enough, you will never achieve what you want to achieve”—and the need to replace those lies with the truths that God says about me. I have listened to Lauren Daigle’s song You Say on repeat lately, and it has become a theme not just of The Secrets of Paper and Ink, but one in the story of my very life.

So while I may not have experienced everything my characters have—I’ve never suffered emotional abuse, or been ostracized by my family, or been orphaned and alone in a world that seems against me at every turn—I have learned alongside them. I set out to write a book that would draw readers closer to the true healer and hope giver, and I ended up being drawn closer myself.

And that, to me, is the true power of story.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 26

The Avid Reader, February 26

The Power of Words, February 26

Carla Loves To Read, February 26

Blogging With Carol, February 27

Inspirationally Ever After, February 27

Kristin’s Book Reviews, February 27

Real World Bible Study, February 28

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, February 28

Carpe Diem, February 28

A Baker’s Perspective, March 1

Andy Carmichael, March 1

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

The Becca Files, March 2

Just Your Average reviews, March 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 3

Emily Yager, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 3

Genesis 5020, March 4

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 4

Stories By Gina, March 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 5

Simple Harvest Reads, March 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, March 5

Remembrancy, March 6

Through the Fire Blogs, March 6

Inklings and Notions, March 6

Just the Write Escape, March 7

Pause for Tales, March 7

Book by Book, March 7

Living Life Free in Christ, March 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 8

To Everything A Season, March 8

The Lit Addict, March 9

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 10

Janices book reviews, March 10

Bigreadersite, March 10

Henry Happens, March 11

Godly Book Reviews, March 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 11

amandainpa , March 11

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Lindsay is giving away a copy of Lindsay’s first book The Heart Between Us!!

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/dcc3/the-secrets-of-paper-and-ink-celebration-tour-giveaway

Castle on the Rise Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

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Title: Castle on the Rise

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

A storied castle. A band of rebels. A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom. And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within—for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Live every moment. That’s what you said to me when I walked down the aisle, remember? I gift it back to you. Fix every second of this night in your heart. Protect it, and visit it often.”
Another stunning and absolutely captivating time-split novel by Kristy Cambron! I am not a novice to the author’s writing, yet am still astounded every time I read her books. This story takes place mostly in Ireland – in 1797 during an uprising against the English, in 1915 as Ireland struggles for freedom, and during present day. The past time periods are thoroughly researched and the writing and vernacular in speech also shift with the time periods to make the writing believable and extremely enjoyable. The three subplots in different time periods are intricately intertwined with details that hold the story cohesively together and bring enlightenment at the end of the novel. The writing is beautiful, the themes of bravery, inherent desire for freedom (even in rebellion), sacrifice, and love are so tender and heart-wrenching, and the characters – oh, the characters – are utterly unforgettable. This incredible story of Ireland’s past, present, and future all tucked away in one castle ruin, a manor, and three true loves is a story that is a must read for all historical romance fans! And if anyone wanted to make a movie of this book, I’ll be first in line to pre-order those tickets.
As for those characters…. Eoin, Sean, and Cormac all have such deep love for their country and those they call friends and family. They are loyal, honest, hard-working, loving, tender, and faithful till the end. Maeve, Issy, and Laine are strong women – strong in their opinions and actions, faithful and loyal in their love. I rarely connect with so many characters in one book, but I loved getting to know all six of these characters through their suffering, heartbreak, and triumph.
This book is second book in the Lost Castle series but can be read as a stand alone. I did not read the first book but was immersed in this storyline from page 1 and didn’t feel that I missed anything by not reading the backstory on Ellie (Laine’s best friend) and Quinn (Cormac’s brother) first in the previous book.
I was given a copy of the book by 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

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Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping Series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal’s Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

To stay connected, visit www.kristycambron.com.

Kristy’s Research Trip to Ireland

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, February 19

Maureen’s Musings, February 19

The Power of Words, February 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 19

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 20

Livin’ Lit, February 20

Texas Book-aholic, February 20

Fiction Aficionado, February 21

Gensis 5020, February 21

Blogging With Carol, February 21

Bigreadersite, February 21

Just the Write Escape, February 22

As He Leads is Joy, February 22

Just Your Average reviews, February 22

Inspired by fiction, February 23

Connect in Fiction, February 23

Carpe Diem, February 23

Bibliophile Reviews, February 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 24

Lis Loves Reading, February 24

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

Emily Yager, February 25

Moments, February 25

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 26

Girls in White Dresses, February 26

Mary Hake, February 26

Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 28

Remembrancy, February 28

Through the Fire Blogs, February 28

Inklings and Notions, February 28

Redeemed Hope Dweller, March 1

My Devotional Thoughts, March 1

Seasons of Opportunities, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 2

The Becca Files, March 2

Book by Book, March 2

Living Life Free in Christ, March 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 3

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, March 3

All 4 and About Books, March 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 4

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Janices book reviews, March 4

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kristy is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy each of The Lost Castle (book 1) and Castle on the Rise (book 2)!!

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/d9d0/castle-on-the-rise-celebration-tour-giveaway

Fatal Homecoming Review & Spotlight

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About the Book

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Title: Fatal Homecoming

Author: Stacey Weeks

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Write Integrity Press

It was murder. She was sure. And that assurance could cost her life.

Undercover RCMP officer Rick Chandler poses as a detective in the small town of Chenaniah River. He is investigating the possibility of a corrupt police force when Jessie returns to bury her brother, and she refuses to believe evidence that point to her deceased brother’s involvement in drug trafficking. Soon, the same person that murdered her brother targets her. Can Rick help Jessie dodge bullets, escape fires, and exonerate her brother before the attacks escalate?

 

Jessie Berns has returned to her hometown to find answers about her brother’s suspicious death. With the help of an old friend, Detective Rick Chandler, they pursue a truth that someone is willing to do anything to keep hidden—even kill again. They uncover decades-old secrets that expose hidden sins and threaten the lifestyles of high-powered people in their small town.

As they close in on the devious mastermind manipulating the community, it becomes frighteningly clear to Rick that Jessie is not the one calling the shots in her amateur investigation. She is the killer’s new target.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

What an action-packed romantic suspense from this new-to-me author! The story is well-written and the plot is intricately woven that you’ll continue guessing who the villain is until the very end. The characters are relatable and likable and faith element is strong throughout the story. If you enjoy a romantic suspense with non-stop action, you will definitely enjoy this book.
Jessie, our heroine, is a travel journalist who returns home for her brother’s funeral. She has a lot of backstory with her small Canadian hometown that she left when she was in middle school, along with her father’s fall from grace and her brother’s addicted past. Yet she remains loyal to family, strong, and fights for justice even in face of danger. Rick is an undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police (had to look that up since I’m not familiar with Canadian law enforcement) whose reputation has been dragged through the mud and returns home to work on a smaller scale operation. He’s faithful, protective, smart, and loyal though his past failures haunt him. Rick and Jessie grew up together and reconnect as they share their grief over Jessie’s brother’s death but then are thrown together as Jessie’s life is threatened at every turn and Rick becomes involved in more than the undercover drug ring bust that he was sent home for.
I was given a copy of the book by Write Integrity Press 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

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Stacey Weeks: My primary ministry in life crowds around my dining room table like a ravenous herd every night. My husband and children are both my greatest blessing and greatest ministry opportunity. Caring for them is a privilege bestowed upon me as wife and mother.

I believe God simultaneously called Kevin and me into ministry. Kevin’s calling was clear – he is a pastor. I, on the other hand, took years to recognize the specific areas in which I was equipped and called serve. I believe that God has called me to meet Kevin’s needs, to meet the needs of our children, and to serve Him personally.

 

Guest Post from Stacey Weeks

A Pile of Stones

Often, the things I am studying in the bible make their way into my novels. At the time of writing Fatal Homecoming, I was reading the book of Joshua.

In Joshua chapter four, Joshua describes the pile of stones the Israelites built as a memorial to God. Those stones were evidence of the Lord’s provision for them. The monument was a reminder to future generations that God had delivered his people.

In Fatal Homecoming, Jessie needs to remember God’s provision. She wears a unique pendant passed down through the women of her family. Her necklace is comprised of river stones that represent the rocks from Joshua. They are to remind that God always meets His children in their moment of need.

Shortly after writing this necklace into Fatal Homecoming crisis struck a good friend of mine. As our church gathered around a suffering family to love and support them in their time of need, I decided to make a real pendant of stones to give to my friend to remind her and to remind me that God meets every need in His time and in His way.

The pendant of stones can be strung on a necklace or keychain. It is more than words on paper and more than a pile of rocks strung on a string. It was a reference point. They mark where God gave me a story to share so that others may know and believe.

