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The Hearts Appeal FB Banner copy

 

About the Book

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Book Title: The Heart’s Appeal

Author: Jennifer Delamere

Release Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance

Strong-minded and independent, Julia Bernay has come to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick action saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson. It’s only later that she learns he could be instrumental in destroying her dreams for the future.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its status, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to regain the path to wealth and recognition. His latest case puts him in the middle of a debate over the future of a women’s medical school. He’s supposed to remain objective, but when the beguiling and determined Julia reappears with an unexpected entreaty, he begins to question what he’s made most important in his life. But Julia may be hiding her own motivations. As the two are tangled into spending more time together, will their own goals be too much to overcome?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My review:

I loved this book! To see what women would have gone through to become doctors, and to see what was really expected of them was eye opening. And while this is book 2 in the series it really does standalone. Except now I want to go back and read book 1.

Author Jennifer Delamere created really good character. You will like some. Dislike others. Julia is meddlesome and strong willed. Michael loves his family and will do anything for them. Some are mean. Some are simply climbing the corporate ladder. A few want to help others. But all of them are well developed and seem real.

This book is not “fluffy”. In fact, parts of it are pretty stark and realistic. However God is woven throughout the story. I seriously couldn’t put it down. If you enjoy historical fiction then you will enjoy this book.

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

About the Author

Delamere_JenniferJennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA Award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

 

Guest Post from Jennifer Delamere

Power couples?

Perhaps that’s not a concept that initially comes to mind when one thinks of Victorian England! And yet, they did exist. I love to include real people from history in my books, and in The Heart’s Appeal, Julia Bernay meets two inspiring real-life couples who will make a positive impact in her life.

In 1865, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman to qualify as a physician in Britain. She did this through a legal loophole, but soon the laws were changed to open the medical field to all women. In 1874, Dr. Anderson co-founded the London School of Medicine for Women. She remained involved in the school in various capacities for the rest of her life, even as she continued to run her own busy practice. In The Heart’s Appeal, she becomes a mentor for Julia, opening doors for her education and introducing Julia to people who can help her succeed in medical school.

Dr. Anderson’s husband, James Anderson (Jamie), was the joint-owner of a successful shipping line and also served on the boards of several organizations (including a children’s hospital). He was a handsome man, very much in love with his wife, and fervent in supporting her choice of a career.

In a letter he wrote to her while they were engaged, Jamie explained his vision for their future—how they could keep their professional and private lives separate, yet still give each other plenty of love and support:

“I think we had better lay it down once for all as a rule that I am under no circumstances to bring people ‘favorably under your notice’ or ‘exert any influence’ or anything of the sort. It will give people a wrong idea of you unless I take a decided line in this matter — and as I mean to be if I can a successful man of business, neither interfering with your pursuits nor being interfered with by you (but having our confidences on all feasible subjects at off times of the day and week and mutually advising and fortifying one another), I must let people know unmistakably not to come bothering me about your public affairs. Will you think about this, dearest?”

Who couldn’t love a man like that?

Jamie Anderson’s outlook on life comes into play later on in The Heart’s Appeal, when he provides advice and aid to Michael Stephenson, the book’s hero, at a critical time.

Julia also has an inspiring encounter with Dr. Anderson’s sister, Millicent Fawcett. Millicent was married to a Member of Parliament and actively supported her husband’s career in many ways, including acting as a scribe for him since he was blind. She is most remembered for her role in the women’s suffrage movement. In fact, a statue of her will be placed in Parliament Square in London this summer. She was not a militant suffragette, but rather campaigned for suffrage under the banner “Law-Abiding Suffragists.”

Both couples raised families, too, and their children’s successes in life show they were raised to have the same energetic and “can-do” attitudes that their parents had.

Julia initially believes she must remain single to achieve her life’s goals. But soon she finds her heart drawn to successful barrister Michael Stephenson, who admires Julia’s intelligence and ambition. She learns that love and the freedom to pursue her dreams do not have to be mutually exclusive. A meeting of minds to spark a true romance? Yes, please! I hope readers will agree this can be the most satisfying of all.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 22

Inspiration Clothesline, March 22

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

A Greater Yes, March 23

Among the Reads, March 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 23

Splashes of Joy, March 23

Fiction Aficionado, March 24

History, Mystery & Faith, March 24

Red Headed Book Lady, March 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24

The Power of Words, March 25

Mary Hake, March 25

Remembrancy, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

Cordially, Barbara, March 26

Genesis 5020, March 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Kat’s Corner Books, March 27

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 27

Maureen’s Musings, March 27

Carpe Diem, March 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28

Seasons of opportunities, March 28

Singing Librarian Books, March 28

A Baker’s Perspective, March 28

Baker Kella, March 29

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 29

Inklings and Notions, March 29

Simple Harvest Reads, March 29 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pause for Tales, March 30

Cafinated Reads, March 30

Have A Wonderful Day, March 30

Pursuing Stacie, March 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 31

Connie’s History Classroom, March 31

Book by Book, March 31

Bigreadersite, March 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 1

Neverending Stories, April 1

Ladybug Chronicles, April 1

Smiling Book Reviews, April 2

Two Points of Interest, April 2

Vicky Sluiter, April 2

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 3

Bibliophile Reviews, April 3

Karen Sue Hadley, April 4

Live Love Read, April 4

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 4

Faery Tales Are Real, April 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize package of that includes All four March Bethany House historical releases (The Heart’s Appeal, plus A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason, A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears, In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson) 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! https://promosimple.com/ps/cacd

 

 

High Cotton by Debby Mayne

Some families are filled with so much love they can’t help but drive each other crazy.

High CottonShay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family’s next reunion. On the one hand, she’ll get to see everyone in her mama’s family–folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there’ll be more drama than you can shake a stick at.

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law’s deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunion . . . well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay’s teen self, but the woman she’s become doesn’t know what to make of this.

Shay’s contentment is challenged, and she’s determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she’s looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet predictable life? One thing is certain: Life in the Bucklin family is never boring.

Family reunion season is almost upon us so I suggest you read this book. You’ll shake your head. You’ll laugh. You’ll be thankful for your family. High Cotton shows us the quirkiness of families but more importantly shows us that family is forever. They’ll have your back and challenge you, all at the same time.

Author Debby Maye conveys the Bucklin family story from four different viewpoints. The top of each chapter tells you who is speaking. Make sure to read those so you don’t get confused. Beyond that, it’s an engaging way to tell this story and I enjoyed it. Her characters were larger than life, at times, which added to the enjoyment of the tale.

Not being a southern girl, I found the habits of these women quite entertaining. You’ll never hear a northerner talking about being in high cotton or determining to bring the best (several) dishes to a reunion. But it was all fun and made for an amusing read. I highly recommend it!

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

Purchase your copy of High Cotton here!
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Debby Mayne is the best-selling author of more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, & a creative writing instructor. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.

 

 

His RiskHis Risk; The Amish of Hart County by Shelley Shepard Gray

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray brings us another compelling suspense in her Amish of Hart County series, this time featuring an undercover English DEA agent who will do anything to protect the Amish girl he loves.

Calvin Fisher left the Amish community at fourteen and never looked back. Only his brother’s illness can bring him back to Hart County.  Now, as Calvin works to make amends, he meets Alice, a local nursery school teacher, and falls hard for her. But he has a secret that could threaten the happiness he’s finally found.

Alice shouldn’t like—or want—Calvin. He’s English, has a questionable past, and an even more questionable job. Still, she can’t help being intrigued. Though Calvin assures Alice that he’s worthy of her, she’s torn between surrendering to her growing feelings and steering clear of him.

When a sudden surge of criminal activity alarms the community and even targets Alice, Calvin fears that his double life has put everyone he loves at risk. As for Alice, she can’t help but wonder if the brave and honorable man she’s lost her heart to is far more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

I don’t know how she does it, but author Shelley Shepard Gray just keeps putting out great books. This one is a dandy!

An Amish story with a twist, His Risk is full of suspense and danger. Add in a sweet romance that can’t be and you have a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Written realistically, expect that as you read. There is talk of smoking, drugs, and other things that go with the criminal element but Gray wrote all this very tastefully. Without it, the book wouldn’t be as genuine and it didn’t bother me in the least.

The characters were well developed and genuine. There was much regret about the past that included rejection and loneliness, but we see that nobody is beyond redemption when God is allowed to work in lives.

If you enjoy Amish fiction that is different than the norm, I highly recommend this book.

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

Shelley Shepard Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.
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 Blog Tour Schedule. Please check them out!

3/8
chantal | this chattanooga mommy saves
Debra | 3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!
Molly | Cafinated Reads
Mary | The Mary Book Reader
Lisa | Chickensbunniesandhomeschool/
Margaret | Frugal Shopping and More
Kristina | The Avid Reader

Meagan | Meagan Davenport

3/9
vicky | Deal Sharing Aunt
Alex | Inspiration Clothesline

Margaret | The World As I See It

3/10
Amy | A Nest in the Rocks
Keri | My Table of Three
Athena | The Loose Screw
Sherry | My Journey Back
Donna | Donna’s BookShelf

Erin | For Him and My Family

3/11

Angela | A Busy Mom of Two

3/12
Cheryl | cherylbbookblog
Lena Nelson | A Christian Writer’s World
Dianna | Savings in Seconds
Pamela | Daysong Reflections
Kav | Best Reads (2010-2014)

Jessica | A Baker’s Perspective

3/13
Nancy | sunny island breezes
Zac | Buy, Borrow, Skip

Carol | Buttercup Counts Her Blessings

3/14
Jeremy | Christian Fiction Addiction
Brittany | Britt Reads Fiction
Leslie | Did YOU Hear about the Morgans?

Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower

3/15
Pam | Southern Gal Loves to Read
Rachel | EmpowerMoms
Chastity | Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
Sarah | Running Through The Storms
Annie | Just Commonly

Kemi | Homemaking Organized

3/16
Deana | Texas Book-aholic
Vickie | Vickie’s Kitchen and Garden

Alison | NOVA Frugal Family

3/17
Angela | A Holland Reads

Connie | Because I said so -and other adventures in parenting

3/18

Lisa | A Rup Life

3/19
Terra | Heck Of A Bunch
Kristie | Moments
Tressa | Wishful Endings

Hallie | Book by Book

3/20
Britney | Buzzing About Books
Wendy | Wall-to-wall books
Joy | Splashes of Joy
Laura | Lighthouse Academy
Jennifer | Mother of Three

Inderpreet | Eloquent Articulation

3/21
Billy | Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
Lisa | Seeking witth all Yur Heart

Veronica | Veronica’s ‘Views

3/22
Kristin | A Simply Enchanted Life
Kendra | Happily Managing a Household of Boys
Wendy | Life at Rossmont
Rosalyn | All-of-a-kind Mom
Janice | Janices book reviews

Maureen | Maureen’s Musings

3/23
Stephanie | Have A Wonderful Day
Amy | Locks, Hooks and Books
Patty | tammycookblogsbooks
Barbara | I’m Hooked on Books
Amy | Pause for Tales

Heather | Misadventures of the Dynamic Uno

3/25
Cathy | Two Girls and a Book
Dawn | Inventing Insight

Vicky | Vicky Sluiter

3/26
Connie | Gccbookworm
Mindy | A Room Without Books is Empty
LeAnne | Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
Renee | Little Homeschool on the Prairie
Debi | 2014 and Beyond!
Nick | Two Points of Interest

Jennifer | Jen Around the World

3/27
debbie | Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
Bethany | The Perfect beginning
Denise | The Help Meet Wife
brandi | She Revelation Blog
lori | Red Headed Book Lady
Andrea | The Young Girl Who Loved Books

Shondra | Give Me Today

 

The Innkeepers Daughter FB Banner copy

About the Book

Title: The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Author: Michelle GriepInnkeepersDaughter_CoverImage

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: March 1, 2018

A London officer goes undercover to expose a plot against the Crown
Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the AuthorMichelleGriep

Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit www.michellegriep.com.

 

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Celebrating Oak Apple Day

Spring is just around the corner, or maybe it’s in full bloom in your neck of the woods. Regardless, by this time of year, everyone is ready to celebrate. . .and nothing new is under the sun. For centuries people have been eager to welcome budding greenery and warmth.

In my recent release, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, I incorporated a spring holiday that’s been around for over 500 years in England, one you may never heard of.

Oak Apple Day.

This ancient celebration dates back to the year 1651. At the time, Charles II escaped the Roundhead army by taking cover in an oak tree. Everyone loved ol’ Charlie and was glad he lived, so in his honor, a new national holiday was born—one that in some parts of England is still celebrated today.

Another name for this annual event is Royal Oak Day and the festivities occur every May 29th. Celebration traditions vary from parades to the ringing of bells, but one thing that is standard is that it’s a day to pin an oak leaf on your lapel. If you fail to wear one, you could end up getting pinched.

The hero in my latest release is kind enough to remind the heroine that she forgot to pin on her leaf, thus saving her from untoward pinches. Interested in hearing more about this gallant fellow and the forgetful miss? Here’s a blurb about The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Tension is high with the threat of a Napoleonic attack in Regency England, but risk from abroad means nothing when there’s danger at home.

Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the crown—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

It’s a race against time for them both.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, March 15

Fiction Aficionado, March 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 15

The Morning Chapter, March 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 16

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 16

Mommynificent, March 16

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Among the Reads, March 17

Connie’s History Classroom, March 17

Mary Hake, March 17

Blossoms and Blessings, March 17

Karen Sue Hadley, March 18

The Power of Words, March 18

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 18

Kathleen Denly, March 19

Faithfully Bookish, March 19

Captive Dreams Window, March 19

Red Headed Book Lady, March 19

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 20

Remembrancy, March 20

Inklings and notions, March 20

Book by Book, March 20

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 21

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, March 21

Singing Librarian Books, March 21

To Everything a Season, March 21

Bookworm Mama, March 22

Two Points of Interest, March 22

Vicky Sluiter, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 22

Pause for Tales, March 23

Have A Wonderful Day, March 23

A Baker’s Perspective, March 23

margaret kazmierczak, March 23 (Interview)

proud to be an autism mom, March 24

Bibliophile Reviews, March 24

A Greater Yes, March 24

Texas Book-aholic, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

A Reader’s Brain, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Simple Harvest Reads, March 26 (Mindy Houng Guest Post)

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, March 27

My Writer’s Life, March 27

Pursuing Stacie, March 27

Bigreadersite, March 27

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 28

Pink Granny’s Journey, March 28

The PhD Mamma, March 28

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of The Innkeeper’s Daughter and a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb72

My review:

Full of mystery and intrigue, author Michelle Griep has written a book that will keep you in suspense! Vivid descriptions and quirky characters that you will either love or hate make this an attention-grabbing read.

I really appreciated that throughout, we are reminded that we are not our source and can’t rely on our own strength. We need to trust God with our lives. That forgiveness and redemption is always possible.

Regency England was well researched for this novel. Spies abound; who can you trust? Add in some romance and you have the recipe for a really good historical novel. If you enjoy history, romance, espionage, and humor then this is a book you’ll want to read.

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

 

 

Love by the Numbers FB banner Template copy

About the Book

 

Title: Love by the NumbersLove By The Numbers Cover

Author: Laura V. Hilton

Genre: Christian Amish fiction

Release Date: February 6, 2018

After her fiancé dies in a buggy accident, Lydia Hershberger is invited to Jamesport to manage her Mennonite aunt’s gift store while her aunt and uncle are on a mission trip. While there, Lydia gets acquainted with her aentie’s best friend, Bethel Bontrager, and her grown son, Caleb. Lydia is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome clockmaker, Caleb Bontrager. But in spite of an instant flame of attraction between them, he doesn’t seem interested. In fact, pesky Caleb treats her like he doesn’t even like her.

Bright and sparkly. That’s Caleb’s first impression of Lydia. He’s always been attracted to sparkly things. In fact, his affinity for those things, and the trouble they can cause, are exactly why he’s determined to change his ways and settle down. With Lydia’s aentie gone, he is handling the books for the gift shop and is forced to spend too much time in her presence.

When God offers Lydia a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Caleb harbors cause her even more heartbreak?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Laura picture (1)

Laura 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.

 

Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

Story Behind the Story – Love by the Numbers

Caleb was a minor character in couple of my Amish books – I think he first made a by name appearance in Amish Wanderer and Christmas Admirer. A minor character. Lydia was a very minor one-time appearance in those stories, too, a girl who happened to be in the room with Bethany and Susanna at a wedding. (This story is stand alone!) But I knew when Caleb first saw Lydia that they would end up together by the way he reacted to her presence. I wondered what their story was.

Powerful Tornado - destroying property with lightning in the background

March and April is tornado season in Arkansas (and in many other states) and in 2011 we had a bad one. I was out and about that day, driving to the county seat with my five children, and there was something in the air. It was heavy, hard to breathe, and the sky was black off to the west. I’m sure I broke speed limits racing to Melbourne, and then home again so we wouldn’t be out in the storm.

Later that afternoon, tornado sirens went off. One went over our house – even from the basement we could hear the sound of a train roaring overhead. Scary. And still thanking God it didn’t touch down. Highland, Ash Flat, and Evening Shade, Arkansas were hit hard. Buildings completely gone. When we drove out that way later in the week there were pickup trucks in the tops of trees. Other things in odd and unusual places. I always wondered how they got the treetop pickups down. I would’ve stopped to watch if I’d been out there when it was done. I did hear that some of those trucks weren’t damaged at all. Unreal. My two sons and my husband both helped with clean up and my oldest son went with a crew to Joplin, Missouri, to help with clean up there.

There has been other occasions I’ve been out in tornados. Once I was in the Walmart parking lot when a tornado went through a town west of it. We could see the funnel touching down from where we stood. It did hail when we were on our way home, praying our house was still standing. It was.

Head shot of a blue eyed Siamese cat on a green background

On a different note, in 2016 my oldest son came home with a kitten. She was the sweetest thing ever, and he named her Rosie. Sadly, I was highly allergic to her. I couldn’t even be around the children after they played with her. They’d have to go change clothes and wash their hands, otherwise I couldn’t breathe. Rosie was full Siamese, blue eyes and all, and she was so adorable. I allowed my son to keep her in the shed. I was about four chapters into the story when Rosie found some poison (I think, not sure) and died. We all cried.

Also about the time I was writing this, a very dear friend of a lot of writers died. I told my street team I was going to name a character after her, and was told a lot of writers would be. I agreed. And a lot of their books were released already. But Aenti Judith in this story is named after Judy Burgi. I still miss her and pray for her family.

One of the verses my daughter had to memorize in Sunday School was 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’ Perfect for the faith message in Love by the Numbers! I love how God always provides the perfect verse for my characters’ faith messages. I’m pretty sure this verse is one I never memorized, and I never would of thought of it on my own, but God put it in my daughter’s lessons for Sunday School, so she had to memorize it – and thus I did too since I help my daughters learn their verses every week.

I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

Because of Him,

Laura V. Hilton

Blog Stops

Pursuing Stacie, February 13

Quiet Quilter, February 13

Red Headed Book Lady, February 13

Babs Book Bistro, February 13

Blogging With Carol, February 14

Among the Reads, February 14

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 15

Blossoms and Blessings, February 15

SusanLovesBooks, February 16

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

Carpe Diem, February 16

A Baker’s Perspective, February 17

Splashes of Joy, February 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17

Two Points of Interest, February 18

vickysluiter.com, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 19

Zerina Blossom’s Books, February 19

C Jane Read, February 20

Daysong Reflections, February 20

margaret kazmierczak, February 20

proud to be an autism mom, February 21

Bibliophile Reviews, February 21

A Greater Yes, February 22

Texas Book-aholic, February 22

Pause for Tales, February 23

Have A Wonderful Day, February 23

cherylbbookblog, February 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 24

Simple Harvest Reads, February 24

Christian Bookaholic, February 25

Janices book reviews, February 25

For The Love of Books, February 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 26

Bigreadersite, February 26

 

Giveaway

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In honor of the tour, Whitaker House hosting a giving away!

Grand Prize Package: Love By the Numbers, Healing Love (Amish of Webster County #1), and The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton; “The Angels Cry Holy” scented candle in tin with lid from Abba Jerusalem

1st Place Package: Love By the Numbers, The Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1) by Laura Hilton, and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils

2nd Place Package: Love By the Number by Laura Hilton and Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils!!!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c6ca

 

My review of Love by the Numbers

Author Laura V. Hilton once again writes a solid book in which she is not afraid to make her characters human. All the feelings are there; love, joy, fear etc. Even hurt and harassment from an Amish community. Through it all they hang on to God’s love and His promises. A great reminder for us.

It was enjoyable to see the different personalities that were drawn to each other. One sparkly, the other more logical, reminding us that opposites do attract and not only make a relationship work, but balance each other.

I will say the one thing that confused me was Ms. Hilton’s frequent use of the word “lust” when describing Caleb’s attraction to Lydia. In my opinion that choice of words didn’t fit well and was a bit distracting. However the story is still enjoyable and if you enjoy Amish fiction you’ll enjoy Love by the Numbers.

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

 

 

Liza's Second Chance FB Banner copy

About the Book

Title: Liza’s Second Chance7-19-2017 from John S. Liza's Second Chance

Author: Molly Jebber

Genre: Christian Amish Fiction

Release Date: January 30, 2018

The sweet welcome of straight-from-the-oven sugar cookies and hot cocoa. The warm invitation of apple pie and fresh cold milk. In 1912 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery is the heart of a close-knit, faith-nourished community, where people can find a refuge, a place to start again—and love that can make their lives new . . .

