The Elnora Monet Review and Giveaway

The Elnora Monet

About the Book

Book:  The Elnora Monet

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: April 27, 2021

The Elnora MonetIslanders call him the Elnora Monet.

Is that island speak for “pompous, arrogant jerk?”

When Carly Mulligan volunteered to make house calls on Elnora, she never imagined treating the richest cat on the islands. What other feline has his own wing in a mansion like the Belshaw Estate?

After a wrong turn in the mansion, Carly stumbles across a secret room—one filled with incredible paintings. Perhaps there’s something more to the man than she first thought.

Most people envy Jean-Luc Belshaw’s position. The heir to a lucrative business and family fortune, he should have everything he could dream of.

But Luc dreams of days past. Days when he traveled the world with his wife and painted the breathings of his soul disappeared with Angeline’s passing.  Faith and inspiration gone, he wonders if returning to France to take his place in his father’s business is the right thing to do.

Carly has a few relational demons of her own, and she’s reluctant to trust him, but Luc’s paintings draw her in even as his story touches a long-empty place in her heart.

Only God can transform two broken pasts into a work of art.

The Elnora Monet continues the Elnora Island romances 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:

The Elnora Monet, a contemporary Christian fiction by Rachel Skatvold is the tenth book in the Independence Island Series and the fourth book set on Elnora Island.  This book features Carly  who was in Her Merriweather Hero, also by Skatvold; however it can be read as a standalone novel.

 

What you might need to know:

Jean-Luc lost his wife to a brain aneurysm  prior to the start of the book:

 

What I think about this story:

I am not sure who I love more in the story, the people or the cats. Having previously “met” Carly through the eyes of her big sister it was definitely fun to get to know her for herself.  Carly has such a spunky and creative spirit that you can’t help but love her.  Jean-Luc is clinging to the memory of his beloved wife, but has lost pieces of himself along the way.  I enjoyed how Carly and Luc worked together to overcome grief and find things that brought them joy.

 

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

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

More from Rachel

Thank you for helping celebrate the release of The Elnora Monet by following this Celebration Tour hosted by Celebrate Lit. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about the characters and what inspired the story. Please follow the other stops on this tour and don’t forget to enter in the giveaway. Thank you!

It has been a wonderful experience working with the talented authors and editors in the Independence Islands Series. Each of these stories has a heartwarming message of faith and the characters always teach me something new. Ever since writing Kendall Mulligan’s story in Her Merriweather Hero, I’ve been excited to share her free-spirited younger sister’s story.

Carly had many struggles in the first book, questioning what purpose God had for her life. This time around, her feet are more grounded, but she still has some growing to do when it comes to faith. Carly has been a fun character to write about because of her witty extroverted personality and some of the humorous predicaments she ends up in…one of them including getting caught snooping around a billionaire’s mansion.

While not outspoken as Carly, I can relate to the character’s search for direction. Sometimes it is difficult learning to trust, especially during troubling times, but we can rely on God’s promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.” This verse means so much to me because I know even when I can’t understand something, He is behind the scenes guiding me in the right direction. For Carly, it leads in a direction she never expects, but it is worth it in the end.

Certain parts of the story were inspired by my mom. If you have read Her Merriweather Hero, you know the Mulligan sisters are originally from New England, close to where my mom grew up. I love hearing about her memories of spending time at Nantasket Beach, drinking orange pop, and putting chips in her sandwich so they wouldn’t blow away. Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I still put chips in my own sandwich because of watching her do the same thing and her fridge is always stocked with orange pop to this day. Little bits of my mom’s childhood are weaved into this story, making it close to my heart.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about characters and story behind The Elnora Monet. Now continue reading for a summary of the book and giveaway. Blessings!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 10

Lakesidelivingsite, May 10

Rebekah Reads Lit, May 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, May 11

She Lives to Read, May 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 14

Inklings and notions, May 15

CarpeDiem, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 16

Cultivating Us, May 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 17

Books and Everyday Live, May 17

Blossoms and Blessings, May 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 18

Lots of Helpers, May 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 20

Blogging With Carol , May 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 21

Godly Book Reviews, May 21

Kayem Reads, May 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 22

Connect in Fiction, May 22

Splashes of Joy, May 23

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10bb3/the-elnora-monet-celebration-tour-giveaway

At Lighthouse Point Review and Giveaway

lighthouse point

About the Book

Book:  At Lighthouse Point

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: May 4, 2021

at lighthouseBlaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with a grand plan–to take Camp Kicking Moose to the next level. Her dream starts to unravel when she discovers Moose Manor’s kitchen has been badly remodeled by her sister, Cam, who doesn’t know how to cook. Added to that blow is the cold shoulder given by her best friend, Artie Lotosky, now a doctor to the unbridged Maine islands.

As old wounds are opened, Blaine starts to wonder if she made a mistake by coming home. Little by little, she must let go of one dream to discover a new one, opening her heart to a purpose and a future she had never imagined.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Maybe the tricky part in life was aligning the gift with the vocation. And trickier still was what to do when the gift left.”

Ah, the long-awaited conclusion to The Three Sisters Island series. I’ve been looking forward to Blaine’s story ever since the first book and it was fascinating that this book was more about Blaine’s journey to self-discovery, forgiveness, healing, and responsible adulthood than romance. There are plenty of flashbacks to give the reader a glimpse of her childhood to see what shaped this young woman. All the three sisters – Cam, Maddie, and Blaine – have a voice in the story as well as their father Paul. It was nice to catch up with Cam and Maddie and their respective husbands and growing families from the first two books. Paul does a lot of soul-searching when his estranged father shows up on the island and it was intriguing to see a different side of his personality.
I understand that the author was trying to tie all the sisters’ and their father’s stories together for this conclusion of the series (and I loved the subplots involving Cam and her need for control, Maddie and her anxiety, and Paul and his life’s purpose) but Blaine’s story didn’t feel like the centerpiece of the book…or maybe that was the author’s intention?  It was satisfying to see Blaine grown up, having worked hard to earn her culinary degree in Paris, but still with delightfully glorious dreams and now the motivation to see things through. I enjoyed Jean-Paul, Blaine’s culinary French friend, who brought humor and wisdom to the Grayson family. I would have liked more interaction with Artie and was disappointed that he mainly served in the medical professional role for most of the book. The multiple romances and the promise of happily-ever-afters will definitely have you sighing contentedly at the end. I do recommend reading the series in order to understand all the main characters and their backgrounds.

I received the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

suzanneAward winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected. With more than one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of more than 30 works, ranging from novels to non-fiction books to children’s books. Currently, she lives with her very big family in the East Bay.

More from Suzanne

10 Curious Facts about Lighthouses

People love lighthouses. There’s just something special about those sturdy sentinels with their beacons of light, patiently sweeping the water, their mournful and haunting wail of a foghorn. Longfollow’s poem, The Lighthouse, written in 1850, captured the allure so well:

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
Through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

“Unearthly splendor.” Wow, doesn’t that hit the nail on the head? A lighthouse, to me, represents a spiritual truth: Someone’s watching out for us, looking out for the dangers ahead, and always glad to welcome us home.

Here are 10 facts about lighthouses that you might not know:

  • THE FIRST KNOWN LIGHTHOUSE was Egypt’s Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt, built in the third century B.C. The lighthouse was made from a fire on a platform to warn sailors of the port’s entrance. This lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • THE OLDEST EXISTING LIGHTHOUSE IN THE WORLD is considered to be La Coruna in Spain that dates from ca. 20 B.C. A Roman lighthouse is located on the Cliffs of Dover in the UK that was constructed in 40 A.D.
  • THE UNITED STATES IS HOME to more lighthouses than any other country.
  • THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE IN AMERICA was at Boston on Little Brewster Island (1716). The first keeper was George Worthylake who, sadly, was drowned, along with his wife and daughter, when returning to the island in 1718.
  • THE TALLEST LIGHTHOUSE is on Cape Hatteras, NC. Built in 1872, it reached 196 feet tall.
  • THE FIRST WEST COAST LIGHTHOUSE was built on Alcatraz Island in 1854.
  • DAYMARKS are the painted colors and patterns (diamonds, spirals and stripes) on lighthouse towers to distinguish them from each other.
  • LIGHTHOUSE KEEPING was one of the first U.S. government jobs available to women, as far back as the 19th century. Most obtained their position when their husband died or became incapacitated.
  • THE RANGE OF THE LIGHTHOUSE LIGHT produces a light seen 25 miles at sea.
  • ABOUT 700 LIGHTHOUSES are still in active use in the United States.

As I wrote the third book in the ‘Three Sisters island’ series, I just had to give that little charred lighthouse its day in the sun. It had patiently played a role in the first two books, waiting for its turn on center stage. Not only did its setting provide a very unexpected “WHAT? How did that happen?” conclusion to the series, it even stole the headline! The undisputed title: At Lighthouse Point.

Do you have a favorite lighthouse? If so, please add your picture in the comments below. Don’t forget to include its location.

Thanks for reading! Stay well, stay home, and read.

Suzanne

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 11

Wishful Endings, May 11

The Avid Reader, May 12

Just Writing, May 12

The Write Escape, May 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12

By The Book, May 13

HappyWhenReading, May 13

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 14

Cultivating Us, May 14

Blogging With Carol, May 14

Batya’s Bits , May 14

Betti Mace, May 15

Bizwings Blog, May 15

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 15

deb’s Book Review, May 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts , May 16

HookMeInABook, May 16

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 16

Connie’s History Classroom, May 17

Lighthouse-Academy, May 17

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18

Godly Book Reviews, May 18

Daysong Reflections, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Artistic Nobody, May 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 19

EmpowerMoms, May 19

SusanLovesBooks, May 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 20

Older & Smarter?, May 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 21

Simple Harvest Reads, May 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Splashes of Joy, May 21

Blossoms and Blessings, May 21

Through the Fire Blogs, May 22

Vicky Sluiter, May 22

Pause for Tales, May 22

Moments, May 22

She Lives To Read, May 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23

Labor Not in Vain, May 23

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 24

Life, Love, Writing, May 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 24

Remembrancy, May 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10bb6/at-lighthouse-point-celebration-tour-giveaway

Avoiding Marriage Review and Giveaway

Avoiding Marriage

About the Book

Book:  Avoiding Marriage

Author: Karin Beery

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: April 13, 2021

Jess_final coverTwo years ago, Jessica Miller made a mess of her already confusing life. Now, she’s back in Boyne Heights, and she’s determined to fix her reputation. She can’t seem to avoid the past that haunts her, but that’s the joy of small-town life—word spreads and people remember. Intent on her mission, however, she faces her past head-on, taking a job with her ex-boyfriend while avoiding her grandmother’s attempts to find her a new one.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Avoiding Marriage by Karin Beery is a contemporary fiction, clean romance novel. This book is a sequel to Practically Married.  I highly recommend that you read the first book prior to starting this book as it contains a critical back story. This book picks up shortly after the ending of the first book and contains Jess as the lead.

 

What you might need to know:

Jess’s brother is dealing with addiction.

 

What I think about his book:

When I first read the synopsis I was so confused that Jess was going to be featured in this book and was quite shocked to see the direction that Beery took with the story! Jess admits in the first story that she was a Hot Mess, it is very interesting to see everything from her perspective. I enjoyed getting to know her and felt sorry for all that she had dealt with in her past. I hated how she felt she was responsible for her family’s actions. I enjoyed Carter and would have loved to have seen more of the story from his perspective. This was a fun story to read.

 

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

Beery, Karin_417x625Karin Beery grew up in a rural Michigan town, where she wrote her first novel in high school. Today, she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s reading, editing, or teaching it. In her free time, she enjoys watching University of Michigan football and action-adventure movies with her husband and fur babies.

More from Karin

I am so excited to go back to Boyne Heights!

**SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read Practically Married, skip the following paragraph and go to the next!

When we Boyne Heights, Russ was in a hospital bed after a car accident with Ashley by his side, and they’d agreed to get really married, not just practically married. That was around Thanksgiving. Now it’s spring time. Russ and Ashley are enjoying the newly wed life, but they need help. Enter Jessica Miller.

**(START HERE)

Jess is exactly what Russ and Ashely need at the Russell farm, but nothing is ever as easy as it sounds. I mean, Jess thought she was going to marry Russ—now she’s working for him and his new wife? As if that’s not enough, Gran’s adjusting a little too well to life in the care home, meeting every single guy there to introduce to her favorite granddaughter, but Jess doesn’t have time. On top of the new job, it looks like her brother might be relapsing, and her wayward mother’s name keeps popping up in conversations.

I hadn’t planned on writing Jess’s story, I kept asking myself: what kind of woman did Russ date before he met Ashley? I knew the ex-girlfriend had to be smart, kind, motivated, yet hurting. It was so much fun to explore her story!

I hadn’t planned to go back to Boyne Heights, but I definitely enjoyed the trip. I hope you will too!

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 8

Texas Book-aholic, May 9

Remembrancy, May 9

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

deb’s Book Review, May 11

Inklings and notions, May 12

For Him and My Family, May 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 14

Kayem Reads, May 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 18

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

Vicky Sluiter, May 20

The Sacred Line, May 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karin is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10bae/avoiding-marriage-celebration-tour-giveaway

To Save a King Review and Giveaway

to save a king (1)

About the Book

Book:  To Save A King

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Christian Royal Romance

Release date: May 8, 2021

SaveAKing3bBlueA modern-day fairytale of rescue and hope from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck

Growing up in small town Hearts Bend, Tennessee, Gemma Stone had big dreams. So she headed to Hollywood to make her mark in the world.

But dreams have a way of becoming nightmares. When she returns home twelve years later, she’s limping through life and harboring a dark secret.

Running a rescue ranch and raising her friends’ orphaned daughter is her sole mission now. All the while she’s well aware these defenseless ones are also rescuing her.

HRH Crown Prince John has learned a royal title cannot shield him from heartbreak. He had the perfect life as heir to the revered House of Blue, the royal dynasty of Lauchtenland, and married the love of his life. Then tragedy changed everything. Is there any way to be saved from a life of grief?

When he finds himself in Hearts Bend on a mission for his mother, Queen Catherine, he catches up with a good friend–country music great Buck Mathews. He has no intention of joining the 4th of July fun until he’s cajoled into a three-legged race with the beautiful Gemma Stone.

The disastrous race leads to a quick friendship. They are easy and comfortable around one another because love is absolutely not an option.

John desperately wants to hold onto the memories of his wife while Gemma refuses to trust her heart to any man. Even a prince.

When trouble in Lauchtenland calls the prince home, he realizes how much Gemma has rescued him. Saved him and restored his hope for his role as future king.

For Gemma, falling in love with the prince must be quenched. If it weren’t for her past, she’d give him her heart in a second. How could she risk bringing her shame to the House of Blue and the world stage?

However, she’s not the only one who can rescue and heal the wound. If she saved Prince John, why can’t he save her? And when he tries, will she have the courage to say yes to the best role of her life?

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!”  Susan May Warren, USA Today bestselling, RITA award-winning novelist

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Forgiveness is free, it’s eternal and the most freeing thing a man can do. To ask for, give, and receive forgiveness. On top of that, it costs you nothing, yet gives you everything.”

I absolutely adore Rachel Hauck’s royalty-fairy tale novels and this second installment in her True Blue Royal series is a fun addition. I loved that this book brought in some key characters from her Royal Wedding series and The Wedding Collection series. Lauchtenland is hauntingly mesmerizing in its rich history, culture, and geography and Hearts Bend, TN is equally beautiful in its loving acceptance and gentle country freedom. The story is told in third person narrative through the eyes of Gemma, Prince John, and the Queen Catherine. Gemma’s full story unfolds in bits and pieces but her big tender heart is evident from the beginning despite her brokenness and scars. John’s grief, heartbreak and memories are so real and achingly bittersweet yet there are threads of hope in each encounter. Their friendship that quickly becomes more has Rachel Hauck’s stamp of heart-stirring and breath-stealing romance all over it. The author’s trademark melding of spiritual and supernatural draws Gemma and John together and it was nice to revisit Emmanuel and Adelaide. A fairy tale involving swan feathers also plays a huge role in this sweetly moving tale of second chances, self-discovery, repentance, grace and forgiveness.
Despite my love for Rachel Hauck’s stories and all things Lauchtenland (and Brighton Kingdom and Hessenberg), the ending felt somewhat anti-climatic and rushed; there were also loose ends with John’s deceased wife Holland and happenings in the kingdom itself. Perhaps the next book will bring closure to these unresolved subplots? This series should definitely be read in order since the first book lays down some important background for this book.

I received the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments are solely my own.

About the Author

Rachel-Hauck-LR-4Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie. Three more of her titles are under film contract.

Rachel was awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A retired member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Executive Board, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

In the real world, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More from Rachel

One of the biggest challenges in a series is keeping the reader interested. Even more of a challenge is writing in a trope like royals.

I never set out to write a second royal series. With five stories in the Royal Wedding Series, I thought I’d explored the topic to my satisfactions.

Yet when readers asked for more, and when I found myself in a season to produce my own stories, another royal series seemed like the perfect fit.

But can I be honest? Really honest? Come close. I’ll tell you a secret. Closer…

Royals can be a bit boring. At least to write. You laugh but I’m serious.

What do we really know of their day to day lives? They attend national functions, patron charities, represent the nation on walkabouts around the world. They are ambassadors with no real political agenda. They champion causes.

But what exactly do they do with their days? What are the inner workings of palace life? What are the real expectations? Do they call the queen “her majesty” when talking among themselves? When talking to her? Are they as formal as it seems on television?

Yet royals are the most documented people in history. So there is a lot to glean from when I make up my worlds.

But at the end of it all, they key for me in writing royal characters is to make them real, everyday people. The prince is the kind of chap you want to chat with over tea. The heroine is the sort of girl you’d love to see become a princess. Maybe even see a bit of yourself in her.

In To Save A King, Crown Prince John is trying to emerge for a year of grief. Gemma Stone is desperate to escape her past.

Gemma’s story has some what of an edge to it. In her attempt to achieve her goals, she walked a path she never thought she’d walk when she was a girl growing up in Hearts Bend, Tennessee. And it proved her undoing.

While we may have never faced a past like Gemma’s, we can all relate to personal betrayal of our values from gossip to immorality. I hope Gemma’s story reminds us the nearness of love and forgiveness.

On a lighter side, I recently learned British society has moved away from chap and bloke, replacing it with the American term “guy.” Isn’t that funny. Louise Lee, my narrator, said it was funny to read those words in To Love A Prince since there were more her parents’ generation. Ah, the signs of a more global society.

Well, I didn’t care if they have gone out of style for young people. I used them anyway. I like them. Maybe we should adopt “chap” and “bloke” over here. What do you say, guys?

I hope you enjoy To Save A King, book two in the True Blue Royal series and find your heart cheering on broken, wounded characters to a happily ever after worthy of a prince and princess.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 8

Godly Book Reviews, May 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 8

Britt Reads Fiction, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

Blogging With Carol, May 9

Worthy2Read, May 9

For Him and My Family, May 10

Genesis 5020, May 10

The Book Chic Blog, May 10

CarpeDiem, May 10

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

Hebrews 12 Endurance, May 11

Splashes of Joy, May 11

Cultivating Us, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

Just Writing, May 12

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

Kayem Reads, May 12

Blossoms and Blessings, May 13

Betti Mace, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 14

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 14

Inside the Wong Mind, May 14

Moments, May 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 15

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 15

Connect in Fiction, May 15

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 16

Kathleen’s Blog, May 16

Remembrancy, May 16

Mary Hake, May 16

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 17

She Lives To Read, May 17

Wishful Endings, May 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 18

Back Porch Reads, May 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 18

Livin’ Lit, May 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 19

Simple Harvest Reads, May 19 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Bizwings Blog, May 19

Mamma Loves Books, May 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 20

By The Book, May 20

The Sacred Line, May 20

Daysong Reflections, May 20

Through the fire blogs, May 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 21

Artistic Nobody, May 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!
*May be different than one pictured.

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/10bb0/to-save-a-king-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Mother for His Twins Review and Giveaway

A Mother for His Twins

About the Book

Book:  A Mother for His Twins

Author: Jill Weatherholt

Genre: Inspirational Romance

Release date: Sept, 2019

A MOTHER FOR HIS TWINS - COVERFirst-grade teacher Joy Kelliher has two new students—twin boys who belong to her high school sweetheart. If teaching Nick Capello’s sons wasn’t difficult enough, the widower’s also her neighbor…and competing for the principal job she wants. Now with little matchmakers drawing Joy and Nick together, can they overcome a painful past to build the family Joy’s always wanted?

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

A Mother For His Twins by Jill Weatherholt is a contemporary Love Inspired Romance. It is set in a small Virginia Mountain Town.  It features some of the same characters as Weatherholt’s A Father for Bella, however it can be read as a standalone novel. This book follows Joy and her high school sweetheart who has returned to town with his sons after being widowed.

What I think about this book:

 I adored Jordan and Tyler, Weatherhold could not have created two more entertaining or endearing characters.  Their grief for their mother broke my heart.  I also loved the small town and all of its charm.  Nick and Joy were harder for me, while they were once in love while they were young and life was simple, that is worlds from where they are in the story. They have 14 years and a mountain of hurt between them. This was not a light and fluffy read, but did give me a lot to think about.

 

What you might need to know:

Nick’s Wife died from complications of Crohn’s Disease.

*Spoiler*

On the Night that Nick left town Joy was raped by someone she trusted, she also had a misscarriage that left her with infertility. She struggles with the emotional side effects with this throughout the book

*****

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

About the Author

HQ HeadshotShe holds a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and Paralegal Studies Certification from Duke University.

She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Their relationship grew on the golf course, and now they have one in their backyard.

Jill believes in enjoying every moment of this journey because God has everything under control.

More from Jill

Back in 2019, when my editor sent me a cover mock-up for my third Love Inspired book A Mother for His Twins, I was thrilled to see the art department had used a picture of my hero’s twin boys, Jordan and Tyler Capello.

I had so much fun developing the characters of these two little rascals. Although they were twins, I wanted to make sure they each had their own unique personality.

Once I had Tyler’s character sketch completed, I went to work developing Jordan. Unlike his brother who is the outgoing one of the two, I wanted Jordan to be more quiet and shy than his twin. That’s when I decided to draw on my own experience as a child.

Like Jordan, I had a speech impediment when I was a child. I was unable to pronounce the letter R. Because of this, I was teased by my classmates. To make matters worse, once a week, my speech teacher would come and pull me from my classroom for my private session. I can still hear the giggles and murmuring that filled the room. Thankfully, with a lot of instruction and practice, I was able to overcome the impediment.

Life is full of obstacles. Looking back at what we’ve overcome gives us the confidence to keep pressing forward when we know God will never leave us.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 5

Just Writing, May 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 7

Lighthouse Academy Blog, May 7 (Guest Review from Marilyn)

Labor Not in Vain, May 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 9

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 9

Texas Book-aholic, May 10

Inklings and notions, May 11

Genesis 5020, May 11

For Him and My Family, May 12

Remembrancy, May 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 14

Britt Reads Fiction, May 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 15

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 16

Kayem Reads, May 16

Splashes of Joy, May 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 18

Blossoms and Blessings, May 18

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10baa/a-mother-for-his-twins-celebration-tour-giveaway

Lassoed by the Lawman Review and Giveaway

Lassoed by the Lawman

About the Book

Book:  Lassoed by the Lawman

Author: Renae Brumbaugh Green

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: May 4, 2021

Lassoed by the Lawman (1)Juliana Duke has always dreamed of owning a dress shop.

But as the only child of Oscar and Maria Duke and heiress of the vast Duke Ranch, her job is to marry a rancher and produce a male heir. When Lt. Cody Steves rides onto the scene, her resolve to place duty over daydreams is shaken. Now that her heart’s been lassoed by the handsome lawman, will she be able to love another?

Cody Steves wants marriage and family, but he loves being a Texas Ranger. At any time, he could ride into a job and not come out alive. How could any decent man marry, knowing he could leave a widow and orphans behind? But the beautiful Juliana Duke captures him in a way no other has. When this job is over, can he ride away with his heart intact?

When he learns of a secret plot to take over the Duke Ranch, Cody must risk everything to save Juliana. Little does he know, the outcome will be nothing like he’s planned or imagined.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:
Lassoed by the Lawman is the third book in The Texas Rangers series by Renae Brumbaugh Green. This book can be a standalone, however it does give a few small spoilers as the prior books in the series.  It is a historical fiction set on a large ranch in South Texas in 1882.

What I think about this book:
Oh I have a soft spot for a Texas Ranger, make him a singing Ranger and I am sold!  I think that Cody might be my favorite hero in this series. Juliana has been raised with the expectation of marrying Miguel, the second in charge at  her father’s ranch. However she longs to be seen as someone other than Oscar Duke’s daughter. I love how she had a feminine side ( dress designer), but wasn’t afraid to help out with even the hardest chores on the ranch. The author has written a sweet, yet fast paced novel that starts out with Cody falling off his horse into a cactus and keeps me entertained every page after! I adored this book. I highly recommend every book in the series and hate to see it come to an end.

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

renae humor headshotRenae Brumbaugh Green is an ECPA Bestselling Author, award-winning humor columnist, and wannabe superhero. She lives in Texas with her handsome, country-boy husband, four nearly-perfect children and one nearly-perfect son-in-law, and far too many animals. When she’s not writing, Renae teaches online classes and tries to be rugged without chipping her nail polish.

More from Renae

Lassoed by the Lawman is the third and final book in the Texas Rangers Series, and I honestly think it’s my favorite book of the series. The main characters, Juliana and Cody, are loosely based on me and my husband, Rick. We’re both creatives, we both love music, and we both try to balance our love for creativity with our need to actually make a living! Our shared love of music initially drew us to each other.

Like Cody, Rick is rugged and masculine, and he melted my heart the first time I heard him sing. As a matter of fact, during our courtship, we often wrote songs together. One of the songs Cody sings to Juliana in the book is actually a song Rick wrote for me. (Sigh.)

The attraction Cody and Juliana feel for each other is both white-hot and pure… the kind of passion God wants husbands and wives to experience. It’s the kind of passion Christ has for us, his bride. As I worked on these pages, I giggled at times, blushed at times, and grinned with mischief always.

Through hardship and heartache, Juliana and Cody find joy. And through hardship and heartache, God wants us to find joy, too…the joy of an abundant life in Christ. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. As a bonus, here’s a link to a song Rick and I wrote and recorded for each other. It’s not the song from the book, but it’s pretty special to us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDjVxp2m5

God bless, and happy reading!

—Renae Brumbaugh Green

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

lakesidelivingsite, May 5

Just Writing, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 6

Inklings and notions, May 7

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

For Him and My Family, May 8

deb’s Book Review, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 10

Kayem Reads, May 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 12

Connie’s History Classroom, May 13

Vicky Sluiter, May 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 16

Daysong Reflections, May 17

Genesis 5020, May 17

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10b63/lassoed-by-the-lawman-celebration-tour-giveaway

Hope Between the Pages Review and Giveaway

Hope Between Pages

About the Book

Book:  Hope Between the Pages

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: April, 2021

9781643528267Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Books and imagination brought me love. Love inspired my hope, and hope led me to purpose…to serve others through generosity, kindness, and…books.”

Crafted with care and attention to detail, infused with nostalgic and captivating words,  filled with noteworthy and unforgettable characters, and sprinkled with fairy dust and sense of wonder, this time-slip novel by Pepper Basham will entrance you from the first page. This is just what my heart and soul needed after a dreary week of rain. The author’s mastery of words comes alive as she creates two very distinct yet connected worlds in 1915 and present time. The love of books and the enchantment of fiction draw all four characters together; each character encourages imagination, hope, unswerving faithfulness, and the ability to really see others as they are. Faith element rings true, especially in Sadie and Oliver’s lives in 1915.
Sadie, a servant who tends the Vanderbilts’ library in their estate, and Oliver, a wealthy Englishman on holiday, completely captured my heart. Their story is told in Sadie’s first person voice and has all the heart-wrenching elements of star-crossed lovers. Clara is the present day descendant of Sadie who’s struggling to keep the family bookstore viable and her story is mostly in third person. Her romance with her hero doesn’t start until halfway through the book and that worked out well to distinguish the two romances. Kindness and self-sacrificing love thread through all four of these lives and I loved each of these characters. There is also a bit of mystery that needs to be solved but Clara learns so much more about herself and her family history when she embarks on the journey to solve it.

It’s a must-read novel that will leave you with tears of empathy and smiles of pure joy. I received the book via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinion is solely my own.

About the Author

PepperBashamPepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

More from Pepper

Books are a uniquely portable magic – Stephen King

Appalachia is known for having a high illiteracy rate. A place of beautiful scenery and rugged landscapes, the people of the mountains developed stories through oral storytelling much more than “book learning”.  As a young girl growing up in this world, I loved hearing my granny share tales from up to five generations ago, filling in the narrative gaps between a birth date and a death date on a tombstone – giving flesh and breath to the stone-etched names.

It’s no surprise then, with a heart cultivated from rich oral stories, I fell in love with reading. Books became that “portable magic” that took me places my little Appalachian community couldn’t provide. I fell in love with the Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew. Wept through the end of Bridge to Terabithia and Old Yeller. Traveled to the plains with Sarah Plain and Tall and fell in love with horses with The Black Stallion. But when I was in seventh grade, I read my very first “British” novel, The Secret Garden. In that one introduction, my world expanded into mysterious English manor houses and British classics. Before long, I’d consumed Jane Eyre, Austen’s classics, some Dickens, Dracula, Frankenstein…and the list goes on! And then…I found Tolkien and Lewis – and the ‘real’ world swelled into OTHER worlds.

I’m grateful for true stories of book-loving pioneers traveling into the world of Appalachia to provide books and literacy training to “my people”, because I know some of those books made their way to my tiny elementary school library…and not only brought me the chance to discover stories, but to write them too!

Isn’t it amazing how books can do that?

In Hope Between the Pages, I wanted to bring the same awe and discovery I felt as a child (and continue to feel as an adult reader) to the story of two people whose words had seemed small. Stories stretched their worlds, but the stories also gave them wonderful imaginations and positive perspectives. It’s still amazing to me that ink-and-paper words can make such a lasting impact on hearts and minds. They can lead us to dream, teach us new things, encourage our hearts, help us to think outside the box, swell our imaginations, broaden our horizons, and encourage our hope.

Books are not a replacement for real adventures and relationships, but they certainly provide a beautiful “door” into other lives and worlds that we may never have a chance to experience in real life. Sadie, my historical heroine, and Clara, my contemporary heroine, both have kept close to home but traveled greatly through books…and BOTH are given the opportunity to reach beyond the bindings to discover real-life adventures. I’d like to think that their love for stories helped them have the courage to step away from the page and into their own tales even more prepared than they would have been without stories.

What are some of your favorite books you read as a child? Did any of them influence you to become a more avid reader?

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 24

Worthy2Read, April 24

Texas Book-aholic, April 25

Reviewingbooksplusmore, April 25

Christian Bookaholic, April 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 25

She Lives To Read, April 26

Books and Everyday Life, April 26

For the Love of Literature, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 26

Wishful Endings, April 27

Bigreadersite, April 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 27

deb’s Book Review, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Connect in Fiction, April 28

Writing from the Heart Land, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 29

Life of Literature, April 29

Pick a good book, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 30

Betti Mace, April 30

Kathleen’s Blog, April 30

lakesidelivingsite, May 1

Connie’s History Classroom, May 1

Fiction Book Lover, May 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 2

Godly Book Reviews, May 2

Mary Hake, May 2

Older & Smarter?, May 3

Genesis 5020, May 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 4

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads , May 4

Blossoms and Blessings, May 4

sodbusterLiving, May 4

Splashes of Joy, May 5

Where Faith and Books Meet , May 5

Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Through the Fire Blogs, May 5

Pause for Tales, May 6

To Everything There Is A Season, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Lights in a Dark World, May 6

Live.Love.Read., May 7

Karen Sue Hadley, May 7

Amanda Tero, blog, May 7

The Write Escape, May 7

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10b27/hope-between-the-pages-celebration-tour-giveaway

Journey to Joy Q&A and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Journey to Joy

Author: Anne Perrault

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: April 23, 2019

Can she find joy where there has only been defeat and dishonor?

Tricked into indentured servitude, Joy Richards finds herself working for an abusive innkeeper. Her life is so destitute, she feels God has forsaken her. After one last desperate cry to God, a kind stranger steps in to take her away.

Can she trust this new circumstance?

Andrew Lloyd-Foxx abhors injustice. He can’t walk away from it. When he steps in on the young woman’s behalf, his own life is turned upside down. Burdened with his own loss, he has no room for anyone else.

Will the journey prove too difficult?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Anne Perreault was born and raised in Germany. By the time she was 14 years old, her family moved to Dubai, UAE. While living in this exotic place, she traveled extensively to various countries around the world. After graduating from an American boarding school in Austria, she attended college in England, where she met her husband. She graduated from New England College with a degree in biology, and settled down in Connecticut. Anne became a horseback riding instructor as well as a certified therapeutic riding instructor. She and a group of friends started a therapeutic riding center in Bristol, CT. During that time, Anne also received a masters degree in secondary education and began to homeschool her three children. While raising their three children, she began to write an inspirational story primarily for her daughter. Anne, her husband, and two of their grown children now reside in Southern Vermont, where they are building their home. Besides writing, Anne enjoys reading, spending time with her husband, grown children, and grand-dogger.

More from Anne

This book came about when my youngest son and I were studying the second awakening and some of the preachers that started to talk about abolition. I was fascinated by their passion and could see myself in the crowd, listening to them preach.

At the same time, I was probably reading a historical fiction, possibly by Tamera Alexander, and she included horses. I think it was the Bell Meade series. I thought to myself, Myself, you love history more than anything else. Why don’t you write a historical fiction and include horses?

Talk about catching two stones with one bird. Believe it or not, even though I spent most of my life on or around horses, taught horseback riding for about 15 years, competed very extensively in both dressage and equitation, and owned an off-the-track racehorse, my knowledge of racing was… limited.

But I know horses. And I love history. And, research is fun.

So, I thought back to which book had a ton of influence on me, a book that highlighted racehorses. King of the Wind, by Marguerite Henry popped into my mind immediately. I have a very special love of the Arabian horse and boy if there was ever a story, I would want to tell something like that one.

I began researching how and when and why and who imported the Godolphin Arabian to the United States and… I found out some amazing things not just about the Thoroughbreds, who greatly benefited from the influence of the Godolphin Arabian – as he came to be known – but also our very own Quarter Horses. Did you know that the reason they are called Quarter Horses is because they have incredible speed over the quarter mile. That was news to me. The first place to make a home for the Godolphin in this country was in the South, at Fenwick Park. I researched that place and the story started to come together.

I had the horses. I wanted to place the story in New England, since I live there. I had the place, pictured what it would look like, but the characters were still illusive. Abolition had to be part of the story. So, what if one of them was a slave? That didn’t quite fit history well. But what if one of them was an indentured servant?

Bada-bing bada-bang. Hello, my friends. The characters just jumped out at me and I enjoyed watching them scramble around in their relationship with each other, as well as the relationship with those around them. This book really has an amazing supporting cast of characters. I never imagined them to be so… fun.

I hope you enjoy this peek inside an author’s head. Enjoy Journey for Joy as much as I loved writing it.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Anne Perreault

What does success as an author look like to you?

I don’t look at success in terms of money. For me, it’s when readers are reading my books and come back for more. It’s when they tell me how much they were touched by the story. It’s the one heart that is changed that matters the most. I’m just an instrument of God reaching out to people. I’m his fingers, typing.

Which character did you connect best with in this book?

I loved Joy right away. Her fears and concerns were very real to me. I identified with her love of horses. Really, all these characters are a part of me. Mrs. Lloyd-Foxx might be stern and aloof when we meet her, but she’s such a kindhearted woman, I really enjoyed getting to know her. Andrew really touched my heart. I enjoyed watching him grow from the man he was into the man he became.

Which part of the book was difficult to write?

The scene I had the most trouble with was the part when they return to CT. I couldn’t picture the road and I had a lot of trouble with visualizing the surroundings when I did my research. I liked that part, as I felt it was an important moment to move their relationship forward, but it was hard to write.

What inspired this book?

My youngest and I were studying abolition and the second awakening, looking at those that were the forerunners of the abolition movement later on. I was intrigued by it so much that I wanted to write something in that period of time. I don’t like war. I didn’t want it to become a war story. And we forget that there was a period of time before the Civil War. Also, I love Arabian horses and most of my books have to have at least one horse in them. I decided that I wanted to write about the Godolphin Arabian and horse racing.

What are you reading right now?

I have had a few days when I needed to step back from my own writing and marketing and so I’ve been reading up a storm. I just finished a book by a new-to-me author Tari Faris. I know Tari through the online writing academy I take part in and I was interested in her books. I finished Until I met you in a few days and had to have more of her books. I finished a novella by her on my kindle and I’m now listening to You belong to me on audio. I’m also reading Tamara Leigh’s newest book, Boundless. She’s an author who has inspired me and encouraged me greatly. I love her beautiful language.

Thank you, Anne, for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 23

For Him and My Family, April 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 25

Connie’s History Classroom, April 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 28

Inklings and notions, April 29

deb’s Book Review, April 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1

Artistic Nobody, May 2 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, May 3

Genesis 5020, May 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 4

Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Anne is giving away the grand prize package of an eBook copy of Journey to Joy and and a $10 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/10b24/journey-to-joy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wishapick Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Wishapick

Author: Mary Martha Allen & Deborah Wynne

Genre: Middle grade fantasy/fairy tale

Release date: September 2015

Darkness. Utter blackness. Was this why his mother had refused to let Jack unlock his father’s old trunk? It had been two years since his dad had died, and all Jack could think about was examining whatever treasures were stored inside the beloved trunk. But when he finally lifted the lid, he didn’t just fall in—he fell through it into a pit of rattlesnakes!

Trying to recall his mother’s stories about “the Breath of All Good Things”—anything to shed light on his current situation—Jack wishes he’d paid better attention rather than mock the tales as childish myths…and that he’d waited to enter the trunk with his sister, Lilly, so they could at least face this together.

Like L. Frank Baum’s Oz and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia, M. M. Allen brings to life the fantastical world of Wishapick—a land of courageous animals ruled by a cruel rattlesnake king who has condemned the villagers to live without light. Chosen as the reluctant hero to save the villagers, Jack must face terrifying creatures and overwhelming odds if he wants to help his new friends—and return home himself.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk by Mary Martha Allen and Deborah Wynne is a Middle Grade Fantasy.

 

What you might need to know:

Jack and Lilly lost their father prior to the start of the book. Jack is “trapped” in the anger of losing his father and is struggling to cope.

 

What I think about this book:

The authors have created such a fun fantasy world, including skunks, possums and wolves battling against Rattlesnakes is a land trapped in darkness. Jack has been lost since his father’s death and journeys to remember what his father and mother have taught him.

As the mother of young boys I appreciate that this story is fun, what a better way to entice a boy to read than to tell them about an army of Rattlesnakes and Hawks.  I would not hesitate to have as a family read aloud or for my sons 4th grade and older to read it to themselves.

 

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

imageMary Martha Allen, children’s author, and Deborah Wynne singer, songwriter, collaborated in producing the fantasy/fairy tale book, & music Wishapick, Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk. This Middle Grade book and CD won the Moonbeam Gold Award for book & theatrical. Wishapick also won the 5 Star Readers Favorite Award.

MM Allen the author of the acclaimed children’s picture book Let’s Play Ball,   is the mother of two adult children, and aunt to twenty three nieces & nephews, including twelve great nieces and nephews. She was a former teacher. She worked extensively in marketing and communications with varied businesses, including Walt Disney’s Buena Vista Records, as well as several non-profits. MM lives in a picturesque northern California town were she enjoys writing, tending to her rose garden and caring for her West Highland Terriers, Peaches, Pip and Daisy.

Mary Martha Allen along with Deborah Wynne produced a podcast in 2020 called; Wishapick – Prayer, Creativity and the Divine.  The podcast, hosted by MM, tells the story of God’s work behind the writing of the book and music. MM Allen weaves the back story of Wishapick into a thoughtful message of how prayer, creativity and the Divine gently coexist in our lives.  MM believes Prayer is intimate, Creativity is fearless, and the Divine is always giving. MM shares the story along with Deborah’s insight and music in a reflection of love. The podcasts are geared towards, parents, youth ministers, young adults, teachers, aunts and uncles, and all those working with children teaching them about God’s love. These generous back stories about the making of Wishapick confirm her belief that God is good and each of us is an extension of the Divine’s Goodwill. MM believes that each of us will remember we are loved, and then intimate, fearless giving will unfold into our lives.

MM learned to pray at a young age practicing thoughtful traditional, repetitive prayers. She has been a participant and leader of prayer groups, practicing intentional prayer, meditative prayer, lectio divina (scriptural readings & meditation), and contemplative walking prayer, along with the rosary and prayer beads from other cultures. She was an early member and still a participant of Mom’s In Prayer International.  MM believes your communication with God is personal and establishing a relationship with the Divine brings peace and enjoyment into your life.  This communication with God awakens the goodwill within each of us, which has been there since the beginning of time.

Deborah Wynne created a CD of songs to accompany the novel. Deborah’s extensive talents lie in choral singing, and song composition. Her musical projects include the 2013 album Strands of Gold and 2007 musical Moment of Truth, which she co-wrote and co-produced. For many years Deborah was a member of the well know a cappella ensemble, Quire of Voices. She also sang with the female quartet, Champagne. She continues to sing and compose in Santa Barbara, CA, where she lives with her husband and Sheltie, Gracie, a dog who loves to sing and is particularly inspired by renaissance vocal music.

Deborah was born into a musical, religious family.  Music, adoration and holiness were woven together into her heart starting at a very young age.  Over the years music has become a form of prayer for Deborah.  Whether it be through listening, singing, playing or writing music, she feels deep gratitude for the gifts music offers.  For her, music is God breathing love into our hearts. She perceives the creative process as a part of our spiritual ground of being and a delight to access, for within that Holy space where God lives, we touch an aspect of the Divine that is pure beauty.  Creativity is a gift from and collaboration with the Divine, an offering of gratitude to God and a prayer of deep thanksgiving.

More from the Authors

Peach Pie In Wishapick

When Deborah and I spoke about Wishapick and the light returning at the end of the story, we acknowledged it was the Garden of Eden reawakening for all the animals in the village of Wishapick. But one small pleasure inserted into the story, brought us much enjoyment.  If it was the Garden of Eden what would the animals enjoy eating?

Deborah sang her song that everyone feasted on fresh peach pie. I wrote about the delicious peach pie Mrs. Tumalum had made and how Mr. Tumalum nicked a huge slice of the warm pie. To this day we cannot remember who came up with the idea first, yet the villagers in Wishapick enjoy peach pie. There is no competitiveness or argument about who came up with the idea first or how it happened, neither of us bested the other – it just came about. I cannot credit myself nor does Deborah feel she is responsible for peach pie being in the story of Wishapick. We each have a backstory about peach pie and our enjoyment is sharing the stories between us. Again & again, we find it miraculous and we are thankful.

There is no competition when we pray; there are no best ways to pray, there is no responsibility on how the prayer is to be answered, nor do we need credit for answered prayer. Being human we seek credit, being in enjoyment we move to thanksgiving. When we pray -giving thanks to God is most enjoyable.

Deborah Wynne’s Favorite Peach Crisp Recipe

CINNAMON-OAT PEACH CRISP

Ingredients

  • 5 lb. medium peaches (about 12), peeled, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream

Preparation

Toss peaches, granulated sugar, and 2 Tbsp. flour in a large bowl to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes.

Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.

Meanwhile, whisk oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and remaining 1 cup flour in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add butter. Once it has all been added, increase speed to medium-high and beat until dry ingredients are incorporated (there should be no dry bits left in the bowl), about 3 minutes.

Scrape peaches and any juices into a 13×9″ baking dish. Evenly scatter oat topping over peaches and bake crisp until peaches are soft, fruit juices are bubbling, and topping is a deep golden brown, 60–70 minutes. Transfer baking dish to a wire rack and let crisp cool 1 hour.

Divide among bowls and top with large scoops of ice cream.

Chocolate Pudding in Wishapick

Our protagonist Jack faced the most dangerous rattlesnakes in Wishapick. With inspiration from the “Breath of All Good Things,” a little Jiggery Pokery and adding some Chocolate Pudding Jack implements his plan to return the light to the village of Wishapick.

My fun loving, grandmother, had a motto “let’s enjoy good food.” She was known for her famous chocolate pudding.  She and my grandfather made pancakes, chocolate pudding & tea when the cousins gathered together for dinner at their home. A yummy dinner ending with her chocolate pudding – such happiness!

Lilly, Jack’s sister, implemented his idea & carried out the plan.  The Magical Crimson Tray was helpful to Lilly, it moved about on its own, pouring the chocolate pudding into the mouths of the dangerous snakes which turned their nasty behaviors – nice.

When I finished writing this chapter, about the chocolate pudding, I took a ride into the country to a little community store, where I had never been before.

I went into the old-fashioned country store and ordered a sandwich. I opened the self -serve fridge to get some water and in front of me was several cups of chocolate pudding. Individual cups of chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream, were lined up right in front of me.  I learned later the adorable country store was famous for their chocolate pudding.  Full of praise, thanksgiving and joy I had my lunch full of the niceness of God’s surprise. Prayer is calling out to God and listening for the answers. When Jack called out to the “Breath of All Good Things” in Wishapick everything became okay. In our lives when we include God and call out to him, everything will be okay. God can turn the nasty to nice & Christ is always with us.

In memory of my grandmother –

My Grandma Glady Reese’s Famous Chocolate Pudding Recipe.

Combine

1 cup sugar

4Tbls Cocoa

4TBLS four or 3TBLS corn starch

Add

1 large egg (or 2 small ones)

2 cups milk

½ tsp salt

Cook over low heat stirring constantly till it thickens (this can take a while) until it boils, keep stirring.

Add

1 tsp vanilla.

Pour into individual serving dishes or a bowl, let cool to room temperature. put in refrigerator. Serve cold plain or with whipped cream on top.

Taken from the backstory about God working through our lives while we wrote Wishapick, you can listen to all 10 episodes of this backstory of my prayer life & Deborah’s music, on Wishapick youtube – Prayer-Creativity & the Divine.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 2

Simple Harvest Reads, May 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, May 3

The Write Escape, May 4

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 4

Through the fire blogs, May 5

For Him and My Family, May 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7

Guild Master, May 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 8

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

Inklings and notions, May 10

Blogging With Carol, May 10

Texas Book-aholic, May 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 12

Lights in a Dark World, May 13

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 14

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Mary and Deborah are giving away the grand prize of a Kindle!!
(May be different than one pictured.)

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/10b60/wishapick-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Secret of the 14th Room Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  The Secret of the 14th Room

Author: Rebecca Hemlock

Publisher: Bluecap Publishing

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: March 16th

Memories can be a killer.

When Levi Corbin returns to Granton, Tennessee after the death of his beloved grandmother, it sets off a chain of events he’d rather have avoided. Claiming his inheritance should have been a piece of cake, but a cousin appears, threatening to steal it all.

Even worse (and better, too), he’s falling for the girl he just met and now must team up with her to try to stop his cousin. Their quest for his inheritance uncovers secrets frozen in time—and one might just be the answer to save his grandmother’s home.

Things go from worse to completely out of hand when a freak fire threatens it all. Add to that a nosy old woman and a battered runaway, and Levi can’t help but wonder what is going on!

As circumstances rekindle his faith and new love spurs him onward, Levi races against time and odds to save Grandma’s house from certain destruction, but the result might just mean saving himself as well.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

The Secret of the 14th Room by Rebecca Hemlock is a romantic suspense.  It is set in a small town in Tennessee and centers around a historic house with hidden mysteries.

 

What I think about this book:

 This book has everything it needs, a family feud, an inheritance and arson. Hemlock has created a very intriguing group of characters. Levi and Silas are cousins who can’t stand each other.  Levi was raised by his Grandmother Dorothy and shared summers with his cousin Silas.  While I was drawn to Levi, I did not like Silas and hate how his grandmother overlooked and excused his bad behavior. I enjoyed the history  and mystery surrounding the story and would like to see what future mysteries are ahead in this storyline.

 

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

Rebecca lives in Eastern Kentucky with her husband and children. She absolutely loves mysteries. Rebecca has been writing stories for many years and enjoys reading, painting and spending time with her family. Her favorite times to write are early in the morning when the sun is coming up and at sunset. She has worked as a freelance journalist for 4 years and is a member of Sisters in Crime and American Christian Fiction Writers. Rebecca has earned a degree in English and an Appalachian Studies certificate in Creative Writing.

More from Rebecca

Looking for new ideas is my favorite part of writing because it comes with talking to interesting people and exploring antique shops all over the country.

This book not only captures my love for American history and riveting romantic suspense, but it also captures how old wounds of the heart can be healed.

Levi Corbin in The Secret of the 14th Room learns this the hard way after carrying his broken heart for most of his adult life. He has to discover the real meaning of family and family pride. Levi must face the past so that he can move on to a brighter future.

Granton, Tennessee, is a town I hope you fall in love with, just as I did when I created it. There are so many delightful characters, some with a dark secret or two. This story has been brewing for a while, and I am glad that I finally have the opportunity to share it with you.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 22

Genesis 5020, April 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 23

A Novel Pursuit, April 23

Texas Book-aholic, April 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 24 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, April 25

Blogging With Carol, April 25

Betti Mace, April 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 27

Godly Book Reviews, April 27

deb’s Book Review, April 28

CarpeDiem, April 28

Older & Smarter?, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 29

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

Simple Harvest Reads, April 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 1

KarenSueHadley, May 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 3

Mary Hake, May 3

Through the Fire Blogs, May 4

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, May 4

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10b6a/the-secret-of-the-14th-room-celebration-tour-giveaway