Thursday, November 15, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: The Unannounced Christmas Visitor by Patrick Higgins

About the Book

Book: The Unannounced Christmas Visitor
Author: Patrick Higgins
Genre: Christian fiction/Christmas
Release Date: November 18, 2014


What if angels really did come from the most unlikely of places? That’s exactly what happens in this heartwarming story, set in a homeless community in Anywhere USA. Sent to Planet Earth by his Maker, disguised as a homeless person, Enoch was on a mission: to rescue a man whose life was slowly but steadily spiraling out of control.

Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed! 2016 IPA (INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHER AWARDS) GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNER.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

This was a lovely story of God miraculously answering a wife's prayers for her husband  The book itself was small, but was jam-packed with small print, and it took me much longer to read than I had anticipated.  This story is mainly dialog-driven, and most of that dialog is Scripture or theological discussions.  So while I enjoyed the story, most of the book just seemed to move from theological discussion to theological discussion.  I also thought that the unbelieving character's reactions to these discussions tended to be unrealistic. 

Many will enjoy this heartwarming Christmas story of miracles and redemption.  Those who enjoy theology will appreciate the discussions in the book.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Patrick Higgins is the author of “The Pelican Trees”, “Coffee In Manila”, the award-winning “The Unannounced Christmas Visitor”, and the award-winning prophetic end times series, “Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye.”







Guest Post from Patrick

Why I wrote the book: Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 10
Lighthouse Academy, November 10
The Power of Words, November 11
Christian Centered book Reviews, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 12
Bogging With Carol, November 12
God’s Little Bookworm, November 13
Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 13
Girls in White Dresses, November 14
Moments, November 14
Mary Hake, November 15
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 15
For the Love of Literature, November 15
Inklings and notions, November 16
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 16
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 17
Bibliophile Reviews, November 17
Vicky Sluiter, November 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18
Godly Book Reviews, November 19
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 19
Luv’N Lambert Life, November 20
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20
Texas Book-aholic, November 21
Janices book reviews, November 21
Carpe Diem, November 22
Bigreadersite, November 22
amandainpa, November 23
A Baker’s Perspective, November 23

Giveaway
To celebrate his tour, Patrick is giving away 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/d5c7/the-unannounced-christmas-visitor-tour-giveaway

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Book Review with a Giveaway: An Hour Unspent by Rosanna M. White


About the Book

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.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

Having read the two previous novels in the Shadows Over England series, I was so excited to be able to get to know Barclay even better.  He is such a multi-faceted character.  He is the glue that holds his family together.  I loved that his "talents" as a thief had prepared him for excellence in the work he did for the Crown.  

The story seemed to build gradually as the realities of residing in London during World War I were presented.  Then once the scene was set, the many plot twists one after another made this book so hard to put down.

I continue to be impressed with Rosanna M. White's ability as an author.  Not only did she tell a great story with characters that we loved, but her word choice as she wove the story was beautiful.  Alternately, during an attack scene, I could feel the terror, and that feeling lasted for days.

This story stands alone, yet is so much better after having read the two previous novels in the series.  Anyone who loves historical romance, or World War I stories will enjoy this book.  Since it is from Barclay's perspective, and full of intrigue and war, I believe men would enjoy this novel as well as the ladies.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author



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
Texas Book-aholic, November 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

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

Monday, November 5, 2018

Book review: Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano

About the Book:

Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.

When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind the abduction, they're seen alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.

Gilbert is willing to propose marriage--except Temperance will have none of it. She's finally stepped out of the shadow of her relations and won't give up her independence. But when it becomes clear the misunderstanding in Chicago has escalated into a threat on her life and followed her to New York, accepting Gilbert's help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.

You can purchase your copy here.

My Review:

True to form, the third installation of Apart from the Crowd begins with an outlandish surprise, yet managed well by an intelligent, level-headed Temperance Flowerdew.  She is rescued from her dilemma by her childhood friend Gilbert Cavendish.  The book continues as the situation returns to rights, but their relationship consumes much of the rest of the story, along with several mysteries that evolve.

This novel is set in New York City in the 1880s, in a high-society background.  As such, the characters' speech patterns are very particular, and much of the book is dialog.  It seemed that it took me longer to read this book because of that style, but when the hilarity ensues, the plot twists, and the mysteries are solved, it is worth it.

Fans of Jen Turano's writing will want to read this book, as well as historical romance readers.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Jen Turano is a USA Today Bestselling author, known for her quirky characters and amusing story lines. Her novel, After a Fashion, was a Reviewer's Choice finalist with RT, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013, and Booklist has called her "One of the funniest voices in the inspirational genre." When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver, CO. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Miles From Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti

About the Book

Book Title: Miles from Where We Started
Author: Cynthia Ruchti
Genre: Christian Romance/Family life
Release date: October 16, 2018


These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip—and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off ramp.

Weeks away from their one-year wedding anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.

The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition, and an at-risk, trouble-seeking missile of an eleven-year-old is unexpectedly launched into their travel plans. Close quarters get even tighter, and the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.

Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness they expected. How can they find a new beginning when the road ends?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

When you pick up a book by Cynthia Ruchti, you know it's going to be substantial, and this one did not disappoint.  The book has plenty of pages in it, but it read fairly quickly.  And although there was plenty of levity (there has to be when you are travelling with an eleven-year-old,)  there is plenty of gut-wrenching emotion and lessons learned through the characters' literal journey.  Connor, Mallory, and Judah are drawn to the Lord through through hardships, heartbreak, creation, and the wonderful people they meet as they travel.  

Fans of contemporary Christian fiction will certainly enjoy this book, and those who enjoy travel and camping will appreciate this journey as well.

I received an ARC of this book from Gilead Publishing, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope through novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and speaking events. She serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences across the country. She married her grade school sweetheart, and the two live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.



Guest Post from Cynthia


I have a confession to make. I heart millennials.

My other novels have had a few millennial characters. Some even played starring roles. But I knew there was more to the heart of millennials than I could gain from listening to the often unfair sighing or comedy routines about that generation. As a person, I wanted to know them better—what are they really like? What challenges do they face with which previous generations saddled them? What strengths to they offer our culture?

Until now, I hadn’t written a story about a millennial couple whose marriage was in crisis. Like, serious crisis. I-don’t-want-to-be-married-to-you-anymore. That kind of crisis.

As any good novelist knows, part of what we do to our characters is make the situation worse. So, millennial couple, approaching their one-year anniversary, ready to call it quits because “This marriage thing is really hard. Is it supposed to be so much work?” But what if…? What if they were forced to be together for three weeks…in a micro-camper…on America’s back roads…with an 11-year-old foster boy troublemaker…and both the husband’s AND the wife’s jobs depended on the trip’s success?

Plot idea in hand, I set off to write Miles from Where We Started, not entirely sure when I began the journey where they would end up or how they’d get there. It was an education for me in so many ways. The impact of the turning point of the story? In the words of my millennial friends, “That’s lit!”

Side note: I’m a big fan of a young teen musician at our church. The boy has mad skills as a keyboard artist. He approaches life as if it’s an endless game of Ninja Warrior. Why walk when you can vault into the room? Why walk up a flight of stairs when you can hop four at a time? He also sports a perpetual smile and is famous for his kindness, but his eyes give away that a little mischief may be hiding behind that smile. I asked Judah’s permission to use his name (and a little bit of his personality) as the foster child character in Miles from Where We Started. I can’t wait for him to read the part he inspired.

Can’t wait for you to read it, too.

Hemmed in Hope,

Cynthia

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 25
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 25
The Power of Words, October 25
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 26
Lighthouse Academy, October 26
Real World Bible Study, October 26
Quiet Quilter, October 27
Kristin’s Book Reviews, October 27
Christian Bookaholic, October 27
cherylbbookblog, October 28
Simple Harvest Reads, October 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, October 28
Godly Book Reviews, October 29
Captive Dreams Window, October 29
By The Book, October 29
Maureen’s Musings, October 30
Spoken from the Heart , October 30
SusanLovesBooks, October 30
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 31
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31
Locks, Hooks and Books, October 31
Mary Hake, November 1
Book by Book, November 1
amandainpa , November 1
Pause for Tales, November 2
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 2
Just Commonly, November 2
Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 3
Baker Kella, November 3
Two Points of Interest, November 3
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 4
Inklings and Notions, November 4
Bibliophile Reviews, November 4
Texas Book-aholic, November 5
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 5
Janice’s Book Reviews, November 6
Carpe Diem, November 6
A Baker’s Perspective, November 6
A Diva’s Heart, November 7
Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 7
Bigreadersite, November 7

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away a grand prize of the Adventure begins” large tote bag, “This way to adventure” travel notebook, “Home is Where We Park It” metal wall hanging, a teardrop camper birdhouse, PLUS a $50 gift Visa gift card…to start your adventure fund!!

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/d4ea/miles-from-where-we-started-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Book review: Focus on Love by Candee Fick

About the Book:

Free-spirited Elizabeth Foster turned her back on her father's photography business to pursue musical theater, but a career on the stage remains second to a career behind the camera. The possibility of a one-show contract means she's a few weeks from unemployment forcing her home, and her dreams of pursuing professional photography reemerge. With photography and theater opportunities unfolding before her, Elizabeth faces her biggest challenge yet—listening to her heart.

Meanwhile, sought-after photographer Ryan Callahan has put his career on hold to help his sister's family, but the promise of a bigger assignment could lure him away so he can begin building a family of his own. With professional opportunities and personal obligations pulling at him, Ryan faces his toughest challenge—balancing family, relationships, and work.

If given the choice, what dreams would develop for Elizabeth and Ryan? And will they learn to trust each other enough to focus on love?

You can purchase a copy here, just in time for the holidays!

My Review:

A sweet, clean romance.

It's really exciting to be following Candee Fick's work-it keeps getting better and better!  Focus on Love begins where Dance Over Me ends, so the setting was familiar to me.  The story stands on its own, despite being second in a series.

The main characters were adorable.  I loved how the author drew me in to their relationship through their repartee.  The story line was well-developed and believable.

Readers who appreciate contemporary romance will want to read this book, as well as any photography or musical theater fans.  I have read all of Candee Fick's books and have graduated from reader to a fan!

I received a digital copy of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Candee Fick is a multi-published award-winning author. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

In addition to writing clean faith-based romance novels and inspirational non-fiction, Candee coaches other authors with their marketing plans and offers content editing to aspiring novelists. She is a member of both American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network. Her fiction has semi-finaled, finaled, and won the ACFW Genesis Contest and Selah Awards.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: The Vintage Wren by Chautona Havig


About the Book

Book Title: the Vintage Wren Volume 1
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian / Fiction / General / Romance
Release date: May 25, 2016 (still in progress)


The Vintage Wren is a serial novel released in several chapter episodes. Volume One contains the first four and a half episodes in one full-length novel.

Cassie Wren. Legal assistant. Convenience queen. Thrifter extraordinaire. If there was a “green police” she’d be a fugitive from eco-friendly justice.

But when a friend’s teasing feels like a challenge, Cassie accepts it. The result? One year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three hundred sixty-five days–of green.

It seemed simple enough. Cut back on paper plates, plastic forks, and straws. Easy peasy. But when her competitive side wars against her desire for convenience, Cassie finds it’s not so easy to be “eco-friendly” and “Cassie-friendly.”

January Shopping for Cassie’s annual New Year’s Eve party sparks an innocent comment that Cassie can’t forget. So, during their New Year’s Day goal planning session, Cassie’s friends tease her about her lack of eco-consciousness, and Cassie determines to change one new thing in favor of the planet every week. For a year. Even if it kills her.

She’s confident it will.

Cassie’s first month includes eradicating the extraneous paper, glass, plastic, and metal from her life. However, she finds that it’s not quite as easy as she thought. Paper and plastic cover everything manufactured or packaged–even water, produce, and restaurant food! Glass is great, but you can only have so many “reusable jars,” and metal reduction means her hair may end up a nightmare of uncontrollable frizzies!

She doesn’t even want to talk about her water reduction plans.

But it’s not all been bad. She’s saved a lot of money, has prospects for a new business, her impromptu blog is gaining traffic, and she even has a new boyfriend. Add to that, a few great friends who keep her going when things get rough, and the realization that there are only eleven months to go, and Cassie just might make it.

Now only if her car would cooperate and make it, too!

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

How does she do that?  Author Chautona Havig takes an ordinary, mundane thing, like living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, and turns it into such a compelling book!  And this is just the beginning!

I liked Cassie.  She is still young and discovering who she is, yet she is willing to change when she discovers flaws to be corrected.  She is well-connected to friends and family.  She is quirky, and has a great sense of humor!

I have enjoyed everything I've read by Chautona Havig, and recommend this novel as well.  I received an e-ARC from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author





The author of dozens of books in a variety of genres, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to nudge her readers to the feet of the Master Storyteller.








Guest Post from Chautona

How Writing about Cassie’s Eco-Challenge Has Changed My Way of Living


I didn’t think it through—not really. I mean, how hard could it be? All I had to do is give Cassie my own reactions to things like giving up straws and having to use tote bags at the grocery store. I just needed 52 simple things she could change in her life—one new one for each episode.

Piece of cake.

I should have known better. I don’t do things halfway when I get into them. Yes, I’ve discovered that Cassie is more like me in some ways than I ever imagined. And as I’ve researched things for her to freak out about, I’ve done a bit of freaking out myself. Certain questions and thoughts won’t go away.

For instance, in 2017 1.26 BILLION dollars were spent on plush toys. Just plush toys. Stuffed animals. And I don’t know how many weren’t purchased. Those are just the ones that were. That’s… a LOT of stuffed toys. If each toy cost 20 dollars (and we all know most are half that or less these days), that’s 63 million of those toys purchased and brought home.

In one year.

Shampoo, conditioner, and laundry soap bottles. Not sure why this one bothers me as much as it does. I think, actually, it’s the huge amount of water as much as it is all the plastic.

Look, we no longer have eight females in our house. But we do still have four there at all times—five on breaks. That’s a lot of shampoo bottles every year. A big portion of both laundry soap, shampoo, and conditioner is… water. We pay for a big bottle (lots of plastic and water) and to ship that to us—either because we had to have it shipped to a store for us to buy it or we had to have it shipped to our house.

I am paying extra for water that I could add myself at a fraction of the cost.

And the things go on and on. The lake that almost disappeared in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan because of how much water it takes to grow and process cotton.

See, the thing is, I’m not a green nut.

I don’t think it’s as easy to “destroy the planet” as we like to say. I do think, much like we do with our bodies and such, that we can reduce the quality of the world around us, however.

And while I’ll never jump on Cassie’s bandwagon—certainly not for life, I have made a few changes in how I do things. And as time goes on, I find myself making even more.

Like what, you ask?

I’ll tell you.

Here are three small ways I’ve changed how we do things in our house.

I started buying Dropps. They’re an automatically-shipped laundry pod. Each one is tiny—just a little smaller than the average “pod” and a whole lot cheaper. Also, there are no extra dyes or other things that are supposed to be bad for you and the planet.

I don’t really care about that. I just care that they work. And they do. And they’re cheaper than my Tide. 🙂

I got a shampoo bar for my birthday. I thought it would be like washing with regular soap—especially after I started rinsing my hair! It freaked me out. One idea down the drain… I thought.

But no, after the second or third use, it still felt weird while wet, but it dried beautifully, and I didn’t need to use additional conditioner. It’s in the bar or something. I even tried the old way again to compare after-shower tangles. Identical.

Dryer balls. Those felted wool balls really do work! A wonderful reader of mine sent me some, and it made my day! My youngest daughter and I are now trying to work with felted sweaters to try to turn them into dryer balls—or maybe even into sheets! (although, I think the balls bouncing around also kind of pound the clothes into submission or something. “Sheets” might not work, but I’m tempted to try it!

Look, you’ll never find me standing in front of a case in a mini-mart, freaking out because I want a Coke and can’t justify it. That’s not going to happen. But if I can choose a reasonable alternative to what I already do, well… it’s time to consider that.

There you have it. Three ways my life has changed since writing Cassie’s crazy story.

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize package that includes 5 Shopping totes, a Shampoo Bar, a Foldable Straw, and a $10 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/d4eb/the-vintage-wren-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: A Duel for Christmas by Rosanne E. Lortz


About the Book


Book Title: A Duel For Christmas
Author: Rosanne E. Lortz
Genre: Regency Romance, Romantic Suspense
Release date: October 1, 2018


After seven long years in Devon, Lady Maud Worlington returns to London to reclaim life on her own terms, but a nefarious shadow and the prospect of financial ruin dog her steps. An impulsive and unforgettable kiss under the mistletoe creates a connection with Geoffrey, the handsome, young Duke of Tilbury. Yet as pleasant as it is to have a suitor, Maud is not sure how a boy of one-and-twenty can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her.

The Duke of Tilbury considers himself as adept at managing matters as he is at swordplay, but his beautiful new acquaintance Lady Worlington has other ideas about how to manage her complicated life. Intrigued by their stolen kiss, Geoffrey pursues Lady Worlington’s affections, only to be foiled by the lady’s own doubts, by rivals for her hand, and by a sudden death that affects both their families. When Jacob Pevensey, the investigator from Bow Street enters the scene, the duke becomes a prime suspect in the murder case. Truths are unearthed that Geoffrey would rather keep hidden, and the twelve days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

I chose to read this book because of its Christmasy title.  I was rewarded with a meaty story full of suspense, romance, and mystery, set in a Regency setting.  I was also surprised to discover that this book was third in the Pevensey Mysteries series.  I was well into the book before I realized that some of the characters had a previous history.  The novel stood alone very well.

It was interesting (and sometimes frustrating) to learn more of the conventions of that time period, but I was fully involved in the story.  I think men would enjoy it as well as women.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, Madison Street Publishing, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Rosanne E. Lortz is a writer, editor, teacher, history-lover, and mom to four boys. She loves to read, sing, draw, compose, write, and create. Education is one of her passions, particularly a classical, liberal arts education. She has taught English composition and grammar, Latin, history, music, and various other subjects for ten years at both the elementary and secondary level and is currently the Director of Academics and Admissions at Paideia Classical Christian School in Gladstone, Oregon.

Rosanne’s first book, I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, released in 2009. This book explores the tumultuous landscape surrounding the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and is a tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. In 2015, Rosanne began her Pevensey mysteries, novels of romantic suspense set during the British Regency (with inspiration from medieval characters and events). The first three titles are: To Wed an Heiress, The Duke’s Last Hunt, and A Duel for Christmas.

Guest Post from Roseanne

The year is 1120. The place is the English Channel. A ship puts off from the French port. The passengers have been drinking, far too heavily. A submerged rock shatters the hull of the ship. The vessel goes down into the watery depths, and with it the heir to the English throne.

This incident from Medieval history was the inspiration for my Regency novel, A Duel for Christmas. Set in the early 1800s, the novel has a dash of suspense, a few tablespoons of murder mystery, and a heaping cup of sweet romance all blended together to make the perfect holiday read.

Lady Maud Worlington has just returned to London, determined to reclaim life on her own terms, but when an impulsive and unforgettable kiss creates a connection with Geoffrey, the Duke of Tilbury, she must decide if he can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her. A watery death, financial ruin, and a nefarious shadow from the past dog their steps as the Twelve Days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

Blog Stops


A Baker’s Perspective, October 13
Just Commonly, October 13
Blogging With Carol, October 14
Remembrancy, October 14
Carpe Diem, October 15
Inklings and Notions, October 15
Locks, Hooks and Books, October 16
Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 16
Where Faith and Books Meet, October 17
Texas Book-aholic, October 17
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 18
Wishful Endings, October 18
Faery Tales Are Real, October 18
More Of Him, October 19
Just the Write Escape, October 19
Bibliophile Reviews, October 20
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 20
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 21
Lis Loves Reading, October 21
Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 22
Mary Hake, October 22
Two Points of Interest, October 22
Simple Harvest Reads, October 23 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Book by Book, October 23
proud to be an autism mom, October 23
Reader’s Cozy Corner, October 24
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 24
Janices book reviews, October 25
Bigreadersite, October 25
Godly Book Reviews, October 26
Living Life Free in Christ, October 26
Have A Wonderful Day, October 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rosanne is giving away a $25 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/d434/a-duel-for-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway