BLOG, Favorite, Kregel, Read with Audra

Dusk’s Darkest Shores, #1 Regency Wallflowers, by Carolyn Miller

About the Series

While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.”

About the Book

How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?
 
Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England’s beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it’s a peaceful life.
 
That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary’s caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer–but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he’s plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?
 
Adam wants no charity, but he’s also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal–and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.
 
Best-selling author Carolyn Miller is back with a fresh series that will not only thrill readers eager for more of her work, but bring in new fans looking for beautiful writing, fascinating research, deftly woven love stories, and real faith lived out in the Regency period.
 
Click here to read an excerpt.

My Impressions

“God’s goodness did not fade away simply because she did not perceive it. Circumstances were not a faithful prism through which to see God’s love. God’s love, like the sun, always remained.” Englishman Adam Edgerton, a local hero, and favored son has yet to learn this as he feels God has deserted him. In 1811, he returns from war, injured and broken. Can sweet, positive, wallflower Mary Bloomfield nurse back to health not only his body but his soul? These two are brought together by unusual circumstances. Miller kept me spell-bound as I watched each of them transform the other.
Miller weaves a compelling regency with a strong faith message. It isn’t overbearing, but it is prominent, part of the necessary fabric.


“What if God did want people to trust Him to act in miraculous ways today? Was it presumptuous to believe in healing miracles? Or was it faith?” So many questions for God as Emily and Adam each work out their own faith.
I loved seeing the family dynamics play out in Emily’s family, Adam’s family, and Susan’s. Sometimes one wonders if a character’s family had been different, would that have altered his or her personality?
An animal is recognized as being an important part of Adam’s healing. I love this concept and the way it is integrated into the story.
Why does God answer some prayers and not others? At the end of the novel, I still grapple with this main question. But, like Mary and Adam, I’m willing to trust God to make the plans and to lean hard into His ways.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Read with Audra. No positive recommendation was required, and all thoughts are solely my own. Because of content, recommended for adults and mature teens.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent! A Regency to Remember

About the Author

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.
 
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 
 
Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win a fun prize pack inspired by the book and its English setting that includes: 
 
– a copy of Dusk’s Darkest Shores
– a canvas bag to carry your latest reads
– a fun pair of Jane Austen socks
– Novel Teas’ English Breakfast tea
– “Drink tea, read books, and be happy” tea spoon
– “Let your faith be bigger than your fear” mug
– Black currant preserves from England
– Wax Lyrical candle from England

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway.

https://www.audrajennings.com/2021/05/introducing-carolyn-millers-dusks.html

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Written Off, #3 The Wilkester Mysteries by Barbara Cornthwaite

About the Book

Book:  Written Off

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Christian Cozy Mystery

Release date: May 2021

“Break a leg?”  They’ll be lucky if they don’t all break their necks!

After years of waiting, Katrina finally has her happily ever after. All is right with her world . . . until hate crimes begin happening in the charming college town of Wilkester. Even more disturbing is the fact that the perpetrator seems to be connected with the writing class Katrina teaches. How can she prevent her rosy visions of the future from turning into broken dreams?

Find out in this third book of the Wilkester Mysteries.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

How can people even do such horrible things, Katrina wonders.
“Sin doesn’t just show itself in actions: it has a deluding influence, too. It makes people rationalize unimaginable things, and makes them call evil good and good, evil.” So goes part of the discussion between professor Katrina Peters and her detective fiancé Todd Mason. They are trying to puzzle out the “extra story” case from Katrina’s Writing Detective Fiction Class. The class gets deeper and deeper involved as hate crimes are committed, a community member is killed, and worse.


I have really enjoyed the development of Todd and Katrina’s relationship over this three-book series. I would highly recommend reading all three books in the order written to get the most from the series. The tapestry of the storyline is made beautifully solid by threads of other friends who are foster parents and their very real daily struggles. A second possible romantic thread strengthens the depth of the novel as does the inclusion of Todd and Katrina’s wedding plans and first-home preparations. Very satisfying.
My thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of this book, provided by Celebrate Lit. No positive feedback was expected, and all opinions are solely my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent! Very Satisfying Conclusion.

About the Author

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

More from Barbara

What Kind of Lessons Could a Mystery Possibly Teach Me?

It’s been a couple decades since I taught a college English class, and writing the Wilkester Mysteries with Professor Katrina Peters as the main character brought back happy memories of teaching. Not enough to want to go back to it—homeschooling my own kids is much more rewarding—but enough that I had to stop myself from writing much longer lectures into the stories! These are my first contemporary novels, and it was nice to write a story without the hours and hours of historical research I usually have to do. But whatever time period stories are set in, people feel the same emotions and have to learn the same spiritual lessons.

Katrina loves literature and can’t help seeing her own life as a story. The only problem is that she keeps thinking she knows what the Author is doing, and she has definite ideas about what the plot should be. She is not unlike myself: over and over I’ve thought I knew what God was doing in my life. And if He was short on ideas, I had quite a few that He was free to use! But He has rarely been doing what I thought He was, and for some reason He never seems to use my ideas about what could happen in my story.  Both Katrina and I need to learn the lesson that God’s wisdom is beyond ours, His storytelling is much deeper and richer than ours, and His plots are never predictable!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

April Hayman, Author, June 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 2

Losing the Busyness, June 2

Texas Book-aholic, June 3

CarpeDiem, June 3

Remembrancy, June 4

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

She Lives To Read, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 7

Inklings and notions, June 7

Labor Not in Vain, June 8

Genesis 5020, June 8

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, June 9

Blogging With Carol, June 9

For the Love of Literature, June 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 11

Joanne Markey, June 11

Through the Fire blogs, June 12

Mary Hake, June 12

deb’s Book Review, June 13

Daysong Reflections, June 13

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away  the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/10ca5/written-off-celebration-tour-giveaway

Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, NetGalley

The Silver Shadow, #11 True Colors by Liz Tolsma

About the Book

Book:  The Silver Shadow

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release date: May 2021

A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women

Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“God had given him the job to bring order to the world again. And that’s just what he would do.” Every crime has a motive, but when the perpetrator sees his motive as heaven-blessed, watch out world! The year is 1900, and women have begun the fight for the right to vote. Many men feel that a woman’s place is in the home, either under her husband or her father’s protection and jurisdiction.


Polly Blythe is trying hard to disprove her father of that notion as she struggles for a place in the newsroom of the Denver Post. Can she succeed against the odds in a man’s world, as an evil force begins to target people surrounding her and finally Polly herself?
I think the wonderful unfolding of the relationship between Polly and police detective Edwin Price held me captive from the first. I loved the whole Price family. And villains? Tolsma gives us plenty to dislike heartily, and I just couldn’t put the book down no matter how late the hour. Be ready for unexpected twists and one thrilling chill of a ride!
I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher via Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. No remuneration was received and no positive review was required. All thoughts are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent! A Fave!

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten from many readers of the True Colors Crime series is how do I come up with the ideas for the books? For the first two, Becky Germany, acquisitions editor at Barbour Publishing, had the ideas. That made my life easy. I just had to fictionalize it, and I had a book. But when I was putting together the proposals for The Gold Digger and The Silver Shadow, it was up to me to find the true crimes I wanted to use.

I went online and scoured historical crime blogs and books for ideas. I wanted crimes that I could work easily with, that made for compelling stories. As I was doing this, my husband and two daughters and I were driving home from Georgia. We were somewhere in Indiana. Don’t ask me why I remember this when I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I do.

And then on Google Books, I discovered a book about crimes the world had forgotten. The first one in there sounded so good. Not too grisly, something that no one would be able to guess the culprit very easily. It was perfect. Imagine my excitement when Becky told me they would be publishing The Silver Shadow.

Then I sat down to research it more. And I could hardly find anything! What? Where was all the information on this? There had to be more. That chapter in the one book couldn’t be all there was. He had to get his information from somewhere.

Eventually I did come across some articles from various Colorado newspapers with a few details. Not many at all. None from any of the Denver papers, even though that’s where the crimes were committed.

In the end, that’s all the information I discovered. In a way, it was freeing. I could write whatever I wanted, and no one would be the wiser. Even if they did some research and some digging, there wasn’t much to find. I was able to take the facts that I did have, combine that with what I found out about Denver in 1900, and put it together in a story. I tried to use historical details wherever I could, but of my four True Colors Crimes books, this is the most fictional of them all.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 25

lakesidelivingsite, May 25

Reviewingbooksplusmore, May 25

For the Love of Literature, May 26

Bigreadersite, May 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 26

Texas Book-aholic, May 27

Genesis 5020, May 27

Christian Bookaholic, May 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28

Vicky Sluiter, May 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 28

The Write Escape, May 29

Betti Mace, May 29

Inklings and notions, May 29

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 30

For Him and My Family, May 30

Rebecca Tews, May 30

Older & Smarter?, May 31

deb’s Book Review, May 31

Blogging With Carol, May 31

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1

Remembrancy, June 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Pick a Good Book, June 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 2

Connie’s History Classroom, June 3

Godly Book Reviews, June 3

Mary Hake, June 3

Through the Fire Blogs, June 4

Melissa Wardwells Back Porch Reads, June 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 4

KarenSueHadley, June 5

Amanda Tero, Blog, June 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 6

Grace-Filled Writer, June 6

Pause for Tales, June 6

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 7

Blossoms and Blessings, June 7

Daysong Reflections, June 7

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of The Silver Shadow!!

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/10c96/the-silver-shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Love Inspired Suspense

Shielding the Amish Witness by Mary Alford

About the Book

Book:  Shielding the Amish Witness

Author: Mary Alford

Genre: Amish Romantic Suspense

Release date: April 1, 2021

Shielding the Amish Witness (1)

Seeking refuge in Amish country puts everyone she loves in danger.

On the run after discovering her brother-in-law was behind her husband’s murder, Faith Cooper can think of only one safe place—her Amish grandmother’s home. But when danger follows Faith to the quiet Amish community, her childhood friend Eli Shetler is her only protection. And their survival depends on outlasting a relentless killer…one who has nothing left to lose.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

 “Faith appeared to be one more bad thing away from falling apart.” Oh, the tension here!!
Why you might enjoy Shielding the Amish Witness by Mary Alford.
First, the action is immediate. Faith Cooper St. Claire has just discovered her deceased husband’s note implicating both himself and his brother as crooked cops working for a ruthless drug dealer. When Faith shows her sister-in-law, Cheryl, this evidence, Cheryl is ruthlessly killed by said brother-in-law, Vince, and Faith must flee for her life.
Secondly, Faith, Eli, and Sarah, the main protagonists, are not unbelievably intelligent people with whiz computer hacking skills. They are normal people, with extraordinary circumstances to be overcome,
set against what should be a very peaceful Amish background. That juxtaposition helps lessen a little of the intensity of the high-octane suspense. If you are looking for true romantic suspense one or two notches below bordering on terror, this fits the bill nicely.