If you are the lucky winner of this pendant of stones, I pray that every time you look at it, touch it, and feel the weight of it around your neck that you will remember to believe that your God is good. Always.

 

Stacey has also gifted all the blog readers with a short story to download. Enjoy!

Click here to download.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 14

Carpe Diem, February 14

Real World Bible Study, February 15

Blogging With Carol, February 15

Multifarious, February 16

Mary Hake, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Bukwurmzzz, February 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 18

Maureen’s Musings, February 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 19

Texas Book-aholic, February 19

Through the Fire Blogs, February 20

Ashley’s Bookshelf, February 20

Quiet Quilter, February 21

Inklings and Notions, February 21

Daysong Reflections, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

As He Leads is Joy, February 23

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

Spoken from the Heart, February 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 24

EmpowerMoms, February 25

Janices book reviews , February 25

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 26

Bigreadersite , February 26

A Baker’s Perspective, February 27

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Stacey is giving away a grand prize of a beautiful handmade necklace (May vary from picture)!!

Be sure to enter the giveaway for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/da8a/fatal-homecoming-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

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Title: The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides

Author: Kathy Rouser

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2018

Publisher: Barbour

Lighthouses have long been the symbol of salvation, warning sailors away from dangerous rocks and shallow waters.
Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of the nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser
1899—Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Natalie Brooks loses her past to amnesia, and Cal Waterson, the lighthouse keeper who rescues her, didn’t bargain on risking his heart—when her past might change everything.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

I’ve always enjoyed these novella collections from Barbour Publishing and this collection is no exception. All the stories take place in the lighthouses stationed around the Great Lakes between 1883-1911. Many of the contributing authors were new to me and I enjoyed discovering them.
Each story in the collection is unique. Pegg Thomas creates an interesting story in Anna’s Tower about an aspiring female lighthouse keeper named Anna and a Russian immigrant Maksim facing prejudice and racism. Candice Patterson weaves a tender and sweet marriage of convenience story in Beneath a Michigan Moon about Ava who is secretly keeping the lighthouse after her father’s death and Ben who is a logger working nearby. It has great dialogue and character development. In Safe Haven, Rebecca Jepson brings to light, with a flare of suspense, Rose’s unknown past as she works as a lighthouse keeper and as Nathan, a sea captain and a friend of her grand father’s, enters her life. Love’s Beacon by Carrie Fancett Pagels also has an element of mystery and suspense as Val discovers her true identity while helping the newly appointed keeper Paul with his daughter. The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser puts Mallory who suffers amnesia from a shipwreck with Cal who is a lighthouse keeper with a young daughter. The Disappearing Ship by Lena Nelson Dooley has a bit of suspense and unconventional plot where a woman physician Norma returns home to the lighthouse when a businessman Drake comes searching for his missing ship and money and needs her assistance after an injury. The Wrong Survivor by Marilyn Turk showcases heartache and healing as Lydia mourns the death of her fiancé in a shipwreck while her fiancé’s brother, Jesse, who survived must learn about forgiveness and life after tragedy.
If you enjoy historical novella collections with a strong faith arc, you will enjoy this book. I was given a copy of this book by Barbour Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

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Kathleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers who realize their need for the touch God’s grace and hope in their everyday lives. A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at kathleenrouser.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.

Guest Post from Kathy

When author Pegg Thomas approached me about writing a novella for The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides book proposal I couldn’t refuse the chance. After all, I am a lifelong resident of Michigan, which is the Great Lakes State! Plus, I had a favorite lighthouse in mind, though I briefly considered others.

For over 20 years we have ventured “up north” for a week-long summer vacation on Lake Michigan, most of them spent in the same cottage. Since the cottage is almost 20 miles west of Mackinaw City, I’ve made the annual pilgrimage to the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse since they reopened with exhibits in 2004. Part of the first floor has since been restored to the middle-class furnishings of 1910 when George Marshall and his family resided there. Two generations of Marshalls manned the lighthouse and George Marshall’s brother, Charles, was at one time the assistant lighthouse keeper.

There is also an area of the lighthouse where they display maps, photographs and other information, chronicling the history of the lighthouse built on the Straits of Mackinac in 1892. Fresnel lenses, like those used in the tower, and interactive displays are also included. Did you know for several years, the fourth-order Fresnel lens flashed a red light? I’d always pictured a yellow light! A tour guide, dressed in period clothing, such as a U.S. Lighthouse Service uniform, will take you up the tall, winding metal staircase to enjoy the view.

My many visits, whether they’ve included the long climb to the tower or not, have intrigued me. I’d often thought that someday I would like to write a fictional story about this lighthouse. Built with Cream City brick, in a Norman architectural style, the building reminds me of a castle. Perhaps that’s why I chose to have the lighthouse keeper hero, Cal Waterson, rescue Natalie Brooks, a lone shipwreck survivor. She is the proverbial damsel in distress. Yet, despite her amnesia she finds a new strength in her faith to face an unknown future and in a sense rescues Cal and his daughter.

Returning to the lighthouse last year, I did climb to the tower to examine the view my characters might have had. Of course, I had to imagine what it would have been like without the Mackinac Bridge, which has joined our upper and lower peninsulas since 1957. It’s a spectacular view, where you can also see Mackinac Island, home of the famous Grand Hotel, which was already there in 1899, when my story takes place.

Not only do lighthouses spark so many ideas of history and romance, they are so symbolic— as guiding lights—and beacons of hope to lead through treacherous waters, much like our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the true Light who leads us to the Father. Indeed, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse played a strategic part in guiding ships through the dangers of the straits. I look forward to visiting this beautiful historic landmark again and hope my readers will be drawn into an intriguing visit to the lighthouse through my story, The Last Memory.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, February 21

The Power of Words, February 21

Godly Book Reviews, February 22

Simple Harvest Reads, February 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Bibliophile Reviews, February 23

For the Love of Literature, February 23

Just the Write Escape, February 24

Carla Loves To Read, February 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 25

Book by Book, February 25

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, February 26

EmpowerMoms, February 26

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Through the Fire Blogs, February 27

Blossoms and Blessings, February 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

Mary Hake, February 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 1

Connie’s History Classroom, March 2

Blogging With Carol, March 2

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 3

KarenSueHadley, March 4

Janices book reviews, March 4

Carpe Diem, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 5

A Baker’s Perspective, March 6

Bigreadersite, March 6

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection, a sterling silver charm of the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and a souvenir pictorial book of some of the Great Lakes lighthouse!!

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/db9a/the-great-lakes-lighthouse-brides-collection-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Seamstress Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

The seamstress cover

Title: The Seamstress

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

A beautifully crafted story breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

France, 1788
It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

What an amazing and epic historical fiction set during the earlier years of the French Revolution. This is the first book I’ve read by Allison Pittman and she has garnered another devoted reader! The author’s writing style is hauntingly melodic and nostalgic; the combination of first person and third person narrative works well to bring a cohesive and well-constructed plot that spans quite a few years and takes place in several places. The characters are wonderfully layered, real, flawed, yet relatable and unforgettable. Faith and prayer play major roles in the characters’ lives even as the religious landscape of France changes drastically.
Laurette and Renee are cousins and worlds apart in looks, personality, faith, and outlook on life. Laurette’s story is told in third person and Renee’s in first person. Though Renee is easier to like from the beginning, Laurette grew on me as the story progressed and she herself matured. My favorite character, though not truly a main character, has to be Gagnon. His faithfulness, gentleness, loving kindness, and steadfastness even in the midst of famine and heartbreak make him a godly man, though he does have plenty of faults. This book will make you examine what it is that we live and die for and what forgiveness and mercy truly look like.
If you enjoy well-written and well-researched historical fiction, you will absolutely adore this book. It’s a must read. I was given a copy of the book by Tyndale House Publishers via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

allison Pittman

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

 

Guest Post from Allison

My dream of being an author began by “finishing” other author’s works, fleshing out the stories of neglected characters. When I read the final books in the Little House series, I was far more interested in Cap Garland than I was in Almonzo Wilder, and I imagined all kinds of stories in which he was the hero.

This, The Seamstress, is one of those stories that came to me in a single burst of thought. I was teaching my sophomore English class, discussing through the final scenes in A Tale of Two Cities, when the little seamstress in those final pages reached out to me. She is a nameless character, seemingly more symbolic than anything. Dickens, however, gives her an entire backstory in a single phrase: I have a cousin who lives in the country. How will she ever know what became of me? I remember pausing right then and there in front of my students and saying, “Now, there’s the story I want to write.”

Now, years later, I have.

