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

 

Bethany House, BLOG

A Desperate Hope, #3 An Empire State Novel by Elizabeth Camden

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ABOUT THE BOOK

TITLE: A Desperate Hope, #3 Empire State Novel

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Camden

PUBLISHER: Bethany House

RELEASED: February 2019

GENRE: Christian Historical Romance

Eloise Drake’s prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she’s finally put behind her—or so she thinks. A mathematical genius, she’s now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town—but he needs Eloise’s help to succeed.

Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he’d lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them before it’s too late.

 

MY REVIEW:

What would life be like if the government decided our land was worth more to the general public than to the individual? (We actually saw this locally when many disgruntled people sold their homes cheaply to make room for a new highway to pass through.) In Elizabeth Camden’s novel, A Desperate Hope, a whole town is being dismantled so New York City can build a much-needed water reservoir. I had difficulty getting interested in these people’s lives at first until I could realize what was truly at stake for this community.
Ah, a first love that simmers and never quite gets extinguished. Sounds great for Alex Duval, now mayor of Duval Springs, and Eloise Drake, an accountant and numbers whiz, except they are on opposing sides of the town demolition/reservoir issue. Polar business aims and clashing personalities don’t make for a good love match… or do they?
This book has some real surprises and unlikely alliances that made it well worth the read. This is a novel that leaves me ruminating well after the fact, “could this be? Would this work out in real life?!” Discussion questions further stimulate this line of thought.
Great quotes:
“Your accounting ledgers don’t have a column for the size of a human heart.”- Alex

”You can be brave and scared at the same time.”-Alex

”We’ve got the most important element on our side. We’ve got hope, and hope can build bridges and tame storms and fuel our muscles until drag ourselves across the finish line. We aren’t quitters.”

”We don’t have scarlet letters in this town. We have imperfect people who sometimes make mistakes.”

”It is in tackling the new and the scary that we become who we are meant to be.” (Enzo, Italian engineer)

I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and via NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are solely my responsibility.

 

MY RATING:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Camden is best known for her historical novels set in gilded age America featuring clever heroines and richly layered storylines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her4373995 favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won the RITA and Christy Award, and she lives in Florida with her husband who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

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The Sound of Distant Thunder, #1 The Amish of Weaver’s Creek by Jan Drexler

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

TITLE: The Sound of Distant Thunder,#1 The Amish of Weaver’s Creek

Paperback, 352 pages

ISBN:9780800729318

PUBLISHER: Revell

PUBLISHED: September 18, 2018

Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

 

MY REVIEW:

An old-order Amish community, making every effort to keep itself separate from the world, finds it cannot escape the distant rumblings of war. We view the Weaver’s Creek community mostly through the eyes of young Katie and Jonas, who hope to wed but are slowed by their youth and the worldly changes that intrude even upon those who would ignore them.

War is such a divisive subject in any era. In the United States, the Civil War was arguably one of our most contentious as it divided friends and families and our nation itself. Then add to that, the idea of an Amish man considering joining ranks of the volunteers, and the incredibility of the situation just skyrockets. Indeed, the Amish of Weaver’s Creek believe they can look the other way until conscription begins…and names on the list include Englischers and Amish alike.

What didn’t I like about the book? It made me think. I couldn’t find any easy answers. I wanted to vilify one character (and his choices) or the other. The black and white lines blurred into gray and blue… and red. Red for loss of life, loss of a way of life, loss of innocence and standing apart from the world.

A wise quote for today: “Labeling folks with ideas different from your own as “them” and calling yourself “us” is the surest way to create division.” Hm… I do believe many, many groups today could profit from this bit of wisdom.

What a heart-warming, yet heart-wrenching family-centered novel about one of the darkest times in our nation’s history.

I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and the publisher. This in no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of thirty-five years, where she enjoys hiking in the Hills and spending time with their expanding family.

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A Tale of Two Hearts,#2 Once Upon A Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep

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About the Book:

 

 

Book Title: A Tale of Two Hearts

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Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: September 1, 2018

Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she’ll become a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming rogue but penniless. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his puritanical cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t as she comes to love the old man. And when the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such a deception?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

MY REVIEW:

In 1853 London, Mina Scott, daughter of a lowly innkeeper, dreams of life among the wealthy and elite. Her love of reading, especially authors like Charles Dickens, takes her places she could never go. Unfortunately, her parent’s voice pulls her out of her book(boy, do I remember that feeling) and back to the humble task at hand. Through a strange twist of fate, William Barlow, the young law clerk who has caught Mina’s eye, needs to present himself as married to his rich uncle. And so the debacle begins…

“You lied to your uncle?”
…”No, not outright. I merely led him on a merry word chase and he arrived at a particular conclusion.” It seems Will has a talent for deception. He is a likable chap, but will he be able to convince his uncle that he has mended his ways?

Mina is a fun character, too. Looking at a lifestyle she can never hope to attain, she believes she cannot effect worthwhile change unless she is wealthy. Many people feel this way. Perhaps they don’t realize that they can sometimes change their world, one person at a time. Mina does not realize the way she prods Will to be a better man, nor the joy she brings to Uncle Barlow with her discussions of Dickens quotes.

Michelle Griep is a name I now associate with great expectations. Her writing flows so smoothly, effortlessly, in any genre. In this book, Griep has included an appropriate quote from a Dickens tome to head every chapter. And Griep’s action causes her story to progress at a very comfortable, yet compelling tempo. I couldn’t help getting caught in the current and pulled into the novel. Traces of humor and amusement are tucked into her writing. I feel like I am discovering gold nuggets in a stream as I happen upon Griep’s unique and clever verbiage.
Some of my favorites:
“He wore his wrinkles like a garment, the deep creases on his face in sore need of a good ironing.”

“Effie pinched the bridge of her nose, and Mina desperately hoped the action would coax out some golden wisdom for her to follow.”

“Caught between the fangs of the tiger and the three man-beasts roaring in a fury, Mina edged back a step.”

Superior story, superior writing, superior read. Period.

I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. This in no way influenced my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

 

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, Headshot-Michelle-GRIEP-225x30012 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Post from Michelle

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS FOODS

So, it’s September, and you know what that means? It’s back to school. Pumpkin spiced everything is just around the corner. And it’s nearly time for cardigans and colored leaves. But besides all these autumn staples, it’s also time to start thinking about Christmas, because it will be here before you know it. How about this year you plan ahead to serve some traditional Victorian food?

In my newest release, A Tale of Two Hearts, the heroine’s father is known for his annual oyster stew that he serves on Christmas Eve. Here’s a bit of the background on that tasty soup.

 

Victorian Oyster Stew

Oysters have been savored in Britain since the days of the Romans. By Victorian times, industrialization cheapened oysters to the point of them becoming a staple of the poor man’s diet and were a frequent fare served in public houses. This, however, depleted their abundance, and by the mid 1800’s, the natural oyster beds became exhausted, making it harder to find good oysters. While other foods were served as well on Christmas Eve, oyster stew was as common as goose or turkey.

Another Victorian favorite that goes great on a crisp evening is good ol’ hot chocolate, though in Dickens’ England, it would’ve been called something else.

 

Drinking Chocolate

What we now call cocoa or hot chocolate was called drinking chocolate in the mid 1800s. This beverage was a favorite among Victorian ladies. You can find recipes for it even from the Regency era (early 1800s) and here is one for you to make at home.

And last, but not least, who hasn’t heard of Christmas pudding? To our American ears, that sounds like a tasty dish that you’d eat with a spoon and slap a little whipped cream on top. Actually, it’s more like a fruitcake.

 

Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding is quite a production, one that begins well before Christmas Day. In fact, it begins on Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent (which is five weeks before Christmas). This is why when Mina, the heroine in A Tale of Two Hearts, returns home from dinner at Uncle Barlow’s, and though it’s not yet Christmas, she sees the pudding moulds on the kitchen table.

If these tastes and the accompanying smells still aren’t quite enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, then snatch yourself up a copy of the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. A Tale of Two Hearts is sure to get you in the mood.

 

Blog Stops

Kat’s Corner Books, October 2

Creating Romance, October 2

Just the Write Escape, October 2

The Avid Reader, October 2

Genesis 5020, October 3

The Power of Words, October 3

Just Commonly, October 3

Baker Kella, October 3

Among the Reads, October 4

Fiction Aficionado, October 4

Godly Book Reviews, October 4

Inklings and Notions , October 4

Captive Dreams Window, October 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, October 5

Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 5

Multifarious, October 6

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 6

The Christian Fiction Girl, October 6

Texas Book-aholic, October 6

Remembrancy, October 7

Splashes of Joy , October 7

Blossoms and Blessings, October 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 7

Back Porch Reads, October 8

A Reader’s Brain, October 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 8

Janice’s Book Reviews, October 8

Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, October 9

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 9

Carpe Diem, October 9

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 10

Britt Reads Fiction, October 10

Luv’N Lambert Life, October 10

A Baker’s Perspective, October 10

By The Book, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 11

Book by Book, October 11

Bigreadersite, October 11

More Of Him, October 12

Pause for Tales, October 12

With a Joyful Noise, October 12

Have A Wonderful Day , October 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 13

Bibliophile Reviews, October 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 13

Vicky Sluiter, October 14

Daysong Reflections , October 14

To Everything A Season, October 14

Henry Happens, October 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15

Reader’s Cozy Corner, October 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 15

Giveaway

 

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble 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/d4ef/a-tale-of-two-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway