Tidbits and Pearls Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

My Thoughts:

Tidbits and Pearls is a compilation of thoughts and writings by author Ladonna Shanks.  They are inspiration and are meant to help readers draw closer to God.  Author Shanks is very open about her life experiences in this book.

As I read it felt like I was having coffee and chatting with a friend.  The author has a nice, easy style of writing.  Her words flowed off of the pages and gently encouraged me.  A lot of her tidbits I had heard growing up.  “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill” or “when it rains it pours”are two of the more common ones.  She not only lists them but defines them.

The book has been divided into chapters that are also each different chapters in the author’s life.  She begins with Family and goes on to Blessings and on through until Death.  They are poignant and reflective.  This lovely book provides much food for thought.  It is filled with inspiration and directs readers to have a closer relationship with a God.

I enjoyed this book.  It would make a nice group read.  I wanted to talk about it as I was reading it.  At times I would read some of it out loud to my hubby.

I highly recommend this book.  It would make a nice gift or addition to any collector’s shelf.  I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.


 

About the Book:

Book: Tidbits and Pearls

Author: Ladonna Shanks

Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian personal growth

Release Date: April 15, 2019

Tidbits and Pearls CoverHow often do you truly see that life is full of everyday blessings from God? Our Creator is present in our lives—even when we don’t realize it—and it is part of His plan that we have friendship and relationship with Him. So how does one live life with God, the omnipotent, omniscient Creator of all?

In Tidbits and Pearls, Ladonna Shanks shares incidents from her life, recounting them in a way that touches the heart and enriches the lives of those who read these personal stories. Her insights and lessons learned offer profound yet simple wisdom, gleaned from her seventy-plus years of life experience. Many of her essays focus on her family—her children and “grandgirls”—as well as her personal gardening business. Her faith shines through the narrative as a shining light for others to follow.

Humankind was created to have a relationship with their Creator, and everyday life presents the opportunities for that to occur. Tidbits and Pearls is one woman’s record of how God manifests himself in daily life, with the challenge to look beyond the physical and seek the spiritual aspect of life. So take the first step in this journey and be honest with yourself and with God, for you are His instrument, and without Him you can do nothing.

Click here to grab your copy.

About the Author

Ladonnna ShanksLadonna Shanks was born and raised in Oregon. She graduated from Lebanon High School in 1962, married, and became mother to a son and three daughters. After more than thirty years as a stay-at-home mom, she began working in a garden nursery. That led to establishing her own gardening business. Now in her mid-seventies, she continues to operate the business as it enters its seventeenth season.

 

More from Ladonna

When people ask me how long it took to write Tidbits and Pearls, I usually tell them, “It took a lifetime.”  As a senior citizen, I had to live it before I could write of it–of life and the living of it; of God’s desire for friendship; of His presence in everyday life; of the opportunities given to learn, to grow, and to experience Him.

Tidbits and Pearls began as a blog several years ago, based on my personal experiences as God walks with me and teaches me. My desire is to share Him–with those who believe and those who don’t; to those in a church and those who aren’t; to many, to but one. In this compilation of posts, my goal is to challenge the reader to think beyond the physical into the spiritual, to consider the brevity of this life when compared to the eternal, to think of things in a way perhaps never thought of before, to look Godward.

My walk with God began as a very little girl with no concept of the reality of Him and His love. As a seventy-something woman, He is a part of my daily life, my anchor, the foundation of my being. He is my reason for living.

I am honored to deliver His message—God is love; He created humankind for friendship and relationship; there is a point and purpose to all things.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 4

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 5

Sara Jane Jacobs – Blog, September 6

Through the Fire Blogs, September 7 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 8

SusanK. Beatty, Author, September 9 (Author Interview)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , September 10

Wishful Endings, September 11 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, September 12

A Reader’s Brain, September 13

A Baker’s Perspective , September 14(Author Interview)

Inklings and notions , September 15

Texas Book-aholic, September 16

Just the Write Escape, September 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ladonna is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/eb97/tidbits-and-pearls-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Strands of Truth Celebrate Lit Book Tour

My Thoughts:

Strands of Truth by gifted wordsmith Colleen Coble is a magnificent Contemporary Christian fiction.  I began reading it and was completely whisked away into a world of mystery, adventure, and suspense.

This is the spellbinding tale of Harper.  Through DNA testing she found out she has a half-sister, Annabelle.  They live fairly close to each other.  Both of their mothers died rather tragically and the girls do not know the name of their father.  The mystery only escalates with danger and romance in this captivating story.

Author Coble has a writing style that starts starts strong and just keeps growing.  I was captured within the first few pages of reading.  My attention held all the way until the end.  The plot has surprises with twists and turns that kept me on my toes.  It was a breathtaking read.

The characters are realistic and so lifelike that they felt like people I knew.  Details were given and I learned information on a subject that I never knew.  I enjoyed learning about pen shells, mollusks, and oysters as well as the ocean.  The author did a flawless job with her research.  This is a well planned, researched, and extremely well written novel.

All while reading it the story played in my head like a movie.  Why not?  This would be a great movie.  The issues are current.  Finding a half sibling and foster care are always relevant and emotional.  This would be perfect for the big screen.

Life lessons on forgiveness, prejudice, trust, and family are artfully woven throughout this riveting masterpiece.  I could not put this book down!  It is amazing.

I highly recommend this to anyone that likes suspense or mystery.  The romance is there but not the main focus.  At the end of the book are discussion questions.  I rate this 5 out of 5 stars unless I can give it a 6!

A copy was provided by the Publisher but these are my own, honest words.

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About the Book:

Book: Strands of Truth

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: September 10, 2019

cover Strands of TruthHarper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

 

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

colleen-coble-headshot-smallColleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s EdgeTwilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at colleencoble.com; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.

 

Read a Premium Excerpt

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

“Free-dive into a romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and craving for more.” –DiAnn Mills, bestselling author

“As always, Colleen Coble never disappoints. Strands of Truth is no exception. I was hooked from the first page. Trying to read this story slowly is impossible. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself flipping the pages in a hurry to find out what happens next! This one is for your keeper shelf.” –Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice Series

“Colleen Coble’s latest book, Strands of Truth, grips you on page one with a heart-pounding opening and doesn’t let go until the last satisfying word. I love her skill in pulling the reader in with believable, likable characters, interesting locations, and a mystery just waiting to be untangled. Highly recommended.” –Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Formula of Deception

“Once again, Colleen Coble delivers an intriguing, suspenseful tale in Strands of Truth. The mystery and tension mount toward an explosive and satisfying finish. Well done.” –Creston Mapes, bestselling author

“Just when I think Colleen Coble’s stories can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. In Strands of Truth, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characterization of Ridge and Harper and their relationship pulled me immediately into the story. Fast paced, with so many unexpected twists and turns, I read this book in one sitting. Coble has pushed the bar higher than I’d imagined. This book is one not to be missed.” –Robin Caroll, best-selling author of the Darkwater Inn series

“It’s in her blood! Colleen Coble once again shows her suspense prowess with a thriller as intricate and beautiful as a strand of DNA. Strands of Truth dives into an unusual profession involving mollusks and shell beds that weaves a unique, silky thread throughout the story. So fascinating I couldn’t stop reading!” –Ronie Kendig, bestselling author of The Tox Files

 

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 3

Inspired by fiction, September 3

EmpowerMoms, September 3

Blogging With Carol, September 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4

My Devotional Thoughts, September 4

Christian bookaholic, September 4

KarenSueHadley , September 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5

Susan Cornwell, September 5

Inside the Wong Mind, September 5

Godly Book Reviews, September 5

Through the Fire Blogs, September 6

Emily Yager, September 6

Older & Smarter?, September 6

Blessed & Bookish, September 6

Andrea Christenson, September 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Avid Reader Nurse, September 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 7

The Becca Files, September 8

Blossoms and Blessings, September 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 8

Mary Hake, September 8

Spoken from the Heart, September 9

Betti Mace, September 9

Back Porch Reads, September 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 9

Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , September 9

Moments, September 10

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 10

For Him and my Family, September 10

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Daysong Reflections, September 11

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , September 11

SusanLovesBooks, September 11

Remembrancy, September 12

Worthy2Read, September 12

Just the Write Escape, September 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, September 12

Bigreadersite , September 13

janicesbookreviews, September 13

As He Leads is Joy, September 13

Livin’ Lit, September 13

To Everything A Season, September 13

Simple Harvest Reads, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

For The Love of Books , September 14

Living Life Free In Christ, September 14

A Reader’s Brain, September 15

Quiet Quilter , September 15

Hallie Reads, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Inklings and notions , September 16

By The Book, September 16

Real World Bible Study, September 16

Patiently Waiting, September 16

 

Shadow Among Sheaves Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Today I am pleased to tell you about a remarkable book that I just read.  “Shadow Among Sheaves” written by author Naomi Stephens is a beautiful retelling of the biblical story of Ruth.  This one is set in 1850’s England and is an exquisite novel.  It is one of my favorite “modern” day takes on Ruth’s story that I have ever read.

Author Stephens has written a realistic retelling in this book.  It makes sense.  Her beautifully written work grabbed me and guided me inside its pages.  I was no longer in my comfy chair reading but in England with Rena, her mother-in-law Nell, and Lord Barric.  From the very beginning I was invested in this superbly written tale.  It is a page turning, reader’s treasure.

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Not only did I read the book, I lived it.  I felt the snubs, was hurt by the insults, and understood the pain.  The women had a hard time and I wanted to offer help.  The author took me on an emotional roller coaster ride with this book.  I made new friends and found people I did not like.  Even ones I liked had moments where they were human and failed.

A review for this stunning book could be summed up in one word. . . WOW!   It is amazing.  This is a very well researched, well planned, and extremely well written book.  It needs to be a movie.  Yes, it is that great.

The characters are all believable.  They are well rounded with character flaws as well as redeeming attributes.  The scenery and daily life are vividly described.  I easily imagined I was gleaning in the fields, trying new foods, and seeing new things just as Rena.

The story is a bit predictable if you know your Bible but it also has some twists and surprises.  It has a good faith message and deals with tough modern day issues such as prejudice, bullying, pride, family, forgiveness, respect, and social standing.

There is so much packed into its pages.  I learned historical facts about India and England.  There was mystery, intrigue, romance, and discussions on placing priorities, family relationships, charity, gossip, and friendship.

I will be watching for more books from author Naomi Stephens.  You should, too.  This one was phenomenal.  I highly recommend it.  I rated it 5 out of 5.  A copy was provided by the publisher but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest words.

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About the Book

Shadow amonght Sheaves

Book: Shadow Among Sheaves

Author: Naomi Stephens

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: April, 2019

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.

About the Author

Naomi StephensNaomi Stephens is a bookworm turned teacher turned writer. She received a M.A. in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and now lives in Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a rascal of a dog named Sherlock.

More from Naomi

A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Ruth and Boaz

The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own. Which will he choose? Find out in Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens.

Read an Exclusive Excerpt from Shadow Among Sheaves:

She smiled, stepping closer and placing her hand on the horse’s wet snout. Samson was a pretty beast with wide, ponderous eyes and a few splotches of gray around his nose. The soft puff of air Samson snorted into her palm brought a delighted smile to her lips, and she gasped as he bowed his neck to nuzzle his nose against her stomach. She felt her smile leap into a grin. It was a delightful change, to feel joy so deep it finally showed.

Barric circled around Samson to stand beside her, his hands never leaving the reins. “He’s fond of you,” he remarked as Samson dropped his snout against her hip.

“Unsurprising, I suppose. Though he could also be searching you for a carrot.”

Surprised to hear Lord Barric speak so teasingly, and pleased by the gentle light she found in his otherwise tired eyes, Rena laughed her faint agreement. “That will teach me to come empty-handed, won’t it?”

Their smiles both dropped as a young, lanky stable hand came rushing out to take Samson, and Barric relinquished his hold on the reins, nodding his silent thanks.

As soon as the stable boy had disappeared with Samson, Bar¬ric glanced back at Rena. “Are you going home?” he asked, nodding toward the dusty road looping down the hill to William’s house.

She stepped back, realizing she had dawdled longer than she’d first intended. “Yes,” she answered. “I often come this way to avoid the other workers.”

“Might I walk with you?” He turned to hang his whip on a peg. “Just a short stretch of the road?”

Stunned by his request, and a bit suspicious of his motive, she nonetheless nodded. “Yes, of course.”

Barric drew up beside her, his even strides betraying no unease, though he was silent for some time as they made their way down the golden-colored hill.

“You have seemed tired these past few days,” he observed. Rena did not bother to deny it. She’d been working hard to keep up with the others, as Barric had told her she must, and felt wearier for it. She had tried to split her days in half, the mornings spent binding sheaves with the women and the afternoons spent picking for her own stores, but the work was backbreaking, and, as he had already pointed out once before, she was not used to hard labor. “I realize I haven’t really asked you how you are settling in,” he went on.

“Perhaps you’ve been too busy provoking me,” she answered before she could stop herself.

Barric’s eyebrow inched up as he slanted an approving smirk down at her. “Perhaps.”

Rena cursed her honest tongue. She must have been more tired than she thought, to speak so freely to a man of title. “I have been well,” she tried again, a bit more diplomatically. “The house suits us, if that is what you are asking.”

“The people here do not speak to you unkindly?”

“The people do not speak to me at all.” She had meant to sound casual, unaffected, but heard the hurt in her own voice she hadn’t been able to weed out. As Barric’s expression tightened, she hastened to amend, “Except for you, my lord. Of course. And the Wilmots.”

“They are good people,” he agreed quietly. “And will you be coming with them to the festival this evening?”

She hesitated. According to Alice, harvest home was a yearly tra¬dition, a night of raucous drinking and dancing to celebrate the close of the harvest. All of Abbotsville would be there—landowners, stew-ards, even tenant farmers and common laborers. But Rena was none of those things, and she and Barric both knew it.

“Come,” Barric teased, “do not tell me you are afraid to go. I would never have thought it of you.”

“I am not afraid,” she insisted. “I just had not thought about it.”

At her defensive tone, he smiled—a true smile—one that pinched the corners of his eyes and pressed grooves along the outer edges of his mouth. “You ought to come,” he decided. “Everyone in Abbotsville is welcome, and many are the men who would feel lucky to dance with you.”

But, of course, Lord Barric knew this was not true. The men in his fields regarded her mostly with contempt and made no secret of it— they would not count themselves at all lucky to dance with her. Was Lord Barric trying to offer her words of comfort? Or was he trying to convey a message?

Did he want to dance with her?

This was hardly a safe question, and so she asked another. “Do you dance, Lord Barric?”

When he met her gaze, so direct, she was all the more glad she had not stammered in her reply. The man walked a dangerous line whenever he deigned to speak to her. Far too close, she’d think, and then stern enough to cool her blood with a word.

He surprised her with another smile, this one a faint twist at the corner of his lips. “Perhaps you would have to come to find out.”

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, April 30

Mary Hake, April 30

Worthy2Read, April 30

Back Porch Reads, May 1

Inspirationally Ever After, May 1

Fiction Aficionado, May 2

Splashes of Joy, May 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 2

Bigreadersite, May 3

Inklings and notions , May 3

Blossoms and Blessings, May 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 4

janicesbookreviews, May 4

Just the Write Escape, May 5

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 6

Kat’s Corner Books, May 7

Pause for Tales, May 7

Aryn The Libraryan, May 8

Faery Tales Are Real, May 8

Hallie Reads, May 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 10

The Becca Files, May 10

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 11

Older & Smarter?, May 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 12

A Reader’s Brain, May 13

For the Love of Literature, May 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Naomi is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a finished paperback copy of Shadow Among Sheaves!!

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/deb9/shadow-among-sheaves-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

Gone too Soon by Melody Carlson Celebrate Lit Book Tour

Welcome to my stop on “Gone Too Soon’s” Book tour.  Here you will learn about the book, the author, where to find the other stops, and the giveaways.  Let’s get started with my review.

My Thoughts:

“Gone Too Soon” is a Contemporary Christian Young Adult offering by author Melody Carlson.  It was a difficult one for me.  I am not sure what age “Young Adult” means, but this book tackled very mature topics.  By the time I had finished reading it I was an emotional wreck.  First off, I am far from a young adult having twin thirteen year old granddaughters.  They were always in my mind while reading a book on teenagers.  I would not suggest they read this because of their age.

Author Carlson has written many books, but this one seemed more on the edgy, darker side.  The situations are real for today, and sometimes too brutal for me.  There is death, rape, drugs, smoking, exhibition, lewd dressing, animal cruelty, and things that kids just should not do.  Even the language is rough around the edges.  Unfortunately that is what is happening in our world today with some teens.

This story is about a dysfunctional family dealing with grief after a daughter (sister) is killed.  Using drugs, alcohol, and other things to cope divides the family rather than brings them closer together.  It is about misguided teenagers.

There is inspiration sprinkled throughout this story.  Some places it is heavier than others.  The author includes praying, Bible reading, Bible study, and going to church.  One place that bothered me was when a character cried out “Oh, God” as it is never clear if this is in vain or a prayer for help.  There is absolutely no doubt this is a Christian novel.

Gone Too Soon has a nice easy to read pace.  The author’s style is steady and grabs readers’ attention quickly. The characters are well thought and have many dimensions.  I could imagine their emotions and wanted to mentor the teens.  The tough subjects were handled in a way to allow learning.

I would recommend this book to certain people.  Older teens, people in ministry, women, and a book club.  This is definitely one to discuss.  I would not recommend it to anyone 15 or under, possibly 17.  I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest words.

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About the Book

Book: Gone Too Soon

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Gone Too SoonAn icy road. A car crash.
A family changed forever.

Hannah Josephson had always been the “perfect” daughter. Kiera couldn’t live up to her before, and she certainly can’t now that her older sister has died in a car accident. But the image she carried resentfully of Hannah is challenged when she finds her dead sister’s diary and begins to read. Apparently Hannah’s final year wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought.

Caught in a pattern of blaming each other, the Josephson family is falling apart. Their father has left, their mother is mixing opiates and alcohol, little sister Maddie has been shipped off to spend the whole summer with their grandmother, and Kiera feels utterly alone with her grief and anger. A summer job helping at a park in a poor section of town provides a friend and a purpose.

But it’s Hannah’s diary that fills her thoughts. For the first time in years, she feels close to the sister she’s lost. But can the knowledge she gleans about her possibly help her patch back together the family that seems determined to implode?

About the Author

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

I think I’ve written about a hundred or more teen novels, but Gone Too Soon, a rather serious story, is a bit different. There’s no denying I’ve covered a bunch of gritty issues—everything from self-harm to suicide to murder—but I’ve never written a novel quite like this one. For starters, I wrote it from two viewpoints. Both the teenage daughter and her mother express themselves in this story. And because the premise involves an untimely death, the family is torn apart. As a result, there’s a lot of guilt and blame and confusion going around. They’re all in pain.

I’ve been asked several times what “inspired” this story. And I’m sad to say that it’s simply a case of “art imitating life.” I live in a small community where too many young people have died “too soon.” These untimely deaths—for a variety of random and unexplainable reasons—are devastating. I know more than a dozen families (some very close friends) who have tragically lost a child. So I’ve seen up close how it can tear a family apart. It’s truly heartbreaking, often leaving friends and family without words of comfort or explanation.

But that’s not the only reason I wrote this story. My hope is that teens (who often feel invincible) will be reminded that they are mortal and that this earthly life is temporary. Hard as it sounds, death is inevitable. And it’s not that I want everyone to be obsessed about dying, but we do live in a culture that practices denial about the end of a life. No one really wants to talk about it. My hope is that readers will take a hard, honest look, peel back some layers, and face death for what it is—a part of earthly life. And I hope readers will close the book with a little more understanding . . . and hope.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 25

Emily Yager, April 26

The Power of Words, April 26

Moments, April 26

Christian Bookaholic, April 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27

Hallie Reads, April 27

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, April 28

Mary Hake, April 28

janicesbookreviews, April 28

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, April 29

SusanLovesBooks, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 29

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 30

Just the Write Escape, April 30

Carla Loves toRead, May 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 2

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 2

Through the Fire Blogs, May 3

Reading Themes, May 3

For The Love of Books, May 3

the Midnight Bookaholic, May 4

amandainpa, May 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

Bigreadersite, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

The Becca Files, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Inklings and notions, May 7

this chattanooga mommy saves, May 7

A Reader’s Brain, May 8

For Him and My Family, May 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away a grand prize of paperback copy of Gone Too Soon and a matching journal!!

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/dfa9/gone-too-soon-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

The Memory House Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Today is my stop on “The Memory House” Book Tour and Giveaway.  This delightful Christian novel was written by author Rachel Hauck.  Be sure to check out her giveaway at the bottom.

My Thoughts:

The Memory House is a thought provoking poignant tale that takes places in two separate times, 1953 and current day.  She uses four different points of views, and even though this sound confusing, Author Hauck pulls it off without a snag of any kind.

Her writing is hard hitting yet eloquent.  My favorite line was “Family is whoever fits in your heart.”  Beautiful!  I enjoy her style of writing and find her books linger with me long after the last page.  The emotions of the characters are felt.  The places are seen.  I have lived part of their lives with them.  Hauck is an exceptional author to do that.

This is the tale of  Beck Holiday and Bruno Endicott from present day.  It is also about Everleigh Applegate and Don Callahan from the 1950’s.  Using characters that are realistic with both flaws and merits the author made me become invested quickly in the story.  There is even a little dog, Beetle Boo, which will steal your heart.

Author Hauck has given readers a complicated yet easy to read story.  It deals with grief.  Grief unfortunately hits us all.  The trials and heartaches that befall the characters broke my heart.  Then something happens to mend it again.   A Christian message of hope and God’s plans for our lives shines through from beginning to end.  Praying for others is a good lesson in this book, and it has many.  “He suspected Mom’s prayers had a hand in this.” is a favorite quote that I find myself using only turning to “do you suspect your Mom’s prayers….”.

After I closed this beautiful book, it stuck with me wanting to be remembered and examined.  It still remains and pops up at odd times.   There are discussion questions in the back that are wonderful, not only for a group but for individuals, also.

I highly recommend this book for lovers of Christian fiction.  It is an amazing tale of family, friends, and faith.  From me it receives a 5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest thoughts.

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The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

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Genre: Christian Romance

Published by: Thomas Nelson on April 2, 2019

Embracing the future means remembering the past . . . When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that, either. Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share. Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.

About the Author: 

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Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauc.

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads , April 22
The Avid Reader, April 22
Wishful Endings, April 22
All-of-a-kind Mom, April 23
The Power of Words, April 23
Andrea Christenson, April 23
Worthy2Read, April 23
Carla Loves to Read, April 24
Blogging With Carol, April 24
Spoken from the Heart, April 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 24
C Jane Read, April 25
Reader’s Cozy Corner, April 25
Lis Loves Reading, April 25
For Him and My Family, April 25
CAFFEINATED CHRISTIAN RAVES-N-REVIEWS, April 26
Literary Reflections Book Blog, April 26
Jeanette’s thoughts, April 26
Carpe Diem, April 26
Mary Hake, April 27
EmpowerMoms, April 27
My Devotional Thoughts, April 27
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 27
Bigreadersite, April 28
Inklings and notions, April 28
Pause for Tales, April 28
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, April 28
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29
Rachel’s Back Talk, April 29
For The Love of Books, April 29
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, April 30
Quiet Quilter, April 30
Just the Write Escape, April 30
Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 1
Godly Book Reviews, May 1
Lights in a Dark World, May 1
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1
Stories By Gina, May 2
Texas Book-aholic, May 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 2
Older & Smarter?, May 3
janicesbookreviews, May 3
Living Life Free in christ, May 3
The Becca Files, May 4
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 4
A Reader’s Brain, May 4
Inspired by fiction, May 5
Moments, May 5
To Everything A Season, May 5
Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize of a copy of The Memory House!!

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/e2aa/the-memory-house-celebration-tour-giveaway

Ladies of Intrigue Book Tour & Giveaway by Celebrate Lit

Welcome to Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess’s stop on Celebrate Lit’s Ladies of Intrigue Book Tour and Giveaway.  I think you will enjoy today’s offering of historical Christian Fiction.  Be sure to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book.

My thoughts

I enjoy reading a novella collection especially when it is by one author.  It makes it easier to know what style of writing to expect rather than a compilation of various authors.  In this case, it was a charming book with three compelling novellas.
All three Christian historical romances were set in the 1800s but different locations. “The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady” was an adventurous tale set in Cornwall, England.  When reading about a gentleman smuggler my mind pictured a television series I watch (Poldark) so of course I loved this novella.  This had a nice romance and spiritual message.
The second offering jumps to the American frontier.  In Carol Award Winner “The Doctor’s Woman” Emmy travels to Ft. Snelling and begins work helping Dr. Clark.  They clash and sparks fly.
Closing out the trio is “A House of Secret’s” which is set in St. Paul.  This is a mystery that will have you guessing.  Amanda runs across a house with many secrets.
Author Grief has done a exemplary job penning these three stories.  Each has been well researched, organized, and planned.  Her descriptive account of each tale took me back in time to a place I had never been.  The characters were well thought and relatable.  I felt like I knew them.  They were well rounded and defined so that it was easy to see each one in my mind’s eye.
It is evident that much thought, planning, and research went into this trilogy of novellas. Attention to detail was taken and it made the book a pleasure to read.  Each story showed how its characters needed to put their trust in God rather that rely upon themselves.  That is a lesson relevant for today, too.
Each tale is filled with adventure, mystery, intrigue, and romance.  You will find inspiration, also.  Expect some twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting.  I would definitely recommend this delightful book.  Fans of historical mystery and romance will love it.  It gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest words.

About the Book

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Three Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep!
Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady

Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)

Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets

St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com.

Guest post from Michelle

Three Reasons to Read Historical Fiction

Believe it or not, some readers snub historical fiction, preferring instead to stick to contemporary reads. Several have good reason to, simply preferring one genre over another. But others have never given historical fiction a try. If you fall into that camp, here are some reasons you should consider reading a tale from the past
 
Historical fiction books are not as boring as your high school history class.
Does the thought of endless names and dates make you break out into hives? Good news! Historical fiction is a painless way to glean some historic facts without mindless memorization. You can experience a different era and culture vicariously through heroes and heroines that live on the pages of yesteryear.
 
Makes for great conversation.
In a world that prides itself on keeping up with the Kardashians, dare to add a little cultural zest to your next dinner conversation. Reading historical fiction arms you with interesting tidbits of things that’ve happened in years gone by.
 
Because truth is timeless.
Some people yearn to go back to a simpler time. The truth is, though, that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the historic side of the fence. People have had tough issues to deal with no matter the era. . .but therein lies a great reason to read historical fiction: truth is timeless. Be it ancient, biblical, medieval, Victorian, or anything in between, truth never changes.
In my new release, Ladies of Intrigue, you’ll experience all these things and more. Find out about the smuggling trade in Cornwall in The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady. Learn about the rough and dangerous life on a military fort during the 1860’s in The Doctor’s Woman. Find out why the gilded age wasn’t as glittery as we often think in A House of Secrets.
Don’t be doomed to repeat history. Grab a cup of tea and master it with a great read!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 23

The Power of Words, February 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 24

Mary Hake, February 24

Kathleen Denly, February 25

Genesis 5020, February 25

Splashes of Joy, February 25

For the Love of Literature, February 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 26

Faery Tales Are Real, February 26

Through the Fire Blogs, February 26

Blossoms and Blessings, February 26

Inspired by fiction, February 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 27

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 27

A Baker’s Perspective, February 28

Andy Carmichael, February 28

Stories By Gina, February 28

Emily Yager, March 1

Multifarious, March 1

A Reader’s Brain , March 1

Baker kella, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Remembrancy, March 2

Just the Write Escape, March 3

Bigreadersite, March 3

Inspiration Clothesline, March 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 4

Vicky Sluiter, March 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 4

Book by Book, March 4

Kat’s Corner Books, March 5

Inklings and notions, March 5

Living Life Free in Christ, March 5

The Morning Chapter, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Pause for Tales, March 6

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

Daysong Reflections, March 6

Texas Book-aholic, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Janices book reviews, March 7

A Humble Cup of Lukewarm Tea, March 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 8

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 8

Carpe Diem, March 8

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of Ladies of Intrigue. Be sure to comment on blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway!  Click here to enter.

Castle on the Rise Book Tour & Giveaway by Celebrate Lit

Welcome to “Castle on the Rise” Book Tour and Giveaway from Celebrate Lit.  I am glad you have joined us!  You will learn about this Christian Historical Fiction as well as its author, Kristy Cambron.  She has included footage from her research trip to the Emerald Isle which is a delightful treat.  At the bottom is where you enter the giveaway.

My Thoughts

Ireland is a beautiful land and author Kristy Cambron has chosen well using it as the setting for her Christian novel, Castle on the Rise.  No matter if you love  historical or contemporary fiction, this exquisitively penned tale will thrill you. This book cover three centuries with stories alternating at each chapter.  Transitions are smooth and each one delivered me effortlessly into a different time period allowing me to “live” there for a while.

I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing.  It is descriptive without being burdensome.  Places, people, and things were easy to imagine making the book play out like a movie in my mind.  The characters are realistic and well defined.  We became fast friends as I quickly got invested in their stories.  Within a few chapters I was captivated.   My contemporary friend is Laine.  She has a few issues that she wants to pretend do not hurt.  From 1916 comes my friend Issy, a skilled photographer.  She joins the Irish Citizens Army to help.  My 1798 friend is Maeve.  She struggles with keeping safe from rebels and smugglers.

The Castle has secrets that tie these three women together in the end through twists and turns.  I did learn some Irish history, and I love learning while leisure reading.  For me, the Christian content was too diluted and subtle.  I like to know I am reading a Christian fiction and not search for the meanings.

Castle on the Rise is Book Two, but I had no trouble reading it.  It can be read as a stand alone.  I would recommend this to readers of historical romance.  It gets a 4 out of 5 star rating from me.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest opinions.

About the Book

Title: Castle on the Risecastle on rise

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

A storied castle. A band of rebels. A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom. And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within—for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her Kristy Cambronbestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping Series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal’s Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

To stay connected, visit www.kristycambron.com.

Kristy’s Research Trip to Ireland

 

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, February 19

Maureen’s Musings, February 19

The Power of Words, February 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 19

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 20

Livin’ Lit, February 20

Texas Book-aholic, February 20

Fiction Aficionado, February 21

Gensis 5020, February 21

Blogging With Carol, February 21

Bigreadersite, February 21

Just the Write Escape, February 22

As He Leads is Joy, February 22

Just Your Average reviews, February 22

Inspired by fiction, February 23

Connect in Fiction, February 23

Carpe Diem, February 23

Bibliophile Reviews, February 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 24

Lis Loves Reading, February 24

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

Emily Yager, February 25

Moments, February 25

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 26

Girls in White Dresses, February 26

Mary Hake, February 26

Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 28

Remembrancy, February 28

Through the Fire Blogs, February 28

Inklings and Notions, February 28

Redeemed Hope Dweller, March 1

My Devotional Thoughts, March 1

Seasons of Opportunities, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 2

The Becca Files, March 2

Book by Book, March 2

Living Life Free in Christ, March 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 3

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, March 3

All 4 and About Books, March 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 4

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Janices book reviews, March 4

Giveaway

castle giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kristy is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy each of The Lost Castle (book 1) and Castle on the Rise (book 2)!!

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/d9d0/castle-on-the-rise-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Kitchen Marriage Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Kitchen Marriage

Author: Gina Welborn & Beccan Whitham

Publisher: Kensington Publishers

Genre: Inspirational romance/Historical America set in the old west

Release Date: September 25, 2018

A bright future awaits the women of courage and faith who boldly chase their dreams across the wide-open Montana Territory, prepared to embrace adventure and forge their own destinies . . .

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When French immigrant Zoe de Fleur is forced out of her position as household cook for a high society New Yorker, the pretty and talented chef seizes an unexpected chance to head west for a new beginning. She pursues what she thinks is a prestigious job in the frontier’s “finest kitchen,” but instead finds herself in a matchmaker’s agency . . .

Isaak Gunderson is one of Helena, Montana’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s too focused on running for mayor and his family’s business to think about a wife and family. His twin brother, Jakob, is supposed to be too busy as well, yet sends for a mail-order bride anyway. Isaak doesn’t want to fuel an ongoing rivalry with his twin, but this tempting newcomer can’t be ignored. If only she’d come to Helena a different way and loving her wasn’t a betrayal . . .

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Gina Welborn & Becca WhithamGINA WELBORN is the bestselling author of sixteen inspirational romances. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers, and serves on the ACFW Foundation Board. Sharing her husband’s passion for the premier American sports car, she is a lifetime member of the National Corvette Museum and a founding member of the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club. Gina lives with her husband, three of their five children, several rabbits and guinea pigs, and a dog that doesn’t realize rabbits and pigs are edible. Visit her online at GinaWelborn.com.

BECCA WHITHAM (WIT-um) Multi-published author, paper crafter, and Chai tea lover, Becca and her twelve-foot-long craft cabinet follow her husband of more than thirty years to wherever the army currently needs a chaplain. In between moves from one part of the country to the other, she writes stories of faith that touch the heart. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a Genesis Contest finalist. Connect with her online at BeccaWhitham.com.

Guest post from Gina & Becca

Dear Reader,

What’s better than fulfilling a dream? Why…taking the journey with a friend, of course. And we have the army to thank for it. Gina, whose father spent most of his army career at Fort Sill, had just moved back to Lawton, Oklahoma when Becca’s husband received orders to Sill. We were both looking for friendship and found a kindred spirit.

When we first conceived the Montana Brides series over Frappuccinos (Gina) and Chai Tea Lattes (Becca) at our local Starbucks, we set out to make our make our mail-order bride stories different.

The first thing we decided on was setting our series in Helena, Montana because, in 1888, the city boasted the most millionaires per capita in the United States. We liked the idea of a former mining town grown into a cultured city and that it wasn’t the usual isolated ranch setting for a Western.

We also wanted to create stories of mail-order bride romances gone wrong. In fact, our original series title was Mail (Dis) Order Brides. We brainstormed all the ways a mail-order bride story could go sideways and settled on our top three: a widow before a wife; two brothers, one bride; and a deceitful—though well-meaning—matchmaker. The Kitchen Marriage is the second book in this series and puts our heroine, Zoe de Fleur, between twin brothers, Isaak and Jakob Gunderson. Like our first bride, Emilia Stanek (The Promise Bride), Zoe shows up in town knowing no one. Does that sound familiar? As a former military kid and current military wife, we are very familiar with needing to start over, forge new friendships, and make strangers into family.

Thank you for taking a journey into the past with us. We pray you find our stories filled with hope, humor, and happily-ever-afters.

Sincerely,

Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham

 

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, November 1

Christian Centered book Reviews, November 1

Carpe Diem, November 1

Cultivating Us, November 2

Remembrancy, November 2

Inklings and Notions, November 3

The Becca Files, November 3

Stories By Gina, November 4

A Baker’s Perspective, November 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 5

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

KarenSueHadley, November 6

Luv’N Lambert Life, November 6

Maureen’s Musings, November 6

cherylbbookblog, November 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

SusanLovesBooks, November 8

Book by Book, November 8

Janices book reviews, November 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day, November 9

A Rup Life, November 10

Baker Kella, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 11

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, November 11

Britt Reads Fiction, November 12

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 12

Bigreadersite, November 12

Daysong Reflections, November 13

Vicky Sluiter, November 13

Singing Librarian Books, November 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her their tour, Gina and Becca are giving away a copy of The Kitchen Marriage to ten lucky winners!!

Be sure to comment of the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d772/the-kitchen-marriage-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Giveaway and Celebrate Lit Tour Stop for “An Hour Unspent”

My Review

An Hour Unspent by author Rosanna White is Book Three in her Shadows Over England series.  I did not have any trouble following along but did wish I had read the first two books before reading this one. The author is a talented wordsmith and teller of tales.  I was invested early in her story about Evelina and Mr. Barclay and stayed captivated until the end.

This Christian historical romance was well researched and organized.  The story provided some twists and turns to keep me on my toes.  Barclay’s large family was delightful.  Life lessons were provided throughout this novel.  Trusting God, making good choices, caring for family, choosing family and friends, and moral choices were just a few.

I was thrilled with the historical detail provided.  Books that teach me something and have a good Christian message are tops on my list.  This book gets a check for both.  Intrigue, war, family, and choices make this a page turner.

I highly recommend this book and author.  Author White always writes a page turning story with believable characters.  This one gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me.

*CelebrateLit sent a copy but all opinions are my own honest ones.*

 About the Book

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna

Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.
That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.
The founder. The caregiver. The leader.
I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.
It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.
There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.
It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!
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To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (list below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 30

The Power of Words, October 30

Back Porch Reads, October 30

Kat’s Corner Books, October 30

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, October 31

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 31

Faithfully Bookish, October 31

Genesis 5020, October 31

Fiction Aficionado, November 1

Among the Reads, November 1

The Lit Addict, November 1

Just the Write Escape, November 1

Multifarious, November 2

Godly Book Reviews, November 2

Real World Bible Study, November 2

Madeline Clark, November 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 3

Christian Bookaholic, November 3

Inspirationally Ever After, November 3

Bookworm Mama, November 3

Bigreadersite, November 3

Blogging With Carol , November 4

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 4

Life with the Tribe, November 4

The Becca Files, November 4

Kathleen Denly, November 5

Cordially Barbara, November 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 5

Simple Harvest Reads, November 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

God’s Little Bookworm, November 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 6

Faery Tales Are Real, November 6

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 6

Carpe Diem, November 6

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 7

Blossoms and Blessings , November 7

Maureen’s Musings , November 8

Connie’s History Classroom , November 8

Book by Book, November 8

Just Commonly, November 8

cherylbbookblog, November 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day , November 9

With a Joyful Noise, November 9

KarenSueHadley , November 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 10

Baker kella, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 11

Inklings and Notions , November 11

Two Points of Interest, November 11

Inspiration Clothesline, November 11

A Baker’s Perspective, November 11

Henry Happens, November 12

Proud to Be an Autism Mom, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

 

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Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! See what other readers are saying by checking out other stops on the tour.

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$50 and More Giveaway in Celebrate Lit’s “Miles from Where We Started” Book Tour

About the Book

Miles from Where We Started

Book Title: Miles from Where We Started

Author: Cynthia Ruchti

Genre: Christian Romance/Family life

Release date: October 16, 2018

These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip—and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off ramp.

Weeks away from their one-year wedding anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.

The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition, and an at-risk, trouble-seeking missile of an eleven-year-old is unexpectedly launched into their travel plans. Close quarters get even tighter, and the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.

Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness they expected. How can they find a new beginning when the road ends?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review:

This was the first book I have read by author Cynthia Ruchti. I found her writing style nice and easy to follow.  She sprinkles humor in the midst of an emotionally charged book and provides relief.  Her story was believable from quirky characters to the adventure taken.

This is the tale of the Duncans.  Married couple Connor and Mallory Duncan are basically newlyweds, but not so happily wed.  In fact, Conner is ready for a divorce.  Mallory is still trying.  The author did an excellent job in her writing.  At times I had to just put the book down for a bit.  My heart broke for them.  Yes, I was invested in the story and characters.

There is a fabulous little guy, 11 year old Judah, that steals the show in this book.  He is a foster kid and has many trust issues.  The Duncans take a trip that will promote the joys of micro-camping for Connor’s job, and Judah is their sidekick.  Like a reality show, social medial follows this trio on their trip, and we get to see their journey as they cross America and grow spiritually.

Life lessons are abundant in this lengthy book.  Faith, hope, love, family, redemption, and trust are just some.  The characters learn to trust God and His plans for their lives.  Readers should take note.  The book is not preachy but gets its inspirational message across.

I recommend this book.  It would be great for a book club or reading group.  There are discussion questions in the back to assist with deeper reflection.  I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to Gilead Publishing and Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own honest ones.

About The Author

cynthia ruchtiCynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope through novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and speaking events. She serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences across the country. She married her grade school sweetheart, and the two live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Guest Post from Cynthia

I have a confession to make. I heart millennials.

My other novels have had a few millennial characters. Some even played starring roles. But I knew there was more to the heart of millennials than I could gain from listening to the often unfair sighing or comedy routines about that generation. As a person, I wanted to know them better—what are they really like? What challenges do they face with which previous generations saddled them? What strengths to they offer our culture?

Until now, I hadn’t written a story about a millennial couple whose marriage was in crisis. Like, serious crisis. I-don’t-want-to-be-married-to-you-anymore. That kind of crisis.

As any good novelist knows, part of what we do to our characters is make the situation worse. So, millennial couple, approaching their one-year anniversary, ready to call it quits because “This marriage thing is really hard. Is it supposed to be so much work?” But what if…? What if they were forced to be together for three weeks…in a micro-camper…on America’s backroads…with an 11-year-old foster boy troublemaker…and both the husband’s AND the wife’s jobs depended on the trip’s success?

Plot idea in hand, I set off to write Miles from Where We Started, not entirely sure when I began the journey where they would end up or how they’d get there. It was an education for me in so many ways. The impact of the turning point of the story? In the words of my millennial friends, “That’s lit!”

Side note: I’m a big fan of a young teen musician at our church. The boy has mad skills as a keyboard artist. He approaches life as if it’s an endless game of Ninja Warrior. Why walk when you can vault into the room? Why walk up a flight of stairs when you can hop four at a time? He also sports a perpetual smile and is famous for his kindness, but his eyes give away that a little mischief may be hiding behind that smile. I asked Judah’s permission to use his name (and a little bit of his personality) as the foster child character in Miles from Where We Started. I can’t wait for him to read the part he inspired.

Can’t wait for you to read it, too.

Hemmed in Hope,

Cynthia

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 25

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 25

The Power of Words, October 25

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 26

Lighthouse Academy, October 26

Real World Bible Study, October 26

Quiet Quilter, October 27

Kristin’s Book Reviews, October 27

Christian Bookaholic, October 27

cherylbbookblog, October 28

Simple Harvest Reads, October 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, October 28

Godly Book Reviews, October 29

Captive Dreams Window, October 29

By The Book, October 29

Maureen’s Musings, October 30

Spoken from the Heart , October 30

SusanLovesBooks, October 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 31

Mary Hake, November 1

Book by Book, November 1

amandainpa , November 1

Pause for Tales, November 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 2

Just Commonly, November 2

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 3

Baker Kella, November 3

Two Points of Interest, November 3

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 4

Inklings and Notions, November 4

Bibliophile Reviews, November 4

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 5

Janice’s Book Reviews, November 6

Carpe Diem, November 6

A Baker’s Perspective, November 6

A Diva’s Heart, November 7

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 7

Bigreadersite, November 7

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away a grand prize of the Adventure begins” large tote bag, “This way to adventure” travel notebook, “Home is Where We Park It” metal wall hanging, a teardrop camper birdhouse, PLUS a $50 gift Visa gift card…to start your adventure fund!!

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/d4ea/miles-from-where-we-started-celebration-tour-giveaway

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