A Defense of Honor

Happy Tuesday, all! I don’t know about ya’ll, but it hasn’t gotten crazy hot here in Baltimore. Perfect reason to curl up with a read while sequestering myself in my bedroom- the only room in the house with air conditioning.

A defense of honor

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

My Review

Kristi approaches some hard topics in this story that I think are great that a Christian Fiction author is getting into. I also appreciate how none of the characters and black and white – not all good, not all bad. Kit struggles with the motivations and decisions she felt forced into to create a stable environment for the women and children she strove to help. Given the same situation, I don’t know what decision I would’ve made. It brings to the forefront the question of “do two wrongs make a right?” And if it doesn’t, how do you survive when there seems to be no other way? I relate to Kit’s internal battle as I’m also someone who just figures out a way to take care of everyone without stopping to trust God and let Him provide for me.

IMG_6629The women in this story make/have made mistakes and are trying to figure out how to move forward and do life in the culture of their time. Illegitimate children were a huge problem in the regency period with soaring numbers where women faced all the consequences, the the men mostly none. With the intensifying recent awareness of the #metoo movement, Kristi gives us a peak into the lives of women facing the same challenges in the early 1800’s. Add to it the Christian worldview without getting preachy or judgmental, framed in a genre that gets serious, but not overwhelming, I count it as a must read.

Kristi has mentioned some of the statistics in a live video and I emailed her for more info to share. She says, “Basically, prior to the extended Regency period (late 1700s to about 1830) the percentage of children born out of wedlock in the UK was around 3%. During the Regency period that number rose to somewhere between 7% and 9%. The church’s backlash against this – for better or for worse – is, I think, part of what drove into the strictness of the Victorian period. Laws around the care of illegitimate children were changed in 1834 to try to discourage it. ”

I am looking forward to diving into Daphne’s story and getting more into the questions of how do we move forward after we’ve made a mistake? How do we face God and forgive ourselves? I admire Daphne’s strength and joy that appears to come from within and her relationship with God.

I was provided a copy by the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.

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About the Author

Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

She also has a super fun FB group, so go join!

 

This Wilderness Journey – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

This Wilderness journeFB banner copy

About the Book

This Wilderness Journey

Title: The Wilderness Journey

Author: Misty M. Beller

Release Date: April 24, 2018

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

He’s been sent to retrieve the new missionary… But she’s not at all who he expects to find.

Joseph Malcom has spent his life protecting those in need, but now that his sister is safely settled with her new family in the Canadian Rockies, his help is no longer required. That is, until he’s asked to safely retrieve the priest’s cousin to help minister to the local Indian tribe. But his passenger is not at all who he expects.

After the death of her mother, Monti Bergeron has nothing to keep her in Montreal. While the prospect of ministering to the Indians out West is daunting, she looks forward to assisting her beloved cousin in his mission work. The life of a nun may be just what she needs to heal her grief, serving her Heavenly Father and fellow mankind, especially if no more pesky suitors are around to ask for her hand in marriage. But the man who’s been sent to guide her through the mountains might make her second-guess her plans before she even begins.

As Monti settles into her ministry, Joseph finds his wandering feet drawn back to the Indian camp. Monti’s focus on God is more unsettling than he’d like to admit. Add to that her beauty which tests his willpower at every turn, and she’s made it crystal clear she doesn’t want a husband. But when his determination to keep distance between them puts Monti in danger, protecting her might require something Joseph might not be able to give.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

This Wilderness Journey is the sequel to This Treacherous Journey, Emma’s brother Joseph’s story. While another solid story from Misty, I struggled to connect to Joseph and Monti, but I admit, I’m not sure why. Both Joseph and Monti are likable characters, both with a lot of emotional baggage. Joseph struggles with his faith after his experience whereas Monti’s relationship with God appears to have a great depth. But, she has deep trust issues steaming from a traumatic experience as a teen, and although I understand the deep hurt, I also question how her deep faith hasn’t helped her move more forward at this point. Everyone processes and heals at a different rate, though, so other readers might agree with right where she is.

If you are a Misty Beller fan, be sure to pick up a copy.

I received a complementary copy of this story for review purposes for this tour. All opinions are honest and my own.

About the Author

Misty

Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Guest Post from Misty Beller

The Frontier Cook

I love to write frontier romance, where the challenges were tough and the people had to be even tougher. And one of the things I love to imagine is how my characters cooked during those days.

Can you imagine how hard it would be to cook over an open fire? Every. Single. Meal. Of course, it’s not like they had a lot of variety to work with. Once you learned how to make a decent stew or corn mush, you didn’t have much to worry about, right?

Yet, many of the frontier women became quite adept at cooking over their cabin’s hearth, or even over an open campfire. In my new book, This Wilderness Journey, Monti (the heroine) came from a middle-class home with a paid chef and never had to learn to cook at all, much less without the use of a wood stove (which is still so much harder than heating a hot-pocket in the microwave). After she burned the corn mush their first night on the trail through the Canadian wilderness, Joseph (the hero) taught her a few basic meals.

As I was researching some creative ways frontier women cooked in an open hearth, I discovered the wide use of puddings, mostly because of how easy they were to make. By wrapping the ingredients in a cloth or pudding bag, they could be dropped in a pot of boiling water and left until the ingredients had softened and expanded. An entire meal could be made with a few ingredients, a pudding cloth, and a pot of boiling water.

One of my favorite cooking scenes in This Wilderness Journey is the making of the Oatmeal Pudding. What do you think? Sound like something you’d like to try?

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, June 7

Among the Reads, June 7

Two Points of Interest, June 8

The Power of Words, June 8

Blossoms and Blessings, June 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 9

Mary Hake, June 10

Splashes of Joy, June 10

Kathleen Denly, June 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 11

Maureen’s Musings, June 12

Kat’s Corner Books, June 12

Mommynificent, June 13

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 13

Bibliophile Reviews, June 14

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 14

Pause for Tales, June 15

proud to be an autism mom, June 15

Texas Book-aholic, June 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

Janices book reviews, June 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 17

Carpe Diem, June 18

Red Headed Book Lady, June 18

Connie’s History Classroom, June 19

Bigreadersite, June 20

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 20

Giveaway

amazon gift card

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cd16/this-wilderness-journey-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

The Firefighter’s Twins – Just Read – Giveaway

The Firefighter's Twins Blog Tour

Welcome to The Firefighter’s Twins Blog Tour and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

I’m excited to bring you an only seen here guest post from Heidi, so scroll down to read!


ABOUT THE BOOK

the firefighter's twinsTitle: The Firefighter’s Twins
Author: Heidi McCahan
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

One single dad plus twin toddlers

A formula for her new family?

Since his wife left, fireman Shay Campbell has focused on work and his twin toddlers. But the lovely Natalie McDowell is making him rethink that decision.

She’s great with his boys, and they adore her. But he can’t go through losing someone again. Will a dream job offer win Natalie’s heart, or does it belong to Shay and the twins?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository | Harlequin


GUEST POST FROM HEIDI

7 Reasons Why Readers Love Animals in Fiction

As an author who wants to earn a living writing novels, I try to pay attention to readers’ preferences. While reading is a rather subjective experience, and no one knows for certain what will be the next best-seller, when it comes to animals in books, I feel it is safe to say that readers consistently LOVE an adorable four-legged secondary character.

I won’t bore you with scientific data or market research to support my theory (mainly because I don’t have any). Although I did do a tiny bit of web surfing, which revealed that dogs have maintained a long run of popularity in print media for decades. Supposedly in 1938, George Stevens, the editor of the Saturday Review stated, “Since people love to read books about Abraham Lincoln, and people love to read books about doctors, and people love to read books about dogs, then the best-selling book of all time ought to be a book called Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog.”

In other words, it is difficult to chase a trend in publishing, but it doesn’t stop us from trying. We write books about animals because we are confident there’s a buying audience out there.

Here is my somewhat light-hearted, entirely subjective list of reasons why I believe this is true. And since I have a goat on the cover of my new novel, I feel that gives me some credibility, as well.

  1. Animals combined with children equals a double-dose of cuteness that many find irresistible.
  2. Oxytocin, anyone? Who hasn’t experienced the warm fuzzy feeling from petting a cute animal? I know, I know, I said no research…but science has proven that there is a positive physiological response when we interact with animals. I think reading about animals might also provoke a similar response.
  3. Vulnerability: characters often tell animals things they wouldn’t say out loud, giving readers a glimpse of a character’s deeper feelings.
  4. When we see animals on a book cover, it reminds us of less complicated seasons in our lives.
  5. Animals featured in books provoke fond memories of our own personal experiences with pets.
  6. Weaving a beloved animal (often a dog) into a plot can make a fictional character more appealing to readers.
  7. Friendly animals often attract humans, even fictional humans, which provides an opportunity for the characters to engage. In my new release, The Firefighter’s Twins, the hero and heroine often interact because the heroine’s family owns a venue where the hero’s twins love to play. When the hero takes his sons to pet the goats, it attracts the attention of the heroine and her sisters, which leads to meaningful conversation and…well, you’ll just have to read the book to see what happens next.
Reference:
Engber, Daniel. Why Are Dogs Popular in Books, and Cats on the Internet?
Slate Magazine, April 2013.
Montgomery, Sy. Psychological Effects of Pets are Profound. Boston Globe, January 12, 2015.

MY REVIEW

I enjoyed Heidi’s latest and the world she created on the farm. I haven’t read many books with firefighters, but I liked getting to know a bit more about their world, without having the story get absorbed in details about firefighting. While I did like Natalie and Shay (and the twins!), I think my favorite character is the fire chief. He makes a few brief appearances, but I appreciate how he cares for his men beyond the job.

Overall, it’s a lighter read of the quality expected with a Love Inspired author. I hope to get to know some of the other characters better in future stories.

I received a complementary copy of this story for review. All opinions are honest and my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

heidi mccahan

Heidi McCahan is the author of Covering Home, Unraveled, and Love Flies In. She is also an active RWA member and currently serves as secretary of the North Carolina chapter of ACFW. Heidi won the 2014 Idahope contest, and was a 2015 finalist in Harlequin’s Blurb 2 Book contest. A Pacific Northwest girl at heart, she was transplanted in the South several years ago, and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and three boys. Heidi is a huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, and can often be found enjoying a good cup of coffee and a great book. The Firefighter’s Twins, her first novel with Harlequin Love Inspired, is available now.

CONNECT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Newsletter


The Firefighter's Twins giveaway
(photo by Heidi McCahan)

Heidi McCahan has put together a FABULOUS giveaway for readers! One winner (US only) will receive:

Magnolia Market tote bag
Hearth & Hand Magnolia Notepad + tell your story pencil
4 magnetic bookmarks
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Gratitude journal + lists notebook
weekly planning pad
Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt
Falling for You by Becky Wade
The Firefighter’s Twins by Heidi McCahan

Giveaway will run from midnight June 1, 2018 through 11:59pm June 11, 2018. It is subject to the policies found here.

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


tour schedule

Follow along with the tour for more chances to win! Grab the schedule at JustRead!

 

Anticipated Summer Reads

I’m sorry I have been MIA, ya’ll. It’s been a couple interesting weeks. Work has been crazy, and then all of this allergy stuff (I’m sure someone can relate!) decided to settle in and turn into a sinus infection. Thus, I was a giant ball of misery last week, which is why there was no post. I felt so awful I didn’t even post to Instagram (GASP!), so if you’ve been wondering where I went….then our normal trip to see family for Memorial Day weekend, a trip which is normally 9 hours and turning into 10.5 (yes, while still fighting a sinus infection- misery). It’s also turned summer way too early, and while some of you all have a gushy relationship with the heat and sun, it is my least favorite season.

I NEED SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO. 

Here are my most anticipated summer reads. I hope to find a nice air conditioned spot to curl up and read (i.e. not my unconditioned apartment, except my bedroom, which thank you, God, has a window unit). What are you looking forward to reading this summer? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. It’s 10:30 at night and I might miss some…if I think of more, I’ll add them!

5-31-18 – I added Jane by the Book since the cover was just revealed!

The Accidental Guardian – Just Read – Giveaway

justread_TheAccidentalGuardianBLOGWelcome to the blog tour and giveaway for The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

9780764219290Title: The Accidental Guardian
Series: High Sierra Sweethearts, Book 1
Author: Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance / Western
+To Read: Goodreads

She’s the Only Witness to a Wagon Train Attack. Keeping Her Safe, Though, Means His World Is about to be Turned Upside Down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

PURCHASE A COPY*: Amazon l ChristianBook l Book Depository l Itunes

 

MY REVIEW

Sometimes, I wish I could use emojis in my reviews. If so, this one would start out something like Trace heart heart heart heart, because I loved him. He just might make the book boyfriend list for this year. Trace is awkwardly wonderful. He’s a powerful man, doesn’t know what to do with diapers, and thinks women are strange, but he’s endearing while doing it. Some of his thought processes definitely made me laugh.

My favorite thing about Deb is her smarts. She’s not one of those helpless damsels in distress who runs into situations where you as a reader are yelling “Don’t do that!!!!!!!!!!!” But, while being strong and able to take care of herself, she also acknowledges her limits and knows when to depend on Trace and the other men. I think she’s a great balance of independence and dependence. She’s also very practical. She knows what she wants and isn’t one to hold out to wait for just the right circumstance of sweet words to happen to give into that. (Which might not make a lot of sense, but I’m trying not to give away spoilers!) Sometimes we ladies, myself included, want the menfolk to break into sweet nothings but forget to look at all of their actions and how those tell us they care for us. Deb reminds us of that. (But I can always use more sweet whispers.)

I also really liked all of the sub-characters; Adam, Utah, Gwen. I am very much looking forward to Gwen’s story next and I’m hoping we’ll get Adam’s as well. Utah appears to be an older character, but I sense love and loss in his past and would like to see him with a happily ever after as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for this tour. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own!


The next book in the series, THE RELUCTANT WARRIOR will be released later this year in October, 2018!

Reluctant Warrior Spine.indd


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MaryConnealy by Ginger Murray Photography

Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

CONNECT WITH MARY: website, facebook, twitter, instagram

You can also find Mary at these sites: Seekerville and Petticoats & Pistols


 

 

GIVEAWAY

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(1) Winner will win:

  • The Cimarron Legacy by Mary Connealy (all 3 print books)
  • The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy (print)

(US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only) Full terms & conditions noted on Rafflecopter form.

To Enter, use the Rafflecopter giveaway below (or click on the Giveaway banner above). Be sure to stop at every post on the tour for additional entries!

ENTER HERE

For the full tour schedule for more giveaway entries, head to JustRead’s Launch Page HERE (or click on the Tour Banner below).

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Falling For You – Prism Tours – Giveaway


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Falling for You
(A Bradford Sisters Romance #2)
By Becky Wade
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
May 1st 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family’s small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin–and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he’s never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he’s determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they’re forced to confront their past and who they’ve become–and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook DepositoryChristianbookiBooksKoboGooglePlay

My Review

As much as I related to Nora in True To You with her nerdy bookish self and the adoption themes (as you can tell from Tuesday’s post), in a lot of ways I relate more to Willow. I will never be model material and only consider myself beautiful on good days, but Willow struggles with two big things that I have as well: shame from a past relationship, and growing up, the feeling that I had to be the perfect child.

These two themes are threaded throughout Willow motivations and decisions her whole life. She struggles to take risks and have fun, but has a kind compassionate heart. She spends a lot of time arguing with herself and talking herself out of her feelings. Girl, I so get that. At one point Becky puts into words what Willow feels and it’s perfect. Willow goes through all the people in her life who never gave her a reason to doubt their love then goes on to say. “God had never given her a reason to doubt His love. Even so, her internal drive to be good…had never relented.”

Corbin is determined to draw her out. Since I have my own real life Corbin to draw me out of my safe shell, I understand Willow’s love/hate relationship with that aspect. We want to be safe, but also want to venture out…safely. These men God puts in our lives do that; I can’t hide under my rock too long. My favorite quote is from Corbin’s internal processing, “He needed her to love him And so he was going to make sure that she did.” Way to take the initiative, Corbin! But, he also had to learn how to be humble and surrender their future to God. A humbled man is a mighty thing to behold.

And now we get a sneak peak at Britt beginning to soften and Zander being brave enough to step past his self-protective boundaries and get out there. I can’t wait for their story!

I received a complementary copy of this story for review on this tour. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own!

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

WebsiteBlogGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram

Tour Schedule

April 30th:
Launch
Amy Watson Author
Remembrancy
Author Austin Ryan
Heidi Reads…
May 1st:
Author Kelly D. Scott
Radiant Light
Cafinated Reads
Jen Around the World
May 2nd:
The Barefoot Reader
Loraine D. Nunley, Author
Moments
The Mary Book Reader
May 3rd:
The Power of Words
Kat’s Corner Books
I Am A Reader
Book by Book
May 4th:
Getting Your Read On
cherylbbookblog
The Green Mockingbird
Author Toni Shiloh
May 7th:
Bringing Up Books
My Scribbler’s Heart
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Hearts & Scribbles
May 8th:
Facebook Party at 8 PM EDT/5 PM PDT
Author Christen E Krumm
God is Love
100 Pages per Hour
Just a Little Creativity
May 9th:
Wishful Endings
Mel’s Shelves
Rockin’ Book Reviews
The Great Adventure
May 10th:
Jorie Loves A Story
`Candle Reviews Chivalrous Romance
Flowers of Quiet Happiness
Author Deborah Hackett
May 11th:
Redeemed Hope Dweller
Singing Librarian Books
Locks, Hooks and Books
Dawn’s Dreams
May 12th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

Celebrate the release of Becky Wade’s Falling for You by entering to win a fabulous prize pack that includes some of Willow Bradford’s favorite things!

One grand prize winner will receive*:

  • A model-worthy Kate Spade bracelet
  • A $100 cash card (so you can feed a housewares and home décor addiction like Willow’s)
  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • Roasted in Seattle Rainy Day Coffee
  • A delicious scone mix (so that you can enjoy scones just like Willow and Corbin do while having high tea)
  • Cozy book-lover socks
  • And of course, a copy of Falling for You

Two runner up winners will receive*:

  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • A copy of Falling for You

*Due to shipping costs, US entrants only.

Grab Our Button!

 

Beneath The Surface – Just Read -Giveaway

Happy Tuesday, all! I’m excited to be posting again with JustRead Tours. Today’s post is a bit different in that rather than a book review, I get to post about a topic book-related and close to my heart: adoption.
justread_BeneaththeSurface_Banner

ABOUT THE BOOK

9780800729387
Title: Beneath the Surface
Series: Dive Team Investigations, Book 1
Author: Lynn H. Blackburn
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer–one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final heart-pounding page.


ADOPTION

What’s my story? I could write about it forever, so if you want more info, send me an  email! While I’m not adopted, I have been touched by adoption throughout my life; it has shaped and molded my worldview. I’ll tell you how in just a minute.

In the book, both Leigh and her brother, Kirk, are adopted internationally from two different countries. This is a wonderful form of adoption. In my years of research and training I’ve read lots of stories about kids/families adopting this way and their joys and struggles, and while that isn’t the focus of  Beneath The Surface, I appreciate how Lynn touches on a few of these challenges and how Leigh’s parents handled them. I love that Leigh is secure in knowing she was loved and her parents were open with her about their struggles with infertility and their joy of being Leigh’s and Kirk’s parents.

One summer I nannied two 2 year old “twins.” It’s a God story about a mom who had dreamed of twins but struggled with infertility. They signed up for a baby girl from China (a long and arduous journey), and had just about given up hope when the husband’s co-worker knew someone in their town who needed to give up her son. They jumped on the chance to take the little boy. Well, a time after he was home, they got the call from China. And guess what…it turned out that their little girl was born ON THE SAME DAY as their little boy. God provided twins in a way they had never planned or expected. Isn’t that just like God?

I knew from an early age that our family was different. My twin brother and sister were adopted. Also, they are African-American while mom, dad, and I are Caucasian. I don’t recall when this first occurred to me as it’s always been my normal, but it became much more important as my siblings became teenagers. As I watched them struggle with figuring out who they were and what adoption meant to our family, I found that God was shaping me as well.

Of course, being older siblings, there were plenty of years that they tried to convince me I was adopted (and some days, I thought it might be true!). My mom talked openly with me about the loss of her children before us, a fact I appreciate to this day and realize it’s not talked about openly enough. But, that also means that I saw how it was possible to love a child not of your womb. My family has their issues, whose doesn’t, and adoptive families face particular challenges, but they’re mine and I love them. I LOVE THAT WE WERE A FAMILY THAT WAS CHOSEN. While each sibling has a different perspective and memories, I saw my parents love us the same, but also uniquely to fit who we were.

We were lucky to have baby photos of my siblings as they had been in foster care before adoption and I would often look through the albums wondering about this family who cared for my siblings before they came home. Wondered how they could’ve let them go, but thankful they did. That sparked in me a desire to one day be able to foster children.

Over time, a deep seeded truth became the fabric of who I am; God created me to love the fatherless. You know that verse (James 1:27) that’s used in reference to adoption so often? About God telling us to care for the orphaned? The Greek word for orphan here can also mean “bereaved of parents.” Wow. How many kids are bereaved of parents even though they might be alive? How many in foster care? How many fatherless? How many with one or two parent households where the kid exists, but isn’t really seen? All these kids are bereaved. All of them need to be adopted.

You see, adoption as a concept extends beyond just a legal guardianship. We can look for those on the periphery and LOVE them. Adopt them into our homes, our families, our churches. Pour onto them as God has poured onto us. This idea of kids being raised in a village, of living in community, wasn’t one I was exposed to as a concept until adulthood, but I found it was natural to me; I craved it. I knew that whatever came in life, I could parent, I could adopt others, I could choose family.

This became critical many years later as my world fell apart. I was momming it for two beautiful foster girls, but behind the scenes my marriage was falling apart. We ended up making the heart-ripping decision to focus on our marriage and stop fostering. IT BROKE ME. Who was I if I wasn’t a mother, if I never had children?

It’s a question we all ask: who am I?

In that deepest pit, God met me and reminded me that I was HIS. I was chosen. I was adopted into His family. My identity was first and foremost as His daughter, a princess of the King. Adoption became a whole new concept for me.

Today, my heart is still yearning to be a mom. Since the above, we’ve been down the road of one failed adoption. I don’t know if God means us to be parents in the traditional sense of the word, but until then I’m adopting all the needy kids I can into my momdom, loving on them, and clinging to God’s promises.

 


ABOUT LYNN

blackburn_lynn

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy (Love Inspired, June 2017) and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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TOUR SCHEDULE

April 23
Create Explore Read – Author Interview
A Baker’s Perspective – A Day with Special Agent ___

April 24
Savings in Seconds – Quote Hightlight
Grace in Our Moments – Guest Post from Author

April 25
Christen Krumm – Guest Post from Author
Among the Reads – Beneath the Surface & the Power of Prayer

April 26
Blooming with Books – Character Profile
Fiction Aficionado – Did you know this about diving investigators?

April 27
Remembrancy – Photo Tour of Carrington
Stories by Gina – Quote Highlight

April 30
The Christian Fiction Girl – Quote Hightlight
Daysong Reflections – Underwater Investigations & Evidence

May 1
Worthy 2 Read – Quote Hightlight
Kat’s Corner Books – Beneath the Surface with International Adoption

May 2
All of a Kind Mom – A Character Like Me
Robin’s Nest – Quote Hightlight
Edits & Reviews by Leslie – Food Beneath the Surface

May 3
By the Book – Quote Hightlight
Cafinated Reads – Quote Highlight

May 4
Book by Book – Playlist
Pacific Northwest Bookworm – Cookies Beneath the Surface