Water’s Break Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Water’s Break

Author: Sophia Hansen

Genre: YA sci-fi

Release Date: January 9, 2024

What if fear itself is the deadliest undercurrent of all?

Nica would do anything to avoid the hassles of her sister’s bonding ceremony—the wrap fittings, hairstyles, and braided fire coral—but she never imagined that the waters covering her planet would be broken. As the heavens rained fire and stone, mountains erupted from the sea and dry ground was birthed on the Deep, dividing the water—and the Olomi people—for the first time in their history.

In the wake of her world’s violent re-formation, Nica’s family is shattered. When the rookie Guardian leaves the safety of the Deep to find her sister, she is abducted by strange landwalkers who possess strength and technology beyond her imagination. Nica realizes that the disaster from above was by their design—a calculated plan to terraform the water planet and conquer her people. All Nica wants to do is find her sister and swim home to safety, but with the landwalkers closing in, escape may not be possible. And if Nica can’t save herself, how can she hope to save her sister—or her people?

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy

This debut novel by Sophia Larsen takes us into a deep underwater world where community thrives with love and security. When land dwellers arrive to colonize and save their own dying race, the waters break and the people of the water are broken and enslaved. The underwater world’s culture and language were portrayed in beautiful detail. The chapters flowed well and the book was easy to read. 

The book addressed the terrible issue of slavery and its accompanying greed, cruelty, and misuse of power. I wasn’t prepared for this theme to encompass the entirety of the story and found myself skipping over some of the details regarding the land dwellers’ extensive cruelty.

It didn’t feel like a YA novel and perhaps that’s what threw me off. Still, those who love high fantasy will likely love this book (as so many other reviewers have attested to). I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Enclave Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Sophia L. Hansen, raised in the melded cultures of Korea and America, understands not fitting into society’s boxes. Born on a tiny island in Alaska, then growing up in New York City and Boston, she now resides in the Southeast, writing and editing between fresh(ish) cups of coffee and slices of crisp bacon. She embraces life with her husband, their adulting children, and her new grandson, but her favorites are Jesus, family, coffee, and dark chocolate, mostly in that order.

 

More from Sophia

Once upon a time, there was a mom.
A mom with many children.
She was a very busy mom.
One day the pastor’s wife asked her to write something for the Christmas program.
“Why would you ask me?” she replied. “I’m just a mom.”
“Because you love words,” was the quiet answer.
When the mom heard this, she realized it was true. And so, she began to write.

The Beginning

~

Stories don’t grow in a vacuum. Neither do they flourish in a pressure cooker. Our ideas are like seeds; full of potential but needing time and space to germinate. My season of writing started after more than a decade of birthing, raising, and educating my children. We had five at the time and I was full up. There was little space in church activities for attached moms whose children didn’t nursery well, and I spent more of my Sunday mornings in the playground rather than the pews. Then, finally, a friend invited me to a study in her home, and all children were welcome.

As my soul feasted on the fellowship, Bible study, and sharing, I felt like a child sitting down to a holiday meal. I’d been so busy taking care of others that I didn’t remember what it was like to have an oxygen mask for myself. It had been far too long since my spiritual self had been nourished. Out of that beautiful season the seeds of my words, long dormant, began to sprout, including my what ifs about what would become the world of Water’s Break.

Water’s Break dives into Nica’s world, a water-covered planet inhabited by amphibian people. When disaster strikes, landmasses rise from the seabed, separating the water and its people for the first time in their history. Nica’s family is devastated: her father is gravely injured, her sister is missing, and her mother, grief-stricken. Nica, a rookie Guardian, is determined to find her sister and bring her home, even if it means she must venture out of the Deep. But no one knows what lies in wait abovewater.

I hope your hearts are encouraged as you join Nica’s fight to survive in a sea of oppression. And when survival is not enough, will she risk everything to choose life?

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, January 30

Exploring the Written Word, January 31

Blogging With Carol, February 1

Artistic Nobody, February 2 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 4

Guild Master, February 5 (Author Interview)

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, February 5

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 6

Beauty in the Binding, February 7 (Author Interview)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 8

Wishful Endings, February 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 11 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, February 11

Simple Harvest Reads, February 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sophia is giving away the grand prize package of a signed hardcover with swag (bookmark, stickers, character cards)!!

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/29b05/water-s-break-celebration-tour-giveaway

Biblical Finances Interview

About the Book

Book: Biblical Finances Jesus Christ: The Financial Advisor

Author: Lisa D. Pedriel

Genre: Christian, Christian living, Finance, Wealth Management

Release Date: May 3, 2023

The objective of this book is to help readers manage their finances using biblical standards and principles. The main benefit of doing this is that our finances will be built on a sure foundation (Isaiah 33:6), which is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Word. Jesus is concerned about every aspect of our lives, and the management of our finances is no exception. Throughout His Word, He gives us advice on how to get and manage the wealth He has made available to us. Therefore, it is imperative that we study the scriptures and apply them to our lives and finances. In summary, this book looks at wealth and finances from a biblical perspective.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Lisa Pedriel is a child of the King, who serves as an intercessor in the body of Jesus Christ. She gave her life to Him on March 25, 2017, while walking on Lily Drive in St. James, Barbados. She started off her writing journey by penning poems and love notes to the Lord. Lisa is a qualified accountant and an auditor by profession. She currently resides on her native island Saint Lucia and lives a quiet and private life.

 

Interview with the Author

What does success as an author look like to you?

If one person comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by reading one of my books, that is success to me.  At the end of the day, it is all about Him.

What inspired this book?

A couple of years ago, I joined a youth ministry at my church and one day I was given the responsibility to speak to young people about financial literacy. In preparation for this speech, I decided to look at finances from a biblical perspective. As I continued to do my research, I realize that there was a book within me and that’s how Biblical Finances- Jesus Christ: The Financial Advisor was born.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

As an intercessor and lover of prayer it must be Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

What would you like your readers to get out of this book?

Sound financial principles are important, and the bible speaks about them however Jesus Christ is the true treasure. The bible says in Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. We are spiritually rich in Jesus Christ.

What is your vacation spot?

Antigua- the beaches are lovely; the food is good and it reminds me of home. This nation took my breath away the first time I saw her.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 1

Vicky Sluiter, February 2 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 3

By The Book, February 4 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 5 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, February 5

Simple Harvest Reads, February 6 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 7

For the Love of Literature, February 8 (Author Interview)

Because I said so – Adventures in parenting, February 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 10 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 11

Fiction Book Lover, February 12 (Author Interview)

Beauty in the Binding, February 13 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 13

Guild Master, February 14 (Author Interview)

When the Waters Came Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: When the Waters Came

Author: Candice Sue Patterson

Genre: Christian/Historical/Romance

Release Date: January, 2024

An act of greed or an act of God?

Introducing a new series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic American disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

Pastor Montgomery Childs has tended his flock in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, for two years. While his pews are full every Sunday, he most desires to see a reckoning between God and the kings of industry who recreate on Lake Conemaugh. The pleasure grounds, flowing alcohol, and business dealings of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club taunts Monty as he works to heal the wounds inflicted from his own privileged childhood among Pittsburgh society. Like Noah, Monty prays against the evil surrounding him, but he never expects God to send a flood.

It takes five days for the Red Cross to respond to the Johnstown flood disaster, but when it does, Annamae Worthington is ready to help. Apprenticing under Clara Barton has prepared her for the job, but nothing can prepare her for the death and destruction that awaits. As if the survivors haven’t suffered enough, typhoid fever ravages the town, resurfacing suppressed emotions regarding her father’s death.

Narrowly surviving the flood and the horrifying things he’s witnessed, Monty’s faith is floundering. Then a Red Cross nurse puts him to work helping with the typhoid fever victims arriving at the hospital tents every hour. Monty and Annamae work together distributing disinfectants and supplies, housing orphans, and serving those left behind. Slowly, his faith resurfaces. A kinship forms between them neither can ignore. But when an investigation into the collapsed dam points to the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, secrets emerge that may tear them apart.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna

What I think you should know:

When the Waters Came by Candice Sue Patterson is the first book in The Series, A Day to Remember. The series by various authors includes standalone books about tragic events in American History. This book is about the Johnstown flood which happened on May 30, 1889 when a dam collapsed and washed away the town below the dam leaving behind unimaginable destruction.

 

What you might need to know:

This book gives a fictional account of a true tragedy, it does not sugarcoat the death and destruction that occurred. I would not recommend this book to young or immature readers.

 

What I think about this book:

This was a gipping account of the Johnstown flood. I appreciate the research that the author put into creating a compelling story. Monty Childs left behind a world of privilege to become a pastor in a mill town.  When tragedy strikes he grapples with his faith and need for justice for those who lost so much. Annamae Worthington arrives in Johnstown with her mentor Clara Barton. I love how the author wove Clara into the story, and appreciate the spunk, like when she told Annamae’ Oh this is nothing, my dear… So long as we have no bullets flying around us”.  It is wonderful that in spite of all of the tragedy and grief  to “most Importantly, remember who holds the entire world in His hands”  I look forward to reading more by the author and in the series.

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

About the Author

Candice Sue Patterson studied at The Institute of Children’s Literature and is an elementary librarian. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, snuggling with her Great Pyrenees, or helping children discover books they love, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance–where the past and present collide with faith. For more on Candice and her books, visit www.candicesuepatterson.com.

 

 

 

More from Candace

On May 30, 1889, the industrious residents of Johnstown, Pennsylvania fell into slumber to the sound of rain pattering their rooftops, unaware that, for many, it would be their last night on earth. This was the thought I carried with me through the entire journey of writing When the Waters Came. Every survivor’s account of that day, every loss, every miracle, every emotion will stick with me for years to come.

My first knowledge of the Johnstown Flood came several years ago when I watched The Men Who Built America in its first airing on the History Channel. The idea that so great a loss of life could’ve easily been prevented by some of the richest men in the world strummed an invisible chord inside me. I remember looking at my husband and saying, “I’m going to write a book about it someday.”

A few more years went by and each time I sat down to plot a new story idea, Johnstown whispered across my heart, but the timing wasn’t right. Then, in 2021, I was shopping at our local community book fair and stumbled upon a first edition of History of the Johnstown Flood, Illustrated by Willis Fletcher Johnson, published in 1889, months after the disaster. Not meaning to sound hokey, I felt as if God handed me the book Himself and confirmed He wanted me to write this story. The next year, at the same book fair, I found a first edition of The Life of Clara Barton by Percy H. Epler, published in 1919. It contained transcripts of her journals and correspondence, some specifically mentioning the Red Cross and her role in aiding the survivors of the Johnstown flood. Once again, I felt that God had provided all the material I would need to tell my tale. Then, in 2022, when my publisher reached out looking for proposals for a new series centered on disasters, I knew the time had come to remind folks of that tragic day.

I’ll be honest, I shed a lot of tears during my research. The accounts are heartbreaking. But the faith and determination in some of those accounts are inspiring as well. Many of the characters in When the Waters Came are real survivors of the flood, and Clara Barton, herself, walks on and off the pages throughout the story.

In May 2023, a month before I turned the manuscript in to my publisher, my husband and I traveled nine hours to Johnstown to experience what we could for ourselves and to make sure my historical facts were correct. I stood where the South Fork Dam once did. I imagined the roar of the water as the dam crumbled. I toured the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club clubhouse, where America’s elite once recreated. I stood at Colonel Unger’s homestead where he’d stood that fateful day, powerless to reinforce the dam and save the folks in Johnstown below. I walked the rows of 777 graves in Grandview Cemetery honoring the unidentified bodies that were rescued. I thought of all the lost loved ones never found.

Where the retelling of the Johnstown Flood is hard and tragic, I also packed the story with plenty of faith, hope, and love to give readers a well-balanced experience. For on-site videos, behind-the-writing-scenes info, and more details about the Johnstown Flood, subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 27

Devoted To Hope, January 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 30

Mary Hake, January 30

Texas Book-aholic, January 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 2

She Lives To Read, February 3

Blossoms and Blessings, February 3

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

Cover Lover Book Review, February 5

Book Looks by Lisa, February 5

Life on Chickadee Lane, February 6

Pause for Tales, February 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 7

For Him and My Family, February 8

Connie’s History Classroom, February 9

To Everything There Is A Season , February 9

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/299c0/when-the-waters-came-celebration-tour-giveaway

Reckless Yes Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Reckless Yes: Exchanging Worldly Ease for God’s Eternal
Adventure

Author: Johnna Hensley

Genre: Christian memoir

Release Date: June 6, 2023

After a shocking diagnosis in 2007 sent her life in an unexpected direction, Johnna Hensley had a decision to make. Though she had walked with God for nearly two decades, she had to choose whether she would follow His leading on a strenuous journey to find the narrow gate that leads to eternal
life; or would she take the easy, wide path offered by the temporal world? As she chose to say yes to selfless love, through God’s guidance, she discovered this was the first of many forks in life’s road that would ultimately lead her to a life full of adventure, surprises, and sometimes,
even hardships.

Inspiring and encouraging, this true story of one family’s journey is intertwined with relevant teaching of who God is and why we can trust Him in the midst of life’s chaos. Through relatable storytelling, wit, and wisdom, readers will be challenged to shift their perspective toward God’s eternal adventure.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Johnna (pronounced John-NUH) is an author, blogger, and all-time coordinator of chaos. Managing her family of eight, built through biology and adoption, means there’s rarely a dull moment in her days. Through herwriting, she boldly shares the eternal hope and restoration heaven offers.
She and Ryan, her husband of eighteen years, reside in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas and are avid supports of foster care, adoption, and disability awareness and advocacy as each has impacted their family. When the chaos subsides, you’ll find Johnna spending time outdoors, enjoying an early morning workout, or on the patio of a Tex-Mex restaurant with friends.

 

More from Johnna

Reckless Yes is Johnna’s first book, although certainly not her last! This book was years in the making and began through blog posts where she would chronicle the insights she gained from living life caring for her disabled son. It was her insights and experiences during her son’s grand entrance into the world, and many years following, which began to shape and solidify her eternal perspective and the hope of heaven. Reckless Yes is a Christian memoir that reads nearly like a Bible study as Johnna uses a unique strategy of alternating teaching chapters with memoir chapters. Not only will you see her life unfold on the pages, but you’ll see the character of God come to life as well with Johnna’s simplistic, yet interesting, explanation of Scripture. When you’re done with this book, you’ll be asking yourself what YOUR next yes will be! You’ll be equipped and capable, ready to move your life forward into action and be reckless for the Kingdom.

Interview with the Author

What inspired this book?

This book was inspirited by my own life and God’s goodness in it. In just four decades I had lived quite an interesting life but it was God’s sovereignty and good plan on each page that I wanted to share with the world.

 

What would you like your readers to get out of this book?

I hope that readers walk away from this book with an idea for what their next YES will be. I want to encourage and challenge readers to see what it is they’re being led to and then jump all in for the sake of the kingdom.

 

What is your vacation spot?

My family and I love to spend time at the beach, specifically Gulf Shores, Alabama. We enjoy time at a resort there and can’t wait for another trip there, hopefully this summer!

 

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. It’s a novel set in the 1950s in Hollywood. I love Christian historical fiction that can transport me to another time and place.  

 

What is your most well-loved and well-used house appliance?

My most loved household appliance is my air fryer! With six kids ages 16 down to 3, we make a lot of food every day and the air fryer helps keep all these kids fed. We’ve made countless batches of chicken nuggets in that thing.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 2

Simple Harvest Reads, February 3 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 4

Artistic Nobody, February 5 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Splashes of Joy, February 7 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, February 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 8

Fiction Book Lover, February 9 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 10

Blossoms and Blessings, February 11 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, February 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 12

Guild Master, February 13 (Author Interview)

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, February 14

Vicky Sluiter, February 15 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Johnna is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of Reckless Yes, a gold Reckless necklace, and a $25 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/29b08/reckless-yes-celebration-tour-giveaway

LaDelle & Jubilant Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: LaDelle & Jubilant

Author: Cathy McIlvoy

Genre: Historical Fiction/Christian Fiction/Southern Fiction/Black/African American Historical Fiction

Release Date: August 14, 2023

Set in the 1930s, this Southern feel-good novel about a controlling widow and the troubled nephew she’s asked to care for invites you on a journey of faith and surrender while weaving in the amazing true-life character, George Washington Carver.

LaDelle Harris, a fiery 51-year-old widow and head librarian at the Tuskegee Institute, likes things her way: orderly and predictable. So, the last thing she wants is to take care of her 12-year-old nephew, Jubilant, for the summer— or maybe forever. But when her estranged brother, the Reverend Ashton Bartley, suffers a heart attack and she’s asked to look after his son, she can’t say no.

While LaDelle focuses on doing all she can to keep Jubilant from creating chaos in her well-ordered life, it seems Abel Fisher, the manager of the Piggly Wiggly, is taking an interest in her. Amid all that’s happening, Jubilant is bent on returning to Huntsville to be with his daddy.

Can a menopausal woman with a need for control and a troubled pre-teen boy make peace with God and each other as they struggle with their fears and issues? Some gracious neighbors and Professor George Washington Carver may be able to help.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

LaDelle & Jubilant is Cathy McIlvoy’s first published work of fiction and was initially inspired by her admiration for George Washington Carver. Her interest in him and Tuskegee grew as she taught her sons about this genuine man of faith. She especially wanted her two youngest, bi-racial sons to know about this scientist with his impressive accomplishments and commendable character, who looked like them.

Cathy’s desire to learn more about Professor Carver put her on a plane from California to Alabama, where she soaked up all she could and enjoyed more than one unforgettable meal of catfish, grits, and sweet tea. Her time spent on campus at Tuskegee University, including several visits to the George Washington Carver Museum located on campus, fueled ideas for LaDelle & Jubilant and continues to be a highlight in her life. Cathy was also fortunate to receive an endorsement for her book from Dana Chandler, Archivist at Tuskegee University.

Today, Cathy and her husband make their home near one of their sons in Louisville, Kentucky where she writes, and they minister to pastors, leaders, and missionaries through Standing Stone Ministry. In addition to having four grown sons, Cathy and her husband are blessed with amazing daughters-in-law, a growing brood of grandchildren, and—though calling them a blessing is a matter of debate between her and family members—two persnickety cats.

More from Cathy

“A personal relationship with the Great Creator of all things is the only foundation for the abundant life. The farther we get away from self, the greater life will be.”

-George Washington Carver.

A Note About George and My Journey With Him

Although Professor Carver doesn’t appear in LaDelle & Jubilant until chapter nine, he’s not only an important character, but the impetus for writing the book in the first place!

The truth is, I am fascinated by George Washington Carver and want everyone to know about him. Due to his accomplishments, he was often referred to as “The Wizard of Tuskegee,” “The Peanut Man,” and, my personal favorite, “The Black Leonardo.” An agricultural chemist, professor, artist and more, George was a renaissance man in many ways. Though born into slavery and sickly as a child, God had big plans for him, and George was faithful. He viewed his work as worship to the Lord and service to his community and beyond.

After doing much research about George, the South, and the history of Tuskegee University, it felt surreal to travel to Alabama and spend time where Professor Carver had lived and worked for 47 years. For several days, I soaked up all I could—the George Washington Carver Museum, Booker T. Washington’s home, called The Oaks, the stately brick buildings on campus, and the thriving agricultural area which is still used for instruction. As a middle-aged Caucasian woman, I’m sure I stood out at this historically Black university as I ate in the student cafeteria and roamed the grounds, poking my head into buildings and snapping photos.

After engaging all my senses and imagination while exploring the place George called home for most of his life, I flew back to California with a belly full of sweet tea and my mind full of fresh insight and inspiration. Years after that trip, I finally finished LaDelle & Jubilant!

I hope you are entertained and inspired by my historical, character-driven novel. I also hope it compels you to look further into the life of George Washington Carver.

Happy reading!

Interview with the Author

1)What does success as an author look like to you?

When I set out to write LaDelle & Jubilant it was because I felt God was leading me to do it. So, my mindset from the get-go was whatever God decided to do with my manuscript was up to Him. I would do my due diligence in writing and promoting it and trust Him with the results. As of this moment, my book is not a New York Times Best Seller, and no one has called to say they want to make a movie of LaDelle & Jubilant. However, I trust God is using it in people’s lives as He sees fit. Sometimes I receive comments/emails from readers attesting to this, and I’m grateful for His faithfulness. That feels like success to me!

 

2)Which character did you connect to best in this book?

I know there is a bit of LaDelle in me, though I don’t want to admit it! Like her, I can let fear dictate my mood and reactions, so I connect with her at some level. But the character I’m most drawn to is Henrietta. She is a free-spirit and fun, but she also has substance. Henrietta bestows grace and sees past LaDelle’s prickly side. I think we all want to be a friend like Henrietta and hope to have a friend like her. In the story, George Washington Carver is that kind of friend as well. Both characters, to me, are captivating.

 

3)Which part of the book was the most difficult to write?

When I started writing my book, I had never been to the South, let alone Tuskegee University. Of course, I also never lived in the 1930s and I’ve never been Black! All this required me to put in a great deal of effort to make sure that throughout my story, I represented the South during that era and George Washington Carver accurately. I’d say, however, this endeavor was more challenging and time-consuming that difficult. I wanted to be careful to represent their race/culture in a right way, so I asked some of my Black friends to read my manuscript and give me feedback. I met with the University’s archivist over the phone to confirm that my information about Carver and the campus were true. I also travelled to Alabama, stayed at the University, and visited the surrounding area so I could get a feel, taste, and smell of the South and where GWC lived and worked.

 

4)What inspired this book?

My admiration for George Washington Carver was my inspiration. I remembered some basic things about him from what I had learned back in elementary school. Then, as a homeschooling mom with two adopted bi-racial sons, I wanted them to learn about men and women of color that accomplished a great deal and had faith and strong character. Carver was one that fit the bill. The more we studied, the more enthralled I became with him and his life story. So, I decided to weave him into a historical fiction novel, something I believe that hasn’t been done before.

 

5)Which author influenced you most?

For LaDelle & Jubilant, I think there were two authors that had the biggest influence on me and, interestingly, neither are writers of historical fiction. I love Wendell Berry’s deep and rich style of developing his characters. He is concise, but his word choices and how he uses them pack a meaningful punch. Also, I appreciate Karon’s lightheartedness in her Mitford stories and how she weaves in faith and humor. Both authors have taught me through their writing.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 24

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

The Lit Lady, January 25

Lighthouse Academy Blog, January 26 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 30

Books I’ve Read, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 2

Simple Harvest Reads, February 3 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 4

An Author’s Take, February 5

Artistic Nobody, February 6 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, February 6

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/299bd/ladelle

A Summer on Bellevue Avenue Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Summer on Bellevue Avenue

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release Date: January 9, 2024

In the world of the elite, reputation is everything…

Wealthy heiress Amanda Mae Klein is set to marry the man she loves, Wesley Jansen—the only person she trusts to help ease her anxiety among the social climbers of high society. Until the daughter of a union boss falls down a flight of stairs at Wesley’s office in the middle of the night…and the woman claims Wesley pushed her.

Seeking solace from the growing scandal, Amanda flees to the mansion-dotted seaside of Newport. Wesley follows to disprove the rumors and win back the trust of Amelia and her father. But soon, Amanda finds not only her social status but her life at risk. As dire events pit the two against each other, will their love find a way to survive?

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna

What I think you should know:
A Summer on Bellevue Avenue by Lorri Dudley  is part of the Romance at Gilded Age Resort Series.  The books are standalone.  This book is set in Newport Rhode Island in the summer of 1895.  It features heiress Amanda Klein and her suitor Wesley Jansen.

What I think about this book:
This was such an intriguing story. I always enjoy stepping back in time to read about such a romanticized era. Dudley is one of my go to authors so i did not hesitate when given the opportunity to read this book.  It exceeded all of my expectations. Amanda was born into the world of the elite, but after scandal she was raised in a simple life by her  governess. When she is thrust back into society she struggles to know who to trust.  Wesley is determined to prove his innocence and above all his genuine love for Amanda, but when unknown forces are working against them it is an uphill battle. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more from the series and the author.

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

About the Author

Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household.

More from Lorri

Moguls, Millionaires, and Midas

Imagine parties where the dining guests could dig through a sand centerpiece for rubies, diamonds, sapphires, and other precious stones to take home as party favors. Or celebrating elaborate pet birthdays, where dogs are seated around a formal dining table and served liver, rice, and cake. Fancy dining on horseback as guests eat while riding. At the mention of the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island, Robin Leach’s voice naturally pipes in my head, “These are the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Imposing wrought iron gates, expansive manicured lawns and gardens, and opulent French chateaus or Italian palazzos—the summer “cottages” of Newport’s famous self-made moguls of America’s Gilded Age stir the imagination and leave us wondering if we glimpsed a bit of what heaven may look like. What was accomplished, built, and achieved still impresses, and I had oodles of fun researching the era and its eccentric society walkers.

One of my favorite stories regarding the elites was the rivalry between “old money” Caroline Astor and “new money” Alva Vanderbilt. Legend has it that Caroline Astor frowned upon the Vanderbilts and did much to prohibit the new money Vanderbilts from having true social standing. Alva Vanderbilt concocted a plan to pry her way into old-money elitism by planning a fabulous costume party with all the who’s who of New York’s knickerbockers. Alva personally delivered Mrs. Astor’s invitation, and when Mrs. Astor refused to receive her, Alva Vanderbilt rescinded Caroline Astor’s daughter, Carrie’s, invitation. Hearing she was uninvited to the event, Carrie bent her mother’s ear and got her to acquiesce. Caroline Astor formally visited Alva Vanderbilt and attended the costume party, solidifying the Vanderbilt’s arrival into high society.

Living a little over an hour from Newport, I’ve toured many of the mansions and hiked the cliff walk along the luxurious shoreline. It was during one of these tours that the plot idea struck for Summer on Bellevue Avenue and the romance between two Gilded sweethearts torn apart by scandal was born.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 26

Devoted To Hope, January 26

Texas Book-aholic, January 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 28

Sylvan Reads, January 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 30

Betti Mace, January 31

Alena Mentink, January 31

For Him and My Family, February 1

Simple Harvest Reads, February 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

An Author’s Take, February 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 3

Cover Lover Book Review, February 4

Blossoms and Blessings, February 5

Holly’s Book Corner, February 5

Life on Chickadee Lane, February 6

Pause for Tales, February 6

Connie’s History Classroom, February 7

Book Looks by Lisa, February 7

Lily’s Corner, February 8

She Lives To Read, February 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lorri is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/299bf/a-summer-on-bellevue-avenue-celebration-tour-giveaway

Bride by Beguilement Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Bride by Beguilement

Author: Debbie Lynne Costello

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release Date: September 25, 2023

Kirsten Macleod is in a bind. Her father’s last will and testament stipulates that she must either marry, lead the plantation into a first year profit, or forfeit it to her uncle. But marriage is proving no easy option. Every suitor seems more enamored with the land than with her. Until her handsome neighbor sweeps into her stable to the rescue… of her beloved horse.

Silas Westbrook’s last year at veterinary school ends abruptly when he is called home to care for his young orphaned sisters. Troubles compound when he finds an insurmountable lien on the only home they’ve ever known, and the unscrupulous banker is calling in the loan. The neighbor’s kind-hearted and beautiful stable girl, Krissy, provides the feminine influence the girls desperately need. If only he had a future to offer her. But to save his sisters from poverty, he should set his sights on Krissy’s wealthy relative Kirsten Macleod, the elusive new heiress. Surely this hard-working and unassuming young lady and the landowner could not be one and the same?

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna

What I think you should know:

Bride by Beguilement by Debbie Lynne Costello is the second book in the Moonlight and Magnolia series. It is set in Sunset, Texas in 1881.  The book follows Heiress Kristen Macleod and veterinary student Silas Westbrook.

 

What you might need to know:

 Kristen and Silas both lost their parents prior to the start of this book.

 

What I think about this book:

When a fortune is at stake mystery lies at every corner and danger abounds. Kristen has been thrust into the role of Heiress and doesn’t know who to trust.  Silas has come home to find his father had to mortgage their farm and he is going to have to have a miracle to save it. When misunderstandings stop their budding relationship, love seems like the least of their worries. I really enjoyed this story. Costello did an amazing job creating characters and a story that kept me engaged from first page to last. I look forward to reading more!

 

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

About the Author

Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s Director. She loves the Lord and hopes people will be uplifted and inspired by her writing. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.

More from Debbie

I’ve always believed that a great book can go unknown without a great cover. What makes me say that? You’ll never know what’s in the book if you don’t read the back cover and you’ll never read the back cover if you don’t pick up the book and you won’t pick up the book unless the cover grabs you. I loved the cover of book one. It was perfect for the story. That left me feeling a bit anxious about the cover for book two. With the hero being a veterinarian who owned a horse farm and a heroine with a sick horse, the cover needed a horse. But let me tell you, there just aren’t that many horse models out there.

Most publishers and book designers don’t allow the author to submit a photo to use. I mean that just isn’t the way it’s done—and understandably so. There is a certain quality that has to be adhered to. Can you imagine what covers would look like if we could use our phones to take our cover picture? Well…I just happen to know a very capable photographer so I took a gamble and asked the cover editor if I could submit a picture of my horse, Trigger for the cover. To my surprise, they asked for copies of the photographer’s work, which I happily supplied. The cover editor was quite impressed and okayed the idea.

So with a photographer, a beautiful young lady, some 19th century clothes, and my boy Trigger, I was part of the photo shoot, explaining how I envisioned the pose. When the pictures came back I was ecstatic! They were exactly what I was wanting. And better yet, the cover designer liked them as well!

I’m now trying to figure out how I can get Trigger to hold a book so I can take his picture with the cover. If you have any ideas, let me know! If you’d like to see more pictures of Trigger, you can see him on my FB page with my ‘through the ears of a horse’ posts.

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, January 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 20

Mary Hake, January 20

She Lives to Read, January 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

lakesidelivingsite, January 23

Lighthouse Academy Blog, January 23 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Betti Mace, January 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 25

Holly’s Book Corner, January 25

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 26 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Britt Reads Fiction, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 30

Simple Harvest Reads, January 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, February 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debbie is giving away the grand prize package of an apron kitchen set (as pictured), a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a signed copy of my 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/297cf/bride-by-beguilement-celebration-tour-giveaway

To Love a Falcon Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: To Love A Falcon

Author: Nancy C. Williams

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release Date: November 7, 2023

When life already seems bleak, the Russians send her to Siberia.

Aircraft mechanic Katya Morozov longs for her beloved Mikhail, a Russian naval officer, to return from war. But when an unwanted work assignment takes her far from her home into remote Siberia, Katya faces threats—perhaps because she and her father were engaged in covert protection for persecuted Christians.

A chance encounter with charming test pilot, Yuri Sokolov, turns into more than a passing acquaintance…igniting the flames of a conflict between Katya’s faithfulness to Mikhail and her growing attraction to the enigmatic pilot. Will messages from a mysterious woman in the woods give her the wisdom and strength she needs?

Yuri, who has hidden battles of his own, must likewise make a decision—does he follow his dreams or pursue the lovely mechanic who has captured his heart?

To Love a Falcon, a retelling of the Russian fairy tale “Finist the Falcon,” takes readers into the intrigues of Russian operatives, the stark landscape of Siberian winters, and the courage of those who risk death for faith and love.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Nancy C. Williams grew up on “Nancy Drew” books…and occasionally still tells people her middle name is “Drew,” just to get their reaction. Following in the steps of the intrepid sleuth, Williams is an adventure enthusiast who loves hiking, snow-skiing, taking photos, sharing a good laugh, and enjoying a good mystery. She’s a history buff, too, with an affinity for antiques and fascinating stories from the past. Her writing career began with five years in the “Mad Men” world of ad agencies, crafting ads and commercials for ceiling fans, soft drinks, and pest control, among others. Then, during nearly a decade of editorial work at Federal Express headquarters, Williams traveled the globe (often in FedEx jet cockpits) and collected memories of international cultures. She also taught PR at a Christian college for a decade, sharing strategies and practices to the next generation of professionals. These days, blogs and novels are at the top of her “fun stuff to-do” list. She’s serious, though, about serving Jesus Christ…as a prayer warrior and writing for God’s glory, striving to encourage others on their spiritual journeys. When she’s not writing, look for her on the Appalachian Mountain trails with her beloved husband and mini-schnauzer.

More from Nancy

Want to know more about the real-life murder of a Russian naval officer…during a top-secret World War II mission? It’s a fascinating story that sparks even more questions, such as, what if the slain officer had a fiancée back home who didn’t know he was killed?

“To Love a Falcon” is a historical fiction novel set against the backdrop of life in post-WWII Siberia, the persecution of Christians by an anti-religious régime, and the plight of loved ones left at home who waited for lost soldiers. There’s a dash of suspense, romance, and fairy-tale lore thrown into the mix, too!

My father-in-law, who served in the U.S. SeaBees for the top-secret mission, had shared some of the details about the murder…and, I knew an old Russian fairy tale called “Finist the Falcon” that would serve as the perfect template for telling his story. I have my own personal story from Siberia (my husband and I adopted our son from there in 1999), but I learned many more interesting facts during research about this mysterious, challenging place—still largely uninhabited to this day. Our son, who is now a pilot, also helped tremendously in delving into the MiG-9, the first jet-powered fighter aircraft developed in Russia.

I hope you’ll join me on this adventure into the risks of untested flight…the murderous threats of anti-religion zealots…the relationship between a plucky female aircraft mechanic and a charming test pilot…and the possibilities of love and forgiveness in a snowy wilderness. Maybe you’ll fall in love with Siberia, too!

Interview with the Author

  1. What does success as an author look like to you?

I’ve heard it said that writers get paid per word, per article, or perhaps! Income is nice, but tangible success for me happens every time someone comments on my writing. I have so many wonderful friends who inspire me with their encouragement. My over-arching goal is always to point others to Jesus Christ—I’m successful when I’ve shared His truth, hope, and love with others.

  1. What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

Romans 8—it’s a microcosm of the entire Bible message and God’s redemptive plan for us through Jesus Christ. There’s a lot to unpack in there…about the grace of God, His adoption of us as His children (which resonates with me as an adoptive mom), His sovereignty, the goodness of His purposes, His never-failing care for us, and more. Nothing can separate us from His love! Best assurance ever!

  1. What is your vacation spot?

When my husband moved our family to east Tennessee nearly 30 years ago, I told him we had moved to a “resort.” While we like to travel to other places, I’m most content with exploring our own mountain region. Second choice is Charleston, S.C., and its nearby beaches—I like going on Beach Standard Time and letting all responsibilities drift away with the tide.

  1. What are you reading right now?

Jodi Hedlund’s A Reluctant Bride…Randy Alcorn’s Happiness…and the J. Peterman catalog. If you’ve never picked up one of their catalogs, you should—their clothing descriptions read like Hemingway novels. I also just finished The Well of the Soul by Doug Powell, and I have Ghosted at the Altar by Chautona Havig along with The Letter by Edwina Kiernan in my Kindle queue. Cold weather entices me to curl up with a good book!

  1. Describe your view as you’re sitting in your writing chair.

I’m looking out my office window at sunshine, a birdhouse my dad made (inhabited by bluebirds and tree swallows in spring), a swath of trees that turn all different colors in fall, and a little glimpse of the Unaka Mountains in the distance. It’s my happy place! For decades, I worked in a windowless cubicle or basement office. Writers are supposed to stare out windows, and I have that privilege now. 🙂

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, January 25 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 25

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 26 (Author Interview)

An Author’s Take, January 27

For Him and My Family, January 28

By The Book, January 29 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 29

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 30 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

Simple Harvest Reads, February 1 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, February 1

Texas Book-aholic, February 2

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 3 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 5

Through the Fire Blogs, February 6 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and a $25 Amazon 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/29b03/to-love-a-falcon-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Deeper Love Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Deeper Love

Author: Heidi Gray McGill

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 31, 2023

What was that movie line about relationships built on intense experiences?  Oh, yeah. They never work.

I get paid to do my dream job, usually by wealthy men who thrive on adventure. But when their adrenaline rush is gone and vacation is over, I’m still here, on a tropical island, with people who mostly leave me alone. And I like it that way.

Except for this guy. Seriously, Dan is the last man I want to get involved with. If he got Decompression Illness, the doctors would likely call it Mercedes Bends. He’s privileged and entitled and would never leave his city life behind for the challenges of living on a remote island. Which is a total relief, I’m telling you.

Don’t get me wrong—he’s prime shark bait, but I’m not ready to fall deeply in love with someone who won’t stay. There’s no such thing as going “too deep” where spiritual things are concerned. But when it comes to relationships, I’ll stay at the surface and snorkel rather than dive into the depths.

Take a trip to the Suamalie Islands where palm trees sway, the sand and sea pulse with life, and the people will steal your heart.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna

What I think you need to know:

 A Deeper Love by Heidi Gray McGill  is the ninth book in the Suamalie Islands series. The series is  Contemporary Christian Fiction set on a fictional set of Islands in the Pacific. The series is written by several authors with stories that have the common connection of the Islands. In this book we go to Isle of Tiga to meet Island resident Alicia Garry and tourist Daniel McMaster

 

What you might need to know:

Alicia lost her mother to cancer when she was a young child and her father  five years prior to this story. While it is not key to this story it is talked about during the book.

 

What I think about this book:

I really enjoyed this story. McGill created complex characters who are easy to relate to. I enjoyed seeing Alicia’s character evolve during the story,  she felt so realistic.  Daniel was interesting, I felt like we didn’t really get to know him until the last quarter of the book. I loved how diving was described during the book. I have never been , but the author brought it to life in my imagination. I can’t wait to see how the other residents of Tiga pop up in future stories. I appreciate how the author showed the hidden side of tourist destinations and locals sometimes struggle with poverty while living amongst and working for the tourist.  I am excited to read the next book in the series.

 

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

About the Author

Whether historical or contemporary, you will find Heidi’s Christian Fiction works to be full of God’s redeeming love.

Everything Heidi writes is purposeful. She believes in bringing a reader into the awareness of who God is to them and how He interacts with them on a personal level. She does this by crafting characters so relatable you feel part of who they are.

Heidi reaches deep into the reader’s heart through masterfully written words and offers ways toward healing by seamlessly applying God’s Word throughout her stories.

Heidi and her husband of 30+ years live in South Carolina. Besides writing Christian fiction with relatable characters in life-changing stories, Heidi relishes time with family and friends. She enjoys scrapbooking, playing games, traveling, and building bridges with her grandsons that must fall with a loud crash and usually involve a monster truck.

More from Heidi

My husband and I are scuba divers. I prefer clear water, bright fish, live coral, and the gentle swells of the ocean. I also enjoy the peaceful cenotes of Mexico, where being above water is just as stunning as being under. My husband has taken me to some remote and beautiful places.

My favorite scuba trip was to the Island of Dominica in the Caribbean, where my parents served as volunteer missionaries. On that trip, I saw a baby octopus and felt the boiling water from the active volcano vents as it bubbled up from the ocean floor.

My husband prefers diving for shark teeth and treasure in murky, fast-moving, brackish water. He thinks running into alligators, catfish the size of large dogs, and snapping turtles is part of the adventure. He also is an extreme cave diver, relishing the challenge of seeing places few have ventured. Small places and dark water are not my thing.

Owning a scuba shop seemed like the natural choice for my main character in A Deeper Love. Being able to share the underwater world and beauty of a tropical island through words became my next challenge.

Alicia Garry, affectionately known as Algae, is as formidable as her military father. She’s adventuresome and intelligent unless it comes to love. Then, she lives up to her family name, which means watchful in French. Relationships with clients never end well since they always leave, so she keeps things professional with her customers.

That is until she meets Daniel McMaster. Like most of Alicia’s clientele, Daniel is a businessman who craves adventure from his dull life. He comes from money, makes and spends money, and is way out of her league.

When she has feelings for Daniel, she wonders if she’s swallowed a bit too much seawater.

In A Deeper Love, you’ll meet a boat captain with cheesy jokes, a kind neighbor child who melts hearts, and a God who knows the future. Throw in some Little Mermaid quotes and songs, and this story comes alive with romance and Algae’s desire to be part of Daniel’s world.

Book a trip today with Scuba Deux Adventures Dive Shop, where you’ll embark on an adventure far beyond the ocean’s depths.

Blog Stops

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, January 15 (Author Interview)

Lighthouse-Academy, January 15

She Lives To Read, January 16

Texas Book-aholic, January 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 22

Sylvan Musings, January 23 (Author Interview)

The Lit Lady, January 23

Simple Harvest Reads, January 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, January 25

Holly’s Book Corner, January 26

Karen Baney Reviews, January 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 28 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2979f/a-deeper-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

Of Sea and Smoke Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Of Sea and Smoke

Author: Gillian Bronte Adams

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

Release Date: November 21, 2023

He rides a seablood, a steed of salt and spray, born to challenge the tides.

Six years ago, the wrong brother survived, and nothing will ever convince Rafi Tetrani otherwise. But he is done running from his past, and from the truth. As civil war threatens Ceridwen’s tenuous rule in Soldonia, Rafi vows to fight the usurper sitting on the imperial throne of Nadaar, even if it means shouldering his brother’s responsibilities as the empire’s lost heir.

The stolen shipload of magical warhorses offers just the edge he needs. But the steeds have been demanded in ransom by the emperor’s ruthless assassin, and if Rafi hopes to raise a band of riders, he must first outwit his brother’s murderer.

Yet when his best efforts end in disaster, and an audacious raid sparks an empire-wide manhunt, even forging an unexpected alliance might not be enough to help Rafi turn the tides, let alone outrace the wave of destruction intent on sweeping them all away.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy

This is book 2 of The Fireborn Epic and the series should be read in order. This book does give some background info that is pertinent to the overarching theme of fighting against the evil empire to regain their nation of Soldonia but reading the first book will give you all the nuances to the main characters and the subplots.

Ceridwen continues to grow as a leader and a warrior and I quite enjoyed the themes of bravery, courage, and leadership portrayed through her character. Rafi embraces his calling and bonding and I loved how he rises up to conquer his fear at every challenge. Jakim is such an opposite to the other two characters embroiled in war and his path and bonding are quite refreshing. Though he’s a secondary character, I loved Finnian and his steadfast support of Ceridwen. I found Sahak’s chapter at the end of both books interesting; a glimpse into the mind of one of the villains always brings a new perspective.

There is plenty of action, battle scenes, betrayal, and surprises waiting for you in this epic fantasy. The world is well-crafted and fascinating and the characters are lovable. The book is long but those who enjoy this genre will definitely enjoy this book and series. The series is not finished yet though – there is book 3 coming, which should be centered around Jakim.

I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Enclave Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Gillian Bronte Adams writes epic fantasy novels, including the award- winning Of Fire and Ash and The Songkeeper Chronicles. She loves strong coffee, desert hikes, and trying out new soup recipes on crisp fall nights. Her favorite books are the ones that make your heart ache and soar in turn. When she’s not creating vibrant new worlds or dreaming up stories that ring with the echoes of eternity, she can be found off chasing sunsets with her horse, or her dog, Took.

 

 

 

More from Gillian

One of my favorite things about writing epic fantasy is not actually what you might expect. It’s not the fantastical elements, although I absolutely love creating worlds filled with magical warhorses, sosswyrm tangles, and stone-eye tigers who can paralyze their prey with a glance. It’s not the intensity of the action or the world altering stakes, although there’s nothing quite so thrilling as throwing your characters into a do-or-die situation, and the pulse-pounding, breathtaking, heart-aching battle sequences that follow.

Instead, one of my favorite things about writing such wild and epic stories is the opportunity to ground them in very real, very human characters, with very real, very human emotions, and in the complexity of those characters’ relationships with others. Mentor relationships, deeply loyal friendships, and especially sibling relationships.

I am the second-born of five siblings, and I love and admire each of my siblings. Each one encourages and inspires and awes me in his or her own unique way. But growing up, if you had told me that my older sister had hung the moon, I would have believed you. She was two and a half years older than me—and yes, that half year mattered to both of us, though for opposite reasons; she because it meant she was that much older, me because it meant we were that much closer. Somehow, everything she touched seemed golden, and I wanted to be a part of it too.

She was a force of nature—a foaming ocean tide—and I was caught up in her wake.

She took up horseback riding, and so did I. She picked up books, and I had to read them too, even if it meant sitting beside her in the car with my own book open on my lap, surreptitiously reading hers over her shoulder. (Needless to say, that drove her crazy, and older siblings everywhere can probably commiserate.)

She dove into creative writing, and out of nowhere, I developed a passion for the written word. But always, within her, there was this spark of imagination and creativity that I felt I could only ever aspire to. Whatever I did, she had done first and better.

And I could only hope to one day achieve her level of greatness.

Rafi, one of the main characters in Of Sea and Smoke, also has an older sibling, a brother he has always looked up to. While Rafi and his relationship with his brother is not based on my relationship with my older sister—we’re all four of us wildly different people—there were some aspects of my experience as a second-born that I was able to draw upon. Rafi admires his brother’s strength and confidence. His assurance and rightness. His nobility and leadership. By the time we enter the story, his older brother is no longer around, but Rafi has spent his whole life setting his brother up on a pedestal and then trying to measure up to that ideal.

Is it any wonder, then, that he has always found himself wanting?

Now, Rafi finds himself having to step into the role that should have been his brother’s, and the only way he can contemplate facing that challenge is by stamping out the things he looks down upon in himself—many of them, the things that make him himself—and trying to be his brother instead.

Growing up, I can’t tell you how many times I looked at my older sister and wished that I could be more like her and less like myself. More confident. More brilliant. More vibrant. More her. But it wasn’t until my older sister’s interests began to drift into new additional avenues, while mine stayed mostly the same (horses, books, writing), that I finally began to grow into myself. To recognize my strengths, my unique skills, the things that only I bring to the table, and to acknowledge that even when they are different from hers, they are still good.

These days, my older sister and I are best friends. She was the first person I trusted to read Of Sea and Smoke before it went out into the world. I still look up to her in so many ways, and yes, I think I’ll always feel a bit like she hung the moon. But I have grown to appreciate the beauty of what I can learn from my sister’s strengths, while also recognizing the value of my own. And without revealing any spoilers, I think I can safely say that part of Rafi’s journey in Of Sea and Smoke wraps around learning that too, all while he’s raising a band of rebel fighters, trying to outwit an infamous assassin, and plotting to overthrow the empire’s oppressive rule.

Wild, epic stories, grounded in real, human experiences, and honestly, can reading get any more fun than that?

I hope you enjoy the ride!

Gillian Bronte Adams

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 2

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3 (Author Interview)

Labor Not in Vain, December 3

Texas Book-aholic, December 4

Artistic Nobody, December 5 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 6

Guild Master, December 7 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 8

Blossoms and Blessings, December 9 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, December 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 11 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, December 12 (Guest Review from Mindy)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 13 (Author Interview)

By The Book, December 14 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, December 14

Fiction Book Lover, December 15 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gillian is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card and hardcover 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/2909e/of-sea-and-smoke-celebration-tour-giveaway