Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Protecting Annie

 


After twenty years living along the trail as a deputy U.S. Marshal, Joshua Walker takes a job as sheriff in Burrton Springs, Kansas so he can be closer to his sister. Only problem is, she no longer requires his protecting.

After the death of her father, Annie McPherson needs a change. She accepts a position as schoolmarm hoping her past won’t catch up with her. Life is good, except for the pesky lawman who creates confrontations at every turn and continually questions her ability to adjust to life in the west.

When the irritating schoolteacher’s past and present collide, dragging Josh into the turmoil, he has to decide who he’s willing to defend.

 My thoughts: I have enjoyed mail order bride stories for some time now, since it is an interesting part of history. I can only imagine the shock it would be to go from the more modern East Coast to the Wild West! I liked that this story explored some of that, with Annie having a hard time adjusting to life without the comforts that she is used to. 
This story is delightful, with a caring lawman for a hero and an ambitious school teacher as the heroine, who is looking to make a difference. I enjoyed getting to know the two of them and the town they hale from. This is a delightful historical story with a dash of mystery. 

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 AuthorJodieWolfe

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Faith, Hope & Love Christian Writers, and COMPEL Training. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

 

More from Jodie

I’ve always been fond of reading mail-order bride books. Not that I would have ever had the courage to do something so brave. 🙂 But it’s fun writing and reading them. I also love perusing historical journal entries of women who decided to marry a complete stranger. Sometimes it worked out great, other times, not so much. In most cases, the heroine traveled across country to arrive in the west to meet her potential groom. Often they had no idea what each other looked like before they met for the first time. Not that looks matter.

At times the woman was given the opportunity to get to know the fella for a while before they actually married. Other times, they tied the knot as soon as the potential wife arrived at their destination. Some women fled desperate situations in the east, hoping for a better outcome only to find themselves embroiled in another bad position. All of the different scenarios I’ve read about helped to prime the pump for Protecting Annie.

 

In book one of my Burrton Springs Brides series, Taming Julia, I had the heroine’s brother, Josh set Jules (Julia) up as a mail-order bride. As I was writing that story, I knew it would be fun to change things up in book two and have Jules return the favor by ordering a mail-order bride for Josh. That’s the premise for this new story. Josh isn’t exactly thrilled to learn of his sister’s interference in his life and decision to remain single.

 

I hope you’ll enjoy the story of two unlikely people who are thrown together.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 2

For Him and My Family, December 3

deb’s Book Review, December 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 5

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 7

Bizwings Blog, December 7

Connie’s History Classroom, December 8

Mary Hake, December 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 9

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 10

Stephanie’s life of Determination, December 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 12

Vicky Sluiter, December 12

Labor Not in Vain, December 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jodie is giving away the grand prize of an audio CD of 12 historical novels and novellas. Stories of chivalry, adventure and romance!!

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/13cfe/protecting-annie-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Lost in Darkness

 


England, 1815

Amelia Balfour has one dream. . .to tour Egypt as a travel writer. But when her wish is finally within reach, her father dies, and her malformed brother Colin depends upon her to arrange for a revolutionary surgery. Amelia returns home, hoping he’ll recover before the ship sails for Cairo.
Former Navy surgeon Graham Lambert is sick—of travelling, loneliness, and especially the injustice of the world. Leaving behind the military, he partners with a renowned surgeon, the man who promises new life to Amelia’s brother.
But just as the operation begins, Graham suspects the surgeon is a fraud. After a botched procedure, Colin goes mad and escapes, terrorizing their neighbor, author Mary Godwin—planting the seed for her greatest creation, Frankenstein.
Can Amelia and Graham stop Colin before he destroys everyone in his path and find the tender soul still trapped inside…or will they be too late?

 My thoughts: Michelle Griep once again blew me away with her attention to details and historical accuracy with this story. I thought that the setting was interesting, and the characters came alive s I read the book. This was the perfect story to pick up in October, with it's gothic feel. I found the history that inspired Frankenstein (although, the author admits to taking some poetic licenses, hence making it historical fiction) fascinating and whole heartedly recommend this book if you like gothic, historical reads.

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

MichelleGriepMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

 

More from Michelle

Are You a Monster Too?

 

“Look at that! The fattest girl in the class is the first one to get in line for a cupcake.”

 

Those words, spoken to me in junior high by a clueless boy, are forever seared into my memory. Just because I wasn’t a willowy stick-figure who didn’t match up to magazine covers, I was singled out. Made to feel ashamed. Made to feel like a monster.

 

Have you ever felt that way?

 

Chances are you have. We are all poked and prodded at some point in our lives…which brings up a few questions. How do you deal with the sometimes ugly perceptions with which others view you? How do you stop trying to prove your worth to others, when in their eyes you are somehow worthless? Why does God allow such hurtful things to happen anyway?

 

These are the questions I attempt to tackle in my new release, Lost in Darkness. And surprisingly enough, those are the very same issues contemplated in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Now hold on. Don’t go rolling your eyeballs quite yet—which is the usual response whenever Frankenstein is mentioned.

 

Most people’s conception of this great piece of literature has been forever ruined by Hollywood’s green creature. You know the one, the giant with bolts sticking out of his neck and a stiff-legged walk. So not true. The essence of Shelley’s “horror” story is instead about a creature who struggles with heartfelt needs that can only be met by his creator. In this story, Shelley respectfully handles the subject of what we owe our creator and what our creator’s responsibility is toward us as the created…the very same questions we all struggle with.

As does Colin Balfour, a man with a heart of gold and a face that causes children to scream. In Lost in Darkness, he hopes to undergo a life-changing surgery that will end his self-imposed isolation. But what really happens is a life change for his sister Amelia and the surgeon who tries to prevent it all from happening. For indeed, even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 29

Genesis 5020, November 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

The Write Escape, November 30

Betti Mace, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Remembrancy, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 2

Daysong Reflections, December 2

For Him and My Family, December 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 3

Bigreadersite, December 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 4

For the Love of Literature, December 4

SodbusterLiving, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 5

Splashes of Joy, December 5

Back Porch Reads, December 5

Connie’s History Classroom, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 8

Pause for Tales, December 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 9

Labor Not in Vain, December 9

To Everything There Is A Season, December 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, December 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 10

Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, December 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 11 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 11

Rachael’s Inkwell, December 12

Blogging With Carol, December 12

Connect in Fiction, December 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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/13cfd/lost-in-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Debutante's Code

 

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series

Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.

Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spy craft. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors--not to mention nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner Daniel Swann, who suspects her of a daring theft.

Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents' last mission? Or will it lead her to a terrible end?

Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.

My thoughts: I have enjoyed everything that I have read by Erica Vetsch, so I was thrilled to see that she started a new series with this book and that it will be a bit different than most of the Regency fiction that is out there (not that I mind the other styles!). I was thrilled to get a copy to read and review! Lady Juliette is a fun character, as she learns to adapt to being a debutante with her parents absent on a mysterious errand to their country estate. As she begins to realize there is more to her family than meets the eye, Juliette must choose what she will do with the information as she figures out who she can trust. I loved the glimpse into the life of a debutante, as well as the mystery side of things. The missing art is a fun twist to the story! I look forward to seeing where this series goes and finding out more about the mystery that surrounds Daniel Swann. I highly recommend picking up this series!




Revived Hope

 


How many near misses does it take not to be a coincidence anymore?

Melanie Thompson has spent her entire adult life trying to overcome the mistakes of her youth. Just as everything is looking up, it all begins to unravel as one problem after another piles on top of each other, each with one goal in mind. Get her out of the way.

Determined to make a better life for herself and her daughter, and with the help of her father, Melanie looks at alternative ways to make her dream of owning a storefront for her bridal business come true. Complications with her ex-husband, the new business, and a threatening landlord all conspire against her, and everything seems lost when tragedy strikes not once, but twice.

What will it take for Melanie to accept the alternate path the Lord has laid out for her?

Revived Hope, the prequel to the romantic suspense Bay Town Series, paves the path for Melanie and Lacey’s move from Orange County to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and a new life in Bay Town.

 My thoughts: I enjoyed this well written, quick read! Melanie is a relatable character who is going through the trials that life throws at her as she tries to make a better life for her daughter and herself. I thought that the story was well written and that the book sets up the series well. I look forward to reading more by this author!

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

gc989asou6568qs2ukajudbv41._US230_Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American. Born in Okinawa, raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels are the inspirational settings for her stories. She and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with fourteen grandchildren and counting. The diversity of their 31 family members provide the inspiration for more lively characters than can be imagined. Her husband grew up in the streets of Los Angeles raised by a single working mom, and that life provides fodder for many of the conflicts of her characters.

Tackling difficult life’s trials with God’s strength are the central theme of Kathleen’s stories. She hopes to inspire her readers to trust God and with His strength, weather through and rise above trials and tragedies. If you like suspenseful stories with a thread of romance, you will enjoy Kathleen’s Bay Town Series

 

More from Kathleen

In Revived Hope, the prequel to Shattered Guilt, it’s one year earlier. Melanie Thompson races through life’s challenges while navigating the trials of being a single mother, a budding entrepreneur, and a woman of faith, all with threats of danger.

Our past doesn’t define us, as Melanie learns, but it definitely frames who we become. Thankfully, we have a gracious God who uses all of the good and the bad to bring us to a place of communion with Him…desiring His will for His glory. And ultimately, it’s always for our good.

I love my character Melanie, and I hope you will too. I’ve spent so many years getting to know her that it was fun writing this prequel. I enjoyed writing about her past and introducing you to her family in California before the move to charming fictional Bay Town in Shattered Guilt. When I wrote of Melanie’s relationship with her dad, I laughed, I cried, and I left my heart in the book…in a manner of speaking.

But Revived Hope is not all sweetness and heartache. Things get pretty testy when Melanie tackles villains head-on and sometimes all alone. Often the world encourages us to do it all, and Melanie tries. Although tragedy strikes too many times, the lessons she learns strengthen her faith and trust in the Almighty.

Lastly, Revived Hope teases with a hint of romance but sets the stage for Melanie’s love story in Shattered Guilt, Book 1, Bay Town Series. I’m excited for you to meet Melanie and her family as you root for her in all her harrowing escapades.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, November 30

Gina Holder, December 1 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 1

Texas Book-aholic, December 2

deb’s Book Review, December 3

For Him and My Family, December 4

lakesidelivingsite, December 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 6

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

Wishful Endings, December 10 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 12

Splashes of Joy, December 13 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package 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/13cff/revived-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Broken Together

 


How do you persevere when you have no more will to fight?

Jennifer and Chad Taylor had dreamed of opening a coffee and cocoa shop since before they said, “I do.” When Chad is sent to prison for murder despite claiming innocence, that dream—along with their family—is shattered.

After years of fighting for Chad’s release, Jennifer finally breaks free from her shame, anger, and hopelessness, and forges ahead with the dream the two of them once shared. With the help of their college-aged twins, she begins to move forward.

Without Chad.

When their lawyer arrives with news of evidence that may prove Chad’s innocence, a strange mixture of emotions overtakes her. Does she want Chad to return home? He isn’t the same man he once was, and she certainly isn’t the same woman. She’s worked hard to piece the remnants of their family back together, and his coming home could fracture the family once again.

It all comes down to one question. She loves her husband enough to fight for his release from prison, but does she love him enough to fight for their marriage?

Purchase here! This post contains affiliate links,

The Nutcracker's Suite

 


“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.

 My thoughts: This has been a fun read for this time of year, since we use to go see the Nutcracker when I was a kid. I loved reading this mystery based on the fairy tale. It was fun for the setting to be in the 1920's, which came alive through this re-telling! I loved the characters and the many twists and turns that happened along the way. The author did a fantastic job of taking this well known story and making it her own. I think this might be my favorite out of the series! 

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

media-headshot-sm-240x300Author 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