Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

Weddings willows and revised expecatations

About the Book

Book: Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations

Author: V. Joy Palmer

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Release Date: February 14, 2019

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations

Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.

But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon shes forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.

Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart.

But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?

Click here to purchase your copy,

My Thoughts

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations is a delightful sweet read with just enough depth and character development to sink you teeth into. While at first I wasn’t sure how much I liked Apryl or her twin Courtney, I reminded myself of their youth which helped add perspective to their choices. Learning more of their past and how each sister reacted in opposites brought understanding and compassion as the sisters learned how to forgive, heal, and fall in love.

Also, a two for one! What’s not in the description is Courtney’s romance. While it’s not the focus of the story, I enjoyed watching her learn to let go and love the man God sent her.

Chance and Apryl take awhile to find their way, but in the end I find myself wishing I had a willow tree of my own. I also spent in inordinate amount of time Goggling 20’s slang.

One aspect that I struggled with was not the story, but switching from first person narrative for Apryl to third person for Chance. It took me several shifts back and forth to settle into this unique way of storytelling. Once I got used to it, I liked that I could really get into Apryl’s personality while also seeing the story from Chance’s perspective (all first person narrative stories from one POV are difficult for me). In that, it offers the best of both POVs.

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

About the Author

V. Joy Palmer

Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterationsand a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Connect with Joy on her websitepersonal blogdevotional blogFacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

More from Joy

I’ll confess something to you guys.

For about a year, I hated these characters. Like I vehemently hated them. For their refusal to bow to my will, I counted the ways I could take revenge against them for my own sadistic pleasure, and I seriously considered printing the manuscript just so I could burn it in an oil drum while I laughed like a Disney villain. I’m told my “Ursula laugh” is uncanny.

Some of you may be laughing. Some of you may be rolling your eyes. Some of you may be gasping in horror at the thought of an author killing her beloved characters. Or some of you may smirk and say, “I’ve been there, only I did kill my characters.”

I dove into the story with a wide-eyed innocence that came from thinking I was in charge of the story. My characters slapped that doe-eyed look off my face, letting me know I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, I knew the basics… They start off arguing, then fall in love… I had a couple great kiss scenes planned… Worth in God would be explored… Jokes would be made… But I could not get these stubborn characters to cooperate, and I was pulling my hair out by the roots trying to force them to get on board with my excellent program! I didn’t understand them, and their actions didn’t make any sense. Then my computer crashed…and died…taking over twelve thousand words with it. (A part of me thinks Apryl was behind it.) Suddenly, I was at square one, but I was actually a little relieved. Now I could start over.

Cue muffled sobs here.

After the untimely demise of my computer, I went to the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers conference. At that conference, Ted Dekker said something in one of his keynote sessions that changed everything for me.

“Write to discover yourself.”

I still get chills when I think about this, and it has nothing to do with the below zero temperatures in my neck of the woods.

My writing changed after that. I made myself vulnerable, pouring my heart into Apryl and Chance’s journey like it was my personal journey. And as my literary world started to blossom, my literal world felt like it was being scorched by an exploding sun of heartache. And when that nasally (or does it only sound that way in my head?) voice whispered that I was worthless, God’s declaration of love was a big, bold font across the pages.

Through Apryl and Chance, I rediscovered my own worth to my Father.

And I hope you can, too.

I hope you laugh (the seagull scene is a favorite of mine). I hope you swoon (Apryl and Chance Forever!!). I would be especially pleased if you had to look up one or two pop culture references because I’ll just feel cool. But more than anything I hope you can rediscover your worth in our Father’s eyes, whether it’s for the first time or the seven hundred and eleventh time.

Our worth isn’t defined by our jobs, our mistakes, our families, or the plans we have. Our worth is in a loving God who calls each of His children by name. Our worth is in our Father.

Set to the tune of a romantic comedy, there are a lot of little truths sprinkled throughout Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, but our worth in God is the glue that holds it all together – at least for me! This was the truth I wanted to convey in Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations all along. But until I started to understand this (I definitely haven’t mastered it!) in my own heart, how could I write about it?

I hope you guys enjoy Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations. I hope this truth touches your heart in some way.

And I hope you laugh. A lot.

Hugs,

Joy Palmer

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, April 27 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, April 27

The Becca Files, April 28

Moments, April 28

Godly Book Reviews, April 29

Just Your Average reviews, April 29

Kat’s Corner Books, April 30

Creating Romance, April 30

Maureen’s Musings, May 1

Hallie Reads, May 1

For Him and My Family, May 2

Vicky Sluiter, May 2

Wishful Endings, May 3

Emily Yager, May 3

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 4

Inklings and notions, May 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 5

Through the Fire Blogs, May 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 7

A Baker’s Perspective, May 8

Cultivating us, May 8

Texas Book-aholic, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

A Reader’s Brain, May 10

janicesbookreviews, May 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joy is giving away a grand prize package that includes a signed copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations,
a signed copy of Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, a Hand-Carved Reading Willow Tree Figurine,  a Character-Inspired Locket,
a Custom Roaring Twenties Book Sleeve from The Cozy Life Etsy Shop, an Anne of Green Gables Mug Rug from Bookish Star Designs Etsy Shop, and a Chai Latte Soy Candle in a Vintage Mug from Joplin House Cafe!!

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/dfea/weddings-willows-and-revised-expectations-celebration-tour-giveaway

Governess of Penwythe Hall – Celebrate Lit – Giveawy

The Governess of Penwythe Hall FB Banner

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?

Finally Accepted

On tour with Celebrate Lit!

There’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.

Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.

As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.

My Review

Chloe is caught between two worlds. She grew up identifying as black and when she finds out he father is Caucasian finds her identity in turmoil. I can’t imagine being in the place where what I believed about myself my whole life was called into question. Chloe wrestles with finding her identity in God rather than her skin color or genetics. She wrestles with loss, bullying, rejection, and doubt that God is a good Father.

Darryl struggles with accepting that he is good enough with God’s grace. I like how throughout the story he is continually compassionate and fights to overcome his past though he does not see it. So many of us do things that we think will make up for past wrongs and earn favor with God, not truly believing that His grace is offered freely and that nothing we can do will earn His mercy.

I enjoyed watching Chloe and Darryl’s relationship develop as they both sought God and what it meant to follow Him in the bad as well as the good, how they held each other accountable for dealing with their relationship with God and their families. I was reminded of Biblical truths about who I am in Christ and I know that He’ll reveal something to you as well in the reading.

I received a copy of this story for the purpose of this tour with Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author

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

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

You can find her at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.

An Hour Unspent – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

an hour unspent FB banner copy

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

 

Imperfect Promises – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

Imperfect Promises FB Banner copy

About the Book

nei5 Imperfect Promises

Book Title: Imperfect Promises

Author: Elizabeth Noyes

Genre: Action, Suspense, Romance

Release date: August, 2018

Award-winning romantic suspense author, Elizabeth Noyes raises the bar in this stunning conclusion of The Imperfect Series!

Former Special Forces operative, Jonas Cameron, traded his past and his service for his family back in Idaho and the ranch he loves. But ghosts have a disturbing way of not staying where you leave them.

Shea Townsend is on her way to becoming a chef extraordinaire until her father’s illness pulls her from culinary school and back to Montana to care for him. After his death, disinherited and alone, she sets out to make a new life for herself, one which may or may not include the too-alpha, too-sexy Jonas Cameron.

Jonas learns of a homegrown terrorist threat against him and his family at the same time a mysterious stalker sets his sights on Shea. Determined to neutralize both dangers, Jonas calls on old friends for help and draws upon his own very specialized skill set to end the menaces to Shea and himself.

As the danger escalates, secrets are revealed and the truth emerges in a deadly cat and mouse game with Shea caught in the middle.

Fast-paced action. Heart-pounding adventure. This is not your ordinary romantic suspense story!

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

This was my first novel by Elizabeth Noyes, but it won’t be my last!

This is a military style romance, but occurs after Jonas is out of the military. I liked that aspect because it had some of the action without getting overwhelming. It also gave me a glimpse into a solider struggling to adapt back to civilian life. While I know there are several types of this kind of story, I always appreciate a new viewpoint with a well written story that gives me some understanding into another’s perspective. But, I also got frustrated with Jonas for not talking to Shae – while I get he can’t reveal anything classified, he could still just talk about struggling with nightmares and coping with the transition back. I know it’s super difficult, especially for guys, but part of committing to a life together is sharing those dark places.

I liked Shae’s passion for the diner. Often waitresses or diner cooks are typed in fiction as restless or not content with their job, so it was a nice change. I also admired her for taking time to reconnect with her brothers and finish school (that’s not too much of a spoiler). Although the story gets a bit jumpy towards the end, I like that Elizabeth put the time passing in to allow healing in both characters as frequently the timeline is condensed in fiction for the sake of the story (and sometimes seems forced).

Overall, I read in mostly one sitting and it kept me turning pages, not cleaning my house like I should, and put the others in the series on my TBR pile. I hope you enjoy!

I received a copy of this book for this blog tour. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Elizabeth Noyes

Elizabeth Noyes—professional writer, aspiring author, dedicated dreamer—lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and best friend, Paul, who listens tirelessly while she regales him with all the tales in her head of damaged, but very human characters clamoring to be heard.

A native of the Deep South, she claims to still “speak the language,” even after traveling around the world for most of her adult life. Recently retired from a career as a professional business writer and editor, she now fills her days editing, critiquing, reading, playing with the grandkids, learning more about Social Media than she ever wanted, and putting her stories into words to share with others.

Guest Post from Elizabeth Noyes

The Imperfect Tie Between Characters, Themes, and Titles

I love reading across all genres. If it’s well- written, I’m an easy catch. What I don’t like is when fictional characters are portrayed as model-worthy with perfect looks, perfect physiques, and perfect personalities. Yuk! I’ve never met a perfect person.

To quote Mark Twain, “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.”

I want characters with the same flaws as you and me—judgmental, short-tempered, guilt-ridden, egotistical, defiant, withdrawn, too-skinny, compassionate, couch potatoes, foolish, silly, serious, low self-esteem, arrogant, hurt, guilty, deceiving, generous… in other words, real people. These are character traits I relate to, and they come alive on the pages, giving hope that we can also learn from our mistakes and grow into something better.

The characters in the Imperfect Series let themselves and others down. They struggle with life issues, make poor decisions, grieve over mistakes, and then pick themselves up and go on.

In Imperfect Wings, guilt and low self esteem plague TJ, while her male counterpart, Garrett, struggles with anger issues. In Imperfect Trust, yeah, trust was a problem for both Lucy and Wade. With Imperfect Bonds, Cassidy fights for her sister’s forgiveness as she deals with feelings of inadequacy … both of which carry over into her relationship with Derek. In Imperfect Lies—yep, another obvious theme. Lies from the past come back to haunt Mallory and James.

In the final book of the series, Imperfect Promises, the main male character, Jonas, is by a nature a control freak. He suffers from guilt over a perceived failure when at his deepest core he is a protector and perfectionist. Shea, the female protagonist, rose from the ashes of a devastating childhood to forge a new life for herself. Both discover that promises made to themselves and to others can’t always be kept. Despite best intentions, life sometimes gets in the way.

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, September 27

Bigreadersite, September 27

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 28

A Baker’s Perspective, September 28

Multifarious, September 29

Real World Bible Study, September 29

Because I said so – adventures in Parenting, September 30

Simple Harvest Reads, October 1

Kat’s Corner Books, October 2

Carpe Diem, October 2

Maureen’s Musings, October 3

Margaret Kazmierczak, October 3

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, October 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 5

Blogging With Carol, October 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 7

proud to be an autism mom, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8

Bibliophile Reviews, October 9

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Janices book reviews, October 10

Giveaway

amazon gift card 50

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

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/d296/imperfect-promises-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

A Tale of Two Hearts – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

About the Book

img_0004Book Title: A Tale of two Cities

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: September 1, 2018

Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she’ll become a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming rogue but penniless. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his puritanical cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t as she comes to love the old man. And when the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such a deception?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

I confess I didn’t understand enough of the references to other books in this novel; clearly I need to brush up on my classics. But, that didn’t stop me from enjoying it! A Tale of Two Hearts to me is really a tale not just about two people falling in love, but two people learning that it’s important to be themselves and to be honest. Both Will and Mina struggle with their own insecurities and while they set out with the best of intentions, their methods may not be the best choice, but this is one of those stories where if I was in their shoes, I’m not sure I would’ve made a different decision.

I appreciate how Michelle kept the story within social norms of the time period. For two people to act married and not be put them in situations that would’ve been scandalous, and this is reflected in both characters actions; their behavior wasn’t changed for modern audiences (i.e. it’s ok to be alone together for awhile, etc.).

If you’re looking for a drama where Christmas is an aspect, but doesn’t overwhelm the story and where characters learn to give others another chance, this story is for you.

I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest Post from Michelle

Victorian Christmas Foods

So, it’s September, and you know what that means? It’s back to school. Pumpkin spiced everything is just around the corner. And it’s nearly time for cardigans and colored leaves. But besides all these autumn staples, it’s also time to start thinking about Christmas, because it will be here before you know it. How about this year you plan ahead to serve some traditional Victorian food?

In my newest release, A Tale of Two Hearts, the heroine’s father is known for his annual oyster stew that he serves on Christmas Eve. Here’s a bit of the background on that tasty soup.

Victorian Oyster Stew

Oysters have been savored in Britain since the days of the Romans. By Victorian times, industrialization cheapened oysters to the point of them becoming a staple of the poor man’s diet and were a frequent fare served in public houses. This, however, depleted their abundance, and by the mid 1800’s, the natural oyster beds became exhausted, making it harder to find good oysters. While other foods were served as well on Christmas Eve, oyster stew was as common as goose or turkey.

Another Victorian favorite that goes great on a crisp evening is good ol’ hot chocolate, though in Dickens’ England, it would’ve been called something else.

Drinking Chocolate

What we now call cocoa or hot chocolate was called drinking chocolate in the mid 1800s. This beverage was a favorite among Victorian ladies. You can find recipes for it even from the Regency era (early 1800s) and here is one for you to make at home.

And last, but not least, who hasn’t heard of Christmas pudding? To our American ears, that sounds like a tasty dish that you’d eat with a spoon and slap a little whipped cream on top. Actually, it’s more like a fruit cake.

Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding is quite a production, one that begins well before Christmas Day. In fact, it begins on Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent (which is five weeks before Christmas). This is why when Mina, the heroine in A Tale of Two Hearts, returns home from dinner at Uncle Barlow’s, and though it’s not yet Christmas, she sees the pudding moulds on the kitchen table.

If these tastes and the accompanying smells still aren’t quite enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, then snatch yourself up a copy of the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. A Tale of Two Hearts is sure to get you in the mood.