While every word of every Charles Dickens novel is a master class in writing, what he gave to me for The Seamstress is the kind of stuff that brings life and breath to fiction. I have to convey the fact that any character on my pages—no matter how much story space he or she is allotted—has a life between them. Every man was once a child; every woman a vulnerable young girl.

So, Dickens gave me the bones of the story. A seamstress. A cousin in the country. A country ripped apart; family torn from family. I did my very best to put flesh on those bones, but no writer can ever bring the life and breath. Only a reader can do that.

 

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, February 9

The Lit Addict, February 9

The Power of Words, February 9

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, February 10

Lis Loves Reading, February 10

Maureen’s Musings, February 10

Carpe Diem, February 11

A Baker’s Perspective, February 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 12

Emily Yager, February 12

Mary Hake, February 12

Stories By Gina, February 13

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 13

Inspired by fiction, February 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Remembrancy, February 14

Through the Fire Blogs, February 15

Seasonsofopportunities, February 15

Inspiration Clothesline, February 15

Books, Books, and More Books, February 16

Inklings and Notions, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 18

By The Book, February 18

Multifarious, February 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 19

Pause for Tales, February 19

Bigreadersite, February 20

Simple Harvest Reads, February 20

Janices book reviews, February 20

For the Love of Books, February 21

Book by Book, February 21

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

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 22

To Everything A Season, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a hardcover copy of The Seamstress, and this copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens!!

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/db0e/the-seamstress-celebration-tour-giveaway

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe cover

Title: Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Christian Romance

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.

Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country—an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.

Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Judging from the little quivers she felt in his presence, a mere twenty minutes after their first meeting, this one was a heartbreaker.”
Such a delightful world of delectable desserts and aviation! I don’t know a lot about either one of these worlds, but Carla Laureano combines them vividly and beautifully in this heartbreaking, soul-searching contemporary romance. The dialogue is fun, incredible, and witty especially between Justin and Melody. The plot is well-paced and well-crafted, as is the writing. And the characters! Melody is down-to-earth and lovable and Justin is a swoony hero. And we also get a continuation on Rachel and Alex’s story (Saturday Night Supper Club, book 1 in the series) in this book, which is just the icing on the cake. This is book 2 in the series but can definitely be read as a stand-alone.
Melody is a pastry chef with a ton of emotional baggage from her childhood that she acknowledges. She’s artsy, creative, impulsive, free-spirited, but optimistic and tries to bring that ray of sunshine wherever she goes. Justin is a charter pilot who is loyal, devoted to family, fun, charismatic, and a type A planner. He unfortunately also has a ton of emotional baggage from his parents’ divorce, his sister’s medical diagnosis, and his martyr-like attitude toward his beloved profession. Throw in some snowy days in Denver, CO and there is magic that stirs in the air. Even as they grow close, they each must figure out what they really want out of life and what God really means to them.
Such a heartfelt story of love and dreams. If you enjoy contemporary romance that grabs at your heartstrings and tear ducts, you will not want to miss this one. I was given a copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers and via Celebrate Lit Tours. I was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Carla LaureanoCarla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

 

Guest Post from Carla

“Confessions of An Erstwhile Baker”

 

Like most females, baking is encoded somewhere deep down in my DNA. Call it nature or call it nurture, but at the earliest age, I figured out that the cute boy in my English class would talk to me if it involved chocolate chip cookies. Got my heart broken or had a friend betray me? I grabbed the mixing bowl and went for the brownies (even better if they’re served à la mode.) My friend was having a birthday? I made a cake drowned in pounds of buttercream.

I quickly graduated from the boxed mixes to the real thing when I got married and had a kitchen large enough to roll out dough. I would comb magazines for the best recipes and spend my weekends trying them out. I quickly became known for bringing beautifully iced Christmas cookies and delicious homemade cakes to work.

Then my husband and I moved our young family from Los Angeles to Denver, a relocation that was about 1000 miles northeast and 5000 feet up. Suddenly, every recipe I’d perfected in the previous eight years failed. Cookies burned to crisps, cakes fell, and don’t get me started on candy making. Gradually, I adapted my recipes (my beloved never-fail Toll House recipe took eight tries to get right) and even became an avid artisan bread-baker.

Then disaster. Or at least, what a baker would consider a disaster. After developing chronic health problems, I discovered that among other things, I was sensitive to gluten. The horror! In order to heal, I turned to the paleo diet, which eliminates all grains (there goes most gluten free recipes) and all processed sugars (there goes everything else). I’ve tried baking paleo-style, and while I can now make cakes that even my gluten-fiend family enjoy, it’s just not the same.

