Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue ~ A Celebration Tour Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue

Author: Steve Searfoss

Genre: Fiction

Release date: January 26, 2020

Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. Oh, and his sister Addie wants in on the action too. Will they learn how to be business partners?  He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.

KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.

I am a Christian and a parent. My wife and I pay close attention to the books and media our four children consume, and try to make sure the content is edifying, just as Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:8. I wanted to write a book that met that standard, and was also fun and engaging. KidVenture teaches kids the importance of hard work, of keeping your word and being trustworthy, and telling the truth, even when it means delivering bad news. As the story progresses, the protagonist understands that business is about more than making money as he appreciates  the responsibility he has to his customers, his employee and his partner. How you treat people matters in tangible ways.

At the center of the story is a strong family. The two main characters are a brother and sister, who engage in their share of sibling rivalry, but also learn how to work together and forgive each other. At key junctures when they face big dilemmas, they turn to their parents for advice. The kids learn a healthy mix of independence, risk taking and learning through trial and error — balanced with knowing when to ask for help. All of this is presented in a way that is not preachy or hokey, but wrapped inside a story full of unexpected plot twists, witty banter and memorable characters.

Click here to get your copy!

When a boy desires a brand new bike, his father assists him in learning the value of a dollar by giving him the opportunity to clean the family pool. With illustrations showing calculations and more, the author creates a worthwhile story that demonstrates how Chance and his sister form a partnership to clean pools that capitalizes on their strengths.

Each chapter concludes with challenge questions designed to make the reader think. I feel this book does an excellent job explaining entrepreneurship and economics. I also appreciate how the author allows the readers to explore the thoughts of Chance and his sister as well as providing illustrations of those thoughts along with any calculations. The cooperation between Chance and his sister provides an excellent character-building acitivty for the reader.

I also appreciate how Chance’s father requires him to work for the bike rather than just giving him the money. I also enjoyed getting to know Chance’s clients as well as his friend Amit. It shows how we all make mistakes, but how we handle them makes a huge difference.

As the parent of four children, I wish this book existed when our children were younger. I definitely would have selected this book for them to read. I love the idea of children learning how to start a business because it helps them develop skills they can benefit from in the future. So if you have children or know of a young person who could benefit from this type of book, check it out for yourself.

About the Author

I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they’d ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, “Let’s pretend you have a business that sells…” and off we’d go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.

I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.

I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.

More from Steve

I am a Christian and a parent. My wife and I pay close attention to the books and
media our four children consume, and try to make sure the content is edifying,
just as Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:8. I wanted to write a book that met that
standard, and was also fun and engaging. KidVenture teaches kids the importance
of hard work, of keeping your word and being trustworthy, and telling the truth,
even when it means delivering bad news. As the story progresses, the protagonist
understands that business is about more than making money as he appreciates
the responsibility he has to his customers, his employee and his partner. How you
treat people matters in tangible ways.

At the center of the story is a strong family. The two main characters are a
brother and sister, who engage in their share of sibling rivalry, but also learn how
to work together and forgive each other. At key junctures when they face big
dilemmas, they turn to their parents for advice. The kids learn a healthy mix of
independence, risk taking and learning through trial and error — balanced with
knowing when to ask for help. All of this is presented in a way that is not preachy
or hokey, but wrapped inside a story full of unexpected plot twists, witty banter
and memorable characters.

Blog Stops

Lots of Helpers, September 8

Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 9

For Him and My Family, September 10

Boondock Ramblings, September 10

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 12

Mary Hake, September 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13

Inklings and notions, September 14

Blogging With Carol, September 14

deb’s Book Review, September 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 16

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, September 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 18

Splashes of Joy, September 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 20

Lights in a Dark World, September 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 21

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Steve 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/11817/twelve-weeks-to-midnight-blue-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Save the Date ~ A Celebration Tour Review and Giveaway

Save the Date

About the Book

Book: Save the Date

Author: Hallee Bridgeman  (Author), Kari Trumbo  (Author), T.K. Chapin  (Author), Chautona Havig  (Author), Shoshanna Gabriel  (Author), Dori Harrell (Author), Liwen Y. Ho  (Author), Lisa M. Prysock (Author), Camy Tang  (Author), Jan Thompson  (Author), Marion Ueckermann  (Author), Jaycee Weaver  (Author)

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: October 12, 2021

Save the Date cover

Weddings for every season and occasion. Adventures, mishaps, and dream destinations—this collection has it all!
As our guest of honor, you’re cordially invited on a journey through twelve heartwarming and inspirational novellas that will take you from small-town America to romantic Paris, from the sunny shores of Hawaii to New Zealand. Office romances, friends-to-lovers, second chances, and more await you in these stories full of forgiveness, redemption, laughter, and love.
Say “I do” and claim your copy of this limited-time anthology by your favorite USA Today and bestselling Christian romance authors!
January Hope by Kari Trumbo
Clothing historian Cleo goes on the hunt for an 1880s fashion magazine wedding dress. Discovering it’s part of a museum collection, her biggest obstacle is handsome curator Lowel. Unfortunately, his no-touch policy just might put a stop to her hunt and her heart.
A Valentine for Veronica by Lisa Prysock
Veronica purchased her dream wedding dress though she’s single. When an encounter with a former peer—now a wedding magazine photojournalist—entices her into doing a special feature, the pressure is on to find a husband. Will Veronica’s pride be her downfall, or will her faith lead to love?
I Take You by Marion Ueckermann
Since childhood, Kaia has dreamed about her fairy-tale wedding. But when her father’s choices crush Kaia’s dreams, her fiancé is left scrambling for a solution to their dilemma. Kaia doesn’t want to delay their wedding, and neither does Leo. He’s waited a lifetime to make Kaia his wife.
Adoring April by Chautona Havig
Whoever heard of a church expecting an incoming minister to marry their only single member as a condition for employment? Legality aside, what kind of woman would possibly agree to such a crazy idea? What’ll it take for Jesse to go from avoiding April to adoring April?
A Change of a Dress by Hallee Bridgeman
Belle struggles to bury the past and grasp her elusive future. Scarred by an incredible act of heroism, combat veteran Vince longs to courageously walk the road less traveled as an army chaplain. The two unknowingly cross paths time and again until meeting changes everything.
Time for Me by Jan Thompson
When Sheryl tries to get a world-famous sculptor to display his artwork in her gallery, she doesn’t expect him to fall in love with her in this friends-to-more romance.
The Wedding Dress by T. K. Chapin
Alexa Anderson doesn’t want to wear her mother’s wedding dress when it’s time to marry the love of her life, Brad Jackson. Little does she know, the wedding dress has a story of its own to tell…
The Wedding Kimono by Camy Tang
A tomboy massage therapist and her boss discover a mysterious message hidden in her grandmother’s wedding kimono. Can her family legacy help her to see her inner beauty and open herself up to love?
One Vow for September by Liwen Ho
She’s a writer with an unconventional assignment, he’s the jaded coworker playing her husband; together they’re one odd couple about to find out how real love is.
Braver with You by Jaycee Weaver
She’d follow her childhood sweetheart anywhere, but first they’ll need all her courage and all his support to make it through the wedding their mothers have planned.
Grateful for You by Dori Harrell
Jeans-only Libby hasn’t spoken to lawman Jamie since she turned down his proposal. But when she sees a frothy gown in a store window, she knows he’s the guy for her. But winning him back might mean landing herself in jail.
Countdown to Her Cowboy’s Christmas Wedding by Shoshanna Gabriel
A handsome rancher. The girl next door. A childhood promise comes due that could change their lives… for better or worse. When their Christmas wedding preparations bring out painful memories of heartbreak, will Kate be able to forgive Jay—and herself—so they can finally be together?

Click here to get your copy!

With selections from some of my favorite authors, I looked forward to reading this collection. I must say, it did not let me down. With different settings, different characters, and more this collection provides a variety of wedding scenarios to draw you into each story.

Whether you want to just read one at a time or binge read the entire book, these stories provide an interesting distraction from day to day activities. Books like this, I prefer to binge read if time and opportunity allows; however, I also recognize the enjoyment that comes from spreading out the stories a bit. So if you love weddings and reading about brides, grooms, and those who surround them, check out this collection 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 Authors

The authors of Save the Date joined together for this limited-time collection as an opportunity to bring their readers an excellent reading experience. From California to Kentucky, South Africa to Idaho and everywhere in between, these authors live and write the stories on their hearts to touch the hearts of their readers.

More from Chautona

Why One Epic Wedding Set Is about More Than “Just” Romance

“Oh, they say when you marry in June… you’re a bride all your life…”

When my kids were little, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was a favorite movie, although they used to call it “Dah-dah-dump-dum.” If you’ve never heard “Goin’ Courtin’” then that won’t make sense, but what can I say? Kids. Considering I had seven daughters, it’s no wonder that my kids loved that song sung by girls wearing pantaloons and camisoles the most. My boys never seemed to get that they were watching girls dancing around in their underwear. Much to my relief.

But you know, I’m a desert rat and not a fan of June weddings. Summer weddings are… HOT. I love outdoor weddings and receptions, and they’re miserable here in June, July, August, May… September… To be fair, there are maybe six whole weeks of the entire year that wouldn’t be—too hot, too cold, or just blasting with wind.

The authors of Save the Date all chose their months for different reasons. December, June, and February were obvious favorite choices, but I had three options that called to me. Either April, May, or June. Why? Well, my book title. I needed a woman’s name!

In this collection, you’ll find a couple of marriages of convenience, a friends-to-more, a destination wedding… you name it, we’ve got it. Each author has a meaningful story around the wedding dress, and through the course of each one, we have something especially beautiful.

Love.

I’m not speaking just of love between two characters. In sets like this, beautiful friendships are forged as we write, share, and celebrate. There’s a camaraderie that fills the group with every idea, every milestone, and every frustration.

You’ll also witness one more kind of love—love of craft. See, authors do the long, hard, sometimes tedious work of writing for a reason. We love the creation of characters, settings, and stories that weave all three into a picture that stirs the heart and feeds the soul. You could argue that they are a cheap imitation of the stories God writes on our lives, but because they are an offering to the Lord, they are also beautiful, rich, and a “sweet savor,” or so we hope.

We pray you’ll enjoy your time among the brides of Save the Date. We hope you’ll be blessed.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 4

Texas Book-aholic, September 5

Inklings and notions, September 6

By the Book, September 6

For Him and My Family, September 7

deb’s Book Review, September 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 9

Back Porch Reads, September 9

Connect in Fiction, September 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 11

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 14

CarpeDiem, September 14

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 15

She Lives To Read, September 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 16

Simple Harvest Reads, September 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 17

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the Save the Date authors are giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/11816/save-the-date-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Street Singer Celebration Tour ~ A Review and Giveaway

The Street Singer

About the Book

Book:  The Street Singer

Author: Kathleen Neely

Genre: Christian Urban Fiction

Release date: 2019

9781522301295

Trisha Mills, a student in her final semester of law school, has fond memories of listening to the music of Adaline, a once-famous recording artist. Trisha learns that Adda is now a street singer in Asheville, North Carolina where she lives in a storage closet she rents for her equipment. Adda’s sole means of support in her senior years comes from the donation box.

Along with her meager possessions, Adda has a box labeled, “Things to Remember.” Once Adda and Trisha become friends, Adda agrees to show Trisha the contents of the box, and reveals her journey from her beginnings as a sharecropper’s daughter, her rise to fame, and her fall into poverty.

Even while busy cleaning out the home of her deceased grandfather, preparing to sit for the bar exam, and planning her wedding, Trisha cannot overlook the injustices that Adda has experienced. Aided by attorney Rusty Bergstrom, Trisha convinces Adda to seek restitution.

Click here to get your copy!

Perhaps the setting of this book drew me in because I went to college in Asheville, North Carolina. But regardless of what initially drew me to this book, the story kept my interest. Trisha Mills desires nothing more than to finish law school and marry her fiancee. But a chance encounter with a former singing star who now lives in one room and sings on the street changes everything.

Adda, formerly known as Adaline, carries her memories around in a box. When Trisha recognizes the music studio failed to take care of Adda, she sets out to achieve justice for the former star.

From sharecropper’s daughter to star to living on the street, Adda shares her memories with Trisha and Rusty, the lawyer who works with Trisha to obtain justice. I appreciated the pace of this book as well as the characters.

So if you enjoy stories set in the mountains, home renovations, and music, check out this book for yourself. I definitely recommend it.

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

About the Author

KathleenNeely

Kathleen Neely is a retired educator and school administrator. She served as a principal at elementary schools in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling to see her sons, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren scattered throughout the eastern states.

More from Kathleen

I’d like to introduce myself and then acquaint you with some people who live inside the pages of my book, The Street Singer. I am a retired educator having taught preschool, fourth grade, and then moving into administration as an elementary principal. When I retired, I pursued my desire to write. My first novel, The Least of These, won first place in a contest titled Fresh Voices. That honor renewed my confidence, and I went on to write my second book, The Street Singer. Although The Street Singer was not my first novel, it was the first to reach publication. That holds a special place in any author’s heart. I’d love to introduce you to a few of my favorite people.

Trisha Mills is a law student, engaged to marry Grant Ramsey. Trisha’s grandparents raised her from her early teens when her parents died. As an only child, she’s left with no family following her grandparents’ death. Trisha longs for a sense of heritage.

Adda Marsh is the daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers and has little education. What she does have is an amazing singing voice. Using the pseudonym Adaline, she experienced great success in the music industry in the era of Ella Fitzgerald. Her record company let her go when she aged and her voice faded. She never realized how the recording company duped her. Penniless, she sings on a street corner for donations.

Rusty Bergstrom is a lawyer who agrees to help Trisha in her quest to find justice for Adda. He brings both compassion and levity to a difficult situation. Rusty sprinkles lawyer jokes throughout the book, causing Trisha to laugh—an characteristic in short supply.

Grant Ramsey is a financial advisor working hard to build his clientele. His father is a state politician with aspirations for becoming governor. He learned to exercise caution in his words and actions so protect his father’s image. That guarded nature tells him that Trisha’s friendship with Adda is not a good idea.

There you have it. Trisha Mills’ story with the makings for a multi-generational, diverse friendship, the challenges of two very different men vying for her affection, and a legal battle to right a wrong. Oh, I forgot to mention, all this while renovating her grandparents’ old farm house. I hope you enjoy reading The Street Singer as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 5

Texas Book-aholic, September 6

Inklings and notions, September 7

For Him and My Family, September 8

HappyWhenReading, September 8

deb’s Book Review, September 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 10

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 11 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 16

Spoken from the Heart, September 17 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize of 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/116b9/the-street-singer-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Always a Wedding Planner Celebration Tour ~ A Review and Giveaway

About the Books

Book: Always a Wedding Planner

Author: RL Ashly, Leeann Betts, Toni Shiloh, Davalynn Spencer

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: October 12, 2021

Cover 300 dps

This collection features four stories of wedding planners who are partners at Weddings by Design, located in Loveland, Colorado. Each novella will be about 30,000 words.

Can four contemporary wedding planners break the jinx of singledom, or are they destined to witness the weddings of others?

Business partners Felicity Edwards, Kiki Bell, Cassie Blackthorn, and another who has yet to be named are best of friends in Loveland, Colorado—a romantic wedding destination for many couples—and they work together to make every bride’s special day the most important of their lives.

But each of the women hides a secret from the others, one that threatens their business, their friendship, and their happiness.

Can they work out their differences, build on their strengths, and trust each other—and God—with their futures?

Click here to purchase your copy!

This collection about four friends who build a wedding business together provides the perfect weekend read. Because all four stories tie together, I found myself unable to put this book down. All four women carry secrets that potentially could destroy their business. But through grace and faith they persevere.

The collection begins with Felicity Edwards’ story. She bakes the most incredible sounding cakes, and her attention to detail amazed me. When her high school crush walks into the building, she mistakenly believes he plans to marry the woman with him. So you will need to find out what happens.

Next, comes the story of Kiki who designs the most incredible dresses and serves as seamstress. She finds herself dealing with quite a lot in her story. Again, you need to read the book to find out what happens.

Cassie, extremely introverted planner extraordinaire, takes care of all the general wedding planning details. She proves that first impressions often lead us to wrong conclusions. I loved how she faces her introvertedness and discovers ways to adapt to her circumstances.

Finally, comes the story of Ronnie, an amazing chef, who overcomes her own difficulties to find love. Just like all the other stories in this collection, I loved this one as well.

I suffer from one regret from this collection, but to avoid providing spoilers, I refuse to disclose that here. However, I will state that the regret does not impact my feelings that this collection provides an incredible look at women who find friendship at church and then create an incredible business together, called Wedding by Designs. I wish 29 years when my husband and I decided to marry that Weddings by Design existed and they were able to plan my wedding. 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 Authors

Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. Together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels.

RL Ashly

R.L. ASHLY is a master seamstress with a Master of Arts degree in Literature (May, 2019). S, who is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Literature.  A mother and grandmother, she is active in her local writing community, never says never to a home improvement task, and strives to one day write the Great American Novel.

RL Ashly writes on the run. She enjoys a good mystery with a complicated plot. Iced tea is her beverage of choice. Hemmed In is her first traditionally published novel.

Davalynn

DAVALYNN SPENCER is a Publisher’s Weekly and ECPA bestselling author with novellas in three Barbour collections, The 12 Brides of Christmas, The 12 Brides of Summer, and The Cowboy’s Bride. She won the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction and is the author of ten additional titles, both contemporary and historical. She blogs monthly for Christian Authors Network, Heroes, Heroines & History, contributes to the American Christian Fiction blog, and writes her own weekly inspirational blog. She appears on an area radio broadcast, Write Time Radio, and teaches writing workshops when not wrangling Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley.

Toni option2

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

Interview with the Authors

How did you become a writer?

Toni Shiloh: I took some creative writing classes while earning my bachelor’s degree and I caught the bug!

RL Ashly: In fifth grade, I was standing in the hallway of my elementary school and deep in conversation with my classmates. We were discussing writing and I told them that someday I would be a writer. That was my initial decision, but it would take a while and a bit of education before I could pursue a writing career.

Leeann Betts: I’m that kid in class who, when the teacher said, “Write a one-page story”, I wrote two or three pages, edge of paper to edge of paper. I loved telling stories. My parents called them ‘fibs’. In more recent years, I wondered if I had at least one book inside me that needed outing. So I sat down and tried. Messed up. Tried again. Finally, with the support of my husband who supported me and cheered me on, I finished the book, then went on to write many more.

Davalynn Spencer: I wrote my first story as an assignment from my sixth-grade teacher. That was all it took.

What is the most important thing God has taught you through your writing?

TS: That I can’t do this alone. I’ve been blessed with great critique partners, beta readers, readers overall. And of course a lot of other people who have helped in various ways.

RA: Persistence

LB: That He is the One who does the writing – all I do is transcribe the story. Before I write, I pray that I would do my part faithfully.

DS: My purpose is to proclaim Him and His faithfulness. Regardless of what happens in a character’s life or my own.

Writing has a lot of rejection. How do you deal with it?

TS: Chocolate! Lol, honestly I usually whine to my bff and pray. And maybe eat a piece of chocolate or two.

RA: Rejection or a closed door? The older I get, the more I understand a ‘no’ as not the right opportunity for me. A ‘no’ can certainly protect us from a frustrating situation that we might not understand at the time. That being said, rejection is hard. A strategy I find helpful is to let myself be discouraged, angry, or frustrated for a limited time period. All emotions need to be processed before I go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day, new adventures. I am a human and need to process like everyone else. But I have found setting time limits is healthy for me.

LB: Being a writer is much like being a follower of Jesus—there are people who love the story, and there are those who just don’t get it. In both cases, I just remind myself that they aren’t rejecting me—they are rejecting the Living Savior.

DS: Rejection can deteriorate into dejection if we allow it. Remembering that Christ too was rejected helps ease the sting. But so does remembering to keep going. Keep doing. Keep writing. Quitting is the enemy of obedience.

Who is your support for writing? Family? Writing group?

TS: My husband definitely supports me and then I have my circle of writing friends. They’ve been along for the majority of my writing career and have helped me become better with each book.

RA: Definitely my critique group. Leeann Betts is the leader, and the entire group are great cheerleaders.

LB: My husband is a huge support, as are my critique group, my writing friends, and my readers. I love hearing from readers, and always respond.

DS: I have many author friends and I enjoy spending time with them sharing commons struggles and victories.

Who are some of your favorite authors (either secular or Christian)?

TS: There are too many to name! I love all books by Sarah Monzon, Jaycee Weaver, Andrea Boyd, Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg, Ronie Kendig, Lynn Blackburn, etc.

RA: My biggest addiction is reading. I read whatever I can get my hands on including the cereal box. If I cannot read, then I will listen to an audio book. It is impossible to pick a favorite author. Everything from Socrates and Plato to Jane Austen and every contemporary writer on the planet right now.

LB: Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

DS: C.S. Lewis, Tamera Alexander, Laura Frantz, Louis L’Amour.

Do you have a favorite routine for writing?

TS: I put on my playlist that I create for each book then write. 🙂

RA: Rather than climb the walls in my house, I sit in parking lots and write my novels. Open space parks are nice too. Now that things are returning to more of a normal situation, it is easier for me to write at home. I keep my tablet and notepad in a bag for easy access. I haul that thing around everywhere I go. Then if a great idea pops into my head, I can jot it down on paper or electronically.

I do not really have a routine. Between work and chasing grandbabies, I need to write on the go. This way of writing would drive most people nuts. But it is the only way I can get things done. I catch a little bit of time on my lunch break, and before and after work.

LB: No routine, apart from praying to faithfully transcribe. I wish I could have something, like music, or candles. But I don’t.

DS: I sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee and jump right in. During the colder months of the year, I sit by the fire in my rocker and write on my laptop. With  coffee close by.

Tell us about your most recent book. What inspired you?

TS: I actually just kind of brainstormed and let the character develop in my mind. 🙂

RA: Hemmed In is a story about a seamstress and a firefighter. As a professional seamstress, my world revolves around sewing.  It was a natural choice to make the lead character a seamstress. My late uncles and aunts were the inspiration behind the story. My uncles stepped up to the plate, married my aunties, and became fathers to my cousins. They treated them as their own. The word ‘step’ did not refer to people. The only ‘step’ in their vocabularies were the ones outside leading to the front door. That left a lasting impression upon me.

LB: Worst-Kept Secret, my contribution to this collection, came as the result of a brainstorming session with my late writing friend, Darlene Franklin. We were coming up with ideas for collections. We started with “Always a Bridesmaid” then thought, “nah, that’s been done to death”. So “Always a Wedding Planner” came out, contemporary, which was a change, since the other collections were all historical. To create the heroine, I made her a lot like me. Introverted, afraid to disappoint, wanting to please.

DS: A Change of Scenery, Book 4 in the Canon City Chronicles series, focuses on the third generation of the Hutton family in 1911. Canon City was an early Hollywood, hosting movie makers of the silver screen. When I was a reporter for the newspaper in Canon City, I often visited the local History Center and Museum for stories from the past. Discovering so much intriguing movie history from this area led me to create characters around actual events and bring them to life in my Western-romance series.

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

TS: I hope you enjoy Always a Wedding Planner!

 RA: I have a cat named Messy. She is better than any alarm clock. Woe to the human who does not get out of bed on time and put food in the dish.

LB: I am a Canadian by birth, American by choice (naturalized), and a patriot to my core.

DS: Nope, that’s it.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 3

Inklings and notions, September 4

By The Book, September 4

For Him and My Family, September 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 6

Kayem Reads, September 6

Texas Book-aholic, September 7

lakesidelivingsite, September 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 8

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 10

She Lives To Read, September 10

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 11

deb’s Book Review, September 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 12

Labor Not in Vain, September 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 13

Splashes of Joy, September 14

Through the Fire Blogs, September 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 15

Pause for Tales, September 15

Simple Harvest Reads, September 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, R.L., Toni, Leann and Davalynn are giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a print copy of the book (US only)!!

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/116b7/always-a-wedding-planner-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Secrets in the Mist Celebration Tour ~ A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Secrets in the Mist

Author: Morgan L. Busse

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Release date: August 10, 2021

What’s lurking in the Mist is the least of their worries…

In a world where humanity lives in the sky to escape a deadly mist below, Cass’s only goal is survival. That is, until she finds a job on the airship Daedalus as a diver. Now she explores ruined cities, looking for treasure and people’s lost heirlooms until a young man hires her to find the impossible: a way to eradicate the Mist.

Theodore Winchester is a member of one of the Five Families that rule the skies. Following in his father’s footsteps, he searches for the source of the Mist and hopes to stop the purges used to control overpopulation. But what he finds are horrifying secrets and lethal ambition. If he continues his quest, it could mean his own death.

The Mist is rising and soon the world will be enveloped in its deadly embrace, turning what’s left of humanity into the undead.

Click here to get your copy!

A young woman trying to survive the mist and the purges that help reduce the population seeks to survive. Meanwhile, Theo comes from wealth and power. He desires to find a way to eradicate the mist. The two eventually find themselves working together for a common goal.

The science fiction/fantasy book illustrates how families can be born not from common relatives and parents but by friendship and proximity. The world-building in this story drew me in and captured my attention. Set in the skies with a mist below that turns people into parasite carrying “zombies” of sorts, the story examines how Cas attempts to survive initially on her own and then aboard a sky ship where she works as a diver helping the team retrieve things from the cities below.

Theo, like his father, desires to eliminate the mist that destroys the poor who live below. Yet, he finds himself working against other powerful families like his. So if you enjoy science fiction/fantasy novels, 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

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the award-winning steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. Her debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel. 

More from Morgan

I’m afraid to fly. At first, I tried to ignore it. Then the panic attacks came. And the one time I accidentally grabbed my neighbor’s arm during turbulence, which was really embarrassing. But it was when I was waiting for my flight at the airport and felt like I was going to burst into tears right there at the gate that I knew I needed help.

I didn’t want to stop flying. I love traveling! But the fear of plummeting to the ground scared me, so I talked to my doctor and was given medicine to help me calm down. The problem is it made me really groggy. But hey, at least I could fly again.

Then I started writing Secrets in the Mist. Half of this book is about flying and one third is hang gliding. You know, flying with just a kite on your back. To write realistically about hang gliding, I started studying the sport. I read all the articles I could find, watched a lot of YouTube videos, and in the end spent over 10 hours immersing myself in the sky.

As I first imagined, then wrote each scene in Secrets in the Mist, something started to happen. I started to lose my fear of flying. It wasn’t the first time I tried to read the science behind flight to help me lose my fear of flying, but this time, I was doing it in my head. I was feeling the air and wind, tilting my glider, catching the air drafts, and not just understanding how to fly in my mind, but also with my heart.

I realized a plane couldn’t fall out of the sky just like my character couldn’t fall out of the sky. That an experienced flyer understood what to do in storms and sudden gusts of wind. And should the plane actually lose its engines, the pilot would help it glide to the ground the same way my gliders eased their way to a landing.

Not only that, by creating the exhilarating feelings my character felt when she was gliding began to seep into my psyche. I felt her joy and freedom, her lack of fear, and even more, how she felt more connected to God when it was just her, the wind, and the sky. I saw the beauty of flying through my character’s eyes.

I can fly now. Without medication. I actually enjoy the takeoffs and the feeling of the plane gliding through the air. Will I try hang gliding someday? Probably not, I still hate heights. But I never dreamed that writing about flying would help me overcome my fear of it. This is the power of imagination, and the power of story.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 31

Texas Book-aholic, September 1

Wishful Endings, September 2

Inklings and notions, September 2

Remembrancy, September 3

For Him and My Family, September 3

deb’s Book Review, September 4

Blogging With Carol, September 4

The Christian Fiction Girl, September 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 6

Mia Reads, September 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 7

Rebecca Tews, September 7

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, September 8

Where Faith and Books Meet, September 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 9

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 11

Mary Hake, September 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 12

Simple Harvest Reads, September 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Through the fire blogs, September 13

Daysong Reflections, September 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Morgan is giving away the grand prize package of Steampunk themed basket that includes a signed book, coffee by barnies, a soy candle (so it should be safe for everyone), and a $20 B&N 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/11621/secrets-in-the-mist-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Borrowed Lives Celebration Tour ~ A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Borrowed Lives

Author: Carol McClain

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Release date: March 2021

God Only Lends Us Those We Love for a Season

Distraught from recent tragedy, Meredith Jaynes takes pity on a young girl who steals from her. Meredith discovers “Bean” lives in a hovel mothering her two younger sisters. The three appear to have been abandoned. With no other homes available, Social Services will separate the siblings. To keep them together, Meredith agrees to foster them on a temporary basis.

Balancing life as a soap maker raising goats in rural Tennessee proved difficult enough before the siblings came into her care. Without Bean’s help, she’d never be able to nurture these children warped by drugs and neglect—let alone manage her goats that possess the talents of Houdini. Harder still is keeping her eccentric family at bay.

Social worker Parker Snow struggles to overcome the breakup with his fiancée. Burdened by his inability to find stable homes for so many children who need love, he believes placing the abandoned girls with Meredith Jaynes is the right decision. Though his world doesn’t promise tomorrow, he hopes Meredith’s does.

But she knows she’s too broken.

Click here to get your copy!

Tragedy struck Meredith when her daughter and husband passed away within days of each other. She then finds a young girl hanging around her farm. Following Bean back to the rundown house she lives in, she realizes Bean has two younger sisters. Meredith finds herself taking care of the three girls as a foster mom. Meanwhile, social service worker Parker Snow attempts to navigate the waters of placing children in homes where they will be cared for properly.

I loved getting to know Meredith, Bean, Roxie, Crystal, plus Meredith’s family, and Parker’s family. My one complaint about this book results from a seeming abrupt ending. With this being the first book in a series, I hope the next book carries on the storyline well.

The author weaves a moving story about children of drug users and the long-term effects drug uses leaves behind. The story moves at a good pace, and will have you laughing, crying, and more. The author addresses the path of walking away from God because of tragedies in our life, struggling with doubt, until ultimately returning to God. So check out this book, it is definitely worth reading.

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

About the Author

Carol McClain is the award-winning author of four novels dealing with real people facing real problems. She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work.

Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, an avid hiker and photographer. She lives in East Tennessee. Her most recent interests are her two baby goats Peanut & Buttercup. Like all babies, they love sitting on our laps and being bottle fed.

More from Carol

People.

Their lives are messy, destructive, full of mistakes.

Mostly, their lives are beautiful.

For years, I worked with recovering addicts. When I first heard their tales, shock and disbelief overwhelmed me. I couldn’t understand the pain inflicted upon them by addicted parents or what they did in their own lives.

Without Christ, no redemption could be found in their misery. Doesn’t sound like a fun read, huh? Many recover from their addictive patterns. In the interim, the foster care system serves their families wonderfully.

All these factors, coupled with the theme that lives are only leant to us for a season create a story of hope, humor and redemption.

Aside from seeing faith in Jesus change people’s lives—there are always goats.

I love goats, but my husband hesitated in including them in our lives. Seeing as I live the lives of my characters (I am daft), I gave my protagonist in Borrowed Lives Nubian goats. I raised them in my younger years, and by including them in my story, I could have goats vicariously.

Couple the above (redemption from addiction, foster care, and my obsession for goats) with my love of East Tennessee where the people are kind and friendly, and the scenery unparalleled, Borrowed Lives was born.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 1

Texas Book-aholic, September 2

Spoken from the Heart, September 2

Inklings and notions, September 3

For Him and My Family, September 4

deb’s Book Review, September 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 9

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 10

Rebecca Tews, September 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 11

Batya’s Bits, September 12

Pause for Tales, September 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 14

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/116b2/borrowed-lives-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

SKULLDUGGERY ~ A Review and Giveaway

Skullduggery copy

About the Book

Book:  Skullduggery

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: ChristianHistorical Mystery

Release date: July 15, 2021

Skullduggery, Small

A friend loveth at all times, but a brother is for adversity.

In a decrepit shack on a piece of river bottom property Henry Buckmeyer bought, he finds a human skull with a hatchet embedded in it. Much to Charity Lowell’s delight, her husband  Morgan agrees to co-author a mystery based on the find with dime novelist, May Meriwether, Henty’s wife! After digging into county records and interviewing  locals, plenty of facts are discovered and blanks filled in. A story takes shape, but is the novelists’ narrative what truly happened? It’s hard for Charity not to get in the big middle of the investigation. After two decades, will they be able to learn who the skull belonged to and who left the hatchet behind?

Click here to get your copy!

Typically, I love reading books by Caryl McAdoo including ones with Charity and Morgan Lowell. Unfortunately, this one failed to live up to my lofty expectations. The plot revolves around Henry Buckmeyer’s discovery of a skull with a hatchet in it. The Lowells along with Henry Buckmeyer and his wife/novel writer May Meriwether set out to write a book about the possible events leading up to the tragic murder.

I found myself disliking the two brothers and the woman they both fall for for basically the entire story. I felt they were shallow and self-centered in many ways. However, I appreciated the lengths Henry, May, Morgan, and Charity were willing to go to research the story.

I felt the transitions between those writing the story and the scenes where they were writing about the events failed to flow smoothly for me. Frequently, I found myself rereading pages to figure out what was going on at the time. If you are someone who loves reading about murders, mysteries, and historical fiction and enjoy reading books told from multiple perspectives, 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

March 2021

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—fifty-nine published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and twenty-one grandsugars (three greats), Caryl and Ron (her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-plus years) live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

At the end of DUPLICITY At The Lowell House, book one in my new Cross Timbers Mystery series, Henry Buckmeyer travels from Red River County to Dallas to serve as a character witness in the big murder trial.

At a supper with friends in that book, he mentions he and Levi Baylor found a human skull with an ax still embedded in it inside a falling-down shack on some timberland property they bought together.

What starts out as an off-handed comment—merely mentioned for interesting conversation—turns into a great way to unite four of my all-time favorite characters together again for SKULLDUGGERY In The Sulphur River Bottoms!

Charity Lowell (Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga, book four and DUPLICITY) pulls out all the stops to persuade her husband, salivating to investigate and discover whose skull it is and who left the hatchet behind!

She’s got to talk him into first, solving the mystery and second, writing another novel about it! If only she can convince him to collaborate with May Meriwether, Henry’s famous dime novelist wife, things will be perfect! Just imagine!

Poor Morgan. Strong as he is, he cannot tell her no. He never could. So, with an invitation from the Buckmeyers, as much as he hates leaving home and his own bed, he agrees.

My favorite part is having Henry alive again! SKULLDUGGERY is set in 1866, so he’s still got almost twenty years to live!

—It so hurt my heart in COVERING LOVE (book eight in the “Texas Romance Family Saga”) when the patriarch passes to his reward in 1885. I wept while writing his demise then couldn’t get through reading those chapters at our writers’ workshop without crying—

So being able to resurrect his character in the Cross Timbers Mystery DUPLICITY made me so happy! SKULLDUGGERY became the perfect vehicle for me to be joyful again! Plus, I adore joining the characters from both my family sagas into a new story!

I was right up in Morgan’s face with Charity trying to talk him into going to Clarksville and staying a few weeks to investigate and write that book! Yes, he agreed, but he tells her in no uncertain terms, that’s the last one!

Ah ha ha ha ha! Yeah, right, Mister Lowell!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 29

Mary Hake, August 29

Texas Book-aholic, August 30

Inklings and notions, August 31

For Him and My Family, September 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 2

Connie’s History Classroom, September 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5

deb’s Book Review, September 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 7

lakesidelivingsite, September 8

Pause for Tales, September 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl 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/1161e/skullduggery-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

saving faith ~ a review and giveaway

saving faith

About the Book

Book:  Saving Faith

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: July 13, 2021

Saving Faith take 1b

Hearts and flowers might pay the bills, but that’s all they’re good for.

Still clutched in the grip of guilt over her youthful indiscretions, Faith Nicholson can’t seem to move past her parents’ disappointment in her—or her disappointment in herself.  Determined to make something in her life a success, she focuses on her floral design.

After all, she has quite the past to atone for.

Then her little sister decides to get married, and everyone but Faith chooses her for the job of coordinator. The family florist is the perfect choice. Right? Overruled, Faith agrees.

Enter a widower and his precocious daughter. A friendship with Michael Jacobs becomes more than a refuge in stress of wedding preparations. It becomes a catalyst for her entire life.

Hiding from her past hasn’t worked until now. Perhaps Michael is right.  Facing it is exactly what she needs if she has any hope of a real future.

Faith never would have imagined that her grudging agreement to help her sister could become an olive branch between herself and her family—and the Lord.

Click here to get your copy!

Faith lives with a past that keeps her doubting her worth and the truth regarding God. She feels disappointment in herself and fears the disappointment her parents will feel if they discover the truth. Focusing on floral design helps give her purpose. Then her younger sister gets engaged, and everyone feels Faith needs to be the wedding coordinator.

Add in Michael Jacobs, also known as Pastor Jake, and his adorable daughter, and Faith finds herself dealing with emotions and truths she would rather hide from entirely. I especially loved the interactions between Faith and Michael’s daughter. The threesome provides the perfect focus for this story.

The author illustrates how facing our pasts and speaking truth allows someone to move forward with their lives. So if you enjoy reading books that include family, faith, fun, and even a wedding, 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

Jennifer

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing–and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies–two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

More from Jennifer

Where does inspiration come from? When I wrote Illusions and Providence (books 2 and 3 of my Apple Hill series) it came from real-life tragedies I’d lived through. The characters and stories were pure fiction, but the inspiration was heartfelt and dark—just where I needed my emotions to be in order to write redemption stories. When I wrote Surrendered (Book 1) in the series, the inspiration came from one character that was eventually deleted in the second draft of Providence. Are you confused yet? Just to set the record straight, although Surrendered was the first book published in the series, it was the last one I wrote. Why they were published in the order they were is unimportant.

Saving Faith is unlike any other book I’ve written. It was the first novella I wrote in the series, although it isn’t the first to be published (are you sensing a pattern?) I’ve since written two Christmas novellas, both based on side characters introduced in my novels. All That Glitters released last November starring two characters from Surrendered—Julia and Marty. Wish Upon a Star will release this coming November, and the main characters are Elaina and Ryan from Providence.

But the characters in Saving Faith were created from thin air. Well, mostly. Although Addie Jacobs is a side character, she was inspired by a little girl in my Sunday School class—adorable, precocious, intelligent, and headstrong. Once I had her in place, the rest of the novella came together. It was also the first book I’ve written without plotting it out in advance, which was quite disconcerting for a control-freak like me. It was as if the Holy Spirit introduced me to the story as I wrote it. I’ve heard of those pantsers (they write by the seat of their pants rather than outline the plot), but until Saving Faith, I’ve never been successful at winging it. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t the main writer; I was just the co-pilot. I believe the story of Faith, Michael, Chloe, and Addie is better for it.

Another first for me was writing a story where romance was the main genre. I write women’s fiction with an element of romance. But Saving Faith is a romance with an element of women’s fiction. This set the bar for my other novellas. It’s these shorter books that allow me to delve into the world of romance, although it’s not the typical boy-meets-girl kind of story. It’s more boy-knows-girl and loves her anyway kind of story. Because truth be told, none of us are loveable without the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 30

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 30

Texas Book-aholic, August 31

Inklings and notions, September 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 1

For Him and My Family, September 2

deb’s Book Review, September 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 4

CarpeDiem, September 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 6

Kayem Reads, September 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 8

lakesidelivingsite, September 9

Mary Hake, September 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 11

Splashes of Joy, September 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & 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/11620/saving-faith-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Choir Loft Murder ~ A Review and Giveaway

Choir Loft Murder

About the Book

Book:  Choir Loft Murder

Author: Karen Randau

Genre: Mystery Suspense

Release date: August 24, 2021

ChoirLoftMurder5_Revised - 3 (1)

In book 3 of the Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas, a member of the church choir dies during rehearsal, and the apparent murder weapon—a blowgun—implicates the man Frankie loves. She’s shocked to discover Quint was a champion at the sport before he accepted the senior pastor role at the church. And he’s refusing to talk about his fate.

Her investigation reveals that Quint isn’t the only person with the skill to hit a woman’s carotid artery while she’s singing a high note, and Frankie is convinced someone is framing Quint. The closer she gets to proving it, the more she faces a stalker’s deadly wrath.

Can Frankie save herself and the man she loves from becoming the next victims?

Click here to get your copy!

What should be a simple rehearsal for a choir winds up with a murder. This third and final book in the series about Frankie Shep. When Pastor Quint finds himself arrested for the murder, Frankie (his fiancee) sets out to discover the truth. I must admit the sport of blowguns failed to capture my attention prior to this book. However, I learned a lot by reading this book.

Having dealt with a tremendous amount of loss in her past, Frankie refuses to lose anyone else. The author took twists and turns with this story that kept my attention. I appreciated the discussion about being prepared for any type of event such as a natural disaster. I also loved the ending of this story. I felt it perfectly suited the series. So check out this murder suspense novel 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

2016-Karen-Encanto-Park-1-sq

Karen Randau authors fast-paced mystery, thriller, and suspense books, including the Frankie Shep Suspense Novella series, Rim Country Mysteries, and Deadly Reception (a stand-alone novella as one of seven of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries box set written by best-selling and award-winning authors). Her Rim Country Mystery novel, Deadly Payload, was a finalist in the Book Excellent Awards and the Beverly Hills Book Awards. She’s a lifelong writer, both for fun and as a professional in marketing communications. She holds a degree in journalism/public relations. A native of the southwestern U.S., Karen lives with her husband in Arizona.

More from Karen

Since Choir Loft Murder is the third book in the Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas series, I wanted to show how Frankie has grown through the series—from broken woman who is angry at God for allowing the deaths of family into a strong and happy woman who relies on God to help her through an unusually tough life.

She has shown her grit in all three novels in the series, and this one shows how she has grown through the adversity life has thrown at her.

In writing Choir Loft Murder, I wanted to show that ordinary people usually are stronger and more resilient than they know.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 27

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 28

Blogging With Carol, August 28

Texas Book-aholic, August 29

Inklings and notions, August 30

For Him and My Family, August 31

deb’s Book Review, September 1

Girls in White Dresses, September 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 2

Betti Mace, September 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 4

Simple Harvest Reads, September 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 6

Mary Hake, September 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 9

Pause for Tales, September 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/1161c/choir-loft-murder-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Cryptographer’s Dilemma ~ A Review and Giveaway

The Cryptographer

About the Book

Book:  The Cryptographer’s Dilemma

Author: Johnnie Alexander

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release date: August, 2021

9781643529516

A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?

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Set during the time of World War II, this book examines the endeavors of an FBI agent and a Navy cryptographer to stop a Japanese spy ring. I love the relationship between FBI agent Phillip Clayton and his uncle Richard, both who work for the FBI. When Richard brings in Eloise Marshall, a Naval cryptographer to help stop the spy ring, Phillip initially resents the idea. However, he eventually accepts the idea as Eloise passes the FBI training and proves she knows coding.

Traveling cross-country to interview people involved in the case, the two eventually forge a relationship that leads to more. Dealing with the desertion of her father years ago and the death of her brother at Pearl Harbor, Eloise sets out on a side trip that expands the story.

I loved the pace of the story and the majority of the characters in this book. I enjoyed learning about the work of a cryptographer. Based on an actual spy ring, the author took some license for the sake of the pace of the story. All-in-all, I enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it. So check it out 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

JohnnieAlexander

Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget in a variety of genres. An award-winning, best-selling novelist, she serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts Writers Chat, and interviews other inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at http://www.johnnie-alexander.com and other social media sites via https://linktr.ee/johnniealexndr.

More from Johnnie

American Traitor in WWII

Not all secret messages involve substitution codes where random letters and numbers replace the original letters and numbers. Velvalee Dickinson, a doll collector who owned a doll shop on Madison Avenue in New York City, used jargon code to pass along information to the Japanese about the U.S. ships that had been damaged at Pearl Harbor.

Here’s an excerpt from one of the letters (as originally written):

The only new dolls I have are THREE LOVELY IRISH dolls. One of these three dolls is an old Fisherman with a Net over his back—another is an old woman with wood on her back and the third is a little boy….I can only think of our sick boy these days. You wrote me that you had sent a letter to Mr. Shaw, well I want to see MR. SHAW he distroyed Your letter, you know he has been Ill. His car was damaged but is being repaired now. I saw a few of his family about. They all say Mr. Shaw will be back to work soon.

Velvalee, who the FBI nicknamed The Doll Woman, wrote this letter on her Underwood typewriter. She used the return address and forged the signature of one of her regular customers, Mary Wallace of Springfield, Ohio. Then Velvalee mailed the letter to an address in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Unknown to Velvalee, the Japanese had abandoned the Buenos Aires address as a drop point. The letter was marked “return to sender.” When Mrs. Wallace received it, she turned it in to the Post Office Director in Springfield who passed it along to the FBI.

Cryptographers determined that the letter was written in jargon code. To the casual reader, the letter is about dolls. But the intended recipient would have understood it’s about much more than that.

In this example, only one of five letters given to the FBI between February and August of 1942,

cryptographers decoded the message as follows:

  • Old Fisherman with a Net over his back ~ refers to an aircraft carrier which has anti-torpedo nettings on its sides.
  • Old woman with wood on her back ~ refers to an older battleship, one made of wood.
  • A little boy plus our sick boy ~ a damaged ship.

Cryptographers believed that the words Mr. Shaw and Your were purposely capitalized and that the word distroyed was purposely misspelled to draw attention to them. Mr. Shaw referred to the USS Shaw, a destroyer (distroy + your = destroyer).

The remainder of the letter says Mr. Shaw is ill but “will be back to work soon.”

The ship was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. As the heroine in The Cryptographer’s Dilemma explains, “About two weeks before this letter was written, it [the USS Shaw] was undergoing repairs in San Francisco.”

In the novel, Eloise Marshall is a naval cryptographer who teams up with FBI agent Phillip Clayton, to find the person responsible for forging the signatures on the letters. Their search takes them from Washington, DC to the Springfield, Ohio, to the west coast and back again. On their journey, Eloise will confront an unexpected specter from her past and Phillip will risk his life to save hers.

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, August 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 26

Reflections From my Bookshelves, August 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 27

Bizwings Blog, August 27

Daysong Reflections, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 28

A Baker’s Perspective, August 28

Inklings and notions, August 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 29

For Him and My Family, August 30

Simple Harvest Reads, August 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Older & Smarter?, August 31

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 31

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, September 1

Rebecca Tews, September 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 2

deb’s Book Review, September 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 3

Blossoms and Blessings, September 3

Mary Hake, September 3

Connie’s History Classroom, September 4

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, September 4

Sodbusterliving, September 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 5

Labor Not in Vain, September 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 6

Moments, September 6

Splashes of Joy, September 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Pause for Tales, September 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Johnnie 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/1161a/the-cryptographer-s-dilemma-celebration-tour-giveaway