Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, NetGalley, Purchase

Off the Chain by Jan Thompson Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Off the Chain

Author: Janice Thompson

Genre: Christian Fiction / Mystery

Release date: July 1, 2022

The Town of Brenham, Texas, Has Gone to the Dogs!

Curl up with your pup and sink into a delightful small-town mystery as riddles and rescues stack up in book one of a new cozy mystery series.

Marigold Evans’ first attempt at rescuing an abandoned pooch lands her in a drainage pipe in Brenham Texas. . .and almost in jail, until Parker Jenson comes to her rescue. Then a bad day only gets worse as the Lone Star Vet Clinic, where they both work, is vandalized and the list of suspects starts to climb. With the help of her fellow employees, Marigold sets out to simultaneously solve the crime, rehab the rescued dog, and help more dogs in crisis. But why would anyone continue to work against all their good efforts?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

I thoroughly enjoyed Off the Chain by Jan Thompson. This first in a new series by Barbour, (each cozy mystery written by a different author) is a smashing success in my book. Here’s why:

Faith. I didn’t have to worry about bad language. While I love cozies, what I read is limited because of either bad language or inappropriate bedroom scenes, neither of which are present in this book, nor do I expect them in this series. This is a book and series where faith is very real part of story. There are many mentions of prayers for specific needs, and God’s answers. “Just pray about it, Marigold. God’s got an answer for you.”– I love this advice from one friend of Mari’s. As one radio counselor recently reminded her audience, ‘Instead of taking problems to everyone else, take them to God. He’s the One with the answers!’

Friends. I loved the group of vet clinic workers who actually are friends and supportive of each other. You can see that they will make a great character base in the little town (another must of a cozy) of Brenham.

Hilarity. Another cozy must-have. This one has it in spades. While situations may be ridiculous, that doesn’t stop the genuine laughter from erupting often. Score again.

Animals. Specifically, rescue dogs. And they are a main focus of the story, not just a sideline or afterthought. If you are a dog lover, this book just became irresistible for you(It will actually hook you on the first page).

Romance, loss, and an eccentric grandma. These all feature well into our novel and help round it out to be the great experience it is! Don’t miss this one!

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

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! I can’t wait for the next in this great dog rescue cozy series!

About the Author

Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage. She is the mother of four daughters and nine feisty grandchildren. When she’s not writing books or taking care of foster dogs you’ll find her in the kitchen, baking up specialty cakes and cookies.

More from Janice

Dogs, dogs, and more dogs! My world is full of dogs. If you follow me on social media you’re probably overwhelmed with dog photos, but I simply can’t help myself. I’m in love with pooches of all shapes and sizes.

My fascination with dogs began when I was six years old and I got my first pup, Spunky. He was a mixed breed terrier. From that day until now I’ve had the pleasure of owning many, many pups—some purebreds, some street dogs that needed a safe place to stay, some elderly with chronic or acute health issues. I can’t get enough. They offer unconditional love, after all!

A few years back I was asked to foster for a local rescue, My Chi and Me. The rest, as they say, is history. For a quick glimpse at some photos, follow this link. You’ll see that I’m mostly enamored with small dogs. (Hey, I live in a tiny townhome and have limited space!) That said, I’m always willing to take on one more.

My most recent rescue ventures landed me squarely in the middle of a book idea: Why not use a dog story as the basis for a cozy mystery? My editor at Barbour Publishing wanted something dog-themed and I was happy to oblige. That’s where the idea for Off the Chain (and the whole Gone with the Dogsseries) came from—a simple idea involving dogs and crime.

I took the opportunity to focus solely on rescue dogs as the idea developed. These days (especially post-Covid) the need for homes for these pups is great. I linked arms with my BFF, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and together we set our series in Brenham Texas, not far from our stomping ground in the Woodlands. I felt strongly that we should merge two separate dog worlds: rescue and veterinary. (Hey, Brenham is close to A&M and they know a thing or two about veterinary training!)

Thus, the Gone with the Dogs series was born. And writing the first book, (Off the Chain), was a blast! I hyper-focused on one primary point of view character, a vet tech. (As the owner of three dogs I feel like I’m always in the vet’s office!) My stories, which is written in first person, took me back to my writing roots. I love, love, love writing in first person because I “become” the character. Fun, right?

My editors loved the book and it got some fun endorsements, so I’m excited to see what my readers think. I can’t wait to get their feedback. I hope it’s not too “Ruff!”

But, seriously. . .I’m hyped! And I’m feeling so blessed to merge my worlds—dogs and writing!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 26

Texas Book-aholic, July 27

The Book Club Network, July 27

An Author’s Take, July 28

Remembrancy, July 28

deb’s Book Review, July 29

Pause for Tales, July 29

The Avid Reader, July 30

For Him and My Family, July 30

Christina’s Corner, July 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 3

She Lives To Read, August 3

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

Blogging With Carol, August 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 6

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, August 7

Labor Not in Vain, August 8

Books I’ve Read, August 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Janice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a paper 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/1ffe2/off-the-chain-celebration-tour-giveaway

Barbour, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, Purchase

A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Promise Engraved

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction/Romance

Release date: May, 2022

9781636092492 (3)

Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?

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

Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?

Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hernandez takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Shuman, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to Kayleigh’s work end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Kudos to Liz Tolsma for crafting such an unputdownable dual-time novel. I was hooked from the first page and hated that I was unable to finish the novel in one sitting. Have Kleenex handy and maybe something to squeeze when the tension gets high. You’re going to need both, a lot!!

A cat’s-eye ring connects Josie Wilkins, a young spy for those Americans who fought Santa Anna at the Alamo in 1836, and Kayleigh Hewland, a young Hispanic American who is haunted by vague memories of her birth parents.

Come read this novel for the intrigue, for the romance, for the danger. Get lost in the gripping emotions, the fascinating history, and the faith that kindles and slowly builds into solid flame.

Tolsma creates characters that are readily relatable. Others you will despise with a passion, just as their actions dictate. A few, like Bright Star and Running Deer, need to have stories of their own. I wanted to know them better.

I enjoyed the way that Tolsma set off the ending of each time period. Each period would wind up at a climax with a cliffhanger, before preceding to the next segment to rebuild the angst and anticipation.

Themes are having faith in God and others, and believing God brings good out of bad. We are reminded that while searching for biological parents fills a need, God also provides through adoptive parents, not to be taken for granted. Plus, we are urged to realize that many innocent, young children are caught up in our country’s border wars.

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

Notable Quotables:

“Let your head rule the day, not your heart.”

“…we have no guarantees in this life and that we must entrust the ones we have into the Lord’s hands.”

“Time to sit back and let God.”

“Never let them hear you, never let them see you, never let them smell you.”

“Appealing to a man’s stomach was always a good choice to bring any argument to an end.”

“Faith. It meant taking that giant step and putting herself in someone else’s hands.”

“Don’t miss out on the future because of what you lost in the past.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! Mesmerizing Dual-Timeline Melding Alamo and Adoption

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

The Story of Susannah Dickinson, Alamo Survivor

When asked how many died at the Alamo, many would answer that everyone did. While it’s true that all fighting on the side of Texas independence perished, there were survivors, all women and children and one slave. The only white woman (the rest were of Mexican descent) was Susannah Dickinson, along with her daughter Angelina. Susannah had followed her husband, Almaron, to Mexican Texas in 1831. They had married two years before when Susannah was just fifteen. She never learned to read or write.

She and the other women hid in the sacristy of the church, one of the surviving buildings in the mission and what we now think of as the Alamo. Her husband died, but Mexican General Santa Anna found them and spared their lives, sending them to Sam Houston with $2 each and a blanket.

She married again the following year but divorced him almost immediately on the grounds of cruelty. She married a third time the following year and was married for five years until her husband died of alcoholism. A fourth marriage occurred in 1847, but she divorced again in 1857, this time allegedly because she was having an affair. That same year, she married for a fifth time. This marriage lasted until her death in 1883.

The ring in A Promise Engraved is based on a cat’s eye ring supposedly given to Angelina by William Travis before the battle. Angelina was Susannah’s only child. She married and had three children, but that marriage ended in divorce. She gave the ring to a man she’d become involved with in New Orleans. She married again and had one more child but died in 1869 from a uterine hemorrhage.

Today there are many descendants of Susannah Dickinson. If you visit the Susannah Dickinson house in Austin, you’ll see a quilt that is signed by many of her living descendants.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 28

Bigreadersite, May 28

The Write Escape, May 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 29

Christina’s Corner, May 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 29

lakesidelivingsite, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Rebecca Tews, May 30

Inklings and notions, May 31

Blogging With Carol, May 31

Splashes of Joy, May 31

Betti Mace, June 1

Southern Gal Loves to Read, June 1

Genesis 5020, June 2

Daysong Reflections, June 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 2

Remembrancy, June 3

Books, Books, and More Books, June 3

For Him and My Family, June 3

Older & Smarter?, June 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5

deb’s Book Review, June 5

Mary Hake, June 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 6

Blossoms and Blessings, June 6

Connie’s History Classroom, June 7

Life of Literature, June 7

Back Porch Reads , June 7

Bizwings Blog, June 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 8

For the Love of Literature, June 8

Through the Fire blogs, June 9

Pause for Tales, June 9

Labor Not in Vain, June 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 10

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 10

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/1e37a/a-promise-engraved-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

A Rose for the Resistance by Angela Couch Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Rose for the Resistance

Author: Angela K. Couch

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Christian

Release date: April, 2022

9781636092072 (4)

A French Woman and German Soldier Create a Truce

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

With her father in a German POW camp and her home in Ste Mere Eglise, France, under Nazi occupation, Rosalie Barrieau will do anything to keep her younger brother safe. . .even from his desire to join the French resistance. Until she falls into the debt of a German solder—one who delivers a wounded British pilot to her door. Though not sure what to make of her German ally, Rosalie is thrust deep into the heart of the local underground. As tensions build toward the allied invasion of Normandy, she must decide how much she is willing to risk for freedom.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

An impossible situation in WWII France. A German soldier helping his French enemies. A young French boy, not quite man, deeply involved in the Resistance. His older, beautiful sister wants nothing but to pacify the Germans,certainly not to engage the enemy. What difference could one person make?

In A Rose for the Resistance, Angela K Couch brings to vivid life the danger and deprivation of occupied France. The hatred each opposing group held for each other, the inability to see the humanity of one for the deeds of the whole group. At one point, Franz tells Rosalie, “But I am not this uniform.” Can Rosalie look past his hair, his complexion, and see his heart? A timely question for our country and times.

