Shadow Among Sheaves – Celebrate Lit

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About the Book

Shadow amonght Sheaves

Book: Shadow Among Sheaves

Author: Naomi Stephens

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: April, 2019

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

I was strangely enthralled with this story as soon as I started. It is not a high action story, which is what usually keeps pages turning, but I was pulled into the story and I could not put it down. I ended up staying up waaayyyy too late just to finish.

When I first read the description I was intrigued with the idea and wondered how Naomi would frame the the story in 1850s England, and I think she picked the perfect setting; an Indian woman followed her mother-in-law, Nell to the land of fair skinned English.

Other similar period books I have read have shown Indian men and women in an exotic viewpoint, often as servants. Naomi doesn’t shy away from the realities of racism and how close to starvation the ladies became. But in all of that, she doesn’t allow the story to get bogged down to the point of tear preferring to lift it with Rena and Nell’s determination to survive and thrive despite their circumstances.

I admire both women for their dedication to each other when splitting up could have made their lives easier in some way, they stuck like glue, a thread of love woven between their hearts. Nell has a strong steady faith and is patient with Rena and her faith journey.

I am not sure how I feel about Barric. On one hand he is stern and distant, struggling with his own prejudices. On the other, his heart slowly turns, running quietly deep. He learns to stand up to others and their assumptions, how to follow his heart. Barruc will never wax poetic to the masses with the grand declaration, but I believe his love for Rena will only grow.

For this story, the end is just the beginning.

I received a copy of this story for the purpose of this tour. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Naomi Stephens

Naomi Stephens is a bookworm turned teacher turned writer. She received a M.A. in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and now lives in Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a rascal of a dog named Sherlock.

More from Naomi

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own. Which will he choose? Find out in Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens.

Read an Exclusive Excerpt from Shadow Among Sheaves:

She smiled, stepping closer and placing her hand on the horse’s wet snout. Samson was a pretty beast with wide, ponderous eyes and a few splotches of gray around his nose. The soft puff of air Samson snorted into her palm brought a delighted smile to her lips, and she gasped as he bowed his neck to nuzzle his nose against her stomach. She felt her smile leap into a grin. It was a delightful change, to feel joy so deep it finally showed.

Barric circled around Samson to stand beside her, his hands never leaving the reins. “He’s fond of you,” he remarked as Samson dropped his snout against her hip.

“Unsurprising, I suppose. Though he could also be searching you for a carrot.”

Surprised to hear Lord Barric speak so teasingly, and pleased by the gentle light she found in his otherwise tired eyes, Rena laughed her faint agreement. “That will teach me to come empty-handed, won’t it?”

Their smiles both dropped as a young, lanky stable hand came rushing out to take Samson, and Barric relinquished his hold on the reins, nodding his silent thanks.

As soon as the stable boy had disappeared with Samson, Bar¬ric glanced back at Rena. “Are you going home?” he asked, nodding toward the dusty road looping down the hill to William’s house.

She stepped back, realizing she had dawdled longer than she’d first intended. “Yes,” she answered. “I often come this way to avoid the other workers.”

“Might I walk with you?” He turned to hang his whip on a peg. “Just a short stretch of the road?”

Stunned by his request, and a bit suspicious of his motive, she nonetheless nodded. “Yes, of course.”

Barric drew up beside her, his even strides betraying no unease, though he was silent for some time as they made their way down the golden-colored hill.

“You have seemed tired these past few days,” he observed. Rena did not bother to deny it. She’d been working hard to keep up with the others, as Barric had told her she must, and felt wearier for it. She had tried to split her days in half, the mornings spent binding sheaves with the women and the afternoons spent picking for her own stores, but the work was backbreaking, and, as he had already pointed out once before, she was not used to hard labor. “I realize I haven’t really asked you how you are settling in,” he went on.

“Perhaps you’ve been too busy provoking me,” she answered before she could stop herself.

Barric’s eyebrow inched up as he slanted an approving smirk down at her. “Perhaps.”

Rena cursed her honest tongue. She must have been more tired than she thought, to speak so freely to a man of title. “I have been well,” she tried again, a bit more diplomatically. “The house suits us, if that is what you are asking.”

“The people here do not speak to you unkindly?”