So what’s a once-obsessive baker do when she can’t eat her creations? She bakes for other people and goes on faith that they actually taste good… considering she can’t taste them herself.

It struck me that there was a spiritual lesson in that, and an obvious tie to Brunch at Bittersweet Café, which deals in large part with Melody’s faith journey. There are times when we have no idea if things are working out the way they’re supposed to, in which case we just have to trust the “recipe” and the input of friends and family who love us. Sometimes our instincts tell us when we’re off track, and sometimes we need that outside nudge from our “taste-testers” to put us back on course.

In any case, what Melody and I have in common is that we both bake to show our love for the people around us. And the process of baking my favorites, even knowing that I can’t enjoy them myself, can still be a selfless way to show people they’re important to me.

Fortunately, macarons, which happen to be made with almond flour, are still on the menu.

 

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, February 12

Among the Reads, February 12

Lighthouse Academy, February 12

By The Book, February 12

The Power of Words, February 13

As He Leads is Joy, February 13

Cultivating Us, February 13

Blossoms and Blessings, February 13

Fiction Aficionado, February 14

The Lit Addict, February 14

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, February 14

This Chattanooga Mommy Saves, February 14

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 15

Just the Write Escape, February 15

100 Pages per Hour, February 15

Splashes of Joy, February 15

Bibliophile Reviews, February 16

Texas Book-aholic, February 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 16

C Jane Read, February 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 17

Moments, February 17

Back Porch Reads, February 17

Cordially Barbara, February 18

Genesis 5020, February 18

Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 18

Livin’ Lit, February 19

Kat’s Corner Books, February 19

Life with the Tribe, February 19

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 19

Through the Fire Blogs, February 20

Remembrancy, February 20

Vicky Sluiter, February 20

Living Life Free in Christ, February 20

2014 and Beyond!, February 21

Daysong Reflections, February 21

Inklings and Notions, February 21

Pause for Tales, February 21

Cafinated Reads, February 22

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 22

two points of interest, February 22

Ashley’s Bookshelf, February 22

My Devotional Thoughts, February 23

Two Girls and a Book, February 23

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 23

For the love of books, February 23

God is Love, February 24

Book by Book, February 24

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 24

Janices book reviews, February 24

Lukewarm Tea, February 25

Carpe Diem, February 25

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

Bigreadersite, February 25

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize package of a macron baking mat, a macron book, and a paperback copy of Brunch at Bittersweet Café!!

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/db0f/brunch-at-bittersweet-cafe-celebration-tour-giveaway

Flights of Fancy Review & Spotlight

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About the Book

Flights of Fancy

Title: Flights of Fancy

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age

Release date: January 1, 2019

Publisher: Bethany House

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

 

Click here to order your copy!

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

So delightful! Jen Turano really knows how to write fun historical romance filled with humor, clever and witty dialogue, unforgettable characters, and interesting and unexpected plot twists. If you enjoy historical romance that is well-written and entertaining, you will adore this book.
The premise is not necessarily original for the time period of 1885 but the cast of characters is unique and charming. Isadora is a beautiful society lady who is on the run and she finds her true self in a small town in Pennsylvania. Her courage, ability to self-evaluate, her tender heart and her tenacity all lead her to discovering a closer relationship with God and her purpose in life. Ian is totally sigh-worthy: strong, intelligent, wealthy, loyal, loving, kind, and handsome. Yet he, too, needs to travel this journey of maturation as he realizes his long-term life goals are selfish and feels led to re-evaluate what he holds dear. There are some truly hysterical moments in the book that will have you laughing out loud. It’s definitely a book that will leave you with a happy, satisfied smile on your face when you’re finished. I can’t wait for the second book in the series!
I received a copy of the book from Bethany House 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

Jen TuranoNamed One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

 

Guest post from Jen

Q & A With Jen Turano

 

“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series?

The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief.

 

How do you come up with the names of your characters?

I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board.

 

How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies?

Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be.

 

What are some of your favorite resources for historical research?

I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr.

 

The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that?

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date.

 

What are you working on now?

I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters.

 

You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?”

Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens.

 

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job!

All the best,

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 10

Among the Reads, January 10

Through the Fire, January 10

To Everything A Season, January 10

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 11

Southern Gal loves to Read, January 11

Back Porch Reads, January 12

KarenSueHadley, January 12

Godly Book Reviews, January 12

Daysong Refections, January 12

Livin Lit, January 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 13

The Becca Files, January 13

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

Rebekah’s Quill, January 14

Blossoms and Blessings, January 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15

Just the Write Escape, January 15

Stories By Gina, January 15

God’s Little Bookworm, January 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 16

Splashes of Joy, January 16

Janices book reviews, January 16

Happily Managing A Household of Boys, January 17

Mary Hake, January 17

Maureen’s Musings, January 17

Bibliophile Reviews, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

Baker Kella, January 18

Simple Harvest Reads, January 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19

Captive Dreams Window, January 19

Robin is Bookish, January 19

Carpe Diem, January 19

Have A Wonderful Day, January 20

Life with the Tribe, January 20

Inklings and Notions, January 20

Rachel’s Back Talk, January 21

Inspiration Clothesline, January 21

amandainpa, January 21

A Baker’s Perspective, January 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 22

Pause for Tales, January 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 22

Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 23

Live Love Read, January 23

A Rup Life, January 23

Bigreadersite, January 23

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!

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/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Reaching Your Addicted Loved One Spotlight & Giveaway

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About the Book

Title: Reaching your Addicted Loved One

Author: Victor Torres

Genre: Self-help | Substance abuse & addictions | Drugs

Release date: January 8, 2019

Reaching your addicted Loved OneAs a teenager, Victor Torres was a gang warlord and heroin addict on New York City’s violent streets. Through the ministry of David Wilkerson and Nicky Cruz, Victor had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ and came to realize that God had a purpose for his life. Victor has spent the last forty-five years helping tens of thousands of young men and women find freedom from drug addiction and gang life. Now, he answers your toughest questions about your addicted loved one. Without pulling punches or promising easy answers, Victor provides wisdom and expertise that can lead you toward success.
Some of the questions Victor addresses are…

  • How can I know if my loved one has a substance abuse problem?
  • How can I tell the difference between helping and enabling?
  • What if my loved one refuses to get help?
  • When should I call the police?
  • What should we look for in a treatment program?
  • What can I expect when my loved one comes out of treatment?
  • How do I prepare for relapse?

God did not create your loved one to be an addict or a loser. On the contrary, God created him or her for a better life. Although, for the moment, it may seem like you are losing your loved one, they still have a God-given destiny and a purpose. No matter how bad the picture may look now, there is always hope.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

victor torresVictor Torres was a junkie, drug-pusher, and warlord in Brooklyn’s meanest streets. Since his conversion, he has ministered Christ to thousands. He and his wife Carmen have traveled to over thirty nations preaching the Good News. Their chief undertaking, however, has been New Life for Youth, which began in 1971 in Richmond, Virginia. This growing work is one of the most respected and largest organizations in the country. Today, New Life for Youth has a ranch in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, which is helping an ever increasing number of hurting young men searching for hope, as well as a home for women with drug-related problems called the Mercy House. Their other resources in the Richmond, Virginia, area include House of Hope, a home for recovering men, and Mercy Moms, which serves women and their children. Victor and Carmen are also the founders and pastors of New Life Outreach International, a fast-growing dynamic church in Richmond, Virginia with over forty nationalities worshiping together. In 2017, his story was made into an award-winning major motion picture, Victor.

 

Guest Post from Victor

New Life Success Steps

  • Pray, pray, and then pray some more. And after that, pray.
  • Have faith enough for the both of you. Have faith enough for the whole family if necessary.
  • Keep fighting for your addicted loved one until they can do battle for themselves.
  • Choose to believe beyond what you can see.
  • Picture their future and believe the vision.
  • Celebrate your loved one’s freedom—dare to believe!

 

Healing is yours for the taking. Reach out, ask God for help, and then receive it. Never lose hope that your loved one will be healed. My life, and the lives of so many others, is proof that God can even bring the dead back to life.

Your loved one was made for more than this. Don’t give up!

 

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, January 1

The Power of Words, January 2

Real World Bible Study, January 3

Reading is My Superpower, January 4 (Interview)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 4

Through the Lens of Scripture, January 5

Artistic Nobody, January 6 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, January 7

Carpe Diem, January 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9

Simple Harvest Reads, January 10 (Spotlight)

Janices book reviews, January 11

Bigreadersite, January 12

Margaret Kazmierczak, January 13 (Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, January 14

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Victor is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks 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/d8d3/reaching-your-addicted-loved-one-celebration-tour-giveaway

This Homeward Journey Review & Giveaway

This homeward Journey FB Banner

About the Book

This Homeward Journey

Title: This Homeward Journey

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release date: January 1, 2019

After her husband’s death, Rachel Gray is finally free from the turmoil his addictions caused. She wants nothing more than a new life with her twelve-year-old son. If she can reach her brother in the wilderness of the Canadian territories, they’ll have help to start over in peace. She knows better than to put her life in the hands of another man, but she never expected the Montana mountains to be so treacherous. When two brothers invite her to join their small group traveling to the same area, she refuses. After she and her son narrowly escape a bear attack, she’s forced to admit they need the safety of numbers in this untamed land. If the men prove dangerous, she can always leave with her son and strike out alone again.

Seth Grant has made some bad choices in his life, but God healed him from the addiction that mired him in his sins. Now, he’s determined to live the life God called him to, starting with a journey northward to see the Canadian mountain both his brother and sister have fallen in love with. When he discovers the woman and boy who plan to travel the same mountain trail, he can’t fathom why she refuses to join in the safety of their larger group. Though her decision seems unwise, he has no other choice but to pray God provides her protection.

Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to the Seth—until a secret from his past proves he’s not at all the man she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Another captivating read by Misty Beller. This fifth book in the Heart of the Mountains series follows Simeon and Noelle’s younger twin brothers as they traverse the mountains of Montana Territory to reach their family in Canada. Surprisingly, this book takes place during the warmer months and not during the winter, like all the previous books in the series. The book can definitely be read as a stand alone, but I’m sure you’ll want to go back and read all the other books to familiarize yourself with the entire family once you’ve read this one. If you love historical romance, you’ll definitely enjoy this book and the whole series.
Misty Beller has a way of bringing the rugged outdoors of the West in the mid 1800s to life and painting a story filled with adventure, love of friends and family, romance, second chances, and God’s gift of grace onto this beautiful canvas. Seth is a healed man from his past of addictions and mistakes and wants to start a new life in Canada. Rachel is a broken woman, hurt and abused by a husband who was enslaved by his own addictions. Samuel, Seth’s logical, calm, and quiet twin, and Rachel’s preteen son Andy round out the small group heading north and all four learn what it means to be a family as they travel through the wilderness.
I’m hoping for more books in the series to get to know all nine Grant siblings; just Simeon, Noelle and Seth are not enough! Maybe next book will be about Samuel?
I was given 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

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

Why Christian Historical Romance?

I don’t know about you, but my life can get crazy…busy…chaotic. Historical fiction gives me a haven, allowing me to immerse in a simpler time and place. Add in remote mountain settings—log cabins and horses and snow…what could be better? Sometimes I wish God had let me live a couple centuries ago, but then I remind myself He knew exactly what He was doing. I don’t do well without a shower every day. 😊 And He even lets me go back to that simpler time through stories!

If you’re reading this, you probably enjoy immersing yourself in a good book, too. Story can be such a powerful thing! Becoming an intimate part of the characters’ lives, feeling their struggles—the desperation, the elation, the emotions, the love.

I enjoy reading and writing Christian fiction because it provides a place where I don’t always have to be concerned about inappropriate language or too-graphic love scenes. It’s a “safe zone” where my imagination can escape, living out exciting times and experiencing God-orchestrated happily-ever-afters—without having to clean-up at the end of the day. Can you relate?

I’m excited to share my latest Christian Historical Romance story with you, and hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it!

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, December 29

Through the Fire Blogs, December 29

Carpe Diem, December 30

Splashes of Joy, December 30

A Baker’s Perspective, December 31

Mary Hake, December 31

Pause for Tales, January 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 1

Simple Harvest Reads, January 2 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Connie’s History Classroom, January 2

Among the Reads, January 3

For The Love of Books, January 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 4

Connect in Fiction, January 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace. January 6

Bibliophile Reviews, January 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 7

Inspiration Clothesline, January 7

Creating Romance, January 8

Texas Book-aholic, January 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9

Janices book reviews, January 9

Wishful Endings, January 10

Cafinated Reads, January 10

Bigreadersite, January 11

Blossoms and Blessings, January 11

 

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/d9bc/this-homeward-journey-celebration-tour-giveaway