To Steal a Heart Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

Book: To Steal A Heart

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Comedic Historical Romance

Release Date: November, 2020

To Steal a HeartAfter spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Another bizarre turn to what is becoming a very strange night.”

What a fun and surprisingly unique book! I was totally expecting a well-written, hilarious historical fiction set in the Gilded Age of America (which the author is known for), but this book was so much more. Filled with intrigue, mystery, a group of secondary characters who are absolutely ridiculous and lovable, and a wonderful theme of looking at the heart and not the outside of a person, this book clearly demonstrates why Jen Turano is such a beloved author of historical fiction.
I enjoyed getting to know Gabriella, a reformed thief who is sassy, impulsive, headstrong, temperamental but also loving and loyal. Nicholas is her former partner in crime and best friend who is now a high society gentleman of means and his gentle sweetness and protectiveness are endearing. Though they start off on the wrong foot during an unexpected reunion, they keep getting thrown together. As Gabriella and her housemates form Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency to solve mysteries and grievances throughout NYC, Nicholas and his friends become further and further involved in the welfare of the ladies of the Agency. There is plenty of humor and adventure from the start and the plot moves at a quick pace with quite a few surprises thrown along the way. A jewelry thief, plotting and vicious society matrons, and questions about Gabriella and Nicholas’ parentage will have you scrambling to figure out the pieces of this fantastic puzzle. It’s a great start to her new series and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for the next book.

I received a copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

JenNamed one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.

More from Jen

“To Steal a Heart” is the first book in a new series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?

Oddly enough, this series was inspired by a lot of different things. I keep this idea box, and whenever I stumble on something interesting, I throw the idea into the box. When I was getting ready to assemble a proposal for a new series, I took out the box and began rifling through it. Unfortunately, nothing struck my fancy. What did strike my fancy though, was the movie “My Fair Lady.” I’d recently watched it for the millionth time, and I thought…hmmm…what could I do with that? Well, I didn’t want to do a recreation of “My Fair Lady” and that’s when it hit me – what if I used a gentleman instead of a lady and improved his circumstances in life with the help of a professor? That wasn’t really enough, though, for me to formulate an entire series, but then I went to New York City for a research trip. While there, I roamed around Bleecker Street for hours. It was the perfect place to set a series, and then I saw this older building that my tour guide thought might have once been a boardinghouse. That was what really started me thinking, and before I knew it, I’d created an inquiry agency run by women that came about when a resident of a boardinghouse was unjustly accused of theft. When the police would not investigate further, believing they had the true culprit behind bars, the ladies who lived in the boardinghouse felt compelled to step up and clear their fellow boardinghouse resident of the charges brought against her. The series took off from there, the first book centering around one of the lady inquiry agents, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who used to live on the mean streets of the Lower East Side and, at one point in her life, was best friends with Nicholas Quinn, the man who has now found his circumstances vastly improved from the time he knew Gabriella. Throwing the two of them back together made for an interesting storyline, especially since Gabriella believes Nicholas abandoned her all those years ago, which makes it next to impossible for her to trust him.

 

Are there other interesting characters in this series?

 

Of course. All of the lady inquiry agents come with their own secrets. Miss Daphne Beekman is a reclusive author who lives in the attic of the boardinghouse. She has the propensity to faint at the drop of a hat, which makes for a few amusing scenes in the first book. She’ll get her own story in “To Write a Wrong,” coming out later in 2021. Then there’s Eunice Holbrooke. She’s the owner of the boardinghouse, and she only wears full mourning garb, covering her face with numerous veils and refusing to speak to anyone about her past. Clearly, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved there, one that will be solved in book three, which I’m just now beginning to work on. The other residents of the boardinghouse provide a lot of color to the story, from the two sisters who work as paid companions by day to gossip collectors and carriage drivers by night, to the resident artist, Miss Judith, who has recently decided to dip her toe into the portrait market even though she’s really not proficient with painting people. There’s also a one-eyed, patch-wearing dog by the name of Winston, a parrot that likes to nick sparkly items named Pretty Girl, and a neurotic poodle that falls for Winston that goes by the name of Precious.

 

Did the pandemic affect the writing process at all for “To Steal a Heart?”

 

Luckily, I had already turned in the book before the pandemic hit. With that said, though, I then had to do some of the edits during the first few months of the pandemic. That was interesting. I have very specific conditions I need in order to write and edit and having Al (the husband person) working from home isn’t one of those conditions. It took me far longer than it normally does to complete the editing process, which threw off my schedule for the next book in the series, “To Write a Wrong.” Drastic measures were needed. That’s why I’m now the proud owner of a she-shed. Al thought I was joking when I first broached the subject of a she-shed, but after I had my millionth meltdown, he decided that might be a really good idea. Turns out sheds are in high demand at the moment, so getting a shed in a timely fashion wasn’t possible. It took 6 weeks for us to get a shed delivered and then we had to frame the inside and put up a ceiling and walls. I was not actually very involved with that process because I’m a danger to everyone surrounding me when nail guns are being used. 🙂 I did paint the outside of the shed, then painted the inside. Of course the air conditioning unit I had to order was delayed, so I painted in 100 degree heat. Lost about five pounds doing that, so…unexpected bonus there. I just recently finished decorating the inside, and I’m typing this interview from my new space. I’m thinking I’m going to call it “Jen’s Novel Nook” but that might change, so don’t quote me on that.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

 

Just that I hope everyone is surviving these crazy days. I know there are many people out there who are suffering from many different problems this pandemic has caused. Know that you’re not alone, and that brighter days will show up again. Until that time, try to remember to smile and, perhaps, read a few books.

 

Wishing all of you the very best!

 

Jen

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Soulfully Romantic, November 17

Hebrews 12 Endurance, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 17

Robin’s Nest, November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18

The Avid Reader, November 18

Losing the Busyness, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

She Lives To Read, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 19

Wishful Endings, November 19

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

lakesidelivingsite, November 20

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 20

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 20

The Write Escape, November 20

Older & Smarter?, November 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 21

Christian Bookaholic, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Mia Reads, November 22

Writing from the Heart Land, November 22

Betti Mace, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 23

Life of Literature, November 23

Texas Book-aholic, November 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 24

Batya’s Bits, November 24

Joanne Markey’s blog, November 24

For Him and My Family, November 25

Inside the Wong Mind, November 25

Mary Hake, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 26

EmpowerMoms, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26

Novels Corner, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27

Connie’s History Classroom, November 27

Captive Dreams Window, November 27

Book of Ruth Ann, November 27

deb’s Book Review, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 28

Daysong Reflections, November 28

Bigreadersite, November 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

Splashes of Joy, November 29

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 29

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Vicky Sluiter, November 30

Pause for Tales, November 30

Spoken from the Heart, November 30

Hallie Reads, November 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of copy of To Steal a Heart, plus all three books in the American Heiresses series and a 30 second mystery kit (Link: https://amzn.to/3nqrIpC)!!

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/103a4/to-steal-a-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saving Mount Rushmore Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Saving Mount Rushmore

Author: Andrea Jo Rodgers

Genre: Middle grade fiction

Release Date: April 15, 2018

When John Jenkins’ parents ship him off to stay with his aunt, he’s certain it will be the worst summer ever—until he learns he’s been accepted into a top-secret school. St. Michael’s Academy is home to gifted students with extraordinary talents. Although John has no idea why he’s there, he’s assigned to Team Liberty, who assist authorities with solving low-level crimes. Their first mission: stop a trio of mischief-making teens from vandalizing Mount Rushmore. John battles feelings of inferiority as he and Team Liberty compete against Devlin Black and his cronies to track down clues and solve puzzles at Mount Rushmore. Along the way, John makes several key contributions, and his self-confidence grows. When he discovers he was admitted to the school due to a clerical error, he’s mortified. Now, he’s strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to save Mount Rushmore, and he learns an invaluable lesson: every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know: Saving Mount Rushmore by Andrea Jo Rodgers is the first book in the Saint Michael the Archangel Academy series.  The story is Middle Grade Christian Fiction. The story features John Jenkins, a thirteen year old who is searching for his self worth.

What I think about this book:

As the Mom of a Young Adult reader, I think this is a neat book. John was a character that could open up several meaningful conversations with your child or student. It gives the opportunity to research more about Mount Rushmore, while still being an exciting story that will capture a reader’s attention. It has a diverse group of characters. I would not hesitate to recommend this to readers 4th grade and up to be read for pleasure or for school.

 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

Andrea Jo Rodgers is the author of award-winning Christian middle grade fiction as well as inspirational adult nonfiction novels. She holds a clinical doctorate in physical therapy and specializes in women’s health, orthopedics, and lymphedema. She has served her community as a volunteer emergency medical technician for over thirty years, responding to more than 8,200 first aid and fire calls. She lives on the east coast with her husband, two children, and their two rescue dogs, a Shih Tzu and a Dachshund.

 

More from Andrea

Can John embrace his God-given gifts in time to save Mount Rushmore?

Have you ever admired the extraordinary talent of another person? Perhaps you enjoyed listening to someone belt out a spellbinding rendition of your favorite song at church or a concert. Or, maybe you have dreamed that you’d gain the same athletic prowess of a professional sports player.

The amazing gifts of others can take many forms. These gifts may be linked with intelligence, such as an aptitude for math and engineering. They may reflect the beauty of the arts through singing, dancing, or painting. Certain individuals may dazzle the people around them with incredible athletic talents, from gold-medal Olympians to professional baseball, football, and basketball players.

Most people consider extraordinary talents to be God-given gifts. They allow people to stand out and shine among others. However, do each of us need a breathtaking talent to be considered special?

In Saving Mount Rushmore, John Jenkins, an awkward thirteen-year-old teenager, is unexpectedly chosen to attend Saint Michael the Archangel Academy. The top-secret school’s mission is to protect our nation by assisting authorities in solving crimes. Since the academy is for students with extraordinary abilities, John is puzzled as to why he’s been accepted. After all, he’s an average teen without any notable gifts.

While working with Team Liberty to save Mount Rushmore from Devlin Black and Team Mischief, John struggles to discover his special gifts. He’s mortified when he discovers that he’s been accepted to the academy due to a clerical error. He becomes strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to try to save Mount Rushmore. He learns that every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

I came up with the idea for Saving Mount Rushmore while in the airport, just before our plane departed for the famous landmark. I wrote feverishly the entire flight, and the first chapters were born. Saving Mount Rushmore is a middle grade novel which combines information about Mount Rushmore, adventure, and Christian values. My goal was to write an exciting, fun, educational book for middle grade readers that incorporates Christian values into the fabric of the story. John and his friends have an opportunity to save another national monument in the sequel, Saving the Statue of Liberty. I hope you celebrate our country’s heritage by joining John and Team Liberty in their adventures.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 18

For the Love of Literature, November 18

The Avid Reader, November 19

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

For Him and My Family, November 22

Mary Hake, November 22

Older & Smarter?, November 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 25

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 25

Vicky Sluiter, November 26

deb’s Book Review, November 27

Simple Harvest Reads, November 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 28

Artistic Nobody, November 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Captive Dreams Window, November 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of Saving Mount Rushmore: Saint Michael the Archangel Academy, Mission 1 as well as 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/103a5/saving-mount-rushmore-celebration-tour-giveaway

Her Merriweather Hero Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Her Merriweather Hero

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 27, 2020

He just wanted a place to rest and recuperate.

She only needed a repairman to help fix up her beach house.

For marine sergeant, Tyler Banner, nothing could be further from the memories of his time in Iraq than the slow, easy pace on Merriweather Island. Taking up a job as a physical trainer serves to keep him in shape while he enjoys a little downtime. Making friends with the local vet—veterinarian, that is—on his morning jog is just a bonus.

When Kendall’s sister tricked her into recruiting Tyler’s help one day, she didn’t fortify herself against a breach to her heart. Making friends with the marine was easy, but helping him overcome the PTSD that holds him captive isn’t. As she picks her way across a minefield of memories and horrors Tyler endured, Kendall begins to hope he could be the man she’s prayed for.

Falling in love wasn’t in Tyler’s orders, but a new deployment to Iraq is. How can he convince Kendall not to go AWOL when she hears? What can he do to convince her that they’ll make it… together?

This “Merriweather book” is the fourth in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Her Merriweather Hero is a contemporary Christian Romance by Rachael Skatvold. It is the fourth book in the Independence Island Series.  This book can be read as a standalone as it does not rely heavily on the previous books in the series to set the stage for the story . I would recommend reading the prior books too as they are very enjoyable!  This story features Kendall who moves to the Island to start a mobile Veterinary service and Tyler an Island native who is home after being injured while serving in the Marine Corps.

What you might need to know:

Tyler lost his best friend / Brother in Law  while serving overseas. The book deals with his PTSD as well as touches on his nieces and nephew the loss of their father and their grief.

Katie, Tyler’s niece has severe life threatening asthma.

What I think about this book:

 As a Marine Wife who has had a friend lose their husband while serving parts of this book were VERY hard for me to read. The grief and the babies not understanding that Daddy is not coming home was gut wrenching.   After I took a step back and then started  the story knowing that this was coming I was able to put it aside and enjoy the story.  I am very intrigued by the relationship between Kendall and Carly. I know that Kendall is older, but at times it seems like Carly is still a teenager who needs permission to leave the house and do things.   I hope that  we get an update and closure on these characters in a later book.

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

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

 

More from Rachel

Her Merriweather Hero has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding stories I have written. Often when I am starting a new book, I immerse myself in the world-building process, which involves a lot of research and notetaking. This time around, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Celebrate Lit and the authors in the Independence Islands Series to map out these beautiful island stories. It has been an exciting journey so far.

 

This story was inspired by my parents who met through letters while my dad was in the Marine Corps. They both came from different backgrounds, with my mom being from Massachusetts and my dad from a small town in Iowa, but their differences didn’t stop them from falling in love. For Her Merriweather Hero, I used themes of opposites attracting, New England, and the Marine Corps from my parent’s love story.

 

Kendall is a young veterinarian who moves to the Independence Islands with her sister to start a new mobile clinic. There, she meets Sergeant Tyler Banner who is on medical leave after a tour overseas. She tries to avoid Tyler at first, determined to concentrate on making her business a success, but over time she can’t ignore the handsome military guy who keeps ‘accidently’ crossing her path. It doesn’t help he lives a few doors down from her fixer-upper beach house. Can she continue to try to ignore him or is it true that opposites attract?

 

This romantic island tale is also inspired by the verses from Hebrews 6:18-19 which describe God as our anchor. The characters feel tossed around by waves of difficulties at certain parts of the story, but He is always the anchor who keeps them secured.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Daysong Reflections, November 16

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

lakesidelivingsite, November 17

Inklings and notions, November 18

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 18

Joanne Markey, November 18

For Him and My Family, November 19

Emily Yager, November 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 21

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

Artistic Nobody, November 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Rebecca Tews, November 22

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 23

The Cafe Scholar, November 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 24

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, November 25

She Lives To Read, November 25

Simple Harvst Reads, November 26 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Livin’ Lit, November 26

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 27

Rebekah Reads, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Life, Love, Writing, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 29

Batya’s Bits, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize 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/103a0/her-merriweather-hero-celebration-tour-giveaway

Georgia Ann, English Rose Review and Giveaway

Georgia Ann

About the Book

Book: Georgia Ann, English Rose

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Georgia Ann English RoseTwo Charles Town men love Georgia Ann Cooper—Samuel Vargas and his step-brother, Joshua Becket—but only one both attracts and infuriates her. Even though he’s a dangerous budding patriot and a privateer—or more likely pirate—Samuel fills her dreams and waking moments. When he leaves Charles Town for high sea adventure on the legendary Spice Trail, she determines to push him out of her thoughts and her graces. A task made slightly easier when she sets out on her own journey to accompany her father on one of his merchant trips to the Mediterranean.

Samuel Vargas is determined to make his own way in the world, not live in the glow of his parents’ escapades throughout Charles Town and the seas surrounding the Spanish Main. There’s no better place to earn his fortune than the Spice Trail. But the adventure becomes more than he bargained for when he stumbles across a familiar face from Charles Town in Tripoli, and he’s forced to use all his abilities to save the life of the woman he’s been trying to forget.

As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with Barbary pirates, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Georgia Ann and Samuel.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:
Georgia Ann, English Rose is the second book in the Charleston Brides by Elva Cobb Martin.  The bulk of the  story starts in Charles Town in 1760. This book takes place 20 years after the first book in the series, Marisol, Spanish Rose. While this book could be read as a stand along I highly recommend that you read the first book in the series prior to reading this one as it is a great book!

What you might need to know:
The book is set in the era of Slavery, it contains slaves and slave trade and some of the atrocities associated with it. The book does not encourage or condone slavery.

What I think about this book:
Buckle up for great adventures! I fell in love with this family in Marisol, Spanish Rose and am so excited to continue their story. Joshua and Samuel are now adults and have taken different paths in life Samuel has grown into a strong man who is looking for wealth and adventure, but ends up with much more than he bargained for.  Georgia grows for a young lady into a woman with strength and Faith. With privateering, fighting, kidnapping and being taken into slavery this book takes you from one adventure to the next. I pray that my sons have friends as loyal as Jamie Boy. I love the gentle way that Martin wove The Gospel and Faith into the story. I loved every minute of the book and can’t wait to read the third 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

Elva Cobb MartinElva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at http://www.elvamartin.com.

 

More from Elva

Georgia Ann (& the Spice Trade) – Book 2 in my Charleston Brides Series

 

I enjoy researching material to make my novels richer and help readers learn something new while enjoying my Christian historical romances. In Georgia Ann, my hero, Samuel Vargas, sails off to make his fortune in spices we take for granted in our kitchens today. I loved doing the research about this flavorful commodity.

