There’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.
Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.
As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.
Chloe is caught between two worlds. She grew up identifying as black and when she finds out he father is Caucasian finds her identity in turmoil. I can’t imagine being in the place where what I believed about myself my whole life was called into question. Chloe wrestles with finding her identity in God rather than her skin color or genetics. She wrestles with loss, bullying, rejection, and doubt that God is a good Father.
Darryl struggles with accepting that he is good enough with God’s grace. I like how throughout the story he is continually compassionate and fights to overcome his past though he does not see it. So many of us do things that we think will make up for past wrongs and earn favor with God, not truly believing that His grace is offered freely and that nothing we can do will earn His mercy.
I enjoyed watching Chloe and Darryl’s relationship develop as they both sought God and what it meant to follow Him in the bad as well as the good, how they held each other accountable for dealing with their relationship with God and their families. I was reminded of Biblical truths about who I am in Christ and I know that He’ll reveal something to you as well in the reading.
I received a copy of this story for the purpose of this tour with Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review.
About the Author
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 the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.
Genre: Adult, New Adult, Historical, Romance Publisher: Cedar Fort Publication date: February 8, 2019
“What if I told you there is a way that we could all be happy? That if I were to propose to you, your father couldn’t deny us?” “What is it, John? Tell me!” Just then the basket hit the water and the sea began to stream in through the spaces between the reeds. This was the end. The year is 1887, and the small community of Pleasant View is abuzz over Penelope Pottifer’s serialized romances in the local paper. Since the release of the first volume, the thrilling story has captured the hearts and minds of the entire town— and several towns over! Each successive edition of the Pleasant View Gazette spins a breathtaking tale of kidnappers, pirates, and forbidden love. Between volumes, however, Pleasant View resident Mary Clarence, the story’s toughest critic, hears a rumor that Penelope Pottifer is not, in fact, the author’s real name. Determined to uncover the mystery, Mary drags her friend Elizabeth Black into a hunt for the elusive author’s true identity. But fiction and reality seem to entwine when along the way, Mary and Liz discover unexpected truths, exciting adventures, and dramatic romances of their own.
Valerie has a love for stories with happy endings and bright comedy. A native to the California high desert, she now considers Utah her home where she lives with her husband, three children and two chihuahuas. Growing up in a family of seven kids, Valerie learned to embrace her unique creativity and way of looking at the world and hopes it will enrich other’s lives. In 2015 she published two children’s books, Singing Not so Sweetly and Anabelle Loves Babies. She believes writing is the ultimate end-all for creative pursuits because there are no limits to what you can create. A picture may say a thousand words but a novel is usually around seventy-thousand.
Enduring Promises of the Heart features a story within a story. It was nice to read something a bit different, watching two stories progress at the same time. I enjoyed the featurette part, which was over the top dramatic, in the style of the dime store novels of the day. Reading it in that lens and accepting the outlandish tale as the style of the period fiction let me just have fun and enjoy the adventure and pirates.
I struggled to connect with the “real world” part of the story line. To me, Mary came off as immature and not the best of friends. Her mood swings create most of the drama in the “real life” story. I admire Liz for her patience through Mary’s anger and pettiness. I also like the sweet romance that developed between Liz and Peter.
I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this tour. I was not required to give a positive review.
Enter the giveaway HERE. Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.
Welcome to another addition of First Line Friday! Today I’m featuring a stop on the Blog Tour & Giveaway forGrace & LavenderbyHeather Norman Smith, hosted byJustReadPublicity Tours!
Join in with other on FLF, hosted by Hoarding Books and see all of today’s first line. Comment below to share your current read.
Without further ado, the first line from Grace & Lavender:
“Colleen Carter Hill sat at her kitchen table with a cup of black coffee in her hands and a boatload of ideas on her mind.”
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title:Grace & Lavender Author:Heather Norman Smith Publisher:Ambassador International Genre:Contemporary Fiction Release Date:March 1, 2019
Recently retired Colleen Hill is always busy, constantly on a quest to make life more interesting.
When the ladies’ group at her church partners with the local children’s home, Colleen jumps in as usual, volunteering to share her passion for cooking with a troubled teenager named Grace. But Colleen must balance the new project with her pursuit of becoming a contestant on a television game show, along with all the other ideas her brain continually spins out.
Colleen’s daughter Melody is quite different. She lives a calm, simple life and is content with who she is. That is, until an unexpected opportunity to work with Grace, too, pushes her to reevaluate life and dare to take on bigger dreams. The path starts with a newly-found interest in soap-making and leads her to responsibilities she didn’t even know she wanted, including helping Grace understand the meaning of her name.
Grace & Lavenderis a book for all audiences—a heart-warming story that reminds us to seek God’s purpose for our lives.
Heather Norman Smithaims to entertain and encourage, while illuminating the redemptive love of God through her writing. Along with Christian Fiction, she writes devotions and children’s books. She also enjoys writing songs and singing about Jesus.
Heather is proud to be a life-long North Carolinian and hopes to present the beauty of the Tar Heel State in her writing. Her home is just outside Winston-Salem, NC, where she lives with one husband, two daughters, one son, two cats, and two dogs. Heather loves words and does not enjoy math, except when it comes to counting blessings.
(1) winner will win a print copy ofGrace & Lavender(US only)
(4) winners will receive anebookcopy ofGrace & Lavender(open internationally)
Enter via theRafflecoptergiveaway below.Giveaway will begin at midnight March 4, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm March 11, 2019. 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.
3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep! Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?
The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady Cornish Coast, 1815 When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?
The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!) Dakota Territory, 1862 Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.
A House of Secrets St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890 Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.
Three stories in one; the first is longer followed by two novella length.
The first story starts in a gripping manner with your classic kidnapping, but it’s quickly apparent that things are not as they seem. Isaac is a loyal man who I liked for forging a way through tough times and working hard to provide for those dependent on him. Helen has no problem telling Isaac what she thinks of his actions and she gradually comes to understand Isaac’s heart, but also isn’t afraid to push him to be a better man. Each page kept me turning as I wanted to see their story unfold. The style is what I would term an easy suspense; provides mystery and action but does not get intense. I was surprised when it ended earlier than I thought it would, but it was a good spot to end the story. I would’ve happily continued reading about them.
The second story did not resonate with me as much. While I enjoyed the developing romance and the sexual tension written into the story line without even a kiss, I struggled to believe in their developing relationship as the story mostly revolved around their internal thoughts and the medical actions, not as much about them getting to know histories, likes, dislikes, etc. I think this was a function of the limited length.
The third story features an already engaged couple. It’s not often that we get a romance with a couple in this stage of the relationship which was refreshing. I liked Amanda and Joseph immediately. Joseph for his clear adoration of Amanda and good heart. Though I don’t agree with him hiding something from her, I do understand and his motives are so honorable, you can’t help but love him more. I admire the way Amanda is determined to break the mold from an overbearing father, but still clearly loves him while doing it.
Each story brings a unique perspective to being an intriguing lady and I encourage you to give it a read.
I received a complementary copy of this book for the purpose of this tour. All opinions are honestly my own.
About the Author
Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com.
Guest post from Michelle
3 Reasons to Read Historical Fiction
Guest post by Michelle Griep
Believe it or not, some readers snub historical fiction, preferring instead to stick to contemporary reads. Several have good reason to, simply preferring one genre over another. But others have never given historical fiction a try. If you fall into that camp, here are some reasons you should consider reading a tale from the past.
Historical fiction books are not as boring as your high school history class.
Does the thought of endless names and dates make you break out into hives? Good news! Historical fiction is a painless way to glean some historic facts without mindless memorization. You can experience a different era and culture vicariously through heroes and heroines that live on the pages of yesteryear.
Makes for great conversation.
In a world that prides itself on keeping up with the Kardashians, dare to add a little cultural zest to your next dinner conversation. Reading historical fiction arms you with interesting tidbits of things that’ve happened in years gone by.
Because truth is timeless.
Some people yearn to go back to a simpler time. The truth is, though, that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the historic side of the fence. People have had tough issues to deal with no matter the era. . .but therein lies a great reason to read historical fiction: truth is timeless. Be it ancient, biblical, medieval, Victorian, or anything in between, truth never changes.
In my new release, Ladies of Intrigue, you’ll experience all these things and more. Find out about the smuggling trade in Cornwall in The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady. Learn about the rough and dangerous life on a military fort during the 1860’s in The Doctor’s Woman. Find out why the gilded age wasn’t as glittery as we often think in A House of Secrets.
Don’t be doomed to repeat history. Grab a cup of tea and master it with a great read!