Blog Stops

Kat’s Corner Books, October 2

Creating Romance, October 2

Just the Write Escape, October 2

The Avid Reader, October 2

Genesis 5020, October 3

The Power of Words, October 3

Just Commonly, October 3

Baker Kella, October 3

Among the Reads, October 4

Fiction Aficionado, October 4

Godly Book Reviews, October 4

Inklings and Notions , October 4

Captive Dreams Window, October 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, October 5

Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 5

Multifarious, October 6

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 6

The Christian Fiction Girl, October 6

Texas Book-aholic, October 6

Remembrancy, October 7

Splashes of Joy , October 7

Blossoms and Blessings, October 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 7

Back Porch Reads, October 8

A Reader’s Brain, October 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 8

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 8

Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, October 9

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 9

Carpe Diem, October 9

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 10

Britt Reads Fiction, October 10

Luv’N Lambert Life, October 10

A Baker’s Perspective, October 10

By The Book, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 11

Book by Book, October 11

Bigreadersite, October 11

More Of Him, October 12

Pause for Tales, October 12

With a Joyful Noise, October 12

Have A Wonderful Day , October 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 13

Bibliophile Reviews, October 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 13

Vicky Sluiter, October 14

Daysong Reflections , October 14

To Everything A Season, October 14

Henry Happens, October 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15

Reader’s Cozy Corner, October 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!

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/d4ef/a-tale-of-two-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Love Letter – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

The Love Letter FB Banner copy

About the Book

The Love Letter

Title: The Love Letter

Author: Rachel Hauck

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Genre: Contemporary

Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

For all my fellow end-readers out there: JUST SAY NO. Do not read the end of this book before all the rest. I got nervous part way through, almost read the end, but something whispered, wait for it. I AM SO GLAD I WAITED. Wait for the ending, friends, don’t rush this one!

Rachel is known for seemingly weaving together a contemporary and historical story, and this novel is no exception. From the start, the two stories develop, back and forth, keeping me turning pages. The historical story is filled with angst and delayed love, but is well balanced by the sweeter contemporary story, which keeps the drama from getting overwhelming. I really like Jesse and Chloe, as well as several of the minor characters from both stories, but I struggled to connect with Esther and Hamilton and their lack of standing up for their love as well as admitting and committing to it.

It was very interesting getting a small peek into the back story of getting a movie produced, and I admire the way Chloe, and the director, Jer (who happens to share a name with hubs!) find a way to move forward and make it work when challenges come up.

…and the ending. I can’t even. It’s perfect. I was definitely nervous part way through, wondering how it was going to work out, how it was going to satisfy when we knew he didn’t send the letter (which is not a spoiler because you know that from start!). But…oh, my gosh. It surprised me but was awesome.

I received a complimentary copy of this story. All opinions are my own and honest, I promise! I can’t fake the ending gushiness.

About the Author

Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:

”Really? So why did you do that?”

”Have you sought help?”

”Was it love at first sight?”

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?

”Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”

”You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?

I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time.

But a bonafide love letter?

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.

Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?

Saw you at your window. You looked hot.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.

Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21

The Avid Reader, June 21

Genesis 5020, June 21

ansel book blog, June 22

Blogging With Carol, June 22

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, June 22

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, June 23

The Power of Words, June 23

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 23

Janices book reviews, June 23

C Jane Read, June 24

Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25

Faithfully Bookish, June 25

By The Book, June 25

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 25

Kat’s Corner Books, June 26

Maureen’s Musings, June 26

Ladybug Chronicles, June 26

Carpe Diem, June 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 27

Mommynificent , June 27

Godly Book Reviews, June 27

God’s Little Bookworm, June 28

Radiant Light, June 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 28

Have A Wonderful Day, June 28

Novels corner, June 29

Blossoms and Blessings, June 29

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 29

Bigreadersite, June 29

Pause for Tales, June 30

Bibliophile Reviews, June 30

Splashes of Joy, June 30

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 1

Simple Harvest Reads, July 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 1

A Baker’s Perspective, July 1

Remembrancy, July 2

amandainpa, July 2

To Everything A Season, July 2

proud to be an autism mom, July 3

Texas Book-aholic, July 3

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, July 3

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, July 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 4

 

Giveaway

kindle

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 Semi-Grand prize of a book basket 2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d071/the-love-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway