Hidden Among the Stars Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

Hidden-Among-The-Stars-Book-Cover

Book Title: Hidden Among The Stars

Author: Melanie Dobson

Genre: Historical Fiction (However, this is a time-slip novel, so there is also a contemporary component to the story)

Release date: September 4, 2018

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.
The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Post from Mindy Houng

“No one can stop this music. Its journey continues, I think, throughout the earth and up into the heavens. An eternal, sacred song.”
Hidden Among the Stars is another winner from this masterful author. Melanie Dobson’s haunting, lyrical, and musical voice is powerful and beautiful.  She creates a vivid world of 1938 Vienna and Austria – its music, beauty, and culture clashing against hatred and anger against the Jews. This dual timeline story unites 1938 Austria with present day Ohio and one antique book brings strangers and families together for an unforgettable journey. The slow unraveling of the past and present as they intertwine is delicious and full of intrigue and anticipation.   The multiple twists and turns in the plot heightens the anticipation. The present day is from Callie’s first person perspective in present tense. The past is from Max, Luzi, and Annika’s limited third person perspective in past tense. The writing switches perspectives and times fluidly to create an incredible tale. I loved the way the author used well-known quotes from children’s books in the story and how the antique books central to the story are also children’s books.
The characters Callie and Josh from present day Ohio will charm you. The characters Max, Luzi, and Annika from pre-WWII Austria  will make you cry and hurt and love with them. The themes of sacrifice, justice, full trust in our God, and letting go of fear are real and prominent in all the characters’ lives.
If you enjoy historical romance, especially dual timeline ones, you will absolutely love this book. It’s a must-read!
I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to write a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Melanie-Dobson-Author-Photo

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of nearly twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels including Catching the Wind and Chateau of Secrets . Three of her novels have won Carol Awards; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010; and The Black Cloister won the Foreword Magazine Religious Fiction Book of the Year.

Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media Group. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes at George Fox University.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with work, the Dobson family has settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to hike and camp in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast. Melanie also enjoys exploring ghost towns and abandoned homes, helping care for kids in her community, and reading stories with her girls.

Visit Melanie online at www.melaniedobson.com.

Guest Post from Melanie

Hallstatt’s Hiding Places

Backpacking across Europe—that’s how my husband Jon and I decided to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. We savored the old world culture and charm as we hiked along Italy’s coast, toured medieval castles in Germany, and cruised the canals in Belgium; we both left a bit of our hearts in an ancient lakeside town called Hallstatt.

The moment we stepped off the ferryboat and into this storybook village, we crossed through a portal of sorts, traveling back several centuries in time. The rugged, snow-capped mountains around us and alpine lake, the quaint village with its church steeples and cobblestone lanes and waterfall that spilled into town—all of it captivated us.

Along the shore, hidden partially by trees, we could see spires of an abandoned castle, and I wanted to know its story. No one in Hallstatt could tell us who’d lived in the castle—at least, not in English—so my husband agreed to a new adventure. With a swan as our escort, we glided across the lake in an electric boat so I could study the rusty turrets, boarded windows, and wooden boathouse resting in the water like a felled log.

Instead of quelling my curiosity, the match of inspiration ignited my mind. Who had lived in this castle, and what happened there? I began writing in my journal that night, trying to capture my rogue thoughts on paper, hoping that one day a novel would emerge from the ashes of this castle’s story.

When we returned home, I began researching more of Hallstatt’s history and discovered that this region, in all of its beauty and mystique, had been infiltrated by an enemy in 1938. This town and the surrounding Salzkammergut became a mountain retreat for Nazi officials who built mansions on the shores of its many lakes and used salt mines to hide “ownerless treasure”—the gold bullion and artwork they’d stolen from the Jewish people.

The Nazis intended to build a Fourth Reich in this alpine fortress, but the Allies had other plans. Near the end of the war, these lakes became a dustbin of sorts, collecting whatever the enemy dumped into its waters—weapons, counterfeit banknotes, concentration camp lists—as they fled south from the Allied troops. The Devil’s Dustbin, locals call it.

Lake Hallstatt plunges more than four hundred feet between the fortress of mountains. Because of its depth and the many hiding places in the underwater forests, caves, and shifting sands, divers continue finding World War II artifacts today. Some still believe there’s a treasure trove buried on the bottom, but no one has reported finding any gold.

After our trip, a story about this castle and what happened to the heirlooms of the Austrian Jewish people continued to burn inside me until I finally put it on paper. So I built Schloss Schwansee—Castle of Swan Lake—in my mind, inspired by the castle along Lake Hallstatt, and created a cast of historical and contemporary characters who are searching for lost treasure.

Hidden Among the Stars is a time-slip novel about a castle and treasure and fairytales, but most of all, it’s a story about God using ordinary people across Austria to resist evil in their own extraordinary way.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, September 6

Fiction Aficionado, September 6

Back Porch Reads, September 6

Among the Reads, September 6

The Power of Words, September 7

Multifarious, September 7

lady ansel book vibes, September 7

The Becca Files, September 7

God’s Little Bookworm, September 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 8

Painting with Words, September 8

Lis Loves Reading, September 8

cherylbbookblog, September 9

Living LIfe Free in Christ, September 9

Madeline Clark, September 9

Mary Hake, September 9

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 10

Genesis 5020, September 10

Faithfully Bookish, September 10

Simple Harvest Reads, September 10 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 11

Daysong Reflections, September 11

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, September 11

Seasons of Opportunities, September 12

Remembrancy, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 12

amandainpa, September 12

Maureen’s Musing, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 13

Just Commonly, September 13

Book by Book, September 13

Connect in Fiction, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

Have A Wonderful Day, September 14

Splashes of Joy, September 14

The Christian Fiction Girl, September 15

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 15

To Everything A Season, September 15

A Baker’s Perspective, September 15

proud to be an autism mom, September 16

Bibliophile Reviews, September 16

Bigreadersite, September 16

Aryn The Libraryan, September 16

By The Book, September 17

Christian author, J.E. Grace, September 17

Janices book reviews, September 17

Texas Book-aholic, September 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

Carpe Diem, September 18

Godly Book Reviews, September 19

For The Love of Books, September 19

Live. Love. Read., September 19

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 19

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!!

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/d2ad/hidden-among-the-stars-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Promise Forged Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

A Promise Forged

Book Title: A Promise Forged

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: World War 2 Romance

Release date: Originally released in 2010, Re-released in 2017

Kat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her.

A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman:

Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin.

Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again.

When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

If you’ve read Cara Putman’s legal thrillers, this book is very different but equally fun and delicious.
This is book 3 of the Buckeye Promises series and, though it can be read as a stand-alone, reading the first two novels in the series would definitely have enhanced my enjoyment of the secondary characters. The story takes place in Ohio/Indiana in 1943 during the inaugural season of the All American Girls Professional Softball League. It centers around a seventeen-year-old shortstop named Kat and a twenty-five-year-old news reporter named Jack. The story has all of Cara Putman’s trademarks – fluid writing, well-developed and well-researched plot, wonderful characters, and a nice thread of faith and surrender.
Kat gets recruited to play for a women’s softball team just as she finishes off her junior year in high school. Supported and loved by her family, she enters the grueling circuit of semi-professional ball playing. Despite the turmoils that follow her career, she remains faithful to God and maintains her sweetness, innocence, and desire to serve God wherever she goes. Jack is a small-town news reporter who is waiting for a chance to re-enter the big city news reporting. He is hardened by life and lives a selfish life and begrudges his role in covering the women’s league but finds himself falling in love with the young Kat. Their attraction and angst of insecurity in how things can work out are pretty intense and gripping. Jack’s salvation scene is inspiring and how he changes from his previous ways after he surrenders to the Lord is uplifting to read.
If you love historical romance or love Cara Putman’s writing, this book is definitely for you!
I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher through Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

cara putman

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.

Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.

Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com <http://www.caraputman.com/>.

Guest Post from Cara

Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.

And I started thinking.

What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?

And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?

I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.

He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school.

As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.

A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!

Blog Stops

History, Mystery & Faith, August 4

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 4

Among the Reads, August 4

The Power of Words, August 4

C Jane Read, August 5

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 5

Christian Bookaholic, August 5

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

Reading Is My SuperPower, August 6

Genesis 5020, August 6

lady ansel book vibes, August 6

Kat’s Corner Books, August 7

Carpe Diem, August 7

proud to be an autism mom, August 7

Janices book reviews, August 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 8

A Baker’s Perspective, August 8

Blossoms and Blessings, August 8

Mary Hake, August 8

By The Book, August 9

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, August 9

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, August 10

Lighthouse Academy, August 10

Remembrancy, August 10

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 10

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, August 11

100 Pages per Hour, August 11

Luv’N Lambert Life, August 11

Bigreadersite, August 11

Godly Book Reviews, August 12

Cafinated Reads, August 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 12

A Reader’s Brain, August 13

a good book and cup of tea, August 13

Book by Book, August 13

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 14

Maureen’s Musings, August 14

Daysong Reflections, August 14

The Morning Chapter, August 15

amandainpa, August 15

Inklings and notions, August 15

Connie’s History Classroom, August 16

All 4 and About Books, August 16

Bibliophile Reviews, August 16

Pause for Tales, August 17

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 17

For the Love of Books, August 17

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d2ac/a-promise-forged-celebration-tour-giveaway

Kingdom of Ruins Review & Giveaway

Kingdom of Ruins updated FB Banner copyAbout the Book

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Title: Kingdom of Ruins

Author: D.C. Marino

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: July 27, 2018

In the Lands Within, history does not rest. Each archaeological layer communicates with the living generation, choosing its friends and enemies—and its kings. But an alliance has been struck no one could have anticipated, and an ancient evil is soaking into the soil. History is being erased, purchased and re-written at a terrible price. And a kingdom that shouldn’t have been forgotten is fading from memory.

In the Lands Without, archaeologist Lori Brickland has found a pottery shard with a heartbeat. The pulse might be a trick of the mind, or it might be the first sign of life in a world of ruin. An exiled traveler will say she shouldn’t search for the truth, a calculating ruler will say she’s the one he’s looking for. And the kingdom? The kingdom will need her before the end. It’s time to accept what she’s always known…

This isn’t archaeology.

This is war.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

What a great fantasy novel! There is splendid world-building in the story with parallel worlds called Lands Within (their world) and Lands Without (our world). The two worlds are so unique and the author provides many details about the landscape and traditions of Lands Within which all fall into place when the story concludes. Yet the consequences of greed, sin, and war are the same in both worlds and the consequences of ignorance and forgetfulness of our past and history are also the same in both worlds. There is also a bit of mystery and suspense as the main character Lori from Lands Without tries to figure out what the Lands Within is about. Though told through third person narrative, it is a limited third person so it almost reads like first person narrative. Many twists and turns keep the plot absolutely intriguing. The dialogue and interaction between the two main characters, Lori and Thane, are intelligent, amusing, and sometimes downright hilarious.
Lori is a unique archeologist who suffers a tangible condition that prevents her from working in the field that she loves. Her heart is so tender and loving and her keen intelligence that probes answers to difficult questions are so endearing. Thane, from Lands Within, is somewhat difficult to like at the beginning, with his stiffness and brusque mannerisms, but he proves himself as a noble and self-sacrificing hero as the story unfolds.
What an intriguing tale of hope in the face of despair. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! If you enjoy fantasy, you will absolutely love this book.
I was given a copy of the book from the author/publisher through Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

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D.C. Marino is a dedicated reader of history books and fantasy novels, both of which occupy an equal amount of space on her bookshelves. But it wasn’t until she realized how one breathed life into the other that she became addicted to finding the intersections of the real world and the fairy story. Still more: what those intersections about us as a creative, curious people. Kingdom of Ruins is her debut novel.

Guest Post from D.C. Marino

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to share Kingdom of Ruins with you! This story has been on my heart and mind for over ten years now, so this feels a bit surreal. I’d love to tell you a bit about why I wrote this book. But in order to do that, I need to tell you why I almost didn’t.

Fantasy. It isn’t real. Why should I spend time writing a story that doesn’t grapple with the actual issues of the day? Why not speak plainly, instead of inventing another world to explore the real one? These were the questions I asked myself every night before I fell asleep. I adored fiction that transported me to factual events, or introduced me to historical figures, but every time I picked up a pen, the fantastical wiggled out of it.

I was afraid I was writing the wrong story.

This story oddly (or not so oddly) enough began with Lori, an atephobic archaeologist. Meaning she had a passion for archaeology, but a phobic fear of ruins. Why would she shrink back from the work she loved? Because no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make whole the broken. Life ends in dust, and that’s all there is to it. I felt the same way. Not only was I writing something I wasn’t sure would be relevant, but could it mend anything? Make a difference? Or was it futile, like trying to resurrect the past?

What I found was exactly what Lori begins to find in Kingdom of Ruins. That even though things seem unfixable, it isn’t the end. The world Lori enters is full of darkness and peril, but it also holds a chance for her to heal from more than just her fear. While I wrote, and especially as I neared the last chapter, I realized she and I had both overcome a great challenge. I won’t tell you her conclusion, but I will tell you mine:

I wrote the right story.

I hope you enjoy every bit of the journey as I did, dear reader.

D.C. Marino

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 31

Remembrancy, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Fiction Aficionado, August 2

Multifarious, August 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 3

Connect in Fiction, August 4

Bigreadersite, August 4

Bibliophile Reviews, August 5

A Reader’s Brain, August 6

Just the Write Escape, August 7

Margaret Kazmierczak, August 8

Aryn the Libraryan, August 8

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, August 10

proud to be an autism mom, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 12

Janices book reviews, August 12

A Baker’s Perspective, August 13

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ced0/kingdom-of-ruins-celebration-tour-giveaway

Running Spotlight

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About the Book

Running

Book Title: Running

Author: Dave Milbrandt

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release date: May 1, 2018

An assassin’s bullet sends Jim Mitchell running. When he’ll stop is anybody’s guess.

A tragedy propels Jim into a vacant state assembly seat. The new lawmaker and his wife have a baby on the way, but that doesn’t stop the people trying to keep him from a job he never wanted in the first place. Then Jim gets involved in a plan to thwart a major terror attack that could either make him a hero or get him killed.

Political intrigue and high drama accent this tale of what it costs to find one’s purpose, and what the rewards can be when you do.

Running is the third book in the Jim Mitchell series. Previous titles include Chasing Deception and Undue Pressure.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

About the Author

Dave MilbrandtThe author of Chasing Deception and Undue Pressure, Dave Milbrandt fell in love with writing in junior high and has been a storyteller ever since. A former staff writer for a daily newspaper, the Southern California native spent five years in journalism and public relations before becoming a teacher. Having worked at several area colleges, Dave has taught high school English and Social Studies classes since 2005 and fills his evenings sharing a passion for politics with his community college students. Dave and his wife, Lynn, have been married since 1997.

 

Guest Post from Dave

In 1998, I feverishly pounded out the first draft of Chasing Deception (book one in the Jim Mitchell series) in five weeks. Full of ambition, but bereft of wisdom of how the publishing world works, I assumed my novel would be published in short order. Despite my overly abundant self-assurance, I had to wait until 2013 to get that story out. I was in a hurry, but God, as usual, had other plans.

Over the last 20 years, I have discovered the gift of patience and more about the craft of good writing than I ever could have expected during that summer half a lifetime ago. With Undue Pressure (2016) and Running (2018), I have completed the trilogy I never planned to write and hopefully given readers some characters that will stick with them after they reach the end of the story.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 28

Carpe Diem, July 28

Bibliophile Reviews, July 29

Margaret Kazmierczak, July 30

A Baker’s Perspective, July 31

At the Fence, August 1

Cathe Swanson, August 1

Just the Write Escape, August 2

Multifarious, August 3

Mary Hake, August 3

Blogging With Carol, August 4

The Midnight Bookaholic, August 4

proud to be an autism mom, August 5

Simple Harvest Reads, August 5 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, August 6

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7

Janices book reviews, August 8

Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Spotlight)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 9

Reading is my Super Power, August 9 (Interview)

Two Points of Interest, August 10

Bigreadersite, August 10

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Dave is giving away a grand prize that includes ebooks of all three books in the series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d33e/running-celebration-tour-giveaway

This Freedom Journey Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

This Freedom Journey

Title: This Freedom Journey

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: July 11, 2018

Adrien Lockman is through with the political unrest and bloodshed in his home country of France, so he sets off to the Canadian territory’s mountain frontier, in search of a place where a man can live his own life in peace. The last thing he expects to find is a woman, half-starved and half-frozen in a shack nestled among the towering peaks of the great Rocky Mountains.

Mary Standish thought she’d finally found a place where she was accepted, trapping with her husband for the Hudson Bay Company. But when he dies after a gruesome grizzly fight, she determines to carry on their work. After all, life in these remote mountains is better than enduring the scorn and snubs of “civilized” folk. When she’s forced to face a winter harder than any she’s endured yet, her stubbornness may just be the death of her. Until a stranger appears at her ramshackle door.

Adrien had planned to explore the mountain country all winter before he settles down to build a farm in the spring, but he can’t leave this woman to die in the elements. Even though she seems desperate for him to go. As Mary regains strength, she’s torn between wanting to save her dignity, and craving the respect of this man who’s slipped past her defenses. As the winter worsens, the truth becomes all too real—the only way they’ll survive is together.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

What a satisfying prequel to Heart of the Mountains series! We meet Mary and Adrien through the first two books of the series but don’t learn about their love story until this novella. Their steadfast devotion to each other made them endearing secondary characters but this novella truly brings out their relationship and romance. As is Misty Beller’s style, the stark yet majestic beauty of the Canadian mountainous winter is breath-taking and real. Her writing transports the reader to 1800s Canadian mountains as the winds howl, snow and ice prevail, and man must fight the elements to survive. Even in the midst of this hardship, a tender romance develops between Mary and Adrien.
Mary is a young widow, struggling to survive the harshest winter she’s seen since she’s moved from the comforts of eastern US. Adrien is a Frenchman who’s left his country fraught with tension, revolution, and unrest. Mary, the strong, stubborn practical one, slowly learns to lean on someone else other than herself. Adrien is patient, sweet, tender, protective, and loving. Their relationship is based on survival at first but slowly develops into a beautiful love story. Adrien’s faith shows in each of his actions and Mary becomes drawn to that flame of calm and reassurance.
Can’t wait for the next book in the series!
I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher and through Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Misty

Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Guest Post from Misty Beller

A Inside Look at the Cover for This Freedom Journey

My book covers are one of my favorite parts of the creative process! With most of my books, I have the cover done early, usually as I’m first brainstorming the story. I love to have the heroine on my cover, and I work hard to make sure the woman on the front matches the heroine I’m envisioning for the story. That way I can describe her in the novel the way she looks on the cover. Sometimes I even work in the outfit she’s wearing on the cover!

This Freedom Journey is a novella in my Heart of the Mountains series, so I wanted the cover to be similar in layout and style to the other books in that series. The setting is winter in the Canadian Rockies, so I knew Mary (the heroine) had to be bundled warmly! Funny story: Mary is mentioned in the other two books, although they’re set later in her life. When I first described her in the other books, I imagined her with amber brown eyes. When I chose the final cover for This Freedom Journey, I had to go back and change the amber brown eyes in those other manuscripts to the riveting blue on the cover. 😊

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 19

cherylbbookblog, July 20

Blossoms and Blessings, July 20

Among the Reads, July 21

Connie’s history classroom, July 21

Bibliophile Reviews, July 22

Texas Book-aholic, July 23

Janices book reviews , July 24

Moments Dipped in Ink, July 25

Simple Harvest Reads, July 25

Carpe Diem, July 26

Maureen’s Musings, July 27

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 27

A Baker’s Perspective, July 28

Splashes of Joy, July 28

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 29

Mary Hake, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 30

Luv’N Lambert Life, July 30

proud to be an autism mom, July 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 31

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 1

Bigreadersite , August 1

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/d13f/this-freedom-journey-celebration-tour-giveaway

Enduring Love Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

Enduring Love

Title: Enduring Love

Author: Toni Shiloh

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 28, 2018

Belle Peterson is hiding a secret. Seeking sanctuary in the small town of Maple Run, she’s intent on starting her life over—one she hopes honors Christ. The plan was going great until an undeniable attraction to Micah has her wondering if she’s changed at all.

Micah Campbell can’t understand why Belle is so uptight and wants nothing to do with her until the gentle whispers of God tell him to befriend her. He didn’t count on the feeling of protectiveness to rise up or that spark of attraction.

Can love really conquer all or will Belle’s past be too much for Micah to handle?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Another great novel in the Maple Run series! This is book 3 in the series but can definitely be read as a stand-alone. The Maple Run gang, from the Williams family to their friends who are like extended family members, is so full of fun, laughter, and love that I want to become a part of their family! The story is well-written, the plot is easy to follow, the romance is sweet, the characters are lovable and the theme of redemption, grace, and forgiveness is tangible and real.
Micah is truly an awesome hero. Yes, he has his flaws and faults and struggles with forgiveness and impatience but his gentle, loving nature is delightful and his great relationship with his parents and friends is heart-warming. Belle is a sweet, caring, compassionate, and kind woman who’s been thoroughly hurt by a man in her past and trying to live in God’s grace one day at a time. She’s a new believer and her innocence, child-like faith, and excitement in being a new creation are all so refreshing. Their dialogue is cute, funny, and so endearing that I could hear them talking while reading through their conversations.
I can’t wait for book 4! There has to be a story for Shorty and Nikki…..
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher through Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

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

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

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

Guest Post from Toni Shiloh

Hey there, Reader Friends!

I’m so excited for the kickoff of Enduring Love. This is book 3 in the Maple Run series and features the story of Belle Peterson and Micah Campbell. You may remember meeting Micah in book 2 of the series, he is Luke Robinson’s best friend. I tell you, this book has a special place in my heart, one that brought out all the emotions in me.

Belle Peterson is living a life filled with shame and regret. She knows mentally that she’s been forgiven, but can’t reconcile the fact to how a redeemed life should look. And when Micah Campbell walks in her life, she’s certain that she has to stay as far from him as possible to keep from back sliding.

Y’all know our wants rarely meet with reality. I had fun throwing Belle and Micah together in Maple Run. Sometimes to their chagrin but always to my pleasure. J Characters from Buying Love (book 1) and Finding Love (book 2) will make an appearance, rounding out the family that has been created in my fictional town of Maple Run, Virginia.

As you take the time to read Belle and Micah’s story, I pray you keep this verse in your mind. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:1 KJV

God does not want us to live a life of shame and guilt. Once we ask for forgiveness, He gives it to us freely. Walk in an abundant life, my friends, and bless others with the grace you so freely received.

Blessings to you,

Toni

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 30

Connect in Fiction, June 30

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, July 1

History, Mystery & Faith, July 1

The Power of Words, July 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, July 2

Blossoms and Blessings, July 3

Faithfully Bookish, July 3

Texas Book-aholic, July 4

Just the Write Escape, July 5

Carpe Diem, July 6

Bigreadersite, July 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7

Bibliophile Reviews, July 8

Remembrancy, July 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 9

A Baker’s Perspective, July 10

Janices book reviews, July 11

proud to be an autism mom, July 12

Mary Hake, July 12

KarenSueHadley, July 13

Simple Harvest Reads, July 13

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d0f2/enduring-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sons of Blackbird Mountain Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

sons of blackbird mountain

Title: Sons of Blackbird Mountain

Author: Joanne Bischof

Genre: Historical Romance

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Sons of Blackbird Mountain is actually the first full-length novel by Joanne Bischof that I have read and I am totally hooked. I’ve read her novellas in different collections and loved her beautiful writing and memorable stories…but this book. This. Book. From the first page of the story, the sweet tenderness and sorrow wrapped up in beautiful lyrical writing gripped my heart. The story is a family saga set in 1890s Virginia – not something that will end in this book but a legacy that will span years and several books (I hope). The characters are incredible and unforgettable. The plot is well-crafted and carries the story at a good pace. The theme of freedom in Christ and love, grace, forgiveness, and redemption is deftly woven into the plot and into each of the characters. The author addresses difficult issues like racism, prejudice against those different, chains of addiction, and the complicated and murky bond of a family with poise and understanding.
Thor is the middle child of the Norgaard family now making a living off the apple orchards by distilling liquor from their apples. He is deaf and mute, yet his brothers and those close to him communicate via ASL and his intelligence is reflected in the profitable business he establishes, his ability to read and write two languages, and his ability to lip read. Thor is loyal, so achingly sweet and tender despite his brute force, innocent, sensitive, thoughtful and loving. He’s been through so much heartache in his life and doesn’t know how to cope with it. Aven is the widow of the Norgaard’s cousin who sails to America, hoping to start a new life. She brings hope, sweetness, tenderness, and love to the Virginian Norgaard brothers yet they, as a family, have much to endure. Jorgan is the steadfast, kind, and generous older brother and Haakon is the impulsive, bold, passionate, and immature younger brother. This family, along with the hired help who are more like blood relatives, will burrow into your heart and keep residence there long after you’ve put the book away.
The family’s losses are heart-wrenching, their victories so triumphant, their love and bond always tangible. Sons of Blackbird Mountain is an incredible journey and you will not be the same person after reading this book. The second book in the series promises a continuation of the exquisite story the author has created and I’m waiting anxiously for it to be available.
I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher through Celebrate Lit Tour and was under no obligation to post a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Bischof Joanne

JOANNE BISCHOF is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com, Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof, Instagram: @JoanneBischof.

Guest Video from Joanne Bischof

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, July 5

Carpe Diem, July 5

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 5

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 6

The Power of Words, July 6

Among the Reads, July 6

Fiction Aficionado, July 7

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 7

A Baker’s Perspective, July 7

History, Mystery & Faith, July 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, July 8

Luv’N Lambert Life, July 8

Cordially Barbara, July 9

Kathleen Denly, July 9

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 9

Faithfully Bookish, July 10

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, July 10

Simple Harvest Reads, July 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Novels corner, July 11

Inklings and notions, July 11

Just Commonly, July 11

Two Points of Interest, July 11

Maureen’s Musings, July 12

Book by Book, July 12

To Everything A Season, July 12

Inspiration Clothesline, July 13

With a Joyful Noise, July 13

Pause for Tales, July 13

Radiant Light, July 13

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 14

Remembrancy, July 14

proud to be an autism mom, July 14

Just the Write Escape, July 15

Bibliophile Reviews, July 15

Vicky sluiter, July 15

By The Book, July 16

Texas Book-aholic, July 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 16

Janices book reviews, July 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 17

Bigreadersite, July 17

Connie’s History Classroom, July 18

amandainpa, July 18

Seasons of Opportunities, July 18

Reader’s cozy corner, July 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away

Grand prize of a country crate, a jar of apple butter, a bag of gummy berries, journal, bath salts, honey spoons, copper earrings, and a blackbird sign!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d140/sons-of-blackbird-mountain-celebration-tour-giveaway

Minding the Light Review & Giveaway

Minding the Light FB Banner copy

About the Book

FIsher_MindingtheLight(2)

Book Title: Minding the Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 3, 2018

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?

Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

What an incredible second book in the Nantucket Legacy series! Minding the Light can definitely be read as a stand-alone, especially since this book features characters one generation removed in time from the first book. But if you haven’t read Phoebe’s Light, you must read it!
Suzanne Woods Fisher combines great writing with wonderful dialogue, sprinkles intrigue and mystery within a well-plotted and well-executed storyline, enchants with beautifully real and lovable characters, and convicts with reminders of what faith is really about. She addresses difficulty issues like racism and addiction which are so prevalent today as they were back in 19th century Nantucket. And to realize that the author used many historical facts and people to craft this story is astounding! The fictional diary of Mary Coffin Starbuck (though she indeed was a real person on Nantucket), Daphne’s ancestor, from 17th century provides a semi-dual timeline of sorts within the story and correlates well with Daphne and Ren’s story in 19th century.
Daphne is an outspoken, intelligent, loving, compassionate, insightful Quaker who lives under a pretentious mother. Ren is a kind, generous whaling ship captain who is married to Daphne’s older sister, and the story begins when returns home after a six year whaling voyage. Ren is bereft when he returns home and faces emotional, financial, and spiritual crises simultaneously. His sorrow, pain, and desire to do right are palpable and he’s such a strong, dependable yet vulnerable hero. Ren’s twins are amazing and fun and the secondary characters add depth and dimensions to the story.
Anyone who enjoys a historical romance would totally love this book. If you’re a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher, this is a must read!
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher through Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

suzanne woods fisher

Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.

Guest Post from Suzanne

8 Curious Facts you Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island

This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list.

1) During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.

2) Petticoat Row is a 19th century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin.

3) The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground.

For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive.

4) Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher.

5) Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum.

6) Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island, and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin.

7) Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell. Those names are still common on the island.

8) There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 3

Livin Lit, July 3

midnightbookaholic, July 3

The Avid Reader, July 4

Margaret Kazmierczak, July 4

The Power of Words, July 4

A Baker’s Perspective, July 5

Blossoms and Blessings, July 5

A Reader’s Brain, July 5

Just the Write Escape, July 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 6

Bibliophile Reviews, July 7

Mary Hake, July 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7

Texas Book-aholic, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Janices book reviews, July 9

Captive Dreams Window, July 9

Book by Book, July 9

Back Porch Reads, July 10

Reading Is My SuperPower, July 10

Splashes of Joy, July 10

The Morning Chapter, July 11

Vicky Sluiter, July 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 11

Among the Reads, July 12

proud to be an autism mom, July 12

Two Points of Interest, July 12

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, July 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 13

Blogging With Carol, July 13

Truth and Grace Writing and Life Coaching, July 14

Maureen’s Musings, July 14

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 14

Godly Book Reviews, July 15

Inklings and notions, July 15

Bigreadersite, July 15

Connie’s History Classroom , July 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 16

Pause for Tales, July 16

Have A Wonderful Day, July 16

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!

Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Love Letter Review & Giveaway

The Love Letter FB Banner copy

About the Book

The Love Letter

Title: The Love Letter

Author: Rachel Hauck

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Genre: Contemporary

Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

I’ve read most of Rachel Hauck’s books and she never fails to amaze me. Every time I pick up her book, I come away astounded. The same is true of her newest offering. The Love Letter is beautifully written with an intricately detailed dual timeline plot that fits together like a puzzle. The characters are relatable, human, oh-so-flawed with painful pasts and incredibly lovable. If you love dual timeline romance, this book is definitely for you!
Rachel Hauck has the ability to write emotionally-charged, heady romantic stuff without saccharin and with plenty of life-altering, soul-hurting events in her characters’ lives. As in most of her dual timeline novels, there is intrigue (as the delicious storyline slowly reveals itself), plenty of romance and angst, and gasp-inducing plot line twists.
Chloe, our contemporary heroine, is a unique actress who is down-to-earth, sweet, kind, and thoughtful though she is born and bred in Hollywood. Her quest to find true love lands her at rock bottom and she meets Jesus there. Jesse, our contemporary hero, is a brilliant techie turned actor/screenwriter who is still battling his demons from the past and hides out in Hollywood. He is gentle, loving, and so tender-hearted but can’t let go of his past. Jesse’s first screenplay about his ancestor Hamilton and his first love Esther gets made into a movie and brings Jesse and Chloe together. Hamilton and Esther, the historical hero and heroine, get their own story through the screenplay as well as flashbacks.
The lessons of faith that all four main characters learn throughout the book are applicable to all of us. Chloe’s faith is admirable and she finally learns to have freedom from fear. Hamilton and Esther’s faith that propels them to “come and follow Me” even when it means leaving everything they hold dear is a calling for all of us who believe.
I was given a copy of this book from the publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:

”Really? So why did you do that?”

”Have you sought help?”

”Was it love at first sight?”

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?

”Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”

”You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?

I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.

Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?

Saw you at your window. You looked hot.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.

Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21

The Avid Reader, June 21

Genesis 5020, June 21

ansel book blog, June 22

Blogging With Carol, June 22

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, June 22

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, June 23

The Power of Words, June 23

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 23

Janices book reviews, June 23

C Jane Read, June 24

Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25

Faithfully Bookish, June 25

By The Book, June 25

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 25

Kat’s Corner Books, June 26

Maureen’s Musings, June 26

Ladybug Chronicles, June 26

Carpe Diem, June 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 27

Mommynificent , June 27

Godly Book Reviews, June 27

God’s Little Bookworm, June 28

Radiant Light, June 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 28

Have A Wonderful Day, June 28

Novels corner, June 29

Blossoms and Blessings, June 29

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 29

Bigreadersite, June 29

Pause for Tales, June 30

Bibliophile Reviews, June 30

Splashes of Joy, June 30

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

Simple Harvest Reads, July 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 1

A Baker’s Perspective, July 1

Remembrancy, July 2

amandainpa, July 2

To Everything A Season, July 2

proud to be an autism mom, July 3

Texas Book-aholic, July 3

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, July 3

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, July 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 4

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away

Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand prize of a book basket
2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d071/the-love-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Captured Bride Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

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Title: The Captured Bride

Author: Michelle Griep

Release Date: June 1, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

A war-torn countryside is no place for a lady—but Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause . . . to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he’s offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he’s the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.

Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

Another beautifully written historical romance from Michelle Griep. I am utterly amazed at the wide variety of historical eras Ms. Griep can write and has written about in her books. I have read 12 Days at Bleakley Manor and The Innkeeper’s Daughter this year, which were fantastic. The Captured Bride is a completely different novel set in a different place and time and yet equally enchanting and captivating. Anyone who loves a well-written historical romance will love this book (especially if you’re a fan of Ms. Griep’s writing!).
The story has tons of twists and turns in the plot with intrigue and mystery. The characters are layered and flawed, yet so lovable and worthy of the reader’s affection. The theme of grace, mercy, and forgiveness is very real in the story and Mercy’s faith journey, in particular, is quite moving.
Mercy is a half-Mohawk, half-white woman with a gift of sight. She uses this gift as a scout during the French and Indian War for the side of the British. She’s strong, too independent for her own good, fiercely loyal, and strangely tender-hearted for a warrior. Elias is a branded traitor who is captured by the British during the War. He is also strong, independent, fiercely loyal but haunted by the mistakes of his past. Elias is complex and the reader gets only glimpses into who he is until the very end when the puzzle that is Elias comes together. What intriguing main characters! Their dialogue is sharply witty and delicious; their romance is sweet and swoony.
I received a copy of the book from Barbour Publishing through Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are solely my own and subjective.

About the Author

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Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, Undercurrent and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest Post from Michelle

A Visit to Fort Niagara

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Whether you’re a history buff or don’t have a clue what the French and Indian War was about, there’s a destination in upstate New York that’s fun to visit for the whole family . . .

My husband and I made the trek to this living history site last summer. I had no idea what to expect, other than what was advertised as a “reenactment camp.” For those who don’t know, this is when volunteers who adore history come together to present a particular event, such as a battle. These people usually choose a real person from the era upon whom they fashion their modern day persona. They dress, speak, eat and live as that person might have. Here I am with some of my new friends:

Generally around the 4th of July, the 1759 Battle of Fort Niagara is recreated in a 3-day extravaganza of soldiers, muskets, canons and an entire market place to peruse selling period-related items.

Some of the things that surprised me about stepping back into the mid-eighteenth century were:

  • How much smoke muskets kick out
  • Once the battle begins, it’s hard to see who is your enemy or ally
  • Canons are really loud
  • Everything wasn’t as black and white as it seems in pictures—gowns and uniforms were very colorful

What makes this event so spectacular is that they take the entire 20 day siege and condense it into 3 days. If you visit every day, you’ll see and experience exactly what happened. You’ll be there to see the British, Colonial regulars and Iroquois allies sneak out of the tree line to shoot at some French soldiers who were pigeon hunting just outside the fort. You’ll hear the war whoops and barrage of angry French epithets roaring on the air. You’ll even get a chance to taste some of their food as you wander around inside the French Encampment set up inside the fort walls.

To experience a bit of the danger, sights and sounds of what Mercy and Elias lived through in The Captured Bride, Fort Niagara really is a fantastic place to visit.

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, June 9

Fiction Aficionado, June 9

Blossoms and Blessings, June 9

A Baker’s Perspective, June 9

History, Mystery & Faith, June 10

Inklings and notions, June 10

Just the Write Escape, June 10

Faithfully Bookish, June 11

The Power of Words, June 11

Genesis 5020, June 11

Bakerkella, June 11

My Writer’s Life, June 12

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 12

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 12

Among the Reads, June 13

Book by Book, June 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 14

Splashes of Joy, June 14

Artistic Nobody, June 14 (Spotlight)

Bibliophile Reviews, June 14

Pause for Tales, June 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 15

Mary Hake, June 15

Bigreadersite, June 15

Connie’s History Classroom, June 16

Simple Harvest Reads, June 16 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Two Points of Interest, June 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 17

Daysong Reflections, June 17

Novels corner, June 17

Kathleen Denly, June 18

A Reader’s Brain, June 18

Remembrancy, June 18

proud to be an autism mom, June 19

Texas Book-aholic, June 19

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 19

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 20

Red Headed Book Lady, June 20

Margaret Kazmierczak, June 20

Mommynificent, June 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 21

Janices book reviews, June 21

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 21

With a Joyful Noise, June 22

Pink Granny’s Journey, June 22

Carpe Diem, June 22

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of

a signed copy of The Captured Bride and a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d06e/the-captured-bride-celebration-tour-giveaway