A Walk with Heavenly Spirits Review & Giveaway

A Walk with Heavenly Spirit FB Banner copy

About the Book

A Walk with Heavenly Spirits

Title: A Walk with Heavenly Spirits

Author: J.E. Grace

Genre: Christian Fiction – Inspirational/Romance

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Allison Stevens became a Christian at a young age, but she makes a wrong decision that takes her on a collision course of disappointment and heartache. God loves her and wants her back, but Satan wants to keep her in a life of despair and lies.

Heavenly Spirits are sent by God to instruct and remind Allison of God’s promises. Can she learn to trust God’s word and become the woman God meant for her to be?

A family she didn’t know she had, a man grieving a personal loss, and a felon who wants her dead makes her relationships more complicated than ever. Can she learn to trust God again and walk by faith?

On the road back to God, she discovers that the path doesn’t come without trials but now she realizes she isn’t alone. God is with her. Can she stay strong and follow God’s path?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is the first book by JE Grace that I have read. The premise of the main character, Allison, learning to love God and accept His will for her life is very exciting. The way Allison’s life changes and the way she touches other peoples’ lives by following God’s leading are both encouraging and inspiring. Despite these good points, the book was not for me.
The writing seemed a bit matter-of-fact and I had trouble figuring out the timeline of specific past events that affected Allison. I also had trouble trying to put this story into the proper decade – early 1990s? Late 1990s? Early 2000s?
The “heavenly spirits” that carry and explain a large portion of the plot, particularly the flashbacks into her past and some visions of the future, felt somewhat like the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. The spirits were named Desire, Joy, etc. and I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to represent angels or something else. I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around the heavenly spirits concept.
Although the book was not for me, you may thoroughly enjoy this book which chronicles the faith and life journey of a woman full of regrets and sense of failure who blossoms into someone confidant in whom she is in Christ.
I was given a copy of this book via Celebrate Lit Tours. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

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J.E. Grace was born and raised in Northern California. At a young age, she was an avid reader which led to her interest in fiction writing and poetry. She writes mainly in the Christian Fiction genre and continues to educate herself in the craft. All of her work has underlying Christian overtones which are a reflection of her faith in God.

In 2000 she moved to the Midwest with her husband and now calls it home. She loves the Missouri countryside and is amazed by the variety of subjects that serve as inspiration for her artwork. She is an oil/pastel painter and digital artist. Her work can be seen at Fine Art America, Society 6 and Zazzle.

She retired from a career in real estate in 2012, to finally concentrate on her writing. She published her first novel, a science fiction titled, “The Zarion-Saving Mankind in 2016 and her Pacific Cove Series of Short Reads: Haunted Visions & Testament of Faith. She is currently working on several new projects: Book 3 in her Pacific Cove Series and a mystery novel.

Guest Post from J.E. Grace

My inspiration for writing A Walk with Heavenly Spirits:
I was thinking about a Christmas Carol and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future one day. I’m a Christian author, so I thought, why not use Heavenly Spirits to enlighten a person who has lost their way. It just evolved from there. I did a lot of praying for direction during my writing process and consulting God’s word along the way.
I feel God was giving me the inspiration to write it. I found myself getting very emotional while writing certain parts of the book which is something I had never experienced before with any of my other novels. I was feeling the characters pain and /or joy at times.
My purpose for the story was to get the message across, that we are all broken, but God uses the broken for great things. Within the story, Allison’s one decision to finally follow the path God intended for her, not only changes her life but the lives of the all the people who come to know her.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 4

A Greater Yes, April 5

Texas Book-aholic, April 6

Bibliophile Reviews, April 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Janices book reviews, April 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 10

Carpe Diem, April 11

A Baker’s Perspective, April 12

Simple Harvest Reads, April 13 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Artistic Nobody, April 14

margaret kazmierczak, April 15 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, April 15

Reading is my Super Power, April 16 (Interview)

Power of Words, April 16 (Spotlight)

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, J.E. Grace is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca38

Celebrate Lit Scavenger Hunt & Giveaway

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About the Book

A Proxy WeddingA-Spring-of-Weddings-188x300

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all, so when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he must take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved.

Will love become real at A Proxy Wedding?

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

What a fun collection of novellas!
I have always enjoyed Toni Shiloh’s writing and the novella A Proxy Wedding in this collection is no exception. Even with the limitation on length, Toni Shiloh creates a believable and enjoyable premise and plot with two friends of prospective groom and bride participating in a proxy wedding. The characters Damien and Carly are multi-dimensional with past hurts that blockade possibility of a healthy relationship. Their conversation is real, their faith down-to-earth and touchable. The lessons of life and faith that both Damien and Carly learn are universal for all of us. I would love to see this novella developed into a full-length novel.

The novella Hope Beyond Savannah is the first from Melissa Wardell I have read. I enjoyed reading about the Samoan culture and language and how Nik and Lily meld their differences in culture, language, food, and background. Their love is based on their shared faith in God and their mutual respect and admiration for each other despite their differences. The writing is easy to read and the characters are lovable. The plot is well-developed though it’s a novella- length.

I thoroughly enjoyed both of the stories and look forward to reading more from both of the authors.
I was given a copy of this book from the authors via Celebrate Lit Tours. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

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

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

You can find her at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com

Guest Post from the Author Toni Shiloh

Spring is here! I love the season and its reminder of new beginnings as the flowers bud and bloom. To me, Spring is a reminder of God’s faithfulness and the beauty of hope.

