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

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

The Amish Twins Next Door Celebrate Lit Book Tour

The Amish Twins Next Door by best-selling author Vannetta Chapman is a Christian Amish fiction book. This delightful Amish Romance is the story of Deborah Mast. She is a single mother of seven-year-old twin sons. They all live with her parents, and the twin red-haired boys are too rambunctious for new neighbor Nicholas Stoltzfus.

Author Chapman is a fabulous storyteller. As I read this ”Love Inspired Inspirational Romance” I felt as though I was right there on the farm with the family. The characters were realistic and refreshing. I loved the parts about raising goats. They taught me things I did not know. The story has many spiritual and everyday life lessons to ponder.

It was heart-warming to watch the characters grow and mature. They slowly became more open to others and God. It was beautiful, and I became fully invested. A few twists are tucked in throughout the book.

I highly recommend this Amish Love Inspired Romance to everyone. It is a lovely book that warm your heart. I rated it 5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my own, honest words.

The Amish Twins

About the Book

Book: The Amish Twins Next Door

Author: Vanetta Chapman

Genre: Amish romance

Release date: April 26, 2022

TheAmishTwinsNextDoor

Two little matchmakers could change everything…in this novel by USA TODAY bestselling author Vannetta Chapman.

Falling for a pretend suitor could cause real complications…

Amish single mom Deborah Mast is determined to raise her seven-year-old twin sons her way. But when neighbor Nicholas Stoltzfus takes the rambunctious boys on as apprentices on his farm, she’ll learn the value of his help with more than just the children. And when the two little matchmakers hatch a plan of their own, Deborah could also discover how to reopen her heart…

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

2018January3VannettaChapman-5060-Edit

Vannetta Chapman is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 39 full length novels, plus various novella collections. She has written for Abingdon Press, Harvest House Publishers, and Harper Collins Christian Publishing. She currently writes for the Love Inspired line of Harlequin Books. Chapman has received numerous awards including the ACFW Carol Award for best mystery (Falling to Pieces), and Christy Award finalist (Anna’s Healing).

More from Vannetta

When I married my husband 22 years ago, he had a 21-year-old daughter and 16-year-old twins. I was a single mom with a 10-year-old son. I was also a certified, experienced teacher. I could handle it. (Cue laughter) I had no idea what twins was like. I didn’t understand that special language they have with one another. I was perplexed by the way they could be fighting one moment and adamantly defending one another the next. Everything about twins confused me.

Now our children are all grown. They’re adults, and I wonder how the years have passed so quickly. The Amish Twins Next Door is my first book featuring twins, and I enjoyed every minute of writing it. I enjoyed telling a story about a mom who wonders if she will ever have a conventional family—because I was that mom. I also had way too much fun writing about a man who thought he could give parenting advice when he had no children.

Ultimately though, like all of my other books, The Amish Twins Next Door is a book about the over-arching grace of God and how it can carry us through all things. My hope is that you will laugh, maybe cry, and come away from the book feeling uplifted.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 6

Connie’s History Classroom, May 6

She Lives To Read , May 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 8

Simple Harvest Reads, May 9 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 10

Inklings and notions, May 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 12

For Him and My Family, May 12

Texas Book-aholic, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 15

Miriam Jacob, May 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 16

Bigreadersite, May 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Lighthouse-Academy, May 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Vannetta is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and 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/1d72b/the-amish-twins-next-door-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dial E for Endearment Book Tour and Giveaway

Author Heidi Gray McGill has written a delightful novella with her Dial E for Endearment. This is a lovely contemporary Christian Romance that is quite different from most but in a refreshing way. I loved it.

I enjoyed author McGill’s easy style of storytelling. Her story flowed smoothly and drew me in immediately. The characters are well rounded and relatable. It was easy to slip into their world. Conversations sounded authentic and not forced.

The main character is a vision impaired, feisty lady named Everly Johnson. She is a singles talk show host wanting to help others. Cameron Boyd is a shy leading man whose dog, Max, is a wonderful addition to the story.

The author has written a well planned, organized story. It has a sweet Christian inspiration message woven throughout it. Life lessons abound in this romance about two people with vulnerabilities. I highly recommend it. It gets a 5 star rating from me. I received a copy from the Celebrate Lit, but these are my own true words. 

About the Book

Book: Dial E for Endearment

Author: Heidi Gray McGill

Genre: Sweet Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 1, 2022

Dial E for Endearment

Everly Johnson is every man’s dream of the perfect date, even though none of her audience has met her. As host for the Choose Joy segment of JOY Radio in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, she receives countless gifts of flowers and candy on behalf of her admires, which she promptly donates to her mother’s assisted living facility. What Everly wants are words–heartfelt, meaningful endearments meant for her ears only. She wants a man who will open her eyes to everything she cannot see to make her feel more than just the voice behind the mic.

Cameron Boyd struggles to make eye contact with anyone, let alone say something coherent unless it is the one-way conversation he has each Friday with Everly Johnson. Date night for Cam involves sitting alone on his back porch overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains while he dreams of things to say if he were ever to call in to her show.

A chance meeting changes everything.

Will Cam be able to step out of his comfort zone and into the world he has only been able to envision in his mind? Will Everly trust this stranger with her life as well as her heart?

Tune into JOY Radio to find out!

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Author Image 2021

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 seamlessly weave scripture 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.

More from Heidi

Everly, the main character in Dial E for Endearment and I have something in common, but it may not be what you’d expect. As Blowing Rock, NC’s JOY Radio talk show host, Everly has discovered fulfillment, but she hasn’t found love, at least not for her—not even from her mother. In Dial E for Endearment, Everly wants words–heartfelt, meaningful endearments meant for her ears only. She wants a man who will open her eyes to everything she cannot see to make her feel more than just the voice behind the mic.

You may know me as an author, but did you know I am also the retired Director and Founder of an ESL program, regularly walk 12 plus miles a week, care for my grandsons, scrapbook, read voraciously, cook, and am legally blind?  That last phrase was difficult for me to say out loud not that long ago.

Vision loss does not discriminate.

My diagnosis in 2001 of Retinitis Pigmentosa was devastating. There is no cure. There is no surgery. But that does not mean there is no hope.

I still have value.

Those who do not know me well often don’t realize I have low vision. As humans, we are amazingly adaptable, and I do a pretty good job covering up my disability. My friends have learned to watch out for me and alert me to potential pitfalls, some better than others, which is always good for a laugh. I use a cane when I’m navigating alone. I’ve traveled to China—that cane my only companion.

Being blind is certainly not something I would have chosen,

but it does not define me.

Join me on this fun adventure and see for yourself that God does not discriminate. You’ll laugh your way through mishaps–most of which may have happened to me at some point…although I’ll most likely deny if asked. But most of all, you’ll learn that we ALL have value, and that includes YOU.

February is Low Vision Awareness Month.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

I luv the books, April 8

Inklings and notions, April 9

For Him and My Family, April 10

Spoken from the Heart, April 10

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 12

deb’s Book Review, April 13

Simple Harvest Reads, April 13 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 16

Miriam Jacob, April 16

Bizwings Blog, April 17

Blossoms and Blessings, April 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 19

She Lives To Read, April 19

Aryn the Libraryan, April 20

Splashes of Joy, April 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Heidi is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift card and a signed 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/1c94d/dial-e-for-endearment-celebration-tour-giveaway

Holy Saturday or Easter Eve

Today is the anniversary of Holy Saturday, Easter Eve or Black Saturday. It is the name given to the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is the seventh day of Holy Week. When Jesus died, He called out, “It is finished!” He had completed His ultimate task.  Now what?

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Where was Jesus on this day so long ago? My heart breaks to write this. Jesus was away from God and descended into hell.  Isn’t that what the Apostles Creed says?  All of what was done was for us.  The price was paid for us so that we would not owe it. Our debt was paid.

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This day is traditionally a time of reflection and waiting like Lent. Jesus’ followers spent this day waiting after his crucifixion on Good Friday. He had said He would rise from the dead so they would be watching for Him. Most likely they would be recalling every word He said to them. I would.  Wouldn’t you go over every detail?

Roman governor Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to prevent Jesus’ followers from removing the body to claim that He had risen from the dead.  Pilate sealed the tomb, secured it, and posted guards. No one was getting in. Jesus’ body would not be taken.

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Easter or Resurrection Sunday is tomorrow. I know the ending of the heart-wrenching account that began with Jesus being beaten and crucified. It starts with violence and tears of shock and sadness, but it turns into a joyous celebration of triumph over sin and death with tears of joy.
Have you been baptized? When we are/were baptized, we died with Christ (going down under water) and arose with Him (rising up again out of water) victorious!

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Scripture tells us this in Romans 6:3-11 King James Version (KJV):

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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As we await Resurrection Sunday, take a moment to reflect. Just as we were baptized and died with Jesus, we died to sin.  We should banish the hold sin has over us, and sin no more. As He died for us, let us live for Him. Accept His free gift of salvation given to all who simply acknowledge it. (See below for the prayer*)

*To accept Jesus as your Savior now, simply pray the Sinner’s prayer below:

”Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You are God’s Son, who died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I choose to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen”

Strength in the Storm Book Tour and Giveaway

Strength in the Storm by author Laurel Blount is a Christian Amish novel. It is a Johns Mill Amish Romance. Filled with mystery, romance, and intrigue this was a captivating page-turner. I enjoyed it very much.

This is the story of Emma Hochstedler and Samuel Christner. This Amish couple has a history of sorts. Emma was his childhood sweetheart. His heart was broken when she left their community, but now she is back.

The characters in this story are exquisite, main and secondary. I loved Sam’s aunt, Ruth. She was a cantankerous old lady, but after learning her story, I grew to love her. Most all of the characters felt like friends by the end of the book. The descriptions drew me in to the Amish community and made me feel like I was there.

Ms. Blount has a lovely style of writing. Her story kept me spellbound. Twists and turns, mysteries, life lessons, inspirational ,messages, romance, and more are all tucked inside for readers to enjoy. I wanted to read and do nothing else. It flowed smoothly with no lags. The story was multi-layered, yet easy to follow. There was a thought provoking spiritual message woven throughout the book. I will definitely be reading more from this author.

I highly recommend this wonderful book by a talented storyteller. It receives 5 out of 5 stars from me. a copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my own words.

About the Book

Book: Strength in the Storm

Author: Laurel Blount

Genre: Amish Romance

Release date: February 22, 2022

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In this touching Amish romance, a brokenhearted woman and a steadfast man discover that the safest place to weather tragedy is in each other’s arms.

After the murder of both her parents, Emma Hochstedler returns to the small community of Johns Mill, hoping to resume her quiet existence. Reclaiming her place proves harder than expected—especially now that a movie is being made about her family’s loss. But then, an old friend offers her a lifeline that gives her new purpose.

Amish builder Samuel Christner is the biggest—and the strongest—man in town. In fact, the gentle giant has only one weakness—Emma. Even though she broke his heart, he won’t let his childhood sweetheart face her troubles alone. He hires Emma as a nurse for his elderly aunt…and finds himself falling for her all over again.

But while romance blooms, storm clouds gather. And when darkness falls, it will take all Sam’s strength—and all their love—to see them through.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Laurel Blount headshot

Award-winning author Laurel Blount writes inspirational romances full of grit and grace—with characters who’ll walk right off the page and into your heart! She lives on a farm in Georgia with her husband, their four fabulous kids, and an assortment of ridiculously spoiled animals.

A enthusiastic multi-tasker, Laurel writes for both Berkley/Penguin Random House and Love Inspired/Harlequin. She’s the recipient of ACFW’s Carol Award, The New England Reader’s Choice Award and GRW’s Maggie Award. She’s represented by Jessica Alvarez of Bookends Literary Agency.

Strength in the Storm is Laurel’s seventh book—and four more stories are in the works! Stay tuned!

More from Laurel

A word from Laurel:

Oh, I can’t wait for you to meet Emma and Sam—they’re one of my all-time favorite story couples! And what an intriguing combination they are: a gentle man known far and wide for his physical strength…and a heartbroken woman—his boyhood sweetheart—who’s his one and only weakness.

Don’t you just love a good second chance romance? I know I do! There’s something so satisfying about seeing a broken love story beautifully mended. Of course, it won’t be easy.  Emma and Sam’s story is mixture of joy and sorrow, laughter and tears—lots and lots of bumps on the road for these two. But they’re about to discover that love and faith shine their brightest in life’s darkest moments—and that trouble only makes a hard-won “happily ever after” even sweeter!

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, April 1

Bigreadersite, April 1

The Avid Reader, April 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 4

SusanLovesBooks, April 5

Lighthouse Academy Blog, April 5 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Inklings and notions, April 6

Writing From the Heart Land, April 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 7

Remembrancy, April 7

deb’s Book Review, April 8

Miriam Jacob, April 8

Bizwings Blog, April 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 10

Mary Hake, April 10

Books I’ve Read, April 11

I luv the books, April 11

For Him and My Family, April 12

Maureen’s Musings, April 12

Connie’s History Classroom, April 13

Pause for Tales, April 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Laurel is giving away the grand prize package of a $75 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/1c570/strength-in-the-storm-celebration-tour-giveaway

Anything But Simple Book Tour and Giveaway

”Anything But Simple” by author Lucinda J. Miller is the account of her life as a Mennonite. It is her memoir and not a novel. The author provides readers with an open and honest view of life inside a Mennonite family.

This is the story of author Lucinda J. Miller (now Kinsinger) and her life as a Mennonite. It is a poignant look at her struggles and joys. Through her openness and words, I began to know this Conservative Mennonite lady. She actually did not seem that different from me in some ways. Both of us have questioned our lives at times, we enjoy writing, and we both love and serve Jesus Christ.

I did learn a lot from this book. It seems like most novels are written about Amish and not Mennonite communities. They are not the same and have many differences.

This is an interesting, well written book. I enjoyed the author’s style of writing. It was welcoming and relatable. At times it felt like chatting with a friend. A surprising thing for me was Lucinda’s friendship with an older, atheist woman. That account was captivating. For me, I found the last chapter, the author’s day, and the FAQ gave a more in-depth look into the everyday life of a Mennonite.

This is a lovely book. I highly recommend it. If you enjoy memoirs, Amish or Mennonite books, or would like to read about a different lifestyle, you will want to get this book. Reading Groups would be able to have much material to discuss in this thought provoking offering. It gets a 5 star rating from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: Anything But Simple

Author: Lucinda J. Miller (Last name now Kinsinger)

Genre: Memoir

Release date: July 25, 2017

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Plain? Yes. Simple? Well…

If you live in a conservative Mennonite community, edges are sewn shut and questions have answers. So if you’ve got a saucy tongue and a roving curiosity about the world, you’ve got a story to tell.

As a schoolteacher in a small Mennonite school in rural Wisconsin, Lucinda J. Miller wears long dresses and a prayer covering. But she uses a cell phone and posts status updates on Facebook. So why would a young woman with access to all these technologies remain in a sheltered community like the Plain Mennonites? How can someone with an eye for beauty and a sometimes sardonic wit stay within a tradition that values discipline and submission and uniformity?

Anything But Simple is the stirring memoir of a young woman’s rich church tradition, lively family life, and longing for a meaningful future within her Mennonite faith.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Lucinda J Miller Kinsinger has always viewed herself as a shy little Mennonite girl, but refuses to let that stop her from pursuing what she loves—whether that’s writing with honesty and vulnerability or traveling to a remote village in China. In 2019, she married Ivan, the love of her life, and moved from the flat, tree-lined fields of her childhood home in Wisconsin to the rolling hills of Garrett County, Maryland. The couple has a baby daughter, Annalise. Since the publication of Anything but Simple, Lucinda has published a second memoir, Turtle Heart: Unlikely Friends with a Life-Changing Bond. She is columnist for Anabaptist World and blogs at lucindajkinsinger.com.

More from Lucinda

Me, and The People Who Shaped Me

My dad used to say that every person in your life is placed there by God for a reason. Even the ones you don’t like are there to teach you something.

Learn.

If you don’t, God may send someone else to teach you the same lesson you couldn’t learn the first time around.

Anything But Simple is my story, the story of a shy little Mennonite girl growing up to be a writer and asking questions along the way. It is also the story of the many people who enriched my life.

My dad, with his black hair and handsome face and stories from his past.

My mom, with her smooth sweaters and her sure and solid love.

My bishop with his mouth that turned down like a turtle’s.

My creative writing professor who loved words in a way I had never seen in anyone but myself.

Charlene.

Mara.

Deqo.

Jake.

From these people and alongside these people I arose, breathing, questioning, earnest.

Our journey, like the journey of all the squiggly and intricate humans that wander the face of the earth, is anything but simple.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 2

A Reader’s Brain, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Inklings and notions, April 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 5

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 5

She Lives To Read, April 6

deb’s Book Review, April 7

A Melodious Sonnet, April 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 10

The Avid Reader, April 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 11

Rebecca Tews, April 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 12

Sodbuster Living, April 13

Boondock Ramblings, April 13

Vicky Sluiter, April 14

For Him and My Family, April 14

Spoken from the Heart, April 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lucinda 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/1c574/anything-but-simple-celebration-tour-giveaway