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?

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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.

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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

This Treacherous Journey – Giveaway – Celebrate Lit

This Treacherous Heart FB Banner copy

About the Book

This Treacherous Journey(2)

Title: This Treacherous Journey

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?

Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.

But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

I have long been a fan of Misty’s historical westerns. While I’m not usually a drama fan, I find that Misty’s stories have a depth to them while keeping from getting overwhelming. This story was closer to that line for me as Simeon especially deals with some deep wounds. At first I wasn’t so sure about the 2 part prologue (I’ve never seen it before), but as the story progressed, I think it was really helpful to have that back story in place for the reader. It was a novel concept, but worked well for this application. Otherwise, I think it would’ve been difficult to understand Simeon’s mindset.

One thing I really appreciated about this story is that while there were secretes Simeon and Emma keep from each other, I didn’t feel like it was overly long, but just revealed as they naturally grew to trust each other. Some authors use secrets as the element of suspense, and those just annoy me because real relationships should trust each other! Their relationship is one of the better that I’ve read lately that deals with processing each other’s secret baggage. We all have it and we know it’s typically best to just lay it out there, certainly with the person with which we’re in a relationship.

While I enjoyed the story, this is not my favorite book of Misty’s. That said, I loved Joey’s character and I hope we’ll get to see his story as well. If that’s the case, I’ll definitely pick it up. If you enjoy drama, western historicals, and broody heroes, this one’s for you.

I received a complementary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to give a positive review.

P.S. When I checked it last night, it was on sale for $.99!!!! I don’t know how long the sale will last, but in my opinion definitely a steal.

About the Author

Misty

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

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

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

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream. Learn more at http://www.MistyMBeller.com.

Guest post from Misty M. Beller

The Treasure of Family

I’m an old-fashioned girl. Always have been. And growing up on the family farm, with grandparents in the old farmhouse next door and cousins living all around us, I can’t imagine my life without family. Now that I’m married with three daughters of my own, I treasure my family even more—both immediate and extended!

In my books, I tend to weave the importance of family into each story somewhere, and This Treacherous Journey is no exception! I first wrote the prologue as a standalone short story, the account of the birth of the hero from another of my books (Reuben Scott from The Lady and the Mountain Call).

It was the story of a father, grieving the loss of his wife and feeling as if he has no choice but to give his newborn twins to another family to raise. I wrote this part of the story a week after my third daughter was born, and I cried buckets through the writing! The story has an even stronger emotional connection for me, because my younger brother and sister were both adopted into our family. I can’t imagine their birth parents having the courage to give them up for adoption unless they knew without a doubt it was the best choice for those sweet babies.

So, as you read This Treacherous Journey, it’s my prayer that you’ll take a moment to cherish your own family. Remember all the special moments. Spend extra time with those you love. Relish the treasures God placed in your life!

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, February 3

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, February 3

History, Mystery & Faith, February 4

A Greater Yes, February 4

margaret kazmierczak, February 4 (Interview)

Kathleen Denly, February 5

Blogging With Carol, February 5

Faithfully Bookish, February 6

Books n baubles, February 6

Mommynificent, February 7

Connie’s History Classroom, February 7

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 8

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 8

proud to be an autism mom, February 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9

Mary Hake, February 9

Blossoms and Blessings, February 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 10

Texas Book-aholic, February 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 11

Zerina Blossom’s Books, February 12

Bigreadersite, February 12

Kat’s Corner BooksFebruary 13

Janices book reviewsFebruary 13

Jeanette’s ThoughtsFebruary 14

Carpe DiemFebruary 14

A Baker’s PerspectiveFebruary 15

Karen Sue HadleyFebruary 15

Pursuing StacieFebruary 16

Simple Harvest ReadsFebruary 16

Giveaway

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

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c8e4

 

Mojave Rescue – Singing Librarian Books – Giveaway

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Mojave RescueSeries: Love Inspired Suspense
​Genre:  
Christian, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: January 1, 2018

