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Son of Promise by Caryl McAdoo

Posted by [email protected] on January 19, 2018 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)


About the Book


Title: Son of Promise
Author: Caryl McAdoo
Genre: Woman’s Fiction

Be it known, your sins will find you out, but God’s mercy endureth forever!
Can a wife find the grace to forgive when her husband’s withheld the truth?
Travis Buckmeyer has a secret son, and the morning’s come to tell his sweet wife. He hates breaking Emma Lee’s heart. She promised him one ten years ago, but hasn’t been blessed to carry a baby to term. Every miscarriage made the telling harder, but now his clock’s run out. He’s going for his son, praying he won’t lose her.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author


Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and a quick scroll through her novels’ rankings by Christian readers attests to the Father’s faithfulness. She loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs He gives her—look her up on YouTube to hear a few. Her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-two years ago, and now they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

SON OF PROMISE—a companion story to my Texas Romance Family Saga’s book ten CHIEF OF SINNERS—features Travis and Emma Lee Buckmeyer, who readers first meet in CHIEF. She’s the sister of its heroine Sandy Harris, and he is a friend of its hero Buddy Nightingale; he’s also the son of Crockett Buckmeyer (from book eight COVERING LOVE) and grandson of Patrick Henry Buckmeyer (hero of book one VOW UNBROKEN).

A standalone, it isn’t necessary for readers to know all these ancestors to enjoy SON OF PROMISE, but those who do will surely love it all the more. What I know is that this couple won a chunk of my heart. Their faith is outstanding and their love inspiring. In the ’40s, Emma Lee didn’t have the fertility options young women do today, and miscarriage after miscarriage left her hurting. That’s why he hadn’t told her.

He didn’t want to hurt her, but circumstances had changed, and time was up. She had to be told that morning he already had a son born from a one night liaison thirteen years before because he was leaving to claim his Cody from a reform school and bring him home.

The boy had never known real love, but I loved him from the first. Forced to grow up way too fast—lying, stealing, and participating in most any other rebellious act—he’s missed so much. He’s overwhelmed with Travis and Emma Lee—their home, their partnership and love for each other, and their generosity toward him.

He planned to light out from the start, but days piled on top each other, and he never pulled the trigger.

In VOW UNBROKEN, there was an awesome canine named Blue Dog, and I went into his POV (Point Of View—got into his head) a couple of times. My Simon & Schuster editor ‘requested’ that I lose those segments, and so I did. But in this novel, I get into a canine’s head again . . . I’m hoping readers will find that fun.

In years past, I owned, managed, and milked a herd of eighty-plus dwarf goats and loved their Great Pyrenees guardians, so it was fun to include them in the story. I love how Emma Lee was able to sell her paintings for exorbitant prices, but remained so humble and unassuming. And that she and Travis opened their home (they’re so much like my husband and me) to total strangers. We’ve had so many people live with us over the years, to help them, be blessings—the hands and feet of God in the earth.

I pray my story gives God glory and that its readers will be drawn closer to Him through it. He blesses me and highly favors me daily. I can’t thank or praise Him enough!

My Review

I absolutely loved this book. The characters were amazingly well developed. I enjoyed following Cody's growth being with his father and step-mother and accepting their love. This is a book about relationships, forgiveness and the true healing of the Lord and I was hooked from the first chapter.

 

I was amazed at the depth of feeling and emotion wrapped up in the story. The book would give anyone who is at a place in their life where they feel lost, an inspirational sense of faith and hope.There were many lessons learned from the pages. Ones of unconditional love, acceptance, joy, and knowing that with God nothing is impossible.


There were parts of the book that created surprise and others that deeply moved me to tears. Son of Promise is one of the best-written books I've read and is definitely my favorite for the new year. Highly recommended.


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 18


D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 18

 

Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, January 19


Splashes of Joy, January 19

 

Karen Sue Hadley , January 20

 

Maureen’s Musings, January 20

 

proud to be an autism mom, January 21


Bibliophile Reviews, January 21

 

Reading is My SuperPower, January 22 (Interview)

 

A Greater Yes, January 22

 

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 23

 

Baker kella, January 24

 

Janices book reviews, January 24


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

 

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 25

 

Quiet Quilter, January 26


Carpe Diem, January 26

 

C Jane Read, January 27

 

A Baker’s Perspective, January 27

 

Simple Harvest Reads, January 28 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

 

Pursuing Stacie, January 28


Red Headed Book Lady, January 29

 

margaret kazmierczak, January 29

 

cherylbbookblog, January 30

 

Bigreadersite, January 30

 

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

 

Avid Reader Book Reviews, January 31


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away

GRAND PRIZE : $50 Amazon Gift Card 1st Prize: Choice-of-Caryl’s Titles (print or ebook) 2nd-4th: ebook of SON OF PROMISE!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c511

Strains of Silence by Bethany Kaczmarek

Posted by [email protected] on January 13, 2018 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (2)

 

About the Book



Author: Bethany Kaczmarek  
Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Release Date: August 1, 2017

Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her. Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself. Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author



Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.


My Review

Strains of Silence is a powerful read dealing with the subject of abuse. It portrays the sense of hopelessness, hate, and the other emotions a person of abuse goes through. It was evident from the beginning that the author wrote from the heart with a passion for the truth. Her characters were very well fleshed out and I immediately had compassion for Kasia.


My emotions were all over the place and I was hooked from the first chapter. It was definitely a page turner. The love of Kasha's family was heartwarming and I enjoyed the polish references. The book was inspirational and uplifting, showing that God can bring you through even the worst of circumstances.  The descriptions of Peru and the people brought the place alive.

 

I found the character of Zan refreshing. He was very real, supportive, and a true gentlemen. It was an inspiration to follow characters so well written and to see their growth in their faith. The book reminded me how important a large support group of fellow Christian's and family are to our healing. I would highly recommend this book. An excellent read.

Guest Post from Bethany Kaczmarek

Strains of Silence: A Novel for Anyone Who Can Say #MeToo We’re everywhere. After years of silence, many survivors of sexual assault are raising our voices. You’ve seen the hashtag. You know someone who suffered like this—a friend, a sister, a daughter. Maybe you know personally what it’s like to be used. I’m thankful for the conversations the #MeToo campaign has started, proud of the brave women who are speaking out. But I know some are still quiet, nursing wounds. I could list loads of valid reasons a victim chooses to suffer in silence.

  • People won’t believe her.
  • If she doesn’t say it out loud, it’s easier to pretend it was a nightmare.
  • He’s got authority over her—at work, at church, in the family—and it’ll cost her too much. He’s done enough damage already.
  • He’s threatened to destroy her reputation, and she believes him. One, because he’ll do it without flinching. Two, because she’s already convinced that she’s living a lie.
  • Because at church, she’s supposed to be fine, smiling, rejoicing in her suffering and pressing on. Besides, people don’t want to sit with her in her pain and listen. They’d rather offer bumper-sticker theology and trite spiritual bandages.
  • The few times she’s tried to speak up, her used-to-be friend basically made her feel like it was her fault.

The list could go on, but it’s fair to say that being honest about what happened to us makes us vulnerable all over again. The idea is understandably stressful. But you know what? Pretending we’re fine is exhausting too. We bear a great strain when we hide our hurts, for whatever reason. Kasia Bernolak, the heroine of my novel Strains of Silence, gets it. She’s got reasons for keeping it quiet too. But when God brings some new people into her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be alone. And speaking up offers a freedom, a lightness, she wants. It’s a freedom I want for my readers. I know. Strains of Silence sounds like a heavy book right now. The themes are heavy, no doubt. There’s no glossing over and prettying up sexual assault or domestic violence. But—just like in real life—it’s how well we surround and support the suffering that can set the tone. Kasia’s friends are real, they’re funny, they’re quirky, and they believe in her. Besides, it’s not all dark and brooding. There’s travel—an entire summer in the mountains of Peru. There’s a lot of music—Kasia’s a singer/song-writer who loves indie artists (I’ve got a playlist on my website). There’s heritage and culture—meet her immigrant family and you’ll get a delicious taste of Poland. There’s humor—enough to keep the story light when you need it to be. And there’s hope. Kasia’s life is absolutely full of possibility. So are the lives of everyone who can say #MeToo. Sometimes, it just helps to see someone else fight the battle on our own horizon. And if you can do it with a fantastic new playlist and some laughs, why not? My hope is that Strains of Silence will lead to real discussions with reader-friends, book-club gatherings that become turning points, and the true pursuit of freedom. It’s time to throw off the burdens we wear and stand up. Raise your voice, link arms with others, and fight for hope. Healing is within our reach.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, January 6

 

proud to be an autism mom, January 6

 

Inklings and Notions, January 7

 

Bibliophile Reviews, January 7

 

Fiction Aficionado, January 8

 

Genesis 5020, January 8


The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 9


Bigreadersite, January 9

 

Red Headed Book Lady, January 10

 

Mommynificent, January 10

 

Texas Book-aholic, January 11

 

allofakindmom, January 11

 

Blogging With Carol, January 12 (Interview)

 

The Power of Words, January 12

 

Pursuing Stacie, January 12

 

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 13

 

A Greater Yes, January 13


Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, January 14

 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

 

Mindy Houg Guest Review on Artistic Nobody, January 15

 

Janices book reviews, January 15

 

Faithfully Bookish, January 16

 

Kat’s Corner Books, January 16

 

Margaret Kazmierczak, January 17

 

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 17

 

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, January 18

 

Carpe Diem, January 18


Remebrancy, January 19


A Baker’s Perspective, January 19


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5dc

Review of The Valentine Verse by JoAnn Durgin

Posted by [email protected] on January 7, 2018 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (5)


About the Book


Author: JoAnn Durgin

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 5, 2017

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for February 14th anymore! Love should be celebrated every day of the year. That’s Thornton Fielding’s philosophy. In spite of a few false starts in the arena of love, he holds out hope he’ll eventually find the woman of his dreams. The problem? He loves his job, and there’s no end in sight to his travels. But when Thornton returns to his tiny hometown of Cherish, Minnesota, he meets a beautiful and intriguing woman he believes might be God’s answer to ending his bachelor status—permanently. Vara Alexandris is soured on love and scoffs at the notion of soul mates. But soon after meeting the handsome and unconventional Thornton, the speech and language pathologist suspects he might be the perfect ally to help jump-start her stroke patient’s recovery—if only Vara can keep Thornton grounded in Cherish long enough. This man who spouts romanticized and idealistic ideas about love seems all too eager to resume his world travels. Could it be Thornton actually prefers globetrotting in order to avoid a romantic relationship? Is it time for Vara to call the dreamer’s bluff? And can Thornton convince Vara to put past heartache behind her and trust in God’s plan for her heart? Join Thornton and Vara in USA Today bestselling author JoAnn Durgin’s latest release full of her trademark humor, romance, and lively, small-town characters in a story of God’s fierce passion and loving guidance for His children—if only they pay attention! The Valentine Verse is sure to warm your soul during any season of the year.

Click here to purchase your copy!
My Review
The storyline was terrific and it had so much tension and uplifting moments along the way, 
that I couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

The characters were so well-developed that I felt like I knew them personally. 
I loved the playfulness and witty banter between Vera and Thornton. 

If you read only one book this year, you will want to make sure to read this one. 
Warning though-keep the tissues handy for the happy tears that will flow.

This was a book about finding the true love that God picks for you, being honest 
about your past hurts, being open to love again and embracing the release that 
only forgiveness can bring.

About the Author


JoAnn Durgin is the USA Today bestselling author of the beloved Lewis Legacy Series as well as Prelude, the prequel to the series. Her other works include the Amazon bestselling Catching Serenity, Heart’s Design and its sequel, Gentle Like the Rain, The Wondrous Love Series, Echoes of Edinburgh, Perchance to Dream, Whisper to My Heart, Thee Will I Cherish, The Christmas Challenge, and the popular Starlight Christmas Series. A former estate administration paralegal, JoAnn now writes contemporary Christian romance full-time and lives with her family in her native southern Indiana. Writing Christian fiction is her passion, and she loves nothing more than sharing the hope to be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Guest Post from JoAnn Durgin

A Little More about The Valentine Verse from Author JoAnn Durgin I adore writing and reading contemporary Christian romance, but I’ve noticed very few novels in the genre have an actual Valentine’s Day theme and/or title. Perhaps authors believe it would limit the “shelf life” of their book. The way I see it, if Christmas novels (and Hallmark Christmas movies) can be popular year-round, why not Valentine’s Day books? I’ve always been somewhat of a rebel in my writing career. Don’t tell me I can’t do something or I might just try it (within reason)! After a Christmas release last year followed closely by the eighth installment (500 pages!) of my longest-running series, I knew I couldn’t possibly release a Valentine’s Day book. That’s when one of the primary themes of The Valentine Verse “hit” me—Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be reserved only for February 14th. Expressing our love to one another should be celebrated throughout the year! This concept became the philosophy of the hero, Thornton Fielding, and the book released in early May. Let me tell you a little more about the idea for Thornton… I dedicated The Valentine Verse to my uncle, Mr. Thornton, and named my hero after him. My uncle was instrumental in my being able to quit my full-time paralegal job in mid-August 2014. Without going into specific details, there were three things that took place (“signs,” if you will) beginning earlier that same year, which seemed to clearly indicate I should try to make writing my full-time career. My debut novel released in late 2010, and the story of my road to publication can be found on my website at www.joanndurgin.com. By early 2014, my books were beginning to find faithful readers, and I was blessed with decent sales. The third and final “sign” and blessing came from Mr. Thornton. Truly, it was as if God were saying, “JoAnn, what more will it take for you to step out in faith?” I promised the Lord and myself that I’d take a year and see how it went…and I haven’t looked back since! I took the leap of faith, but I’m also doing what I feel the Lord has called me to do. Almost three years to the day of quitting my day job, I released my 24th novel. God is so good, and it is my great honor and privilege to write for His glory. Thank you to Celebrate Lit for the gracious opportunity for this blog tour. The Valentine Verse features fun characters (how can you miss with a small Minnesota town named Cherish?), heartwarming lessons, *sightings* of two of my most popular heroes from another series, and even a surprising twist at the end! I hope you’ll enjoy

The Valentine Verse.

Blessings, friends.

JoAnn

Matthew 5:16

Blog Stops

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 9

 

Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, January 9

 

Mommynificent, January 10

 

Power of Words, January 10 (Spotlight)

 

Karen Sue Hadley, January 11

 

Reading is my Super Power, January 11 (Interview)

 

Quiet Quilter, January 12

 

Remembrancy, January 13

 

proud to be an autism mom, January 14

 

Bibliophile Reviews, January 15

 

Texas Book-aholic, January 16


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 17

 

Janices book reviews, January 18

 

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 19

 

Carpe Diem, January 20

 

A Baker’s Perspective, January 21

 

Simple Harvest Reads, January 21 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)


God is Love, January 22

 

A Greater Yes, January 23

 

margaret kazmierczak, January 23 (Interview)

 

Pursuing Stacie, January 24

 

Bigreadersite, January 24


Giveaway


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

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5dd

Review of Solve by Christmas by Amber Schamel

Posted by [email protected] on December 16, 2017 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (1)


About the Book


Name of book: Solve by Christmas

Author: Amber Schamel

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator. “I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.” Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night. As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living? “Amber Schamel’s engaging prose weaves together not one, but two edge-of-your-seat threads in this historical mystery. With the hero racing against time to solve the two cases readers will be kept guessing as they attempt to crack the case. “ ~ Laura V. Hilton author of Christmas Admirer (Whitaker House)


My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed Solved by Christmas and was entertained by the mystery and the quirkiness of the main character, Jasper Hollock. He came across as very real, with his ability to pick up clues in spite of his clumsiness. Jasper, a private investigator, was assigned two different cases at Rudin Sugar Factory. He is assisted by a humorous delivery boy, Denny who wants to be Jasper's assistant.


Jasper's focus turns to Mr. Rudin, who is like an uncle to him and is determined to end his life on Christmas unless Jasper can convince him that his life is worth living.


There is lots of suspense and an interesting setting. The characters are well developed and I loved the wittiness of Denny. I found myself laughing at his antics. The story kept me guessing until the end.


About the Author


Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year Award in Historical Fiction. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Pick up your copy here.

Guest Post from Amber Schamel

Thank you so much for joining us on the Celebrate Lit blog tour for Solve by Christmas!! I am so excited you’re here. For this special event, I wanted to share the inside scoop behind the story.

Solve by Christmas is a historical Mystery set in Denver during the great blizzard of 1913. It has a unique storyline, so people often wonder where the idea came from. Honestly, it was one of those ideas that just popped into my head, then took on a life of its own and evolved over several weeks.

I wanted to give my readers a new story before the year was out, but I didn’t have a specific plot in mind. I did know I wanted to write a Christmas story. So, I had that much. Then I decided I wanted something with a firm deadline.” If this doesn’t happen by this date, everyone dies” sort of thing. Then “By Christmas” popped into my head and flicked on a light. What if Christmas was the deadline?

I’ve always loved detectives and mystery stories, and they go perfectly with deadlines. So, then I thought, what if a detective must solve the case by Christmas or death wins?

Sometimes, as an author, there are ideas and thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Almost like God dropping a card into your mental mailbox. The next point of Solve by Christmas was that way. What if a detective was assigned a case that he had to solve by Christmas, but it wasn’t a real case –at least not the type of case he wanted—but something completely different? From there, the story began to really take shape.


The next step, of course, is to come up with a character to be the detective. I wanted the story to have a Sherlock Holmes feel, so I started by studying his character a bit. But my story also has a less serious side since it isn’t a murder mystery and takes place at a sugar factory. I wondered…what would happen if you took Sherlock Holmes and meshed him with Barney Fife?


Now THAT would be hard to pull off. But I was determined to try. So, I made a list of Sherlock Holmes traits, and one of Barney Fife’s traits. I began to see that they actually DO have several similarities. They’re both a bit socially awkward. They both have a very similar flavor of pride. And they both have this air of authority…although Sherlock can back his up while Barney struggles in that area. Then I began to pick and choose between the traits that were left, this Barney trait, this Sherlock trait, and pretty soon I had Detective Jasper Hollock forming on the page. Whether you will get a Barney Fife and Sherlock feel when you read Solve by Christmas, I can’t say. But I do believe I was successful in creating a unique, quirky character that will bring this Christmas mystery to life.


There you have it. The scoop behind Solve by Christmas. I hope you enjoy the story, and best wishes in the giveaway! I will be stopping by along with Jasper and Denny (the two main characters) to answer any questions you may have about the story or the characters, so please do leave us a comment.


Blog Stops


A Baker’s Perspective, December 12

 

A Simply Enchanted Life, December 12


Connie’s History Classroom, December 13

 

Bigreadersite, December 13

 

The Fizzy Pop Collecton, December 14

 

Genesis5020, December 14


Baker Kella, December 15

 

Daysong Reflections, December 15

 

History, Mystery & Faith, December 16


Karen Sue Hadley, December 16

 

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 17

 

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 17

 

Aryn The Libraryan, December 18

 

A Reader’s Brain, December 18

 

Bibliophile Reviews, December 19


Mary Hake, December 19

 

Texas Book-aholic, December 20

 

Simple Harvest Reads, December 20

 

Babs Book Bistro, December 21

 

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 21 (Interview)

 

Seasons of Opportunities, December 22

 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 22

 

Just the Write Escape, December 23

 

The Power of Words, December 23

 

Live.Love.Read., December 24

 

Carpe Diem, December 24

 

Blogging With Carol, December 25

 

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, December 25


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Amber is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas themed basket which will include a paperback copy of Solve by Christmas and The Swaddling Clothes (my two Christmas books) as well as a Christmas terrarium jar, and a Solve by Christmas notepad!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5bb

Review of 12 Days at Bleakley Manor by Michelle Griep

Posted by [email protected] on December 13, 2017 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)


About the Book



Name of book:12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane. Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Click here to purchase your copy.
My Review

This is a wonderful tale of unexpected twists, suspense, mystery and an air of romance.

Set in England in the 1800's and with references to Charles Dickens, the story was well

crafted and the descriptions of Bleakly Manor brought the story to life for me.

The characters were a variety of some quirky, some cold and calculating,

and then Clara (the main character) brought sweetness and caring to the mix.

They were all summoned to spend 12 days at the manor and the last one to stay there wins their prize.

When you add the fact that none of them knew there would be anyone else there,

it made for a fun read, especially when mysterious happenings start to take place.


The story was a cross between Dickens and Agatha Christie, but pulled off well.

I can't wait to read the next one in this Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series.



About the Author


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor

Guest post by Michelle Griep Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…


TREE DECORATIONS Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.


GREENERY Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.


WREATHS “Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.


CANDLES Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.


DRESDENS Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal. And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy. And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Blog Stops

By The Book, December 14

 

Bukwurmzzz, December 14

 

Faery Tales Are Real, December 14

 

A Baker’s Perspective, December 15


A Reader’s Brain, December 15

 

Have A Wonderful Day, December 15


Texas Book-aholic, December 16

 

Carpe Diem, December 16

 

Cafinated Reads, December 16

 

Just the Write Escape, December 17

 

A Greater Yes, December 17

 

Remembrancy, December 17

 

Allofakindmom, December 18

 

History, Mystery & Faith, December 18

 

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18

 

amandainpa, December 19

 

Kat’s Corner Books, December 19

 

Mommynificent, December 19

 

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 20

 

Bookworm Mama, December 20

 

Vicky Sluiter, December 20

 

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21

 

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 21


To Everything A Season, December 21

 

Reader’s Cozy Corner, December 22

 

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 22

 

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)

 

My Writer’s Life, December 23

 

Janices book reviews, December 23

 

For The Love of Books, December 23

 

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 24

 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

 

Red Headed Book Lady, December 25


Raining Butterfly Kisses, December 25

 

Bibliophile Reviews, December 26

 

Blogging With Carol,December 26

 

Mary Hake, December 26


Reflections From my Bookshelves, December 27

 

 

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8

Review of the Hope of Christmas by Jodie Wolfe, Terri Wangard, and Linda Shenton Matchett

Posted by [email protected] on December 8, 2017 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (4)


About the Book


Title: The Hope of Christmas
Author: Jodie Wolfe, Terri Wangard, Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre: Historical Christmas
Release Date: November 24, 2017

Picking a Bride for Paul
When Teddy Love’s neighbor and best friend breaks his leg, she pitches in to do whatever she can to help him on his farm. But when he enlists her aid in finding a wife, she comes to realize she has feelings for him.

Paul Baker follows his heart mother’s wishes by looking for a bride from the East who is refined and gentile, two qualities Teddy isn’t. When his potential bride arrives, he finds himself comparing her to Teddy. How can he go back and change things before he makes the biggest mistake of his life?

Typhoon Prompting

A destroyer escort is among the smallest of warships, but the USS Tabberer has the heart of a giant. A typhoon threatens the US Fleet in the Pacific during World War II, days before Christmas. The men of the Tabberer stand tall as they rush to the aid of their fellow sailors. For Seaman Jerry Collier, the typhoon prompts a greater awareness of what he wants in life. First, though, they have to survive.



A Dr. in the House

Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?

Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?
Click here to purchase your copy!


My Review

Picking a Bride for Paul is a wonderful heartfelt story of a lonely man who decides to send for a mail order bride. The main characters of Paul and his best friend, Teddy are well developed and I connected with them right away. Teddy is a very caring and rather quirky character who is independent, but values her friendship with Paul. Paul was an independent person but because of an injury is forced to let Teddy care for him. There is a lot of tension in the story which makes the storyline very interesting and moves it along nicely. It’s a story of friendships, love, trust in God and the realization of what is truly in your heart. Enjoyed it very much.

 

Typhoon Prompting is an exciting suspenseful story of great courage, bravery, and self-sacrifice. Jerry, the main character is a strong presence, but has a whimsical sense of humor and calmness in the midst of calamity. I love how the author uses the letters from the love of his life in order to show his character. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Thoroughly enjoyed it.


A Dr in the House was a very exciting and wonderful love story set in war time in England. I loved the historical aspect of the story and the author’s descriptions of the mansion made me feel like I was right there with the characters. Archie, the owner of the mansion was a strong, but very opinionated character, and at first, I didn’t like him very much. Emma, I liked immediately and felt compassion for her plight as a female doctor in wartime. It was a very interesting and well written tale and had plenty of tension to drive the story along. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.


About the Authors



Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.



Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.




Linda Shenton Matchett is a journalist, blogger, author, and history geek. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry, Linda has lived in historical places most of her life-from Edison, New Jersey (named for the famed inventor of the light bulb) and Washington, DC to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (reputed to be the oldest summer resort in America). She volunteers at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a trustee for her local public library.

Blog Stops

Christian Author J.E. Grace, December 10

 

Blogging With Carol, December 10


Genesis 5020, December 11


D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 11


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 12


Have A Wonderful Day, December 12


Mommynificent, December 13


Inklings and notions, December 13 


Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 14


Mary Hake, December 14

 

The Power of Words, December 15

 

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

 

A Greater Yes, December 16

 

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

 

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 17

 

Radiant Light, December 18

 

Janices book reviews, December 18

 

Carpe Diem, December 19

 

A Baker’s Perspective, December 19

 

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 20

 

margaret kazmierczak, December 21

 

Pursuing Stacie, December 21

 

Maureen’s Musings, December 22

 

Blossoms and Blessings, December 23

 

Bigreadersite, December 23


Giveaway


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

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://promosimple.com/ps/c514

Review of the Cowboy Christmas Guardian

Posted by [email protected] on November 20, 2017 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (1)

About the Book:



Name of book: Cowboy Christmas Guardian
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre: Isnpy Romance Suspense

Someone is dead set on stopping Shelby Arroyo from doing her job: assessing mineral rights in a mine in gold country. But after rancher Barrett Thorn rescues her from an attack, the handsome widowed cowboy seems to feel responsible for her. That is, until he discovers she’s from the family that he’ll never forgive for his wife’s death. As the threats against Shelby escalate, cowboy honor and an unexpected attraction keep Barrett by her side, even at his own risk. And since Shelby won’t back down, Barrett must protect the brave, loyal woman he has no business falling for…a woman someone wants to kill by Christmas.


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author:



Dana 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 a national bestselling author of over thirty-five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet.

Guest Post from Dana Mentink

Howdy, readers! I am thrilled to be bringing you this four book Gold Country Cowboys series that takes place in an area near and dear to my heart! My family and I have enjoyed many adventures in this amazing area, from exploring gold mines, to climbing through caverns, and soaking in the incredible history. As a matter of fact, we recently enjoyed a train trip on the historic V and T Railroad which took us past abandoned mines and even some active ones where people are engaged in modern day treasure hunting. California’s Gold Country is a fascinating place filled with secret treasures. I hope you will enjoy some wild adventures with four cowboy brothers who have some secrets of their own. God bless you all!


My Review


Shelby Arroyo and Barrett Thorn are thrown into each other's lives by a surprising set of circumstances. I really enjoyed the humor and spunkiness of Shelby. Also, the chilverous cowboy antics of Barrett as he went to no end to protect her.


In the process of getting ore samples for her uncle in order to save him from financial ruin, someone else goes to a lot of trouble to try to scare her off. Next, come the threats on Shelby's life. 


The story is full of non-stop suspense and surprising unexpected twists. The characters were well developed and the story kept me engaged. I couldn't stop turning the pages and I would highly recommend this suspensefull, inspiring story of forgiveness and second chance at love. 


I requested and received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for the purpose of leaving an honest review.


Blog Stops


Cordially Barbara, November 16


Genesis 5020, November 16


Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

 

A Greater Yes, November 17


To Everything A Season, November 17

 

ASC Book Reviews, November 18

 

Splashes of Joy, November 18

 

History, Mystery & Faith, November 19

 

Red Headed Book Lady, November 19

 

Remembrancy, November 19

 

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 20

 

Autism mom, November 20

 

Singing Librarian Books, November 21

 

Janices book reviews, November 21

 

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 22


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


New Horizon Reviews, November 23

 

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 23

 

Pause for Tales, November 24

 

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 24


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 25

 

Cafinated Reads, November 25

 

Blogging With Carol, November 26

 

Daysong Reflections, November 26

 

Carpe Diem, November 27


Karen Sue Hadley, November 27

 

Babs Book Bistro, November 28


Bibliophile Reviews, November 28

 

Raining Butterfly Kisses, November 29

 

The Power of Words, November 29


Giveaway


In honor of her tour, Dana is giving away a copy of Cowboy Christmas Guardian in print or ebook, a horse scarf and a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter!  Enter

Review of The Christmas Admirer by Laura Helton

Posted by [email protected] on November 9, 2017 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (3)


About the Book


Name of book: The Christmas Admirer

Author: Laura V Hilton

Genre: Amish Romance

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Amish romance fans will love this heartwarming holiday story, perfect for gift-giving.

Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas. Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?



My Review

 

The Christmas Admirer is a delightful Amish story immersed in Amish tradition and interlaced with love. The story is woven with uncertainty and mistrust. Can Beniah find his way to trust the Lord for his future?


An uplifting ending brings a wonderful conclusion to a beautiful love story. The characters were well developed, humorous and I couldn't help but laugh along with them. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more of her work.

 

I requested and received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for the purpose of posting an honest review. 

.

Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Author



Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton



 Right before my youngest son joined the Coast Guard we went on a short mini-vacation to Springfield, Missouri, actually going farther north almost to Kansas City to see another Amish community near there in Osceola. There is a cheese factory there and my son wanted to try some of their cheeses – such as a ghost pepper cheese. Too spicy for me. But upon the return to Springfield, Steve read about a glass blowers shop in the downtown area. We found the address and went to visit it. It is owned by an older gentleman and his son. They had a display area set up where people could see their wares and buy them and then a work area where the son mostly worked, and talked about how the fire needed to be so hot, and showed us how he worked and made things. As we watched, he made a lovely flower, a lily, in different colors of glass, green, white, pinks. It was fascinating. And I got to thinking what if…


So I did some more research. Asked questions. Probably drove them nuts. But when Whitaker House indicated they’d be interested in a Christmas novel, I proposed one about a glass blower. The story is set in Jamesport, Missouri, and while completely stand alone, it does have some continuing characters from other books I’ve written set in Jamesport. If you are interested, the books set there are: Amish Books set in Jamesport, Missouri:

The Snow Globe

The Postcard

The Birdhouse

The Amish Firefighter

The Amish Wanderer

The Kissing Bridge (part of Springs of Love collection)

The Christmas Admirer Gingerbread Wi8)shes (part of A Plain Thanksgiving collection–November 2018

 Love by the Numbers February 2018 


I haven’t read any books about an Amish glass blower, but that’s not to say they aren’t out there. I haven’t read all the Amish books available. Jamesport is an area that is more tourist-oriented than the books set in Seymour / Webster County Missouri. They give buggy tours, have bed and breakfasts, open their homes for visitors to eat supper with them, and have businesses.



All Amish districts are different and the rules vary depending on the bishop and preachers. Some are more liberal and some more conservative. Some keep themselves distant and don’t welcome attention from non-Amish and some embrace it. While Jamesport is not as touristy as some districts in Lancaster Pennsylvania or in Ohio, it is much more so than others.

Susanna’s Cranberry Salad

Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
  • 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients until blended. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Just before serving, fold cream and walnuts into cranberry mixture.Makes 16 servings.

Susanna’s Cranberry Sauce

For on top of turkey sandwiches as Becca requested Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed), chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water or orange juice
Directions

In colander, rinse cranberries. In sauce pan, add water or orange juice and sugar, boil until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook about 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries had burst. Let cool.

Susanna’s “Love Portion” Gingerbread

Ingredients
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup shortening, melted slightly
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ c water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
Directions

Shift together flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside. In mixing bowl, mix shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until they are absorbed. Divide dough into three pieces, pat down until about 1 ½ inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for three hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut in desired shapes. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on wire racks. When cool, decorate as desired.

Blog Stops


ASC Book Reviews, November 9


Books n Baubles, November 9


Janices book review, November 9


Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 10

 

Have A Wonderful Day, November 10


A Greater Yes, November 10

 

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


God’s Little Bookworm, November 11

 

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 11


Eat, Read, Teach, Blog, November 12

 

A Holland Reads, November 12

 

Simple Harvest Reads, November 12


Reading Is My SuperPower, November 13


Beck To Basics, November 13

 

Carpe Diem, November 13


Christian Bookaholic, November 14


Blossoms and Blessings, November 14


Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 15

 

Reader’s cozy corner, November 15


Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 15

 

Baker Kella, November 16


Quiet Quilter, November 16


Karen Sue Hadley, November 16


Pause for Tales, November 17 


Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 17


Pursuing Stacie, November 17


For The Love of Books, November 18


Blogging With Carol, November 18


Pink Granny’s Journey, November 18


Bigreadersite, November 19


Vicky Sluiter, November 19


SusanLovesBooks, November 19


Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

 

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 20


New Horizon Reviews, November 20


The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 21


A Simply Enchanted Life, November 21


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21


Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 22


Daysong Reflections, November 22


Splashes of Joy, November 22


Giveaway


In honor of her tour, Laura is giving away

Grand Prize Package: The Christmas Admirer, “Unto Us a Child is Born” painting on decorative serving plate by Donna White, The Hearthside Collection, Inc., and commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

1st Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and The Very First Christmas by Juliet David with interactive illustrations by Pauline Siewert (children’s book). 2nd Place Package: The Christmas Admirer and “The Woman Who Honors The Lord Shall Be Praised” myrrh-scented candle from abba Jerusalem!

Click to enter! 

My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah by Angie Dicken

Posted by [email protected] on November 5, 2017 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (1)


About the Book


Name of book: My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life. Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble. Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him. When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Gate. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.

Click here to purchase Angie’s amazing book!

My Review

My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah is a book of heartache, love, faith

and times when tensions ran high. It depicts the 1900's well, during a time

of great prejudice against anyone not born in the U.S.


The characters were well developed and the ongoing tension kept me on the edge of my

seat. The story was laced with struggles and great compromises.

The ending took me by surprise but I was pleased with how it turned out.

An inspirational story of romance against all odds where traditions are hard to overcome.

I received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour 
and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

 

Angie Dicken is a third generation Greek American, the granddaughter of strong men and women who endured hardship to grow American roots. My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah is set near the birthplace of her grandfather, a Greek coal miner’s son, and published 100 years after his birth. Angie is a contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog and an ACFW member since 2010. She lives with her husband and four children in the Midwest where she enjoys exploring eclectic new restaurants and chatting with friends over coffee.

You can connect with Angie at http://www.angiedicken.com

Guest Post from Angie Dicken

My Publishing Story: A Journey of Perfect Timing

”Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
   



I wrote a story five years ago. My footing was finally solid on how to write, after a couple ACFW conferences and connecting with my bestie writing sister, Ashley. So in 2012, I poured my heart out within the parameters of what I’d learned. The story I wrote stemmed from my heritage. From a very young age, I’ve been inspired by my grandfather. He was the son of a Greek coal miner who came over from Greece in the 1910’s. My grandfather always had wonderful stories to tell–he stirred up my intrigue for WWII era as he was a Purple Heart recipient (twice), and spoke of freeing concentration camps and invading Hitler’s homes; my grandfather lived a rags to riches legacy, having been born in a tent in a coal town, and then becoming a successful home and commercial builder–I declared I’d be an architect at age eleven…even majoring in Landscape
Architecture in college. 
 
Papou was one of my greatest heroes. And my novel was a tribute to him, to my Greek roots, to an American legacy.

So, at ACFW 2012, I took my novel to conference with more confidence than I had before. This story caught the attention of an agent– and I signed a contract with the Steve Laube Agency in November of that year. That was amazing…I chuckle now because the name of the room that I interviewed with Tamela was the “McKee” room–the last name of my heroine. A sign? Maybe. When she sent my story out for all publishers to see that next month, I thought my time for that book was just around the corner. And… Now it’s 2017, and that story is under contract with a publisher as of Fall 2016. What timing, right? Why the heck did it take so long? Not for lack of trying. My agent and I took every possible measure. Why did I get rejection after rejection, and write two other books in the wait? What happened between then? Only in looking back, do I see why I had to wait for this book. And when I look back, I realize just how much Timing is His and there’s nothing I can do to speed it up or make it mine. All I can do is take courage, and wait. I’ll give you a quick recap of what happened between 2013–when the book was put in the proverbial drawer of unwanted manuscripts–and now, 2017, the year it will get published (um, after a few rewrites and edits–always learning…;). In looking back, this is what I see:


My Community was Built. I fell in love with my writer friendships. A bit dramatic? Maybe, but it’s the truth. I connected with ladies who knew my heart as a writer, and allowed me into their lives in an authentic, Christ-loving way. I found hope in the writing journey because my friends held my hands and rubbed my back when all seemed lost. And in this, I grew not as a writer, but as a heart. My heart became soft for the needs of others and the value of authenticity in this short, precious life. [Insert Meme Here] There was a Pride Monster, and He needed to kill it. Oh, Lord, if ever there was a pride monster, it was me. My gut reaction in every rejection, every criticism, every other person’s success was a measurement against them according to me. Yuck. Do you know what the best way to kill a Pride Monster? Starve it. Even though I had my sweet friends and my agent encouraging me along the way, my heart was set on publication and I was not getting that. I wanted it so badly that I turned ugly when it seemed to slip through my fingers with every rejection. And I spiraled and I came up for air to those authentic friendships speaking Truth in love. God knew what He was doing when He built my community, and He knew He would use it to lift me up and tear down my ugly.

The Darkest Valley Was Ahead. Everything stood still in 2014. My personal crisis gave me little room for any true focus on my writing success. If anything, it made the effort seem petty. When you go through your days wondering if you’ll make it to the next morning without a complete mental breakdown, you can’t really dream. My dream in those moments was to crawl out of my skin and run away. This was not about my writing, this was about God’s faithfulness to someone who was losing faith–in the person she loved, in the life she constructed, in the heart that was broken. Looking back (I did climb up and out of this valley), I needed this valley walk (or crawl) to happen when it did–without a book on the shelf, without confidence in something that I had accomplished. I needed brokenness to become stronger and know that my strength has nothing to do with me. There are several other moments and signs that I see as I look back, but I’m not going for the longest blog post of 2017, but I do want to share two sweet confirmations that the timing really is His.


First, I got a book contract! You know this, but, the contract came at a time when I had grown peaceful in the journey–the pride monster lay slain, and I picked up a pen and took an opportunity. My Oklahoma Land Run book with Love Inspired Historical won the Manuscript Matchmakers contest…and WAS coming out in Spring 2018. I had secretly told those closest to me, that it would’ve been nice for it to come out in September instead…just because that’s when the book opens–September, 1893–the historical date of the Land Run. So, what happens after I turn in my complete book a few days before its deadline? My editor tells me they bumped up my date to September of 2017. And I am sure, for them, it had nothing to do with the history, but for me, it was everything to do with the history–and His timing. Look for my debut novel, The Outlaw’s Second Chance this September! There’s more… My second contract came in! And this was a wonderful surprise. My agent and I had found out last spring that a new series was being launched based on geographical places around the U.S. I immediately thought of my Coal country story. So, I put together a proposal for a book I’d written long ago…and got a contract with Barbour this Fall for my novel, My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah. But, the timing? November 2017 is my release. God’s Timing in its finest…The book comes out during the centennial year of my grandfather’s birth. He was born in Dec. 1917 in Carbon County, Utah. My hero and my inspiration for this very book. I just can’t stop smiling at the chance to honor my late grandfather with a story written by his third generation Greek American granddaughter who was inspired by his roots grown a century ago. If only he could be here now. But I know he’s smiling, too. A century. It took a CENTURY. Only by God’s grace, and His perfect timing.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 31


Faithfully Bookish, October 31


Caffeinated Reads, October 31


Captive Dreams Window, November 1


Reading Is My SuperPower, November 1

 

A Greater Yes, November 2

 

Janices book reviews, November 2


Daysong Reflections, November 2


Red Headed Book Lady, November 3


Books, Books, and More Books., November 3


Just the Write Escape, November 3


Carpe Diem, November 4


Christian Bookaholic, November 4


Radiant Light, November 5


History, Mystery & Faith, November 5


Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 6


Texas Book-aholic, November 6


Babs Book Bistro, November 7

 

Kristin’s Book Reviews, November 7


Singing Librarian Books, November 8


Connie’s History Classroom, November 8


D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 9


J.E. Grace Christian Author Blog, November 9


Neverending Stories, November 9


Have A Wonderful Day, November 10


Pause for Tales, November 10


Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 11

 

Mary Hake, November 11


Splashes of Joy, November 11


Bigreadersite, November 12


Blossoms and Blessings, November 12


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12


Vicky Sluiter, November 13

 

Bibliophile Reviews, November 13



Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of her book The Outlaw’s Second Chance!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1ff

Coming Soon-"A Walk with Heavenly Spirits"

Posted by [email protected] on October 14, 2017 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (2)



Available for Preorder on Amazon, Kobo, IBooks, Google Play and Barnes & Noble at 99c. Regular price $2.99 after Dec. 4th.

Christian Inspirational/Romance  

Description:

Allison Stevens has been a child of God since she was a young child. One wrong decision takes her on a course of disappointment and heartache. God loves her and wants her back, but Satan wants to keep her in a life of despair and lies.


A family she didn’t know she had, a man grieving his loss, and a felon who wants her dead makes her life more complicated than ever. Can she find happiness outside of the chaos?


On the road back to God, she discovers that it doesn’t come without trouble. There are still struggles, but now she realizes she isn’t alone. God is with her. Can she stay strong and ward off the lies of the devil?


Heavenly Spirits are sent by God to instruct and remind Allison of God’s promises. Can she walk the path God intended for her and find the joy she lost?


This is an inspirational story of forgiveness, trust, enduring faith, and love.


http://books.pronoun.com/a-walk-with-heavenly-spirits/


Have a wonderful weekend. God bless.

Julie








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