Sunday, May 22, 2022

Where the Blue Sky Begins

 


"Katie Powner's engaging story will pull you in and leave you in wonder at that deep, blue sky."--CHRIS FABRY, bestselling and award-winning author

Sometimes the hardest road of all is the road home.

When confident and handsome Eric Larson is sent to a rural Montana town to work in the local branch of his uncle's financial company, he's determined to exceed everyone's expectations, earn a promotion, and be back in Seattle by the end of summer. Yet nothing could prepare him for the lessons this small town has in store.

At forty-six years old, eccentric and outspoken Eunice Parker has come to accept her terminal illness and has given herself one final goal: seek forgiveness from everyone on her bucket list before her time runs out. But it will take more courage than she can muster on her own.

After an accident pushes Eric and Eunice together, the unlikely pair is forced to spend more time with each other than either would like, which challenges their deepest prejudices and beliefs. As summer draws to a close, neither Eric nor Eunice is where they thought they would be, but they both wrestle with the same important question: 
What matters most when the end is near?


Praise for Katie Powner

"Powner delivers life lessons that cross generations and will linger long after the last page is turned."--Library Journal starred review

"My favorite stories are ones about everyday, salt-of-the-earth people. When I open a novel by Katie Powner, I know that's what I'm going to experience."--Susie Finkbeiner, author of 
The Nature of Small Birds


My thoughts: Katie Powner's debut novel, The Sowing Season, blew me away with it's beautiful, intricate story of a retired farmer looking back on his life. In Where the Blue Sky Begins, she knocks it out of the park once again! Eric is hard to like when he first breezes in to the small Montana town. While he seems to have a good heart, he's also absorbed with getting back to his somewhat shallow life in Seattle. When he is roped into helping his neighbor cross things off her bucket list, he just might discover there is more to living than he realized. 

I loved Eunice and her prickly ways! The story goes back and forth between her point of view and Eric's, which I enjoyed. The book got me to thinking what I would change today if I knew when my expiration date was. This is a wonderful story that I highly recommend!

I received this book from the publisher, this is my honest review.

Purchase a copy here! This post contains affiliate links.

Run With the Wind

 


Linney Merritt loves her life in the Florida scrub where she assists her Pa in raising and taking cattle to market. The new cowman, Cyrus John, appreciates the chance to start over. Marrying holds no interest for either, but they can’t help but be drawn to each other. And then, just before Christmas, they find themselves fighting together to save the life of a calf, all while discovering the One who can remove fears and provide forgiveness.

 My thoughts: Both Linney and Cy have experienced loss that has left them with little use for opening themselves up to more heartache through marriage. When their paths cross as Cy begins to work on Linney's family ranch, their attraction challenges their stances on marriage. I enjoyed learning more about the Florida scrub and what the land was like. The author does a wonderful job of tying in the message of the birth of Jesus to the story! This is a wonderful story to pick up. 

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.

Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.

 

 

About the Author

CK4A9871Judy DuCharme is a crazy Packer fan and would rather be walking near the water than at any shopping mall. She is smarter than a fifth grader, having taught them for 22 years, specializing in fun, hands-on, basic science. In case anyone wondered, the cutest grandson in the world belongs to her. And he’s smart, too. Judy descended from the family that founded the first Mennonite/Amish congregation in this country in the mid-1700s. So, with such a heritage, she loves the Lord, loves to worship, and loves to teach Bible studies

 

More from Judy

Have you ever watched You Tube videos of cows giving birth? Well, I have. And that’s because Linney Merritt helped birth the calves in the late 1800s in mid-Florida. And that’s why she had no interest in giving birth herself. So when the new hand arrived, it turned her plans topsy-turvy, but she was not going to budge. With humor and tenacity, Linney and Cy learn to work together on her pa’s ranch and consider other possibilities.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 18

Texas Book-aholic, May 19

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, May 20 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 21

deb’s Book Review, May 22

Inklings and notions, May 23

For Him and My Family, May 24

Vicky Sluiter, May 25 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 27 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 30 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Judy is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and 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/1df18/run-with-the-wind-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Sport of Matchmaking

 

For once, he has met a lady less inclined to marry than he is. How unfortunate that she is the only bride he will consider.

George Clavering is much too young to think about getting married. Yes, his older brother—and even his younger sister—have managed to tie the knot, but he has plenty more years of play and sporting events ahead of him before he need consider such a thing. Even matchmaking becomes a sport when gentlemen bet on the Season’s successes or failures in the club. He will not give them an opportunity to bet on 
him. Furthermore, why settle down when there are young women like Lady Alice who liven the sport of matchmaking with friendly wagers?

Lady Alice St. Clair is the fifth daughter of the Duke of Carr, and as she is independently wealthy and may do as she pleases, she has no reason to wed. She certainly has no intention of doing so. If the marriage mart offers nothing more than the unattractive boors who have presented themselves at her door for the past five seasons, it should hardly surprise her parents she cannot be persuaded to the altar. True, George Clavering has a full head of dark hair and a smile that is as mischievous as it is attractive, but no lady of character would change her mind for one above-average specimen of the male race.

For both, what began as a friendly bet between two bored guests at a ball turned into an earnest desire to help their protégés find happiness. And if some deeper feelings should stir in George to win Alice’s heart, then he has no choice but to dampen them. After all, Lady Alice has sworn she will not marry, and George has applauded her decision. For him to try to weaken her resolve now would be…unsportsmanlike.

My thoughts: Another wonderful story by Jennie Goutet! I enjoyed returning to the Clavering family and finally getting to read more about George. When he and Lady Alice have a chance meeting at Almack's, they make a friendly wager that just might change both of their minds on the subject of marriage. I can only imagine how uncertain it would have been to be a young woman back then, and heard slight echos of Jane Austen's Emma in Lady Alice, since they both have the means to stay single if they so desire. 
I enjoyed the side characters and catching up with the main characters from the previous stories! While this can be read as a stand alone, I highly recommend reading the whole series, since all the characters are wonderful. 
While I am sad for this series to have ended, The Sport of Matchmaking was an excellent last installment to the series!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This is my honest review. 


Bride of the Rockies

 


For botanist, Bettina Gilbert, mining is an offense against God’s green earth. With the shortage of women in Montana, Luke travels to Chicago to manage the Montana mining exhibition hoping to also find a wife. Only that pretty botanist keeps disrupting his mining presentations … and his chances of meeting the right woman! A city girl who despises his way of life would be the worst choice for a miner’s wife, wouldn’t she?

Uplifting, wholesome romance set in the Gilded Age during Chicago’s World Fair. Written by bestselling author and professional genealogist, Angela Breidenbach. Accurate to history while entertaining, inspiring, with a lovely ambiance of hope.

 My thoughts: I enjoyed this story and the fireworks that Bettina and Luke set off when they clash over his mining presentation. I have enjoyed this whole series and reading more about Montana's history as a state. This story is a fun addition, with the main couple being on opposite sides of an important issue and then the setting being different, with it featuring the 1893 World Fair. This is a delightful story that I highly recommend picking up!

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.

Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.

 

About the Author

BreidenbachAngela-Headshot (1)Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, conference speaker, bestselling author of eighteen books, and screenwriter. Angela lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

 

More from Angela

Rabbit trails. The paths that draw a writer away from her planned research. That’s what happened when I started researching Queen of the Rockies. I hopped down a rabbit trail that took me into an entirely different story. Here I was writing about the beginning of Montana as a state, the real people, and the unusual stories of the Gilded Age. Then a thread of the Chicago World’s Fair kept popping up like little bunnies in the middle of the field that darted here and there.

Well, those little rabbit trails captured my fascination. I couldn’t stop chasing them. I wanted to know more about why people who were busy carving out a new state would want to travel halfway across the country and live in Chicago for five months. Why would they care? What were their goals? Who were these unusual people? So, I did the smart thing. I started a new document to think about writing a later story.

The more I researched the first book in this series, Queen of the Rockies, the more I found tidbits of names that reappeared in newspapers. Then I followed a few of those names just to see what had become of them. I found a lot more than I expected. From the social pages in newspapers to club minute books to journals the stories of some really interesting women came to light. Their goals were much more than for one family or one town. These people found a cause bigger than themselves. They found a bond in forging a state that held respectability in the world’s eyes. These people were tired, and offended, of the constant slur — the Wild West. And they were going to change that erroneous misconception!

The rest of civilization didn’t understand how modern, elegant, and valuable Montana was in the 1890s. But the people of Montana were about to prove their infant state was the shining star on the American flag. She was no infant. This beautiful state, whose capitol was fully electric already, could hold her own among the elegant countries slated to be at that fair in 1893.

Come turn the pages of Bride of the Rockies and find out what these people, and especially the women, did to put Montana in the world headlines. See why they stunned with never before seen discoveries displayed in their pavilion during the Columbian Exposition. Can you imagine being given 10% of the budget while the men had 90%, in essence set up as the underdog, and blowing the world away with what you do with it?  Walking away with the win? Not just one win…seven!

Bride of the Rockies took me on a fabulous rabbit trail of research. I hope this story will be fun for you, too!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

An Author’s Take, May 19

Blogging With Carol, May 19

Betti Mace, May 20

Texas Book-aholic, May 21

Mary Hake, May 21

Inklings and notions, May 22

For Him and My Family, May 23

Pause for Tales, May 23

deb’s Book Review, May 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 25

Blossoms and Blessings, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 27

Spoken from the Heart, May 27

Bizwings Blog, May 28

Connie’s History Classroom, May 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize of a pair of beautiful opal earrings set in fair trade sterling silver!!

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/1db54/bride-of-the-rockies-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, May 20, 2022

Night Songs

 


What’s a girl to do when her life sounds ripped from the lyrics of a country music song?

Charlotte Van Cleave’s hissy-fit reaction to her husband’s infidelity sours her world like a pot of boiled chitlins. She’s left with no husband, no job, and no home—well, besides the dilapidated farmhouse inherited from her nana.

But Charlie learned early that southern girls dig deep when things go sideways. She’d climbed out of the mire when her missionary parents were killed in Congo, endured two late-term miscarriages, and survived the death of her nana and papaw. Too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash, Charlie follows a new path with her interior design skills.

Derek Daniels spent his life serving his country until a helicopter accident ended his military career. Now back home on the family farm, he’s stuck between his philandering brother, Nicky, and the only girl he’s ever loved—sweet Charlie Van Cleave. Unwilling to cross a line, he vows to keep his feelings to himself. Easier said than done when Charlie discovers a mystery surrounding her parents’ death and asks him to help investigate.

What’ll Charlie and Derek have to do to turn those lyrics into a country hit?

 My thoughts: I loved this story and the many layers that it had! Charlie picked the wrong brother when she married Nick and feels like she has been dealing with the consequences of that poor decision ever since. When she has the chance to take on the project of restoring her grandparents old home, she may just get a chance at restoring her life.

This story could have been pretty sticky with Nick and Derek both loving the same woman, and one not standing by her through thick and thin. I loved Derek and the honor that he shows Charlie with his relationship with her. This is a wonderful story of restoration and forgiveness. 

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.

Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.

 

About the Author

Jennifer-SiennesJennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies including several in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

 

More from Jennifer

I love everything about the South. The seasons are more vibrant, the pace is slower, and the hospitality warmer than what I’ve previously experienced. I wasn’t born and raised here, but I’ve always felt an affinity for it. When my husband and I relocated from Northern California to middle Tennessee over three years ago, I was happier than ol’ Blue layin’ on the porch chewin’ on a big ol’ catfish head. Yes, there are times we need a translator, but we’re quick studies.

 

Setting is an important element of storytelling, whether it’s fictional or true. I will be the first person to tell you, I don’t have much imagination. I don’t read or write fantasy or sci-fi because I can’t picture myself in the story. I am in awe of writers who are able to create an alternate world in their minds and then share it in a story. Me? I need to see it to write it.

 

For that reason, I was very excited about how this move from the only place I’ve ever known to one I’d dreamt about most of my life would impact my novels and novellas. We landed here in the middle of July to magnolia trees with waxy leaves as big as my head and sweet-smelling white blossoms I couldn’t enclose in both hands. Mockingbirds chattering all hours of the day (and a lone guy at night), bright red cardinals flitting from tree to tree, and even an armadillo or two lumbering across our yard.

 

The character of Charlotte Van Cleave (Charlie) was born out of my imagination. Why I can create fake people but not fake settings is anyone’s guess. Her nana and pawpaw’s dilapidated farmhouse is a real home that had been abandoned outside the city limits of Shelbyville, Tennessee—in Bedford County, which is also the title of the series. I saw the house through a real estate website, and fortunately for me, it was empty. My husband and I snuck around the perimeter looking through broken widows to get a feel for the place. It didn’t hurt that there were several photos on the website, as well.

 

The rest of the story came in fits and starts. I first decided on Charlie’s personality, because if I know that, it’s easier to trip her up with all manner of chaos. If you’re familiar with the enneagram personality indicator, she’s a three—the Achiever. The other main character, Derek Daniels, is a six—the Loyalist. Throw in missionary parents, sibling rivalry, and southern culture and a story was born.

 

While I was working on Night Songs the mockingbirds were particularly active. They’re the Tennessee state bird, so they’re always around, but it’s only during the mating season they are vocal. I was lying awake in the middle of the night, and I heard one of them singing. I’d only ever heard them during the day, so I was surprised. Why would a lone mockingbird be singing at night? What I learned after a little research is that only those who are mate-less will do this. It made me sad to hear the little guy over the next several nights, pouring out his heart. Not unlike Charlie Van Cleave. Thus, a title was born.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 17

Daysong Reflections, May 18

Genesis 5020, May 19

Texas Book-aholic, May 20

Inklings and notions, May 21

Susan K. Beatty, Author, May 22 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 22

deb’s Book Review, May 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 25

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 26

Miriam Jacob, May 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 28

Back Porch Reads, May 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a 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/1db53/night-songs-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Miracles in the Middle

 


Do you need a miracle? You are not alone.

Some seasons of life can be so difficult. You may be in the middle of uncertainty, loss, grief, or anxiety.

You and your loved ones may be in the middle of chronic illness, financial issues, relationship struggles.

Whatever you’re struggling with, God knows.

And in the middle of your circumstances, God is there and He’s still creating miracles.

Miracles in the middle of fear.
Miracles in the middle of grief.
Miracles in the middle of unwellness.
Miracles in the middle of relationship struggles.
Miracles in the middle of suffering.

Most people talk about seeing God’s miracles when they have a breakthrough, receive healing, are freed from an addiction, or are victorious on the mountaintop. But what about the miracles that happen in the valley, in the middle of your storm, to in your difficult situation?

That’s where God does extraordinary work. That’s where God’s greatness amazes us when we need it the most.

In my newest book, Miracles in the Middle: I invite you to witness the astonishing miracles that happen in both seasons of blessings and in the depth of suffering. These true stories of God’s presence, power and love will reignite hope and help you develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord.

 My thoughts: This is a wonderful devotional that was an excellent reminder to me of the miracles that God continues to work in lives. I found this book to be incredibly encouraging, especially with the news of what is going on in the world, I found that I needed a reminder that God is still at work and moving in lives. 

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.

Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.

 

About the Author

image1Debbie Milam is an award-winning occupational therapist, author and past syndicated columnist for United Press International’s Religion and Spirituality Division.

She is the author of Miracles in the Middle, Overtaken by Grace, And God Said and Lord Show Me You Are Here.

Debbie’s ground-breaking work has been featured in First for Women, the Miami Herald, Elle, and Ladies Home Journal, and on the Hallmark Channel, PBS, and WebMD.

Through her 501(c)3 Grace Love Well Foundation, her mission is to inspire people to the beauty, love, power, and presence of God. As an organization we have donated thousands of books to churches, missions work, prisons, pastoral counselors and prayer teams.

For more resources to deepen your intimacy with God and find peace in His presence, visit us online at gracelovewell.org or YouTube/Debbie Milam

 

More from Debbie

January of 2020, I began a journey of catastrophic health issues as I faced four life-threatening infections, including COVID, which led to being placed on Hospice care. While facing my mortality, I cried out to God and experienced one miracle after another.

 

Although my body was growing weaker and weaker, my faith, relationship with God, and desire to bring hope to others grew stronger and stronger. While battling severe health issues, I was able to publish this book by God’s grace and a great publishing team.

 

So many Christians are battling hopelessness, anxiety, and overwhelm. I understand all these feelings and I invite readers to witness the astonishing miracles that happen in both seasons of blessings and the depth of suffering. My true stories of God’s presence, power, and love will reignite hope and help readers develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 19

Inklings and notions, May 20

For Him and My Family, May 21

Texas Book-aholic, May 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 24

deb’s Book Review, May 25

Splashes of Joy, May 26 (Author Interview)

Miriam Jacob, May 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 28

Christina’s Corner, May 29

Blossoms and Blessings, May 30 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 31

Spoken from the Heart, June 1 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debbie 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/1df19/miracles-in-the-middle-celebration-tour-giveaway