Brilliant, electronic warfare engineer, Drina Gallagher is riddled by guilt and determined to create a weapon to protect American soldiers. Caleb Norwood is a CIA agent working undercover. For two years he’s been trying to infiltrate a highly organized group selling secret plans on the black market. He’s scheduled to connect with operatives at a wind farm in the middle of the desert where he’ll be taken by helicopter to meet with the leader. He arrives at the meeting place only to discover the men have kidnapped Drina and plan to kill her. Cal must make an instant choice, keep his cover and stop the organization or save Drina. Cal chooses Drina. They race across the Mojave Desert to escape the killers and Drina discovers that Cal is a man of action grounded in unbreakable faith. His personal walk gives Drina the confidence she needs to confront the guilt of her past. Can He possibly forgive her and allow her and Cal to escape their pursuers? Or will all her hopes and dreams die in the desert?

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I really enjoyed Mojave Rescue. Cal is a swoony hero; upright, protective, godly, a little bit wounded. Drina is a smart driven woman who still manages to be likable. She doesn’t know how beautiful she is and struggles with being enough, something I think many woman can relate to. The action is steady, as is the romance; both kept me turning pages. The romance was sweet, but just steamy enough to make your breath hitch. My only complaint is that the story was too short; I’d like very much to read more from both of these characters!

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

Unfortunately we don’t have a pet right now. Our dog Kody was big, part malamute and wolf but he was very old and passed away. We were preparing to follow my husband’s work overseas and knew we would be selling our home and moving into a motorhome to travel the U.S. when we returned so we decided to wait to find another pet when we were more settled. That hasn’t happened yet!

Malamutes are so pretty and faithful pets. I hope you’re settled soon enough, at least for a goldfish or two!

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

T. can’t make it tonight but we’ll go again when

Hahaha. You’re words actually make sense other than cutting off. You must not be able to make it a lot.

3. What was the hardest character to write in Mojave Rescue?
Believe it or not the hero, Cal Norton was the hardest to write. I knew him very well and he spilled onto the page originally but even though I thought his motivation…stopping the bad guys…was good enough, my editor wanted more. I had to dig even deeper.
The easiest was Drina Gallagher.  I think guilt is something we all carry at some time in our lives.

You did a great job with him too! A swoony, upright hero.

4. What inspired the idea for Mojave Rescue?
The rocket site where my husband worked twenty years ago. The platforms were set on a hill and designed to hold rocket engines for testing. At the time the platforms were abandoned and they were desolate and scary…the perfect setting for a mystery.

5. What do you want readers to take away from reading Mojave Rescue?
A sense of God’s grace. Even when we deny Him, He’s watching over us and He has a plan.

Amen!

6. What is your current WIP? 
My next project is tentatively called Fatal Memories. It’s set in the Sonoroan Desert of Southern Arizona. The heroine is a border patrol agent trying to stop drug traffic.

7. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
Well, I’m a mom and grandma with 21 grandchildren so I stay very busy. I love to travel. I just returned from a trip to China. And I love to play pickleball!

Wow! I would love to travel more. And what a legacy with all of those grandbabies.

Bio Pic copyTanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE

Giveaway

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January 2-Singing Librarina Books
January 3-Book by Book | Kat’s Corner Books
January 4-Among the Reads | Red Headed Book Lady
January 5-Pause for Tales | Bibliophile Reviews 
January 6-cherylbbookblog | Reading is My SuperPower
January 7-Remembrancy

Crazy about Alaska- On Tour with Celebrate Lit- Giveaway

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book title: Crazy about Alaska

Author: Shannon L. Brown

Release date: June 30, 2017

Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

Can she trust love?

Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.

Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.

Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.

Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.

My Review

Crazy About Alaska is the first book that I’ve read by Shannon Brown. When I finished the book, I immediately thought, “I HAVE to get the first two in this series” and promptly went to look them up on Amazon. I am always a little hesitant to try new authors, but it sounded like a sweet romance story line, and I am trying to broaden my horizons. Crazy About Alaska is exactly what I hoped it would be; a sweet romance, but with just enough depth to not make it too sugary.

I will admit that the first couple chapters had a lot of place names, which was a little overwhelming, but as Alaska is a huge place and the characters end up going to many various locations, it helped to have the lay of the land. Alaska is a beautiful place and Shannon’s descriptions really take you there. I hope one day I’ll be able to visit in person.

The premise of a professor-student relationship is something I’ve wondered about many times with so many “older” adults going back to school. Shannon captures the angst that I felt as a student wanting to succeed in my classes while balancing the more mature perspective that age and mommyhood bring. The interactions between Holly and Adam are never boring and were enjoyable to read as their relationship transitioned from professor-student, to friends, to more. Holly’s relationship with her sisters’ and what you see of her sisters’ relationships all make me want to get to know more of this family.

If you’re looking for a gripping story line or deep characters, this may not be your thing. But, if you’re looking for a pleasant way to pass en evening with an entertaining story that leaves with that happy sigh, I’d encourage you to pick up a copy.

I can’t wait to see the next thing from Shannon!

 

About the Author

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Writing books that are fun and touch your heart

Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.

Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.

Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.

Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors

When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.

Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.

Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.

By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.

Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.

Blog Stops

July 20: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

July 20: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

July 21: A Baker’s Perspective

July 21: Reading Is My SuperPower

July 22: Artistic Nobody

July 22: Just Commonly

July 23: Live.Love.Read.

July 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

July 24: Carpe Diem

July 24: autism mom

July 25: Redeemed Hope Dweller

July 25: Baker Kella

July 26: A Rup Life

July 26: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 27: Karen Sue Hadley

July 27: Quiet Quilter

July 28: Pause for Tales

July 28: Have A Wonderful Day

July 29: Remembrancy

July 29: Cafinated Reads

July 30: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 31: History, Mystery & Faith

August 1: Kat’s Corner Books

August 1: For the Love of Books

August 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

Giveaway

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To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb35

I received a digital copy of this book from the author/publisher for promotional purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

Sprouts of Love with Author Valerie Comer

Romance Grows AVHappy Tuesday, ya’ll! Today we’re chatting with Valerie Comer. Valerie is known for her local fresh food focus and sweet romances. Her band new book, Sprouts of Love, is part of the A Garden Grown Romance series. It was kicked off with a fantastic collection of stories by six authors called Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. There was a lot of collaboration by the authors to make a little fictional world in a corner of Idaho. I am amazes at how well all of the different series work so well together, even as each author continues dependently. Since cats are know for their curiosity, it only made sense to ask Valerie to join us here today!

Sprouts of Love:

Sprouts Of LoveCan love sprout amid a tsunami of vegetables?

Single mom Evelyn Felton takes on another part-time job managing a greenhouse and garden project for Grace Fellowship. Formerly homeless, she’s thrilled to offer truckloads of fresh produce to the Arcadia Valley food bank.

If only Ben Kujak weren’t running Corinna’s Cupboard singlehandedly, he’d be delighted to be on the receiving end. But Evelyn and her dynamo daughter, Maisie, won’t take no for an answer, even if it means restructuring Ben’s charity.

Soon Ben finds himself wishing they’d transform his personal life, too, but can true love sprout when their pasts collide with the present?

Interview

Valerie- Thanks for joining us here today! We like to ask all of our authors a couple fun questions to start off with:

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

Valerie: The girls in that evening are so cute I can’t…

Kat: You can tell you have grandgirls!

  1. Here’s at Kat’s Corner books, we’re fans of cats, but love all pets. Do you have a pet? If so, what and what’s their name?

Valerie: Three animals — a dog and two cats — currently share my husband and me. Brody is a black Lab cross (crossed with something unknown and large!) who’s nine years old and is not the smartest thing on four legs. Even hubby  says that, and he’s the dog person! Coonie and Moxie are tortoiseshell littermates who are seven and a half years old. They’re a good trio, between them. They get along well and keep us company.

And now on to the book!

  1. This series started off with a collaboration of a set of novellas. I imagine that an immense amount of coordination was required. I even saw one of the authors post that some of you have never met (at least until that trip). Can you tell us a little about the process?

Valerie: There’s a fair bit going on behind the scenes in our Facebook group and in our shared Dropbox folder, for sure. We started brainstorming early in 2016, creating our setting and divvying up the parts we each wanted to write about.

I’ve met two of the other authors in person, and the other three only online. The internet makes it so easy to work together and to become true friends with people we’ve never met!

  1. As each of the authors continue forward in the series, how much do you all still collaborate or check-in? While all the series happen in the same town, they’re very different and kind of exist in their own world. Do you all try to refer to each other’s stories?

Valerie: We check into our Facebook group often. Someone is posting at least once or twice a week, perhaps with a timeline question or a “would your character say this” question. We are all reading each other’s work, so as things go along, I think you’ll find increased mixing from when the first few authors were working more in a vacuum.

We agreed early on to keep our smaller series focused on our own characters and themes, and only bring in someone else’s characters for flavor. At the same time, the characters may attend the same church (we’ve created three) or dine at the same restaurants or go to the same park or events. I love how the town of Arcadia Valley is filling out a little with each new story!

  1. I know that you have a passion for “real” food and that is an important aspect for all your stories. I know I’ve learned a lot from them. For those who may not understand the concept, can you describe it in a few sentences and tell us why/how it’s so important to you?

Valerie: As a culture, we’re quite selfish. We tend not to think about the results of our choices that often – the workers who harvest sprayed vegetables, the child slave labor that goes into much of today’s cocoa production, the big corporations that care more for their bottom dollar than any person’s health and welfare. We willingly gobble up empty chemical calories with little regard for our own bodies or the moral implications!

Am I perfect? Not by a long shot. Sometimes tiredness and thrift play a role in the food choices I make, too. But I truly believe that we who are residents of first world countries need to learn to think beyond ourselves for the betterment of our own bodies, our communities, people around the world, and the environment.

Yeah, I’ve got an entire soapbox, but I’ll get off now. 😉

  1. I also believe in the importance of real food, but struggle to implement it living the middle of the city (though I do cherish my three small community garden plots). For some, it seems far out of reach. If there were one or two things that they could implement today, what would they be?

Valerie: I think the first thing is just being aware. Look at the labels on your food… not just on the boxes and packages but even on your fruits and vegetables. What country did they come from? Are there other alternatives from closer to home? What’s actually in season?

I recommend frequenting your local farmers market or a food co-op if you can. Talk to your farmers and growers. Learn what actually grows in your area. Fresh produce picked at the peak of ripeness may turn your picky kids into fans of vegetables.

  1. Sprouts of Love deals with an issue that many try not to think about: homelessness, and even more so homeless women and children. What was the inspiration behind this theme?

Valerie: I honestly don’t know the answer to that. It’s the second time homelessness has been central to one of my novels — the other was Berry on Top, released in February 2016. I’ve never been homeless or close to it, and I’ve never worked at a shelter or anything like that.

All I can say is God probably wanted to teach me empathy. I don’t plot my story details out prior to writing, so sometimes what happens on the page is just as much a surprise to me as it is to the readers!

  1. If there’s one lesson you’d like readers to walk away with after reading this story, what is it?

Valerie: We’re so quick to judge other people for the way they are and the choices they make. In the story, characters are judged because they’ve been homeless… or because they have a beautiful home. There are other judgments, too, against parents who do literally anything for their children, and others who abandon their kids.

So maybe the takeaway is not to judge, not even the big things that are so obviously wrong. Each person makes decisions based on their history and current circumstances. We need to give grace and come alongside people who are hurting, not heap condemnation on their heads.

You know, I hadn’t really thought about that before with this book. Good question.

What an insightful interview. Thank you so much! I really look forward to following all of the Arcadia Valley series.

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Author Bio

Valerie-Comer-150x150Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary Christian romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local foods movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She writes engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith laced with humor into her green clean romances.

Connect with Valerie! 

http://valeriecomer.com

http://arcadiavalleyromance.com

http://inspyromance.com

http://twitter.com/valeriecomer

https://www.pinterest.com/valeriecomer/garden-grown-romances-set-in-arcadia-valley-idaho/

https://www.pinterest.com/valeriecomer/arcadia-valley-romance/

 

Behind the Scenes – Giveaway/Interview

Behind The Scenes For anyone who hasn’t heard, Jen Turano has a new book out called Behind the Scenes! That is always a happy event for me as I read to escape and for entertainment and I can ALWAYS count on Jen for both. Her newest series features wallflowers during the Gilded Age and is called “Apart From the Crowd.” I am so excited to have Jen on the blog today for an interview, plus, Jen has graciously agreed to give away a copy of Behind the Scenes to a lucky reader! Keep reading for Jen’s interview, my thoughts, and to enter the giveaway.

 

Miss Permilia Griswold, the wallflower behind “The Quill” gossip column, knows everything that goes on in the ballrooms of New York. When she overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Asher Rutherford, she’s determined to warn him. Away from society’s spotlight, Asher and Permilia discover there’s more going on behind the scenes than they anticipated.

 

Jen has joined us for an interview. We like to start all authors out with a couple fun questions.

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

Jen: I don’t have a text message app – texting is just on my phone😊

Kat: Don’t feel bad, my hubs still has what everyone refers to as a “dumb phone.”

2. Here are Kat’s Corner Books we’re partial to cats, but love pets of any kind. Do you have a pet?

Jen: I do not have a pet.  My Australian Cattle Dog, Sasha, died last year.  She was fifteen, lived a great life, was a great companion, but I don’t think I’ll get another dog for a few years. 

Kat: So sad. It’s always hard to lose a member of our family.

Now onto book questions!

3. Many of your readers know that you’re working your way through the Gilded Age, but I must confess, other than the late 1800’s, I don’t really know what that means. Can you give us a little summary?

So the Gilded Age – cliff note version.  Right after the Civil War, and because of the advances within industry, gentlemen began making fortunes at an unprecedented rate.  Because taxes were not paid on a lot of that newly acquired money, conspicuous consumption became the norm for the privileged in the country.  Mansions were built without a care to cost, wardrobes were acquired for every season, most high society ladies traveling to Paris to shop from Worth, and established society members had to work incredibly hard to prevent the newly rich, and as they thought of them, uncouth industrialist, from entering their hallowed circles. Rules did begin to relax when the fortunes being made were so large they could not be ignored, and with that relaxation came incredibly ridiculous society events and a disregard for common sense, something that helped bring an end to the Gilded Age, right around the start of World War I and the passing of income tax laws which had these very wealthy Americans no longer able to keep every cent they made. 

 

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I was so excited when I recieved my copy! Yes, that is my very messy desk.

4. I know that you enjoy contemporary stories as well (a là Finding Margo), how did you pick the Gilded Age for your series?

 

When I first tried my hand at writing historical, I wrote Regency, although I had absolutely no success procuring the interest of a publisher, but I did manage to snag an agent with a Regency story I wrote titled “A Marriage of Inconvenience.” While she was shopping that book around, we discussed what I should write next, and she suggested setting a story in America since she’d been successful placing quite a few of her clients with American-set stories.  Since I’m all about high society, I knew I wouldn’t be good at a Western, so got a friend of mine who is a research librarian to pull a bunch of books in different American eras, finding myself enthralled with the Gilded Age.  It’s a fascinating period in time, overlooked in my humble opinion, and since it does stretch all the way up until World War I, I have plenty of fodder for my stories.  I’m looking forward to doing a series about working women in industry, but that will be a few years from now.   

5. As a researcher myself, I know that you can come across some really…interesting…stories and photos. Can you share a unique one? (You can’t use any that are in the book. 😉)

One of the most disturbing stories I’ve come across is that of Eve Nesbit. She was the most photographed woman of the era, becoming famous at the ripe-old age of sixteen.  Men took advantage of her, especially Stanford White.  He was a famous architect of the day and designed Madison Square Garden.  Eve and Stanford were involved with each other for years, but he was already married, and disturbingly enough, he seemed to have a propensity of taking young girls under his wing.  As Eve began to age, he lost some of his fascination with her, which is when she decided to marry Mr. Harry Thaw.  Unfortunately, Harry was an incredibly jealous man, and he hated the idea she’d been involved with Stanford White. On a hot afternoon in 1906, while enjoying a performance at the Madison Square Garden rooftop theater, Henry shot Stanford at point blank range, killing him. All the sordid details of Eve’s past with Stanford came out at trial, and the rest of her life was spent under a cloud of scandal, with Henry spending eight years after his murder trial committed to an asylum.  They never lived as husband and wife again.  When he died in the 1940’s, Henry left Eve $10,000 – the same amount he left a waitress he barely knew.

 

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Eve Nesbit (photo provided by Jen Turano)

 

6. If there’s one lesson you’d like readers to walk away with after reading this story, what is it?

I don’t really expect readers to walk away with a lesson from my stories.  What I’m hoping is that they’ll be entertained by my characters and will have found a brief respite from any problems they may be facing. 

Kat: This is exactly why I love reading your books. Though, I feel like I do always walk away from something. Your characters always have such a great perspective on faith and insight on life and God without getting preachy. It’s just part of who they are. I want to be more like that.

My Thoughts

 

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Best didication ever.

We first met Asher and Permilia in the (free!) prequel novel At Your Request, in January. I was intermediately intrigued by the interaction between these two characters and could not wait to read their story. Jen is known for her strong female leads who ahead of their time and Permilia is exactly that. And Asher. He is just so sweet. Unlike many of the heroes in Jen’s book, Asher is smitten from the start and steadily pursues Permilia, which is a refreshing storyline in Jen’s novels, and isn’t a rugged “manly man.” Though his pursuit of the title is quite humorous.

 

Readers often put pressure on their favorite authors to churn out another story they love, and Behind the Scenes is another classic Jen Turano story without getting repetitive of earlier stories. It is an absolute delight that I will reread for several years to come.

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Giveaway

Jen has graciously agreed to giveaway a print copy of Behind The Scenes! Click on the link below to enter. Due to shipping costs and international regulations, this giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only. Giveaway is subject to Kat’s Corner Books’s giveaway policies which can be found on the Disclosure and Policies page. The winner will be announced next week. Giveaway open until midnight on 5/15/2017.

Enter via the Rafflecopter form here.

 

An Uncommon Courtship (Plus my first Author Interview!)

I read a lot of books in a year, varying from ones I barely make it through to those I devour in as few sittings as possible. An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter was the first new release I was looking forward to reading this year, and it did not disappoint in its debut spot. This is the third installment in the Hawthorne House series (plus a prequel novella) and features the affable younger brother, Trent.

I am so excited that Kristi has agreed to be my first author interview! She’s been amazingly kind through the process. See her answers below the book summary.

uncommoncourtshipcoverLife for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier if she hid in her older sister’s shadow–which worked until her sister got married. Even with the pressure of her socially ambitious mother, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience to save her previously spotless reputation.

Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier that he is not the duke in the family. He’s free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, which includes grand plans of wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he doesn’t know, his dream of a marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.

Already starting their marriage on shaky ground, can Adelaide and Trent’s relationship survive the pressures of London society?


Kristi, thanks so much for joining us today! I have a few, hopefully interesting, questions for you.

  1. It’s the first day the kids are back in school after the summer. What are you doing?

Kristi: Sleeping. 🙂 Then writing. I love getting back into schedule after the kids go back to school.

  1. Are you a ninja or a pirate?

Kristi: Can I be both? Kick you in the head while saying arrrr instead of hiya? No? Sigh. I’ll be a ninja. They kick posterior. 😉

  1. Have you ever Googled yourself? If yes, were you surprised with what you found?

Kristi: Every few months so that I can make sure my website is still at the top. But when I first started writing I Googled myself and found that I was already a pretty prominent painter. Hence the addition of the Ann.

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

Kristi: “I think it would make more sense to be a weekend.” So, there you have it.

  1. I loved how Lady Blackstone really shined in this story and can see how she was strong enough to raise a Duke. Might we ever get to hear the story of how she fell in love with Lord Blackstone?

Kristi: I’ve had a lot of people asking about it so I might have to look into it. It’s not a very long story. They’ve always been more settled in my mind, but a lot of people want their story.

  1. You’ve mentioned previously that you scrapped an entire first draft for this story, which I’m sure was very difficult. How did you get through it and keep going (besides the obvious I have a deadline I had to keep)?

Kristi: Deadlines are powerful motivators, but it was more that I believed in the story and I knew I could do better.

  1. What in the world is a rasher? Are there any other words in the book that you use, but still aren’t quite sure what they mean?

Kristi: I haven’t a clue, but I know it’s a measurement of bacon. I vaguely remember looking it up when I was writing to make sure I didn’t give him like 20 pounds of bacon of something, but I don’t remember what it was…Here I go, off to Google to be able to answer your question. Apparently it’s a thin slice, not a measurement. So, yeah. But it sounds cool.

  1. You’ve mentioned before that your heros share character traits with your husband. What, if any, traits do Trent and your husband share?

Kristi: It’s a little harder to pin down with Trent than with some of my other heroes, but probably the most identifying one is that he adores Adelaide’s faults. I’m very blessed to have a man that thinks it’s cute when I forget to do the laundry. Again. 

  1. How did you come up pineapple? Did you think about using any other fruit? (like a Georgia peach, LOL)

Kristi: Okay, this one was one of those very fortunate research rabbits. I was looking up agriculture facts for the prologue and stumbled across the instructions for growing pineapples. They started growing them in England in the 1700s using the Dutch method of growing them in glass hothouses, using horse byproducts to keep the warmth tropical. It was so fascinating that I had to use it. Plus there’s something fun about the word pineapple.

  1. If there’s one lesson you’d like readers to walk away with after reading this story, what is it?

Kristi: You can choose love. It doesn’t have to be a feeling or even something the other person wants. You can choose to love because Biblical love is about what you do for and to the other person. Are you kind, patient, etc.? Choose love. Every day.

Those are some great answers. I really love the lesson of the book too. Relationships, especially marriages, have their hard seasons and choosing love is what gets you through.

Bonus: I love my silly cats who try to read all of my books by osmosis. I’m asking every author about their pets. If you have a pet, what’s their name and your favorite thing about them?  

I have no pets. My kids have pet rocks, though. They have adoption certificates and everything.

LOL, Kristi. You should get them a pet! At least you can’t accidentally kill a rock, though, right?


Review (with a [minor] spoiler!)

The first two pages are enough to give a girl heart palpitations. Trent is already married, plus he’s not finishing his bacon? What?! I forewarn you that as soon as you start reading an Unncommon Courtship that you will not be able to put it down. Will Adelaide and Trent be able to make a real marriage?

I know that so many of us readers have been on #teamtrent for awhile, even referring to him as #mytrent, and waiting, waiting, waiting, for his story to come about. To say I was surprised that his marriage came about as it did is an understatement, but for all the expectations we put on him and pressure Kristi felt in living up to those, she did not disappoint in the least. The book was so very Trent.

I did not expect Trent to struggle so much with figuring out what love is, but I did admire his desire to give their marriage the same foundation that typical couples would have experienced. I think that Trent wading his way through the great love question provides a faith filled insight into Biblical love and the basis that it’s more than a feeling; it’s a choice. And in the end, Trent first chooses to love and then falls in love. Calling in the “cavalry” (aka “the boys,” aka Griffith, Ryland, Colin, and Anthony) who proceed give Trent an education was brilliant, and I love how we get to view the more intimate side of the relationship between these five men.

Can I also just say that Kristi is the master of awkward conversations? There are a few chapters that happen after a delayed wedding night between two inexperienced people. While most authors avoid the, ahem, more physical side of marriage, Kristi plunges right in in a manner that is realistic while being tactful and hilarious at the same time. Of course, it’s probably only hilarious because it’s happening to Trent and not me. That said, I know some folks ask about appropriate ages for reading a novel, and while it’s handled superbly and leads to some great conversations about what love is and isn’t, I’d suggest that parents make sure they’ve addressed this topic with their kid before reading this book and then follow up afterwards as well. That said, there are fantastic lessons to be had from Trent and Adelaide’s story.

I received this copy as a courtesy from Bethany House in exchange for an honest opinion. All the opinions above are mine alone. But, seriously, the book is awesome, so go read it.

An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House, #3)        Amazon       Christian Book

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 INSPYs, Christys, and GRW Maggie Award of Excellence. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

You can connect with Kristi Ann Hunter at her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.