Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Lady in Residence – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  The Lady in Residence

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: February 2021

Can a Legacy of Sadness be Broken at the Menger Hotel?

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

Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.

In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?

Click here to get your copy!

This story takes place in two different time periods – the present and 1915. I wish I could say I loved everything about this book, but I cannot. At times, I found myself having to double check what time period I was reading. Plus, I found it slow at other times. While I loved the characters of Dini Blackstone and Quinn Carmichael, and Hedda Krause, I had a hard time getting into the story. But, somewhere along the way, I found myself caught up in the story. I wanted to read to the end to find out how things turned out.

Perhaps my experience as a tour guide for the Historical Society in Salisbury, North Carolina during high school where I had to dress in costume helped get me into the story in the beginning with Dini doing a guided tour in San Antonio, Texas. The connections between the Dini and Quinn were interesting to discover. I also appreciated Hedda’s relationship with the negro bartender in the hotel in 1915.

I also enjoyed reading about Dini’s experiences as an illusionist. You need to read about her experience at a young girl’s birthday party – and I will leave it at that. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a four-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series, once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties and most recently for the critically acclaimed The Seamstress which takes a cameo character from the Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities and flourishes her to life amidst the French Revolution. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

More from Allison

From Haunting to Healing: How Stories Bring New Life to Old Ghosts

If you really think about it, every story is a ghost story. Not the floating spirits of the dearly departed kind, not bumps in the night or mysterious howling in the darkness—but the best stories come from examining a haunted heart. Memories that pursue the present.

A few years ago I took the walking tour of haunted San Antonio. It was a lark, a fun tourist-y thing to do with some visiting friends. I’m not a believer in ghosts, but I am a collector of stories. The tour opens at the Alamo—sacred ground of slain soldiers. The second stop is the Menger Hotel, listed as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States by those who measure and evaluate such things. And while the tour guide waxed on about the guests’ litany of haunted experiences (including Teddy Roosevelt raging through the lobby), my mind stuck with the story of Sallie White. Sallie White is the Menger Hotel’s most famous ghost—a chambermaid whose apparition is reported to be seen walking the halls, towels draped over her arm, or to be heard as an efficient two-rap knock on your door late at night. My mind, however, didn’t dwell on Sallie the ghost, but Sallie the woman—just a normal, hard-working, poor woman, murdered in the street by a man who claimed to love her. But for that, she would have passed into history unknown. Instead, her story is told every night as strangers gather on the very sidewalk where the crime took place.

Years after first hearing the story of Sallie white, I stayed in the Menger for a few days to gather details for The Lady in Residence. I booked what they call a “Petite” room—meaning it is a room that maintains its original structure. Read: tiny. Exposed pipes, creaky wooden floors, antique furniture—the only update, the bathroom fixtures. As it turned out, my room was directly above the place where Sallie White was murdered. One night I pressed my ear against the glass and listened to the ghost tour guide tell her story. The next morning, I stood in the exact spot with a fancy Starbucks drink, thinking about her. She lives on, not because people claim to see her walking and hear her knocking in the dead of night, but because she is a woman remembered.

So, is that beautiful? Is it ghoulish? Maybe it’s both, but when I was given the chance to write a story set in and around the Menger Hotel, I was determined to make Sallie White’s story a part of it. I didn’t want to write her story—that would have required embellishment beyond those few historic, factual tid-bits that such a woman left behind. Sallie White didn’t have correspondence to catalog or a journal to give us insight to her thoughts. Instead, I wanted to tell it to readers everywhere who might never make it to San Antonio to hear it for themselves. When you read The Lady in Residence, you are going to hear the true story of Sallie White, all of it taken from a newspaper account of the time. And then, I did what all historical writers do…I folded it into my own tale and folded that tale into another.

That’s really the joy of writing a split-time novel—being able to draw back and shoot a narrative-arrow straight through the hearts of two stories, threading them together, to bring a haunting to a place of healing.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 23

Artistic Nobody, February 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Fiction Aficionado, February 24

For the Love of Literature, February 24

Where Faith and Books Meet, February 24

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Mia Reads Blog, February 25

Connie’s History Classroom, February 26

Inspiration Clothesline, February 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 27

Books I’ve Read, February 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 28

Remembrancy, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

For Him and My Family, March 2

Hallie Reads, March 2

deb’s Book Review, March 3

Blogging With Carol, March 3

By The Book, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 5

The Write Escape, March 5

Life of Literature, March 6

Inklings and notions, March 6

Godly Book Reviews, March 7

Vicky Sluiter, March 7

To Everything There is A Season, March 8

Pause for Tales, March 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Lady in Residence!!

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/1086e/the-lady-in-residence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Faithful Finish Lines, Fitness & Health

Come join a free challenge with me!

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

For several years I struggled with my weight, so when I discovered Faithful Finish Lines I recognized the value of this program. So join me for this free 5 day challenge. Each day they will post a new prayer for you to pray that’s specific to weight loss and healthy choices, so it will strengthen your faith. They will give specific action steps to take each day to move toward weight loss and wellness. (Even though each one only takes a few minutes, it will be so powerful. Plus, you get the support of other women who understand how tough it is, so you won’t feel so alone.

You’ll be guided by Becky and Sara who are each maintaining a 100 pound weight loss and understand exactly what it’s like to be heavy and want to change it.Most of all, you’ll grow closer in your walk with Jesus as you give this area of your life over to Him. Click here to sign up now. Check out the 5 Day Prayer Challenge for Weight Loss Workbook.


When you sign up for the challenge, you’ll be taken to a page where you can invest in a workbook that will guide you through the challenge step by step.While this workbook is optional, we know you are going to want a copy! We are going through the challenge together as a group once, but with these materials, you can follow the challenge as many times over as you’d like on your own, so it’s a helpful lifetime investment. You will have access to a Prayer Challenge Facebook Group to help you be even more successful. They are providing community support, daily videos, and a fun motivational give-away in the private Facebook group. (You’ll get the link to join as soon as you sign up for the challenge.)

While they do not require the Facebook group participation to join the challenge, you are not going to want to miss it. In the Facebook group on March 16-19, you will find

  • Daily prayers for weight loss
  • Daily challenge activities
  • PRIZES!!!!!
  • Take part in each of the 5 days’ challenges and be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card
  • Helpful videos
  • Even more fun surprises. So be sure to visit the group each day of the challenge so you do not miss the excitement! Join the challenge! With God’s guidance, you will find food freedom for a lifetime.

See you there! Take part in this challenge with me.

Click here to check it out for yourself.

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Tides of Duplicity – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Tides of Duplicity

Author: Robin Patchen

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: February 16, 2021

A jewelry heist, a kidnapping, and a choice. When Fitz’s sister disappears, he’ll do anything to get her back, even if it means betraying the woman he’s come to love. Private investigator Fitz McCaffrey went to Belize on a case, bringing his teenage sister Shelby along with him. They have no good reason to leave the resort and hurry back to the harsh New England winter. They lost their parents, he lost his job as a cop, and they both need time to heal. Besides, when Fitz meets and spends time with the beautiful and charming Tabitha Eaton, he falls hard.  But minutes after Tabby’s flight leaves, Fitz is summoned by a mobster who believes Tabby broke into the hotel safe the night before and made off with half a million dollars’ worth of jewels—and he has the video evidence to prove it. As Shelby’s guardian, Fitz has to focus on caring for his sister, whether Tabby is innocent or guilty. He refuses to help the man—until he learns the mobster has taken his sister.  The clock is ticking as Fitz scrambles to recover the jewels. If he succeeds, it’ll cost the woman he’s come to care for. If he fails, it’ll cost his sister’s life.  

Click here to get your copy!

As I began reading this book, the scenery and descriptive language at the beginning of the book captured my imagination. Robin Patchen creates stories full of interesting characters, mesmerizing story lines, and more. I find myself unable to put the books down.

Tabby, Fitz, Fitz’s sister Shelby, Abe and the rest of the characters in this book bring to life a story involving theft, danger, faith in God, and more. I found this story to contain the perfect combination of danger, adventure, and more. I believe one of my favorite parts of this story results from the story of Fitz and his ex-partner Abe. Even in the worst of times and possible worst of situations, God performs acts that bring people together in the way God meant for them to be.

So check out this book for yourself. I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Aside from her family and her Savior, USA Today bestselling author Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Robin to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Texas, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

More from Robin

Do you remember the show Party of Five? It ran for six seasons back in the 90s. I wasn’t a huge fan of the show itself, but I loved the premise: the oldest son of five children becomes the guardian for his younger siblings after their parents are killed in a car accident.

Talk about fodder for a great story.

When I was dreaming about Tides of Duplicity, I decided my hero, Fitz McCaffrey, had a similar story. In his case, his parents died when he was twenty-one, leaving him as the sole guardian of his eight-year-old sister, Shelby.

Do you remember being twenty-one? I do, and let me tell you, I wouldn’t have had the first idea how to raise an eight-year-old, especially one dealing with the trauma of losing her parents. Fitz didn’t know, either.

Sure, thanks to insurance, they had plenty of money to survive. He was able to finish college, go to the police academy, and get a job. But emotionally, Fitz didn’t know what he was doing. What he knew was that his sister needed him, and he loved her enough to figure it out.

Our story picks up eight years later when Fitz and Shelby go to Belize for vacation. Shelby meets a teenage boy who takes up all her time. Fitz doesn’t complain when he meets a beautiful woman named Tabby. They spend two weeks together, and by the time those weeks are up, Fitz has fallen hard.

But the morning Tabby leaves, Fitz discovers a few shocking truths:

Tabby was caught on tape stealing from the hotel safe.

The hotel safe held a half million dollars’ worth of jewels belonging to a mafia boss—who happens to be the father of Shelby’s new boyfriend.

And the mob boss wants Fitz to get his stuff back.

His leverage?

He’s taken Shelby.

Shelby’s the only family Fitz has left. He loves her like a father loves a daughter, and he’ll do anything to get her back.

Even betray the woman he’s come to love.

I loved writing this story. I loved writing the conflict Fitz deals with—the desire to save Shelby vs. the desire to protect Tabby from a very dangerous man. I love seeing his newfound faith at work. Frankly, as the world dealt with all the drama of 2020, I loved writing about exotic locations that took me out of my normal life—a couple of resort towns, not to mention Tabby’s hometown, the little snow-covered village of Coventry, New Hampshire.

As the winter winds blow, I hope you’ll take this trip with Fitz and Tabby and Shelby. I think you’re going to love it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 21

Inklings and notions, February 22

Texas Book-aholic, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 24

deb’s Book Review, February 25

Through the Fire Blogs, February 26

Mary Hake, February 26

Older & Smarter?, February 27

Artistic Nobody, February 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, March 1

Spoken from the Heart, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 3

Betti Mace, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 5 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite!!

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/1086a/tides-of-duplicity-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Rubber Band – A Review and Giveaway

The Rubber Band

About the Book

Book:  The Rubber Band

Author: Christy Hoss

Genre: Middle Grade

Release date: July 31, 2020

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THE RUBBER BAND What do Roadkill Rocky, Bossy Becca, and Pinhead Eddie have in common? Nothing. A rag-tag bunch of elementary school kids come together to form a rock and roll band and enter the Sun Valley talent contest. Will they be strong enough to overcome prejudice and see the dream of winning through, or will an unforeseen medical emergency break the bond of the band?

Click here to get your copy!

As a homeschooling mother, I love finding new books appropriate for younger readers, even though my youngest turned 18 in October. Because our family loves music, the title of this book caught my attention. I really enjoyed the storyline and getting to know the characters. Appearances and first impressions often deceive us and hide more painful realities. For Eddie, attempting to put together a rock band from some unusual choices brings together elementary school students who otherwise would have disliked each other or been afraid of each other.

This book explores overcoming fear of a bully (that turns out to not be so scary), along with dealing with a bossy girl. Sometimes, we fail to recognize how good we have it. I look forward to reading the next books in this series.

So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Christy caught the writing bug in second grade after winning a prize for a five-page story about her dog, Noodles. Mrs. Olson told her she was destined to be a writer and that dream never left her thoughts. After teaching elementary school for fifteen years, Christy fulfilled her childhood dream with her debut novel, The Rubber Band. She substitute teaches to support her writing career, deriving writing inspiration from the students and situations she encounters.

At age twenty-five, she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes but refuses to let it limit her. Her diabetic alert dog, Aiden, has saved her life uncountable times and will appear in future installments of The Rubber Band. Christy lives by this equation: Living + diabetes = LIVE-abetes.

Christy is a freelance editor and writes children’s Bible stories for Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine and has written articles for Guideposts. She is a featured speaker for conferences, retreats and special events.

Christy lives in Northern California with Kevin, the love of her life. They have three grown children.

More from Christy

Noodles is the reason I am a writer. Noodles was my childhood dog’s name. I loved her oodles and oodles. She was a dachshund, not a poodle. I often drew her in my doodles. (Can you tell I’m an elementary school teacher?) A few short years ago, when I was in second grade, I entered a class writing contest. My story was five sentences long but won first place. The teacher told me I was destined to be a writer. That encouragement never left me. I grew up in the small town of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and always loved writing in school, especially fiction. I wrote stories for my friends and for myself to create situations I could only dream of. As an adult, I moved to California, determined to live for God. He led me back to college where I fell in love with writing again. I won a state-wide award for my feature article in the JC’s newspaper, confirming my heart’s desire. Fast forward through marriage, kids, and a teaching job—my friends begged me to write about a recurring night dream I had, which was like watching the ending of a suspense thriller movie. Through writing conferences, critique groups and late nights, I wrote Palms of Death by starting at the end and working my way backwards. After rewriting it several times, I self-published it in 2018. At my first major writers’ conference, the Lord undeniably called me to write. So, the real reason I write is not because of Noodles, but because I want to always be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and wholeheartedly follow His direction. That’s my story, just a bit of the whole kit and caboodle.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 20

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 21 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 21

Texas Book-aholic, February 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 24 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 26

Wishful Endings, February 27 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 27

Inklings and notions, February 28

deb’s Book Review, March 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 3

Artistic Nobody, March 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the grand prize of $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/10869/the-rubber-band-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Alabama Days – A Review and Giveaway

Alabama Days

About the Book

Book:  Alabama Days

Author: Daphne Self

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 16, 2020

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How could a loving God hurt so many people?

Paramedic Scott Wilson believes he can chase death away, but his spirit is shattered when people he loves are taken from him. As a paramedic, Scott sees every day the pain that people suffer, and he wants no part of a God that would allow bad things to happen to good people. As a result, he hides behind his work and addiction to ease the pain within his soul.

But once newspaper reporter Angela Mabry and her son, Max, move into town, Scott can’t help but notice the feisty redhead. Angela is determined to uncover the town’s seedy underbelly and reveal the strange coincidences of so many car accidents at one location.

When a prominent city official dies in a car wreck, Scott and Angela find themselves tangled in intrigue and deception. Together they search for the truth and discover that not all is what it seems.

Click here to get your copy!

As I started reading this book, I found myself unable to put it down until I finished reading the last word. With two individuals whose lives shattered when people close to them died, they had to each search for a way to move forward. Angela relies on God, while Scott appears to be running from Him.

The suspense of this novel kept me on the edge as I read more and more. Rochelle, the granddaughter of Angela’s boss adds a lot to the story. She desires to be more than just a gopher at the newspaper, and Angela assists her with that goal. Furthermore, Soctt’s grandmother and her best friend, the two “D’s” add character to the story as well.

So if you want a book to grab your attention and draw you to the power and grace of God, check out this book for yourself. I promise it delivers a powerful story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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“I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me” (Psalm 119:119). This verse is Daphne’s life.
“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). This verse is the promise made to Daphne.

Daphne Self, formerly published under the name D.M. Webb, resides in Iowa. As a Mississippian transplant, she spends her days in the Midwest state writing, editing, reading, antiquing, and planning adventures with her husband and sons. She pursues her dream as an editor and author with one goal in mind: To Glorify His Name. Daphne is also an avid reader who devours books in many genres.

More from Daphne

Why Did I Write What I Wrote?

One question that is always asked of me: “How did you come up with your book?”

Well, it is simple and complex. Like the helix shape of a DNA strand that holds four proteins in an infinite combination, my ideas are a lot like that. My first book, Mississippi Nights, started off as a book from my childhood. I wrote One Big Happy Family when I was about 16. It was buried and put aside for so many, many years. And after the line-of-duty death of my husband in 2005, the idea of resurrecting that novel percolated for some time. Finally in 2010, I took the story, revamped it, and drew from life to create a story about the prodigal son who returns home to family. It wasn’t just his story, but a story about his brother, a family friend, and a little girl. Mississippi Nights brought to life the story of alcoholism and how a person can fall into that addiction.

After that book was published, I started thinking: “What if someone saw death, hurt, and sorrow on a daily basis? What if that person didn’t have Jesus to lean upon? What would he do?”

And that’s how Alabama Days was born. While Mississippi Nights dealt with alcoholism, Alabama Days dealt with drug abuse, and in this case, prescription drug abuse.

Yet it was much deeper than that. What if the person was a really good guy? He was likable, generous, loving, yet he lacked that one relationship that would bring him peace. If he were someone who did what was right, no matter what, what would happen if he committed a wrong act only to find that his wrong act saved the life of another?

I had so many ethnical questions thrown at my characters. How would a Christian and a non-Christian react to certain circumstances. Because life isn’t always clear-cut, yet the Bible is, I wanted to show the messiness of being human.

We know that as Christians, we all fall short. We all sin at times. The difference is that when we sin, we know we can receive forgiveness and “Go and sin no more.” But how would a person who ran from God think? How would I react if I were like him?

Writers play around with what-ifs. We see the many facets of humanity. And that’s how our stories are born. And why we write what we do. For me, I want to show the many sides of human nature and behaviour and show that in all things, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is there for us all.

So, why do I write what I do? To bring glory to His Name and hope that through my words, people will come (or return) to Christ.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 17

lakesidelivingsite, February 17

Among the Reads, February 18

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 21

Older & Smarter?, February 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 22

Betti Mace, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Inklings and notions, February 25

For Him and My Family, February 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 26

deb’s Book Review, February 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 28

Pause for Tales, February 28

Artistic Nobody, March 1 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Daphne is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Mississippi Nights, a copy of Alabama Days, a floral mug, a leather Is. 40:31 bookmark, 2 mini notebooks, and a Paramedic Prayer keyring with velvet pouch!!

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/10867/alabama-days-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Dream Again – A Review and Giveaway

Dream Again

About the Book

Book:  Dream Again

Author: Ann Marie Bryan

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: August 20, 2020

Ann Marie Bryan - Dream Again - Front Cover

One random day. One burst of laughter. One perfect moment. That’s all it takes for Gianna Barrett to capture Carter McIntosh’s attention—and his heart. His whole life has been a series of miracles, so this falls right in line. If only it were that simple. The object of his desire refuses to give him the time of day. Not deterred, Carter is sure he’s ready to put his heart on the line for love. Big mistake. He isn’t quite prepared and finds himself wrestling a soul-deep hurt into submission.

“There has been an accident….”

That devastating revelation shattered Gianna’s life, and in that one chaotic moment, everything she had was taken away. She has spent years carefully crafting her new normal, so there is no way Carter can just insert himself into her life. The fight is on but not for long. Their attraction is instant, and before she knows it, all her cynicism goes out the door.

When Gianna learns more about Carter’s life, she gets a better understanding of her beginning. As she starts her journey to healing, she uncovers Carter’s startling secret. In the days that follow, she struggles with feelings of regret, fueling her natural tendency to retreat. But the flames of desire burn hot and it’s not easy to break their unexpected connection. As the past reaches for them, they soon realize that to move forward, they must look back. Will they allow God to be the anchor they so desperately need—before it’s too late? For all they ever wanted was to be loved.

Click here to get your copy!


As I began reading Dream Again, the story of Gianna, Carter, along with their friends and family captured my attention. Having both suffered losses in the past, the immediate chemistry between the two pulled me into their story. But the more important point resulted from their faith in God and reliance on Him and His Word.

Sometimes we need a reminder from God to wait on Him and follow where He leads. The inclusion of writing books, the publishing world, the power and connection of family, praising God through song and music, and more play a vital role in this book. The pace of this book provides the perfect “quick but powerful” book to read. I look forward to reading the next books in this series.

This book provides so much in the way of God’s goodness, mercy, love, and grace. The fact we need to rely on God shines through the pages. Truly read and savor this book. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Ann Marie Bryan - Author Photo

Ann Marie Bryan is a dedicated multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO and Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire, and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Her celebrated bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, blend faith and romance that test the resilience of love.

Ann Marie’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.

More from Ann Marie

I am super excited that you are a part of this amazing Dream Again tour. I use the words—emotional, inspirational, compelling, and romantic—to describe my writing style. I love to put readers in the heart of the story to give them a chance to think how they would react in similar situations.

It was therapeutic for me to write Dream Again. Last year, my mom passed, so it was a year of grieving and adjusting for me. While I was going through, I decided to write a story about someone who suffered the loss of a parent. I wrapped that experience into a beautiful love story, Dream Again, which gives hope while showing the awesome power of God in the lives of two hurting people.

I hope you will enjoy reading Dream Again as much as I have enjoyed writing it. In this novel, you will witness the incredible transformative power of love in the lives of Carter McIntosh and Gianna Barrett as they lift their faith and develop the courage and tenacity to leave the past behind. Dream Again is laced with love, faith, friendship, and a sense of community, while demonstrating God’s desire to free people from life-altering events. I pray that you will catch a glimpse of God moving through time to secure the future of those He loves.

Thank you for touring with me and for taking the time to read Dream Again. Stay victorious!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 19

Through the Fire Blogs, February 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 21

Susan K. Beatty, Author, February 22 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 23

Inklings and notions, February 24

For Him and My Family, February 25

deb’s Book Review, February 26

Artistic Nobody, February 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

By The Book, March 1 (Author Interview)

Spoken from the Heart, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 2

Pause for Tales, March 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ann Marie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Dream Again!!

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/10868/dream-again-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Lady Wynwood’s Spies 1: Archer – A Review and Giveaway

Archer

About the Book

Book:  Lady Wynwood’s Spies 1: Archer

Author: Camille Elliot

Genre: Christian Historical Romantic Suspense

Release date: December 8, 2020

Archer cover

A Christian Regency Romantic Adventure serial novel with a supernatural twist

Lady Wynwood’s Spies volume 1

She met him again by shooting him.

Part one in a Christian Regency Romantic Adventure epic serial novel with a supernatural twist. After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends.

But her perfect aim fails her, and her arrow hits a piece of paper held by Mr. Michael Coulton-Jones, whom she hasn’t seen much in society in several years. But strangely, her arrow tears a section of the paper with a partial symbol that looks eerily familiar to her.

He met her again while searching for a killer.

Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength.

But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for.

Now Michael, who had vowed to never again allow civilians to come to harm, must work with a nobleman keeping dangerous secrets, a human lie detector, a chemist, a fellow former spy, and the one woman he’s never allowed himself to get close to.

And it is only this ragtag group that stands against a traitorous organization that could enable Napoleon to conquer the world.

Click here to get your copy!

As I began reading this book, I quickly found myself relating to Miss Phoebe Sauber – perhaps because my relationship with my father remains nonexisitent currently. This regency Christian romance includes plenty of action, unconventional behavior, and more to keep your interterst. I love how Phoebe is an archer, it makes her come to life and helps give her life purpose. Being the oldest of two – with her younger sibling being a brother and the heir apparent, Phoebe must come to terms with her father’s impending marriage to a new woman with two daughters, the lose of her life’s purpose managing her father’s estate, and more.

As part 1 of a series, I definitely plan to read the rest of these books. I believe my favorite character would have to be Phoebe’s Aunt Laura. The author portrayed her in ways that I could picture in my mind her actions while hearing her words. She definitely fails to keep to standard behaviors for a lady of this period. However, she loves her niece unconditionally and has a sense of adventure. Her butler Graham adds a spark of the traditional while mixing with unexpected behaviors sometimes. The two make the perfect mix.

If you desire to read only books that wrap up by the end of the book, then you may not want to read this one. Because it is a series, you will definitely need to read the rest of the books in the series, and I plan on doing exactly that. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

CamyTang_highres

 Camy writes Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance as USA Today bestselling author Camille Elliot. She lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She was a staff worker for her church youth group for over 20 years and she currently plays on one of the Sunday worship teams. Visit her websites at http://www.camytang.com/ and http://www.camilleelliot.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.

More from Camy

I love Regency romances! I started reading them when I was 13 years old and haven’t stopped since.

There’s something about the Regency time period and culture that’s glamorous and decadent and the epitome of elegance. The resplendent dresses! The brooding, romantic Lord Byron and the distinguished Beau Brummell! Dashing naval captains and army lieutenants, glittering ballrooms and winsome debutantes!

The flip side of my personality loves romantic suspense and action adventure. I love seeing strong women face danger with courage and smarts, and strong men willing to do anything to protect their loved ones and fight for justice.

So, basically, the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series grew out of my desire to see Mission: Impossible in the Regency era!

My Regency “IMF” team is brought together when my spinster heroine, a botanist and a skilled archer, discovers that her late uncle had ties to a mysterious group. She goes to her aunt’s best friend, a gentleman who has secretly been a spy for decades, and he forms his team of ex-agents and uniquely gifted civilians to battle this group of alchemists who want to ensure that Napoleon wins the war with England. (Cue the Mission: Impossible theme music!)

I’ve also structured the series a little differently. It’s a very long serial novel, similar to a Japanese manga or light novel series, with 12 volumes that each have a completed story arc, but the main plot isn’t resolved until the end.

I hope you’ll join me on this epic Regency romantic adventure!

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 15

CarpeDiem, February 15

Hebrews 12 Endurance, February 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 16

Artistic Nobody, February 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inside the Wong Mind, February 17

Through the Fire Blogs, February 18

Mia Reads, February 18

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 19

HookMeInABook, February 19

Betti Mace, February 20

Inklings and notions, February 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 21

Texas Book-aholic, February 21

Connie’s History Classroom, February 22

The Artist Librarian, February 22

Pause for Tales, February 22

For Him and My Family, February 23

Labor Not in Vain, February 23

deb’s Book Review, February 24

Fiction Book Lover, February 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 25

Just Your Average reviews, February 25

Simple Harvest Reads, February 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 26

Blossoms and Blessings, February 27

Britt Reads Fiction, February 27

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 28

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 28

Blogging With Carol, February 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Camy is giving away the grand prize of a 1-year subscription to Kindle Unlimited!!

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/1074a/lady-wynwood-s-spies-1-archer-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews

A Dance in Donegal Book Review and Giveaway

About the Book

All her life, Boston-born Moira Doherty has relished her mother’s descriptions of the Emerald Isle. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira is compelled to fulfill her dying wish–that she become the teacher in Ballymann, the beloved village in Donegal, Ireland, she’s heard so much about.

After an arduous voyage, Moira begins a challenging new job in an unfamiliar and ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira’s mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she’s journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends–and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced–as she seeks to navigate a life she’d never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.

As I began reading this book, I quickly found myself caught up in the story. Set in Boston and then Ireland, this story contains descriptive language for both the characters and the settings. I could imagine myself actually in Ireland. I have often desired to visit Ireland-based on the descriptions I have read of the countryside and the people. Moira’s mother recently died in Boston and Moira must decide if she will go to Ireland or not to be a teacher

This story illustrates how our actions and words potentially cause harm even years into the future. This book illustrates the power of demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ even to those we find difficult to like. Initial interactions between Moira and Sean , Peg, Colm. and other town residents pull the story together in a way that made me unable to set the book down.

I love how the author brings the story and characters full circle by the end of the book. I felt a sense of satisfaction and completion by the time I finished this book. So check out A Dance in Donegal for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the author:

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and other publications. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children.

You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.comFacebook (@JenniferDeibelAuthor), and Instagram (@jenniferdeibel_author).

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Roots of Wood and Stone – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book
This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn’t expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she’s on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother’s historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer’s, he can’t afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who’s fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love–and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God’s plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.

Roots of Wood and Stone takes place in the 1870s and the present. I found the characters and storyline engaging. It illustrates how our actions possibly affect people for years to come. Diaries allow future generations to discover things about their relatives that might otherwise have been lost. The split time storyline suited the plot of this book perfectly. The settings and characters wove together a wonderful tapestry to read. So check out this book for yourself.

About the Author
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog, and is a regular contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, releases from Kregel Publications on January 26, 2021.In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship band at ACFW conferences. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

Learn more at www.amandawen.com, and follow her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen)Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen)
Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Of Gold and Iron

Of God and Iron (1)

About the Book

Book:  Of Gold and Iron

Author: Nicki Chapelway

Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance, mythology/folklore, faerie

Release date: Sept 20, 2020

OfGoldandIron

“Swear on something else. Swear on your humanity.”

I suddenly find it very hard to swallow. My humanity? With a jolt I realize that there are far greater things at risk here than just my life. I’m in the faerie world, anything could happen. Even immortality.

The Otherworld is the home of the faeries, deceitful, decadent, and deadly. As the next in line to be-come Guardians, Jaye and her brother Thomas are tasked with defending the human world from all things magical. But when a routine scouting mission ends with them trapped in the Otherworld, it becomes pain-fully clear that someone doesn’t want them to leave the world of the faeries. Determined to not become an immortal’s pawn, Jaye kidnaps Ravven Crowe, an arrogant solitary faerie, so that he can guide them safely home. But things quickly go from bad to worse when they are captured by the Winter Court and embroiled in a plot to start a faerie civil war. Thomas is enslaved by an Unseelie faerie, and it seems that the only way to save her brother and avoid a war is for Jaye to ally herself with Ravven.

The faeries are governed by a set of strict laws. For their own safety, the Guardians have their own rules. But with Thomas’s life hanging in the balance there is only one way to save him that does not include breaking the faerie’s Fair Law, a crime that ends in death. Together Jaye and Ravven must compete in a series of deadly tests given by the faerie courts in order to earn Jaye the right to be named the Fair Assassin and wield the Blade of Gold and Iron. As the Fair Assassin she will be permitted to kill any faerie she so chooses, but first she has to live long enough. Walking a fine line between destruction and further entanglement with Crowe, Jaye is going to have to break her own rules if she wants to win. She must trust a faerie. Her life and humanity depend on it.

Click here to get your copy!

Perhaps because our daughter loves the Tinkerbell movies, or perhaps because our family homeschools, I am always on the lookout for new Young Adult Christian works of fiction. So when the review opportunity for Of Ink and Iron appeared, I knew I wanted to read it.

This book combines elements of fantasy, courage, and faith that result in a work of fiction sure to capture your imagination. Jaye and her brother Thomas serve as guardians, and find themselves stuck in the Otherworld. Circumstances force Jaye to work with Ravven Crowe, an arrogant solitary faerie, in order to save her brother.

The story moves at an excellent pace, and the characters appear realistic. So check out this work of Young Adult fantasy for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Nicki is a twenty-something author of clean YA speculative fiction. She has been writing since she was eleven years old, and has published several works including portal fantasies such as A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses and A Certain Sort of Madness; as well as Winter Cursed a dark fantasy Snow White retelling.

Nicki lives in Ohio where she spends far too much time watching TV and sleeping. She listens to music basically all the time, and adores obsessing over mythologies, her shows, and her slew of fictional boyfriends. When not writing, she can usually be found at her desk with either a paintbrush or a pen in her hand.

More from Nicki

I find mythology fascinating, and one of my favorite mythological creatures are faeries (and dragons, but this book is mostly about faeries—although there is at least one dragon…). Growing up as a self proclaimed tom boy, I found faeries to be boring and trite creatures, all sparkle and not enough teeth. I preferred elves with their factions: wood elves, light elves, dark elves, high elves… etc.

Tolkien has inspired so much about my fantasy worlds—actually he is directly responsible for why I write fantasy—and because of that I adopted his own source of inspiration for many of the events of Middle Earth: myths.

I started reading up on myths, especially Celtic which is where Tolkien derived some inspiration for his elves (the elf part is of course Norse, but the returning to the Undying Lands is based on the mysterious disappearance of the Tuatha De Danan in Celtic myths which were originally considered to be gods but later became known as a type of faerie). As I dug deeper into Celtic myths and started reading Irish folklore, I came across creatures that were so complex that one individual could have the characteristics of light, dark, high, and wood elves all meshed together. I became fascinated by these walking contradictions. Immortals that can be harmed by such mortal things as iron and bread. Tricksters who cannot lie. Beings with powerful magic, but governed by a very strict set of laws and compelled into obedience.

And much, much scarier than the faeries I grew up hearing about.

Irish mythology gave me everything I needed, from many different forms of faeries to defining characteristics and names. All I had to do was fit them into my world… and come up with a plot and characters, of course, but those I actually got from a dream.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, February 12

Rebecca Tews, February 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 14

Texas Book-aholic, February 15

Blogging With Carol, February 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 17

Inklings and notions, February 18

Heidi and Books, February 18

For Him and My Family, February 19

deb’s Book Review, February 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 21

Artistic Nobody, February 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 25

Breny and Books, February 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nicki is giving away the grand prize package of signed paperbacks of Nicki’s other three novels, a limited edition art print for Of Gold and Iron, and a coaster!!

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/10746/of-gold-and-iron-celebration-tour-giveaway