Monday, April 30, 2018

"The Wizard's Workshop" (A Science Activity Book) (SLB Tours) ... and a GIVEAWAY!

About the Book...

Ever wondered what happens when you mix dragon saliva with a powdered unicorn horn? Find out when you create your very own wizarding potions! Mixing science with fantasy, this book is full of fun concoctions your kids will want to make again and again. Each elixir uses common household ingredients to create cool chemical reactions for magical results!


The Wizard's Workshop is dotted with handwritten notes and jokes from a previous owner along with silly annotations for each experiment, such as: TROLL SNOT OR GOBLIN GOO. Many people still prefer troll snot over Goblin Goo, however, it is no longer legal to collect snot from trolls, and therefore, Goblin Goo should be used instead. Please note that anyone found picking a troll's nose or collecting troll snot will face a board of inquiries lead by the head troll, Mr. Iva P. Brain. (GOBLIN GOO experiment pg. 40)

ZOMBIE FIRE. This potion was invented by Professor Willy Rott in 1879. Willy Rott was a well-known scientist, but after making the potion several time, he is now a well-known zombie. (He was not a very fast runner.) (ZOMBIE FIRE experiment pg. 36)

EXPLODING FOG FLUID. This potion was made famous by Mr. Darren Deeds who made a sport of putting Exploding Fog Fluid Fluid into the drinks of giants and then drawing mustaches on their faces once they were asleep. Although this can be a fun past time, please note that it is dangerous. As Mr. Darren Deeds can attest to, it is not very fun when a giant refuses to drink the potion and decides to sit on you instead. (EXPLODING FOG FLUID experiment pg. 52)

NOTE: If you want to give the stones additional power, then you must perform the spell under the light of a full moon, standing next to a large tree (preferably a sycamore tree), facing east, while wearing mismatched socks. (MAGICAL STONES experiment pf. 87)

My review...

As a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I was excited to have the chance to review this book, as it looks like something the students would have used at Hogwarts. As a child, I was never a huge fan of science, but I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more with this charming activity book. The Wizard's Workshop is a way to make science fun!

A number of "experiments" are included, and they are presented as "wizard potions" with fictional names for the ingredients (such as "spider venom" for corn syrup, "toxic fluid" for green food coloring, and ""dragon spit" for white vinegar). There are amazing illustrations and stories, along with directions, for each "potion." The book is designed for an adult to experience the magic along with the child. Many of the materials needed are items often found around the house.

There is not a lot of explanation included to explain how the "potions" truly work, but it would be easy enough for a parent to find that information online if they didn't already know the answer. A website is listed where you can download labels for your ingredients (because "dragon blood" is FAR more interesting than red food coloring!).

The book is divided into the following sections:

  1. Basic Potions for the Beginning Wizard
  2. Advanced Wizard Potions
  3. *Caution* Hair-Raising Potions for Daring Wizards
Some of the "potions" include:
  • Expanding Potion (keep mummies away)
  • Goblin Goo (make troll snot)
  • Truth by Fire (indicates whether someone is lying or telling the truth)
If you are looking for a way to make learning a bit more fun, this is a book you may want to check out.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher as part of the SLB blog tour. I wasn't required to leave a positive review.

About the author...

Jennifer K. Clark is a full-time author, a hobby artist, and a Halloween enthusiast. She lives in central Utah where she spends her time writing books and having conversations with the characters in her head. (Yes, she's one of those people.) She is a multi-genre author and has written Renaissance romance, contemporary suspense, YA, and children's activity books. In her spare time, she loves to be creative and has done everything from building a secret passage in her home to making handmade books. She makes every day an adventure.

Where you can find Jennifer online...

Wizard's Workshop Tour Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

"An Imperfect Promise" by Kari Trumbo


The early-evening glare of the sun made looking into the water like trying to look into the sun itself. Farther up the stream, he spied something bright, shiny…and red.
It had only been an hour or so since she’d been at his farm, yet it could’ve been a year for how his heart raced. He approached slowly, not wanting to disturb her. She probably had so few quiet moments. But he couldn’t just leave her. It wasn’t safe for her to be sitting out alone, and he could no more ignore her than he could make the river flow backward. He lifted his foot high and slammed it down on a dry twig to alert her to his approach. She stiffened, her head still nestled against her knees.
He walked toward her and waited for an invite to sit. She smiled but said nothing.
“Good evening. I didn’t think I’d get to see you twice in the same day.” The glistening trail under her eyes should’ve made him want to run, but instead he wanted to pull her into his arms.
She frowned and inspected the grass next to her. That was as much of an invitation as he was going to get. He gave her more space than he wanted to, dropping down and reclining on his elbows in the grass.
“Now, don’t tell me you’re down here shedding tears over Dallas?”
Her visit an hour before had taught him she wouldn’t come right out and say what was bothering her, but maybe he could find out if he pressed a little.
She shook her head but would not speak.
“Not Dallas, huh? Hmmm. Did one of the kids get into your stash of sweets?”
She turned away from him, pressing the side of her head into her legs, hiding from him.
“No sweets? For shame. Well, I’m afraid I’m stumped. Care to share with me why you’re hiding down by the river? We just talked, not an hour ago, about how it wasn’t safe to wander between the two houses alone. If anything happened to you out here, well…”
She whipped her head back to him, condemning him with her narrowed eyes, breathing shallow puffs as she fought the tears spilling over. “Well…what? You might have to go after Esther to get our land? A little less sure of yourself with that prospect? Did you think because I’m so plain that I would be an easy target?” A huge tear coursed its way down her cheek.
John reached over and wiped it away with his thumb. His heart skipped when she closed her eyes and leaned into his touch as if she craved the contact like he did.
“Gini, I don’t believe a word of that, and you shouldn’t either. I got more land and more trouble than I know what to do with. I don’t need anyone else’s, and I don’t want no one else’s. Truth be told, no one has talked to me about any such thing, so it’s all gossip. What I was going to say is this: if something happened to you, I would blame myself, and I might be tempted to do a little undeputized investigating. I’m tired of people hurting my family.”

About Kari...

Kari Trumbo is a best-selling author for many Christian Historical Romance novels and is a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. When she isn't writing, or editing, she home schools her children and pretends to keep up with them. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, two cats, and one hungry wood stove.

Places to follow Kari:

Website           Facebook        Twitter            Pinterest          Amazon

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Writing Prompt Wednesday

If you're feeling stuck in your WIP (work in progress) or just want to shake things up a bit, here's something different to try today:

She had been waiting all day, but he never called.

Happy writing!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday Motivation

"You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen."
— Neil Gaiman

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Takeover Thursday with Carrie Fancett Pagels ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Carrie is here to discuss her latest story, which is included in the First Love Forever novella collection. She has a giveaway going on through the month of April. You can find the Rafflecopter link at the end of this post.  Here's Carrie...

The Story Behind the Story

Brides of Mackinac was a three book novel proposal I had done a few years back. I wrote the complete first novel, which had two previous titles before becoming part of the "My Heart Belongs" series from Barbour as My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring. I’d been waiting for another publisher to take a look at the proposal, and about the time they looked at the series, I got an offer from Barbour for the single title. Sadie’s story in “His Anchor” is a condensed version of what would have been the novel. The third story isn’t under contract as of yet.

Further “story behind the story” is that Maude Welling, Sadie Duvall’s best friend, almost didn’t get to be the heroine of that first novel. Maude had to have a ton of “therapy.”  I’d struggled with Maude, who was rather quirky and on the OCD side, and I finally called in the “big guns” to help me. I’d known Rachel Hauck of My Book Therapy for years and had been one of the early MBT helpers. She came in, took a look at Maude, and suggested that she might seem a little too “crazy” for the readers. That was pretty funny.  As a former psychologist I love quirky and interesting and different kinds of people. And now I needed to make Maude more normalized. Maybe a little more like Sadie Duvall. Hmmm.

My husband and son and rooted for Sadie to take over Maude’s story from the beginning. Sadie has a much more sympathetic past than Maude does, for one thing. Her story really pulls at the heartstrings. But I refused to feel sorry for Sadie. And I kept fighting her and my hubs and son as far as taking over.  I even went so far as to write Maude’s story but from Sadie’s version. That’s when I’d realized she really had to have her own story. But I couldn’t have a whole lot of overlap. So when I revised My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (which had been Maggie Award Unpublished Inspirational Novel  finalist Grand Exposé),

I cut a lot of Sadie’s scenes and Robert’s and moved those to Sadie’s story. I’m so glad I let Sadie have her own story and Maude have hers. I hope the reader enjoys Sadie’s story as much as I enjoyed bringing her to life!

Blurb: His Anchor by Carrie Fancett Pagels

1894 – Mackinac Island, Michigan: Robert Swaine, a ship captain, returns to Mackinac Island where his first love, Sadie Duvall struggles to support her siblings. Will she anchor him to the island he has vowed to leave behind?

Excerpt (Note: This story has a Prologue. Here’s the first scene from Chapter One)

Sadie shaded her eyes and scanned the deep sapphire waters of Lake Huron, to no avail – Captain Swaine must gave taken her words to heart twelve months ago. Her gut clenched. The Straits of Mackinac hemmed her in, their zig-zagging strong currents too strong for her to escape. And now she was truly stuck, without the strength to procure her way out.
Jack Welling raced down the hillside toward her, dodging the cows who were making their way up the hill to the fields near the former fort, now being converted from a National to Michigan State park. So much had changed. Ma gone. Pa missing. Bea working.
Slowing his pace, Jack hooted and then stopped, bent over, and clutched his knees and panted. “Hiya, Sadie!”
 “How’re you doing, Jack?”
As he looked up, a knowing expression creased his eyebrows. “Prob’ly the same as you and Bea and Garnet and Opal.”
“Maybe so.” At least the boy had a father and his older sister to care for him. And someone to pay the bills.
The boy straightened. “Sorry that carrot-top fired you from Mrs. Luce’s place.”
Sadie flinched. “She didn’t fire me – Greyson’s wife said they didn’t need my services any longer.”
Jack shrugged. “Same thing.”
No more wages, regardless. “And all this activity and building on the island yet no one willing to hire me except for Mr. Foster.” At the tavern.
“Maude’s still lookin’ around for a job for you.”
“And we’re grateful for Bea working at your inn.”
“Yeah.” He rolled his eyes.
“I hope she’s behaving.” They badly needed her position.
“Sure! Hey, guess what? Mr. Hardy, the owner of the Mackinaw City sawmill, stayed with us – givin’ folks estimates for buildin’ more cottages on the bluffs – and I asked him about your dad.” He scrunched up his face. “He ain’t seen him. Good thing since somebody got killed down there recently and it weren’t him.”
“Yes, poor man. Thank God for small mercies it wasn’t Pa.”
“Huh? How can mercy be small?” Jack scrunched up his face.
“You’re right.”
“I’m right a lot!” He grinned but a shadow quickly passed over his face. “Wouldya please write my uncle Robert and tell him to get back over here – he’ll listen to you.”
“What do you. . .”  She patted at his arm but hit air as he swooshed away from her and raced the rest of the way down the hill.
She pressed a hand to her chest, sure she felt her heart beating through her worn cotton blouse. Why did Jack think Robert would listen to her? Was she truly responsible for him not returning?
“Sadie girl!” As he passed by in his dray, Mr. O’Reilly called out. “Ye’re lookin’ lovely lass!” He winked and pulled off his blue work cap, revealing a shock of thick white hair.
If his idea of lovely was being dressed in a dowdy tavern maid’s uniform, then lovely she was. “Top of the day to ye, Mr. O’Reilly!” She heard the man’s laugh carry over the sound of his draft horse’s heavy ‘clip clops’ down the street.
A gust of lake breeze ruffled her skirt and apron. Sunlight flickered over the Straits of Mackinac as a ship headed toward the port. Not Robert’s ship. Why did that realization bring so much sadness with it? Because once upon a time, she imagined her future only and ever intertwined with his.

Giveaway: An autographed copy of First Love Forever.  We also have a Rafflecopter giveaway going on all through April. Click below to enter:

About Carrie...

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

Where to find Carrie online...

My Pinterest page for “Love’s Anchor” in First Love Forever:


Check at your local Christian bookstores, e.g., Lifeway, to see if they have copies, too!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"Julie" by Catherine Marshall (Blitz tour w/ JustRead)

Title: Julie
Author: Catherine Marshall
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
ReIssue Date: April 17, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
*A New York Times bestseller*
Will the dam hold?

Julie Wallace has always wanted to write. Trying to 
escape the Great Depression, Julie’s father buys the
Alderton Sentinel, a small-town newspaper in flood-prone Alderton, Pennsylvania, and moves his family
there. As flash floods ominously increase, Julie’s investigative reporting uncovers secrets that could
endanger the entire community.

Julie, the newspaper, and her family are thrown into a perilous standoff with the owners of the steel mills
as they investigate the conditions of the immigrant laborers. As the Alderton Sentinel and Julie take on a more aggressive role to reform these conditions, seething tensions come to a head.

When a devastating tragedy follows a shocking revelation, Julie’s courage and strength are tested. 
Will truth and justice win, or will Julie lose everything she holds dear?



Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), “The New York Times” best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel “Christy.” Based on the life of her mother, “Christy” captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in “A Man Called Peter.” A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of “Guideposts,” forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.


     Dean's eyes were studying me. "You have a way with words. What kind of writing do you want to do?"
     "Articles for Dad's paper, to start."
     "What do you want to write about?"
     I paused, suddenly uncertain about how much to share. Dean's eyes were reassuring.
"When I know more, I'd like to write about deeper things."

Tuesday Tip: Titled vs. Entitled

Titled and entitled are synonyms, and they both mean that a title is given to something. However, you may not want to use them interchangeably.

When people hear the word entitled, they often associate it with people having a sense of entitlement (due something) or having a certain right (such as an opinion) instead of referring to a book. In that case, it is generally better to use titled, even though both words are technically correct.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Hannah's Choice" by Jan Drexler (Journey To Pleasant Prairie series Blitz Tour with JustRead Tours)

Jan Drexler book blitz

Welcome to the Journey to Pleasant Prairie series blitz tour, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Throughout the week, you will see excerpts and spotlights from each individual book, as well as information on the first book in Jan's new Civil-War era series!

About the Journey to Pleasant Prairie Series
| Amazon
hannah's choiceTitle: Hannah’s Choice
Jan Drexler


Release Date:
January 2016

Inspirational Amish Historical Fiction

Hannah Yoder loves her quiet life on the banks of the Conestoga Creek. In 1842, this corner of Lancaster County is settled and peaceful–yet problems lurk beneath the placid façade. Hannah’s father worries about the spread of liberal ideas from their Mennonite and Brethren neighbors. And Hannah blames herself for a tragedy that struck their home nine years ago. She strives to be the one person who can bind the threads of her family together in spite of her mother’s ongoing depression and her sister’s rejection of their family. But her world is threatening to unravel.

When two young men seek her hand in marriage–one offering the home she craves and the other promising the adventure of following God’s call west–Hannah must make a choice. Faithfully perform her duties to her family? Or defy her father and abandon her community?  

Purchase Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


     “How do you know a handsome Amish man wouldn’t come along some day and ask me to marry him?”
     He snorted. “That’s the kind of stuff that only happens in stories.”
     “Well, an Amish man did come by.”
     Adam took off his hat, running his fingers through his hair. “He didn’t ask you to marry him, did he?” His voice sounded strained.
     “Ne, not yet.”
     Adam stared at her. The sky was turning pink and orange behind his head, but his face was shadowed. He turned away from her and stood, replacing his hat.
     “You have to do what you think is right, Hannah. You know how I feel about you….”
     “Do I?”
     “You must. How many times have I talked about marrying you? We could have a good life together, Hannah. You know I love you.”
     Hannah couldn’t answer. How could she believe he loved her when she knew she would never be first in his life? If she needed him, really needed him, would he be able to choose between her and the escaped slaves he helped?

About the Author

jan drexler

Jan grew up surrounded by books and storytellers. With Pastors and Teachers populating both sides of her extended family, we aren’t surprised that she wanted to be a first-class storyteller herself.

Born and raised in Michigan, Jan is the descendant of Amish, Mennonite and Brethren immigrants who settled in Berks, Somerset and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania in the mid-1700’s. The descendants of these immigrants pioneered in Maryland, Ohio, and finally Elkhart and LaGrange Counties in Northern Indiana in the 1850’s.

During the years when Jan was raising and homeschooling their children, she and her husband moved nine times in thirty years, finally landing in South Dakota where they enjoy incredibly Michigan-like weather. A northerner is always a northerner!

The ideas for Jan’s books come from the stories told by her parents and grandparents, seasoned with a lot of research and imagination.  

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter

jan drexler blitz giveaway

Jan Drexler is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one winner! Open internationally, as long as winner can accept egift card from US Amazon. Void where prohibited by law. Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

tour schedule