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The Refrain Within, #3 Music of Hope by Liz Tolsma Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Refrain Within

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: WWII Fiction

Release Date: September 29, 2020

the refrain within cover

To save a life, would you betray everyone you love?

Hungary in 1944 is a dark place. The Nazis have invaded and turned the country upside down, their evil making its way into every life.

Clarinetist Eva Bognar is engaged to conductor and composer Patrik Kedves, happily planning her wedding. At first she doesn’t think the war will affect her directly; everyone around her can be trusted to do the right thing. Then her Jewish best friend and sister-in-law Zofia goes missing–and instead of the Gestapo being to blame, a friend says it was Patrik who led Zofia away. Has he betrayed Eva and everything the family stands for?

When the rest of the family’s lives are directly threatened, Patrik’s secrets must come to light. The Bognars flee for the border in hopes of getting out of the country to the safety of Palestine. Eva must put her life and the lives of everyone she loves in the hands of the very man who betrayed her–and they may not all make it out of the war alive . . .

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Which sin was worse- murder or lying?” So wonders Bognar Éva in The Refrain Within, a Christian WWII novel by Liz Tolsma. Musician Éva sees life’s choices as being very clear and decisive, with no middle ground. As the Germans oppress Hungarians daily, Éva doesn’t understand all the reasons the Gestapo is after her sister-in-law. When her fiancé, Kedves Patrik is not the person Éva thought, whom will Éva be able to trust?


This is a novel so moving and haunting that I sped through it as it made my blood run cold. I had to find out what would happen before the suspense, so palpable, was my undoing. Families being torn apart ripped at my own soul. The reality and historical accuracy is spot on. The warmth of the music was a fitting counterpoint to the cold reality of spies and war.

I loved the fact that there were Messianic Jews in the story. Hope, faith, betrayal, forgiveness, and love- truly beautiful love- shone against a dismal backdrop of occupied Hungary. Those who enjoy inspirational WWII fiction will not want to miss The Refrain Within.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. I am voluntarily leaving my thoughts, which represent only my opinions.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She’s married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

More from Liz

This is the third book in a series all set around music. The first heroine, Anna in The Melody of the Soul, was a violinist. The second heroine, Natia in When the Heart Sings, sang beautifully. So what did I choose for this heroine?

When I was in fifth grade, the band teacher from the middle school came to our class and encouraged us to join. She brought instruments with her for us to try. I really wanted to play the flute. I thought it was very feminine. But all the girls wanted to play that, and I would have to be really good to get a good chair. So I decided on the clarinet. I played all through middle school and high school, making first chair a couple of times. I participated in marching band and in solo and ensemble contests, earning a couple of first places in state competitions. Even after my “career” ended, I continued to play from time to time. I still play in church. I love the rich, full sound of the instrument. When played well, the clarinet is beautiful. It can be playful and happy or dark and sad. It can skip and it can cry. I’m very glad now that I chose the clarinet instead of the flute.

That’s why the heroine of The Refrain Within plays the clarinet. In fact, she comes from a family of clarinet makers, and her family stamp on the barrel of a clarinet means a great deal to her. As God would have it, my editor, Janyre Tromp, is also a clarinet player. Between the two of us, we worked hard bring out the unique aspects of playing clarinet, like the callous that forms on the inside of your bottom lip.

Eva is a special character to me because we share this passion for the clarinet. There have been many times throughout my life that my clarinet has skipped with me and plenty of times when it has cried with me. Music is God’s beautiful gift to us, and I thank Him for the opportunity to share some of that with you in The Refrain Within.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 23

Among the Reads, October 23

Maureen’s Musings, October 23

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 25

deb’s Book Review, October 25

21st Century Keeper at Home, October 25

By The Book, October 26

lakesidelivingsite, October 26

A Baker’s Perspective, October 26

Inklings and notions, October 27

CarpeDiem, October 27

Mary Hake, October 27

For Him and My Family, October 28

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 28

Emily Yager, October 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 29

Older & Smarter?, October 29

Genesis 5020, October 29

Betti Mace, October 30

Christian Bookaholic, October 30

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 30

Artistic Nobody, October 31 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Simple Harvest Reads, October 31 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Rebecca Tews, November 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 1

Connie’s History Classroom, November 2

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 2

Splashes of Joy, November 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 3

As He Leads is Joy, November 3

Bigreadersite, November 3

Pause for Tales, November 4

Hallie Reads, November 4

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 4

Amanda Tero, author, November 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 5

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
https://promosimple.com/ps/102a9/the-refrain-within-celebration-tour-giveaway
BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour

Brought to Book, #1 The Wilkester Mysteries, by Barbara Cornthwaite Review and Giveaway

About the Book



Book:  Brought to Book

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre:  Christian cozy mystery

Release Date: June 24, 2020

1- Brought to Book-sm

There’s nothing in Emily Post about dealing with murder.

Katrina just wanted to spend time among the books at Frank’s Bookstore. Yes, that’s an unimaginative name for a store, but Frank’s an unimaginative guy–or he was.

Now he and his murder are the reason Katrina is spending her spare time with Wilkester detective, Todd Mason. Or, that’s what she tells herself.

Why would anyone want to kill Frank Delaney? Who would do it? And is Katrina herself even safe?

Mixing faith, literary humor, sweet romance, and a cozy mystery that will keep you guessing, Barbara Cornthwaite’s first Wilkester Mystery has everything you want for a cozy read.

Begin your investigation of Brought to Book today.

Click here to get your copy!


My Impressions

Lovers of Christian cozies have a new author to follow, Barbara Cornthwaite. Since turning her literary hand to cozies, Cornthwaite has penned two books in The Wilkester Mysteries so far. This first book, Brought to Book, introduces us to the heroine, a literature professor named Katrina Peters. Katrina befriends Frank Delaney who owns a bookstore neighboring Wilkester college. Oddly, Frank seems an unlikely bookstore owner and is glad for Katrina’s organizational help. When a crime happens, Katrina’s staid life becomes very challenging.
Writing in first-person POV, with a spinster heroine, Cornthwaite shows the small historical town upended by mayhem, romance, avarice, and secrets.

Forgeries, foster children, and faith discussions all play a major role in this mystery. Apparently, there actually is a connection between a famous poet and the world of forgeries. How interesting! I just loved the way Cornthwaite paints the foster family so realistically. Sometimes I felt the faith discussions seemed a little less than a totally natural inclusion.
I finally figured out whodunnit, but that did not lessen my enjoyment of the story, as I anxiously read to see how the action would all play out. This was a book I eagerly read from start to finish. I look forward to the next one.


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

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

More from Barbara

Meeting of the Minds

A Wilkester Mysteries Introduction

Detective Todd Mason knew Katrina was the one the first time he met her. The woman had witnessed a murder—if not with her eyes, at least with her ears. She’d seen the man dying and called for help, afraid all the while that the killer would return for her. So much he’d been told before he went into the interrogation room.

“How’s she handling it?” he asked the officer who had arrived first at the scene and escorted her to the police station.

“Not too badly,” said Gary. “She’s in shock, of course, but she’s trying to hold it together. Katrina Peters. She’s in Room 2.”

He’d gone in then and gotten his first look at her. Late thirties or early forties. Brown hair that fell to her shoulders in loose waves. Brown eyes that were red-rimmed from crying. Hands clutching a tissue. She managed a faint smile when he walked in.

“Hello, Ms. Peters. I’m Detective Todd Mason. I need to ask you some questions, if that’s all right.”

“Miss,” she said, almost as a reflex.

“I beg your pardon?” Todd wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly.

“It’s Miss Peters.” She said it firmly, repudiating the term Ms. even at such a stressful moment. Something made her blush then, and he saw her glance at his left hand. “Never mind,” she murmured.

She’s afraid I’ll think she’s trying to advertize her availability. It amused Todd to see the blush—if only she knew how refreshing it was to see a woman who would even be conscious of such a thing. Old fashioned, he thought. In a good way.

She answered his questions as calmly as she could, and even apologized for the tears that insisted on coming out now and then. When she alluded to Daniel in the lion’s den, he knew she really was out of the ordinary, and it took all his self-control not to offer to drive her home himself.

To join the investigation, read your copy of Brought to Book today.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

21st Century Keeper at Home, October 10

The Avid Reader, October 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 11

Remembrancy, October 11

For the Love of Literature, October 12

Worthy2Read, October 12

Genesis 5020, October 12

deb’s Book Review, October 13

Blogging With Carol, October 13

Robin’s Nest, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Losing the Busyness, October 14

April Hayman, Author, October 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Inklings and notions, October 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 16

Daysong Reflections, October 16

Older & Smarter?, October 17

For Him and My Family, October 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 18

Just Your Average reviews, October 18

Lis Loves Reading, October 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 19

As He Leads is Joy, October 19

Emily Yager, October 19

Sodbusterliving, October 20

Artistic Nobody, October 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Labor Not in Vain, October 20

She Lives To Read, October 21

Bizwings Blog, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Godly Book Reviews, October 22

Mary Hake, October 22

Vicky Sluiter, October 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/10210/brought-to-book-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite

Secrets Resurfaced, #4 Roughwater Ranch Cowboys by Dana Mentink with Giveaway

Secrets-Resurfaced-FB-Banner

About the Book

Book:  Secrets Resurfaced

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 2, 2020

When new evidence surfaces about a tragic boating accident that put her ex-boyfriend’s 48829641father in prison, private investigator Dory Winslow’s determined to look into it. But now someone’s dead set on silencing her. And working with Chad Jaggert—the father of her secret child—may be the only way to survive the treacherous truth about the tragedy that once tore them apart.
Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Secrets that rise to the surface are indeed deep. Some are delightful, some are painful, and others are like a hidden branch that will catch you, hold you, and cause you to drown. When all the secrets are out, who survives, and who drowns figuratively, if not bodily?
I loved this book on many levels. Dana Mentink is a new-to-me author, but one I’ve been wanting to squeeze in for quite a while. Water catches my eye, so the cover caught my attention first. Then I discovered Dory Winslow. Although trained by her father to be a PI, she is very down-to-earth and relatable. So is Chad, her ex-boyfriend, who works for a ranch. I loved the way he “adopted” the family where he works, with the goal of starting up a rescue horse operation as therapy for veterans.

Secrets Resurfaced 1
Chad’s biological father had been driving a boat drunk 5 years ago, and two people were killed. Now one of those, Blaze, shows up alive and shooting. Dory and Chad teeter back and forth between trying to rekindle their former relationship and totally antagonizing each other, yet they need each other to solve this mystery.
For a person trying to make amends, Dory sure seems to sink back into the hate and snark pretty quickly. I found Chad much easier to like, as Dory’s thought processes just didn’t seem too sound sometimes.

Secrets Resurfaced 2
Secondary characters can make or break a book for me, and Mentink threw in some great ones. I loved Aunt Ginny and her husband, and the way they loved on friends of Chad who needed help. I loved the camaraderie and brotherhood forged by Chad and his two adopted brothers. I was quite surprised by the wonderfully humble personality of one person, and who wouldn’t love Ivy and Meatball? Meatball steals the show! Steel Magnolias has nothing on Sarah, Dory’s mom, either!!
I highly recommend this novel, and I will be on the lookout for others by Dana Mentink. I hope animals are included.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. This in no way affects my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

My Rating

5 Stars – Superior- Hit My Reading Sweet Spot!

 

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a dana-mentink-223x300Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Sourcebooks. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the  nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

 

More from Dana

Well, it’s been a wild ride through the Roughwater Cowboy series! Here we are at the end, with youngest brother Chad’s story. Fortunately, the rest of the clan (Mitch, Liam and Helen) are here to lend a hand when the man Chad’s father was jailed for killing comes back to life. Helping out also is Jingles the hapless dog, and a new member of the canine family, three legged Meatball. Throw in a killer on the loose and a secret child, and we’ll have a ‘hold onto your hat’ finish to this series. Thanks for coming along with me! God bless you!

 Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 5

Texas Book-aholic, June 5

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 6

deb’s Book Review, June 6

Pause for Tales, June 6

Inklings and notions, June 7

Just Your Average reviews, June 7

Genesis 5020, June 8

Through the Fire Blogs, June 8

Hallie Reads, June 8

She Lives To Read, June 9

For the Love of Literature, June 9

Betti Mace, June 10

Quiet quilter, June 10

Older & Smarter?, June 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 11

Blogging With Carol, June 11

For Him and My Family, June 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 12

Bigreadersite, June 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 13

reviewingbookplusemore, June 13

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 14

KarenSueHadley, June 14

Moments, June 14

Simple Harvest Reads, June 15 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 15

Remembrancy, June 16

Bizwings Blog, June 16

To Everything There is A Season, June 16

Splashes of Joy, June 17

Blossoms and Blessings, June 17

Just the Write Escape, June 18

Daysong Reflections, June 18

Artistic Nobody, June 18  (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/fc1a/secrets-resurfaced-celebration-tour-giveaway