Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Beneath His Silence ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Beneath His Silence

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: November, 2022

Will Seeking Justice Lead to Her Own Demise?

A Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author

Second daughter of a baron—and a little on the mischievous side—Ella Pemberton is no governess. But the pretense is a necessity if she ever wishes to get inside of Wyckhorn Manor and attain the truth. Exposing the man who killed her sister is all that matters.

Lord Sedgewick knows there’s blood on his hands. Lies have been conceived, then more lies, but the price of truth would be too great. All he has left now is his son—and his hatred. Yet as the charming governess invades his home, his safe cocoon of bitterness begins to tear away.

Could Ella, despite the lingering questions of his guilt, fall in love with such a man? Or is she falling prey to him—just as her dead sister?

Click here to get your copy!

Beneath His Silence, a Christian work of historical fiction, by Hannah Linder, features the second daughter of a baron, Ella, who comes seeking answers about her sister’s death. Assuming the position of governess for Lord Sedgwick’s son provides her with the opportunity to finds the answers she desires. Moreover, she finds herself seeking God and a relationship with Him.

Lord Sedgwick realizes he has blood and his hands, but he also recognizes the truth would hurt more. His love for his son is all that keeps him going.

With conniving women trying to secure a place as Lord Sedgwick’s next wife, secrets that are discovered, and a vicar that interferes, this book kept me reading to find out how it would end. I’m glad I did because the author created a story I loved reading.

So if you enjoy reading Christian works of historical fiction, 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

Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Hannah is a Graphic Design Associates Degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and International bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and a self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, and ukulele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. To follow her journey, visit hannahlinderbooks.com.

More from Hannah

People always ask me what inspired a story. Where did I get the idea? Who was my inspiration? What true-life event motivated these characters into existence?

And the truth is, I don’t know. I’ve never known. When I was younger, I’d look clueless and shrug my shoulders. A few years ago, I would have probably answered “people”—and maybe there’s truth in that. People do inspire me. The way they walk, the places they go, the things they do, the way they dress.

But lately…well, I think it’s more than that. I don’t think it’s people so much as feelings. The nitty-gritty. The raw emotions, caught deep in someone’s chest, at the most pivotal points in their life.

Like the old man seated at a booth, alone in a restaurant, with his veiny hands cupping a mug of coffee. It’s not his shabby fedora that inspires me. Or the knotty cane leaned against his seat. Or the envelope stuffed into the pocket of his woolen overcoat.

It’s the look on his face. The slow blinking, the red nose, the flash of moisture as he takes another sip of coffee. Why does he sit alone? Who left him? Who caused the tears? What emotions render that lost, helpless, longing expression—and how will he cope?

If you would ask me what inspired Beneath His Silence, I probably wouldn’t have much of an answer. No concrete idea or moment would rush to remembrance. If anything, inspiration for Beneath His Silence was nothing more than a small thought. A feeling.

I wanted to write about a girl who learned to love someone she hated. I wanted to explore every aspect. The poison of her hate. The weight it pressed into her heart. The process—slow, startling, and healing—that sucked out that poison and replaced it with something unexpected. Love.

I guess that’s what I love about writing. Not the people. The characters. Not even the storylines and the plot twists and the fun settings.

I love the emotion. That’s what inspires me.

And if you find yourself in the pages of Beneath His Silence, I hope it will inspire you too.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 28

Texas Book-aholic, November 29

To Everything There Is A Season, November 29

Where Faith And Books Meet, November 30

Inklings and notions, November 30

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 30

Book Looks by Lisa, December 1

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Betti Mace, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Remembrancy, December 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 4

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 5

Rebecca Tews, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, December 7

For Him and My Family, December 7

Through the Fire Blogs, December 8

Holly’s Book Corner, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Bizwings Blog, December 9

Melissa’s Bookshelf, December 9

Pause for Tales, December 10

Cover Lover Book Review, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Labor Not in Vain, December 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Hannah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/22ccf/beneath-his-silence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Into the Fog ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Into the Fog

Author: Karen Randau

Genre: Romantic suspense

Release date: September 6, 2022

Love and danger spar in this thrilling romantic suspense novel.

Hands push Marie Jessica (“MJ”) Goodrich from a rural roadway into an icy creek. The clock is ticking for her pleading friend on the other side of the ravine.

Running from flashbacks of a life-altering attack in Afghanistan, MJ takes refuge with her mother, managing Peach Blossom Orchard. But peace is elusive in a rural Oklahoma town full of secrets.

After losing his wife and children in a fatal car crash, Josh Rivers doubts he deserves a second chance at love. He can’t believe his bad luck when MJ, the woman who plagues the nightmares of his military service in Afghanistan, shows up in his hometown. She claims a driver ran down and abducted her friend Kelsey. Frustrated with the county sheriff’s investigation, MJ and Josh partner to follow clues that lead to a kidnapper who demands a bizarre ransom.

With danger increasing for everyone MJ loves, will the clock run out before they solve the mystery? Find out how MJ and Josh—swirling in a whirlwind of mystery and suspense—lean on their mutual faith to find answers, courage, forgiveness, healing … and wholesome romance.

If you like to read Christy Barritt and Colleen Coble, you’ll love Into the Fog, a keep-you-up-at-night clean romantic suspense novel that launches the Peach Blossom Romantic Suspense series.

Click here to get your copy!

Into the Fog by Karen Randau chronicles the romantic and at times dangerous story of Marie Jessica (MJ) Goodrich and Josh Rivers. The two served together in Afghanistan, and as a result of the dangers faced there, when he returned to the states, he lost his family in an accident.

MJ comes to Oklahoma to help her mother. The author created a story with plot lines and characters I loved getting to know. MJ and reading about her efforts to save her friend Kelsey when she disappears after an accident.I

If you enjoy books filled with romance, suspense, and more, 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

Karen Randau a best-seller author of fast-paced mystery, thriller, and suspense books from her home in the picturesque mountains of Arizona. She enjoys cooking, hiking, and hanging out with her family. In addition to the Peach Blossom Romantic Suspense series, her books include the Frankie Shep Mystery-Suspense Series, the Kayla Walsh Suspense Series, and Rim Country Mysteries.

