Bethany House, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, NetGalley

In Honor’s Defense by Karen Witemeyer Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: In Honor’s Defense

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: June 7, 2022

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life–for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he’s left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she’d have and to give him the family he desperately needs.

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke’s attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris’s brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Horsemen stand together.”

In Honor’s Defense, #3 Hanger’s Horsemen, by Karen Witemeyer is the story of the fourth and final Horseman. I enjoyed the first but didn’t get a chance to read the second. This book can be read as a standalone, but you will appreciate the relationships and characters so much more, if you read the other two first.

I enjoyed the easy reading style, coupled with the romance, historical western setting, and suspense all wrapped up into one unputdownable package. Witemeyer uses humor to help drive her thoughts home and make her characters relatable and memorable. “She’d persevere, even if the thought of asserting herself among strangers delighted her as much as the prospect of being dragged behind a horse. By her hair. Through a bed of cacti.” How fun this book is!

Prayers, verses, and thoughts on spiritual matters as relates to a character’s development are smoothly woven into the story. I love the verses Witemeyer chooses to include in the story and how very apropos each one is to the situation. And how appropriate the book about “the Preach” would contain numerous Scripture references!

Damaris Baxter and Luke Davenport are two people who are polar opposites, yet life and God throw them together. Damaris has always been overlooked, but Luke’s attention and example help her develop from a wallflower into a formidable force, “Texas Damaris.” I love that kind of influence!

Luke first meets Damaris and her nephew, Nate, when he agrees to locate missing cattle for a neighboring rancher. Luke is attracted to the little struggling family who possesses a sense of home he never had. Can Luke and Damaris work together to rescue not only the ranch, but her nephew’s wayward heart? And what of their own lonely hearts?

Those who like historical fiction, a bit of a mystery, and westerns, will want to read this novel. Also, those interested in troubled youth, and the difference mercy and love can make in lives will find this book a treasure.

I received a copy of the book from the author through Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. No positive opinion was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“To be chosen for herself—it was the secret desire of her heart. To be important to someone. More than a glorified servant who fetched and carried and entertained at her aunt’s whim. To be wanted truly for herself. Seen instead of invisible. Valued instead of tolerated.”

“A good boss knew his men, but no man knew another completely. Everyone had secrets.”

“Strange that she should feel more valued and cherished in the middle of an armed standoff than in the middle of her family.”

“The longer the anger lives in you, the more it erodes your soul and destroys your relationships. If you’re not careful, one day it’ll hollow you out and leave you with nothing.”

“sugarcoating danger only left a person ill-equipped to respond when it came calling.”

“Unfortunately, the law isn’t always about what is true. It’s about what you can get a judge and jury to believe is true.”

“Contentment isn’t chained to a certain set of circumstances, Luke. It’s portable. You can take it with you wherever you go.”

“…it’s that there are always more options than you see at first glance. You just might have to get a little creative in where you look for them.”

“It don’t matter how dark things look or how big your opponent is. If you believe you can win, you’re already halfway to victory.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! A great conclusion to the Horsemen Series!!

About the Author

For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Voted #1 Readers’ Favorite Christian Romance Author in 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, Karen is a multiple award-winning author and a firm believer in the power of happy endings. She is an avid cross-stitcher, tea drinker, and gospel hymn singer who makes her home in Abilene, TX with her heroic husband who vanquishes laundry dragons and dirty dish villains whenever she’s on deadline.

More from Karen

Meet Luke and Damaris

As the Hanger’s Horsemen series comes to a close, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Luke Davenport and Damaris Baxter. If you haven’t read the other books in this series, don’t worry. This one stands on its own just fine.

Luke

Luke Davenport is a former cavalry officer who is part of an elite squad of men known as Hanger’s Horsemen. Haunted by the horrors of war, this group of Texas legends has spent the last few years fighting for justice on behalf of those who cannot fight for themselves. Luke is Matthew Hanger’s right-hand man, but when Matt retires the Horsemen in favor of a more settled life with his new wife, Luke is left feeling adrift. So when a solo job comes his way to track down rustled cattle, he jumps at the opportunity.

Known for his strength, his size, and his skill with his fists, I modeled Luke after a pair of football players, Howie Long and JJ Watt. He’s a man of action with a bit of wildness inside, yet his ability to memorize Scripture earned him the nickname Preach. He’s a godly man with scars, seeking to find his place as his Horsemen brothers move on to new phases of life.

 Damaris 

Damaris Baxter has been invisible her entire life. Plain of face and quiet of manner, she it’s the epitome of unremarkable. While she dares heroic feats and grand adventures between the covers of her favorite books, life outside the pages consists of little more than needlework and dull conversation with her great aunt. Until her brother dies under suspicious circumstances and she travels to Texas to care for her nephew. Determined that the “Texas Damaris” will be bolder and braver than her former self, she sets out to win the heart of a grieving boy and ends up mixed up in a dangerous murder plot with a handsome cowboy who actually sees her.

When creating Damaris’s character, I gave her two of my favorite hobbies—reading and cross-stitching. She shares other similarities with me as well. She’s a quiet person who dislikes making waves, but when family needs her, there’s nothing she won’t do to help. Her questionable baking skills might also have found some inspiration in my personal experience. Just ask my husband about my famous transparent chocolate chip cookies. 

Opposites Attract?

I love to explore what brings people together, and while it’s a common idea that opposites attract, I’ve always believed that there must be some core commonalities beneath the differences to bind a couple together for a lifetime. So, while Luke and Damaris seem to be stark opposites—he an adventure-seeking soldier used to solving problems with guns and fists; she a quiet, proper lady used to escaping problems with books and needlework—they actually have several core commonalities. They both crave belonging and family, they both value God’s Word, and they both have a strong, protective instinct toward those they care about. This core common ground is what serves as the foundation for their relationship.

Now that you’ve been introduced to Luke and Damaris, I hope you’ll join them on the adventure that leads them to love.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 27

Book Looks by Lisa, June 27

Where Faith and Books Meet, June 27

Bliss, Books & Jewels, June 28

Daysong Reflections, June 28

For Him and My Family, June 29

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 30

Pause for Tales, June 30

lakesidelivingsite, June 30

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 1

Sylvan Musings, July 1

deb’s Book Review, July 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 2

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, July 2

Babbling BeckyL’s Book Impressions, July 3

Bizwings Blog, July 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 4

Inklings and notions, July 5

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

Connie’s History Classroom, July 6

SodbusterLiving, July 6

Texas Book-aholic, July 7

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 7

Through the Fire Blogs, July 7

Splashes of Joy, July 8

Melissa’s Bookshelf, July 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a Hanger’s Horsemen prize bundle consisting of autographed copies of all three books in the series, a custom mug, and Horsemen swag!! (U.S. Only)

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/1f45c/in-honor-s-defense-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, Purchase

Flame of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Flame of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: February 1, 2022

The fiery pain at her new husband’s murder might equal the disaster blazing across the Pacific Northwest. Stranded in the treacherous railroad camp, baking bread for survival to avoid the life of a bordello canary, Juliana Hayes has no desire to marry a railroad ruffian like Lukas Filips, or anyone else. Her scrimping and saving will pay off soon. She’ll be free of the camps, the rails, and the men who destroyed her life. But she can’t earn her living constantly besieged by desperate bachelors where few women cause chaos in the male ranks.

Juliana reluctantly accepts his protection, but when Lukas reveals the secret of his Montenegrin nobility, the old fears flare as hot as the fire storm eating up the forest at their heels. Can she release her prejudice to love again? Or will either one of them survive The Big Blowup to find out?

Flame of the Rockies, Book 6 in the Queen of the Rockies series, is based on true history when three million acres burned out of control on the border of Montana and Idaho darkening the skies all the way to the East Coast during August of 1910. It’s a wonder anyone survived! Read this heart-pounding romance full of adventure, honoring true history and the heroes that made it. Be sure to follow this 6-book historical romance adventure series, Queen of the Rockies, set in the Gilded Age through the turn-of-the-century. Written by bestselling author and professional genealogist, Angela Breidenbach.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Why did she have to feed the very men who murdered her husband?”

I really didn’t want to give Flame of the Rockies five stars. But Angela Breidenbach upped her game, if that was even possible, from the others. This was the very best of all six of the Queen of the Rockies series!

Immediately, Breidenbach draws the reader into the story of a widowed bread baker (Juliana) who is constantly fighting off unwanted miners’ attentions. Yet, Lukas, as the latest foreman, is equally compelling and relatable. Breidenbach sets the uneasy, hot 1910 Montana summer scene well. The dangers, manmade or natural, are realistic, well-presented, and suspenseful. The scenery and action are vividly portrayed. What a terrifying event Breidenbach brings to life, one easily ignored. I know I’ll never forget it, as I lived through it vicariously.

Love, love, love the info and the whetting of the appetite Ms. Breidenbach stirs up in the intro! They say a good speaker should lay out his or her main points before the start of a talk, and tell the audience exactly what it is they should learn. Breidenbach does this very effectively. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done so well in a novel before.

Need tourist information for a trip to Montana? Breidenbach could single-handedly handle the tourism industry for Montana, with her knowledge of the state, its history, and her ability to make that history come alive. In this novel, she focuses on the Route of the Hiawatha. Breidenbach even suggests what to take and expect on your tour.

Faith plays an important role in Lukas’s and Juliana’s story. A wonderful part of a great book.

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit, plus I purchased my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

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Notable Quotables:

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Men forged the roads, built the towns, answered the call of adventure. But women—they tamed hearts, settled men, and created civilization.

“You’ve accepted my apology, but have you forgiven me?”

“A woman settled a man. He glanced at Juliana. He wanted to be settled by her.”

“Always give credit where credit is due. My father taught me that. A man will give his best when it’s appreciated.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! An event I’d never heard about, now I’ll never forget!!

About the Author

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, the director and president of The National Institute for Genealogical Studies(GenealogicalStudies.com), conference speaker, bestselling author of eighteen books. Angela lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

https://AngelaBreidenbach.com

More from Angela

Research is both a joy and a nemesis for an author and/or genealogist. We’re easily distracted with one more fascinating discovery! The entire series, Queen of the Rockies, came from research rabbit trails when I thought there’d be one book. Now there are six ending with Flame of the Rockies!

Flame of the Rockies happens on the factual Trail of the Hiawatha. At first, this trail was a mining area deep in the mountains on the Idaho-Montana border. So deep that fourteen feet of snow blocking the railroad was common during the winter. Quite the contrast to the hot, dry summers with countless lightning strikes and regular forest fires.

After the Big BlowUp that occurred in August of 1910 burning over 3,000,000 acres, the area gradually became a gorgeous upscale train ride through the mountains. People rode the Hiawatha for leisure, upscale dining, and tourism. Then rails died out. The Trail of the Hiawatha rose from the ashes of forgotten history to become the incredible 16.5 mile bike path it is today. The trail winds down the valley from on top of the Continental Divide with incredible views for miles as you ride and experience the awe of God’s creative grandeur.

Understanding the history and evolution of this special trail isn’t hard. So much work in historical preservation has been done, and continues to be done, for those who come. Be sure to read the travel article in the back of this book so you can be one of those holding your breath as mountain after mountain after mountain roll outward from the trestles. You’ll see mountain tops go on for miles and miles. Those vistas truly feel as if you’re standing on the clouds with the Heavenly Hosts. Then you’ll understand why Montana is called the Big Sky Country!

I hope you enjoy Flame of the Rockies and meeting many of the real people who lived and worked in those extreme conditions. Yes, a few of the characters are fictitious. But remember you’re also going to meet a true hero whose heroism and name still rings through the Hiawatha and the world today!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 18

Texas Book-aholic, June 19

Rebecca Tews, June 19

Inklings and notions, June 20

For Him and My Family, June 21

Blogging With Carol, June 21

deb’s Book Review, June 22

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 24

Bizwings Blog, June 25

Sylvan Musings, June 25

Pause for Tales, June 26

Betti Mace, June 27

Connie’s History Classroom, June 27

Mary Hake, June 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 29

Blossoms and Blessings, June 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 1

Spoken from the Heart, July 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the prize a free genealogy course to three winners!!

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/1eff7/flame-of-the-rockies-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

Love in Disguise by Penny Zeller Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Love in Disguise

Author: Penny Zeller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 22, 2022

Love in Diguise

Who knew concealing one’s true identity could be so disastrous? 

Who knew asserting one’s independence would cause such embarrassment? If only Almira “Emilie” Crawford Wheeler hadn’t insisted upon carrying her own stack of parcels, she wouldn’t have landed in an unladylike heap on the boardwalk. And what about the half-truth she told the handsome stranger who came to her aid? The stranger she never expected to see again?

Thad Alexander Evanson should have been paying closer attention to the boardwalk, rather than the newfangled automobile motoring down the street. Had he been more astute, a collision with the beautiful parcel-laden stranger might never have happened. And if it never had happened, he wouldn’t have told a partial-truth he figured wouldn’t matter.

Before long, Emilie and Thad are arranging to meet for a noonday meal each weekend in Missoula under the guise of different names. But what happens when their true identities are revealed? When half-truths are exposed? Could God have a plan even in the midst of a tangled web of lies?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“But it’s not all right to lie. No, but it can be necessary. It’s never necessary.”

Love in Disguise by Penny Zeller is such a light, fun historical fiction book, yet it speaks to serious issues. I was very pleased to find this novel next on my list, a nice break from more serious reading. Zeller had me laughing out loud quite often over the antics of her characters from the early 1900s. “Being proper-like with a dash of rebellion wasn’t for the faint of heart.” “Lord, I reckon this is an odd request, but might I become invisible?“ Also, repeated imagined quotes from Emilie’s mother had me in stitches.

Themes that keep this novel from being “fluff” writing are finding faith in God, second chances, and true love. Also, telling the truth. Fortunately for the readers, the lack of truthfulness and its consequences drive the story with the necessary conflict.

I changed my rating of this book from four to five stars after considering how much I loved the feels from the story. I loved getting to know Thad and Emilie, as well as Morris and Vera. The novel has a prairie romance feel to it, similar to When Calls the Heart. I was surprised, pleased, and amused by some of the secondary characters at the book’s conclusion.

Readers who enjoy Westerns, Historical fiction, or who enjoy books by Janette Oke or Jen Turano will want to pick up this Penny Zeller offering.

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I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

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Notable Quotables:

“Reflecting on things I have no control over will most certainly not bring me peace of mind.”

“Displeasing as all get out to the Lord when we aren’t truthful. Even when we think we have acceptable reasons for dishonesty.”

Lying is an awful thing. It erodes trust faster than the weather changes here in Montana.

“Pray? She hadn’t prayed since the day she prayed that the Lord would save…”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! Just What the Dr Ordered!

About the Author

Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics.

Today Penny is a multi-published author of several inspirational books. She is also a homeschool mom and a fitness instructor.

When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, cycling, gardening, and playing volleyball.

She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website www.pennyzeller.com and her blog, random thoughts from a day in the life of a wife, mom, and author, at www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com.

More from Penny

In Love in Disguise, the two main characters, Emilie and Thad, are both fond of pie a la mode. It plays a prominent part in the book, especially during Emilie and Thad’s courtship. My inspiration behind the dessert? My aunt’s famous, old-fashioned pie a la mode recipe, which is a family favorite.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, June 8

Labor Not in Vain, June 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 9

Texas Book-aholic, June 10

Inklings and notions, June 11

Of Blades and Thorns, June 11

For Him and My Family, June 12

deb’s Book Review, June 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 14

Mary Hake, June 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 15

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 16

Connie’s History Classroom, June 17

Pause for Tales, June 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 18

Bizwings Blog, June 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 20

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 20

Splashes of Joy, June 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Penny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/1eb77/love-in-disguise-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite, Kindle, LibraryThing Early Readers, PB, Purchase, Revell

When the Meadow Blooms by Ann H Gabhart Review

About the Book

Title: When the Meadow Blooms

Author: Ann H Gabhart

Publisher: Revell

Released: May 3, 2022

From the back cover:

Hope blooms at Meadowland

If any place on God’s earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law’s Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past–the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls’ experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, past troubles become rich soil in which faith can grow.

Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother’s widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again.

But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.

My Impressions

“Are you fey, child?”…””Is that the same as tetched in the head?…If so, I don’t think I am. My mother told me I wasn’t and not to pay mind to anyone who said I was.”

“Most people have some life scars, Miss Warfield.

Sometimes they show, sometimes they don’t.”

“Scars aren’t a sign of wickedness. Mistreating children is a sign of wickedness.”- Calla

Ann H Gabhart has been a favorite author of mine for years now. Employing uncomplicated, warm, and homey language, Gabhart invites us into the lives of a fractured family trying to find normalcy in When the Meadows Bloom. Rose Meadows has spent years recovering from TB at a sanitarium. Her young daughters are left in a children’s home that promises to care well for them until she returns. Rose finally decides she is ready to well enough to leave snd reclaim the girls, but finds she must have someone to stay with. Enter her late husband’s reclusive, taciturn brother who owns a beautiful farm. Not promising new beginnings.

This book made me want to cry. To think that children’s home workers could be two-faced and not properly care for those in their charge.

I loved the tertiary characters who were not in charge, but who did what they could to lighten others’ burdens. Those who saw beyond their own needs or in one case, world.

I loved how even scarred hearts had openings where love and care eked out for the downtrodden. Which, I think, amazed even the persons suddenly showing such compassion!

If you love kids at all, you will love both fearful Calla and dreamy Sienna! They are so very different, yet love each other fiercely. You will only want the happiest of endings for these two wise-beyond-their-years, deeply scarred little girls. And you may come to care for the adults who love them, as well.

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I received a copy of the book from Library Thing Early Reviewers. I also bought a copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

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Notable Quotables:

Meadowland. The very name sounded like heaven.

You need a purpose other than what you are to somebody else.

Secrets nearly always surface eventually and bring with them troubles.

He could drown in those eyes of hers. “You are trespassing on my heart.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! A Heartwarming Historical of Healing Scars

About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Along a Storied Trail, An Appalachian Summer, River to Redemption, These Healing Hills, and Angel Sister, along with several Shaker novels–The Refuge, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm’s fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. Learn more at http://www.annhgabhart.com.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, Purchase

Flower of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Flower of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: December 1, 2021

QotR-Book4

Helena MT, 1892-95 ~ Can you leave your past behind?
Flower of the Rockies, the 4th book in the Queen of the Rockies series set in picturesque Helena MT at the end of the Gilded Age. No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, or the sacrifices she’s made for love. An infamous soiled dove of no consequence turned miner’s widow. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake their claim on her and the mine she inherited. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money, and they’ll do anything to take it. But love and acceptance seem out of the question for Emmalee.

Society wants nothing to do with her regardless of her changed ways. Who can she turn to when her inheritance and chance at a future is at risk? Will she be forced back into the brothel to survive? Hiring a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her start over somewhere else — if he can save a little of her finances from her husband’s partner. She’ll go anyplace else where no one knows Miss Ellie’s name. Anywhere to leave the scorn behind. Becoming an unknown is the only way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new future?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Angela Breidenbach comes back strong with another tale of Montana, in the infancy of its statehood (1894). This engaging novel follows the soiled dove Emmalee Warren, who is struggling to overcome her past. Given an unexpected chance to escape that past, she discovers many of the towns people are all too happy to remember her for who she was, not who she is. Fortunately, a few people truly live out God’s unconditional love to her. “They do know what we been. But who we are is not what we done…”

Richard Lewis is the new lawyer Emmalee hires to help her stop her late husband’s conniving, cheating partner. I love the way that Lewis sees Emmalee as valuable and worth his help. “If God thinks enough to count your individual tears and record them in his book, then he finds you invaluable, Emmalee…” Lewis doesn’t minimize the opposition Emmalee faces, but he is willing to pave the way for her. “The best way through a wall is to walk through a door. I would like to be that doorway for you.”

We also get to see friends from earlier books. It is thrilling to see them with their new families, rising to new challenges.

I was glad to see a certain unkind character. Not because I liked her, but because real life is like that. Given a large group of people, it seems there has to be one that doesn’t even attempt to live up to what they profess. Who will win over the public sentiment?

Concluding with “Conversation starter ideas for book clubs” (a great title and some thought provoking questions that tie in with the book), Breidenbach includes more tourist ideas as well.

I received a copy of the book from the author via Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“Someday happens because you plan for it.”

“True religion wasn’t running from the past. True religion is letting God use her broken past to help someone else.”

About the Author

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, conference speaker, bestselling author of eighteen books, and screenwriter. Angela lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

More from Angela

Flower of the Rockies is one of my favorite stories. I didn’t realize when I started writing about the Montana state flower that I’d be digging into a deeper part of myself. A part I didn’t want to remember.

Stumbling on the women’s club that worked so hard to create symbolism for the state of Montana sparked a story idea. Then that idea needed a character help me tell the story. Then she told me she didn’t know how to read. Okay, I can run with that… But I’m a really good reader. So how do I connect to this widow who needs to learn to read to stop her husband’s partner from cooking her books and stealing everything she has left?

It hit me. She and I had a lot in common. As a kid, I was awkward. I didn’t connect well because I couldn’t read people. Ironically, I read books to learn about people. But it took getting out and being with people to begin really connecting and communicating.

Emmalee doesn’t want to be around people because she’s been rejected for her past and ridiculed publicly. Who wants to be friends with a soiled dove? But, she’s lonely. I suddenly connected on an even deeper level with her. I understood her need for love and acceptance. Her desire to become someone respectable.

On a bigger scale, that’s what the women of Montana were trying to prove, too. That their state fit in with the other states, had something special, something symbolic that showed she was accepted and respected. She had a flag, a state flower, and people who mattered.

Come join me in the Flower of the Rockies. I think you’ll like Emmalee and her journey toward acceptance. There are a lot of layers to the story’s symbolism. I wrote it and have been amazed at how God keeps revealing those layers to me in one short book. Let me know what is revealed to you.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

Inklings and notions, April 19

Spoken from the Heart, April 19

Betti Mace, April 20

Slyvan Musings, April 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 21

deb’s Book Review, April 22

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 23

Pause for Tales, April 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 24

Simple Harvest Reads, April 25

For Him and My Family, April 26

Blossoms and Blessings, April 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 27

Connie’s History Classroom, April 28

Mary Hake, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize of a pair of iolite and sterling silver earrings!!

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/1cc83/flower-of-the-rockies-celebration-tour-giveaway

Bethany House, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, NetGalley, Purchase

Peace in the Mountain Haven by Misty Beller Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Peace in the Mountain Haven

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release date: March 15, 2022

Peace in the Mountain Haven Cover

This epic journey is her best chance to find the family she and her daughter long for.

Watkuese is desperate to return across the Rocky Mountains before winter sets in. Time is running out for her to get her adopted daughter back to the familiar surroundings of the Shoshone village before the grief of her parents’ death causes irreparable damage.

Hugh Charpentier has spent his life watching over his siblings, which meant also ensuring his brother’s widow and babe are settled well into their new life. Now he’s asked to help shepherd a woman and child he barely knows across the mountains. As hard as it is to keep up with a six-year-old in the treacherous Rockies, it’s not nearly as dangerous as risking his heart to a woman and child who may not ever be his.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

Click here to get your copy! $3, $15, $30

My Impressions

Ack!! Misty Beller is another author whose books I am starting to really anticipate! I was not overly impressed by the first book I read, but now, I am hopelessly a fan. Peace in the Mountain Haven is on my favorites list. Beller’s beautiful mountain settings, multi-cultural characters, and ability to recount a compelling story of both faith and love have me hooked.

In 1831, the future Idaho Territory area is home to Watkuese, a single Native American, who is raising her deceased friend’s six-year-old daughter, Pop-pank. Searching for inner peace for herself and her sullen, grieving charge, Watkuese decides to return to Pop-pank’s tribal home. Hugh Charpentier and his brother, Louis, are assigned to accompany the two back to the village.

Watkuese is a strong, independent woman who wants to make her own way and rely on no one. She is not close to the family she has, but considers Pop-pank “the daughter of her heart” and will give her life to protect the stand-offish young one.

Hugh Charpentier is a white trapper who is hardened to relationships with others because of his past. “The more you kept your distance from others, the easier it was to part ways.” He is very aloof, but he still takes great care of Wautkuese and Pop-pank. With enough nurturing, will a tender, dedicated heart emerge?

I loved Louis. He is such a happy soul, yet it is not because his life is easy. He chooses to look for ways to engage others and make them feel comfortable. He can see past walls built up to protect a heart, and isn’t afraid to meddle to encourage better thinking.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I also bought a copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

Firewood he knew far better than people.

She’d already promised herself she would give her life to protect Pop-pank. Should she give her freedom as well?

If only he could be the man Louis thought he was.

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! A Beautiful Frontier Fave!!

About the Author

Misty M. Belleris a USA Todaybestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

More from Misty

What do you love most about this genre?

I tend to be a bit of a sentimentalist, so Historical Romance is perfect for me! My favorite period is between 1800 – 1880, when the west was still an extreme frontier. I love the simpler life, where there’s no rat race. Just hard work, plenty of alone time (can you tell I’m an introvert?), and a strong family unit.

Are readers always promised a “happily ever after” in your novels? Why or why not?

Absolutely! I read as an escape, so that happily ever after is important to me. I know my characters will face challenges after the story ends, but I want to finish the book knowing they’ve grown through the story and will be able to meet future struggles with God’s strength and the support of each other—as well as family and friends!

How can readers connect with you?

I love to connect with readers! One of my favorite ways is through my newsletter, and readers can get a free copy of my book, A Pony Express Romance, when they sign up for the newsletter. Here’s the link for that: https://mistymbeller.com/freebook

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Miriam Jacob, April 8

Texas Book-aholic, April 9

Inklings and notions, April 10

Mary Hake, April 10

For Him and My Family, April 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 12

deb’s Book Review, April 12

Betti Mace, April 13

Bizwings Blog, April 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 15

Connie’s History Classroom, April 16

For the Love of Literature, April 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 17

Splashes of Joy, April 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 18

Blossoms and Blessings, April 19

Pause for Tales, April 20

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty 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/1c94c/peace-in-the-mountain-haven-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite, Kindle, Kregel, NetGalley, New Author, PB, Purchase, Read with Audra

Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Counterfeit Love

Author: Crystal Caudill

Series: #1 Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age

Publisher: Kregel

Released: March 2022

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves–or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down?

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name–and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home–and the truth.

After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiance is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career–but that’s better than failing her twice in one lifetime.

They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there’s no question they’re both still keeping secrets–and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.

To read an excerpt of Counterfeit Love click here.

My Impressions

Ah, a deliciously, satisfying debut novel of the Gilded Age from Crystal Caudill. A couple, Theresa Payne and Broderick Cosgrove, once engaged, must determine if they can trust each other and if there is any hope for a rekindled romance. Will they be able to work together to uncover the true counterfeiters in Cincinnati?

Caudill emphasizes themes of trust, forgiveness, and family as she provides plenty of emotion, action, and truth. “Even if… “ is a big question that Theresa grapples with mightily. The novel is well-paced, balancing all the threads together- romance, history, suspense, and life lessons- delightfully.

Broderick is the long-absent love; tall, charming, and witty. But, he is shrouded in mystery. His methods are a little suspect. His results, well, not quick enough for the boss. Is he a man of faith and integrity or one who would play Theresa and his partners for fools?

Theresa is wonderfully headstrong, intensely loyal, and also very intelligent. Is she intelligent enough to figure out her grandfather’s secrets? Loyalty is a great quality if one places it in the right person. Can Theresa discern who to trust with her secrets? Theresa tends to be quick to forgive and allow most people second chances. I loved this about her, but sure rooted for her trust not to be abused!

While Theresa and Broderick are relatable and sure to earn the reader’s loyalty, other characters kept hopping the good guy/bad guy fence for me. What I thought of characters like Isaacs, Lydia, Abraham, Mrs. Hawking, Grandfather and others was variable. This fluidity made the story very suspenseful and I couldn’t put it down!

With thoughtful questions at the end, this would be a good book for a book club discussion.

I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through I Read with Audra. (I also bought a copy for my keeper shelf.) No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“Nathaniel wronged you, but God convicted him, and he’s a different man now.”

“It’s so nice to be together again. Isn’t it?” Theresa squeezed their arms…”“About as nice as an outhouse in summer.” …”Then I suppose it’s a good thing I have plumbing.”

“Feelings change, and they can lie, but God’s presence is constant and true. Whether we feel Him or not.”

Love, not blood, makes a family.

Family. The word stuck in her throat like a lozenge, melting to soothe an ache she’d long accepted as permanent. Her blood relatives were gone, but the love flanking either side of her pulsed with life and healing. They may not always see eye to eye, but they cared. More than that, they wanted her.

God answered Theresa’s prayers this time, but that didn’t mean He would in the future. Could she trust Him with what little she had left? But trust didn’t mean she’d get what she wanted. So what did it mean?

“…no matter what happens or what you think you’ve lost, you cannot lose God….

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! This is a Satisfying Debut Novel of the Gilded Age, and I’m looking forward to the next two in the series!!

About the Author

Crystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW.

She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.

Learn more at crystalcaudill.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.

Giveaway

Enter to Win a copy of Crystal Caudill’s book at the Rafflecopter site below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b3c91bb31/

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, Purchase

Heart of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Heart of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

Heart-of-the-Rockies-Generic

1892, Helena MT: Delphina O’Connor believed God-given dreams for women didn’t stop at marriage and children. Hers might not include a husband or family at all. So when Hugh Thomas rescues the new swimming instructor at the elegant Broadwater Natatorium from near drowning in the Victorian-styled resort pool, how can anyone believe the freedom to enjoy swimming, competition, and a healthy body is an appropriate activity for a proper lady? Hugh is about to find out status quo is the starting line for a courageous woman with a dream!

Elaborate true history of the Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium in romantic fiction. You’ll meet several iconic people from Montana’s true history in these pages. What do you do when you think differently than the world around you?

Lovely story sharing the early days of women in synchronized swimming nearing the turn-of-the-century when traditional sensibilities battle modern ideas. How does a traditional man learn to love a modern woman?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

I am so glad I bought this whole series of early Montana-inspired books by Angela Breidenbach. I was also given a copy by Celebrate Lit, but after receiving the first book of the series, I pre-ordered the rest for myself. While the first two books dealt with the young, orphaned newsies and the couples that work to save them, Heart of the Rockies takes a different tack.

Angela Breidenbach is still showing the reader what life in early Montana was like, as it is becoming a state. This novel has a young swim instructor, Hugh Thomas, and his counterpart, Delphina O’Connor, who are both hired to work for wealthy resort owner Mr. Broadwater. Breidenbach weaves faith, the suffragette movement, sport, and a sweet romance together to produce a throughly satisfying novel. Not only does it succeed as a great historical romance, but it will leave the reader with much to ponder long after the book is closed.

Breidenbach’s characters jockey for “main character” status. While Hugh and Delphina are arguably the hero and heroine, it is Mr. Broadwater who mentors Hugh, encourages Delphina to keep creatively problem-solving, and encourages them to pool their many abilities.

A list of Montana must-see sites follows the text, as in all the other books, and a short note also explains the reality of the “natatorium” as it was called.

My fave quote:

“ “I see the Lord greeting our friend. I see him showing one short, bald man how the world changed because he was a servant, obedient, and willing to act on the dreams he’d been given. Because of that courage, Charles A. Broadwater inspired thousands of people and helped Montana become a state. His life was a success. He didn’t need a building to prove it or this long line of well-wishers.”

We may not all be able to be like Mr. Broadwater who had the ability to influence thousands. But we can be like Hugh, and look for that next one to pour our lives into, or like Delphina, and “influence others to dream as big as they can.”

My Rating

Magnificent!! Montana Historical Romance Grabbed My Heart!!

About the Author

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, bestselling author, and screenwriter. She’s also the Christian Authors Network president. Angie lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also.

More from Angela

I toured Helena, MT for the research that kicked off my passion for the Queen of the Rockies series. While there, I searched for more on the history of the Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium. Visiting the now empty fields, staring through the fence where the resort once stood, I missed the elegant beauty even though I’d never known her. The way the mountains swooped up from the valley with the hot springs at the base created a dramatic sense of place. I had to write a story set at the Broadwater!

While volunteering with a non-profit for children, the executive director asked why I’d gone to Helena recently. Bubbling over with enthusiasm, he started telling me everything he knew, saw, and experienced at the resort area while growing up near the Broadwater in Helena. His wife and he had even attended the final auction in the 1960s before the grand lady lost her battle with time and damages from the major earthquakes of 1935. She was demolished after the auction! The ornamental elements of the hotel and natatorium took record auction prices from doorknobs to copper bathtub rings. Even what was left of the stained-glass windows sold. What I hadn’t found in history books, online, or at the local history museum/society my friends shared with misty-eyed memories. The sweetness of hearing their stories and being able to use them in my book was pretty miraculous. I had a front seat to history.

The Broadwater Hotel had an interesting feature in their bath/shower rooms. If you’ve ever heard of a “needle” shower, it sounds painful. But it was a revolutionary new therapy treatment in the 1890s. I saw a few black and white faded photos. Those pictures in history books and online couldn’t do justice to the real invention. Want to see a little more before you read Heart of the Rockies? Here’s a link to visit on the Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium. I think you’ll want to immerse yourself (pun intended) in a story set in her extravagant, elegance. See what you think…

http://www.helenahistory.org/Broadwater_1.htm

One weekend, my husband and I took a trip to Butte to stay at the Copper King Mansion. The stay included a tour and use of their facilities. (Don’t pass that bed and breakfast overnight up. It’s really amazing and closely preserved through the families that lived there!) The original owner, William A. Clark, had a needle shower installed to help his sickly son. What do you know? It still worked! I tried it that night. Because the tiny sprays are in a circular design all the way around your body, the shower rings you. The experience, minus the issue of one ring being right at face level causing a lot of battles to breathe, was exhilarating. More so because of the unique nature. But when the water pressure is all the way on, the water can sting with the force on your skin. I fully understood the name! Adjusting the spickets brought the water pressure under control, but I had one further difficulty. The pipes that ringed my neck and head sprayed water into my face no matter what direction I moved. They’d been built to the height of a young man. Let’s just say it was a near-drowning! Super fun to try though.

Besides visiting Helena, make sure to stop in for your weekend in Butte, MT at the Copper King Bed and Breakfast. Take the tour. Then when you’re free of the museum visitors, and the house is all yours for the night, step into the needle shower (maybe really bring a waterproof step) and be swished back in time to the Gilded Age. Hmm, maybe I should be writing a time travel novel??

Come plunge into the pages of Heart of the Rockies with me.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 18

Texas Book-aholic, March 19

Christina’s Corner, March 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 20

Betti Mace, March 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 21

Inklings and notions, March 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 23

For Him and My Family, March 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 24

Blogging With Carol, March 25

deb’s Book Review, March 25

Connie’s History Classroom, March 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 27

Miriam Jacob, March 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 29 (Spotlight)

Pause for Tales, March 29

Spoken from the Heart, March 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 31

Blossoms and Blessings, March 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize of a a set of gemstone earrings handmade by Thai Hill Tribe (made of sterling silver with amethyst Swarovski crystals)!!

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/1bc98/heart-of-the-rockies-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, Purchase

Slashed Canvas by Liz Tolsma Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Slashed Canvas

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: February 1, 2022

7-Slashed-Canvas-663x1024

Held prisoner by all she’s lost, Katarina’s about to lose all she has.

Grand Duchess Katarina Volstova barely escaped the Russian revolution, arriving in Paris just before the birth of her twin daughters. With her heart still captive in her homeland, she haunts the Louvre each day, spending hours gazing at one painting, lost in her pain.

Not the man he once was, Timothy Smythe never returned home to England after the Great War. Instead, he hides himself away doing maintenance in the Louvre and watching the beautiful woman whose pain seems riveted on one painting.

When Katarina returns home to find her daughters and their nanny missing, the loss opens her eyes to all she has to lose now.

Frantic to find her girls, her distress causes Timothy to offer his assistance. Together they put together clues to a puzzle they must complete before the kidnapper ensures Katarina and her daughters are never reunited.

Slashed Canvas offers a retelling of The Lost Princess that mingles self-centered grief, spoiled little girls, and proof that nothing will stop a mother from saving her children.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Slashed Canvas by Liz Tolsma is a fairytale retelling of a tale that I am frankly, unfamiliar with. But very timely, since it involves Russian refugees, fleeing the Bolshevik revolution, who are in exile, and desiring to go return to the homeland.

The character development of Princess Katerina Volstova is a joy to see, as she evolves from a totally self-absorbed, vain, woe-is-me-persona. Only the presence of God, whose name is often called upon for help, and that of a good friend, perhaps “God with skin on” can help. We meet two very dissimilar people, who discover that they can help each other if they can put aside society’s expectations and view each other through the Father’s eyes.

However, Tolsma has twists up her sleeve. Several, that she tosses out like red steaks to a chasing dog, making it difficult to ferret out the evil from the good. I wasn’t sure of the true culprit until almost the last page.

A romance, a happily-ever-after, a tragedy, a fairytale, an inspiration. Like swirls of a paintbrush on a canvas, the elements are so well plotted that they combine to create a picture that I will be musing in my mind for some time to come.

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

Magnificent!! A Fairytale, HEA, Tragedy All in One

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

How Slashed Canvas Came to Be

It was the last evening of the SoCal Christian Writer’s Conference three years ago. A group of us decided that frozen yogurt sounded good, so we walked the few blocks from the university where the conference was being held to the local fro-yo shop.

On the way back, I was walking alongside fellow author Chautona Havig. We were chatting about various projects we had underway, and she mentioned that she and Sandy Barela from Celebrate Lit had come up with an idea for a boxed set. This involved taking a fairy-tale and turning it into a 1920s mystery. Would I be interested?

You don’t have to ask me twice if I’d like to be in a set with Chautona that’s put out by Sandy. Before I knew what was happening, I was agreeing to it. Then we got talking about what fairy tales I might use. As soon as she said The Lost Princess, an idea sparked in my brain. It really was that instant. 1920s. Princess. Russia. Exile.

This might come as a surprise to both Chautona and Sandy, but I really didn’t know the story of The Lost Princess. Not at all. When I was working up the idea, I had to read the story and figure out how to make my idea mesh with the fairy tale. Thankfully, the story did work well with what I intended to do with Slashed Canvas.

And that title? Well, that was quite difficult. At the time, my niece was staying with us and interning for me. One night, we sat and ran through idea after idea until we came up with “Something” Canvas. I wanted a strong adjective and we offered and rejected many until we came up with Slashed Canvas. I hadn’t written a word of the book, but I managed to work a slashed canvas into the story.

And what about the painting in Slashed Canvas? I knew I wanted it to be by a Russian artist and hang in the Louvre, but there weren’t (and aren’t) many paintings like that in the Louvre. Russia has been loath to allow any of its art to leave the country. So what was I going to do? I really was going crazy.

Then I spoke on the phone to Kristy Cambron. Not only is she a fabulous author, but she also has a degree in art history. It was her idea to make up my own painting. That way, I could make it work however I needed it to for the story. What a relief. I did just that, and the story flowed from there.

And the clues to the mystery? Those were my dad’s ideas. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything!

So that’s how Slashed Canvas came to be. It was the work of so many different people. Authors, much as we hide behind our computers, never work in a vacuum. Very often, there are many fingers in the pie to make the finished product.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Texas Book-aholic, March 8

For the Love of Literature, March 8

Inklings and notions, March 9

Christian Bookaholic, March 9

For Him and My Family, March 10

Elly Gilbert, March 10

deb’s Book Review, March 11

By the Book, March 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Blossoms and Blessings, March 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 13

Paula’s Persuasion, March 13

Connie’s History Classroom, March 14

Genesis 5020, March 14

Babbling Becky L’ s Book Impressions, March 15

Older & Smarter?, March 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 16 (Spotlight)

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Simple Harvest Reads, March 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 17

Maureen’s Musings, March 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 18

Connect in Fiction, March 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 19 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, March 19

Mary Hake, March 19

Through the Fire Blogs, March 20

The Book Club Network, March 20

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1b4c3/slashed-canvas-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Favorite, PB, Purchase

A Heart Deceived by Michelle Griep Review

About the Book

Title: A Heart Deceived

Author: Michelle Griep

Publisher: David C. Cook

Released: June 2013

Genre: Gothic Regency

MIRI BRAYDEN teeters on a razor’s edge between placating and enraging her brother, whom she depends upon for support. Yet if his anger is unleashed, so is his madness. Miri must keep his descent into lunacy a secret, or he’ll be committed to an asylum—and she’ll be sent to the poor house.

ETHAN GOODWIN’s been on the run all of his life—from family, from the law…from God. After a heart-changing encounter with the gritty Reverend John Newton, Ethan would like nothing more than to become a man of integrity—an impossible feat for an opium addict charged with murder. When Ethan Goodwin shows up on Miri’s doorstep, her balancing act falls to pieces.

Both Ethan and Miri are caught in a web of lies and deceit—fallacies that land Ethan in prison and Miri in the asylum with her brother. Only the truth will set them free. 

My Impressions

Recently I discovered some of Michelle Griep’s earlier books that I hadn’t read. A Heart Deceived is a gripping Gothic regency, much along with the style of her latest, Lost in Darkness. In fact, A Heart Deceived could easily be a part of Griep’s newest series, Of Monsters and Men. Maybe not the physical type of monster, but a monster, nonetheless.

I loved poor, conflicted Miri Brayden. She is torn between fearing and loving her brother, who alternates between treating her hatefully and regressing into partial insanity. Can she keep him safe and both of them housed and respected? What will the arrival of Ethan Goodwin do to her physical and emotional stability?

I loved Ethan because he is both despicable and charming. God gets ahold of his life through John Newton and transforms his desires. But will it be soon enough to salvage his character and keep him from reaping the whirlwind his wastrel life has sown?

Best supporting actor award goes to John Newton, whom we meet as an older, merciful clergy who understands depravity, grace, and faith. He is not afraid to present God to the basest of society. He does so with such humor, love, directness, and confidence that one can’t help but like him. If Griep portrays him correctly, what a transformation God made in his life! Newton’s goal is then to transform as many other lives for the kingdom as possible, but he is so winsome and positive about it!
“God believes in you. Your belief or lack of it doesn’t change His existence.” “When we are at our weakest, God’s at His strongest.”

Michelle Griep had me smiling so many times, even as she wrote about very serious topics. Her ability to turn a phrase at a precise moment gave comic relief to extremely suspenseful scenes. I love that! “‘Your brother treads in dangerous waters, Miss Brayden. Dangerous and deep. See if you can talk some sense into the man.’
Miri dipped a curtsy. She might more easily talk a chicken into giving milk. “And I chortled at, “Why did it never fail that her most wicked thoughts crept out in the holiest of places?”

Jails and insane asylums were horrible places in the regency era, and Griep provides an accurate, eerie look at both. You will think you are in either location with our hapless characters.

The climax and resolution of this wonderful novel are superb, just like the rest of the book. The action is very quick.

A Griep book is always full of “Notable Quotables,” treasures of words, often Biblically-based, that transcend the time into our present lives. How I love this feature of Griep’s books!

If you haven’t discovered this early Griep work, the time to change that omission is now! Most highly recommended!!

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! Gothic Regency Highly Recommended!

About the Author

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

You can connect with Michelle on her website, http://michellegriep.com

or on Twitter @michellegriep.