A Lady in Attendance Celebrate Lit Book Tour

Rachel Fordham never disappoints when I read one of her masterfully crafted novels. She is an expert wordsmith and storyteller. I appreciate the time she puts into researching the history and material because I always glean some new information while reading her exquisite tales.

A Lady in Attendance was another brilliantly written story. I was intrigued by the prologue and invested before the first chapter ended. This 326 page book is the story of Hazel McDowell. After serving a short sentence in prison for a crime she did not commit, she is released and seeks work as a dental assistant or what is know as A Lady in Attendance in the late 1800s. Young dentist Gilbert Watts has heard about these assistants and wants to hire one for his practice. The problem is that all of the girls are more interested in him than the job. That is until Hazel.

This is such a unique story. The characters are realistic and believable. I loved how their romance started slowly with an intellectual, caring attraction first. Author Fordham is an expert at romance stories. Hers are absolutely swoon worthy. Each novel contains at least one inspirational and one timeless life lesson. In this tale I found a beautiful illustration of forgiveness and redemption.

There is something for every reader in this riveting read. Whether you enjoy romance, history, mystery, intrigue, humor or inspiration, you will be pleased with A Lady in Attendance. It would be a fabulous choice for a book club. There is much to discuss. I highly recommend it. It gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  A Lady in Attendance

Author: Rachel Fordham

Genre: ChristianHistorical

Release date: June 1, 2021

A Lady in Attendance-Book Cover

Will the Past Destroy Her Future? 

Ada, Mi.—Rachel Fordham’s historical novels have received high praise for their warm and engaging story lines filled with romance, adventure, and happy endings. In A Lady in Attendance, Fordham beautifully blends these same great features in a novel about overcoming obstacles in the past to make room for a better future.

After spending the last five years in a New York state reformatory, Hazel is desperate to begin life anew, but she knows that a tarnished name could ruin her chances. She accepts a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’ lady in attendance but does so under an alias so she can hide her shameful past.

Dr. Watts has come to enjoy the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, but he senses her sadness and wonders if there is more to her story than she’s shared with him. As their friendship deepens, Hazel must grapple with her desire to trust him.

Can Dr. Watts and Hazel’s friends help expunge her record? And can Hazel possibly find hope and love along the way?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Rachel Fordham is the author of The Hope of Azure Springs, Yours Truly, Thomas, and A Life Once Dreamed. Fans expect stories with heart, and she delivers, diving deep into the human experience and tugging at reader emotions. She loves connecting with people, traveling to new places, and daydreaming about future projects that will have sigh-worthy endings and memorable characters. She is a busy mom, raising both biological and foster children (a cause she feels passionate about). She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

More from Rachel

Ten behind the scenes extras from A Lady in Attendance:

  1. This book takes place in Amherst and Buffalo New York, places I lived for four years. Buffalo has had some rough years but if you ever visit the area you will see gorgeous old buildings, beautiful parks and cemeteries and understand why it was once a booming and prosperous city (and why I love it still). Gilbert and Hazel both grew up in the area (though, they did not know each other until the story begins). Two of my children were born in Buffalo and though they aren’t being raised there, I tell them stories.
  2. Hazel spent five years in a New York State reformatory. Reformatories were basically the first juvenile delinquent facilities (the ages of who could be sentenced there was different from today). Reformatories were a new idea. There were still a lot of people who believed in “bad blood” and that a criminal could never be anything but a criminal. There were some heroes who fought hard to convince the public, that people could change. Because of this book’s storyline, I could not go too deeply into this subject, but it is fascinating!
  3. Gilbert Watts is this book’s leading man. I gave up on being able to use the name Gilbert on one of my own kids and instead gave it to a character. I adore the name Gilbert and everything about this character, hope you do too!
  4. There is a joke at the end of the book about a graveyard (don’t worry, it’s not scary) and it’s a nod to my mom who used to use this joke on us every time we passed a cemetery. I really love sneaking in things into my stories that will make my kids, family and friends smile when they read it. I often think of my books as love letters from me to others and the best kind of love letters are personal.
  5. My husband is a dentist and as a result, we tend to notice dentist in media. They are often portrayed as villains or comic relief. I decided it would be my goal to write a romantic dentist that would change the image in readers minds.
  6. Gilbert tells Hazel that being a dentist is really being an artist. When my husband was first trying to decide on a career path, he shadowed a dentist. He didn’t really think it would be for him, but he was open to exploring options. He came home and told me that the cool thing about dentistry was that you were essentially making art that was functional, every day. Little sculptures that helped people eat and smile better. Gilbert from the book is very different from my husband, but it was fun sneaking in little pieces of him in there.
  7. One of my favorite scenes from this book take place at a corn husking. There is a tradition that says, if a red ear of corn is found, the finder gets a kiss. Sigh, I love that scene!
  8. Without always meaning to, my books end up having messages woven into them. I believe one of the messages in A Lady in Attendance is forgiveness. In this case, it’s forgiving of one’s self. I believe this message is one that we all need at some point in our lives (or many points!).
  9. My books are coming out in a different order than they were written in. I actually wrote this book before Yours Truly, Thomas and after A Life Once Dreamed. This story has been waiting a long time to be in print! During that time, it has been reshaped in little ways. It gained a prologue and lost an epilogue, it was tamed down in places and intensified in others, but the heart of it has always been the same!
  10. One last piece of A Lady in Attendance trivia—several of my books have had their titles changed. It’s part of the writing process. The books get a working title and later a title that the rest of the world knows it by. The Hope of Azure Springs was originally just Azure SpringsYours Truly, Thomas was originally Dear, Azure SpringsA Life Once Dreamed was originally The Belle of PenanceA Lady in Attendance began as A Lady in Attendance and stayed A Lady in Attendance. Not only is this title fitting because dental assistants were knowns by this or as an attending lady, but also because Hazel wrestles with her worth. In a society that believes a mistake made once can leave a mark forever, it takes the right eyes and open heart to realize that there truly is a lady in attendance.

Blog Stops

Girls in White Dresses, June 30

The Sacred Line, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 30

lakesidelivingsite, July 1

Inklings and notions, July 1

For Him and My Family, July 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, July 2

Mary Hake, July 2

deb’s Book Review, July 3

Remembrancy, July 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 4

Reviewingbooksplusmore, July 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 5

Breny and Books, July 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 7

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 8

Older & Smarter?, July 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 9

Connie’s History Classroom, July 10

For the Love of Literature, July 10

Pause for Tales, July 10

Splashes of Joy, July 11

Life of Literature, July 11

Daysong Reflections, July 12

Bliss, Books & Jewels, July 12

Labor Not in Vain, July 12

Through the fire blogs, July 13

Texas Book-aholic, July 13

Blossoms and Blessings, July 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of A Lady in Attendance as well as A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham, a signed bookplate, book swag, and a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble!!

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/10e71/a-lady-in-attendance-celebration-tour-giveaway

Come Back to Me, Waters of Time Series, Book Review

About the Book:

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to? 

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

My Thoughts:

When I think of time travel stories, I always wish a Christian author would come up a with a series that would be readable. Award winning author Jody Hedlund granted my wish! I loved how she incorporated Christianity along with history to pen her phenomenal tale.

Author Hedlund has a exemplary style of writing. She researches her material and always provides new tidbits of information for me to learn. Her use of vivid descriptions she took me away to present day England and then 1300’s smack dab in the Middle Ages. Dialogues sounded authentic which helped keep me in the English mindset. She writes with a deft pen that has me staying up all night turning pages until I have completed the book. The best part is that she always includes an inspirational message.

Early in the first chapter I became invested with this unique story. I loved everything about it. The characters were realistic and individualized. The hunky knight Will was swoon worthy indeed. I loved that character. He had a heart of gold to go with his body of steel. The pair of young boys were delightful. I gleaned a lot of historical information about the Middle Ages that obviously I had forgotten from class years ago. The biblical references were awesome. The idea of healing from the Tree of Life made complete sense.

This novel is spellbinding. It has everything to keep readers captivated……romance, mystery, danger, adventure, twists, and surprises. There is a plethora of timeless life and spiritual lessons. Author Hedlund is a talented wordsmith and has produced a masterpiece worthy of a movie deal. I can only hope to see it acted out one day on screen.

The only bad part of this book is that I have to wait months before Book Two is released. Hahaha! I highly recommend it to everyone. This is a genius time slip or dual time novel. A reading group has much to discuss with this offering. It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me only because I can’t leave anything higher. Believe me, it is wonderful. A copy was provided but these are my honest thoughts.


About the Author:

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

 

The Proposal Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

The Proposal by author Tanya Eavenson is Book Two in her All Roads Lead Home series. Even though this is the second book in the Christian western historical romance series, it may be read as a standalone. Book One is The Rescue.

This is the story of Jessica Thomson set in early 1890’s Oklahoma. Jessica is a feisty young woman with secrets. She is running from something or someone in her past. It is also the tale of Sheriff Blake McKenny. He is a most likable character. His goal is to keep his town and everyone in it safe. Blake is struggling with unfounded guilt from the past. The chemistry between Blake and Jessica is undeniable.

This is a Christian romance historical adventure. The author has added some twists and turns to surprise readers. The dialog sounds authentic and adds to the story. Characters are realistic and relatable. The descriptions easily took me to Oklahoma of the 1890’s.

Author Eavenson has penned a nice story. It seemed to lack a little something to me. I loved that there was a prevalent Christian message woven throughout the book. With a little polish this good book could be a great one. Fans of historical, western, and romance fiction will enjoy it. It gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  The Proposal

Author: Tanya Eavenson

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 15, 2021

Oklahoma 1891

When the sheriff’s daughter goes into hiding from her father’s killer, her
life isn’t the only thing in danger.

Jessica Thomson is fleeing the man who killed her father. But her
stagecoach is robbed, and when the stranger who rescues her declares she
will be his wife, she does the only thing she knows to do—shove her revolver
in his back. Never would she have expected he wore a star on his chest. Too
bad she vowed never to love another lawman.

As sheriff, Blake McKenny prides himself on protecting his town’s people
from danger, but his efforts didn’t include a headstrong woman bent on
putting herself in harm’s way. When outlaws threaten his town and put
Jessica’s life in danger, Blake’s failure to save his late wife haunts him.

Can Jessica and Blake forgive themselves for the past and protect each
other—even if that costs them their hearts in the process?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Tanya Eavenson is an award-winning Christian romance novelist. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. You can find her at her website http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/

More from Tanya

Fiction to Reality

Ever had those moments when you’re reading a novel and it’s as if the author wrote the story line, the characters, or included verses just for you? When your world turns from fiction to reality with the flip of a page?

At the beginning of December in 2014, I took a novel from my bookshelf, snuggled on the couch with a blanket, and began to read. The title of the novel is called The Rancher’s Reunion by Tina Radcliffe. The hero in the story is Will, and he has a hereditary disease that caused him to fear, not only his future, but in trusting God. And that’s when God used this story to speak to me.

“I’m scared, Annie.”

“I know, Will. I know.” She blinked back the moisture pricking her eyes.

“No, Annie. I don’t think you do. I’m not just scared. I’m terrified.”

And I understood Will’s fear. Weeks prior to reading this novel, my doctor told me I have cancer. It’s a single word that can change the course of your life, emotionally, physically, but not only yours, others around you. And though I knew God’s presence would be with me no matter what the future held, my desire to write or edit anything had vanished. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to write anymore with my future so uncertain. I wasn’t just scared, but terrified my time with my family would be shortened.

But as I continued to read Will’s story, God’s whispered words, Do not be afraid of things you cannot control, pray, and continue your call to write, took hold and draped around my heart.

I knew at that moment this book was meant to be read at this appointed time. That God was leading me to give Him every single fear, open my laptop, and begin to write again.

During the time I’d stopped writing, I was in the middle of two stories, a contemporary romance, and The Rescue, the first story in the All Roads Lead to Texas series. It took some months before I returned to writing, but I had to give my fears to God the only way I could. Like Will and Annie’s story, day by day. Moment by moment.

In my new novel, The Proposal, the second story in the All Roads Lead to Texas series, Jessica Thompson understands fear and must learn how to give it to God. She has her father’s killer on her trail and the only means for escape is to run, but she never counted on the sheriff of Graham, Texas, to get in her way.

Have you ever had a time in your life where fear caught you so unexpectedly that you didn’t know what to do next? Perhaps you didn’t know where to turn? Maybe couldn’t pray?

I’m here to tell you it’s okay. God knows how you feel, good or bad, it doesn’t change His love for you. Just remember, He’s with you, by your side through it all. He will never leave you.

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, June 18

Genesis 5020, June 18

Lighthouse Academy, June 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

deb’s Book Review, June 20

Labor Not in Vain, June 20

For Him and My Family, June 21

Inklings and notions, June 22

Cats in the Cradle Blog, June 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , June 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 25

Connie’s History Classroom, June 26

Kayem Reads, June 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 28

Texas Book-aholic, June 29

Mary Hake, June 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tanya is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and eBook 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/10db1/the-proposal-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Crow’s Call by Wanda Brunstetter

Best Selling author Wanda Brunstetter has written another fantastic page turning tale with her newest book, The Crow’s Call. This Amish story is different than the ones most often told by author Brunstetter. It is still a Christian Amish Romance but has a mystery to it.  I absolutely loved it and could not put it down!

This is the page turning story of the King family. It is so captivating that I was immediately invested in the story. The lives of the family members were very interesting. Each character possessed a unique personality that made them easy to befriend. All are believable and well thought. Even some of the characters from The Prayer Jar series show up in this new series. I enjoyed the new Englisch characters and the lessons they taught.

The story opens with tragedy and heartbreak. It then deals with the timeless issues of loss and dealing with a new normal. The author has offered so many life and faith lessons in this book. Her writing style is superb. There are surprises and twists as the tale unfolds.  The conversations are smooth and sound authentic.

I highly recommend this book. The mystery is intriguing, the romance sweet, and the Amish delightful. I loved the inspirational message woven throughout this 5 star book.  I am eagerly awaiting Book #2!  A copy was provided by the publisher but these are my honest words.

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  • Series: Amish Greenhouse Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (March 3, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1643520210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1643520216

 

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About the Author

 

Promised Land Celebrate Lit Tour

My Thoughts

Promised Land by best selling author Robert Whitlow is a Christian legal suspense fiction that is the second book in his Chosen People Series.  I have not read book one (yet!) and had no trouble following this riveting novel.  It is breathtaking!

Set in both the Middle East and the United States, the author has penned a well researched, organized, and extremely well written story.  It is inspirational, faith filled, and full of timely life lessons.

The characters are realistic and engaging.  I was immediately invested in their stories.  Newlyweds Hana and Daub are a lovely couple.  The supporting characters are wonderfully believable, also.  Dialog flows easily and sounds realistic.

This book is a page turning delight.  There is mystery, adventure, intrigue, and stolen artifacts.  It had my interest piqued and I thought about this realistic book long after I finished it.  One of the things I loved was not having to search for God in the story.  He was up front!

I highly recommend it.  Plan on spending a lot of time with this book because because it is hard to put down.  I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own, honest words.

About the Book

Book:  Promise Land

Author: Robert Whitlow

Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense, Legal Drama

Release Date: January 14, 2020

Promised Land coverWith historical mysteries, religious intrigue, and political danger, Promised Land asks one momentous question: what if your calling puts you—and your family—in the crosshairs?

Despite their Israeli citizenship, Hana and Daud cannot safely return to their homeland because a dangerous terrorist ring is threatening Daud. Hana is perfectly fine remaining in the United States, working for a law firm in Atlanta, especially when she learns she’s pregnant. But Daud can’t shake the draw to return home to Israel, even if it makes him a walking target.

Hana is helping her boss plan a huge Middle East summit in Atlanta when Jakob Brodsky, her old friend and former co-litigator, asks for her help with a current case. His client is attempting to recover ancient artifacts stolen from his Jewish great-grandfather by a Soviet colonel at the end of World War II. Because the case crosses several national borders, he knows he needs Hana’s knowledge and skill to get to the bottom of what happened to these precious artifacts.

Meanwhile, Daud is called in to help a US intelligence agency extract a Ukrainian doctor from a dangerous situation in Egypt. While overseas, he can’t resist the call of Jerusalem and thus sets off a series of events that puts thousands of people in danger, including his wife and unborn child.

Bestselling author Robert Whitlow explores the meaning of family and home—and how faith forms the identity of both—in this breathtaking follow-up to Chosen People.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Robert WhitlowRobert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Website: www.robertwhitlow.com; Twitter: @whitlowwriter; Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks

 

Read an Excerpt

Click here to read an excerpt of the book.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, January 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27

Inklings and notions, January 28

deb’s Book Review, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 29

For Him and My Family, January 30

CarpeDiem, January 30

Christian bookaholic, January 31

Mary Hake, January 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 2

Blogging With Carol, February 2

Daysong Reflections, February 3

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 3

For the Love of Literature, February 4

Betti Mace, February 5

Hallie Reads, February 5

By The Book, February 6

SPLASHES of Joy, February 7

Bigreadersite, February 7

Pause for Tales, February 8

Emily Yager, February 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9

Better than Fiction Celebrate Lit Tour

My Thoughts

Better than Fiction by authors April W. Gardner and Michelle Massaro is a story within a story.  This is a Christian contemporary and historical fiction rolled into one book.  The historical section is set in 1916 Corona, California.  Done right, I love dual time novels.  This one definitely is!

I was immediately comfortable with the writing styles of both stories.  Words flowed and imagines appeared in my head like a movie.  I had no trouble imagining the characters or empathizing with them.  They were realistic and well rounded.

Never before had I heard of the races in Corona so this taught me something.  I love books that teach me new things.  The other thing that is a must have for me in Christian is a strong message of faith.  Better than Fiction does.  It is refreshing not to need to search for the hidden message but see it written boldly.  Bravo!

The modern day female leading character is a married woman struggling.  She and her husband need better communication.  The historical one is a mechanic and has problems not of her own making.

These stories really come together well with timeless issues.  The authors have such similar styles that it felt like one person penned this entire story.  They each included twists, life lessons, and an inspirational message.

I definitely recommend this book.  It is very different from any that I have ever read.  My interest was piqued early and stayed the entire book.  I rate it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest thoughts.


About the Book

Book: Better than Fiction

Author: April W. Gardner &  Michelle Massaro

Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary Fiction

Release Date: April 4, 2016

Better than Fiction coverImagining him was harmless…until it wasn’t.

Romance novelist Meghan Townsend’s marriage is slipping, and no amount of prayer seems to help. She aims to recapture her husband’s waning attention by getting in shape and finds escape by crafting her own fictional love story. Taking inspiration for the hero from a new friend—the attractive, spiritual, and attentive Curtis Jameson—she pours her yearnings onto the page, and craves the kind of pulse-pounding romance found in her book, Racing Hearts…

In 1916 Corona, California, motorcars are all the rage, and racing them is what Meghan’s hero, Russell Keegan, does best. But when his competition vandalizes his car, the only mechanic available is a greasy woman in a man’s overalls.

After a racing accident claimed her father’s life, Winifred became the sole breadwinner for her family. She is disdained as a female mechanic, but her daddy’s trade is all she has left. Can she swallow her hatred of the races and take up Russell’s offer of big bucks to fix his car, or will she lose everything to mounting debt?

Under Meghan’s skillful pen, these two embark on a thrilling, adventurous romance. But she finds that writing those love scenes with Curtis’s face in mind takes her heart places it shouldn’t go. Will she realize in time that real life can be better than fiction?

About the Authors

April headshotApril W Gardner writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our southeastern Native tribes. She is a copyeditor, military wife, and mother of two who lives in South Texas. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle MassaroMichelle Massaro writes contemporary fiction, soaked in grace. She makes her home in Southern California with her husband of over two decades and their four children. She’s dabbled in homeschooling, teaching Creation Science, and leading worship. When she isn’t tinkering with words, Michelle enjoys old Rogers and Hammerstein movies, making kefir, and Sudoku. A new lipstick and a good French roast always make her happy.

 

 

More from April and Michelle

April and Michelle get a lot of questions about how exactly co-authors write a book. Who writes which part? Did you have any trouble, any conflict? Valid questions! But in the case of Better than Fiction, it was no trouble at all, and neither author can remember a single heated disagreement. In part, because they’d been critique partners for eons and were already working together seamlessly.

It also helped that the story is made up of two intertwining novellas. Each author had her own blank canvas to color on with the other looking on and offering feedback. The most enjoyable part of the process was the challenge of making sure the events in the life of Michelle’s contemporary character (an author) influenced the characters’ decisions in April’s historical plot.

Why intertwining stories? The idea behind it was to show what it’s like to live in the mind of a writer, how her real life makes its way into her stories. The theme of emotional affairs was a good fit, as it is often all too easy for women—even Christian woman—to be drawn to another man and justify it as harmless friendship rather than admit she is looking to this person to fill a need that only God and her husband are meant to fill.

They decided to set the story against the backdrop of Michelle’s hometown of Corona, California in 1916 and the real-life Corona Road Race that took place in April of that year. It was the third race and, due to tragedy, the last.

From concept to “The End,” it took a span of about four years for Michelle and April to publish Better than Fiction, and as far as teamwork goes, it went off without a hitch. April was able to fly from her home in Georgia to stay with Michelle’s family and do research, and later, Michelle flew to Georgia for a concentrated writing weekend. The two had an amazingly fun time writing and working together.

Another question the authors get…will there be a sequel? Only time will tell.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 9

Among the Reads, October 9

Genesis 5020, October 10

Through the Fire Blogs, October 11

Betti Mace, October 11

Artistic Nobody, October 12

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 13

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 14

For Him and My Family, October 15

Remembrancy, October 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 16

Maureen’s Musings, October 16

Godly Book Reviews, October 17

Moments, October 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 18

Bigreadersite, October 18

Texas Book-aholic, October 19

For The Love of Books, October 19

janicesbookreviews, October 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

A Reader’s Brain, October 21

Inklings and notions , October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 22

 

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, April and Michelle are giving away the grand prize bundle of a $20 Amazon gift card, themed mug and bookmarks, and handmade throw pillow that says, “Books, my happy place”!!

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/ed92/better-than-fiction-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Stitches in Time Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

My Thoughts

Stitches in Time by Author Suzanne Woods Fisher is Amish Christian Fiction at its best.  Author Fisher is an expert wordsmith and masterfully weaves a captivating tale.  It is engaging and so interesting that I could not put it down.  It is about God doesn’t call the qualified but qualify the called.
There were so many relevant life lessons in the powerhouse of a book.  Foster-care is discussed in all aspects.  Marriage is dissected.  Silence verses opening up is discussed as is being truthful.
If you are a longtime fan, there will be many familiar names pop up in the lovely book.  For me it felt like a friendly reunion.  Characters are so well described that the are like friends well before the end of the book.  I am invested in their lives.  In fact, I want to chat up on all the latest news while the new stuff is happening.
This tale had a strong spiritual message which I really appreciate in any Christian book.  It had plenty of scripture, life lessons, and taught me things I did not know.  Parts of it made me chuckle, angry, sad, and want to rejoice.  This is the most different, yet refreshing, Amish story I have ever read.
There is a yummy recipe at the end.  I am going to try that tomorrow.  That is followed by a sneak peek for her next week.  Then you will find Discussion Questions.  Book Clubs, get this book!  There is a lot to ponder and discuss.  The author has included some notes, too.  Be sure to read the section on Foster Care.
Anyone will glean something from this skillfully crafted novel.  I highly recommend it.  I think everyone will adore it.  Even if you are an Amish fan, you will love this book.   It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me.  I received a copy from Celebrate Lit but these are my honest thoughts.
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About the Book

Book: Stitches in Time

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Contemporary Amish fiction

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Detachment had worked well as a life strategy for horse trainer Sam Schrock. Until he met Mollie Graber . . .

New to Stoney Ridge, schoolteacher Mollie has come to town for a fresh start. Aware of how fleeting and fragile life is, she wants to live it boldly and bravely. When Luke Schrock, new to his role as deacon, asks the church to take in foster girls from a group home, she’s the first to raise her hand. The power of love, she believes, can pick up the dropped stitches in a child’s heart and knit them back together.

Mollie envisions sleepovers and pillow fights. What the 11-year-old twins bring to her home is anything but. Visits from the sheriff at midnight. Phone calls from the school truancy officer. And then the most humiliating moment of all: the girls accuse Mollie of drug addiction.

There’s only one thing that breaks through the girls’ hard shell–an interest in horses. Reluctantly and skeptically, Sam Schrock gets drawn into Mollie’s chaotic life. What he didn’t expect was for love to knit together the dropped stitches in his own heart . . . just in time.

Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the little Amish church of Stoney Ridge for a touching story of the power of love.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.

 

More from Suzanne

Have you ever felt the tug to become a foster parent?

On any given day, there are nearly 438,000 children in foster care in the United States. Most states have a critical need for more foster parents, and the number of children placed in foster care increases yearly.

There are plenty of assumptions about having foster children, but most are incorrect. The media has a tendency to focus on the negative, but from all the research I conducted to write this book, for every bad news story, there were two good ones. Good stories just don’t make the news.

Below are some of the most common assumptions about foster care, with corrected information that is applicable across the United States (but keep in mind that each state has their own requirements).

Myth: Kids in foster care are bad or troubled.

Truth: Children in foster care are good kids taken out of a troubled situation. They need a caring foster parent who is patient and understanding. When given the opportunity, most of these children begin to thrive.

 

Myth: To be a foster parent, you need to be married and own a home and be a college graduate.

Truth: You don’t need to be married or to own a home or even be a college graduate. That means if you’re single or renting, you can be a foster parent.

 

Myth: I can’t afford to be a foster parent.

Truth: There are monthly reimbursement rates for children in foster care based on the level of care you provide. Medical and dental care is paid through state Medicaid programs.

 

Myth: Most kids in foster care are teenagers.

Truth: The average age of a child entering foster care is seven years old.

 

Myth: Most kids are in foster care because their parents have abused drugs.

Truth: Now, this one is not a myth. It’s true. There are fifteen categories that can be responsible for a child’s removal from a home. Drug abuse from a parent has had the largest percentage increase.

 

Myth: Fostering could require a commitment until the child turns eighteen.

Truth: Generally, children remain in state care for less than two years. Only six percent spend five or more years in foster care.

 

Myth: It’s too hard to give a child up to his biological family.

Truth: Most children are in foster care for a short time, returning to their biological families. Reuniting a child to his family is the ideal situation. Foster families provide a safe haven for a child. Healthy grieving is to be expected, but it’s for the right reasons. It’s healthy.

 

Myth: You can’t adopt foster children.

Truth: In 2016, more than 65,000 children—whose mothers and fathers parental rights were legally terminated—waiting to be adopted. Also in 2016, more than 20,000 children “aged out” of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to a “forever family” have a higher likelihood than the general youth population to experience homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration as adults.

 

Is there room in your heart and family for a child in need? There are many ways to get involved, some that do not even require foster care. One recommendation: volunteer with The National CASA Association (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children. You can find out more information here: www.casaforchildren.org.

Or consider small ways to connect to children in need—after school tutoring at your public library. Volunteering at a community center. Buy Christmas gifts for a family in need through an Adopt-a-Family program with a local church. Support a family who does provide foster care with respites—babysitting or meals. There’s many ways to get involved to care for children in need. And every little bit makes a difference.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, September 26

The Becca Files, September 26

SusanLovesBooks, September 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 27

Through the Fire Blogs, September 27

Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife, September 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 28

Inspiration Clothesline, September 28

Texas Book-aholic, September 28

Book bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 29

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 29

Blogging With Carol , September 29

Hookmeinabook , September 29

The Avid Reader, September 30

Mia Reads, September 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 30

janicesbookreviews, October 1

My Devotional Thoughts, October 1

Maureen’s Musings, October 1

CarpeDiem, October 1

For Him and My Family, October 2

Stories By Gina, October 2

Activating Faith, October 2

A Reader’s Brain, October 3

EmpowerMoms, October 3

Wishful Endings, October 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 3

Carla Loves To Read, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 4

Inklings and notions , October 5

Quiet Quilter, October 5

Vicky Sluiter, October 5

Hallie Reads, October 5

Blossoms and Blessings, October 6

For The Love of Books , October 6

For the Love of Literature, October 6

Bigreadersite, October 7

By The Book, October 7

She Lives to Read, October 7

Moments, October 8

Southern Gal Loves to Read, October 8

Girls in White Dresses, October 8

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of her 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/ec6a/stitches-in-time-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman Book Review

My Thoughts

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by author Carole Brown is a gritty tale of cult activity.  It is 342 pages long and classified as contemporary Religious Fiction.  Notice the “Religious” and not “Christian” classification.

Author Brown has written a novel about the gruesome things that are done to women and girls in cults.  Not much is said about boys in this book as her focus is on females and their mistreatment.  Brainwashing, abuse, sexual violence, suffering, and extreme male dominance made this a very rough story.

The characters were all over the spectrum which I would guess is typical in a cult.  It was hard to relate to them.  The author’s writing style left me wanting something more.  At times the story lagged and I quickly lost interest.  Dialog sounded stiff and unrealistic, but I have never been in a cult.  I could not find the inspirational element, but maybe I just skimmed over it during a rough part.

It is such a heart wrenching tale of loss and heartache that I could not finish reading it.  Please not this is just my personal opinion.  I have heard that many others enjoyed it.  This book was just too hard for my soft heart to take.  I rated it a 3 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest thoughts.

About the Book

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How far would YOU go to avenge the murder of a daughter?
Caralynne Hayman is angry and bitter over the abuse and death of her eleven-year-old daughter from the hands of her religious group, The Children of Righteous Cain. When her husband suffers a sudden heart attack, she does nothing to help him. In her eyes someone needs to pay, and if that means all of the men in the group, then so be it.
Dayne MacFarland is sent away to college by the senior elder of the group to learn ministry. When he returns after finding salvation, determined to bring the truth to the people he’s known all his life, he rediscovers Cara and realizes the love he once felt for her is still deeply embedded within his heart.
Dayne faces men unwilling to turn their backs on the cult training he despises. Cara faces men who follow their leader in abuse toward their wives and the young girls of the group. Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings.

Can Dayne’s love for Caralynne bridge the gulf of anger and bitterness that divides the
community? Or will Caralynne’s deadly secrets prove too high a price for her redemption?

Purchase link:
https://amzn.to/2IQk3i2

About the Author

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Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

 

Haven of Rest Celebrate Lit Book Tour

My Thoughts

Author Faith Blum has written a Biblical fiction with Haven of Rest.  It tells the story of Adah, King David’s daughter who is desperately seeking attention from her regal father or Abba.  She comes up with schemes and plans to accomplish that.  What happens is she finds a God, Adonai and develops a deep relationship with Him.

This is a short book or novella.  It has an interesting view of King David’s personal family and family life.  The characters were realistic and my heart went out to the daughters.  They really missed their father.  It is hard to imagine having so many siblings, and especially being treated differently if you were a daughter instead of a son.

Author Blum has a nice writing style.  While her story is biblically based she has taken several writing liberties with her story.  That happens a lot with Biblical fiction it seems.  I am not a fan of changing the Bible stories because people that aren’t familiar with the true scriptural account will be misguided.

Haven of Rest is Book #4 in the author’s Tales of the East Series.  I have not read the other books and had no trouble reading this as a stand-alone.  It is a short book and rather quick read.

I would recommend it to fans of Biblical fictions.  It is an interesting view on what might have been.  From me it received a 3 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but this is my honest opinion.

Click here to get your copy

About the Book

Book: Haven of Rest

Author: Faith Blum

Genre: Biblical fiction

Release Date: July 26, 2019

Haven of Rest CoverIgnored by her father…

Adah was neglected by her abba and her brother. She must do something. All her previous plans have failed, but she won’t slip up this time. Since her abba is King David, author of many songs, what better way to gain his attention than pulling off a concert featuring twelve of his daughters?

As she plans, Adah’s discontentment grows. She throws herself into the work but worry edges into her heart anyway. Can Adah learn to rest in Adonai as her father? Will she learn contentment in all things?

 


 

About the Author

Faith BlumFaith Blum is a small-town Wisconsin girl. She has independently published over 25 books in over five years. Most of her books are Christian Historical Fiction with an emphasis on Westerns. During an eBook sale, she was #1 in Christian Westerns and Christian Western Anthologies on Amazon. During that sale, she sold over 3,000 copies.

Faith currently resides in Central Wisconsin with her husband and their cat, Smokey. When not writing, you can find her cooking food from scratch due to food allergies, doing dishes, knitting, crocheting, sewing, reading, or spending time with her husband. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her on her website:https://faithblum.com.

More from Faith

The Haven of Rest was inspired by a friend. I wanted another fairy tale to retelling for my series, but had run out of ideas and she mentioned the 12 Dancing Princesses and how they 12 girls could be 12 daughters of King David. It took a little while, but the idea soon grew into this story.

I do take liberties throughout the story. It is a Biblical Fiction story, and I tried hard to keep to those roots and keep it accurate throughout, including for the betrothals and weddings. However, a few liberties I took were:

  • Giving King David more daughters than are mentioned. I did have Tamar be one of the daughters.
  • Creating a backstory for Amnon’s obsession with Tamar.
  • Showing that King David was a flawed man who was not a good father. Although this isn’t stated outright in the Bible, it is definitely implied by the rebellion three of his sons showed and his lax discipline of Amnon after his rape of Tamar.
  • The other liberty I took is a spoiler for the end of the book, so you will have to read the book to find out what that was. I do explain my reasoning of that one in the Historical Note at the end of the book.

I really enjoyed writing this story and hope you enjoy reading it!

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 22

All 4 and About Books, September 23 (Author Interview)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 24

Wishful Endings, September 25 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, September 26

Inklings and notions , September 27

Through the Fire Blogs, September 28

Mary Hake, September 29

Lukewarm Tea, September 30 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, October 1

Purposeful Learning, October 2

janicesbookreviews, October 3

Just the Write Escape, October 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Faith is giving away a themed basket with two plastic canvas heart bookmarks, a paperback copy of the book, and a crocheted doily!!

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/eb98/haven-of-rest-celebration-tour-giveaway

God’s Rebel by Michelle Janene Book Review

My Thoughts

This is the first book I have read by author Michelle Janene.  God’s Rebel is a tale of good verses evil literally.  It is about demons and evil spirit possession and is set in the Middle Ages.  This is Book One in the author’s Changed Heart Series.  I wasn’t certain what to expect, but this was a gritty, bone chilling tale when it came to the evil parts.  The good parts were heartwarming and God glorifying.

The main character in this book was dubbed Mariamne.   She did not tell her name so one was given to her.  The author did an excellent job describing her and her hard life.  She was unjustly taken as a slave and abused by men.  Unfortunately she does not know God, but knows the Evil One and he knows her.

Since it is set in the Middle Ages there are knights that come to her aid and show her that not all men are bad.  The characters are well developed and realistic for that era.  It is a heart wrenching story and was an emotional read.  This is the story of love, redemption, and God searching for a His lost children.

I would definitely recommend this short book to adults.  The evil warfare might be too much for a young teenager.  It could give them nightmares if they read it before going to bed.  I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but this is my honest opinion.

To purchase the book: https://amzn.to/2Yi16u2

About the Book:

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She is a woman without a name. Chosen by men for her beauty, she refused to bend to their desires. Beaten and sold to a slave trader, she is left to die in a putrid dungeon.

Everything changes when she’s purchased by the thane of a foreign king and given a Jewish name.

The king needs her to save his kingdom. God calls her to an unimaginable future. Evil wants her for itself, and if it can’t have her, it will kill her. Mariamne wants none of the possibilities she’s offered.

Mariamne needs only to surrender to achieve an amazing destiny.

About the Author:

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Michelle Janene lives and works in Northern California, though most days she blissfully exists in the medieval creations of her mind. She is a devoted teacher, a dysfunctional housekeeper, and a dedicated writer. She released her first novella, Mission: Mistaken Identity, in the fall of 2015, and has been published in several anthologies. She leads two critique groups and is the founder of Strong Tower Press—Indie solutions for indie authors.

Social Media:

http://www.facebook.com/MichelleJaneneNovelist/

twitter.com/MichelleJaneneM

http://www.pinterest.com/michellejanene/