I love secondary characters who are the kind I would love to have in my life. Grossmammi Sarah is one of these, with “Never a negative word. Not even for the man who had torn apart their family.” She also fully embraces Faith’s return, loving her and waiting patiently for Faith to be ready to talk without pushing for answers. And so much peace, wisdom, and faith in Gott that can only come with years of practice, exercising our trust muscle.
Eli, I love because he is also broken and flawed, but he is faithful to his dear friend Sarah. Will that extend to Sarah’s beloved granddaughter, Faith?
Highly recommended!
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required and
all opinions are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! Highly Recommended!!

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the un-expected, whether it be in a rugged mountain setting or a peaceful Amish community.

Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling List, and have been finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.

Mary lives in Texas with her husband, two very spoiled cats, and a sweet rescue dog name Cody. Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Face-book and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.

More from Mary

As a reader, I love books that are part of a series. There’s something comforting about being able to revisit characters that are special to me and meet new ones along the way. You get to go back to your favorite place and hang out with the people who make you smile.

It’s like coming home.

When I set out to write a series about five Amish brothers, I knew exactly where I wanted to set the series. The West Kootenai Amish community in Montana. West Kootenai is a remote community with sweeping mountain views surrounded by vast wilderness spaces. The perfect setting for suspense, along with a chance at redemption and a second chance for the hero and heroine. I love that.

In November, I introduced Covert Amish Christmas, the first book in the series that featured Aaron Shetler, the oldest of the five brothers.

In Shielding the Amish Witness, we meet Eli Shetler, a widower who has returned to West Kootenai to try to start over after his wife’s death two years earlier.

Eli is reunited with his childhood friend, Faith Cooper, who is running from a relentless killer who was once part of her family.

The book takes the reader through the breathtaking countryside of West Kootenai and into the homes of the Shelter family. We get to catch up on what Aaron and Victoria have been up since last we met and are introduced to some new family members. That’s the wonderful thing about series.

So, come with me on a trip to the beautiful community of West Kootenai, Montana where I hope my characters will make you feel right at home.

In writing about the Amish, I’ve come to love preparing their dishes. I’ve tried many recipes, from Amish Pizza to Friendship soup. But one of my all-time favorites is Amish Fry Pies. They are SO good!

Today, I thought I’d share the recipe for Amish Apple Fry Pies. I love this delicious desert and I hope you will as well.

Blessings always,

Mary Alford

AMISH APPLE FRY PIES

(recipe curtosy neighborfoodblog.com and a favorite of mine)

yields: 6

INGREDIENTS

For the filling:

  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cider
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the dough:

  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup HOT milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To make the filling, combine the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat until juices start to form, about 3 minutes. Make a slurry by whisking together the cider and cornstarch. Stir this into the pan, turn the heat up to high, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. For the dough, cut the butter into cubes then use a pastry cutter to work it into the flour. Continue to cut in the butter until it’s in small pea-sized lumps. In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and salt together. Slowly pour in hot milk, stirring constantly. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Stir together until a dough begins to form. Turn the dough out onto parchment or wax paper, and knead it until it smooths out, about 1 minute.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal sized pieces and roll them each into a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll them out to about 6-inch circles. Fill each circle with 2 Tablespoons of apple mixture. Fold the dough in half over the filling and pinch the edges together to seal. You can flute the edges or use a fork to crimp them. If the edges aren’t sealing properly, wet them with a little water.
  4. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan to 350 degrees. You can test to see if the oil is ready by sticking a wooden spoon into the center of the pot. If small bubbles form around the handle, you’re ready to go.
  5. Place the pies in the hot oil one at a time and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to dry.
  6. Repeat with remaining pies.
  7. While the pies fry, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. It’s best to glaze the pies while they’re still warm. I use a pastry brush to brush the glaze on one side then let it dry, flip them over, and glaze the other side. You can put two coats of glaze on for extra sweetness if you like but wait for the glaze to harden in between coats.
  8. Pies can be stored uncovered for 2-3 days. If you want the glaze to remain hard, do not place the pies in a plastic bag or sealed container. Just leave them on a wire rack or pan.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 17

Genesis 5020, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

For the Love of Literature, May 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 19

The Avid Reader, May 19

Texas Book-aholic, May 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 21

Blogging with Carol, May 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 23

For Him and My Family, May 24

Hallie Reads, May 24

Inklings and notions, May 25

Blossoms and Blessings, May 25

Older & Smarter?, May 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 27

deb’s Book Review, May 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 28

Maureen’s Musings, May 28

Simple Harvest Reads, May 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

She Lives To Read, May 30

KarenSueHadley, May 30

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize of a $40 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/10bbd/shielding-the-amish-witness-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, LibraryThing Early Readers, NetGalley, PB, Revell

At Lighthouse Point, #3 Three Sisters Island, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the Book

Book:  At Lighthouse Point

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: May 4, 2021

at lighthouse

Blaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with a grand plan–to take Camp Kicking Moose to the next level. Her dream starts to unravel when she discovers Moose Manor’s kitchen has been badly remodeled by her sister, Cam, who doesn’t know how to cook. Added to that blow is the cold shoulder given by her best friend, Artie Lotosky, now a doctor to the unbridged Maine islands.

As old wounds are opened, Blaine starts to wonder if she made a mistake by coming home. Little by little, she must let go of one dream to discover a new one, opening her heart to a purpose and a future she had never imagined.

Click here to get your copy!


My Impressions


Welcome back to Three Sisters Island, ME, and another visit with Paul Grayson and his three grown daughters. (I was thankful for the character list at beginning of this book. With the books in the series a year apart, it can be hard to remember who’s who.) At Lighthouse Point, #3 Three Sisters Island, by Suzanne Woods Fisher is very enjoyable as it focuses especially on Blaine’s return to the island, yet we see Cam and Maddie maturing in their marriages and the dynamics of the family as a whole. There are so many character developments or relationships examined, that the flow of the storyline is wonderfully robust and busy from every angle. With healthy doses of faith that are spoken in Woods’ trademark profound but easy-to-understand style, this book is the perfect conclusion to The Three Sisters’ Island series. Woods even surprised me a few times with her twists and turns.


I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit via Net Galley and LibraryThing Early Reviewers. No positive review was required and all thoughts are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! A fave for its truths and tightly woven storyline.

About the Author

Award winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected. With more than one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of more than 30 works, ranging from novels to non-fiction books to children’s books. Currently, she lives with her very big family in the East Bay.

More from Suzanne

10 Curious Facts about Lighthouses

People love lighthouses. There’s just something special about those sturdy sentinels with their beacons of light, patiently sweeping the water, their mournful and haunting wail of a foghorn. Longfollow’s poem, The Lighthouse, written in 1850, captured the allure so well:

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
Through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

“Unearthly splendor.” Wow, doesn’t that hit the nail on the head? A lighthouse, to me, represents a spiritual truth: Someone’s watching out for us, looking out for the dangers ahead, and always glad to welcome us home.

Here are 10 facts about lighthouses that you might not know:

  • THE FIRST KNOWN LIGHTHOUSE was Egypt’s Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt, built in the third century B.C. The lighthouse was made from a fire on a platform to warn sailors of the port’s entrance. This lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • THE OLDEST EXISTING LIGHTHOUSE IN THE WORLD is considered to be La Coruna in Spain that dates from ca. 20 B.C. A Roman lighthouse is located on the Cliffs of Dover in the UK that was constructed in 40 A.D.
  • THE UNITED STATES IS HOME to more lighthouses than any other country.
  • THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE IN AMERICA was at Boston on Little Brewster Island (1716). The first keeper was George Worthylake who, sadly, was drowned, along with his wife and daughter, when returning to the island in 1718.
  • THE TALLEST LIGHTHOUSE is on Cape Hatteras, NC. Built in 1872, it reached 196 feet tall.
  • THE FIRST WEST COAST LIGHTHOUSE was built on Alcatraz Island in 1854.
  • DAYMARKS are the painted colors and patterns (diamonds, spirals and stripes) on lighthouse towers to distinguish them from each other.
  • LIGHTHOUSE KEEPING was one of the first U.S. government jobs available to women, as far back as the 19th century. Most obtained their position when their husband died or became incapacitated.
  • THE RANGE OF THE LIGHTHOUSE LIGHT produces a light seen 25 miles at sea.
  • ABOUT 700 LIGHTHOUSES are still in active use in the United States.

As I wrote the third book in the ‘Three Sisters island’ series, I just had to give that little charred lighthouse its day in the sun. It had patiently played a role in the first two books, waiting for its turn on center stage. Not only did its setting provide a very unexpected “WHAT? How did that happen?” conclusion to the series, it even stole the headline! The undisputed title: At Lighthouse Point.

Do you have a favorite lighthouse? If so, please add your picture in the comments below. Don’t forget to include its location.

Thanks for reading! Stay well, stay home, and read.

Suzanne

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 11

Wishful Endings, May 11

The Avid Reader, May 12

Just Writing, May 12

The Write Escape, May 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12

By The Book, May 13

HappyWhenReading, May 13

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 14

Cultivating Us, May 14

Blogging With Carol, May 14

Batya’s Bits , May 14

Betti Mace, May 15

Bizwings Blog, May 15

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 15

deb’s Book Review, May 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts , May 16

HookMeInABook, May 16

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 16

Connie’s History Classroom, May 17

Lighthouse-Academy, May 17

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18

Godly Book Reviews, May 18

Daysong Reflections, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Artistic Nobody, May 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 19

EmpowerMoms, May 19

SusanLovesBooks, May 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 20

Older & Smarter?, May 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 21

Simple Harvest Reads, May 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Splashes of Joy, May 21

Blossoms and Blessings, May 21

Through the Fire Blogs, May 22

Vicky Sluiter, May 22

Pause for Tales, May 22

Moments, May 22

She Lives To Read, May 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23

Labor Not in Vain, May 23

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 24

Life, Love, Writing, May 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 24

Remembrancy, May 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $25 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/10bb6/at-lighthouse-point-celebration-tour-giveaway

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The Elnora Monet, by Rachel Skatvold

About the Book

Book:  The Elnora Monet

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: April 27, 2021

The Elnora Monet

Islanders call him the Elnora Monet.

Is that island speak for “pompous, arrogant jerk?”

When Carly Mulligan volunteered to make house calls on Elnora, she never imagined treating the richest cat on the islands. What other feline has his own wing in a mansion like the Belshaw Estate?

After a wrong turn in the mansion, Carly stumbles across a secret room—one filled with incredible paintings. Perhaps there’s something more to the man than she first thought.

Most people envy Jean-Luc Belshaw’s position. The heir to a lucrative business and family fortune, he should have everything he could dream of.

But Luc dreams of days past. Days when he traveled the world with his wife and painted the breathings of his soul disappeared with Angeline’s passing.  Faith and inspiration gone, he wonders if returning to France to take his place in his father’s business is the right thing to do.

Carly has a few relational demons of her own, and she’s reluctant to trust him, but Luc’s paintings draw her in even as his story touches a long-empty place in her heart.

Only God can transform two broken pasts into a work of art.

The Elnora Monet continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“‘…this isn’t normal, sir.’” Outspoken, spontaneous, and fun-loving vet assistant Carly Mulligan discovers that billionaire Jean-Luc Belshaw, Jr., needs some help returning to “normal.” She meets Luc on a house call for a very spoiled cat named Descartes. Appalled at his lack of interest in his pet, Carly wonders what story lies behind Luc’s tortured eyes.
The Elnora Monet, by Rachel Skatvold, quickly intrigued me as a fun-to-read, well-written contemporary romance with a poor girl meets rich guy trope. The major part animals play in the story shows Skatvold has a good understanding of feline and canine behavior. With the emphasis of the art style being French Impressionism and Monet specifically, readers attracted to that style will sit up and take note. And a chance to revisit Elnora Island, plus a trip to Paris? Be still my beating heart! A great faith thread is incorporated, and I should have loved the book.


But a mental block appeared. The book was good, even great, but for me, stopped short of magnificent. Deniable plausibility, that wonderful phrase, struck early on and I couldn’t let go. One of Carly’s important actions early in the book felt inconsistent with what she already knew. This may not be a problem for anyone else but me, and I would definitely encourage readers who like Christian contemporary romance with a poor girl-rich guy trope to give this novel a try.
My thanks to the author and publisher, Celebrate Lit, for providing a copy of this book. No positive review was required, and all thoughts are solely my own.

Notable Quotables:

“Life has no meaning for an artist who’s not creating…no matter what form of art it might be.”

“I’d rather spend my life trying and risk failing, than doing nothing to change the situation.”

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming and Brides of Pelican Rapids Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: http://www.rachelskatvold.com.

More from Rachel

Thank you for helping celebrate the release of The Elnora Monet by following this Celebration Tour hosted by Celebrate Lit. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about the characters and what inspired the story. Please follow the other stops on this tour and don’t forget to enter in the giveaway. Thank you!

It has been a wonderful experience working with the talented authors and editors in the Independence Islands Series. Each of these stories has a heartwarming message of faith and the characters always teach me something new. Ever since writing Kendall Mulligan’s story in Her Merriweather Hero, I’ve been excited to share her free-spirited younger sister’s story.

Carly had many struggles in the first book, questioning what purpose God had for her life. This time around, her feet are more grounded, but she still has some growing to do when it comes to faith. Carly has been a fun character to write about because of her witty extroverted personality and some of the humorous predicaments she ends up in…one of them including getting caught snooping around a billionaire’s mansion.

While not outspoken as Carly, I can relate to the character’s search for direction. Sometimes it is difficult learning to trust, especially during troubling times, but we can rely on God’s promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.” This verse means so much to me because I know even when I can’t understand something, He is behind the scenes guiding me in the right direction. For Carly, it leads in a direction she never expects, but it is worth it in the end.

Certain parts of the story were inspired by my mom. If you have read Her Merriweather Hero, you know the Mulligan sisters are originally from New England, close to where my mom grew up. I love hearing about her memories of spending time at Nantasket Beach, drinking orange pop, and putting chips in her sandwich so they wouldn’t blow away. Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I still put chips in my own sandwich because of watching her do the same thing and her fridge is always stocked with orange pop to this day. Little bits of my mom’s childhood are weaved into this story, making it close to my heart.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about characters and story behind The Elnora Monet. Now continue reading for a summary of the book and giveaway. Blessings!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 10

Lakesidelivingsite, May 10

Rebekah Reads Lit, May 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, May 11

She Lives to Read, May 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 14

Inklings and notions, May 15

CarpeDiem, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 16

Cultivating Us, May 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 17

Books and Everyday Live, May 17

Blossoms and Blessings, May 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 18

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

Lots of Helpers, May 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 20

Blogging With Carol , May 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 21

Godly Book Reviews, May 21

Kayem Reads, May 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 22

Connect in Fiction, May 22

Splashes of Joy, May 23

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of 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/10bb3/the-elnora-monet-celebration-tour-giveaway

Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, NetGalley

Hope Between the Pages, #2 Doors to the Past by Pepper Basham

About the Book

Book:  Hope Between the Pages

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: April, 2021

9781643528267

Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Pepper Basham is a relatively new author for me, but she is quickly becoming a fave. The locale of her books I’ve read so far, the Blue Ridge Mountains, seems to be a beckoning finger to many a reader.
And the Biltmore Estate of Asheville, North Carolina? A magnificent structure at any time, but especially while the Vanderbilts still resided there in 1915. Plus, a look at it today, in addition to a quaint village in England, and how can any self-respecting history buff not be in total love? Great scenic descriptions of topography, the beauty of architecture, and the wonderful unveiling of unforgettable, relatable personalities make this novel a must-buy. What avid reader wouldn’t fall in love with sweet, nurturing Sadie, who sees books as “portable adventures”? And it is impossible not to fall in love with either Oliver or Max. They are so incredible in their tenderness and care. Mystery, forbidden romance, split-time presentation, and the true “hope between the pages” are presented for those who are eager to mine the book’s deepest meanings. I felt the need to rise and applaud Basham at the end of the novel. So well-crafted and executed.

“How many of these women had felt unseen, discarded?’…

“I have redeemed you…I have called you by name. You are Mine.”…

Sadie still knew she was loved–knew who and whose she was. And that made all the difference in how she lived…”

I am claiming this wonderful TRUTH for someone very close to me. THIS. THIS is what Christian fiction is all about, in my book. Finding HOPE BETWEEN THE PAGES. Thank you, Pepper! Hugs from me to you!!

I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. All opinions are my own and are voluntarily submitted.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

(Beyond) Magnificent!!

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

More from Pepper

Books are a uniquely portable magic – Stephen King

Appalachia is known for having a high illiteracy rate. A place of beautiful scenery and rugged landscapes, the people of the mountains developed stories through oral storytelling much more than “book learning”.  As a young girl growing up in this world, I loved hearing my granny share tales from up to five generations ago, filling in the narrative gaps between a birth date and a death date on a tombstone – giving flesh and breath to the stone-etched names.

It’s no surprise then, with a heart cultivated from rich oral stories, I fell in love with reading. Books became that “portable magic” that took me places my little Appalachian community couldn’t provide. I fell in love with the Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew. Wept through the end of Bridge to Terabithia and Old Yeller. Traveled to the plains with Sarah Plain and Tall and fell in love with horses with The Black Stallion. But when I was in seventh grade, I read my very first “British” novel, The Secret Garden. In that one introduction, my world expanded into mysterious English manor houses and British classics. Before long, I’d consumed Jane Eyre, Austen’s classics, some Dickens, Dracula, Frankenstein…and the list goes on! And then…I found Tolkien and Lewis – and the ‘real’ world swelled into OTHER worlds.

I’m grateful for true stories of book-loving pioneers traveling into the world of Appalachia to provide books and literacy training to “my people”, because I know some of those books made their way to my tiny elementary school library…and not only brought me the chance to discover stories, but to write them too!

Isn’t it amazing how books can do that?

In Hope Between the Pages, I wanted to bring the same awe and discovery I felt as a child (and continue to feel as an adult reader) to the story of two people whose words had seemed small. Stories stretched their worlds, but the stories also gave them wonderful imaginations and positive perspectives. It’s still amazing to me that ink-and-paper words can make such a lasting impact on hearts and minds. They can lead us to dream, teach us new things, encourage our hearts, help us to think outside the box, swell our imaginations, broaden our horizons, and encourage our hope.

Books are not a replacement for real adventures and relationships, but they certainly provide a beautiful “door” into other lives and worlds that we may never have a chance to experience in real life. Sadie, my historical heroine, and Clara, my contemporary heroine, both have kept close to home but traveled greatly through books…and BOTH are given the opportunity to reach beyond the bindings to discover real-life adventures. I’d like to think that their love for stories helped them have the courage to step away from the page and into their own tales even more prepared than they would have been without stories.

What are some of your favorite books you read as a child? Did any of them influence you to become a more avid reader?

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 24

Worthy2Read, April 24

Texas Book-aholic, April 25

Reviewingbooksplusmore, April 25

Christian Bookaholic, April 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 25

She Lives To Read, April 26

Books and Everyday Life, April 26

For the Love of Literature, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 26

Wishful Endings, April 27

Bigreadersite, April 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 27

deb’s Book Review, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Connect in Fiction, April 28

Writing from the Heart Land, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 29

Life of Literature, April 29

Pick a good book, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 30

Betti Mace, April 30

Kathleen’s Blog, April 30

lakesidelivingsite, May 1

Connie’s History Classroom, May 1

Fiction Book Lover, May 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 2

Godly Book Reviews, May 2

Mary Hake, May 2

Older & Smarter?, May 3

Genesis 5020, May 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 4

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads , May 4

Blossoms and Blessings, May 4

sodbusterLiving, May 4

Splashes of Joy, May 5

Where Faith and Books Meet , May 5

Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Through the Fire Blogs, May 5

Pause for Tales, May 6

To Everything There Is A Season, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Lights in a Dark World, May 6

Live.Love.Read., May 7

Karen Sue Hadley, May 7

Amanda Tero, blog, May 7

The Write Escape, May 7

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/10b27/hope-between-the-pages-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, New-to-Me Author, Purchase

The Secret of the 14th Room, #1 The Granton House by Rebecca Hemlock

About the Book

Book:  The Secret of the 14th Room

Author: Rebecca Hemlock

Publisher: Bluecap Publishing

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: March 16th

Memories can be a killer.

When Levi Corbin returns to Granton, Tennessee after the death of his beloved grandmother, it sets off a chain of events he’d rather have avoided. Claiming his inheritance should have been a piece of cake, but a cousin appears, threatening to steal it all.

Even worse (and better, too), he’s falling for the girl he just met and now must team up with her to try to stop his cousin. Their quest for his inheritance uncovers secrets frozen in time—and one might just be the answer to save his grandmother’s home.

Things go from worse to completely out of hand when a freak fire threatens it all. Add to that a nosy old woman and a battered runaway, and Levi can’t help but wonder what is going on!

As circumstances rekindle his faith and new love spurs him onward, Levi races against time and odds to save Grandma’s house from certain destruction, but the result might just mean saving himself as well.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

I had never read anything by Rebecca Hemlock before, but I had barely started Secret of the 14th Room when I knew I’d discovered a treasure.
From the first scene of Dorothy Corbin’s death to the epilogue, I was glued to the page, not willing to miss a single word. Why you ask? For starters, Hemlock has penned a cozy that takes place in small-town Tennessee, rife with a history dating to the Civil War. The author depicts the town so well I felt like I was the one walking the streets. For genealogy buffs, there are many ancestry references. For those who understand the value of family, the wonderful relationships between Levi Corbin and his grandmother are highlighted, as well as Abigail’s close relationship with her parents. For lovers of old houses and architecture? You’ll love this old town. Nefarious evildoers? Check. Faith? Smoothly integrated into the story. Action and twists abound. The best part is, there is a sequel coming! I. Can’t. Wait!


I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are solely my own.

My Rating

Magnificent!! I absolutely adored this one!!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Rebecca lives in Eastern Kentucky with her husband and children. She absolutely loves mysteries. Rebecca has been writing stories for many years and enjoys reading, painting and spending time with her family. Her favorite times to write are early in the morning when the sun is coming up and at sunset. She has worked as a freelance journalist for 4 years and is a member of Sisters in Crime and American Christian Fiction Writers. Rebecca has earned a degree in English and an Appalachian Studies certificate in Creative Writing.

More from Rebecca

Looking for new ideas is my favorite part of writing because it comes with talking to interesting people and exploring antique shops all over the country.

This book not only captures my love for American history and riveting romantic suspense, but it also captures how old wounds of the heart can be healed.

Levi Corbin in The Secret of the 14th Room learns this the hard way after carrying his broken heart for most of his adult life. He has to discover the real meaning of family and family pride. Levi must face the past so that he can move on to a brighter future.

Granton, Tennessee, is a town I hope you fall in love with, just as I did when I created it. There are so many delightful characters, some with a dark secret or two. This story has been brewing for a while, and I am glad that I finally have the opportunity to share it with you.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 22

Genesis 5020, April 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 23

A Novel Pursuit, April 23

Texas Book-aholic, April 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 24 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, April 25

Blogging With Carol, April 25

Betti Mace, April 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 27

Godly Book Reviews, April 27

deb’s Book Review, April 28

CarpeDiem, April 28

Older & Smarter?, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 30

Simple Harvest Reads, April 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 1

KarenSueHadley, May 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 3

Mary Hake, May 3

Through the Fire Blogs, May 4

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, May 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rebecca 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/10b6a/the-secret-of-the-14th-room-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, New-to-Me Author

Cooking Up a Mystery by Gail Pallotta

About the Book

Book:  Cooking Up A Mystery

Author: Gail Pallotta

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release date: April 24, 2020

CookingUpAMystery website large size

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She’s on edge from the emotional scars and her parents’ deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it’s all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney’s in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . .and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There’s more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions


“He’d wrapped her in shame and disgust and tied it as tight around her as if he’d bound her to a chair. No matter how much she tried, she couldn’t untie the knots.” Laney Eskridge, the protagonist in Gail Pallotta’s Cooking Up a Mystery, is hurting from the mistreatment in her first marriage and has no time for romance as she starts her dream restaurant. When she meets recuperating college professor Eric, will she rebuff his offers of friendship and possibly more because of her past?
The novel starts off a little slowly for my liking. The action picks up about mid-book with more mystery in the restaurant itself, some of it revolving around an unseemly simple painting.
Eric sounds like a winner, yet he can’t figure out why he scares Laney off sometimes. I read this thinking, “Slow down, pal, she’s giving off signals that say not to move too fast!!” So his puzzlement eludes me.



I love a good secondary character, and George is a wonderful one! He isn’t part of the romance, but he does want to help the romance along. He will do anything within his power to help Laney and gives extra of his time and thought to help her. He is just sweet and loveable. Nominated for best secondary character.
I like that Laney spends a good deal of her time actually at her restaurant, and we see her interactions there. I always think that it is important the main character truly works the job she supposedly holds. Kudos to Pallotta here.
Overall a great read.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are solely my own. 

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Finalist. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

More from Gail

In Cooking up a Mystery running a business with no background or formal training in accounting or management overwhelms Laney, the heroine. George, her assistant, tells her she has him and God, who knows her needs. Then he adds, “You … have your mom’s wonderful recipes and you whip them up like a pro.”

I chose the food industry for Laney, a woman entrepreneur succeeding against the odds, because I have lots of cooking experience. I learned the skill at age ten. The reason, according to my father—I’d know how when I got married. I didn’t marry until I was thirty. By then, I’d received lots of instruction, so I knew how to prepare some pretty good dinners. My husband said, “You could start a restaurant.” I wanted to do other things instead, such as write, but I started one in this book.

Mt first woman entrepreneur appears in Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a romantic comedy about a hairstylist. It’s set in Eve’s Clips, a salon in Triville, a fictitious town in the North Carolina Mountains where Laney opens Laney’s Delectable Delights.

A section in the back of Cooking up a Mystery, Laney’s Chefs in the Making, features over two dozen recipes. Only Laney’s Pineapple Rice is mine. The rest are from a book, Heavenly Delights, authored by my friend, Pam Nichols Griffin, as a fundraiser for Mission Love Seeds, a charity that helps children throughout the world and responds locally after disasters to demonstrate God’s love.

Laney’s Pineapple Rice

Ingredients:

Rice (can be instant, but not boil-in-the-bag)

Cooking oil or spray

One small onion (chopped thin)

Five cloves garlic (or minced gloves equaling five cloves)

One tablespoon fresh grated ginger

One cup fresh pineapple

Small amount of pineapple juice

One teaspoon sugar

One lime

Cook rice according to directions on the box, but substitute a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup pineapple juice (depending on taste) for part of the water.

Chill rice

Coat a heavy bottom skillet with oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple and sugar and stir. Add cold rice, break up, squirt with the juice of one lime and stir until heated and blended.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 9

Blogging With Carol, April 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10

She Lives To Read, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Genesis 5020, April 12

For Him and My Family, April 13

deb’s Book Review, April 14

Worthy2Read, April 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 17

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 19

CarpeDiem, April 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 20

April Hayman, Author, April 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 22

Labor Not in Vain, April 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gail is giving away  the grand prize of a $40 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/10a4e/cooking-up-a-mystery-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, New-to-Me Author

Matchmaker’s Best Friend, #3 Elnora Island: #9 Independence Islands, by Kari Trumbo

About the Book

Book:  Matchmaker’s Best Friend

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: March 30, 2021

“You’re just like a brother to me. I don’t like you in that way.”

When they dated ten years ago as teens, it almost destroyed their friendship. So Pen Reese did the only logical thing.  She lied about how she felt—and still feels—about him.

She’s still paying for that lie.

A brilliant plan to set Mike and a friend up and get over him has one problem.

It’s breaking her heart.

When Pen pushed him away, Mike Gaines assumed she just didn’t understand his faith. People like her persnickety aunt even claim he’s part of a cult—ridiculous, but it’s true. Still, if she wants him to play the part of a big brother, fine. At least he can stay close this way.

At first, Pen’s attempt to set him up with one of her close friends hurts. But what if it’s the perfect opportunity to show her what she’s missing if she sees him with someone else?

In this friends-to-more-meets-second-chance romance, The Matchmaker’s Best Friend continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“She’d always imagined life would be like a swing. Sometimes you could see the sky, sometimes only the ground coming at you fast, but all of it could be glorious if you worked at it. Lately, all she saw was the ground coming at her…”
This explains poor Pen Reece, wedding planner extraordinaire, and her miserable condition. Splitting her time between a thriving business on the mainland and an upstart on the islands that just isn’t starting, Reese sets up her best friend Mike (whom she has loved forever) with another friend. Now the matched friends are headed for the altar, and Pen’s businesses and reputation are about to crumble.
Truth, please. Somebody tell the truth. I wanted to scream this a few times during this novel. But maybe because I can’t keep a secret, I have a hard time believing so many people can cover up the truth and deceive each other, hurting each other in the process.


The Matchmaker’s Best Friend, Elnora Island, #3 Independence Islands, by Kari Trumbo, might be best suited for those in their 20s and 30s. I like to think that a person older than that would think through the situations more maturely than the main characters do. I enjoyed the book, but feel like I need to help guide Pen, Mike, and their friends into clearer thinking and better decision-making. Maybe that’s because I realize that marriage is indeed for life, and not something to be trifled with, which Pen only partially appreciates, by her actions.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which are solely my opinions.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Where western meets happily ever after.

Kari writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart.
Her favorite place to write about is the place her heart lives, (even if she doesn’t) South Dakota.

Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota, land of frigid toes and mosquitoes the size of compact cars, with her husband of over twenty years. They have two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.

More from Kari

Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Especially in sparkly, stacked espadrilles and pink power suit. Don’t let Pen Reese’s pink façade fool you, she’s a businesswoman to the core, with a heart of gold. She has built a party planning business from the ground up, and she’s about to create another.

Pen is one of those characters that I could just see CLEARLY as I was writing. She is about ninety percent Elle Woods from Legally Blonde and ten percent a close personal friend. I heard her voice in my head. I could hear her talking as I wrote the book. Her personality was perfect for the energetic party planner.

I’m sure if I put a character description up without context or clarity many people wouldn’t want to read the book, they would write Pen off as shallow. But she’s not. She’s heartbroken.

Do you still remember your first love? Maybe you still care for them? Pen fell hard for her first love and no matter how professional she is or how many lavish weddings she plans, she can’t forget the one wedding she’ll never get to create. Her own.

Pen things that if Mike falls for someone else, goes off and gets married, she’ll finally be able to move on. So, she sets a plan in motion. That’s when her world completely falls apart and you see the tender parts of Pen that she doesn’t show to just anybody.

She is a very complex character and I hope she touches you like she touched me.

I hope you enjoy Pen’s tale of matchmaking gone wrong.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 14

Books and Everyday Life, April 14

Labor Not in Vain, April 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 15

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 15

lakesidelivingsite, April 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 17

Rebekah Reads, April 17

Artistic Nobody, April 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18

A Novel Pursuit, April 18

She Lives To Read, April 19

deb’s Book Review, April 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 20

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 20

Splashes of Joy, April 20

Aryn the Libraryan, April 21

For Him and My Family, April 21

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Blogging With Carol, April 22

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 23

CarpeDiem, April 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 24

Connect in Fiction, April 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 25

Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, April 26

Godly Book Reviews, April 26

Batya’s Bits , April 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 27

Blossoms and Blessings, April 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away the grand prize package of 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/10acd/matchmaker-s-best-friend-celebration-tour-giveaway