When I sat down to write A Proxy Wedding, I had to imagine spring time, because the dreary, overcast skies outside my window were a constant reminder that I was in a completely different season. Fortunately I took the opportunity to use my imagination and remember that winter wouldn’t last. I would not be forever cold, or battling the illnesses that come with the change of weather.

It’s a reminder that we need to renew our mind. In A Proxy Wedding, Carly is intent on making lemonade from her lemons. She has renewing her mind down pat, but not in a healthy way. One would think a person capable at looking at the bright side would be more willing to take risk, but not Carly. To her they were the source of her lemons. Instead of dreaming, she’d hemmed herself in, just in a different way than the hero, Damien.

Damien has become so work oriented that he has no idea how to slow down and smell the roses. He’s rushes through life instead of lingering over the blessings God gives us daily. Carly is intent on making Damien bask in new adventures.

In order for Carly and Damien to see God’s handiwork in their lives, I had to remind them that they were not products of their past. That in God, they’re a new creation with new opportunities available to them.

I hope you enjoy A Proxy Wedding. May you think of the Father’s love as you take time to stop and smell the roses.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 5

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 6

Bibliophile Reviews, April 7

Carpe Diem, April 8

Reading is my Super Power, April 9

A Baker’s Perspective, April 10

Simple Harvest Reads, April 11 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

margaret kazmierczak, April 12

Artistic Nobody, April 13

Janices book reviews, April 14

Giveaway

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To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter the giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/cdd6/spring-scavenger-hunt

Your Scavenger Hunt word is: IS

A Loyal Heart Review and Giveaway

A Loyal Heart FB Banner copy

About the Book

A Loyal Heart Web Copy

Title: A Loyal Heart

Author: Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult medieval romance

Release Date: March 6, 2018

He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, will they lose what matters most?

When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.

As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him.

Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Ah. Jody Hedlund. Need I say more?
I actually have not read the other three books in this series but did not feel I missed out on anything. Some of the characters from the previous books make cameo appearances and I will absolutely have to go back to read their stories, but this book works well as a stand-alone. It is an incredible journey through 1392 as knights and lords wage battles for control of land, wealth, and allegiance to the king of England. Although I’m not a huge fan of first person narrative, it was executed incredibly well in this book as the narrative shifts from Sir Aldric to Lady Olivia. The book is so well-written with:
1) lyrical and musical writing that captivates and engages from page one
2) an action-packed and fast-paced plot
3) delicious, humorous, and sharply witty dialogue
4) tenderly romantic and heart-seizing moments
5) beautiful, lovable, and memorable characters who grow and mature throughout the book
6) a steady undercurrent of faith and prayer
7) an amazing description of landscape and daily life in 1392 that brings the entire backdrop to vivid clarity.
Anyone who enjoys a well-written, satisfying historical romance will love this book.
Sir Aldric begins the story by saying “but these things were superficial. It a woman was attracted to me for such qualities, then she was shallow, and I didn’t want a shallow relationship. Actually, I didn’t want any kind of relationship. Not shallow. Not deep. Not any.” This quote is the epitome of Sir Aldric. He is a strong and skilled knight with a broken past and heavy burdens that weigh down his heart and soul. He is loyal, faithful, trustworthy, and noble though he wasn’t always that way. He is sent in to capture Lady Olivia and her sister Lady Isabelle because of their father’s infractions against the king.
Lady Olivia is strong, unconventional, bold, determined, proud, and stubborn yet loyal to a fault and inevitably a woman at heart with tender feelings. As their relationship grows, she admits “I realized then, this connection with him would be difficult to cut loose, that his presence was weaving into the tapestry of my life, and that I had no wish to untangle the woven strands any more than I wished to release his hold on my hand.” Wow, such poetic musings!
Once I started this book, I could not put it down. Twists and turns in the plot kept the story moving quickly and yet I didn’t want the story to end! Will there be another book in the series? And on which knight and noblewoman will the next book spotlight? I must go back to read the previous three stories, especially the one about Sir Aldric’s brother Sir Bennet and his wife Lady Sabine (For Love and Honor).
I was given a copy of this book from the author/publisher and also through Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund. Web - Copy

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

The Growing Need for Sweet Young Adult Romances

By Jody Hedlund

This past year my youngest daughter turned twelve and entered seventh grade. And she decided that she wanted to read my books.

Of course I was thrilled that she was taking an interest in my writing. But since my adult historical romances are more intense and contain some mature themes, I handed her the young adult series I’ve written.

As she started the first book, I peeked in her room a time or two to ask her how she liked it.

“It’s the best book you’ve ever read, right?” I teased.

“It’s okay,” she replied, teasing me right back.

The true test for how much she liked the series came when she couldn’t put the book down. She hid away in her room and read all day. Then she read the second book the next day and the third book the day after that.

She never did gush over the series. But she didn’t need to. Her serious reading marathon told me all I needed to know! Then when I was writing the fourth book in the series, she asked me if she could read it early before it was published which was another testament to how much she enjoyed the series.

“As long as you promise to say that I’m your favorite author,” I said, teasing her again.

I’m happy to say that she finished A Loyal Heart just as quickly as the others. Although I’m not sure that I’m her favorite author, I’m satisfied that she loved the series.

