Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

All I Want for Christmas ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: All I Want for Christmas

Author: Fay Lamb

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: November 21, 2021

A wedding headed for disaster,

A crime syndicate bent on destruction,

And a bunch of hungry alligators.

Knee deep in preparation for her best friend’s Christmas wedding, Abigail Brewster reels when her estranged younger sister returns to Mullet Harbor. She brings secrets, intrigue, and trouble along with her—a crime syndicate set on goals that would destroy the harbor. And Abigail is in the middle of their scheme.

Remy Arneaux doesn’t understand the reason for Susan Brewster’s return, and maybe that’s due to the brain fog from his concussion. But he does know enough not to trust her and not to let her near Abigail. The self-centered woman would only hurt her . . . again. Abigail has had enough pain, even from him. Still, he made a promise to escort someone else to the wedding. And with the promise is a secret that begins to rip his relationship with Abigail apart.

According to Mayor Herb’s edict, nothing is allowed to mar this occasion for his only granddaughter. Not heartbreak, not tirades from a spoiled young woman, and not threats from organized crime.

But what about their attempts to make good on their threats . . .

Click here to get your copy!

All I Want for Christmas grabbed my attention from the very first page. Abigail Brewster experienced enough heartbreak in her life that the people in her community including Mayor Herb and Sheriff Remy Armeaux strive to keep her safe and free from more heartbreak. Helping her friend plan her Christmas wedding, she reels with the news that her troubled younger sister returned to town.

I loved how some characters I thought would turn out to be one way turned out to be different. The author created an amazing world and amazing characters I really wanted to get to know more. I think one of my favorite scenes in the entire book takes place at her friend’s bridal shower. But I do not want to ruin the story for any of you, so I will just say if you want to find out about the shower, check out this book for yourself.

The other character I loved in this book is Abercrombie, an alligator filled with personality. Again, I do not want to ruin the story for you. So I would request you read the book for yourself to find out what happens. From the mayor, a couple of teenage boys, an FBI agent who returns to help the town, and bad guys galore, this book will keep your attention.

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

Fay Lamb is the only daughter of a rebel genius father and a hard-working, tow-the-line mom. She is not only a fifth-generation Floridian, she has lived her life in Titusville, where her grandmother was born in 1899.

Since an early age, storytelling has been Fay’s greatest desire. She seeks to create memorable characters that touch her readers’ hearts. She says of her writing, “If I can’t laugh or cry at the words written on the pages of my manuscript, the story is not ready for the reader.” Fay writes in various genres, including romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary fiction.

More from Fay

Writing is supposed to be fun, right? Well, for a while, writing was the last thing I wanted to do. And when you have two series contracted and many other books waiting in line to be written, that’s a big problem.

I’m sure that I’m not the only person on the face of this earth who recently placed fun in a jar and hid it away for at least a week, maybe a month, maybe even a year. Heck, some of us may have fun still hidden away.

I truly thought I’d lost my sense of humor. And then I sat down to be purposeful in my writing. Abigail tiptoed onto the page (literally), and then the quirky denizens of Mullet Harbor worked their magic and the story unfolded before me. Abigail and her hero, Remy, may have had some difficulties in life, but for me, I had the time of my life.

When I finished writing All I Want for Christmas, I sat back and I marveled that I had not lost that sense of humor, especially not in my writing. I recalled that in all my writing life, when things were bleakest, my writing brought a smile, and I have always wanted it to bring a smile to others.

Mission accomplished. Humor has been removed from the hiding place and firmly installed back into the funny bone, and my prayer is that the readers will allow Mullet Harbor to bring a little humor—and suspense—to their lives.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 23 (Author Interview)

Christina’s Corner, October 23

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Inklings and notions, October 25

deb’s Book Review, October 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 27

By the Book, October 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 29

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

For Him and My Family, November 1

Vicky Sluiter, November 2 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, November 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Fay is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of All I Want for Christmas!!

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/2224e/all-i-want-for-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Blessings in the Bargain ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Blessings in the Bargain

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: September 27, 2022

Despite a career in logistics, Courtney is unprepared to get lost at sea…

A fated trip to the docks with her closest pal Annie leads to disaster. Ship Captain Lex Ford agrees to take Courtney and two of her friends on what was to be a quick trip to test a new boat. A dangerous storm traps them against a reef, damaging communications and stranding them at sea.

Lex knew this was a bad idea…

He hated having people on his ship with him. Ever since his partner left, he doesn’t share his life with anything but the seagulls. So, when Courtney’s friend Rafe offers him a deal on a new boat, he’d rather ignore the offer.

His heart isn’t ready for how he feels about Courtney, and watching her brave the elements after the storm makes him want to protect her. But the last woman he loved just walked away. And what about their age gap? He’s far older than her. The Lord is good at turning bad situations for good, but can even He make this mess right?

This Breakers Head novel is Kari Trumbo’s final novel 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!

In Gilligan’s Island fashion, Rafe – CFO for a boat company , his wife Annie, and her best friend Courtney set out on what is supposed to be a three hour tour with Captain Lex Ford to test out a boat in order to convince Alex to buy it. Lex, in his fifties, only wants his own ship. He also attempts to avoid people at all costs.

Courtney, a chef, experienced an event she refuses to speak about, even with her closest friends. She works from home. But nothing goes according to plan with this trip. As their ship loses power, weathers a storm, and goes off course, Lex and Courtney fin themself spending more time together and sharing their past experiences.

As part of the Independence Islands series, this book serves as the perfect continuation to this series. I loved getting to know Courtney and Lex. The author expertly weaves together a story that illustrates sometimes love finds us when we are not even looking for it or desiring it.

While you could read this book on its own, to really understand the characters, I recommend reading the books in order. This series with five different islands and six different authors. I find myself slightly sad to know this book is Kari Trumbo’s final book in the series.and So I recommend checking out this book and the entire series for yourself. I know I will be revisiting the Independence Islands series again, and especially this book.

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

About the Author

Kari Trumbo is the creator and co-author of the best-selling Christian Historical Romance series, Cutter’s Creek; selling over 200,000 copies. She has published over 45 titles in seven series. When she’s not writing, editing, plotting, or managing, she home schools her children and pretends to keep up with them. She loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up with a fluffy blanket when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with my husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 19

Texas Book-aholic, October 20

Lily’s Book Reviews, October 20

lakesidelivingsite, October 21

An Author’s Take, October 21

She Lives To Read, October 22

Inklings and notions, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 24

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 25

Holly’s Book Corner, October 25

Aryn the Libraryan, October 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 27

Blogging With Carol, October 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 30

Sylvan Musings, October 30

Blossoms and Blessings, October 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Celebrate Lit 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/2224c/blessings-in-the-bargain-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Wreathed in Disgrace ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Wreathed in Disgrace

Author: Robin Patchen

Genre: Christian romantic suspense

Release date: October 18, 2022

A famous actress, a protective bodyguard, a festive Christmas season, and a killer…or two…on the loose.

Everybody believes movie star Denise Masters abandoned her family to pursue her dream, but the truth is much more complex. For years, she’s longed to return to Coventry to repair her relationship with her daughter, but contractual obligations–and fear of being rejected–have kept her away. When a serial killer targets Hollywood actors, Denise decides to spend the Christmas holidays in New Hampshire. She will finally face the disgrace of her past.

Private security agent Jon Donley figures the woman he’s been hired to guard will turn out to be a paranoid, privileged prima donna. Instead, the more he gets to know Denise, the more he likes her. But he’s not being paid to get involved with her. His job is to keep her safe while he figures out what links her to the other victims.

But the serial killer on the west coast isn’t the only danger they face. A second one is closing in fast, threatening not just Denise but the little girl she’ll stop at nothing to protect.

Romance, suspense, and a New England Christmas. Don’t miss the next installment of the addictive Coventry Saga.

Click here to get your copy!

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

Anytime I pick up a Christian suspense novel by Robin Patchen, I expect to find complex characters and complex storylines with Christian themes. Wreathed in Disgrace lived up to my expectations. Denise Masters, an actress, returns to her hometown of Coventry to attempt to repair her relationship with her daughter. Everyone believes she just abandoned her family, but the situation turns out to be much more complex. As a Christian, Denise feels secure in her place in the world.

Jon Donley along with his team find themselves guarding Denise and her family. Initially, he expects her to be a typical privileged prima Donna, but she turns out to be completely different from what he expected. As the two start to develop feelings for each other, the biggest barrier for them stems from him not being a Christian.

With a killer on the loose and Christmas to prepare for, Denise refuses to run from danger. Secrets from Denise’s past get revealed, and forgiveness

The author does an excellent job of weaving together a story filled with family, faith, and the importance of Christians being equally yoked. I found myself unable to put this book down. If you enjoy Christian suspense novels or stories centered around Christmas, check out this book for yourself. I highly 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

Robin Patchen is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of Christian romantic suspense. She grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, the setting of her Nutfield Saga books, and then headed to Boston to earn a journalism degree. Working in marketing and public relations, she discovered how much she loathed the nine-to-five ball and chain. After relocating to the Southwest, she started writing her first novel while she homeschooled her three children. The novel was dreadful, but her passion for storytelling didn’t wane. Thankfully, as her children grew, so did her writing ability. Now that her kids are adults, she has more time to play with the lives of fictional heroes and heroines, wreaking havoc and working magic to give her characters happy endings. When she’s not writing, she’s editing or reading, proving that most of her life revolves around the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Visit https://robinpatchen.com/subscribe to receive a free book and stay informed about Robin’s latest projects.

More from Robin

On Becoming a Hero…

I’ve been contemplating this story since I wrote the first book in the Coventry Saga, Glimmer in the Darkness, and discovered that little Ella’s mother had abandoned her family. She was such a bad mother, in fact, that she didn’t even come home when Ella was kidnapped.

Obviously, Denise Masters was not heroine material.

Or so I thought.

But Denise has been whispering in my ear for a couple of years now, telling me her secrets. Turns out, she doesn’t just play a hero in the movies. She’s learning to be a hero in real life. In Denise’s case, that means facing the ghosts of her past, ghosts that chased her away from home, from the people she loved most in the world.

To outsiders, it looks like Denise has everything a person could want—fame, money, and success. But all she really wants is a relationship with the daughter she adores, the daughter she left because she couldn’t see another way.

Have you ever been there, so deep in the muck that you can’t find your way out? So lost that you think the best option—the only option—is to escape? Have you ever believed that your problems—whether caused by someone else or by your own choices—were unsolvable?

That’s what Denise believed for years. That one foolish choice—which led to a myriad of other foolish choices—had permanently disqualified her not just from being a good mother but from being worthy of love.

And then she met Jesus, and He changed everything. He pulled her out of the mire and set her on solid ground. He gave her the longing and the courage to face the people she’d disappointed.

The serial killer preying on Hollywood actresses is the impetus she needs to return to Coventry just as the community ramps up for the Christmas season.

But Denise’s attempt at escaping one killer puts her squarely in the path of another.

This story won’t be much fun for Denise, though I have a strong suspicion she’s going to really like the hunky bodyguard, Jon Donley. (If you read Lineage in Corruption, you might remember Jon.)

For us who get to read it, it’s going to be great fun. I hope you’ll check it out!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 23

Genesis 5020, October 24

Betti Mace, October 25

Inklings and notions, October 26

Texas Book-aholic, October 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 28

Holly’s Book Corner, October 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 31

deb’s Book Review, November 1

Blossoms and Blessings, November 2

Spoken from the Heart, November 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 3

Blogging With Carol, November 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 gift card and a copy of Lineage of Corruption!!

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/2224f/wreathed-in-disgrace-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

After our Castle ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: After Our Castle

Author: Kellyn Roth

Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

Release date: October, 2022

A year into a blissfully happy marriage, Violet Angel admits to a dose of skepticism. She’s not married, granted—but as the closest friend of the bride and groom, she feels she has a perspective no one but the people directly involved could have. There’s no such thing as a happy ending, and it’s only a matter of time before the castle in the sky plummets to earth.

If only Violet were always wrong instead of just mostly wrong. Ivy McAllen doesn’t believe she and her new husband are out of the honeymoon period—if they are, she isn’t going to admit it to herself—but there are certainly areas of adjustment that she hadn’t expected.

Changes at the village of Keefmore and in Ivy’s life lead to complications, and Violet spirals further and further from reality. When a castle in the sky turns to be more cloud than stronghold, finding a foothold proves to be more than a little difficult.

Click here to get your copy!

After our Castle is the sixth book in the Alice and Ivy series. Containing adult themes such as premarital sex and mental illness, this book may not be for everyone. Having not read the earlier books in this series, I definitely recommend reading these books in order. At times, I found this book difficult to read because of the topics covered. Also, as far as I remember, I have not read any other books in this series, so that also proved to be difficult in the long run.

Ivy and Jordy, married less than a year, work to settle into married life. Add in an unexpected event, and changes come that add to the story. I found myself wanting to read more about them.

Violet provides an interesting addition to the story. Suffering from mental illness and finding herself infatuated with the wrong man, she struggles to find her place in the village of Keefmore. The relationship between Violet and Ivy definitely adds to the story. At the same time, I felt the ending of this book left room for improvement. I felt like it ended well for some characters, but basically abruptly stopped for other characters. So if you enjoy Historical works of 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

Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.

Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory and a writing coach. When not building her author career, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.

More from Kellyn

After Our Castle was a book I didn’t think I would ever write. Oh, I considered writing a short story or two about the early years of Ivy and Jordy’s marriage, yes, but it wasn’t until last year that I decided that I would write a full-length novel.

Why did I hesitate? I’m writing a family saga, after all, and I plan on covering every stage of my characters’ lives in the 10+ books I’m planning (this being book 6). Well, I didn’t think there was anything to be discussed about Ivy and Jordy’s early married days, as there was with my other book couple, Alice and Peter. Nothing interesting, I thought, happens until 1890, eight years into their union. So why write about anything before then?

Then I realized just how much backstory I was packing into that book. And I realized that, for my writing style, there are so many little things that can add up into a book. And that became the story that is After Our Castle.

The novel wasn’t an easy one to write. It required a lot of subtlety and doesn’t precisely have the most perfect ending. But I knew, if I wanted to set up book 8, I would have to write the novel this way.

So here we go. Another book I wasn’t sure about–but that careful writing and even more careful editing, along with a lot of prayer, have turned into a story I’m actually rather proud of.

I hope you enjoy After Our Castle!

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 18

lakesidelivingsite, October 19

Losing the Busyness, October 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

Texas Book-aholic, October 21

Inklings and notions, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 24

deb’s Book Review, October 25

Cover Lover Book Review, October 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 26

Connie’s History Classroom, October 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 28

Holly’s Book Corner, October 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 29

Splashes of Joy, October 30

Pause for Tales, October 31

Spoken from the Heart, October 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kellyn 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/2200c/after-our-castle-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Keeping Christmas Volume I – A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Keeping Christmas Volume 1

Authors: Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig, Olivia Talbott, Kathleen J. Robison, Denise L. Barela, Marguerite Martin Gray, and Naomi Craig.

Genre: Christian Christmas Romance

Release date: October 4, 2022

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

The Lights of Castlebourne (by Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig): He bowled her over at first sight–his dog, that is. Sydney just wanted a chance to do the landscape design at Castlebourne. She never dreamed the owner’s electrician would light up her heart at Christmas.

The Girl From Dalarna (by Olivia Talbott): She’s the most beautiful woman in Sweden, but she doesn’t want to be. A simple life among milk cows is all she desires. Will a scandal upend her plans and ruin her chances for love?

The Cross at Morioka Castle (by Kathleen J. Robison): In the ancient land of shoji screens and tatami mats, Ariko finds the stone ruins of Morioka Castle, and the mysterious cross that holds the secret of a Christian faith extending far deeper than Ariko ever imagined.

The Ghost of Christmas… (by Denise L. Barela): Abbigayl needs to get away for Christmas this year. No family, no questions about why she’s still single, no suggestion about being set up with someone’s friend. What will happen when Neuschwanstein Castle’s past converges with Abbigayl’s future?

Crystal Clear (by Marguerite Martin Gray): Rosalind’s muddied past and foggy future crystalize in Château Chenonceau, a refuge from gossip and more. Watch as the château and Christmas work their magic and break the bonds of propriety, and rejoice as Rosalind experiences the crystal-clear hints of peace, joy, and hope all around her.

The Weary World Rejoices (by Naomi Craig): Behind the elaborate furnishings of Herod the Great’s palace, conspiracy and distrust run rampant. Mysterious visitors from the east challenge everything Amal thinks he knows as palace scribe. Will his quest to uncover the Truth free him from the ornate shackles of palace life, or will he be the next victim of King Herod’s maniacal jealousy?

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 overlooking the Mississippi all the way back to the Holy Land at the time of Jesus’ birth. These six novellas, all set in castles real and fictional, celebrate the heart and joy of Christmas.

Click here to get your copy!

As an avid reader, I always love reading books set around Christmas time. When authors add in castles, it makes me enjoy the books even more. Out of this collection, I loved that two of my favorite authors, Chautona Havig and Cathe Swanson teamed up to create a memorable book set around Sydney, a landscape designer, who wishes only to create memorable landscape designs at a castle. When you add in a skunk, an electrician, a cousin, a dog, and a grumpy owner of the castle, and The Lights of Castlebourne grabbed my attention, and would not let me put the book down. Both of these authors create books I love reading and this story definitely lived up to my expectations.

Crystal Clear by Marguerite Martin Gray also proved to be a story worth reading. I found both the story and the characters to be memorable. I also found myself unable to put this story down as well.

Adding in Christian faith, Christmas, memorable characters, and settings, this collection proves worthy to be read. I enjoyed going from story to story and reading works by the various authors contained in this collection.

So if you enjoy Christian centered books that take place at Christmas, 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

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.

Cathe Swanson writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

Olivia Talbott grew up in Montana, but currently lives in Kentucky with her husband and two daughters, a few sheep and a border collie. She loves words, traveling, pickles and having deep conversations about how Jesus changes everything. Visit her at oliviatalbott.com.

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.

Denise L. Barela is a twenty-something-year-old writer with a passion for fiction, her faith, and just being creative in general. When she’s not working away at her desk, you might find her reading a good book or following Alice down the rabbit hole…

Marguerite Gray enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband in north Louisiana. She writes historical fiction.

Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, pastor’s wife, Naomi Craig loves reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. When she’s not serving in various areas at church, trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes or convincing her rescue dog, Freeway, to be cute on command for Instagram reels, you’ll most likely find her enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. Naomi co-hosts #BehindTheStory with Naomi and Lisa, an author interview show on YouTube and your podcast platform of choice.

More from Denise

Hello everyone!

I’m excited to share this set of stories with you! All the authors have worked hard to bring you some Christmas joy and magic. We’ve each picked a castle to center our stories around. I mean, Christmas and castles go well together, don’t you think? You’ll get to explore different castles in different time periods while also getting to know all the characters in each story. That’s a lot of new friends to make!

For my story, I jumped on the chance to write about a castle that inspired the castle that always brought me joy growing up (if I’m being honest, it still brings me joy). I’ve always been a huge Disney nerd, and Princess Aurora has always been my favorite Disney princess. Growing up, I was blessed to be able to visit Disneyland for most of my life, and Sleeping Beauty’s castle was my favorite thing (I was so sad when they closed the walk-through part for several years). Even without the attraction part of it, I loved walking into the park and seeing it stand at the end of Main Street. I actually teared up seeing it for the first time after Covid.

What does all this have to do with my castle story? Well, in 1869, King Ludwig II of Bavaria began construction on Neuschwanstein Castle. This castle served as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Let me tell you, if you thought Disneyland’s castle was beautiful, it’s got nothing on Neuschwanstein. If I were to pick a castle to live in, it’d be this one.

Setting aside the Disney connection, I was even more intrigued when I learned more about the king who commissioned it. The king was not very popular towards the end of his reign, and the day after he was sent to Berg Castle, he and a doctor were found dead in Lake Starnberg. The weird part? They ruled it a drowning, but there was no water in their lungs and clear signs of foul play.

Oh, but that’s not the only interesting fact this castle houses. This castle became a hiding place for some of the art the Nazi’s stole during World War II. Part of me wonders if any pieces are still hidden there. The Monuments Men group actually cataloged art found there, and it’s been preserved. Here’s a fun article from The Met all about it!

I hope you enjoyed learning about the castle that inspired my story!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 20

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 21

Texas Book-aholic, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Inklings and notions, October 24

Holly’s Book Corner, October 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 25

Lots of Helpers, October 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 27

By the Book, October 28

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

She Lives To Read, October 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 30

Mary Hake, October 30

Blogging With Carol, October 31

Simple Harvest Reads, November 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Literature Approved, November 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 2

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/2224d/keeping-christmas-volume-one-by-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Halloween HI-Jinx Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Halloween Hi-Jinx

Author: Annee Jones

Genre: Clean Cozy Mystery

Release date: October 14, 2022

Jinx the cat has a bad reputation for always being in the wrong place at the wrong time – and this Halloween turns out to be no different….

His former owners called him “Cursed” – blamed him for their troubles that began occurring after they got him, which is reason he was turned back into the shelter.  But Clarissa Lightfoot, owner of the new Cat Café doesn’t believe it and wants to help clear his name, so she brings him to the new café (doubling as a halfway house for homeless animals).  – There’s no such thing as a Cursed Cat…. Or is there???

The Cat Café is hosting a costume party fundraiser for Halloween to help homeless animals.  After the party, it’s discovered that someone stole $$ from the cash register, and Clarissa is implicated in the crime.

Someone wants her & her new café to go “Poof” and disappear – but who & why?

Can Jinx – along with handsome police officer Cody Shelton – help discover who’s playing tricks on Clarissa this Halloween?

Click here to get your copy!

Take a couple of homeless cats, a caring manager, and a cop along with a Halloween part, and you have the perfect mix for Halloween Hi-Jinx. Jinx finds himself labeled as cursed, and his owners rid themselves of him by dropping him off at a cafe that also serves as a halfway house for unwanted cats.

Striving to save the cafe along with homeless cats, Clarissa and the cafe owner come up with the idea to hold a Halloween party to raise money. Add in a set of twin kittens, and two older cats who reside at the cafe along with Jinx, and this story comes to life.

When money goes missing at the party, Clarissa and Cody set out to try to find out what happened. With the help of Jinx, this mystery stands a chance to be solved. I loved getting to know the cats and kittens along with their personalities through the pages of this book. The author did an excellent job of bringing all the characters, including the cats and kittens, to life.

I felt the author developed the storyline well and kept it moving along at an excellent pace. So if you enjoy clean cozy mysteries, 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

Author Annee Jones loves to write all things romance, fantasy, cozy mystery, & more. She is passionate about writing stories where dreams come true, and love wins in the end!

Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.

Subscribe to Annee’s newsletter to stay up to date on new releases, sneak peeks, author parties, and exclusive giveaways:  https://www.anneejones.com/newsletter.

More from Annee

The story is told in part from Jinx the cat’s point of view!!  😉

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 14

Artistic Nobody, October 15 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, October 15

Texas Book-aholic, October 16

Inklings and notions, October 17

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 18 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 20

Beauty in the Binding, October 21 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, October 21

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

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 23

Through the Fire Blogs, October 24 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Blogging With Carol, October 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Annee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 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/22009/halloween-hi-jinx-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Love Matters ~ A review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Love Matters

Author: Neil Tolsma

Genre: Non-Fiction

Release date: September 13, 2022

The Bible answers with one word: Love. What am I to do when my love is weak and in short supply? What difference does godly love make in the rush of everyday living? These are questions that Christians ask and need answered.

Love Matters answers these vital questions and others through a careful examination of what the Word of God has to say about reproducing God’s love in the exercise of personal faith. Love Matters is unique in developing this study of love in a redemptive-historical setting.

Love Matters is a biblical study of the divine call to love God and others wholeheartedly and the means by which the believer can overcome deficiencies in that call.

Click here to get your copy!

Love Matters provides a Biblically based look at God’s love for us and how we are to love others. I found the book to be Biblically based and worth reading. It is an excellent book for examining how God loves us even when we may not want to love Him back.

Combining personal experiences along with Scriptural references, the author balanced these two items in a way that kept my interest. I appreciated the author’s tone and writing style in this book.

I also appreciate how the author included study questions at the end of each chapter to help the reader reflect on the chapter. I believe this book should be savored slowly rather than rushed through.

So if you are looking for a book centered around God’s love for us and how we should love others, 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

Neil Tolsma was born on February 5, 1935, Saddle Brook, NJ. Met his wife, Lenore Merop, at Garfield Community Church (where he had made his profession of Christ as his Savior at the age of 17) and they were married on August 29, 1959. They had both been part of the Billy Graham Choir that introduced the popular hymn, How Great Thou Art, to America the summer of 957. He graduated from Shelton College, Ringwood, NJ, 1962 with  A.B. And from Westminster Theological  Seminary 1965, B.D./M.Div. Ordained by the Presbytery of the South, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 1965. Served as pastor of Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1965 to 1974, Falls Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, 1974 until his retirement in 2004. They are the parents of three daughters  and 8 grandchildren. Neil is the author of This Is Love: Tracing the Love of God throughout the Biblical Story.

More from Neil

Why Another Book on Love

Walk into any bookstore, Christian or general market, big or small, and you’re sure to be inundated by books on love, both fiction and nonfiction. How to love your spouse or significant other. How to love your children. How to love yourself. Love, love, love. That’s all we seem to hear about today. Love in all its forms, both good and evil.

So, then, why would I write another nonfiction book on love? Aren’t there plenty to choose from already? Well, yes and no. There are many on the shelves. Have your pick. But how many of those talk about what real, biblical love is, why we are to love, and where our one and only source of love is?

So many people today don’t know what love truly is. We have romanticized versions of flowers, chocolates, and violins. We dream of being swept off our feet and spending every waking minute with someone who will cherish us above all else. One of the most popular sayings of the day is Love Is Love.

Is it really? How do we know what true love is? That understanding only comes from God and his word to us. Only through him and in him do we find pure, holy, agape love. Love that sacrificed his only Son for us to give eternal life to us sinners—the impure, unholy, and filthy.

And so that’s why I wrote Love Matters. Because it does. It matters to our lives today, in how we relate to our spouses, our children, our family members, and the world at large. It matters to our eternity in how we view our salvation and how we are to love our Lord. It matters when we’re old and when we’re young, when we’re at home and when we’re at work, when we agree with someone and when we disagree with them.

Throughout my fifty years of in-depth Bible study as a pastor and counselor, I was brought back time and time again to the Bible to discover what love is. Over and over, I returned to the command God gave in Exodus, that we are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, strength, and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Because God is love and love matters to him, it has to matter to us.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 15

An Author’s Take, October 16

Spoken from the Heart, October 17 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Inklings and notions, October 19

deb’s Book Review, October 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 22

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Splashes of Joy, October 25 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 27

Beauty in the Binding, October 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 28

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Neil 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/2224a/love-matters-celebration-tour-givaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Nutcracker’s Suite Audiobook Tour ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite Audiobook

Author: Chautona Havig

Narrator: Christa DelSorbo

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: November, 2022

“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off, too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

Click here to get your copy!

Every time I pick up a book by Chautona Havig, I look forward to learning about the characters. The Nutcracker’s Suite lived up to my expectations. Before reading this book, I definitely recommend reading the glossary of terms at the start of the book. As part of the Ever After Mystery series, this book takes place in the 1920s. It centers around Clarice Stahl who works at Myer’s Toy Factory along with Milo, an enforcer for a crime boss.

Clarice unexpectedly finds her life changed by Mr. Myer’s death when she discovers he left his factory and home to her. The housekeeper and chauffeur help bring this story to life. Their loyalty and protection of Clarice fit the plot beautifully. The Christian themes in this book make it worth reading as well.

I loved the twists and turns this storyline took. As an audiobook, this book captured my attention. I loved listening to Christa DelSorbo narrate this story. Truly, this story lends itself to being an audiobook. Christa DelSorbo does an excellent job bringing all of the characters and the plot line to life. This book kept my interest from start to finish. So if you enjoy reading books set in the 1920s, 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

Using story to connect readers with the Master Storyteller.

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.

About the Narrator

Speaking Life into Story

Queen of the one-eyebrow quirk, Christa DelSorbo auditioned for the role of Tarzan’s mom and has the photos to prove she ended up as the only cast member in a literal cast. These days, they keep her stuck in a box with a ball on a stick and only feed her when she reads another chapter of another fabulous book. She loves every minute. Or so they tell her. *eyebrow slowly raises *

More from Christa

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, October 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 18

Texas Book-aholic, October 19

Inklings and notions, October 20

deb’s Book Review, October 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 24

For the Love of Books, October 25

Artistic Nobody, October 26

Sodbuster Living, October 27

For Him and My Family, October 28

Holly’s Book Corner, October 29

Books I’ve Read, October 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Christa is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a code for the audiobook!

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/2200b/the-nutcracker-s-suite-audiobook-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Matchmakers of Holly Circle ~ Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Matchmakers of Holly Circle

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian / Romance / Christmas

Release date: November 21, 2014

They’ve been in love for ten years, but it takes an interfering neighbor with a penchant for poker to unravel the mystery of their persistent platonic relationship.

Flirtation can be an art, or so they say. Well, if so, Ruth and Richard are “the old masters” of the flirting game. Despite their strictly platonic relationship, there’s “something there,” as so many of their friends and families say. Neighbors and friends for ten years, neither seems willing to change the course of their relationship.

Three doors down, at the end of the cul-de-sac, Mason Dickenson has watched his favorite neighbors with an interested eye, but he’s finally had it with the dance. So, with a pack of cards and a few tricks up his sleeve, he’s determined to get them out of the “friend rut” and into romance.

Thanks to Mason’s unique matchmaking scheme, Ruth and Richard concoct one of their own—a deeper, stronger, eternal love and relationship that nothing on earth can match.

Click here to get your copy!

Any time I pick up a book by Chautona Havig, I expect to enjoy it and The Matchmakers of Holly Circle lived up to my expectations. Ruth and Richard have mastered the flirtation game with nothing substantial coming from it. Several houses down, Mason Dickerson has watched his neighbors with interest. He feels the time is right to give the two a little proverbial shove towards one another.

With a mysterious gift-giver adding some mysterious elements, some interfering relatives (what family could be complete without them), and more this book moves along at the perfect pace.

Containing wonderful characters (as I would expect), an interesting storyline (as I would expect) and a bit of intrigue (also as I would expect) this book kept my interest. I wanted to find out how things that apparently went wrong could turn out alright in the end. I found myself unable to put this book down until the very end.

I definitely recommend you 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

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.

More from Chautona

Download a free short story that happens 10 years before the book begins?

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, October 14

She Lives To Read, October 15

Holly’s Book Corner, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 16

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

deb’s Book Review, October 18

Pause for Tales, October 18

Lots of Helpers, October 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 20

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Cover Lover Book Review, October 23

Blogging With Carol, October 24

Simple Harvest Reads, October 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, October 26

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 26

Splashes of Joy, October 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 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/2200a/the-matchmakers-of-holly-circle-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Jeanette’s Gift ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Jeanette’s Gift

Author: Blossom Turner

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: October 11, 2022

This life wasn’t the one she dreamed of, but happily ever afters don’t always come when and how we expect.

At twenty-nine, Jeanette Williams has watched each one of her four sisters marry and start families of their own. It’s hard not to believe God has forgotten the desires of her heart, especially when most people refer to her as Spinster Williams. Without the beautiful children she teaches, life would be unbearably lonely.

When the handsome widower, Theo Wallace, and his six children move into the Shenandoah Valley, every available woman is atwitter—except for Jeanette. She has no such aspirations that someone as plain as her could draw even a smattering of interest.

As life throws this unlikely couple together, Jeanette can’t help but fall in love with Theo’s children and their soul-wrenching plight. Before she knows it, her heart is far more invested than she could’ve ever imagined. And not just with the children, but with their handsome father as well. Is she headed for another heartbreak, or is it possible God had a beautiful plan in the works all along?

Click here to get your copy!

Jeanette’s Gift continues the Christian historical romance series set in the Shenandoah Valley. Having read the previous books in the series, I eagerly anticipated reading Jeanette’s story. Jeanette, a 29-year-old spinster loves children. But being unmarried, she has only the students she teaches to fill that hole in her life.

Enter a handsome widower Theo and his six children, and life as Jeanette knows it is about to change. With typical catty, jealous women in the background, Jeanette’s family and especially her father, set out to help Jeanette realize what a gift she is and what she has to offer.

As Theo’s story comes to light, I loved getting to know him and his children. While I refuse to spoil the ending of this book for anyone, I will say you need to read to the very last page to find out all that happens.

So if you enjoy works of Christian historical fiction that include a heavy dose of God, faith, and family, 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

Blossom Turner is a freelance writer published in Chicken Soup and Kernels of Hope anthologies, former newspaper columnist on health and fitness, an avid blogger and published novelist of the Word Guild semi-finalist Anna’s Secret. However, she has found her home in the writing of historical fiction. The power of love and romance is authentically woven into the Shenandoah Bride Series about five sisters and their love stories. She and her husband, David, have two grown children and live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Read more at blossomturner.com.

More from Blossom

Do You Enjoy Romance That Keeps You Thinking Days Later?

Long before I knew I could write, I loved to read. Being a hopeless romantic I gravitated to all romance stories either contemporary or historical. I soon realized that finding clean fiction but still written with the passion God created us to experience, was hard to find. (Song of Solomon is a good example of the expression of passion and love between a man and woman without being explicit.)

Given the gift of a writing career later in life one thing was for sure…I wanted to write what I like to read. Clean romance does not need to be boring. As each story pours out, I realize that writing historical fiction is my passion. I finally know what I was born to do. The Shenandoah Brides is a series of five sisters and their five love stories. Oct. 11, 2022 is launch day for the final book in the series called Jeanette’s Gift.

Each book has a redeeming theme. Katherine’s Arrangement, set in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, post-civil war, speaks on how to love the way 1 Corinthians encourages, even when marriage (Katherine’s is an arranged marriage) has proven to be very disappointing. The second book Amelia’s Heartsong, situated in Richmond, Virginia illustrates how love transcends the pomp and circumstance of class and money and encourages us to view others the way God does. The third book, Lucinda’s Defender unfolds back in the valley, and speaks of how our greatest mistake does not have to define our future. A message on second chances encourages the soul. The fourth book, Gracie’s Surrender once again set in Richmond, speaks of a life dedicated to the ministry of God helping the underprivileged orphans. Gracie learns that God can upset even our best intentions with a better plan.

However, the message for this fifth book, Jeanette’s Gift, is a subject so near and dear to my heart. Growing up in an environment that tore me down instead of build me up, proved to be invaluable in writing on this subject. The theme of this book—healing from low self-worth—is a topic that many will relate to.

Jeanette suffers from low self-worth and believes God has forgotten her. A very valuable process unfolds with truth and techniques that work today. Jeanette learns to accept that how life unfolds is up to the sovereignty of God, and He can be trusted. She also breathes in the truth of how she is, indeed, fearfully and wonderfully made.

My prayer is that as Jeanette grows toward healing in the story, that any reader suffering in this same way will embrace the steps on how to break this vicious cycle. I know from first-hand experience healing is possible, and I long to get that message out there.

Although this book can easily be read as a stand-alone, enjoying the whole series as the family saga unfolds will deepen the experience.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the write. I love to hear from my readers. Contact me at http://blossomturner.com

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 11

Vicky Sluiter, October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

deb’s Book Review, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 17

Simple Harvest Reads, October 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, October 18

For Him and My Family, October 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 19

Mary Hake, October 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 20

Splashes of Joy, October 21

Pause for Tales, October 22

Holly’s Book Corner, October 22

Christina’s Corner, October 23

“To Every” BOOK “There is a Season”, October 23

Bizwings Blog, October 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Blossom 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/21e09/jeanette-s-gift-celebration-tour-giveaway