Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, New Author

The Purple Nightgown, #10, True Colors, by AD Lawrence

About the Book

Book:  The Purple Nightgown

Author: A.D. Lawrence

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release date: March, 2021

9781643528922

Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.
Book 10 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Arguably the creepiest and most gruesome of the True Crime series so far, The Purple Nightgown is the fictionalized true story of Linda Burfield Hazzard. AD Lawrence writes a tautly woven story of Hazzard’s compound where she employs outrageous, torturous methods to bring “true health” to wealthy, sickly rich. I loved seeing the gradual change of attitude in Stella, from entitlement to understanding we are all equal in God’s sight, and learning to totally depend upon Him. Henry is just lovable in all his protective, caring ways. Jane’s action’s surprised me.
Warning: it may be hard to sleep after reading this book! The true historical notes at the end are a real bonus. Highly recommended.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts. All opinions are my own. 

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

A.D. Lawrence makes her home in Northeastern Nebraska. She has been passionate about writing and true crime for years, and her two obsessions melded into the goal of authorship. She is an active member of the ACFW, writes a true crime blog, won the 2019 Crown Award and was a 2019 First Impressions finalist.

More from AD Lawrence

Times have changed. And like so many things, health retreats have experienced their own metamorphosis. Sure, they’ve always catered to people with both spare money and time, but aside from similar clientele, the face of the health spa is nothing like its early 20th century sister.

If you could afford a getaway to a modern-day health spa like The Golden Door, you’d be treated to the luxury of rest. Yoga on the beach. Deep tissue massages. A much-needed break from technology and life’s constant pressures. Mental well-being is valued almost as highly as physical health, and the two are thought to be connected. After days or weeks of pampering, you would return home relaxed, recharged, and ready to dip back into the hustle of the real world.

In 1911, during the time of The Purple Nightgown, the medical community took a diametrically different approach to health. Weight equaled health.The prevailing assumption was that any ailments were directly connected to weight. Thus, ‘fat camps’ grew in popularity. Men and women checked into sanatoriums where the aides put them through grueling exercise regimes and provided them with just enough food to sustain life. No coddling. Not many of us would subject ourselves to the treatments early health spas required.

In this era of already extreme health measures, Linda Hazzard made her mark in Washington State. Obsessed with fasting, she ran her patients through an unfathomable course of ‘diet and exercise’ that proved the undoing of many. She did give massages though, which you’ll learn more about when you read The Purple Nightgown.

Although it’s fun to long for a simpler time while reading historical books and watching shows like Little House on the Prairie, there are some modern ways of thinking and advances in human comfort I’d rather not give up. One of those is the vastly superior spa experience we have today. Somehow, a facial with soothing background music sounds much more appealing than running mile after mile every day with nothing to look forward to but a glass of orange juice or a bowl of canned tomato broth.

Hot stone massage anyone?

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 23

lakesidelivingsite, March 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 23

For Him and My Family, March 24

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 24

Godly Book Reviews, March 24

Through the Fire Blogs, March 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 25

For the Love of Literature, March 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 26

Mary Hake, March 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 27

deb’s Book Review, March 27

Pause for Tales, March 28

Remembrancy, March 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 28

Connie’s History Classroom, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 29

Babbling Becky L’sBook Impressions, March 30

Texas Book-aholic, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 31 (Author Interview)

Cathe Swanson, March 31

Older & Smarter?, April 1

Betti Mace, April 1

Rebecca Tews, April 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2

Vicky Sluiter, April 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 3

Amanda Tero, blog, April 3

Blossoms and Blessings, April 3

Christian Bookaholic, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

Spoken from the Heart, April 4

Splashes of Joy, April 5

Artistic Nobody, April 5 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Southern Gal Loves to Read, April 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, A.D. 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/1098d/the-purple-nightgown-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite, New Author, New-to-Me Author, PB, Revell

A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel

About the Book

Title: A Dance in Donegal

Author: Jennifer Deibel

Publisher: Revell

Released: February, 2021

Genre: Historical Romance

To fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Moira Doherty moves from Boston to the rolling green hills of 1921 Ireland to teach in a village school. She doesn’t expect to fall in love–or to uncover a scandalous family reputation her mother left behind years ago.

My Impressions

Could it really be that this is Jennifer Deibel’s debut novel? A Dance in Donegal by Revell is so gloriously rich in Irish culture, lore, and the magic of the Emerald Isle itself, a reader who is even the slightest fan of historical romance and mystery will be swept away. I certainly was.
In 1921, Moira Doherty leaves Boston to teach school in her deceased mother’s hometown of Ballymann, in Donegal. What starts as an adventure becomes an arduous trial as Moira finds the Irish folk distrusting of her and her motives. With a very small handful of friends, Moira must decide who or Who she will please and learn to live well with the consequences.
Sean McFadden, the young, searching, roof thatcher, is such a quiet gem. Thoughtful, humorous, quick to learn from his mentor, Colm, Sean is a deep well as opposed to the babbling brook personality of a certain returned barrister.
I love the warmth of Brid, and the great depth and wisdom of both Peg and Colm. What it would be like to have them for friends!
I love how God’s quiet voice speaks His Word into Moira’s heart, calming her and giving her peace. Comforting Scripture is quite naturally sprinkled throughout.
“Once again, the words allowed a sense of peace to settle over Moira’s heart. She might not know what the future held, but she knew the One Who did, and she knew of His love for her.”
Forgiveness, obedience despite consequences, and grace vs. judgment are all themes Deibel presents well.
So many Notable Quotables. Here are a few:

“When ya seek to love the Laird wit’ all year heart, soul, an’ mind, and then seek ta love others selflessly, ye’re a man who will make a difference in this world one person at a time.”

“Smack in the middle of what God is askin’ us is the best place for any of us to be.”

“The Laird can change even the coldest man’s heart.”

“It doesna matter what the world says I am. It doesna even matter what I believe myself to be…if I believe in the Laird Jesus Christ and what He did fer me, I canna be condemned.”

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

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! I expect A Dance in Donegal to be in the running for CF Book of the Year!!

About the Author

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher and freelance writer. Her work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic Magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona.

Debut novel, A Dance in Donegal, releases February 2, 2021 from Revell. Follow Moira Doherty to the wilds of rural Ireland in 1921. Available for preorder wherever books are sold.

Connect with Jennifer on her blog at jenniferdeibel.com or on Twitter @thisgalsjourney.

BLOG, New Author

The Trouble with Tulips, #1 Hometown Holiday Heartstrings by Emily Botrous

53469341._SY475_

About the Book

Title: The Trouble with Tulips

Series: #1 Hometown Holiday Heartstrings

Author: Emily Dana Botrous

Publisher: Independently Published

Released: May 2020

He prefers plants to people. She’s a black thumb. Can love bloom?
Kim is stagnating in her hometown, like a dying flower. When her mother asks her to create a flower garden to enter into a local competition, Kim decides it’ll be her last big hurrah before skipping town for a new start. But with her wilted gardening skills, she can’t pull it off alone, especially since her mom wants tulips. The only person who might be able to help is her brother’s best friend. Trouble is, she’s liked him for years despite his prickly personality, and he never noticed.

Jake has met with a lot of loss in life. The only thing he can keep alive is a plant. Besides his friend Dusty, Jake has no use for anyone, including God. So when Dusty’s sister asks him for help, he turns her down flat—until he realizes he needs her help, too. Trading tulips and time for business advice, Jake finds there’s more to Kim than he’s ever noticed before. Too bad the only way to keep her safe is to keep her out of his heart.

When things get weedy, Kim must decide whether to dig in her roots or move on. Can Jake trust that God is enough to bridge the distance between the pain in the past and the promise of the future?

My Review

I really liked this book as the issues the protagonists had to resolve are so basic to many young people. Some people never overcome this personal baggage during a lifetime. Kim Williams and Jake Dunn are a couple that just can’t seem to get it together in order to be together. Emily Botrous has penned a very wise and insightful tale of hurt, beauty, and romance in her The Trouble with Tulips.

The Trouble with Tulips 1

Kim Williams has a very marketable MBA, but due to a years-long crush
on her brother’s best friend, Jake, she has moved home where no full-time jobs are available. Jake refuses to let go of guilt over his mother’s and brother’s death. This causes him to become surly and morose to close out any who would get close to him. I often wondered just what Kim saw in him.
Many readers will be able to identify with Kim and Jake. Kim can’t believe she is worth anything to anybody unless Jake sits up and takes notice. Kim needs to learn that God alone can fill the true void in her heart. Botrous does a great job, without preaching, of placing Kim in conversations that point her to begin listening to “The Voice of Truth.”
Jake is an even tougher nut to crack, though. Closed off from people, he is convinced anyone he cares about will meet disaster. He dumped his trust in God long ago, when beloved family members died.

The Trouble with Tulips 2


My favorite secondary character was Jason. He figures so strongly into the arc of this couple’s life. As their boss, he cares for them like a father. He is gracious, helpful, and insightful. Jason is also protective of his workers. God placed Jake and Kim in a great work environment, even though Jake is leaving to branch out on his own and Kim is only part-time.
I cried along with Kim until she finally finds her true worth. “Only God can make you understand your real value. And it’s to Him and no one else.”

Other notable quotes:

“The only thing he could take proper care of was plants.”

“Love’s worth the risk. God sure thought so.”

“But wasn’t she, by insulting herself—God’s very own creation—indirectly insulting God?”

“Stop actin’ God, son.”

“You want to be all-powerful to the ones you love, but only God can be that. Us? We have to trust those we love to His hands.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This in no way influenced my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

My Rating 

5 Stars – Superior – Hits My Reading Sweet Spot 

 

About the Author

18860227Emily Dana Botrous lives in San Diego, California with her husband and their four children. She lived in 10 states before she settled on the West Coast where she plans to stay for awhile. She started writing short stories at age 10 and studied English in college. The only thing she enjoys more than writing is motherhood. While there are a lot of things that matter to Emily, nothing is more important to her than Jesus Christ. It is her goal to point anyone who reads her writing toward Him. When Emily isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, long walks, music, and playing with her kids. “A New Shade of Paint” is her first book.