Even more, I’m thrilled that I could hand her sweet romances full of chivalrous qualities—like courage, sacrifice, honor, and loyalty. As she’s being entertained, she’s learning lessons about character traits that are important in relationships.

My daughter, like other young teens I’ve talked to, really enjoys medieval settings and stories. In some ways, those kinds of stories connect them to the princess fairy tales they used to love when they were little. Let’s face it, even adult readers still love stories about knights and castles and daring damsels!

In a book market for teens that has grown increasingly dark, jaded, and sexual, I only wish I had more to offer my daughter and other young women. It’s my passion to continue providing wholesome, clean romances for teens, books I know will encourage and uplift as well as entertain.

How about YOU? Is there a teen reader you know who needs an alternative to what’s available in the market? I encourage you to gift them with A Loyal Heart. And make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the entire series that you can read, pass along, or even gift to your library.

Jody Hedlund is the best-selling author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!). When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, March 27

Lighthouse Academy, March 27

Neverending Stories, March 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28

books n baubles, March 28

Blossoms and Blessings, March 28

By The Book, March 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Books, Books, and More Books., March 29

Have A Wonderful Day, March 30

Blogging With Carol, March 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 30

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, March 31

Book by Book, March 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 31

God’s Little Bookworm, April 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 1

Mary Hake, April 1

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, April 2

Daysong Reflections, April 2

Novels Corner, April 2

Remembrancy, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 4

Janices book reviews, April 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 4

Romances of the Cross, April 5

Carpe Diem, April 5

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 6

Karen Sue Hadley, April 6

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 6

Red Headed Book Lady, April 7

Bibliophile Reviews, April 7

Simple Harvest Reads, April 7 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Pursuing Stacie, April 8

Bigreadersite, April 8

margaret kazmierczak, April 8 (interview)

Henry Happens, April 9

Faery Tales Are Real, April 9

Joy of Reading, April 9

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of An Uncertain Choice, A Daring Sacrifice, For Love & Honor, and A Loyal Heart!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb76

Meddlin’ Madeline: Fine Print Review

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About the Book

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Book Title: Meddlin’ Madeline Fine Print

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Historical, Mystery

Release Date: February 20, 2018

Budding detective, Miss Madeline Brown, has gained quite the reputation for “meddling” in the circa 1900 city of Rockland. With two successful “cases” under her belt, it was only a matter of time before she found something new to interest her insatiable curiosity.

This time, however, the “curiosity” found her.

Challenged by Edward Gastrel, to prove her deductive prowess, Madeline embarks on riddling out the puzzle of a journal left to him by his grandfather. If she can decode the contents, the local gentleman may find himself in the possession of something quite valuable.

As usual, however, things aren’t as they seem, and Madeline finds herself in a race against more than time and ambiguity.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is not the first book I’ve read by Chautona Havig but it is the first historical/mystery I’ve read written by the author and I am utterly and pleasantly surprised and delighted by how effectively the author switches from one genre to another. I have read the contemporary novel Christmas Embers by the author, but I did not read the first two books in the Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries series prior to reading this third installment. I think reading the first two books would have given me a better understanding of the characters and their personalities. Regardless, this book was definitely interesting and well-written.
The plot takes quite a few twists and turns to keep the story intriguing. Madeline herself is a “new age” kind of a woman in the early 1900s, using the powers of observation and deduction to make a name for herself. Russell, totally my favorite character in the book, is Madeline’s long-time friend and confidante. His steady faith is remarkable and his devotion to Madeline is unparalleled. The book offers quite a bit of history and also keeps in line with how things were done and spoken during that particular time period.
The ending feels like a cliffhanger…..so we’ll have to wait for the next installment of the series to find out what happens next!
I was given a copy of this book by the author via Celebrate Lit Tours. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Chautona

Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to point readers to the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona

Denny’s. “America’s Diner.” It’s also my “office away from my office away from home.” Most nights I write at our local prayer house. But on Wednesday nights for a few hours, and then all night on Saturday, I sit in booth 14 and write.

It was a cold, frosty Wednesday night. With thoughts from Bible Study still swirling in my mind and heart, I ordered my loaded baked potato soup and began brainstorming with my writing and podcasting buddy, April.

She left around midnightish—as usual. And another evening regular began chatting.

Look. I like this guy. He’s a fascinating conversationalist. We have a lot of fun talking books, movies, politics, history, computers… He’s even given me a great idea for a book (without meaning to, but still).

But… that night, I needed to get a bunch done on Madeline and didn’t have time for chatting. So, when he started talking about his evening, I wanted to bang my head on the table. I kept repeating, “People are more important. People are more important. People are more important,” over and over in my head.

I can’t tell you how often this has happened at Denny’s. Employees stop to chat. Regular diners stop to chat. This guy starts a long conversation and always on nights I can’t afford to spend… chatting!

But everything shifted in an instant.

The man said something—what, I can’t remember—and my brain started churning.

I asked a question.

He answered.

The next thing I knew, he’d moved into my booth and began firing questions at me. Suggestions. Most of what he suggested wouldn’t work with the story, but he had no way of knowing that. Still, every time he did I got a new idea. And I’d ask a question. He’d answer, suggest. I’d counter—ask or answer. Ideas blossomed and exploded into seeds of even more ideas.

And right there, at two o’clock in the morning, with Angela the wonder server keeping me in fresh glasses of Coke, Fine Print went from not only my favorite of the Madelines (thus far) but also became much more exciting.

