Book Tours

When you open a Pearl Spence novel,don't expect to simply read it.Expect to live the tale.

 

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My name is Susie and I’m an author from the great and beautiful state of Michigan. I find myself a bit addicted to story, both true and make-believe. Reading, writing, and spoken storytelling make up a good deal of my life’s foundation. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m a wife to a handsome and loving man, mother to three of the smartest kids on the planet, and the novelist of Inspirational Fiction. Every day I do my very best to live the story.

Don’t miss out on news, book releases, event dates, and giveaways! Sign up to receive my email newsletter today!

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Today I am spotlighting Susie’s new release, A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era.

Pearl Spence has finally settled into a routine in Bliss, Michigan, far from her home in Red River, Oklahoma. Like all the other kids, she goes to school each day, plays in the woods, and does her chores. But there’s one big difference: Mama is still gone, and doesn’t seem to have a thought for the family she’s left behind.

Escaping from her worries is another part of Pearl’s new routine, whether that’s running to Aunt Carrie’s farm, listening to the radio with Ray, or losing herself in a book. In fact, a chair in the stacks, surrounded by books, might be her favorite place on earth–until she discovers swing dancing. The music transports Pearl to a whole other world.

When Mama unexpectedly returns, it isn’t the happy occasion Pearl had imagined. Mama is distant and Pearl can’t figure out how to please her. And the horrible way she treats Daddy is more than Pearl can bear. Seems life would be better if Mama would just stay away.

Finkbeiner’s portrayal of both tragedy and everyday life in times of great change is charged with a raw beauty that will haunt readers. Fans of the two prior Pearl Spence novels won’t be disappointed!

My review:

Author Susie Finkbeiner has hit this one out of the park! Her third book in the series, Susie does an incredible job of developing her characters (who doesn’t love Aunt Carrie!) and setting the scene. With rich historical facts, it’s simple to tell that the era has been well researched. Yet it’s not dry. She writes in such a way that you are immediately drawn into the story and lives of the people. There is a tone, a special something to her writing that few have. I held my breath, laughed, and cried through this book.

Although the main character is a 12 year old girl, this is not a child’s book in any way. Delicate adult subjects are written about and handled well. Pearl struggles with finding her way back to her mother after a series of events, and it reminded me that we all yearn for home. For that place of peace and belonging.

I was so sad to have this series end. But the wonderful thing about a book is that you can always go back and visit again.

I encourage you to read A Song of Home. In fact, I encourage you to read the entire series. You will fall in love with Pearl, Aunt Carrie, and the rest of family. You can purchase

Susie has authored several books, including bestsellers A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl (Kregel, 2015), A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression, and A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era (Kregel, 2017)

She is also the author of My Mother’s Chamomile (WhiteFire, 2014) and Paint Chips (WhiteFire, 2013).

Susie’s books are available at Baker Book HouseChristian Book DistributorsBarnes & NobleiBooks, and Amazon.

 

 

 

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About the Book

Christmas admirer

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?

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Laura HiltonAmish 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

Glass Blowing and The Christmas Admirer

hqdefaultRight 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…

glass-blowing-1So 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 Wishes (part of A Plain Thanksgiving collection–November 2018)

Love by the Numbers (February 2018)

glassblowing-experience04I 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

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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 the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c16f

 

My Review of The Christmas Admirer

I enjoyed this story by author Laura Hilton, who is new to me. The characters are hurt and struggling to trust God, as are so many of us, which makes them believable.

In all honesty, there were characters I just did not like. How could a father treat his daughter that way? Maybe we weren’t supposed to like him or his girlfriend. Or maybe we were supposed to learn about grace and mercy. But still, I had some negative reactions, which makes a story good, because we shouldn’t like every character in a true to life book.

All in all, this was tender, sweet, and fun. I had trouble putting it down as I wanted to see how it resolved. This seasonal story will not disappoint the lovers of Amish fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

 

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About the Book

Author: Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. good, Thomas Nye

Genre: Amish Thanksgiving Collection

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Love's Thankful Heart FrontGingerbread Wishes

As Thanksgiving approaches, Becca Troyer finds herself overwhelmed with an abundance of winter squash and pumpkins that she isn’t a bit thankful for. Desperately trying to sell them at a farmer’s market so she won’t have mountains to can, she’s surprised when a mime drops to his knee in front of her and proposes marriage.

Yost Miller is helping the volunteer firefighter raise funds at the city park when he notices his long-time crush Becca selling vegetables. Drawn across the grass, he spontaneously proposes marriage. But afterward, Yost isn’t sure how to proceed to show her that his feelings are real.

Just as he begins to find solid footing, confidence is yanked away, leaving him floundering. Will he lose Becca to another man? Or will this Thanksgiving be a season of blessings and wishes come true?

Thanksgiving Strangers

Faithe Beiler believes God wants her to feed the poor at her family’s restaurant, but when she mistakes Crist Petersheim for a homeless man and gives him a free breakfast, he’s offended. Yet he can’t help being intrigued by this pretty waitress with a giving heart.

Crist blames God for the tragedies in his life, so the last thing he wants is to get involved with an Amish girl, who trusts God in all circumstances. He fears for Faithe’s safety, though, when she invites every homeless person in the neighborhood, including drug dealers and criminals, to a free Thanksgiving dinner. Street savvy, Crist risks his life to protect her from danger.

As Crist’s heart softens toward God, Faithe finds herself falling him. Then she discovers his deception, and her world is shattered. Can she ever trust him again?

The Thanksgiving Frolic

Monroe has the prettiest girl and the fastest horse— but pride goes before a fall.

Monroe’s girlfriend, Rosemary, and her family organize the Thanksgiving Frolic, a service project to help Amish folks who have fallen on hard times. Monroe wants to go along but his dad won’t let him. Furthermore, Monroe’s dad thinks Rosemary’s family should clean up their own messy farm before they try to help others. Will the contrast between Monroe’s and Rosemary’s families end their relationship for good? Rosemary’s grandpa tries to offer words of wisdom, but people don’t take him seriously. The Thanksgiving Frolic heats up to a fever pitch, before a moment of silence changes everything.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Authors

Laura pictureLaura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

 

rachel goodRachel J. Good grew up near Lancaster, PA, the setting for many of her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends special time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events. Rachel is the author of several Amish series, including Sisters & Friends (Charisma), Love & Promises (Grand Central), and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series (Annie’s Book Club). In addition, she has two Amish Quilts Coloring Books as well as stories in several anthologies, including Springs of Love (CelebrateLit).

 

Thomas NyeThomas Nye writes novels about horses and Amish life, with a touch of romance, and a foundation of faith in Christ. He and his wife, Shari, live on her family farm where they raised five children. Their six grandchildren love to visit Karma and Karla, a team of draft horses which Thomas purchased from an Amish friend. Walking a mail route for the U.S. Postal Service keeps Thomas close to nature and affords him many quiet hours which he uses to dream up novels. Over three decades of friendships with Amish neighbors has revealed a simple wisdom that he weaves into his writing. To find out more, visit: amishhorses.blogspot.com

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, November 4

Quiet Quilter, November 4

Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 5

Carpe Diem, November 5

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 6

Karen Sue Hadley, November 6

Pursuing Stacie, November 7

Mommynificent, November 8

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 9

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

Blogging With Carol, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 11

Splashes of Joy, November 11

proud to be an autism mom, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

A Baker’s Perspective, November 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 13

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Mary Hake, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 15

A Greater Yes, November 15

Vicky Sluiter, November 16

Pink Granny’s Journey, November 16

Janices book reviews, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17

Giveaway

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To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a Kindle Unlimited 6 month Subscription!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c403

 

My Review:

Three great stories, by three talented authors, reminding us to be thankful for what we have! This is a wonderful compilation of Thanksgiving stories to add to your collection. I loved all three of these stories and highly recommend them.

Gingerbread Wishes

Author Laura Hilton deals with youthful angst, and learning to see others by their heart, not their appearance. Showing up first in Hilton’s book, “The Christmas Admirer”, the characters feel real as they deal with life, and learn to trust God in this sweet romance.

Thanksgiving Strangers

This book has intrigue and mystery! Author Rachel Good takes us through the dangers of drug dealers and trouble makers in this surprising book. Learning to trust again is not easy but the subject is handled well as faith in God is also restored.

The Thanksgiving Frolic

Author Thomas Nye is new to me. The shortest of the three stories, it still tells a sweet tale of romance. A step of faith and lessons in humility weave this into a heartwarming story. We are also reminded to help others in their time of need.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

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About the Book              CastleGate

 

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!

 

About the Author

Angie Dicken BioAngie 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 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.

My great grandfather, born in 1884 and immigrated to Utah in 1910's.
My great grandfather, born in 1884 and
immigrated to Utah in 1910’s.

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.



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

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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

My review of My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

I’ve been enjoying the “My Heart Belongs” series, and this book is a great addition!

You can see that author Angie Dicken did a great deal of research. She portrays very well the trials that Greek immigrants dealt with during a time of racial tension between the Greek and American Miners. A time of which I was unaware.

With great character development, I quickly become engrossed in this book. There is much of the past that is regretted but God is allowed to move in the hearts of the various personalities. There is also a lot of prejudice and forgiveness in this miner’s camp. Along with a sweet romance, it’s a wonderful story.

If you enjoy historical Christian fiction then I highly recommend this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

 

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About the Bookout of the ordinary

 

Name of book: Out of the Ordinary

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian historical

Release Date: November 7, 2017

“With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano’s first Apart from the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles.”–Publishers Weekly on Behind the Scenes

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader’s eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can’t help coming to his friend’s defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

“The second installment of Turano’s Apart from the Crowd series is laugh-out-loud enjoyable. The foibles of the characters, balanced out with a light-hearted yet meaningful love story, is a true treat. . . . All of the threads are tied together in the end, even the small mysteries and side stories. It makes for a very satisfying read when the last page is turned.”–RT Book Reviews

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

jen turanoJen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at http://www.jenturano.com.

 

Q & A with Jen Turano

Hey Everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by today. Because I’m in the midst of a first draft, and in case you don’t know, I don’t actually care for first drafts – all those pesky blank pages, but…I’m getting off track…where was I? Oh yes, why I brought up first drafts in the first place. You see, I’m a little scattered when I’m doing a draft, and because of that, and because my mind is a scary place to visit while filling up those already-mentioned blank pages, I was having a tough time coming up with a post for Celebrate Lit. That’s why I reached out to my fabulous readers, and…here are some of the questions their inquiring minds wanted to know about me or my books. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Why write in the Gilded Age?

When I started writing historical romance after experimenting with other genres, I didn’t write Gilded age but Regency pieces. However, when I ran across the book “The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York” by Greg King, I was intrigued, and a little baffled about how it came to be that I was so unfamiliar with that riveting time in history. It’s an era where unprecedented fortunes were made at a remarkable rate, those fortunes responsible for so many scandals that I’ll have enough fodder for stories to last me for years. The antics of the members of high society are vastly intriguing, as are the fashions of the day, which is exactly why I’ve never had second thoughts about choosing to write Gilded Age romances.

 

How do you come up with such unusual names for your characters?

I get asked this a lot. And, contrary to popular belief, I don’t make up the names of my characters. I search through obituaries from the 1800’s, peruse books on the New York Four-Hundred (those were members of high society – chosen by Mr. Ward McAllister, the social arbiter of the day,) and I also scour old census records. I do occasionally pair a first name with a different surname so that my main characters aren’t real historic figures because that can get tricky. Not long ago, while reading through Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: Person and Genealogical, Volume 1, I found a bit on my great-grandfather, which was cool – not that I’ll be using him, but I might have a character modeled after him at some point in time. Another interesting tidbit about choosing names is this – names only work for me if the characters decide they like the names I select for them. If they don’t like the name, they simply stop cooperating. I can’t write their stories until I choose another name. An example – I was recently going to name a heroine Georgianna – but it was like trying to write through mud. As soon as I changed her name to Myrtle, I was back in business.

 

What is the most ordinary thing you enjoy doing?

I love to shovel snow.

 

Who is responsible for your book covers? Do you choose the model/setting?

Bethany House’s design team does all of my covers, and occasionally they hire out the job to other design houses. The only input I give is when I send in a character/setting sheet, describing my heroine and listing a few scenes that I feel might be good for the background. In “Out of the Ordinary,” I suggested having Gertrude on or near a boat, and the design team then hired a model who resembled my character sketch and put her on a boat.

 

Which character has been the most difficult to write?

All of my characters give me trouble at some point in time, but recently, Mrs. Davenport was the character who was being incredibly difficult. For the first three edits of “Out of the Ordinary,” she was too complicated and a bit on the dark side, but after I changed her backstory, and remembered she was supposed to be eccentric, not deranged, she turned into a delightful lady, one I enjoyed writing.

 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever Googled while doing research for a book?

I don’t know if this is crazy, more on the lines of idiotic, but I once googled Gentleman’s Clubs when I was looking for an all-male club my hero would want to join. That was a definite mistake, especially since I didn’t include a very important word – historic. Well, the next thing you know, all sorts of naughty sites were flashing in front of my eyes, and to this day, I still get advertisements for singles looking for a good time and all sorts of other interesting…offers.

 

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Nope, it never entered my head to pursue a career in writing, nor was I ever a person to even keep a diary or a journal. I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a movie star when I was younger, but when that didn’t pan out, I majored in fashion and spent quite a few years working for department stores. It wasn’t until my son was in third grade and we wrote a book together just for fun that I began entertaining the thought of trying to see my stories in print.

 

How long did it take you to break into the publishing world, and how many books did you write before that happened?

What everyone needs to understand is that publishing is a cut-throat business. I had no idea when I decided to try and get published what the competition was like, and if I had, well, I might have nipped the whole idea of getting a book into print right in the bud. But, because I knew I only wanted to go the traditional route, it soon became clear, what with all the suggestions I was getting about the work I was sending out to agents, that I needed to up my game…a lot. I experimented with quite a few different genres – middle grade, YA, contemporary women’s fiction, Regency romance, and then Gilded Age, getting really proficient with query letters in the process. It wasn’t until I started writing historical romance, though, that I really began getting requests for full manuscript. After I’d been writing for about three years, I finally signed with an agent. She never sold the book she signed on to represent, but after I wrote “A Change of Fortune,” she sold that within two months. Long story short – it took me about seven years to get published from the time I wrote my first book, and…I have seven manuscripts that will never see the light of day because they’re awful.

 

Is there a reason you include so many animals in your stories?

I’ve always been an animal lover, and as such, I really enjoy writing different animals into my scenes. Dogs are my favorites, followed by pigs, and most of the characteristics my animals have are traits I’ve seen in real life. Matilda, the pig in “A Match of Wits,” was inspired by a pig I used to see in New York. She was so quirky, as well as intelligent, that I knew I would have to write a pig in at least one of my stories. This current series does not have as many animals because I do want to keep my stories fresh. But, having said that, my next series finds my heroine visiting a farm, and well, I don’t know many farms that don’t have animals, especially adorable cows by the name of Buttercup that may or may not have the odd tendency of moseying into the house to eat pie whenever the urge strikes.

 

Last question – Have any of the crazy antics in your books been inspired by real-life events???

I seem to be a magnet for weird things happening, so…yes, quite a few of those antics were inspired by real life events. I’ll share just one since I do need to get back to that first draft. I live near Denver, and when my son was little, we used to visit the Denver Zoo. That zoo just happens to have a very large flock of peacocks – peacocks that took one look at me one day – and I must add that I wasn’t doing anything except pulling my son in a wagon, and the next thing I knew, I was being chased through the zoo by what seemed to me to be the entire flock of peacocks – all seemingly intent on trying to murder me. Funny how fast a mom can run while pulling a wagon when in fear for her life. My son thought it was fabulous fun, and bless those members of the staff who came to my rescue. They were almost successful in not laughing, and…I received a free lunch after the dastardly peacocks were chased away. That event is what inspired me to write a mad flock of peacocks in “In Good Company.”

 

Thank you so much for visiting me today. Hope I answered a few questions you may have about me!

All the best,

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

Vicky sluiter, November 11

Bookworm Mama, November 11

cherylbbookblog, November 11

Book by Book, November 11

Lane Hill House, November 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12

C Jane Read, November 12

The Power of Words, November 12

Smiling Book Reviews, November 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 13

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

Faithfully Bookish, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 14

Mommynificent, November 14

All 4 and About Books, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 15

allofakindmom, November 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 16

A Baker’s Perspective, November 16

To Everything A Season, November 16

Neverending Stories, November 17

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

Christian Bookaholic, November 17

A Reader’s Brain, November 18

Karen Sue Hadley, November 18

The April Journal, November 18

Cafinated Reads, November 18

Bibliophile Reviews, November 19

Blogging With Carol, November 19

Mary Hake, November 19

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 19

Baker Kella, November 20

Rachel’s Back Talk, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

Joy of Reading, November 21

Blossoms and Blessings, November 21

Remembrancy, November 21

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 22

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 22

amandainpa, November 22

Inspiration Clothesline, November 23

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 23

A Greater Yes, November 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Radiant Light, November 24

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 24

Raining Butterfy Kisses, November 24

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate the tour, Bethany House is giving away a grand prize of Two Jen Turano Novels and a $20 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04914/

Curious about MY review of Out of the Ordinary?

Get ready for some fun! Author Jen Turano’s characters will keep you chuckling.  Jumping from one escapade to another, this book doesn’t get boring. There are also serious moments with forgiveness and acceptance threaded throughout.

The characters are well developed, believable, and colorful. With good historical detail, and a bit of a mystery to keep you guessing, you will enjoy this. While this is Book 2 in the series, it reads fine as a standalone.

Humorous with a sweet, clean romance, I highly recommend Out of the Ordinary.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

 

 

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About the Book

Name of book: Colors of Christmas

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Contemporary Christmas

Release Date: October 1, 2017

Christmas in Blue
Angela just wants Christmas to be over. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration, and everything goes from bad to worse. Can she rescue Christmas for the town—and herself?

Christmas in Gold
When eighty-year-old Astrid moves into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up Christmas hope one more time.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

 Olivia Newport

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

 

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

We All Have a Story

I’m younger than most of the people I exercise with. It started when I had a lot of pain in my feet and needed low-impact classes with the option of sitting down and learned I didn’t have to be a senior citizen to take their classes at my gym. Then I discovered how tough most of them are. Years later, though my feet are better, these are still my people.

A couple of years ago, while we waited for the younger and allegedly-but-not-really-tougher crowd to clear out of the group exercise room so we could invade it, a woman I would not have guessed to be 80, because she could out-cardio and out-lift me any day of the week, mentioned she had been widowed since she was 39. And she’d been widowed the first time at 19. And she’d grown up in Germany while Hitler was intent on destroying Europe and life was not easy.

Then the changing of the guard happened and I was left with my mouth gaping. I knew I had to hear this story. The next week after class, we went across the parking lot to Culvers for lunch and I scribbled notes on the backs of a pile of brown napkins while Astrid talked. Later she let me read the account of her life that she had written herself.

Astrid faced so many tragic circumstances, but she would be the first to tell you that God was with her even before she knew how to call on him. Many people with her life story would have found plenty of reason to wallow and stagnate. But not Astrid. Truly she is one of the most hopeful people I know.

Her story was the beginning of Colors of Christmas, which includes two stories. Astrid’s is “Christmas in Gold,” and the other is “Christmas in Blue.” Astrid inspired me to write about hope for a time of year when the Christian message resounds with hope yet so many people struggle to grasp hope for themselves. I pray these stories will help many recover a sense of hope afresh.

Olivia Newport chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

Books N Baubles, October 17

Christian Bookaholic, October 17

Bukwurmzzz, October 17

Janices book reviews, October 18

Singing Librarian Books, October 18

Moments Dipped in Ink, October 18

A Simply Enchanted Life, October 19

G.O. & D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 19

Bigreadersite, October 19

Reader’s cozy corner, October 20

Have A Wonderful Day, October 20

Reflections from my bookshelves, October 20

Blogging With Carol, October 21

Just the Write Escape, October 21

Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 21

A Greater Yes, October 22

Mary Hake, October 22

Daysong Reflections, October 22

A Baker’s Perspective, October 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 23

Baker Kella, October 23

Smiling Book Reviews, October 23

The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 24

It’s Storytime With Van Daniker, October 24

Remembrancy, October 24

Carpe Diem, October 25

autism mom, October 25

Bibliophile Reviews, October 25

A Reader’s Brain, October 26

By The Book, October 26

The Power of Words, October 26

With a Joyful Noise, October 27

Pause for Tales, October 27

Splashes of Joy, October 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 28

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 28

Karen Sue Hadley, October 28

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 28

Vicky Sluiter, October 29

To Everything a Season, October 29

Pursuing Stacie, October 29

Just Jo’Anne, October 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 30

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas Bundle Bonanza which includes 7 Jumbo rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, 2 sets of stick-on gift tags, 2 packages of Christmas cards and envelopes, 2 collections of Christmas novellas—18 stories in all, and a signed copy of Colors of Christmas!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c319

My review:

I thoroughly enjoyed these stories! Wonderful characters with stories to tell, author Olivia Newport pulls you into these Christmas stories and helps you to realize that life is about family and friends.

Heartwarming, neither are typical Christmas tales. From an elderly woman moving to an assisted living facility, to a piano teacher pushed into something she doesn’t want to do, lessons are learned and hope is shared.

Reminded what the true meaning of Christmas is, this is a great book to add to your holiday reading list.

 

 

 

to gain a mommy facebook banner copy

About the Book

Name of book: To Gain a Mommy

Author: Tanya Eavenson

Genre: Christian Romance

They had a plan, but will it work?

Thirteen years ago, pediatrician Hope Michaels was the fool-hearted girl who came home from college to learn the man she loved was engaged to her twin. But now to move on with her life and accept a proposal of marriage, she must confront the one man who holds the key to the wounds of her past.Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him. As she stirs up his life and heart, Carl knows some things never change. Even a past he’d rather keep hidden.

When a new neighbor moves in across the street who would be a perfect fit for their family, Mary and Brody form a plan to bring their dad and Hope together. But how will it work if Hope keeps pushing him away?

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

About the Author   Tanya Eavenson (1)

Tanya Eavenson is a bestselling and an award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book.

 

Guest Post from Tanya Eavenson

I’d like to thank Celebrate Lit for featuring my first novella in my Gaining Love Series, To Gain a Mommy, for this tour. I’m looking forward to visiting with you along the way!

Recently I was asked to share what inspired me to write To Gain a Mommy. Believe it or not, my inspiration came from a prayer.

Last year my employer offered me a great promotion, but the catch was I’d have little time to spend with my family. So I prayed, asking God for direction for my family, my job, and my writing.

God knows us so well. He knew I had a desire to work with other authors and to write my first novella. He also knew that without a push, I wouldn’t do it.

It all began with a simple post on my Facebook timeline. Another writer posted that she had messaged me but wanted to let me know since FB has a couple of message boxes (I had no idea!). I clicked on my messages, and there it was—the extra message box, filled. As I read through the messages, I found one asking if I’d be interested in joining a novella boxed set. Right away I knew God had answered my prayer.

Needless to say, I didn’t take the position at work and joined the boxed set. Since then, To Gain a Mommy has become an international bestseller and has been a finalist in two contests. My Gaining Love series continues to grow, with the third novella, To Gain a Bodyguard, releasing in time for Christmas. Isn’t God good!

The Lord tells us to trust in Him and that if we do, He will direct our paths. It still amazes me how the Lord works behind the scenes in our lives to give us hope and a future.

Yes, God gives us hope. He gives us a future. This is why I named my heroine in To Gain a Mommy Hope. Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (NKJV). Although my heroine can’t see her future or what it might hold, she is reminded that God will not disappoint.

The Lord reminds us of the same in our own lives.

Blog Stops

September 19: Blogging With Carol

September 20: autism mom

September 21: Avid Reader Book Reviews

September 22: A Greater Yes

September 23: A Baker’s Perspective

September 24: Christian Bookaholic

September 25: Karen Sue Hadley

September 26: Singing Librarian Books

September 27: His Grace is Sufficient

September 28: Remebrancy

September 29: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 30: Reading Is My SuperPower (interview)

October 1: Bibliophile Reviews

October 1: Red Headed Book Lady

October 2: Quiet Quilter

October 2: Multifarious

October 3: Vicky Sluiter

October 3: Texas Book -aholic

October 3: Artistic Nobody

October 3: All of a Kind Mom

October 3: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

 

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In honor of her tour, Tanya is giving away a grand prize package consisting of a $5 Amazon Card and pillow cover from Redbubble! Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c141

 

My review!

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Such a cute story with a surprising twist. This novella is a quick read but well worth the time if you’re looking for something light that still has the lesson of mercy and grace. Author Tanya Eavenson does a good job of character development and growth. She makes them seem so real.

A clean, sweet romance with a lot of emotion. I recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

 

 

 

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