From The Start

It just occurred to me that I haven’t done a review post for any of Melissa Tagg’s books. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Because I love Melissa’s books.  In my mind, Maple Valley is a real place, folks. I want to go visit. You know how weird I am? I was sitting in a meeting the other day about flood control and there was a super cool product and my first thought was not about how I could use it on projects, but “Maple Valley could use this!” The struggle is real, people.

Next problem: which one to review first? I stared at my shelf for awhile…eeny, meeny, miny, moe…and decided to start with…From The Start. This was the first full length novel I read by Melissa. I initially fell in love with her stories and Maple Valley through the beginning novella Three Little Words (the [almost] kisses, guys!) and quickly wished I was part of the Walker clan just to have a chance to ask Case for wisdom and eat awesome breakfasts.

While this is the first in the series, I encourage you to read through the rest of them as well; Melissa develops as an author and wades into deeper topics while maintaining the quirky and fun backdrop of Maple Valley and the bonds that are deeper than blood.

About The Book

from the startKate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley. 

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that’s ever happened to them?

My Review

I basically already gushed, but time to get more specific about From The Start. At first I wasn’t sure what to think about Kate (other than she has a great name). I liked the twist on the premise of “those who can’t do, teach” with a romance writer who couldn’t find her own happily ever after. Confession: sometimes I wish I could live in the gushy-sappy-unrealistic Hallmark-happily-ever-after movie world. It was good to see Kate’s perspective and have a reminder about learning to be content whether or not my life is currently marketable in DVD form.

Kate has her struggles and Colt’s not perfect, they have baggage. But, isn’t that what real relationships are all about? How do you learn to love someone through their baggage? That’s a common theme in Melissa’s books, which is one I really appreciate, especially since she strikes a balance between dealing with the really hard stuff but at the same time does not drag the reader into a mud pit.

Without giving away an ending, Colt’s story is one that’s close to my heart: foster care kids. There are a lot of hurt, angry kids out there who need someone to believe in them, and those of us who are able can do that for them until they can believe in themselves, that they are worth it, that no matter what they do they have a Heavenly Father who will not walk away from them.

And don’t we all need that reminder as well?

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

toptentuesday

Another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I want to reiterate that the topic is books I LOVED. So please, don’t think that because I won’t reread them doesn’t mean they weren’t awesome books. For me, this list is entirely made of books that are “off-genre,” so to speak, for me. I have a niche that I gobble up, I think we all do. I don’t often read outside of that, but when friends recommend books and I trust their taste, they know what I like, or I’m seeing everyone raving about it, I’ll give it a try. Expand my horizons, right?

Some of these all fall in a historical period I don’t normally read. All of them are total dramas, which can be hard for me because I like happy worlds; I’m cynical and depressing enough on my own. But I really enjoyed them all and maybe they’ll be just your cup of tea.

In no particular order:

What your your top ten? Don’t forget to join in on the fun on the other blogs.

To Love a Spy

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I was excited for this novel to land in my inbox, but also sad because I thought this was the last in the series. But, I’m hoping that this isn’t the end as we’ve met a few other characters and there’s still supposedly a missing brother? Yeah? I hope it is not the end! Full disclosure—-I’m writing this review well after my bedtime, so if the ramblings don’t make sense, I’m sorry.

love a spy

Freed from the clutches of her cruel, traitorous mother and impostor husband, Lady Camden wants to rebuild her fractured life. But the years of terror and pain she endured at their hands continue to grip her heart in an iron vice. Refusing to stray from the refuge of her country estate, Kate tentatively agrees to an unusual alliance with the new Lord Camden, being mindful to keep her trust, and her heart, firmly safeguarded.

Adrien, the Earl of Camden, had lost everything he held dear while working undercover in France as an agent of the Crown, known only as Hawk. Now an earl, he wants only to repair his tattered, lonely life. His efforts are interrupted, however, when he is called to accept another assignment: Stop French spies from passing a bill in Parliament that will eliminate British aid in the war against Napoleon.

When Kate’s past pulls her into a web of treachery and deceit, a life she is wholly unprepared for, Adrien must use any means necessary to stop the French spies from succeeding in their evil designs and keep her safe. When the truth is finally revealed, will Lady Camden be strong enough to seize her own future and happiness, or will her heart be too shattered to ever love a spy?

My Thougts

While I think the first book is my favorite so far in this series, Laura crafts another solid story. This wraps up some lingering questions for the family’s past and present, and delves deeper into who is behind the plot to put the French as spies in Parliament. But, we end up with one escaping, so I’m thinking there has to be a fourth to bring the scalawag in.

I related to Kate and wanted to cheer her on, but at the same time, as is often the case in recovering from tragic events, when she swings the other way and starts assuming thing rather than just having a conversation with Adrien drives me nuts. I suppose it brings down the drama of the book if they just say down and talked it out, using good communication skills, how much smoother it would’ve been! Since hubs and I play this dance a couple times a week, it’s one I understand why, and EVERY TIME I’m like “we should just talk about it!” But then we don’t….circle….

Overall a fab read with our favorite spy Adrien. There is one moment where his very dangerous side comes out and it made me a bit squeamish, but it also told me so much about him as a character that the strong language wouldn’t have accomplished without the actions. (explaining without spoilers is hard!)

I was very happy that I moved it straight to the top of my TBR pile because it was totally worth it.

How long until we get another book, Laura?!!!!

I received a complementary copy of this story from this author. I am not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Author Laura Beers

Edited Author's PhotoLaura Beers spent most of her childhood with a nose stuck in a book, dreaming of becoming an author. She attended Brigham Young University, eventually earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management. Many years later, and with loving encouragement from her family, Laura decided to start writing again. Besides being a full-time homemaker to her three kids, she loves waterskiing, hiking, and drinking Dr. Pepper. Currently, Laura Beers resides in South Carolina.

The Heart’s Appeal – Giveaway – Celebrate Lit

The Hearts Appeal FB Banner copy

About the Book

Heart's Appeal

Book Title: The Heart’s Appeal

Author: Jennifer Delamere

Release Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance

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

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

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

This is Jennifer’s second novel and I think she did a smashing job. While the genre is definitely drama, a genre that I can struggle with, I didn’t have a problem getting through the story. While I sometimes got frustrated with Michael and his stubborn heart, I never stopped cheering for him. (…and his sister! I confess I wanted to punch her at times, but she winds up with some redeeming qualities by the end.)

I particularly enjoyed the look into the early days of woman physicians and the pressure and prejudice they endured. It was fascinating to learn about medical practices of the time (another confession, I skipped some paragraphs because I’m terribly squeamish, though nothing gets graphic, I assure you I’m just a wimp) and to live inside a female doctor’s head. Even in contemporary fiction, I feel like we don’t see a lot of female doctors, so to have it in a historical setting was intriguing.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the next book.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit for the tour. I was not required to give a positive review.

About the Book

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

Guest Post from Jennifer Delamere

Power couples?

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

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

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

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

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

Who couldn’t love a man like that?

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

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

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

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

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 22

Inspiration Clothesline, March 22

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

A Greater Yes, March 23

Among the Reads, March 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 23

Splashes of Joy, March 23

Fiction Aficionado, March 24

History, Mystery & Faith, March 24

Red Headed Book Lady, March 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24

The Power of Words, March 25

Mary Hake, March 25

Remembrancy, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

Cordially, Barbara, March 26

Genesis 5020, March 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Kat’s Corner BooksMarch 27

The Fizzy Pop CollectionMarch 27

Maureen’s MusingsMarch 27

Carpe DiemMarch 27

Reflections From My BookshelvesMarch 28

Seasons of opportunitiesMarch 28

Singing Librarian BooksMarch 28

A Baker’s PerspectiveMarch 28

Baker KellaMarch 29

All-of-a-kind MomMarch 29

Inklings and NotionsMarch 29

Simple Harvest ReadsMarch 29 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pause for TalesMarch 30

Cafinated ReadsMarch 30

Have A Wonderful DayMarch 30

Pursuing Stacie, March 30

Locks, Hooks and BooksMarch 31

Connie’s History ClassroomMarch 31

Book by BookMarch 31

BigreadersiteMarch 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly KissesApril 1

Neverending StoriesApril 1

Ladybug Chronicles, April 1

Smiling Book ReviewsApril 2

Two Points of InterestApril 2

Vicky SluiterApril 2

Kaylee’s Kind Of WritesApril 3

proud to be an autism momApril 3

Bibliophile ReviewsApril 3

Karen Sue HadleyApril 4

Live Love ReadApril 4

Stories Where Hope and Quirky MeetApril 4

Faery Tales Are RealApril 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize package of that includes All four March Bethany House historical releases (The Heart’s Appeal, plus A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason, A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears, In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson) and a $20 Starbucks gift card!!

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

 

Grace Restored – Singing Librarian Books

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About the Book1

Grace Restored

Series: Freedom Lake
Genre:  Adult, Christian, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: March 20, 2017

Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?

Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise.

Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | B&N | BOOKS2READ | KOBO | ITUNES

About the Author

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Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.

​​GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM
BOOKBUB | AMAZON | WEBSITE  | NEWSLETTER

Blog Contributor:
Putting on the New | Heartwings  Blog | Diversity Between the Pages | ACFW Virginia

Author Interview

1) Here at Kat’s Corner books, we’re fans of cats, but love all pets. Do you have a pet?

T: I don’t. My kids would love if we could get a cat and dog, but we live in an apartment so that makes things difficult.

K: We understand this. Our cats lived with my parents the first year we were married because we couldn’t have any. Thankfully, this landlord understands their role in controlling the mice population, so we have several in our building. They’re key in a city apartment.

2) Open your text message app. What are the first 10 words that come up automatically?

T: High wind warning has been issued for your area.

K: LOL. Considering the number of nor’easters we’ve had lately…makes me happy I don’t have to commute over the Bay Bridge.

3) As you and I have gotten to know each other, we realized we live relatively close. You also set your stories in this area. What are some of your favorite aspects of our region or what are some places you’d like readers to be able to visit if they had a chance?

T: Yes, my Maple Run series has been set in the area. For places to visit, Tyson’s Corner mall is a must. They have a Tesla store which I think is amazing. Chasin’ Tails (Alexandria) is also an amazing New Orleans’ inspired restaurant. Their crawfish bucket and crawfish mac n cheese is awesome. Of course I’ve been to Baltimore which is about a 2-hr drive from me. I loved the Harbor and all it had to offer.And if you come in the fall, go to an apple orchard. It’s so fun.

K: Yes! Orchards! We have some great ones around here. Picking my own apples is such fun. I’ve never been to Chasin’ Tails. I’ll have to keep it in mind the next time I’m that direction. Since Baltimore is home, I am, of course, a fan. I actually work only two blocks north of the harbor!

4) As an author, I know you’re passionate about creating characters outside of the norm for Christian Fiction and contribute to the Diversity Between the Pages blog. Your dedication to a diverse set of characters is one of the aspects of your writing that I love the most. How did this passion come about and how does it influence your writing?

T: When I first started reading Christian fiction, I was so happy to have found the genre that I read all I could. Once the newness of my find wore off, I noticed none of the characters looked like me. I actually remember the day I found Ronie Kendig’s Firethorn in the library. I was so ecstatic to see a Black man on the cover of a CF novel. When I started writing, I wanted to give readers that missing piece.

K: This is a point that I have heard from many friends of different races- having someone that looks like them in fiction (books, movies, etc.) means a lot to them and brings a story closer to them. Being a white female, this isn’t a longing I can relate too, but being part of a mixed race family, I long for stories with more diversity. Our families face unique issues, but at the root, we’re still just family like any other family. So, I love reading more diverse stories!

5) What is one thing you’d like your readers to take away from this story?

T: That God’s grace is enough.

K: A fact I need reminded of constantly.

6) If we ever actually manage to get together for coffee, what are you likely to order?

T: A peppermint mocha. I discovered these last season (I’m not much of a coffee drinker) and got hooked!

7) If you could sum up DC traffic in one sentence, what would it be?

T: A living, unchanging nightmare I wish to avoid.

K: Hehehe. That’s an elegant way to describe it!

Review

What I like most about Grace Restored is that it broaches one topic you don’t see often in Christian Fiction: abortion. While it’s a highly controversial ethical and political issue, at the core, there are many hurting women out there who have made this choice in the past and are now/still dealing with all that comes with it.

In this story, we glimpse two women, Michelle and Tanya, as well as the motivations behind their abortions and the emotions they’re dealing with today. I think that Toni takes a difficult sensitive subject and gives it not just bones and flesh, but heart. On an issue that many of us have solid opinions, she gives us a glimpse into the lives of women processing through the after affects of an abortion and makes us adjust our attitudes toward them. It is a good reminder not to judge the woman, no matter her reasons or actions, but to reach out and love the person as Christ has loved and forgiven us much.

I’ll also say that while the story does get into some deep stuff, Toni doesn’t let it bog the story down. There are friends and two adorable little girls to help ease the tension and give the book some levity in the midst of two main characters being worked on by God and all comes up with that.

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

Giveaway

For a chance to win an e-copy (International) of Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh, comment on this blog responding to the following question: What verse capture’s God’s grace for you?

Tour Schedule

March 19-Among the Reads | The Power of Words​
March 20-Faithfully Bookish | Wishful Endings
March 21-Singing Librarian Books
March 22-A Baker’s Perspective
March 23-Remembrancy
March 24-Kat’s Corner Books
March 26-Reading Is My SuperPower
March 27-Robin’s Nest
March 28-Cafinated Reads | Fiction Aficionado
March 29-Cordially Barbara
March 30-All-of-a-kind Mom
March 31-Blossoms and Blessings

A Search for Refuge

The world is a happier place. Why? Because Kristi Ann Hunter’s newest series, Haven Manor, has launched! We are transported to Marlborough and a few years later than the Hawthorne House series. Kristi has promised us glimpses of the Hawthornes, which, if you’re like me, you have been spending a lot of brain power imagining what the siblings are up to.

A Search for Refuge  is a novella that opens the series and gives the background story of the founding of Haven Manor. The best part, it’s free! FREE!!!!! While it’s an ebook only, don’t despair if don’t have an ereader. Both Nook and Kindle have apps, and I know at least the Kindle app, you can even read online from a desktop app.

A Search for Refuge is a delightful opening to the new series, and the extended preview at the end verges on mean because I want to read the rest of it RIGHT NOW and I have to wait until June. Ugh! Kristi, can you please write way faster? We want to know what happens with all of those post-it notes on your board!

Also, this cover is gorgeous. I love the eye popping yellow cloak, which is saying something because I’m not a big fan of yellow and I can’t stop staring at it.

A Search for Refuge

Margaretta Fortescue desperately needs to disappear from London society, and her only hope is to follow the rumors of another young woman who recently made a life for herself away from the glare of society. Her search leads her to the market town of Marlborough where, in spite of her efforts to avoid attention, she can’t seem to elude local solicitor Nash Banfield. 

All Nash wants is a quiet, sedate life–no risks or surprises. When Margaretta, clearly on the run and unwilling to answer questions, interrupts his solitude, his curiosity and his principles won’t let him leave this determined woman without assistance.

But will discovering the truth about Margaretta make him think twice about finally taking a risk on love?

Kristi is on the top of my list for author/reader interactions. Follow her Instagram and join her Facebook group.

hunter_headshotKristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. In addition to several pre-published contests, Kristi is a Rita award winner and has also been a finalist in the INSPY, Christy, and GRW Maggie Award of Excellence. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

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Across the Blue – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

Across the Blue FB banner copy

About the Book

Acrosstheblue

Title: Across the Blue

Author: Carrie Turansky

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 20, 2018

Love soars to new heights in this Edwardian romance filled with adventure, faith, and inspiration, but how much will it cost Bella and James to follow their dreams?

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to be the first to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to win that race across the Channel and gain the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

Carrie weaves an imaginative story with characters you want to cheer from the very beginning. While we so often see stuck up rich characters in England set stories, Bella is a gentle spirit who learns how to go after what she wants. I think I loved her within the first few pages. James is a working man with ambition and a dream to cross the English Channel. I found myself right next to Bella cheering him on. His love for the Professor is one of his most admirable qualities.

I also really enjoyed the history part of this story and the aviation race. I found myself Googling and reading Wikipedia because I wanted James and Bella to be real.

I did get frustrated with both James and Bella’s mother at points in the story, but to an extent, the frustrating parts are a reflection of cultural views of the time. While it takes them longer to come around then I would’ve liked, it would’ve made for a shorter story.

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

About the Author

Carrie

Carrie Turansky has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of nineteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and five grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends through her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Following your Dreams

By Carrie Turansky

BellaIn Across the Blue, Bella Grayson and James Drake both go to great lengths to pursue their dreams. Bella longs to become a journalist and write for one of her father’s newspapers, but in 1909 England, aristocratic young women did not work as journalists. A young woman’s path was set by the unwritten rules of society. At eighteen she was presented at court, and then she took part in the London social season and hoped for a marriage proposal from a young man from a wealthy family, with an estate and title. Marriage, having children, and taking part in social and charitable events was the prescribed course for their lives.

But Bella has a different future in mind. She wants to marry for love, and she won’t settle for anything less. She also wants to write articles about the important events of the day that will inform and inspire people. She wants to be a world changer, and that is a very unique role for a woman in England in the Edwardian Era. At that time women didn’t have the right to vote yet and very few pursued any kind of career.

JamesAirplane

James is an aviation pioneer, and his dream is to build an airplane that will allow him to be the first to fly across the English Channel. This is no easy accomplishment, and he faces many challenges as he pursues his dream. Aviation is brand new. Wilbur Wright demonstrated his airplane in France the year before and stunned Europeans with his skill. With the help of his mentor, Professor Steed, James conducts experiments, refines his design, and makes countless test flights. It takes great courage and determination to overcome setbacks and make it through near fatal crash landings, but James has his heart and mind set on perfecting his airplane and reaching his goal.

74fdde720c5ae29bd4c7672fe3b6f205What about you? What hopes and dreams do you have for your future? What goals would you like to accomplish? As you think about your dreams and future plans I hope you’ll gain some insight from James and Bella’s experiences in Across the Blue. When they considered the cost of pursuing their dreams they realized their plans and choices impacted others as well as themselves. James and Bella believed striving for their dreams is important, but they learned it must be balanced with commitments to family and friends, and most of all a commitment to following the Lord on the path He has for them.

Following our dreams and working toward accomplishing our goals, especially those the Lord puts on our heart, is important. However, sometimes we may have to put our dreams on hold and wait for the right time and season. We don’t need to be discouraged when this happens. As we listen to the Lord and ask Him to guide and direct us He will show us the right path at the right time to follow it.

AcrossSpineJust like James and Bella I hope you’ll pursue your dreams but also hold them with an open hand, allowing the Lord to guide and direct you each step of the way. When you do I’m confident you’ll be headed toward seeing your dreams become reality in His time and in His way. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

With that wonderful promise in mind, I hope you’ll enjoy reading Across the Blue and joining Bella and James as they they pursue their dreams. You’re in for high-flying adventure, romance, and inspiration, and I can’t wait to share this new story with you. Happy reading to you!

Blog Stops

Bookworm Mama, February 22

Carpe Diem, February 22

Blogging With Carol, February 22

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 23

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 23

Karen Sue Hadley, February 23

Christian Bookaholic, February 24

Mary Hake, February 24

Among the Reads, February 24

The Power of Words, February 25

History, Mystery & Faith, February 25

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 25

Maureen’s Musings, February 26

Rachel’s Back Talk, February 26

Smiling Book Reviews, February 26

Radiant LightFebruary 27

Faithfully BookishFebruary 27

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 27

Bibliophile Reviews, February 28

Remembrancy, February 28

Two Points of Interest, February 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 1

Book by Book, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

proud to be an autism mom, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 2

Have A Wonderful Day, March 2

margaret kazmierczak, March 2 (Interview)

Pursuing Stacie, March 3

Neverending Stories, March 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 3

Texas Book-aholic, March 4

Janices book reviews, March 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 4

Simple Harvest Reads, March 4 (Guest post from Mindy)

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 5

My Writer’s Life, March 5

Baker Kella, March 5

Kat’s Corner Books, March 6

A Greater Yes, March 6

A Baker’s Perspective, March 6

Romances of the Cross, March 7

Henry Happens, March 7

For The Love of Books, March 7

Giveaway

cbd

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a grand prize of an autographed copy of Shine Like the Dawn and $30 gift card to Christianbooks.com!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c987