The whole thing taught me a couple of lessons. First, I always say that people are more important than the “stuff” I do. Sometimes, that’s not so easy to live. But the Lord is always faithful, like He did that night, to remind me that it sometimes helps me, too.

Second, sometimes a mid-book brainstorming session is just what I need to keep my excitement high. And, if that means a “wasted” Wednesday night in booth 14, then I’d say it’s worth it.

A Flute in the Willows Review & Giveaway

A Flute in the Willows copy

About the Book

Book Cover Front A Flute In The Willows

Book Title: A Flute in the Willows

Author: Carole Brown

Genre: Historical, Romantic Suspense

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other’s love…and keep the German enemy at bay.

She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?

Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life…especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.

These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their ownselves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is the first book by Carole Brown that I have read and it was quite enjoyable. I hadn’t expected such intrigue and suspense in a historical novel set during WWII, especially since most of the book takes place on US soil (Cincinnati, to be precise). The plot is engaging and the twists and turns in the storyline with the intricacies of espionage make the novel a page-turning journey. This is the second book in the Spies of World War II series; I didn’t read the first book (With Music in Their Hearts) and I wish I had read it prior to this one. The first book may have given more pertinent background information to Josie’s family dynamics as well as to Josie herself.
Faith is a central component of most of the secondary characters’ lives but not in Josie and Jerry’s lives at the beginning. Their walk toward God is slow and anguished but totally understandable. Josie and Jerry both mature as the book progresses and their relationship turns from superficial and shallow infatuation to deep abiding love.
I’ll now need to read the first book in the series (With Music In Their Hearts) to catch up on Josie’s older sister’s life prior to this book.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to give a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Carole Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Guest post from Carole Brown

How Great is Our God! By Carole Brown

And the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

It seems everywhere you turn today, the world is a mess. I try to keep up with current events, but sometimes I find myself pulling back away from it all. The enemy of us all would drown us in disbelief, doubt and worry if we would allow it. I find my spirit beginning to flounder in that sea of distress and must need revive it with the good things of God.

In my newest WWII Spies series, in book two, soon to be released, both Jerry and Josie Patterson are rebellious, self-centered people. Neither have given much thought to God, and both have gone gung-ho after their own pleasures and desires.

  • Jerry not only suffers a serious physical injury, but his spirit is troubled over actions taken as a spy in Germany. Guilt over the death of a sweet woman, guilt over all the deceit he needed to use, guilt over the temptations that knocked, and though he didn’t give in to them, nevertheless, troubles his mind and soul. Who do you turn to when you have no God in your life?
  • Josie, filled with elaborate plans on becoming an Olympic participant once the horror of war is over, ignores all the people in her life—except when it’s convenient for her to use them. All that matters is attaining her goal and Jerry. Running roughshod over all others, forgiving and forbearing as they are, is her usual ploy in getting what she wants. So who do you turn to when all your dreams turn to ashes?

It’s only after each one of them receive a severe injury that prevent them from doing what they want, only when they think they’ve lost the other, that they begin to listen to what God is teaching them.

Isn’t that so in our own lives? Many times we go headstrong toward our goals, without prayer or definite assurance from God that it’s what he wants for us. It seems a good thing, beneficial, and desirable so it must be good for us, right?

God is so great, so faithful, so loving in pulling us back, in teaching us that He is our all in all. Our strength in times of deep distress and trial, our anchor when the storms of life are blowing us off course, our shield when others would hurt or wound our spirits…our peace through it all.

May we, like Josie and Jerry, learn that our God IS a great God. We need have no fear; he does not fail.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

Red Headed Book Lady, March 29

Multifarious, March 30

Two Points of Interest, March 30

proud to be an autism mom, March 31

A Greater Yes, March 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 1

Janices book reviews, April 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 2

Simple Harvest Reads, April 2 (Guest post from Mindy)

Carpe Diem, April 3

Maureen’s Musings, April 4

margaret kazmierczak, April 4 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, April 5

Reading is my Super Power, April 5 (Interview)

Have A Wonderful Day, April 6

Pause for Tales, April 6

Artistic Nobody, April 7 (Spotlight)

A Baker’s Perspective, April 8

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 9

Among the Reads, April 9

Bibliophile Reviews, April 10

For The Love of Books, April 11

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away a grand prize of a canvas flowered/musical tote, a pink “All Things are Possible journal, and a copy of A Flute in the Willows (winners choice of print or ebook)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e2

The Tempering Agent Guest Review & Giveaway

The Tempering Agent FB Banner copy

About the Book

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Book Title: The Tempering Agent

Author: Victoria Pitts Caine

Release Date: February 14, 2014

Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself thrown back into the murder investigation of her fiancé, Trey Whittington. While she was a suspect three years ago, she’s now working with the police to find the murderer, Egyptian artifact trafficker, Zarka El-Din. During a sting operation in Siwa, she and Agent Donnie Barnes are drawn to each other but Priscilla, overcome by personal ghosts from her past, decides a relationship isn’t possible. Priscilla realizes she’s the bait in the ruse and uncovers others involved with El-Din. Will she and Donnie reconcile and unravel the reason behind Trey’s death before El-Din kills her, too?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Victoria Pitts Caine Head ShotVictoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian and lives in the central portion of the state. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels.

The author has received recognition in both fiction and nonfiction from: Enduring Romance top 10 picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, Holt International Children’s Services Magazine, and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel was published in 2007 followed by two more as well as novellas and short stories in anthologies.

Victoria is a former staff technician in air pollution control. She is the mother of two daughters. Now retired from the work force, Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, cooking, and are self-appointed “foodies”.

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is the first book by Victoria Pitts-Caine that I have read. It is a surprisingly fast-paced book, filled with twists to the somewhat suspenseful who-done-it plot and a good deal of action. The title of the book is very clever (and you’ll have to read the book to find out why). The plot and its premise are both intriguing and fun. And as for the characters….who doesn’t like a strong female archeologist and a strong male law enforcement/Indiana Jones-type?
Priscilla, a respected archeologist, and Donnie, an agent working for the Egyptian government, are thrown together to bait and capture an Egyptian artifact trafficker who may also have been Priscilla’s deceased fiancé’s murderer. Priscilla is a Brit who has done much of her life in Egypt and Donnie is an American who has been transplanted to Egypt for the last few years (I haven’t read Cairo but apparently that’s the first book in the series that explains Donnie and the friends he shares with Priscilla). Priscilla is still grieving her loss and needs to find her way out from that dark place. Donnie tries to help but their relationship starts out rocky and tumbles like a rollercoaster ride for most of the book. Their romance is kind of fast but love at first sight happens, right?
I really appreciated the strong current of faith and trust in this book. Priscilla has a hard time letting go of her past and her fears stemming from her past. God gently and slowly works on her heart and also allows others to surround that broken heart so that healing can occur.
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

 

Guest post from Vicki Caine

Since childhood, I have been interested in genealogy and ancient Egypt. Two of my prior novels, Alvarado Gold and Cairo, let me follow my fantasies into those two areas. Donnie the hero in The Tempering Agent is also in the other two books, and it was his turn to find his own romance. When archaeologist Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself drawn back into the murder investigation of her fiancé and the missing breast plate of the high priest, Agent Donnie Barnes, is just the man to help her out, even if she doesn’t think so.

Traveling along with Priscilla and Donnie, I discovered some interesting facts about ancient Egypt, from the ruins in the Siwa Desert to the mystery of the Valley of the Kings. The genealogy factor in my novels is Donnie is loosely based on my cousin. Alvarado Gold tells the story of my family while Cairo and The Tempering Agent fueled my inquisitiveness about Egypt.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, March 20

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, March 20

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 21

proud to be an autism mom, March 21

Blogging With Carol, March 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 22

Multifarious, March 23

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 23

Bibliophile Reviews, March 24

History, Mystery & Faith, March 25

Bigreadersite, March 25

A Greater Yes, March 26

Just the Write Escape, March 26

A Baker’s Perspective, March 27

Margaret Kazmierczak, March 28

Janices book reviews, March 28

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 29

Carpe Diem, March 29

Pause for Tales, March 30

Red Headed Book Lady, March 30

Mary Hake, March 31

Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest post from Mindy)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 1

Two Points of Interest, April 1

Among the Reads, April 2

Pursuing Stacie, April 2

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Victoria is giving away

Grand prize: Murano type heart necklace with lampwork bracelet and $25.00 Amazon gift certificate

1st Place: Green and white lampwork pendant and earrings

2nd Place: Set of three lampwork earrings

3rd place: Set of three holiday themed earrings

4th place: One ten $10 Amazon gift card

5th place: One ten $10 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e1

The Heart’s Appeal Guest Review & Giveaway

The Hearts Appeal FB Banner copy

About the Book

Heart's Appeal

Book Title: The Heart’s Appeal

Author: Jennifer Delamere

Release Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance

Strong-minded and independent, Julia Bernay has come to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick action saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson. It’s only later that she learns he could be instrumental in destroying her dreams for the future.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its status, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to regain the path to wealth and recognition. His latest case puts him in the middle of a debate over the future of a women’s medical school. He’s supposed to remain objective, but when the beguiling and determined Julia reappears with an unexpected entreaty, he begins to question what he’s made most important in his life. But Julia may be hiding her own motivations. As the two are tangled into spending more time together, will their own goals be too much to overcome?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Book

Delamere_JenniferJennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA Award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

 

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is the first book by Jennifer Delamere that I have read and I absolutely adore this book! I need to backtrack and read The Captain’s Daughter, which is the first book in this series. This second installment can definitely be read as a stand-alone. Anyone who enjoys a well-written historical romance set in 1881 England will love this book. If you’re already a fan of Jennifer Delamere’s, then you’re in for a treat. If you’re not, this book will turn you into one!
The characters Michael and Julia are very real, flawed, and completely lovable. Michael, as a lawyer, is charming, upstanding, hard-working, and intelligent but needs his moral compass and his faith realigned. Julia, a nurse aspiring to matriculate into the women’s medical college, is compassionate, dedicated, straight-forward, stubborn, curious, and faithful. Her goal in life is to become a medical missionary to Africa and with this goal in mind, she presses forward, no matter the obstacle. Her faith carries her through many trials and tribulations and ends up helping quite a few people around her.
The plot is well-crafted and the infusion of faith is natural to the story. The setting of Victorian England is captivating and the story itself is totally engaging. As a physician myself, I have been intrigued by the history of women in medicine and the author highlighted so poignantly a segment of what women in the late 1800s went through to obtain their heart’s desire and calling.
I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher and via Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

 

Guest Post from Jennifer Delamere

Power couples?

Perhaps that’s not a concept that initially comes to mind when one thinks of Victorian England! And yet, they did exist. I love to include real people from history in my books, and in The Heart’s Appeal, Julia Bernay meets two inspiring real-life couples who will make a positive impact in her life.

In 1865, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman to qualify as a physician in Britain. She did this through a legal loophole, but soon the laws were changed to open the medical field to all women. In 1874, Dr. Anderson co-founded the London School of Medicine for Women. She remained involved in the school in various capacities for the rest of her life, even as she continued to run her own busy practice. In The Heart’s Appeal, she becomes a mentor for Julia, opening doors for her education and introducing Julia to people who can help her succeed in medical school.

Dr. Anderson’s husband, James Anderson (Jamie), was the joint-owner of a successful shipping line and also served on the boards of several organizations (including a children’s hospital). He was a handsome man, very much in love with his wife, and fervent in supporting her choice of a career.

In a letter he wrote to her while they were engaged, Jamie explained his vision for their future—how they could keep their professional and private lives separate, yet still give each other plenty of love and support:

“I think we had better lay it down once for all as a rule that I am under no circumstances to bring people ‘favorably under your notice’ or ‘exert any influence’ or anything of the sort. It will give people a wrong idea of you unless I take a decided line in this matter — and as I mean to be if I can a successful man of business, neither interfering with your pursuits nor being interfered with by you (but having our confidences on all feasible subjects at off times of the day and week and mutually advising and fortifying one another), I must let people know unmistakably not to come bothering me about your public affairs. Will you think about this, dearest?”

Who couldn’t love a man like that?

Jamie Anderson’s outlook on life comes into play later on in The Heart’s Appeal, when he provides advice and aid to Michael Stephenson, the book’s hero, at a critical time.

Julia also has an inspiring encounter with Dr. Anderson’s sister, Millicent Fawcett. Millicent was married to a Member of Parliament and actively supported her husband’s career in many ways, including acting as a scribe for him since he was blind. She is most remembered for her role in the women’s suffrage movement. In fact, a statue of her will be placed in Parliament Square in London this summer. She was not a militant suffragette, but rather campaigned for suffrage under the banner “Law-Abiding Suffragists.”

Both couples raised families, too, and their children’s successes in life show they were raised to have the same energetic and “can-do” attitudes that their parents had.

Julia initially believes she must remain single to achieve her life’s goals. But soon she finds her heart drawn to successful barrister Michael Stephenson, who admires Julia’s intelligence and ambition. She learns that love and the freedom to pursue her dreams do not have to be mutually exclusive. A meeting of minds to spark a true romance? Yes, please! I hope readers will agree this can be the most satisfying of all.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 22

Inspiration Clothesline, March 22

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

A Greater Yes, March 23

Among the Reads, March 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 23

Splashes of Joy, March 23

Fiction Aficionado, March 24

History, Mystery & Faith, March 24

Red Headed Book Lady, March 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24

The Power of Words, March 25

Mary Hake, March 25

Remembrancy, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

Cordially, Barbara, March 26

Genesis 5020, March 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Kat’s Corner Books, March 27

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 27

Maureen’s Musings, March 27

Carpe Diem, March 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28

Seasons of opportunities, March 28

Singing Librarian Books, March 28

A Baker’s Perspective, March 28

Baker Kella, March 29

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 29

Inklings and Notions, March 29

Simple Harvest Reads, March 29 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pause for Tales, March 30

Cafinated Reads, March 30

Have A Wonderful Day, March 30

Pursuing Stacie, March 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 31

Connie’s History Classroom, March 31

Book by Book, March 31

Bigreadersite, March 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 1

Neverending Stories, April 1

Ladybug Chronicles, April 1

Smiling Book Reviews, April 2

Two Points of Interest, April 2

Vicky Sluiter, April 2

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 3

Bibliophile Reviews, April 3

Karen Sue Hadley, April 4

Live Love Read, April 4

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 4

Faery Tales Are Real, April 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize package of that includes All four March Bethany House historical releases (The Heart’s Appeal, plus A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason, A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears, In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson) and a $20 Starbucks gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cacd

The Innkeeper’s Daughter Review & Giveaway

About the Book

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Title: The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: March 1, 2018

A London officer goes undercover to expose a plot against the Crown
Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“If September were flesh and blood, it would look exactly like the man holding her.”

Whew! Such a beautifully written book of faith, love, and intrigue in 1808 England! I have read 12 Days at Bleakley Manor by Michelle Griep previously and enjoyed that book but this novel totally blew me away! The writing is very witty and clever and the plot is tightly knit and fast-paced with tons of intrigue, mystery, and danger. The romance is achingly sweet and the dialogue is wickedly funny. The characters are amazingly lovable and memorable and the strong thread of faith even in the midst of uncertainty is made real through the characters’ actions and maturation. It is a totally engaging book from page one and wondrously delicious. Anyone who enjoys Michelle Griep’s historical fiction will love this one; even if you’ve never read any of her books, you’ll fall in love with this book.

Alex is a lawman going undercover to find a threat to the Crown. He is sent to Dover and housed at an inn where he meets the innkeeper’s daughter Johanna. Johanna is a stubborn and proud, yet tender and compassionate, woman struggling to keep up the inn with her ailing mother and a young, trouble-magnet brother. Alex meets her head-on with his own sense of loyalty, compassion, and tender care but cannot reveal his true self since he is undercover. Twists and turns in the plot bring them together and then pull them apart as double-crossing and triple-crossing occur left and right across the pages. In the midst of all this action and head-spinning intrigue, Alex and Johanna also find the meaning of faith and what resting in His grace and providence means.

Oh, I wish Michelle Griep would write a sequel to this story!!! I so would like to read more about some of the secondary characters, like Johanna’s mother and Alex’s colleagues.
I also learned quite a bit about how the Bow Street Runners began its illustrious career and about the Congreve rockets during the Napoleonic Wars.

I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comment 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 www.michellegriep.com.

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Celebrating Oak Apple Day

Spring is just around the corner, or maybe it’s in full bloom in your neck of the woods. Regardless, by this time of year, everyone is ready to celebrate. . .and nothing new is under the sun. For centuries people have been eager to welcome budding greenery and warmth.

In my recent release, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, I incorporated a spring holiday that’s been around for over 500 years in England, one you may never heard of.

Oak Apple Day.

This ancient celebration dates back to the year 1651. At the time, Charles II escaped the Roundhead army by taking cover in an oak tree. Everyone loved ol’ Charlie and was glad he lived, so in his honor, a new national holiday was born—one that in some parts of England is still celebrated today.

Another name for this annual event is Royal Oak Day and the festivities occur every May 29th. Celebration traditions vary from parades to the ringing of bells, but one thing that is standard is that it’s a day to pin an oak leaf on your lapel. If you fail to wear one, you could end up getting pinched.

The hero in my latest release is kind enough to remind the heroine that she forgot to pin on her leaf, thus saving her from untoward pinches. Interested in hearing more about this gallant fellow and the forgetful miss? Here’s a blurb about The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Tension is high with the threat of a Napoleonic attack in Regency England, but risk from abroad means nothing when there’s danger at home.

Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the crown—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

It’s a race against time for them both.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of The Innkeeper’s Daughter and a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb72

Storms in Serenity Review & Giveaway

Storms in Serenity FB Banner copy

About the Book

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Book Title: Storms in Serenity

Author: Fay Lamb

Release Date: February, 2018

Genre: Romance, Mystery

How can one man save the town he loves when he’s the reason for the destruction?

Serenity Key, Florida, has seen its share of hurricanes, but this time, one foul weather system is about to collide with another storm, and this one has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure.

David New has guarded his secrets for years, but when two brothers, John and Andy Ryan, arrive in town and he gets news that the daughter he’s never told anyone about has disappeared, possibly the victim of a heinous crime, and the lives of many of the town residents begin to unravel in the gale force consequences of Jake’s past, he has nowhere else to turn.

God is the only one Who can calm the storms, but can David and the good folks of Serenity Key survive until He does?

A tempest has been brewing for thirty years, with only one island town in its path.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is the first book by Fay Lamb that I have read. It is a fast-paced, emotional read with almost the entire town of Serenity Key getting involved in the deception, lies, and sin that entangle. There are love triangles galore, mountains of secrets that have lain buried for decades, extra-marital affairs and unfounded jealousy, methods of manipulation and control that boggle the mind, and pure evil that comes down upon the small island because of sin and its consequences.
At first, I thought the story would mostly be about Emilie and her past. But the author surprised me by having quite a few third-person point of views in the book. The story is carried by a multitude of voices – sometimes Emilie’s, sometimes her husband John’s, sometimes Andy’s (John’s brother), sometimes by a host of other characters that the reader meets as John and Andy settle into a new life in Serenity Key.
At times, it was difficult to read through the chapters with so many people woven into the consequences of sin. The anger, hurt, and pain that the characters caused each other bled me emotionally and left me feeling unsettled (but that’s what good writing does, right?). I didn’t necessarily understand the reasons for their bad decisions or mistakes but felt the regret, pain, and heartache to the core.
Despite the darkness, the light of Jesus and His forgiveness, His redemption, and His restoration shine through the pages of the book. The author does not leave us floundering in the darkness; she points to Jesus as the only Savior and Restorer of our souls and the souls of those on Serenity Key. I am intrigued that this book is the first in a series and can’t wait to see what book 2 will bring to the small island.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

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Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities.

Storms in Serenity is the first book in Fay’s Serenity Key series. Fay’s other series include, Amazing Grace and her novels, Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, Everybody’s Broken, and Frozen Notes. The Ties that Bind Series includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope. Delilah, is coming soon.

Fay’s is also the author of The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Guest Post from Fay Lamb

ONCE UPON A STORM

I’m one of those people who love storms. I revel in the lightning that streaks across the sky, the rumble of thunder as it rolls over the air, and I dance to the eerie sound of the wind coming through a crack in the window. Storms don’t frighten me. I’m an East Coast Floridian. I’ve lived through many a tempest.

However, so that you won’t think me completely insane, I have also fled a few hurricanes. In our house, a Cat III storm is something to debate as we watch to see how low the millibars fall at the storm’s center. A Cat IV means gather the important documents, place them into plastic bags and tuck them into plastic tubs, batten down the hatches, and depending upon its projected proximity, hunker down or flee. A Cat V is a no-brainer. Run!

If only the storms in our lives had categories so that we know when to stand and face the winds of life or to debate the direction, or to decide when to flee. Sometimes, the storms of life come at us without warning, with no stirring up of the waters by our own hands. Other times, the storms can be abated by the stance we take, the decisions we make, and by failing to move out of harm’s way, perhaps in an opposite direction.