I enjoyed seeing how Couch slowly lets the reader see what events and traumas of the past formed Rosalie and Franz into who they are when we meet them. I also appreciated the considerable growth of both characters throughout the book. The suspense is real, and fear seems omnipresent. Franz is afraid, maybe more than others. “I’m not ready to meet God. The truth of it settled, heavy in Franz’s chest. It really wasn’t death he feared. Truthfully, death might even be a release from the misery of this world. But to stand and be judged by God? His hands were too stained for that.”

Someone we never see during the book was my fave character. How could he not be?!! Rosalie keeps having flashbacks to her father’s tender ways and times with her. He taught her in small bits of teachable moments and assured her of his love. A father’s steady love can mirror the Father’s love for His children.

I cannot imagine the bleakness of an occupied land. I could understand why Rosalie felt useless against the evil in her land. Yet, she would learn the truth of these words:

“No one soldier will win this war. But each is needed for victory.”

While the Nazis could take their crops, ration their food, and change the future she had expected, Rosalie discovers a shining light amidst the darkness. “‘Don’t give up hope,’ she whispered. That was the one thing the Nazis could not take from her unless she allowed them.”

Hope spurred on by faith. Why these stories of WWII are so powerful and worth reading!

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

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! Hope Shines in the Darkest Times!

About the Author

To keep from freezing in the great white north, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the 2016 International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and toasty warm) by chasing after four munchkins.

More from Angela

The story of A Rose for the Resistance has been in the making for a while. Rosalie and Franz came to life for me in the first novel I started writing as a teenager… (not even going to mention how long ago that was). Though much of that early work will never see the light of day, I am glad I can finally share them with you.

Every November 11th since I was a child, I would sit with my dad and watch WWII documentaries and movies like A Bridge too Far, or The Longest Day which featured Sainte-Mère-Église during the D-day landings. So many of those stories beg to be remembered and I tried to include as much as I could in this novel, even in passing. Stories such as John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment who dropped into the warzone of Sainte-Mère-Église that night and his chute caught on the spire of the church. He hung limply for hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. John later escaped and rejoined his division. Or, Henry Langrehr who landed five miles from his drop zone, crashing through a greenhouse on the way down. He was unharmed from the fall, but was later wounded and captured. He lived into his nineties to tell the tale.

Many of the events and deeds of The Resistance in the novel are also pulled from history. The French citizen’s willingness to risk their lives to transport weapons and information, and to staunchly resist the brutal German occupation. It is estimated that approximately 90,000 men women – and children – were killed, tortured, or deported by the Germans for their efforts.

Though many of the characters in this story are fictional, there are so many men and women who truly did live through the horrors of the War in Europe, and more importantly risked or sacrificed their all for the freedom and lives of others.

I pray we never forget.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29

Books, Books, and More Books, April 29

The Write Escape, April 30

Remembrancy, April 30

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 1

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 1

Texas Book-aholic, May 1

Genesis 5020, May 2

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 2

She Lives To Read, May 3

lakesidelivingsite, May 3

Betti Mace, May 4

For Him and My Family, May 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 4

Sodbuster Living, May 5

deb’s Book Review, May 5

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, May 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 6

Vicarious Living, May 6

Older & Smarter?, May 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7

Sylvan Musings, May 7

Connie’s History Classroom, May 8

Blossoms and Blessings, May 8

Mary Hake, May 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 9

Splashes of Joy, May 9

Through the Fire Blogs, May 9

Bizwings Blog, May 10

Pause for Tales, May 10

Labor Not in Vain, May 10

Bigreadersite, May 11

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 11

CarpeDiem, May 12

Lights in a Dark World, May 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela 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/1d3bb/a-rose-for-the-resistance-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

Love’s Fortress by Jennifer Uhlarik Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Love’s Fortress

Author: Jennifer Uhlarik

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical fiction / Romance

Release date: March, 2022

9781636091815 (2)

A Love Story from the Past Brings Closure to Dani’s Fractured Family

Walk through Doors to the Past via a series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

When Dani Sango’s art forger father passes away, Dani inherits his home. Among his effects is a book of Native American drawings, which leads her to seek the help of museum curator Brad Osgood to decipher the ledger art. Why would her father have this book? Is it just another forgery?

Brad Osgood’s four-year-old niece, Brynn, needs a safe home, and Brad longs to provide it. The last thing he needs is more drama, especially from a forger’s daughter. But when the two meet “accidentally” at St. Augustine’s 350-year-old Spanish fort, Castillo de San Marcos, he can’t refuse the intriguing woman.

Broken Bow is among seventy-three Plains Indians transported to Florida in 1875 for incarceration at ancient Fort Marion. Sally Jo Harris and Luke Worthing dream of serving God on a foreign mission field, but when the Indians arrive in St. Augustine, God changes their plans. Then when friendship develops between Sally Jo and Broken Bow and false accusations fly, it could cost them their lives.

Can Dani discover how Broken Bow and Sally Jo’s story ends and how it impacted her father’s life?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

I enjoyed Jennifer Uhlarik’s contribution to the Doors to the Past series by Barbour. Each book is a stand-alone novel that presents as an intriguing dual-timeline. Love’s Fortress connects the present day Florida to St. Augustine, FL, in the 1870s.

Matty is my favorite character in the present-day scenarios. He is so big, tough, and scary looking, but he has a heart of gold. He loves Jesus and he loves those around him. He sees people without any discrimination. “Everyone’s welcome in God’s kingdom, darlin’. Doesn’t matter what you wear or how you fix your hair. It’s what’s in here.” He is loyal to a fault and can be surprisingly gentle.

Broken Bow is my favorite character in the historical sections. I love how Uhlarik shows the Native American’s probable way of thinking in keeping with their tribal customs. While there are some clashes between the Native Americans and the white peoples, Uhlarik tries to present the good and bad of both sides, never saying one is better than the other. My heart wanted to cry at the injustices that Broken Bow and others like him endured simply because he was not white.

I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and no positive review was required.

Uhlarik includes historical notes and fact vs. fiction at the end, always a welcome addition to any book that draws a historical picture for us.

Notable Quotables:

“Oh, sweet heavenly Father, thank You! You do have a plan!”

“Me? I’m just a mixed-up little girl in a grown-up girl’s body.”

“We may never see the. . .impact we make when we follow God’s leading.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I Learned a Lot About the Time of Native American Incarceration at St. Augustine.

About the Author

Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a preteen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a BA in writing, she has won five writing competitions and was a finalist in two others. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenage son, and four fur children.

More from Jennifer

Florida has been my home since I was ten, and I’ve visited the city of St. Augustine several times in my many years here. There, I stumbled across the fact that the Castillo de San Marcos, the town’s 350-year-old Spanish fort, was home to several groups of Native Americans in the 1800s. Ever since learning this fact, I’ve considered writing a story about the three-year period from 1875-1878 when seventy-three Plains Indians from various tribes called the fort (known then as Fort Marion) their home. However, since I’m mainly a western and western romance author, all of my story settings to date have been west of the Mississippi—not in Florida. So this interesting historical factoid remained dormant in my imagination for years, waiting for the right opportunity.

That opportunity came last year when I was asked to submit an idea for Barbour’s dual-timeline Doors to the Past series. These stories must be set in or around a major landmark, the plot must focus on a newsworthy event, and there must be a bit of a mystery that connects the historical timeline to the contemporary plot. Obviously, as the oldest masonry fort in the United States, Castillo de San Marcos is an important and interesting landmark. Originally built by the Spanish, it later became a British possession, reverted again to the Spanish, and eventually became part of the United States’ holdings. With such a long and varied history, I’m sure you can see why this unique structure would make an interesting landmark around which to base a story.

The newsworthy event the plot focuses on is the incarceration of those seventy-three Plains Indians, deemed some of the “worst of the worst” offenders in the Indians Wars of the West. Can you imagine the buzz such an event would create? Once the Indians fell into their routine inside the fort, they were given quite a bit of freedom to interact with the locals and tourists. People came from far and wide to see these men and their historic surroundings along the banks of the Matanzas River. With a simple day pass from the fort’s commander, outsiders could enter, walk among and talk with the prisoners, see the historic fort, and even watch cultural events like dances, powwows, mock buffalo hunts, and archery displays. The Native men could also leave the fort and venture into town to shop or sell handmade goods, from bows and arrows to hand-crafted items made from locally-sourced seashells and plants, to their original “ledger art.”

It’s the ledger art that comprises the mysterious puzzle piece connecting the historical timeline of Love’s Fortress to the present day. When Dani Sango learns her long-estranged father has died, she inherits his rundown St. Augustine house. Inside, she discovers a book of Native American art depicting events from one Indian’s daily life. But because her father was a convicted art forger, Dani questions why he would have the strange and rudimentary artwork. She suspects it was his latest scam, so she enlists the help of Brad Osgood, curator of a western art museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, to help her discover where the art originated and how her father came to possess it. In the process, the pair digs deep into the history of the St. Augustine fort and its former residents.

I found it fascinating to research this brief period in the Castillo’s long history, and I hope you’ll enjoy the story that came from my efforts.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

Remembrancy, March 26

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 27

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Inklings and notions, March 28

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 28

Bigreadersite, March 29

For Him and My Family, March 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 30

Betti Mace, March 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 31

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 31

deb’s Book Review, April 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 1

Older & Smarter?, April 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 3

Life of Literature, April 3

Genesis 5020, April 4

For the Love of Literature, April 4

Connie’s History Classroom, April 5

Blossoms and Blessings, April 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 6 (Spotlight)

Splashes of Joy, April 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 7

Through the Fire Blogs, April 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 8

Pause for Tales, April 9

Labor Not in Vain, April 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and paperback 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/1c10d/love-s-fortress-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, Purchase

Song of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Song of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: October 1, 2021

Song-of-the-Rockies-Generic

1890, Helena MT Song of the Rockies is the story of a sweet music teacher and eleven boys given one chance or else! Evan Russell lost everything—his ranch, his wife, and now, after trusting relatives with his young son, even the little boy is missing. How can a beautiful symphony of the heart come from such chaos?

Mirielle Sheehan, a music teacher at an exclusive boys’ school, believes scholarships for disadvantaged boys will solve the plight of hopeless homeless children. Mirielle’s challenge is to turn eleven street ruffians of various ages into stellar, disciplined boys with a future. Most think guttersnipes like this should be sold into indenture to learn a trade or pressed into the military. Get those miscreants off the streets!

Evan Russell, new mining millionaire, lost everything in the disastrous winter of 1886. Then his wife died leaving him with a son. Relatives in Helena offer a safe home for the child while Evan must find work in the mines. When he returns, he’s devastated to learn the entire family perished in a fire, and his son has never been found. Though he gained a fortune, he’s lost everything he valued! Romantic, sweet adventure set in picturesque Helena, Montana written by a bestselling author who is also a professional genealogist.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Could eleven unruly boys really become future community leaders?”

Song of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach takes us back to Montana in 1890, as Montana stands on the brink of statehood. This is the second book of the Queen of the Rockies series. I suggest reading the series in order.

While Calista and Albert laid the groundwork in the first book for the eleven boys, street ruffians according to most, to be cared for, many still want rid of these “newsies.” Mirielle Sheehan has just a few days to find a way to pay for all eleven boys’ education at the private school where she teaches music.

I love Mirielle, who is another of those brave souls who will stand against society for what she knows is right. She loves the newsies and sees them as valuable humans, not because of what they’ve done, but because God made them in His image. She enlists the help of Evan Russell, who has his own agenda, and Mrs. Broadmore, a leader among high society’s ladies.

I thought the solution Mirielle comes up with is genius, and she executes her plan well. Evan fits into the story nicely and makes a great romantic foil. However, I felt his part of the story seemed like it ended too abruptly. I wanted to see this vein of the novel more developed with a more full resolution.

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.

Notable Quotables:

“I suppose we just keep trusting as we keep on doing.”

“There could be no fracture in the team’s purpose. Not a bit of doubt. Hopelessness sprouted as easily as faith. Whichever seed they chose to plant, that’s what they’d harvest.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Great! I am Ready for the Next Installment!

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, Angie can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

http://AngelaBreidenbach.com

More from Angela

Song of the Rockies idea came from the need to continue deepen the experience from Queen of the Rockies to share more about the orphaned children on the streets of Helena MT in the late 1800s. A lot of readers asked a lot of questions that kept me fired up and involved in the story. That led to the full six-book series because I just couldn’t stop once the first book sparked all the curiosity.

The people of Montana are very civic-minded, committed to volunteerism, and helping those who can’t help themselves. And that’s the modern society. But that kind of a “personality” of a place doesn’t come from a void. The people of Montana have a reputation of being intensely independent. But the heart of the people isn’t about independence, that’s just the way we are because life here is spread out and requires a lot of individual effort to survive and thrive. The result of such a spread-out population is the opposite of intense independence—devout and loyal support of one another. So, though Montanans are independent, we’re also fiercely supportive.

An ironic history tidbit I ran into on my research for this series, but couldn’t use, was the famous Thomas Meagher who was originally from Ireland. We have a massive, gorgeous statue of him on his horse in front of the Montana State Capital Building in Helena because of his contributions toward Montana becoming a state. He was educated in Ireland by the Jesuits and then in England. He spent time in France as well. His last name is pronounced like the planet, “Mar”. The irony is that Thomas Meagher escaped from imprisonment in Australia, banished there by the British for crime of sedition. He believed in Irish independence. Thomas was a hero to the Irish independent movement, a Civil War hero who flipped from supporting the Confederate South to the Union when the Catholic Church put their support behind the North, and after a successful military career he moved to Montana. Evidently, he put all those skills to good use as Montana became a state. But he was also a well-known scoundrel whose stories didn’t always add up. He met his end in a murky manner, well that’s what they say… Thomas was purportedly drinking and playing cards on a paddle boat up the Missouri River near Fort Benton. Somehow, though he was supposedly a good swimmer, he managed to fall overboard and drowned. Was he drunk? Was he cheating and murdered? Did he run into those he’d flipped on during the war? Was he pushed over? He did have a bad knee… No one knows. His body was never found. Hmm… We have a bar/pub in Missoula called the The Meagher Bar that serves delicious Irish fare. So, if you visit Montana, please don’t ask for the “Meeger” Bar, not a soul will understand what you’re looking for. But now, you know how to pronounce his name.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

Bizwings Blog, February 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 19

For Him and My Family, February 20

Mary Hake, February 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 21

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 21 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Betti Mace, February 22

Inklings and notions, February 22

deb’s Book Review, February 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 25

Blogging With Carol, February 25

Connie’s History Classroom, February 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 27

Blossoms and Blessings, February 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 1

Austen’s Angle, March 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 3

Pause for Tales, March 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize 20-minute genealogy consultation to a winner via Zoom!!

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/1ab2b/song-of-the-rockies-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

The Nutcracker’s Suite by Chautona Havig Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021

Nutcracker

“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of
secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Totally Terrific!! Chautona Havig can write any genre she undertakes. In The Nutcracker’s Suite, though, she outdoes herself in presenting a suspenseful mystery mashing together a retelling of the Nutcracker, a 1920s Prohibition mob mix-up, and a romance with faith interspersed. I was glued to my seat until I finished, at turns laughing out loud and terrified. I get the distinct impression the author is having a blast with the creation of this story! As a result, the reader has a rollicking good time.
I’ve read several Havig novels, and The Nutcracker’s Suite just vaulted to the top and into my list of Top Ten CF Novels of 2021!! The mystery kept me guessing and I never did quite figure it out!! Well-done!! I must admit, I loved Havig’s use of sarcasm, especially as it relates to Clarice’s thoughts. I hope there will be a book for Lily in the future.

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

Notable Quotables:

“His ability to think dashed out and into the street where he was certain, it would be run over by a police car.”

“The lies are piling up faster than finished nutcrackers.”

“Did she just lie with the truth?”

“Not married, but I’ll remember that if I ever find a nice girl.” He didn’t say, “like you,” but Milo heard it and wanted to tie the man’s throat in a knot for it.”

“Keep her safe. If you aren’t a man of faith, become one and then pray until you can’t think anymore, but keep her safe.” It was a fool’s promise, but Milo made it. “I will.”

“…feelings always demanded an audience, even at the expense of truth.”

“Topo. It means mouse. I’m the attic mouse.”

“Every word the man spoke sat on a paragraph of threats.”

“People dying have a way of interfering with one’s shopping.”

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! A Rollicking Good Time IF You Survive Suspense

About the Author

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours, and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

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/13cfb/the-nutcracker-s-suite-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

A Picture of Hope by Liz Tolsma Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: A Picture of Hope

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: October, 2021

9781636090191 (1)

A Photojournalist Risks Her Life to Save Children

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Journalist Nellie Wilkerson has spent the bulk of the war in London, photographing pilots taking off and landing—and she’s bored. She jumps at the chance to go to France, where the Allied forces recently landed. She enlists Jean-Paul Breslau of the French underground to take her to the frontlines. On the journey, they come upon an orphanage where nuns shelter children with disabilities. Can they help save them before the Nazis come to liquidate it?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

It is the evening after I finished A Picture of Hope, #2 Heroines of WWII, by Liz Tolsma. I am experiencing a very real sense of loss because I can’t spend any more time with Nellie and Jean-Paul. Why, oh, why, did I stay up so late last night to get to the end? Oh, yes… it would have been agonizing not to know what became of Nellie and Jean-Paul!

I love how Marie-Terese is such a strong, influential secondary character. She gently encourages and nudges others to strengthen their faith muscle. Yet, we see that she has doubts, which makes her very human.

The faith aspect is woven in beautifully. Doubts are allowed. Trust is a strong theme. God wins over evil, but maybe not in our timing.

The inclusion of Downs syndrome children as a main component of the story is as delicious as Texas sheet cake. And done just as tastefully. Liz Tolsma possesses a special education background and is also a parent of a special needs child. Tolsma’s expertise shines throughout the book, both in the Downs Syndrome aspect and the French Resistance of WWII.

It’s always great to have fact vs fiction notes at the end! I find it fascinating to see what parts of history an author has been able to incorporate into the story; what events are true, but dates are fudged to fit the story, or when personalities are blended to create an authentic character.

A fabulous, haunting book. May we never forget!!

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit via Netgalley. All opinions are my own, and no positive review was required.

Notable Quotables:

“Photographs don’t always have to be pretty. Sometimes they tell a story. That’s what I want mine to do. Tell the story of this war so the world knows what is going on and so our children and grandchildren and all those who come after us will never forget what happened on this beach or in these fields.”

“This suffering is meant to make our souls long for heaven. This world wearies us and weighs us down. Oh, but there is another world where we will never weary and where we will never long for anything better.”

“Even if you only help one person, that is enough. By aiding a single individual, you have changed one world.”

“I would rather suffer in chains for the sake of freedom than be free for the sake of tyranny.”

“But she is safe in God’s hands. That’s safer than you could keep her.”

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Truly Magnificent!! A Stunning Picture– May We Never Forget!!

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

Why Another WWII Novel Set in France

You may well read the back cover of my latest release, A Picture of Hope, and wonder why on earth we need another WWII novel set in France. After all, Kristy Cambron just had one. Melanie Dobson and Sarah Sundin will be coming out with theirs in 2022. So why did I feel the need to write my novel with the same setting?

First of all, I’m a Francophile. I love all things French. It started when I took French in high school. Everyone else was learning Spanish, but I wasn’t into being part of the crowd. There were only a few of us in the class, and it was great fun. We had a wonderful teacher. Being able to pull out some of that French, refine it a bit, and use it in the book was a blast. But I also love French food (who doesn’t?) and everything else.

Secondly, I hadn’t written about France before. When I wrote this proposal at least five or six years ago, I didn’t know France would be so hot. God did, and the book came about in His perfect timing. I’d explored the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Philippines. Such a shame that I was leaving out France, so I set about to write a novel located in that country.

Thirdly, there was so much good material to pull from. The French resistance, while small, did good work and sacrificed a great deal to get Jews out of the country and into Switzerland or Spain. The books that Kristy, Melanie, Sarah, and I write are all so different. Only the setting is the same. And when I found out that the famous mime Marcel Marceau was part of the resistance, I couldn’t help but giving him a cameo. Be on the lookout!

Along the way, I discovered some truly heartrending incidents that took place in France. They also compelled me to write this book. I long for the world to remember what happened so that we will never forget. And so that the atrocities committed there will never be repeated.

Fourthly, this was originally the third book in a series. Don’t worry – it’s a stand-alone. Maybe someday I’ll get to publish the other two. The women in the series are all American journalists in Europe. One is a reporter, the other is a broadcaster, and so I decided to make Nellie, the heroine in A Picture of Hope, a photojournalist. And where better to take pictures than on Omaha Beach soon after D-day. How she gets there is based on a very interesting true story, so be sure to read to the end for that one.

There are so many stories about WWII to be told and so many countries that participated in the conflict in one way or the other. The ground is so rich that we aren’t plowing the same parcel. You’ll find all of these books to be very different from each other, each with its own message, its own voice, and its own plot.

The focus in my book is on children with Down syndrome. I have a background in special education, and my husband and I adopted a child from the Philippines with an intellectual disability, so I’ve always had a heart for people with special needs. My daughter brings us so much joy that I wanted to share a glimpse into what these remarkable people are truly capable of.

So that is why I wrote a WWII novel set in France. Make yourself a cup of café au lait, butter up a croissant, and enjoy A Picture of Hope!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 28

Life of Literature, October 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 28

Genesis 5020, October 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

The Book Chic Blog, October 29

Blogging With Carol, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Sodbuster Living, October 30

Spoken from the Heart, October 30

Elly Gilbert, October 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Inklings and notions, October 31

Labor Not in Vain, October 31

CarpeDiem, October 31

Splashes of Joy, November 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 1

Life, love, writing, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1

deb’s Book Review, November 2

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 3

Betti Mace, November 3

Worthy2Read, November 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 3

Daysong Reflections, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 4

Vicky Sluiter, November 4

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 5

By the Book, November 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 5

Connie’s History Classroom, November 6

For the Love of Literature, November 6

Bigreadersite, November 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 6

Rebecca Tews, November 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 7

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 7

She Lives To Read, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 8

Where Faith and Books Meet, November 8

Pause for Tales, November 9

Christian Bookaholic, November 9

Through the Fire Blogs, November 9

To Everything There Is A Season , November 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 10

Mary Hake, November 10

Giveaway

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

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/12b83/a-picture-of-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite

There is a Season by Andrea Boeshaar Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: There Is a Season

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Author: Andrea Boeshaar

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: September 1, 2021

To onlookers, Carrie Ann Bell Collier might appear to be the dutiful wife, sitting at her unconscious husband’s bedside. But she feels like a hypocrite. Instead of trusting her intuition, she allowed herself to believe Peyton was dead. And then she fell in love with his best friend, Eli Kent.

Except, Peyton wasn’t dead, and now Carrie will do anything to keep him alive.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Andrea Boeshaar has done it. She has created characters so real, that I cared about so much, that I found myself praying for the heroine, Carrie Ann. I have an affinity for stories of faith set in Civil War times, and There is a Season that will stay on my mind for a long time to come.

While this is the third book in the series, it is possible to read only this novel and not be lost. Boeshaar provides enough backstory that anyone can enjoy this book, but after reading it, I have a hankering to re-read the first and devour the second.

I say devour because the whole premise of this book had me truly gobbling it down. Colonel Peyton Collier is near death, but his young wife, Carrie, hires a nurse, Hannah, who promises healing with experimental medicine. There are just a few drawbacks: Hannah demands an exorbitant fee and complete control of the sickroom. And the saga begins, plus Boeshaar treats us to another competition that traverses the book, weaving the novel into a complex tapestry.

I loved the different characteristics of various players. Carrie is determined and tenacious once she makes a decision. Eli is loyal to a fault. Aunt Ruth loves beyond bloodlines.

The epilogue makes the book even better, if possible!

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

Several Notable Quotables:

“Practicing my faith is going to be more difficult than I imagined.”

“It’s not much of a battle, really.” Peyton knew what the right thing was, but the decision meant death.

“…just because you don’t feel something doesn’t mean God has abandoned you or that His Holy Spirit no longer resides within you.”

“I should warn you, dear one, that this idea of yours is like handling a deadly serpent. You may be bitten.”
…”We may both be bitten…and devoured.”

We’re children of the King of kings.” “Which makes us princesses.”

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Characters so Real I Prayed for Them!

About the Author

Andrea Boeshaar was born and raised in Wisconsin but now lives in South Carolina. She had her husband Daniel have been married more than 40 years.  They have 3 grown sons, 1 beautiful daughter-in-law, and 5 grandkids.

Andrea’s publishing career began in 1994 when her first novel was released by Heartsong Presents book club (Barbour Publishing). In 2007, Andrea earned her certification in Christian life coaching and she’ll soon earn her bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

Meanwhile, Andrea continues to write. Her latest novel is There is a Season: A Civil War Novel. It’s book 3 in her Shenandoah Valley Saga. Recent historical short novels include: Give Me Thine HeartLove’s Guiding Light (Steeple View Publishing).

For more information and to sign up for her newsletter, log on to her website. https://andreaboeshaar.com/

More from Andrea

At last, the long-awaited third and final book in Andrea Boeshaar’s Shenandoah Valley Saga is available for purchase. Discover the final outcome of the lives of the characters you came to love in Books 1 and 2.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 22

Connie’s History Classroom, October 23

Bizwings Blog, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 25

Genesis 5020, October 25

Inklings and notions, October 26

For Him and My Family, October 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 29

Betti Mace, October 29

Bigreadersite, October 30

deb’s Book Review, October 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 3

Simple Harvest Reads, November 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize package of a themed basket and a $50 VISA 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/12b7f/there-is-a-season-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, BLOG, Favorite, Purchase

A Mug of Mayhem, #4 The CafFUNated Mysteries by Angela Ruth Strong

About the Book

Title: A Mug of Mayhem

Series: #4 The CafFUNated Mysteries

Author: Angela Ruth Strong

Publisher: Mountain Brook, Ink

Released: September 2021

When their wedding venue becomes a crime scene, the bride and groom are in for a real trick-or-treat.

One week before Marissa plans to get married at her fiancé’s farm, Connor is arrested for a murder in the corn maze. Marissa and her maid of honor, Tandy, must prove the groom innocent before the wedding is cancelled.

With a coffee shop to run, family visiting from out of town, and preparations for the big day, time is running out. The senior citizens who’d been at the farm during the homicide offer to help investigate, but are they witnesses or suspects? A cranky military veteran goes rogue and disappears with his gun, a retired spy suffers from dementia, and a former Broadway star still seems to be putting on a show. Unless the real killer is unmasked, death could do them all part.

My Impressions

Sometimes I need a light, fun, clean cozy to cleanse my literary palate. If you do, too, might I suggest Angela Ruth Strong’s series, The CafFUNated Mysteries? This is a great cozy series about two mismatched barista friends who open a combo coffee/tea shop instead of the original opposing stores. These books need to be read in order because events are sequential. Now that all the books are published, you COULD just binge-read them!

I am sharing about book #4 today, A Mug of Mayhem. Like the other books in the series, there is hilarity enough to make you hold your sides with laughter. The residents of the assisted living home are such “characters” that I found myself talking out loud to them or their caregivers, trying my best to look out for them from the privacy of my living room. (Not advised: nobody listened!) But you will love the old man, Archibald, who plays at being a PI but resembles Elmer Fudd. The elderly Birdie, who has both dementia and sticky fingers, plus a rumored past. Winifred, who sings beautifully as a remedy for any situation. And Pete, who thinks he’s still a farmer. Plus, Marissa and Tandy have picked up the most enigmatic barista help: you’ll have to read the book to see why he’s such a great addition!

I can finally say I actually love Marissa. Before, she was a beautiful, albeit clumsy blonde; the perfect foil for Tandy, a great sparring partner, and love interest for Connor. She will always be “mechanically declined” as my husband terms it. But as Connor’s innocence is questioned, Marissa grows into someone absolutely wonderful in this last book, and I didn’t want her and Tandy to leave us!
Besides, isn’t there more to be said about Tandy and Greg’s love story? (I am now begging.)

Some quotes I loved:

“Her life was like the corn maze. She was blocked at every turn.”

“Tingles shot through Marissa’s body. The answer to all her prayers was on the other end of the line.”

“I run on coffee and combat boots.”

“Not that there was anything wrong with snooping. It solved crimes.”

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! Tandy & Marissa really need to make a encore!!

About the Author

Angela sold her first story to a national magazine while still in high school and went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. Her debut novel LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO released in 2010 to a four-star review from Romantic Times. Angela loves connecting with fans and mentoring aspiring authors, which led her to start IDAhope Writers. She currently lives in Boise with her husband and three kids.

More About Angela’s Works

Angela has published multiple books of different genres. One of my favorite series of hers is the Finding Love line. There are four books in this series, and the second, Finding Love in Blue Sky, Montana, has just been made into a movie of the same name, in which Angela and her hubby had small parts! There’s a series for kids, called Fun4Hire, a few romantic suspense, the cozy series The CafFUNated Mysteries, and her new rom-com, Husband Auditions. Several of the titles are included in anthologies and collections with other authors, of which I have only shown one.

This last book is representative of several book collections that Angela Ruth Strong’s stories appear in.
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The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

About the Book

Title: The Edge of Belonging

Author: Amanda Cox

Publisher: Revell

Released: September 2020

Genre: Christian Dual-Time, Contemporary

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go. 

My Impressions

The Edge of Belonging is such a spellbinding, dual-time novel from Amanda Cox. I foresee Edge of Belonging winning an award for debut novels. For myself, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page. Heart-rending themes such as foster homes, homelessness, human trafficking, depression, and PTSD are dealt with from both the sufferer’s and a loving helper’s POV. The raw loneliness hurt, and need that several of the characters experience is portrayed so poignantly. It seems each character in the earlier story (Harvey, Pearl, Thom, and Miriam) feels they are on the edge of belonging to some degree.

In the later story, Ivy is the focal point who feels like she doesn’t quite belong, but her best friend Reese has often struggled with those same sentiments. I was thrilled to see how the book’s title applied to so many. I also loved seeing the hope and mercy that certain characters, especially Pearl and Reese, generously dole out to others. Again, so many of Ms. Cox’s characters show significant growth by the end of the story.
While it is easy to see early on where the stories will connect, there remains the fascination of just how Ms. Cox is going to work it all out.


I usually like to pick a favorite character, but they were all faves. I love Reese for his steadiness and undying care. Harvey, for the way he supersedes his own fears to love another. And Pearl, for her radar to find and genuinely love lost souls.
Get your own copy of this must-read debut!
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Revell Reads via NetGalley. All opinions are my own and no positive review was required.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers.

Connect with Amanda on her website at https://amandacoxwrites.com

or on Twitter @amandacoxwrites