Keeping Christmas: Volume One Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Keeping Christmas: Volume One

Authors: Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig, Olivia Talbott, Kathleen J. Robison, Denise L. Barela, Marguerite Martin Gray, and Naomi Craig.

Genre: Christian Christmas Romance

Release date: October 4, 2022

In castles far and near, long ago and yesterday, find happily-ever-afters wrapped in love and tied with Christmas joy.

The Lights of Castlebourne (by Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig): He bowled her over at first sight–his dog, that is. Sydney just wanted a chance to do the landscape design at Castlebourne. She never dreamed the owner’s electrician would light up her heart at Christmas.

The Girl From Dalarna (by Olivia Talbott): She’s the most beautiful woman in Sweden, but she doesn’t want to be. A simple life among milk cows is all she desires. Will a scandal upend her plans and ruin her chances for love?

The Cross at Morioka Castle (by Kathleen J. Robison): In the ancient land of shoji screens and tatami mats, Ariko finds the stone ruins of Morioka Castle, and the mysterious cross that holds the secret of a Christian faith extending far deeper than Ariko ever imagined.

The Ghost of Christmas… (by Denise L. Barela): Abbigayl needs to get away for Christmas this year. No family, no questions about why she’s still single, no suggestion about being set up with someone’s friend. What will happen when Neuschwanstein Castle’s past converges with Abbigayl’s future?

Crystal Clear (by Marguerite Martin Gray): Rosalind’s muddied past and foggy future crystalize in Château Chenonceau, a refuge from gossip and more. Watch as the château and Christmas work their magic and break the bonds of propriety, and rejoice as Rosalind experiences the crystal-clear hints of peace, joy, and hope all around her.

The Weary World Rejoices (by Naomi Craig): Behind the elaborate furnishings of Herod the Great’s palace, conspiracy and distrust run rampant. Mysterious visitors from the east challenge everything Amal thinks he knows as palace scribe. Will his quest to uncover the Truth free him from the ornate shackles of palace life, or will he be the next victim of King Herod’s maniacal jealousy?

Grab a mug of something hot and delicious and curl up somewhere comfy. Your literary chariots await to take you on a journey from an early twentieth-century castle overlooking the Mississippi all the way back to the Holy Land at the time of Jesus’ birth. These six novellas, all set in castles real and fictional, celebrate the heart and joy of Christmas.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna

What I think you should know:

Keeping Christmas Volume One is a compilation of Christmas themed Novellas. In addition to the Christmas theme they are all centered around a castle in one form or another. The time frames of the book range from the time of Herod to contemporary with a nice mix of times and setting so there should be something for every reader.

 

What I think about this book:

Each of these stories were unique and compelling. I highly recommend this book and would read other books by each of these authors.

 

The Light of Castlebourne by Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig is a contemporary story. I really enjoyed both of the main characters, Sydney and Philip as well as the supporting characters.  Sydney was a neat character, I enjoyed how she loved landscaping and plants and didn’t mind getting her hands dirty. Philip was slightly more frustrating at times, but it all came together to make a really fun story. I really look forward to reading the series.

 

The Girl From Dalarna by Olivia Talbott is a historical fiction set in 1833 Sweden. It was a very emotional story, Linnea had to leave her family and home and go to a larger city to try to provide for her mother and sisters after her father’s death.  Despite her exceptional beauty she was shy with a stutter and just wanted to be left alone to do her job. It was very interesting to read the story and see how her life changed. I really appreciated Rane and think that everyone should have a Rane in their life.

 

The Cross at Morioka Castle by Kathleen J. Robinson is a contemporary story set in Japan.  I found this story extremely fascinating . I loved Ariko and the beautiful way that she honored her faith as well as her family.  I enjoyed reading about some of the differences between Japanese culture and American culture. I  would love to read more books like this!

The Ghost of Christmas by Denise L. Barela is a contemporary story set in Neuschwanstein Castle.  I will admit I am a huge fan of Neuschwanstein Castle so I automatically geeked when I found out that it was the setting for this story. Abbi jumps at a chance to spend Christmas at Neuschwanstein and is swept into the magic of the Castle.This is the second book that I have read by Barela and I can’t wait to see what she writes next. I would love to see a series based on the characters who live and work in the castle.

Crystal Clear by Marguerite Martin Gray is a historical fiction set mostly in 1879 France. It follows Rosalind who is sent to stay in France after her older sister causes a scandal by breaking her betrayal with a Viscount.  This was a very sweet story with realistic characters.

The Weary World Rejoices by Naomi Craig is a historical fiction set in the time of King Herod in Jerusalem.  I really enjoyed this story. It was unique and fascinating.  That is a beautiful, heartbreaking and meaningful story. I can’t imagine being in Amal’s shoes, it was very eye opening. I definitely recommend this story!

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

USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona 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.

 

Cathe Swanson writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

 

Olivia Talbott grew up in Montana, but currently lives in Kentucky with her husband and two daughters, a few sheep and a border collie. She loves words, traveling, pickles and having deep conversations about how Jesus changes everything. Visit her at oliviatalbott.com.

 

Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American, born in Okinawa, and raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels and her family are the sources of her inspiration for her books. Kathleen and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with eighteen grandchildren and counting. Her ethnically diverse background extends to her family of currently thirty-five personalities which provide many opportunities to share God’s amazing love amidst the challenges of real life.

 

Denise L. Barela is a twenty-something-year-old writer with a passion for fiction, her faith, and just being creative in general. When she’s not working away at her desk, you might find her reading a good book or following Alice down the rabbit hole…

 

Marguerite Gray enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband in north Louisiana. She writes historical fiction.

 

Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, pastor’s wife, Naomi Craig loves reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. When she’s not serving in various areas at church, trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes or convincing her rescue dog, Freeway, to be cute on command for Instagram reels, you’ll most likely find her enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. Naomi co-hosts #BehindTheStory with Naomi and Lisa, an author interview show on YouTube and your podcast platform of choice.

 

More from Denise

Hello everyone!

I’m excited to share this set of stories with you! All the authors have worked hard to bring you some Christmas joy and magic. We’ve each picked a castle to center our stories around. I mean, Christmas and castles go well together, don’t you think? You’ll get to explore different castles in different time periods while also getting to know all the characters in each story. That’s a lot of new friends to make!

For my story, I jumped on the chance to write about a castle that inspired the castle that always brought me joy growing up (if I’m being honest, it still brings me joy). I’ve always been a huge Disney nerd, and Princess Aurora has always been my favorite Disney princess. Growing up, I was blessed to be able to visit Disneyland for most of my life, and Sleeping Beauty’s castle was my favorite thing (I was so sad when they closed the walk-through part for several years). Even without the attraction part of it, I loved walking into the park and seeing it stand at the end of Main Street. I actually teared up seeing it for the first time after Covid.

What does all this have to do with my castle story? Well, in 1869, King Ludwig II of Bavaria began construction on Neuschwanstein Castle. This castle served as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Let me tell you, if you thought Disneyland’s castle was beautiful, it’s got nothing on Neuschwanstein. If I were to pick a castle to live in, it’d be this one.

Setting aside the Disney connection, I was even more intrigued when I learned more about the king who commissioned it. The king was not very popular towards the end of his reign, and the day after he was sent to Berg Castle, he and a doctor were found dead in Lake Starnberg. The weird part? They ruled it a drowning, but there was no water in their lungs and clear signs of foul play.

Oh, but that’s not the only interesting fact this castle houses. This castle became a hiding place for some of the art the Nazi’s stole during World War II. Part of me wonders if any pieces are still hidden there. The Monuments Men group actually cataloged art found there, and it’s been preserved. Here’s a fun article from The Met all about it!

I hope you enjoyed learning about the castle that inspired my story!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 20

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 21

Texas Book-aholic, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Inklings and notions, October 24

Holly’s Book Corner, October 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 25

Lots of Helpers, October 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 27

By the Book, October 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 28

She Lives To Read, October 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 30

Mary Hake, October 30

Blogging With Carol, October 31

Simple Harvest Reads, November 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Literature Approved, November 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 2

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the Celebrate Lit Authors are giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/2224d/keeping-christmas-volume-one-by-celebration-tour-giveaway

Every Star in the Sky Book Excerpt!

About the Book

Every-Star-in-the-Sky

Book: Every Star in the Sky

Author: Sara Davison

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: March 2, 2022

She is willing to testify against her trafficker. If she can stay alive that long.

“You’re safe here, Starr.”

How many times has Detective Cole Blacksky said that to her since helping her escape the life she’d been forced into eight years earlier?

Starr desperately wants to believe him, but she knows Brady Erickson, her former captor, too well. Although Cole has promised her protective custody on his family’s remote ranch, no place on earth is safe enough. Brady will stop at nothing to permanently silence her before she ever reaches the witness stand.

And he is powerful enough to do it.

If Starr wants to help Brady’s other victims, she has no choice but to put herself in God’s hands. And Cole’s. But the longer she and Cole stay hidden, the more her life is at risk.

And her heart.

 

Book Excerpt

“I only meant that if you see her heading for trouble, warn her she shouldn’t do or say something before it’s too late.”

Ruby bit her lip. “I’ll try. But I don’t know what I’d do myself if something happened to you. What would any of us do if—?”

Starr held a finger to her lips. Her muscles clenched at the sound of thudding boots in the hallway—never a good sign. A sharp rapping on the door confirmed her worst fear. Someone was coming for her. Was it Brady? Had he somehow found out she’d talked to a cop?

Before she could move, the door flew open, cracking against the wall. Brady’s broad shoulders filled the doorway. Ruby’s fingers, still clutching hers, went cold.

As they were expected to do, both scrambled to their feet and waited in silence for him to reveal the reason for his sudden appearance. Ruby stared at the floor, but Starr studied Brady’s face. Did he know? He didn’t look angry, but, as with everything when it came to Brady, she didn’t trust that.

 

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About the Author

Sara Davison is the author of four romantic suspense series—The Seven Trilogy, The Night Guardians, The Rose Tattoo Trilogy, and Two Sparrows for a Penny, as well as the standalone, The Watcher. A finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, she is a Word, Cascade, and Carol Award winner. She currently resides in Ontario with her husband Michael and their three mostly grown kids. Like every good Canadian, she loves coffee, hockey, poutine, and apologizing for no particular reason. Get to know Sara better at www.saradavison.org and @sarajdavison.

Time After Tyme Epic Book Launch

About the Book

Time-after-Tyme-CoverTime After Tyme is a fun and thought-provoking mystery about secret codes, university intrigue, and two young girls who fancy themselves 21st-century Nancy Drews.

 

When strange, coded messages turn up in the chapel prayer box at Bellevue University, the minister suspects a recent campus death may have been murder, so he enlists the help of amateur sleuths Kathryn Frasier and Cece Goldman to decipher the codes and solve the mystery. But when a couple of young girls get wind of it, they decide to find the killer on their own. Almost everyone on campus has something to hide, and the story fluctuates between the rational search for the truth by the adults, and the occasionally misguided, but surprisingly perceptive, insight of the children.

 

Set on the campus of a modern university, Time After Tyme is both a joyful romp through a cozy mystery and a serious look at the search for truth. The book reminds us of the seasons of our lives, from the irrepressible curiosity of youth to the treasured experience of maturity.

Book Excerpt

“I’m interested in finding the truth, no matter where it takes me.” I had the feeling she was stifling a smile.

“I see,” she said. “That’s very commendable.” She uses that word a lot. I had to look it up when I was a little kid because she always told me everything I did was commendable. It means “good.”

“And what are you investigating today?”

“I can’t tell you the nature of my investigation, but I have some questions you might be able to help me with.” I took my notebook and pen out. They make me look official.

“Wonderful. I’ll give you all the help I can.” She moved some books to the side and sat down behind the desk. She adjusted the pink bow on her lacey white blouse and leaned her arms on the desk so she and I were on eye level. I like it when I can look an adult right in the face. Makes me feel like we’re equal.

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About the Author

kay-picture (1)Kay DiBianca is an award-winning author who loves to create literary puzzles in the mystery genre for her readers to solve. Her characters come to life as they struggle to solve murders and create relationships amidst the ongoing themes of faith and family. Her first novel, The Watch on the Fencepost, won an Illumination Award for General Fiction and an Eric Hoffer Award for Mystery. The second book in the Watch series, Dead Man’s Watch, was a Silver Falchion Award finalist.

Kay is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the Collierville Christian Writers Group. An avid runner, she can often be found at a nearby track, on the treadmill, or at a large park near her home. Her background in software development fuels her fascination with puzzles and mysteries, and her dedication to running helps supply the endurance and energy she needs to write about them.

Kay and her husband, Frank, live, run, and write in Memphis, Tennessee. You can connect with Kay through her website at https://kaydibianca.com.

Flame of the Rockies Epic Book Launch

About the Book

Flame of the Rockies Option 1.2 FRONT (1)Can she release her prejudice to love again?
August 1910, Idaho-Montana Border
The fiery pain at her new husband’s murder might equal the disaster blazing across the Pacific Northwest. Stranded in the treacherous railroad camp, baking bread for survival, Juliana Hayes has no desire to marry a railroad ruffian like Lukas Filips, or anyone else. Can she release her prejudice to love again? Or will either one of them survive The Big Blowup to find out?
Based on true history when three million acres burned out of control on the border of Montana and Idaho darkening the skies all the way to the East Coast. It’s a wonder anyone survived!

 

Book Excerpt

This Austrian, or whatever, was new on the job in a constantly changing mass of men. He’d met her at the brick dome ovens in Adair the last few days to help load a converted mining cart with the staples she baked for the workers up and down the line. At least she could understand most of his English—and he didn’t seem to be a Montenegrin, by the look of him. Those vicious men tended to work in Rowland and Taft, on her Tuesday and least favorite route. Why did she have to feed the very men who murdered her husband? A shiver ran through her spine. She’d have to deliver the bread order tomorrow. Each week she considered adding sawdust, or worse, to the dough—and each week she mashed the desire down deep as she punched the bread into submission. Twenty loaves untainted by her dark desire for vengeance.

Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. She repeated that verse each time the snake’s temptation squeezed its coils around her heart.

“I hear said da snow gets deep as the depot roof.”

Juliana nodded again and graced the man with a quick, courteous smile careful not to encourage anything.

 

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About the Author

AngelaBreidenbach-headshot (2) (1)Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, bestselling author, and screenwriter. She’s also the Christian Authors Network president. Angie lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angie can also. Don’t miss her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach! Find her on social media: @AngBreidenbach

A Promise for Faith Epic Book Launch

About the Book

Book: A Promise for Faith

Author: Stacy T. Simmons

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: January 18, 2022

A-Promise-for-Faith-663x1024Secrets have the power to ruin lives. Faith and love have the power to disarm those secrets.

Failure isn’t an option for Faith Fuller, She wants to prove to herself and her very successful parents she can stand on her own, even if it means accepting a job offer from someone she wanted to forget. To add to the problem, that job means facing her biggest fear.

Caleb Gaines is looking for a manager for his coffee shop. He’s in over his head running his successful river outfitters business, and being a single dad to a preschooler. But the perfect candidate wants nothing to do with him. Risk-taker Caleb is up for  a challenge and wants to convince Faith to help him.

If neither one relies on faith and learns to trust, any chance at love will be washed downstream.

An out-of-work chef and successful river outfitter are both hiding secret tragedies. How much faith will it take to learn to trust in each other, overcome obstacles, and find love?

Book Excerpt

What do I say? I’m jobless, I was fired. Spin. Embellish. Weave a web. “I’m looking at other possibilities.”

“Here?”

“No. I’m taking a pit stop here to visit.”

Faith watched his bright smile fade under the curtains of his lips. Heat washed her face.   

Over the din of the crickets, Caleb responded. “You loved New York and your job.”

“I’ve changed.”

“Seems so.”

Faith hugged herself as searing shame lit the exposed soft spots in her heart.

A grinding rumble sounded, and a tow truck eased toward them.

An overall-clad man leaped from the truck cab and assessed the scene. “Evening, I’ll get it ready to go to the mechanics in a jiffy.” He pulled on his nanny goat beard. “Wanna ride with me, young lady?”

Caleb stood in between Faith and the driver. “I’ll give her a ride, Chuck.”

“Can I borrow your phone? I need to contact Taylor.”

He handed her the phone and climbed into his car. “Sure.”

She tapped a message onto the keyboard. The phone began to thrum. Slanting her gaze toward the screen, Taylor’s face appeared.

Faith, whose phone is this?

I’m borrowing someone’s.

It’s Caleb’s number, he’s a friend of mine and Jarod’s.

 

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About the Author

stacy (1)Stacy T. Simmons writes uplifting fiction that delights the reader’s romantic sensibilities. Thirty-four years of marital bliss is a great contributor. She is a mom of two grown children, and she and her family have a menagerie of pets she likes to call “Noah’s Ark.” You can find her working on her next manuscript with a piece of dark chocolate and a cup of coffee nearby. She loves to connect with her readers via her website at www.stacytsimmonsauthor.com

Wolf Soldier Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Wolf Soldier

Author: James R. Hannibal

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release date: October 26, 2021

The fate of the Dragon Lands are at play.

The knights of the Lightraider Order disappeared nearly two generations past. Now, the Keledan have withdrawn behind their barriers, and the Dragon Lands of bordering Tanelethar are overrun with dark oppression. The people are living in disobedience to the Rescuer who freed them long ago.

A shepherd boy, Connor Enarian, and four young initiates rekindle the fires of the Lightraider Order in the hope of striking out across the mountains into Tanelethar to destroy a portal and stop an impending invasion.

Once in the Dragon Lands, Connor learns that the key to success lies with a missing Lightraider spy and his lifelong companion, a talking silver wolf. Can Connor and his friends find the spy before the portal grows too large to destroy? Or will a local young womanor Connor’s own family historybetray them?

The dangers and secrets of Tanelethar test both trust and loyalty, and to save his homeland, Connor may have to sacrifice his innermost dreams.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Spiritual battle has much in common with physical battle. No one should face either alone.”

This is the first book by James R Hannibal for me and I can see why he has such a following. The author has created an intricate fantasy world where the supernatural and the natural meld; his gift with words really shines as he leads the readers through different languages, lessons in this complex world’s history, reasons behind the mission, and what the future may hold. Though based on a game, you do not need to know about the game world to appreciate this world that the author has created. It reads like an allegory and I strongly encourage all readers to take the time to appreciate the Author’s Note at the end. With relatable and lovable characters, fast-moving plot with plenty of action and twists, easy-to-read writing style, and fantastic backdrop of knights, dragons, orcs, and goblins, this book with draw you in from page one and leave you hungry for the second book.
I really enjoyed getting to know all the characters in the Lightraider class though most of this story was centered around Connor, Teegan, and Kara. I loved how each character had a strength and a weakness and how they became strong together to do the almost impossible. There are lots of faith lessons here that are truly encouraging.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next book! I received the book from the publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Former stealth pilot James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. He has been shot at, locked up by surface to air missiles, has hunted insurgents with drones, and was once chased by an armed terrorist down a winding German road. James is the Carol Award winning author of the Clandestine Service series and a threetime winner of the Silver Falchion Award for Juvenile Fiction for his Section 13 series.

More from James

Wolf Soldier: Origins

Did you know Wolf Soldier is set in a fantasy world created for a 1980s tabletop game? DragonRaid was an “adventure learning system” designed by Navigators author Dick Wulf. It used elements of choose-your-adventure stories and roleplaying games to teach Scripture memory and application. The game immersed players in the fantasy world of EdenAgain, where their hero characters applied Scripture to solve puzzles and battle “dark creatures.” Using God’s word in these allegorical challenges engaged the mind to increase understanding and retention.

I was one of the DragonRaid’s teenage fans. But the game vanished after only three years, buried by a ranting televangelist who created a campaign against it in a failed attempt to distract the world from his nefarious activities. Even worse, when the game vanished, it left us all on a cliffhanger—The Moonbridge Raid Campaign, Part One of Three.

Years later, with budding teens of my own, I sought out an old boxed set.  When we ran out of the original stories, I wrote some of my own, and after playing these new stories with my little group, I sent them to the man who’d sold me the box. He sent them on to Dick Wulf, the original creator of the game.

Long story short: Dick, who had been given only a short time to live, asked me to take over the fantasy world and carry the game forward under the banner Lightraiders, including the task of novelizing the world.

That’s where Wolf Soldier came from. And I’m so excited to see where the characters and the Lightraider Order will take us. Dick went home to Heaven on July 6, 2021, but you can find the encouragement of his foreword inside Wolf Soldier.

By the way, I didn’t forget about the cliffhanger. Before turning in the novel, I completed Parts Two and Three of the Moonbridge Raid Campaign using drafts Dick Wulf wrote. Funded by a donor, our burgeoning Lightraiders game company matched the grand style of the original 1980s adventure guidebook, maps and all. Whew! What a relief to finally scratch that 35-year itch!

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, October 30

Simple Harvest Reads, October 30 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 31

Blogging with Carol, October 31

deb’s Book Review, November 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 3

Texas Book-aholic, November 4

Artistic Nobody, November 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, November 5

Guild Master, November 5

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 6

Rebecca Tews, November 7

Through the Fire Blogs, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 8

Labor Not in Vain, November 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 11

By the Book, November 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 12

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, James is giving away the grand prize package of a signed Wolf Soldier Limited Edition Hardcover, Starlots Gem Dice 7-Color Set (Hand-Inked), and 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/12b85/wolf-soldier-celebration-tour-giveaway

Lost in Darkness Epic Book Launch

About the Book

Book: Lost in Darkness

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: FICTION/ Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

9781636090658England, 1815

Amelia Balfour has one dream. . .to tour Egypt as a travel writer. But when her wish is finally within reach, her father dies, and her malformed brother Colin depends upon her to arrange for a revolutionary surgery. Amelia returns home, hoping he’ll recover before the ship sails for Cairo.
Former Navy surgeon Graham Lambert is sick—of travelling, loneliness, and especially the injustice of the world. Leaving behind the military, he partners with a renowned surgeon, the man who promises new life to Amelia’s brother.
But just as the operation begins, Graham suspects the surgeon is a fraud. After a botched procedure, Colin goes mad and escapes, terrorizing their neighbor, author Mary Godwin—planting the seed for her greatest creation, Frankenstein.
Can Amelia and Graham stop Colin before he destroys everyone in his path and find the tender soul still trapped inside…or will they be too late?

 

Book Excerpt

He took the bound papers, yet shook his head, not one pomaded hair straying from the movement. “No need, Miss Balfour. I trust every I is dotted and T is crossed, for such is your perfection.” With his free hand, he reached into an inside pocket, but paused before producing anything. “Are you certain you would not like to sit?” 

She swallowed. Maybe she should, especially since Betsey had not yet returned with her lucky feather. Still, if she were going to be dismissed, ought she not suffer such a disgrace with all the poise and dignity she could muster? It wasn’t as if she’d never been in dire straits before. Straightening her spine, she tucked her elbows tight to her side. “Whatever you may say, Mr. Moritz, can be heard as well on my feet as on my sofa.” 

“You are a singular woman, Miss Balfour, a trait which has earned you this.” He held out two rectangular documents not much bigger than his hand. 

She narrowed her eyes on what appeared to be tickets. Two berths on the HMS Blackwell, sailing June 8th, 1:00 p.m., port of Southampton, bound for Cairo.  

Cairo?  

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Hello Team Member,

Thank you for being a part of the Lost in Darkness Epic Book Launch! We appreciate your efforts in supporting this author. Below are the links to the excerpts on the other blogs, which are in the proper order of the excerpts to make it as easy as possible for you to place in your post in the “Missed Any Excerpts” section. Thank you again for your support!
Links to All Excerpts:

About the Author

MichelleGriepMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

Seasoned Grace Review and Giveaway

Seasoned Grace copy

About the Book

Book:  Seasoned Grace

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: August 31, 2021

Wardwell_Seasoned_GraceYou can run from your past, but you can’t escape it.

Though he disappeared that day, Raylin McReynolds never believed her father died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

So, when a mysterious letter arrives from Breakers Head, informing her that she would find him on the Independence Islands off the coast of Georgia, she has no choice but to find a job, get there, find her father.

As mainland troubles encroach on Hooper Island, Sean Anderson devises a plan and presents it to the island pastors and his cousin, Scott. The result: Grace Mission—a place where those struggling can find the help they need.

What he didn’t need was a distraction in the form of a newcomer to the islands—a mission volunteer, no less.

Others at the mission, Beth and Scott, see more than just frustration brew between Raylin and Sean. What will it take to convince Sean and Raylin to stop bickering long enough to see what’s obvious to everyone else?

Raylin’s on a mission to find her father and protect her heart, but neither seem willing to cooperate.

Seasoned Grace continues the Hooper Island stories of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Seasoned Grace by Melissa Wardlaw is part of the Independence Island Series and the second book set on Hooper. The series is contemporary Christian fiction set on a fictional Island chain off the coast of Georgia, USA. This book features several characters from previous books including Beth and Scott.

 

What I think you need to know:

Raylin’s father disappeared after 9/11 and she was raised to believe that he was dead.

While I appreciate Beth and Scott’s need for propriety, I would be very upset if my boyfriend let me alone during my first Hurricane….

 

What I think about this book:

 I am a total fan of this series and love how the stories allow me to catch up with old “friends”. This book like the others tackles some tough subjects in a meaningful way while still giving the reader a good story. Raylin comes to the Island in search of answers, but doesn’t seem to have tried too hard to make friends with the locals until the hurricane hits. She was an interesting character to me, I could not imagine what I would feel if I was in her shoes. Sean is such a well thought out character who has learned from his past instead of letting it hold him back, he could easily become one of my favorite guys in the series. I appreciate Wardlaw allowed his story to unfold and can’t wait to see where she takes him in future books.

 

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

Melissa WardwellShe doesn’t mind alternating between the world of writing and the reality of being a mother, but she would rather sit with a good book or a good friend and a cup of coffee.

When she isn’t penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books for her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

Here we are, in the middle of the collection. The third island—Hooper Island. Have you enjoyed the journey so far? I hope you have, I’m sure you have 😉

Seasoned Grace quickly became my favorite addition to the Independence Islands Collection. It is a little more serious on a few of the topics than my first two contributions. Now that a foundation has been set, I felt like I could get a little deeper into my character’s emotions and pasts. People are complex so writing two-dimensional characters are not something I like doing. I want readers to see the secret hurts that mold them into the person they are, and how God can heal those painful areas.

Grace is the running theme throughout this book. Grace enough to let things go, the Father’s grace, showing grace to those around us, and any other form of grace that might come up. Grace is like salt and pepper. It gives the right kind of flavor to our lives. At least I think that is a life quote Gram would tell Beth.

There is one chapter that you will see one of the new characters lay out their painful past in a rather quick way in a conversation with another character. This character suffered much in their life that some will struggle with understanding how they could talk about it so freely (which is why I am shining a light on it now).

When a person has found healing in life by following Christ and has allowed Him to take away the sting of what others have done to them, those moments become easy to talk about with others. Especially if it means that the one listening will seek healing for themselves.

This conversation in the book is intense and thought-provoking. It also displays the level of grace required to see people the way God might see them instead of through our tainted lenses. I found myself crying as I wrote it because I know how freeing it is to forgive and let the Father heal a wounded heart.

Seasoned Grace also has several returning characters—Beth and Scott, Thaddeus, Amara and Dante, Sarah Reid, and her boys. There are also two new faces, Raylin and Sean, as well as a couple of other mobile business owners who come together to help Elnora Island bounce back from a hurricane.

All my contributions to the collection flow from one book to the next like a television series. While the other writers may have written their stories to be independently read from the others, that is not something I have done. Trust me when I say that it wasn’t my original intent. As I saw my five stories develop, there was a constant feeling of community and character interaction throughout the books. I couldn’t just leave some characters behind, never to be heard from again, while I bring in new faces. It just wouldn’t be right. They have developed friendships and that cannot be overlooked. That said, when they come together at the end for Thanksgiving diner, they, and you the reader, will have a pleasant surprise.

So, stay with me, push through, read on—it will all be worth it in the end.

P.S. I realize that I gave a recipe for Scrumptious Independence, but not Heart Pressed. I apologize for that one.

I hope this one makes up for it. Scott’s favorite

Fish Tacos

Oil

If you don’t have a deep fryer (like me), get a thick bottom, deep pan

Use natural oil, like corn or canola oil

Gauge the temperature with a candy or deep fry thermometer

Fill your pan no more than 2/3 of the way

Heat the oil slowly to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit

too low of heat, you will get greasy fish

too high of heat, you will burn the fish

Fish

Cod works the best, but Salmon is pretty interesting option as well.

Rinse it off after thawing if you use frozen fish, excess water will make your oil spatter

Pat it dry with paper towel – I use a lot of paper towel, but I feed five adults

If fish pieces are thick, cut into 1 inch-ish strips.

I use Panko fish batter for my batter. I don’t make it from scratch

Slowly place coated pieces of fish into the hot oil and let it cook until golden brown.

While that cooks, prepare your toppings.

Cole Slaw

8oz. bag of pre-shredded Cole slaw mix

1 1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp of sugar

1 cup of mayo or Miracle Whip

1/4 cup of mustard or 1/2 tsp of mustard powder

Avocado

Make sure it is ripe—soft, not hard

Mash it wit a fork

Cut a lime in 1/2 and squeeze the juice over the mashed avocado

Sprinkle salt and pepper on it

Stir together

Layering the taco

Spread some of the Avocado mixture on a tortilla

Place a strip or two of fried fish on top

Finish with Cole slaw mix

Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 24

Texas Book-aholic, September 25

Blossoms and Blessings, September 25

Inklings and notions, September 26

HappyWhenReading, September 26

For Him and My Family, September 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 27 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 28

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 28

Aryn the Libraryan, September 29

The Sacred Line, September 29

She Lives To Read, September 30

Connect in Fiction, October 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, October 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 3

Life, love, writing, October 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 4

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

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 5

Splashes of Joy, October 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 6

Blogging With Carol, October 6

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

Mary Hake, October 7

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/11b5d/seasoned-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dangerous Amish Showdown Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Dangerous Amish Showdown

Author: Mary Alford

Genre: Amish Suspense

Release date: August 24, 2021

Under siege in Amish country…

She must fight for their lives.

Gunshots shatter Willa Lambright’s placid Montana evening—and that’s before she discovers on-the-run lawman Mason Shetler on her doorstep. Willa hadn’t glimpsed her childhood friend since he’d turned his back on Amish country years before. Now the US marshal’s returned with an injured partner, a young witness he must protect at all costs…and vicious Mafia agents dead set on making sure none of them survive.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Dangerous Amish Showdown by Mary Alford is an Amish Romantic Suspense. It is set in the same Amish community as many of her previous books. While this book does not give many spoilers until the very end of the book, I do recommend reading the prior books at some point as they are great books!

 

What you might need to know:

Samantha witnessed the brutal murder of her parents.

Beth has Huntington’s Disease and her health is declining.

 

What I think about this book:

WOW! This was a super fast paced book. Alford has a wonderful way of letting a story unfold and giving us enough background while still maintaining a suspenseful super fast paced story.  I loved getting to know Mason and more about what motivated him to leave the Amish faith.  Willa was such a great character, she kept her head in the face of unthinkable danger.   Samantha pulled at my heartstrings, she was so strong after everything that had happened to her.  This book was super quick as I couldn’t wait to see how Mason and Willa could escape the danger that had them surrounded. I can’t wait to see where Alford takes us next!

 

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

USA Today Bestselling author Mary Alford loves giving her readers the unexpected. Her titles have appeared on the USA Today list, Publisher’s Weekly bestseller list, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.

Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day without coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two spoiled cats and a dog who thinks he owns the place.

More from Mary

When I first heard of the title for my latest Love Inspired Suspense, I smiled. Dangerous Amish Showdown reminds me of the old westerns where the good guys face off with the bad guys and always win. As a child I loved watching them, mostly because my dad loved them so much, and yes, a big draw for me besides sharing the time with him, was seeing the good guys win. It’s what I try to put into every single book I write, and it’s exactly what happens in Dangerous Amish Showdown.

Lately, I find myself reminiscing a lot about childhood things such as watching old westerns with my dad, and smiling at those simpler times.

In Dangerous Amish Showdown, it takes coming back to his simple childhood Amish community for Mason Shetler to realize how special that life once was for him. Through the courage found in a little girl who has lost everything, and the strength of a woman whose future is uncertain, Mason discovered what he had been searching for all along.

I truly hope you enjoy Mason and Willa’s fight to protect young Samantha and the love they find along the way. And I hope their happy ending leaves you with a smile on your face, and maybe takes you back to a simpler time in your life.

Blessings always,

Mary Alford

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 22

Maureen’s Musings, September 22

Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 23

The Avid Reader, September 23

Genesis 5020, September 23

Texas Book-aholic, September 24

Vicarious Living, September 24

Inklings and notions, September 25

Blossoms and Blessings, September 25

Betti Mace, September 26

For Him and My Family, September 26

Lighthouse Academy Blog, September 27 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

deb’s Book Review, September 27

Older & Smarter?, September 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 28

Bizwings Blog, September 28

For the Love of Literature, September 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 29

Living the Good Life, September 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 30

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 30 (Author Interview)

She Lives To Read, October 1

Bigreadersite, October 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 3

Mary Hake, October 3

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 4

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

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 5

HookMeInABook, October 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary 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/11b56/dangerous-amish-showdown-celebration-tour-giveaway

Flipping Hearts Review and Giveaway

About the Book

When a hurricane rips through Hooper Island, a tidal wave of TV crews follows and upsets the locals.

Brooks Crawforth agreed to volunteer crews helping to clean up and repair things on the island, not a whole home and garden series on the total renovation of several houses and a bit of cleanup on the side. He’s furious, and the show host is spitting nails at the person who blew it in the first place.

His and his father’s jobs are in jeopardy, the islanders are about to kill him, and that crazy show host blames him for her assistant’s last-minute, “you’ve-got-to-sign-this-now-or-we-can’t-come” contract.

One more thing. Did she have to be so cute?

He’s got even more trouble, though. Islanders are starting to blame Mallory Barrows for the invasion. Not only that, there are rumors of dismantling the association and allowing tourism on the islands. How’s he supposed to fix this mess?

They can’t stand each other, but if they can manage to flip off the enemy switch and flip on some cooperation, maybe their hearts’ll get flipped, too.

This “enemies to romance” novel introduces the next island in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Flipping Hearts  by Chautona Havig is the fourteenth  book in the Independence Island Series and the first book set on Hooper. The series is contemporary Christian fiction set on a fictional Island chain off the coast of Georgia, USA. This book features several characters from previous books, such as Mallory and Benjamin.  The main storyline for this book includes Brooks, an Islander and Bailey who arrives on the Island after a Hurricane to help with cleanup and restoration.
What I think about this book:
  As someone who occasionally gets sucked into home renovation and house flipping tv series I will admit that this book was super intriguing to me, however I had never thought about what it would be like if the neighbors didn’t actually want them there at all.  Havig created a fascinating story about a new Christian trying to find her way when it seems like the world is throwing everything it can at her to reverse course. Brooks is trying to redeem himself from the mistakes of his past. This was such a fun read, I enjoyed the story and the mystery of who is sabotaging Bailey.  I also enjoyed catching up with Benjamin and Mallory and am more anxious than ever for their story and their happily ever after!
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

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona 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

How I Almost Missed This Important Life Lesson

He annoyed her. The guy was bossy, demanding, rude, and unwilling to admit fault—mostly. Truth be told, she was pretty much the same. Two people with similar faults. The relationship would never happen.

Now what was I supposed to do?

Without any idea how I’d take two near enemies and turn them into a couple, I kept writing the primary story—the one that was supposed to bring them together. The one that would have driven me far, far away from a guy like Brooks.

Right about the time I thought about that is when Bailey had her revelation. “He likes me.”

I nearly did a spit take. I mean, where did that come from? Why would he like someone who hadn’t bothered to be likeable?

And still the story unfolded. “Life or death” moment? Check. Unintentional sharing of attraction and heart. Check. Still confused author as these characters draw closer and closer… check, check!

It took until after the story’s climax for me to realize that Brooks really did like Bailey for who she was—and vice versa. Only after all that tension diffused and their distrust had been smashed to smithereens were Bailey and Brooks able to examine everything. Only after that was I able to realize a truth I hadn’t expected to learn.

People fall in love with people they argue with.

People in love argue. See, my husband and I don’t do that. We don’t argue. Ever. Do we agree on every little thing? No. We just don’t argue about it.

Look, it’s not like I’ve never written people who argue. I do. But Never have I looked at a fictional relationship, seen that it would produce the kind fireworks that Bailey and Brooks will, and thought, “Oh, they’re perfect for each other.”

Because see… if I were Bailey, I’d run. Fast. Conflict is a natural part of life and relationships, and I’m not so naïve as to think it’ll never occur. But entering a relationship knowing it’ll be a regular occurrence? Unthinkable!

So as I pondered all this during those last pages of the book, something hit me.

Jesus enters a rocky relationship with us. Willingly.

Don’t believe me? Think about it. Jesus knew, before He ever spoke light into existence, that His bride would blame Him for… pretty much everything. He knew she’d get him brutally murdered. He knew she’d rail at Him, spit at Him, abandon Him, cheat on Him, and even after forgiveness… she’d do it all over again the next day.

Even knowing all that… He still whispers to our hearts, “Be Mine. I love you.”

If that’s not the most beautiful, unbelievable, amazing thing, I don’t know what is.

It’s probably one of the most important life lessons I’ll ever learn. People choose to be in relationships with people they know they’ll argue with—people who will hurt them, annoy them, demand things of them. And the greatest example of One who does it so beautifully is Jesus. Because see… Jesus entered that relationship with me, knowing I’d be that person. Humbling, yeah. Important life lesson? Most definitely.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, August 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 23

Texas Book-aholic, August 24

CarpeDiem, August 24

Lots of Helpers, August 25

Inklings and notions, August 25

For Him and My Family, August 26

Connect in Fiction, August 26

deb’s Book Review, August 27

Livin’ Lit, August 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 28

Blogging With Carol, August 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 29

Simple Harvest Reads, August 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 30

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

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 31

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 31

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 1

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 2

Splashes of Joy, September 2

Blossoms and Blessings, September 3

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 4

She Lives To Read, September 5

Kayem Reads, September 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of $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/11422/flipping-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway