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Passages of Hope by Terri J Haynes Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Passages of Hope

Author: Terri J. Haynes

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: November, 2022

Discover the Story Behind a Secret Passageway 

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

Gracie Kingston begins renovations on the Philadelphia house inherited from her grandmother and finds a secret room. It is connected to a house nearby, the home of William Still, the man known as the father of the Underground Railroad. As she researches, she discovers a mystery in her house’s ownership. In 1855, Olivia Kingston helps a mother and her young child by hiding them in a secret room in her home. As she helps, she learns that there may be an impostor conductor in their community. As Gracie’s and Olivia’s stories intertwine, they learn the meaning of sacrifice and love.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Terri J. Haynes, a native Baltimorean, is a homeschool mom, writer, prolific knitter, freelance graphic artist and former Army wife (left the Army, not the husband). She loves to read, so much that when she was in elementary school, she masterminded a plan to be locked in a public library armed with only a flashlight to read all the books and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As she grew, her love for writing grew as she tried her hand at poetry, articles, speeches and fiction. She is storyteller at heart. Her passion is to draw readers in the story world she has created and to bring laughter and joy to their lives.
Terri is a 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest finalist, and a 2012 semi-finalist. She is also a 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist. Her publishing credits include: Cup of Comfort for Military Families, Crosswalk.com, the Secret Place Devotional, Urbanfaith.com, Vista Devotional, and Publisher’s Weekly.
Terri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology, a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and a certificate in creative writing and graphic design, meeting the minimal requirements of being a geek. She and her husband pastor a church where she serves as executive pastor and worship leader. Terri lives in Maryland with her three wonderful children and her husband, who often beg her not to kill off their favorite characters.
Website: http://www.terrijhaynes.com
Blog: http://www.inotherwords.terrijhaynes.com

More from Terri

Family, Underground Railroad, two strong Black women, and knitting in one book? Yes.

In addition to being an author, I am a knitter, crocheter, indie yarn dyer, business owner, unofficial historian, wife, mother, and sister. At first glance, all those things seem too different to combine in one book. But they weave together so perfectly.

As an author, I explore my world with curiosity. I find many subjects interesting and it shows in this book. It’s not often that an author can combine such a range of topics in one novel. I’m so glad I got to do it for this one.

Life is a tapestry of many colors knit together and my goal was to show that. That family and history, grieving and crafting, struggle and triumph, are all entwined threads. Their vibrancy can be combined to create a beautiful project, the pain and joy both add hue and color to life. This is what I hope you find in this book.

My Impressions

“…she was a strong Black woman in a long line of strong Black women.”

“With a little time and patience, any mistake can be fixed.”

Each Doors to the Past dual timeline novels has been incredible, and Passages of Hope by Terri J Haynes will be seared into my memory for a long time.

The suspense of the 1860s story line is palpable and almost unbearable as Olivia Kingston works as a stationmaster on the Underground RailRoad. Who can be trusted and who is the enemy? Olivia’s tendency to try to handle problems on her own creates some real dangers.

I loved the two romances. While the one is more traditional, the other shows a marriage needing mended. I am glad that Haynes allows the reader to see both loves developing and deepening.

Speaking of love, Gracie McNeil is convinced she is a loser and will need a special realization of how much she is loved, if she is to overcome her negative, self-fulfilling thoughts. “Her childhood knitting teacher had told her that she took to knitting like she was born with needles and yarn in her hands. The compliment stung. She had not been born with yarn and needles. She had been born with trouble.” What an intrinsic self-doubt that only God can help an individual overcome!

Haynes populates both stories with wonderful characters. Douglas stands out, as do Clarence, Ms. Lila, and Ada. But the person who is most intriguing to me, is one we never actually meet, Gran.

All these novels stand alone, so if you haven’t read any, Passages of Hope is an excellent place to start. I can’t recommend it enough!

