A Heart’s Forever Home

A Heart’s Forever Home is the third book in the Love’s Road Home series by author Lena Nelson Dooley. It is a sweet Christian historical romance. Even though this is book 3 it may easy be read by itself.

This is the story of Traesa Kildare. She had been adopted from an orphan train into a wealthy family or had she? She is a sweet young lady that was sent to Texas on the adoption train. There a wealthy family adopted her. Years later after family deaths, it appears the paperwork was never finalized. Her ruthless brother evicts Traesa from her home. She seeks assistance from the family lawyer, Wilson Pollard, and they end up in a situation that is surprising,

This is an engaging story. The characters were interesting and well thought. I enjoyed their interaction. There are some twists and surprises to keep readers guessing in this intriguing story. The author has a lovely style of writing. The story flows along at a nice pace. However, it ended too soon and left me wanting for more information.

I do recommend this book. It is a sweet historical romance with a mystery. There are spiritual and life lessons sprinkled throughout this book. It gets a 4 out of 5 star rating from me. A copy was provided, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: A Heart’s Forever Home

Author: Lena Nelson Dooley

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 17, 2021

A single lawyer whose clients think he needs a wife. 

A woman who needs a forever home…or a forever family…or a forever love.

Although Traesa Killdare is a grown woman now, the discovery that her adoption wasn’t finalized sends her reeling. Especially when her beloved grandmother dies and the only siblings she’s ever known exile her from the family property without a penny to her name.

Wilson Pollard works hard for the best interest of his law clients, even those who think a marriage would make him more “suitable” in his career. And when the beloved granddaughter of a recently deceased client comes to him for help, he knows he must do whatever necessary to make her situation better.

As each of their circumstances worsen, a marriage of convenience seems the only answer for both. Traesa can’t help but fall for her new husband—the man who’s given her both his home and his name. But what will it take for Wilson to realize he loves her? Will a not-so-natural disaster open his eyes and heart?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Lena Nelson Dooley has been an author for 36 years. Her 51st book released in June 2020. Raised in Arkansas, she married a Texan 56 years ago. They have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. She is an active member of ACFW and one of the founding members the DFW local chapter. She’s often been a speaker for other writers’ groups and conferences, both as a keynote speaker and a workshop teacher. Her fans love reading her books filled with characters who grip your heart.

More from Lena

I’ve been a lover of history for decades. In college and graduate school, all my elective courses were history. Of course, I chose the countries and eras I wanted to learn about. When I began writing novels, my first one was a contemporary story. After that at least 75% or more of my novels have been historical, all the way from 1805 through the early 20th century.

One of the hallmarks of my historical novels is the authenticity I write into the stories. Because of the amount of research I’ve done over the years, I’m kind of an expert in 19th century history. My characters and their stories are completely fictional, but the other things in the book are mostly true. I search until I find what I need to know or until I reach a complete dead end.

The history of the orphan trains has interested me since I first learned about them. One of them ended in Fort Worth where a pastor and his wife helped find the last orphans a home. A few didn’t get a home, so they took them in. In the 20th century that became an orphanage, then a home for unwed mothers.

A Heart’s Forever Home has three settings—Fort Worth, Texas; Waco, Texas; and New York City. It’s a Marriage of Convenience story and much more. This is another type of story I like to read and I like to write. Finding a different reason for the necessity of the marriage is interesting.

I’d found an event that occurred north of Waco in 1896. It was so bizarre I wanted to include it in a book. It was a perfect fit for this story and became an important catalyst in the story.

I’m what’s called in the industry a seat-of-the-pants author, more or less. I do have the complete outline of the story in my head. When I sit down to write, I know where I’m going, but I don’t have every single scene plotted out as some authors do. And I pray… a lot. During the time I’m writing a book, God drops ideas into my thought processes. Not just while I’m writing, but other times, too. That’s the exciting thing about writing. This keeps it fresh for me.

When you’ve finished reading this story, I hope you’ll let me know what you think of it. I really like getting reader feedback.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 12

Maureen’s Musings, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 13

The Book Chic Blog, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 14

Bizwings Blog, October 15

Reviewingbooksplusmore, October 15

By the Book, October 16

Kathleen’s Book Review, October 16

lakesidelivingsite, October 17

For Him and My Family, October 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 19

Inklings and notions, October 19

Vicky Sluiter, October 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 22

Joanna Bair, October 22

Bigreadersite, October 23

Mary Hake, October 23

Connie’s History Classroom, October 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 25

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/11fe3/a-heart-s-forever-home-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Life Redeemed Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

A Life Redeemed by author Olivia Rae is a Christian Medieval Historical Romance novel. It is the second book in the author’s Secrets of the Queens Series. Even though this is Book Two it may easily be read as a standalone. It is a rather lengthy book, but once engaged in the tale, the pages fly by. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This is a wonderful, clean Medieval story. The author has researched it extensively as evidenced by the many details. It is well planned well written, well organized, full of historical drama, and a true heart-warmer. All lovers of English history will eagerly devour this beautiful gem.

Set in 1559 in England and Scotland, this is the story of Audrey Hayes. She has been dismissed to her house from court. Queen Elizabeth then shows up demanding Audrey travel to Scotland to become a companion to the mother of a Scottish Laird. She is to watch the household and discover if they are in support of the Protestant or Catholic religion? If she refuses to become a spy, her family will be put into prison. Leaving her no choice, she agrees to go.

Audrey finds Laird Gavin Armstrong at his castle raising a child that is not his own son. His wife threw herself over the castle walls after the birth of his second child. The laird has closed off his heart and wants nothing to do with the beautiful new companion. A woman he soon finds he can’t trust. 

Their story is full of twists and turns as well as ups and downs. It is rich with history and full of emotion. I was immediately invested in the story and Audrey’s life. The characters in this epic tale became dear friends as I read longer and learned more details about them. I loved Gran, too. Characters were well defined, individualized, and complex. It was fun watching their many layers fall away until their true nature was revealed.Thomas, the young boy, was a precious lad.

The author has a wonderful style of writing. She has captured the style and everything else about life in mid 1500s Scotland. Her dialogue was authentic and interesting. It flowed freely and never lagged or sounded forced. The same for her story, it had a pleasant, even pace.

Spiritual messages are woven through this lovely story. Messages of trust, hope, forgiveness, and redemption. The dispute between Reformers or Protestants and Catholic is handled beautifully. Two characters illustrate that those of both persuasions believe in the same Unconditional Love and Merciful God as well as have Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

I highly recommend this thought provoking novel. It has remained in my thoughts even thought it has been finished for many days. I found it captivating, inspiring, and thoroughly entertaining. It receives 5 out of 5 stars from this reader. I eagerly await the next in this series. A copy was provided by CelebrateLit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  A Life Redeemed

Author: Olivia Rae

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 16, 2021

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Everyone has a secret, who can a queen trust?

Upon Queen Elizabeth’s order, Audrey Hayes travels to the borderlands of Scotland to learn where the fierce Laird Armstrong’s loyalties lie. Is he aligned with his mother’s English roots in support of the queen, or does he hold with the beliefs of his father, who wishes to see Mary of Scots on the English throne? The fate of Audrey’s family rests on her success in finding the answer.

After losing his lands in a wager and being betrayed by his kin, Gavin Armstrong entered a loveless marriage to obtain the funds to buy back his family home, Warring Tower. Now a widower, struggling against countless border wars, he is on the verge of losing his home and lands again. With few resources, he reluctantly makes another risky wager, one he cannot hope to win without trusting the secretive Audrey Hayes, a woman he suspects is an English spy.

As the two work together to save Warring Tower, their attraction to one another grows. But when Audrey finally gains the information she seeks for Queen Elizabeth, she realizes that the only way she can save her family is to betray the man she loves.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Olivia Rae is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. She spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town on the edge of a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world.  

Olivia is the winner of the Angel Award, Book Buyers Best Award, Golden Quill Award, New England Readers’ Choice Award, Southern Magic Contest, and the American Fiction Award. She is an Illumination Award Gold and Bronze medalist. She has also been a finalist in many other contests such as the National Readers’ Choice Awards, and the National Romance Fiction Awards. She is currently hard at work on her next novel. 

More from Olivia

My novel, A Life Redeemed takes place in 16th Century England and Scotland. A very popular dish at the time was the meat pie. Back then making such a dish took a lot of time. My Grandmother made a similar dish with modern day ingredients that you can whip together in no time. Cheesy meat pie is a real family pleaser and a delicious bit of history.

Medieval Cheesy Meat Pie

1 pound ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

1 – 8 oz. can of tomato sauce

¼ cup parsley

1 – 3oz. can chopped mushrooms (drained)

1/8 teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

2 packages (8 rolls) crescent rolls

3 eggs

Shredded cheese (mixed cheddar and mozzarella)

In skillet, brown beef, onion (drain). Stir in tomato sauce, parsley, mushrooms, pepper and oregano, then set aside. Unroll one package of crescent rolls, forming 12×6 inch rectangle. Seal edges and perforations together.  Roll to fit in 9-inch pie plate, trim. Separate one egg and set aside the yoke. Beat egg white with remaining two eggs. Spread over half the dough. Spoon meat into shell, arranging cheese on top. Pour remaining egg mixture over cheese. Roll out second package of crescent rolls, sealing on top of pie. Beat remaining egg yoke and a tablespoon of water, brush on top of dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. If pastry gets too brown, cover with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, October 9

Labor Not in Vain, October 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 11

Genesis 5020, October 11

Bigreadersite, October 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 14

Texas Book-aholic, October 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 16

deb’s Book Review, October 17

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 18

Connie’s History Classroom, October 19

Mary Hake, October 19

Inklings and notions, October 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 21

For Him and My Family, October 22

Betti Mace, October 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize packaged 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/11fe0/a-life-redeemed-celebration-tour-giveaway

End-Time Shaking and Revival Celebrate Lit Book Tour

“End-Time Shaking and Revival” by best selling author Guillermo Maldonado is a Christian, Spiritual Warfare, Charismatic, Eschatology End-Times book of 208 pages. It is the first book I have read by this author. Far as long as I can remember people have been talking about how “now at this very time” the world was living out its last days. Obviously they were wrong, but what about the people saying it now?


This book takes a look at relevant things happening in today’s world and compares them to what scripture says about End Times. Covid-19 and the Pandemic are discussed along with a variety of other note worthy occurrences such as wars, natural disasters, earthquakes, and severe weather that confirm the predictions. The author backs up his claims with scriptural references in his book. He includes a prayer and explanations on why we as Christians need to wake, show up, and stand up for God during these difficult times.


The author has an authentic style of writing. His words flow together into well planned sentences which make well organized chapters. It is easy to see he has studied End-Times and knows this subject really well. While I agree with the majority of his book, there is much that I thought did not need to be included. The author himself agrees that scripture states we will not know the exact date nor time that Jesus will return. It is prudent, however, to be ready and prepare your loved ones for it, also.


I would recommend this to those that enjoy non-fiction books about End Time and Spiritual Warfare. It is good to have Bible knowledge and this is heavy on scripture. At times the testimonies felt like a commercial for the author’s ministry, but that is his prerogative. It gets a 4 star rating from me. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. These are my own, honest opinions.

About the Book

Book: End-Time Shaking and Revival

Author: Guillermo Maldonado

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Theology/Eschatology

Release date: October 5, 2021

Shaking…Then Revival…Then Harvest!

The end times are unfolding before our eyes.

First, there will be unprecedented shakings.

Today, the world is shaking in alarming ways. And this is just the beginning. Nations, institutions, economies, families, individuals, the earth’s environment, the cosmos, the spiritual realm—in every dimension and sphere of life, we will see powerful waves of shaking that disrupt the course of our lives and take away our false sense of security in earthly resources, compelling us to return to our Creator.

The main purpose of these shakings is to judge the people of the world for their sin and rebellion against God. Yet God is using the shaking we are now experiencing to refine believers so we will be purified to become the remnant that is ready for Jesus’s imminent appearing.

Second, there will be unprecedented revival.

As we respond to the shaking with repentance and wholehearted devotion to God, we will be prepared to take an active role in the coming last-days revival in which God’s sovereign glory will be revealed! There will be an all-inclusive supernatural movement characterized by miracles, healings, salvations, financial provision, prophetic visions, renewed holiness, powerful worship, strong discipleship, and profound love.

Finally, there will be an unprecedented harvest of souls with global impact!

The Holy Spirit will empower the church to reach the lost with the demonstration of miracles, signs, and wonders. Millions of people worldwide will come to genuine repentance, surrendering their hearts to the Lord Jesus.

In End-Time Shaking and Revival, best-selling author Guillermo Maldonado expands on last-days themes introduced in his previous books, revealing how to…

  • Avoid God’s judgment
  • Respond correctly to the divine shakings in your life and in the world
  • Be revived and continuously filled with the Spirit
  • Participate in the worldwide harvest
  • Move in supernatural power

We must understand God’s cycle of end-time events so we can align our lives with His momentous purposes in these last days!

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Active in ministry for over twenty years, Apostle Guillermo Maldonado is the founder of King Jesus International Ministry—one of the fastest-growing multicultural churches in the United States—which has been recognized for its visible manifestations of God´s supernatural power. King Jesus Ministry currently has a membership of more than 25,000, including the main church in Miami, Florida, its campuses, its daughter churches, and its online church. Apostle Maldonado is also a spiritual father to 500 churches in 70 countries, which form the Supernatural Global Network, representing more than 750,000 people. In addition, he is the founder of the University of the Supernatural Ministry (USM). Apostle Maldonado has a doctorate in Christian counseling and a master’s degree in practical theology.

More from Guillermo

The end times are unfolding before our eyes. First, there will be unprecedented shakings in every dimension and sphere of life. Second, there will be unprecedented revival. Finally, there will be an unprecedented harvest of souls with global impact! The Holy Spirit will empower the church to reach the lost with the demonstration of many signs and wonders. In End-Time Shaking and Revival, best-selling author Guillermo Maldonado explains how to respond to God’s cycle of end-time events so we can align our lives with His momentous purposes in these last days!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 12

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 13

Fiction Book Lover, October 14 (Spotlight)

Inklings and notions, October 15

Simple Harvest Reads, October 16 (Spotlight)

For Him and My Family, October 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 19

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

Artistic Nobody, October 21 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, October 21

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 24

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Guillermo is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/11fe2/end-time-shaking-and-revival-celebration-tour-giveaway

Penelope’s Pursuit Book Tour by Celebrate Lit

Penelope’s Pursuit is a Christian historical fiction by talented author Chautona Havig. It is part of the Home and Hearts Westward Mail-Order Brides Series. This is not a cookie cutter mail order bride book. Part romance, mystery, and adventure Penelope’s Pursuit was a page-turner for me. Author Havig takes a somewhat realistic look at what might have happened to a few of the mail-order brides that traveled west. Charming yet poignant this lovely book is a delight.

This is the tale of Penelope and her travels to Kansas in search of her older sister, Priscilla. Ten years ago, Priscilla secretly left to become a mail-order bride. That was the last her family heard from her. The characters are unique, realistic, and timely. They were well defined and described. I could feel their anguish, disappointment, and joy. Some many emotions were contained within these pages,

It was easy to become invested in the story as well as the lives of both of both sisters. With her skilled pen, the author whisked me away on a journey to locate Penelope. Conversations were smooth, authentic, and some of my favorite parts.

I appreciated the life and spiritual lessons included in this tale. Whenever a novel teaches about trusting in God, forgiving, redemption, and hope, it does a great service besides entertaining. Penelope’s Pursuit did all of those.

I highly recommend this touching book. It is more than a regular mail-order romance. I give it a 5 star rating. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  Penelope’s Pursuit

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 29, 2021

Are mail-order-brides changing their minds or is something sinister going on in Kansas?

Ten years ago, Penelope’s sister ran away as a mail-order bride, and it was the last their family ever heard from her.  Now, with their parents dead and Penelope all alone, the young woman has one goal. Find her sister.

It took enough grit for Henry to write to Miss Mildred Crenshaw about finding him a wife in the first place, but when the stage arrives and no bride steps off, the whole thing feels like a confidence scheme. Investigation, however, sends chills down his spine as he realizes women are leaving the east for the west but many never arrive at their destinations.

Is it any wonder that Penelope doesn’t trust the man who abducts her from the clutches of her new friends and rides off into the sunset? Is his explanation reasonable?  Can she convince him to help her find her sister?

And is she about to fall in love with a homesteader on the untamed prairies of Kansas?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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

More from Chautona

Mail Order Brides: Do We Romanticize the Past?

Although I recall reading about mail-order brides in school… somewhere… Patricia MacLachlan’s Sarah, Plain and Tall was my first introduction to the idea of advertising for or requesting the services of a matchmaker to find a wife. The book and the subsequent movie showed the difficulties of such a marriage and left us all with a satisfactory ending.

Some years later, while doing a bit of research, I discovered another side of the coin—a horrifying picture of what happened to some gullible young women and the unscrupulous people who used such matchmaking schemes as a means for human trafficking. It sickened me, as it should anyone.

All my ideas for mail order bride novels ended up as wadded up balls of mental paper and in the wastepaper basket of my mind. A few years passed, and I came up with a twist on mail order brides, one that will see the light of day if I ever have time to write it. A few more years passed, and a series of books featuring a matchmaking service for mail-order brides and the Homestead Act resurrected those ideas. I smoothed a couple out, reconsidered, and decided against writing them.

I’d have to miss the opportunity to join the series.

My mind never does follow orders well. Within minutes of that decision, I had a story. What would happen if there was some funny business going on with girls going west? How could I combine a satisfactory ending where two people came to a meeting of the minds and hearts in the midst of fighting something that ugly?

Penelope’s Pursuit was born.

Is my story idealized? Probably. I’ll be frank with you. I’m okay with that, too. See, sometimes all we need is a reminder that mankind is sinful and in need of a Savior before the story turns into how things should have been. After all, fiction mirrors reality, but it is also an escape.

I hope Penelope’s escape to the west and her pursuit of her sister encourages you to turn to the Lord for every decision, in every trouble, and with every praise possible in between.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Blogging With Carol, October 9

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 11

Inklings and notions, October 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Lots of Helpers, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

Joanne Markey, October 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 17

Mary Hake, October 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 19

Vicky Sluiter, October 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 20

Connie’s History Classroom, October 21

Blossoms and Blessings, October 21

Splashes of Joy, October 22

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/11fe1/penelope-s-pursuit-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Postman’s Lantern Celebrate Lit Book Tour

The Postman’s Lantern by author J.C. Comerfield is a Christian children’s Christmas book. This was a hard one for me to review. The blue cover was inviting with its snowy church scene. The message is very nice.

It is the story of a father’s great love for his children, like how our Heavenly Father, Who loves us even more. It emphasizes the importance of helping others and working together. Keeping our eyes on the light and let it guide us (Jesus). Just like the postman delivers messages, we too must deliver the good news of Jesus to our friends.

The story is heartwarming and will hold children’s interest. It is a very nice story that leaves room for deeper discussion and teaching. If corrected, it would make a nice Sunday School or Junior Church book.

What bothered me was I noticed some errors that slipped by editing. Even more than that was the author’s use of “Lord” and “God” in vain. As a Christian this is so offensive to me. I have family members – adults and children both – that I constantly remind that they should not do this. In today’s world it is acceptable to many, but it wounds my soul. I can only hope that the author changes that in the next printing along with the other errors.

The story gets a 4 star rating, but the overall review is that as it is I cannot recommend this book in good faith. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, and these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  The Postman’s Lantern

Author: J.C. Comerford

Genre: Christian Children’s Fiction, Christmas

Release date: January 8, 2020

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During a devastating Christmas Eve snowstorm, John the postman arrives at his last stop, at the steps of the Frost family. Here, he rediscovers a stowaway letter in his mailbag, not for his route. It’s a letter from a hospitalized grandfather, to a very special grandson. John feels obligated to make the delivery. His unselfish act of kindness leads him, and then the Frost family, on an unforgettable journey across a seemingly endless track of farmland. Little does John know what he’s actually carrying. The lantern he carries becomes a mystery that guides their way through astonishing events. They finally arrive at the Evans house, where they find themselves before an extremely sick boy, a mother’s pain, and the mystical workings of God.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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John Charles Comerford grew up playing hard, on the streets and fields of Washington Township, New Jersey. He attended Our Lady of Good Counsel Grammar School through 8th grade. He then jumped across the street to attend Westwood High School, where he soon began playing guitar and composing songs at the age of sixteen. Writing short musical stories would soon turn into a more involved field of composition, as he later attended Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ. Here, he developed a desire to become a paperback writer. While attending college, he took a job with the US Postal Service as a mail carrier and is still delivering, thirty years later. He is still a performing musician and a recording artist on itunes. He now resides in Pawling, New York with his wife Bridget and his son Jack.

More from John Charles

I was just a little kid at the time. The temperature outside was 93 degrees.  I had awakened earlier that day, because it was a Saturday. I wanted to catch some early morning cartoons, instead of lying in bed, waiting for my dad to give out chores for the day. I knew it was going to be a hot one, and I dreaded going outside.

Before long, there I was slapping paint on the side of my house. Soon after, I was weeding and watering the front lawn before it reached into the 90’s. At about 12:00, I went inside to cool off. I ate some lunch and relaxed a bit, listening to the “Boston Pops” my dad had put on.

From a calm and collective state of mind, I was suddenly burdened by the noise of my barking dog, at the front window. I went to the front door and opened it wide. As I looked up, the mailman was looking down. His face was dripping sweat, and his uniform was soaked. He had a big smile and said, “Too hot to play today.” He laughed a bit and handed me the mail. I heard my mom and dad yell out “Thank you, do you need a cold drink at all?” He said “I’m all set but thank you.” He moved on, while adjusting that full bag of mail that he was carrying around his shoulders.

It was then that I decided I would never become a mailman. God, no, not this kid. That was no easy job.

14 years later, I was working for the post office, with a packed satchel around my neck, and a can of pepper spray, to boot. I was now walking that mile, in my old mailman’s boots. Many times I’ve prayed to God for help and to keep me from dozing off in trucks that reached 120 degrees inside. I prayed for help from dog attacks that would occur five times a day at least. I prayed for help from the pain you feel when it’s 30 degrees to 20 below and you’re soaked from rain. Your fingers are ready to fall off after being soaked from the rain or as they burn to the bone.

So I wrote my book, seeking the world’s attention to the mail carrier’s integrity, and a forever caring attitude to those who patiently await their arrival.

Blog Stops

Christian Bookaholic, October 7

Pause for Tales, October 8

For the Love of Literature, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 10

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 11 (Guest Post from Marilyn Ridgway)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Mary Hake, October 12

Girls in White Dresses, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 13

Inklings and notions, October 14

Vicky Sluiter, October 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 16

To Everything There Is A Season, October 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 17

deb’s Book Review, October 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 18

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 20

For Him and My Family, October 20

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, John Charles is giving away the grand prize package for a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/11fdd/the-postman-s-lantern-celebration-tour-giveaway

Is Sorry Too Easy to Say?

Sorry. How often do you use this word? Some people use it regularly whenever a request is made. Others might even laughingly say, “sorry, not sorry” to make a joke. This simply word that contains so much heartfelt meaning has been overused, diluted, and sadly misused. Yes, it is one of my pet peeves.


I hear it often. “Sorry.” When someone pushes into me in a restaurant or store, they just use that one word. If someone declines an invitation, I hear “sorry, I can’t.” Sometimes I need assistance with something and hear “sorry, I wish I could.” Mostly I hear this when people learn that my husband is no longer living. People are so sorry. Pun intended.


The word sorry comes from the Old English word sarig, meaning pained or distressed. Our current dictionary defines sorry as:

1 feeling distress especially through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune

2 feeling regret or penitence

It can also mean:

1 in a poor or pitiful state 

2 unpleasant or regrettable on account of incompetence or misbehavior


Now, let me ask, when you tell someone you are sorry, are you pained, distressed, or penitent? Not many are. Don’t get me wrong, of course there are times we say the word with accuracy. However, how many times have we flippantly tossed out a “sorry” without a second thought?

My point is, we need to apologize and seek forgiveness. Scripture says: “If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go  —first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering”(Matthew 5:23-24). It is hard to make amends without using the word sorry, and that is why we must be careful to properly use it. We need to preserve that word’s integrity.

Choose your words carefully. Be sincere. Don’t overuse a word or phrase until its meaning is just a whisper of what it was. The good news is that this is just my opinion. I would love to hear yours.

Let’s Talk about Prayer

How is your prayer life? Do you have one? Recently someone messaged me that she wanted to pray but did not know how to go about doing it. Surely we have all felt like that a time or two.

Basically, praying is talking to God. There are not any rules, except I would say it should be done respectfully. Don’t concern yourself with the shortness or length, just pray. For me, I like to go someplace quiet and without distractions. Then I start talking to God. Out loud or silently are both fine. Sometimes you hurt so much all you can do is cry out His name and let the Holy Spirit pray for you.

What prayer is not is magic, a way to get people to notice you, or a wish list. Prayer is asking for God’s help, healing, guidance, or provision. It is not asking for things you want but rather things you need. We pray for everything according to His Will. Not ours…His.

For those that are seasoned praying people, how do you pray? Do you have a prayer partner? Do you use scriptures in your prayers or maybe the Names of God? Do you fast and pray? Personally, I have like to do all of those things. Every morning that we can, my prayer partner and I pray via telephone. She’s up in Michigan and I am in Southern Indiana. We use scripture and some of God’s names in our prayers. For us it is a way of showing our love for Him and His Word.

What do we pray about everyday? Everything! Our children, family, parents, jobs, the nation, our friends that have requests, even our animals. God cares about every area of our lives so we seek His guidance in all things. We praise Him for His power, omnipotence, and might. Thanks are given for what He has done and answered prayers.

However you pray, just do it. If you are a parent, think how happy you are when your child contacts you. God is our Heavenly Father and wants to hear from us. Good things happen when you pray. Try it today.

Season with Love not Obligation

I come from a family of wonderful cooks. Not only is my sweet mother one of the best cooks I have known, but my grandmothers, aunts, cousins (male and female), and an uncle or two were gifted in the kitchen. One of my cousins even has her own catering business. This family knows its way around a kitchen.

Both of my grandmothers were phenomenal cooks. I had the privilege of learning this craft in each of their kitchens. One was precise and measured ingredients with a steady, knife to level everything off to a perfect cup. The other taught me to cook many things by sight. At a young age I was taught how to fry chicken and make a meringue pie with swirly peaks.


A memorable lesson was to measure out a teaspoon of salt in my hand. What?! Why wouldn’t I just grab a measuring spoon? My grandmother instructed me to attempt the task. Afterwards, I was given a bowl and measuring teaspoon to check how accurate I was. It seems I had enough salt for almost four recipes. we switched places. Grandmother was within grains of measuring a level teaspoon by pouring salt into her cupped hand.

Mammaw was a farm wife and could make anything taste like a gourmet meal. Many of her recipes were made out of ingredients on hand. The piece of advice she gave me that I have cherished the most is to always season your food with love. She said that means to cook because you love the people you are feeding and not because it is an obligation. After having a husband and family of my own, I fully understood what she meant.

Scripture instructs us to love and serve others. In fact, it says to serve others in love. Cooking is a great way to do both. Food tastes better when someone else prepares it. Maybe you have a friend or family member that is ill, depressed, extremely busy, or had a baby. Making a meal or tray of cookies seasoned with love could change the trajectory of their gloomy day.

If you don’t cook, there is a plethora of other ways to help. Run an errand, take them groceries, sweep their walk, rake their leaves, or find some other way to bless them. Scripture tells us we will be accountable for our actions here on Earth. It also says when we help anyone it is like helping the Lord.

How about you? Do you cook for your family? I hope you prepare and season your food with love. Do you serve others in different ways? Share with us.

Today is National Pecan Cookie Day. The recipe below is one my mother, grandmother, and aunts baked. It is especially good with a cup of coffee or tea and shared with a loved one.

Dig Deeper with Verse Mapping

Do you have a Bible collection? I certainly do. My dear late husband once told me I was a Bible junkie or at the very least had an issue with collecting them. He agreed that was in reality not a problem because I used them. Depending on the situation, a unique Bible type or version might be needed.

Have you ever heard of verse mapping scripture? Recently a friend invited me to new group she had started just for that. I baffled. What is this new to me study method? My mind jumped to cross-referencing and the Scofield Reference Bible. Wrong! Verse mapping is nothing close to that.

It is a method to really jump into a scripture and dig deep into its meaning. Discovering not only the author and year it was written, but how and to whom. Defining some of the English words back to the original Greek or Hebrew is eye opening. That is one of my favorite parts of the verse study.

There is a plethora of help on-line for beginnings. Many sites have free downloadable forms. The above is from outuponthewaters.com. I have found some instructions, templates, and other resources. Basically, all you really need is a journal or notebook, set of colored pens, and Bibles. If you only have one Bible, the Internet provides other translations.

Using Colossians 3:23, above is a comparison of just a few different translations. They are very similar yet slightly different. Verse mapping makes note of that.

If you are drawn to scripture and learning like I am, this might be for you. Everything I read said to pray first for guidance. Shouldn’t we do that anyway? Then choose your scripture. From here you will need a template or blank page to begin.

This is a new journey for me, and I have found it exciting. There are a few verses in the Bible that I do not fully grasp. Those scriptures will be on the top of my list to map. What verse would you like to really learn?

I would love to hear from you. Are you a verse mapper? Would you share any tips with us? Tell us how it has increased your faith or changed your walk.

Trail to Forgiveness Celebrate Lit Book Tour

“Trail to Forgiveness” by author Cheri Swalwell is the third book in her Contemporary Christian “The Redemption of Green Pines” series. I have read and enjoyed the other two, but this one is by far my favorite of the three. It is a powerful story that really moved me.


This is the story of Youth Pastor Jace, a widower with children still struggling to life a normal life. It is also the story of Holly, a Youth Ministry volunteer. Holly has loved the children for years and wants nothing more than to help them through this harrowing time. There are so many secondary characters and storylines, too. 


The book immediately caught my attention from the beginning. It had so much action and mystery. I was invested in the story and the lives of the characters. With real life trials and consequences, this is a story which could happen to one of our friends. The Christian life is not white-washed but portrayed in realistic scenarios with well rounded, lifelike characters. God is glorified throughout the story and many questions are answered.


I love author Swalwell’s easy, storytelling style. Her fiction and non-fiction flow easily at a smooth pace. This book did as well. Modern issues are tackled with eyes wide opened. I appreciated that things that confront people in today’s world are brought to light through Christian eyes. Some of these unsavory actions are heartbreaking and have stayed with me long after finishing the book.


After reading this novel, I wanted to be a better person and to help others more. Lessons on forgiveness, trust, love, redemption, and bullying are broached with emotional resolution. These characters became like friends as took the journey with them. I think this would make an enlightening group study or book club choice.


There is mystery, light romance, drama, and family situations in this poignant, faith filled book. If you like family series, this one is perfect for you. I would recommend reading the books in order because the story builds. This book gets a 5 star rating and a high recommendation from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book:  Trail to Forgiveness

Author: Cheri Swalwell

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release date: March 9, 2021

Even though he knew most of the pictures and accusations were planted, and false, people’s perceptions of what happened is what would decide Jace’s fate, not the facts themselves.

When it comes to dating, Holly has never settled…and she’s not going to start now with something as important as marriage. Jace lives with the weight of failing his wife, Simone, and refuses to repeat history. So, when Holly and Jace tentatively move toward a dating relationship, they know it won’t be as easy the second time around.

Rumors and lies about an affair spread in the church which could jeopardize Jace’s career and their reputations. In the midst of their own problems, they discover an even bigger threat trying to destroy the youth group.

What happens when evil is allowed to spread unchecked? It takes the skills of an undercover cop to reveal the sinister plot seeking to gain control of the entire church.

Will Holly and Jace find God’s trail to forgiveness…or are some actions deemed unforgiveable?

If you like wholesome fiction with a faith-filled message, step out with Trail to Forgiveness, Book 3 of The Redemption of Green Pines series today…to find out if Jace’s career and their love can survive.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Cheri Swalwell is a Christ follower who thoroughly enjoys her calling to be a wife, mother, writer and speaker, in that order. Cheri loves to encourage people through her fiction series and many nonfiction books including devotionals, Bible studies, and compilation books. For a full list of books visit www.cheriswalwell.com. If you want to sign up to her newsletter to stay updated on all the latest news, you will also receive a free gift as her way of saying thanks for joining! To read one of her many articles on life from a Christian perspective, visit her blog at http://www.cheriswalwell.comShe loves to interact with her readers, so send her an email at clSwalwell99@gmail.com. You can “like” her on Facebook as well here or join Heart Speaks with Cheri Swalwell, a private Facebook group where we encourage each other and share life together.

More from Cheri

Journey Back Home, Book 2 in The Redemption of Green Pines, was supposed to be a stand alone book. When I finished writing it, I realized there was so much more to the community of Green Pines, and also so much more to Holly. Who was Holly? Why was she able to help Jace through his grief? What brought her to Green Pines?

As a result, I wrote a prequel to Journey Back Home, sharing with readers Holly’s story which became Book 1, Adventure’s Invitation. That book shares the backstory of Holly and her family and I highly recommend reading it. It will make Trail to Forgiveness, Book 3 in The Redemption of Green Pines, that much more meaningful when you get to spend more time with Holly’s family!

Trail to Forgiveness picks up literally two hours after Journey Back Home ends. God unfolded the storyline as I was writing it. While Jace and Holly are busy dealing with false rumors and a church that wants to fire him, Noah and his friends are dealing with members of the youth group who are out to get them too. Thankfully, though, Officer Dave, now a new believer, sticks around and helps Jace and Paul uncover what’s happening. It’s not what you think … but worse!

Also in Trail to Forgiveness, we get to discover more about the foursome who works for Holly, former youth group members of Jace: Addie, her best friend Wynn, Zane and his sidekick Owen. Not only are there secrets circulating in the youth group, but Wynn has some strong secrets of her own.

Pre-order Book 4, Road to Freedom, to discover what secrets Wynn’s been hiding from Holly, her mentor, as well as her friends. Is Zane hiding something from Wynn also?

There is so much more to discover about the community of Green Pines. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as I do!

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, August 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 16

Texas Book-aholic, August 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 18

For Him and My Family, August 19

deb’s Book Review, August 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 24

Susan K. Beatty, Author, August 25 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, August 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 26

Pause for Tales, August 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cheri is giving away the grand prize of a $20 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/112e2/trail-to-forgiveness-celebration-tour-giveaway