Book Review: A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell.

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Patrice Caldwell brings a collection of sixteen stories written by sixteen authors of color, all about black girl magic. Each story has fantasy or science fiction elements, and transports readers to alternative universes, Hispaniola in 1522, New Mexico in 1880, to a Middle-Eastern inspired fantasy world, as well as many others. Each character will have to fight against tyrannical rulers, or slave owners, or figure out a way to save the world from aliens. Readers will also come in contact with vampires, unicorns and mermaids. Some of the stories deal with family curses, or the ability to see how decisions will influence the future. Each story will take readers on an exciting journey that will leave them wanting more.

Since this review is on an anothlogy of each story, I will be providing a brief review of each story in the collection, as well as any themes that are discussed in the book. The first story is When Life Hands You Lemon Fruit Bombs by Amerie. This was an intersting science fiction story that takes readers on a bit of mind-trip towards the very end. It delas with the concepts of first contact, interplanetary wars and the birth of a civilaztion. One main theme in this story is that of compassion and humannes. Both Mae and Santos struggle with how the Nokira (the alien race) are treated, and they even set them free before the rest of the humans head back to earth. Mae often observes that there is something almost human about the Nokira, even if there might not be.

The second story in this collection is Gilded by Elizabeth Acevedo which takes place just before the slave revolts on Santa Domingo in 1522. There is an element of magical realism since the main character, Eula, has some sort of magic that allows her to manipulate metals. This is essentially a story about the fight for freedom, and will leave readers wanting more. The next story was Wherein Abigail Fields Recalls Her First Death and, subsequently, Her Best Life by Rebecca Roanhorse. This was a weird tale set in the Wild West, more specifically New Mexico in 1880. This particular story deals with seeking vengeance and making a deal with the devil, or in this case the spirits of the desert. It was really fast-paced and seemed to be over as soon as it began.

Story number four was The Rules of the Land by Alaya Dawn Johnson which was an interesting story about angry sea goddesses, deals made to save a country and the breaking of one’s oath. This story was a little confusing in a couple of places it felt like something important would take place but it was glossed over. The fifth story was A Hagiography of Starlight by Somaiya Doud. It is a Middle Eastern inspired tale about a girl who falls in love with a divine being and how her actions serve as a catalust for the events that will lead to the end of the world. This was a great short story that id a great job at explaining things and provided a great plot in 20+ pages, and the ending was very satisfying. The next story was Melie by Justina Ireland, an interesting fantasy story in which a young woman discovers that the High Sorcerer of the land is trying to creat a diversion within the kingdom in order to help another country invade it. It has a strogn theme of believing and advocating for oneself and it also has mermaids, dragons and unicorns.

The seventh story is The Goddess Provides by L. L. McKinley. All throughout this story the theme of hypocrisy is woven through fantasy tale, especialy since the goddess of this society empowers Akkia, who is considered a heathen, and tells her that the ones who are truly heathens are those who claim to be devout her but commit horrific acts in her name. It also includes a theme of betrayal and deceit when it turns ut her brother is still alive and is behind everything. The ninth story is Hearts Turned to Ash by Dhonielle Clayton which serves a cautionary tale about giving one’s heart away and making some the center of your universe and how the heartbreak feels awful. Although in this case, Etta’s heart is literally being turned to ash and she has to go visit a conjure woman to heal her. This was a magical realism that contained some influences of voodoo and hoodoo.

The next story in this anthology is Letting the Right One In by Patrice Caldwell whichc follows Ayanna who suffers from depression and is adjusting to life in a new town and is obsessed with vampires. One day she meets a black vampire and falls in love. It is ultimatey about feeling out of place in a new environment but eventually finding someone that make you feel like you belong. Tender-headed by Danny Lore was an interesting but weird story, but its main theme was ti take pride in what you do and to be kind. The next story was Kiss the Sun by Ibi Zoboi which is about a group of fire witches who feat on evil souls at night. It ends up becoming a story about a fight for pwoer which they think comes from having a lighter-skinned body, however it leads to some major discord amongst the group.

The twelfth story is The Actress by Danielle Paige abut Gamine who plays a witch on TV, but what happens when she discovers that she might actually be a witch? There is a lot of good build-up to Gamine’s discovery and there was also some indictions of the facts that she is indeed a witch. However, it does promote the trope of the main charcter not being like other girls, but it is exectued pretty well in this story. The next story is The Curse of Love by Ashley Woodfolk which is all about a family that is cursed to charming and beautiful, but they cannot fall love because when they do they immediately start aging and die. Therefore they try to guard themselves from finding love, but eventually they all succumb to love’s spell. All the Time in the World by Charlotte Nicole Davis follows Jordan, who discovers that she has the ability to make time stand still and it touchs on corporate greed and environmental issues and how people tend to care about a cause when it is affecting them directly. Another interesting feautre of this story is that it is told in the 2nd person.

The second to last story of this collection is The Witch’s Skin by Karen Strong which is an interesting mix of both fantasy and sci-fi about a witch that haunts an island and steals the souls of men. The main character, Nalah, wants to kill the witch because she killed her true love, however she discovers that the witch has been masquerading as her mother for seventeen years. The Boo Hag tells her that her life is a lie and that everyone on the island has been deceived by the Council. It also touches a little bit on misogny. The final story is Sequence by J. Marcelle Corrie in which there is a software that can help people see how certain decisions can affect their future. In this case we see Eden trying to decide whether to tell her crush that she likes her and we see the scenario where she does nothing and the one when she makes her move. The point being that even the smallest decisions can end up having an impact on our future and happiness.

Overall, I enjoyed most of the stories, although some of them had content that I don’t really like. I also wish some of them had been a bit longer, but I loved how each story was unique. 3.5/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Garrett Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Garrett

Author: Izzy James

Genre: Christian Romance

Release date: November 27, 2020

Garrett Tyler thought he was leaving Ballard House for home, secure in the knowledge that love had finally won-out for his long-time friend Olivia. He steps out the door and into the past, 1769 to be exact. While finding his bearings Garrett stumbles upon a beautiful woman being attacked. He makes sure she gets home and because of his kindness, she allows him to stay in an outbuilding—even believing his time travel story—while he figures out how he will get back to his life in the future. The more time they spend together, the deeper friendship they build, but one thing is going to rip her world apart.

Mercy Hansford is a confidant, independent woman running her own tailor shoppe. Her world is shaken when she is brutally attacked after delivering one of her sought-after shirts. The consequences of this night could be more far-reaching than either of them can guess.

Should Mercy trust a man she barely knows?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Garrett was an interesting, cute and quick read. I didn’t quite know what to expect when I picked it up, except that it involved time travel. However, while I liked the story, I did find it a bit confusing, especially the time travel aspect. But maybe there is more explanation in the first book in the series? 

I loved being transported to pre-American Revolution  Yorktown, Virginia with Garrett. I also liked getting to know Mercy, even in the midst of the trauma she has experienced. However, I did have a hard time buying that Mercy would fully understand Garrett’s explanation that he is from the future. I don’t know, I personally would probably be a lot more skeptical, but that’s just me! The ending also seemed kind of rushed, but again, maybe it wouldn’t have been if I’d read the previous book – Max- first. 

Overall, this was a quick and interesting read and I highly recommend it if you are looking for something short that combines both historical fiction and time travel. 3/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-64Izzy James grew up in coastal Virginia. She lives there still with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

More from Izzy

Why did I write Garrett?

While I was writing Max I was working through physical therapy prior to a lumbar fusion surgery. My physical therapist’s assistant was a young man named Garrett. He was intrigued that I was a writer and asked me if I would use his name in a book one day. So I had a name.

As I finished writing Max–who came forward in time from 1769–I started thinking about what it would be like for a young person of today to find himself back in 1769.

Garrett of the book bears no resemblance to Garrett of the physical therapy office! Garrett was fun to write. I hope you will enjoy reading it.

If you’d like to hear more about my books and be included in a monthly giveaway sign up for my newsletter.

Newsletter Link: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/websitesignupform0708201983447pm

Every Christmas I send Christmas cards to each member of my Christmas Club. I pray for each reader as I sign and address the cards. If you’d like a Christmas Card from me please sign up before December 1. It does require your physical address. It will never be used for anything else.

Christmas Card Link: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/websitesignupform0708201975614pm

Both email and physical addresses are held sacred. They will never ber sold or used for anything but what you signed up for.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Britt Reads Fiction, November 16

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

Inklings and notions, November 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 19

By the Book, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, November 20

deb’s Book Review, November 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Kayem Reads, November 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 23

Connie’s History Classroom, November 24

Mary Hake, November 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, November 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 28

Pause for Tales, November 28

Connect in Fiction, November 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Izzy 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/133b3/garrett-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow.

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January follows January Scaller who is an odd young woman who is the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke. She feels like one of the many artifacts that are apart of his collection. One day she discovers a strange book that has her name on it that tells the story of strange worlds and the doors between that exist. However, as she reads to book she discover more about her family and who she is and that Mr. Locke might not be who he seems to be.

I’ll be honest, I went into this without reading much of the synopsis because I wanted to be surprised and it ended up being different from what I had expected, but I loved it!

The title might not make sense at first, butt he more things come together the more they make sense. This book is not necessarily the story of a young woman who journeys to different lands, rather it is about a young woman who discovers that such doors exist and that she herself hails from a different world accessed by one of these doors. She also discovers that her guardian might know more than he lets on and there is a mysterious society that seems more sinister than they appear. To guide her, January discovers a book that was left for her called The Ten Thousand Doors, a treatise on the existence of these doorways to other worlds.

I loved the book within a book and that readers get to read The Ten Thousand Doors along with January, it was fascinating to learn what she was learning as she reads the book – it even included footnotes. I loved the themes of exploration, otherness, and belonging. It also explores the fear of chaos and being confronted by what we don’t know. It also gives a warning about corruption and absolute power ad control over the world, as well as those who are suspicious of that which is different.

January was a great character and I loved watching her journey unfold as she learns more about who she is, where she comes from and about the doors. It is interesting to watch her attitudes toward Mr. Locke, especially when he proves to be the villain. I also enjoyed getting to know Jane and her story, and Bad the dog.

Mr. Locke is an interesting character because he appears to care for her even though he treats her and shows her off like she is some artifact. He at first seems to care for her as a daughter, however it soon becomes apparent that he views her as an artifact, and/or a savage to be tamed by a “proper upbringing”. When she bucks against what he wishes her to be he decides to send her to an asylum. He also reminded me sometimes of Senator Palpatine in Star Wars Episodes II and III.

There were also several quotes that I really liked while I was reading the book:

“It’s a profoundly strange feeling to stumble across someone whose desires are shaped so closely to your own, like reaching toward your reflection in a mirror and finding warm flesh under your fingertips.” (p.91)

“‘Oh, my dear, don’t believe everything you read in the story papers. You people are always trying to invent reasons for things. Monsters only come for bad children, for loose women, for impious men. The truth is that the powerful come for the weak, whenever and wherever they like. Always have, always will.'” (p.161).

“I wonder sometimes how much evil is permitted to run unchecked simply because it would be rude to interrupt it.” (p.326).

The Ten Thousand Doors of January was really great, but I can also see why someone might not like it because it is flowery writing and very atmospheric. I wish we could get more of January’s story, especially after the end of this novel, but I also want this to stay a stand-alone. I am looking forward to reading more from Alix E. Harrow’s work. 4.5/5 Stars

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Bandana Acres: Hootin’ Goes Outside Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Bandana Acres: Hootin Goes Outside

Author: Kathy J. Perry

Genre: Early Reader Chapter Book

Release date: November 1, 2018

How long will you be gone?

The barn owlets are hungry! Their mom, Hootin, must find a way to get more food. Can she trust her bandana buddies to take care of her babies during the storm?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I really liked Hootin’ Goes Outside, I though it was a great addition to the Bandana Acres series. I loved seeing Hootin’ have the courage to do what she needs to do for her baby owlets, while still making sure that they are safe. I also loved getting to revisit some of the characters in previous books, Ollie and Feebs. My only complaint is that it seemed really short, but then again, I forget that this book is for kids who are learning to read and growing their reading skills. I loved the illustrations, and I love the glossary that’s included in the back to help kids grow their vocabulary. I also love the questions at the end of the book to help kids comprehend and think through what they have just read. As always, this installment was a delight to read and I can’t wait to share these books with my future children someday! 

About the Author

p-61After My Parents Passed,

I re-evaluated what I was doing with my life and my contribution to others. A former classroom teacher and homeschool mom, I’ve always had a heart for educating kids.

In 2016 my daughter and I attended a local arts and crafts fair where I stumbled upon some cute children’s art and thought, “That’s what I can do! Write children’s books.”

I set my mission and started my own publishing company, Chickadee Words, LLC. I would do my best to affect our youth through wonderful stories full of timeless character struggles.

More from Kathy

Have you every known someone who thinks they’re the only ones that can do the job right? They’re the people who may be very good at what they do, but make poor managers because they don’t delegate or allow others to contribute.

This story is about a barn owl who has two owlets she must care for but her partner is lost for some unknown reason. She burdens herself with care and responsibility until her bandana buddies offer to help and show her she can be flexible.

Here’s one question in the “What If” part at the end of the book:

When you’re at school, are you sometimes afraid or embarrassed to ask a question when you don’t understand something and need help?

Special things about this book (and series) include:

  1. Proven easy-to-read font for early readers (Sassoon Primary)
  2. In full-color with original watercolor artwork.
  3. Leveled by Lexile and Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) for dialing in to your child’s reading level.
  4. Blue words are the character’s inside thoughts (rather than italics, which I thought would be harder to read). Kids enjoy the color. In fact, struggling readers love to read just the colored parts to start – and then want to continue reading! (Each book has its own color for this.)
  5. A glossary of newer words with definitions.
  6. A “What If” section for discussion with five questions about the story, and five questions of how the theme plays out in real life. (Parents and teachers love these books!)
  7. Hootin Goes Outside! is available in hardcover and softcover.

Help your kids learn to read with this fun story and cute watercolor illustrations. This early reader chapter book is perfect for ages 5-8 and can usually be read alone by 2nd or 3rd grades.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 13

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Blogging with Carol, November 14

Inklings and notions, November 15

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 16

For Him and My Family, November 16

deb’s Book Review, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 19

Vicky Sluiter, November 19

Older & Smarter?, November 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 22

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 23

Cats in the Cradle Blog, November 24

Mary Hake, November 24

Lights in a Dark World, November 25

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card, a softcover copy of the book, digital artwork with motivational phrase, and a custom Hoo-Rag covered with artwork from the Bandana Acres series!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/133b0/bandana-acres-hootin-goes-outside-celebration-tour-giveaway

Road to Freedom Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Road to Freedom

Author: Cheri Swalwell

Genre: Christian Woman’s Contemporary Fiction

Release date: October 5, 2021

Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

Wynn and her best friend Addie have been inseparable since kindergarten. Growing up together in the same community, they shared activities, friends, and even the same job. But behind closed doors, their lives couldn’t be more different.

Zane has loved Wynn for four years. Yet Wynn is adamant she doesn’t need a boyfriend. After all, she will never get married. Ever. In an effort to uncover the why behind her ‘no,’ Zane discovers more than he expected.

When Wynn unlatches the door and allows Holly in as a mentor, will she learn trust is just like riding a bike and find the healing she so desperately needs?

Road to Freedom, Book 4 in The Redemption of Green Pines series continues to disclose the messiness of real life. Join Wynn and her friends as they discover how an encounter with God can bring freedom from fear, healing from pain, and the joy of belonging when we choose to let others into our lives, even, or especially, the messy parts.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Road to Freedom. I had no idea that I would it in almost one sitting, and I had no idea I would have such strong feelings while reading it. Let me just say, Cheri Swalwell does a great job with tackling the issues that she does in this book. I think because it spoke to some of my own personal experiences, it was a little triggering, but I also felt seen and I felt like I could relate to Wynn to a certain extent!

Some of the strong feelings I had were towards Wynn’s family, especially her father. Just how he treats her and her mom was so jarring, but I think it was so because it was realistic and I have met people just like him, and have heard stories from people I’ve met where the men in the family are like this, hypocrites who care about appearances at church. There were times I wanted to throw my kindle against the wall when he was talking to her because of how horrible he was (I didn’t, no kindles were harmed in the making of this review). However, I also applaud the author for tackling the topic of unseen abuse, something which is frequently skipped because it is unseen and doesn’t leave any physical marks.

I also appreciated how the author tackles the topics of church, and different kinds of churches, especially those who are super legalistic, and the churches that are welcoming and teach about God as a loving father. I also liked the discussion about the Holy Spirit, this is a topic that I’ve been struggling with throughout the year. I do believe in the Holy Spirit, but there are some things that I’m still trying to figure out, like whether some gifts have actually have ceased (as I grew up being taught) or if they exist today, etc. Finding a church to go to has also been a struggle, and honestly reading about the church that Zane, Addie and Owen go to made me wish to find a church similar to it.

I liked getting to know Wynn and Zane and watching their relationship grow, especially as Zane finds out more about Wynn’s home life. There were times I got frustrated when Wynn would get upset with Zane and accuse him of being just like her father and would run away. But, I think the big reason that this struck a nerve is because I know I have a tendency to do that too, it’s something I am working on and I am thankful for my patient husband who is helping me work through the past trauma that makes me want to run or fight, but it is hard, and it takes time. I would love to read more about Wynn and Zane, and how Wynn continue to heals from the hurts of the past.

I also loved the other characters that we are introduced to, especially Holly and how she takes Wynn under her wing. I really need to go and read the previous books in this series, because it seems really great, and I want to get to know the people of Green Pine even more.

Overall, while Road to Freedom was a difficult book for me to read because of the emotions it brought up, it was really well written! Cheri Swalwell does a great job of capturing just how trauma can affect various aspects of a person’s life, but she also shows how healing can start to take place by the grace of God. I highly recommend it, however I do caution those recovering from trauma, especially emotional abuse, that it might be a little bit triggering, especially the first quarter of the book. But I still highly recommend it! 5/5 Stars.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

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Cheri Swalwell is a Christ follower who thoroughly enjoys her calling to be a wife, mother, writer and speaker, in that order. Cheri loves to encourage people through her fiction series and many nonfiction books including devotionals, Bible studies, and compilation books. For a full list of books visit www.cheriswalwell.com. If you want to sign up to her newsletter to stay updated on all the latest news, you will also receive a free gift as her way of saying thanks for joining! To read one of her many articles on life from a Christian perspective, visit her blog at http://www.cheriswalwell.com. She loves to interact with her readers, so send her an email at clSwalwell99@gmail.com. You can “like” her on Facebook as well here or join Heart Speaks with Cheri Swalwell, a private Facebook group where we encourage each other and share life together.

More from Cheri

The Redemption of Green Pines is a series about community. We first meet Wynn and her friends in Journey Back Home when they attended youth group. While Pastor Jace and Holly remain a constant presence throughout all six books, Road to Freedom takes us deeper into the lives of four friends – Wynn, Addie, Zane and Owen, who graduated from youth group and began working for Holly’s catering business. They also babysit the Cooper kids from time to time and have become part of the family.

Since the beginning when we were introduced to Wynn, she carried around a secret she wouldn’t share with anyone, not even her best friend. Road to Freedom is Wynn’s journey of truly discovering who she is as a Daughter of the King, and learning how good it feels to live in freedom instead of burdened by other’s choices.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Wynn and her friends as much as I have!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Inklings and notions, November 14

CarpeDiem, November 15

For Him and My Family, November 15

deb’s Book Review, November 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17

Pause for Tales, November 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 21

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cheri is giving away the grand prize of a $20 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/1339d/road-to-freedom-celebration-tour-giveaway

Honor in the Mountain Refuge Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Honor in the Mountain Refuge

Author: Misty Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 9, 2021

This epic journey is his last chance to start a new life.

After being cast out of his Blackfoot village for his kindness to the Nez Perce captives, Chogan travels west in search of meaning for his life. Meaning that doesn’t require killing or torturing innocent people. Though the lovely face of Telípe, a Nez Perce woman, is imprinted on his heart, he avoids her village. She deserves a happy life with her husband and coming child.

With her husband dead and the birth of her babe imminent, Telípe’s reality looks nothing like she planned. She’s been forced to return to the village where she grew up and the chaos of her family’s lodge—with all her boisterous younger brothers. She desperately desires to start a new life for herself and the babe growing within her, but she can’t seem to climb above the mire of her past. When she stumbles into the brave who’d shown her kindness during her captivity, something ignites within her—a new hope.

Chogan’s determination to stay and help Telípe is thwarted by her people’s fear and hatred for his tribe—especially since he was among last winter’s kidnappers. It doesn’t matter that he did everything he could to keep her and her unborn child safe and comfortable during that awful event. But as a new predator threatens the safety of the village, Chogan determines to take down the massive wildcat that’s already injured several children—including one of Telípe’s younger brothers. When the danger escalates, Chogan is faced with an impossible choice. No matter which option he chooses, his life will never be the same—nor that of the woman he’s come to love.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

I really liked Honor in the Mountain Refuge. I enjoyed getting to know Telipe and her tribe, as well as seeing some of the characters that I have met in some of the other books I have read in this series. I enjoyed learning a bit more about what daily life was probably like for the Nez Perce tribes, and the preparations that they had to make for the coming winter. 

I also enjoyed getting to know Chogan and how he looks out for Telipe’s welfare, as well as does what he can to earn the trust of her tribe. I liked watching the romance blossom between them, and I would love to see what happens to these two characters next. 

Overall, I really liked Honor in the Mountain Refuge and I am hoping to go back and read the couple of books that I haven’t yet read in this series, as well as read more of Misty M. Beller’s work in the future. 3.5/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-14Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

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

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

More from Misty

When minor characters get their own story!

One of the things I love about writing in series is the chance for minor characters to become major characters, with fascinating lives and personalities of their own! The heroine in Honor in theMountain Refuge, Telipe, first appeared in Light in the Mountain Sky as Meksem’s little sister who was kidnapped by a band of Blackfoot warriors. Even when I’m the writer, characters often surprise me by doing things very differently than what I expected!

Telipe did exactly that in one of the final scenes of that previous book. When Meksem and her friends showed up to rescue Telipe and the other captives, Telipe actually braced herself in front of one of one of her Blackfoot captors, stopping anyone from injuring him. Why would she do that?

In that book, Telipe only says that the man had been kind to her when the other warriors were not. I knew there HAD to be more though.

I pray you enjoy learning Telipe’s story as much as I did, including how that Blackfoot brave she protected shows up again in the most unexpected of places!

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 9

Texas Book-aholic, November 10

Inklings and notions, November 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 11

Splashes of Joy, November 12

For Him and My Family, November 12

lakesidelivingsite, November 13

deb’s Book Review, November 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 15

Vicarious Living, November 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17

For the Love of Literature, November 18

Connie’s History Classroom, November 18

Betti Mace, November 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 20

Blossoms and Blessings, November 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 21

Through the Fire blogs, November 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Pause for Tales, November 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Misty 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/12f8d/honor-in-the-mountain-refuge-celebration-tour-giveaway

Shut the Front Door Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Shut the Front Door

Author: L.M. Karen

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release date: July 15, 2021

The zany story of an alpha male pursuing a headstrong woman and the hilarious entanglements that follow.

Maddy’s dating profile couldn’t be more together. Maddy, however, feels utterly not together when Derek is in the room. She thought living next to her best friend Brittany, (who happens to be married to her brother, Matt) would be the best move of her life; not realizing it came with the complication of Brittany’s older brother Derek. Their undeniable chemistry and passionate personalities make it hard for Maddy to continue ignoring his determined pursuit. This is a feel good romantic comedy with a hint of excitement.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I was looking forward to reading Shut the Front Door after reading LM Karen’s first book in this series, Summertime Lilies. I had really enjoyed the first installment and couldn’t wait to revisit these characters. However, I ended up not enjoying it, and I struggled to get through it. 

I liked the writing style and the setting of the novel, and of course I loved getting read about Matt, Brittany and Grady again. However, I did not love the romance between Derek and Maddy at all. Honestly it seemed unhealthy from the get go, especially when Derek, who is a detective, practically stalks Maddy on a date, he also constantly shows up at her house and comes in uninvited and unannounced, even before they start dating. I know part of that is on her for leaving the door unlocked, but at the same time…he knows better. It also seemed like he manipulated her into wanting to be in a relationship with her, and I couldn’t tell if she genuinely liked him, or if she was convinced that she liked him because of his “persistence” in pursuing her. I don’t know, I just found Derek’s initial pursuit of her to be borderline creepy and when they did get into a relationship I felt very uncomfortable. It just isn’t romantic. I do know that there are some things that Maddy did that weren’t great either, but they honestly pale in comparison to what Derek did. 

Overall, I did not like Shut the Front Door, which makes me sad because I was really looking forward to reading it. However, I just could not buy into the romance and I found it borderline toxic at times. 2.5/5 Stars. 

About the Author

LM Karen writes contemporary Christian fiction romance. As a longtime lover of words, she can generally be found behind her laptop or with a book in her hand. A graduate of Toccoa Falls College, her heart is in the mountains. She eventually made use of the voices in her head by putting them on the page.

More from LM Karen

I like writing characters who are flawed but are loved anyway. Who have maybe made a mess of things, or are consumed by fear, or have some growing to do, because isn’t that all of us? All of my characters get happy endings because as Christians we all get the happy ending. We are flawed, we are human, we are sinful, but we are loved. We are forgiven.

One of my favorite things about Maddy in Shut the Front Door is that she is fearless. She is bold and unapologetic about who she is. But even Maddy with all her confidence still has insecurities about being accepted, and just wants to be loved at the end of the day. She just wants to know that she will be received for all she is by the one person she loves the most. I think that’s a very relatable desire and what we all really want. One of my favorite things about Christian fiction is that we are reminded within the fun and sweeping nature of romance that we are always and eternally loved by God.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 10

CarpeDiem, November 10

Texas Book-aholic, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 11

Inklings and notions, November 12

Living’ Lit, November 13

For Him and My Family, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

deb’s Book Review, November 15

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 17

Kayem Reads, November 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 18

Wishful Endings, November 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 19

By The Book, November 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 21

Remembrancy, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 22

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

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, November 23

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, LM is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/13399/shut-the-front-door-celebration-tour-giveaway

Behind Love’s Wall Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Behind Love’s Wall

Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels

Genre: FICTION/ Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

Two successful women, a hundred-and-twenty-years apart, build walls to protect their hearts. Modern-day Willa, a successful interior decorator, is chosen to consult for the Grand Hotel’s possible redesign. She discovers a journal detailing the struggles of a young woman, Lily—which reveals dark secrets. The renowned singer wasn’t who she pretended to be. As Willa reaches out to Lily’s descendant, a charismatic and prominent landscape artist, she lets down her guard. Should she share the journal with him, or once again erect a wall as she struggles to redesign both the Grand and her life?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I really enjoyed Behind Love’s Wall. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I loved the dual timelines set on Mackinac Island and the cast of characters that we get to follow. I should also mention that it is the first book I’ve read since the start of the pandemic that is set in 2020 (at least the present day plot) and, it was interesting, especially when reading about a place like Mackinac Island and the hotels there that no doubt suffered at the beginning of the pandemic. 

I enjoyed both storylines, however, I really enjoyed the 1895 storyline the most. It was very intriguing to read about how psychiatrists were viewed back then, as well as seeing some the early days of the eugenics movement, and also Pinkerton agents. I don’t know there was so much it covered, at it was fascinating to read. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoyed the contemporary storyline, and I like how both are tied together in a way. My only wish is that we could have gotten more of Lily’s diary entries throughout the novel, but that’s just me and that is something I really like. 

I also enjoyed getting to know the characters, they were well fleshed out and I loved seeing what ends up happening to everyone, both past and present in the book. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Behind Love’s Wall and I hope to read more by the author in the future. I highly recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction and dual timelines. 4/5 Stars.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

 

About the Author

p-50ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at http://www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.

More from Carrie

Why I Wrote This Novel

I got a chance to write another novel set on Mackinac Island!!!

I’m the author of over twenty published stories. I have many books, both novel and novella length, set at the Straits of Mackinac including Maggie Award winner and Romantic Times Top Pick My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. In the summer, I go up to the area and I’m blessed to sign books at the Island Bookstore—sometimes hundreds of books which is such an amazing thing I can’t tell you! Now that MHBoMI is out of print, Barbour has been helping by doing limited print runs for while I am up there.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island was originally part of a full series that I pitched but it didn’t get picked up for all three stories. MHBoMI got picked up as part of the My Heart Belongs series that Barbour put out a few years ago. The second book in my original Brides of Mackinac series was heroine Sadie’s story, which was published as a novella “His Anchor” in First Love Forever collection. So I had two of my book babies delivered out into the world and Lily’s story sat there for a while.

In the Covid summer of 2020, I arrived in my home state of Michigan and over dinner with a close friend I learned that the folks at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island were having legal trouble with their previous long-time designed Carlton Varney suing them. I’d been disappointed that the Mussers, who’d owned the Grand for generations, had sold the hotel but this new development really bugged me. While I was in the Upper Peninsula, I finished an Indy book, Dogwood Plantation, which only figures since I often write my Michigan stories while I am in Virginia and vice versa! I knew the only other book I wanted to work on was to complete my Brides of Mackinac trilogy (not exactly since they aren’t all in one series!) with Lily’s story. I also had a manuscript about 70% done that was my very first contemporary Women’s Fiction novel. When my agent encouraged me to submit a Mackinac Island story set at the Grand Hotel to Barbour’s Doors to the Past series, I knew immediately that the only story for historical I wanted to write was Lily’s. That meant that I needed, for this dual-timeline series, a contemporary story. That wasn’t just a chance sharing at dinner—I believe the info about the lawsuit was meant to be passed on to me one of those God-incidences. My modern-day heroine then became an established resort designer who had a trunkful of issues just like Lily did.

Was I ever glad that I had finally written my first contemporary Women’s Fiction (Butterfly Cottage) because that skill set came in very handy in writing the modern-day 2020 story of Willa in Behind Love’s Wall! This was the most difficult novel to write that I have done so far as I write in character and going back and forth between the 1895 and 2020 timelines could be draining. I tried to write each character and setting on separate days but that couldn’t always be managed.

I pray that this story will touch readers’ hearts. I pray that someone, like the young waitress I meant on Mackinac Island who had been spiritually moved by My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (she read her grandmother’s copy after her grandma passed away!), will read this book and feel that connection to our Maker. That’s what Christian Fiction is all about!

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 19

Cats in the Cradle Blog, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Inklings and notions, November 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

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

For Him and My Family, November 21

Mary Hake, November 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

For the Love of Literature, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Betti Mace, November 23

Genesis 5020, November 23

Older & Smarter?, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

Blossoms and Blessings, November 25

Stephanie’s life of determination, November 25

Connect in Fiction, November 25

Rebecca Tews, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 26

Through the fire blogs, November 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Bigreadersite, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 28

Connie’s History Classroom, November 29

Bizwings Blog, November 29

Labor Not in Vain, November 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 30

To Everything There Is A Season, November 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 1

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, December 1

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 1

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carrie 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/137e9/behind-love-s-wall-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sweet Summer Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Sweet Summer

Author: Christina Sinisi

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: July 6, 2021

Shelby Marano is the youngest of three sisters and was always Daddy’s baby girl–until

her father was murdered. Ever since, she’s been running from anyone or anything that

could truly hurt her. Instead, she seeks calculated thrills that leave her exhilarated, but

when she’s caught outside during a summer storm, she quickly realizes not all adventures

are within her control.

Tyler Burgess offers her both refuge from the rain and a safe place to land.

Time spent with Tyler proves him to be much more than just a nerd in a history museum,

but what she finds out about him is a dealbreaker for her. As Shelby’s perfect little world

is threatened by family health issues and an unknown stalker, she learns the hard lesson

that no one can hide from the dangers of life. Can Shelby let her sisters, Tyler, and even

more importantly, God, show her in one Sweet Summer, that love is worth taking the

risk?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

Sweet Summer was a cute, contemporary romance. I really enjoyed it, even though it ended up being somewhat different from what I was expecting. But I really liked that! 

I enjoyed getting to know both of the main characters, Shelby was spunky, and there were times I felt like she gave poor Tyler a bit of a hard time for no reason. It was also interesting see her relationship with her family, especially since it seems like they are somewhat estranged by her own doing. Tyler was a gem, however, I do think he needed to stand up for himself a bit, especially when it came to his brothers. Let’s just say there were a couple of times when he interacted with his brothers that I wanted to scream because of how selfish they were. However, they did serve as a good contrast for Tyler. I liked how we see him struggle with what the right thing to do is regarding his parents, and how that plays out. 

I also really liked the backdrop of Charleston, I’ve read a number of books set there, and I would love to visit it someday to experience it for myself! 

Overall, I really liked Sweet Summer, there were a couple of times when it seemed to get overdramatic, but I still enjoyed it and was hooked. I was rooting for the main characters the whole time and loved the ending. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a clean, sweet romance book. I am looking forward to reading more of Christina Sinisi’s books in the future. 3.75/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of the book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-46A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Christina Sinisi writes stories about families, both the broken and blessed. Her works include a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest and the American Title IV Contest in which she appeared in the top ten in the Romantic Times magazine. Her published books include The Christmas Confusion and Sweet Summer, the first two books in the Summer Creek Series, as well as the Christmas On Ocracoke and the upcoming Why They Call it Falling. By day, she’s a psychology professor and lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with my husband, two grown children and Hemingway cat, Chessie.

More from Christina

In Sweet Summer, Tyler and Shelby play tourist in their hometown city (or at least, the city next to their small hometown of Summer Cree), Charleston, South Carolina. While Charleston has been labeled as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, the city and its surroundings hang on to some of the South’s special charm.

I am not a native Charlestonian, but am native to the South. I grew up in the mountains of Virginia where my family traces its roots back into the 1700s and a family farm. While there are many similarities between Fincastle, Virginia and Summer Creek, South Carolina (a mixture of real life towns Summerville and Goose Creek), there are also differences.

My husband and I moved here in pursuit of a job when my son turned one and he’s about to turn 28 so we have become very attached to the city. Since then, we’ve loved trying all the restaurants we can afford (or if our jobs are paying, can’t afford) in Charleston. The food is fantastic. The beaches are beautiful and the history is awe-inspiring.

One dish that we didn’t have in the mountains where I grew up is shrimp and grits. Makes sense, given that we only visited the beach one time during my childhood. There were creeks and lakes with their catfish and trout, but no shrimp.

You can buy shrimp at the farmer’s market and on the side of the road here in Charleston. I love the former and don’t trust the latter. Still, I pursue shrimp and grits around the LowCountry and up to Pawley’s Island. I don’t think I can share the real restaurant’s name here, but my favorites come from a restaurant on Pawley’s (just south of Myrtle Beach) and one on the Isle of Palms (next to Sullivan’s Island where Fort Moultrie is located next to Charleston). For legal reasons, I had to change the name in my book, but there’s only one little restaurant on a side road of the Isle of Palms with six different ways of preparing shrimp and grits.

My recipe comes from a completely different source…adapted from various recipes, including one of those Junior League cookbooks that raise money for charity. I love those books because of the homey, personal feel—and hope you enjoy the dish! *And the book!

Shrimp and Grits:

Grits:

2 cups heavy cream

¼ lb. butter (1 stick)

2 cups water

1 cup grits

Salt and white pepper to taste

Heat cream and water to boil. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Slowly add grits and reduce heat. Cook 20 minutes, stirring every once in a while. OPTION: Add sharp cheddar cheese or crumbled bleu cheese and stir in to melt after the grits are cooked.

Note: If grits aren’t the right consistency after twenty minutes, continue to cook. I have tried this with varying amounts of liquid. The key is to be patient and stir to prevent lumps.

Shrimp:

Take your choice: Blackened or Gumbo style.

Blackened:

2 lb. shrimp

Blackening seasoning

Butter

Canned or fresh shoepeg corn

Sliced onion

Saute shrimp and onion in butter. As you stir, sprinkle with desired amount of seasoning, depending on how much heat you prefer. Stir in corn at end to just heat. Spoon on top of grits.

 

OR Gumbo style:

Let’s be real. You can’t beat Zatarain’s gumbo mix.

2 lb. shrimp

Rope of Andouille sausage

Red bell pepper, diced

Onion, diced or sliced

Saute all ingredients to cook. Follow gumbo mix directions for sauce. Serve on top of grits.

By the way, no one said any of this was healthy! Live a little!

That’s part of the point of Sweet Summer. Even during life’s hardships, we need to find the little joys. God bless!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 5

For Him and My Family, November 6

Texas Book-aholic, November 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 8

Inklings and notions, November 9

deb’s Book Review, November 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 12

Through the Fire blogs, November 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 13

Rebecca Tews, November 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 15

Remembrancy, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 18

Pause for Tales, November 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Christina is giving away 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/12f83/sweet-summer-celebration-tour-giveaway

Yukon Justice Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Yukon Justice

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: October 26, 2021

Sabotage on a family ranch…

Newfoundland Ella and her Alaska State Trooper partner is on the case.

When her estranged uncle attempts to sabotage her family’s reindeer ranch, K-9 team assistant Katie Kapowski heads home to help save it—and becomes his target. With their rocky past, Alaska State Trooper Brayden Ford and his furry partner are the last team Katie wants assigned to protect her. But with the ranch under siege, they must work together…or risk falling victim to a killer.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed Yukon Justice, it was a great romantic suspense set against the backdrop of Alaska. I also liked that it involved a reindeer farm as well. I was hooked from beginning to end and I could barely put it down because I was desperate to see what would happen to the characters.

I loved getting to know Katie and seeing how much she cares for her aunt and the family farm. However, there were times it seemed like she put herself in harms way one too many times, especially when there is a killer on the loose. I also couldn’t quite understand her animosity towards Brayden. I get that in the past he had done somethings when she was trying to get a job, but at the same time, there were times I felt like she kind of proved him right. I also enjoyed getting to know Brayden, and while he did have his flaws, it was interesting to see how he takes on protecting Katie and the farm. I liked that he was a good contrast to Katie, especially when it comes how they have or haven’t moved on from their past interactions.

The only thing I wish is that we had a more definite answer as to why the killer did what he did. I felt like that was somewhat open-ended and I would have loved to know more about what made him do the things he does throughout the novel, and why then.

Also, this review would not be complete without mentioning Brayden’s dog, Ella, she was amazing and I loved the scenes where she was present. She definitely serves as the comic relief, and stole the show sometimes, but in a good way!

Overall, I really enjoyed Yukon Justice!  I highly recommend it for those who enjoy romantic suspense and/or mysteries and thrillers. This would also be a perfect book to read as winter approaches. I am looking forward to reading more of Dana Mentink’s work in the future. 4/5 Stars.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

p-43Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the Publisher’s Weekly and Amazon bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Up on the housetop, click, click, click, down through the chimney with good St. Nick. Does anyone know that line from the famous Christmas song? I’ve been singing it for years but only recently did I learn that the clicking is a real reindeer phenomenon. Those reindeer ankle joints make a clicking sound so they can find the rest of their herd if they are separated in a blizzard. It’s just one of the many things I learned about reindeer while researching to write Yukon Justice. In the novel, Katy has to take over running her aunt’s reindeer ranch and protect it from threats by a dangerous intruder. I had the pleasure of “Zoom” interviewing the owner of the Running Reindeer Ranch in Fairbanks, Alaska! Jane helped me learn all kinds of interesting things about reindeer. How much do you know about these critters? Take my quick three question trivia quiz to test your knowledge!

  1. What’s the difference between caribou and reindeer? They are the same animal but caribou are the wild variety and the domesticated version are called reindeer.
  2. Do males or females grow antlers? Both! Reindeer are a type of deer and the only species where the female grows antlers as well as the males.
  3. How come kids put out carrots for Santa’s reindeer? Good question! Carrots are not, in fact, part of a natural healthy reindeer diet. The animals don’t even have front teeth! A much better treat would be willow or birch leaves, or their favorite food…lichen, which they find by scraping the snow away from the ground with their hooves.

So how did you do? If you want to know more about these amazing creatures, snag yourself a copy of Yukon Justice!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 6

lakesidelivingsite, November 6

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 7

Gina Holder, November 7 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 8

Daysong Reflections, November 8

Genesis 5020, November 8

For Him and My Family, November 9

Lighthouse-Academy, November 9

Bigreadersite, November 9

For the Love of Literature, November 10

Remembrancy, November 10

Betti Mace, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 11

deb’s Book Review, November 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 12

Blogging With Carol, November 13

To Everything There Is A Season, November 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 14

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 15

Vicarious Living, November 15

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings, November 16

Bizwings Blog, November 16

She Lives To Read, November 17

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 17

Splashes of Joy, November 18

Through the Fire blogs, November 18

Kayem Reads, November 18

Labor Not in Vain, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Raining Butterfly Kisses, November 19

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of the book OR signed copy of the book (U.S. Only)!!

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/12f8a/yukon-justice-celebration-tour-giveaway

Speak Now Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Speak Now

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romance

Release date: May 30, 2013

Some say you only love once. They’re wrong.

Ask Jonathan Lyman. Still grieving for his wife, he walks into that wedding with no idea his entire life is about to change. It was just supposed to be a simple—oh, who am I kidding? It was supposed to be a typical, lavish, family wedding.

But there’s nothing typical about falling in love with a woman walking down the aisle. So to speak.

Cara Laas is falling hard and fast for a man whose heart doesn’t want to let go of the past and is rushing to meet her in the present. At the same time. That she’s half in love with his children doesn’t help, either.

Their attraction may be their undoing, but is either ready for “till death do us part?”

She’s a master at making others comfortable. He’s never comfortable talking, but if he wants her heart, he’s going to have to speak—now sooner than later, if you don’t mind.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I really don’t know where to start with this review. I guess I should start with the fact that Chautona Havig is one of my favorite authors, and I was really looking forward to reading Speak Now, it has been on my TBR pile ever since it came out. It sounded interesting and I had really high expectations for it. However, I didn’t love it, and I’m sad that I didn’t. 

First, though, I do have to commend the author with tackling the topic of chemistry and temptation in relationships, especially when both parties want to honor their commitment to save themselves for marriage. I thought it was an interesting concept for a novel, however I do wish there had been more communication between the couple on the subject matter. Which I think brings me to one of the things I didn’t like, and that was the lack of communication sometimes between the couple, but not only that, but also the lack of conflict too. Not that there needed to be full-blown fight, but I honestly expected there to be more conflict. Also, they never really talked about the future until the last 60 pages of the book. I get it in some ways, but it also seems like the nature of their relationship really should have warranted some of those discussions. 

I did like getting to know the characters, however, I did find some of Cara’s thoughts about her own body a little bit uncomfortable. However, I think that has more to do with my own insecurities and I think it reminded me too much of thoughts that I have about my own body sometimes. I also liked getting to know Jonathan, but there were times I feel like he was a little inconsiderate of Cara, and I think that has to do with their lack of communication on some very important topics. I loved getting to know his children, Riley and Bryson, they definitely stole the show sometimes (in a good way), and I loved how he cares for them, and considers them when trying to make decisions about the future. I also loved Cara’s mom, Diane, and reading about the different designs she is working on throughout the novel. 

Overall, Speak Now wasn’t my favorite Chautona Havig book, but I think that also has to do with my high expectations for it, and not necessarily the book itself. I loved revisiting Rockland and Fairbury, and I really do hope we get to read more about Cara and Jonathan and where their lives go after the end of Speak Now, and I would definitely read it. While this book wasn’t my favorite, it was still a somewhat enjoyable read, and I really can’t wait to read more from Chautona Havig in the future. 3/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-39Author 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

All New Cover, All New Edits, Same Great Story?

The article condemned the overuse of dialogue. I did a bit of research, and my heart sank. It seemed dialogue was out. Lyrical prose was in. Great. Just what I needed.

I write a decidedly dialogue-driven story. Always have.

Every time I tried to shift character discussions into narrative, my prose took a nose-dive into a tank of boring info-dumping. Blech. Those characters wanted to talk. They didn’t want me to tell readers what they wanted to say. They wanted me to let them tell their story as they lived it.

Characters can be pretty demanding.

Then Jonathan stepped up. He didn’t talk—didn’t want to talk. In fact, he didn’t like it. Refused to do it. And yet… how could he hope to get to know a woman who fascinated him if he didn’t at least ask questions to get her to carry most of the conversation.

Research says that if you gaze into someone’s eyes for four minutes, you’ll develop a strong bond with that person. I suspect that’s what “love at first sight” is. Two people who foolishly keep gazing into a stranger’s eyes long enough to form that bond. Or something.

I also suspect that’s what happened to Jonathan that night.

So here I had a character who did not like to talk. And aside from self-absorbed people, most of us don’t like to carry an entire conversation alone, so the woman he met that night, Cara, wouldn’t enjoy chatting all by herself all night.

Look, I tried to make it less dialogue-driven and not all info-dumpy. I tried to keep it an engaging read without so much discussion. But the dialogue refused to go away. It wanted its place. It needed to be there.

So I caved, certain I was going to be a mediocre writer for the rest of my life.

I hated that book for so long. In fact, I never intended to publish it. Why would I put something out there so very bad? The articles, books, videos—all the things I’d read said I was doing something wrong.

Except one friend. Michele loved the story—begged for new installments. Pleaded with me to finish it. So, I did. For her. I published it, even. Only for her. And you know what? I still hated it.

Despite that book having the best scene I’ve ever written in it.

No joke. There’s a scene in there that I’m always amazed to realize that I wrote. It’s powerful and raw and oh, so poignant. And yes, there are words in it—spoken words by my characters.

A few years passed. I still didn’t like the book. In my mind, it was a failure.

Then someone said something to me one day. “You are so good at dialogue.”

Later, someone else said it again. And later, I heard it again. Here I’d spent all this time and frustration fighting against one of my biggest writing strengths. Because some article made me question the best way to write. When I did searches on writing good dialogue, guess what? I found rebuttal arguments that included references to books I loved. Oops.

To say my eyes opened, and I saw something new in that story might be overkill. If anything, I assumed that meant it was as bad as I thought.

I felt certain that was why I didn’t like that book. It didn’t have “my” dialogue. So I reread it, determined to figure out if I should rewrite the whole thing with more.

Know what I discovered? I like the book.

Okay, Speak Now may never make my top-ten favorites of the books I’ve written. In fact, I guarantee it won’t.

But it won’t make the bottom ten anymore, either. In fact, it’s closer to top than bottom these days. And now it has a new cover, which I’m sure my daughter is pleased about. As the photographer for my original cover, she hated how I blew out the highlights on it. I loved the effect for that book, but with new editing, a few dialogue changes, and of course, that scene I love so much (and one tiny subplot that I never explored well changed for something else), it needed a new cover. And so I have it now. Introducing Speak Now 2.0. I’m so excited to share this book with the world.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Simple Harvest Reads, November 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

deb’s Book Review, November 7

Elly Gilbert, November 7

Texas Book-aholic, November 8

Cultivating Us, November 8

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

Lots of Helpers, November 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 12

Blogging With Carol, November 12

She Lives To Read, November 13

Kayem Reads, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 16

Spoken from the Heart, November 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

Giveaway

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

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/12f85/speak-now-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Stone and the Secrets Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: The Stone and the Secrets

Author: Jan Davis Warren

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 9, 2021

Science has always been her haven…until a secret expedition proves more dangerous than she bargained for.

Lady Elise Stanton loves the Lord, her family, science, and William Degraf. William was always around to help with her experiments—at least, until she reached marriageable age. Unable to convince him that it is not a noble bloodline that makes a man worthy, but a noble heart, she turns to science to soothe her disappointment. She’s admitted to the School of Scientifica in London, far from her home at Brighton Castle. She’s eager to join a scientific expedition intent on tracking down a large meteorite strike. The hope is their study will unlock secrets of the universe, which will help mankind. Superstitions and fear surrounding the stones threaten the expedition. As dangers mount, William’s unexpected arrival could be the answer to her prayers…or the harbinger of more peril to come.

William Degraf chooses to join the king’s army to escape the growing secret love he has for Lady Elise. He is a low-born innkeeper’s son and not worthy to marry a lady of noble blood. His plan is to rise in ranks and one day earn great honors to declare for her hand. That hope is shattered when he loses his right leg in battle while saving his best friend from the enemy’s lance. When he receives information that a group of assassins have been hired to kill the king and all with noble blood, he must warn Elise and her family. Can he reach Elise in time to protect her from danger, then stand aside and watch her marry another?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I really liked The Stone and the Secrets, I loved that it was set during medieval times and learning more about how the world, more specifically England, was growing and changing. I also liked that we get a glimpse of the scientific pursuits that were being made during this time. I liked that our main character wasn’t the conventional gentlewoman, and that her parents even encouraged her in pursuing her interest in the sciences. However, there were also a few issues I had with the novel that caused me not to love it. 

First, I would have loved to have had an author’s note at the end discussing more about this time period as it relates to science, as well as women in the fields of science. I would have loved to read a little bit about the research that went into this novel, because it was very fascinating, but I also couldn’t reconcile whether it was something that could have potentially happened during that period of history or not. Second, there were times the plot seemed a little bit choppy, it would make time jumps in the middle of chapters, when they probably could have been separate chapters. There were a couple times while reading that I got confused about what was happening because I couldn’t remember how we got to that point in time. 

However, I did enjoy getting to know the characters, especially the side characters that we are introduced to half way through the book, I would love to read more about them in the future! 

Overall, while I didn’t love The Stone and the Secrets, I still found it a somewhat enjoyable read. I highly recommend it for fans of historical fiction, especially fiction set in the medieval/early Renaissance period. 3.5/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-8Jan Davis Warren is a mother, grandmother, and a young-at-heart great-grandmother. Her wonderful husband passed away the same year she won the ACFW Genesis Award for Romantic Suspense. That win and many others are encouraging reminders that God wants her to continue writing even in the tough times. Learn more at http://www.janwarrenbooks.com.

More from Jan

Writing The Stone and the Secrets was as much a joy as it was a challenge.

The hero and heroine of this book were first introduced in book 2, The Sword and the Secrets. Several readers loved Elise and William so much, they wanted to know more about them. The Stone and the Secrets is Elise and William’s story.

Book 3, The Stone and the Secrets was also to complete the series, but as soon as it was finished, I knew there would have to be one more. I already have the title, plot, and the characters, but I’ll share more about that another day.

As a writer, I love getting to know the characters. Before the story is finished, it’s like I’ve known them their whole lives. It’s fun, but challenging to allow the characters to evolve without pushing them to the end too soon. Spoiler alert. I absolutely LOVE a happily-ever-after ending. It gives me, as the author, a satisfying feeling of closure. You can laugh, but it’s true.

The hero and heroine in The Stone and the Secrets are not the typical h/h you might imagine living in medieval times.

The beautiful and intelligent, Lady Elise Stanton has a long and impressive royal linage. Because of her heritage, protocol demands she marry someone with an equally impressive noble bloodline. The problem is, Elise has no interest in protocol, titles, or matchmaking, and refuses to be courted by empty-headed men who know nothing of using a forge, or mending a broken carriage axle. She’s a scientist whose curiosity about the how things work has gotten her into trouble since she was old enough to take things apart. With her creative mind, she is always thinking of new things to invent. Her first attempt to fly almost got her killed, but for our hero, William Degraf’s timely intervention.

He’s saved Elise many times during their childhood—a challenge he gladly accepts for he loves her deeply. However, William’s love for Elise is not to be. He must sacrifice his love so she can fulfill her destiny, which means marrying a man with title and wealth, neither of which he has. He is strong, handsome, and of noble character, but has not a noble bloodline.

Once Elise becomes of marriageable age, he realizes seeing her courted would be too painful, so he joins the king’s army. By becoming a knight, he hopes to forget her.

As I got to know Sir William Degraf, a knight of the king’s army, I can tell you, there’s not a braver or more loyal man to be found in all of England.

In the title, The Stone and the Secrets, the stone was initially meant to represent the meteorites, which Elise is determined to locate. She feels they are the answer to finding a unique metal needed for a secret project.

To my unexpected delight, in the midst of writing this story, I realized the “stone” also represents the Lord, our Corner Stone, the Rock of Ages, the Stone that the builder rejected, and much more.

This is also an adventure story, so, of course, there’s hidden treasure and several villains, each with a goal to kill, steal and destroy. Assassins, murderous pagans, and a madman intent on revenge, all who are determined to wreak havoc along the way.

Which begs to question. With so much coming against them…

Can William reach Elise in time to save her, this time from a fate worse than death?

And, with William being a lowborn commoner, and Elise of noble blood, how can they possibly have their happily-ever-after?

I’m so excited. I can’t wait to tell you. They…

Oh, no, I’ve used up all my allotted words. Sorry, I guess you’ll have to read The Stone and the Secrets to find out.

May God bless and keep you, and give you peace.

Jan Davis Warren

Blog Stops

Connect in Fiction, November 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 2

Texas Book-aholic, November 3

Inklings and notions, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 6

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 7 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 8

deb’s Book Review, November 9

Connie’s History Classroom, November 10

Mary Hake, November 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 13

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 14 (Author Interview)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 14

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 15

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jan 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/12b89/the-stone-and-the-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway

Texas Timbers Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Texas Timbers

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release date: September 3, 2021

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains the Lord’s favor . . . is the reverse true?

Can a romance born of prophesy thrive? Autumn Hope knows for a fact that the man she’s to marry cuts timber in the Sulphur River bottoms. She’s seen him in her dreams—exactly where he’s working and goes so far as to buy that block. Of course, she convinces her father she must travel the hundred and fifty miles to meet the man of her dreams. If he isn’t to be her husband, why would she kiss him in her night vision?

The lady’s sudden appearance baffles Sean. Craziness needs a keeper, but how did she ever find him or know his crosscut saw would break? Wounded by a lost love, he cannot believe the tall tale the pretty lady is spinning. It has to be a scam, right? God doesn’t work that way. Or Does He?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

Texas Timbers wasn’t for me, however, that’s not to say that others wouldn’t enjoy it, on the contrary, I think they will. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, there were some aspects that I did really like. 

I really liked the setting of the bac woods of Texas and the Dallas area in the late 1800s, it was fascinating! Also, I liked getting to know the characters throughout the novel. I also liked the letters that were scattered throughout. 

However, I did have some issues with the romance, especially with how easily Sean seems to accept Autumn’s story. I don’t know, I fee like there should have been more doubt, or even more conflict between them, but that’s just me. 

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of Texas Timbers. It just wasn’t for me nd there were just several elements that I didn’t like. However, that is also based on my personal preferences, and I do think there are others out there who will enjoy this novel. 3/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-33Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over sixty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and nineteen grandsugars (three greats), Caryl and Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-three years, live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

In 1870, my TEXAS TIMBERS heroine Autumn Hope found herself practically an old maid. She’d spent those years when most would be courting taking care of her mother, who was ill and dying. It hadn’t been long since Liberty’s death when the story opens, but Autumn had one of her prophetic dreams—God had shown her a man and assured her He would answer her prayers for a husband.

Readers first met Autumn at her birth in book two, TEXAS MY TEXAS. She had her first prophetic dream in book four, LEAVING TEXAS, at the age of nine. Distraught over her older sister Charity leaving to live in California, the Lord gave her reassurance that her sister would be back to live in Texas, and that she and her new husband would build a hotel in Dallas!

All my readers love Morgan and Charity Lowell and all the adventures they have at the Lowell House Hotel! This is the first time though that God has given her a dream about herself. She knows what the man looks like and exactly where he’s working, but not his name. Still, she is determined to go and find him!

Can you imagine this man . . . a lady hunting him down in the woods while he’s working then telling him he’s going to be her husband? That she’s going to be his wife? Because God said so!

Poor Sean O’Farrell! He was so perplexed by the crazy lady! Oh, his mother prayed plenty and spouted God’s Word at him all the time, but he and the Big Guy . . . they hadn’t been tight in years.

TEXAS TIMBERS is a fun story and not like any I’ve written before! Readers will enjoy reuniting with Morgan and Charity, Henry and May Buckmeyer (from my first family saga), Corbin—Autumn’s father, and so many more of these great characters who so easily worm their way right into your heart . . . at least they did mine! I hope you’ll enjoy it! As always, I pray my story gives God glory!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 1

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

Texas Book-aholic, November 2

Inklings and notions, November 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 4

For Him and My Family, November 4

deb’s Book Review, November 5

lakesidelivingsite, November 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 7

Connie’s History Classroom, November 8

Pause for Tales, November 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 10

Girls in White Dresses, November 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 11

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 13

Splashes of Joy, November 14

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl 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/12b88/texas-timbers-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Picture of Hope Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: A Picture of Hope

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: October, 2021

A Photojournalist Risks Her Life to Save Children

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Journalist Nellie Wilkerson has spent the bulk of the war in London, photographing pilots taking off and landing—and she’s bored. She jumps at the chance to go to France, where the Allied forces recently landed. She enlists Jean-Paul Breslau of the French underground to take her to the frontlines. On the journey, they come upon an orphanage where nuns shelter children with disabilities. Can they help save them before the Nazis come to liquidate it?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

A Picture of Hope was a great novel set in World War 2 exploring not only the kinds of women who were heroines in their own right. But it also deals with some of the glossed over gruesome facts of the Nazi regime, in this case, how cruel the Nazis were to anyone who had a disability or special needs. It is tragic what happened! However, this novel provides the story of a girl with Downs Syndrome, who through the kindness of strangers, survives and escapes to safety.

I was gripped from the very beginning of the novel and found myself getting anxious every time it seemed like something awful was going to happen, especially to young Claire who already had experienced so much tragedy in her life. I loved getting to know more about what life was like in Nazi-occupied France at the time. Although, I feel like love is the wrong word to use because of how terrible life was, especially those who refused to give their allegiance to Hitler.

I also liked getting to know the characters, I’ve already mentioned Claire, who I’d love to read about again to find out how she fares after World War 2. I also enjoyed getting to know Nellie, however, she did annoy me with some of her rash decisions that almost put others in danger. There were times it felt like she cared more about her career than helping others. However, I also liked Jean-Paul and how we see just how far he is willing to go to help those in need. I also appreciate how we see both characters struggle with the past, particularly with the men their fathers turned out to be, as well as why God allows so much suffering.

One of my favorite characters though has to be Sister Maria-Theresa and her wisdom and care, not only for the children she takes care and her fellow nuns, but also for both Nellie and Jean-Paul, who are both struggling with a lot of things.

There was a quote that stuck out to me while reading the book about suffering that is poignant and I wanted to share it in this review. It is something that Sister Raphael says to Nellie when she is questioning why God allows so much sin. She replies with the following:

“‘This suffering is meant to make our souls long for heaven. This world wearies us and weighs us down. Oh, but there is another world where we will never weary and where we will never long for anything better.'” (p.133)

Overall, I really enjoyed A Picture of Hope and getting to know more about the overlooked people of World War 2. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, particularly that set during World War 2. 4/5 Stars

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

p-30Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

Why Another WWII Novel Set in France

You may well read the back cover of my latest release, A Picture of Hope, and wonder why on earth we need another WWII novel set in France. After all, Kristy Cambron just had one. Melanie Dobson and Sarah Sundin will be coming out with theirs in 2022. So why did I feel the need to write my novel with the same setting?

First of all, I’m a Francophile. I love all things French. It started when I took French in high school. Everyone else was learning Spanish, but I wasn’t into being part of the crowd. There were only a few of us in the class, and it was great fun. We had a wonderful teacher. Being able to pull out some of that French, refine it a bit, and use it in the book was a blast. But I also love French food (who doesn’t?) and everything else.

Secondly, I hadn’t written about France before. When I wrote this proposal at least five or six years ago, I didn’t know France would be so hot. God did, and the book came about in His perfect timing. I’d explored the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Philippines. Such a shame that I was leaving out France, so I set about to write a novel located in that country.

Thirdly, there was so much good material to pull from. The French resistance, while small, did good work and sacrificed a great deal to get Jews out of the country and into Switzerland or Spain. The books that Kristy, Melanie, Sarah, and I write are all so different. Only the setting is the same. And when I found out that the famous mime Marcel Marceau was part of the resistance, I couldn’t help but giving him a cameo. Be on the lookout!

Along the way, I discovered some truly heartrending incidents that took place in France. They also compelled me to write this book. I long for the world to remember what happened so that we will never forget. And so that the atrocities committed there will never be repeated.

Fourthly, this was originally the third book in a series. Don’t worry – it’s a stand-alone. Maybe someday I’ll get to publish the other two. The women in the series are all American journalists in Europe. One is a reporter, the other is a broadcaster, and so I decided to make Nellie, the heroine in A Picture of Hope, a photojournalist. And where better to take pictures than on Omaha Beach soon after D-day. How she gets there is based on a very interesting true story, so be sure to read to the end for that one.

There are so many stories about WWII to be told and so many countries that participated in the conflict in one way or the other. The ground is so rich that we aren’t plowing the same parcel. You’ll find all of these books to be very different from each other, each with its own message, its own voice, and its own plot.

The focus in my book is on children with Down syndrome. I have a background in special education, and my husband and I adopted a child from the Philippines with an intellectual disability, so I’ve always had a heart for people with special needs. My daughter brings us so much joy that I wanted to share a glimpse into what these remarkable people are truly capable of.

So that is why I wrote a WWII novel set in France. Make yourself a cup of café au lait, butter up a croissant, and enjoy A Picture of Hope!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 28

Life of Literature, October 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 28

Genesis 5020, October 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

The Book Chic Blog, October 29

Blogging With Carol, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Sodbuster Living, October 30

Spoken from the Heart, October 30

Elly Gilbert, October 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Inklings and notions, October 31

Labor Not in Vain, October 31

CarpeDiem, October 31

Splashes of Joy, November 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 1

Life, love, writing, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1

deb’s Book Review, November 2

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 3

Betti Mace, November 3

Worthy2Read, November 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 3

Daysong Reflections, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 4

Vicky Sluiter, November 4

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 5

By the Book, November 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 5

Connie’s History Classroom, November 6

For the Love of Literature, November 6

Bigreadersite, November 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 6

Rebecca Tews, November 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 7

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 7

She Lives To Read, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 8

Where Faith and Books Meet, November 8

Pause for Tales, November 9

Christian Bookaholic, November 9

Through the Fire Blogs, November 9

To Everything There Is A Season , November 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 10

Mary Hake, November 10

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of A Picture of Hope!!

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/12b83/a-picture-of-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Weather Girls: Stormy Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: The Weather Girls: Stormy

Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: October 4, 2021

She doesn’t want to talk about it…

…He has no idea what he said.

Will these two ever learn to communicate?

Stormy is usually a people person but when her temper flares, it’s obvious she was aptly named. And now her ire has been piqued. Watch out world.

All but the cardinal are giving her space.

Rob is usually the smartest guy in the room, but when he forgot to think about his words, he turned loose a tornado. Now he’s dealing with the aftermath and praying there’s still enough love to save amidst the debris.

How can he convince Stormy they belong together? Could this be the perfect moment for another person to step in?

Or will the cardinal in the sycamore tree prove Rob’s case?

Return to 1970 Indiana with Stormy, the second book in The Weather Girls series for Women’s Lib, drive-ins, and Christian family values.

You will enjoy Stormy because everyone knows that sometimes you’ve just got to shake things up a bit.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

I was excited to read the follow-up tot he first book in this series, as well as to learn more about Stormy and her seemingly failed marriage. Once again, I enjoyed being transported to 1970 and learning more about what was popular back then – I was also excited because I understood a lot more of the ’70s pop culture references in this installment. 

I loved that this was a second-chance romance for a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. I enjoyed seeing how they try to mend their relationship. Although, I must say that Stormy is too stubborn for her own good, but I think that this sticks out to me more because I know that it is a character trait that is true of me. I also liked getting to know Rob as he tries to patch things up with Stormy, as well as adjust to how close she is to her sisters. 

And then there is Glenda Whitehall, the antagonist of the novel. Wow, just wow, she bothered me so much and I wanted something really bad to happen to her. I think the reason I was so affected by her character is because she reminded me of people I have known over the years that are just as nasty as she is. However, that being said, I would honestly love to see her have a redemption story of sorts, although I don’t know how I’d feel being stuck in her head for an entire book! 

I also loved how Stormy and the rest of her family really around Windy, even when others look down on her and gossip about her. I also like how it does touch on some of the hypocrisy that can be present in some Christian circles regarding sin. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Stormy and I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series. 4/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-27Jennifer Lynn Cary likes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl. Now transplanted to the Arizona desert, this direct descendant of Davy Crockett and her husband of forty years enjoy time with family where she shares tales of her small town heritage and family legacies with their grandchildren. She is the author of The Crockett Chronicles series and The Relentless series as well as the stand-alone novella Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café and her recent split-time novel The Traveling Prayer Shawl.

More from Jennifer

What were you doing in 1970? Were you even around? It’s funny how for some that year is crystal clear in their memory and for some it’s chapter out of a history book.

I remember having lunch with a literary agent who’d been a guest speaker for a writer’s conference I attended. He mentioned that it was strange to him that now 1974 was considered historical. Worse, for me, it was the year I was graduated from high school! Talk about making one feel old.

And yet there’s so many wonderful things about setting a story in the late 60s- to early 70s.

The research is amazing—TV broadcasts, the music, fashions, events—all that is easily assessable on the internet. Plus, want some firsthand anecdotes? Plenty of people around to share their memories.

Unlike going back to Colonial, or Victorian, or Civil War eras, this was easy. Sort of. Or overwhelming with so much to choose from. Ha!

So, with Stormy, the second book in The Weather Girls trilogy, I touched on how the Women’s Movement of the day might have and an effect. There was a lot of rethinking of the male and female roles, a shifting of the paradigm. Should he open her door? Should she let him? When was it okay to think traditionally and when did you need to consider your partner might not like a traditional role? The ERA movement was a BIG deal back then.

So, even if you don’t remember it, I hope you will have fun going back to 1970 Kokomo with Stormy and me. I look forward to seeing you there. 😉

Abundant blessings!

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 29

Blogging With Carol, October 29

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 30

The Author Reads, October 30

Pause for Tales, October 31

Vicky Sluiter, November 1

Connect in Fiction, November 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 4

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Inklings and notions, November 6

Connie’s History Classroom, November 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 7

deb’s Book Review, November 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 10

Batya’s Bits, November 11

For Him and My Family, November 11

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card with a signed 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/12b84/the-weather-girls-stormy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas.

Prayers for Sale follows 86 year old Hennie Comfort who is spending one last year in Middle Swan, a mining town in the Colorado Rockies in 1936. While coming to terms with leaving, she encounters a young woman who inquires about the sign in her front yard that reads “prayers for sale.” After the chance meeting, she takes Nit under her wing, helping her adjust to life in the mountains, as well as share her stories of her life, as well as the people she has seen come and go over the years.

I was a bit trepidatious about picking up this book, even though it was for one of my reading experiments, because it did not have great reviews on Goodreads. However, I loved it! I really enjoyed getting to know more about life in a Colorado mining town during the Depression. I also loved reading Hennie’s stories from her life during the Civil War before she moved to Middle Swan, as well as some of her escapades during Prohibition.

While Hennie had a hard life, she still made the most of it. She goes out of her way to help out the other women in the town, no matter their background. I especially liked how she takes young Nit under her wing and imparts her knowledge to the young woman.

I also liked how each chapter is a framed anrrative, starting with Hennie and Nit doing something, sometimes with other peple, and then Hennie tells one of her stories from the past, sometimes several. Through each story we learn more about Hennie’s amazing life, and ultimately ends up being a story about forgiveness.

After reading this, I immediately added all of Sandra Dallas’ backlist to my TBR, and I think I have found a new favorite author. I highly recommend this book for those that enjoy historical fiction, or books set in the Depression. It was a fascinating book and I can’t wait to read more of the author’s works. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Christmas Grace Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Christmas Grace

Author: Mindy Steele

Genre: Amish Romance

Release date: October 26, 2021

Second chances and the Christmas spirit abound in Mindy Steele’s heartwarming novel, one of faith, love, and the power of community.

Grace Miller believed herself in love with the charming Englischer who eventually broke her heart. Now alone except for the secret life growing inside her, she arrives in the unfamiliar small village of Walnut Ridge, Kentucky, to hide and hopefully gain forgiveness. She is pleasantly surprised, however, to find a tight-knit, welcoming group who help her heart grow right alongside her belly. And with the holidays around the corner, there’s plenty of preparations to occupy her mind. Also occupying her mind? Her strong, protective neighbor, Cullen Graber, the town’s blacksmith, who seems intent on not allowing her to ever suffer alone.

Cullen Graber gave up on love after too many losses early in life. He planned to live out his days focusing on his smithy business, yet the beautiful and mysterious Grace refuses to leave his thoughts. But can they open their hearts to God’s grace and create a new family together before Grace must return home?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Christmas Grace was a great book and I loved how it tackles the themes of grace, mercy and forgiveness, especially in times when we feel like we have blown it or are undeserving of these three things, even after we’ve confessed and repented. I also love the backdrop of the Christmas season.

I loved getting to know the community of Walnut Ridge, and how everyone rallies around Grace when she is sent to live there. I also loved getting to now her aunt Tessie, who I thought was just a curmudgeon when we’re introduced to her, but I loved seeing more of her character and why she is the way she is. I also enjoyed getting to know Cullen and how he cares for Grace in spite of her past mistakes. There was just a lot to learn from each of the characters in this novel, especially in how to treat those who might have been cast aside by their families.

Overall, I enjoyed Christmas Grace a lot more than I thought I would. Again, I loved messages about grace, mercy and forgiveness that are woven throughout the book. I highly recommend picking up Christmas Grace if you get the chance. 4/5 Stars.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

p-26Mindy Steele writes sweet Amish fiction as well as romantic suspense. She is an author of 7 novels. The Miller’s Creek Amish series, Christmas Grace, Christmas in Cranberry, His Amish Wife’s Hidden past, and An Amish Flower Farm, releasing 2021. If not gardening or visiting her Amish neighbors, she is on the family farm writing her newest inspiration.

More from Mindy

Behind the scenes with Christmas Grace:

  1. Many are fascinated with the Amish. Their lifestyle, their faith and family. They are talented craftsman, extraordinary bakers, and wonderful stewards of the land. For me, it was their community as a whole. The Amish are some of the best examples of community. How they tend to one another and work alongside each other even without the need of a disaster or tragedy to occur. I didn’t even realize until a close friend who reads my manuscripts pointed it out, but every book I have written thus far has been mostly centered around community. ( I thought that was cool) Walnut Ridge was the first community I ever fictionalized and I still find myself wanting to go back and writing more about the wonderful people who live there.
  2. As an avid reader of Amish fiction I wanted to write a story that wasn’t so…perfect, because none of us are. Grace Miller made a mistake, and finds herself having to face the consequences of that. I think we all can relate somewhat to her. Getting to know the three local communities near me, I find myself drawn more to the imperfect and how they carry on more than the upright and grounded. There is a scene where a group of women share their imperfections with Grace. It became a turning point in her life.
  3. Walnut Ridge, Kentucky is completely fictional, as are all of my book settings currently. I have a love for setting a stage, building a place from the ground up. Although my hero, Cullen Graber was born and raised in Walnut Ridge, Grace Miller was not. Getting to know a character like Grace was a pleasure, but required a lot of research. Although I have seen much of our great country I live less than a half an hour from my birthplace.
  4. Many books and films paint a picture on the meaning of shunning, but it doesn’t happen as often as you think or to the severity portrayed. I met a woman the year this book was wrote and learned a lot from her own personal plight. She had been shunned from her community and never returned, but still speaks to her mother and siblings, often. Grace was shunned for a time in her community, but even after confessing her sin, asking forgiveness and receiving it from her church and community members, her father sent her away from his house out of shame. As a parent to five, there are few times in those teenaged years I wanted to bann a kid or two, but my heart went out to Grace here.
  5. I love creating characters who are realistic and relatable, but also swoon worthy and Cullen Graber is one I have had in my back pocket for a while. The gentle giant, slow to speak, fast to listen, and has a past too. I hope you come to find him as stoic yet imperfect as I wrote him.
  6. There is a scene in the book where Grace finds herself completely alone and facing monsters. (No, I’m not giving out a spoiler here) I have found myself in such a place a time or two as I imagine many have. That moment when fear and bravery collide. This scene was actually inspired by a horrible nightmare while writing Christmas Grace. After reading, I bet you can guess what I’m afraid of.
  7. I am a panster, not a plotter, but even I was shocked that I wrote this book in three weeks while working full time. I have tried my hand at plotting, but find once my characters start to reveal themselves, I have no more control over the story than I did my children’s choice in careers. My process is scary actually, according to Mr. Steele that is. (wink wink) I get an idea, start drafting out characters, setting, and pace or walk for two days while my head figures it all out. Then its pen and paper until that first draft is complete.
  8. When you hear the word Amish, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Yep, food. I happen to be a food lover and an expert on the subject. Grace found herself unable to work at the job her aunt had set up for her but found she had a purpose, and a place to fit in. We all have a purpose, and a place in our community.
  9. When I first signed with my amazing agent, Julie Gwinn, we both had hopes for the first book I wrote. She had planned on pitching it two months later so there was time to polish it until it shined. Then she called me up and asked me how quick I could write a second book to pitch too, not wanting to simply go in with one book I assume, but I know nothing about the stresses of a agents work. My mother insist this is who I am, the one who best performs under pressure, without time to prep, think. I tend to disagree. But in three weeks Christmas Grace was finished and ready for editing. I have wrote two contemporaries in short time spans, but Grace’s book, my first contracted book, will always be that one I always remember. Mostly because of I ran out of coffee twice, forgot to shower and eat a few days and learned it’s alright to talk to yourself if you really need someone to hear your thoughts. Oh, and the publisher bought a second book too. I can’t wait to share A Cranberry Christmas with you.

Much love, Mindy

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 27

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Inklings and notions, October 29

Britt Reads Fiction, October 29

lakesidelivingsite, October 30

Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 30 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Blogging With Carol, October 31

For Him and My Family, October 31

Older & Smarter?, November 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 1

She Lives To Read, November 2

deb’s Book Review, November 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 3

Elly Gilbert, November 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 4

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

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

Mary Hake, November 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 6

Splashes of Joy, November 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 7

Spoken from the Heart, November 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 9

Vicky Sluiter, November 9

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Mindy is giving away a copy of her book to five winners!

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/12b80/christmas-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway

I Spy A Tiger Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: I Spy a Tiger

Author: Clyde San Juan

Genre: Christian Children’s Books

Release date: August 2020

Worship daily in rhyme, reading I Spy a Tiger with the young ones in your life. On this colorful journey, introduce them to Adam’s beloved naming of the animal kingdom, God’s awesome design, along with a bit of His humor too! I Spy a Tiger invites young and old alike, “There is so much for us to see and explore! Go on … have a look … it’s right out your door!”

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Thoughts 

I Spy a Tiger is delightful children’s book about all the different animals that God has created and about trying to see them all. It also introduces kids to the different houses that animals have. It also introduces the animals in some ways, for example, “an alligator eating ham on wheat.” 

The ending reminds us how blessed we are for all the different kinds of animals that God has created and all the different places to find them. 

I enjoyed both the writing – which is simple, but also implements rhyming and the illustrations, which had a gorgeous rustic charm to them that added a little something extra to the book. 

Overall, I really enjoyed I Spy a Tiger, it is definitely a book I want to read to my future kids. I highly recommend adding this to your picture book collections.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-23An Illustrator and Author, Clyde San Juan enjoys encouraging creativity through his art, writings and art instruction classes, young and old. I Spy a Tiger is a young creatives’ introduction to the word read aloud in fellowship with their parents and other family members. Recently becoming a Grampy, Clyde can’t wait till he can read I Spy to his grands!

More from Clyde

Cardamon Swirl Clafoutis with Marinated Prunes

i-spy-a-tiger-bearspread1-300x190-1A rustic, custardy moist cake (or maybe, envision a thick German Pancake dotted with fruit),
this French dessert is infused with the exotic presence of Cardamon. Clafoutis, usually a sweet, can incorporate all kinds of combinations of fruit, fresh, stone, or semi-dried like these prunes or figs. But to the creative, there can also be a bevy of whimsical savory takes to the additions and to the batter, thereby opening up a wide range of tasteful delights!

Prepare an 8×8 inch square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper

Marinated Prunes

Apprx. 1 cup pitted prunes, each cut into halves or quarters

3 tbsp unsalted butter

4 tsps granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp ground cardamon

optional: red food color

For the Marinated Prunes, add the fruit pieces, the butter and the rest of the ingredients and
sauté, stirring frequently to meld the cardamon with the fruit and to create a wonderful syrup. Gently. We do not want to reduce and dry up the syrup. Off heat, set aside, blending in the
red food color.

Batter

2 healthy tbsp dollops, vanilla yogurt

6 tsp granulated sugar

4 medium eggs or 3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup cake or all purpose flour

3/4 cup evaporated or whole milk

Finish

sprinkle of lemon zest

powdered sugar for dusting

Prep the loose base of the batter by creaming the sugar with the yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract
and baking powder with a whisk. It’s okay if the yogurt ends up as little lumps. Whisk in the flour, then the milk to bulk it out. It should look and stream like crepe batter.

*Preheat oven 320º

Reserving most of the syrup, spoon marinated fruit pieces into the pan, evenly over the parchment paper. Slowly pour or spoon the batter into the pan. You may need to redistribute some of the fruit back into the center of the pan. Drizzle the remainder syrup into the batter, swirling to your fancy, or create a beautiful herringbone pattern. This looks quite striking, if
you choose to use the red food color with the fruit.

Bake for 15 minutes or until all toothpick checks are clean, especially in the center. Choosing

to bake a little under gives the cake a more custardy mouth feel. *Note: depending on the heat of your oven, time and temp, this caveat stresses, not to overcook the batter, setting the eggs to a rubbery state. Baking gently with lower temps and/or shorter bake times can help you gage these variables. Try a Bain-Marie tactic, such as for flan!

Serve at room temperature, or slightly warmed, finishing with a dusting of powder sugar
and lemon zest.

excerpt recipe from What if Elijah knew how to cook and other stories

Blog Stops

deb’s Book Review, October 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 29

Mark Hake, October 29

Inklings and notions, October 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 31

Texas Book-aholic, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 2

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

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 4

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 5

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 6

Cats in the Cradle Blog, November 7

Artistic Nobody, November 8 (Spotlight)

Raining Butterfly Kisses, November 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Clyde is giving away the grand prize package 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/126b9/i-spy-a-tiger-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wolf Soldier Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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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!

My Thoughts 

I didn’t quite know what t expect when I picked up Wolf Soldier. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. However, I did like it! I think what keeps me from absolutely loving this book is that I found the world building a little confusing and there were just a few things I didn’t understand. There are things that are explained throughout the book, but they weren’t explained in full. I do know that based on the Preface and the Author’s Note that it is based on a video game, and set in that world. 

I did like that it had some unique elements in the story, while still being a quest story. I also liked getting to know the characters and the world that it is set in. I also enjoyed learning about the magic system and I hope we learn a bit more about how it works in the next book. 

Overall, Wolf Soldier was a good fantasy novel about good vs. evil. I think it is also a perfect book to read as a bridge between the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, especially since the writing is reminiscent of both C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. I hope to read the next book whenever it comes out. 3.5/5 Stars

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-17Former 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

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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

A Season on the Wind Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: A Season on the Wind

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Amish Fiction

Release date: October 5, 2021

Ben Zook had only two loves in his life: books and birds. In a stroke of good fortune, he’d stumbled onto a way to cobble together those two loves into a career, writing books about rare birds. He was as free as a bird–until a chase for a rare White-winged Tern takes him to the one place on earth he planned to never return: his Amish home in Stoney Ridge.

Desperate for photographs of the elusive tern, Ben hires a local field guide, Micah Weaver, and boards at Micah’s farm, planning to “bag the bird” and leave Stoney Ridge before anyone recognizes him. But he neglected to plan for Micah’s sister, Penny. One long-ago summer, Penny had introduced Ben to birding, even sharing with him a hidden eagle aerie. That eagle became his spark bird–the one that inspired his lifelong love.

Ben. He was Penny’s spark bird. That was when she knew true love. She’d always hoped Ben would come back to Stoney Ridge. Back to his Amish roots. Back to her. The only problem? Ben has absolutely no memory of Penny.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

A Season on the Wind was an interesting read. It has been a while since I have read Amish fiction. I loved how it centers around birding, which is something I knew very little about before I picked up this book. 

I enjoyed getting to know Penny and seeing how she supports and cares for those around her, especially her brother Micah. I did find it a bit odd that she claimed to love someone that she had met when she was 12, I’m not saying it’s not possible, it just was  a little odd. I also loved getting to know Ben Zook, and learning how he grew to love birding and why he ended up leaving the Amish community. There were also some great side characters, some that i hope we get to see more of in the future. 

I also enjoyed the snippets from Micah’s bird log that were at the end of each chapter. It definitely added a unique element to the novel, and I enjoyed learning a bit more about the birds that are mentioned. 

Overall, I really liked A Season n the Wind, and I hope to read more from Suzanne Woods Fisher in the future. 3.5/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-13With over one million copies sold, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award winning author of over 30 books, ranging from novels to children’s books to non-fiction. She is a Christy Award finalist, a Carol and Selah award winner, and a two-time finalist for ECPA Book of the Year. She writes stories that take you to places you’ve never visited—one with characters that seem like old friends. But most of all, her books give you something to think about long after you’ve finished reading it. Suzanne lives with her very big family in northern California.

More from Suzanne

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Did You Know? 8 Facts about the Christmas Bird Count

1) The year 2021 marks the 122nd National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) which, ironically, wasn’t always about counting live birds.

2) In 1900, the first CBC was launched as an alternative to the traditional Christmas “side hunt.” This holiday tradition encouraged people to go out into the woods on Christmas Day, choose “sides” to team up with and then, in the words of Frank Chapman, “kill everything in fur or feathers that crossed their path – if they could.” The winner was the “side” with the largest pile of dead birds. (Ugh!)

pexels-andrew-mckie-2400030-300x194-13) Frank Chapman was a prominent ornithologist, conservationist, and writer/editor who published Bird Lore magazine. He led the charge to end to this senseless slaughter and invited his readers to begin a new holiday tradition of counting, rather than shooting, birds.

4) Twenty-seven people participated in 25 counts that first year (in 1900). They counted 90 species of birds.

5) The idea caught on. Big time.

6) During December and January of each year, thousands of Christmas Bird Counts take place across the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. The purpose of the CBC is a scientific census—to assess the health of bird populations and help guide conservation action.

pexels-tina-nord-3647326-300x200-17) Each CBC has an established 15-mile diameter circular count area. On a pre-arranged date, registered teams go out (with an assigned volunteer observer) and count the number of birds of each species they can identify within their assigned area. Each count has a volunteer compiler who sums up all of the lists and inputs the total numbers for each species into Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count database.

8) The CBC is the longest-running citizen science project and wildlife survey in the world. In fact, the CBC is considered the gold standard in citizen science.

And you don’t have to be an experienced birdwatcher to participate in the CBC! Bird lovers of all skills are welcomed. Even me! I’m a very enthusiastic amateur.

pexels-pixabay-45851-272x300-1To learn more about the Christmas Bird Count, or to find a survey near you, go to https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count

To learn more about Suzanne and the story about the Christmas Bird Count featured in A Season on the Wind, go to http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

 

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 23

Lighthouse-Academy, October 23

She Lives To Read, October 24

lakesidelivingsite, October 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, October 24

Artistic Nobody, October 25 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

For Him and My Family, October 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

CarpeDiem, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 27

Inklings and notions, October 27

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 28

Blogging With Carol, October 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 29

deb’s Book Review, October 30

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

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 31

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 1

SusanLovesBooks, November 1

Mary Hake, November 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 2

Blossoms and Blessings, November 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 3

Splashes of Joy, November 3

Pause for Tales, November 3

By The Book, November 4

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 4

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 5

Spoken from the Heart, November 5

Vicky Sluiter, November 5

Giveaway

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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/126b3/a-season-on-the-wind-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

There is a Season Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: There Is a Season

Author: Andrea Boeshaar

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: September 1, 2021

To onlookers, Carrie Ann Bell Collier might appear to be the dutiful wife, sitting at her unconscious husband’s bedside. But she feels like a hypocrite. Instead of trusting her intuition, she allowed herself to believe Peyton was dead. And then she fell in love with his best friend, Eli Kent.

Except, Peyton wasn’t dead, and now Carrie will do anything to keep him alive.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I enjoyed this novel set near to and at the end of the Civil War. I’ll admit that I didn’t really know what to expect. It was interesting to read about what life was probably like during this period of history. I feel like I learned some new tidbits that I didn’t know before (or I did, but it’s been a while since I took U.S. History in college), for example, how Confederate soldiers, including those who surrendered to the Union, were considered non-citizens when the war ended and Andrew Johnson took over the presidency after Lincoln’s assassination. 

I liked getting to know the characters and how their lives had been changed by the war. I also liked how we get to see a wife pay any price to se her husband get the medical care he needs, although the price soon becomes a lot more than what she bargained for, and ultimately reaping the consequences. 

And then there was Nurse Emory, probably the worst character in the book, not because she isn’t well-written, but because she is so unlikable (which she is supposed to be). At first I thought that she was just an odd bird, but then halfway through the novel, I found myself so infuriated with her that I wanted to throw my book across the room (I didn’t because I was reading it on my Kindle, and that would have had disastrous results). That’s all to say that the author did a tremendous job with writing Nurse Emory and the emotions that she evokes in readers. If I were to compare her to another literary character, I’d say she is like Uriah Heep from David Copperfield, except a lot more arrogant. 

Overall, I really liked There Is A Season and I hope to read more of Andrea Boeshaar’s work in the future. 3.5/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-14Andrea Boeshaar was born and raised in Wisconsin but now lives in South Carolina. She had her husband Daniel have been married more than 40 years. They have 3 grown sons, 1 beautiful daughter-in-law, and 5 grandkids.

Andrea’s publishing career began in 1994 when her first novel was released by Heartsong Presents book club (Barbour Publishing). In 2007, Andrea earned her certification in Christian life coaching and she’ll soon earn her bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Meanwhile, Andrea continues to write. Her latest novel is There is a Season: A Civil War Novel. It’s book 3 in her Shenandoah Valley Saga. Recent historical short novels include: Give Me Thine Heart, Love’s Guiding Light (Steeple View Publishing).

For more information and to sign up for her newsletter, log on to her website. https://andreaboeshaar.com/

More from Andrea

At last the long-awaited third and final book in Andrea Boeshaar’s Shenandoah Valley Saga is available for purchase. Discover the final outcome of the lives of the characters you came to love in Books 1 and 2.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 22

Connie’s History Classroom, October 23

Bizwings Blog, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 25

Genesis 5020, October 25

Inklings and notions, October 26

For Him and My Family, October 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 29

Betti Mace, October 29

Bigreadersite, October 30

deb’s Book Review, October 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 3

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

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize package of a themed basket and a $50 VISA 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/12b7f/there-is-a-season-celebration-tour-giveaway

Written in Ink Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Written in Ink

Author: Sara Davison

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: August 4, 2021

Everything he has built his life and future on has been torn away.

Cash McCall has loved Dr. Renee Dawson for half his life. Although they’ve talked about a future together, she has never believed it was the right time for them to get engaged. Now she has ended their relationship, and he has no idea why.

Everything Renee worked so hard for is in jeopardy. One agonizing decision has changed everything, and she has been forced to shatter the heart of the man she loves. And her own.

The extremist militant group The Arm is on a mission. Its leader doesn’t care how many innocent lives are lost in the pursuit of the group’s end goal, and Renee has seen something she was not supposed to see.

If Cash can’t get to her in time, Renee could end up in the crosshairs of the terrorists, and he may lose her—and any chance at the life he’d always envisioned—forever.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

Written in Ink is by Sara Davison who is one of my favorite new authors. However, this was probably my least favorite of her novels that I have read so far. I really wanted to love it, but it just seemed to be missing something, but I can’t put my finger on what that was. 

Written in Ink was still a really good book. It dealt with some very heavy topics and I felt like the author didn’t shy away from some of the harder aspects of those topics. (I don’t want to say what they are because they are kind of spoilers). I enjoyed getting to know the characters, and I appreciated the different perspectives we get. My only criticism is that book seemed to be a little too long. 

Overall, I liked Written in Ink, it wasn’t my favorite, but I appreciate the topics it tackles. I hope to read more of Sara Davison’s books in the future. 3.5/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-8Sara Davison is the author of three romantic suspense series—The Seven Trilogy, The Night Guardians, and The Rose Tattoo Trilogy, as well as the standalone, The Watcher. She has been a finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, including Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, two Selahs, a Holt Medallion, and three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a Word and Cascade Award winner. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children. The words on the mug she uses every morning pretty much sum up her life—I just want to sleep, drink coffee, and make stuff up. Get to know Sara better at www.saradavison.org and @sarajdavison.

More from Sara

The Rose Tattoo Trilogy is set in one of my favourite small towns in Canada—Elora, Ontario. It was such a joy to develop the setting in this series, describing the quaint shops and the natural beauty of the gorge, places I have wandered through countless times. In the first two books of the series—Lost Down Deep and Written in Ink—the real-life fifty-nine stone steps built into the hillside and leading down to the river that runs through the gorge plays a big part in the story, as reflected in this excerpt:

The fifty-nine stone steps set into the side of the hill felt like twice that many as Cash descended slowly into the ravine.

The Elora Gorge was a natural wonder, with a steep rock face flanking both sides of a narrow river. The beauty of it was lost on him, though, and had been for five years, since the night his sister Tessa had traipsed down these stairs and onto the ice. Ice that had shattered beneath her feet, allowing the frigid river to steal her from them forever. Simply being here now drove daggers as sharp as those shards of ice into his chest. How did Jude deal with it when he’d been the one who had lingered at the top of the steps, too tired after a long day to go after her in the cold and dark, until he’d heard the ice crack and his sister scream?

By then it had been too late.

Below is a photo of the actual steps down to the river. I have been up and down those steps many times, and while they aren’t that easy to traverse (especially the going up part!) the effort is well worth it when you reach the bottom and find yourself surrounded by beauty, as Cash does here.

davison-lost-down-deep-the-stairs-768x576-1A cool spring breeze brushed across his cheeks. High up in one of the trees, roots clinging, against all odds, to fissures halfway up the rock across the water from him, an owl hooted, the sound drifting across the ravine. Moonlight glinted off the water, sending sparks of light skittering across the surface. Cash scanned the gorge. As far as he could see in either direction, the beauty of the night, of this place, filled his senses.

Something flowed through him like the water passing between the rocky banks. Cash withdrew one hand from his pocket and held it to his chest. What was that? He struggled to put a name to it. Peace, maybe?

Personally, the Elora Gorge has always been a place of peace for me, as it is for Cash in Written in Ink. Do you have a place you go when you need to get away from the chaos of life and experience peace?

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 24

Inklings and notions, October 25

An Author’s Take, October 25

Texas Book-aholic, October 26

CarpeDiem, October 27

For Him and My Family, October 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 28

deb’s Book Review, October 29

The Sacred Line, October 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 31

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 1

Life, love, writing , November 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 2

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 3

Vicarious Living, November 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 4

Sodbuster Living, November 5

Mary Hake, November 5

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card, a paperback copy of Written in Ink, a pair of rose earrings, and a pack of temporary rose tattoos!!

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/126b5/written-in-ink-celebration-tour-giveaway

Glimpses of the Savior Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Glimpses of the Savior

Author: Shirley Crowder & Harriet E. Michael

Genre: Christian Living, Devotional

Release date: September 2, 2018

Finding Jesus Among the Celebrations and Decorations 50 Meditations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. In early November, our minds turn to the upcoming holiday season and the new year. We get busy preparing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year, and all too often, we forget the real meanings of these celebrations. As Christ-followers, we can guard against this by focusing our hearts on God’s Word. Thanksgiving is a time to give God thanks; Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Savior; the New Year brings new beginnings. This devotional book contains fifty meditations to help you find Jesus among the celebrations and decorations. Begin using the book the week before Thanksgiving and it will carry you into the New Year.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

Glimpses of the Savior is a devotional that is perfect to use through November to January. It covers the themes of Autumn, Veterans’ Day, Winter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. I also liked that there were 50 devotionals divided into ten sections. 

Each devotional includes a Scripture reading and a prayer. But for the most part each entry is more anecdotal than I personally like, but that’s just me. I can see other people really enjoying it. I did like that through each entry we get to learn more about each of the authors, and their lives, and how they applied what they are sharing in their own lives. 

Overall, I found Glimpses of the Savior just okay, but that is based on my personal preferences. However, I can see others really enjoying it! 

*I received a copy of this book from the authors and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Authors

p-1Shirley Crowder was born in a mission guest house under the shade of a mango tree in Nigeria, West Africa, where her parents served as missionaries. She and co-author Harriet E. Michael grew up together on the mission field and have been life-long friends. Shirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is manifested in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities: biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, writing, and music.

She is a biblical counselor and is commissioned by and serves on the national Advisory Team for The Addiction Connection. Several of her articles have appeared in “Paper Pulpit” in the Faith section of The Gadsden Times, and in a David C. Cook publication. She also writes articles for Life Bible Study, Woman’s Missionary Union, and TheAddictionConnection.org. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to ten books.

Shirley has spiritual children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren serving the Lord in various ministry and secular positions throughout the world.

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Harriet E. Michael was born in Joinkrama, Nigeria, deep in the African jungle in the Niger River Delta, where her father served as the only missionary doctor at that station. A few years later, the mission moved the family to a larger hospital in Ogbomoso. Co-author Shirley Crowder and her family lived right across the dirt road. The two children became constant playmates. Today they continue to enjoy their lifelong friendship.

Harriet is a multi-published, award-winning writer, and speaker. She has authored or co-authored eight books (seven nonfiction and one novel), with more under contract for future release. She is also a prolific freelance writer, having penned over 200 articles, devotions, and stories. Her work has appeared in publications by Focus on the Family, David C. Cook, Lifeway, Standard Publishing, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, Judson Press, Bethany House, and more. When not writing, she loves speaking to women’s groups and teaching writing workshops on freelance, devotional, and memoir writing.

She and her husband of over 40 years have four children and three grandchildren. When not writing, she enjoys substituting at a Christian school near her home, gardening, cooking, and traveling.

More from Shirley and Harriet

From Africa to America, Lifelong Friends

March 14, many years ago …

Deep in the heart of the African jungle in the Niger River delta of eastern Nigeria, the first cry of a newborn baby echoed from a small jungle hospital. The baby was a gir, the third child of medical missionaries, Alice and Keith Edwards. They named their daughter Harriet after Keith’s mother.

Joinkrama is located across the Niger River in the far eastern part of Nigeria. There were no bridges when Alice and Keith set out for their new home so long ago. They crossed the river in a large passenger thatched-roof, canoe-type boat. Joinkrama lies in the small section of Nigeria that is within the tropical rain forest. And it fit the role, with monkeys swinging in the trees, parrots, canaries, and other colorful birds sitting on branches and thatched roofs of the houses, and elephants in the nearby jungle sometimes getting a little too close for comfort. And of course, there were poisonous snakes to watch out for and crocodiles in the river. Children never played on the riverbanks, and swimming was absolutely prohibited! It was in this almost magical setting that Harriet was born.

Though the little jungle hospital was equipped for surgery, and the preferred place to give birth, it was not where Alice wanted to convalesce after giving birth, so she was transported home on a stretcher carried by four men, as it was much too far to walk just after giving birth. As Alice lay on the stretcher with newborn Harriet sleeping in her arms, the villagers they passed thought she and the baby had died in childbirth, people began to weep and mourn.

Alice quickly sat up and waved and held baby Harriet up for them to see. The villagers’ weeping turned to dancing and cheering as they followed her home, dancing, and praising God.

Harriet and her family stayed in this remote part of Nigeria for a year until the other family returned from furlough. At that time, they went for another year to Oyo, Nigeria, to language school and then on to Ogbomoso in central Nigeria, where they stayed the next ten years. Keith practiced medicine at the hospital in Ogbomoso, and Alice worked with him as a nurse.

October 24 of the same year Harriet was born …

Deep in the Yoruba country of southwestern Nigeria, some 260 miles away from Joinkrama, piercing through the tropical night sounds, was heard the first cry of another baby born in a guesthouse in Ogbomoso, under the shade of a mango tree. This baby was also a girl, the fourth child of missionaries Jeannie and Ray Crowder.

Early in the morning, missionary doctors Bill Williams and Ruth Berry, the second woman to ever graduate from the Medical College of Alabama, delivered this baby girl. Single missionary nurse, Lolete Dotson, an MK from South Africa who served a total of 25 years in Nigeria, stood beside the baby’s mom, holding her hand, wiping her face with a wet cloth, and whispering encouraging words.

The family thought the fourth baby would be a second Timothy, yet Shirley Jeanne arrived instead. The Nigerians gave her the name Bamidele, which means “come home with me.” It is a name given to a child born in a place that is not his or her parent’s home. The name was given by the Nigerians to missionary babies, both male and female, who were born there. This is Harriet’s Nigerian name as well.

Several years later, the Crowders moved to Ogbomoso. Ray served as administrator of the 96-bed hospital, and Jeannie taught kindergarten and ministered to the Nigerian women with home visits and Bible studies. Harriet’s parents worked at the Ogbomoso hospital with Ray.

Harriet ended up living just up the dirt road from Shirley. They played together nearly every day and formed a friendship that remained, even after years and distance separated them.

Fast forward to today…

Who knew that these little babies would grow up and write books together? The Edwards and the Crowders stayed in contact throughout the decades. At the annual Nigeria Mission Reunion, Harriet and Shirley reconnected and discovered they both liked to write and they shared similar theological beliefs. A series of social media posts sparked the idea of writing a devotional book together. Glimpses of the Savior is the result of that idea. And here we are today still writing books together.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 25

Inklings and notions, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Texas Book-aholic, October 27

For Him and My Family, October 28

By the Book, October 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 30

Mary Hake, October 30

deb’s Book Review, October 31

She Lives To Read, November 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 1

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 3

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, Shirley and Harriet are giving away the grand prize package of an eBook copy of the book and 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/126b8/glimpses-of-the-savior-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Queen of Steel and Fire Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: The Queen of Steel and Fire

Author: Steven South

Genre: Young Adult, Epic Fantasy

Release date: April 21, 2021

When her father is murdered, Princess Claire Erinn is thrust onto the throne of Keldaren. Unprepared to rule, Claire has to act like a strong queen until she learns how to be one. But an enemy queen and Claire’s half-mad brother don’t intend to let her live that long. They’re coming for her crown—and her head. With Death herself hunting her, Claire struggles to become the warrior her kingdom needs. As war engulfs an entire world, only one queen can rule—through steel and fire.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

The Queen of Steel and Fire was an interesting read. However, I’ll admit that I had a hard time getting into it, and even thought about putting it down. But I am glad that I didn’t because the payoff was great and it made me want to read more about this world, as well as the characters, especially after the ending! 

Before I continue, I should probably share a little bit of why I almost put this book down. There are several reasons. First, I was in the middle of a reading slump while reading it. Second, it started out really slow and I had a little bit of difficulty understanding some of the aspects of the world and culture that we are transported to. 

As I mentioned before though, once I hit the 100 page mark, I was hooked and struggled to put it down. I enjoyed the plot and found it really interesting, I loved learning more along with Claire about certain things, and I think she was  a great character. I love how we see her try to adjust to her new role as queen and even how she has a little bit of imposter syndrome along the way. And I enjoyed watching her character development throughout the novel. 

While this is mainly a fantasy, I also loved that it had quite a bit of political intrigue too. I found myself wondering who exactly Claire could trust, and who was using her as a pawn. Also, the villain was great and I liked how she was developed over the course of the novel. 

Overall, I really liked The Queen of Steel and Fire . I think it is a great book for readers who are just getting into fantasy and don’t know where to start. I hope I get t read more about Claire and her friends in the future. 3.5/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

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Steve lives in Minnesota with his wife. When he’s not reading, working, or writing, he loves to travel…his goal is to make it to at least six continents in his lifetime. Just three more to go! Beside traveling, he also loves karaoke, although he’ll be the first to admit that he’s terrible at it. You can contact him through his Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/queenofsteelandfireseries

More from Steven

This project began as a bit of a lark to see if I actually had it in me to write a book. I first “finished” the book in 2006. Then I discovered the meaning of the phrase “writing is re-writing”. It took me over thirty attempts to get the beginning right. Six complete re-writes of the book and 13 years later, it won the 2019 Minnesota Author Project award for young adult fiction. Many query letters later, I found a publisher. After several more revisions with Mel Hughes—the excellent editor that I was very fortunate to work with—Elk Lake Publishing released the book this year.

When I first started writing this book, there weren’t a lot of Fantasy novels with female main characters. I felt it was a really under-represented area within the genre, and I wanted to write a book that imagined what a world with more strong female characters—and especially a strong female protagonist—might look like. I also wanted to write a book that explored the struggle with reconciling faith and reason, and how to be good in a world of moral relativism.

I was raised in a strong Catholic household, but I drifted away from faith in my late teens. In my mid-twenties, I decided that I was being intellectually dishonest with myself, having one foot in religion, and one foot in a kind of lukewarm agnosticism. I took some time to “wander in the desert” and really wrestle with religion and my beliefs, did a lot of studying of different religions and Christian denominations, and as a result of that, found myself really strongly drawn back to the Church.

There’s a saying that all first novels are autobiographies. I guess that’s somewhat true for this novel too. Claire has to struggle to answer the fundamental question about faith that all honest skeptics have to confront at some point in their lives—what if could be true? The Queen of Steel and Fire was born of my journey through that question, and the answer I found.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

Inklings and notions, October 23

Nancy E Wood, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 25

Libary Lady’s Kid Lit, October 26

For Him and My Family, October 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 27

deb’s Book Review, October 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 29

Rebecca Tews, October 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 31

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 2

Blogging With Carol, November 3

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Steven 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/126b1/the-queen-of-steel-and-fire-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wonders of the Galaxy Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Wonders of the Galaxy

Author: Various Elk Lake Authors

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Release date: September 15, 2021

A series of space tales based on parables from the Holy Bible.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Wonders of the Galaxy was an interesting collection of Sci-Fi novellas and short stories that I really enjoyed. My only complaint is that I felt that some of them would have been better as full-length novels, where a lot more of the world-building and concepts could be more fleshed out. But that is more of a persona preference than a critique.

Every author in this collection was brand-new to me and I liked discovering some new authors. I don’t  think there was a story that I didn’t like, all of them were fascinating and I loved how they were each inspired by one of Jesus’ parables. The execution was unique.

If I had to pick one favorite from the anthology it would have to be Basilica Obscura by Jason William Karpf. It was just so interesting reading about this world on a spaceship that has banished those who believe in God, and the people follow Jungian psychology. Also the fact that the ship is like a living organism and that it has a mind of it’s own and makes decisions without informing others. It was intriguing!

Overall, I really enjoyed Wonders of the Galaxy and recommend it for fans of science fiction as well as anyone who looking to dip their toes into the genre. 4/5 Stars.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Authors

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Jason William Karpf is a multitalented actor, musician, professor, and Jeopardy champion whose writing runs the gamut from true crime to speculative fiction.

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Aaron Gansky is an award-winning novelist and Dungeons and Dragons whiz who lives for his children, coaching football, and watch Marvel movies.

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Erica Marie Hogan’s books range from long ago historical dramas to frozen fantasies on faraway planets. Regardless of where the story originates, it comes from the heart—because Erica believes genres are transcendent.

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Brett Heaston is the creator of the Message to Kings podcast and the author of The Resilience Awakening. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, a history nerd, and an adventure junkie.

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Steve South is a traveler, a karaoke singer, and a profound believer in the power for stories to move people; his first novel, The Queen of Steel and Fire, won the 2019 Minnesota Author Project Award for YA fiction.

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L.G. Westlake lives in the “Land of Enchantment,” but also lives a dream life in far-flung galaxies where she regularly charts the unknown; her previous novels have included award-winning fantasies and thrillers.

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M B Dahl is a wife, mother, and award-winning author of dystopian adventures. She loves dressing up like a warrior and fighting dragons, imaginary or real.

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T.E. Bradford is an international bestselling author, a Selah award finalist, and a self-proclaimed geek who believes her writing is “a little piece of magic” given to her by God.

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Travis W. Inman has been a cowboy, a missionary, a soldier, and more in his multi-storied career, and his stories reflect his diverse background. In his spare time, he searches for hidden treasure, both financial and culinary.

More from the Editor

WHY A CHRISTIAN SPACE OPERA?

“What do you like to read,” I asked my seventeen-year-old grandson.

When he said he likes Space Opera, I had to admit I was lost. I love Science Fiction but didn’t know Space Opera was different. After ordering him a book, I started doing some research. Phrases like, “wildly popular” spoke to me.

Christians use a variety of fiction genres to reach their audiences. I wondered if we were losing younger readers because we are not being relevant to what interests them. Could this genre be presented in a way to encourage young readers to see new truths in the Bible?

Space Opera is a subgenre of science fiction and usually emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic space adventures, or chivalric romance. These themes, while occurring in outer space, will feature such elements as faster-than-light travel, futuristic weapons, and sophisticated technology.

Not surprising this genre is popular with kids today whose lives evolve around the latest technological advancement.

The name is a takeoff from “soap opera” because of its melodramatic presentation. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television, and video games.

As I pondered these concepts, an idea developed to present a Space Opera anthology, aimed at high school level, to use the parables as inspiration behind the stories. When I presented the idea to my publisher, I received an enthusiastic nod of approval. And the rest is history.

We are confident young people will enjoy these highly imaginative stories penned by some of Elk Lake’s best authors. Each story contains a synopsis of the related parable and how the parable is used in the telling of the story. Additionally, each story has an engaging graphic to whet the imagination.

To our knowledge, this is new for Christian publishing. We look forward to our readers’ comments and to Wonders of the Galaxy II in 2022.

Linda Wood Rondeau

Project Manager

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 20

Texas Book-aholic, October 21

Inklings and notions, October 22

By the Book, October 22

A Reader’s Brain, October 23

For Him and My Family, October 24

April Hayman, Author, October 24

deb’s Book Review, October 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 26

Blogging With Carol, October 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 27

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

Blossoms and Blessings, October 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 30

Pause for Tales, October 30

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 31

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, the Various Elk Lake Authors are giving away the grand prize package of a book from each author in the anthology!! (Format may vary for each 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/122a1/wonders-of-the-galaxy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Rising Danger Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Rising Danger

Author: Jerusha Agen

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: May 25, 2021

It’s up to a K-9 handler and her canine partner to stop a bomber before it’s too late.

Someone’s planting explosives on dams in the Twin Cities, and Bristol Bachmann and her bomb sniffing dog must move quickly to find them before everything ends up underwater. That means relying on the dams’ supervisor—an ex-boyfriend Bristol never thought she’d see again. Hopefully Remington Jones has grown up from the rakish charmer she knew in her academy days. Because lives now depend entirely on them…

It’s an environmental terrorist who wants the dams gone, and his bid to set the waters free has lethal consequences. When he sees Bristol and her K-9 working to stop him, he sets his sights on them. Can they evade him in a lethal game of cat and mouse and protect their cities from devastating destruction before the clock runs out?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Rising Danger is a romantic suspense novel set in Minneapolis/St. Paul. At first I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed it. I was riveted from the first chapter and I was on the edge of my sear hoping that justice would be served. I through the concept surrounding the culprit was interesting and it was something I had never considered as a possibility before.

I liked getting to know both of our main characters, and I love that we get to see them wrestle with their personal struggles. Bristol was likable, however, I found her too hard on Remington, even though it has been a while since she’s seen him. I liked how Remington, shows that change is possible, especially once someone has been saved by the grace of God. I love how this is also a story about learning to forgive and to let go fo the need to control everything.

Overall, I really liked Rising Danger and I hope to read more form Jerusha Agen in the future. 3.75/5 Stars.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

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Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner, but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ.

With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is a speaker, writing instructor, and Fear Warrior who sounds the call to battle against fear in our everyday lives.

Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats. You’ll often find her sharing irresistibly adorable photos of them in her newsletter and on social media.

Get a free suspense story from Jerusha and find more of her thrilling, fear-fighting novels at www.JerushaAgen.com.

More from Jerusha

Hi, readers! For those of you who are familiar with my suspense novels, you know I love to interweave fast-paced suspense with powerful character journeys of redemption. I got to do just that in my romantic suspense novel, Rising Danger.

But what I especially loved about writing Rising Danger was the chance to feature a canine hero. Bristol Bachmann, the heroine of Rising Danger, partners with Toby, an explosives detection K-9, to stop a bomber from unleashing terror on the Twin Cities.

As a lifelong lover of dogs, I’ve always been fascinated by working K-9s like Toby. Getting to portray this black Labrador’s heroism in Rising Danger was so much fun.

I also feel that writing about Toby and the other K-9s in this tale who are part of the Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency was a way to honor the heroic dogs I’ve had in my own life. No, I haven’t known any working K-9s, but I’ve shared my life with dogs who were heroic in different ways.

Take Lancelot, my first Leonberger. Lancelot was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. With his huge size, he was a true gentle giant. At an early age, he became terribly afraid of strangers and new places. I worked with skilled trainers to help him battle his fear, and he did have some improvement. But he would always struggle with meeting new people or visiting locations away from home.

Even so, he never stopped fighting against his fears. He continued to get better the more he fought. And while he battled his fears, he taught me how to battle mine.

Then, the worst battle of all commenced when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors gave him only three to four months to live—a frightening and devastating death sentence for the dog of my heart.

But God had more to teach me through Lancelot. This courageous dog fought cancer as hard as he had fought his fears. He taught me how to find joy in every moment of life, even when there’s pain or sadness. He taught me how precious and powerful love can be. And God used him to give me unforgettable evidence of God’s loving providence and sovereignty at work.

Because God had a different plan for Lancelot. God gave me the gift of over 1,000 more days with my heroic dog.

Right up to the end of his days, Lancelot remained my hero. I’m so pleased to begin a series of books with prequel Rising Danger that feature K-9 heroes who, in different ways, remind me of the heroic dogs I’ve been privileged to love.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 21 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

CarpeDiem, October 22

Betti Mace, October 23

Daysong Reflections, October 23

lakesidereadingsite, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Inside the Wong Mind, October 25

deb’s Book Review, October 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 26

Blogging With Carol, October 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 27

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

Inklings and notions, October 28

An Author’s Take, October 28

Through the fire blogs, October 29

For Him and My Family, October 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 30

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 31

Just Your Average reviews, October 31

Mary Hake, October 31

Pause for Tales, November 1

Spoken from the Heart, November 1

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 2

For the Love of Literature, November 2

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jerusha is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, one signed copy of Rising Danger, and book swag!!

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/126b0/rising-danger-celebration-tour-giveaway

Change Has Changed Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Change Has Changed

Author: Sam Chand

Genre: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS /Leadership

Release date: October 19, 2021

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said change is the only constant in life.

But the world has experienced so much upheaval since January 2020 that change itself has changed! In business, the church, and nonprofits, leaders are being left in the dust as events and challenges speed by in a blur. The pace of change was accelerating before…but the pandemic pressed the pedal to the floor.

“We’re at an inflection point,” says leadership architect and change strategist Sam Chand. “The way things were isn’t the way things will be.”

In his new book Change Has Changed, Sam sets out to help leaders understand the evolving nature of change so that they can guide their organizations with wisdom and confidence.

He examines three major shifts that he likens to three simultaneous earthquakes:

  • Our environment has changed. People are working from home, many businesses may never reopen, and the way we shop, handle health needs, and even go to church has changed.
  • We have changed. We’ve learned to live with rampant uncertainty and a raft full of nagging fears—but our bodies and our souls weren’t meant for this!
  • The people around us have changed. They are frustrated, isolated, depressed, anxious, and angry. They just don’t feel safe.

Sam tackles these and related issues head-on by offering lessons that will empower leaders to be ready for the next normal.

“We used to talk about a new normal as if it’s the end point of change,” Sam explains, “but if we’ve learned anything in the past months, it’s that change is perpetual, and we need to anticipate the next one on the horizon.”

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Change has Changed was an interesting concept in that the author explains how the way we work has changed since the start of the pandemic. Not only that, but how it forced business, schools, and churches to adapt rapidly. He argues that the way in which businesses approach change has had to be reevaluated and done differently than before.

It was an interesting read, I also felt like I wasn’t the target audience the author was trying to address and this would probably be more well-received for those in various kinds of leadership roles. That is to say that I didn’t get much out of it except a blue print for leaders on how to adapt in unprecedented times. It just did not seem to be for the everyman (or woman in this case).

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

p-20Sam Chand’s singular vision for his life is to help others succeed. A prolific author and renowned international business consultant, he develops leaders through consultations, Sam Chand Leadership Institute, Dream Releaser Coaching, and resources such as books, webinars, and digital downloads.

Sam consults with large churches and businesses on leadership and growth, conducts worldwide leadership conferences, and speaks regularly at corporations, business roundtables, seminars, and other leadership development opportunities.

Being raised in a pastor’s home in India has uniquely equipped Sam to share his passion to mentor, develop, and inspire leaders to break all limits. He has been called a dream releaser, leadership architect, and change strategist.

In the 1970s, as a student at Beulah Heights College, Sam served as a janitor, cook, and dishwasher to finance his education. He returned in 1989 as president—and under his leadership, Beulah Heights University became the country’s largest predominantly African-American Christian college.

Sam holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Beulah Heights University, an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Heritage Bible College, a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Grace Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Education from Beulah Heights. He has mentored leaders in churches and ministries as well as international corporations and business start-ups. He was named one of the top thirty global leadership gurus by http://www.leadershipgurus.net.

Sam has authored more than a dozen books on leadership, including Harnessing the Power of Tension: Stretched but Not Broken; The Sequence to Success: Three O’s That Will Take You Anywhere in Life; New Thinking, New Future; Culture Catalyst; Bigger Faster Leadership; Who’s Holding Your Ladder?; What’s Shakin’ Your Ladder?; and Leadership Pain.

Sam and his wife, Brenda, have two adult daughters. They make their home in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more information or to connect with Sam, please visit http://www.samchand.com.

More from Sam

Let us Dream Out Loud (DOL) with you! My team and I want to play a huge part in the conceiving, releasing, and achieving of YOUR dreams! Through our content, we hope to provide you with everything you need to be equipped, motivated, and inspired in your journey to achieving your dreams!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 19

Texas Book-aholic, October 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 21

deb’s Book Review, October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 23 (Spotlight)

For Him and My Family, October 23

Inklings and notions, October 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 29

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 31

Artistic Nobody, November 1 (Spotlight)

Mary Hake, November 1

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Sam is giving away the grand prize package of $20 Starbucks 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/122a6/change-has-changed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Personal Threat Blog Tour and Giveaway

 

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About the Book

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Book: Personal Threat

Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Christmas

Release date: September 21, 2021

Bodyguard Sally Wilson has become the target. Can she save her own life as well as her daughter’s?

Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but when Sally’s young daughter, Emma, becomes the target of child traffickers, and the little girl’s biological father wants Sally dead, the Christmas season takes a dark turn.

Police officer, Dillon Brady, responds to a call for help at the home of his friend and Protection Inc. bodyguard, Sally Wilson. When their relationship tips beyond friendship, Dillon is determined no one will hurt Sally or her daughter again. Will his resolve be enough?

Sally is drawn to Dillon. He’s a natural with Emma and appears to care about both of them. Sally’s been fooled before by a man she believed loved her, but what if it’s an act? Can Sally learn to trust again and follow her heart, or will Dillon get relegated to the friend zone?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

This was a suspenseful read and I was gripped from beginning to end. i loved how Sally does what she can to protect her daughter, especially when she is in danger. It was also a reminder of just how evil some people can be. 

I also enjoyed getting to know both Sally and Dillon and seeing their friendship grow and to see how he is with her daughter. 

There isn’t much more that I can say because they would be spoilers since this was a short book. But I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for a short suspense read. I look forward to reading more from Kimberley Rose Johnson. 4/5 Stars 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-78Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

More from Kimberly

Every year since I signed the contract for my debut novel, a book set at Christmastime, I have made it a goal to write a Christmas book, usually a novella. This year, Personal Threat is that book.

I wrapped up the series with Personal Threat. My husband came up with the title for this one because the threat in this book is very personal for one of the Protection Inc. team members.

We first met Sally in book two of the series and it seemed only fitting she starred in a book of her own. We also get to know Dillon better in this book which for me was super fun to write. He’s played an important and growing role as the series has progressed and is one of my favorite characters in the series.

Blog Stops

CarpeDiem, October 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 15

Worthy2Read, October 15

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 16

Bigreadersite, October 16

Blossoms and Blessings, October 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 18

Betti Mace, October 19

Daysong Reflections, October 19

An Author’s Take, October 20

The Sacred Line, October 20

Inklings and notions, October 21

For Him and My Family, October 21

Blogging With Carol, October 22

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, October 22

Texas Book-aholic, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 27

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kimberly 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/12297/personal-threat-celebration-tour-giveaway

Your Marriage God’s Way Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Your Marriage God’s Way

Author: Scott LaPierre

Genre: RELIGION / Christian non-fiction

Release date: September 21, 2021

Your most important earthly connection is with your spouse, and when you honor the person you married, you’re also honoring God. He created marriage to be one of life’s greatest gifts, and the instruction manual you need for a joyful, lasting union is found in His Word.

In Your Marriage God’s Way, author and pastor, Scott LaPierre, takes a close look at the principles for building a biblical marriage—one in which your relationship with Christ brings guidance and blessing into your relationship with your spouse. You’ll gain the tools to…

  • understand the unique roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives
  • recognize and resolve the conflicts you face with a heart of hope and compassion
  • follow God’s worthy command to love and cherish your spouse unconditionally

Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey or you’ve been on the road together for years, Your Marriage God’s Way will provide the helpful and encouraging insights you need to experience marriage as God intends it.

For the workbook…

“Scripture allows us to enjoy marriage as God intended it to be—a vibrant, thrilling, fulfilling relationship. Let’s journey together, with the Bible as our guide, to experience the blessings of a Christ-centered marriage.” —Scott LaPierre
By God’s design, your relationship with your spouse is your most important earthly connection. Your heavenly Father wants you to witness the fullness of His love in your marriage, and He invites you to apply His instructions for building a satisfying, enduring union.

This companion workbook to Your Marriage God’s Way encourages you to dive deeper into your study of this sacred contract between man, woman, and God. You’ll lay the foundation of a marriage that lasts as you…

  • understand the unique roles God has given you and your spouse
  • identify ways you can better help, encourage, and support each other
  • make serving God the focal point of your marriage

As you and your spouse work through this book together, you’ll grow closer to God and to each other, harvesting the delicious fruits of a biblical marriage that brings joy and blessing to you and everyone around you.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

As a somewhat newlywed I was really excited to pick up this book! I enjoy reading books on marriage and learning something new. However, may be my expectations were too high, because Your Marriage God’s Way ended up being a let down.

I understand what the author was trying to do, but at the same time I don’t think it was executed well. First, a lot of what in this book was stuff that I had already read or heard before in other books/messages on the topic. Second, it seemed like he relied to heavily on showing the different meanings of words in Greek and Hebrew, which isn’t a bad thing, but it happened a lot. It read more like a scholarly paper than book for the everyman. Third, sometimes he was too wordy.

I also found myself frustrated in his statement that all divorce is unbiblical, even if the reasons are infidelity or abuse. i strongly disagree with him on this because I do believe that Scripture does give allowance for divorce in those kinds of situations.

I also wish that there had been more specific practical tips on how to apply what he was saying rather than just general recommendations. I don’t know, for me, this just seemed like more of a treatise on the doctrine/theology/teaching of marriage than actual practical advice. I think that  book for the everyman on marriage should have both!

I feel like so far all I’ve done is talk about what I didn’t like about the book, so let me share a few things I did like.

First, I did like some of the fresh insights that were provided on passages about marriage. However, I do wish there had been come more time spent on 1 Corinthians 7, which is a chapter that has been sorely misused and misinterpreted, but maybe it is a better fit for a book on dating.

Second, I did appreciate that the author didn’t make wives out to be an “other” like some marriage books do tend to do at time.

I would also like to share a few quotes that stuck out to me while reading Your Marriage God’s Way that I either really liked or that I found thought-provoking:

“As a wife, you want to look for the unique areas in which your strengths can comment your husband’s needs and weaknesses” (p. 60).

“In many ways, phileo is a great description of what marriage is meant to be: a deep and close friendship” (p.85).

“Agape is a choice, an act of will. We choose whether we do or don’t love” (p.91).

“Our spiritual liberty is not only about freedom but about giving up our rights for others” (p.156).

“True freedom comes when we strive to husbands and wives as God commanded rather than as society defines” (p.159).

“A wife’s submission to her husband has less to do with her relationship with her husband and more to do with her relationship with the Lord. A Woman’s trust in God combats the fear-or-terror – she experiences when she submits to her husband” (p.200).

Overall, Your Marriage God’s Way wasn’t for me, Personally. I think that there are other better marriage books out there. however, I do think that this might be a good book for someone who hasn’t read any other marriage books, or who is engaged.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

p-74Scott LaPierre is a senior pastor, author, and conference speaker. He holds an MA in Biblical Studies from Liberty University. Scott and his wife, Katie, have been married for more than fifteen years. A former schoolteacher and Army officer, Scott currently leads a church in Washington State and supports his family on his pastor’s salary, allowing Katie to stay home with their nine children. Both are passionate advocates of homeschooling. Learn more about Pastor Scott at his website: www.scottlapierre.org.

More from Scott

Your Marriage Reflects Your Relationship with Christ

A few years ago, Katie and I faced the biggest crisis of our marriage. I started pastoring Woodland Christian Church when it was small, but within three years the congregation tripled in size. I admit that before I became a pastor, I was unaware of how much work is involved in shepherding a church of even a few hundred people. I had been an Army officer, a supervisor at a distribution center for a major retail chain, and an elementary school teacher. But none of those occupations approached the amount of mental and emotional energy and sheer hard work pastoring entails!

Almost all my waking hours were packed with studying, teaching, counseling, making phone calls, sending emails, attending meetings, addressing administrative responsibilities, and tending to benevolence issues. When I was at home, where I should have been an engaged father and husband, I did not have much left for my family mentally, emotionally, or physically.

Although I was failing as a husband and father, I was able to convince myself I was still pleasing the Lord. I compartmentalized my life by saying, “I am a Christian first. I am a spouse second. I am a parent third. I am an employee fourth.” Instead, I should have said, “I am a Christian spouse. I am a Christian parent. I am a Christian employee.” The danger of seeing ourselves as Christian servants first and spouses second is we can find ourselves believing the lie I bought into at the time: “If I can be a good pastor, I can please God even though I am not the best husband.”

The truth is that I was a poor husband, and I should have recognized that meant I was not pleasing the Lord.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Texas Book-aholic, October 16

Inklings and notions, October 17

For Him and My Family, October 18

deb’s Book Review, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 22

Mary Hake, October 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 23

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 27

Lights in a Dark World, October 27

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 28

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Scott is giving away the grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1229a/your-marriage-god-s-way-celebration-tour-giveaway

End-Times Shaking and Revival Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: End-Time Shaking and Revival

Author: Guillermo Maldonado

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Theology/Eschatology

Release date: October 5, 2021

Shaking…Then Revival…Then Harvest!

The end times are unfolding before our eyes.

First, there will be unprecedented shakings.

Today, the world is shaking in alarming ways. And this is just the beginning. Nations, institutions, economies, families, individuals, the earth’s environment, the cosmos, the spiritual realm—in every dimension and sphere of life, we will see powerful waves of shaking that disrupt the course of our lives and take away our false sense of security in earthly resources, compelling us to return to our Creator.

The main purpose of these shakings is to judge the people of the world for their sin and rebellion against God. Yet God is using the shaking we are now experiencing to refine believers so we will be purified to become the remnant that is ready for Jesus’s imminent appearing.

Second, there will be unprecedented revival.

As we respond to the shaking with repentance and wholehearted devotion to God, we will be prepared to take an active role in the coming last-days revival in which God’s sovereign glory will be revealed! There will be an all-inclusive supernatural movement characterized by miracles, healings, salvations, financial provision, prophetic visions, renewed holiness, powerful worship, strong discipleship, and profound love.

Finally, there will be an unprecedented harvest of souls with global impact!

The Holy Spirit will empower the church to reach the lost with the demonstration of miracles, signs, and wonders. Millions of people worldwide will come to genuine repentance, surrendering their hearts to the Lord Jesus.

In End-Time Shaking and Revival, best-selling author Guillermo Maldonado expands on last-days themes introduced in his previous books, revealing how to…

  • Avoid God’s judgment
  • Respond correctly to the divine shakings in your life and in the world
  • Be revived and continuously filled with the Spirit
  • Participate in the worldwide harvest
  • Move in supernatural power

We must understand God’s cycle of end-time events so we can align our lives with His momentous purposes in these last days!

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

This is a hard review for me to write, mainly because I don’t know if I agree with the author on a lot of things he talks about in this book. He believes in gifts like prophecy and visions and tongues, which as a cessationist, I hold to the view that these gifts have ceased. But I will also admit that my view could be wrong.

I understood what he was trying to say and I don’t doubt that we are in a period of shaking, but I don’t know if I agree with the author about it being the end. This book was challenging for me to get through because I disagreed with the author quite a bit, but he still had me question my view points on these subject matters.

Here are a couple of quotes that stood out to me that I really liked:

“What we do, what we create and how we act in a time of God’s shaking will reveal our identity in God, our authenticity, our spiritual knowledge, and our position in Christ” (Loc. 573, 581).

“God uses situations of shaking to help us recognize that we need to place our trust fully in Him at all times” (Loc. 1084).

Overall, I didn’t like this book, but that isn’t the author’s fault. It has more to do with my viewpoints on certain topics and whether or not I am wrong. From the get go, I knew that I wouldn’t agree with the author. I’m sure there are some who will appreciate what he has to say and bee in agreement with him.

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

p-72Active in ministry for over twenty years, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado is the founder of King Jesus International Ministry—one of the fastest-growing multicultural churches in the United States—which has been recognized for its visible manifestations of God´s supernatural power. King Jesus Ministry currently has a membership of more than 25,000, including the main church in Miami, Florida, its campuses, its daughter churches, and its online church. Apostle Maldonado is also a spiritual father to 500 churches in 70 countries, which form the Supernatural Global Network, representing more than 750,000 people. In addition, he is the founder of the University of the Supernatural Ministry (USM). Apostle Maldonado has a doctorate in Christian counseling and a master’s degree in practical theology.

More from Guillermo

The end times are unfolding before our eyes. First, there will be unprecedented shakings in every dimension and sphere of life. Second, there will be unprecedented revival. Finally, there will be an unprecedented harvest of souls with global impact! The Holy Spirit will empower the church to reach the lost with the demonstration of many signs and wonders. In End-Time Shaking and Revival, best-selling author Guillermo Maldonado explains how to respond to God’s cycle of end-time events so we can align our lives with His momentous purposes in these last days!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 12

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 13

Fiction Book Lover, October 14 (Spotlight)

Inklings and notions, October 15

Simple Harvest Reads, October 16 (Spotlight)

For Him and My Family, October 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 20

Artistic Nobody, October 21 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, October 21

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 24

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, Guillermo is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and 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/11fe2/end-time-shaking-and-revival-celebration-tour-giveaway

When the Pilot Falls Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: When the Pilot Falls

Author: April Hayman

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: September 7, 2021

In 1923, there aren’t many pilots, but Willie Labeau didn’t let that stop… her.

A bear of a man, Hugh Taylor, needs a stunt plane pilot, and despite their rocky introduction, Willie sets off for golden California and a new life as his pilot. There’s just one little thing she has to do in addition to flying.

Leave his past alone. Period.

When the flame of her own curiosity becomes fanned by encouragement from Willie’s sister, the feisty pilot can’t help but do just a little investigating.

And Hugh vanishes.

Friends rally around her, and with all the information she can find in hand, Willie sets off to rescue Hugh and battle the evil family holding him hostage.

A fierce air race, a sincere act of humility—are they enough to free Hugh and give Willie a chance to be with him… forever?

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. When the Pilot Falls offers a retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as you watch hearts soar and daring dos.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I loved When the Pilot Falls, it was such a unique retelling and I was gripped from the beginning. I especially loved how halfway through the book it took a turn that I was not expecting, and I loved that! 

I enjoyed getting to know the characters/ Willie was great and dynamic. I love that she was a pilot and doing something that was unconventional, but still feminine. I also liked Hugh and felt like he was a great male lead. However, I still don’t fully understand the whole thing that happened to him in the second half. I also loved the side characters, especially Estie, I would live to read a story with her as the main character. 

I loved the backdrop of the 1920s and learning about the early days f aviation and just how far we have come since then as far as flying goes. 

Overall, I really enjoyed When the Pilot Falls and I look forward to reading more from April Hayman in the future. 4/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-68April Hayman lives in the high desert of California with her husband and their three sons. During the day, she focuses on homeschooling the boys and working on client projects. She writes at night when the temperature outside is only somewhat cooler than during the day.

Her passion for reading began in grade school and her teachers often reprimanded her for reading when she should have been completing her math assignments. Now she reads whenever she likes and writes for those who love to read.

April collects fountain pens, has too many pen pals (and always looking for more), journals sporadically, creates art when she can squeeze it in, and hordes stationery.

More from April

I’ve always loved to write. I still remember pounding out a science fiction story about a lizard man on my Grandmother’s typewriter, with its sticky ‘e’ key, then excitedly asking to read it to her. She patiently listened and praised my writing. I was thrilled even though, now as an adult, I realized she was humoring me. I continued to write on an off for the next twenty years, but it wasn’t until I found National Novel Writing Month that I really began to write in earnest.

I’d already begun my search into story structure and, one day while researching, NaNoWriMo popped up on my browser window. Interested, I clicked over and I was intrigued. Here was a chance to write 50,000 words in thirty days with a support group of other writers! And, with a day to go, I signed up. After all, how hard is it to write 50,000 words?

Turns out, it’s super hard. Especially when you’re new to story structure, developing characters, and correct pacing. It was a fabulous disaster of a story, but I did manage to hit my mark and “win” that year. And, best of all, I’d met Chautona Havig. She and I became friends and her brilliant writing advice and support has meant the world to me.

Every year after that, except when I moved away, I participated. Eventually I became a Municipal Liaison, the head volunteer and writer wrangler, for our area. It was a lot of fun but not one of those books has been published. They’re just for me and I love them, even if they’re awful.

Eventually, my participation was noticed by my three boys. While all of them enjoy reading to varying degrees, writing was always hard for them. Not that they don’t love to tell a good story. It’s the writing part that’s hard. Anyway, my eldest son finally decided to join the Young Writers Program (NaNoWriMo for pre-teens and teens) one year and got bitten by the writing bug. We’re currently working on his latest story. I’m so happy to have passed on my love of writing to him and his brothers!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 16

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 16

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

Inklings and notions, October 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 18 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 19

For Him and My Family, October 19

deb’s Book Review, October 20

SodbusterLiving, October 20

ABBA’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 24

Connect in Fiction, October 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Connie’s History Classroom, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 27

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, October 27

For the Love of Literature, October 28

Through the Fire Blogs, October 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 29

Back Porch Reads, October 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, April 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/126ae/when-the-pilot-falls-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saving Ebenezer Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Saving Ebenezer

Author: S. Daniel Smith

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: October 12, 2021

Much had changed in seven years. Scrooge had given all to rid himself of the guilt and shame of his miserly ways. Nearly saved Tiny Tim, too, who was only slightly bigger at his death than Christmas Eve seven years prior. Scrooge had the best doctors working on the boy’s condition, all of them happy to have Scrooge pay for this treatment or that, but never quite figuring out exactly what was wrong. Still, Tim had started the pathway of a bright future.

Until pneumonia struck. In a fortnight, Tim had gone from spry and hopeful to weak and discouraged. And then dead.

As Ebenezer Scrooge watched the simple casket lowered into the near-frozen muck on December 20th, 1850, there could be no mistaking the fact that a piece of him was being buried as well.

And that was why Ebenezer Scrooge was angry.

The old Scrooge was back. Joy had given away to sorrow in the meanest of ways, for it sprung upon the old man with such ferocity that he had no defense. Powerless, and angry, that was Ebenezer Scrooge, all right. Joy had given way quickly to pain and sorrow, the likes of which Ebenezer Scrooge had never experienced before.

Ebenezer Scrooge, heartbroken and frustrated, begins to ask questions about faith. Much like the original story, he is given a guide to help him find the answers. As he struggles to understand death, sorrow, and poverty in terms of faith, he finds one answer to all his questions: Jesus Christ. The book ends with Ebenezer finding faith, health, and love.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

Saving Ebenezer is an enjoyable sequel to the classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I didn’t quite know what to expect and I was a little bit apprehensive. But, Dan Smith did a great job at creating an imaginative sequel, but he also captured the writing stuyle of the original work and sounded like Mr. Dickens himself! 

I appreciated that the novel examines what is necessary for a person to truly be changed – salvation. And how all the money and good works account for nothing apart from salvation. I thought this was an interesting theme to explore, especially with such a well-beloved, classic character. 

I also enjoyed getting reacquainted with these beloved characters, as well as meeting some new ones too. 

Overall, this was a great follow-up to A Christmas Carol, and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a Christmas story told in a similar vein. 4/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-65Dan Smith is a Christian, a husband, a father, a career US Navy sailor, and freelance writer living in Virginia Beach, VA with his wife and three children. His publishing history goes back 21 years, when he was first published in the magazine Pentecostal Messenger.

Dan specializes in writing about life in the military, especially as it affects Christians in service. He has also tackled the issue of cystic fibrosis, the autism spectrum, and a host of other topics.

More from Dan

“I have always loved the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. From the original novella to The Muppets, I’ve been fascinated by the story. Only one thing was truly missing, and that was the real hope Christians find in Jesus Christ. In that way, Saving Ebenezer: The Continuing Saga of a man named Scrooge is my offering to my Lord. I did my best to retain the style and language of the original, as well as to stay true to the original story and characters, while offering a glimpse at the hope we have in Jesus.

The biggest reason I wrote the book is to show the need for Christ. I do my best to keep from being preachy, and I believe you’ll find the book entertaining with a point. I can’t wait to hear what you think!”

Blog Stops

The Write Escape, October 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 14

Genesis 5020, October 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 15

deb’s Book Review, October 16

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

Labor Not in Vain, October 17

Inklings and notions, October 18

For Him and My Family, October 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 20

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 22

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 23

Mary Hake, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Connie’s History Classroom, October 25

Denise L. Barela, Author, October 25

Betti Mace, October 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, S. Daniel is the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/122da/saving-ebenezer-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Well Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: The Well

Author: Cathy Primer Krafve

Genre: Nonfiction

The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversation

Does your spouse refuse to hear? Do your children stare without comprehending? Does your parent or boss habitually raise objections to your good ideas?

Oh, the frustration! Conversations often break down instead of breaking through.

She changed from a woman alone to a woman of influence. Her faith transformed a whole community. How did she do it? In The Well, Cathy Krafve points out 40 strategies Jesus used to prompt authentic conversation—by analyzing just one conversation with the woman at the well.

These strategies will help you:

  • Initiate simple communication principles to transform all your conversations. Go from magical thinking to miraculous results in a matter of a few biblical truths.
  • Invigorate your closest relationships with terrific communication. Watch the ripple effect as your conversations spread truth and joy throughout all your relationships.
  • Inspire others through authentic conversations. Enjoy the intimate companionship our hearts all crave.

Are you ready to foster tender, effective conversations with everyone around you? Don’t miss your chance to transform all your relationships!

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

The Well was an interesting look at how we can each (and should) grow in the areas of communication and conversation. The author takes the account of the woman at the well in John 4 and uses it as her foundation for all of her points on the topic of authentic communication. It was an interesting perspective of a passage that I have read many times before. 

I appreciated the message of this book, although I did struggled to pay attention. It seemed to be very wordy at times, and there were times I had a hard time understanding how some of the anecdotes were connected to the points that the author was trying to make. But I think it has to do more with my personal preferences when it comes to  Christian non-fiction that the author’s writing style.

However, even though there were times I didn’t seem to gel with the book, there were also several great nuggets of truth that stuck out to me that I would like to share: 

  • “God transforms our worst hurts into sacred stories when we turn them over to Him for His glory and purpose” (6). 
  • “Better communication matters because conversation forms the basis of all healthy human relationships” (8). 
  • “Companionship can only be real in our lives if we put aside feelings of rejection and embrace people where we all live in our own humanness. Baring our souls and being authentic requires courage” (9). 
  • “To be patient with others we must learn to be patient with ourselves first” (40). 
  • “Companionship, fellowship, and community are the long-range goals of all communication, not winning debate points…True credibility comes from understanding the needs of those we love and being faithful to the call to serve each other” (59). 
  • “When we adopt authenticity with humility, however, truth with compassion will inevitably begin to permeate all our relationships. Therefore, it’s worth listening with an open heart to accept correction when it applies” (112). 
  • “We cheat ourselves of the joy of collaboration when we overreach our responsibilities” (184). 

While there were some parts of The Well that I didn’t enjoy, I still learned a few things from it and I think it will be a great tool for others who wish to grow in their conversation and communication skill. 3.5/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

p-62Queen of Fun and Coffee Cup Philosopher, Cathy Krafve delivers creativity and encouragement in every word. Cathyputs a snappy spin on deeply spiritual truths with journalistic fervor and a knack for story-telling.

Cathy and David, her husband of almost 40 years, live in East Texas, with their three grown children, two delightful sons-in-law and 8 grandchildren (so far) nearby.

Author of The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversationsand Marriage Conversations: from coexisting to cherished, she also hosts Fireside Talk Radio. Her weekly podcasts and blogs reach millions annually. Join the Fireside Tribe today!

Truth with a Texas twang!

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Download FREE podcasts about the stuff women ponder in our hearts!

More from Cathy

From Isolated to Influence

“He’s not listening,” Cathy fumed, as the civic leader towered over her. She went home and “plopped open” her Bible.

There’s got to be something here about people who don’t listen. She found over 40 ways Jesus communicated.

Plus, she gained new respect for one of the most fascinating women in scripture. Jesus, the Master Communicator, engaged the woman at the well in just one conversation. She immediately zipped from lonely to leadership. We can, too!

Queen of Fun and Coffee Cup Philosopher, Cathy Krafve delivers creativity and encouragement on every page of The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations.

Does your child stare back with dull eyes? A spouse who refuses to hear? A parent or boss who habitually raises objections? Oh, the frustration!

Conversations often break down instead of breaking through.

The Well is perfect for your book club, Bible Study, or Sunday school class. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions, personal applications, and prayer.

Cathy puts a snappy spin on deeply spiritual truths with journalistic fervor and a knack for laughter and story-telling. A self-described “social dork,” her kryptonite is a bag of potato chips. Yep, a whole bag. Don’t judge!

Host of Fireside Talk Radio, her weekly blogs and podcasts reach over 3 million people annually. She is also author of Marriage Conversations: From Co-existing to Cherished.

How do we go from isolated to influence? She understands good communication tools can change everything! Companionship begins with authentic conversations. Order two copies today; one for yourself and one to give to a friend!

Truth with a Texas twang spoken here!

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, October 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 21

The Sacred Line, October 21

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 24

For Him and My Family, October 25

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 27

Artistic Nobody, October 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 28

Spoken from the Heart, October 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and a copy of both The Well and Marriage Conversations!!

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/1229d/the-well-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Heart of Christmas Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: The Heart of Christmas

Author: The Mosaic Collection

Genre: Faith-Based Christmas Fiction

Release date: October 6, 2021

“At Christmas, we always…” And thus a tradition is born. The rituals stay the same, but if betrayal, illness, unfaithfulness, or tragedy strike, can cherished traditions survive?

When unexpected twists throw life out of kilter for the people in these stories, will beloved, time-honored customs lead them back to the heart of Christmas?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

When I picked up The Heart of Christmas I was fully expecting it to be a collection of Christmassy romances, however only two of the novellas were. I loved how besides learning to love and trust another person, there were also lesson on forgiveness, moving on from grief, loving someone who caused you pain, etc. I enjoyed each of these novellas, some from some new-to-me authors nd a couple by an old favorite (Chautona Havig) and a newer favorite (Sara Davison). 

While I enjoyed the whole anthology, I do want to say that if I could only pick one favorite it would have to be Star Light by Sara Davison. This was just a unique story that had an unexpected and surprising ending. I also liked how we follow Felicity in the present day and then Calla, the innkeeper’s wife in Bethlehem, where we get a (fictional) account of the Nativity from her point of view. There is so much more I want to say but I don’t want to give away spoilers! 

Overall, this was a great collection of novellas and I highly recommend picking it p for the holiday season! 4/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Authors

The Mosaic Collection launched in 2018 as an international community of independently published authors who approach life, faith, and writing together. Some have vast writing experience, others are somewhat new to the journey. Under The Mosaic Collection’s banner, they’ve published more than 20 novels and four anthologies.

With over 150 years of collective writing experience, Mosaic’s award-winning and best-selling authors are active leaders and members in prominent writing organizations. The goal of The Mosaic Collection is to encourage and uplift readers worldwide, offer hope in story form, and share the unconditional love and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.

More from The Mosaic Collection

The Mosaic Collection authors welcome you into our hearts, homes, and lives and offer you tiny glimpses into our families and our favorite traditions.

Janice L. Dick

Christmas is always a special time of year. I love the festive reds and greens, strings of colored lights and gift-giving, but there is much that distracts us from the real meaning of the season. How do we hang onto the genuine, historical truths of the Savior’s birth? One of the traditions in our family is to read the Christmas story before we open gifts, thus realigning our focus to the most precious gift God gave us in Jesus. Visualize a fire in the grate, family lounging on every available couch, chair, and floor space; and one of the youngest grandchildren reading from the Bible, his eyes following his finger across the page. Once again, the age-old story comes to life as we hear of angels, shepherds, and a young couple keeping watch over the Christ-child in the manger. Maybe this year we will come up with a new way to direct our thoughts to the greatest gift ever given. To the nativity.

Sara Davison

The word Christmas immediately conjures up warm memories of church services, family, gifts, and food for me. The traditions my family engages in every year infuse this celebration of Christ’s birth with nostalgia and meaning. For me, one of the most meaningful traditions is setting out the nativity scene. Although the location has changed from mantel to coffee table to windowsill as we have moved from house to house, the little figures—the wise men, kneeling shepherds, Mary and Joseph gazing down at the manger with adoring looks on their painted faces, the cows and sheep curled in the corner of the straw-strewn wooden stable, the angel hovering above, the tiny baby in the manger—have never changed. I take my time setting up the display, slowly unwrapping pieces that have become a little worn and chipped over the years of being lovingly handled or played with by tiny toddler fingers. Each piece calls to mind another aspect of the beloved story in Luke 2. The nativity scene is the focal point of my decorations. In the midst of all the crazy busyness that can be the Christmas season, it grounds me and reminds me what this time of year is truly about.

Stacy Monson

Christmas is all about family for me – my nuclear family, grandkids, and in-laws, my family of dear friends, and the family of believers who rejoice at the birth of Christ. We’ve hung onto some traditions and welcomed new ones. As life situations change, we try to adapt and make the best of it, because regardless of what the holiday ends up looking like, it’s being with family that counts. So for me, Christmas is about celebrating the Christ Child with love, laughter, food and fun. It is indeed a time for celebration.

Milla Holt

Our four children are still young, so my love for Christmas is quadrupled because of their enthusiasm. We begin the buildup with an Advent calendar starting on December 1st. Every morning until the 24th, they open the day’s box, read the little lesson, and do a treasure hunt.

More than any other holiday, Christmas lends itself so beautifully to teaching them about the loving all-powerful God who knows exactly what it means to be human. They understand and marvel at how Jesus, the creator and Lord of the universe, once needed a diaper and had to be potty trained. He had to learn to read, write, and spell just like they do. I love the reminder that one of his names is Immanuel: God with us.

Deb Elkink

Mom (a visual artist and farm-girl cook) and Dad (an imaginative storyteller of deep enthusiasm) made Christmas a celebratory holiday every year! Thanks to Mom, the food not only tasted fantastic, but the table and tree and household decorations were gorgeous. Thanks to Dad, our days were full of the magic of wonder (he actually climbed onto the roof carrying bells on Christmas Eve to herald Santa’s arrival) and the mystery of the Incarnation (reading the Luke story about the Ultimate Gift before a single package was opened). We were diligent church-goers except on holidays—including Christmas—when we would focus on family time and not attend the special services. Instead, following an afternoon of snowmobiling, and then mugs of rich cocoa around the fireplace, we five kids would wear our hand-sewn PJs, sing carols, and snack on expensive delicacies: Halva and roasted nuts and cheeses from around the world.

Candace West

My favorite thing about Christmas is fellowship with family and friends. At the end of the year, we gather at our homes or church to celebrate the birth and life of Christ. Because He is at the heart of our love for one another, He is the One Who strengthens the bond of our fellowship. Whether we’re opening gifts, gathering around the table, sharing laughter over cups of cocoa, or playing board games, I feel His love abiding through and within my loved ones. And I feel the whisper of His promise that one day all Believers will be gathered around His table of fellowship for eternity. Christmas is only a foretaste of our glorious future with Him.

Lisa Renee

What I love about Christmas is seeing extended family come together in one place, sharing memories of the year over delicious food. Most of all, I love how the world stops to celebrate a significant event in history, our Savior’s birth.

Brenda S. Anderson

There’s so much to love about Christmas! Music, gifts, twinkling lights, snow, decorations, chocolate, family time. It’s all so bright and cheery, and the world is focused on Jesus. The world may not understand who Jesus is and what He did for us, but there’s no better opportunity to show Him to the world. The opportunities to serve are vast, and being God’s hands and feet is a beautiful way to shine His light. Really, showing other who Jesus is, apart from the trappings, is what I love most about Christmas.

Eleanor Bertin

When I was six years old and just learning to read, I unwrapped a package I’d received for Christmas but didn’t know what it was. Puzzling over it, my dad came alongside me. Slowly, painstakingly, I sounded out the word Slippers on the label. Patiently, so unlike his usual brusque way, my father helped me. I cherished the nearness of him, always fearful he would give up on me. But he didn’t. That is one of my most treasured memories of him. There are others, too, like the one eleven years later when after my rebellious stint, my heavenly Father patiently and painstakingly began a transformation in my heart. My dad responded with what I now realize was his best effort at encouragement. “I’m glad to see you’ve made some changes.”

Christmas is always precious to me because of the memories it holds of how the Word made flesh worked His Word in me. He has never given up on me despite my slowness of heart to trust and obey. In painful and pleasant ways, for over six decades, He has assured me of His bountiful forgiveness and lavish love.

Chautona Havig

Tree night in the Havig house is most definitely our family’s favorite tradition. Even our older children tend to come home for the annual trek to the lot, the annual argument over which tree, and the annual popcorn and cranberry stringing party. It all ends with the final decorating. You’ll hear, “Oh, here’s your train!” or “Where’s my baby’s first Christmas?” as everyone jostles to get their ornaments in just the right place. It’s chaos with popcorn all over the floor, Christmas songs belting out in our tiny house, and laughter. Tons of laughter. My personal favorite moment is when everyone has gone to bed and it’s just me in my dimly lit living room. That beauty, the memories, that laughter… it’s what I consider the Lord’s gift to me. I just get it early and it lasts a whole month!

Lorna Seilstad

Whether your family celebrates the Christmas season with special foods, a colorful light display, or a tree handpicked from a farm, I’m sure you have your own treasured traditions. Christmas traditions are one of the things I like best about the season. Our traditions make our families unique, and in a world where everything constantly changes, they remind us some things remain the same. There’s comfort in honoring Christmas traditions. They keep us connected to our past, help us rediscover our families, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Johnnie Alexander

My children’s Christmases were very different than the ones from my own childhood. Sleds and ice skates could be found under our Christmas tree, a baked ham on the dining table, and snow-covered hills outside our door. My kids, raised in Florida, never received “winter toys.” A roasted turkey usually graced our dining table but grilling out was also an option. Yet our Christmases were also similar. I passed along to my children the tradition of opening our stockings first—and everyone in the family has one. As adults, it seems they anticipate the goodies hiding inside their stockings even more than the gaily wrapped presents under their trees. Most important, though, is that my children are now sharing with their children the truth that my parents shared with my siblings and me—that the baby in the manger is our Lord Incarnate and Savior of the World.

Thank you for celebrating the release of The Heart of Christmas. We pray the stories within this anthology will fill you with love and joy and prepare your heart for the greatest celebration this season—remembering the birth of our Savior. What a sacrifice! What a gift! What love.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8

CarpeDiem, October 8

For Him and My Family, October 9

deb’s Book Review, October 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11

Joanne Markey, October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 14

Splashes of Joy, October 14

By the Book, October 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 16

Older & Smarter?, October 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 20

Mary Hake, October 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 21

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, The Mosaic Collection is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon gift card, two copies of The Heart of Christmas in paperback, and a $10 coupon to Mosaic’s Etsy shop!!

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/11fdf/the-heart-of-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Postman’s Lantern Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: The Postman’s Lantern

Author: J.C. Comerford

Genre: Christian Children’s Fiction, Christmas

Release date: January 8, 2020

During a devastating Christmas Eve snowstorm, John the postman arrives at his last stop, at the steps of the Frost family. Here, he rediscovers a stowaway letter in his mailbag, not for his route. It’s a letter from a hospitalized grandfather, to a very special grandson. John feels obligated to make the delivery. His unselfish act of kindness leads him, and then the Frost family, on an unforgettable journey across a seemingly endless track of farmland. Little does John know what he’s actually carrying. The lantern he carries becomes a mystery that guides their way through astonishing events. They finally arrive at the Evans house, where they find themselves before an extremely sick boy, a mother’s pain, and the mystical workings of God.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I don’t quite know what to say about The Postman’s Lantern. I think I understand what the author was trying to do, but there were times I found myself lost and not quite getting what was going on at times. I don’t know if it was just that there was too much going on or if the book could have done with being longer. Also, the ending was a little bit odd and really could have been fleshed out a bit more. 

I do want to bring up something that a reviewer on Goodreads mentioned that I also noticed quite a bit, and that is the use/misuse of the Lord’s name. I found that God’s name was used by the adults inappropriately fairly frequently throughout the book. Maybe I am wrong and it’s not, but I did think it was important to bring up for those who are more sensitive to things like that. 

Overall, The Postman’s Lantern was okay, and honestly it was kind of a let down because I was looking forward to reading it. 3/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-56John Charles Comerford grew up playing hard, on the streets and fields of Washington Township, New Jersey. He attended Our Lady of Good Counsel Grammar School through 8th grade. He then jumped across the street to attend Westwood High School, where he soon began playing guitar and composing songs at the age of sixteen. Writing short musical stories would soon turn into a more involved field of composition, as he later attended Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ. Here, he developed a desire to become a paperback writer. While attending college, he took a job with the US Postal Service as a mail carrier and is still delivering, thirty years later. He is still a performing musician and a recording artist on itunes. He now resides in Pawling, New York with his wife Bridget and his son Jack.

More from John Charles

I was just a little kid at the time. The temperature outside was 93 degrees. I had awakened earlier that day, because it was a Saturday. I wanted to catch some early morning cartoons, instead of lying in bed, waiting for my dad to give out chores for the day. I knew it was going to be a hot one, and I dreaded going outside.

Before long, there I was slapping paint on the side of my house. Soon after, I was weeding and watering the front lawn before it reached into the 90’s. At about 12:00, I went inside to cool off. I ate some lunch and relaxed a bit, listening to the “Boston Pops” my dad had put on.

From a calm and collective state of mind, I was suddenly burdened by the noise of my barking dog, at the front window. I went to the front door and opened it wide. As I looked up, the mailman was looking down. His face was dripping sweat, and his uniform was soaked. He had a big smile and said, “Too hot to play today.” He laughed a bit and handed me the mail. I heard my mom and dad yell out “Thank you, do you need a cold drink at all?” He said “I’m all set but thank you.” He moved on, while adjusting that full bag of mail that he was carrying around his shoulders.

It was then that I decided I would never become a mailman. God, no, not this kid. That was no easy job.

14 years later, I was working for the post office, with a packed satchel around my neck, and a can of pepper spray, to boot. I was now walking that mile, in my old mailman’s boots. Many times I’ve prayed to God for help and to keep me from dozing off in trucks that reached 120 degrees inside. I prayed for help from dog attacks that would occur five times a day at least. I prayed for help from the pain you feel when it’s 30 degrees to 20 below and you’re soaked from rain. Your fingers are ready to fall off after being soaked from the rain or as they burn to the bone.

So I wrote my book, seeking the world’s attention to the mail carrier’s integrity, and a forever caring attitude to those who patiently await their arrival.

Blog Stops

Christian Bookaholic, October 7

Pause for Tales, October 8

For the Love of Literature, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 10

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 11 (Guest Post from Marilyn Ridgway)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Mary Hake, October 12

Girls in White Dresses, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 13

Inklings and notions, October 14

Vicky Sluiter, October 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 16

To Everything There Is A Season, October 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 17

deb’s Book Review, October 17

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

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 18

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 20

For Him and My Family, October 20

Giveaway

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To celebrate his tour, John Charles is giving away the grand prize package for 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/11fdd/the-postman-s-lantern-celebration-tour-giveaway

Penelope’s Pursuit Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the Book

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Book: Penelope’s Pursuit

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 29, 2021

Are mail-order-brides changing their minds or is something sinister going on in Kansas?

Ten years ago, Penelope’s sister ran away as a mail-order bride, and it was the last their family ever heard from her. Now, with their parents dead and Penelope all alone, the young woman has one goal. Find her sister.

It took enough grit for Henry to write to Miss Mildred Crenshaw about finding him a wife in the first place, but when the stage arrives and no bride steps off, the whole thing feels like a confidence scheme. Investigation, however, sends chills down his spine as he realizes women are leaving the east for the west but many never arrive at their destinations.

Is it any wonder that Penelope doesn’t trust the man who abducts her from the clutches of her new friends and rides off into the sunset? Is his explanation reasonable? Can she convince him to help her find her sister?

And is she about to fall in love with a homesteader on the untamed prairies of Kansas?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

Penelope’s Pursuit is an interesting take on mail-order brides, and I honestly expected nothing less from Chautona Havig. I loved how while this is a romance of sorts, it also tackles the difficult topic of human trafficking and other not-so-nice sides of mail-order brides. While it did get gritty at times, I also appreciated that this was contrasted with the blossoming of new love. 

I enjoyed the writing style, but there were a couple of places were it did seem a little slow, but it was also necessary or the furtherance of the plot. I also liked the letters at the beginning/end of every chapter. I personally would have loved for there to have been more, but that’s just because I really love epistolary novels. 

I liked getting to know the characters, especially Penelope and Reuben. I sometimes found Penelope to be a bit too stubborn for her own good, but think that is also because I can identify with that part of her character, although I wish I could deny it. Reuben was also a great character and honestly it was hard to read the heartbreak he goes through due to the sins of others. There are also some other characters I loved meeting in the town of Laure Mound and I hope to read about them all again soon. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Penelope’s Pursuit. It is both a light-hearted romance, but also a look at the grittier parts of history. Chautona Havig continues to show why she is one of my favorite authors because she is only one of a few authors that I think could pull this off really well. As always,  eagerly anticipate what she puts out next. 4/5 Stars. 

*I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Author

p-49Chautona 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

Mail Order Brides: Do We Romanticize the Past?

Although I recall reading about mail-order brides in school… somewhere… Patricia MacLachlan’s Sarah, Plain and Tall was my first introduction to the idea of advertising for or requesting the services of a matchmaker to find a wife. The book and the subsequent movie showed the difficulties of such a marriage and left us all with a satisfactory ending.

Some years later, while doing a bit of research, I discovered another side of the coin—a horrifying picture of what happened to some gullible young women and the unscrupulous people who used such matchmaking schemes as a means for human trafficking. It sickened me, as it should anyone.

All my ideas for mail order bride novels ended up as wadded up balls of mental paper and in the wastepaper basket of my mind. A few years passed, and I came up with a twist on mail order brides, one that will see the light of day if I ever have time to write it. A few more years passed, and a series of books featuring a matchmaking service for mail-order brides and the Homestead Act resurrected those ideas. I smoothed a couple out, reconsidered, and decided against writing them.

I’d have to miss the opportunity to join the series.

My mind never does follow orders well. Within minutes of that decision, I had a story. What would happen if there was some funny business going on with girls going west? How could I combine a satisfactory ending where two people came to a meeting of the minds and hearts in the midst of fighting something that ugly?

Penelope’s Pursuit was born.

Is my story idealized? Probably. I’ll be frank with you. I’m okay with that, too. See, sometimes all we need is a reminder that mankind is sinful and in need of a Savior before the story turns into how things should have been. After all, fiction mirrors reality, but it is also an escape.

I hope Penelope’s escape to the west and her pursuit of her sister encourages you to turn to the Lord for every decision, in every trouble, and with every praise possible in between.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Blogging With Carol, October 9

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 11

Inklings and notions, October 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Lots of Helpers, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

Joanne Markey, October 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 17

Mary Hake, October 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 19

Vicky Sluiter, October 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 20

Connie’s History Classroom, October 21

Blossoms and Blessings, October 21

Splashes of Joy, October 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of $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/11fe1/penelope-s-pursuit-celebration-tour-giveaway

First Line Fridays #68 – Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Reading is My Superpower.

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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“A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers’ of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.”

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.