More from Karen

Into the Fog is set in a farming community outside Tahlequah, Oklahoma, home of the Cherokee Nation, the largest of the 39 Native American tribes in Oklahoma.

If you’ve ever watched old Western movies, you may have heard a lot about the dangers of traveling through Indian Territory. Did you know that much of what is now Oklahoma was called the Indian Territory until Oklahoma became a state in 1907? Some of the tribes fought with the Confederacy during the Civil War, and some fought with the Union.

If those weren’t enough reasons for an identity crisis for the people of Oklahoma (who sometimes refer to themselves of Okies), the federal government lists Oklahoma in both the South and the Southwest regions of the United States. Many Okies claim their state is in Midwest region of the United States, but it is not listed that way in the federal census.

One thing is for sure: Oklahoma has a culture all its own, rightly earned by its confusing history. Many of these cultural oddities are explored in Into the Fog.

You’ll also enjoy the two main characters, MJ and Josh.

Marie Jessica “MJ” Goodrich served with the Army Rangers in Afghanistan until a bomb gave her a life-altering injury and a case of PTSD. She believes her injuries were so bad that no man will ever want to marry her. Besides, her mother’s failing memory and the peach orchard keep her too busy to embark on a romantic relationship.

Josh Rivers always wanted to be an artist, but he’s stuck running the auto shop he inherited. He’s dreamed of MJ ever since he pulled her from a bombed marketplace in Afghanistan, and it cost him his wife and children. He doesn’t believe he deserves another chance at love, but he prays for companionship anyway—and finds MJ unconscious in a ravine moments later. Could a guy’s luck get any worse?

The question answered in Into the Fog is: Will Josh die saving MJ again, or will they get out of the whirlwind of mystery and danger swirling around them in time to find their happily ever after?

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

Betti Mace, November 23

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Mary Hake, November 24

Inklings and notions, November 25

Cover Lover Book Review, November 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 26

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 27 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 30

Lily’s Book Reviews, December 1

Book Looks by Lisa, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 2

Blogging With Carol, December 3

Lights in a Dark World, December 3

Pause for Tales, December 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and an eBook 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/22ad1/into-the-fog-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Let Them Eat Fruitcake ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Let Them Eat Fruitcake

Author: Kathleen J. Robison

Genre: Christian Holiday Romance

Release date: October 11, 2022

Faith, romance, and fruitcake.

Victoria Randall has it all—a new job in an ideal locale and the eye of Chad, the hunkiest guy in her apartment building. Christmas is going to be great this year. But when a call from her best guy friend back in Bay Town tells her that her grandmother isn’t doing well, she decides to fly to Grandma’s rescue.

Art has loved Victoria since they were five, but after she returns and keeps him locked into total friend zone he decides to let his hopes go. Easier said than done when he spends so much time with her, making and delivering her grandmother’s fruitcakes. Add to that the legend of love surrounding them, and well… it’s tough.

A horrible accident puts things into perspective for both Art and Victoria, but Art decides it’s too late, and when some guy shows up acting like Victoria’s boyfriend, he’s sure of it. By the time she’s ready to head back to California, all hope of a romance between them seems lost—right up to the moment her grandmother thrusts a piece of fruitcake into her hands.

Are the matchmaking properties of Sally Trotman’s fruitcake their last chance at a happily-ever-after? Find out in Let Them Eat Fruitcake—a story of faith, romance, and of course, fruitcake.

Click here to get your copy!

Having read other books in the Bay Town series, I looked forward to reading Let Them Eat Fruitcake by Kathleen J. Robison. What if sharing a slice of fruitcake could bring you together with your one true love? Victoria Randall’s grandmother and the majority of the town believe that Sally Trotman’s fruitcake can do just that. Victoria, living in California, and seeming to have it all, returns to Bay Town when her best friend Art informs her that Sally is in the hospital.

With Chad as a boyfriend and her dream job within reach, Victoria has to figure out what is truly important. Sometimes the one we are meant to love is closer than we think. With a series of events that force Art and Victoria together, the two have to determine if they are meant to be together or not. Advised by various people to step away from each other, the two pray fervently to seek God’s will for the life.

Sometimes, God moves in mysterious ways to allow His seeds to be planted in them, and such is the case for Chad. When Victoria refuses to call or text him back, he takes drastic measures and flies to Bay Town. Sometimes, all God needs is for us to open our hearts and ears to His word in order to begin a work in us.

I love how the author stresses the importance of prayer before making major life decisions. Victoria’s brother, Ross, his girlfriend, and other characters in this book help it jump to life. I found myself unable to put it down. 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

Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American, born in Okinawa, and raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels and her family are the sources of her inspiration for her books. Kathleen and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with eighteen grandchildren and counting. Her ethnically diverse background extends to her family of currently thirty-five personalities which provide many opportunities to share God’s amazing love amidst the challenges of real life.

More from Kathleen

Writing this book has been a treasured time, and I’m so excited it’s released. Joining Miz Sally again (from previous Bay Town Books) and meeting her granddaughter, Victoria and love interest, Art, was a delightful journey of love and faith at Christmas. I hope you’ll feel the magic (God’s spirit) as much as I felt moved by Him to write it.

Although totally fictional, it’s personal, and close to my heart. My mother-in-law has baked fruitcakes forever. I even remember her mother, from Wales, baking fruitcakes over fifty years ago, but I wasn’t a fan of the sweet bread then. And I don’t remember how the story idea came about, but when it did, I knew I wanted to bake with my mother-in-law, red-haired Harriet…well, white-haired now. But still as feisty as the reputation of redheads, and so very generous.

My mother-in-law turned ninety-eight on this book’s release date, and she is still baking fruitcakes. Dozens of loaves. She continues to live in her own home, cooks, cleans, and drives to pick up great-grandchildren after school. Needless to say, she’s amazing. Two years ago, when I decided to write Let Them Eat Fruitcake, the first thing I wanted to do was ask if I could bake with her. I didn’t have to. She called my husband and said, “Let me talk to Kathy.” We were both quite shocked, as she’d never asked to talk to me before. Although I share a close relationship with her, her phone calls are reserved for mother-son conversations.

“Kathy, I was thinking…I want you to come make fruitcakes with me. No one else is interested in it, and I’d like to pass it down to you.” I almost cried. It definitely was a God-winked moment, and I told her so. And we did. We’ve baked and passed out the luscious cakes for two years in a row. My own grandmother also made fruitcakes, but all my family says Harriet’s is the best. So, I look forward to baking again with her this Christmas. I wish I could pass on the recipe, but it’s a mega batch! If you go on my FB Author Page and/or my blog at www.kathleenjrobison.com/blog, there’s a video that shows what I mean. I pray that Let Them Eat Fruitcake blesses the readers and points them to following the Spirit of God moving in their lives. Whether it’s through fruitcake or anything else! I hope you enjoy this fun Christmas romance.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 18

lakesidelivingsite, November 18

Texas Book-aholic, November 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

deb’s Book Review, November 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Inklings and notions, November 23

Splashes of Joy, November 24

By the Book, November 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Artistic Nobody, December 1 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, December 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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/22ad0/let-them-eat-fruitcake-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

His Delightful Lady Delia ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: His Delightful Lady Delia

Author: Grace Hitchcock

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2022

Behind the curtain, she must put on the performance of a lifetime . . . while love and risk take center stage.

Delia Vittoria’s mother has lost her voice at last. After five years of being her diva mother’s understudy, it is time for Delia to assume her place as the lead soprano onstage behind the Academy of Music’s faded velvet curtain. And she is all that stands between the Academy and its greatest threat–the nouveaux riches’ lavish new Metropolitan Opera House.

Kit Quincy never misses opening night, but when his sister begs him to help get her husband out of an Italian opera star’s arms, Kit accidentally confronts the younger Lady Vittoria instead. When he meets the stunning young diva again, he attempts to make amends, but then finds himself pulled into a society matron’s plot to win the great opera war. To draw attention to Delia Vittoria as the Academy’s new soprano star, Kit is convinced to act as both Delia’s patron and the enigmatic phantom who once haunted the Academy years ago. But when a second phantom appears, more than Delia’s rising career is threatened.

Click here to get your copy!

His Delightful Lady Delia by Grace Hitchcock drew me in from the moment I began reading. For five years, Delia served as understudy to her mother at the Academy of Music. But now her mother has lost her voice, and Delia finds herself on stage. Kit Quincy, part of the Elite, finds his sister begging him to get her husband out of the arms of his lover, Delia’s mom, but he accidentally confronts Delia.

As he tries to make amends, he finds himself and Delia caught up in a scheme to remove Delia’s mother and replace her with Delia in order to save the Academy of Music.

This book includes a phantom, several love triangles, and best of all a reliance on God to get through life. Delia’s faith and her belief that she is loved and valued by God provide this story with incredible storylines.

With secrets that eventually come to light along with twists and turns this book will keep you reading. 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

Grace Hitchcock (www.gracehitchcock.com) is the award-winning author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing and a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in history. Grace lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, Dakota, and their sons and daughter.

More from Grace

I’m pretty certain every author started as an avid reader who dreamed of how they would change an ending or change who the heroine ended up with if they could write the book instead. (Anyone else think Theodore Laurence should have married Jo March?) It’s that ever-beautiful question of “what if” that has haunted some of my favorite stories and often drives my own stories to spark to life.

I first discovered The Phantom of the Opera as a child and fell in love with the beauty of the Broadway musical, a love that continued into my adulthood. So, when I was researching ideas for Book Three in the American Royalty series and I stumbled upon the great opera-house wars between the new money’s opera house and the Academy’s elite opera house, the “what if” sequence began and I knew I had to write my version of a phantom-of-the-opera story. Then when I researched the Italian opera company, I grew even more excited, as I’m from a large Italian family. And when I say large, I mean it’s not uncommon for our smallest gatherings to be only forty people, and when the whole krewe is together, we need a large facility to house us all. I’ve also visited New York and Italy and felt I could add some authenticity to the Italian characters in my novel, which brings me to the leading lady—a delightful opera singer named Delia Vittoria, who takes a beloved hero from Book One in My Dear Miss Dupré, Kit Quincy, by surprise.

I knew from Kit’s character that if he’d met the woman he was meant to wed, nothing would have stopped him in his pursuit, so I knew I had to introduce a new heroine instead of a lady introduced in Book One. It is rather daring to bring in a new lead in the third book of a series without some form of introduction in prior novels, but I felt Kit’s character warranted it. Kit is by far the “oldest” hero I have written about to date, and to my delight, he captured my heart with his genuine soul and fierce devotion toward the woman he loves. Because of his age and personal experience, I felt that Kit could be a wonderful example of true, godly love to a woman who has seen almost nothing but poor imitations. I hope that you will enjoy their journey toward love and my nod to The Phantom of the Opera! Happy reading, friends!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 19

Melissa’s Bookshelf, November 19

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

The Book Club Network, November 21

deb’s Book Review, November 22

For Him and My Family, November 22

Girls in white dresses, November 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 24 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 25

Holly’s Book Corner, November 25

Remembrancy, November 26

Connie’s History Classroom, November 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 27

Book Looks by Lisa, November 28

Cover Lover Book Review, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 30

Blogging With Carol, December 1

Back Porch Reads, December 1

Splashes of Joy, December 2

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3

Labor Not in Vain, December 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 e-gift card to Baker Book House and a paperback copy of all three books in the American Royalty series: My Dear Miss Dupré, Her Darling Mr. Day, and His Delightful Lady Delia!!

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/22ec4/his-delightful-lady-delia-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Keeping Christmas Vol II ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Keeping Christmas Volume II

Authors: Chautona Havig, Tabitha Bouldin, Susan K. Beatty, Jennifer Sienes, Melissa Wardwell, and Stacy T. Simmons.

Genre: Christian Christmas Romance

Release date: October 18, 2022

In castles far and near, long ago and yesterday, find happily-ever-afters wrapped in love and tied with Christmas joy.

Escape to Greenaway (by Chautona Havig): She just wanted to escape another holly, jolly family holiday. Because snowbound in a castle B&B with one of Santa’s elves (or as good as) is so much better. With the help of the castle’s owner, Tonya plays matchmaker in a bid to get that Christmas-loving girl out of her hair.

The King’s Promise (by Tabitha Bouldin): In a world of airships and kings, a prince makes a promise that tears him away from his love. An ordinary baker’s daughter finds herself caught in the middle of a game where the winner earns the queen’s crown. They both want what they can’t have as they struggle toward a seemingly impossible happily ever after.

A Castle for Christmas (by Susan K. Beatty): Sadie Foster abhors wealth. Will Randolph, on the other hand, works for the uber-wealthy owner of an over-the-top castle on the California coast–Sadie’s father. When Christopher Foster leaves the castle to her, Sadie doesn’t want anything to do with it or his money. But what if Sadie and Will use the castle and her inheritance for the good of others—together?

An Irish Christmas Heart (by Jennifer Sienes): Will she choose love or an arranged marriage? In the midst of post-famine unrest, Eleanor Blake, daughter of an English nobleman, is thrown into a maelstrom of emotions. How will she escape the duty for which she was born and the confines of the ill-fated Menlo Castle of Galway, Ireland to find her true love?

Christmas at Curwood’s Castle (by Melissa Wardwell): A Christmas party at Curwood Castle should have been Angel Davis’ Cinderella moment. Especially when her dear friend Jimmy arrives. Instead, one obstacle after another threatens to break any chance at a happily-ever-after.

Christmas in the Cotswolds (by Stacy T. Simmons): She’s a paleontologist and ardent Jane Austen fan. He’s enmeshed in the exactitude of mathematics, can they find common ground? Do opposites attract, will the romantic castle, and dashing duke be the undoing of Victoria’s plans?

Grab a mug of something hot and delicious and curl up somewhere comfy. Your literary chariots await to take you on a journey from an early twentieth-century castle in the San Gabriel Mountains of California all the way across the pond to the beautiful Cotswolds of England. These six novellas, all set in castles real and fictional, celebrate the heart and joy of Christmas in this second volume of castle Christmas novellas.

Click here to get your copy!

Keeping Christmas Volume II includes stories by Chautona Havig, Tabitha Bouldin, Susan K. Beatty, Jennifer Sienes, Melissa Wardwell, and Stacy T. Simmons set in castles.

The collection begins with a story by Chautona Havig, and I absolutely adored the characters and storyline. Tonya just wants to get away from her family for Christmas, so she escapes to Greenway, a bed and breakfast in a castle. The owner, Cheryl really wanted to be free of guests for Christmas, but couldn’t turn down a paying customer. Joy, who works for Cheryl, tries to bring the holiday to life. Even a snowstorm fails to take away her holiday spirit. I loved how the characters eventually connected with each other, and helped connect Joy with a perfect match

The next book in the collection, The King’s Promise chronicles the tale of a prince who becomes king and finds himself holding the Queen Trials to find a queen, even though he had already found his perfect match. The twists and turns in this story definitely kept me reading.

As with all her stories, Jennifer Sienes takes her readers on a journey through arranged marriages versus true love. She creates character and storylines that draw me in and keep me reading.

The rest of this collection is just as great and I definitely recommend reading this collection. It will help you get into the holiday spirit.

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

About the Authors

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

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 including several 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.

Tabitha Bouldin is a student at Southern New Hampshire University, where she is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she works with critique groups and provides endorsements for other authors. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart. Tabitha spent ten years working as a Medical Assistant before God opened the door which allowed her to become a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom and author.

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband and three teen-aged children.She doesn’t mind alternating between the world of writing and the reality of being a mother, but she would rather sit with a good book or a good friend and a cup of coffee. When she isn’t penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books for her blog, Back Porch Reads. To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

Who says you can’t begin a new career after middle age? Certainly not Susan K. Beatty. She is passionate about writing about finding courage through faith and grit, particularly through the trials of breast cancer and other life trials. Her daughter is a metastatic breast cancer “thriver” and has been an inspiration for her writing. Susan’s first novel, Faces of Courage, debuted May 2021, as part of the Faces of Courage series, including several novelettes. She is also the author of An Introduction to Home Education (AKA California Homeschool Manual). Susan is a professional writer/journalist and is active in the writer community. She is proof you can begin a fiction writing career at any age.

Stacy T. Simmons writes uplifting fiction that delights the reader’s romantic sensibilities. Thirty-four years of marital bliss is a great contributor. She is a mom of two grown children, and she and her family have a menagerie of pets she likes to call “Noah’s Ark.” You can find her working on her next manuscript with a piece of dark chocolate and a cup of coffee nearby. Connect with Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog, Fueled by Faith and Caffeine.

More from Tabitha

Castles near and far. Over time and across worlds both real and fictional. When it came time to write for Keeping Christmas, the world opened up to offer each of us a jewel for our stories. While I chose to base my castle off of a real castle in Romania, others chose a different route. Yet we all came together with a singular mission to write stories about Christmas and to bring the joy of Christ into each and every book. Keeping Christmas is about more than overseeing a holiday. It is looking back through the years of Christmases far and wide, from our real world through fantasy lands some of us dreamed up, and keeping the spirit of the season alive.

Come and keep Christmas with us as we journey across land and sea, through the skies on an airship, and deep into the contemporary halls and towering turrets. Here you’ll meet characters to fall in love with and read stories that span the ages, from a scribe in King Herod’s castle to a paleontologist in the Cotswolds.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 18

By the Book, November 18

Inklings and notions, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Blogging With Carol, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 22

For Him and My Family, November 22

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

Older & Smarter?, November 24

Mary Hake, November 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25

She Lives To Read, November 26

Holly’s Book Corner, November 26

Simple Harvest Reads, November 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Splashes of Joy, November 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 28

Writing From the Heart Land, November 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the Celebrate Lit Authors are 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/22acd/keeping-christmas-volume-two-by-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Unbreakable ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Unbreakable

Author: K.J. Rowe

Genre: Teen/YA

Release date: June, 2021

It is early summer in the beachside town of The Valley.

Lexi Slaydon flips her long auburn hair in an attempted display of confidence before she steps into her local church for the weekly Friday night social.

No matter how many times she attended youth nights, the butterflies always took flight within her stomach in the hours leading up to youth night.

So, when a normal day at work sees a handsome stranger move into Lexi’s path and an opportunity at church presents itself that could set her up to finally conquer her fears, Lexi feels a spark; a spark of that thing she sees so often in her best friend Hope: Confidence!

Just as Lexi begins to get a grasp of how her new reality feels, another new reality hits. She discovers too late that she is a naïve pawn in a game of conquests her new beau is playing. Rocked to the core, Lexi tries to break it off, only to find his determination intensify. A night that should have been a night to remember for one of her best friends, quickly becomes a night to remember for Lexi as she and her beau face off with potentially devastation results.

Click here to get your copy!

Unbreakable by K.J. Rowe illustrates the power of trusting God in the teen/YA Christian work of fiction. It also demonstrates how God gives us the power to face our fears. Lexi Slaydon’s lack of confidence in herself and her desire to stay in the background resonated with me. I had similar feelings growing up. So I loved how the author allowed Lexi to be placed in situations at the church youth group that enabled God to do a work in her.

Lexie’s friends include Nick, Trent, Dylan, and Hope, who also serve on the church youth group leadership team. When Lexie finds herself struggling at times, her friends rally around her.

Containing beautiful themes of faith and friendship, this book also includes themes of manipulation and abuse. Looking for the best in people often blinds us to potentially dangerous situations. Brad works with Lexie’s brother Shaun. But Shaun warns her away from him. When Lexie disregards Shaun’s advice, it eventually leads to dangerous consequences. But with her pastor, friends, family and her faith she comes out the other side with a clearer understanding of her calling and more confidence.

So if you are looking for a moving and touching work of fiction or teens and Young Adults or because you personally enjoy powerful works of Christian fiction that include someone finding their calling, 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

Since I could hold a pencil, I’ve be writing.

In primary school, I wrote stories about my pets, my own version of princess stories, a classroom crush…

In high school, I wrote stories about horses, adventures, my sister…

However, as strong as the writing hobby was, I still pursued a career in Veterinary Nursing.

It wasn’t until God intervened and moved me out of the city and into a small country town to be a farmer’s wife, that he resurfaced the writing desire – and gave me the stories. So was born my debut series, each book holding a part of my own testimony, Casts of Silver.

It is my prayer that you enjoy the journey these stories take you on, and that they challenge, encourage and inspire you.

More from Karen

Hello! Im Karen, or Kazzy Wazzy to my husband. 😃

Since I could hold a pencil, I’ve been writing.

In primary school, I wrote stories about my pets, my own version of princess stories, a classroom crush… *grin*

In high-school, I wrote stories about horses, adventures, my Sister…remember that story sis? *smile*

However, as strong as the writing hobby was, I still pursued a career in Veterinary Nursing by day, and a professional Ballroom Dance teacher of an evening.

It wasn’t until God intervened, moved me out of the city at into a small country town to be a farmers wife, that He resurfaced the writing desire – and gave me the stories. So was born my debut series, each book holding a part of my own testimony, Casts of Silver.

Centred around five youth group leaders, the stories look at very real circumstances young people face without sugar coating consequences of individual actions. However, where is God when problems arise?

Well, He’s always closer than you think, and He’s always working for your good.

It is my prayer you enjoy the journey these stories take you on and that they challenge, encourage and inspire you.

Blog Stops

An Author’s Take, November 15

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 15

Texas Book-aholic, November 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 17

Cover Lover Book Review, November 18

deb’s Book Review, November 19

Inklings and notions, November 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 25

Rebecca Tews, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 28

For Him and My Family, November 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, K.J. is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/228af/unbreakable-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Why They Call It Falling ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Why They Call It Falling

Author: Christina Sinisi

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: June 7, 2022

Formerly the wild child of three sisters, Emma Marano grew up to be a single mom working two jobs, estranged from her mother, and lying to her friends. She’d told everyone that her daughter’s father wanted nothing to do with his child, but in reality, her own inability to deal with her mistakes and shame led to the biggest lie of her life. But her daughter, Haley, is all Emma has in the world, so how can she regret keeping Haley to herself? Emma’s struggling, though, and her life is slowly imploding.

Right after high school, Justin Lee broke up with Emma Marano and joined the Army, leaving her and all her drama behind. Years later, he stumbles upon her and what turns out to be a daughter he never knew he had. Angry and confused, he insists on having a relationship with his daughter, but to do so, he’ll need to rebuild some sort of relationship with Emma, too. As he gets to know his daughter—and Emma again—he soon realizes that his biggest mistake was leaving her all those years ago. What he dismissed as drama turns out to be a serious mental health issue, and Emma needs help. Now, Justin has to decide if he can see past her flaws and forgive her lies, and together, they’ll have to work to reclaim their love and a faith in each other and in God, or they risk losing something precious in the process.

Click here to get your copy!

Why They Call It Falling tells the story of Emma Marano and Justin Lee. High school sweethearts, Justin left Emma for life in the military. Then, years later, he discovers they had a daughter he never knew about. As a single mom, Emma struggles with the present along with things that happened in the past.

Once Justin discovers he is a father, he wants to get to know his daughter Hayley. Getting to know her involves spending time with Emma as well. I loved getting to know Emma, Hayley, Justin, Emma’s sister Tiffany and the other characters in the book.

Since my husband served in the military, I appreciated Justin serving his country. So if you enjoy books about second chances, finding family you did not know about, and having faith to try again, 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

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christina Sinisi writes stories about families, both the broken and blessed. Her works include a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and the American Title IV Contest where she appeared in the top ten in the Romantic Times magazine. Her published books include Christmas Confusion, Sweet Summer, and Christmas on Ocracoke. By day, she is a psychology professor and lives in the LowCountry of South Carolina with her husband, two children and her crazy cat Chessie Mae.

More from Christina

In Why They Call It Falling, the hero discovers he has a daughter he didn’t know existed when he sees his ex-girlfriend in a strawberry patch at Boone Hall Plantation (here in Charleston, South Carolina). In the book, the name of the plantation had to be changed to protect the innocent, but the recipe below doesn’t.

This recipe comes from a cookbook titled, Charleston Receipts Repeats. This book has modern recipes, as well as old-fashioned ones dating back through generations. It’s a perfect accompaniment to my Charleston-based romance.

Strawberry Pie I

1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup water

Dash salt

1 3-ounce strawberry jello (delete 1 tablespoon)

1 pint strawberries

Whipped cream

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, water, and salt.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and clear.

Add strawberry jello.

Pour half of mixture into pie shell.

Arrange strawberries in jello mixture.

Pour remaining mixture over strawberries.

Refrigerate until congealed.

Serve with whipping cream.

Serves 6 to 8. Chill 3 to 4 hours.

Enjoy, and think of the sweet taste of summer and the enduring love of fall. Second chances are often the most delicious!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Inklings and notions, November 16

deb’s Book Review, November 17

By the Book, November 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 20

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 23

Stories By Gina, November 24 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, November 25

Splashes of Joy, November 26 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, November 26

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 27 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Christina is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 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/228ae/why-they-call-it-falling-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Returning to Breakers ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Returning to Breakers

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: October 25, 2022

Sometimes God’s “why” comes too late… and just in time.

Tiffany Hill is a master at concealing her emotions. She can’t admit she has her own questions about God—like why He allowed her Marine husband to die in action. A single mom with three children to care for and the general store on Merriweather to run leaves little time for philosophizing. She has more pressing issues to deal with. Like how her dream of running the family business has become a burden.

Is keeping the business afloat even worth the effort anymore?

After high school and an unfortunate falling out with his father, Liam Hadler left Breakers Head, determined never to look back. He failed on that one, and one of many regrets was leaving his high school sweetheart behind to chase an impossible dream.

When his mother calls after his father suffers a stroke, Liam has a tough decision to make. Will he return to a place he’s avoided for sixteen years, and is making amends with his father even possible?

A chance encounter with Tiffany after so many years never occurred to him, but memories of their time together rekindles something he thought he’d lost. What’ll it take to persuade her to give him a second chance?

This Breakers Head novel is Rachel Skatvold’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

Returning to Breakers by Rachel Skatvold continues the Independence Islands series, which includes six authors writing about people on five different islands. One of the things I love about this series is how all of the stories connect, and characters you grow to know reappear. In this story, we discover how Tiffany Hill, a Marine widow, finds herself raising three children and recognizing that her dream job of running the family business has become a burden. As a military spouse, I could appreciate the struggles she has to deal with, such as figuring out how to balance life, work, and children. But I recognize my blessing in my husband still being alive.

Tiffany is blessed with family and friends who love her and bless her in so many ways. If you enjoy reading books that include mentions of amazing desserts, this book is perfect for you.

Liam Hadler, Tiffany’s long ago sweetheart, returns to the islands after a call with his mother. He finds himself struggling with the past, including whether he should attempt to reconcile with his father. Through the pages of this book, he discovers that sometimes what we believe about people and events are not necessarily the truth, and sometimes what we believe is important turns out to be wrong.

Moreover, second chances sometimes give us more than we ever hoped or dreamed of if we just step out in faith and believe God knows what is best for us.

So I recommend checking out this book along with all the books in the series. While you may read this book on its own, you will lose something by not reading the books in order. So check out this book and series 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

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing Christian romance and devotionals. Rachel has published over a dozen novels, including books in the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming and Brides of Pelican Rapids Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: http://www.rachelskatvold.com.

More from Rachel

Thank you for following the Returning to Breakers Celebration Tour with Celebrate Lit. Writing in the Independence Islands Series has been an incredible journey and since this is my last book in the series, it’s bitter sweet to say goodbye to these wonderful characters. Although some of them may show up in the sister series, Suamalie Islands…hint, hint, hint!

It has also been a joy to work with Sandra Barela, Chautona Havig, Denise Barela, and everyone else on the Celebrate Lit team. Thank you to them and the wonderful authors I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with. You all have been amazing.

Returning to Breakers features two sets of characters. First, Tiffany and Liam, but also, Kendall and Tyler. Along with Tiff’s story, I do hope you also enjoy the conclusion of the love story between the two main characters from my first book in the series.

In this book, we find Tiffany overwhelmed and ready for a fresh start. As a single mom of three kids and a business owner, she has to wear about every hat imaginable. She has always been an advice giver to everyone else, but now she desperately needs advice herself. Should she sell the family store? It’s one of many questions plaguing her soul. When her friends realize Tiff is floundering, they know she needs a lifeline in the form of some R&R. They arrange for her and the kids to stay at a local resort on Mimosa. Tiffany is reluctant at first but ultimately gives in, quickly realizing how much she needed to rest and reconnect with her kids. However, when an old love from the past returns to the islands, will Tiff’s relaxing vacation be swept away in the tide?

This book is close to my heart because it is dedicated to my oldest sister, Becky. Growing up, she was a great person to go to for spiritual advice, similar to Tiff in this book. She always has wisdom to impart and quotes Bible verses of encouragement even to this day when I need advice.

This book was also inspired by a verse from Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” When we go through something difficult in life, sometimes it is easy to forget to pray. However, if we leave our worries and anxieties with God, He will take them from us and in return, give us peace. This is one of the lessons Tiff learns during this story and it is also a wonderful reminder for me during trials I have been facing recently.

Blessings.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

lakesidelivingsite, November 18

By the Book, November 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Sylvan Musings, November 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 22

Blossoms and Blessings, November 22

Aryn the Libraryan, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 24

Holly’s Book Corner, November 24

deb’s Book Review, November 25

She Lives To Read, November 26

Inklings and notions, November 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 28 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 28

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 30

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

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize 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/22acf/returning-to-breakers-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Flame of Mercy ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Flame of Mercy

Author: Eleanor Bertin

Genre: Contemporary Christian

Release date: November, 2021

Two families, worlds apart. Can they each find hope in the crucible of suffering?

All Lynnie Min ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. But when tragedy strikes her family, she’s left with nothing but her faith to begin life again. While pursuing a career she never wanted, can the precious faith she was raised on withstand betrayal by a hostile former friend, now a professor whose ideologies conflict with her own? And why do her puzzling dreams feature only one of her daughters, not both?

Out of a smoking ruin in northern Nigeria, Ihsan bin Ibrahim stumbles upon the solution to his wife’s barrenness and longing. But family ties have a long reach. Will he make the ultimate sacrifice to follow his conscience, even if it means losing the child he loves?

Click here to get your copy!

Flame of Mercy by Eleanor Berlin is part of the Mosaic Collection. All Lynnie Min ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. She finds the opportunity for both through one of her college classmates. The two know they have found their soulmates. God leads them down a path to Nigeria. But when tragedy strikes, Lynnie finds herself back in Canada with pit her husband and daughters.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, Ihsan bin Ibrahim discover a child near the wreckage of a vehicle. He takes her home to his wife as an answer to his wife’s barrenness. This book illustrates the power of faith, family, and found the right thing even when it causes pain.

I loved how the characters and storylines come together in this book. I felt it moved at an excellent pace. 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

From her home in central Alberta, Canada, Eleanor Bertin writes fiction that ponders the depths of God’s love and mercy to humanity.

She is the author of The Ties That Bind series, LifelinesUnbound, and Tethered, as well as the memoir, Pall of Silence, about her late son, Paul. She lives with her husband of more than 40 years and their youngest son, in what will someday be a beautiful century home. www.eleanorbertinauthor.com

More from Eleanor

If you’ve read any amount of secular fiction these days, you must be shuddering at the landscape of the family in the world today. Strife and resentment, rivalry and spite–seems there’s nothing but dysfunction as far as the eye can see. And while conflict is necessary to any novel’s plot, I wanted to write about a stable family, a loving family, one that, while imperfect, still nurtured and protected its members with acceptance and harmony.

On top of that, I wanted to depart from my previous novels where the main characters were not believers. In Flame of Mercy, Lynnie is the main character whose trust in Jesus stands firm despite going through the fires of adversity. Her family is one of the reasons for that strength.

But of course, even the best, most faithful families have their quirks. Enter the grandmothers. Grandma Hardy is stiff, stilted, and staunch in her Christian beliefs. Nanny Roundell is sugar-loving, jolly, and lets mentions of faith slide off her chubby body with a smile. Their beliefs do not align with their personae. This paradox was suggested to me by a friend as I described the contrast between two elderly relatives, sweet Christian and sour unbeliever.

“Aren’t you glad it’s not the other way around?” she asked.

Because we all know it can be. Sometimes Christians look nothing like their Lord. And non-Christians can live blissfully inconsistent with their evil master’s agenda.

And so, I had fun writing these two ladies! “The grandmothers sat next to each other, one short and round, one tall and skinny. The Ball and Bat, we used to call them when we were kids, and I’d never been able to see them differently ever since. Come to think of it, Nanny, the Ball, was like a baseball in other ways besides physical. She had always been reactionary, flung here and there with every wind of doctrine but without any viewpoint of her own. By contrast, Grandma Hardy was the Bat. She stood alone, stiff and sturdy, unwavering, and if necessary, could give you a good whack to get you moving in the right direction.

“My sister was what Grandma frowningly called ‘frivolous.’ And Lissa was mischievous enough to purposely do things that would get Grandma’s goat. I mean, deliberately cavorting through the sprinkler in a bikini directly in front of Grandma’s kitchen window was outright asking for a lecture. You couldn’t call it a scolding since Grandma never raised her voice, but it was always a one-way communication generously salted with Bible verses. Lissa told me Grandma even referred to hand-written notes a couple of times while talking to her. And Grandma’s tone carried the expectation that we would change our ways accordingly. We had been taught to respect our elders so there was no answering back. We only meekly listened.” With Grandma, there was no statute of limitations and past sins could receive present censure.

Nanny’s eyes twinkled. “I’m feeling better every day. It’s given me my life back. Why, with my dentures and glasses, a new knee, and a titanium hip, I’m eighty percent fake.” She cackled her infectious laugh and we joined in, exchanging glances. Being in Nanny’s presence infallibly lifted my spirits.

“This cheesecake is delicious, Sue,” Nanny chimed in. “I could keep on eating and eating if I weren’t already so full after an excellent meal.”

Grandma frowned at what she doubtless saw as gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins. Thankfully she restrained herself this time…She set her fork down beside her plate that still held half her slice of cheesecake and taking her napkin, dabbed at her lips. “This is certainly a rich dessert.”

I hope you enjoy reading about the Hardy family’s faith and foibles as much as I have in writing them. Look for a bit of Grandma’s back story in my story in this year’s Mosaic Christmas anthology.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Rebecca Tews, November 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Inklings and notions, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

deb’s Book Review, November 15

lakesidelivingsite, November 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 18

Mary Hake, November 18

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

Blogging With Carol, November 22

Cover Lover Book Review, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 24 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, November 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Eleanor is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 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/228a3/flame-of-mercy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Laser Trap ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Laser Trap

Author: Frank DiBianca

Genre: Thrillers/Suspense

Release date: June 7, 2022

Laser Trap is a multi-layered Thriller/Suspense. Quincy University engineering grad students Dan Butler and Lana Madison are trying to unravel their mutual confusion about how attracted and attractive they are to each other, when Dan’s lab laser unexpectedly begins to produce unheard of amounts of brightness and power in its laser beam, making it a candidate for super-weapons.  StarWay Labs, an organization of criminal scientists, has been conducting research on this same phenomenon for two years, but without success. When they learn of the discovery at Quincy U, they kidnap Dan and demand he replicate his work in their secret lab.

Lana, alarmed at Dan’s disappearance, forms a high-tech team of friends to help the authorities rescue him. They make remarkable breakthroughs in tracking him down while the criminal cadre at StarWay pushes Dan close to his breaking point. The life-or-death question is whether the authorities can rescue Dan before he succumbs to his captors’ savagery.

Laser Trap is a story of love, danger, cruelty and faith that takes place on a university campus and in an invisible laboratory.

Click here to get your copy!

Laser Trap by Frank DiBianca provides a well-written cosy novel that revolves a grad student, Dan Butler, and his laser research, along with his fellow grad student, Lana Madison. The story contains well-developed storylines and characters that appear to be well-developed.

Dan’s research lands him in the hands of bad guys who range from somewhat bad to really bad. Dan’s laser research draws the attention of some bad guys, and he finds himself kidnapped. Lana, a group of their friends, along with the authorities work to rescue them. Broken down into three parts, I felt the author did a fairly good job moving the story along.

As a first novel, I feel the author did an excellent job creating a story I wanted to read. The book contains hints that there may be more books to come, and if so I look forward to reading them.

As someone who has always loved mysteries from shows like Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder, I looked forward to reading this story. It definitely lived up to my expectations for a cosy mystery. So if you enjoy cosy mysteries, or mysteries set around scientific research, 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

Frank DiBianca is a former medical physics and biomedical engineering teaching and research professor. He has written numerous novels and short stories in the suspense, romance and sci-fi genres. His first traditionally published novel is LASER TRAP (A QUINCY U SUSPENSE), Iron Stream Fiction (2022), a mystery and romance laden suspense. Frank and his award-winning wife, Kay, are both full-time writers who assist each other in their manuscript development.

More from Frank

The Seven Biggest Surprises in my Laser Trap Journey

1. The Time It Would Take to Complete the Manuscript. The first words of a romantic short story entitled The Love Coach that would eventually become the thriller/suspense novel Laser Trap were written on June 29, 2009, almost exactly thirteen years before the book was released on June 7, 2022. (I’m not superstitious.) The prolonged manuscript completion time included periods of learning how to write modern fiction, turning to several other writing projects, such as a 120,000-word sci-fi novel entitled Centaur about the threatened collision of a monstrous deep-space planetoid with the Earth, and many other writing-related detours.
2. Learning a New Language: How to Write Modern Fiction. When I began this writing journey, the fiction I’d been reading was largely from the nineteenth century, including Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins, The Brontës, and Charles Dickens. I’d never heard the literary expressions “third person close narrator, point-of-view, show-don’t tell,” and many others. My first editor, Mel Hughes, took me by the shoulders, figuratively, and patiently showed me the ropes via several manuscript rewrites based on “footser” notes of recommendations (she said humorously I was shooting myself in the foot). Would I ever learn modern fiction techniques?
3. The Genre Switch Late in the Game. The book would likely not have been published by Iron Stream Media (ISM) absent two crucial people/occurrences. I met Karin Beery, Managing Editor, Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, LPC, at a writers conference in 2019. She liked my preliminary book proposal and asked me to send her a polished proposal when it and the manuscript were complete. A year later, I did that. Karin’s queue was filled, but she passed my submission on to colleague Darla Crass, Managing Editor, Lamplighter Mysteries and Suspense, LPC. Darla offered to publish the book on condition I would collaboratively rebalance the story toward more suspense compared to romance. With much joy and a twinge of trepidation, I signed the contract and the jaws of Laser Trap snapped shut—most auspiciously.
4. The Number of Editors Involved. Editors are essential, but having a novel edited through multiple drafts is expensive. I expected that one or two editors would be needed. I ended up with seven. Here’s what they focused on and [who paid them]: 1) Mel Hughes -developmental editing [FD]; 2) Barbara Curtis -copy editing/proofreading [FD]; 3) Jeanne Leach -book proposal development [FD]; 4) Darla Crass -rebalancing toward suspense [ISM]; 5) Sally Shupe -general editing [ISM]; 6) Denise Loock -editing/proofreading [ISM]; and 7) the publisher’s final review [ISM]. This surprise showed the level of commitment and investment both the publisher and I made in improving and polishing the book.
5. The Effectiveness of a Book Launch Team. Book launch teams were another modern device I was unfamiliar with. Working with my Author Care Specialist at ISM, I received instructions on forming a team and advice about managing one. I was fortunate to enlist thirty friends and family members who agreed to promote Laser Trap. Some of the activities they engaged in were promoting the book via email, social media and word of mouth, in addition to, as appropriate, submitting book reviews to Facebook and Goodreads. Team members were also asked to distribute digitally a two-page summary brochure on the book. The unforeseen effectiveness of the launch team is evident in its contribution to the surprising successes described in items 6 and 7.
6. The Reader Reaction to the Book. The seven endorsements we received for Laser Trap were so gratifying, ISM decided to insert them verbatim in the front pages of the book. The reviews in bookselling and reviewing websites were likewise very positive. For example, over the first seven weeks from release, Amazon’s rating averaged 4.8 out of 5 stars. None of this was expected.
7. Amazon #1 Best-seller Status. However, the biggest surprise of all came when Amazon ranked Laser Trap the #1 Best-selling New Release in Religious Mysteries from two days before release through the next two weeks.

So, a number of beneficial surprises that came during the development and release of Laser Trap have significantly boosted the quality and stature of the book.

I extend my deepest gratitude to the many people who contributed to my novel, especially my author-wife, Kay, and I’m eager to see what happens in the upcoming months.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12

The Write Escape, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 13

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Inklings and notions, November 15

Mary Hake, November 15

deb’s Book Review, November 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

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

Betti Mace, November 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 22 (Author Interview)

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 22

Blogging With Carol, November 23

For Him and My Family, November 24

Pause for Tales, November 25

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Frank is giving away the $35 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/228ab/laser-trap-celebration-tour-giveaway