Sunday, June 23, 2019

"Cross My Heart" by Robin Lee Hatcher ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead Tours)

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Cross My Heart  
Series: Legacy of Faith #2 
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher  
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Release Date: June 25, 2019  
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Split Timeline

Can two broken paths lead toward God’s redemption?

When Ashley Showalter and Ben Henning meet on Ashley’s horse rescue farm, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Both were raised by single moms. Both want to help where they see a need. And both work with horses in the Boise valley. Ben needs Ashley’s help and expertise after starting an equine therapy barn on his great-great-grandfather’s farm—and the more time they spend together, both Ashley and Ben have the feeling that there could be something more between them.

They also carry the burden of past experiences that may drive them apart if the truth is ever revealed. Ben is a recovering alcoholic with five years of sobriety behind him, while Ashley’s brother is an opioid addict residing in court-ordered rehab. Holding fast to the belief that addicts can never be cured, Ashley has promised herself she will never walk knowingly into the chaos created by addiction. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? Or will her brother’s mistakes and the pain of her past jeopardize her future with Ben?

Cross My Heart threads together a contemporary love story with the heartwarming tale of Ben’s great-great-grandfather, Andrew Henning—reminding us that God’s Word is timeless and that His promises are new every morning.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Lee Hatcher 

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love.

Her numerous awards include the RITA® Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America®.

When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

CONNECT WITH ROBIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive Book 1 & 2 of Robin Lee Hatcher's LEGACY OF FAITH series (US only) - Who I Am With You & Cross My Heart

Copy the following phrase to claim your bonus entries for this stop:

Heb. 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Giveaway_CrossMyHeart_JR

Each host on the tour (excluding the launch pages) has a "timeless" verse or phrase for you to enter on the Rafflecopter form for bonus entries!

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 21, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 28, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, June 21, 2019

"Romanov" by Nadine Brandes ... and a GIVEAWAY!


Nadine's publisher has agreed to give away one print copy of this book (US ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends June 28, 2019. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.) 

Summary...


The history books say I died.

They don't know the half of it.

Anastasia "Nastya" Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family's only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them ... and he's hunted Romanov before.

Nastya's only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn't act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya's never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn't frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her...

That is, until she's on the one side of a firing squad ... and he's on the other.


My review...

Romanov was one of my most-anticipated reads for 2019, and it didn't disappoint!

This is a reimagining of the final Czar of Russia and his family, with a focus on the youngest daughter Nastya (Anastasia). I didn't know a lot about the Romanov's (short of the movie Anastasia), so I wasn't totally sure what to expect. I loved the fantasy mixed with history mixed with a few facts. The book is well-researched, and Brandes points out in her notes just what is real and what information is stretched. This story shows the hardships the Romanov family endured. There was far more of a family focus to the story that I'd expected going into the book. Mystery and tragedy, and a bit of romance, combine to make this a truly engaging tale. I kept telling myself, "One more chapter," and I was sad to see it end.

A couple of my favorite quotes:

"Once you learn that it's all one life and each day is a new page, it gets a bit easier to let your story take an unexpected path." (Babushka)

"Because I have a story I was meant to live. And not even you can rewrite it." (Nastya)

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.




About Nadine...


Nadine once spent four days as a sea cook in the name of book research. She's the author of Fawkes and of the award-winning The Out of Time series. Her inner fangirl perks up at the mention of soul-talk, Quidditch, bookstagram, and Oreos. When she's not writing novels about bold living, she's adventuring through Middle Earth or taste-testing a new chai. Nadine and her Auror husband are building a Tiny House on wheels. Current mission: paint the world in shalom.

Where you can find her online...


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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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:


Someone must have seen him, because the police were at his door.


Happy writing!

Monday, June 17, 2019

COVER REVEAL! "By Hook or by Rook" from Rebecca Connolly ... and a GIVEAWAY! (SLB Tours)

By Hook or by Rook Cover Reveal Banner

About the Book

Series: The London League
Genre: Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Phase Publishing
Publication date: July 1, 2019

 The most dangerous journeys... Jeremy Pratt is a spy for the Crown, and one of the best. He has been in more dangerous situations than he can admit, and has always come out unscathed. But escorting his colleague’s cousin home to her family, even in disguise, just might be beyond his skills, and the temptation beyond his ability to withstand. ...May be ones of the heart... Helen Dalton is convinced there is more to this man escorting her than meets the eye, and something familiar about him, as well. There is only one man in the world who looks at her so intensely, banters with her so easily, and makes her blush so furiously. And when he manages a daring and heroic rescue, she wonders if she ever knew him at all.



About the Author

rebecca-connolly-headshot

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.



Cover Reveal

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By Hook or by Rook
What do you think?

Giveaway

BHobR Giveaway

(1) winner will recieve a print copy of By Hook or by Rook (US mailing addresses only).
Enter the giveaway HERE. Giveaway ends June 24 at 11:59pm MT. Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Blog Stops

Follow along at SLB Tours for a full list of stops!

Monday Motivation



"Enjoy your sweat because hard work doesn't guarantee you success, but without it you don't have a chance."
— Alex Rodriguez


Have a wonderful week!

Friday, June 14, 2019

"Vigilant" by Sara Davison ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead Publicity Tours)



Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Vigilant, the first book of The Night Guardians series by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Vigilant 
Series: The Night Guardians, Book 1  
Author: Sara Davison 
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink 
Release Date: June 1, 2019  
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

She must choose between the man who represents the law and the one who may have taken it into his own hands.

Neglected by her parents for most of her life, Nicole Hunter keeps everyone, especially men, at arms’ length. So when Attorney Gage Kelly walks into the diner where she is waiting tables one evening, she fights her attraction to him with everything she has.

Gage and his brother Holden grew up in an abusive home, and Gage has baggage of his own. But the connection between him and Nicole is too strong to ignore, and Gage manages to convince them both that their relationship is worth the risk.

Then children begin disappearing in the night.

When Detective Daniel Grey starts to close in on the child snatcher, and enlists Nicole’s help, she faces her deepest fear. Everything and everyone she has clung to so tightly could be ripped from her, leaving her completely alone.

Except for one.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


EXCERPT

He waited until the little thief had almost reached him, then he jumped out and planted a hand on the kid’s chest, driving him up against the wall and holding him there with his forearm. “Give it back.”
The guy’s eyes were hard as flint. “I don’t think so.” He shoved against Daniel’s arm, but Daniel held him firmly in place.
With his free hand, he pushed back his jacket, far enough so the kid could see both his badge and the gun strapped across his chest, but no one else could. “Want to re-think that?”
If possible, the kid’s eyes grew harder. “Whatever.” He shoved the bag against Daniel’s stomach.
Daniel contemplated him as he took the bag. If the little criminal had seemed even the tiniest bit remorseful, he’d let him go without a qualm. Since he didn’t appear to be, Daniel would like nothing better than to arrest him and let him spend a night behind bars to cool off. Unfortunately, if he slapped cuffs on the guy in front of Nicole, the game would be up. It went against everything in him, but if he had to let a petty thief go in order to capture a much bigger prey, so be it.


 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Davison - headshot 1 

Sara Davison is the author of the romantic suspense novel, The Watcher, the romantic suspense series, The Seven Trilogy, and the suspense novel, Vigilant, book one of The Night Guardians Series. She has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including the Word Award for Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a Word and Cascade Award winner. Sara has a degree in English Literature and currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to.  

CONNECT WITH SARA: Website | Facebook | Twitter  

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

 

(1) winner will receive a copy of Vigilant and $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 4, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 17, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open to US/Canada residents.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

"The Tinderbox" by Beverly Lewis ... and a GIVEAWAY!


To celebrate the release of Beverly's latest book, her publisher has agreed to give away a print copy of the book (US only). To enter, see the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post. (Contest ends June 20, 2019). If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and and pass your information along. Good luck!


Q: More than two decades have passed since your first Amish novel, The Shunning, was published, establishing what became an extraordinarily popular new genre of fiction. What have the years since taught you?

A:  Creating stories set in Amish country has been such a source of delight! This journey has taught me the importance of meticulous research and shown me just how universal some subjects truly are—love and loss, the need for hope, friendship, faith, and family. My constant prayer as a writer is to lift the spirit and stir the heart. I think this approach allows readers from all walks of life to relate to my Plain characters, however cloistered and unalike they may initially seem.

Q: The Tinderbox is your newest novel. Tell us a bit about it.
A:  With her parents’ twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller finds her father’s cherished brass tinderbox left unlocked. Against her better judgment, she opens the heirloom, not realizing that what she is about to discover will alter everything for her close-knit Old Order Amish family. As a long-kept secret emerges into the light of day, can the Millers find a way forward through the turmoil to a place of forgiveness?

Q: Over the years, many readers have written to say how your books resonate with them at the heart level, in part because of the relatable themes. What are some themes found in The Tinderbox?
A:  At its core, The Tinderbox is a story about a secret that should never have been kept, and the damage done when the truth finally comes out. The importance of honesty and trustworthiness cannot be overstated—they’re foundational to every relationship, and ignoring that can bring a world of hurt to others. Fortunately, God’s grace and forgiveness provide a means of restoration, but it may take time and patience before we see the healing we hope for, and even then, it might not look like what we envisioned. God always has a better plan!

Q. With your fondness for writing, you must have another new project in the works right now. Can you reveal anything about that?
A:  The Miller family’s story will continue in The Timepiece, which releases in September 2019. As the only daughter, Sylvia has always held a special place in her Old Order family, one Adeline Pelham jeopardizes when she shows up at the Millers’ Hickory Hollow farm. It isn’t that Adeline means to be a threat, but her very existence is a reminder of the painful secret that has so recently upended the Miller household. And with Sylvia and her mother still struggling to come to terms with that news, this is a challenging time to welcome an outsider—especially this outsider—into their midst. Can God allow something good to come out of the mistakes of the past? Or does Adeline’s arrival mark one too many surprises for the Millers and their Amish community?

Q: Over the many years of your successful writing career, your books have been fixtures on bestseller lists like the New York Times, and to date you have been published in twelve languages. How do you explain the widespread appeal of your fiction?
A:  Honestly, only God could have orchestrated all I’ve experienced as a writer. I’m a storyteller at heart, and there are no words to express how touched I am by the opportunity to hear from so many lovely people from around the world. It’s a blessing to have such dedicated reader-friends!

Q: Is there an easy way to keep up-to-date on your current news?
A:  There are many great ways for me to stay in touch with my delightful reader-friends! Readers can visit my Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/officialbeverlylewis, or my website, beverlylewis.com, to sign up for my free newsletter. The website also includes book excerpts and trailers, photo galleries, my monthly blog, authentic Amish recipes, and news about upcoming appearances, in particular my Spring 2019 Book Tour, which will take me to library and bookstore events throughout northern Illinois and Wisconsin, April 4 through 11. Touring is always a highlight for me because it gives me an opportunity to meet so many wonderful readers!

My review...

I’ve been a fan of Lewis’s books for years, so I’m always excited to see she has an upcoming release.
Sylvia Miller decides to peek at her father’s tinderbox’s, the contents of which her father has kept locked up for years. She had no idea that doing so would unlock her father’s past and secrets two decades old that would change her family and her relationship with her father forever.

This book takes the reader through a variety of emotions as the family and community come to terms with the fact that all they knew to be true isn’t as it seemed. Yet, through it all, the family’s faith in God and His promises doesn’t waver. The characters and struggles are realistically drawn. And the ending provides a cliffhanger that will leave the reader eagerly awaiting the sequel, The Timepiece, which, thankfully, comes out in September 2019.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.

Amazon purchase link

About Beverly...

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in 11 languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today. Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family You can learn more at http://www.beverlylewis.com/

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

"The Number of Love" by Roseanna White ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead Publicity Tours)

 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White with JustRead Publicity Tours! Follow along with the tour for a special inside peek at how The Number of Love is connected to the author's previous book from another series, A Song Unheard.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Number of Love  
Series: Codebreakers #1  
Author: Roseanna M. White  
Publisher: Bethany House  
Release Date: June 4, 2019  
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Intrigue

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | ChristianBook

MY REVIEW

I’ve never read a book about codebreakers, so I was excited to have the opportunity to read this book and be on the launch team.

White’s latest takes the reader into the secret world of World War I codebreakers. Characters, including the secondary ones, are well developed and integrated. Those who enjoy math may connect with the story in ways that the average reader might not. However, the non-mathematical readers will likely enjoy the espionage angle and the challenge to crack the code.

The author blends fiction with historical facts, as this book was obviously well researched. The cover is lovely, and it’s a good fit for the story.  I had hoped for a bit more mystery vs. romance, but this was still an enjoyable story overall. This is the first book in the Codebreaker series, and I look forward to reading the next installment.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and NetGalley, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.

Title: A Song Unheard
Series: Shadows Over England #2 
Author: Roseanna M. White  
Publisher: Bethany House  
Release Date: January 2, 2018  
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Intrigue

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which make her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is in meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | ChristianBook

Q&A WITH ROSEANNA

  1. What was your inspiration for The Number of Love?

    Learning about England’s intelligence division during WW1 was pretty much all the inspiration I needed. I was so fascinated by Room 40 (the predecessor to Bletchley Park) and all that went on there! So I knew I wanted to have a female codebreaker (in fact there were many women who worked in Room 40, but they were all secretaries—Margot is purely fiction), and I also knew that if I was going to write a love story for her, it needed to be with someone who was her opposite—and who better than a field agent?

  2. Good point! Which character in the book do you most identify with and why?

    These characters really stretched me! I’m not particularly like any of them, LOL. But Drake has this “super power” of asking questions that dig down to the heart of things, and that I took directly from my husband, who is never content to let anything just scratch the surface, even when I really wish he would, LOL. He’s made me look so much deeper at things over the years, and that’s what I wanted Drake to do for the people in his life too.

  3. What makes this book different from your others?

    A mathematician as a heroine. Need I say more? I never thought I’d have to borrow my daughter’s algebra book to write a novel!

  4. Definitely not your typical research book! Speaking of research, how much research went into this story?

    A lot. For the first time in my life, this research had me making charts in Excel with dates, what happened, what page of what book I could find it on, and how I might use it. Excel sheets. Me. This was weird, man.

  5. Ha! I understand. I don't use Excel unless I have to. What part would you have played in the Great War?

    I’m a homebody, so I probably would have been one of the women busy knitting, growing food, and educating the kids. Assuming I was my age and had kids. If not, maybe I would have volunteered in one of the canteens in Europe…or maybe, like another of my characters, I would have been recruited to write some pro-war themes into my stories! LOL

  6. Sounds perfect! What do you hope readers takeaway from the story?

    That our God will speak to us in whatever way we need—and if He goes silent, if our ears are deaf to Him for a while, He’s still right there, waiting. Sometimes we don’t understand the things that happen in life. But instead of asking, “Why did it happen?” we need to ask the better question: “How will He use it?”

  7. That's definitely a great way to look at things. What's your favorite time in history to read and/or write?

    I honestly just love history in general. I’ve been really enjoying learning about Edwardian and Great War England, but other eras are equally interesting to me!

  8. What can you tell me about your current work in progress?

    I’m just getting started on writing the third book in the Codebreakers series, tentatively titled A Picture of Loyalty, though that could change. This one has a photographer whose work is used to fool the enemy, and a Russian codebreaker who has to flee his country for his life during the Bolshevik Revolution and who ends up coming to England for sanctuary and to offer his services to Room 40. The hero’s journey is inspired by a true person from history, though I’ll be fictionalizing a lot too.

  9. Oh, that sounds interesting! What advice do you have for beginning writers?

    Respect your dream. If you want to do this, work hard at it. Don’t look for short cuts or easy answers or quick solutions. Just as an engineer or a minister study for years, we as writers have to do the same. Because our stories—and our eventual readers—deserve the best.

  10. Great advice! What's your go-to writing-related book?

    Er…I hate to admit this, but I honestly don’t read craft books, LOL. I’m aware of what most of them share, and my best friend/crit partner is kind enough to forward things she thinks I’ll find useful or interesting as she reads them, but... Reading about the craft actually makes me freeze up in my writing. I’m constantly going, “Do I do that? I have no idea. What if I don’t? How can I? Man, am I doing everything wrong??” and that wasn’t productive for me. So. I just write, and I learn the rules, and I’ve learned to obey the voice of instinct that usually knows when something’s wrong.

  11. Your system is definitely working for you. Now for a few fun questions. What's something about you that would surprise your readers?

    Though my grandparents own a produce farm, I hate vegetables, LOL. I’ve learned to like a few over the years, but most of them…nope.

  12. I understand. I'm not a huge fan of vegetables either. What are some of the books in your TBR pile?

    As of writing this, I’m about to start A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris. But then I mean to pick up something by Kristi Ann Hunter. And I have Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle sitting here too—about art and faith.

  13. Who are three authors who've inspired you?

    L. M. Montgomery. C. S. Lewis. Francine Rivers.

  14. Great choices! If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

    Oh, that’s a hard one! Let’s go with Jane Austen. Her books are so full of wit, I have to think her dinner conversation would be too!

  15. I bet it would be an interesting conversation! Finally, what's one book you wish you'd written and why?

    Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I listened to it on audio recently and was left with the thought of “Flawless.” I’m just amazed at how great it is! Definitely deserving of all the attention it’s received.
It was the first audio book I listened to, and I agree with you. It's a fabulous book, and it definitely deserves all the attention. Thanks for taking time to answer a few questions. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know more about your and your books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books...to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary.

CONNECT WITH ROSEANNA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

Grand Prize: Shadows Over England series, The Number of Love, and the Decrypto board game, plus "Mi Alma" necklace (Necklace is 24" chain with a 1" pendant that says "Mi Alma" Spanish for "My Soul". A term of endearment used throughout the book. Handmade by Bookworm Mama)

(3) additional winners of The Number of Love.

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 3, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm June 17, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tuesday Tip: Anymore or Any more?



For the past few weeks, I've posted about some common words that can be confusing. I'm wrapping that up this month. 

Anymore means "any longer."  

The child told his mom he didn't need help anymore.

Any more means "additional." 

The boy said he didn't need any more help besides his brother.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Friday Reads: The True Colors series (A Dual Giveaway!)

Barbour Publishing has a new series of books coming out in 2019-2020, and I've read the first two books that have been released so far. Barbour has agreed to offer one print copy of each book to one lucky blog reader (US ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends June 14, 2019. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.) 




Barbour’s New Fiction Series Highlights True Crime Stories in American History 

Barbour Publishing is pleased to announce the launch of a daring new fiction series not for the faint of heart. True Colors will explore true, riveting stories of American criminal activity layered in historical romantic suspense. This unique 6-book series will kick off in March 2019 with the release of The White City by up-and-coming author Grace Hitchcock. The main character in this fascinating read attempts to uncover the cause of the strange disappearances at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. This true-to-history story is based on the crimes of infamous serial killer H. H. Holmes. Releasing approximately every other month by a talented team of authors, True Colors will satisfy a variety of fiction readers interested in American history, true crime, and romance. Each title and cover will feature a prominent color to tie in perfectly with the series name and create a strong brand presence.

My review...

I enjoy True Crime stories, so I was interested in seeing how Christian fiction would tackle it in this new series, starting with The White City by Grace Hitchcock.

The story is based on H.H. Holmes, a read serial killer who terrorized Chicago during the time of the World’s Fair in 1893. Winnifred Wylde loves romance novels but finds herself playing amateur detective after witnessing what she believes to be a kidnapping. Jude Thorpe, a police detective, is assigned by her father to be her bodyguard as she works undercover as a secretary to investigate the potential suspect. Has she indeed found the killer? Will she end up being the next victim?

I don’t know a lot about this time in history, so I did learn a bit along the way. However, the pace was a bit slower than expected (or preferred). There wasn’t as much suspense as I’d anticipated, especially as it’s based on a real (serial killer) event. At times, the action was spot-on, but it didn’t maintain the pace throughout. When reading books such as this, I enjoy sleuthing out the clues along with the character, but I really wasn’t able to do that with this story. The romance angle was a bit predictable, but it was okay. While this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I’m interested in checking out other books in the series as they’re released.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to write a positive review.







 Book Two in the True Colors Series Will Thrill Readers 
How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?

Readers who fell in love with book one of the chilling True Colors series will be thrilled to read book two, The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma. Releasing June 2019, true crime lovers will travel to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in 1932 where children seem to disappear. Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director and suspected cause of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives. 

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through unique stories of historical, romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.

My review...

I’ve read a few things lately about the “business practices” Georgia Tann engaged in, which are appalling, so I was interested in reading this book (particularly as I’m a fan of Tolsma’s other books).

Cecile wants to do her best to provide for her daughter Millie Mae. As a single mother, it’s challenging to find a job, and Cecile allows her neighbor, Mrs. Ward, to watch Millie on occasion so she can look for a job. Cecile never expected to have her daughter signed away to Georgia Tann, who runs the Tennessee Children’s Home. Cecile is determined to do all she can to get her daughter back. Sadly, Cecile learns that she’s not the only mother to have her child stolen by Miss Tann. Cecile will need help, and attorney Percy Vance seems to fit the bill. However, is it already too late to save Millie?

To begin with, the cover grabbed my attention. It made me even more interested in reading the story. Then, the story grabs the reader even more with Cecile’s love and determination for her daughter Millie Mae (which may remind the reader of God’s love for us). Tann’s practices of trying to re-home children so have a better life are just horrifying and hard to imagine happening in the US. It makes you wonder how many people turned a blind eye to what was going on. The book does have a Christian message throughout, but it doesn’t overpower the story. The characters are well-developed, and the secondary characters are crucial to the plot, as well. It's an emotional read and one that may stick with the reader after the final page.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.




Release Schedule for First Four Books:

 March 2019: The White City by Grace Hitchcock Setting: Chicago, IL; 1893 True Crime: Kidnappings at the Chicago World’s Fair http://bit.ly/TCWhiteCity 

June 2019: The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma Setting: Memphis, TN; 1932 True Crime: Baby snatchers http://bit.ly/ThePinkBonnet

August 2019: The Yellow Lantern by Angie Dicken Setting: Massachusetts, 1824 True Crime: Grave robbers 

January 2020: The Grey Chamber by Grace Hitchcock Setting: New York, 1887 True Crime: Women’s lunatic asylum



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Thursday, June 6, 2019

"The Fay's Apprentice" by Amy C. Blake ... and a GIVEAWAY!



Amy is here to share a bit about her latest release. She has offered to give away an electronic copy of winner's choice of a book in the series. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends June 13, 2019. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.)



I’m celebrating my newest release, The Fay’s Apprentice, the third novel in my four-book Levi Prince YA Christian fantasy series. This series features scrawny, redheaded, homeschooled pastor’s son Levi Prince during his summers at Camp Classic, a camp for classically educated kids that’s actually a haven for mythical creatures.

Years ago, when I first dreamed up Levi and Terracaelum, it was only natural that Levi be a redheaded, homeschooled pastor's kid like my own children. Camp Classic came into being because we follow a Classical Christian educational system for homeschool, and I thought it be intriguing to include stories from Classical mythology into my plot lines. The Trojan Horse Traitor plays off of the Greek Trojan horse incident. The Fall of Thor's Hammer incorporates the funny Norse myth about Thor in a wedding dress. The Fay's Apprentice integrates the Ancient British legend of Morgan le Fay's apprenticeship to Merlin.

My Levi Prince series is set in Terracaelum, a realm populated by mythical creatures yet ruled by a human man and a human woman. The name Terracaelum comes from the Latin words terra (earth) and caelum (sky or heaven). Camp Classic is on Classic Island, a tiny island in the middle of Lake Superior. Unknown to most of the campers, the far northern cliff of Castle Island is the connecting point with Terracaelum, which is invisible except when the drawbridge is lowered. Besides the director and his wife, Camp Classic's F is not human; it is comprised of elves, dwarves, and pixies who pass for humans to the campers who are unaware that they left Castle Island and entered Terracaelum. Beyond the castle live many other mythical creatures — dragons, mormos, basilisks, dvergar, harpies, griffins, rocs, unicorns, merweavers, lake monsters, and a shape-shifting demon sorcerer named Deceptor.

While my flawed but lovable  main character Levi is a homeschooler, making him appealing to home-educated kids, he is also relatable to traditional-schoolers and even adults. While especially geared toward ten to sixteen year olds, readers of any age will enjoy watching Levi tackle archery, fencing, canoeing, Dragon jousting, Latin verbs, history dates, and, of course, Deceptor and his evil cronies in their bids to take over Terracaelum.

If you're interested in reading Levi's stories, you can buy my books on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle formats. I've included the buy links and blurbs for each book below.



Left on Castle Island to attend Camp Classic, Levi Prince finds himself at the center of an enchanted world of amazing abilities, cloudy motives, and wicked beings that will challenge his very spirit. He begins to form friendships, but life at camp becomes more confusing as questionable activities and uncertain agendas bring about conflict that tests his character in ways you never expected. Finally, faced with a friend's betrayal, Levi is forced to confront true evil. Will he find the courage to stand his ground and to become the hero he was always meant to be?



Stay out of the cellar! One of Camp Classic's firmest rules puts Levi in a dilemma when he hears banging on the cellar door. Could it be a Lake Superior sailor driven into Terracaelum's underbelly by a storm? Or is it one of the Dvergar trying to lure a foolish camper to certain death? It's only the first night back in the castle and already Levi must make a potentially disastrous decision: Should he disobey Mr. Dominic at the risk of his own life? Or do as he's told, possibly leaving some poor sailor to wander in darkness until he starves?



On Levi's third summer at Camp Classic, he is torn between two responsibilities. On the one hand, his parents expect him to watch over his little sister Abby, who has no clue their summer camp is a haven for mythical creatures. On the other hand, Mr. Dominic wants him to train at For Terra, a full day's hike away from his sister, because of Levi's previous encounters with the demon sorcerer Deceptor. Although he enjoys training with his friends, Levi finds life at Fort Terra difficult thanks to the ongoing tension between him and Hunter and the stress of having his former kidnapper Regin as a chaperone. When the woman Regin claims to be the evil sorceress Anna appears, Levi faces a whole new challenge.

About Amy...


Award-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor's wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College and has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. She's also writing two series for the Christian market, her Levi Prince YA fantasy series and her On the Brink Christian suspense trilogy. Whitewashed, Colorblind, and Tie-Dyed, featuring three homeschooled girls on the brink of adulthood ... and danger, are available in paperback and Kindle. The Trojan Horse TraitorThe Fall of Thor’s Hammer, and The Fay’s Apprentice, about homeschooled pastor’s kid Levi Prince and his adventures in Terracaelum, are also available in paperback and Kindle.


Where you can find her online...


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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

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:


As he took in the view from the twentieth floor, the lights went out all over the city.


Happy writing!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday Motivation


"With hard work and dedication, anything is possible."
— Timothy Weah


Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

"Libby's Cuppa Joe" by Rebecca Waters ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead Publicity Tours)


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Libby's Cuppa Joe by Rebecca Waters with JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Libby's Cuppa Joe  
Author: Rebecca Waters
Publisher: Ambassador International  
Release Date: March 8, 2018  
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Can grace and love be found amongst coffee grounds?

Sonja Parker is about to find out.

Excited to leave her stale life in the big city behind, Sonja takes the money her grandmother left her and purchases Libby's Cuppa Joe, a thriving coffee shop in a small community in Wisconsin's Door County. Sonja may have business sense, but is she ready to face the world on her own?

Sonja soon discovers owning a business requires more than offering a good cup of coffee. She must make major repairs to the building as well as major repairs to her heart. Do the former owners, Libby and Joe hold the answer? As Sonja seeks to make Libby's Cuppa Joe a viable business, can she also find herself and the God she has abandoned?

Libby's Cuppa Joe is a riveting tale of second chances, forgiveness, and not living on borrowed faith.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | ChristianBook


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Q:     What was your inspiration for Libby's Cuppa Joe?
A.   My daughter and I met the proprietor of a small bookstore in Wisconsin near where my daughter lives. The woman was frazzled. She wasn’t married, had a baby, and was trying to make a go of her business. A used bookstore is a tough way to make a living.  My daughter and I were touched by her openness and yet our hearts broke for this woman. Danielle prayed with the woman before we left, a couple of small books in hand. I could never get that young woman out of my mind. I wanted her to have community and support and learn to trust God with … everything. So, in essence, I rewrote her life. I still pray for her.

Q:     Are you a big coffee drinker, or do you prefer something else?
A.   I do enjoy coffee. I lived in Kosovo for a year and fell in love with the coffee culture there. And while I love specialty coffees from time to time, I truly appreciate the comfort of a good cup of coffee every day.

Q:    Which character to you most identify with and why?
A.  Curiously enough, I probably identify with Joan Linder. Joan is Sonja’s neighbor. She is a wife and mom. She is protective of her family but supportive of Sonja. She likes to cook and feed people, and she is a believer. I think we have a lot in common.

Q:    What made you choose Door County as your setting? (By the way, I've been there, and I LOVED it! So, I do think it's a perfect setting!)
A.  My husband and I have visited Door County with out daughter and her family. We loved the feel of the interior rural areas and the beautiful views from the coastal towns. We didn’t stay in Fish Creek but visited it and shopped there. I loved the people and the area. I think there is a closeness to the community and that is just what my character needed … community.

Q:    We stayed in Fish Creek, so I totally understand what you're saying about the area. What do you hope readers takeaway from the story?
A.  Oh, I certainly hope they learn or remember that nothing we do is beyond God’s power and desire to forgive us.

Q:  What a great message! What can you tell me about your current work in progress?
A.   I have several works in the mill, so to speak. I am currently working on three books in the Christian romance genre. All three take place in a small town just north of Tampa, Florida where I grew up. They are all connected in one way or another to a veterinarian and puppies! The first is finished, the second outlined, and I have scene cards developed for the third. I find it best to work on all three this way since the characters are related and live in the same community.

Q:    Good plan! What advice do you have for beginning writers?
A.   I wrote a handbook for beginning writers called Writing with E’s and in it I identified five elements new writers need to hone their craft. Two of those, Educate and Exercise, are fundamental to success. The first, Educate, simply means to learn everything you can about writing. Study the craft, read with a writer’s eye, take classes, do whatever you need to better your writing. The second is Exercise. By that I mean simply to engage the writing muscle by writing on a regular basis. I meet many people with great ideas for a book or people who want to be writers, but they never write. Just as your body gets leaner and stronger with exercise, so does your writing.

Q:    What's something about you that would surprise your readers?
A.  I am pretty much an open book, so this is a tough question. Perhaps new readers would be surprised to learn I am an educator. My most recent stint in the classroom after retiring as a professor of teacher education was as a fourth grade teacher in Kosovo.

Q:    What are some of the books in your TBR pile?
A.   I’m currently reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  It was a “have-to-read” in high school and I honestly didn’t enjoy it. I decided I need to actually read some of the classics instead of the Cliff Notes! For my writing, I’m reading James Scott Bell’s Super Structure.

Q:   Do you prefer writing or teaching and why?
A.   Another tough one. I find myself “in my element” with both experiences. Maybe it is because being a good teacher requires uncovering every student’s story. Teaching is rewarding, but so is writing. I think God gave me both venues as ways to change lives.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Rebecca! I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know a bit more about you and your book.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Rebecca Waters has been a writer most of her life. Her first published work was a story in the school newspaper she wrote in second grade. For many years Rebecca used her stories as illustrations in church settings and to entertain her own three daughters. Her professional writing included educational articles and research. Following her retirement as a professor of education from Cincinnati Christian University, Rebecca turned her pen to the world of fiction. She has also published several articles in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Lookout Magazine, and Home Health Aide Digest. Her first novel, Breathing on Her Own, was released in 2014.  

CONNECT WITH REBECCA: Website | Facebook | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Libby's Cuppa Joe and (1) winner will receive an ebook copy.

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight May 28, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm June 4, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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