“The people do not speak to me at all.” She had meant to sound casual, unaffected, but heard the hurt in her own voice she hadn’t been able to weed out. As Barric’s expression tightened, she hastened to amend, “Except for you, my lord. Of course. And the Wilmots.”

“They are good people,” he agreed quietly. “And will you be coming with them to the festival this evening?”

She hesitated. According to Alice, harvest home was a yearly tra¬dition, a night of raucous drinking and dancing to celebrate the close of the harvest. All of Abbotsville would be there—landowners, stew-ards, even tenant farmers and common laborers. But Rena was none of those things, and she and Barric both knew it.

“Come,” Barric teased, “do not tell me you are afraid to go. I would never have thought it of you.”

“I am not afraid,” she insisted. “I just had not thought about it.”

At her defensive tone, he smiled—a true smile—one that pinched the corners of his eyes and pressed grooves along the outer edges of his mouth. “You ought to come,” he decided. “Everyone in Abbotsville is welcome, and many are the men who would feel lucky to dance with you.”

But, of course, Lord Barric knew this was not true. The men in his fields regarded her mostly with contempt and made no secret of it— they would not count themselves at all lucky to dance with her. Was Lord Barric trying to offer her words of comfort? Or was he trying to convey a message?

Did he want to dance with her?

This was hardly a safe question, and so she asked another. “Do you dance, Lord Barric?”

When he met her gaze, so direct, she was all the more glad she had not stammered in her reply. The man walked a dangerous line whenever he deigned to speak to her. Far too close, she’d think, and then stern enough to cool her blood with a word.

He surprised her with another smile, this one a faint twist at the corner of his lips. “Perhaps you would have to come to find out.”

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, April 30

Mary Hake, April 30

Worthy2Read, April 30

Back Porch Reads, May 1

Inspirationally Ever After, May 1

Fiction Aficionado, May 2

Splashes of Joy, May 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 2

Bigreadersite, May 3

Inklings and notions , May 3

Blossoms and Blessings, May 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 4

janicesbookreviews, May 4

Just the Write Escape, May 5

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 6

Kat’s Corner Books, May 7

Pause for Tales, May 7

Aryn The Libraryan, May 8

Faery Tales Are Real, May 8

Hallie Reads, May 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 10

The Becca Files, May 10

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 11

Older & Smarter?, May 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 12

A Reader’s Brain, May 13

For the Love of Literature, May 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Naomi is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a finished paperback copy of Shadow Among Sheaves!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/deb9/shadow-among-sheaves-celebration-tour-giveaway

Governess of Penwythe Hall – Celebrate Lit – Giveawy

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About the Book

The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Book: The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Author: Sarah Ladd

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: April 16, 2019

In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.

Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.

Cornwall, England, 1811

Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

Sarah Ladd brings to life the moors of Cornwall in her latest mystery. We quickly learn that Delia has a mystery, but aren’t sure all of the facets. This aspect kept me turning pages wondering the details which Sarah doles out at a steady pace just when I was wishing for more. Delia slowly realizes that she has not properly grieved her losses and through Jac, the children, and her sister, she remembers that God can heal her heart and soul.

Jac is admirable for his impetuousness, but he sees it often as a flaw. But, it is that very characteristic that allows him to take on four children missing their father and love them though he’s hardly been in their lives while taking risks to improve the estate and his tenants’ lives. His persistence in the face of several naysayers makes me feel safe as a reader and root for his success. While processing his own grief, her reaches out to the children and Delia, allowing each the space and support needed to heal.

I enjoyed this mystery/drama from Sarah and hope you do as well.

I was provided a copy of this story for the purpose of this tour. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at SarahLadd.com; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

More About The Governess of Penwythe Hall

5 things to know about Cornwall, England:

  1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.
  2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s
  3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.
  4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.
  5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19th Century life in Cornwall

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2016/may/19/everyday-life-in-cornwall-captured-in-the-19th-century-in-pictures

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/cornish_nation_01.shtml

https://www.maritimeheritage.org/ports/Cornwall.html

http://www.cornwallgoodseafoodguide.org.uk/cornish-fishing/history-of-the-cornish-fishing-industry.php

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, April 11

LifeofLiterature, April 11

Moments, April 11

Genesis 5020, April 11

Maureen’s Musings, April 12

The Power of Words, April 12

Mary Hake, April 12

To Everything A Season, April 12

KarenSueHadley, April 13

EmpowerMoms, April 13

For the Love of Literature, April 13

Inklings and notions, April 13

The Avid Reader, April 14

Blogging With Carol, April 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 14

Rachel’s Back Talk, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 15

Simple Harvest Reads, April 15 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Kat’s Corner Books, April 16

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 16

Daysong Reflections, April 16

The Becca Files, April 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 17

Blossoms and Blessings, April 17

Remembrancy, April 17

Worthy2Read, April 18

By The Book, April 18

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

Just the Write Escape, April 19

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 19

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 20

For HIm and My Family, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Inspiration Clothesline, April 21

Pause for Tales, April 21

Through the Fire Blogs, April 22

Bigreadersite, April 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 22

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 22

Inspired by fiction, April 23

A Reader’s Brain, April 23

Hallie Reads, April 23

Henry Happens, April 24

Connect in Fiction, April 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 24

janicesbookreviews, April 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe  Hall!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/de80/the-governess-of-penwythe-hall-celebration-tour-giveaway

Comment discussion starter (optional): What ways have you seen God work in your life for healing?

Enduring Promises of the Heart

Enduring Promises of the Heart Blog Tour

About the Book

Enduring Promises of the Heart

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.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

BOP_Valerie-50 (1)

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.

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE | WEBSITE

My Thoughts

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.

Giveaway

EPofH Tour Giveaway

​Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

March 5
Heidi Reads…
March 6
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen 
March 7
​Stephanie’s Life of Determinations
March 8
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
March 11
Bookworm Lisa
Reading Is My SuperPower
March 12
Blooming with Books
Kat’s Corner Books
March 13
Emily Yager
March 14
Singing Librarian Books
March 15
Paulette’s Papers

Loving Her Texas Protector

UPDATE 1-10-19: Guys!!!!!!!!!!!! I forgot to tell you about ALL THE KISSES!!!!! You know how I like kissing books. (Insert love and kissy emojies here.) Now back to the original post:

loving her texas protector

Title: Loving Her Texas Protector
Series: Garrison’s Law, Book 2
Author: Mary Connealy
Release Date: July 13, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Jacie Moreau is a tough as nails security specialist who works with the Long Pine Texas police. She takes care of herself and doesn’t ask for help from anyone. Brett Garrison is an odd man out in the Garrison family. He’s a soft hearted veterinarian from a family of daring Texas lawmen. Jacie runs afoul of a hired killer and no one is there to step between her and danger but Brett.

Brett’s good hearted plan to care for the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen draw an assassin’s attention. Jacie never needs help, but Brett’s kindness when she is so vulnerable sneaks past all  the emotional walls she’s built around her heart. The killer keeps coming and their only hope is to run. And as they run they try and figure out who’s hired a killer, and why, and how to stop him.

If they hide well enough and live long enough, they might make it to the day they can fall in love.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


MY REVIEW

I’m used to Mary’s historical fiction books and love all the ones featuring Texas lawmen, so when the opportunity to review her contemporary series came up, I thought, sure! Handsome Texas lawmen are just as fun to read about in a contemporary setting and I enjoyed how Mary took her classic hero story and brought into today. Now I can daydream about my own Texas lawman, you know, if I was single and didn’t have my own dreamy man.

I’m used to Mary’s historical fiction books and love all the ones featuring Texas lawmen, so when the opportunity to review her contemporary series came up, I thought, sure! Handsome Texas lawmen are just as fun to read about in a contemporary setting and I enjoyed how Mary took her classic hero story and brought into today. Now I can daydream about my own Texas protector, you know, if I was single and didn’t have my own dreamy man. 

This story keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning. While at first I felt the writing was a bit choppy, it smoothed out and faded as I quickly became lost in the fast paced fictional world running from a mad man. Jacie’s quick wit and sarcastic nature was a bit overwhelming, but it gave her a lot of room to develop into a “nice” person, and Mary takes full advantage of her character development potential. Brett reminds me of my hubs with his patience in the face of a fiery woman, smirking and provoking her with a twinkle in his eye, but loving her diligently.

If you enjoy suspense and strong female characters, this is definitely your read!

I was provided a copy of this novel for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

mary connealy new

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys always with a strong suspense thread. She is a two time Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. She is the bestselling author of over 50 books and novellas.

Her most recent book series are: Garrison’s Law, High Sierra Sweethearts, Cimarron Legacy, Wild at Heart, Trouble in Texas, and Kincaid Bride for Bethany House Publishing. She’s also written four other series for Barbour Publishing and many novellas.

Mary has nearly a million books in print.

CONNECT WITH MARY: website | Facebook | Twitter | Seekerville | Petticoats & Pistols


garrison's law giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive:

  • a $25 Amazon gift card (open internationally)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. A new entry option will be live each day for that day’s clues. Giveaway begins at midnight on January 8, 2019 and lasts through 11:59pm January 15, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week 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.

ENTER HERE

 Be sure to stop on everystop on the Tour Schedule for all the clues to enter!


WORDS TO COLLECT: alpha Texas

Comfort & Joy – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

About the Book

ComfortandJoy updated

Book: Comfort & Joy

Author: The Christmas Lights Collection: Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, Suspense, Christmas

Release Date: October 16, 2018

The third-annual Christmas Lights Collection is pleased to present: Comfort & Joy–four Christmas Novellas. From contemporary romance to cozy mystery and suspense, this diverse collection celebrates the comforts and joys of Christmas.

My Review

I was pleasantly surprised by my 99 cent purchase.  I’m always a bit skeptical of the “cheap” collections and usually expect and entertaining time, but I had a hard time putting the collection down to adult. Like, seriously guys, couldn’t put it down. I stayed up waaaayyyyy too late reading.

Deck The Shelves – Toni Shiloh – Once I started to read I remembered that a while back Toni had polled her readers about bookstore names and what their ideal bookstore would look like. Toni put all of the ideas together into a perfect bookstore with great characters, including an adorable little bit. I fell right in love with this prospective family.

The Christmas Glory Quilt – Cathe Swanson – This is the first I’ve read from Cathe, but it sure won’t be the last. A sweet romance with just a little bit of mystery and an Aunt who likes to mix things up a bit. This story has some good secondary characters as well the main characters and I felt like I could relate to most everyone.

The Ghosts of New Cheltenham – Chautona Havig – I LOVED this story. I really liked how we get a third point of view from Lauren, our tweeny detective, in addition to the main characters. Chautona can sometimes be hit or miss for me, strictly because I’m such a romance sap (her writing is always solid), but this story had great romance in it with some sizzling build up tension. For those of you who love the build-up of a relationship, you’ll definitely enjoy this story. I think I might I might find some mistletoe that needs “testing.”

Alana Terry – Frost Heaves – I appreciated Alana broaching a tough topic that I’ve only seen in a few Christian fiction books; that of spiritual abuse and cult churches. I think Alana handles it well, balancing the lies of the cult, countered with Biblical truth and showing the inner thoughts of woman who has been set free, but also struggles with everything she was taught growing up.

While I enjoyed the story, it was a bit jarring to me after the rest of the collection. I think if you know it’s more of a suspense story going into it, then you can focus on the story line; it just surprised me after a couple sweet stories and a cozy mystery. I like both Ben and Jade as characters and wish I could’ve seen more of their story as the end jumped into their relationship a little farther then what I felt was developed in the body of the story. I’d like to see a full length novel of this story that goes into more depth on their relationship.

About the Authors

Alana

Alana Terry: Pastor’s wife Alana Terry is a homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. You can find her at alanaterry.com

Toni

Toni Shiloh: 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. You can find her at tonishiloh.wordpress.com

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.

Cathe

Cathe Swanson: Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years, and the long Wisconsin winters are perfect for writing and reading books! Cathe enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again. You can find her at catheswanson.com

Chautona

Chautona Havig: Amazon bestselling author of the Aggie books and Past Forward, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave desert where she uses story to connect readers to the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Why Do So Many Christians Love to Celebrate Christmas?

“We don’t celebrate Christmas because we were ordered to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We were never commanded to celebrate His birth.”

Something about that statement didn’t sit well with me, but I was honest enough with myself to admit that it might be because I happened to love Christmas, and the idea of not celebrating it didn’t sit well with my twelve-year-old mind.

No, I didn’t go in for the Santa thing. I never had. As later my children were taught to say, Santa wasn’t “invited to our family celebration.” But still, the family, the joy, the music, the spirit of the thing moved me.

So, I did what I always did when I didn’t understand something. I asked Dad. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?”

If I recall correctly, Dad took a sip of coffee and watched me for several long seconds before he said, “What is Christmas?”

Ever the teacher, Dad had to put on his Socratic robe and make me work for it. I answered. “What we call the day Jesus was supposedly born. His birthday.”

“Okay. So, we celebrate Christ’s birthday on Christmas—on Christmas.”

“Yes.”

He gave me that slight smirk that always meant something good was coming. “And what did God do when His Son was born?”

Dad stumped me there. I blinked. “I don’t know.”

“He sent out the biggest birth announcement ever known to man—a star, angels, music.” Then Dad continued his leading questions. “He…”

I got it. “Celebrated the birth.”

“Yes.” Sometimes Dad was a man of few words.

But I couldn’t be satisfied—not yet.

“So, why do we give presents to each other if it’s Jesus’ birthday? Isn’t that backward?”

“Isn’t all of Christianity backward to the fallen mind?” When I didn’t answer, he smiled again. “What does Christ say about doing things for others?”

It wasn’t word-for-word Scripture—not even close. Just as he would have prompted again, I remembered Jesus’ story of the man who was fed, clothed, and given a drink. “When you do things for others, it’s like you’re doing them for Jesus.”

Dad shrugged then. “Maybe it’s just justification for continuing a beloved tradition, but it brings me joy to give you gifts. And Christ had something to say about how fathers love to give good gifts to their children.”

That brought me back to the original question.

“What about the fact that we’re told to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus? We aren’t told to celebrate the birth. Does that make it wrong?”

This time, Dad’s jaw hardened. I saw it twitch, and prepared for a blasting. After all, I had kind of argued with him. I hadn’t meant to, but I could see how it might be taken that way.

“Chautona,” he said, “don’t ever put rules on yourself that God hasn’t. We may not be commanded to celebrate Christ’s birth, but we aren’t forbidden, either. We have God’s example to emulate, and we have this truth.” His voice gentled when he saw he’d startled me. “We would never have been able to celebrate Christ’s death if He had not been born. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.”

What does all that have to do with Christmas novellas (or “noellas” like I prefer to call them)?

Well, people ask me all the time. “Why do you write so many Christmas books? Why do these Christmas collections? Why focus so much on the birth of Jesus and the trappings of cultural Christmas when it’s inferior to the “big thing”—the Resurrection?”

Dad’s answer is mine. Because it points to it. It draws attention to it. And because Christmas is one time of year—the only time of year in which you can walk into almost any building in America and still hear praises sung to God at some point. They slip in between love songs about giving away your heart at Christmas and rocking around Christmas trees to “Jingle Bell Rock.”

And even the more “secular” versions that aren’t an outright praise to God like “Silent Night” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” sometimes throw in Jesus anyway because they can’t quite leave out, “Merry Christmas” in some place or another.

So maybe our Christmas books are inferior to what “Easter” books could be. Maybe they are. But if Christmas trees, caroling, and “ghost stories” keep Jesus at the forefront of someone’s mind in October, November, or December, then I think that’s a pretty cool thing.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thanks for coming.

Blog Stops

A Diva’s Heart, November 29

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Multifarious, November 30

Blossoms and Blessings, November 30

Bibliophile Reviews, December 1

Britt Reads Fiction, December 1

Vicky Sluiter, December 2

Remembrancy, December 2

Among the Reads, December 3

A Reader’s Brain, December 3

KarenSueHadley, December 4

Inklings and notions, December 4

Quiet Quilter, December 5

Lots of Helpers, December 5

God’s Little Bookworm, December 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7 (Mindy Houng)

Captive Dreams Window, December 7

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 8

Mary Hake, December 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Janices book reviews, December 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

Bigreadersite, December 10

Kat’s Corner Books, December 11

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Aryn The Libraryan, December 12

Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 12

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, the Christmas Light Collection is giving away a grand prize of a 6-month Kindle Unlimited subscription!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d62a/comfort

Christmas Reads 2018 – The Christmas Heirloom

Today I’m exciting to be bringing you a blog post found only at Kat’s Corner Books! Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Becky Wade, and 
Sarah Loudin Thomas join me to talk about a special gift that they have received. In The Christmas Heirloom, four women are gifted a Luckenbooth Broach and find love at Christmas. Join me in sharing the authors’ stories.

Karen Witemeyer

Zucchini Bread recipe

Heirlooms can be anything that is handed down from one generation to another, but what makes them special is not the item itself, but the memories and emotions that item evokes. I have an antique washstand in my bedroom that once belonged to my grandmother on my father’s side and a small landscape painting that my grandma on my mother’s side painted. Outsiders would not see anything of particular value in these items, but they mean a great deal to me because they connect me to people I loved from generations past. One of my favorite heirlooms​, however, is a recipe for zucchini bread written in my dad’s handwriting. I lost my dad when I was only 16, so this is a prized possession. Not only is the recipe delicious, but seeing my dad’s handwriting brings back a flood of happy memories every time I take it out.


As for gifts I’ve received, the ones that mean the most are the ones that have heirloom potential. They tie into specific memories and emotions. A couple years ago, my husband gave me two such treasures. The first was a blanket made with a photo of my kids. My first child was leaving for college and the empty nest had begun. This was a way for me to snuggle with my kids even when they were gone. Love it! The other gift was a set of throw pillows made from pictures we had taken on a trip to The Netherlands. My Dutch publisher had brought me out for a book tour, and they allowed Wes to tag along. It was one of the best trips we have ever taken. We met so many wonderful people and saw so many amazing things. These pillows sit on my couch all throughout the year, and every time I see them, I remember that trip and smile.


I’m a cross-stitcher, so this time of year, the house fills with handmade items like stockings, ornaments, and wall hangings. I’d like to think that some of these will become heirlooms as my children start their own families and take a few touches of Christmases past to start their own traditions, but even if they don’t, they will still hold memories and joy for me every time I look at them.

Kristi Ann Hunter

BFFs Tendy and Scruffy

I didn’t often get the trendy toy of the year growing up. I never owned a Cabbage Patch Doll or a Furby, but when I was three I did get a Care Bear. TenderHeart to be exact. I loved that bear. I slept with it every night, carried it around the house, he was my constant companion. I called him Tendy. Over the years Tendy soaked up a lot of tears, got a lot of washings, and got hugged until he was pretty much smashed flat. Eventually, when I was in college, I had to admit that Tendy was getting a little too worn to be my constant companion. My father, who’d gotten me Tendy to begin with, went on a hunt for a replacement. At the time he was traveling around the world for work. Everywhere he went, he visited toy stores looking for the softest, cuddliest replacement for my beloved Tendy. I was twenty when I received Scruffy, a gray dog with floppy arms and legs and fluffy fur. Scruffy has since been replaced by my husband, but he and Tendy still sit together in a place of honor in my bedroom. 

Sarah Loudin Thomas

Being sentimental is my super power. My most prized possessions are the bits and pieces that used to belong to someone who matters to me. There’s the Brown Betty teapot that belonged to my neighbor Betty. The stitched wall hanging Aunt Bess made. The wooden butter mold Uncle Willis made for Mom. Dad’s shaving mug. 
Mom knows this about me (maybe instilled it in me?). Which means she knew exactly what she was doing the year she gave me my favorite book EVER. It’s the copy of Heidi that her own aunt gave her as a girl. Mom must have read it to me a hundred times.
There, inside the front cover, it says “To Nancy Cox, Christmas 1954.” And then she passed it on to me one Christmas. And some Christmas down the road I plan to pass it along to my niece–mom’s granddaughter. And hopefully, there will be a great-granddaughter to appreciate it one day–say in 2054? 
While the Luckenbooth in The Christmas Heirloom was a valuable piece of jewelry, what made it such a prized possession wasn’t it’s dollar value, but rather it’s link to family. My character, Fleeta, lost her mother when she was very young. Having that connection to her mother restored in a way was what gave the pin value in Fleeta’s eyes.
It’s much the same with my copy of Heidi. It’s not a book–it’s something my great aunt picked out and wrapped for my mother. It’s the memory of curling into my mother’s side while she read aloud. It’s a connection to people I want with me always. 
I’m so looking forward to sharing those connections on down the line . . .

Becky Wade

My great grandmother enjoyed a long and faith-filled life of laughter.  She had a wonderful marriage, numerous children, and even more numerous grand children and great grandchildren. When she passed away, my grandmother, her oldest child, inherited her gold wedding band.  Since my grandmother had two sons and no daughters, she chose to entrust her mother’s ring to her oldest granddaughter — me.  She gave it to me when I was still a teenager, long before I was in the market for marriage.  But, even then, I recognized the pricelessness of that ring.  I, like the characters in The Christmas Heirloom, had received a piece of jewelry that had been treasured and worn by my ancestors.  What a gift!   Years later, when marriage came my way, I had my great grandparents’ initials and wedding date inscribed inside the ring.  To this day, I wear it as my wedding band. I hope to pass it down to my own daughter one day.


Giveaway

Thanks you so much ladies for sharing your precious gifts and memories with us. To celebrate, I’m giving a gift of a Kindle ebook of The Christmas Heirloom. For the chance to win, enter via rafflecopter below. Please refer to my Policies. The giveaway will close at midnight of 12/10/18.

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An Hour Unspent – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

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About the Book

An Hour Unspent

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.kats-corner-cat-amazon

My Review

Oh, Barclay. I always love the mysterious types, especially this one who has melted my heart over the past two books caring for his siblings. His heart is so compassionate, even if a bit misguided, a bit of a Robin Hood. I can’t fault him; in the same place, I think I’d have acted similarly. But, we’ve had glimpses of him changing over in the first two in the series and I fell in love a little more getting inside of his head and heart over the course of this story. He’s a redeemable bad boy, but was only a bad boy because he was taking care of others with his giant compassionate heart; what’s not to love?

I wasn’t sure what to think of Evelina, especially at first, but she grows so much other the course of the story and comes into her own. I did get frustrated with her how she loved or thought she knew others so much and then just doubted them; I found it aggrevating. But the way she dove into the family, embracing them, and testing her wings of independence, she changed. So while I was frustrated at the start, by the end I thought she was a good addition.

So far as I know, no more books in this series are planned, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to keep getting to know this boisterous chosen family. And as we head into National Adoption Month, a topic you all know is close to my heart, I just want to wrap up in their fictional world and be chosen to be a part of their family too.

I was provided a copy for the purposes of this tour. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Roseanna 2018

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. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna

Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.

That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.

The founder. The caregiver. The leader.

I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.

It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.

There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.

It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 30

The Power of Words, October 30

Back Porch Reads, October 30

Kat’s Corner Books, October 30

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, October 31

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 31

Faithfully Bookish, October 31

Genesis 5020, October 31

Fiction Aficionado, November 1

Among the Reads, November 1

The Lit Addict, November 1

Just the Write Escape, November 1

Multifarious, November 2

Godly Book Reviews, November 2

Real World Bible Study, November 2

Madeline Clark, November 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 3

Christian Bookaholic, November 3

Inspirationally Ever After, November 3

Bookworm Mama, November 3

Bigreadersite, November 3

Blogging With Carol , November 4

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 4

Life with the Tribe, November 4

The Becca Files, November 4

Kathleen Denly, November 5

Cordially Barbara, November 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 5

Simple Harvest Reads, November 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

God’s Little Bookworm, November 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 6

Faery Tales Are Real, November 6

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 6

Carpe Diem, November 6

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 7

Blossoms and Blessings , November 7

Maureen’s Musings , November 8

Connie’s History Classroom , November 8

Book by Book, November 8

Just Commonly, November 8

cherylbbookblog, November 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day , November 9

With a Joyful Noise, November 9

KarenSueHadley , November 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 10

Baker kella, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 11

Inklings and Notions , November 11

Two Points of Interest, November 11

Inspiration Clothesline, November 11

A Baker’s Perspective, November 11

Henry Happens, November 12

Proud to Be an Autism Mom, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Giveaway

an hour unspent giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway