Blog

Matters of the Heart Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Matters of the Heart: A Shumard Oak Bend Novel, is Book 3 in the Discerning God’s Best Series by author Heidi Gray McGill. This is a Christian historical novel that does not hide its Christian message. Brava author McGill! I adore Christian novels where the inspirational and faith messages are not hidden or diluted. If you have not read the first two books in this series, you will be able to follow alone just fine. It makes a nice stand alone book. You will, however, be missing two great back stories that are equally as wonderful as this one.

The author has done a wonderful job. The storyline is engaging. I was immediately invested in the story and characters. There were a few twists and turns thrown in for surprises. Characters are believable. They are down to earth and easily relatable. Descriptions were on point and took me back in time to 1866 Missouri. The writing style is very nice. The story is told from two different points of view. Each chapter is clearly noted as to whose it is.

This is the story of feisty Irish immigrant Katie Murphy and Finnish immigrant Hans Korhonen who fought in the Civil War. Each are searching for a new beginning. These characters are open and had me emotionally invested. Katie was a fun, fireball. She was determined to follow God and His plan for her. Hans is not sure about God. He is goes back and forth between being closed off to open and lovable.

I thought this was an extremely entertaining and inspirational read. The more I read, the more I felt that I was part of the community. The characters felt like friends. A few were quirky and provided humor. It was very enjoyable.

I highly recommend Matters of the Heart. It gets a 4 star rating from me. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest thoughts.

About the Book

Book: Matters of the Heart

Author: Heidi Gray McGill

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: July 15, 2022

When those experiencing the same fate she endured show up at her doorstep…

Katie determines to be their champion, no matter the fallout.

Will the man who fought for the other side also fight for her?

Unconventional Katie empathizes with the widows and orphans of the Civil War, searching for a place to call home in Shumard Oak Bend. But with no one to help her, she’ll need to do it secretly, a challenge she readily accepts. She’s taken charge before, and she’ll do it again, no matter who she has to outwit to get the job done.

He vowed to be his own man and stop doing everyone else’s bidding. But he follows orders when a pair of emerald green eyes, blazing red hair, and freckles that dance on the bridge of a pert nose conscript him to duty. Be his own man. Who is he kidding? Skunks don’t change their stripes. They leave disasters in their wake wherever they go, just like him.

Overcoming personal obstacles and finding your true self doesn’t mean going it alone. Yet the answer isn’t always in the one you seek.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Heidi is an optimist who chooses to find the silver lining in life’s clouds of doubt. This plays out in her writing. Her ability to weave scripture seamlessly into the lives of her characters will uplift and encourage you, while her masterful storytelling will keep you turning page after page and wishing for more.

Heidi lives with her husband of thirty years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend.

Fusing Faith and Fiction™

True Christian Fiction. Relatable Characters. Life-changing stories.

More from Heidi

Where did the idea for Matters of the Heart originate?

Before I was an author, I was the founder and director of an English as a Second Language ministry. The program touched the lives of students from 35 different countries. Regardless of culture, religion, language, or age, I found a substantial similarity in these students—they all wanted to improve their lot in life and that of their children.

Stories abounded of walks across deserts, financial hardships, desperate attempts to explain emergencies to medical professionals or law enforcement, failed verbal connections with schoolteachers, and an inability to obtain work because of their lack of language skills. Prejudice and distrust blocked them, culture shock took them outside their comfort zones, and the urgent need to survive made them scramble to dig deep inside and find creative ways to secure shelter and put food on their tables.

It wasn’t that these immigrants weren’t capable of achieving success. In their home countries, vocations varied from chemist and biologist with PhDs, to teachers, lawyers, and medical professionals. Others came from poverty and had little education but were not afraid of hard work, long hours, and low pay. They were tenacious, and they worked with relentless determination and a bullheaded resolve to achieve their goals. They relied on each other and soaked in everything around them in their desire to assimilate into the American culture and find a new place to belong.

Immigrants in the late 1800s were not much different. Individuals came to improve their lot in life and be a part of the greatest country in the world. In Matters of the Heart, Hans Korhonen left Finland with his brothers to take advantage of the land grants. Together, they worked to establish a farm large enough to sustain four families and support troops during the Civil War. Yet, in their desire to belong and give back to our great nation, Hans’s idyllic life changed through his service as a Union soldier.

Kathleen Murphy, or Katie, came to the United States to escape a life of extreme poverty and abuse in Ireland. Working in her aunt and uncle’s boarding offered more than a job. It provided the love and support of a family. Katie rose from her previous station and started fresh with hope on the horizon. She found a source of ministry that gave her life a purpose she’d not had before.

My association with my former ESL students helped me develop the characters in this book into individuals with which readers can identify.

Join Katie and Hans as they establish themselves in their new home of Shumard Oak Bend.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Texas Book-aholic, August 6

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, August 6

Inklings and notions, August 7

lakesidelivingsite, August 8

For Him and My Family, August 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 11

Blossoms and Blessings, August 12

deb’s Book Review, August 12

Connie’s History Classroom, August 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 15

Pause for Tales, August 16

Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, August 17

To Everything There Is A Season, August 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Heidi is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the first three books in the series!!

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/2070c/matters-of-the-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Grace Along the Mountain Trail Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Grace Along the Mountain Trail by bestselling author Misty M. Beller is Book 8 in her Call of the Rockies Series. This is a Christian historical romance adventure novel. If you haven’t read the others in the series, you can still read this and follow along without problems. It makes a nice standalone.

Set in the 1830s this is this story of Lola Cameron. She travels out West to meet her half brother that she just learned she had. Her father neglected to share that news with her, but included a contingency in his will that Lola must find him. The journey out west over the mountains is beautiful yet dangerous. 

I adore author Beller’s books. Her characters are realistic and easy to engage. There is always a tread of Christian inspiration woven throughout the entire story. This tale had inspiration, drama, adventure, romance, faith, hope, fear, and redemption. It is a lovely story with brave, resilient characters. The writing is so well done that I was immediately engaged and my attention help as I turned the pages until the end. There were a few surprises that kept me reading even when I needed to stop.

At the end of the book, there are no discussion questions, but there is a preview to Calm in the Mountain Storm. It’s the next book in the series. I highly recommend Grace on the Mountain Trail. It is a captivating historical fiction. I gladly give it a 5 star rating. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own, true words.

About the Book

Book: Grace in the Mountain Trail

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre:Christian Historical Romance

Release date: July 12, 2022

This epic journey is her last hope to find her lost brother—the only family she has left.

When Lola Carson’s father died, his last words spoke of a half-brother she’d never known about. And now, to claim her own inheritance and come to terms with her father’s secret life, she must find this mysterious man—whose last known whereabouts are somewhere west of the wild Rocky Mountains. After hiring family friends to accompany her on the trek, she sets out for a wilderness few white women have ever seen. She doesn’t expect the majestic peaks to captivate her so, nor the half-dead brave they find on one of the slopes.

White Owl left his village and his broken heart behind when he set out for a fresh start. His newfound faith is the one anchor in his life. He’s desperate to learn more about the God he’s committed to follow and become an interpreter for the missionaries who led him to faith. But he barely starts his journey when a hunting accident nearly kills him. The woman who discovers him in the midst of his fevered delirium seems to be a gift from above.

But the more White Owl learns about Lola’s companions and her dangerous quest, the more he realizes his own calling is clear—to take her safely to her brother. The question is, will he have to sacrifice more than his heart to accomplish that goal?

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

More from Misty

Is this the book for you? 

With so many books out there, it’s sometimes hard to know if a new book will be the right fit for you or not. I thought it might be fun to share some highlights that may help you know if you’d like to read Grace on the Mountain Trail. 

If you…

  • Love adventure and don’t mind being snowed in (at least in your imagination as you sit snuggled in your comfortable house).
  • Fall for Native American heroes who are, yes, strong and capable, but also searching for a fresh start and eager to grow in their fledgling faith.
  • Find unusual and remote settings fascinating, especially the Rocky Mountains!
  • Enjoy historical detail and are eager to live vicariously in the early 1800s Montana frontier.

What to expect from Grace on the Mountain Trail?

  • Emotion-rich sweet romance.
  • Native American heroes who know how to be both tough and gentle.
  • The grandeur of the Montana Rockies.
  • Tough heroines who do what needs to be done.
  • Adventure that will keep you turning pages.
  • A peek at one of our favorite characters from earlier in the series!

If Grace on the Mountain Trail sounds like the right fit for you, I pray you love Lola and White Owl’s story!

Blessings!

Misty

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 1

Mary Hake, August 1

Inklings and notions, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 4

The Book Club Network, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 5

Cover Lover Book Review, August 5

Betti Mace, August 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 7

Writing From the Heart Land, August 8

deb’s Book Review, August 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 9

For Him and My Family, August 9

Connie’s History Classroom, August 10

Lilys’ Book Reviews, August 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 11

Holly’s Book Corner, August 11

Blossoms and Blessings, August 12

Life, Love, Writing, August 12

Pause for Tales, August 13

Splashes of Joy, August 14

Sylvan Musings, August 14

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Misty 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/21360/grace-on-the-mountain-trail-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Heart of the Mountains Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

The Heart of the Mountains is Book 2 in author Pepper D. Basham’s series My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge. This is a heartwarming, faith filled, historical Christian book that swept me away to the mountains in another time. Even though it is the second book in a series, it easily is read as a stand alone. However, the first book, Laurel’s Dream, is captivating, as is this one.

The is the story of spunky English nurse, Cora. She travels to America’s Blue Ridge Mountain to see her family that has gone there to help the people. It is also the tale of woodcrafter, Jeb. He is such a good man but has a few issues. He and Cora found something in common and began a beautiful friendship that bloomed into something more.

The author did a marvelous job portraying life in the mountains. She mixed mountain lore and distrust of newcomers with gratitude and eventual acceptance. With her deft pen she had me immediately invested in the story and feeling the characters’ emotions. More than once I had tears in my eyes or chuckled.

The characters are brilliant. They jumped from the page and into my heart. I found them believable and well rounded. The conversations were realistic. 

There is so much in this book. Mystery, action, danger, romance, drama, are all wrapped up nicely in this novel. At times I was surprised by a twist that was thrown in, and other times laughing by the antics of a character. So many life and spiritual lessons are woven throughout the book from beginning to end.

I highly recommend this riveting novel. It is a page turning delight. Any book club would enjoy this as a selection. There is a lot to discuss. This gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit and NetGalley, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: The Heart of the Mountains

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance

Release date: July 1, 2022

Can their hearts overcome the darkness of the mountains?

To escape a forced marriage, Cora Taylor travels from England to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her brother, who is working as a teacher in a mission school. She hopes to find a place where her nursing skills and independent ideas will be accepted and appreciated, but nothing prepares her for the wild mixture of isolation, community, brokenness, and hope within these mountains…or in the person of Jeb McAdams.

Returning from the devastation of World War 1 emotionally damaged, Jeb McAdams struggles against the rampant mountain alcoholism to soothe his nightmares. It’s easy to hide within the mountains, or it was, before Cora Taylor arrived. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her modern ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her.

Bound by their shared war history, the pair develop an unlikely friendship, which unexpectedly hints to something more. But when Cora’s desire to help the women of the mountains crosses an unspoken line, will Jeb be able to protect this feisty flatlander from the wrath of the mountain men or will he end up losing much more than his heart?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can learn more about Pepper at her website http://www.pepperdbasham.com or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter.

More from Pepper

It’s so interesting how one idea can influence an entire series, or…how one person’s story can.

The idea for The Heart of the Mountains started in Laurel’s Dream with a hint of a family history story about a girl named Kizzie. (Someday, I hope to bring Kizzie’s story to the pages of a book). From there, the idea began to grow out of a love for my Appalachian culture into a series of books which highlighted (and fictionalized) stories from my family history.

The main story in The Heart of the Mountains is about Jeb and Cora, two different people with similar servant hearts, but the secondary story that touched me so much was the one based on my great grandfather’s life. I write about it in the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, so I won’t go into detail about it. However, what I loved getting to do is bring the truth of God’s redemption in my great grandfather’s life…to life again.

I never knew “Papa Rat”. I only knew the stories handed down to me by my granny and my mama, but in writing this story, I feel as though I had a tiny opportunity to “meet” him in these pages. He was a gruff mountain man with a broken past which led him to make a whole lot of broken choices, but his story is incredibly encouraging, because it points to the God of broken people. My great grandpa wasn’t left in his brokenness, but, after years of running away from God, he would later recount that God pursued him. The beauty of Sam McAdams’ journey in The Heart of the Mountainsis only a little glimpse into what I imagine my great grandpa’s redemption story looked like.

Because my great grandpa was forever changed when Jesus saved him (as any of us should be).

I think that’s what my granny and her siblings (and even “Papa Rat” himself) would want most -that his story would point to Jesus. I hope that’s what you see when you read about Sam McAdams in The Heart of the Mountains.

Have you ever read a book based on family history? One of my favorites is Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

Blog Stops

Bizwings Blog, July 28

Rachael’s Inkwell, July 28

Bigreadersite, July 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 30

Boondock Ramblings, July 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 31

Reading With Emily, July 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 31 (Author Interview)

lakesidelivingsite, August 1

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 1

Daysong Reflections, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Live. Love. Read., August 2

Betti Mace, August 3

Book Looks by Lisa, August 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 3

Remembrancy, August 4

For Him and My Family, August 4

Blossoms and Blessings, August 4

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

By the Book, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

For the Love of Literature, August 6

Books, Books and More Books, August 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 6

Connie’s History Classroom, August 7

SodbusterLiving, August 7

Splashes of Joy, August 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 8

Back Porch Reads, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 9

Pause for Tales, August 9

Labor Not in Vain, August 10

Miriam Jacob, August 10

To Everything There Is A Season, August 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e- 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/20389/the-heart-of-the-mountains-celebration-tour-giveaway

All that is Hidden Book Review

All that is Hidden by author Laura DeNooyer is a Christian historical novel about two siblings. Set in late 1960’s Smoky Mountains, it is heavy with southern charm and family issues. In June, the author was named a semi-finalist for All That Is Hidden in Serious Writer’s “Book of the Decade” contest. Brava!

This is the first book that I have read by this author. While I love historical fiction, I prefer the 1800s or early 1900s. It took me a while to become invested in this book and its characters. If that happens to you, just keep reading.

This is the tale of Tina, a feisty 10 year old tomboy, and her family. Tina grows up and breaks the mold by learning to play baseball with the boys. Her brother, Nick, shares a lot of antics with her.

The story takes a turn when secrets are brought to light. What one was a safe, simple life is challenged. This story is filled with life lessons, bits of humor, emotions, twists and turns, family drama, and an abundance of Appalachian folklore.

The author has a nice style of writing. Her details and descriptions took me back to the Mountains in a time when this country was experiencing some unrest. The conversations sounded authentic. Characters were believable and interesting. The one downside is that there seemed to be two or three subplots going on, also. A few times I had trouble following along.

I recommend this to readers that enjoy historical fiction set in the mid 1900s or mountains. If you are a baseball fan, you will enjoy all of that. It receives a 4 out of 5 star rating from me. I received a complimentary copy from the author, but these are my honest words.

About Author Laura DeNooyer:

As a Michigan native, Laura earned a BA in Education and Fine Arts at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, then taught school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for nine years. She pioneered the middle school and high school art program, wrote curriculum, taught creative writing, and coached volleyball.

Over twenty years later, Laura started her own teaching and tutoring business from home, working with home schoolers the past sixteen years. Between these two teaching jobs, she and her husband raised four children. In her spare time, Laura wrote and published her first novel and received awards for other stories.

Storytelling through novels is her passion, especially character-driven stories featuring complex relationships, whether historical fiction or a fairy tale setting.

Laura has contributed to The Baum Bugle periodical and hosts a blog to encourage creativity and spur imagination, wherever they are found. https://lauradenooyer.com

In Honor’s Defense Book Review and Giveaway

In Honor’s Defense is the final book in the Hanger’s Horsemen Series by award winning author Karen Witemeyer. She is an exquisite storyteller, and I always enjoy her books. I was immediately captured by this story and its characters.

This is the story of Luke, a strong godly man who falls for a woman he must protect from harm. It is also the story of Damaris, a strong, feisty woman. She moves to Texas to take care of her late brother’s teenage son and finds trouble. Was her brother killed?

The plot is excellent allowing the story to move at a nice pace and the characters to develop. It stays interesting with mystery, cattle rustling, an angry teen with grief over his father’s death, romance, and adventure. There is a faith message woven throughout the book as well as some life lessons. At times the drama and action are lightened by humor. Some twists and turns had me guessing. There are many quote-worthy words in this novel. Damaris said this one: “A person of integrity always lives up to his or her word.”

If you haven’t read the other books in this series, this book can easily be read as a stand-alone. I highly recommend it and the author. Witemeyer always produces a captivating masterpiece, including In Honor’s Defense. It receives 5 out of 5 stars from this reader. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: In Honor’s Defense

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: June 7, 2022

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life–for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he’s left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she’d have and to give him the family he desperately needs.

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke’s attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris’s brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Voted #1 Readers’ Favorite Christian Romance Author in 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, Karen is a multiple award-winning author and a firm believer in the power of happy endings. She is an avid cross-stitcher, tea drinker, and gospel hymn singer who makes her home in Abilene, TX with her heroic husband who vanquishes laundry dragons and dirty dish villains whenever she’s on deadline.

More from Karen

Meet Luke and Damaris

As the Hanger’s Horsemen series comes to a close, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Luke Davenport and Damaris Baxter. If you haven’t read the other books in this series, don’t worry. This one stands on its own just fine.

Luke

Luke Davenport is a former cavalry officer who is part of an elite squad of men known as Hanger’s Horsemen. Haunted by the horrors of war, this group of Texas legends has spent the last few years fighting for justice on behalf of those who cannot fight for themselves. Luke is Matthew Hanger’s right-hand man, but when Matt retires the Horsemen in favor of a more settled life with his new wife, Luke is left feeling adrift. So when a solo job comes his way to track down rustled cattle, he jumps at the opportunity.

Known for his strength, his size, and his skill with his fists, I modeled Luke after a pair of football players, Howie Long and JJ Watt. He’s a man of action with a bit of wildness inside, yet his ability to memorize Scripture earned him the nickname Preach. He’s a godly man with scars, seeking to find his place as his Horsemen brothers move on to new phases of life.

 Damaris 

Damaris Baxter has been invisible her entire life. Plain of face and quiet of manner, she it’s the epitome of unremarkable. While she dares heroic feats and grand adventures between the covers of her favorite books, life outside the pages consists of little more than needlework and dull conversation with her great aunt. Until her brother dies under suspicious circumstances and she travels to Texas to care for her nephew. Determined that the “Texas Damaris” will be bolder and braver than her former self, she sets out to win the heart of a grieving boy and ends up mixed up in a dangerous murder plot with a handsome cowboy who actually sees her.

When creating Damaris’s character, I gave her two of my favorite hobbies—reading and cross-stitching. She shares other similarities with me as well. She’s a quiet person who dislikes making waves, but when family needs her, there’s nothing she won’t do to help. Her questionable baking skills might also have found some inspiration in my personal experience. Just ask my husband about my famous transparent chocolate chip cookies. 

Opposites Attract?

I love to explore what brings people together, and while it’s a common idea that opposites attract, I’ve always believed that there must be some core commonalities beneath the differences to bind a couple together for a lifetime. So, while Luke and Damaris seem to be stark opposites—he an adventure-seeking soldier used to solving problems with guns and fists; she a quiet, proper lady used to escaping problems with books and needlework—they actually have several core commonalities. They both crave belonging and family, they both value God’s Word, and they both have a strong, protective instinct toward those they care about. This core common ground is what serves as the foundation for their relationship.

Now that you’ve been introduced to Luke and Damaris, I hope you’ll join them on the adventure that leads them to love.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 27

Book Looks by Lisa, June 27

Where Faith and Books Meet, June 27

Bliss, Books & Jewels, June 28

Daysong Reflections, June 28

For Him and My Family, June 29

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 30

Pause for Tales, June 30

lakesidelivingsite, June 30

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 1

Sylvan Musings, July 1

deb’s Book Review, July 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 2

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, July 2

Babbling BeckyL’s Book Impressions, July 3

Bizwings Blog, July 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 4

Inklings and notions, July 5

Simple Harvest Reads, July 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Connie’s History Classroom, July 6

SodbusterLiving, July 6

Texas Book-aholic, July 7

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 7

Through the Fire Blogs, July 7

Splashes of Joy, July 8

Melissa’s Bookshelf, July 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a Hanger’s Horsemen prize bundle consisting of autographed copies of all three books in the series, a custom mug, and Horsemen swag!! (U.S. Only)

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1f45c/in-honor-s-defense-celebration-tour-giveaway

Much Ado About Persuasion Book Tour and Giveaway

Much Ado About Persuasion is a Christian historical, retelling of a mixture of two books. Author Barbara Cornthwaite has taken books by authors Jane Austen and William Shakespeare and blended them into one delightful story. The title might have given this away.

This novel is a very imaginative retelling of the combined stories of Persuasion by Jane Austen and Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. For me, the way the author overlapped these two stories made an interesting new tale. Both stories were twisted and shaped to become a new combined one.

I enjoyed the writing style of the author. The language was period correct. Her characters were researched and loosely based on the originals. The way the novel is written reminds me of the style of Jane Austen. 

It took me a while to become invested in the story and characters. There are many different characters as well as storylines. It is not a book to read lightly. I needed to pay attention to get everything straight at first.

Scripture and faith are included along with multiple timeless life lessons. I found clever humor in places and some emotional bits. All in all it is a nice book. Shakespeare and Austen fans will enjoy it. Readers that like the combination of two books made into one will, also. For me, I prefer my stories separate, but I do recommend this one. It gets a 4 out of 5 star rating. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: Much Ado About Persuasion

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Historical/Jane Austen Retelling

Release date: May 3, 2022

Muchado-663x1024

Some duel with swords, others with ships. In love, however, they duel with hearts.

When Sir Walter Elliot, secret admirer of the Navy, invites officers to visit his estate, what could be more natural than for his two daughters to find themselves in love?

Elizabeth Elliot’s legendary, bitter pride clashes with Admiral Baldwin’s stubborn conceit until any hope of a match seems impossible. They say love conquers all, but does it?

All looks hopeful for Anne Elliot and the dashing Captain Wentworth, but when a cousin steps in and sets evil plans into motion, is their love enough to withstand the storm, or is it best to let the captain sail that ship… alone?

Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion in this story about trust, disappointment, and disguises.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Barbara-c-600x400

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her six children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

More from Barbara

I discovered Jane Austen in college when I was required to read Pride and Prejudice. This was in the dark ages before the famous adaptations, and I knew nothing about the storyline. In fact, I expected it to be depressing, probably because the title sounded similar to War and Peace. It was a delightful surprise to be charmed by the novel, and I went on to read all Austen’s other books on my own. Each of them have a special place in my heart. I love Emma so much that I wrote a two-book parallel novel for it (the George Knightley, Esquire series). I also have novellas based on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma in the A Very Austen anthologies. This book, however, is the first thing I’ve written based on Persuasion.

Shakespeare I met in high school, and furthered my acquaintance with him in college. Much Ado About Nothing is, I think, my favorite of his plays (although there are several close contenders for the top spot). His grasp of character is unmatched, and his language, even after five hundred years, is striking.

Mixing the stories of these two authors has been great fun, and redeeming a couple of characters who didn’t learn anything from their mistakes in the original stories gives my version a spiritual twist. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 17

Texas Book-aholic, June 18

Miriam Jacob, June 18

A Reader’s Brain, June 19

Britt Reads Fiction, June 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , June 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 22

For Him and My Family, June 22

Inklings and notions, June 23

deb’s Book Review, June 24

Of Blades and Thorns, June 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 25

Connie’s History Classroom, June 26

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, June 26

She Lives To Read, June 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 28

Sylvan Musings, June 28

Labor Not in Vain, June 29

Back Porch Reads, June 30

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Barbara 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/1eff5/much-ado-about-persuasion-celebration-tour-giveaway

Midnight’s Budding Morrow Book Review and Giveaway

Midnight’s Budding Morrow ~ Review with Excerpt and Giveaway

Midnight’s Budding Morrow

Regency Wallflowers Book #2

By Carolyn Miller

Midnight’s Budding Morrow is Book 2 in author Carolyn Miller’s Regency Wallflowers Series. This Christian historical fiction may be read as a stand alone if you haven’t read the first book in the series. You will be able to follow and enjoy the story.

In this Regency tale, we meet Sarah Drayton. She is an orphan from a good family, however not from one of wealth or prestige. Beatrice Langley is Sarah’s friend and takes her to visit the Langley home in Northumberland. Also there is Bea’s brother, James. He needs a wife quickly and decides on Sarah.

I really enjoy the writing style of this author. Her characters are multilayered and relatable. The villains are detestable, while the heroes shine. Conversations sound authentic for the location and time period.

It did not take me long to become invested in the story. I really liked Sarah and her friend Bea. At times the character’s emotions caused tears to gather in my eyes. That is the sign of a good book.

Overall this was a highly enjoyable book, but I will admit I did need tissue for a scene or two. So I would recommend this for home reading and not your lunch break at work. 

I highly recommend this book. It gets a 4 star rating from this reader. A copy was provided by the publisher, but these are my honest words.

About the Book:

Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?


Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend’s rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family’s estate, he can’t be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father’s stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn’t until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?

Click here to read an excerpt.

About the Series:

While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.”

Midnight’s Budding Morrow is the second book in the Regency Wallflowers series. The first book in the series is Dusk’s Darkest Shores.

About the Author:

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.
 
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 
 
Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)

Giveaway:

https://www.audrajennings.com/2022/05/win-copy-of-midnights-budding-morrow.html

Book Review and Giveaway:The Egyptian Princess: The Story of Hagar

I have recently been reading quite a bit of biblical fiction. If it contradicts rather than supports scripture, I will not finish the book. Needless to say, I start a lot more than I finish. It did not take me long to finish this page turning intriguing tale.

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar by author KD Homberg is Book 1 in her Women of Valor Series and was a beautiful interpretation of Hagar, Sarai, and Abram. This was the first time that I had ever heard claims that Hagar was a princess and betrothed to the next pharaoh of Egypt. Rabbinical literature, Hebrew and Arabic traditions name her as Pharaoh’s daughter. Extensive research was done by the author, and she explains it all in her notes at the end of the book. Be sure to read those, also.

This book taught me so much! I love historical books that have been well researched and provide tidbits of information that is new to me. In this novel we are taken into the world of Pharaoh’s women. At times peace abides but often it does not.

Set in 2085 BC Egypt, Hagar is living with her twin brother, the next pharaoh, and her parents, the Pharaoh and Queen, as an Egyptian Princess. Sarai (Sarah) enters into the story very early in the story. I found everything extremely interesting and was immediately invested in the characters and story. Many of the characters I loved, but there were just as many I found unsavory. The author did a beautiful job describing her characters. They were authentic to the era. My perceptions of Hagar as well as Abraham and Sarah have changed a little bit. As I read this novel, I cross-referenced it with scripture.

I highly recommend this biblical historical book. Anyone wanting to learn about ancient Egypt, Hagar, Sarah, or Abraham will find it captivating. The author brought part of the Old Testament to life. Book 2 will pick up as they leave Egypt. Reading groups and small groups would benefit from this as a selection. There are discussion questions at the end of the story. It gets a 5 out of 5 stars from this reader.

Book: The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar

Author: KD Homberg

About the Author

Narrator: Lillian Rachael

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: March 11, 2021

Two women, one ancient Egyptian harem, and the bold decision that changed the course of history.

Princess Hagar has always known her destiny in the opulent court of Egypt’s tenth dynasty. One day, she will marry Crown Prince Merikare and become the Great Royal Wife, the most powerful woman in Egypt. But dark dreams afflict Hagar when she hears of the latest addition to Pharaoh’s harem: the stunning, iridescent Sumerian, Sarai. Princess Hagar feels a powerful presence around the Sumerian woman. She suspects Sarai  has brought black magic into the palace, but what can she do to convince Pharaoh?

The intrigue of Pharaoh’s court pales in comparison to that swirling in the Royal House of Women among the wives, children, and concubines of the king. Sarai’s arrival upsets the already precarious balance. Loyalties divide, and betrayal, jealousy, and tragedy plague the once peaceful household. When a series of disasters befall Egypt, Hagar must make a daring decision, and the stakes could not be higher. She could lose everything—position, power, family, and even her life.

Torn between the silent gods of Egypt and the powerful presence that surrounds Sarai, Hagar’s world falls apart around her. She must acknowledge the terrible price of truth and decide for herself who she will serve.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

KD HOLMBERG is a retired flight attendant who turned an empty nest into a workshop for creating stories around remarkable women. She and her husband live in the foothills of the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains and love to travel and golf. They also run a girl gang of seven granddaughters, courtesy of their five adult children, and have one male grandchild that the author can safely declare as her favorite grandson.

About the Narrator

Born in the United Kingdom, LILLIAN RACHEL grew up in East Anglia and moved north to Durham before marrying her US military man and Atlantic hopping between Europe and North America.
She’s now settled in the Washington D.C. area, where she is an award winning narrator from her personal home studio.

There’s not much she loves more than telling your story in the most engaging way. Sophisticated or sassy, with a range of accents and character personas, she brings your words to life and draws your listeners in.

More from KD Holmberg

Novel Inspiration and Tiger Nut Sweets

Who was Hagar?

That thought occurred to me during a Bible study in Genesis, which revealed:

  • God met with Hagar twice.
  • He called her by name.
  • She was the first to give Him a name, El Roi
  • She received the same promise as Abraham to become a great nation.

I was aware of Hagar’s general gist of her love triangle with Sarah and Abraham that produced Ishmael and how mother and son were sent into the desert to die. But her name niggled at me because she didn’t die. She survived and thrived as a single mother in the ultimate man’s world. How could a throwaway, uneducated handmaid accomplish such a feat?

The Hebrew and Arab traditions of Hagar gave me insight into that question. They teach that she was the daughter of the pharaoh who seized Sarah in Genesis 12. This quote from Amenhotep III made me even more curious, ‘from old, the daughter of an Egyptian king has not been given in marriage to anyone.’ A practice that prevented foreigners from having a claim on the Egyptian throne.

So how did a princess of Egypt end up in the tribe of Abraham?

I researched what life looked like for a princess in ancient Egypt. I discovered Pharaohs educated their daughters along with their sons. They learned reading, writing, medicine, politics, religion, and mathematics. An education and growing up in the luxury and privilege of the most sophisticated culture on earth rounded out my view of Hagar. It also reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses, Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (NKJV) God had gone before this remarkable woman and prepared her with the tools she would need to exist and endure.

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar is fiction, but the historical details in my world-building are as accurate as possible. I created an ancient Egyptian harem and placed Sarah and Hagar together. I added plagues and other information from Hebrew history and imagined a twist-and-turned, life and death scenario where a princess of Egypt ended up in the first Hebrew tribe.

Book two in The Women of Valor series, More Than a Handmaid—which releases March 22. 2023 —picks up where this one leaves off. We follow Hagar as she navigates life as a handmaid and steps into the world alone, holding firm to her faith and hope in the Lord.

Tiger Nut Sweets

Tiger Nut Sweets are a favorite treat of one of my supporting characters. Foodies out there; this is one of the oldest recipes in the world and was found on a piece of ancient Egyptian pottery dating to 1600 BC. The tuberous root of the yellow nutsedge (also known as tiger nut) was used in the original recipe.

1 cup pitted fresh dates

Splash of water

1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste)

2 tablespoons roughly chopped walnuts

Honey

2 tablespoons finely ground almonds

Grind the dates with a splash of water to form a rough paste. Use a food processor. The Ancient Egyptians would have used one if they had it!

Place the honey and almond meal in a shallow bowl.

  1. Transfer the date paste to a bowl and add cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
  2. Mix thoroughly with your hands and roll into small bowls.
  3. Mix honey and ground almonds in another bowl.
  4. Coat balls in honey and almond mixture and serve. I like to coat in honey first and roll in the almond mixture. Enjoy!

Many blessings,

KD Holmberg

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 2

Texas Book-aholic, June 3

Mary Hake, June 3

Connie’s History Classroom, June 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 5

Inklings and notions, June 6

deb’s Book Review, June 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 10

For Him and My Family, June 11

Pause for Tales, June 12

Artistic Nobody, June 13 (Author Interview)

Books I’ve Read, June 13

Through the Fire Blogs, June 14

For the Love of Books, June 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, KD is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and an 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/1e7d9/the-egyptian-princess-the-story-of-hagar-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review and Giveaway: A Promise Engraved

A Promise Engraved is book eight in the Doors to the Past series from Barbour Books. Written by exemplary wordsmith, Liz Tolsma, both stories in this split time novel work together like a well oiled machine. That is a must for this genre, and the author does it gracefully and smoothly.

This is the story of young, feisty Josie Wilkins. In 1836 San Antonio, Texas life has become difficult at best. Josie has fallen in love with John Gilbert, a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. 

Present day Kayleigh Hernandez has a demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants. For fun, she frequents flea markets. She has found one old uniquely engraved ring that must have an interesting story. She asks for help from Brandon Shuman, an appraiser. Together, they are able to solve the mystery and put together a love story that has been long forgotten. 

Both parts of this split time book are at times hard to read. This is not because of the writing because it is beautiful, but rather from the subject matter. My heart broke for the circumstances surrounding both women. Josie and Kayleigh have quite a bit in common despite the many years separating them. I found myself enjoying their tenacity. I wanted to be friends with each one and help them. 

The author has done a brilliant job with this. The conversations were authentic. Characters were believable and had both good and bad characteristics. I was able to glean some things about The Alamo as well as Texas in 1836. Thank you, Liz Tolsma for the research for did to make this such a fantastic novel that taught me something. The contemporary story tackles real life issues Texans face today, such as children being sent across the border in hopes of a better life, and human trafficking. The severity of these issues are hard to imagine.

In the historical part of the story, my heart broke for whatever happened. Thankfully, the author took a cruel story, let us know all the horrors Josie endured, yet never once took it so far as to vividly describe it. This book recounts a young girl’s captivity by an evil, vile man without having us read every horrifying detail.

This story keeps running through my mind even though it has been days since I completed reading it. I would recommend this for older readers. Whether you like contemporary or historical fiction, you will be pleased. It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

A Promise Engraved

About the Book

Book: A Promise Engraved

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction/Romance

Release date: May, 2022

9781636092492 (3)

Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?

Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hernandez takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Shuman, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to Kayleigh’s work end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

LizTolsma

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

The Story of Susannah Dickinson, Alamo Survivor

When asked how many died at the Alamo, many would answer that everyone did. While it’s true that all fighting on the side of Texas independence perished, there were survivors, all women and children and one slave. The only white woman (the rest were of Mexican descent) was Susannah Dickinson, along with her daughter Angelina. Susannah had followed her husband, Almaron, to Mexican Texas in 1831. They had married two years before when Susannah was just fifteen. She never learned to read or write.

She and the other women hid in the sacristy of the church, one of the surviving buildings in the mission and what we now think of as the Alamo. Her husband died, but Mexican General Santa Anna found them and spared their lives, sending them to Sam Houston with $2 each and a blanket.

She married again the following year but divorced him almost immediately on the grounds of cruelty. She married a third time the following year and was married for five years until her husband died of alcoholism. A fourth marriage occurred in 1847, but she divorced again in 1857, this time allegedly because she was having an affair. That same year, she married for a fifth time. This marriage lasted until her death in 1883.

The ring in A Promise Engraved is based on a cat’s eye ring supposedly given to Angelina by William Travis before the battle. Angelina was Susannah’s only child. She married and had three children, but that marriage ended in divorce. She gave the ring to a man she’d become involved with in New Orleans. She married again and had one more child but died in 1869 from a uterine hemorrhage.

Today there are many descendants of Susannah Dickinson. If you visit the Susannah Dickinson house in Austin, you’ll see a quilt that is signed by many of her living descendants.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 28

Bigreadersite, May 28

The Write Escape, May 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 29

Christina’s Corner, May 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 29

lakesidelivingsite, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Rebecca Tews, May 30

Inklings and notions, May 31

Blogging With Carol, May 31

Splashes of Joy, May 31

Betti Mace, June 1

Southern Gal Loves to Read, June 1

Genesis 5020, June 2

Daysong Reflections, June 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 2

Remembrancy, June 3

Books, Books, and More Books, June 3

For Him and My Family, June 3

Older & Smarter?, June 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5

deb’s Book Review, June 5

Mary Hake, June 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 6

Blossoms and Blessings, June 6

Connie’s History Classroom, June 7

Life of Literature, June 7

Back Porch Reads , June 7

Bizwings Blog, June 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 8

For the Love of Literature, June 8

Through the Fire blogs, June 9

Pause for Tales, June 9

Labor Not in Vain, June 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 10

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 10

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1e37a/a-promise-engraved-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review and Giveaway: The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life is Book One in the Cape Cod Creamery Series by best selling author Suzanne Woods Fisher. This is a wonderful contemporary Christian fiction. I first fell in love with this author’s book when she began writing Amish fiction. She does an exemplary job in that genre, and she has conquered historical and contemporary as well.

Author Fisher has a gift of drawing readers into her books and letting them live in her story. Yes, I wanted to be friends with the characters. Dawn is about to be married when the unthinkable happens. Her fiancé decides he does not want to marry her 60 days before the wedding. She and her mother, Marnie, go on the honeymoon that was meant for the newlyweds.

Mother and daughter are quite different. They each have issues and hurts that need to be forgiven and healed. While on their vacation Marnie spontaneously decides to buy an old historic ice cream shop. 

I learned a lot about ice cream making even though my family has made ice cream for generations. My daughter worked at a small historic ice cream shop in our town so this was especially interesting to me. It brought back many memories.

The author uses humor and unique characters to make this small coastal town story so interesting. The descriptions take you there and you can almost taste the ice cream. There are timeless life lessons as well as spiritual ones. The themes of family,forgiveness, respect, faith, and priorities give much food for thought. After the story ends there are discussion questions, author notes, and a sneak peek book two.

This will make a lovely summer read. Readers that enjoy contemporary Christian novels will be pleased with this. It is a nice selection for reading groups, too. I highly recommend it. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my own words.

About the Book

Book: The Sweet Life

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: May 3, 2022

The Sweet Life Cover

Jilted by her fiancé, Dawn Dixon escapes to beautiful Cape Cod on a groomless honeymoon–with her mother. But she didn’t expect her mom to risk everything, on a whim, to move there permanently or buy a rundown ice cream shop in need of repair. In order to make their new life work, they’ll also need her ex’s help.

Click here to get your copy!



About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher

With over 1.5 million copies sold, Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of over 30 books, ranging from novels to children’s books to non-fiction. She is a Christy Award finalist, a winner of Carol and Selah awards, and a two-time finalist for ECPA Book of the Year. She writes stories that take you to places you’ve never visited—one with characters that seem like old friends. But most of all, her books give you something to think about long after you’ve finished reading it. Suzanne lives with her very big family in northern California.

More from Suzanne

The Sweet Life is a story about a mom and a daughter who, both in need of a little respite from life’s bumps and bruises, start an ice cream shop on Cape Cod…thinking it will be easy. After all, who doesn’t love ice cream?

Well, sure. That’s true. Everybody loves ice cream. But ice cream can be tricky. This I can say with authority. My husband is a serious hobby ice cream maker. He even attended Penn State’s Ice Cream School. While Steve was working on his vanilla recipe, he experimented fifty-nine times before he was finally satisfied. 59 times!Other flavors, like chocolate, can mask mistakes. Not vanilla. Too pure.

Here’s a few other things you probably didn’t know about ice cream:

The very first mention of a frozen dessert dates back to Persia in 550 BC, though it might have been sorbet-like. It’s said that Emperor Nero had ice brought down from the Apennine Mountains to produce a sorbet of honey and wine. And then there are those who insist that ice cream came out of China, and were introduced to Italy with the help of Marco Polo. Regardless of its origins, a love of ice cream has been around for a very, very long time.

Quaker colonists introduced ice cream to early America, having brought their recipes with them from England. Some argue that the French brought ice cream to America. Regardless, during the colonial era, ice cream was sold in shops in New York.

George Washington loved ice cream. So much so that he even brought ice cream making equipment to Mount Vernon! There are many accounts of “ice creem” (as it was then called) served during his administration.

First Lady Dolley Madison, wife of U.S. President James Madison, served ice cream at her husband’s Inaugural Ball in 1813. Common colonial flavors were soft fruits, like peaches or strawberries, added to a vanilla custard. Dolley had a curious favorite flavor: oyster. (Ugh.)

In September of 1846, a Philadelphia house wife named Nancy Johnson filed patent #3254 for a simple hand cranked ice cream churn. Prior to this point, ice cream belonged to the wealthy. Her hand cranked ice cream churn made it affordable for everyone. Nancy Johnson’s design is still used today.

During the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, an ice cream vendor ran out of cardboard dishes. The vendor next door offered to make cones by rolling up his waffles. Voila! The birth of the ice cream cone.

The majority of American ice cream companies have been in business for more than 50 years. Many of them are still owned by single families.

For the last 128 years, Penn State University has held Ice Cream School for professionals and serious hobbyists during January (for obvious reasons). All the greats have attended: Baskin & Robbins, Ben & Jerry, Dreyer’s, Nestle’s, Blue Bell Creamery, Dairy Queen, and…my husband.

The most popular flavor in the world? Vanilla. Of course.

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, May 26

Inside the Wong Mind, May 26

The Avid Reader, May 27

lakesidelivingsite, May 27

Vicky Sluiter, May 27

Remembrancy, May 28

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 28

Splashes of Joy, May 28

Texas Book-aholic, May 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 29

Miriam Jacob, May 29

Daysong Reflections, May 30

Inklings and notions, May 30

For Him and My Family, May 31

The Book Club Network, May 31

Blogging With Carol, May 31

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 2

deb’s Book Review, June 2

Artistic Nobody, June 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 4

Blossoms and Blessings, June 4

Mary Hake, June 4

Christina’s Corner, June 5

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 6

Book Looks by Lisa, June 6

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

Pause for Tales, June 7

Spoken from the Heart, June 7

She Lives To Read, June 8

Bigreadersite, June 8

Labor Not in Vain, June 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne 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/1e36c/the-sweet-life-celebration-tour-giveaway