The Spice Islands are actually called the Maluku Islands and they lie in the Indonesian Pacific archipelago, north of Australia and south of Thailand and China.

 

The history of spices reveals a hazardous, exciting tale spread over centuries of daring, courage and greed and many countries and oceans.

 

The spice trade actually drove the world’s economy from the end of the Middle Ages well into modern times. But the economical importance of spices, recorded in the history of Kerala, referred to as “The Spice Garden of India,” goes back as far as 3000 BC which marks the beginning of the spice trade.

Wars have been fought on land and sea and nations have been made wealthy (and at least one annihilated) in the battle for control of the spice trade.

 

Nutmeg and New York

The spice trade brought great riches to Arab, Indian, Venetian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish traders. It once brought death to residents of the Banda Spice Islands over a nutmeg monopoly. In 1603 the Dutch East India Company (known as VOC) ousted the Portuguese control of nutmeg on these islands.

Here’s an interesting tidbit in the history of nutmeg. The English fought the Dutch over control of this spice. England finally handed their island of Rhun over to the Dutch in exchange for a swampy island trading post in North America, an unattractive property known then as New Amsterdam; today as Manhattan Island!

The search for cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cassia, in the ancient world gave rise to unbelievable tales. To satisfy the curious, to protect their market, and to discourage competitors the spice-source countries like India and Asia spread fantasy tales of danger, magic, strange animals, and snake-infested glens. Sinbad the Sailor stories grew out of this mindset.

For us in the USA, another most important fact stands out about the Spice Trade, besides it being involved in the trade for Manhattan Island. The Americas were discovered (1492) due to Spain sending Columbus to find a western route to India (from the Atlantic to the Pacific) to reap in the rewards for these valuable spices desired by all Europe.

The danger-fraught routes at that time (1400’s) from Europe were through the Mediterranean and Egypt (Alexandria) overland to the Red Sea and down the Persian Gulf, then sailing over the Indian Ocean to India, and to the Spice Islands.

 

Cloves

A native tradition of the Spice Islands was to plant a clove tree at a child’s birth, symbolically linking the child to the tree’s life.

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to twelve feet tall with large glossy leaves and crimson flowers in clusters that when ripe and dried become the cloves like we use in cooking.

 

Today, spices are grown in many countries other than the Spice Islands that have temperate climates.

 

The World’s Three Most Traded Spices Today

Pepper, vanilla, and ginger are spicing up lives and economies. Millions of dollars are earned in sales. Pepper is exported by Viet Nam, India, and China. Vanilla comes from mainly Madagascar, Indonesia, and Mauritius. Main exporters of ginger are China and the Netherlands.

 

And one last spicy tidbit: The United States leads the world in spice consumption and imports.

 

Hope I haven’t bored you, but I love discovering history like this and sowing bits into my novels.

Thanks for stopping by. And remember when you use cloves again to stick in that ham, or use the powdered form in an apple pie—a lot of “stuff” happened over centuries to get this spice so readily available in your kitchen.

 

Elva Cobb Martin

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 24

Betti Mace, November 25

Labor Not in Vain , November 25

Daysong Reflections, November 26

Artistic Nobody, November 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, November 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 2

Connect in Fiction , December 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elva 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/103eb/georgia-ann-english-rose-celebration-tour-giveaway

An Amish Christmas Wedding Review and Giveaway

an amish christmas wedding banner

About the Book

Book: An Amish Christmas Wedding

Author: Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Amy Clipston

Genre: Amish Christmas

Release Date: October 6, 2020

An Amish Christmas WeddingFrom bestselling authors of Amish fiction come four delightful stories perfect for celebrating love, joy, and the everyday miracles Christmas brings.

Evergreen Love by Amy Clipston

Ryan Lapp had promised to marry Lorene Bontrager as soon as he was able to build them a house, but the day never came. Ryan moved away. Five years later, Lorene has settled in to her old maid role, and she’s shocked when her younger sister announces her quick engagement to Ryan’s younger brother. As they rush to plan the wedding, Lorene is constantly around the family she almost joined. Worse, she’s forced to face Ryan himself, who has returned to town. As both Ryan and Lorene examine their own feelings, they must decide if they can find grace with each other—and the young people they once were—this Christmas season. There just might still be love in their future.

Holiday of Hope by Kelly Irvin

Henry Lufkin is one of four bachelors who lived in the West Kootenai, Montana, cabins that were destroyed by wildfires. He’s the only one of them who hasn’t since married, but he likes his solitude. Then an old friend asks him to care for his son, and Henry has to share his small cabin and his life with bewildered and rebellious ten-year-old Tommy. When the child encounters trouble at school, Henry reaches out to Tommy’s teacher. Leesa Yoder never expected to find herself single and teaching sixteen young scholars, and she certainly didn’t anticipate an inexperienced bachelor telling her how to do her job. Amid the flying sparks, can Henry and Leesa see that there might be hope and love in this unexpected situation?

Wreathed in Joy by Kathleen Fuller

Mary Wengerd and Jakob Mullet have been best friends since childhood. Pressured by friends and family, they decided to date—with disastrous results. When they break up, their friendship is ruined. A year later, Mary is baking her Englisch friend’s wedding and groom cakes for a Christmas Eve wedding. Mary loves the Christmas season, and had always dreamed of marrying during that time. Now she wonders if she’ll ever marry. After she and Jakob form a tenuous new friendship, Mary breaks her arm. As he steps in to help her with the cakes, Mary is inexplicably and suddenly falling for him. But they’ve already dated, and that ended so horribly. Could it be better this time?
A Christmas Prayer by Vannetta Chapman

Widower Micah Miller runs the Amish Tour Company, offering Englischers a glimpse of a simpler life as well as tea at Rachel King’s. Rachel has never married and has recently lost her parents. When Micah comes across an abandoned and injured dog, he gives it to Rachel for company. As Rachel is charmed by the dog and shocked by news of the existence of family she never expected, her heart and mind bend toward the possibilities of change in her life—even toward the possibility of love.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

An Amish Christmas Wedding is a compilation of  four Amish fiction novellas by Vanetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin and Amy Clipston. They all have the theme of Amish Christmas Weddings.

Evergreen Love by Amy Cliptson

Holiday Hope by Kelly Irvin

Wreathed in Joy by Katleen Fuller

A Christmas Prayer by Vanetta Chapman

What I think about this book:

This was a super cute compilation, I enjoyed getting to see the writing story of each author. Each story was unique and captured my attention. I like that Evergreen Love was about second chances and  talking through problems. Holiday Hope showed how gentle love and patience can help heal hurts of the past.  Wreathed in Joy was a joy to read as Mary and Jakob worked together to regain the friendship they once had.  I enjoyed how A Christmas prayer had more mature characters than the typical romance.  This is a nice Christmas read to help get you in the spirit.

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 Authors

vannetta-chapmanVANNETTA CHAPMAN

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of sixteen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series, and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and has also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She was a teacher for fifteen years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. Visit Vannetta online: VannettaChapman.com, Twitter: @VannettaChapman, Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks.

 

kathleen-fuller (1)KATHLEEN FULLER
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.

 

 

kelly-irvin (2)KELLY IRVIN
Kelly Irvin is the bestselling author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeeper’s Son received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it a “beautifully woven masterpiece.” The two-time Carol Award finalist is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors. Visit her online at KellyIrvin.com; Instagram: kelly_irvin; Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author; Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin.

amy-clipston (1)AMY CLIPSTON
Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, Amish Heirloom, Amish Homestead, and Amish Marketplace series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at AmyClipston.com; Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks; Twitter: @AmyClipston; Instagram: @amy_clipston.

 

Read an Excerpt from An Amish Christmas Wedding

Want to read an excerpt from An Amish Christmas Wedding featuring four of your favorite authors?

You can find more information about the book and the excerpt here!

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 9

The Avid Reader, November 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 10

Inklings and notions, November 11

A Baker’s Perspective, November 11

Lighthouse Academy Blog, November 12 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

lakesidelivingsite, November 12

For Him and My Family, November 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 14

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Simple Harvest Reads, November 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, November 16

Labor Not in Vain, November 16

Older & Smarter?, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17

Artistic Nobody, November 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18

Splashes of Joy, November 19

EmpowerMoms, November 19

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 20

Blossoms and Blessings, November 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 21

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 21

She Lives To Read, November 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 22

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Link to purchase book: https://amzn.to/3imW20y

Dropbox Link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xfk3up4ybmxhmww/AADV9eioNOU_u9jEuD0312zYa?dl=0

Tour Page on Celebrate Lit

Excerpt Link: https://www.tnzfiction.com/an-amish-christmas-wedding/

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Apprentice Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Apprentice

Author: Kristen Young

Genre: Christian Science Fiction

Release Date: October 20, 2020

The Love Collective is everywhere.
It sees everything.
Be not afraid.

Apprentice Flick remembers everything, except the first five years of her life. And for as long as she can remember, Flick has wanted to enter the Elite Academy—home to the best, brightest, and most loyal members of the Love Collective government.

Flick’s uncanny memory might get her there, too … even if it is the very thing that marks her as a freak. But frightening hallucinations start intruding into her days and threaten to bring down all she has worked so hard to accomplish. Why is she being hijacked by a stranger’s nightmare over and over again?

Moving to the Elite Academy could give Flick the future she’s always wanted. But her search for truth may lead to a danger she cannot escape.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Apprentice by Kristen Young is Christian Science Fiction.  It is the first book in the Collective Underground series. I would consider it  Young Adult Dystopian fiction appropriate for  Middle grade readers and above.

 

What I think about this book:

 

As a YA Reader:

 My first question is When can I get the next book in the series? I enjoyed this book SO much. Flick was such a unique  character, with perfect memory recall after the age of five, but NOTHING before. Even though her gift was criticized by both peers and teachers, she did not allow them to keep her from being herself and trying to become more than they thought possible. I loved the way that the story slowly unfolded and made pieces click together.  I am truly excited about seeing where Young takes the rest of the series.

 

As the Mom of a YA reader:

This is definitely going on the top of my son’s to be read list. Apprentice is of the same quality as several YA books including: The Giver and Divergent. The story has great potential to be used in either a classroom or Homeschool curriculum.

 

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

Kristen Young is an Aussie children’s and youth worker who always has a notebook on hand to catch ideas for her fiction and non-fiction. She loves hanging out with her family, watching movies with subtitles, and chocolate.

 

More from Kristen

An interview with Kristen Young

 

Q: How long have you been writing?

I was the kid who used to create little booklets and puzzle magazines for the family. So writing is something that I’ve been doing for a long time. It wasn’t quite publication-worthy back then, but it was fun. I had to practice a little more before people outside my family wanted to see it.

Q: Where do you write?

Anywhere I have access to a laptop or a pen. I have a desk at home where most of the writing happens, but I usually carry a notebook in my bag in case inspiration hits when I’m out. People think I’m a little eccentric when I’m madly scribbling in the middle of the supermarket. But I have to get that scene idea down before I forget!

Q: What is your writing Kryptonite?

Distractions. For me, writing preparation is a little like building a house of cards — that process of getting my thoughts in order and working out the story direction. Distractions are like the gust of wind that knocks the whole construction over. I usually wear noise-cancelling headphones to try and keep me focused on the process.

Q: Where’s your favourite story setting?

I’m still looking for that wardrobe with a door to Narnia.

Q: What’s the first book that made you cry?

I’m not sure if I can share that without giving spoilers! But I’d have to say Charlotte’s Web. When I read that as a child, it had me wrecked for ages.

Q: Have you read anything that totally changed your idea of the way fiction could be written?

There are a couple of books that totally changed my view of fiction. The first was Margaret Atwood’s novel The Blind Assassin. I was totally captivated by the way she mixed newspaper articles and other media with the narrative sections. It was mind-blowing at the time.

Jasper Fforde’s series that started with The Eyre Affair was also pretty amazing. It took a whole pile of literary references and completely messed with them. It was enormous fun.

Q: So why set something in a world called the “Love Collective”?

I like words, and I’m fascinated by the way people often play with them, or even weaponise them. I kind of wanted to explore this word ‘love’ and what it means. In English, we have this one word to refer to so many different kinds of concepts. I wanted to write an exciting story, so it seemed right to have this concept as a backdrop behind the action, where you’re asking, “What does this mean?”

Q: Your main character never forgets anything. Is she like you?

No way. I think Flick’s memory is a bit of wish fulfilment from me. It was so hard writing her, because I forget so many details! In some ways forgetting is protective. But in other ways I’d love to have her memory.

Q: What can we expect in the rest of the Collective Underground Trilogy?

I can’t tell you the whole story, that would ruin the fun. But in the first book, Flick’s world has started really small, and she’s going to broaden her horizons. She’ll get to explore more of this Love Collective. There also might be some more danger, too. Or more love. We’ll see…

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 1

Blogging With Carol, November 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 2

Texas Book-aholic, November 3

Inklings and notions, November 4

April Hayman, Author, November 4

For Him and My Family, November 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 6

deb’s Book Review, November 6

Worthy2Read, November 7

Woven by Words, November 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 8

Emily Yager, November 9

Artistic Nobody, November 9 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 10

Simple Harvest Reads, November 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 11

Adventures of A Travelers Wife, November 12

Through the Fire Blogs, November 12

Splashes of Joy, November 13

Inside the Wong Mind, November 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kristen is giving away the grand prize of a $100 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/102f1/apprentice-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Bells of New Cheltenham Review and Giveaway

Bells new cheltenham banner

About the Book

Book: The Bells of New Cheltenham

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian fiction, Christmas romance

Release Date: October 15, 2020

Bells of New Cheltenham-smWho knew that Christmas carols were love songs?

Justine Driscoll sure didn’t. Peace on earth? She’s heard of that. Holy and joyful? Something about that, too. But love songs sung by a bride about the birth of her bridegroom? That’s just weird stuff right there.

Weird or not, though, once Justine decides to enter a short story contest using a Christmas carol as the inspiration, she discovers love in the carols she investigates, in the story an ex-Army guy tells, and in the little tourist town of New Cheltenham.

“But what do the words mean?”

Ken Torsney is used to fighting for causes he believes in. He just never imagined he’d go from Army “warrior” to spiritual warrior in the span of one question from a stranger. Justine is like no girl he’s ever known— hungry for the gospel even as she rejects it.

He’s falling for her, and that’s bound to break his heart.

Love is in the air in New Cheltenham this Christmas. Again.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

 The Bells of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig is contemporary romantic Christian Fiction. This story is a sequel to The Ghost of New Cheltenham, but it can be read as a standalone novella. The story is set in Havig’s Rockland Universe and gives small glimpses of other characters during the story.

 

What I think about this story:

  OH  How I love Christmas carols, so a story based around one sounded like fun to me.  Justine was a very interesting character, hard working, but secretive. When it came to Jesus and the gospel, she was like a blank slate, being from the Bible Belt growing up one of the first questions you asked someone was where do you go to church? Even if it was only for basketball and Lock-ins, there was always an answer so it is hard to imagine meeting someone without even a basic knowledge of The Bible. I loved Ken, he was so patient and caring. I love how he presented the story of The Gospel and chose to show love to Justine.  I appreciate how his character portrayed being a Veteran.  If you have never read one of Havig’s books this is a great place to start, be sure to make this one of your Christmas reads!

 

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

media-headshot-smChautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona Havig

3 Things That Make My Christmas Heart Sing

I didn’t have a ghost of a chance.

The message popped up in my messenger at exactly the moment I sat down. This is significant, because I get dozens of Facebook messages every day, and often, they get buried when a new one supersedes it. So, as you can see, it’s a near miracle that I ever saw the message at all.

The message offered me a spot in a collection of novellas—a Christmas collection. Yep. Not a ghost of a chance.

Still, I tried to be responsible, you know? After all, I had quite a few books due at the same time already. Bookers on the Rocks, The Last Gasp, my Christmas Lights Collection “noella,” and my CrossRoads Collection “noella.” And those didn’t include anything I wanted to write in spring or summer.

Then she added another layer of temptation. This collection had a theme. That theme? Christmas carol inspired romances.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love music, Christmas, and specifically, Christmas music?

The other authors in the set had already made their carol selections. She sent a list of those that had already been claimed. I read them with great trepidation. See, I already had two carols I’d want to use in the story for this collection that I hadn’t even agreed to participate in yet.

No one had chosen “The Holly and the Ivy” or “The Bells on Christmas Day.”

That ghost slowly transformed into the ghost of my resistance.

All that remained was for me to come up with a story idea. I mean, why join a collection if you can’t even decide what to do with it?

That’s when it happened.

There’s always this moment when the first idea germinates, sprouts, and pushes up through the fertile soil of my imagination. My favorite moment. And it hit me. What if the theme for the collection was my story idea? My character could enter a contest that requires a short story based on a Christmas carol.

And once I had that idea, the rest came in a whoosh! Mitchell, from The Ghosts of New Cheltenham could be sick to death of this annual ghost storytelling contest and decide to create his own contest. And then… well…

The Bells of New Cheltenham was born.

If you’ve not read The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, you’ll follow this “noella” just fine. It is meant to be a stand-alone. However, if you want a richer reading experience, I recommend reading The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, followed by the companion short story, “The Ghastly Therapist” first. Both are available through Kindle Unlimited. Additionally, if you send your receipt (or a screenshot of the final page of the eBook from Kindle Unlimited) for the Melodies of Christmas Love collection to chautona@chautona.com, I’ll send YOU the bonus short story—the one Justine Driscoll writes in this “noella.”

But I promised to tell you three things that make my heart sing at Christmas.

  1. The way people are often just a little kinder and a little more giving and understanding.
  2. The joy that seems to fill every part of life—family, friends, parties, presents, church services, reading, singing…
  3. The music that plays everywhere—and often sings of a Savior’s love.

 

What makes your heart sing at Christmas?

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 9

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 10

Texas Book-aholic, November 11

Blogging With Carol , November 11

Among the Reads, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inklings and notions, November 13

Batya’s Bits, November 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15

Worthy2Read, November 15

For Him and My Family, November 16

Labor Not in Vain, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

lakesidelivingsite, November 17

Aryn the Libraryan, November 18

Lots of Helpers, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 20

She Lives To Read, November 21

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

Mary Hake, November 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize of 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/10359/the-bells-of-new-cheltenham-celebration-tour-giveaway

Vibrant Spotlight and Giveaway

vibrant banner

About the Book

Book: Vibrant

Author: Carol McLeod

Genre: Christian Living, Women’s Interest

Release Date: November 3, 2020

VibrantHave you ever met someone who possessed a quiet radiance so rich, so dynamic, that you ached for more, someone whose presence is so compelling you feel refreshed by a single conversation with them? If you know someone like this, you anticipate your times together. You realize their joy is contagious, their peace is deep, and their compassion is engaging.

Such people are “vibrant.” Regardless of their socioeconomic status, their education, their marital status, or their health, these people are determined to live joyfully, seeing each obstacle as an opportunity for growth. The vibrant individual’s persona is attached to their convictions rather than their circumstances.

Author Carol Burton McLeod believes everyone can choose to be Vibrant: Developing a Deep and Abiding Joy for All Seasons—and such a life begins by emulating Jesus. His life was filled with challenges and yet people were drawn to Him. Every character trait that we are called to embrace, every action of kindness or love, and each word of compassion or tenderness is a telling reflection of Christ within us. We are called to be a vibrant show-and-tell of what God is able to accomplish through one ordinary person.

Carol explores what it means to follow Jesus in a world filled with disappointment, rejection, and discouragement. And she provides gentle encouragement and suggestions from Scripture to help us do just that.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

carol_mcleodCarol McLeod is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats through Carol McLeod Ministries. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including Significant: Becoming a Woman of Unique Purpose, True Identity, and Irrepressible Hope; StormProof: Weathering Life’s Tough Times;Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue; and Joy for All Seasons.

Carol hosts a twice-weekly podcast, A Jolt of Joy!, on the Charisma Podcast Network, and a weekly podcast, The Joy of Motherhood, which is heard by thousands of moms around the world. She is also launching a new podcast entitled Significant Women. Her blog, Joy for the Journey, formerly A Cup of Tea with Carol, has been named in the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women. After her 2013 devotional 21 Days to Beat Depression had nearly 100,000 downloads in the first month, YouVersion picked it up, where it has been read by over a million people. She has authored nearly twenty additional devotionals and is among YouVersion’s most popular authors. Carol writes a weekly column for Ministry Today and often writes for Charisma magazine as well.

Carol served as the first women’s chaplain at Oral Roberts University and served for many years on its Alumni Board of Directors.
Carol has been married to her college sweetheart, Craig, for over forty years and is the mother of five children in heaven and five children on earth. Carol and Craig are now enjoying their new titles as “Marmee and Pa” to their captivating grandchildren. The couple live in Oklahoma, where Craig serves as the North American Director for Global Partners, a missions organization that plants churches in remote areas of the world.

More from Carol

Vibrant provides a roadmap to living a joyful life, viewing each obstacle as a stepping stone to becoming a better person and thus emulating Jesus.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

She Lives To Read, November 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 8

Inklings and notions, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, November 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 11

For Him and My Family, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 17

Spoken from the Heart, November 18 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, November 18

Godly Book Reviews, November 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away a $20 Starbuck’s gift card and finished copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10356/vibrant-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Elusive Miss Ellison Review and Giveaway

The Elusive Miss Ellison Banner

About the Book

Book: The Elusive Miss Ellison

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Historical, Regency Fiction

Release Date: February 28, 2017

The Elusive Miss EllisonPride, Presumption, and forgiveness…
Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.
Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic singing voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.
Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what happens when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?
Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller is the first book in the  Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace . The story is set in 1813 England with Lavinia Ellison the daughter of a small village minister and the New Lord Hawkesbury.

 

What I think about this book:

While the story was slow going at first , it did a good job of letting you get to know the characters and what made them who they are.  Lavinia was almost an antihero when compared to the typical heroine in Regency Romances. Instead of being raised as a Lady of privilege she has been taught to devote her life to helping others, she nurses the sick of the village and helps provide food and education to those less privileged. I enjoyed watching Nicholas mature from a selfish young man into a man who cared for those around him. I enjoyed the interaction between Lavinia and Nicholas . The second half of the story moved at a much faster pace. The message of the Gospel was presented beautifully and naturally in the story. I look forward to reading the next books 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

carolyn-miller-HR-4Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc Her contemporary novels include Restoring Fairhaven and Regaining Mercy, as part of the Independence Islands series.

More from Carolyn

Mr. Darcy has a lot to answer for, doesn’t he?

 

I’ve long been a fan of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, and my first historical romance, The Elusive Miss Ellison, was so fun to write as I worked to weave the social commentary of Jane Austen with the wit and romantic dash of Heyer, an unwavering Christian thread, and a dash of Aussie perspective.

 

I’ve been very fortunate to visit many of the settings used in my Regency Brides series (of series), including the Cotswolds, Brighton, Bath, London, Derbyshire and the gorgeous Scottish castle featured on the cover of Misleading Miss Verity, and have loved seeing readers respond so positively to these stories of hope, redemption, family and love.

 

I love to share images of my trips and what I envisage concerning these stories at my website (www.carolynmillerauthor.com) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerAuthor

) and hope readers will enjoy being swept up into an age of ladies and true gentlemen, when the code of honor was paramount, and Mr. Darcy showed that first impressions can never be fully trusted, and that there is always something deeper to the story.

 

Happy reading, friends!

 

Carolyn 🙂

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, October 28

Losing the Busyness, October 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 29

Emily Yager, October 29

Worthy2Read, October 30

Artistic Nobody, October 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 31

Mary Hake, October 31

Splashes of Joy, November 1

deb’s Book Review, November 1

Texas Book-aholic, November 2

Inklings and notions, November 3

Vicky Sluiter, November 3

For Him and My Family, November 4

Heidi and Books, November 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 5

Bigreadersite, November 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 6

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Mia Reads, November 7

She Lives To Read, November 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 8

Simple Harvest Reads, November 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Godly Book Reviews, November 9

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, November 10

Captive Dreams Window, November 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon prize and a paperback 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/102ad/the-elusive-miss-ellison-celebration-tour-giveaway

Miss Fanshawe’s Fortune Review and Giveaway

Miss Fanshawe Banner

About the Book

Book: Miss Fanshawe’s Fortune

Author: Linore Rose Burkard

Genre: Sweet and Clean Historical Romance (regency)

Release Date: September 8, 2020

Miss Fanshawe Final Cover ebk

Miss Frances Fanshawe’s past is shrouded in mystery. Raised genteelly by her mother in the knowledge she is heir to a fortune, she is forced to question everything after her mother dies and leaves her with only a single clue to the money. Unless she can locate her father or otherwise prove her heritage, not only the fortune but her very respectability is at stake.

In line for a baronetcy, Sebastian Arundell has no time for sorting out questionable tangles for young women with dubious histories. No matter if they are young, appealing, and have ridiculously large chocolate eyes to melt a man’s heart. But when it becomes apparent that other people are after Frannie’s supposed fortune, he is drawn to investigate. As the search deepens, Frannie falls in love with handsome, proper Sebastian. But if it only proves what he suspects—that she’s an illegitimate pauper—will all hope to win his heart be lost?

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Miss Fanshawe’s Fortune a clean regency romance by Linore Rose Burkard is the second book in The Brides of Mayfair Series. It is set in 1815 England. This book can be read as a standalone and does not rely on the previous book in the series.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

 

What I think about this book:

 I LOVED this book, it was a delightful romance and mystery. I love how Burkard jumped right into the story and slowly let the story unfold. It was neat to see both Frannie and Sebastian initially from Edward’s perspective, but I also enjoyed getting to know them  and developing my own opinions about mysteries in the story.  I ached for Frannie knowing that the life she knew had been a lie and being uncertain about both her past and her future. I liked Sebastian, but I often wanted to fuss at him for being so influenced by the Ton that he would not see what was right in front of him. My only complaint about this story was that it ended too soon!

 

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

Linore_SmallerLinore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first book opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes YA contemporary suspense and contemporary romance. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.

 

More from Linore Rose Burkard

Introduction:

Today we have a multi-published author with us, Linore Rose Burkard. She writes “Romance to warm the Heart, Fiction to Stir the Soul.” Linore’s first novel, an Inspirational Regency Romance, was actually the first of its kind and opened the genre for the CBA. Linore, welcome. Please tell us more about yourself as a writer. I understand you feel very purpose-driven in you vocation.

Linore: I do. Newer writers usually say their purpose is to write whatever specific book they’re working on. But I believe our purpose goes deeper than that, deeper than any single book. My purpose—which some may consider a humble calling—is to write smart, well-researched romance infused with humor that literally warms the heart. My readers close my romance novels with a smile and the feeling—at least for a few minutes—that all is right with the world.

  1. When did you realize that was your purpose?

A writer needs to be humble enough to accept what their giftings are. I had to accept that I wasn’t going to write the next ‘great American novel.’ I wasn’t going to be a Hemingway. Having been schooled in the classics, both British and American, writing inspirational romance seems lightweight. Georgette Heyer, a writer I greatly admire, once said she ought to be shot for what she writes! Because there’s this perception among the literati that romance literature is less than respectable. But I’ve learned that heartwarming romance is worthy in itself, whether it is overtly evangelistic or not, and whether English professors would agree or not. Readers have written to me with such gratitude that it showed me that what I write is no less valuable –to those who will be blessed by it—than the classics.

  1. How did you get started?

I’ve been an avid reader all my life and was always was drawn to write, even as a child. But I saw a need for something specific that wasn’t out there—Regency Romance that included a Christian worldview. I wanted to read that book, but it didn’t exist. So that’s what I started out writing. My first three novels with Harvest House were Inspirational Regencies. The genre since then has grown by leaps and bounds, which I think is great.

  1. Would you like to give a tip for writers?

It’s important to write the book on your heart, not the one you think you should write because it will make money, or because it’s what people want. A lot of gurus are out there saying you should research the audience before putting pen to paper to make sure your book will be marketable. Well, there is some truth in that—if you write a book about some obscure dog breed that only 200 people own, you’re not gonna have a bestseller. But there’s a big danger in that method, too. The book on your heart, the story that won’t go away, is most likely the one that will help point you to your purpose in writing; and it will be the one that resonates with readers.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Genesis 5020, October 26

Texas Book-aholic, October 27

Blogging With Carol, October 27

Worthy2Read, October 28

deb’s Book Review, October 28

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 29

Labor Not in Vain, October 29

Inklings and notions, October 30

Heidi and Books, October 30

For Him and My Family, October 31

Mary Hake, October 31

She Lives To Read, November 1

KarenSueHadley, November 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 2

Remembrancy, November 2

Connie’s History Classroom, November 3

Artistic Nobody, November 3 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 4

Betti Mace, November 4

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 6

Blossoms and Blessings, November 6

Simple Harvest Reads, November 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Romances of the Cross, November 7

Splashes of Joy, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linore is giving away the grand prize of 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/102ab/miss-fanshawe-s-fortune-celebration-tour-giveaway