To Belong Together Book Tour

To Belong Together by author Emily Conrad is the book two in the Rhythms of Redemption Romances Series. This Christian contemporary romance novel is easily read as a stand-alone if you have not already read the first book. This series is about members of a rock band and issues they have on a daily basis. What I loved is that author Conrad made the problems or issues everyday ones of faith and love.

This is the story of John, the band’s drummer, and Erin, a mechanic. The author did a fabulous job making these characters detailed and realistic. They each have so many layers that it was mesmerizing reading about them.

It was easy to become engaged with the characters and the story. With the beautiful writing style of Ms. Conrad, I felt like the characters were my friends and wanted them to succeed. The Christian message is inspiring! 

This turned into an emotional read for me as I became more invested in the story and characters. The writing pulled me into the story and put tears in my eyes a few times. With topics of faith, family, love, and helping, this book has stayed with me and given me much to ponder.

I highly recommend this deeply moving novel. It would make a nice choice for a reading group because there is so much to discuss. I give it a 5 star rating. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: To Belong Together

Author: Emily Conrad

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 28, 2022

Fame and money have a way of complicating love.

Drummer John Kennedy can keep a beat, but he can’t hold a conversation, so he relies on actions to show he cares. Unfortunately, when he’s instantly intrigued by a spunky female mechanic, he can’t seem to convey the sincerity of his intentions. And the rejections don’t stop there. His own sister is pushing him away just when he could help her most.

Erin Hirsh’s life would be easier if God hadn’t given her a love for cars. Only her father understood her, and she’s losing him to dementia. Her brief romances have always backfired worse than a mistuned engine, and she refuses to give John the chance to wreck her heart. A rock star with a supermodel ex can’t possibly see anything in her.

At least that’s what she thinks until they find common ground in faith and their worsening family situations leave them each longing for a place to belong. Could God intend for this pair of opposites to belong together?

To Belong Together is the second book in the Rhythms of Redemption Romances. The men of the rock band Awestruck have conquered the music industry, but to find redemption and love, they must each face the wounds of the past. Good thing no one—and no difficult situation—is too much for grace.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Emily Conrad writes contemporary Christian romance that explores life’s difficult, but relevant, questions. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their energetic coonhound rescue. She is the author of the stand-alone novel Justice and the Rhythms of Redemption Romance series, as well as a series of short stories, which she emails in installments to subscribers. Learn more about her and her books at emilyconradauthor.com.

More from Emily

Who are you?

On the surface, this is a simple question, but as it kept popping up in To Belong Together, I realized my characters kept asking it because their answers left them unsatisfied and insecure.

(Which is writer speak for: My brain kept circling back to the question because God had something to show me!)

At first, the answer for John seems to be that he’s a famous drummer. For Erin, it’s that she’s her father’s daughter (her father instilled her love of cars).

If someone I’ve just met asks me who I am, I usually say, “I’m Emily. I’m a novelist.”

I’m sure you have a way you describe yourself too.

These easy answers are helpful in conversation. In fact, I’d love for you to comment on this post with your answer, because it’s a point of connection with people we’re getting to know, and I love to get to know readers and other writers!

But, as I was writing To Belong Together, I realized anew that these things are not our identities. They are roles—roles we play in relationships, in our jobs, in our hobbies. Because a role is not the same as an identity, it can’t provide the lasting purpose, worth, and security we crave.

As believers in Christ, our eternal identity is that we are beloved children of God.

Because our roles take so much of our time and energy, and because they really do serve a purpose in conversation when we’re meeting someone new, I think it’s easy to lose sight of that greater identity.

At least, I know John and Erin struggled with it. (Again, writer speak for: I needed some reminders in this area!)

If you read To Belong Together, I hope you enjoy seeing that theme pop up throughout the novel and come away with a greater understanding of who you are in Christ. After all, that identity makes all the difference as we fill those beloved roles God’s blessed us with.

If you have a minute to introduce yourself in comments, I’d love to meet you!

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, September 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 25

Texas Book-aholic, September 26

deb’s Book Review, September 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 28

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 29 (Author Interview)

The Sacred Line, September 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 1 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, October 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 4

For Him and My Family, October 5

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, October 6 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Emily is giving away the grand prize package of a 10 Amazon gift card, an electronic copy of To Belong Together, and 2 hand-painted and framed pine forest watercolors (US Only) or printable PDF downloads of the paintings (International)!!

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/21aaa/to-belong-together-celebration-tour-giveaway

Can We Talk About . . .. Halloween?

October is fast approaching.  The leaves will start changing colors and falling.  Nights will be brisk.  People will be dragging favorite sweaters and sweatshirts out of their closets.  Pumpkin flavored goodies are already everywhere.  I love October!  Don’t you?

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When I was younger, and a whole lot dumber or misinformed, I also loved Halloween.  Stay with me because this is important.  Years ago I became convicted of celebrating it so Halloween changed to Harvest Celebration for me.  Witches and ghosts were replaced with scarecrows and plain pumpkins.

A couple of years ago, I saw an interview about Halloween from a former high ranking member in Satan’s army here on earth. Wow.  I was shocked. For some reason I hadn’t even thought about an organized army of earthly people working for Satan and his terrible cause. This person, John Ramirez, had served Satan for years, but now is saved and serves Jesus Christ. Isn’t that awesome?!

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In his interview, John discussed how Satan workers were busiest on Halloween.  They looked for houses and churches, yes churches, with Jack-o-Lanterns as a welcome for them to enter. Yes, you read that correctly. As a “welcome, come on in” sign. Children dressed in costume were unprotected and easy prey.  The interview was positively frightening.  It has put Halloween and any Harvest Festival for October 31 into perspective for me. Just calling it by another name, but doing the same thing does not change something. It only alters its name.

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“Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, said: ‘I am glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year. Welcome to Halloween.’  We are quick on our feet to rush and honor the devil in so many ways. We see no harm in Halloween, because we think it is fun. We paint our faces, we wear our innocent costumes, we dress up our doorways—even churches dress up their entryways for Halloween with pumpkins. These actions are like giving the devil license, saying, “Here’s my church. You can have it.”  This is from John’s article “I’m Shocked Christians Celebrate Halloween.”

I see so many pictures on Facebook of children dressed like zombies, witches, devils, and other evil things. Houses are decorated to look haunted and creepy. Is that really what we want? Sure, Satan is cheering, but I want to protect the children. Maybe we need a new day for them to get candy with a theme that is not scary.

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I hope this blog today gave you something to ponder.  It has been heavy on my heart to share this. I recognize this is a very controversial subject. Research it for yourself and do what is right for you and your family.  As I look back in that old rear view mirror of life, I have a clearer understanding of why ministers in my childhood neighborhood had all of their lights off on Oct. 31.  They were not being stingy after all, as we kids thought.  There was a reason no gourds, pumpkins, ghosts, or witches  decorated their porches and yards.

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Obeying God is my number one priority.  It is often hard in a world that doesn’t always, or even seldom, does that.  That is why we Christians are called to be set apart from this old world.  Ahhhhhh, wisdom does come with age.  More importantly, it comes from God.

Whatever conclusion you reach, I hope you enjoy October and this last quarter of the year.  For this lady, it has gotten here quickly.  Tempus fugit.

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Note:  John Ramirez is an internationally known evangelist, author and highly sought-out speaker who for more than 16 years has been teaching believers around the globe how to defeat the enemy. He has shared his powerful testimony—of being miraculously saved as a high-ranking satanic priest—on It’s Supernatural!, The 700 Club, TBN, Daystar and more.

John Ramirez, author of Armed and Dangerous: The Ultimate Battle Plan for Targeting and Defeating the Enemy, Chosen.

The Apple Creek Announcement Book Review

The Apple Creek Announcement is book three in the Creektown Discovery series by best selling author Wanda Brunstetter.  This is a Amish contemporary series that is so interesting. If you have not read the first two you will be able to follow this one easily. The other two are just as marvelous as this one.

Two of the series favorites are back again. I love Lois and Orley as well as their antique store. In fact, they are so lovable I wish they had a series dedicated to their back story and future.

This book is the story of Andrea and Brandon. He is a veterinarian and she is a piano teacher and artist. They are newly engaged and have a few issues. Some of the hiccups are minor and others are not. They each write a letter to the newspaper advice column Dear Caroline wanting help. Brandon strikes up a friendship with Orley and asks for his advice, also.

Author Brunstetter has written another page turning story. I was immediately captivated and because engrossed in the tale and characters. At times I even wanted to offer advice. I loved the fact that the engaged couple had a cat and dog that spatted. The author writes believable characters and situations. The dialog was authentic for Amish and taught me a few new words. There are mystery, redemption, humor, conundrums, family issues, adoption, wedding issues, and cute animals.

There are so many life and spiritual lessons in this book. This is a story of love, hope, faith, family, forgiveness and perseverance. As you read make sure you let those messages sink in. After you have read the book, you will want to go back and ponder the lessons. Be sure to catch the recipes at the end after the story.

I highly recommend this book and the other two. It would make a nice selection for a book club. The entire series would be a great choice for that. Fans of contemporary fiction will enjoy this book. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided but these are my honest words.

Deception by Patricia Bradley Book Review

Deception by author Patricia Bradley is the last one in her Christian contemporary suspense Natchez Trace Park Rangers Series. This fourth book is a thrilling roller coaster read. I had trouble putting it down! Even though I had not read the first three books, I was able to follow this one without problems. However, after reading how fantastic Book 4 was, I will go back and read the three books that I skipped.

This is the story of Ranger Megan Thorn. She is in Natchez working on a white collar crime case. Her childhood friend, Clayton Bradshaw, becomes involved after an attack. These two are relatable, realistic characters. I loved their interaction. It was easy to become invested in them as well as this book.

Action starts at the beginning of this intriguing novel and continues throughout the book. There are twists and turns, danger, surprises, danger, mystery, romance, and adventure! Just when I thought I had something figured out, something happened to prove me wrong. This tense read will keep you on your toes and turning pages! There is a thread of Christian inspiration woven throughout this book that I appreciated.

I completely enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Any fan of Christian action, intrigue, light romance will love it. It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. A copy was provided by the publisher, but these are my honest words.


Patricia Bradley

USA Today best-selling author, Patricia Bradley is the recipient numerous awards, including an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in suspense, a Selah winner, was a Carol and a Daphne du Maurier finalist. Her romantic suspense novels include the Logan Point series, the Memphis Cold Case Novels, and the Natchez Trace Park Rangers. She is now hard at work on the second book in her new Pearl River series set in the Cumberland Plateau area above Chattanooga. The first book in the series, Counter Attack will release in mid-2023.

She has conducted writing workshops for American Christian Fiction Writers, the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference, the KenTen and Scrivener retreats (where she was the keynote), the Memphis American Christian Fiction Writer group, and the Bartlett Christian Writers group. 

She and her two cats call Northeast Mississippi home–the South is also where she sets most of her books, and when she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

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

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

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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

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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

Where the Road Bends by Rachel Fordham Book Review

Author Rachel Fordham has written a lovely historical Christian romance with her soon to be released Where the Road Bends. This captivating novel had me turning pages until I devoured this masterpiece in one sitting. It is engaging, emotional, and has timeless life lessons. There were twists I thought would happen but did not. Other things surprised me. I really loved this. It is my favorite one by author Fordham, and I have read all of her books.

Set in 1880 Iowa, this is the story of Norah King. The book begins with her engaged to an older man in order to save her family farm. Her parents have died, and with just Norah to maintain it, the bank is threatening foreclosure.

It is also the tale of Quincy Barnes. He stumbles into Norah’s life battered and bleeding. She is determined to nurse him back to life, but what will her fiancé say or the townspeople? This is a gritty story of redemption, forgiveness, truth, and second chances. It is a love story about true love.

Author Fordham has carefully crafted a multi-layered story with characters that stole my heart. They were realistic with quirks and flaws. The hero, tall, handsome, and caring who wants to make his sweetheart’s dreams come true, is my new literary crush. The villain is despicable. A young scamp is adorable, and an elderly matron is perfect as a substitute mother.

Author Fordham is a master wordsmith. She takes words and exquisitely weaves them into a beautiful tapestry of an engaging, captivating story. Her story is filled with many things to ponder and is still lingering in my mind. It is well researched, organized, and easy to follow. At the end are Discussion Questions for those in a reading group or wanting to dig deeper.

I highly recommend this novel. It receives a 5 star rating from this reader. A copy was provided by NetGalley, but these are my honest words.

Corner Booth Celebrate Lit Book Tour

“Corner Booth” by gifted storyteller extraordinaire,author Chautona Havig, is a contemporary Christian romance. This unique tale is another offering from an author that has a brilliant imagination and produces engaging, page-turning stories. This book is absolutely delightful. I was immediately invested in the story and marvelous characters. My interest was piqued and held captive throughout the entire book.

This is the story of Carlie and Dean. They meet in a very unusual manner that is intriguing to say the least. She works in a women’s clothing store. Dean is a college professor. Each have some emotional baggage. I loved both of these characters and most of their secondary supporting cast.

Based on the Bible scripture James 1:19, “…You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry,” this book teaches readers to really listen to others. Many times we hear people when talking, but we are preparing our response instead of letting their words sink in. When we listen, things might turn out differently.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet romance. It had drama, action, sweet romance, and surprises. A few parts of the story seemed a bit slow, and the end was a bit abrupt. I wanted a longer epilogue, but I am satisfied with the ending.

Contemporary fans should give this unique novel a read. It would be a nice book club selection because it would provide so much to discuss. I highly recommend this book and give it a rating of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: Corner Booth

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: March 17, 2015

Corner Booth Cover

A daring move forges the love of a lifetime

A rushed lunch and a bold move introduce Carlie to a stranger—one who hardly acknowledges her existence as he sits across from her, sharing his booth to save her a wait in a long line.
What began as a random encounter becomes a weekly date in which Carlie chatters about her life to a silent lunchmate. Much about him interests her–his slightly Euro fashion sense, his commitment to the work he does as he eats his lunch week after week, and his evident attention to the running monologue she shares between bites of meals that he inevitably pays for.
Dean gets to know the woman across from him–looks forward to their lunches each week, learns valuable lessons about himself—but when the cafe is threatened, and then when she doesn’t show up one day, he suspects their unusual friendship means more to him than he imagined.

Settle into the booth with Carlie and Dean and learn just how eloquent silence really is.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Chautona

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

More from Chautona

You know, originally, I had Dean as a guy who was too wrapped up in his own little world to care about anyone else—the stereotypical academic. I pictured him buried deep in original Biblical manuscripts, annoyed that anyone would dare to invade his study time.

But you know what? That’s the easy character.

When I went back to edit the book, I had this thought. What if Dean weren’t reclusive at all? What if he were kind of a know-it-all who couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. Maybe a child prodigy who was used to people thinking him rather brilliant and looking for his insights.

Yeah… I could get into that.

There was just one small problem. I’d written the entire book without him talking much at all on those Wednesdays. Now what?

After much deliberation, even more prayer, and a bit of fudging, I came up with the solution. What if he just challenged himself for “one lunch?” Just one hour or so of not talking to prove to himself (and his peers) that he could do it.

How could he possibly know he’d set things up for months of wordless lunches—on his part? And what would a person learn in a situation like that?

I’ve never admitted this before, but I tested it a bit. At situations where I could, I forced myself to listen to people’s stories, their questions, their opinions. The hard part was not spending my listening time formulating my response (how rude anyway!). I really had to focus on exactly what they said, how their voice altered based on their emotions, and what others around us had to say to encourage (or not—too often not, I’ll admit).

I learned a lot with the experiment, and I’ll be honest. I still catch myself listening with an ear to how I’ll respond instead of really listening. No, I don’t expect to find some café romance for myself. My guy is amazing, and he’s probably the only person on the planet who could put up with me, so… I think I’ll keep him. But I do expect to keep learning how to really hear people. You know… kind of like Jesus did. Imagine that.

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 10

Lots of Helpers, May 11

Miriam Jacob, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

By the Book, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 14

Spoken from the Heart, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 16

deb’s Book Review, May 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 19

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

Blogging With Carol, May 21

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 21

Simple Harvest Reads, May 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d735/corner-booth-celebration-tour-giveaway