For Liza Schrock, the bakery her late husband bought was an unexpected haven from their unhappy arranged marriage. Now she’s perfectly content to cook up mouth-watering delights for her hometown, give to those alone or in trouble—and remain happily unwed. And though she’s willing to give handsome, newly-arrived widower Jacob Graber all the help he desperately needs, she is sure they can stay just friends . . .

But as Liza also tries to aid Jacob’s troubled teenage daughter, she starts caring far too much for his gentle ways and steadfast hopes. And when a wrenching secret she must keep comes between them, can Liza find the faith to risk opening her heart again—and reach for one more chance at real love?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Molly Jebber’s books have been featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Ten Recommended Reads, in USA Today’s HEA, Romantic Times and many other media sites. She’s tours and speaks about Amish history/traditions, writing, marketing, publishing, and about her books. She loves God, her family, friends. She enjoys swimming, golf, reading, and says yes to butterscotch pie and parasailing, but no to coconut and skydiving! Visit www.mollyjebber.com for a complete list of her books and speaking events.

 

Guest Post from Molly Jebber

Here’s a little about Liza’s story:

Hello Friends,

I loved writing about Liza. She has a lot to overcome in this book, but her faith in God, and compassion for others helps her to arrive at her decisions through difficult and happy times. I enjoyed visiting Charm, and it makes for a good setting for this story. The bakery is fun with all the sugary pies, pastries, and breads. The unique customers, and the place where friends are made, and where trouble happens. Most of all, I hope I’ve done a good job entertaining you as you read “Liza’s Second Chance”.

Blog Stops

A Rup Life, January 30

Books n Baubles, January 30

margaret kazmierczak, January 30 (interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, January 30 ( Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Avid Reader Book Reviews, January 31

Josephine’s Thoughts, January 31

Vicky Sluiter, February 1

Splashes of Joy, February 1

For The Love of Books, February 2

Christian Bookaholic, February 2

Blossoms and Blessings, February 3

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 3

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, February 4

Mary Hake, February 4

SusanLovesBooks, February 5

Carpe Diem, February 5

Reading is my Super Power, February 5 (interview)

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 6

proud to be an autism mom, February 6

Bibliophile Reviews, February 7

A Greater Yes, February 7

Pursuing Stacie, February 7

Texas Book-aholic, February 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 8

Have A Wonderful Day, February 9

Janices book reviews, February 9

cherylbbookblog, February 10

Red Headed Book Lady, February 10

Bigreadersite, February 10

Pink Granny’s Journey, February 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 11

A Reader’s Brain, February 12

A Baker’s Perspective, February 12

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a $75 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/c6d1

 

My review of “Liza’s Second Chance”

Author Molly Jebber included all personalities in this book. An abused widow, recovering from the situation. A troubled teenager suffering loss. An Amish man who wants his way, regardless of what others want. But you’ll enjoy watching them grow, change, and blossom. We all want second chances!

Jebber brought in many facets of the era, including Houdini and the Sinking of the Titanic. That gave the reader a good time frame for the story. She also did a good job of helping you to see the Amish lifestyle. The closeness and dependence on family, etc. Her descriptions were very thorough.

I did feel the dialogue was a bit stiff; it didn’t seem to flow freely, but that is a style preference. There is nothing wrong with it. In all, it was a good book; an easy read that even included a yummy cookie recipe. If you like Amish stories you’ll enjoy Liza’s Second Chance.

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

 

 

 

A Courtship on huckleberry Hill fb banner copy

About the Book

 

Title: A Courtship on Huckleberry HillA Courtship on Huckleberry Hill

Author: Jennifer Beckstrand

Genre: Christian Amish Fiction

Release Date: December 26, 2017

Elsie Helmuth’s plain-spoken ways got her in trouble once before, so she needs to make a good impression at her new teaching job. But she’s not about to let disabled student Wally Sensenig work below his potential. And she definitely won’t put up with his hot-headed older brother sabotaging her efforts, no matter how handsome he is. . .

Sam is nearly at the end of his rope caring for his ailing, widowed mother, working their farm, and raising his siblings. He’ll admit Elsie’s ideas are bringing Wally out of his angry shell—but why does she have to be as stubborn as she is pretty? Yet as it turns out, Elsie has taught Sam something about himself as well. And he’ll do whatever it takes to make up for his mistakes—and win her heart forever.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand

Jennifer Beckstrand is the RITA-nominated, award-winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Her much-anticipated Amish series, The Honeybee Sisters, has created a lot of romantic buzz. Sweet as Honey received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and Sweet as Honey and A Bee in her Bonnet were both awarded Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth and the Honeybee sisters’aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare. She and her husband have been married for thirty-three years, and she has six children and six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand

I have a very special place in my heart for teachers. My dad was a high school math teacher. My mother taught second grade for over twenty years. My son-in-law taught choir in high school, and my daughter taught seventh-grade science. Another daughter taught American history labs at the university and still another daughter taught classes for a youth summer program.

Elsie Stutzman is a dedicated teacher who was dismissed from her last teaching job in Ohio and is trying to make a fresh start and a good impression in Bonduel, Wisconsin. Unfortunately one of her students, Wally Sensenig, is making things difficult for her, and Wally’s hot-headed older brother seems determined to get her fired. But Elsie is a dedicated teacher, too stubborn to back down and too steadfast to give up on anybody.

Elsie’s grandparents, Anna and Felty Helmuth, have other plans for her. They want her to fall in love with one of the local boys, but they’re finding it a little difficult to get the two young people together.

Teachers have an immense impact on our lives. We all remember a favorite elementary school teacher who inspired a love of learning or a high school teacher who encouraged us to reach for greatness. One of my favorite teachers was Mrs. Zobell, who taught ninth grade English. I distinctly remember her reading “The Outsiders” out loud to our class. She had a way of making great books and great stories come to life, and she sparked a love of reading (and writing) that I will always be grateful for. The teacher who had the most impact on my life is my dad. He helped me through Calculus in high school and inspired me to major in math in college.

I hope we will take the time this month to thank the teachers in our lives for all they do for us and all they do for our kids.

Who was one of your favorite teachers and why?

Blog Stops

Christian Bookaholic, January 16

proud to be an autism mom, January 16

Blossoms and Blessings, January 16

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 17

Mommynificent, January 17

Avid Reader Book Reviews, January 17

Bibliophile Reviews, January 18

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, January 18

The Power of Words, January 18

Multifarious, January 19

A Greater Yes, January 19

Texas Book-aholic, January 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 20

Karen Sue Hadley, January 21

Splashes of Joy, January 21

A Reader’s Brain, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Southern Gal Loves to Read, January 23

SusanLovesBooks, January 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 24

Janices book reviews, January 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 25

Carpe Diem, January 25

Quiet Quilter, January 26

margaret kazmierczak, January 26 (Interview)

cherylbbookblog, January 27

Red Headed Book Lady, January 27

Pink Granny’s Journey, January 27

A Baker’s Perspective, January 28

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

Pursuing Stacie, January 28

Because I said so- and other adventures in parenting., January 29

Vicky Sluiter, January 29

Bigreadersite, January 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to three winners!! https://promosimple.com/ps/c6cf

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

My Review!

What a fun book! Mix a couple of matchmakers with a couple of single people, and you never know what will happen. Fiesty Anna brings confusion and lots of laughs, as well as some interesting recipes. Charming characters with comfortable dialogue and a lot of heart move this story right along.

Author Jenifer Beckstrand’s story shows us what determination can look like when you care about others and aren’t willing to see them fail. I won’t give any spoilers here, but you’ll love the tenacity that both Elsie and Wally show.

A quick but delightful read, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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

 

 

Beneath a Prairie Moon

Releases March 20, 2018

Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness?

What a fun spin to a mail order bride story. I absolutely loved the characters of Spiveyville, Kansas. These rough men were written with such heart that you have to root for them. Author Kim Vogel Sawyer writes with strong moral conviction, but is in no way preachy. Her characters are honest people with room to grow spiritually. They seem so human!

While this is a mail order bride story, and you would expect romance, there really isn’t much until the very end, and that’s handled lightly. But you’ll love the etiquette tips that Abigail teaches. The Eastern propriety of that day just made me smile.

A great Christian historical fiction story, there are surprising twists, humor, and suspense. I highly recommend it and I certainly hope it’s the beginning a series!

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

Photo of Kim Vogel Sawyer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

KIM VOGEL SAWYER is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in seven different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband, Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.

 

CONNECT WITH KIM VOGEL SAWYER FOR MORE OF HER BOOKs!

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About the Book

Bleakly Manor COVER

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.

About the Author

unnamedMichelle 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 FacebookInstagramTwitter, 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

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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

 

My review of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Okay, right off let me say this is different than any Christmas book I have read. And that’s not a bad thing! Full of twists and turns, it will keep you guessing to the end. Plus it includes a sweet romance.

The characters are fairly well developed. I would have liked to have gotten to know them a bit better, but Griep did very well considering it is a novella. She did give us a lot of description of the manor, and other places the characters went.

If you enjoy Victorian England, Agatha Christie, and Charles Dickens, you will enjoy 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. I appreciated the historical notes at the end and look forward to Book 2.

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

 

 

 

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About the Book

Holly Ivy and Intrige-high res

Title: Holly, Ivy & Intrigue

Author: Joanie Bruce, Alexa Verde, Denise Weimer

Genre: Mystery/suspense, Christmas

Release Date: November 13, 2017

Christmas Murder Mix-Up

“I have to get rid of her now.”

After four months of a blissful marriage, Paige is devastated to overhear her husband, Cooper, say those words to his best friend. Because of a suspicious Christmas gift, a gas leak, and a home invasion, Paige’s love for Cooper is tested to the limit. Will their marriage survive the Christmas Murder Mix-up?

Holiday Pursuit
When Brianna Rockwell’s brother finds himself in danger and disappears three days before Christmas, she does everything to rescue him. Brianna dodges bullets, escapes fire, and even turns to her longtime crush for help. But the closer she gets to solving the mystery and finding her only sibling, the more desperate someone gets to silence her forever…
A Holiday Intruder

Kelsey Jordan prefers upcycling junk and refinishing antiques for her store in a Georgia mountains town to being the center of attention. When a robbery and an unknown benefactor shove her in the middle of a decades-old mystery, and a real estate developer and a former baseball star compete for her attention, Kelsey isn’t sure who to trust.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Authors

ESP_9231 (2)As an avid reader, Joanie Bruce welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considered it a wonderful new experience to please others with her words. She has three published Christian suspense novels, and enjoys writing from her home in the country. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write, draw and paint, Joanie strives to use them to encourage others and to honor Him in all her accomplishments.

New Author PortraitAlexa Verde penned her first literary masterpiece, a rhymed poem, at the ripe age of eight, and since has had 200 short stories, articles, and poems published in the five languages that she speaks. She has a bachelor degree in Spanish, a master’s in Russian, and enjoys writing about characters with diverse cultures. She’s worn the hats of reporter, teacher, translator, model (even one day counts!), caretaker, and secretary, but thinks that the writer’s hat suits her the best. After traveling the world and living in both hemispheres, she calls a small town in south Texas home. The latter is an inspiration for the fictional setting of her series Rios Azules Christmas and Secrets of Rios Azules.

2016headshotDENISE WEIMER holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. An associate editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, Denise is the author of The Restoration Trilogy, The Georgia Gold Series, romantic novella REDEEMING GRACE, and ACROSS THREE AUTUMNS: A Novella of The Backcountry Brides Collection through Barbour Publishing (May 2018). This wife and swim mom of two daughters always pauses for coffee, chocolate, old houses, and to write any story God lays on her heart.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, December 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 3

Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 4

History, Mystery & Faith, December 4

Zerina Blossom’s Books, December 5

proud to be an autism mom, December 5

Mommynificent, December 6

Inklings and notions, December 6

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 6

Allofakindmom, December 7

Blogging With Carol, December 7

Blossoms and Blessings, December 8

Have A Wonderful Day, December 8

Janices book reviews, December 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

A Baker’s Perspective, December 11

Daysong Reflections, December 12

Avid Reader Book Reviews, December 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13

Remembrancy, December 13

Multifarious, December 14

Margaret Kazmierczak, December 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 15

Pursuing Stacie, December 15

Vicky Sluiter, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo 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! https://promosimple.com/ps/c515

My review of Holly, Ivy & Intrigue

Christmas Murder Mix-Up – Joanie Bruce
This one had me laughing and, I’ll admit, shouting at Paige. A cute story that takes a twist!! Author Joanie Bruce does a great job of connecting the reader to her characters.

Holiday Pursuit – Alexa Verde
Goodness, this one kept me on the edge of my seat. Author Alexa Verde, as always, has you wondering what’s next!? A page turner you’re sure to enjoy.

A Holiday Intruder – Denise Weimer
Can you solve the mystery? Who gets the girl? Who’s the “bad guy”? Author Denise Weimer will leave you guessing right to the end.

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Loves thankful heart fb banner copy

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

d4138312-fe63-40f4-a900-97a9fb525414

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.

 

My heart belongs in castle utah FB banner copy

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

acde5580-5133-4fd9-a2d9-561d67d698b5

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.

 

 

out of the ordinary FB Banner copy

 

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.

 

 

 

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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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