Promo for Secrets and Wishes by Kathleen Rouser

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MY THOUGHTS (1)

Secrets and Wishes is a follow-up to Rumors and Promises and deals with making a fresh start after a spouse has died.  Maggie became a widow when her husband died, leaving her to raise their son alone.  Thomas’s wife has died and he is trying to raise their three sons and daughter alone while trying to build the pharmaceutical business Maggie’s husband left behind.

When Maggie’s son and one of Thomas’ sons clash, it causes friction between the two.  Between illness, a beau from the past, and an epidemic, Thomas and Maggie have to learn to work together and attempt to put their hearts back together while trying to hold together their family and their town.  This historical romance set in 1901 shows the challenges that arise from trying to rebuild lives and make a future.  Kathleen Rouser does an excellent job of conveying historical times.

Secret loves

Secrets and Wishes back cover copy:

 

Stone Creek, Michigan, April 1901 — Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper clash after their sons collide in a fistfight. Both widowed, they’re each doing their best as single-parents. Outgoing Maggie has dreams for a home of her own and a business to provide for her son as she searches for God’s path for her life as a widow. Reserved Thomas struggles to establish his new pharmacy and take care of his four rambunctious children while wondering how a loving God could take his beloved wife.

When Thomas becomes deathly ill, Maggie is recruited to nurse him back to health. Taking the children in hand, as well, is more than she bargained for, but she is drawn to help the grieving family. Both nurse and patient find themselves drawn to each other but promptly deny their feelings.

A baking contest sponsored by the Silver Leaf Flour Company brings former beau, Giles Prescott, back into Maggie’s life. When Giles offers Maggie a position at their test kitchen in Chicago, he hints that, along with assuring her a good job, it will allow them to possibly rekindle their relationship.

But then a charlatan comes to town, and tragedy soon follows. Maggie and Thomas discover the miracle potions he hawks aren’t so harmless when an epidemic hits Stone Creek. Thomas and Maggie realize they must work together to save lives.

Maggie finds herself caught up in battles within and without—the battle to help the townsfolk in the midst of illness and chicanery, and the battle to know which man—Thomas or Giles—deserves to win her heart.

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Author Bio and Social Media Links:

Kathleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives.  A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at kathleenrouser.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.

Yoiu can find

Website: kathleenrouser.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kerouser

Facebook Author Page:https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/

Twitter: @KathleenRouser

Pinterest: https:/ /www.pinterest.com/kerouser/

 

 

 

Review and Giveaway for “The Songbird and The Spy”

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About the Book

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Book: The Songbird and the Spy

Author: J’Nell Ciesielski

Genre: Clean historical romance

Release Date: Feb 19, 2019

As shells explode over Nazi-occupied France, American music student Claire Baudin is trapped behind enemy lines, struggling to protect her identity. Singing as a barmaid while she plans her escape, a handsome Third Reich captain threatens everything she knows to be true about the enemy.

Nazi Captain Michael Reiner isn’t who he claims to be. A British language expert turned spy, he discovers the truth about Claire, but he knows the importance of a secret. Struggling to resist his attraction to the songbird, he’s determined to complete his assignment, no matter the cost. His cover is threatened when a ruthless female Gestapo officer arrives hunting Resistance fighters. The raid forces Michael’s hand: complete the mission or save Claire.

As the war threatens to tear them apart, they must rely on each other for survival. Is there hope—and a future—for an American songbird and a British spy?

Click here to purchase your copy!

MY THOUGHTS (1)

The Songbird and The Spy caught my interest from the moment I started reading the book.  I enjoyed every minute of the book, well except for Ilsa.  Claire demonstrates courage, faith, and more throughout the story.  From the beginning of the book when the train crashes until the end of the story, she refuses to give up or lose hope.  Faith plays a major role in this book, even if it is not overtly preached to the reader.

Michael, a British language expert, turned Nazi to spy, proves to be the perfect protector and defender of Claire.  Whether saving her from a local or saving her from Ilsa and other German Nazis, I always knew he would do what was best for everyone concerned.  When faced with a decision about completing his mission or saving Claire, he risks everything to save Clarie.  My only complaint was that the book ended.  I would love to read more about Michael, Claire, and their family and friends.

Claire’s love of and need to perform music comes out in a way that truly brings the story to life.  So if you like World War II or historical fiction, check this book out for yourself.

About the Author

J'nell Ciesielski

Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days creating heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle. Find out more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’nell

The most popular question an author is asked is where did the inspiration come from. Most of the time, if not always, my inspiration comes from a trifecta of resources: movies, music, or books. A single song lyric, or secondary character, or novel setting can trigger a whole world of possibilities that has to be explored. In the case of Songbird and the Spy, it was a movie. A Quentin Tarantino movie to be exact set during WWII where one of the characters is a British officer posing as a Nazi meets up with other spies in a French bar. Another character was a Jewish woman posing as a theater owning Frenchwoman. My brain immediately tingled with ideas. What if identities were all in question? What if you fell in love with the wrong person? Not just the wrong person, but the enemy? The drama and tension in such a situation would be unbelievable!

And that is how Songbird was born.

Here are a few bits of trivia for you:

  • Songbird was originally titled Iron Shepherd for Michael’s call sign.
  • There have been three or four different endings written.
  • Michael Reiner was based off of Michael (see what I did there?!) Fassbender’s character in Inglorious Basterds. The actor was born in Germany to German and Irish parents, and later grew up in Ireland J Art imitating life.
  • Music always makes its way into my stories and here it takes center stage.
  • I’ve always wanted to write a USO story so the ending was my perfect chance to squeeze it in.
  • Ilsa von Ziegler was based off of Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones.
  • There was a scene showing Michael at SOE training in Scotland, but it was later cut.
  • Nazi headquarters in Paris really was located on Foch Ave. The building is still there.
  • The molten lead that Michael’s new assistant talks about is a German New Year’s tradition to divine fortune in the coming year. A small bit of lead or tin is melted, and then dropped in water. The form created by the metal predicts the future.
  • Chanteuse is a female singer. Edith Piaf, the most famous French singer of all, was known as The Little Sparrow. Songbird and chanteuse are both used to reference Claire and pay homage to Piaf.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2

For Him and My FamilyApril 2

Among the Reads, April 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, April 3

Wishful Endings, April 4

Carpe Diem, April 4

Connect in Fiction, April 5

Emily Yager, April 5

Through the Fire Blogs, April 6

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 6

Hallie Reads, April 7

Lis Loves Reading, April 7

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 8

Genesis 5020, April 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 9

Godly Book Reviews, April 9

Stories By GinaApril 10

Maureen’s Musings, April 10

Carla Loves To Read, April 11

Mary Hake, April 11

Inklings and notionsApril 11

Inspired by Fiction, April 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 12

BigreadersiteApril 13

As He Leads is Joy, April 13

Texas Book-aholic, April 14

The Becca Files, April 14

janicesbookreviews, April 15

A Reader’s Brain, April 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away a grand prize of a print copy of Songbird and $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

 

Review and Giveaway for “A Very Austen Valentine”

A Very Austen Valentine FB Cover

About the Book

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Book: A Very Austen Valentine

Author: Robin Helm

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency), Religious and Inspirational

Release Date: December 29, 2018

Six beloved authors deliver romantic Valentine novellas set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite, together with Susan Kaye and Mandy Cook, share variations of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, featuring your favorite characters in sequels, adaptations, and spinoffs of Austen’s adored novels.

Experience uplifting romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and poignant regret as these authors deftly tug on your heartstrings this Valentine’s Day.

I Dream of You by Robin Helm

Newly-married Elizabeth Darcy has a plan: to charm her too-busy husband into desiring her company as much as he did when he was courting her. A series of romantic dreams gives her just the push she needs to put that plan into action.

Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile

Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen’s worst snobs.

My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis

Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will she endure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?

Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite

A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.

My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook

Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her well as she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?

The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye

In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth’s love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers’ Ruse”follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

MY THOUGHTS (1)

A Very Austen Valentine focuses on various characters from Jane Austen’s books and their relationships at Valentine’s Day.  The individual stories are enjoyable to read, and I loved finding out how various characters met the love of their lives. If you like historical fiction, then this is the perfect book for you.

My first and largest complaint about this book is the stories are not placed in order.  Constant jumping forward and backward in time made this book annoying to follow at times.  I wish the stories had been placed in chronological order so it would have been easier to follow.

I think one thing I really enjoyed about the book was the various characters appeared in the various stories so I was able to learn more about them.  So check this book out for yourself.

About the Author

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Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.

Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy (a guardian angel protects a supernaturally gifted girl), the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours (Fitzwilliam Darcy switches places in time with his descendant, Will Darcy), and Understanding Elizabeth (Regency sweet romance).

She contributed to A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1, an anthology featuring like-minded authors, in 2017, and A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2 which was released on December 29, 2018.

New releases for 2019 include More to Love, a standalone historical sweet romance dealing with body image; Lawfully Innocent, a historical U.S. Marshal romance book in the Lawkeepers series; Maestro, a historical sweet romance featuring a brilliant musician and his student; and A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3.

She lives in sunny South Carolina where she teaches piano and adores her one husband, two married daughters, and three grandchildren.

 

More from Robin

Do you love Historical romance, but avoid “those” covers like the plague?

Would you enjoy an anthology featuring six Valentine-themed novellas set in the Regency period written by Christian authors?

In A Very Austen Valentine, stories range from a young wife searching for a way to bring her marriage back to the way it was, to a laugh-out-loud courtship between Jane Austen’s worst snobs.

Misunderstandings, concealed identities, and romance abound.

There is even a sequel featuring the children of the Darcys and the Brandons.

Every reader will find something to love in this wonderful collection.

 

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, March 25

Christian Bookaholic, March 25

Blogging With CarolMarch 26

Britt Reads Fiction, March 26

Reflections from My Bookshelves, March 27

For Him and My Family, March 27

Godly Book Reviews, March 28

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 28

Emily Yager, March 29

Connect in Fiction, March 29

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 30

Moments, March 31

Mary Hake, March 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 1

Pause for Tales, April 1

Creating RomanceApril 2

Book by Book, April 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 4

Texas Book-aholic, April 4

janicesbookreviews, April 5

A Reader’s Brain, April 5

Just the Write Escape, April 6

Inklings and notionsApril 7

The Becca Files, April 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away

Grand Prize: a $50 Amazon gift card
1st Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1
2nd Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 2
3rd Place: A set of three ebooks – Reader’s Choice of any three of my books and
4th Place: a $5 Amazon gift card!!

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

 

Review of “Bring Me Near”

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About the Book

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Title: Bring Me Near

Author: Marguerite Martin Gray

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February, 2019

Publisher: Celebrate Lit Publishing

Louis Lestarjette enters a world of secrets and questionable actions for the Patriot cause.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1775—Louis Lestarjette ventures beyond the confines of family life as patriotic duty compels him to enter the world of secrecy and clandestine maneuvers. When he leaves Charles Town for Philadelphia, he experiences first-hand the drastic demands of time and finances, and possibly his life. He must keep Elizabeth and his daughter safe while remaining faithful to this cause of liberty. One wrong decision might cost him all he has worked for over the last three years.

A new generation of children in Elizabeth Lestarjette’s life demands the successful and safe fulfillment of her role as a Patriot. She wonders if her husband understands her desire to do her part as an active Daughter of Liberty. Although Louis is willing to move the family to the country, the decision falls to Elizabeth regarding whether to remain in Charles Town or escape its borders.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

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Bring Me Near continues the story of Louis Lestarjette and his wife Elizabeth along with their family and friends.  Every book in this series created a desire to read more and find out more about this family.  Now they have an adorable baby daughter Harriett.  More babies are added to the circle both in the family and for their friends as well.

The colonies inch ever closer to an actual war with England and decisions have to be made – such as whether the women in the family should learn to shoot or not so they could defend themselves.

In a very expected twist, George (Elizabeth’s brother) and his wife Victoria refuse to keep their child and once Charlotte is born, Victoria leaves and George decides to leave the baby girl with his mother and father, with his sisters providing assistance.

In the meantime, Sarah (Elizabeth’s best friend struggles to conceive a child of her own.  Once she discovers she is pregnant, she faces a difficult pregnancy and then even more devastating events.  This part of the story moved me to tears.

I found the pace of the book, the details included and the characters fascinating to continue reading about.  I would recommend reading all the books in order so you get the full spectrum of the story.

If you are a history fan or just a lover of really good books, check this one out for yourself.  I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close, Surround Me, and Bring Me Near– Revolutionary Faith Books One, Two and Three. She enjoys studying history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches high school Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and an MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Marguerite is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Abilene Writers Guild, Daughters of the American Revolution, South Carolina Historical Society, and Preservation Society of Charleston. She currently lives in North Louisiana with her husband.

 

More from Marguerite

I am very excited about the release of Bring Me Near. Thank you for joining me in its debut.

My writing journey began with reading as a child in elementary school. I lived in England for a few years where I bought and read loads of books on horses, history, and mystery. While in that unique environment, my parents took us to explore castles, old houses, churches, and cemeteries. The love of history sprouted and grew (I blame it all on my father)!

My love of reading never diminished, but it continued to expand my world. I still devour books (much to my husband’s and my bookcases’ chagrin), mostly historical Christian fiction, though I have some favorite contemporary novels and authors

In my Revolutionary Faith Series, I combine my love of travel, research, history, and writing. I researched my family history originating in Charleston, South Carolina and walked in the footsteps of my 1770s ancestors (I even found my ancestors’ house for sale!) I asked questions about what they would have done during the American Revolution? What did they eat and wear? Were they fearful? Faithful? Courageous? Where did they worship?

My motto in writing is Entertain. Educate. Encourage. I entertain through the elements of fiction by making the characters in my imagination come alive on the page. I educate by presenting a historical period and even after countless hours of research. I encourage by giving a Christian world view where the characters grow and develop through their challenges.

Please join me on this journey by following me at www.margueritemartingray.blog.

Blessings,

Marguerite

 

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, February 28

Back Porch ReadsMarch 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

Maureen’s Musings, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 4

Through the Fire Blogs, March 5

For the Love of Literature, March 6

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 7

Texas Book-aholicMarch 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Janices book reviewsMarch 10

Carpe Diem, March 11

A Baker’s Perspective, March 12

BigreadersiteMarch 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away

Grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card
1st place winner will receive eBooks of the entire series

and
2nd – 4th place winners will receive an eBook copy of Bring Me Near!!

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

 

Review and Giveaway for On the Rails

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About the Book

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Title: On the Rails

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: February 6, 2017

Warren, Ohio, 1910: Katherine Newman loves being a teacher, but she loves Henry Jorgensen more, which is why she’s willing to give up her job to marry him. But instead of proposing, Henry breaks up with her. Devastated, Katherine seeks to escape the probing eyes and wagging tongues of her small town. A former Harvey Girl, Katherine’s mother arranges for Katherine to be hired at the Williams, Arizona Harvey House. Can she carve out a new life in the stark desert land unlike anything she’s ever known?

Henry Jorgensen loves Katherine with all his heart, but as the eldest son of a poor farmer can he provide for her as she deserves? The family’s lien holder calls in the mortgage, and Henry must set aside his own desires in order to help his parents meet their financial obligation. But when Katherine leaves town after their break up, he realizes he’s made the biggest mistake of his life. Can he find her and convince her to give their love a second chance?

Click here to grab your copy!

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For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of the musical, The Harvey Girls – starring Judy Garland and Angela Lansbury. So anytime I get the opportunity to read a book chronicles the tales and adventures of the Harvey Girls, I am ready to read. This was the case for the book, On the Rails. The story starts off like many stories do with a girl in love with a boy, and she believes and anticipates him asking her to marry him.

Unfortunately, on the night Katherine Newman believes Henry is going to propose to her, he instead tells her he no longer wants to court her. Totally devastated, Katherine is encouraged by her mother, a former Harvey Girl, to take a position at a Harvey House in Williams, Arizona. Her mother feels Katherine needs to get away from the prying eyes and wagging tongues of their small town. While all this is going on, we are giving small insights into the world of Henry, his family, and his family’s circumstances. These brief insights provide an abundance of information about Henry and his family.

Katherine leaves home and everything familiar to cross the country to her new job. She quickly settles in and makes friends with her roommate. When circumstances cause the Head Waitress to leave, Katherine is promoted to Head Waitress. Imagine her surprise when her former intended’s sister winds up in Williams, Arizona as well to work at the same Harvey House. At first, Katherine has a hard time dealing with this new twist. One of my favorite parts of the book is when the two girls accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

Then through more twists and turns, Katherine’s family come to know Jesus Christ as well. Finally, in the largest plot twist, Katherine and Henry find themselves together again and wind up actually getting married.

I loved how the book was not a simple romance story, but instead told the struggles and experiences that lead to the two finally coming to know the Lord individually before coming together to become one.

So if you love historical fiction and/or want to find out more about the Harvey Girls and their way of life, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

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Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her live. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

Guest Post from Linda

My husband and I were fortunate to be able to take a trip to Arizona several years ago. Having been born and raised on the east coast, I was enamored with the distinctive beauty of the state, from the saguaro cacti of Phoenix and red rocks of Sedona to the volcanic landscape of Flagstaff and multi-colored bands of the Grand Canyon.

But what intrigued me just as much as the area’s beauty were the stories about the women who migrated to the state to work for the Fred Harvey Company. Upon our arrival at the Grand Canyon we came upon the El Tovar Hotel, one of the few remaining Harvey Houses. We were given a bit of literature explaining the history of Mr. Harvey and his restaurants, and the more I read, the more I wanted to know.

As it turns in the late 1800s, food was not available to travelers riding the railroad lines, so when the trains made extended stops, passengers would get off and eat at the restaurants located near the stations. From all reports, the dining experience was sketchy at best, with frequent stories of indigestion and food poisoning.

Enter English immigrant and restauranteur, Fred Harvey. Securing a contract with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, he began with two facilities. However, finding reliable employees proved to be difficult. A high percentage of the employees (all men) would use their paycheck to purchase liquor and then did not return to work for several days. At his wits end, Fred decided to hire women to act as his waitresses, but the concept was a tough sell. The only women in the hospitality industry worked in saloons and had scandalous reputations.

Fred set up dormitories overseen by a House Mothers and implemented a set of rules that included curfews, restrictions on dating, and dress codes. He ran advertisements in the large east coast newspapers. It was not long before candidates came knocking. The reasons they gave for wanting to be a Harvey Girl were as diverse as the girls. Some were looking for adventure, others needed to help fill the family coffers, while a number of them needed to get out of difficult situations ranging from domestic abuse to failed engagements.

Thanks to Fred and his restaurants, most of the 100,000 Harvey Girls found financial stability, confidence, happiness, and/or love. It is my hope that On The Rails commemorates these gals and their intrepid spirits.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, January 31

Blossoms and Blessings, February 1

Mary Hake, February 1

Bibliophile ReviewsFebruary 2

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Connie’s History Classroom, February 4

Janices book reviewsFebruary 5

The Mimosa Blossom, February 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 7

A Baker’s Perspective, February 8

Moments, February 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 9

Vicky Sluiter, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 11

Carpe Diem, February 11

Godly Book Reviews, February 12

margaret kazmierczak, February 12 (Interview)

Maureen’s Musings, February 13

BigreadersiteFebruary 13

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8a4/on-the-rails-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Review and Giveaway for Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano

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About the Book

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Title: Flights of Fancy

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age

Release date: January 1, 2019

Publisher: Bethany House

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

Click here to order your copy!

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Some historical fiction books manage to capture the flavor of the time period as well as what it truly was like to live during that period, and Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano is one of those books.  From the very beginning, I was able to relate to the difficulties Isadora Delafield, as an heiress had to endure.  Having to escape from a marriage to an older “not-so gentelmanly” gentleman, arranged by her mother caused me to root for her to escape. Hester Delafield represents everything negative about wealthy, domineering, and controlling mothers who only want to increase their own power and prestige rather than being motherly in the slightest.

When Isadora Delafield escapes to Pennsylvania, she is able to find out who she really is and what she is capable of, despite her privileged background.  When she becomes the housekeeper for Ian MacKenzie’s adopted parents, neither of them expect to find the other interesting, which reminds me of when my husband and I met many years ago.  But sometimes those encounters lead to the best conclusions.

Mysterious incidents, four children and more add to the dynamics of this story.  I found the book well-written, the characters intriguing and the storyline believable.  So check this book out for yourself.

About the Author

Jen Turano

One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

Guest post from Jen

Q & A With Jen Turano

“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series?

The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief.

How do you come up with the names of your characters?

I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board.

How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies?

Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be.

What are some of your favorite resources for historical research?

I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr.

The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that?

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters.

You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?”

Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job!

All the best,

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

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The Becca Files, January 13

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Rebekah’s Quill, January 14

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D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15

Just the Write Escape, January 15

Stories By Gina, January 15

God’s Little Bookworm, January 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 16

Splashes of JoyJanuary 16

Janices book reviews, January 16

Happily Managing A Household of Boys, January 17

Mary Hake, January 17

Maureen’s Musings, January 17

Bibliophile Reviews, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

Baker Kella, January 18

Simple Harvest ReadsJanuary 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19

Captive Dreams Window, January 19

Robin is Bookish, January 19

Carpe Diem, January 19

Have A Wonderful DayJanuary 20

Life with the Tribe, January 20

Inklings and NotionsJanuary 20

Rachel’s Back Talk, January 21

Inspiration Clothesline, January 21

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A Baker’s Perspective, January 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 22

Pause for Tales, January 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 22

Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 23

Live Love Read, January 23

A Rup Life, January 23

Bigreadersite, January 2

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!

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/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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