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

Kathleen Rouser headshot.larger file

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

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Through the Fire, January 10

To Everything A Season, January 10

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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

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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

In the Shadow of Croft Towers Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

In the Shadow of Croft Tower

Book: In the Shadow of Croft Towers

Author: Abigail Wilson

Genre: Historical fiction, romantic suspense

Release Date: January 15, 2019

From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.

Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.

An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

What a fantastic debut novel! Abigail Wilson is a gifted writer who is able to transport the reader back into Regency England, full of pomp and circumstance but also filled with mystery, intrigue, and dark shadows in the midst of an intelligence war against France. Though the writing is in the first person narrative from Sybil, the story flows smoothly and the writing is easy to understand. The plot is detailed and well-crafted and has delicious twists and turns as everyone has a secret and an ulterior motive for being at the Croft Towers. And since it’s written from Sybil’s perspective, the reader can never be sure who the villain is until the end. If you enjoy historical mystery/suspense, you will absolutely love this book.
Sybil is a kind-hearted soul, though somewhat lost in the world since she’s an orphan and her greatest wish is to find her parentage. This desire drives her to Croft Towers to be an aging woman’s companion, where she meets an interesting and diverse set of people who turns her world upside down and sideways. She’s also spirited, determined, and resourceful. Curtis (or Mr. Sinclair, as he’s addressed mostly) is a gallant gentleman, thoughtful and tender, yet shrouded in mystery, especially given how he and Sybil meet. The entire story clicks into place one piece at a time as Sybil unravels the threads of secrecy tangled up in the Croft Towers.
I can’t wait for her next book!
I was given a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Abigail Wilson

Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at www.acwilsonbooks.com

Excerpt from the Book

1813

THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had never learned the truth. I wouldn’t have set off as I did for Croft Towers. I never would have met him.

It’s strange what I remember about the day I left London. The mail coach was late; the weather wretched. The clock had struck midnight long before two strangers and I ducked beneath the postmaster’s outstretched umbrella to board the Royal Mail and rumble across the North Downs.

That difficult journey east marked the beginning of an unseasonably cold autumn. Frigid rain pelted the coach windows. The undercarriage squealed beneath the seats as a metallic scent wound its way between the drafty boards. I gripped the windowsill, wondering if the coachman intended to hit every bump in the road.

“Far to go, miss?”

The woman’s voice startled me. Dressed head to toe in red

satin, she’d endured the last few darkened hours with a handful of smelling salts and a tongue hot for complaints, but she hadn’t spoken to me until now. Not until the first hint of rain-soaked daylight peeked over the horizon.

I lowered my gaze and fiddled with my bonnet ribbons. “Yes, ma’am . . . well, not too much farther, I hope.”

Taken from “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” by Abigail Wilson. Copyright © 2018 by Abigail Wilson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, December 20

Faery Tales Are Real, December 20

The Avid Reader, December 20

Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 21

seasons of opportunities, December 21

Mary Hake, December 22

Carpe Diem, December 22

Inklings and notions, December 23

Blogging With Carol, December 23

A Baker’s Perspective, December 23

Stories By Gina, December 24

Remembrancy, December 24

Madeline Clark, December 25

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 25

For the Love of Literature, December 26

Blossoms and Blessings, December 26

Janices book reviews, December 26

Back Porch Reads, December 27

Book by Book, December 27

Daysong Reflections, December 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 28

Godly Book Reviews, December 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 29

Bigreadersite, December 29

Inspiration Clothesline, December 30

A Rup Life, December 30

Bibliophile Reviews, December 30

A Reader’s Brain, December 31

Texas Book-aholic, December 31

Just Your Average reviews, January 1

Bookworld Reviews, January 1

Pause for Tales, January 1

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 2

Simple Harvest Reads, January 2

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Abigail is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d777/in-the-shadow-of-croft-towers-celebration-tour-giveaway

I Know the Plans Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

I Know the Plans

Book: I Know the Plans

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Romance

Release Date: October, 2018

All the plans Tiffany and Brad made for their lives as individuals were thrown to the wind the moment they met. Now, after almost a decade of marriage, they spend more time apart than together. Though plans remain unfulfilled, their hearts seek to remain steadfast and connected.

After Brad returns from his latest tour in Afghanistan, it is evident that the man Tiffany married is no longer the same. As Brad struggles with reacquainting himself with his life, Tiffany questions how it could be part of God’s plan. Have the sins of their past finally come back to haunt them? No matter how much support they have in their family and friends, the choice is still theirs. Will they continue to trust God with their lives or will they choose their own course?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Mindy Houng

Dec 19, 2018, 6:00 PM (4 days ago)
to me
3.5 stars.
This is the first full-length novel I have read from Melissa Wardwell and it was enjoyable. It is book 3 in the Promises from Above series and reading the books in order would have helped me keep the multiple secondary characters in their proper places while still enjoying Brad and Tiffany’s story.
Brad has just returned from Afghanistan after suffering head injury and being held a prisoner for a couple of months. His head injury prevents him from remembering his past, though he is still the thoughtful, considerate, loyal, faithful, passionate man he was before losing his memory. Tiffany has been married almost ten years to her soldier but has spent more time apart than together as a couple. She’s strong, sweet, loving, and patient. Both Brad and Tiffany go through a myriad of emotions as each deal with Brad’s memory loss and Tiffany’s medical issue and the emotional tension is taut and palpable. Quite a few real and sensitive topics like infertility and PTSD are addressed through the characters. The gift of grace, forgiveness and second chances was portrayed well in the story.
I was given a copy of the book by the publisher through Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Melissa Wardwell

Melissa Wardwell resides in the quant town of Owosso, Michigan with her husband and their three teen aged children. She began her writing journey in August of 2014 with her debut novel “What God Brings Together”. She decided to give writing a try after she shared a story that nagged at her with a friend. Unsure in her own abilities to craft a story she plunged ahead anyway. After reading the first draft of that first book, she then understood that God had a much bigger plan. “God does not give his children a desire just so that it can go to waste.” Since then, she has added three more novels and taken part in two anthologies. Melissa also has a review blog and is a contributing blogger for Heart”wings” Blog.

Being a mother and wife herself, Melissa understands the importance of taking care of yourself from time to time. So, all her stories revolve around women who are mothers: single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of their own.

To see the full list of her work, visit www.melissawardwell.com

Guest Post from Melissa

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

This verse has been my “Go To” verse since the day I married. It is a constant reminder that no matter what struggles I endure, God has a plan. I may not be able to see through the fog, I may not like or understand the journey, but it is all part of a plan. All I can do is trust God’s design for my life and be willing to move when He tells me to.

God used the writing process of “I Know the Plans” to remind me that He has a plan for me and book and I need to just trust the process. This book has taken me over a year to complete. If it wasn’t one thing to keep me from committing to it, then it was another. I don’t begrudge the events that kept me away, but as soon as I would begin to grumble to God about not having the energy or the brain power to write, I would get this preverbal reminder that I was not the one in control. If I am going to write faith lessons in fiction, I need to trust the Master Author.

In “I Know the Plans”, Sergeant Bradley Jones and his wife, Tiffany, are hit with one whopper of a plot twist that leaves them wondering if they can get through some major medical issues, PTSD, and infertility in one piece. Their family and friends do their best to support the couple but sometimes, trusting God’s plan is all they can do. Something we all try to learn to do in our own lives.

Due to the military thread in this book, I asked my veteran friends what charity they hold in high esteem. Almost every single one of them suggested “Wounded Warrior Project” and offered rave reviews of their humanitarian efforts in the military community. So, a portion of my royalties from this book will be going to “Wounded Warrior Project” in honor of their service and the service of thousands of others.

https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org

There is another group of people I wanted to honor. Those who fight with infertility. I know many who have fought the battle to have children of their own. Some eventually find success, while other have not. Some have even taken the route of adoption and have saved the lives of young ones who needed all the love in the world. Then there are some that just choose to embrace the fact that children of their own was not going to happen and have given all their love to others. All of these groups of people fight a battle that is riddled with pain, confusion, endless medical procedures, and thousands of dollars. There isn’t one group or anther that could support these people as much as our love, prayers, and thoughtful kindness can. So, I encourage you to embrace those around you and shower them with love. Sometimes what they need is just a friend that will listen and not try to mix the problem. Just as you have received the Father’s love, now you can give it away.

Finally, I want to thank the CelebrateLit blog team for signing up for this tour. I am honored that they choose to read this story and offer their honest opinions on this book. As always, I pray it ministers to the readers as much as it ministered to the author. “You all are amazing!”

Blessings,

Melissa Wardwell

Blog Stops

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 13

Real World Bible Study, December 13

Connect in Fiction, December 14

Inklings and notions, December 14

Godly Book Reviews, December 15

Blogging With Carol, December 15

Blossoms and Blessings, December 16

Mary Hake, December 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 17

Carpe Diem, December 17

Maureen’s Musings, December 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

Christian Bookaholic, December 20

cultivating us, December 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 21

Bibliophile Reviews, December 22

A Baker’s Perspective, December 23

Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Janices book reviews, December 25

The Becca Files, December 26

Bigreadersite, December 26

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away a grand prize that includes an “I know the plans” coffee mug and print copies of books 1, 2, & 3 from the Promises From Above Series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d76f/i-know-the-plans-celebration-tour-giveaway

Mind Games Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

Mind games

Book: Mind Games

Author: Nancy Mehl

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: December, 2018

Publisher: Bethany House

FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn’s methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable. She’s done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she’s the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, it seems her old life has followed her.

When a body is found that fits the poem’s morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle.

With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Wow. What an intense psychological thriller. Nancy Mehl creates a world of FBI profiling that is chilling and totally gripping. The title is incredibly appropriate. The book is extremely well-written with a plot that has the reader constantly guessing at who may be after Kaely, the FBI profiler being targeted. The plot has multiple points of view, including the villain’s, and has many details that somehow all pull together to point to the person responsible and yet the reader can’t be completely sure until the very end of the book. If you enjoy a well-crafted psychological thriller, you will love this book.
Kaely is a talented FBI profiler with a terrible family history and background. She is talented but has unorthodox methodology in getting her results and suffers from distrust in people. She is a bit difficult to connect with at first because she is so different and almost lives inside the heads of those she profiles; her thought processes and her reading of others can be somewhat disturbing. Yet she has a rock-solid faith that she is comfortable talking to Noah about and her faith is genuine, plain, and honest. Noah is lead agent on the case when Kaely gets threatened. He is a loyal, intelligent, hard-working FBI agent still suffering from the loss of his wife. Noah is easy to like and his affinity for Kaely as the book progresses helps the reader understand Kaely better. The author really draws the reader into Kaely and Noah’s world, not just in trying to identify and apprehend the perpetrator in their professional world but also into their personal worlds where past events and the emotions tied to them collide to pave a more hopeful future.
I am already holding my breath for book 2 in Kaely Quinn Profiler series. What can surpass Kaely’s ordeals and genius that were presented in this book? Waiting is so difficult….
I was given a copy of the book by Bethany House (Baker House 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

Nancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of more than thirty books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Guest Post from Nancy

Writing Mind Games is a dream come true. I’ve been interested in FBI profiling for years. I’ve read about it, studied it, and watched every TV special I could find on the subject. So when the chance finally came to write the book I’ve always wanted to write, I jumped at it. Thankfully, through the help of another writer, I was hooked up with a retired FBI profiler. I was so excited. Until I found out I had almost everything wrong. Yes, I had some understanding about profiling, but I knew nothing about the FBI and how it works.

First of all, the FBI doesn’t call the men and women who profile criminals, profilers. They’re called Behavioral Analysts. The plot for Mind Games had my analyst running around the country solving crimes while she was stationed in St. Louis. Uh, no. Behavioral analysts do travel, but they all work out of Quantico in Virginia. So…I rewrote.

There were ways around my conundrum, but one solution led to more and more problems. We finally worked through them. Then I spent the next few months learning acronyms. CIRG, CJIS, NCAVC, HRT, UNSUB, CNU, THU, ViCap, CODIS, SWAT, ERTU, OPU, THRU, ERT… Well, the list goes on and on. The FBI is made up of many specialized units. And a plethora of acronyms, it seems.

I rewrote Mind Games three times before my source said we were good to go.

If you assume I’m out of the woods now, you’d be wrong. I haven’t had the nerve to open up the manuscript I sent her for book two in my Kaely Quinn Profiler series. I figured I had Fire Storm right but… Well, I can tell from her email comments I’ll be doing more rewriting. Sigh.

So is it worth it? A resounding yes! I love learning, and as long as my analyst friend hangs in with me (she has the patience of Job), I’ll keep at it.

I hope you enjoy Mind Games. It’s edgy but fun. Kaely Quinn is a quirky character. She was thrown out of Quantico because her version of profiling is… Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 11

The Lit Addict, December 11

amandainpa, December 11

A Reader’s Brain, December 12

Daysong Reflections, December 12

Livin’ Lit, December 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13

By The Book, December 13

Lighthouse Academy, December 13

Multifarious, December 14

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 14

Splashes of Joy, December 14

Back Porch Reads, December 15

Real World Bible Study, December 15

Robin is Bookish, December 15

Janices book reviews, December 15

C Jane Read, December 16

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 16

The Becca Files, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

Quiet Quilter, December 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, December 17

Godly Book Reviews, December 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18

Just the Write Escape, December 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, December 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 19

For the Love of Literature, December 20

Remembrancy, December 20

Inklings and notions, December 20

Carpe Diem, December 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 21

Pause for Tales, December 21

A Baker’s Perspective, December 21

Have A Wonderful Day, December 22

Book by Book, December 22

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 22

Bibliophile Reviews, December 23

To Everything a Season, December 23

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 23

Cafinated Reads, December 24

Texas Book-aholic, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Mind Games and the three books in Nancy’s Defenders of Justice series, plus a $20 Starbucks gift card!

Two additional winners will also receive a copy of Mind Games!

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/d73b/mind-games-celebration-tour-giveaway

Catching Christmas Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

Catching Christmas

Book: Catching Christmas

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Christmas

Release Date: October 9, 2018

This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.

When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

Click here to purchase your copy.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This is a very different Terri Blackstock novel if you’re only familiar with her romantic suspense novels. Yet it’s equally mesmerizing on a completely different level. The author brings together an older fragile woman, her ambitious lawyer grand-daughter, and a grumpy, guilty, fatigued cab driver who used to be a chef in this Christmas story of love, family, dreams, regrets, and the grace of God.
Sydney is the grand-daughter trying to juggle a demanding job, a ridiculous court case on which her job security rides, and an ailing grandmother with no other family members nearby. She’s totally burnt out and out of luck but tries so hard to scrape by. Finn is the cab driver, trying to get through the Uber craze and the Christmas season without letting his bitterness and feelings of guilt break him apart. They are drawn together by Sydney’s grandmother Callie who keeps calling Finn to help her get to places; Finn, despite his gruffness, resigns himself to taking care of Miss Callie and his tender protective side emerges. As Sydney and Finn grapple with what life throws at them, they also start to understand Callie’s faith and on Whom they can lean. It’s a powerful story of redemption, forgiveness, and letting joy and peace rule even in the midst of darkness. It’s not a light and fluffy Christmas feel-good story. But it is a beautiful Christmas story that will challenge you and have you pondering many hours after you’ve finished the book.
I was given a copy of the book by Thomas Nelson Publishers 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

Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Catching Christmas is her first Christmas romance. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com Facebook: tblackstock Twitter: @terriblackstock

From Terri Blackstock

Enjoy this premium excerpt from Catching Christmas

https://aerbook.com/books/-128993.html?utm_source=pubpage

To get you in the Christmas mood, here’s an early holiday playlist:

“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby

“I Heard the Bells” sung by MercyMe

“Light of the World” sung by Lauren Daigle

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Amy Grant

“Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” sung by Avalon

“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again” sung by the Katinas

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 15

Daysong Reflections, December 15

Genesis 5020, December 15

Back Porch Reads, December 15

The Power of Words, December 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 16

Quiet Quilter, December 16

Among the Reads, December 17

Kathleen Denly, December 17

By The Book, December 17

Lighthouse Academy, December 17

Cultivating Us, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, December 18

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, December 19

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 19

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 20

amandainpa, December 20

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 20

Multifarious, December 21

Cathe Swanson, December 21

Stories By Gina, December 21

Connect in Fiction, December 22

Have A Wonderful Day, December 22

Splashes of Joy, December 22

Bibliophile Reviews, December 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 23

Lis Loves Reading, December 23

Mary Hake, December 23

Bigreadersite, December 23

Book by Book, December 24

Pause for Tales, December 24

To Everything A Season, December 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, December 25

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 25

Vicky Sluiter, December 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 26

Inklings and notions, December 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 26

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 27

Captive Dreams Window, December 27

Texas Book-aholic, December 27

A Baker’s Perspective, December 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 28

Older & Smarter?, December 28

Janices book reviews, December 28

Carpe Diem, December 28

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a grand prize of a finished copy of Catching Christmas and a Christmas Tree Ornament!!

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/d776/catching-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway