An Informal Introduction Spotlight + Giveaway

Social Media Strategies Review + Kindle Fire Giveaway

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To purchase your copy click here.

About the Book

In our current digital world, the internet puts every entrepreneur and creative artist smack dab in the middle of social media and marketing. With an online tsunami of informational how-to’s, deciding which methods work best challenges the best of us. In Social Media Strategies: Discover Powerful Tools of the Trade without Losing Your Soul, uncovers the most relevant techniques, skipping unnecessary fluff by going straight to up-to-date tactics and tips used by experts.

Inside these pages, a wealth of simple, savvy tricks aids understanding of things like SEO, Facebook algorithms, top performing platforms, and key ingredients for engagement. You’ll also have a treasure trove of links, templates, time saving applications, and what’s projected to change in cyberspace so you can stay ahead of the curve. However, your worth is not the sum of hard numbers. No longer do you have to feel depersonalized by ranks and formulas. T.H. Meyer combines trending social media content followed by encouraging words that redirect your soul to God. In the right hands, social media is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses or any person with a message to share.

Guest Post from T.H. Meyer

Often times, we write (or live life) with two voices in our head.

One voice belongs to the Critic. This voice says, “Your friends or peers may not like your work? Worse, you know So-n-So will hate it!”

Who do you think you are?”

“You could fail!”

“You’re putting yourself out there, why risk it?”

“You’re sloppy and lack analytical, time management skills.”

“Apologize ahead of time to those one-star readers you know are telepathically hating your words right now!”

The other voice belongs to the Encourager. This voice pushes you out of your comfort zones because you have that one reader in mind you want to help. This voice says, “Give words to lift their spirit.”

Show them what you’ve learned so they don’t have to struggle like you did.”

“Help them see a better way.”

“Brighten their day and give them hope.”

“Provide practical information that’ll make their life easier.”

“Point them in the direction where peace and joy abide.”

We may begin with the Encourager, but it’s the Critic that stops us. It’s the Critic that paralyzes us with insecurity and inaction. And if we proceed with the Critic, we move with such caution we end up writing to the Critic instead for the Encourager. In fact, the Critic wrestles the pen out of our hand and so, we add disclaimers until our whole book is about placating the Critic.

We want the Critic to like us.

They won’t.

We want the Critic to see our good intentions.

They don’t care.

We want the Critic to know we understand.

He’ll only slap at our attempts, laugh in our face with pungent garlic breath, and still hate whatever we’re doing.

When I began writing my debut book about social media strategies, I wrote to help the struggling artist, writer, or entrepreneur take advantage of what’s available at their fingertips. I wanted to provide applicable information to improve their understanding and presence. My desire included helping them get ahead while also remembering where their true hope comes.

But that all changed when the Critic showed up.

Instead, I added disclaimers before every chapter, like:

“Hey, if you don’t like this stuff, I’m so sorry, just skip this chapter, in fact, just skip this whole book. K? So sorry. Hate that you don’t like social media. I know it sucks. It sucks, right? Like big time? I know. So sorry. Social media can be the devil’s spawn. I totally get it. No, really I do. I’m a worm for writing that it can be used for good. So sorry to bother you with this. Oh look, squirrel!”

Yeah, true story.

Thankfully, I stopped doing that. I edited and rewrote. I got back to work and penned my book for the Encourager.

May 31 - June 13

The most important part of this book is the writing under the word “Strategies”. It states: “Discover Powerful Tools of the Trade without Losing Your Soul.” I’m a social media manager who spent years, blogging and feeling like my soul was sucked out by all the platform-talk that I was told to focus on.

Add to that, the Christian publishing industry heavily relies on the number of followers you have before taking a risk on you, to the point, your whole worth as an author, a person can get wrapped up in a number. Sheesh. The pressure to be popular and viral can be defeating.

Also, I taught classes to local small business owners and entrepreneurs on how to maximize their social media presence. Essentially, I encouraged them (as a consumer myself) that clients, consumers, and community can’t find you if they don’t know about you. So this is as much as service to potential clients and community as it is for their business. But I found many business owners were overwhelmed by the deluge of information regarding social media.

That’s where this book comes in. I wrote it to be a help to others, but especially to Christians who feel like their souls die a little more every time they try to tackle social media, platforms, and latest changes in the social media landscape.

My Review

This book has so many tools to help with social media.  Social media can be very overwhelming and time consuming. T.H. Meyer’s book will help you maximize your time and production.

This book is an amazing tool for authors.  In an age where platforms are all the rage, Social Media Strategies will help you navigate building your social media platform while remembering you are not just a number nor is your worth in the number of people who follow you. As an author, this is a book I would not be without.

T.H. Meyer created a book that brings social media into the “I can do this” category. She breaks it down into small easy sections and the links make it easy to start right away! I love how she gives information, tips and tricks but keeps your soul in the forefront.

If you are a seasoned blogger or just beginning, this book is a must have! I give Social Media Strategies 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book from the Celebrate Lit blogging program in exchange for my honest review. For more information about Celebrate Lit, visit www.celebratelit.com.

About the Author

T.H. Meyer’s writing has been featured in online magazines such as C’est La Vie: THE MAGAZINE and The High Calling along with guest posting for Amber C. Haines, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and at The Gift of Writing to name a few. Besides her current employment as a social media manager and content writer, she founded Outside the City Gates and worked as a creative director for the Sunday Circle Group, a worldwide collaboration of talented artisans, poets, photographers, speakers, and writers. She lives among Rye pastures on a farm in east Texas, far removed from big-city slickers. On any given day, eight resident ducks waddle under her bedroom window and quack like dogs when ready to eat. Her favorite pastimes are family, writing, juicy in-depth conversations, and unsweet tea. Connect on her blog Fear Not: Infusing Courage into Your Gifts & Talents, Facebook, or Twitter

Blog Stops

May 31: Just Commonly

May 31: Karen’s Krayons

June 1: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

June 2: History, Mystery and Faith

June 3: Blogging With Carol

June 4: Splashes of Joy

June 4: Mary Hake

June 5: The Power of Words

June 6: Simple Harvest Reads

June 7: A Greater Yes

June 7: Cassandra M’s Place

June 8: Singing Librarian Books

June 9: Bukwurmzzz

June 10: Tell Tale Book Reviews

June 11: Smiling Book Reviews

June 12: Southern Soul

June 13: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

 

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To celebrate her tour,  T.H. Meyer is offering a HUGE give away: A Kindle Fire and several Amazon gift cards! Click to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9ad2

Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter Review + Kindle Fire Giveaway

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Purchase your copy of Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter here.

About the Book

SavingTheMarquisesGranddaughter_w11911_750In a land fraught with religious strife, they must break the barriers between status and faith to forge a fresh future in a new world… After her Huguenot father is arrested, aristocrat Suzanne Richelieu escapes Versailles. Handsome German peasant, Johan Rousch, risks his life to bring her to the safety of his family’s farm in the Palatinate duchy, but when Suzanne’s brother and the French army arrive with a warning that they plan to burn the area, she and Johan are forced to flee. With no money or options, both become indentured servants in exchange for safe passage to Philadelphia. Suzanne falls gravely ill aboard ship and marries Johan, only to survive with no memory of the wedding—a reality made worse when Johan spots the “priest” who married them working as a surveyor and later in Quaker cleric garb. Are their wedding vows valid? When Suzanne’s former fiancé arrives in port, planning to abduct her, Johan must save her again—but can he do so before Suzanne is lost to him forever?

My Two Cents

What a wonderful, gripping story.  I kept wanting to read and not put it down.  There were so many twists and turns, it kept my attention until the very end.

The time period Carrie chose is very unique and I learned a lot that I did not previously know about this time in history.  It is very apparent that Carrie did her research prior to writing this novel. I loved how Carrie used history to move the story plot along. It was very interesting to see how two very different people, dealt with the circumstances they were thrown into.

The characters in this book are very well written and have great depth.  Many times when there are several secondary characters, a story can become convoluted and confusing. This is not the case with Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter. The secondary characters richly add to the story.

My favorite aspect of the story is the theme of faith that was interwoven between its pages.  Johan believed God was leading him to do something very dangerous yet he trusted the Lord.  Suzanne’s love and care of her mother was touching and her faith was inspiring.

I give Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter 4 out of 5 stars. Adventure, mystery, suspense, romance….What more could you ask for? Definitely a book to add to your TBR pile!

I was given this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was given.

To learn more about the Celebrate Lit Blogging program, click here.

About the Author

Carrie headshotCarrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance.  Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

 

Guest Post from Carrie Fancett Pagels

Hi, I’m Carrie Fancett Pagels, so excited to see this particular book “baby”, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, finally being “born!” I started working on this over eight years ago!

Roush book 1Would you believe it was a genealogical search that began this story? We had a lot of research on my father’s side of the family but not on my mother’s. Sites like Ancestry.com were getting big. One of my mother’s cousins posted the genealogy that he’d found, on one of the genealogy sharing sites and I got that information but only back to where I found two Rousch cousins marrying. I honestly didn’t want to go on after that, as it appeared they were first cousins – yikes! But after praying about it, and knowing my mom was curious, too, I went forward.
colonial Patriot marchers DSCN4653While I am interested in genealogy, as a former psychologist, I’m more interested in people’s stories.  So when I discovered that the two cousins were the grandchildren of Johan Adam Rousch, who had been acknowledged because nine of his ten sons had fought in the American Revolution, I wanted to know more about him and his family and ancestors.  Since there were books already written about him, I went up to the University of Virginia Rare Books Library and read what people had to say about the real life Johan. He sounded fascinating. He was an immigrant from the Palatinate of Germany and lived in the western part of Virginia, after immigrating via Pennsylvania.

I had joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) group and had been working on a novel set in the Charleston, South Carolina area, where I’d previously lived. I got so interested in Johan and his story that I began to write. But I couldn’t wrap my mind around Susanna, his real life wife who likely also came from the Palatinate, possibly on the same ship. No matter how I tried to work on her, through various writing classes I took, I couldn’t make her “real” because she just wasn’t speaking to me. I tried and I have the old scenes to prove it!

rousch monumentWhen I write, I pray. I asked God to show me scriptures for each scene, which were included on my rough drafts (they are not there in the final novel.) I did some research, at the library, and a massive tome about the Hundred Years War was recommended to me and one on European History from that time frame. By learning of some of the reasons the Palatinate was persecuted, such as the French punishing them for taking in Protestants, I began to imagine a different sort of heroine for my story. Of course, although the story was inspired by Johan and Susanna, this book is fictional. That freed me up for God to inspire me to make this story about faith. A core tenet of the book is that we must find our own faith – we cannot “borrow” it from someone else!

Since I was still practicing as a psychologist, as I developed Suzanne’s character I included traits that would be common in someone is the situation she was in. She’s living in an aristocratic French family, with parents who are actually of the Huguenot faith. If they are discovered there can be drastic consequences, including death. So a young lady like that may become more obsessive and compulsive as a way of dealing with that anxiety.

I hope those who read this story will be inspired by the message of overcoming and of finding one’s own path to faith in the Lord!!!

Blog Stops

May 24:  D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 25: Blossoms and Blessings

May 26: The Power of Words

May 26: Just Commonly (Spotlight)

May 27: A Greater Yes

May 27: Cassandra M’s Place (spotlight)

May 28: Christian Bookaholic

May 29: Bigreadersite

May 29: Mary Hake

May 30: Reading Is My SuperPower

May 31: inklings and notions

June 1: Singing Librarian Books

June 2: Karen’s Krayons

June 3: Rhonda’s Doings

June 4: Southern Chelle

June 5: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation

June 6: Simple Harvest Reads

Giveaways

Kindle grand prize meme

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a Kindle Fire 7, one signed copy of Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter along with Postcard & bookmark and Fleur de Lis Earrings. Click the link to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9a1a

Carrie is also giving an ebook copy of her book to one lucky commenter who answers the question, “How has your faith seen you through some difficult times?” This giveaway closes on June 9th at 11:59 PST.

Just Claire + Interview with the Author

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6212289Genre: Fiction, Historical, Children’s
Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication date: January 6, 2016
Number of pages: 208ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be
​trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

Book Trailer
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/s8x5lJKZFHU
HTML: ​

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Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, this is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
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1. How did you get started as an author?  What or whom inspired you?
Twenty one years ago, my car was hit by another vehicle. I was bedridden for weeks, barely able to walk. But, I made myself walk to the front door and back after the first week. I became depressed because I was used to manual labor and my veggie garden was growing weeds. I called my only daughter and told her the problem of my overwhelming sadness. She said, “Mom, you’ve always wanted to be an author. Why do you start writing a book?” So I did.2. What writing project are you currently working on?  What can you tell us about these projects?
I’m working on the sequel to Just Claire, titled Being Claire. For the month of April, I’ve entered the NaNo Writers Camp to spur me on to write six days a week. Being Claire’s theme is about forgiveness, when the Lavender Girls Club has followed Claire to her remote part of Southern Oregon. Claire is faced with choosing to be like the girl bullies or rise above and show kindness in return.What suggestions would you give a potential author to help them become a better writer? Read, read, read, (I know it’s a clique by now) other great and later not so great books. Why do I say not so great? For me once it sank in what a great story looked like (this took about five years in my situation), I then started reading sub-par books. It actually helped me how not to write.

3. What authors inspire your writing?
Laura Ingalls Wilder with her Little House series, Valerie Hobbs’s Tender; Kirby Larson’s Hattie Big Sky; Deborah Wiles’s Each Little Bird that Sings; all books by Jane Kirpatrick, for the beautiful storytelling and spiritual content, and more recently Lori Copeland & Virginia Smith’s Rainy Day Dreams, for teaching me deeper POV.

4. What period of history interests you the most?  Does this influence your writing?
The time period which I love to read is the 1800’s. Because I know the work it would take to research for a book in this era, I don’t write it. I instead enjoy this time period to read for a pleasant and needed break from my not-so-distant historicals (1960s), and my contemporary writing. There is one way it may influence my writing, is I keep my books clean and good values-based, the same as what I read. This doesn’t mean my characters don’t struggle, as we in real life struggle, but love and truth always win in my stories.

5. What inspired the idea for Just Claire?
My own mother almost died in childbirth with my little brother. And as with Claire’s mom, my own mother was never quite right after this. I wrote the book I longed to read when I was ten and struggling with the emotional loss of my mother who was never the same.

6. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Did becoming a writer ever cross your mind?
Here’s the order of what I wanted to be, with if the first career didn’t work out, there were other choicies: a wife and mother, a horse jockey, a race car driver. Becoming a writer was a secret desire that I shared with no one and wanted to do along with whatever I did in life.

7. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I really enjoy archery, big game hunting (no, I’ve not brought home the meat, yet, with my bow), and hiking in the mountains of Southern Oregon. I love spending time on my hobby farm, and with husband, thirteen grandchildren and my two children. My youngest child, Joshua, died at the age of twenty-five, and has been greatest loss of my life, and God continues to bless me with life and love.

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A wool pea jacket cut between ClaireLee and a boy in the
line. Nervous, she counted from the bottom eight black buttons all
the way to the collar. The girl wearing the coat was head and
shoulders taller than her. Peacoat crinkled her nose, while
ClaireLee squinted at the raised scar running from eye to chin.
Cocking her one good brow, Peacoat sized up—or more like
sized down—ClaireLee. Her voice boomed in the outside hallway.
“Ya must be in fourth grade, so you take the right side in my
classroom.”
She pointed to herself. “I’m in sixth, so I’m on the left.”
Rolling her eyes, ClaireLee disliked it when someone
believed they knew all about her. Fourth grade, my eye. Besides, she
had things to think on. Why hadn’t Mama and Daddy come home?
She had watched for their station wagon on the short walk to
school. Then, there was Lolly, and ClaireLee clutched the handle of
her lunch box. Lolly will eat with me at lunch.
Peacoat’s rude mouth interrupted ClaireLee’s mute
conversation. “Hey, I’m talking to ya, squirt.”
Without blinking a lash, ClaireLee glared at her.
Her mouth open, Peacoat placed her hands on her hips.
“Why ya gawkin’ at me?”
“What does gawkin’ mean?”
“You’re as tough as a banty rooster, ain’t ya?” Peacoat burst
out laughing.
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May 23–Reading Is My SuperPower
May 24–Bookworm Lisa | Toni Shiloh Prayerfully-Lifted Romance
May 25–Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Christy’s Cozy Corners
May 26–Mel’s Shelves | Simply Harvest Reads
May 27–Christian Bookaholic
May 28–Singing Librarian Books

One Plus One Equals Trouble Review + Giveaway

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Purchase your copy here.

About the Book

One Plus One Single w seriesHumiliated after her broken engagement, Claire Montgomery flees her comfortable life in San Francisco for a teaching position in Pine Creek, Washington, a dot of a town nestled in the rugged Cascade Mountains. She’s determined to succeed—for once in her life—only to discover, upon her arrival, that success will have to be won. Thanks to a school board error, two teachers have been hired.

When scandal forces professor Barrett Clarke from his position, he returns to Pine Creek where his uncle, chairman of the school board, sets forth an irresistible offer: teach one year in return for ranchland. For this would-be rancher, nothing is more tempting than resurrecting his childhood dream, and nothing can deter him from earning that land.

Except perhaps Claire Montgomery. Losing the battle for the classroom means losing the ranchland, but winning may mean losing Claire’s heart.

My Two Cents

This is my first experience reading Sondra Kraak and let me say, I will be anxiously waiting for her next book.  One Plus One Equals Trouble is a fun and easy read that draws you in right away.  I love the humor that Sondra adds to her characters – especially Barrett. There were several funny situations as well. Being a teacher myself, I like how Sondra shows the two different sides of teaching through the characters of Claire and Barrett.

One Plus One Equals Trouble deals with some difficult issues that we have in our Christian life. Forgiveness, the feeling of life not being fair, difficult decisions, trusting in the Lord and more. Sondra handles these issues very well and weaves them into the character’s story.  I was extremely encouraged.

If you enjoy historical fiction with a bit of humor, this is a not to miss book! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I was giving this book from Celebrate Lit  in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed are my own.

About the Author

Sondra KraakA native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain, but nourish the soul. Her debut novel, One Plus One Equals Trouble, was an ACFW Genesis semi-finalist (2015) and the winner of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Unpublished Women’s Fiction Award (2015).

Blog Stops

May 10: cherylbbookblog

May 11: Singing Librarian Books

May 12: Cassandra M’s Place

May 12: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 13: Inklings and Notions

May 14: Christian Bookaholic

May 14: Bigreadersite

May 15: The Power of Words

May 16: Through the Open Window

May 17: Melissa’s Musings – Reviews

May 18: Simple Harvest Reads

May 19: Texas Bookaholic

May 20: Bukwurmzzz

May 21: Reading Is My SuperPower

May 22: Raining Butterfly Kisses

May 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

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For Richer or Poorer Review + Giveaway

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Purchase your copy of For Richer or Poorer here

About the Book

April 30 - May 8

Elizabeth Whitte finds herself on the frigid border of Minnesota and Canada as winter sets in. When her plans for finding a husband and rushing back to Kansas fall through, she has to stay and learn a few things…like how to care for others.

Robert is a Mountie in Fort Frances, Canada. When he meets Elizabeth, his first instinct is to send her home. He’s been burned by women like her in the past and knows his life isn’t suited for them. Elizabeth’s pull is strong, but he cannot leave his beloved Canada.

As Elizabeth matures in many ways, Robert must decide if sending her back to Kansas is still his best option. Could she learn to love him, and his beautiful home?

My Two Cents

For Richer or Poorer is the second book in the series and the second book I have read by Kari Trumbo. I can not wait to read the next book in the series! I loved both of Kari’s books! Her books have characters you love to hate and characters you want to see get a happy ending. There were times that I wanted to scream and a couple of times I held my breath wondering what would happen next. I found myself engrossed in the story and I did not want it to end.

I love the themes of forgiveness, healing and restoration weaved into For Richer or Poorer.  I also loved how Elizabeth had a plan but God had a different idea – a better plan – for her.  This is a great reminder for us. How many times have we had plans that didn’t come to fruition but in the end, we look back and see God’s plan through the whole situation.

I give For Richer or Poorer 5 out of 5 stars.  An exciting book that leaves you wanting more!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit and Kari Trumbo for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

Kari Trumbo Author pictureKari Trumbo is a writer of Christian Historical Romance and a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. She does freelance developmental editing and blogging. When she isn’t writing or editing, she homeschools her children and pretends to keep up with them. Kari has written three novels in the Western Vows series and one prequel/novella; all should be released by fall of 2016. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing with the worship team, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of eighteen years, two daughters, two sons, and four cats.

Places to follow Kari:

Website           Facebook         Twitter            Pinterest          Amazon

Blog Spots

May 1: Mary Hake

May 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 2: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 3: A Greater Yes

May 4: Bukwurmzzzz

May 5: Simple Harvest Reads

May 6: Artistic Nobody

May 6: Cassandra M’s Place

May 7: Red Headed Book Lady

Guest Post from Kari Trumbo

Welcome to the tour, my new friends!

The Western Vows series began, believe it or not, on a dream and a challenge. I’m very close friends with another writer. We’d been friends for about seven years when she published her first book. I offered to edit it for her and tucked my own secret thoughts of writing inside. She and I are so alike, we share a birthday, look similar, have similar interests and likes, but we are not sisters, at least in the biological sense. When I’d been editing for her for three years, in secret, I wrote a manuscript. It was during the month of our shared birthdays. I told her about it and she said the best thing to do when you start writing is to set that one aside and keep going. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) camp came the very next month and she challenged me to write another, right away. I’d had a story bottled up for over three years. I accepted her challenge, set my word count, and finished the first draft of To Honor and Cherish five weeks later.

I knew the story was good, I just needed to work on it, but while I was writing the story of Meg, stubborn Lizzy started pushing her way to the forefront of my mind. That would be For Richer or Poorer. I edited book one over twenty-five times and submitted it to a few agents, all of whom gave me good advice on how to improve it. Parts that I took out of book one in editing became the background of Forsaking All Others, the prequel and Rose’s story, explaining how a Sioux couple ended up on a Kansas ranch.

Lastly, and the most difficult, was To Love and Comfort, Margot’s story. She fought me every step of the way and that story had to be started over four times before I got it right. It will be released fall of 2016. There may be more novels in the Western Vows series, I’m not willing to write the end just yet. I’m currently working on two new series, one focused on a tiny town in Montana with three other authors, the other a series based in Nebraska.

In For Richer or Poorer, I’ll take you through the taming of Elizabeth Whitte. I didn’t like her much at first, and I don’t think you will, either, but keep reading! She reminded me a bit of Scarlet O’Hara in the beginning. She rushes off to Northern Minnesota to trick a man into marrying her so she can inherit her father’s ranch. She never dreamed that there might be men out there unwilling to listen to her every demand. Life is a little harsh for her, but she soon learns that the things she teased her sister Meg about enjoying, just might make her happy, too. By the end of For Richer or Poorer, Elizabeth was one of my favorite characters and Robert is, bar none, my favorite hero so far.

I hope you enjoy their story as much as I did writing it.

~Kari

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away two wonderful prizes! The grand prize winner will receive a Kindle Fire. The first place winner will receive a copy of each of her books. This giveaway begins April 30 and ends May 9. This giveaway is sponsored by the author and entrants release any liability to this blog and Celebrate Lit.

Click here to enter.

 

Amish Quilts Coloring Book Review & Giveaway

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Purchase your copy here.

About the book

Amish Quilts Coloring BOOK coverFeeling stressed? Why not relax with an adult coloring book? Rachel J. Good’s Amish Quilts Coloring Book takes you back to a time and place that’s calm. Immerse yourself in a world of peace as you color the 25 different quilts.

Inspired by quilts seen in Amish country, many of these designs are based on traditional patterns, but some have been reimagined or repeated multiple times to create more intricate designs to color. Each quilt is printed on only one side of the page; facing pages contain inspirational Amish proverbs. To make the quilts even more colorful and interesting, sketch fabric designs – plaids, checks, paisleys, flowers, or abstract shapes – into the larger quilt blocks, use pattern stamps, or even collage fabric scraps to the pages. And if the designs inspire you to make quilts of your own, the pages can be used as templates for quilt-making.

My Two Cents

Amish coloring pageI have always wanted to quilt but have to be honest and say that I am horrible at sewing.  I love Rachel’s coloring book because I get to “sew” beautiful quilts by coloring them. I also get to  relax while doing it!

I like that each quilt has its own page so you can color and display each one. There is a beautiful proverb that goes with each page that I found very encouraging. This coloring book will bring you hours of fun.  It is not just for women or adults, my son colored the quilt displayed on this post.

I have included a colored and uncolored sample  for you to view.

I give the Amish Quilts Coloring Book 5 out of 5 stars. A fun book not to be missed!

About the Author

Rachel photo webRachel J. Good, inspirational author, writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of Amish romances in the Sisters & Friends series. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student in Writing and Illustration at Hollins University. In addition to having more than 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. To buy the Amish Quilts Coloring Book: http://amzn.to/1VmIOUi. Visit Rachel at:

Website: www.racheljgood.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/racheljgoodnovels/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelJGood1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661177.Rachel_J_Good

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/racheljgood1/

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Giveaway

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No Neutral Ground Review Plus Giveaway

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Purchase your copy here.

About the Book

NNGFrontNo Neutral GroundAfter his father divorces his mother because of her Jewish ancestry, Rafe and the rest of his family flee Germany. As a B-17 navigator, he returns to Europe. On the ocean voyage, he meets Jennie, an artist journeying to Sweden to work with the OSS.

Flying missions against his former homeland arouses emotions that surprise Rafe. Despite being rejected, he is troubled by the destruction of Germany and his heart still cries for his father’s love.

Sweden may be neutral, but it’s full of intrigue. Jennie assists the OSS at the American legation in Sweden. She thought she’d be doing passive, behind-the-scenes work. Instead, she’s pushed into an active role to gain intelligence and frustrate the Germans.

How can Rafe and Jennie succeed in their dangerous roles when they are so conflicted?

My Two Cents

Can I just say I love Terri Wangard? Her stories draw you right in and you can not put her book down! No Neutral Ground was both well researched and well written. Her characters have depth and you become attached to them. 

Rafe is my favorite character – I connected with his story. He felt lost, unloved, rejected. I think all of us has felt this way at some point in our lives. Rafe’s story touched me deeply.

One aspect of both Books is they make you realize that not Germans supported the Nazis. They give you a glimpse at how torn some Germans were. How heartbroken they were to see their homeland ensnared in war.

Terri makes you feel as if you were back in WWII right beside her characters. I give No Neutral Ground 5 out of 5 stars. This is a book you don’t want to miss and an author you want to add to your watch list!

About the Author

TerriTerri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

Connect with Terri:
www.terriwangard.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/terriwangard/

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Guest Post from Terri Wangard

I hadn’t planned on writing No Neutral Ground. Friends and Enemies (book one of the Promise For Tomorrow series) was the WWII story I’d wanted to write, inspired by family history on the German side. Finishing that, I’d started writing a contemporary story set in one of my favorite places, Green Lake, Wisconsin.

At an ACFW conference, I had an appointment to pitch Friends and Enemies with an editor. She said I’d be likelier to get a contract if I had a series. The Green Lake story got shelved.

What could I write to partner with Friends and Enemies? That stumped me. The German side of the story was my big interest, but another one? No. I had no desire to return to Nazi Germany. My ancestry is three quarters German. All of my forbearers arrived in America before 1900, but it’s still a bitter thought that their homeland spawned such evil.

Germany’s out, so that left me with the other side of Friends and Enemies—the B-17s. I’d chosen the Flying Fortress because of my timeline. In mid-1944, the only American military men in Germany were shot-down airmen. I had plenty of material I hadn’t used in Friends and Enemies, but the plot had to be different. Something other writers hadn’t touched on. Maybe…Sweden?

Who’s familiar with Sweden’s role in World War II?

If American planes got in trouble during their missions and couldn’t make it back to their bases in England, they sought sanctuary in neutral countries. Switzerland is usually the first that comes to mind. Tricia Goyer had already written The Swiss Courier which touches on internees.

But Sweden. I had even visited Sweden. In 1993, my dad and I had gone to Sweden to cover a classic boat show for our magazine, Classic Boating. During a free day, we had wandered around Stockholm and taken lots of pictures.

I started the research and discovered, hmm, there’s not much, especially if you don’t know Swedish. One book I acquired held a eureka moment. A B-17 was damaged and the pilot told the crew to bail out. The navigator hurried to the cockpit and implored him to try to make it to Sweden. He was from Germany, a former member of the Hitler Youth, and he did not want to be captured by his former countrymen. There’s my male protagonist! Rafe discovered he had Jewish ancestry and had to flee Germany. Now he’s back at war with the homeland.

I still needed a female protagonist, and Jennie proved hard to pin down. I was pulling her together throughout the writing. I enjoyed reading accounts of Betty McIntosh, who served with the OSS in the China-Burma-India theater. Why not enlist Jennie’s services with the OSS in Sweden? She’s talented but lacks confidence. Pretty soon, Jennie found her voice.

As my research continued, I made a surprising discovery. One of the photos I’d taken in Stockholm turned out to be the former home of the American legation in Sweden. Jennie’s workplace. And I had thought it was just an example of lovely architecture.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Rafe and Jennie in No Neutral Ground.

Giveaway

No Neutral Ground grand prize

To celebrate her No Neutral Ground tour, Terri is giving away several prizes.  Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/97ca

White Review + Giveaway

WhiteTourFBCover

Purchase your copy in paperback here or in ebook here

Guest Post from Denise Weimer

When I speak to book clubs or people ask me why I started writing historical fiction, I tell them that as I grew up, my parents took me to numerous historical sites. I wondered who lived in an old house or town and what their lives were like. What treasures, what secrets, might I find if I could dig down to the bones of an old mansion? My active imagination kicked in, and I started scribbling stories in spiral bound notebooks. I knew from age eleven I wanted to be a writer, though for a time I considered historical preservation as a career. I found the perfect marriage of those desires in The Restoration Trilogy, my new series with Canterbury House Publishing.
The restoration my parents did on their own historic house and apothecary shop inspired White, Widow and Witch. While looking for a residence in a country community, Mom and Dad purchased a property they later learned belonged to a line of regionally famous doctors tracing back to Revolutionary War days. Watching them piece together stories from the past with the help of local historians nudged me to depart from the historical settings of my past novels (Redeeming Grace and The Georgia Gold Series) in favor of modern romantic suspense. Readers follow Jennifer Rushmore, a recent historic preservation graduate, and Michael Johnson, a brooding bachelor who has inherited property from ancestors he knows little about, as they restore a doctor’s house, apothecary shop and log cabin. During the restoration of each, they uncover a story from a different century (1920, 1870 and 1790) containing a lesson of “heart healing” they need to apply in the present.

Most of us have been through hardships in our lives that God would use to refine our characters or expose and heal pain from our pasts. Sometimes we’re tempted to just slap another coat of paint over a crack or build a cheap façade over a weakness. God knows that full restoration takes effort, time and expense, so He never goes to work without our permission. However, He is the only one who can bring us to wholeness.

Jennifer accepts the assignment in the eclectic community of Hermon while waiting for her dream job in Savannah, never imagining God might have other plans. Country neighbors determined to become friends, a handsome but secretive employer with conflicting ideas about how to conduct the restoration, and strange accidents hinting that someone doesn’t want them working on the property strip away Jennifer’s personal defenses. She comes to learn that when a person is open to the work of the Master Renovator, one can find blessings in the unlikeliest of places.

About the Book

COVER-WHITE_RGB72webWhen Jennifer Rushmore accepts a brooding bachelor’s job offer to act as coordinator for the restoration of his family’s historic doctor’s house (White), apothecary (Widow) and log cabin (Witch) in a rural Georgia community, little does she know it’s her own heart that will undergo the greatest renovation. Three stories. Three centuries. Three lessons on the healing of the heart. And one buried mystery that threatens their redemption.

White: As historic preservationist Jennifer and brooding bachelor Michael restore his ancestors’ historic doctor’s residence in a rural Georgia community, they uncover the 1920s-era prejudice and secrets that caused Michael’s branch to fall off the family tree. Recent graduate Jennifer is determined to fulfill her first professional position with integrity even if her employer lacks a proper appreciation of history. Far more challenging—and sinister—than the social landscape of Hermon are the strange accidents hinting that someone doesn’t want them on the Dunham property. Yet Michael’s and Jennifer’s own pasts pose the biggest obstacles to laying a fresh foundation of family and community.

My Two Cents

I was drawn into this book right away.  Denise does a wonderful job of foreshadowing what will happen throughout out the book.  Sometimes when you have a book that flashes back, it can get really confusing.  Not so with White. It was very clear what is current and what was passed.

The characters in White were very well written and I felt like I was right there watching the story.  There was tension and the mystery kept me on the edge of my seat.  I wanted to know why the accidents were happening  and why someone didn’t want them on the property.

It was obvious that the author did her research – both historically and on what a historic preservationist does.  The descriptions in the book are amazing and you can picture just what the author is describing.  For example, “Jennifer walked a straight line over slippery magnolia leaves to the red front door framed by the antebellum sidelight windows.” Denise’s description gives a wonderful visual picture in my mind.

White is definitely a book you will want to read.  It will keep you engaged from the time you pick it up.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I was giving the book in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed were my own.

About the Author

head shotIn addition to The Restoration Trilogy, native Georgian Denise Weimer is the author of numerous magazine articles about her home state, romantic novella Redeeming Grace, The Georgia Gold Series (Sautee Shadows, The Gray Divide, The Crimson Bloom, and Bright as Gold). Bright as Gold won the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for authentic Southern literature. She holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University, is a wife and swim mom of two daughters, and always pauses for coffee, chocolate and old houses.

Giveway

In honor of the White Celebration Tour, Denise is giving away a print copy of WHITE: Book One of The Restoration Trilogy, a $15 Starbucks card to representing the coffee-loving modern heroine, and a vintage hat to represent the historical heroine. Click to enter:

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A Season to Wed Review + Giveaway

A season To Wed FB cover

 About the Book

a season to wed

Click here to purchase your copy.

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Ten years after what she thought was her almost-wedding, Hope Prentiss discovers that the ceremony counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. After spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce . . . or a real wedding of her own.

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

Revealing the beauty in other women might be Ginger Winters’s specialty—but it will take an unexpected kind of love to help Ginger see the beauty in herself.

Ginger Winters will be the “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade. But when high-school crush Tom Wells shows up looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her from love once again . . . despite Tom’s best efforts.

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt

Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it’s served up on a silver platter?

Meadow Larson is having the mother of all Mondays when her roof caves in during a blizzard, right before the most important wedding contract of her career. Renovation contractor Colin McGrath offers to fix Meadow’s roof, even though he knows he is the last person she would accept help from.

But the more Meadow gets to know the new Colin, the more she realizes God may have something more permanent in store than a new catering kitchen.

My two Cents

Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

This is a story about two adults who realized they were still married after  thinking it was never legal for 10 years.  I loved how the author showed how some of us are planners and can literally plan God out of the equation.  Cindy teaches us that sometimes we just have to be still and listen. I do have to give a warning that this book does push the boundaries of Christian fiction.  There was some content that made me uncomfortable and I would not let my young daughters read this story.

I give this story 3/5 stars due to sexual references (not explicit and within the confines of marriage).

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

I loved this story because it was so relatable!  How many of us can see the beauty that God created in other people, but not see the beauty that God created in us.  Rachel does a wonderful job of portraying and gently dealing with what many of us women face when we look in the mirror.  You do not want to miss this book!

I give this story 5/5 stars.

Serving Up a Sweetheart by Cheryl Wyatt

Have you ever had something happen that is just terrible? It isn’t amazing when God can bring something wonderful out of it? Cheryl portrays this wonderfully in this story through the character of Meadow.  Sometimes God has a wonderful plan for us but we do not see it….or want to see it.

I give this story 5/5 stars.

I love how the wedding theme is featured within each of these stories but how each one takes a different theme in regards to faith.  Regardless if you enjoy books about weddings, your heart will be lifted by the themes of this book.

About the Authors

Rachel Hauck Bio:

Rachel Hauck is a USA Today Bestselling author. Her book, The Wedding Dress, was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Her book Once Upon A Prince was a Christy Award finalist.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at rachelhauck.com, Facebook: rachelhauck, and Twitter: @RachelHauck.

Cindy Kirk Bio:

Cindy Kirk sold her first book in 1999 as a result of a contest win which garnered a critique of the entire manuscript. She’s been writing—and selling—ever since. Cindy has been a Booksellers’ Best Award Winner, a finalist for the National Readers’ Choice Awards and a Publishers Weekly best seller. Cindy has served on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) since 2007. In November 2014, she began serving as President of the 10,000+ member organization. She’s a frequent speaker at not only the national RWA conferences, but large regional writing conferences. She has also presented at smaller retreats and conferences across the country. She lives on an acreage in Nebraska with her high school sweetheart husband of too-many-years-to-count and their three “boys” (a shih tzu, a blue heeler and a dorkie). Their daughter lives close by with her wonderful husband and their two little girls. Cindy invites you to check out her websitewww.cindykirk.com. Twitter: @CindyKirkAuthor

Cheryl Wyatt Bio:

Cheryl Wyatt writes romance with virtue. She’s a USA Today bestselling author and has earned RT Top Picks, spots #1 and #4 on her debut publisher’s Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books list, Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence final, and other awards. Cheryl loves readers! Join her newsletter at www.CherylWyatt.com. Facebook: CherylWyattAuthor Twitter: @cherylwyatt

Giveaway

To celebrate the A Season To Wed Celebration Tour, Rachel Hauck is giving away a Kindle Fire! Click to enter [promosimple id=”953c”]

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