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

Notable Quotable:

“‘God’s business—’ ‘—ain’t your business,’” “But Gran kept telling me that. That God has His own ways of doing things that we may not understand.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! A novel of tremendous hurt and inhumanity with Hope peeking through!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 29

lakesidelivingsite, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Cover Lover Book Review, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 1

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 2 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 5

Connie’s History Classroom, December 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Holly’s Book Corner, December 6

Blossoms and Blessings, December 7

Mary Hake, December 7

Remembrancy, December 8

For Him and My Family, December 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 9

Lis Loves Reading, December 9

Through the fire blogs, December 10

Spoken from the Heart, December 10

Pause for Tales, December 11

Labor Not in Vain, December 11

Betti Mace, December 12

Marriage, Motherhood, & Homeschool, December 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/22cd0/passages-of-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, New-to-Me Author, Wild Heart Books

Byway to Danger by Sandra Merville Hart

About the Book

Book: Byway to Danger

Author: Sandra Merville Hart

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: July 19, 2022

Everyone in Richmond has secrets. Especially the spies.

Meg Brooks, widow, didn’t stop spying for the Union when her job at the Pinkerton National Detective Agency ended, especially now that she lives in the Confederate capital. Her job at the Yancey bakery provides many opportunities to discover vital information about the Confederacy to pass on to her Union contact. She prefers to work alone, yet the strong, silent baker earns her respect and tugs at her heart.

Cade Yancey knows the beautiful widow is a spy when he hires her only because his fellow Unionist spies know of her activities. Meg sure didn’t tell him. He’s glad she knows how to keep her mouth shut, for he has hidden his dangerous activities from even his closest friends. The more his feelings for the courageous woman grow, the greater his determination to protect her by guarding his secrets. Her own investigations place her in enough peril.

As danger escalates, Meg realizes her choice to work alone isn’t a wise one. Can she trust Cade with details from her past not even her family knows?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Sandra Merville Hart takes us deep into the dangers of the Civil War in Byway to Danger. In Richmond, Meg Brooks, a former Pinkerton, visits with relatives and works in a bakery, but most importantly, looks for intelligence to pass to the North. Her bakery boss, Cade Yancey, is also a Northern sympathizer. Like Meg, he spies for the North. As they grow closer, Meg doesn’t reveal much of her business or history to Cade, thinking what he doesn’t know, he can’t tell. Cade is even more tight-lipped about his past and connections. Can they work together to further freedom, or will their secrets drive them apart?

This book is the third of a trio, but stands alone nicely. It started slowly for me. I had a hard time initially becoming invested in the characters. Fortunately, by the end of the book, I was quickly thumbing pages, eager to discover the future of Meg and Cade and others. I set the finished book aside with a satisfied sigh.

My favorite secondary characters were Aunt Trudy and her servants, Clara and Harold. All three are wise, kind, and willing to go out of their way to help others. All had reasons they could have refused to do so.

If you’re looking for a clean, Faith-based historical romance based on Civil War times, I recommend Byway to Danger by Sandra Merville Hart.

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:

“Hard to say what turns some men into animals, as if they turned their backs on the sense the Good Lord gave them.”

“How can you, a man of few words, know just what to say?” She smiled to lighten the moment. Mournful blue eyes met hers. “Because I lived it.”

“Their relationship felt as if they had waltzed into a courtship without discussing it.”

“And my greatest hope for him is that he learns that he’s cherished by his Savior.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Great! I recommend this suspenseful Civil War novel.

About the Author

Sandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher. Connect with Sandra on her blog, https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/.

More from Sandra

In Byway to Danger, Book 3 of my “Spies of the Civil War” series, both Cade and Meg—our hero and heroine—are Union spies living in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. As if this isn’t dangerous enough, Meg is also a former Pinkerton spy. One Pinkerton spy was hanged in the spring and three others now sit in Richmond jails.

Meg works as an assistant in Cade’s bakery. The strong, quiet man keeps a secret from Meg to protect her, for he’s a conductor on the Underground Railroad. He provides food, clothing, and a safe place to stay until he’s able to take them on to the next stop several miles outside the city. Cade has done this for years before the Civil War and continues as the war rages, a perilous mission.

Historically, early in the war on May 23, 1861, three men escaped slavery and fled to Fort Monroe. Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, and James Townsend had worked on Confederate fortifications before escaping on a rowboat. They sought the safety of Union soldiers at the fort. The men informed Union Major General Benjamin F. Butler that they escaped from Confederate Colonel Charles K. Mallory of the 115th Virginia Militia.

The next day, Confederate Major John B. Cary arrived at Fort Monroe under a flag of truce. Cary met with Butler and requested he return the enslaved men to Mallory as required by the Fugitive Slave Act.

Butler did some fast thinking. Since the three men had been building fortifications for war, they could be seized as “contraband of war” and didn’t have to be returned. His refusal to return the men was a pivotal decision and sparked a future law that protected fugitives who sought the protection of Union camps.

Dozens of fugitive men, women, and children had joined Baker, Mallory, and Townsend at Fort Monroe within three days. Many others fled to the fort in the following months. “Grand Contraband Camp” was established about three miles from Fort Monroe on the charred remains of Hampton to accommodate the hundreds of fugitives.  It was the nation’s first self-contained black community. By 1865, thousands lived in this camp.

Part of my research for this novel involved a trip to Virginia’s Fort Monroe. (If you love history and have never visited Fort Monroe, I recommend it!) Though I wasn’t certain of my story at the time of my visit, I was so inspired by the fort’s history that I knew it had to be part of my story. And it is!

Avenue of Betrayal, Book 1, is set in the Union capital of Washington City (Washington DC) in 1861, where a surprising number of Confederate sympathizers and spies lived. Boulevard of Confusion and Byway to Danger are set in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. Actual historical spies touch the lives of our fictional family.

Through both real and fictional characters, this series highlights activities spies were involved in and some of the motives behind their decisions.

I invite you to read the whole “Spies of the Civil War” series beginning with Book 1 Avenue of Betrayal, Book 2 Boulevard of Confusion, and Book 3 Byway to Danger!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 22

Spoken from the Heart, July 22

Bizwings Blog, July 23

Inklings and notions, July 24

Betti Mace, July 25

Book Looks by Lisa, July 25

Texas Book-aholic, July 26

For Him and My Family, July 27

Connie’s History Classroom, July 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 29

deb’s Book Review, July 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 31

Vicarious Living, July 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2

Blossoms and Blessings, August 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1f7f8/byway-to-danger-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, BLOG, Favorite, NetGalley, Waterbrook-Multnomah

Freedom’s Song by Kim Vogel Sawyer

About the Book

Title: Freedom’s Song

Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer

Publisher: Waterbrook-Multnomah

Released: October 2021

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Her voice made her a riverboat’s darling–and its prisoner. Now she’s singing her way to freedom in this powerful novel from the bestselling author of The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow.

“[An] enjoyable faith-filled adventure . . . Sawyer’s episodic narrative and rich assortment of characters fighting for freedom provide the story with many twists and unexpected side-plots.”–Publishers Weekly

Indentured servant Fanny Beck has been forced to sing for riverboat passengers since she was a girl. All she wants is to live a quiet, humble life with her family as soon as her seven-year contract is over. However, when she discovers that the captain has no intention of releasing her, she seizes a sudden opportunity to escape–an impulse that leads Fanny to a group of enslaved people who are on their own dangerous quest for liberty. . . .

Widower Walter Kuhn is overwhelmed by his responsibilities to his farm and young daughter, and now his mail-order bride hasn’t arrived. Could a beautiful stranger seeking work be the answer to his prayers? . . .

After the star performer of the River Peacock is presumed drowned, Sloan Kirkpatrick, the riverboat’s captain, sets off to find her replacement. However, his journey will bring him face to face with his own past–and a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be free. . . .

Uplifting, inspiring, and grounded in biblical truth, Freedom’s Song is a story for every reader who has longed for physical, emotional, or spiritual delivery. 

My Impressions

“Just ’cause somethin’ is legal don’t make it right.” Truer words were never spoken. In her new book, Freedom’s Song, Kim Vogel Sawyer has many such pearls of wisdom. This multiplies a book’s value to me.

Travel back to 1860 and land on a riverboat on the Mississippi River. Fanny Beck is a popular concert attraction on the River Peacock. Held against her will, she longs for freedom from Sloane, her unscrupulous manager.

I loved the plot and characters of this book. The novel flows smoothly, albeit with suspense and I found myself often holding my breath. The characters are very relatable, except for maybe Sloane. However, Sawyer paints even her antagonist as multi-dimensional, and I enjoyed seeing the fight between good and evil within a person.

It’s amazing to see how well some people can care for their own needs while callously ignoring those of others. This was true of people back then, and is, unfortunately, still true of people today.

I was disappointed to have to leave some of our new friends before we got a chance to know them well. Sawyer created them so well, I wanted them to remain throughout the novel. However, their leaving enables the next scenario, with more people that I began to love because of their great personalities. I fell in love with toddler Annaliese. And Walter is so much more valuable than he gives himself credit for.

If you like themes of redemption, finding true freedom, and friendship; set against a mid-1800’s America, you will love this novel of faith and suspense.

A Reader’s Guide is included at the conclusion. This follows an epilogue, one of those oh-so-satisfying ending touches.

A copy of this book was provided by Waterbrook-Multnomah. No positive review was required. All opinions are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

Kim Vogel Sawyer has a gentle style that reminds me of Janette Oke.

About the Author

Award-winning, bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer told her kindergarten teacher that someday people would check out her book in the library. The little-girl dream came true in 2006 with the release of Waiting for Summer’s Return. Kim’s titles now exceed 1.5 million copies and are available in six different languages. A former elementary school teacher, she now enjoys a full-time writing and speaking ministry. Kim’s passion lies in writing stories that point the reader to a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. When Kim isn’t writing, you’ll find her traveling with her retired military hubby, spoiling her granddarlings, petting the cats, quilting, or–as time allows–participating in community theater. You can learn more about Kim’s writing and speaking ministries at her website, KimVogelSawyer.com. 

Kim Vogel Sawyer > Series

Kim Vogel Sawyer
33,052 ratings (average 4.09)
71 works

Waiting for Summer's Return
Where the Heart Leads
A Promise for Spring
Fields of Grace
A Hopeful Heart
Courting Miss Amsel
A Whisper of Peace

Heart of the Prairie (10 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.05 avg rating — 13,147 ratings

My Heart Remembers
In Every Heartbeat

My Heart Remembers (2 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.01 avg rating — 5,025 ratings

Bygones
Beginnings
Blessings

Sommerfield Trilogy (3 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.11 avg rating — 2,354 ratings

When Mercy Rains
When Grace Sings
When Love Returns

The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy (3 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.25 avg rating — 1,360 ratings

Bringing Maggie Home
Unveiling the Past

Bringing Maggie Home (2 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.29 avg rating — 1,244 ratings

What Once Was Lost

What Once Was Lost (1 book)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
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Just As I Am
Echoes of Mercy

Echoes of Mercy (2 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.14 avg rating — 805 ratings

Katy's New World
Katy's Debate
Katy's Homecoming
Katy's Decision

Katy Lambright (4 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 3.85 avg rating — 731 ratings

Sweet Sanctuary
My Soul Sings

Sweet Sanctuary (2 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.13 avg rating — 598 ratings

A Seeking Heart
A Heart Surrenders
When A Heart Cries

Mountain Lakes (3 books)
by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Goodreads Author)
 4.24 avg rating — 299 ratings

Dear John
That Wilder Boy
Promising Angela