BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Remi (Prairie Roses Collection One, Book Two) by Caryl McAdoo

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About the Book

Book: Remi

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 3, 2019

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It isn’t within man to guide his own steps—or a woman. Caught between a wagon train and the deep blue sea, Agnes Remington Dalrumple, Remi for short, chooses the overland journey west over crossing the Atlantic with her mother and step-father. She decides to go to California and try to fine the father she’s never known though she’s never been on her own. Thwarted at every turn, almost every effort is dashed until a widower’s thirteen-year-old daughter intervenes on her behalf. How can the headstrong woman place herself under the responsibility of the young girl’s father, a perfect stranger? But if she doesn’t, her journey ends right there in Saint Joseph, Missouri. On the Oregon/California trail, will her pride and independence deter her from the destiny God has prepared for her?

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

My Review

“…more than anything, she wanted to wake up and be out of that nightmare they called the Oregon Trail.” What a telling statement this is! Remi and her group are crossing a small desert; they have been up and down difficult mountains; seen disease and tragedies. Would this trip to Oregon/California be worth it all? It certainly was not the adventure we sometimes make it out to be in the 21st century. It was drudgery, hard work, and perseverance, plain and simple. In one place I had to laugh, but it was no laughing matter. Caryl McAdoo recounts the hardship of one part of the journey by describing one of the strongest men on the trail: “even his aches had pains.”
“...more than anything, she wanted to wake up and be out of that nightmare they called the Oregon Trail

Remi by Caryl McAdoo, first caught my attention because it was about, of course, finding love on the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail is such a romantic setting for those of us who are too far removed to be able to understand how awful it was. I have read other books detailing the dangers, but I thank McAdoo for being so forthright in calling it a “nightmare.” That word woke me up a bit to the realization that I have been idealizing that dangerous, uncertain trip. Have you?
Another thing that caught my attention was McAdoo’s writing style. It was easily readable, a loose narrative that left room for thought. What impressed me, though, was that her “writing voice” was really quite different from each of the other two books I’ve read by her. I wonder what her voice in the next book will sound like? And I really do want to find out what happens to Sam and her little sister.
So many different lessons woven into the story. It seems we can learn from each character. And isn’t that what makes a wonderful story? I loved some quotes that I felt could apply to us today. So many times, when tragedy strikes, we tend to feel safer if we find out that we could not be potential victims. But for those on the trail, tragedies hit close to home… “Getting sick then dying is one thing, but an accident…that could happen to any one of us. That seems to make the loss worse.”
Next, another important quote, because I am learning the value of rejecting worrisome and negative thinking. “Though she failed at holding back her thoughts from wandering to her thirst or parched lips, or the sandy, dusty, hot trail she walked, she did force them from lingering there.” We CAN choose to control our thoughts and are encouraged and commanded in Scripture to do so. We can’t stop thoughts from entering our minds sometimes, but we don’t have to provide them permanent residence.
All in all, a book I would highly recommend. It may be a bit slow at first, but it will be worth it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through NetGalley. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

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About the Author

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For research in December, Caryl McAdoo hit the trail—literally, the Oregon / California Trail—beginning in St. Jo, Missouri with the Napa Valley being her destiny. No wonder readers enjoy her novels so well! She prays her story brings God glory, and He blesses the award-winning, best-selling novels with a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings! With forty-three titles (thirty-three in the last four-and-a-half years), it’s obvious she loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs the Lord gives her. (Listen to a few at YouTube.) Celebrating fifty years being married to Ron, her high school sweetheart, she counts their four children and eighteen grandsugars life’s best blessings. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

More from Caryl

Remi, my May ‘Prairie Roses Collection’ story, picks up where Uniquely Common, my April ‘Lockets and Lace Collection’ story ends! Well, actually it backs up a bit to Remi’s decision to go west! In Uniquely Common, you meet her after she’s already in Saint Jo, trying to join the wagon train.

I fell in love with this semi-introvert, lover of literature, highly intelligent young lady, and felt the cover captured her exactly! (Thank you, Chautona Having, my new amazing cover designer! I am so blessed!)

Remi, short for Remington—her middle name as she hates her first name Agnus—is an only child reared by a single mother. Her father left years ago; she’s never met him and decides to go to California where his last letter was postmarked to do just that. It’s a long way from New York City, but better than sailing across the Atlantic.

And she can’t stay there with nowhere to live since her newest stepfather is whisking her mother overseas to his villa in Southern France. They invite her of course, but she hates boats and gets frightfully seasick! It seems the perfect time to go west and meet her Daddy. Riding in a prairie schooner would be a lark!

Researching for the covered wagons heading west led my dear husband to ask if I wanted to drive the Oregon / California Trail. Yes, yes, yes, I assured him! What could be better than seeing the rivers my wagon train had to cross, the amazing sights my characters would experience, and the terrain they navigated for ourselves?

What an opportunity God put before me!

Two weeks and forty-three hundred-plus miles later, we got back home to Clarksville, enthralled with our journey. That trip has made this story so much better for me! I hope it will make it all the better for you, too! I praise and give glory to the Lord for His many blessings and high favor.

I’m so grateful for the stories He gives us, His divine appointments—like with Sandy Barela, the founder of Celebrate Lit, all her amazing bloggers and reviewers—the doors He opens, my new cover designer Chautona Havig and all the fictional characters He introduces me to and allows me to share with you!

♫♪*`•. I’m just so excited.•*♪¨*about what the Lord is doing!•♪♫*`•. I’m just so excited Lord!! ♪♫•*¨♪ for what I know♪♫¸¸.•*♪ He will do!!*•.¸ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸♫♪*`•. I’m just so excited!!•.¸.• ✿And He is delighted ღ(̆̃̃ڿڰۣ✿♫♪*with my anticipation ♪♫•* ♫♪ of what I know He will do. •*♪♫•!♪♫¸•*♪ And I get to be a part ♫♪*`of what the Lord is doing!•♪♫*`•. I get to be a part! ♫•*♪¨♥ •♪♫ of what I know♪♫¸.•*♪ He will do!!*•.♫♪ I get to be a part ♫♪*♫•*♥ and He has a good plan!♪*•.✿♫♪*`•. He’s called me for His purpose!.•*♪¨ ✿♫♪*`• I have a role to play! ♪♫•*¨♪ (hear this new song on YouTube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKnU8JWXRlU )

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 20

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 20

Blessed & Bookish, May 21

Quiet Workings, May 21

Retrospective Spines, May 22

For HIm and My Family, May 22

Maureen’s Musiings, May 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 25

KarenSueHadley , May 26

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 26

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, May 27

Through the Fire Blogs, May 28

Emily Yager, May 29

Inklings and notions, May 29

Bigreadersite, May 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 31

janicesbookreviews, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, June 1

A Reader’s Brain, June 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away

Grand Prize – $50 Gift Amazon Card

1st Prize – Signed, Paperback copy of CHOICE of all my books

2nd Prize – Signed copy of Remi

3rd Prize – eBook copy of Remi

4th Prize – eBook copy of CHOICE of all my books!!

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/e516/remi-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kiddie Lit

Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree by Angela Henderson and When God Made Color by Sheri Carmon with Guest Posts & Giveaway

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About the Books

WhiteSpark Publishing is thrilled to bring readers young and old two delightful stories all about color!
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Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree
Isaac loves the sugar maple in his yard, and he can’t help but feel bad for it when its branches are winter-bare. He decides to give it a gift…and is surprised when the tree returns the favor in the new morning snow, presenting him with balls of…ice cream!
But how long can this magic last with spring on the horizon? A magical exploration through the colors of the rainbow, the days of the week, and some of our favorite fruits that is sure to delight.
When God Made Color
The wonders of creation spread out before us in all the glories of the rainbow…the deep purples and blues of night, the bright yellows of day, the pinks and oranges of flowers. And of course, the colors of all the creatures…including us! These sumptuous fine art illustrations will thrill parent and child alike!
Click here to purchase Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree.
Click here to purchase When God Made Color

My Review of Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree

I love the imagination of children as portrayed in Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree by Angela Henderson with illustrations by Rachael Koppendrayer. Isaac’s deep loyalty and love for his friend reminds me just how innocent and loving children can be.
I enjoyed the bright, large, endearing pictures. (I viewed this book on a 10” Kindle Fire.) The nuthatch is very well drawn and also a recurring part of the pictorial design. I was fascinated by designs within the tree itself, and I could nearly taste its ice cream. The bright colors drew me in and kept begging my eyes to linger on each image. The upbeat ending with its color finale was a satisfying conclusion.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

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My Review of When God Made Color

The cover of When God Made Color (by Sheri Carmon, illustrated by Silver Bluebird Studios) captured me first, a veritable explosion of color. It is a treat for the eyes, both young and old. This is a world in which I immediately want to be a part. Also, I want to introduce any young child I know to this book.
Describing the seven days of creation, this is a warm, almost whimsical look at a very special time. The enchanting pictures are Dr. Seuss-like in their colors, yet rich in imagery and depiction. I imagine reading through the book with a child, taking time to find each created thing or creature, almost like the children’s picture books where you search for many different objects or animals. Of course, the last page is the most poignant, teaching children an important truth. Well-worth your time and money.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit. I am not required to leave a positive review and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

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About the Authors

Angela Henderson resides in Dallas, Texas, where she teaches middle school English Language Arts & Reading and is a mother of three. Exploring children’s books for twelve years with her own children during numerous “story times” at the local library and reading hundreds of books to her children, her passion for quality children’s literature led her to write her own work. After creating her blog and Facebook page, Kidsbook Friends, and her Instagram, Instabooks, she’s been able to share her love of literature with over a thousand followers by featuring authors and books. She’s thrilled to introduce her own creative story where magical moments lead to positive perspectives.
Sheri-Carmon-cap-214x300Sheri Carmon seeks to incorporate the beauty of the Lord’s heart, His ways and His love in her writing for children. As an author, her goal is to shine His light through stories. In the past, she has published poetry and inspirational compositions with both Blue Mountain Arts and The Group Publishing. Sheri has always cared for the individual needs of families and spent fifteen marvelous, fast-paced years in real estate, specializing in family-friendly homes. She and her husband have helped facilitate whole church Bible-reading programs in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. They make their home in Colorado, on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, where they’re surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation every day.

More from Angela

Why children’s books? After all, I teach young teens. Well, my reasons:

  1. I love art, and reading children’s books is like looking at an artist’s showcase of creativity!
    * Shout out to my amazing illustrator, Rachael Koppendrayer!
  2. I love to dream up the impossible, and you can make anything happen in a children’s book!
  3. I love togetherness and nothing brings a family together like a good book.

As I read picture books with my kiddos, the teacher in me wanted to instruct too. I created a blog (http://www.kidsbookfriends.com) so teachers, librarians, and parents could have little lessons to help them “make friends” with the characters in the stories I featured. Surrounded by such inspiration from these books and my kiddos, I started writing my own manuscripts when my kids were all under age five, mainly sketches of thoughts until I had segments of time where I could construct stories.

After several years of attending SCBWI conferences; connecting with writers; creating manuscripts & editing and revising, editing and revising (you see a pattern?!); and submitting them to publishers, Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree was accepted for publication and was released January 15, 2019, by Whitefire Publishing! (It’s a process!!!)

The message embedded in this colorful, magical story expresses a very real part of my heart as it’s our family motto: “Always remember to look for the rainbow.” My kids and I both literally and figuratively practice this principle, rushing out after every rain to see if the sky is painted with a bow as well as trying to find the good that comes through the storms of life.

Through my journey, I’ve experienced much loss through moving many times, caring for my mother during her dying days, and losing my husband through divorce. Yet in it all, God redeems and uses each pain and joy like brush strokes on a canvass, reminding us of His unfailing promises while creating a masterpiece.

Creativity, imagination, inspiration . . . make magical moments.

Gather together. Dream the impossible. Embrace the colors. . . as I introduce you to a new friend, Isaac! Excited to share this story with you. . . and my next one . . . and the one after that. . . until we have many new kindred spirits…together.

Click here for a free printable coloring page.

Click here to learn the story behind the story.

More from Sheri

A child asks, “Who am I?”
Creation Vs. Evolution – The big battle. Many public schools are presenting Evolution as fact and not theory. They leave no room for the concept of Creation. Our little ones are not creatures descended from animals, they are Children of God, created in His image. This is our identity and our children’s Identity and it makes all the difference in how we see ourselves, how we see others and how we engage in the world. Our identity is made clear in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27 NIV. As Christian parents and grandparents, we are charged with teaching, encouraging and bringing forth our family line for the LORD. The new picture book When God Made Color, with its awe-inspiring illustrations, is about our true identity and about the joyful, loving God who created us and the whole universe – a universe that is still expanding – Isn’t He just amazing?

Click here to view a special video

 Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, May 2

By The Book, May 2

Among the Reads, May 3

cultivating us, May 3

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

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5

Mary Hake, May 5

For Him and My Family, May 6

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 7

Blogging With Carol, May 7

Lighthouse Academy, May 8

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, May 8

Pause for Tales, May 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 9

Inspiration Clothesline, May 10

Reading Themes, May 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 11

Have A Wonderful Day, May 12

janicesbookreviews, May 12

A Reader’s Brain, May 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 13

Older & Smarter?, May 14

Creating Romance, May 14

Inklings and notions, May 14

Aryn, the Libraryan, May 15

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 15

The Becca Files, May 15

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Angela and Sheri is giving away a grand prize of The Great Color Giveaway Package that includes a$25 gift card from Amazon, Rainbow ice-cream cups with colored spoons, a paperback copy of Issacs’s Ice Cream Tree, a $25 gift card from Barnes and Noble,
Crayola Washable Kids’ Paint – 12 count original and glitter paint (see attached image), and a paperback copy of When God Made Color!!

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/e2a9/the-great-color-celebration-tour-giveaway

Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley

Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens

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About the Book

 

Book: Shadow Among Sheaves

Author: Naomi Stephens                                          Shadow-amonght-Sheaves-195x300

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: April 2019

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

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

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

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

“The Sun was the same, but that was all.” I was intrigued by the first sentence, sure that I had discovered another jewel in Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens. The novel takes place in England in 1861. Touted to be a modern recounting of the Old Testament story of Ruth and Boaz, I was disappointed. Stephens does a great job describing India; its revolt against Britain; the hatred of the one people for the other. She also shows us how much Rena loved Edric, but I felt like so many details of the story that Scripture spoke to, were ignored and the circumstances changed for the sake of the story.
We don’t know a lot about Boaz, but again, I felt the character representing him was not as honorable and respected as the one shown in Scripture. The author uses a couple of swear words a few times over. In both cases, it was a few times too much for my taste. I am not a prude, but I don’t expect to have to read those words in Christian books.
In summary, I thought this was a great book to explain the resulting relations between the British and Indian peoples following the Indian revolt against British rule. It was not, however, a great representation of the Biblical Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. This is only my opinion. I would encourage you to read other reviews and judge carefully for yourself.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own responsibility and no positive review was required.

My Rating

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About the Author

Naomi Stephens is a bookworm turned teacher turned writer. She received a M.A. in Naomi-Stephens-200x300English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and now lives in Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a rascal of a dog named Sherlock.

More from Naomi

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

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

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

Read an Exclusive Excerpt from Shadow Among Sheaves:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did he want to dance with her?

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

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

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

 

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, April 30

Mary Hake, April 30

Worthy2Read, April 30

Back Porch Reads, May 1

Inspirationally Ever After, May 1

Fiction Aficionado, May 2

Splashes of Joy, May 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 2

Bigreadersite, May 3

Inklings and notions , May 3

Blossoms and Blessings, May 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 4

janicesbookreviews, May 4

Just the Write Escape, May 5

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 6

Kat’s Corner Books, May 7

Pause for Tales, May 7

Aryn The Libraryan, May 8

Faery Tales Are Real, May 8

Hallie Reads, May 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 10

The Becca Files, May 10

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 11

Older & Smarter?, May 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 12

A Reader’s Brain, May 13

For the Love of Literature, May 13

Giveaway 

 

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/deb9/shadow-among-sheaves-celebration-tour-giveaway

Bethany House, BLOG, NetGalley

The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

With her Amish parents’ twentieth anniversary approaching, eighteen-year-old Sylvia Miller stumbles across a surprise–the old brass tinderbox her clockmaker father keeps in his Lancaster County shop has been left unlocked. Against her better judgment, Sylvia opens the cherished heirloom, not realizing that what she is about to discover will splinter apart her happy life.

Sylvia’s bewilderment grows when her father confronts her about snooping in the box. To her amazement, the respected convert to the Old Order reacts as if he has something to hide.

Burdened by the weight of his deception, Earnest Miller decides he must reveal the details about his past to his beloved wife, Rhoda. The long-kept secret alters everything for the close-knit family, jeopardizing Earnest and Rhoda’s relationship, as well as threatening Sylvia’s recent engagement to the preacher’s grandson.

Can the Millers find a way forward through the turmoil to a place of forgiveness and acceptance?

MY REVIEW:

“Hard work puts meat on your bones…and builds strong character.” Ack, character: for sure and for certain the centerpiece of yet another Amish tale Beverly Lewis has brought us. A family and couple(s) are in crisis. The Tinderbox out in her father’s clockmaking workshop has tempted Sylvia ever since she was small. Little does Sylvia realize the Pandora’s Box she will be opening as she peeks inside.
While not a fast-moving book, The Tinderbox deals with some of the strongest human emotions possible: intense human love, lust, (very tastefully dealt with), anger, fear, deceit, betrayal, and despair. I have my suspicions about a few others that we may not realize until the sequel, The Timepiece, is out in September of this year.
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.
It has been said that women are emotional creatures. I thought about this a lot as I read The Tinderbox. It was easy to put myself in either Rhoda or Sylvia’s place. I wondered if the stress and emotions would be unbearable. God has said He will not give us more than we can bear. While Rhoda, Sylvia, Hannah, and Earnest all must have questioned this, God provided a special friend for the ladies as well as for Earnest in his time of need. It was fun to visit with the Wise Woman of Hickory Hollow, Ella Mae, yet again. Everyone needs an Ella Mae in his/her life.
Five. That many months until the sequel comes out. I need it now. Lewis neatly sets us up for The Timepiece, and I, for one, don’t want to wait!
Quotable:
“Have you fallen so far that the Lord can’t reach down and pick you up?”
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to leave a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Beverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country and both a schoolteacher and an accomplished musician, has been an award-winning author for over a dozen years. Her acclaimed novel, The Preacher’s Daughter, was a 2006 Quill Book Award finalist in the romance category. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. She and her husband, David, live in Colorado.”

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BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Thomas Nelson

The Governess of Penwythe Hall, #1 The Cornwall Novels by Sarah Ladd

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About the Book

 

Book: The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Author: Sarah Laddpro_pbid_4172296

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: April 16, 2019

In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.

Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.

Cornwall, England, 1811

Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast, she tries desperately to forget.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

My Review

Timing is everything. Sarah E. Ladd’s Governess of Penwythe Hall has an orchard-setting cover, filled with soft spring colors. This beautiful book with nature’s long-awaited colors of olive, grass green, lilac, rose, and pink releases during blossom time here where fruit trees are abundant. Score for Thomas Nelson publishing.
This was the first novel I had read by Sarah Ladd. Ladd is quite the anglophile and quickly makes the reader want to visit the moors and marshes, or at least the craggy seacoast. I do wish mightily for a map, which may be included in the final copy.
This story had all the ingredients I needed for a very enjoyable tale. A young, attractive governess; a passel of children who depend on her and whom she loves; a rather unwilling, handsome guardian; and enough secondary characters to help steer the tale into interesting and dangerous waters.
Besides Delia and Jac, Jac’s aunt is my favorite character. She is very insightful. She seems to understand Delia’s struggles, she loves the Lord, and she understands the importance of relationships over things or business.
In short, The Governess of Penwythe Hall is a great choice if you are looking for a Regency novel of faith, fear, learning to open one’s heart to others, and facing down the giants from the past that would threaten the future. Delia especially has to figure out which relationships to build and which to cut off and how.

Notable quotables:

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“Sometimes, whether we like it or not, things do not happen the way we think they should.” How true. We must then rise to the occasion in maturity.
“…walls alone do not make children feel safe. People do.”
“People, ah, people. That’s where the real success lies.”
“Fear knew no bounds and came in so many forms…”
second tihumbnail governess
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. This in no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

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About the Author

 

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of

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marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at SarahLadd.com; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

More About The Governess of Penwythe Hall

5 things to know about Cornwall, England:

  1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.
  2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s
  3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.
  4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.
  5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

 

Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19thCentury life in Cornwall

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2016/may/19/everyday-life-in-cornwall-captured-in-the-19th-century-in-pictures

 

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/cornish_nation_01.shtml

https://www.maritimeheritage.org/ports/Cornwall.html

http://www.cornwallgoodseafoodguide.org.uk/cornish-fishing/history-of-the-cornish-fishing-industry.php

 

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, April 11

LifeofLiterature, April 11

Moments, April 11

Genesis 5020, April 11

Maureen’s Musings, April 12

The Power of Words, April 12

Mary Hake, April 12

To Everything A Season, April 12

KarenSueHadley, April 13

EmpowerMoms, April 13

For the Love of Literature, April 13

Inklings and notions, April 13

The Avid Reader, April 14

Blogging With Carol, April 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 14

Rachel’s Back Talk, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 15

Simple Harvest Reads, April 15 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Kat’s Corner Books, April 16

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 16

Daysong Reflections, April 16

The Becca Files, April 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 17

Blossoms and Blessings, April 17

Remembrancy, April 17

Worthy2Read, April 18

By The Book, April 18

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

Just the Write Escape, April 19

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 19

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 20

For HIm and My Family, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Inspiration Clothesline, April 21

Pause for Tales, April 21

Through the Fire Blogs, April 22

Bigreadersite, April 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 22

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 22

Inspired by fiction, April 23

A Reader’s Brain, April 23

Hallie Reads, April 23

Henry Happens, April 24

Connect in Fiction, April 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 24

janicesbookreviews, April 24

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe  Hall!!

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/de80/the-governess-of-penwythe-hall-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Beauty in Hiding:#1 Beauty in Flight by Robin Patchen

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About the Book

Book: Beauty in Hiding

Author: Robin Patchen

Genre: Christian romantic suspense

Release Date: March 12, 2019

Book 2 in the Beauty in Flight series:43608957

Harper’s second chance at life will become a second stint in prison if anyone connects those two dead men to her.

Nutfield, New Hampshire, is as good a place as any to hide from the murderer Harper left behind in Maryland. All she has to do is lie low and make enough money to keep herself and Red alive until she can figure out who her enemies are.

Jack Rossi isn’t sure what to make of his beautiful new tenant and her confused grandfather. Something’s not right, but the love he sees between them and the care she takes of the old man convinces Jack they’re trustworthy. As drawn as he is to Harper, she’s his tenant, so she’s off limits.

Derrick, Harper’s ex-boyfriend, and Red’s grandson, needs to find his grandfather and get his hands on the old man’s money before Derrick ends up with a bullet in the skull. And when he gets his hands on Harper, she’ll be sorry for what she’s put him through.

Harper and Jack grow closer, but so do her enemies. If Harper can’t trust Jack with the truth, she may lose more than just this glimpse of true love. She may lose her freedom—or her life.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY REVIEW:

Robin Patchen has won me over to her style of romantic suspense with this novel, Beauty in Hiding. You will notice in my meme that there are three books pictured. Beauty in Hiding is book two of a series of three titled, “Beauty in Flight” (also the title of book one). Why do I belabor this point? I strongly urge you to purchase all three books before starting any. You will want to read them all together. I read two and three without one, but these seem to be a continuing story. ‘Nuff said.
What a whirlwind of action and intrigue this book is. An elderly man with dementia; his young, beautiful caretaker, who moves them both far from home; a great-looking landlord who wants to share his faith and some friendship with these two; numerous squirrelly and questionable characters who are best avoided at all costs. It took me very little time to become engrossed in the story and personally interested in sweet, scared Harper; friendly, undemanding Jack, and uncertain Red.
Why am I laughing (or is it sighing) over the town name of Nutfield where one character has dementia and another’s actions seem nutty if one doesn’t know her backstory? The faith element is real, timely, and appropriately woven into the novel.
Beauty in Hiding meme
Some shareable quotes:
“If not for the kindness of strangers, I do not know where I would be. So I will be a kind stranger to you.”“She needed more than a drive in the country and some ice cream. She needed a brain transplant.”

“Harper’s perch was her floor and her knees, and her prayers were for a glimpse of freedom from this crazy situation she’d found herself in. A hope for the future.”

“My brain…I used to be able to rely on it. Now it’s turning against me. Now, I never know if I can trust what I remember.” (This one made me want to cry.)

Run to your nearest bookstore and purchase the entire series, Beauty in Flight, Bks 1-3, to add to your collection if you like sinister Christian romantic suspense. I bought books one and three but was given a complimentary copy of Beauty in Hiding by the author through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my responsibility.

MY RATING:

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About the Author

Aside from her family and her Savior, Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit everyRobin-Patchen-300x199
place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Robin to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Oklahoma, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

 

More from Robin

I was raised in a Christian home. Our parents took my sister, my brother, and me to church every Sunday. They taught us right from wrong, but eventually, kids have to make their own choices. In my case, I chose wrong for a long time.

Don’t misunderstand: I was always a pretty nice person. I wasn’t a thief, and I didn’t kill anybody, but I made a lot of bad decisions. Sinful decisions. I discovered that one bad choice often led to the next and the next until I was trapped in a life of my own making with no idea how to get out.

But God… two of my favorite words in the English language.

God had a different plan, and He pulled me out of the muck and changed my life. He showed me that I was not the person I’d been acting like. He showed me who I was, and He taught me to walk in the truth of my identity.

Harper Cloud isn’t me, not at all. First of all, she is tall and blond and drop-dead gorgeous. More than that, her choices are nothing like mine were. But she’s in the same boat I was. Thanks to a series of bad decisions, Harper was in a hole, and she didn’t know how to get herself out of it. She used drugs to quiet the condemning voices and told herself lies to make herself feel better. Someday, she told herself, she’d get her life together enough to go home to her parents. Because she couldn’t go when she was a mess. She couldn’t go until she’d done something they could be proud of.

Thanks to a bad choice in boyfriend, Harper not only didn’t go home, she ended up in prison.

Harper’s story begins two years after she’s released. It’s the story of a woman desperate to be free of her past, clinging to hope when there’s every reason to despair, and desperate to believe what she’s been told about this Savior, Jesus Christ.

Harper will learn about love and redemption and salvation in the course of the three books that make up the Beauty in Flight series. That is, if she can survive the danger that seems to follow her wherever she goes.

 

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 13

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 13

amandainpa , April 13

Through the Fire Blogs, April 14

Blogging With Carol, April 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 14

Genesis 5020, April 15

Spoken from the Heart, April 15

Lights in a Dark World, April 15

Through the Lens of Scripture, April 16

Among the Reads, April 16

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 16

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

Living Life Free In christ, April 17

Remembrancy, April 18

Just One More, April 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18

Emily Yager, April 19

Reader’s Cozy Corner, April 19

Texas Book-aholic, April 19

Daysong Reflections, April 20

Carla Loves To Read, April 20

janicesbookreviews, April 20

Just the Write Escape, April 21

For Him and My Family, April 21

EmpowerMoms, April 22

Simple Harvest Reads, April 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Maureen’s Musings, April 23

Bigreadersite, April 23

A Reader’s Brain, April 23

Real World Bible Study, April 24

The Lit Addict, April 24

Older & Smarter?, April 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 25

Inklings and notions, April 25

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 26

Pause for Tales, April 26

The Becca Files, April 26

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and the entire Beauty in Flight Series!!
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/de7a/beauty-in-hiding-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, LPC, NetGalley

The Songbird and the Spy

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About the Book

 

Book: The Songbird and the Spy43080349

Author: J’Nell Ciesielski

Genre: Clean historical romance

Release Date: Feb 19, 2019

As shells explode over Nazi-occupied France, American music student Claire Baudin is trapped behind enemy lines, struggling to protect her identity. Singing as a barmaid while she plans her escape, a handsome Third Reich captain threatens everything she knows to be true about the enemy.

Nazi Captain Michael Reiner isn’t who he claims to be. A British language expert turned spy, he discovers the truth about Claire, but he knows the importance of a secret. Struggling to resist his attraction to the songbird, he’s determined to complete his assignment, no matter the cost. His cover is threatened when a ruthless female Gestapo officer arrives hunting Resistance fighters. The raid forces Michael’s hand: complete the mission or save Claire.

As the war threatens to tear them apart, they must rely on each other for survival. Is there hope—and a future—for an American songbird and a British spy?

Click here to purchase your copy!

MY REVIEW

J’nell Ciesielski’s second novel, The Songbird and the Spy is a masterpiece of espionage, secrets, divided loyalties, and suspense. While not usually a WWII novel fan, I am a new devoted fan. Ciesielski’s characters covertly work their way off the page into your heart. Poor Claire only wants to return to her music studies in unoccupied France. But finding a safe route back is impossible and Claire must pose as a bar singer, attracting both the French nationals and the German soldiers.
One of those soldiers is Captain Michael Reichner, whose true identity is a carefully guarded secret.
This a very heart- wrenching story, lightened by a love that cannot be denied, yet must stay under wraps. I liked Michael’s strong sense of confidence. This can be very appealing in a man.
The tension is drawn even tighter when a female Gestapo agent, eager to earn her way to Berlin, begins to haunt Michael and his men and the very bar where Claire earns her keep.
I found it very interesting that the butcher’s son was named “Savon,” which means “soap” or “soap maker.” The Germans are determined to cleanse the land of undesirables, the French are desperate to wash the German army out of their land. Definitely a story worth reading and sharing.
One note: I was thrilled to see a map at the beginning of the book. The author’s short note was also appreciated.
Some great quotes:

“Trust is rather unreliable in your line of work.”

“If you give him a name, he becomes a person, a man. He is anything but!” 

“…the situation was so tangled that she could no longer determine if lies or truth were the better option.”

“She was the most important mission he’d ever undertaken.” 

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review and all opinions are my own.

MY RATING

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About the Author

Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days creating heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found 17735994dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle. Find out more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’nell

The most popular question an author is asked is where did the inspiration come from. Most of the time, if not always, my inspiration comes from a trifecta of resources: movies, music, or books. A single song lyric, or secondary character, or novel setting can trigger a whole world of possibilities that has to be explored. In the case of Songbird and the Spy, it was a movie. A Quentin Tarantino movie to be exact set during WWII where one of the characters is a British officer posing as a Nazi meets up with other spies in a French bar. Another character was a Jewish woman posing as a theater-owning Frenchwoman. My brain immediately tingled with ideas. What if identities were all in question? What if you fell in love with the wrong person? Not just the wrong person, but the enemy? The drama and tension in such a situation would be unbelievable!

And that is how Songbird was born.

Here are a few bits of trivia for you:

  • Songbird was originally titled Iron Shepherd for Michael’s call sign.
  • There have been three or four different endings written.
  • Michael Reiner was based off of Michael (see what I did there?!) Fassbender’s character in Inglorious Basterds. The actor was born in Germany to German and Irish parents, and later grew up in Ireland J Art imitating life.
  • Music always makes its way into my stories and here it takes center stage.
  • I’ve always wanted to write a USO story so the ending was my perfect chance to squeeze it in.
  • Ilsa von Ziegler was based off of Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones.
  • There was a scene showing Michael at SOE training in Scotland, but it was later cut.
  • Nazi headquarters in Paris really was located on Foch Ave. The building is still there.
  • The molten lead that Michael’s new assistant talks about is a German New Year’s tradition to divine fortune in the coming year. A small bit of lead or tin is melted, and then dropped in water. The form created by the metal predicts the future.
  • Chanteuse is a female singer. Edith Piaf, the most famous French singer of all, was known as The Little Sparrow. Songbird and chanteuse are both used to reference Claire and pay homage to Piaf.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2

For Him and My Family, April 2

Among the Reads, April 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, April 3

Wishful Endings, April 4

Carpe Diem, April 4

Connect in Fiction, April 5

Emily Yager, April 5

Through the Fire Blogs, April 6

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 6

Hallie Reads, April 7

Lis Loves Reading, April 7

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 8

Genesis 5020, April 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 9

Godly Book Reviews, April 9

Stories By Gina, April 10

Maureen’s Musings, April 10

Carla Loves To Read, April 11

Mary Hake, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 11

Inspired by Fiction, April 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 12

Bigreadersite, April 13

As He Leads is Joy, April 13

Texas Book-aholic, April 14

The Becca Files, April 14

janicesbookreviews, April 15

A Reader’s Brain, April 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away a grand prize of a print copy of Songbird and $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/dfe9/the-songbird-and-the-spy-celebration-tour-giveaway