That’s what my first novel in The Serenity Key series is about: one man stirred up a storm many years prior. The destructive force of that storm amassed because he didn’t take a stand, he failed to make crucial decisions, and he choose to run from a situation that God would not allow him to outrun. Storms in Serenity is a modern-day retelling of the Biblical truths of the aftermath of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the destruction the storms of life that blew apart not only David’s family but also those he called friends.

Mostly, though, Storms in Serenity, is a novel that proves that when it comes to sin, truly, no man is an island.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, March 13

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 13

A Greater Yes, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

proud to be an autism mom, March 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 15

Multifarious, March 16

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, March 17

History, Mystery & Faith, March 18

A Baker’s Perspective, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20

MargaretKazmierczak, March 21

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 23

Pursuing Stacie, March 24

Janices book reviews, March 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 25

Red Headed Book Lady, March 25

Daysong Reflections, March 26

Among the Reads, March 26

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Fay is giving away a grand prize of an Echo Spot!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca75

Soul’s Prisoner Review & Giveaway

Souls prisoner celebration tour copy

About the Book

Soul's Prisoner front

Book Title: Soul’s Prisoner

Author: Cara Luecht

Genre: Historical fiction with some suspense and romance

Release Date: December 15, 2015

Chicago, Winter, 1891

Rachel is in danger. She’s seen too much.

She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She’d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she’d find a place in the city, never imagined she’d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning’s cold, labyrinthine basement.

Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.

A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.

But when Jeremy, Rachel’s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

I must confess that I read this series out of order. I read Soul’s Cry, which is the third book in this series, before reading this one (and, shame on me, I haven’t read the first book Soul Painter yet). Though the books are continuations of each other and reading them in order will help the reader put the pieces together in a more fluid order, reading them out of order did not detract from the book. There were enough details in this book to deduce the major points from the first book and figure out the personalities of each major character.
The book is well-written; addresses some really tough issues like the failings of mental institutions in the 1800s and the dejected and forgotten state of those suffering from mental illness, as well as the emotional and physical scars left by trafficking; paints an unflinching picture of life’s disappointments and heartaches and hardships; but overcomes the darkness and grief with a world sweetened by wonderful characters who are deeply devoted to each other in friendship and love and shows the reader the path to redemption and second chances.
There are quite a few characters to sort out in this series, but once you get to know them, every single one of them will leave a lasting impression. The strength of friendship and love found amongst this group of characters is real and heart-warming. The author has a powerful voice with a haunting quality that is perfect for storytelling. Anyone who enjoys a soul-stirring inspirational historical will love this book.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

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Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

The Setting for Soul’s Prisoner: Dunning Asylum for the Insane

Dunning Asylum for the Insane was built in the 1850s and housed psychiatric patients until the early 1900s. It has since been demolished, and a small park currently stands as the only remaining testament to the people who lived and died on the grounds.

The original plot of land also included a poor farm and a cemetery. A railroad used to connect the grounds to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. It was nicknamed the “Crazy Train”—a phrase that still survives in our language today. Those buried in the cemetery include Civil War Veterans, victims of the Chicago fire of 1871, orphans, paupers, and the residents of the asylum for the insane. Most estimates agree that nearly forty thousand people were buried on the grounds.

There is no doubt that mental illness is hard on families, but in the 1800s, having a family member who struggled with mental illness was an embarrassment. With little understanding of mental health in general, and even less compassion for those who suffered, examples of this tragic response to the threat of mental illness can be seen in the numerous inmates who were there simply due to addiction or depression. There are even cases where women were committed because their families were humiliated by their giving birth outside the bonds of marriage. Often times, challenges with mental health were synonymous with the notion of moral failure or vice. Because of this, even many charities looked the other way when corruption or abuse was exposed. Reporters sometimes wrote about the horrors of the institutions, but once the sensational story was out, and the initial outrage worn away, few worried about the people who suffered on a daily basis. And because of the moral implication of mental illness, families commonly turned over their suffering members to the county, and later simply explained to friends that the person had died.

And that is exactly what the mentally ill would do in the institution. Live there until they died, forgotten.

And that’s how the story played out at Dunning, until late in the 1900s when developers began to dig the roads and foundations for a new neighborhood on the grounds of what was once the Asylum. At that time, Dunning, and the people who had resided there, were still within living memory, so when bones were unearthed, it was no mystery how they ended up on that patch of land. What had slipped from memory was the magnitude of the collective stories of suffering and hardship.

For this novel, the people and events are fictitious. However, when examining old news stories from an institution known for corruption, it is not hard to imagine situations like the ones in the novel. The details that are true are the nearly one thousand inmates, no hot water, little to no heat in the winter, bad food, and the general feeling of living ghosts, intentionally forgotten, and doomed to never leave the grounds.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, March 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 8

Multifarious, March 9

Remembrancy, March 9

Connie’s History Classroom, March 10

History, Mystery & Faith, March 11

Reading is My Superpower, March 11

amandainpa, March 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Texas Book-aholic, March 13

Carpe Diem, March 14

Maureen’s Musings, March 15

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Two Points of Interest, March 16

proud to be an autism mom, March 17

A Greater Yes, March 17

Bibliophile Reviews, March 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 18

Janices book reviews, March 19

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Post from Mindy)

Pursuing Stacie, March 20

For The Love of Books, March 21

Bigreadersite, March 21


Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Soul’s Prisoner and sketching art supplies!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb74