Friday, June 4, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Prairie by Chautona Havig



About the Book


 

Book:  Prairie

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fantasy

Release date: February 13, 2013

 

What if you could literally wish your life away?

My name is Jessa Davidson, and I awoke one day in the place of every dream I’ve ever had—the prairie.  I don’t know how I got here or where here even is, but I know one thing for certain. I can’t go home again. Ever.

If I’ve learned one thing being in this beautiful place, it’s that no matter how perfect it and its people seem, sin lives in the hearts of men and women in Prairie, too. The differences between Prairie and Pittsburgh? There are too many to count.

I grew up hearing the words of the Apostle Paul. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

Here in Prairie, they’re not a lesson. They’re a warning.

I’ve been given a gift—the greatest desire of my heart. A life in the place of my dreams, a chance at love and family, a sense of real belonging.

Can I hold onto it? Time will tell—time I may not have if I can’t learn to be content.

Prairie is the first book in the Journey of Dreams, a series of related but stand-alone contemporary Christian fantasy novels exploring truths in a whole new way.

 Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Brilliant.

At first I didn't think I would connect with a young woman waking up in a strange place, and her discoveries there. But I became enthralled as I read through this story and learned how the people lived in Prairie.  The sense of community was their way of life.  It took getting used to, but it was amazing.

I did not immediately connect with Jessa, but as the story progressed and I saw how she was so open to her new environment and community, I began liking her immensely.

All the "what ifs" of this new-to-Jessa land were fascinating to learn.  I loved how a relationship with the Lord was so essential to the people's individual well-being, and to the community's success.

Readers who are fans of Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables will appreciate the references throughout this book.  Readers of Christian fiction and fantasy will also enjoy this book.

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

About the Author

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

When Your Novel Teaches You an Important Lesson

I’ve told the story before, but I’ll tell it again. Prairie began as a dream. For several days in a row, I fell asleep and found myself lost in the sway of prairie grasses undulating to the strains of “Theme from a Summer Place.”

It’s a bad habit of mine, but despite being in the middle of a writing project, I wrote down my thoughts—my impressions. Two strange things happened.

First, the story came out in first person. Folks, I don’t write in first-person perspective. Not my novels, anyway. I don’t enjoy reading it, and I really don’t enjoy writing it.

Jessa, however, demanded I let her tell her story… her way. So I did. And it’s one of the fastest novels I’ve ever written.

There’s irony in that.

You see, I didn’t know where that story would go. My dream only replayed the scene of Jessa waking up on the prairie and not knowing how she got there—only knowing she could never go home. Beyond that, I hadn’t a clue.

And though I wanted to rush through so I could see where the story would take me, and though I wrote at breakneck speeds, the story unfolded at its own pace.

The people of Prairie live a different life from anything you’ve ever seen—and yet it is mostly very familiar. One thing, however, sets it apart.

Time.

Only in Prairie does time not work as it does here, and that changes everything. The story begins slowly and for a reason. Line by line, observation by observation, step by step through the grasses and down rutted lanes, the story draws you out of the breakneck speed of modern life and into a world that, if you aren’t careful, will whiz by faster than is even possible.

Here in our world, that is.

There… you’d better watch out.

Has anyone ever warned you not to wish your life away? It’s just a gentle reminder that if you’re always eager for today to end in hopes of a more exciting tomorrow, you may find you never lived.

In Prairie? It might actually happen.

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 28
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 28
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 29
For the Love of Literature, May 30
Blogging With Carol, May 30
Texas Book-aholic, May 31
Inklings and notions, June 1
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, June 1
For Him and My Family, June 2
deb’s Book Review, June 3
Spoken from the Heart, June 3
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 4
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 5
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 7
Pause for Tales, June 7
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 8
Lots of Helpers, June 9
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 9
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 10


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book & 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/10ca2/prairie-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma

 


About the Book

Book:  The Silver Shadow

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release date: May 2021

A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women

Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Liz Tolsma has written a story that definitely kept my attention in this next installment of the True Colors series.  The Silver Shadow had me totally caught up in the story. . . so much so that I kept looking over my shoulder as I was shopping, in order not to be the next victim!  It was interesting that the reader knew what the Silver Shadow did, and why he did it, but it took until the very end to figure out who he was.

Polly had a lot of pushback as she pursued her career as a newspaper reporter.  It was a man's job, and the men just didn't like a woman in their space, doing their thing.  No matter how talented Polly was, she had to work much harder than the men around her to get any recognition.  It especially pained her that her own father felt that way.  Edwin still dealt with guilt over a childhood tragedy, and used that to push himself as a detective.  But as the attacks on women continued in the city, they came to rely on each other for assistance.  I liked Polly and Edwin, and appreciated their spiritual journeys as they sought to solve the case.

Readers who enjoy true crime stories and historical romance will want to pick up this book.

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

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

 


More from Liz

One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten from many readers of the True Colors Crime series is how do I come up with the ideas for the books? For the first two, Becky Germany, acquisitions editor at Barbour Publishing, had the ideas. That made my life easy. I just had to fictionalize it, and I had a book. But when I was putting together the proposals for The Gold Digger and The Silver Shadow, it was up to me to find the true crimes I wanted to use.

I went online and scoured historical crime blogs and books for ideas. I wanted crimes that I could work easily with, that made for compelling stories. As I was doing this, my husband and two daughters and I were driving home from Georgia. We were somewhere in Indiana. Don’t ask me why I remember this when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I do.

And then on Google Books, I discovered a book about crimes the world had forgotten. The first one in there sounded so good. Not too grisly, something that no one would be able to guess the culprit very easily. It was perfect. Imagine my excitement when Becky told me they would be publishing The Silver Shadow.

Then I sat down to research it more. And I could hardly find anything! What? Where was all the information on this? There had to be more. That chapter in the one book couldn’t be all there was. He had to get his information from somewhere.

Eventually I did come across some articles from various Colorado newspapers with a few details. Not many at all. None from any of the Denver papers, even though that’s where the crimes were committed.

In the end, that’s all the information I discovered. In a way, it was freeing. I could write whatever I wanted, and no one would be the wiser. Even if they did some research and some digging, there wasn’t much to find. I was able to take the facts that I did have, combine that with what I found out about Denver in 1900, and put it together in a story. I tried to use historical details wherever I could, but of my four True Colors Crimes books, this is the most fictional of them all.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 25
lakesidelivingsite, May 25
Reviewingbooksplusmore, May 25
For the Love of Literature, May 26
Bigreadersite, May 26
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 26
Texas Book-aholic, May 27
Genesis 5020, May 27
Christian Bookaholic, May 27
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28
Vicky Sluiter, May 28
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 28
The Write Escape, May 29
Betti Mace, May 29
Inklings and notions, May 29
Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 30
For Him and My Family, May 30
Rebecca Tews, May 30
Older & Smarter?, May 31
deb’s Book Review, May 31
Blogging With Carol, May 31
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 1
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1
Remembrancy, June 1
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2
Pick a Good Book, June 2
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 2
Connie’s History Classroom, June 3
Godly Book Reviews, June 3
Mary Hake, June 3
Through the Fire Blogs, June 4
Melissa Wardwells Back Porch Reads, June 4
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 4
KarenSueHadley, June 5
Amanda Tero, Blog, June 5
Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 6
Grace-Filled Writer, June 6
Pause for Tales, June 6
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 7
Blossoms and Blessings, June 7
Daysong Reflections, June 7

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of The Silver Shadow!!

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/10c96/the-silver-shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Book Review: The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White

About the Book

1906
Lady Elizabeth "Libby" Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn't favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage's former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished.

Oliver Tremayne--gentleman and clergyman--is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he's happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth's summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it's the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can't quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.

This book may be purchased here.

My Review


From its beautiful cover to its satisfying ending, with all the poetic prose in between, The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White is a wonderful book that I highly recommend.

I was transported to a place I had never heard of before, the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall, England.  There is much history there to support The Secrets of the Isles series.  In this Book One, Libby is spending the summer there to get away from her brother's insistence that she marry his titled friend.  Knowing that would not be a good match, she relishes this time away, where she can study the flora and fauna of the islands.

More than a young lady trying to find her place in this world, there is an element of mystery that heightens as the story progresses.  Along with that increasingly dangerous mystery that must be solved, there is a gentle, sweet romance that develops.  Actually, more than one.  Many sub-plots and themes make this a solid, thorough story for readers to enjoy.  You may want to book passage to the islands so you can explore them yourself!

Readers of historical romance and Christian fiction will certainly enjoy Libby's story.

I received a copy of this story from the publisher, Bethany House, 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.

Being educated at St. John’s College (the Great Books School) taught Roseanna to ask questions, to value conversation, and to never accept the simple answer without exploring it for herself. She and her family make their home in the mountains of West Virginia where she and her husband both grew up. Roseanna is a member of ACFW, a frequent speaker at writers events and small groups of readers, and an unabashed email addict.


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Book Review With a Giveaway: At Lighthouse Point by Suzanne Woods Fisher


About the Book

Book:  At Lighthouse Point

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: May 4, 2021

Blaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with a grand plan–to take Camp Kicking Moose to the next level. Her dream starts to unravel when she discovers Moose Manor’s kitchen has been badly remodeled by her sister, Cam, who doesn’t know how to cook. Added to that blow is the cold shoulder given by her best friend, Artie Lotosky, now a doctor to the unbridged Maine islands.

As old wounds are opened, Blaine starts to wonder if she made a mistake by coming home. Little by little, she must let go of one dream to discover a new one, opening her heart to a purpose and a future she had never imagined. 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Author Suzanne Woods Fisher's talent is to make me feel so comfortable as I slipped into her latest book, At Lighthouse Point.  It was great to spend time with familiar characters, and to meet some new people that added some zing to the cast.  Although it's third in the Three Sisters Island series, this one reads well as a stand alone.

With the entire family plus the island locals, there is a lot going on on Three Sisters Island.  Fisher gets into everyone's head, and keeps the reader wondering what is going on with each character, which keeps one turning the pages.  Plus her vivid descriptions of the island and the ocean really draw the reader into the setting.

What I loved about this book is that everyone is on a life journey, and no one has arrived yet.  All the characters, young and older, have much to learn from each other.  And there are so many nuggets of wisdom for the reader to glean, as the characters do.

I highly recommend this book and this series to readers of contemporary Christian fiction and women's fiction.  The series make great beach reads!

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

About the Author

Award winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected. With more than one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of more than 30 works, ranging from novels to non-fiction books to children’s books. Currently, she lives with her very big family in the East Bay.

 


More from Suzanne

10 Curious Facts about Lighthouses

People love lighthouses. There’s just something special about those sturdy sentinels with their beacons of light, patiently sweeping the water, their mournful and haunting wail of a foghorn. Longfollow’s poem, The Lighthouse, written in 1850, captured the allure so well:

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
Through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare! 

“Unearthly splendor.” Wow, doesn’t that hit the nail on the head? A lighthouse, to me, represents a spiritual truth: Someone’s watching out for us, looking out for the dangers ahead, and always glad to welcome us home. 

Here are 10 facts about lighthouses that you might not know: 

  • THE FIRST KNOWN LIGHTHOUSE was Egypt’s Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt, built in the third century B.C. The lighthouse was made from a fire on a platform to warn sailors of the port’s entrance. This lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. 
  • THE OLDEST EXISTING LIGHTHOUSE IN THE WORLD is considered to be La Coruna in Spain that dates from ca. 20 B.C. A Roman lighthouse is located on the Cliffs of Dover in the UK that was constructed in 40 A.D. 
  • THE UNITED STATES IS HOME to more lighthouses than any other country. 
  • THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE IN AMERICA was at Boston on Little Brewster Island (1716). The first keeper was George Worthylake who, sadly, was drowned, along with his wife and daughter, when returning to the island in 1718. 
  • THE TALLEST LIGHTHOUSE is on Cape Hatteras, NC. Built in 1872, it reached 196 feet tall. 
  • THE FIRST WEST COAST LIGHTHOUSE was built on Alcatraz Island in 1854. 
  • DAYMARKS are the painted colors and patterns (diamonds, spirals and stripes) on lighthouse towers to distinguish them from each other. 
  • LIGHTHOUSE KEEPING was one of the first U.S. government jobs available to women, as far back as the 19th century. Most obtained their position when their husband died or became incapacitated.
  • THE RANGE OF THE LIGHTHOUSE LIGHT produces a light seen 25 miles at sea. 
  • ABOUT 700 LIGHTHOUSES are still in active use in the United States. 

As I wrote the third book in the ‘Three Sisters island’ series, I just had to give that little charred lighthouse its day in the sun. It had patiently played a role in the first two books, waiting for its turn on center stage. Not only did its setting provide a very unexpected “WHAT? How did that happen?” conclusion to the series, it even stole the headline! The undisputed title: At Lighthouse Point. 

Do you have a favorite lighthouse? If so, please add your picture in the comments below. Don’t forget to include its location. 

Thanks for reading! Stay well, stay home, and read. 

Suzanne

Blog Stops


lakesidelivingsite, May 11
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 11
Wishful Endings, May 11
The Avid Reader, May 12
Just Writing, May 12
The Write Escape, May 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12
By The Book, May 13
HappyWhenReading, May 13
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 13
Texas Book-aholic, May 13
Inklings and notions, May 14
Cultivating Us, May 14
Blogging With Carol, May 14
Batya’s Bits , May 14
Betti Mace, May 15
Bizwings Blog, May 15
Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 15
For Him and My Family, May 15
deb’s Book Review, May 16
Jeanette’s Thoughts , May 16
HookMeInABook, May 16
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 16
Connie’s History Classroom, May 17
Lighthouse-Academy, May 17
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 17
Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18
Godly Book Reviews, May 18
Daysong Reflections, May 18
Mary Hake, May 18
Artistic Nobody, May 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 19
EmpowerMoms, May 19
SusanLovesBooks, May 19
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 20
Older & Smarter?, May 20
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 20
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 21
Simple Harvest Reads, May 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Splashes of Joy, May 21
Blossoms and Blessings, May 21
Through the Fire Blogs, May 22
Vicky Sluiter, May 22
Pause for Tales, May 22
Moments, May 22
She Lives To Read, May 23
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23
Labor Not in Vain, May 23
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 24
Life, Love, Writing, May 24
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 24
Remembrancy, May 24

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of 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/10bb6/at-lighthouse-point-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: To Save a King by Rachel Hauck

About the Book

Book: To Save A King
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre: Christian Royal Romance
Release date: May 8, 2021

A modern-day fairytale of rescue and hope from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck


Growing up in small town Hearts Bend, Tennessee, Gemma Stone had big dreams. So she headed to Hollywood to make her mark in the world.

But dreams have a way of becoming nightmares. When she returns home twelve years later, she’s limping through life and harboring a dark secret.

Running a rescue ranch and raising her friends’ orphaned daughter is her sole mission now. All the while she’s well aware these defenseless ones are also rescuing her.

HRH Crown Prince John has learned a royal title cannot shield him from heartbreak. He had the perfect life as heir to the revered House of Blue, the royal dynasty of Lauchtenland, and married the love of his life. Then tragedy changed everything. Is there any way to be saved from a life of grief?

When he finds himself in Hearts Bend on a mission for his mother, Queen Catherine, he catches up with a good friend–country music great Buck Mathews. He has no intention of joining the 4th of July fun until he’s cajoled into a three-legged race with the beautiful Gemma Stone.

The disastrous race leads to a quick friendship. They are easy and comfortable around one another because love is absolutely not an option.

John desperately wants to hold onto the memories of his wife while Gemma refuses to trust her heart to any man. Even a prince.

When trouble in Lauchtenland calls the prince home, he realizes how much Gemma has rescued him. Saved him and restored his hope for his role as future king.

For Gemma, falling in love with the prince must be quenched. If it weren’t for her past, she’d give him her heart in a second. How could she risk bringing her shame to the House of Blue and the world stage?

However, she’s not the only one who can rescue and heal the wound. If she saved Prince John, why can’t he save her? And when he tries, will she have the courage to say yes to the best role of her life?

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!” Susan May Warren, USA Today bestselling, RITA award-winning novelist

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

A man and a woman who have been hardened by the cruelties of life and poor decisions are drawn to each other in this modern-day fairy tale.  Crown Prince John of Lauchtenland and Gemma Stone of Hearts Bend, Tennessee, spend a summer together building a lovely friendship, but there is much to be done in each of their hearts before they can commit to each other.  What it takes to get them to that point makes a wonderful story by a favorite author, Rachel Hauck.

For lovers of fairy tales, there is a handsome prince who sweeps Gemma off her feet.  There is a beautiful young lady attending royal balls and wearing spectacular dresses.  And as Hauck's readers have come to expect, there is an enchanting, spiritual element to this story, which gives the novel its substance.

There is a connectedness in all of Hauck's novels, which I love, but the story does stand on its own.  

Fans of Hauck's writing will slip easily into her world as they read this book.  New readers are invited to immerse themselves in this treasure of a story.

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

About the Author

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

She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie. Three more of her titles are under film contract.

Rachel was awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A retired member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Executive Board, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

In the real world, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More from Rachel

One of the biggest challenges in a series is keeping the reader interested. Even more of a challenge is writing in a trope like royals.

I never set out to write a second royal series. With five stories in the Royal Wedding Series, I thought I’d explored the topic to my satisfactions.

Yet when readers asked for more, and when I found myself in a season to produce my own stories, another royal series seemed like the perfect fit.

But can I be honest? Really honest? Come close. I’ll tell you a secret. Closer…

Royals can be a bit boring. At least to write. You laugh but I’m serious.

What do we really know of their day to day lives? They attend national functions, patron charities, represent the nation on walkabouts around the world. They are ambassadors with no real political agenda. They champion causes.

But what exactly do they do with their days? What are the inner workings of palace life? What are the real expectations? Do they call the queen “her majesty” when talking among themselves? When talking to her? Are they as formal as it seems on television?

Yet royals are the most documented people in history. So there is a lot to glean from when I make up my worlds.

But at the end of it all, the key for me in writing royal characters is to make them real, everyday people. The prince is the kind of chap you want to chat with over tea. The heroine is the sort of girl you’d love to see become a princess. Maybe even see a bit of yourself in her.

In To Save A King, Crown Prince John is trying to emerge for a year of grief. Gemma Stone is desperate to escape her past.

Gemma’s story has somewhat of an edge to it. In her attempt to achieve her goals, she walked a path she never thought she’d walk when she was a girl growing up in Hearts Bend, Tennessee. And it proved her undoing.

While we may have never faced a past like Gemma’s, we can all relate to personal betrayal of our values from gossip to immorality. I hope Gemma’s story reminds us the nearness of love and forgiveness.

On a lighter side, I recently learned British society has moved away from chap and bloke, replacing it with the American term “guy.” Isn’t that funny. Louise Lee, my narrator, said it was funny to read those words in To Love A Prince since they were more her parents’ generation. Ah, the signs of a more global society.

Well, I didn’t care if they have gone out of style for young people. I used them anyway. I like them. Maybe we should adopt “chap” and “bloke” over here. What do you say, guys?

I hope you enjoy To Save A King, book two in the True Blue Royal series and find your heart cheering on broken, wounded characters to a happily ever after worthy of a prince and princess.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9
Blogging With Carol, May 9
Worthy2Read, May 9
For Him and My Family, May 10
Genesis 5020, May 10
The Book Chic Blog, May 10
CarpeDiem, May 10
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 11
Hebrews 12 Endurance, May 11
Splashes of Joy, May 11
Cultivating Us, May 11
Texas Book-aholic, May 12
Just Writing, May 12
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 12
Kayem Reads, May 12
Blossoms and Blessings, May 13
Betti Mace, May 13
Inklings and notions, May 13
deb’s Book Review, May 14
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 14
Inside the Wong Mind, May 14
Moments, May 14
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 15
Rachael’s Inkwell, May 15
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 15
Connect in Fiction, May 15
The Christian Fiction Girl, May 16
Kathleen’s Blog, May 16
Remembrancy, May 16
Mary Hake, May 16
Where Faith and Books Meet, May 17
She Lives To Read, May 17
Wishful Endings, May 17
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 18
Back Porch Reads, May 18
All-of-a-kind Mom, May 18
Livin’ Lit, May 18
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 19
Simple Harvest Reads, May 19 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Bizwings Blog, May 19
Mamma Loves Books, May 19
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 20
By The Book, May 20
The Sacred Line, May 20
Daysong Reflections, May 20
Through the fire blogs, May 21
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 21
Artistic Nobody, May 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!
*May be different than one pictured.

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/10bb0/to-save-a-king-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham

 


About the Book

Book:  Hope Between the Pages

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: April, 2021

Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.


Click here to get your copy!

My Review


I absolutely LOVED this book!  It was rich.  The settings were beautiful, the characters lovely, and the romance was sweet.  What I especially loved about this story is that the author took the time to fully develop the characters, setting, and plot in both stories of this dual-time novel.

Sadie Blackwell serves in the midst of the affluence of the Biltmore Estate in 1915 Asheville, North Carolina.  Like her mother before her, she tends to the massive library,which suits her book-loving heart perfectly.  She entirely appreciates the adventure and imagination that are in between the pages of those beloved books.  Clara Blackwell works in her family's bookstore in Biltmore Village in the present day, but threats to her family's heritage send her on a quest to learn more about her family's history.  She is also a fan of the magic within books.  Both women seek to honor God in their lives.  Both women jumped into the adventures presented to them, and were delighted at the results.  They also believed in the hope presented within the pages of fairy tales.  I loved the conclusion that even though they might be in a fairy-tale setting, it is love that makes the fairy tale real.

Hope Between the Pages is part of the Doors to the Past series, but each novel stands alone.

If you love stories about books, libraries, or bookstores, you will love this book.  Fans of the Biltmore Estate and Village will appreciate the insight into life there in 1915.  Lovers of genealogy will be thrilled with this book.

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

About the Author


Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.


More from Pepper

Books are a uniquely portable magic – Stephen King

Appalachia is known for having a high illiteracy rate. A place of beautiful scenery and rugged landscapes, the people of the mountains developed stories through oral storytelling much more than “book learning”.  As a young girl growing up in this world, I loved hearing my granny share tales from up to five generations ago, filling in the narrative gaps between a birth date and a death date on a tombstone – giving flesh and breath to the stone-etched names.

It’s no surprise then, with a heart cultivated from rich oral stories, I fell in love with reading. Books became that “portable magic” that took me places my little Appalachian community couldn’t provide. I fell in love with the Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew. Wept through the end of Bridge to Terabithia and Old Yeller. Traveled to the plains with Sarah Plain and Tall and fell in love with horses with The Black Stallion. But when I was in seventh grade, I read my very first “British” novel, The Secret Garden. In that one introduction, my world expanded into mysterious English manor houses and British classics. Before long, I’d consumed Jane Eyre, Austen’s classics, some Dickens, Dracula, Frankenstein…and the list goes on! And then…I found Tolkien and Lewis – and the ‘real’ world swelled into OTHER worlds.

I’m grateful for true stories of book-loving pioneers traveling into the world of Appalachia to provide books and literacy training to “my people”, because I know some of those books made their way to my tiny elementary school library…and not only brought me the chance to discover stories, but to write them too!

Isn’t it amazing how books can do that?

In Hope Between the Pages, I wanted to bring the same awe and discovery I felt as a child (and continue to feel as an adult reader) to the story of two people whose words had seemed small. Stories stretched their worlds, but the stories also gave them wonderful imaginations and positive perspectives. It’s still amazing to me that ink-and-paper words can make such a lasting impact on hearts and minds. They can lead us to dream, teach us new things, encourage our hearts, help us to think outside the box, swell our imaginations, broaden our horizons, and encourage our hope.

Books are not a replacement for real adventures and relationships, but they certainly provide a beautiful “door” into other lives and worlds that we may never have a chance to experience in real life. Sadie, my historical heroine, and Clara, my contemporary heroine, both have kept close to home but traveled greatly through books…and BOTH are given the opportunity to reach beyond the bindings to discover real-life adventures. I’d like to think that their love for stories helped them have the courage to step away from the page and into their own tales even more prepared than they would have been without stories.

What are some of your favorite books you read as a child? Did any of them influence you to become a more avid reader?

Blog Stops


The Avid Reader, April 24
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24
Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 24
Worthy2Read, April 24
Texas Book-aholic, April 25
Reviewingbooksplusmore, April 25
Christian Bookaholic, April 25
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 25
She Lives To Read, April 26
Books and Everyday Life, April 26
For the Love of Literature, April 26
For Him and My Family, April 26
Wishful Endings, April 27
Bigreadersite, April 27
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 27
deb’s Book Review, April 27
Inklings and notions, April 28
Connect in Fiction, April 28
Writing from the Heart Land, April 28
Blogging With Carol, April 28
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 29
Life of Literature, April 29
Pick a good book, April 29
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 30
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 30
Betti Mace, April 30
Kathleen’s Blog, April 30
lakesidelivingsite, May 1
Connie’s History Classroom, May 1
Fiction Book Lover, May 1
Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 2
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 2
Godly Book Reviews, May 2
Mary Hake, May 2
Older & Smarter?, May 3
Genesis 5020, May 3
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 3
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 4
Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads , May 4
Blossoms and Blessings, May 4
sodbusterLiving, May 4
Splashes of Joy, May 5
Where Faith and Books Meet , May 5
Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Through the Fire Blogs, May 5
Pause for Tales, May 6
To Everything There Is A Season, May 6
Remembrancy, May 6
Lights in a Dark World, May 6
Live.Love.Read., May 7
Karen Sue Hadley, May 7
Amanda Tero, blog, May 7
The Write Escape, May 7

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/10b27/hope-between-the-pages-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, April 30, 2021

Book Review: Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

About the Book

Former FBI Special Agent Jack Tanner is working as a detective in Montana when he comes across a body in the national forest during a search and rescue mission. He's committed to finding the killer, even if it means working alongside his old flame, US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.

When Terra discovers that the murder victim had ties to a powerful and dangerous trafficker of archaeological artifacts, the investigation takes a deadly turn--one that hits too close to home. As Terra fears she lacks the courage to face what comes next, Jack is more determined than ever to protect her. But he's failed her before. And if he fails this time, it will cost them far more than just their hearts.

Join bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard as she plunges you into a web of deceit made of hidden crimes, open threats, and long-buried family secrets in this gripping first book of an explosive new series.

This book is available for purchase here.

My Review

Present Danger is an exciting opening to Elizabeth Goddard's Rocky Mountain Courage series!  This book has well-developed, relatable characters, a many-layered plot, and plenty of excitement and danger.

Terra and Jack, the main characters, are both in law enforcement.  They had gone their separate ways after high school, but are now working together to solve a multi-agency case.  They both have troubled family backgrounds that they are working to overcome.  They also found themselves working to develop trust between them.

I loved the suspense in this book.  Reading this story quickly became a situation where I needed to look over my shoulder, because I never knew what would happen next, or whom to trust.

The romance moved slowly, as it should in a situation where lives are at stake.

I highly recommend this book to readers of romantic suspense.  It is a solid read from beginning to end.

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

About the Author

With over one million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today and Publisher's Weekly bestselling, award-winning author of over fifty romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES--a 2011 Carol Award winner. Four of her six Mountain Cove books have been contest finalists. Buried, Backfire and Deception are finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and Submerged is a Carol Award finalist. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.

To get book news sign up for her newsletter at her website: http://elizabethgoddard.com
Follow her on Bookbub! https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-goddard
You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebook: http://facebook.com/elizabethgoddardauthor
or Twitter: http://twitter.com/bethgoddard