A Winter at the White Queen

A Winter at the White Queen by Denise Weimer is book one of the Romance of the Gilded Age Resorts Series. It is a Christian historical romance set in the time period between the Gilded Age and World War I. 

This is the story of Ellie Hastings. Ellie is tasked with finding a husband for her also single cousin, Ada. Their family goes to a luxurious Florida resort for vacation. Ellie 

meets handsome and charming Lewis Thornton and begins writing a list of his qualities. A friendship develops and Ellie might just be smitten. However, she wonders if Lewis is hiding some secrets.

The characters are realistic and very entertaining. I was immediately invested in the story and their lives. At times I did not think Ellie made the best choices and cringed, but I still loved her. The setting was magnificent! I loved reading about the resort.

Author Weimar obviously did a vast amount of research on the area and time period. I learned some things, which is a great bonus when reading historical fiction. Her style of writing is just lovely. There are facts to give little tidbits of knowledge, well rounded characters, and timeless life and inspirational lessons. The story contains romance, mystery, danger, and adventure. I loved the twists and turns, too.

I highly recommend this book that lingers in my thoughts still. It was a pleasant getaway to a different time and place for me. I give it a five star rating. A copy was provided by CelebrateLit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: A Winter at the White Queen

Author: Denise Weimer

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: January 3, 2023

In the world of the wealthy, things are never quite as they appear.

Ellie Hastings is tired of playing social gatekeeper—and poor-relation companion—to her Gibson Girl of a cousin. But her aunt insists Ellie lift her nose out of her detective novel long enough to help gauge the eligibility of bachelors during the winter social season at Florida’s Hotel Belleview. She finds plenty that’s mysterious about the suave, aloof Philadelphia inventor, Lewis Thornton. Why does he keep sneaking around the hotel? Does he have a secret sweetheart? And what is his connection to the evasive Mr. Gaspachi, slated to perform at Washington’s Birthday Ball?

Ellie’s comical sleuthing ought to put Lewis out, but the diffident way her family treats her smashes a hole in his normal reserve. When Florence Hastings’s diamond necklace goes missing, Ellie’s keen mind threatens to uncover not only Lewis’s secrets, but give him back hope for love.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

North Georgia native Denise Weimer has authored a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas—historical and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and time slip. Having served three years as managing editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ two historical imprints, as well as a freelance editor, she’s helped other authors reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.

More from Denise

Enter the Age of Wonder …    

I like to think of the time period between the Gilded Age and WWI as the Age of Wonder. New ideas and inventions swept society in waves while those who wanted to preserve the old ways tried in vain to hold back the tide. Opportunity and advancement flowed as railroads and communications linked America’s coasts, motorcars allowed individual freedom of travel, and companies flourished following Reconstruction.

My goal was to capture this excitement and promise in A Winter at the White Queen. You follow my heroine, Ellie, and her uncle and his family for their fashionable winter 1910 season at the Hotel Belleview in Clearwater, Florida. Ellie is more than “the poor relation companion” to her younger cousin Ava. She’s also a trusted friend, and like the heroines in her female detective novels, a budding sleuth—sniffing out promising matrimonial candidates for Ava at the bequest of Aunt Florence. Little does she expect to stumble into her own romance—and a mystery surrounding a certain intriguing entrepreneur.

Ellie Hastings is tired of playing social gatekeeper—and poor-relation companion—to her Gibson Girl of a cousin. But her aunt insists Ellie lift her nose out of her detective novel long enough to help gauge the eligibility of bachelors during the winter social season at Florida’s Hotel Belleview. She finds plenty that’s mysterious about the suave, aloof Philadelphia inventor, Lewis Thornton. Why does he keep sneaking around the hotel? Does he have a secret sweetheart? And what is his connection to the evasive Mr. Gaspachi, slated to perform at Washington’s Birthday Ball?

Ellie’s comical sleuthing ought to put Lewis out, but the diffident way her family treats her smashes a hole in his normal reserve. But when Florence Hastings’ diamond necklace goes missing, Ellie’s keen mind threatens to uncover not only Lewis’s secrets, but give him back hope for love. 

Lewis’s work allowed me to sprinkle White Queen with clever inventions that spark Ellie’s curious nature. Among them are:

Temperature-compensated balance wheels, which Lewis invented as a teen. The backstory of how he sold his invention to the railroad, allowing them to synchronize all their watches, provides an unexpected link to uncover between Lewis and Ellie.

The cinématographe, patterned after Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope but intended by the Lumière brothers to show films to a wider audience. Used in the show at Washington’s Birthday Ball to end the season, the cinématographe aids in the culmination of the mystery of Florence’s missing diamond necklace.

The magical orange tree, which not only blossomed but appeared to grow actual oranges, was a real mechanical invention featured at Ava’s birthday party by The Great Gaspachi.

The Hydro-Vacu. I couldn’t resist including this titter-worthy, real-life machine, used, of course, by the appearance-conscious Aunt Florence. After applying a bleaching cold cream or “tissue food” to ensure plump cheeks, the massaging “Depurator” was rotated slowly over the face. How long until that idea makes a comeback?

As fun and whimsical as A Winter at the White Queen may be, our characters have some real growth to do … if they can get past the social expectations and masks, the suspicions and past hurts. I hope you’ll brighten your winter days by joining them at the White Queen.

Blog Stops

Book Looks by Lisa, January 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 20

An Author’s Take, January 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 21

deb’s Book Review, January 22

Christina’s Corner, January 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 23

Connie’s History Classroom, January 24

Betti Mace, January 25

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 25

Texas Book-aholic, January 26

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, January 26

Bigreadersite, January 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 27

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

Mary Hake, January 28

Cover Lover Book Review, January 29

Holly’s Book Corner, January 29

Rebecca Tews, January 30

Blogging With Carol, January 30

Back Porch Reads, January 31

Simple Harvest Reads, January 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, February 1

Blossoms and Blessings, February 1

Pause for Tales, February 2

To Everything There Is A Season, February 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Denise 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/23bc4/a-winter-at-the-white-queen-celebration-tour-giveaway

Her Heart’s Desire

Her Heart’s Desire by author Shelley Shepard Gray is the first book in her new series, A Season in Pinecraft. This is a contemporary Amish Christian fiction book that is delightful. I was quickly invested in the story and the lives of the characters.

This is the tale of some young people individually going to Pinecraft, Florida for a winter vacation. Mary Margaret Miller eagerly takes the bus by herself from Trail, Ohio for a Florida excursion. Her bus made an emergency stop in Georgia placing Mary with two other Amish girls, Betsy and Lilly, in a hotel room. The girls become fast friends.

They meet two Amish men and sparks begin to fly. All of them are staying at the same Bed and Breakfast. A fourth girl happens to come to Pinecraft and has history with Mary Margaret. Will this cause trouble? What happens when the vacation is over as two couples are dating?

This is a sweet story that has themes of faith, hope, trust, and forgiveness. The characters are likable and realistic. Their conversations were true to the Amish. I loved the innkeeper. She was so lovable and a great mentor to those staying at her place. After the story, there is a sample from the next book in the series.

This was an enjoyable read, but it was different than most Amish books that I’ve read. I don’t recall reading a book where the young people were on vacation far from home. While I did like the story, I did miss the everyday family life. The author did an exemplary job whisking me away to Florida and the Amish community there. It was almost like being there myself.

I highly recommend this book and new series to anyone. There is so much to love about it. It gets a five out of five star rating from me. A copy was provided, but these are my honest words.

About the Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author. She’s published over a hundred novels and has over a million books in print. She currently lives in northern Ohio and writes full time.

Shelley lives just an hour from Holmes County, where many of her Amish-themed novels are set. She currently writes contemporary romance and Amish fiction for a variety of publishers. When not spending time with her family or writing, she can usually be found walking her two dachshunds on one of the many trails in the Cleveland area.

She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com to find out her latest news or to sign up for her newsletter. Shelley can also be found on FaceBook, Instagram @shelley.s.gray, or on Twitter @ShelleySGray.

Book 2, Her Only Wish

The Two-Cent Piece

The Two-Cent Piece by author Dennis Conrad is a lovely Christian children’s fiction book. The story is rich in history and very interesting. There are beautiful illustrated by Courtney Smith throughout the book to help children visualize the unique story. I loved it!

This is set during the Civil War, but there are no battle scenes. It is the story of young sister, Anne, whose brothers go off to join the Union Army. She has some two-cent pieces that she shares with them because they are the first coins with the “In God We Trust” inscription.

The book has lessons of trusting God, hope, love, sharing, and joy. I learned about coins, too. It is the first in a series, and I am looking forward to the others. I highly recommend this book. It would be great for children. Adults will enjoy learning about the two-cent coin as they read it. It gets a well-deserved five star rating from me. A copy was provided by CelebrateLit, but these are my own words.

About the Book

Book: The Two-Cent Piece

Author: Dennis Conrad (Illustrated by Courtney Smith)

Genre: Children’s Picture Book (Fiction)

Release date: September 3, 2022

Anne wonders what secret her three older brothers are hiding. When she finds out they joined to fight with the Union Army and would leave the next day, she gives them each one of her favorite two-cent pieces and says, “I want you to take one of my new two-cent pieces. I learned these coins are the first to have the words ‘In God We Trust.’ I just memorized Psalm 91:2. ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’”

Out of a heart of love, Anne gives six of her special coins away hoping the message on the two-cent pieces will strengthen each person’s faith.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

A former coin collector for over fifty years, Denniscombines his love for the Bible, children’s literature, and sharing stories about the history behind coins.

He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a Fellow of the National Writing Project.

He retired as a professor of Speech Communications from Barstow Community College. He and his wife served as English and public speaking teachers ten summers overseas.

The Two-Cent Piece is Dennis’s first of seven books in the In God We Trust Series from Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

More from Dennis

HOMESCHOOLERS, TEACHERS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS – 

Coin collecting brings together history, art, and the thrill of discovery.

Children who collect coins will LOOK at coins differently. They can…

Look for people. For example, who is on the nickel? (Hint: Thomas Jefferson)

The new quarters featuring women include coins with Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star; Nina Otero-Warren, who advocated for women’s suffrage and was a government official in New Mexico; and Wilma Mankiller, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Look for places. The state quarter series includes all of the states like California with Yosemite Valley.

Look for dates. Connect coins to historical events. For example, coins minted in 2001 were minted the same year as the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001.

Look at coins as art. The people who design coins are artists.

Look for and find coins in change. Let the great adventure begin.

Look and learn why some coins are more valuable than other coins. There is a difference between the face value of a coin (a dime is worth ten cents), and its value to collectors.

Are you a homeschooler, a teacher, or a family member who wants to help children start their first coin collection?

Get Free Resources about coin collecting by conveniently subscribing to Dennis Conrad’s newsletter.

You will receive a link to my resource page, where you will find two free resources. One for ages 5-6 year olds, and another for ages 7 and up. Or you can choose both. Let the fun begin! https://dennisconradauthor.com/coincollecting5/

Blog Stops

Lots of Helpers, January 18

Girls in White Dresses, January 18

Library Lady’s kid Lit, January 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 20

For Him and My Family, January 20

Cover Lover Book Review, January 21

A Reader’s Brain, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 25

deb’s Book Review, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 28

Labor Not in Vain, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Lights in a Dark World, January 30

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, January 31

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Dennis is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a hardcover copy of The Two-Cent Piece!!

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/23bc2/the-two-cent-piece-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Letter

The Letter by author Edwina Kiernan is the first book in her Victorian Virtues Series. This Christian historical series is set after her book, Ruby’s Redemption. It is a beautiful book of new beginnings.

It is 1840’s Victorian England and Grace Stratton wishes to spread her wings. With the only choices being a nanny or companion, she decides to become a companion to elderly Miss Withers. Grace is a lovely, caring young woman. Miss Withers is a woman of faith and a genuine jewel. She is a source of biblical advice for Grace. Their relationship was absolutely beautiful.

Dr. David Carbury is a London physician and Ms. Withers’ nephew whom she has not seen in years. Dr. Carbury experiences misfortune and escapes London by going to visit his aunt. There is a big twist though.

I was captivated by the story and engaging writing style of the author. The characters were brilliantly constructed and were convincing. There were many twists and turns to keep me turning pages. The Christian element was inspiring.

I would recommend this and gave it a 4 star rating. It would make a nice reading group selection. A copy was provided by CelebrateLit Lit but these are my honest words.

elebrate Lit Team

A dedicated site to the Celebrate Lit Team

Celebrate Lit Team

The Letter Kick-Off Package

About the Book

Book: The Letter

Author: Edwina Kiernan

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2022

She wants a new life.

He’s in danger of losing his. 

Will love solve everything — or immerse them in even worse peril? 

Restless and ready for a change, Grace Stratton gladly accepts the opportunity to leave her remote parsonage home to serve as a wealthy spinster’s companion in the idyllic country town of Lindenfell. Its warm atmosphere and friendly inhabitants sooth Grace’s lonely heart. But when a mysterious stranger arrives, she soon discovers things aren’t always what they seem.

Convinced chloroform will revolutionise the medical world, Dr. David Carbury frequently administers it to his London patients — until one of them dies. Facing a grave trial to prove his innocence and defend a drug most people view as poisonous, he makes hasty plans to buy time to bolster his case. But he wasn’t expecting to face an even deadlier challenge.

As attraction sparks not long after they meet, Grace soon suspects he’s hiding something, and David knows he can’t run from the truth forever.

But neither of them could imagine the sinister threat lurking just around the corner…

Immersed in faith and intrigue, this Christian Victorian romance from award-winning author Edwina Kiernan will encourage and delight you long after you turn the last page.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Edwina Kiernan is the Christian author of the award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption.

An enthusiast of classic novels and history, Edwina combines her faith, imagination and research to create hope-infused tales set in times past.

A lifelong word admirer, with Welsh and Irish heritage, she started writing stories early in childhood.

She is a committed follower of Jesus (the Living Word), and endeavours to use her pen to point others to Him.

More from Edwina

Have you ever wished you could travel back in time to a place where quaint buildings are bathed with a golden glow in the afternoon light, where the people are polite and respectful, and where the pace of living allows your soul to breathe and just… be?

In that case…

Welcome to Lindenfell!

The Letter introduces us to Grace Stratton (daughter of the hero & heroine from my award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption), who accepts a position as a lady’s companion in a place she’s never been before, but where she’ll soon discover a whole new world.

“The air in Lindenfell had a scent of its own — one of warmth and peace. Of hope.”

Lord-willing, the Victorian Virtues series will have nine books, each based on an aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit, and each exploring the historical events and everyday realities that change and challenge eighteen main characters and nine blossoming romances.

Friends and foes, tragedies and triumphs, hopes and heartaches — the best and worst of life, all in one fictional market town in Victorian England.

It is my deepest hope that, as you travel to Lindenfell in each book of the series, you’ll find the truth and hope you need to navigate your own trials and triumphs, and discover that the refreshment your soul longs for is already available to you, wherever you may be.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 14

Simple Harvest Reads, January 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Blogging With Carol, January 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 16

For Him and My Family, January 17

Cover Lover Book Review, January 17

Texas Book-aholic, January 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 19

Holly’s Book Corner, January 20

deb’s Book Review, January 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 22

Mary Hake, January 23

Connie’s History Classroom, January 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 24

Melissa’s Bookshelf, January 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Book looks by Lisa, January 2

The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem

“The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem” by author Kurt Brouwer is an interesting Biblical historical fiction novel. The information presented provided me with much to ponder. I was engaged in the story immediately.

The book is set in 62 AD Jerusalem and tells the proposed story of John after Jesus’ death. John was the last of Jesus’ disciples to die. This gives readers an in-depth look into John and what might have been his thoughts.

The author did an abundance of research, which is evident by his detailed book. He brought the characters to life with his vivid script. A few times I had to remind myself this was a fictional account and not actual. His style was easy to read and quickly drew me in.

It was an emotional story for me. There were conflicts, dangers, struggles, and trials as well as faith and triumph. It was biblically based but more was added. One of the ideas I found intriguing was the idea that John was Jesus’ cousin.

I recommend this for everyone. It will bring the people of the Bible to life and have readers reaching for their own Bible. This would make an interesting book club choice. It gets a 4 out of 5 star rating from me. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem

Author: Kurt Brouwer

Genre:Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: November 18, 2022

He was the Beloved Disciple…

…and he would be the last.

The mantle to tell the whole story has fallen on him.

From the cross, Jesus entrusted John, the youngest disciple, with the welfare of Mary, Jesus’s mother. Over thirty years later, as Jerusalem becomes a cauldron of explosive tempers, he receives a calling he doesn’t want.

Will he listen and follow?

And if he does, will it be too late?

In 62 AD, the Jewish high priest executes James, the brother of Jesus, triggering a bitter fight for power in Jerusalem that shatters the quiet life of John. The Jewish people he loves are making dangerous choices that will change the land of Israel forever.

Should he stay in Jerusalem and help hold off the Roman onslaught? Or is it time to reach out to those beyond Israel’s borders?

If he chooses to leave, what will be his message to these foreign believers? What new words of comfort could he possibly share?

Set against a backdrop of actual events, The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem is the first novel in a new series based on the Bible and Christian history.

Follow along while John faces multiple crises and comes to understand what it is to stand alone and lean on only the Lord.

Your heart will embrace The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem because John’s story is the story of our hope and promise.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kurt is a Christian writer, living in Hawaii. A few years ago he did a study at his church on the Apostle John. That little project got him hooked on the man who started out life as a fisherman and then became a disciple of Christ.

The more he learned, the more he wanted to know. What did John do after the Crucifixion? Why did he wait so long to write the Gospel of John? Where did he live for the last 60 years of his life? This historical novel came out of the research he did to answer those questions.

He started a blog (KurtBrouwer.com) a few years ago. On it he has written over 100 blog posts and a few Christian booklets.

Now he’s working on Book Two in this series. The Last Disciple: Escape to Antioch takes up where Book One ends. The Last Disciple is a Christian historical novel that introduces you to John, the last disciple of Christ.

More from Kurt

About 85 AD, more than fifty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of John struck the Christian world like a lightning bolt out of a clear blue sky. At that time, few Christians even knew that one of the disciples yet lived. After all the years, decades even, a new book of the Bible came out, written by the last disciple of Christ.

WHO WAS THE LAST DISCIPLE?

John the son of Zebedee walked with Jesus during his ministry on earth. He witnessed the Crucifixion and later entered the empty tomb after Jesus rose from the grave.

John, the youngest of the disciples, outlived all the others. In fact, John, the last disciple of Christ, lived for more than 60 years after Jesus died on the Cross. But who was he? And what did he do all those years? Where did he live? With whom? What do we know of him and his life?

THE YOUNGEST DISCIPLE…

John walked with Jesus when he was young, probably a teenager or very early 20s. He and Andrew were the first discples of Christ. John lived so long that he became the last disciple too.

A FEW DETAILS ABOUT JOHN

He was:

  • The son of Zebedee, his father, and Salome, his mother
  • Brother to the disciple James
  • Possibly a cousin to Jesus through his mother
  • A fisherman on the Sea of Galilee
  • He and his brother James were friends and even fishing buddies with Peter and his brother Andrew
  • Almost certainly the youngest of the 12 disciples

I GOT HOOKED (PUN INTENDED) ON JOHN EARLY ONE MORNING

One morning I read a short piece from BibleGateway.com by Jonathan Petersen, When Was Each Book of the Bible Written? In it, Petersen gave the approximate dates when all the New Testament books came out. The first, written by James the brother of Jesus, came out around 44 AD or as late as 49 AD. The most widely accepted year for the Crucifixion is 33 AD, so the first book did not come out for at least 11 years after Christ died.

The next New Testament book to come out was Paul’s letter to the Galatians, around 49 AD. After that came the gospels of Mark and Matthew. Other books such as Luke, Acts, and all of Paul’s letters came along in fairly short order. Peter’s two letters came out and then the book of Jude, about 68-70 AD. Then, for at least 10-20 years, no new Bible books came out.

The silence was broken

Finally, the silence was broken. After all the years, decades even, the words of one who walked with Jesus came forth. The Gospel of John came out written by a man who saw the empty tomb after Jesus rose. A man who would write five books of the Bible:

  • The Gospel of John 80-90 AD
  • The Letters or Epistles of John 90-95 AD
  • The Book of Revelation 95-98 AD

A UNIQUE VOICE CAME FORTH

As John’s gospel spread from church to church, a unique voice came forth. What a miracle that must have been to first century Christians when the Gospel of John appeared!

That’s it for now. We will continue with more in future posts on the saga of the last disciple of Christ. If you can’t wait, watch the video above.

Yours in Christ, Kurt

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 4

Lots of Helpers, January 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 6

Lily’s Book Reviews, January 7

Cover Lover Book Review, January 8

deb’s Book Review, January 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 11

Texas Book-aholic, January 12

Connie’s History Classroom, January 13

Bizwings Blog, January 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 15

Mary Hake, January 15

Lights in a Dark World, January 16

Blogging With Carol, January 17

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Kurt is giving away the grad 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/2363e/the-last-disciple-crisis-in-jerusalem-celebration-tour-giveaway

A New Year and a Better Person

It is difficult to believe that 2023 is here. Right? When I was a child any year beginning with 20 sounded so futuristic. Every year I had known started with 19. Now here we are getting close to a quarter of a century in the 2000s. Wow!

Are you satisfied with how you lived your life in 2022? If you are like me, your mind is     whirling with ideas of things you want to do differently or change this year. What are your goals to change yourself? I’m not talking physically, but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. 

After taking inventory of last year, I want to be more positive and put grief to rest. Our family has had some jarring heartaches from the loss of beloved family members over the past few years. Instead of dwelling on what I’ve lost by those sweet people being gone, I’ve decided to focus on what they’ve gained instead. They were all Christians are gained a life of no more tears, or pain, and no more suffering. Now, their life is in Heaven. Praise God!

When I think about how much I am missing one of those precious family members, I will smile instead of cry. Knowing that my family is now together in perfect harmony with Jesus is what makes me extremely happy. My mind’s eye will see them healthy and joyful. 

Another thing that I am consciously changing is to mend any fractured relationships. For whatever reason the relationship is not whole or flourishing, I am taking responsibility and plan to make it better. A Bible study that I am doing pinpoints six reasons that cause strife or challenges in relationships. They are: (1) a failure to forgive or apologize, (2) criticism, (3) gossip, (4) deception, (5) a lack of inclusion, and (6) a failure to accept differences. Anyone nodding their head? Raise your hand if you have done or been the recipient of any one of these six. Yep, me, too.

Scripture tells that the best place to begin is with ourselves. Before we criticize someone, we need to take a look at our actions first. Are we nitpicking something when in fact we have done the same thing to a greater extent?

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”(Matthew 7:2–5)

In order for me to accomplish making myself better I will need help. Help from family and friends is wonderful, but I need help from Jesus with Him, I can do all things. His guidance will keep me doing what I should and uphold my spirit. I will feel better all around just knowing that He is with me.

What about you? I would love to hear what you are working on to make you a better YOU in 2023. Do you need prayer support? I would be honored to include you in my daily prayers. Just send me a note.

It is my sincere prayer that you will achieve great things in 2023 with the help of Jesus, our Savior. May God bless you indeed!

Beneath His Silence

Beneath His Silence by author Hannah Linder is a Christian historical fiction. This debut piece by Ms. Linder is a gothic murder mystery romance that starts off so interesting that I was easily invested in the story and characters.

This is the story of Ella, an independent minded young lady that is not afraid of adventure. She has a story that is encouraging. Ella sneaks away to hopefully avenge her sisters death, but gets the feeling that  something is somehow off.

The story is well researched, well organized, and so well written. I had no trouble following it. The author took me to 1814 in Devonshire with her vivid descriptions and dialogue. I enjoyed the dual POV, which is not always the case. In this novel, however, it is extremely nice.

One of my pet peeves when reading Christian fiction is when the inspirational or spiritual part is diluted or difficult to find. I was thrilled to see that God was not lightly sprinkled into the plot. The author offered lessons of hope, faith, and forgiveness in her novel. The romance is beautiful.

I highly recommend this lovely novel. The mystery will keep you on your toes as will a few twists. It is absolutely intriguing. Fans of Regency will be in love with this fabulous book. It would make a great book club selection with so many things to discuss. I give this a 4 out of 5 star rating. A copy was provided by CelebrateLit Lit but these are my own words.

About the Book

Book: Beneath His Silence

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: November, 2022

Will Seeking Justice Lead to Her Own Demise?

A Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author

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

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

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

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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

More from Hannah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 28

Texas Book-aholic, November 29

To Everything There Is A Season, November 29

Where Faith And Books Meet, November 30

Inklings and notions, November 30

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 30

Book Looks by Lisa, December 1

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Betti Mace, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Remembrancy, December 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 4

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 5

Rebecca Tews, December 6

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

Blogging With Carol, December 7

For Him and My Family, December 7

Through the Fire Blogs, December 8

Holly’s Book Corner, December 8

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

Bizwings Blog, December 9

Melissa’s Bookshelf, December 9

Pause for Tales, December 10

Cover Lover Book Review, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Labor Not in Vain, December 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Hannah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/22ccf/beneath-his-silence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Stay With Me, Book 3, Waters of Time

Stay with me by best selling author Jody Hedlund is book three in her Waters of Time Series. This is a Christian Time Travel historical novel. Each book in the series is captivating and better than the last one.

Author Hedlund makes a plausible case for the catalyst in her time travel story. Her books are well researched, organized, besides being extremely well written. I sat down with the book to read a couple of chapters and instead read until I had finished the entire thing. I was so invested in the story, characters, and adventure.

This is the story of Sybil, a modern day strong, capable, woman that travels back to 1382 medieval England in hopes of retrieving more liquid needed to heal and time travel. The medieval man she meets is the swoon-worthy Nicholas. He is physically and morally amazing. A tough warrior that protects others, especially women, and is respectful. His story is a bit on the sad side, but he manages just fine. 

The chemistry between these two characters scorches the pages. From their first meeting it was obvious there was a big spark. The author never crosses the line for Christian and even includes a life lesson on purity. Brava!

There is so much to love about and learn from this book. I highly recommend it and give it a 5 star rating. A copy was provided by the publisher, but these are my honest words. 

Happy Thanksgiving to You

Thanksgiving is a great holiday. Don’t you agree? It is a time to reflect on what we have and to be grateful for it. Scrumptious dishes are made to serve along side a turkey or ham, maybe both. Friends and family gather around the table for food, fellowship, and fun.

In our family on my sweet mother’s side, we all flock to my sister’s home. The lunch headcount is between forty and fifty. Mother is the only surviving sibling of four. There are eleven cousins with children of their own. Many have grandchildren. Hugs abound as well as remembrances of those gone to Glory. Tales of the past are told.

Lunch is a bounty of dishes brought in by each family. It is a better buffet than may be found at any restaurant. Turkey, dressing, glazed ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli, mac & cheese, asparagus, corn, green beans, peas, and rolls. The salads are just as lengthy, and the desserts, oh my!
The desserts are scandalous, but absolutely yummy. Before we eat, we form a large circle and say a prayer of thanks for not just the food, but our family and Jesus. It is then I miss my husband the most as I realize his hand is no longer here to hold.

Football games blast on the television, board games or cards are enthusiastically played at tables, and endless trips are made to the kitchen for coffee, tea, lemonade, or percolator punch. The dessert table gets a lot of attention. Sampler plates are made and look enticing. A few people try to find a quiet place to nap. A full belly makes one tired after all.

This year I am pondering my many blessings. I have so blessed to have my sweet mother with me on this side of Heaven. She is my best friend, confidant, adviser, and biggest treasure besides being my mother. My children are jewels and have taken such fabulous care of me as I navigate life without their father. Their children, my grands, are my pride and joy. I am fortunate to have a nephew that will drop everything when I need him. He is so sweet and caring. His two sisters are, also, but are married with demanding jobs.

God has blessed me with a tribe of cousins who are second brothers and sisters to me. Their children like nieces and nephews. My friends and Bible study group are precious and do more for me than they realize. I glean knowledge and information from them. Comfort comes to me from my four legged furbabies. When the house is silent and dark, Coco and Jesse are still here with their unconditional love. To say I am thankful for that is an understatement. Mostly, I am thankful for my salvation. It is thrilling to know that one day, our Thanksgiving will be celebrated in Heaven with our loved ones long gone. Oh what a glorious family reunion!

I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. Think about the many things for which you have to be thankful. Family, friends, food, home, trees, birds, flowers, heat, air conditioning, church, and Jesus. Besides so many other things, I am thankful for you, my readers. Happy Thanksgiving!


Enjoy these family recipes!

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear by A.M. Hearst

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is a Christian contemporary holiday romance novella by outstanding author A.M. Heath. Book Three in the author’s Christmas in Garland series, it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. When I started it with the intention to just sample a chapter, I became so interested in the story that I keep turning page after page until I finished the entire thing! Yes, it was that good.

The writing style of author Heath is very much to my liking. Characters are multi-layered and believable. I became invested in the sweet characters of this book and felt as though I had made a group of friends. The setting was delightful. I am ready to book an extended stay in the Cheery Inn B&B now. 

This is the story of Alissa and Stephen. Alissa is left to run her Aunt Maggie’s B&B when she is called out of town. Stephen is a new guest coming to recovery from an injury. Their initial meeting does not go well, but sparks seems to ignite. Also staying is a pair of sisters that have no boundaries and are fabulous.

The author has beautifully included many life and spiritual lessons in this gem. It is exceptionally written and certain to put a smile on your face as you read it. This would make a glorious Hallmark holiday movie. 

I highly recommend this lovely story. It will put you in the holiday spirit and give you many things to ponder. I gladly give it a 5 star rating. A copy was provided, but these are my honest words.

Pregnant and alone, Alissa Hill moved to Garland, Tennessee to help at her aunt’s inn. When a guest brings her hidden past to the inn’s door, she must decide whether to face it or continue to run. 

A career-ending injury ruined Stephen Powell’s life plans. Now a former NFL kicker, he’s searching for a new purpose while recovering at the Cheery Inn. But those at the inn may offer him much more than he expects. 

Can a cozy inn at Christmas transform the troubled hearts seeking refuge there? 

Pregnant and alone, Alissa Hill moved to Garland, Tennessee to help at her aunt’s inn. When a guest brings her hidden past to the inn’s door, she must decide whether to face it or continue to run. A career-ending injury ruined Stephen Powell’s life plans. Now a former NFL kicker, he’s searching for a new purpose while recovering at the Cheery Inn. But those at the inn may offer him much more than he expects. Sparks fly when Alissa and Stephen meet, but secrets and regrets may keep them apart unless they can learn to forgive and move beyond their brokenness. 

Read this heartwarming Christmas romance today!


PURCHASE LINK

Author Bio: 

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, ladies’ Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

Author Links: 
Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

Website: https://christianauthoramheath.net/

Blog: https://christianauthoramheath.net/blog/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8302606.A_M_Heath

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-m-heath-41b54829-fb8c-469e-a96f-52efe9efacb1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fictionauthor.amheath/


Tour Stops:

Nov. 7: 
Marilyn @ Lighthouse-Academy 
Raechel @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae
A.M. Heath @ A.M. Heath Blog

Nov. 8: 
Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings
Esther @ A Melodious Sonnet

Nov. 9: 
Deana: Texas Book-aholic

Nov. 10: 
Nyla Kay @ Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess

Nov. 11: 
Connie @ Older and Smarter
Debbie: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Enter to win a Christian Reader’s Cozy Packet
Prize pack includes a signed copy of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, a stack of other Christian Christmas reads, and … a little something extra to round out your cozy day of reading. 
*Open to continental U.S. Residents only. 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b7851a9018/


In celebration of the new release, Book 1 is on sale for .99 this week. Pick up Project Scrooge and the rest of the Christmas in Garland Collectionin time for your cozy Christmas reader season.