The Heart’s Appeal – Giveaway – Celebrate Lit

The Hearts Appeal FB Banner copy

About the Book

Heart's Appeal

Book Title: The Heart’s Appeal

Author: Jennifer Delamere

Release Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance

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

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

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

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

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

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

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

About the Book

Delamere_Jennifer (1)

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

Guest Post from Jennifer Delamere

Power couples?

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

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

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

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

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

Who couldn’t love a man like that?

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

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

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

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

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 22

Inspiration Clothesline, March 22

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

A Greater Yes, March 23

Among the Reads, March 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 23

Splashes of Joy, March 23

Fiction Aficionado, March 24

History, Mystery & Faith, March 24

Red Headed Book Lady, March 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24

The Power of Words, March 25

Mary Hake, March 25

Remembrancy, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

Cordially, Barbara, March 26

Genesis 5020, March 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Kat’s Corner BooksMarch 27

The Fizzy Pop CollectionMarch 27

Maureen’s MusingsMarch 27

Carpe DiemMarch 27

Reflections From My BookshelvesMarch 28

Seasons of opportunitiesMarch 28

Singing Librarian BooksMarch 28

A Baker’s PerspectiveMarch 28

Baker KellaMarch 29

All-of-a-kind MomMarch 29

Inklings and NotionsMarch 29

Simple Harvest ReadsMarch 29 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pause for TalesMarch 30

Cafinated ReadsMarch 30

Have A Wonderful DayMarch 30

Pursuing Stacie, March 30

Locks, Hooks and BooksMarch 31

Connie’s History ClassroomMarch 31

Book by BookMarch 31

BigreadersiteMarch 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly KissesApril 1

Neverending StoriesApril 1

Ladybug Chronicles, April 1

Smiling Book ReviewsApril 2

Two Points of InterestApril 2

Vicky SluiterApril 2

Kaylee’s Kind Of WritesApril 3

proud to be an autism momApril 3

Bibliophile ReviewsApril 3

Karen Sue HadleyApril 4

Live Love ReadApril 4

Stories Where Hope and Quirky MeetApril 4

Faery Tales Are RealApril 4

Giveaway

starbucks

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

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

 

Across the Blue – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

Across the Blue FB banner copy

About the Book

Acrosstheblue

Title: Across the Blue

Author: Carrie Turansky

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 20, 2018

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

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

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

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

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

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

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

About the Author

Carrie

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

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Following your Dreams

By Carrie Turansky

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

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

JamesAirplane

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Stops

Bookworm Mama, February 22

Carpe Diem, February 22

Blogging With Carol, February 22

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 23

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 23

Karen Sue Hadley, February 23

Christian Bookaholic, February 24

Mary Hake, February 24

Among the Reads, February 24

The Power of Words, February 25

History, Mystery & Faith, February 25

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 25

Maureen’s Musings, February 26

Rachel’s Back Talk, February 26

Smiling Book Reviews, February 26

Radiant LightFebruary 27

Faithfully BookishFebruary 27

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 27

Bibliophile Reviews, February 28

Remembrancy, February 28

Two Points of Interest, February 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 1

Book by Book, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

proud to be an autism mom, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 2

Have A Wonderful Day, March 2

margaret kazmierczak, March 2 (Interview)

Pursuing Stacie, March 3

Neverending Stories, March 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 3

Texas Book-aholic, March 4

Janices book reviews, March 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 4

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

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 5

My Writer’s Life, March 5

Baker Kella, March 5

Kat’s Corner Books, March 6

A Greater Yes, March 6

A Baker’s Perspective, March 6

Romances of the Cross, March 7

Henry Happens, March 7

For The Love of Books, March 7

Giveaway

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

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

 

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

amazon gift card 50

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

 

Strains of Silence – Giveaway – Celebrate Lit

Strains of Silence FB Banner copy

About the Book

StrainsOfSilence_h12295_750 (2)

Author: Bethany Kaczmarek

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 1, 2017

Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.

Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I feel very differently about the first half and the second half of this book. Bethany’s writing is solid, the characters well developed, but the beginning is very slow. The first half of the book takes places over several months, and while this is necessary for the story (I don’t think the reader would believe it if it went too fast) and you see a good amount of character development, I found myself skipping pages. A lot.

But, then I got around half way through and it took off like a shot. Without giving anything away, events escalated, the romance started to develop and the story pulled me in. The second half of the book takes place over maybe a monthish.

Overall, I think it’s a good story, and would recommend it to others, with letting them know that the beginning is slow; the second half is definitely worth the read, even if you find yourself skipping over part of the first. I think Bethany did a fantastic job handling a tough subject (domestic abuse) giving it the weight it needed while balancing it with faith aspects to keep it from getting overwhelming.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit tour. All opinions are honest and my own!

About the Author

bethany-kaczmarek-HR-2

Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.

Guest Post from Bethany Kaczmarek

Strains of Silence: A Novel for Anyone Who Can Say #MeToo

We’re everywhere. After years of silence, many survivors of sexual assault are raising our voices. You’ve seen the hashtag. You know someone who suffered like this—a friend, a sister, a daughter.

Maybe you know personally what it’s like to be used.

I’m thankful for the conversations the #MeToo campaign has started, proud of the brave women who are speaking out. But I know some are still quiet, nursing wounds.

I could list loads of valid reasons a victim chooses to suffer in silence.

  • People won’t believe her.
  • If she doesn’t say it out loud, it’s easier to pretend it was a nightmare.
  • He’s got authority over her—at work, at church, in the family—and it’ll cost her too much. He’s done enough damage already.
  • He’s threatened to destroy her reputation, and she believes him. One, because he’ll do it without flinching. Two, because she’s already convinced that she’s living a lie.
  • Because at church, she’s supposed to be fine, smiling, rejoicing in her suffering and pressing on. Besides, people don’t want to sit with her in her pain and listen. They’d rather offer bumper-sticker theology and trite spiritual bandages.
  • The few times she’s tried to speak up, her used-to-be friend basically made her feel like it was her fault.

The list could go on, but it’s fair to say that being honest about what happened to us makes us vulnerable all over again. The idea is understandably stressful.

But you know what? Pretending we’re fine is exhausting too. We bear a great strain when we hide our hurts, for whatever reason.

Kasia Bernolak, the heroine of my novel Strains of Silence, gets it. She’s got reasons for keeping it quiet too. But when God brings some new people into her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be alone.

And speaking up offers a freedom, a lightness, she wants.

It’s a freedom I want for my readers.

I know. Strains of Silence sounds like a heavy book right now. The themes are heavy, no doubt. There’s no glossing over and prettying up sexual assault or domestic violence. But—just like in real life—it’s how well we surround and support the suffering that can set the tone. Kasia’s friends are real, they’re funny, they’re quirky, and they believe in her.

Besides, it’s not all dark and brooding. There’s travel—an entire summer in the mountains of Peru. There’s a lot of music—Kasia’s a singer/song-writer who loves indie artists (I’ve got a playlist on my website). There’s heritage and culture—meet her immigrant family and you’ll get a delicious taste of Poland. There’s humor—enough to keep the story light when you need it to be.

And there’s hope. Kasia’s life is absolutely full of possibility.

So are the lives of everyone who can say #MeToo.

Sometimes, it just helps to see someone else fight the battle on our own horizon. And if you can do it with a fantastic new playlist and some laughs, why not?

My hope is that Strains of Silence will lead to real discussions with reader-friends, book-club gatherings that become turning points, and the true pursuit of freedom. It’s time to throw off the burdens we wear and stand up. Raise your voice, link arms with others, and fight for hope.

Healing is within our reach.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, January 6

proud to be an autism mom, January 6

Inklings and Notions, January 7

Bibliophile Reviews, January 7

Fiction Aficionado, January 8

Genesis 5020, January 8

The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 9

Bigreadersite, January 9

Red Headed Book Lady, January 10

Mommynificent, January 10

Texas Book-aholic, January 11

allofakindmom, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 12 (Interview)

The Power of Words, January 12

Pursuing Stacie, January 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 13

A Greater Yes, January 13

Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Mindy Houg Guest Review on Artistic Nobody, January 15

Janices book reviews, January 15

Faithfully Bookish, January 16

Kat’s Corner Books, January 16

Margaret Kazmierczak, January 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 17

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, January 18

Carpe Diem, January 18

Remebrancy, January 19

A Baker’s Perspective, January 19


Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and 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/c5dc

12 Days at Bleakly Manor – C

12 days at bleakly manor copy

About the Book

Bleakly Manor COVER

Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I may be dense, or just need to brush up on my classic literature, but I didn’t realize that this book was related to a Dicken’s classic until I was reading about the next in the series at the end. Thus, this review will not comment on whether or not the author did that compassion justice. Instead, I will be relating it to a more modern piece of entertainment, Clue.

I love Clue. I’ve always loved the game, the mystery, puzzling out just who did it. Once I was old enough, I also saw the movie, and now I own it. I was so excited when I watched the DVD the first time and it had an option to pick one random ending from three and you would never know which was going to be selected. It still thrills me even thinking about it. Unfortunately, it’d be extremely difficult for Michelle to pen three different endings, and then make us randomly flip to the page to select a different one, but all of the other essential reasons of why I love Clue, Michelle did in such a creative fashion.

I can’t say I was surprised by the ending, but that is because I suspected EVERYONE at some point, it’s the nature of the story arc. But, I also was surprised because it was brought together and the motivations behind it weren’t what I was puzzling together in my imagination. The mystery of who will die next and who was behind it all is what kept me turning pages because I had to know. Also the anxiety of knowing there could be only one winner, but we have both a hero and a heroine! I want them both to win! It was agonizing.

For regular readers of my blog, you will be happy to know I DID NOT, I repeat, DID NOT, read the end until I got there. Aren’t you proud? In this case, I just knew it would ruin the mystery and allure of everything and Michelle wrote it in such a way with clues coming steadily that I didn’t feel the all consuming desire to know how it turned out before I got there.

So, that should tell you something. If you’re a fan of mystery, give it a try.

Side note: If you’re looking for a fluffy cheery Christmas read, this isn’t it. It’s a bit morose, but I ensure you, a very satisfying read.

What about you? Do you like Clue? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

michelle griep

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor

Guest post by Michelle Griep

Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…

TREE DECORATIONS

Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.

GREENERY

Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.

WREATHS

“Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.

CANDLES

Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.

DRESDENS

Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal.

And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy.

And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Blog Stops

By The Book, December 14

Bukwurmzzz, December 14

Faery Tales Are Real, December 14

A Baker’s Perspective, December 15

A Reader’s Brain, December 15

Have A Wonderful Day, December 15

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Carpe Diem, December 16

Cafinated Reads, December 16

Just the Write Escape, December 17

A Greater Yes, December 17

Remembrancy, December 17

Allofakindmom, December 18

History, Mystery & Faith, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18

amandainpa, December 19

Kat’s Corner Books, December 19

Mommynificent, December 19

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 20

Bookworm Mama, December 20

Vicky Sluiter, December 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 21

To Everything A Season, December 21

Reader’s Cozy Corner, December 22

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 22

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)

My Writer’s Life, December 23

Janices book reviews, December 23

For The Love of Books, December 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Red Headed Book Lady, December 25

Raining Butterfly Kisses, December 25

Bibliophile Reviews, December 26

Blogging With Carol,December 26

Mary Hake, December 26

Reflections From my Bookshelves, December 27


Giveaway

barnes and noble

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8

 

Runaway Romance – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

Runaway Romance FB Banner copy

About the Book

RunawayRomanceFrontFinal

Name of book: Runaway Romance

Author: Miralee Ferrell

Genre: Contemporary romance with Amish thread

Release Date: October, 2017

When a reality TV star meets the reality of life, will it be her downfall or her salvation?

Ann Stanway had it all—a starring role in a reality show, an adoring boyfriend, and a sparkling future with limitless possibilities. Until the rules changed and the life she’d thought was real no longer existed. Leaving L.A. seems like her only option, and she lands in Kentucky at a quiet Amish inn—as far removed from her past as possible. Now she knows what was missing in her life–peace, true friendship and, dare she hope, a man who accepts her for who she is–or at least who he thinks she is.

Hunter Lewis is intrigued by the new woman staying at his friend’s Amish inn. Annie appears to be what she claims, but she’s secretive and won’t open up. He’s been burned by a woman before and can’t tolerate deception. But his interest in Annie is growing, and the attraction seems to be mutual—until something happens that makes Hunter question everything he’d thought was real. Dare he risk his heart, when he’s certain Annie is keeping secrets?

Can their new romance withstand the pressure, or will Ann choose to run again?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

My favorite character was the Amish Inn owner, Sarah, who found a way to stand up for herself while living her faith out to Ann. In my opinion, the best way for faith to be written into stories is by showing how the characters live it out and Miralee does that with Sarah. The story  is really a hybrid between your everyday contemporary Christian Fiction and Amish Fiction, dwelling in both worlds. While I think that this is a unique premise and I enjoyed having some variety within the story, I also struggled with what it was supposed to be as it didn’t seem to belong to either “world.” That said, Amish fiction is not normally my thing, so that may have been some of the difficulty getting into this story. I did really enjoy seeing the other side of a reality TV star. I’m not a big fan of reality TV, but I do know that we as a culture, and me included, can tend to forget they’re real people with feelings, and so I enjoyed the view into Ann’s life and the difficulties that come with it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit tour. All opinions are honest and my own!

About the Author

miralee

I love life, love my family, love writing Christian fiction–reading, riding my horse and puttering in my garden are all ways I relax. I often have my little 7 lb Chihuahua, Lacey, on my lap when I’m working–there’s nothing like a warm ball of love on your lap to act as a stress reliever!

First and foremost I’m a child of God and daughter of the King. I’ve been involved in women’s ministries for years, I’m married to a wonderful man, have two grown children, two cats, two dogs, 10 chickens and ride my son-in-law’s Arabian mare since my old mare passed in 2013. We live about 9 miles from the nearest town on 11 acres, in a peaceful setting surrounded by trees.

I started writing shortly after I turned 50, and discovered I loved it so much I don’t want to stop. I have 15 novels out & a five book set of horse novels for middle-grade girls. I write both women’s contemporary fiction, historical & contemporary romance, and horse/mystery novels for girls. One of my Western romances, Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, was awarded the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, three books have been optioned as movies, and several books have been on the ECPA best seller list. You can find out more about me andmy books at http://miraleeferrell.com/

Guest Post from Miralee Ferrell

In the spring of 2015, I received an email from a Hollywood producer, followed by a phone call. Imagine my surprise when she asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them. They were no longer producing the Love Finds You books into movies and were working on a different project for UP TV, a possible three-movie series, and she hoped I might be able to work with them. She explained that she’d optioned Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming, two or three years earlier, and loved it. Of the thirty-five or so titles she’d read of the line, that was her favorite. However, UP TV didn’t want to make historical or old west movies, so she’d shelved it for now.

During that time period, I’d gotten my rights returned to all of my LFY books and had retitled them Finding Love in Last Chance, California, Finding Love in Tombstone, Arizona, and Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon. Sundance became Outlaw Angel, and all four are still in print.

Here’s the amazing part. I came very, very close to turning down that contract offer with Summerside for Sundance. I was disappointed in the advance and royalty rate, and shortly after they released it, they sold the line to Guideposts, and that company didn’t continue the line much longer. Understandably, sales waned on their final releases, and I was disappointed with my sales from that final book as my others had done quite well. For a long time, I wished I hadn’t taken that contract and instead held out for one with another company for a three-book series. However, had I done that, I doubt Runaway Romance would ever have been written. It was Sundance that grabbed Chevonne’s attention and caused her to contact me. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Blog Stops

Blogging With CarolNovember 28

Reflections from my bookshelvesNovember 28

Janices book reviewNovember 29

Books, Books, and More Books.November 29

Books n baublesNovember 30

Blossoms and BlessingsNovember 30

Have A Wonderful DayDecember 1

Inklings and notionsDecember 1

Christian Chick’s ThoughtsDecember 2

Texas Book-aholicDecember 2

History, Mystery & FaithDecember 3

BigreadersiteDecember 4

The Power of WordsDecember 4

Kat’s Corner BooksDecember 5

Reading Is My SuperPowerDecember 5 (Interview)

Baker KellaDecember 6

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsDecember 6

Splashes of JoyDecember 7

Karen Sue HadleyDecember 7

Quiet QuilterDecember 8

Red Headed Book LadyDecember 9

Just the Write EscapeDecember 9

Cafinated ReadsDecember 10

RemembrancyDecember 11

Carpe DiemDecember 11

Giveaway

kindle

In honor of her tour, Miralee is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle Fire! Click the link below to enter! Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c31a

 

Charming the Troublemaker – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

charming the troublemaker copy

About the Book

CTTfrontcover

Title: Charming the Troublemaker

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Troublemaking never looked so good…

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell.

Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.

When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.

Click here to purchase!

My Review

I’ll admit that I was late to jump on the Pepper Basham bandwagon, but once I was on, that wagon moved fast and furious. I consumed as many books as I could get my hands on, including the first in this series, A Twist of Faith. And guys, I was despondent when I found out that I had to wait until November for Charming the Troublmaker to come out. A few days later, I was checking emails, and lo, and behold, there it was, sitting in my email with the reminder that I had signed up for this tour. HOW IN THE WORLD HAD I FORGOT? I will never make that mistake again.

I immediately (and I mean immediately right after I might have jumped up and down, squealed, and posted a photo on Instagram) dove into the story. I was not disappointed.

Anyone who loves laughter, kisses, My Little Pony, kisses, awkward men who don’t know what to do with themselves, kisses, and, oh, yeah, kisses, will love this story. Plus, Pepper continues to show her writing talent by including elements of mystery/suspense while maintaining her trademark romantic comedy. How can a book be a contemporary-romance-comedy-suspense you might ask? Trust me, just read it.

I loved it so much that when I hit The End, I thought about starting it right over and reading it a second time, but then I decided that would probably be absurd. But I wanted to, and now that I’m writing this post, I’m realizing how much I miss Alex, Rainey, and Sarah, and….(I’m posting now because I have to go read this again…_peace out, ya’ll)

About the Author

pepperquilt

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

Guest Post from Pepper Basham

I have a thing for underdogs.

Misfits.

Lots souls who desperately need to find where they belong.

I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another.

I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence.

Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued.

In a bad way.

If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy.

As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem.

Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt.

So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero?

What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost?

The answers were surprising!! Just wait.

The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed.

And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family.

Alex rocks her world with his ready charm.

And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul.

Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun!

AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer 😉

Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes:

Anything with Sarah!

Underoos

All of the scenes in Rainey’s house

And those in Mama Mitchell’s

Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.

Blog Stops

By The Book, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 15

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15

Fiction Aficionado, November 16

autism mom, November 16

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 17

Inklings and Notions, November 17

Faithfully Bookish, November 18

Radiant Light, November 18

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 19

The Power of Words, November 19

Cordially Barbara, November 20

Red Headed Book Lady, November 20

Smiling Book Reviews, November 20

Kat’s Corner Books, November 21

A Greater YesNovember 21

100 Pages per HourNovember 22

Splashes of JoyNovember 22

Carpe Diem, November 23

Bookworm Mama, November 23

A Baker’s Perspective, November 24

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 24

Daysong ReflectionsNovember 25

Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25

Remembrancy, November 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 27

Karen Sue HadleyNovember 27

Giveaway

 

5b0da174-3bb2-47fb-9e0d-a0ce456971e5-225x300To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers 😉 highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f1