HANGIN’ BY A MOMENT, / by Susan May Warren and Andrea Christenson (JustRead Tour)


Hangin' by a Moment JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Hangin’ by a Moment by Andrea Christenson presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hangin' by a MomentTitle: Hangin’ By a Moment
Series: Deep Haven Collection #5
Author: Andrea Christenson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

He just wants to erase his past. She can’t seem to escape hers. But facing it might put their future in jeopardy.

The day Jack Stewart walked out of jail, he vowed to keep his conviction a secret. The whole thing was just a terrible mistake, and he did his time. Now he wants a new life in a sleepy town where no one knows his name. Deep Haven is the perfect place to start over as a chef. The last thing the former pararescue jumper wants is to get involved. But when Boone Buckam—the guy he owes for getting him out of the slammer—asks for help, how can he refuse?

Colleen Decker has already escaped evil once—as a teenager, she was kidnapped by a murderer. But she’s put all that behind her as a trauma nurse in Minneapolis. Or maybe not, because a freak mistake in the ER sends her past crashing down on her. She needs a timeout in her hometown of Deep Haven. She doesn’t plan to stay—even when she’s roped into the job of flight nurse for the town’s Crisis Response Team chopper. Colleen’s not sure why she’s drawn to danger, but she’ll be safe enough—after all, she’ll need training, and her teacher is a handsome former pararescue jumper. What could go wrong?

When Jack said he didn’t want to get involved, he especially meant his heart—but being with Colleen feels like a fresh start. He’ll even climb aboard a chopper again, despite his vows. They’re headed for a happy ending…

But secrets never stay buried in a small town. And when disaster strikes one snowy night, they’ll both have to decide if the past will destroy them…or if it just might lead them home.

Cozy up to this perfect Deep Haven drama about discovering a season of second chances.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Andrea Christenson lives in a Minneapolis, MN suburb with her husband and two daughters. When she is not busy homeschooling her girls, she loves to read anything she can get her hands on. She believes that a great loaf of artistic bread can turn a meal into a masterpiece. Andrea’s prayer is to write stories revealing God’s love.

CONNECT WITH ANDREA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills.

CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive 3 Hangin’ by a Moment ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Hangin' by a Moment JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight September 14, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 21, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


MY REVIEW

Readers return to the tightly-knit community of Deep Haven, Minnesota, with this inspirational contemporary romance, a collaboration by author Andrea Christianson and best-selling author Susan May Warren.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Andrea Christianson’s second novel is filled with memorable characters, a believable storyline, and a clean romance. Her debut novel Can’t Buy Me Love was excellent, and her second novel continues to prove she is a welcome voice in Christian fiction. Redemption, second chances, and recognizing one’s self-worth comes from God, not our circumstances are the themes in the novel. Readers can look forward to Christianson’s next Deep Haven novel in 2023. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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Review: Carved in Stone, by Elizabeth Camden

carved in stone

Carved in Stone / by Elizabeth Camden (The Blackstone Legacy ,1)
Bethany     ISBN     9780764238437
Adult     Rating:     4

Bestselling author Elizabeth Camden kicks off a new historical fiction series set in the 1900s, the Gilded Age of America.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Camden’s novels are filled with well-researched historical details, while weaving a suspenseful mystery. The faith element is minimal but evident, and the storytelling is excellent with strong, flawed characters and descriptive narratives. Patrick and Gwen are very different — Patrick is a proud Irishman, while Gwen is a woman from a wealthy family. Despite this, they are able to eventually look past that. 

Camden is a master at taking a period of time that is not well-known to readers and crafting an engaging story. In this case, the story teaches the reader about the clashing of social classes, the unions, the tetanus vaccine, and the merger of steel companies. 

Book 2, Written on the Wind, will be available in 2022.   Reviews of other books by Elizabeth Camden: A Dangerous Legacy, A Daring VentureA Desperate Hope, The Spice King, and The Gilded Lady.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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HUSBAND AUDITIONS, / by Angela Ruth Strong (I Read with Audra Blog Tour)

ABOUT THE BOOK

Husband Auditions, / by Angela Ruth Strong
Kregel     ISBN     9780825447105
Adult     Rating:     4

Author Angela Ruth Strong pens a delightful romantic comedy in this inspirational romance.

Strong writes inspirational romance with endearing characters, and this book is no exception. Husband Auditions is written in alternating points-of-view, with some of the 101 ways to catch a husband listed at the top of each chapter (the entire list is at the end of the book). 

Both Meri and Kai discover some things about themselves, their dreams, and their faith. Filled with humor, romance, and important lessons on love, Husband Auditions is a swoon-worthy light-hearted read — and not your typical happily-ever-after!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An interview with Angela Ruth Strong,
Author of Husband Auditions

How far would you go to find the perfect husband? All the way back to the 1950s? Those are the questions Meri Newberg finds herself asking in Husband Auditions (Kregel Publications/August 17, 2021), the latest release from award-winning author Angela Ruth Strong.

For Meri, it seems the world is full of happily-ever-after love, or maybe it’s only because she’s just gotten home from the wedding of her now-former roommate. As of now, Meri is the only one left in her friend group who is still single, so she inherits “the list” from a 1950s magazine that has been passed from friend to friend. The list outlines “101 Ways to Get a Husband,” and out of desperation, Meri decides there’s nothing to lose and she might as well try some of them out. After all, she can’t get any more single than she already is, can she?

Q: Please introduce us to your new book, Husband Auditions. Where did the inspiration for “the list” come from?

Husband Auditions tells the story of Meri Newberg who is the last single woman among her friend group. At the latest wedding, she’s handed a strange present—a 1950s magazine article with a list of “ways to get a husband.” She starts thinking about trying out a few of them because it sure couldn’t hurt.

Her brother’s roommate, Kai Kamaka, sees the whole thing as a great opportunity to jumpstart his career as a cameraman. He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show in the hopes of it going viral. 

I got the idea for Husband Auditions from a real article “129 Ways to Get a Husband” that was published in McCall’s magazine in the 1950s. (You may have seen it online when it was floating around Facebook a couple of years ago like I did.) Some of the suggestions were quite outlandish (ex: stand on a street corner with a lasso), and I imagined what would happen if a modern-day woman tried them out.

Q: You wrote your own list for the sake of the book. Can you share what some of your favorite activities from the list were?

While a lot of the ideas from Meri’s list were definitely inspired by the original, I did set out to create my own. I went to my reader group on Facebook for inspiration. I’m so thankful for the help in coming up with some of these. I had so much fun with them all! 

Here are just a few:

  • Wear a bandage in public and have a tale of daring to go with it.
  • Create suspense like Alfred Hitchcock by buying a convertible to go with your headscarf and cat-eye glasses.
  • Faint in front of him. Seeing a woman’s weakness awakens a man’s nature to take care of her.
  • Let your date do the ordering. Never directly ask the waiter for anything.

Q: What piece of advice from the list comes up again and again, making it almost a theme of the book?

When brainstorming the book at a writing conference, my friend and historical author Peter Leavell was intrigued by the idea of Meri carrying around a hatbox. I laughed and said, “Only you, Peter.” So, I had to stick him in the novel. He’s the character who gives better advice than anything on Meri’s list. He says, “A gentleman always chooses what he wants most over what he wants in the moment.”

This is what gets to Kai. At first Kai is content in not being a gentleman. Because being a gentleman would take work. And sacrifice. And patience. But the advice haunts him, and he has to ask himself what he really wants. He still tries to take a shortcut to getting what he wants, but Meri has also learned this lesson, and she’s not going to settle for a relationship with a man who chooses not to be a gentleman just so she can be in a relationship.

This line about choosing what you want most in life over what you want in the moment fits both character arcs. I also felt it perfectly blended the classy 1950s era with our modern day entitled society.

Q: Husband Auditions is told from both the perspectives of Meri and Kai. Did that make the plotting out and writing of the book more difficult?

I love playing with point of view. Being that this book is primarily for women, most readers will relate more to Meri’s POV, but Meri is such a character that it was fun having Kai’s perspective on her.

They are complete opposites so readers go from the end of one chapter where they see her thinking this is the worst thing that could ever happen to her to the beginning of another chapter in Kai’s head where he’s enjoying every minute of it. I also wanted to have chapters from Kai’s point of view because he doesn’t say everything he’s thinking the way Meri does. The reader needs to understand where he’s coming from so they can better root for Meri. 

Q: Tell us more about Meri and Kai. Is theirs a case of opposites attract?

Meri is a nurse who planned her whole career around what would be the best way to raise a family. She is a planner who wants nothing more than to be a wife and mother, but everyone in her friend group has gotten married except for her. She’s at the point in her life where her friends are starting to get divorced, and she’s realizing that there’s more to happily-ever-after than just walking down the aisle.

Kai doesn’t want to get married, and he tries to avoid responsibility. He works the night shift job that started out as a college internship, and he hates planning because he’s been disappointed one too many times. Sometimes he itches for more, but he’s afraid to scratch that itch—especially where Meri is involved because he cares too much for her to ever want to let her down. His mom thinks he’ll outgrow this phase like a pair of old shoes, but if he doesn’t, he’ll never be able to go the distance.

I recently read a book about dysfunctional relationships and it listed seven different heart issues. One of them was laziness, which is said to be the most frustrating for a woman to have to deal with, and it seems to be common in the younger generations. I wanted to explore the idea of a lazy but likable hero and what it would take for him to have to grow.

I gave Meri the heart issue of fear because the fear of being alone could trap her into a relationship with a man who was just going to sponge off her. I believe many women choose bad love over no love at all, and I want to encourage them to invite their significant other into the light rather than join him in the dark.

Q: Kai seems to understand Meri pretty well, but there are some things that it seems Meri misunderstands about Kai. Why didn’t Kai ever just explain himself (such as with the car)? 

Ironically, Kai prides himself on not having selfish ambition. Plus explaining himself to Meri takes work. He’d rather keep other people’s expectations of him low. He’s been let down before, and the risk of wanting more just doesn’t seem worth it to him. As Kai’s writer roommate tells Meri, he has a good backstory. Unfortunately, it could keep him from seeing his own flaws and growing…unless Meri points them out for him the way he likes to do for her.

Meri is all about growth. She’s action oriented and not afraid to go after what she wants. She hates when Kai points out that in all her haste to start a family, she might have missed out on the life God had for her along the way.

Q: What does Meri get wrong about her idealistic views of marriage? 

Meri believes that if God had the right man for her from the beginning, then she would just have to wait for God to bring him along. It scares her when she sees relationships that she’d once envied start to fall apart. She’d put so many dreams and desires on hold to become the perfect candidate for matrimony, but what if she were to finally have the perfect wedding, but the marriage didn’t last?

She realizes marriage doesn’t offer the guarantee of happiness that she’d been hoping for, and she starts pursuing her dreams again. Rather than trying to become the kind of woman a man would want to spend his life with, she’s going to be the kind of woman she would want to spend her life with. The kind of woman who can choose to be part of a healthy relationship and do the hard work it will require to keep it healthy because she’s not expecting her significant other to make her happy.

Q: One Sunday there is a sermon on marriage at church that opens both Meri and Kai’s eyes. How do each see themselves in the context of that sermon?

When the pastor starts his sermon about marriage, Meri is poised with pen and paper to take lots of notes while Kai is ready to tune out for the next twenty minutes. Neither quite expected to have their beliefs rocked by the sermon.

The passage their pastor focuses on comes from Jesus, and I used the Message translation because I love how it words the passage. In Matthew 19:12 He says, “If you are capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.” But before that, he says, “Marriage isn’t for everyone.” And Jesus lists the kinds of people who don’t get married. Meri sees herself as someone who “never gets asked.” Kai sees himself as someone who “from birth seemingly never give marriage a thought.” Key word: Seemingly.

Q: What advice would you give to single women about the desire to find love and their dreams for marriage?

The best advice I ever got was this: When two people are in a relationship, they have to be relatively close in emotional health. When one person starts to grow, it creates tension in the relationship like a rubber band stretched between two fingers. With such tension, one of three things has to happen. Either the less healthy person chooses to grow, the more healthy person has to regress, or the less healthy person leaves.

In all your relationships, choose to grow. If the person you want to be in a relationship with chooses NOT to grow, you are going to be healthier without them. Don’t ever choose “bad love” over no love at all. You are worth much more than that. And you are already loved more than you can even imagine. Let Jesus be your enough, and as you run towards Him, look for a man who wants to run by your side.

Q: Why do women think they can change something about a man once they are in a relationship? Does that ever turn out well?

Codependency says, “I control you, you control me.” So when you are trying to change someone, you are saying, “I will make you who I want you to be so I can be happy.” 

In a healthy relationship, you say, “I control me, you control you.” In that situation, you can invite them to make better choices, but you’re going to be happy either way. Like I mentioned above, this creates tension. It’s soooo hard.

In my relationship, my husband will sometimes ask, “What can I do better?” I’ll answer, and he’ll try, but he doesn’t always succeed. And vice versa. We’ve created a relationship where we try to please each other but there is also grace when we fail.

Q: How does each character grow spiritually as the story progresses?

Meri learns to pursue the purpose God has given her that she’d shied away from for fear of having to pursue it alone. She goes from feeling like a failure for being the last single woman in her group of friends to believing she is whole even without a husband. She sees the way she was holding herself back and allows herself to be true to who she was created to be.

Kai, on the other hand, realizes that there is a lot more to scripture than the “thou shall nots.” He’s really good at the shall nots but has to learn that “whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” For the first time, he sees his laziness as a sin. He steps out of his comfort zone to win Meri with a grand gesture, but he learns the hard way that genuine change takes time, and it has to happen in his relationship with God no matter what happened between him and Meri. It couldn’t be her job to grow him.

Q: Why is this book special to you as the author? 

I absolutely loved writing this book. I’d finished it, and my agent was shopping it when I got breast cancer. Through cancer, I didn’t have the energy to write. I didn’t have energy to do anything but lie on the couch and stare off into space. As I stared, I relived this book in my mind. I played it like a movie in my head. And I looked forward to this day—to the day I could share it with you. It kept me going through five months of chemo and a double mastectomy. No other book will ever hold this place in my heart.

Q: Do you think readers will get to read more about Meri and Kai in the future? What can readers look forward to next?

I’d considered writing romances for Meri’s brother and roommate, but I prefer standalone novels. My next rom/com is called Football is My Boyfriend. It’s about a woman who unexpectedly finds herself single and in possession of four college football season tickets. She invites her mom, sister, and a friend to join her at the games, not realizing she’ll see her ex at the stadium. As the women cheer together, she learns enough about teamwork to make a relationship work…but it’s going to take a Hail Mary to win her boyfriend back.

Learn more about Angela Strong at www.angelaruthstrong.com, or find her on Facebook (Angela Ruth Strong Fan Page)Instagram (@ang_strong), and Twitter (@AngelaRStrong)


Giveaway

Win a copy of Angela Ruth Strong’s HUSBAND AUDITIONS. Giveaway ends on 9/14/2021.

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway here

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js 


My Review

Strong writes inspirational romance with endearing characters, and this book is no exception. Husband Auditions is written in alternating points-of-view, with some of the 101 ways to catch a husband listed at the top of each chapter (the entire list is at the end of the book). The List was used by Meri’s friends, and is supposedly based on a 1950s article. Meri tries everything from lassoing a man on a street corner to a billboard, all in the name of snagging a husband. Kai films her attempts and watches as Meri pursues her dream, even in the face of failure. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Both Meri and Kai discover some things about themselves, their dreams, and their faith. Filled with humor, romance, and important lessons on love, Husband Auditions is a swoon-worthy light-hearted read — and not your typical happily-ever-after!

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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SET IN STONE, by David James Warren (JustRead Tour)

Set in Stone Just Read Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Set in Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Set in StoneTitle: Set in Stone
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #4
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

Rembrandt Stone is on the case of a serial killer. But when the killer finds him first, he puts the one person Rembrandt loves in his crosshairs. Now, Rembrandt must outwit time to save the people he loves.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award–winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves traveling and telling stories about life, adventure, and faith.

For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he’s never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He’s grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Set in Stone and a $15 Amazon gift card!

Set in Stone JustRead Blog Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 10, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on August 17, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


My Review

Rem continues to evolve as a character, rethinking decisions he made especially those that affect others. Faith elements are more evident, and Rem is more likeable. His relationship with Eve and his partner in this book is closer to what it was in the first book, but not everything is the same. Can Rem live with that?

Since each book ends on a cliffhanger, the reader is encouraged to start with the first book, Cast the First Stone. Each book is filled with intense action as Rem chases down leads. The plot twists will keep the reader on the edge of their seat, especially those in the final chapter of each book.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

See my reviews of the earlier books: Cast the First Stone (#1), No Stone Unturned (#2), Sticks and Stone (#3), and Set in Stone (#4). Watch for Blood from a Stone, coming in October 2021.

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

SHADOW, / by Kara Swanson (Celebrate Lit Tour)

Shadow


About the Book

Swanson-Shadow-666x1024
Book: Shadow (Heirs of Neverland, 2)
Author: Kara Swanson
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: July 13, 2021

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland.
But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kara-Swason-_-Floral-Headshot-768x768

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairytales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com.

More from Kara

One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes is this:

“Some day you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

There’s something subtly profound about the idea that the very stories which captivate our imagination and shape our perspective on good and evil as children, will reveal more gems when we return to them later. When we’ve conquered some dragons of our own.

This was especially true when I write my Peter Pan retelling duology Dust and Shadow. These YA novels literally return to a fairy tale. I took a familiar story and dug even deeper, pushing Peter himself to grow a little more and see what new bits of pixie dust and hope there may be in a familiar story.

But there is another reason why our hearts gravitate toward fairy tales.

I think GK Chesterton put it brilliantly in a quote that is actually at the very front of Shadow:

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

Because maybe even more than being reminded of the whimsy of a fairy, we need the reminder that even in a world filled with dragons – they can be killed.

We can conquer.

And that simple truth, told a hundred different ways, will always lift our hearts and our chins.

Shadow was not an easy book to write – and it is not a particularly lighthearted tale. It is raw and vulnerable and at times lives up to it’s title in some darker moments. But there is always a sense of courage there too. A reminder that even in the shadowed places, the valleys, the instances that steal our breath and twist our hearts and make us wonder if all is lost –

There is another page to turn. Another step to take.

We are not finished.

No matter how young we are, we can strap on our armor, lift our swords, and fight for the light.

We are not overcome because our strength does not come from us.

It comes from our King.

And in the end, He will make all wrongs right, and there will be a happy ending to our tale, even if it may not be the ending we expect.

Because it may not be easy to slay the dragon, but as the fairy tales do remind us –

The important thing is that they can be slain.


Blog Stops

Babbling Beck L’s Book Impressions, July 31

Inside the Wong Mind, July 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

The Write Escape, August 1

Remembrancy, August 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 2

Connect in Fiction, August 2

Blossoms and Blessings, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Texas Book-aholic, August 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 4

Losing the Busyness, August 4

For the Love of Literature, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

Mia Reads, August 6

For Him and My Family, August 7

Sodbusterliving, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

deb’s Book Review, August 8

Nancy E Wood, August 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 11

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 12

Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Book Chic Blog, August 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 13

Labor Not in Vain, August 13


Giveaway

amazon gift card

To celebrate her tour, Kara Swanson 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/110e4/shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Award-winning author Kara Swanson concludes her Peter Pan retelling in this young adult version, revealing a darker side to this children’s story.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Swanson’s character development and world building is excellent, as is her creativity in the development of the plot. While one doesn’t need to read Dust (book 1) first, it is recommended to get the full experience of Neverland in a way one hasn’t experienced before.

As this engaging story unfolds, the emotions of the characters are explored in more depth. There is more pain, action, adventure, and uncertainty that things will resolve in a positive way. The overall theme is when all looks bleak, there is light that shatters the darkness. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

2 Comments

Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

THEN CAME YOU, by Susan May Warren and Rachel D. Russell (JustRead Tour)

Then Came You JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Then Came YouTitle: Then Came You
Series: Deep Haven Collection #4
Author: Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

He doesn’t need any trouble. She can’t seem to escape it.

Detective Daniel “Boone” Buckam is more than burned out. After fourteen stellar years on the job, one bad judgment call—and, fine, a whole lot of cynicism—has forced him into a mandatory vacation in Deep Haven. If he can get his head on straight, there’s a job as Police Chief waiting for him back in his Minneapolis suburb. And then, he meets Vivien.

Actress Vivien Calhoun isn’t really a drama queen. Sure, she gets swept up in the emotions of life—but please, she’s an actress. Or, um, was until a stalker made her flee the bright lights of Broadway. Now, she’s passionate about directing her local theater production. But when she accidentally ropes an uptight police detective on vacation into her cast, she can’t help but wonder if he might be the leading man she’s always longed for.

Boone can’t help but like Vivien. He might even have a type—vivacious and bubbly, with a penchant for attracting danger. He can smell trouble even if she can’t, and is pretty sure her stalker has hunted her all the way to Deep Haven. He’ll have to stay by her side—even if it means being in her silly play—to keep her safe. But Vivien is more than he expected as she helps him discover a part of him he’s locked away…the part that said he could never love again.

It’s summertime in Deep Haven, and the fun is heating up in this laugh-out-loud, charming story.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

SMW & Rachel Russell

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Rachel D. Russell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and My Book Therapy’s Novel Academy, and is a regular contributor to the Learn How to Write a Novel blog. The mother of two teenagers, she often interrogates her husband on his own military and law enforcement experience to craft believable heroes in uniform. The rest of her time is spent cantering her horse down the Oregon trails. Visit Rachel at www.racheldrussell.com.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills.

CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Then Came You ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Then Came You JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 3, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 10, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


My Review

Readers travel back to the tightly-knit community of Deep Haven, Minnesota, with this inspirational contemporary romance, in this collaboration by best-selling author Susan May Warren and author Rachel D. Russell.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Both are looking for acceptance and approval — Vivien from her hometown, Boone from his father. Both try to live up to others’ expectations as they perceive them. Do they learn the truth about who God wants them to be, instead of letting others’ expectations direct the course of their lives? Read it and see!

 Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

Comments Off on THEN CAME YOU, by Susan May Warren and Rachel D. Russell (JustRead Tour)

Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

PINT OF NO RETURN / by Dana Mentick (Celebrate Lit Tour)


About the Book

51e44CBF7oL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_Book: Pint of No Return

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release date: May 25, 2021

The first in new dessert cozy mystery series! A murder in town is bound to shake things up…

After her divorce from her thrice-married embezzler husband, Trinidad Jones is finally ready for a fresh start. So when she’s left one of ex’s businesses in Upper Sprocket, Oregon, she decides to pack up her dog, cash in her settlement, and open her dream business: the Shimmy and Shake Shop, introducing the world to her monster milkshakes. And even with a couple sticky situations underway, namely that the other two ex-wives also call Sprocket home, Trinidad’s life seems to be churning along smoothly.

That is, until she discovers her neighbor, the Popcorn King, head down in his giant popcorn kettle. When one of Trinidad’s fellow ex-wives is accused of the murder and Upper Sprocket descends into mayhem, it’s going to take a supersized scoop of courage to flush out the killer.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Dana Mentink is a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harvest House, and Poisoned Pen Press.

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

Freakshakes. The name says it all, right? Allow me to explain. A freakshake is a milkshake festooned with so many extras (sprinkles, cookies, candy, donuts, cake, slabs of pie) that it is hardly liftable. It is the stuff my sugar fantasy dreams are made of!

Now picture a freakshake shop called the Shimmy and Shake in the quaint and quirky town of Upper Sprocket in Eastern Oregon. Known as the “Swiss Alps” of Oregon, this fictional place is the new home to a woman named Trinidad Jones, a lady starting out on the second phase of her life after her husband’s betrayal. Sprinkle in a dose of Papa Luis, her darling Cuban grandfather (inspired by my own Cuban grandfather) who drives a classic Buick, and a devoted service dog flunk out named Noodles.

You know what’s missing? A murder, of course! That happens shortly after Trinidad opens her new shop, and from there on out it’s a sticky, spine tingling, sweet and satisfying and slightly funny adventure in mystery land. I had an absolute blast writing the first installment in this series, and I’m knee deep in the second as I write this. Thank you for coming along on the adventure and I hope it’s as satisfying as a monster milkshake!


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 25

The Avid Reader, June 25

The Write Escape, June 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 26

Texas Book-aholic, June 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 27

Blogging With Carol, June 27

Inklings and notions, June 28

Genesis 5020, June 28

Among the Reads, June 29

Daysong Reflections, June 29

Bigreadersite, June 29

For Him and My Family, June 30

Betti Mace, June 30

Worthy2Read, July 1

deb’s Book Review, July 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 2

Through the Fire blogs, July 2

EmpowerMoms, July 2

Blossoms and Blessings, July 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 3

Lighthouse-Academy, July 4

Labor Not in Vain, July 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 6

Vicky Sluiter, July 6

Simple Harvest Reads, July 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

She Lives To Read, July 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 7

KarenSueHadley, July 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 8


Giveaway

Pint of No Return Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a a signed copy of Pint of No Return, an ice cream bowl and spoon set, and a $30 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/10e05/pint-of-no-return-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Mentink is known for her engaging stories involving animals, and this book is no exception. Noodles is an adorable Labrador who flunked emotional comfort training, yet he manages to comfort others in times of need. She also develops a diverse cast of quirky characters.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

After plot twists and red herrings are revealed, Trinidad finally discovers the person behind the vandalism of her shop and the murder of her neighbor. While not an inspirational mystery, it was a clean, easy read — a delicious cozy mystery! Readers will eagerly look forward to the next book.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

1 Comment

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BENEATH THE FORSAKEN CITY / by Carla Laureano (Celebrate Lit Tour)


beneath-the-forsaken


About the Book

Laureano-Beneath-the-Forsaken-City-663x1024

Book: Beneath the Forsaken City (The Song of Seare, 2)

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: June 8, 2021

With a storm on the horizon, who will stand against the darkness?

Conor and Aine have barely escaped Seare with their lives. Conor knows he must return to find the harp that could end the Red Druid’s reign of terror, but he must first see Aine safely to her family home on the isle of Amanta. When an unnatural storm tears them apart, they find themselves in even more danger than that which they fled.

Because magic is not the only thing to fear in Aine’s homeland, where the Sofarende invaders harry the coasts and shifting clan alliances make it impossible to know who to trust. Conor and Aine must cling to the whispers of Comdiu’s plans for them and their enduring love for one another, even when the future looks darkest.

But with betrayal at every turn, will they give into fear? Or will they learn to depend on Comdiu completely … before all hope is lost?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Carla Laureano is the two-time RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy.

A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

More from Carla

Fictional Magic … and Why It Matters to Us

The first book in the Song of Seare series introduced the culture, religion, and characters of my fictional universe, but it’s this second book, Beneath the Forsaken City, that really delves into the magic of the world, both light and dark.

The light magic in the series comes directly from Comdiu (their version of the Christian God), given as gifts to his people to be used in His service. I approached the creation of this magic much as the real-world church views spiritual gifts: everyone might have a different gift, some people may have more than one, but all of them are meant to be used within the context of God’s commands and promises. They come from a purely good source, but when used for our own glory or for selfish ends or even just without full understanding, they have the potential to be twisted into something that’s harmful or ineffective. In Beneath the Forsaken City, Aine learns how carefully she must wield her powers in order not to sow discord in those around her; Conor must come to grips with the limits and the boundaries of his own abilities, battling the ever-present temptation of pride.

The dark magic, on the other hand, comes from the Adversary either in the form of sorcery or in the powers of the sidhe, the spirits who haunt the isle of Seare and beyond. For this, I delved both into the Celtic myths and fairie tales as well as neo-pagan rituals, particularly for details on scrying. I approached the topic thinking it was a somewhat harmless, if ineffective, practice and left with a deep sense of spiritual unease—this is the type of thing the Bible warns against when it forbids divination and witchcraft. Consequently, when Conor is approached with the opportunity to scry for an answer he desperately needs, he battles the temptation of his own desires against his very clear understanding that it’s dark, forbidden magic.

Some of this may seem academic to the modern Christian reader—most of us aren’t going to be tempted by dark magic or pagan rituals. But I meant it to reflect a warning and a lesson in our larger walk with Christ. Things that come from darkness can never be used for light, even when our intentions are good—God has forbidden them for a reason, because of their danger to ourselves, others, or the integrity of our own souls. Even the gifts and abilities that have been God-given for the use of His kingdom can be corrupted by sin if we’re not anchored to the heart and purpose of Christ.

That’s why my deepest wish is that readers of Beneath the Forsaken City will look beyond the fantasy elements of Seare to the real-world lessons beneath—and be both warned and encouraged in their own spiritual walks.


Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 27

Worthy2Read, June 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 28

Inklings and notions, June 29

Texas Book-aholic, June 30

For Him and My Family, July 1

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 3

deb’s Book Review, July 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 6

Blogging With Carol, July 7

Labor Not in Vain, July 8

Mia Reads, July 8

A Baker’s Perspective, July 9


Giveaway

Beneath the Forsaken City Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away the grand prize package of a limited-edition hardcover of Beneath the Forsaken City and a sterling silver Celtic pendant!!

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/10e08/beneath-the-forsaken-city-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Laureano weaves in Celtic elements (ancient history, mythology, druids, etc.) in the Sword of Seare trilogy. Originally published in 2015 under C. E. Laureano, this faith-based series is back in print with a new publisher and some additional material. The author’s note about her research is particularly interesting.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Known for her inspirational contemporary romances, Laureano creates a fantasy world that will delight epic fantasy and Christian fiction readers because it includes strong main characters, as well as a clear battle between good and evil. Her characters face betrayal, faithfulness, death, and love as they continue on their journey. The books should be read in order, as they build on one another. The second book is filled with more emotion, more faith journeys, more action, testing of their devotion to one another, and more hope for the future, despite the overwhelming odds against them.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

1 Comment

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DARK THREAT, / by Kimberly Rose Johnson (Celebrate Lit Tour)

Dark-Threat


About the Book

WEB-KIMBERLY-ROSE-JOHNSON-DARK-THREAT-200x300

Book:Dark Threat (Protection, Inc., 4)
Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release date: June 1, 2021

Reporter Trinity Lockhart pursues a story
but then unwittingly becomes the story.

Acting on a tip from an anonymous source, Trinity investigates an art trafficking ring at a high-end Seattle gallery. She turns to handsome FBI agent Kyle Richards for help after being spotted by the crooks.

Kyle is drawn to the feisty reporter, but he can’t afford a beautiful distraction when lives are at stake. He must trust his friends at Protection Inc. to watch over Trinity while he investigates the gallery.

Will this couple overcome the impossible odds threatening to keep them apart?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes romantic suspense and mystery with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

More from Kimberly

Dark Threat features FBI agent Kyle Richards. We first met Kyle in book one of the Protection Inc. series where he joined the team while working undercover for the FBI. He has since become an honorary member of the team and has been in every book since.

When I set out to write this series I planned to only feature the team members, but Kyle is practically part of the team, so he needed his own story too. I thoroughly enjoyed getting into Kyle’s head for this book.

As with most books, this one took research. Through the years I’ve done all kinds of research to understand the occupations of my characters. For the characters occupations in Dark Threat I did some different kind of research than I’ve done in the past.

I really wanted to understand how FBI agents think and operate so I listened to an audio book written by a former agent. The man was rough around the edges but it really helped me understand the atmosphere in which agents work. Then I read a book written by a female, former CIA as well as FBI agent. It was fascinating to see the differences between the agencies from a former agent’s point of view.

Trinity, the female lead in Dark Threat is a crime beat reporter. I pretty much knew nothing about the life of a television reporter, so I watched You Tube videos filmed by actual reporters about a day in their lives as reporters. One young woman did a series of videos, which I found extremely helpful. Another had the camera following her on the job. From her I learned about what it’s like to go out on location and how meal times during her day on the job were never guaranteed. She’d grab a bite when she could and sometimes she wouldn’t even be able to finish it because she had to rush to a breaking story.

Finally, I needed to better understand the art world. I have a college friend who is an amazing artist. She has a gallery in Boise, Idaho. I contacted her and picked her brain about art and art galleries.

As for anything related to law enforcement I asked my uncle who is a retired police officer.

The thing I loved most about talking to people about their professions is that one question often snowballed into a deeper conversation about the topic. My friend and my uncle would tell me things I didn’t even know I needed to know.

I think Dark Threat required the most research of all the books I’ve written. I’m not a huge fan of doing research, but I truly enjoyed every minutes of it for this book.

I hope you will enjoy reading Dark Threat even more than I enjoyed writing it!


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 12

Texas Book-aholic, June 13

Blogging With Carol, June 13

Inklings and notions, June 14

Blossoms and Blessings, June 14

For Him and My Family, June 15

Bizwings Blog, June 15

deb’s Book Review, June 16

The Sacred Line, June 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 17

CarpeDiem, June 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 18

Betti Mace, June 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 19

Bigreadersite, June 19

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 21

Daysong Reflections, June 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 22

HookMeInABook, June 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 23

Kayem Reads , June 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 24

Worthy2Read, June 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 25 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 25


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kimberly 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/10d55/dark-threat-celebration-tour-giveaway



My Review

Johnson creates a satisfying mystery with a dash of clean romance, suspense, faith elements, and humorous banter in this inspirational novel. Characters from her earlier books make an appearance. Although an adult book, this could be read by older teens without posing any concerns.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

The fifth book in this series, Personal Threat, is due in September 2021.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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A FAITH UNLEASHED: LIVING IN THE HOPE OF GOD’S RESCUE, / by Joshua J. Masters 

A Faith Unleashed: Living in the Hope of God’s Rescue, / by Joshua J. Masters 
Bold Vision Books     ISBN     9781946708618
Adult     Rating:     4

Faith Unleashed

Author Joshua J. Masters pens a book about one’s relationship with God using the story of his rescue dog, Franklin, as a framework.

In A Faith Unleashed, Franklin is rescued from a puppy mill and given a new life in Joshua Masters’ family. Masters uses Franklin’s story to draw spiritual truths for our lives – we were in need of rescue, and our past does not define us. We receive new identities in Christ. The book also traces Masters’ spiritual journey from a chained faith to a faith unleashed, a life of joy.

The chapters follow Franklin’s journey from abused puppy to a well-loved family member. The change takes time and lessons must be learned. Masters explores what it means to grow in one’s faith, to deepen one’s relationship with God, and to find hope for the future. The author gives snippets of Franklin’s story with scripture and reflections to consider. Each chapter includes a few discussion questions, in addition to a final chapter with actionable steps, and an index of key themes. 

Masters  presents Franklin’s story, making comparisons with a Christian’s spiritual journey in this short book (208 pages). One wishes that photos of Franklin were included throughout the text as well as deeper questions. Still the book makes a good choice for individuals and small groups.

In addition to authoring A Faith Unleashed, Joshua J. Masters is a speaker and author of several other books, with a heart for encouraging others.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors.

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A FAITH UNLEASHED – Franklin’s Rescue Story

Franklin’s rescue story will unleash your soul to experience God’s love!

Check it out here: https://amzn.to/3fjojH2 #afaithunleashed

May be an image of text that says 'JOSHUAJ.MASTERS JOSHUA Life tries to Unleashed A FAITH Living in he Hope of God's Rescue convince us we're alone and Rescue is coming! unwanted...but Meet Franklin the rescue pup on amazon Franklin Thanklin aFaithUnleashed.com'

Can’t wait to share my thoughts on this book soon.

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DUSK’S DARKEST SHORE Giveaway Ends June 15! Enter now!

GIVEAWAY

Grey weathered parchment

Enter to win a fun prize pack inspired by the book and its English setting that includes: 
– a copy of Dusk’s Darkest Shores
– a canvas bag to carry your latest reads
– a fun pair of Jane Austen socks
– Novel Teas’ English Breakfast tea
– “Drink tea, read books, and be happy” tea spoon
– “Let your faith be bigger than your fear” mug
– Black currant preserves from England
– Wax Lyrical candle from England

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read my review of Dusk’s Darkest Shores?

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STICKS AND STONE, / by David James Warren (JustRead Tour)

Sticks and Stone JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Sticks and Stone by David James Warren,
hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Sticks and StoneTitle: Sticks and Stone
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #3
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

When Rembrandt goes back to stop the untimely death of his partner, he finds himself wrapped up in the disappearance of two missing children in the middle of an epic Minneapolis blizzard. But, can he save the children in time–and if he does, will he also be able to save his partner?

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing as DAVID JAMES WARREN.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award–winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves traveling and telling stories about life, adventure, and faith.

For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he’s never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He’s grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of the first three books of The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone!

Sticks and Stone JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 8, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 15, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


My Review

This is the third time Rem has traveled back in time to solve a cold case, and the future reality keeps changing. The books are filled with intense action as Rem chases down the leads, and the plot twists will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Rem revisits the decisions he made earlier, ones that led to a future he cannot embrace. He is less self-absorbed and more introspective, reflecting more on how his choices affect others. Faith elements are becoming more developed, as Rem starts thinking more of others. This makes Rem more likeable and heroic. It is interesting to see his relationship with Eve and his partner in different scenarios and watch them evolve.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

Comments Off on STICKS AND STONE, / by David James Warren (JustRead Tour)

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Review: BENEATH THE FORSAKEN CITY, / by Carla Laureano

Beneath the Forsaken City, / by Carla Laureano (The Song of Seare, 2)
Enclave     ISBN     9781621841494
Adult     Rating:     4

Award-winning author Carla Laureano’s second novel in her medieval Celtic-inspired epic fantasy series is filled with adventure, romance, magic, faith, and superstition.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Known for her inspirational contemporary romances, Laureano creates a fantasy world that will delight epic fantasy and Christian fiction readers because it includes strong main characters, as well as a clear battle between good and evil. Her characters face betrayal, faithfulness, death, and love as they continue on their journey.

The books should be read in order, as they build on one another. The second book is filled with more emotion, more faith journeys, more action, testing of their devotion to one another, and more hope for the future, despite the overwhelming odds against them.

See also The Oath of the Brotherhood (Book 1).

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors.

Comments Off on Review: BENEATH THE FORSAKEN CITY, / by Carla Laureano

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Meet Franklin, a rescue pup, in A FAITH UNLEASHED

Meet Franklin, a rescue pup. His humorous and heartwarming tale will lead you to the ultimate source of joy!

What do you and Franklin the rescue pup have in common? His story will forever change the way you look at your own story! Find it here: https://amzn.to/3fjojH2 #afaithunleashed

Can’t wait to share my thoughts on this book later.

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Review: POWER PLAY, / by Rachel Dylan

Power Play, / by Rachel Dylan  (Capital Intrigue, 3)
Bethany House     ISBN     9780764234323
Adult     Rating:     4

power play

Award-winning author Rachel Dylan concludes her action-packed inspirational romantic suspense series with this final novel.

In Power Play, two ambassadors collapse within minutes of one another at a diplomatic dinner. One dies immediately, while the other is hospitalized in critical condition. State Department attorney Vivian Steel knows them both and witnesses it. Are they connected?

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Dylan’s fans will be delighted with fast-paced action, believable characters, faith elements, and plot twists. Characters from her earlier book make an appearance. The reader’s attention is grabbed from the first chapter. The action continues on its roller coaster pace until the final page. International relations hang in the balance as readers discover the truth behind the attacks and the person(s) who masterminded them. 

Although it could be read as a standalone, readers may find it beneficial to read Dylan’s End Game and Backlash first.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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WINDWARD SHORE, / by Sharon Hinck (Celebrate Lit Tour)

wiindward-shore


About the Book

Hinck-Windward-Shore-685x1024

Book: Windward Shore (The Dancing Realms, 3)
Author: Sharon Hinck
Genre: Christian epic fantasy
Release date: May 11, 2020

The island world of Meriel faces an old adversary and a new danger. Will the reformed Order die before it has a chance to blossom?

Storm clouds loom on the horizon as Carya and Brantley struggle to overcome wounds of the past and build a future together. The fragile new Order is on shaky ground, with too few dancers and sparse resources. Then trouble erupts—and now an insidious rebellion and a new foe threaten their entire world.

When she uncovers an old enemy behind all the destruction, Carya realizes the past is not done with her. With conflict tearing apart the dancers and villages, rimmers are soon overrun, and Carya must unite her people by leading the battle to protect the very heart of her world … or lose it all.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Hinck2015-Author-Photo-683x1024

Award-winning author Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us”— stories about ordinary women on extraordinary faith journeys. Known for their authenticity, emotional range, and spiritual depth, her novels include the groundbreaking The Sword of Lyric fantasy series and the imaginative new The Dancing Realms series, which began with the Christy Award–winning Hidden Current and was followed by Forsaken Island. Sharon’s writing has also been honored with three Carol Awards. For this latest series, she drew on her experience as a ballet teacher, dancer, and choreographer.

More from Sharon

Windward Shore is the final book in the Dancing Realms trilogy. In the earlier books, Carya and Brantley have already faced down a corrupt Order, a world that has forgotten truth, and a whole new island that has sold its soul. Yet in this new story, old enemies return—at the worst possible time. Confronting the past becomes a vital part of protecting their future.

We all face trials in life, seasons that are more challenging than we expected, opportunities to deepen our faith as we lean into God, times that test our courage. But I’ve found that sometimes the most difficult problems are those that I think I’ve already beaten—and then they rise up again. I drew from that experience to shape the new battles in Windward Shore.

Q: In the Dancing Realms series, the Maker has given dancers a special gift to serve their world. Why did you choose dance as a means for bringing provision or protection?

A: I was a dancer and choreographer for many years before becoming a writer. Dance is a means of communicating with the whole being—heart, mind, and body. So dance became a beautiful way for Carya to connect with her Maker and serve her world.

Q: What other interests shaped the series?

A: I’ve been studying cults and how people become trapped in lies, and more importantly, how they find freedom. So that concept helped me create the various traps that characters faced in all three books.

Q: What is a key theme in Windward Shore?

A: Although I write “Stories for the hero in all of us,” I recognize that we can’t always be the hero—at least not in our power. Our determination alone isn’t enough. Our Maker calls us to dependence on Him, and often He asks us to lean on others as well. That’s a key challenge that Carya faces in Windward Shore.


Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 29

Worthy2Read, May 29

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 31

Mia Reads, May 31

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 2

Woven by Words, June 2

Inklings and notions, June 3

For Him and My Family, June 4

Blogging With Carol, June 4

deb’s Book Review, June 5

For the Love of Literature, June 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 9

Simple Harvest Reads, June 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 10

Through the Fire Blogs, June 11


Giveaway

Windward Shore

To celebrate her tour, Sharon is giving away the grand prize package of the first two books of the series in hardcover (personalized and autographed), along with a book bag, several bookmarks (enough to give to friends) and an autographed bookplate to put in their copy of Windward Shore!!

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/10ca3/windward-shore-celebration-tour-giveaway



MY REVIEW

Readers are strongly encouraged to read the Christy Award–winning Hidden Current (Book 1) and Realm Award finalist Forsaken Island (Book 2), as Windward Shore builds on those earlier books. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Hinck’s epic fantasy is filled with believable, realistic characters and a fascinating world. Readers have seen Carya’s love for the Maker grow over the course of the first two books. Her trust in Him, not one’s abilities, even when responding to His call is central to this final book. Hope and redemption are the main threads throughout the book. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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CASTLE OF REFUGE, / by Melanie Dickerson (JustRead Tour)

Meadow with wildflowers under the bright sun. Summer landscape.


ABOUT THE BOOK

castle of refugeCastle of Refuge, / by Melanie Dickerson (A Dericott Tale, 2)
Thomas Nelson     ISBN     9780785234043
YA     Rating:     4

In this Ugly Duckling retelling, New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson brilliantly crafts a high-stakes, encouraging tale
about the power of love.

Ever since she was a child, Audrey wanted her life to be extraordinary. But as the daughter of a viscount born in late fourteenth-century England, the only thing expected of her was to marry—until an act of malice by her sister, Maris, four years ago damaged her face and her prospects. Though Maris was sent away, twenty-year-old Audrey is still suffering the scars of her sister’s cruelty. When her father announces his plans to marry off his damaged daughter and bring Maris home, Audrey decides to flee in search of her true destiny.

However, life outside her home is dangerous, and she soon finds herself attacked, sick, and in desperate need of help. She is taken in at Dericott Castle to be nursed back to health. While there, she decides to keep her identity a secret and work as a servant in the castle. But she doesn’t count on falling in love with the young and handsome Lord Dericott, who lost his arm several months earlier and bears scars of his own.

Meanwhile, Edwin—Lord Dericott—is curious about the new, well-educated servant’s identity. All he knows is that he’s quickly becoming smitten with her. When the man Audrey’s father wanted her to marry comes looking for her, she and Edwin must make life-changing decisions about what to believe and whether or not love is truly worth trusting.

PURCHASE: AMAZON


GIVEAWAY

(3) winners will receive a print copy of the book(US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on June 1, 2021.)

Giveaway_CastleOfRefuge_IG_JR

To enter, follow @melaniedickerson123 @tnzfiction @justreadtours & Tag 2 friends in the same comment on this post or any other hosted post of this tour. Enter up to 3x per post. 


My Review

Known for her medieval young adult retellings, Dickerson pens this Ugly Duckling retelling, with likeable characters and detailed narrative. Audrey is sweet and compassionate, even towards her sister. Edward is generous and kind, caring for those who labor under him. Edward struggles with balance, walking, and mounting his horse. He shows vulnerability, resilience, and bravery as he adapts to the loss of his arm. Audrey not only suffers the scars from the injuries her sister causes, but emotional scars from a father who ignores her abusive sister’s actions. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

The theme is finding love that looks beyond the surface to see the beauty in one’s character; there are two scarred people who find love, despite their physical and emotional scars. Both Audrey and Edward struggle in their faith as a result of their life-changing afflictions (caused by others’ actions). 

Book 3, Veil of Winter, is expected in 2022.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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CRAZY FOR YOU, / by Susan May Warren and Michelle Sass Aleckson (JustRead Tour)

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Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Crazy for You by Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Crazy for YouTitle: Crazy For You
Series: Deep Haven Collection #3
Author: Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

The problem with being related to everyone in town is that there is no one left to date…until now…but will this outsider survive his family?

Former soldier Veronica “Ronnie” Morales isn’t going to let her kid brother, Tiago, get pulled into the gangs of Minneapolis, so, seeking safety and a fresh start, she heads to sleepy Deep Haven on the north shore of Minnesota. She’s hoping to put down roots as the paramedic for the new Crisis Response Team, but it’s not easy to be the town outsider.

Fire Chief Peter Dahlquist is a peacemaker—he has to be. After he’s related to both of the Deep Haven dynasties – the Zimmermans and the Dahlquists, Deep Haven’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Worse, Peter is the holdout vote for a landmark project, which also makes him the loneliest guy in town when both sides demand that he pick sides. The only one who seems to understand his plight is the newcomer in town…his pretty, street-tough paramedic.

When Tiago finds himself caught up in small town shenanigans and the town blames Ronnie for tragedy, Peter is forced to pick sides. But will his choice cost him the home—and the woman—he loves?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Susan May Warren Michelle Sass Aleckson

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

After growing upon both the east and west coasts, Michelle Sass Aleckson now lives the country life in central Minnesota with her own hero and their four kids. She loves rocking out to 80’s music on a Saturday night, playing Balderdash with the fam, and getting lost in good stories. Especially stories that shine grace. And if you’re wondering, yes, Sass is her maiden name. Visit her at www.michellealeckson.com.

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills.

CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Crazy for You ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Crazy for You JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 1, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


MY REVIEW

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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DUSK’S DARKEST SHORE, / by Carolyn Miller (I Read with Audra Blog Tour)


ABOUT THE BOOK

Dusk's Darkest Shores cover
Dusk’s Darkest Shores, / by Carolyn Miller (Regency Wallflowers, 1)
Kregel     ISBN     9780825446535
Adult     Rating:     5

About the series:

While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.”


How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?

Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England’s beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it’s a peaceful life.

That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary’s caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer–but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he’s plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?

Adam wants no charity, but he’s also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal–and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.

Best-selling author Carolyn Miller is back with a fresh series that will not only thrill readers eager for more of her work, but bring in new fans looking for beautiful writing, fascinating research, deftly woven love stories, and real faith lived out in the Regency period.

Click here to read an excerpt.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 

Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)


An Interview with Carolyn Miller, Author of Dusk’s Darkest Shores

While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. The new trilogy begins with Dusk’s Darkest Shores (Kregel Publications/May 18, 2021/ISBN: 9780825446535/$15.99), which tells the story of a meek wallflower who finds herself helping a returning war hero whose dreams have been plunged into darkness.

Q: Please introduce us to your new Regency Wallflowers series, and specifically to your latest release, Dusk’s Darkest Shores.

After writing nine books in the Regency Brides trilogies, I wanted to focus on stories that were less about the rich, beautiful, and titled aristocracy and more about ordinary people. Specifically, I wanted to tell the stories of women who were slightly older and who were considered “wallflowers” or those with very few, if any, matrimonial prospects. I have found that Regency fiction is often populated by an amazing number of single, rich, young, and handsome dukes instead of these far more relatable women and situations. With the Napoleonic Wars having killed many young men in Regency times, it seems a fair assumption that not all women would have married, so I wanted this new series to focus a little more on what that would have been like, and the challenges a woman might have faced given these extremely limited circumstances.

For Mary Bloomfield, the heroine of Dusk’s Darkest Shores, she is crucially aware that her age and situation mean she is unlikely to wed. She helps her father, the local doctor, and is content with her lot in life, until Adam Edgerton, a local war hero, returns. He’s the victim of an insidious disease which has crippled his prospects. As Mary helps Adam fight to find a future, frustration and antipathy develop into friendship and esteem, then into something deeper. This story is set in England’s beautiful Lake District, and the setting as well as the social and medical challenges of that time make for fascinating reading—something I really enjoyed researching, and I’m sure readers will enjoy too. 

Q: What drew you to write Regency fiction? What are some of the popular trademarks of stories set in the time period?

I’ve been a fan of Jane Austen’s works for many years (decades!), and then my sister introduced me to Georgette Heyer, a British novelist whose books essentially established the Regency genre. Once I started reading Heyer, well, I knew I had found my niche. After writing several prize-winning contemporary romance stories, I was told that US publishers wouldn’t want them due to their Australian settings and characters, so I challenged myself to write a Pride and Prejudice–style novel, with some of Georgette Heyer’s wit, and an unapologetic faith thread. That first book drew a publisher’s attention and became The Elusive Miss Ellison, the first book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series, which led to two more Regency Brides series. 

Some of the hallmarks of Regency fiction include the focus on aristocracy and its trappings, such as the country estate and the town house, balls, and marrying for money versus marrying for love. Many of these books try to emulate Georgette Heyer’s witty dialogue, and focus on the importance of social behavior and its impact on society as much as on the details of gowns. It seems rare to find Regency fiction that focuses on the lives of the working classes or those for whom finances were not so easy to attain, probably because it doesn’t offer the glamour of a Mr. Darcy–type strolling around the hallowed halls of his magnificent Pemberley estate. Many of those Jane Austen–style romances lead people into a fantasy of life in the Regency era. While I’ve written my share of fairy-tale-type fiction, I like to write stories that present relatable people with realistic challenges, woven with faith, love, and humor.

Q: Tell us more about England’s Lake District in the 1810s. What was life like for women especially?

Like many places of this time, the Lake District in the north of England was suffering the effects of many of its men being involved in war, which severely impacted the small villages and rural farming communities. These sheep-tending communities saw the women take on roles that perhaps were not considered as usual when the men were around and able to fulfil their farming and regular duties. 

For many women in this time period, their lives were certainly not focused on the latest fashions from London but rather on ensuring they had enough food to feed their families by whatever means possible. Families might grow some of their own food, but many women had to turn their hand to whatever they could to make ends meet. It was a hard life, a very practical life, with little room for whims and fancies, especially for those in the middle and lower classes. That is why village functions such as dances were considered the ultimate in entertainment. Women were often at the beck and call of their family and social obligations, with little room for indulging the softer emotions, let alone the luxury of falling in love. 

Q: Can you tell us more about your leading lady, Mary Bloomfield, who is quite self-sufficient and, in some ways, independent?

As the daughter of the local doctor, Mary Bloomfield is put into situations that many “proper” young women would never be exposed to. But as her practical, no-nonsense father values her commonsense and useful ways, she is placed in circumstances most unusual for a woman. This includes the preparation and mixing of medicines, as well as the care of patients that leads her to adopt far more independent conduct than most other women her age and younger. 

Mary is naturally compassionate; her older age, steady temperament, and caring nature mean she is well respected in the community, allowing her some degree of leeway from the usual social expectations. Like Elizabeth Bennet, she is partial to an unchaperoned stroll, although Mary always has a purpose, such as visiting a sick neighbor, and usually has her basket on hand (filled with medicine or supplies).

Q: What are Mary’s views on marriage? Does being past “marriagable age” bother her?

In Regency times, many women were thought to be “left on the shelf” if they remained unwed many years past twenty. Mary is wryly aware of her lack of marriageability, especially as she is older and is considered less attractive than other single ladies in the village. She has accepted her lot in life, is content, and has quite given up any notions of romance. 

She does not allow this to bother her, instead busying herself in good works, helping her father with his work, visiting the sick in their community, and helping to care for them in the little cottage infirmary that is part of their house. She’d rather use her time for the benefit of others than wistfully daydream on what she knows can never be.

Q: The Bloomfield sisters at first appear to have many differences but are more alike in some ways than they would ever like to admit. Can you tell us a little bit about the sisters and how they butt heads?

Mary’s own mother died when she was very young, so when her father remarries and another daughter is born many years younger than Mary, it is not surprising that they don’t always see eye to eye. Joanna Bloomfield seems to be somewhat spoiled and focused on flirting and fashion. Mary is keen to encourage her sister to think of how her time could be spent more productively—which is not always well received. One of their chief challenges concerns how Joanna treats her would-be suitor, and they also clash over Joanna’s friend Emily and the advice Mary offers her when Emily’s injured sweetheart returns from war.

Deep down, Joanna has a moral compass almost as strong as Mary’s own, and she is equally candid in her assessment of what she perceives as Mary’s shortcomings. But she is also loyal and loving, and doesn’t hesitate to step beyond the realm of propriety to interfere when it seems as if Mary is about to lose it all. I enjoy writing stories about sisters, having a sister of my own and two daughters. It’s the ups and downs of such relationships that readers have responded to so well, especially in sister-based series such as Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley. I’m sure readers will connect warmly with these sisters in Dusk’s Darkest Shores, too.

Q: How does Mary’s faith play a role in her daily life? What kind of spiritual promptings does she receive?

Mary is a Christian, someone who tries to follow what Jesus says in her daily life and practice rather than merely offering lip service and an appearance in church each Sunday. She wrestles with her faith, believing far more than what the church edicts allow for, especially in things pertaining to healing and the like. 

Mary prays, pauses to listen for a response, and is quick to follow those inner urges to do certain things, such as visit a particular villager or pray for someone. She is conscious that the Holy Spirit has used her to see others healed in the past, and this has built confidence that God will use her in this way again. I love the fact that I can use fiction to talk about some very true things, and some of the incidents mentioned in this book reflect the healings my husband and I have seen in our ministry work.

Q: Adam Edgerton comes back from the war with an illness that has changed his life. What challenges would someone in Adam’s situation face in 1811?

For the men who fought during the Napoleonic Wars, there were many diseases that could fell more soldiers than bullets would. Flushing sickness, or Walcheren fever, was one of those illnesses. Very little was known about it at the time, given that it held similar characteristics to malaria, typhoid, and typhus. The lack of medical knowledge meant there was a lack of medical assistance to be offered, leading to thousands of men dying from disease rather than war. Some of these men who recovered enough were then sent from the Netherlands to fight in Portugal, while others were forced to return to England, where they continued to be plagued by fevers which gradually weakened many of the men and led to early graves. 

For soldiers like Adam, who were used to being strong, healthy, and independent, being forced to become dependent on others would have felt humbling. To lose one’s hope is one of the most devastating things in life, and for returned soldiers who could not fulfill the roles they always imagined themselves doing, it was traumatic. How could one provide for a family if you could not keep a job? In 1811, obviously the social and financial situations of families and individuals were not supported by a form of social security, so it became very necessary to rely on the support of one’s neighbors and the church. For men returning from war who were facing physical, mental, and emotional challenges, their transition back into a peaceful community would have been most trying. Not only were they facing the impact of illness and injury on their own lives but also on their families, including such things as the future legacy of a farm that had existed in the family for generations.  

 Q: Mary’s father is the town doctor who treats Adam. Can you tell us more about the medical treatments of the day and what kind of training doctors would have? How much research did you have to do in regard to that part of the story?

In Regency times there were a number of ranks of medical professionals. A surgeon was often apprenticed to an older doctor, learning on the job to eventually attain a role equivalent to our modern-day general practitioners. An apothecary is like our modern-day pharmacist, and they mixed herbs and the like to create medicines to be sold to the public. A physician underwent the most training of all and was skilled in such things as anatomy, physiology, and surgery, and had experience in hospitals. Some of the best hospitals for training included Guy’s Hospital in London (where poet John Keats studied) and Edinburgh, where Mary’s father trained.

Medical treatments in the Regency era varied, as did their effectiveness. Doctors might not receive a great deal of formal education, but they could be well versed in the use of folk remedies and practices that had proved themselves in the past. Without anesthesia, antiseptics, or antibiotics, doctors used a blend of observation, experience, and whatever training they had to diagnose and treat patients. I found The Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper to be extremely helpful in understanding some of the treatments of the day, such as the use of flowers like feverfew in reducing inflammation and temperature. Reading some of the journals, letters, and medical accounts of those suffering from Walcheren fever were invaluable in understanding more about the disease. It was really interesting to weave Regency-appropriate medical knowledge and treatments into this story, and to detail the making of some of the medicines. 

Q: Due to his condition, Adam finds himself in some dark places, in more ways than one. What does he struggle with spiritually?

One of the biggest questions a person can face when confronted with challenging circumstances is “Why is this happening to me?” Linked to this is the question of purpose, and when one’s purpose seems to be ripped away, the question becomes, “Who am I anymore?” Adam always thought he’d be a certain type of person and have a certain kind of life, and when the consequences of war affect this, he’s forced to confront these questions of purpose and lost hope. 

Connected to this is his challenge to trust God when he feels like God has failed him. It takes time for him to realize that God has placed people in his life who can help him envisage a new future, learn to trust God (and those people), and understand that God’s ways and a future entrusted to Him can lead to a life so much greater than what we can know or understand. 

Q: How does the relationship between Mary and Adam evolve from nurse and patient to friends? 

Mary is no simpering, fainthearted miss—she might appear meek to some people, but she is well able to speak honestly and with bluntness. Adam needs someone like Mary to speak the truth others are too afraid to, and he reluctantly starts to appreciate the fact that she doesn’t tiptoe around him. Her ability to help him almost like a modern-day physical therapist means they spend a great deal of time together. He soon learns to value her wry humor and kind ways, and he discovers that the things he once thought important were less than necessary after all. They ultimately are a great match of wit, intelligence, faith, and others-focused service, which deepens their friendship into esteem and then love.

I enjoyed writing and developing these scenes, and have had early readers and endorsers write to me to say they found the final scenes of Dusk’s Darkest Shores to be among the most romantic they have read, so I hope other readers enjoy this too.

Q: Without sharing too much, what kind of scandal do Mary and Adam find themselves in?

In Regency times it was considered somewhat scandalous for a single man and woman to spend time alone together. Even writing a letter to a single gentleman or lady would raise eyebrows! So, when one of Mary’s training sessions goes awry, they are forced to explain themselves in the only socially acceptable way possible—for which Mary does not wish to oblige. 

Older, wiser, and already aware that she is “on the shelf,” Mary is unwilling to bow to social expectations and accept the role her small-minded village neighbors think she now must play. She has now realized that she does not want scandal or the opinions of others to influence the rest of her life, and she is willing to pay the price, heartbreaking as that might be. It was really good to write a story of an empowered woman, someone who stood against the societal flow and made her own choices, given that wasn’t an option for many women at that time at all.

Q: What can readers expect as the Regency Wallflowers series continues? What else can your readers look forward to later this year?

I’ve really loved turning the focus from aristocratic foibles to those situations and people that are far more relatable. Next year sees the release of Midnight’s Budding Morrow, a Gothic-inspired romance set in a crumbling castle by the sea in Northumberland, which delves into matters of belonging, acceptance, and family. The following year sees the release of Dawn’s Untrodden Green, which sees a very different Regency wallflower encounter someone who may change her mind about marriage, in a book I consider to be one of my most humorous yet.

Later this year, I’m launching two more contemporary releases as part of the Independence Islands series, Regaining Mercy (about what happens when a failed reality TV star returns to her narrow-minded community) and Restoring Hope  (which asks whether opposites who attract can ever really last). Just in time for New Year’s, I have another contemporary romance releasing, The Break Up Project, the first in the Original Six series, set in Boston and involving a preschool teacher and a hockey player. 

Lots of happy reading ahead!

Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)


GIVEAWAY

Grey weathered parchment

Enter to win a fun prize pack inspired by the book and its English setting that includes: 
– a copy of Dusk’s Darkest Shores
– a canvas bag to carry your latest reads
– a fun pair of Jane Austen socks
– Novel Teas’ English Breakfast tea
– “Drink tea, read books, and be happy” tea spoon
– “Let your faith be bigger than your fear” mug
– Black currant preserves from England
– Wax Lyrical candle from England

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My Review

Award-winning Australian author Carolyn Miller pens her first inspirational novel in a new Regency trilogy, featuring single women facing the reality of being unmarried for the rest of their lives, due to their age and the limited availability of men after so many were killed in the Napoleonic Wars.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Miller presents a well-researched Regency story to her readers and new fans, complete with descriptive narratives, a faith-filled love story, and complex, realistic characters. Adam wrestles with “Why did this happen to me?” as he adapts to his new reality. The story is permeated with the themes of love and faith amidst the darkness. The book’s cover is beautiful, a nod to the luscious Lake District countryside. The second book, Midnight’s Budding Morrow, will be available in 2022.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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Announcing POWER PLAY, / by Rachel Dylan

Coming in June 2021!

Haven’t read the earlier books in this series? Here are my reviews of End Game (Book 1) and Backlash (Book 2).

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Introducing DUSK’S DARKEST SHORES, / by Carolyn Miller

A review for this delightful Regency novel will be posted next week!

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Review: WINDWARD SHORE, / by Sharon Hinck

Windward Shore, / by Sharon Hinck (The Dancing Realms, 3)
Enclave     ISBN     9781621841678
Young Adult/Adult     Rating:     5

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Award-winning author Sharon Hinck concludes her science fiction/fantasy series inspired her experience in dance and creative gifts.

In Windward Shore, newly married Carya and Brantley are expectant parents, building a life together. The new Order faces a challenging future with dwindling resources, both in terms of dancers and financial support from Meriel’s villages. Carya, a former dancer, is asked to help discover the reason behind the withdrawal of support.

Her discovery unearths an old enemy behind the rebellion, one who is creating distrust of the reformed Order. Can Carya unite Meriel’s people or will they destroy each other? What about the foelanders who threaten Meriel, the island world?

Hinck’s epic fantasy is filled with believable, realistic characters and a fascinating world. Readers have seen Carya’s love for the Maker grow over the course of the series. In this final book, she learns it is her trust in Him, not her abilities, that is important when responding to His call. She is not responsible for every part of His plan and needs to ask for others’ help. Hope and redemption, love and forgiveness are the main threads throughout the book.

Readers are strongly encouraged to read the Christy Award–winning Hidden Current (Book 1) and Realm Award finalist Forsaken Island (Book 2), as Windward Shore builds on those earlier books.

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Highly recommended for high school libraries and adult collections in public libraries. Adults, older teens, and young adults readers, as well as fans of science fiction/fantasy series will embrace this series.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors.

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TO SAVE A KING, / by Rachel Hauck (Celebrate Lit Tour)

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About the Book

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Book: To Save A King
Author: Rachel Hauck
Series: True Blue Royal
Genre: Christian Royal Romance
Release date: May 8, 2021

A modern-day fairytale of rescue and hope
from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck

Growing up in small town Hearts Bend, Tennessee, Gemma Stone had big dreams. So she headed to Hollywood to make her mark in the world.

But dreams have a way of becoming nightmares. When she returns home twelve years later, she’s limping through life and harboring a dark secret.

Running a rescue ranch and raising her friends’ orphaned daughter is her sole mission now. All the while she’s well aware these defenseless ones are also rescuing her.

HRH Crown Prince John has learned a royal title cannot shield him from heartbreak. He had the perfect life as heir to the revered House of Blue, the royal dynasty of Lauchtenland, and married the love of his life. Then tragedy changed everything. Is there any way to be saved from a life of grief?

When he finds himself in Hearts Bend on a mission for his mother, Queen Catherine, he catches up with a good friend–country music great Buck Mathews. He has no intention of joining the 4th of July fun until he’s cajoled into a three-legged race with the beautiful Gemma Stone.

The disastrous race leads to a quick friendship. They are easy and comfortable around one another because love is absolutely not an option.

John desperately wants to hold onto the memories of his wife while Gemma refuses to trust her heart to any man. Even a prince.

When trouble in Lauchtenland calls the prince home, he realizes how much Gemma has rescued him. Saved him and restored his hope for his role as future king.

For Gemma, falling in love with the prince must be quenched. If it weren’t for her past, she’d give him her heart in a second. How could she risk bringing her shame to the House of Blue and the world stage?

However, she’s not the only one who can rescue and heal the wound. If she saved Prince John, why can’t he save her? And when he tries, will she have the courage to say yes to the best role of her life?

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!” Susan May Warren, USA Today bestselling, RITA award-winning novelist

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Rachel-Hauck-LR-4-768x513

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie. Three more of her titles are under film contract.

Rachel was awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A retired member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Executive Board, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

In the real world, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More from Rachel

One of the biggest challenges in a series is keeping the reader interested. Even more of a challenge is writing in a trope like royals.

I never set out to write a second royal series. With five stories in the Royal Wedding Series, I thought I’d explored the topic to my satisfactions.

Yet when readers asked for more, and when I found myself in a season to produce my own stories, another royal series seemed like the perfect fit.

But can I be honest? Really honest? Come close. I’ll tell you a secret. Closer…

Royals can be a bit boring. At least to write. You laugh but I’m serious.

What do we really know of their day to day lives? They attend national functions, patron charities, represent the nation on walkabouts around the world. They are ambassadors with no real political agenda. They champion causes.

But what exactly do they do with their days? What are the inner workings of palace life? What are the real expectations? Do they call the queen “her majesty” when talking among themselves? When talking to her? Are they as formal as it seems on television?

Yet royals are the most documented people in history. So there is a lot to glean from when I make up my worlds.

But at the end of it all, they key for me in writing royal characters is to make them real, everyday people. The prince is the kind of chap you want to chat with over tea. The heroine is the sort of girl you’d love to see become a princess. Maybe even see a bit of yourself in her.

In To Save A King, Crown Prince John is trying to emerge for a year of grief. Gemma Stone is desperate to escape her past.

Gemma’s story has some what of an edge to it. In her attempt to achieve her goals, she walked a path she never thought she’d walk when she was a girl growing up in Hearts Bend, Tennessee. And it proved her undoing.

While we may have never faced a past like Gemma’s, we can all relate to personal betrayal of our values from gossip to immorality. I hope Gemma’s story reminds us the nearness of love and forgiveness.

On a lighter side, I recently learned British society has moved away from chap and bloke, replacing it with the American term “guy.” Isn’t that funny. Louise Lee, my narrator, said it was funny to read those words in To Love A Prince since there were more her parents’ generation. Ah, the signs of a more global society.

Well, I didn’t care if they have gone out of style for young people. I used them anyway. I like them. Maybe we should adopt “chap” and “bloke” over here. What do you say, guys?

I hope you enjoy To Save A King, book two in the True Blue Royal series and find your heart cheering on broken, wounded characters to a happily ever after worthy of a prince and princess.


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 8

Godly Book Reviews, May 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 8

Britt Reads Fiction, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

Blogging With Carol, May 9

Worthy2Read, May 9

For Him and My Family, May 10

Genesis 5020, May 10

The Book Chic Blog, May 10

CarpeDiem, May 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 11

Hebrews 12 Endurance, May 11

Splashes of Joy, May 11

Cultivating Us, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

Just Writing, May 12

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

Kayem Reads, May 12

Blossoms and Blessings, May 13

Betti Mace, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 14

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 14

Inside the Wong Mind, May 14

Moments, May 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 15

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 15

Connect in Fiction, May 15

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 16

Kathleen’s Blog, May 16

Remembrancy, May 16

Mary Hake, May 16

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 17

She Lives To Read, May 17

Wishful Endings, May 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 18

Back Porch Reads, May 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 18

Livin’ Lit, May 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 19

Simple Harvest Reads, May 19 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Bizwings Blog, May 19

Mamma Loves Books, May 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 20

By The Book, May 20

The Sacred Line, May 20

Daysong Reflections, May 20

Through the fire blogs, May 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 21

Artistic Nobody, May 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!
*May be different than one pictured.

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/10bb0/to-save-a-king-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

As usual, Hauck creates an enchanting storyline, complete with faith elements that bear a touch of the supernatural, memorable characters, and a clean romance. Both Prince John and Gemma have made poor choices in the past and assume others relate (and will always relate) to them based on those bad decisions.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

In the small town of Hearts Bend, they become friends and find that like Gemma’s rescue animals, their hearts are being rescued too. Themes of friendship, love, second chances, grace, and forgiveness (both of oneself and of others) permeate the story. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

1 Comment

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Announcing WINDWARD SHORE, / by Sharon Hinck

Coming soon!

If you haven’t read the earlier books in this series, here are my reviews of

Hidden Current (Book 1) and The Forsaken Island (Book 2).

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Announcing TO SAVE A KING, / by Rachel Hauck

As usual, Hauck creates an enchanting storyline, complete with faith elements that bear a touch of the supernatural, memorable characters, and a clean romance.

Both Prince John and Gemma have made poor choices in the past and assume others relate (and will always relate) to them based on those bad decisions. In the small town of Hearts Bend, they become friends and find that like Gemma’s rescue animals, their hearts are being rescued too. Themes of friendship, love, second chances, grace, and forgiveness (both of oneself and of others) permeate the story. 

SEE FULL REVIEW

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COURT OF SWANS, / by Melanie Dickerson

Court of Swans / Melanie Dickerson (A Dericott Tale, 1)

Thomas Nelson     ISBN     9780785234012

YA     Rating:     3

court of swans

Award-winning author Melanie Dickerson kicks off her new series set in medieval England and featuring the Raynsford family.

In Court of Swans, Lady Delia Raynsford, the Earl of Dericott’s only daughter, lives a quiet life after her widowed father marries a much younger woman. When the earl dies a few years later, Delia’s stepmother arranges for Delia’s seven brothers to be (falsely) accused of treason against the Crown and imprisoned in the Tower of London. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Dickerson, known for her medieval young adult retellings, takes the Wild Swans fairy tale as her inspiration for this novel. It is an entertaining read with a strong heroine, a sweet romance, and faith elements.

Recommended especially for young adult collections in school and public libraries, for teens, young adults, and those who are young at heart.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors.

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HOPE BETWEEN THE PAGES / by Pepper Basham (Celebrate Lit Tour)

Hope-Between-Pages


About the Book

9781643528267-672x1024

Book: Hope Between the Pages
Author: Pepper Basham
Genre: Christian Historical
Release date: April, 2021

Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

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

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

PepperBasham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair.

Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family.

She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

More from Pepper

Books are a uniquely portable magic – Stephen King

Appalachia is known for having a high illiteracy rate. A place of beautiful scenery and rugged landscapes, the people of the mountains developed stories through oral storytelling much more than “book learning”. As a young girl growing up in this world, I loved hearing my granny share tales from up to five generations ago, filling in the narrative gaps between a birth date and a death date on a tombstone – giving flesh and breath to the stone-etched names.

It’s no surprise then, with a heart cultivated from rich oral stories, I fell in love with reading. Books became that “portable magic” that took me places my little Appalachian community couldn’t provide. I fell in love with the Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew. Wept through the end of Bridge to Terabithia and Old Yeller. Traveled to the plains with Sarah Plain and Tall and fell in love with horses with The Black Stallion. But when I was in seventh grade, I read my very first “British” novel, The Secret Garden. In that one introduction, my world expanded into mysterious English manor houses and British classics. Before long, I’d consumed Jane Eyre, Austen’s classics, some Dickens, Dracula, Frankenstein…and the list goes on! And then…I found Tolkien and Lewis – and the ‘real’ world swelled into OTHER worlds.

I’m grateful for true stories of book-loving pioneers traveling into the world of Appalachia to provide books and literacy training to “my people”, because I know some of those books made their way to my tiny elementary school library…and not only brought me the chance to discover stories, but to write them too!

Isn’t it amazing how books can do that?

In Hope Between the Pages, I wanted to bring the same awe and discovery I felt as a child (and continue to feel as an adult reader) to the story of two people whose words had seemed small. Stories stretched their worlds, but the stories also gave them wonderful imaginations and positive perspectives. It’s still amazing to me that ink-and-paper words can make such a lasting impact on hearts and minds. They can lead us to dream, teach us new things, encourage our hearts, help us to think outside the box, swell our imaginations, broaden our horizons, and encourage our hope.

Books are not a replacement for real adventures and relationships, but they certainly provide a beautiful “door” into other lives and worlds that we may never have a chance to experience in real life. Sadie, my historical heroine, and Clara, my contemporary heroine, both have kept close to home but traveled greatly through books…and BOTH are given the opportunity to reach beyond the bindings to discover real-life adventures. I’d like to think that their love for stories helped them have the courage to step away from the page and into their own tales even more prepared than they would have been without stories.

What are some of your favorite books you read as a child? Did any of them influence you to become a more avid reader?


Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 24

Worthy2Read, April 24

Texas Book-aholic, April 25

Reviewingbooksplusmore, April 25

Christian Bookaholic, April 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 25

She Lives To Read, April 26

Books and Everyday Life, April 26

For the Love of Literature, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 26

Wishful Endings, April 27

Bigreadersite, April 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 27

deb’s Book Review, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Connect in Fiction, April 28

Writing from the Heart Land, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 29

Life of Literature, April 29

Pick a good book, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 30

Betti Mace, April 30

Kathleen’s Blog, April 30

lakesidelivingsite, May 1

Connie’s History Classroom, May 1

Fiction Book Lover, May 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 2

Godly Book Reviews, May 2

Mary Hake, May 2

Older & Smarter?, May 3

Genesis 5020, May 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 4

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads , May 4

Blossoms and Blessings, May 4

sodbusterLiving, May 4

Splashes of Joy, May 5

Where Faith and Books Meet , May 5

Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Through the Fire Blogs, May 5

Pause for Tales, May 6

To Everything There Is A Season, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Lights in a Dark World, May 6

Live.Love.Read., May 7

Karen Sue Hadley, May 7

Amanda Tero, blog, May 7

The Write Escape, May 7


Giveaway

Hope Between the Pages Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper 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/10b27/hope-between-the-pages-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Award-winning author Pepper Basham pens a dual-time novel, taking place during modern day and World War I, connecting the two women, and a love of books.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Basham is probably best known for her contemporary books set in the Blue Ridge mountains. This book bears the hallmark of her writing: touches of humor and faith intermingled with a good storyline and endearing characters. The reader gets two love stories, plot twists, as well as plenty of scenes set in both the library and the bookstore.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

2 Comments

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THE INDEBTED EARL, / by Erica Vetsch (JustRead Tour)

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ABOUT THE BOOK

The Indebted Earl, / by Erica Vetsch (Serendipity & Secrets, 3)
Kregel     ISBN: 9780825446191
Adult     Rating:     4

MY REVIEW
Erica Vetsch presents her final inspirational Regency romance in this series, featuring an injured naval officer and a duke’s daughter.

In The Indebted Earl, Captain Charles Wyvern fulfills the dying wish of his fellow naval officer – to convey the news of Major Richardson’s death personally to Lady Sophia Haverly. Then Charles is named the new Earl of Rothwell and inherits the guardianship of three young girls. Charles proposes a marriage of convenience, only to be accused of smuggling soon after. Can they weather these storms? What does the future hold for them?

Vetsch pens an engaging novel filled with historical detail, faith elements, realistic characters, and unexpected plot twists. The theme throughout is God’s sovereignty, and both Charles and Sophia struggle with this concept. Two naval officers are wounded, but only one dies from his injuries. Why? What happens when God’s plans appear to fall apart? Both learn that God’s plans for them do not include debts from the past.

While this book can be read as a standalone, readers are recommended to read the earlier books from this series (The Lost Lieutenant, and The Gentleman Spy), as some characters from the earlier books also make an appearance. In all three books, there is a sailor or soldier who is noble of character but not of birth. He becomes a nobleman (inherits a title or is bestowed a title), then marries a woman of nobility, usually through a marriage of convenience. While the romance is at the heart of the story, there is also a mystery to solve or obstacles to overcome such as Evan’s partial amnesia, Marcus’ spying activities, and Charles’ smuggling charges. Each relationship is a clean romance with the main characters learning to recognize God’s sovereignty in their lives through various circumstances. All of them are delightful excursions into Regency England.

Recommended for public libraries and high school readers. Fans of Kristi Ann Hunter, Julie Klassen, and  Carolyn Miller will enjoy this series.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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COOKING UP A MYSTERY / by Gail Pallotta (Celebrate Lit Tour)

Cooking-Mystery


About the Book

CookingUpAMystery-website-large-size

Book: Cooking Up A Mystery
Author: Gail Pallotta
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release date: April 24, 2020

Laney Eskridge worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left with another woman. She’s on edge from the emotional scars and her parents’ deaths. Then she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house, and her anxiety is tripled. Add a budding romance with Eric—a guy with a fear of commitment—and it’s all too much to handle. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off.

When Eric discovers that Laney’s in danger, he vows to protect her. But can he make a lasting promise? Will she trust him? . . . and when they overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, will anyone believe them? There’s more brewing than herbal tea in Cooking up a Mystery.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

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Award-winning author Gail Pallotta is a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s a Reader’s Favorite 2017 Book Award winner and a TopShelf 2020 Book Awards Finalist. She’s published six books, poems, short stories and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.

More from Gail

In Cooking Up a Mystery running a business with no background or formal training in accounting or management overwhelms Laney, the heroine. George, her assistant, tells her she has him and God, who knows her needs. Then he adds, “You … have your mom’s wonderful recipes and you whip them up like a pro.”

I chose the food industry for Laney, a woman entrepreneur succeeding against the odds, because I have lots of cooking experience. I learned the skill at age ten. The reason, according to my father—I’d know how when I got married. I didn’t marry until I was thirty. By then, I’d received lots of instruction, so I knew how to prepare some pretty good dinners. My husband said, “You could start a restaurant.” I wanted to do other things instead, such as write, but I started one in this book.

Mt first woman entrepreneur appears in Hair Calamities and Hot Cash, a romantic comedy about a hairstylist. It’s set in Eve’s Clips, a salon in Triville, a fictitious town in the North Carolina Mountains where Laney opens Laney’s Delectable Delights.

A section in the back of Cooking up a Mystery, Laney’s Chefs in the Making, features over two dozen recipes. Only Laney’s Pineapple Rice is mine. The rest are from a book, Heavenly Delights, authored by my friend, Pam Nichols Griffin, as a fundraiser for Mission Love Seeds, a charity that helps children throughout the world and responds locally after disasters to demonstrate God’s love.

Laney’s Pineapple Rice

Ingredients:
Rice (can be instant, but not boil-in-the-bag)
Cooking oil or spray
One small onion (chopped thin)
Five cloves garlic (or minced gloves equaling five cloves)
One tablespoon fresh grated ginger
One cup fresh pineapple
Small amount of pineapple juice
One teaspoon sugar
One lime

  1. Cook rice according to directions on the box, but substitute a couple of tablespoons to 1/4 cup pineapple juice (depending on taste) for part of the water.
  2. Chill rice.
  3. Coat a heavy bottom skillet with oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple and sugar and stir. Add cold rice, break up, squirt with the juice of one lime and stir until heated and blended.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 9

Blogging With Carol, April 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 10

She Lives To Read, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Genesis 5020, April 12

For Him and My Family, April 13

deb’s Book Review, April 14

Worthy2Read, April 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 17

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 19

CarpeDiem, April 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 20

April Hayman, Author, April 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 22

Labor Not in Vain, April 22


Giveaway

amazon gift card

To celebrate her tour, Gail is giving away the grand prize of a $40 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/10a4e/cooking-up-a-mystery-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Review

Gail Pallota pens a cozy mystery featuring a divorced woman entrepreneur struggling to establish her business (Laney), a bachelor college professor recovering from a broken leg (Eric), an ugly painting, and an overheard conversation threatening others.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Pallotta provides realistic main characters, an imaginative plot, and deliciously described food, with interesting secondary characters. With the help of Laney’s assistant George, Laney and Eric unravel the mystery behind the sounds they heard and the ugly painting given to the restaurant. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

2 Comments

Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

NO STONE UNTURNED, / by David James Warren (JustRead Tour)

No Stone Unturned JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for No Unturned Stone by
David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

No Unturned StoneTitle: No Unturned Stone
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #2
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

The One Rule Is, Don’t Mess With The Past

But he did, and now ex-detective Rembrandt Stone is reaping the devastation of ignoring those words when he traveled back in time to solve the one case that had haunted his dreams.

Yes, he solved the crime. Yes, he saved lives. But Rembrandt returns to find the unthinkable has happened and his life has shattered.

There’s only one answer: break the rule again. Go back in time once more, fix what went wrong, save what went right, and yeah, in his spare time solve another brutal crime.

But it’s not so easy to change time, especially when time turns you into a target. And of course there’s the strong possibility if he goes again, he’ll never get back.

Get ready for your mind to be blown in Book 2 of the time-travel suspense series, The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award–winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves traveling and telling stories about life, adventure, and faith.

For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he’s never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He’s grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Cast the First Stone & No Unturned Stone!

No Unturned Stone JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 6, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 13, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


MY REVIEW

Police detective Rembrandt Stone returns to the past to solve the cold case, reset what he altered, and return to a future he desires. Or will he find he has altered the current timeline yet again?

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Rembrandt is haunted by regrets and consequences of his actions, as well as the cold cases – if only he could go back in time and change things. His intentions are good, but there are ripple effects from making those changes.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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IS IT ANY WONDER, / by Courtney Walsh

Is It Any Wonder, / by Courtney Walsh
Tyndale     ISBN     9781496434432
Adult     Rating:     4

Bestselling author Courtney Walsh returns with another Nantucket-based inspirational contemporary romance.

In Is It Any Wonder, event planner Louisa Chambers and Coast Guardsman Cody Boggs were childhood friends and first loves until tragedy tore them and their families apart twelve years ago. When Cody is assigned to the Nantucket base, he doesn’t expect to run into Louisa. When Louisa and Cody are forced to work together on a community event, they have to face the past. Will they find a second chance at love, despite the things that tore their families apart? 

Walsh is known for her inspirational romances that are more than just a lightweight beach read. She pens realistic characters with flaws, descriptive narratives, and intriguing back stories. Cody and Louisa are still attracted to one another. They learn the truth about the tragic accident that affected their families — and their future. Themes of bitterness, regret, grief, forgiveness, and grace permeate the story. The faith element is an intricate part of the storyline, but it is not heavy-handed. The story revolves around the impact of sacrificial, unconditional love, as well as the ripple effects of a tragic accident that drove two close families apart.

Recommended for adult collections in public libraries, especially for fans of inspirational contemporary romance like those by Courtney Walsh, Becky Wade, and Denise Hunter

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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Filed under BOOK REVIEWS

Recent Reviews Posted (MARCH 2021)

Click on a book cover to read my review!


Anderson-Torch-666x1024


The Indebted Earl

unknown threat
groom for gracie 
  

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS, GENERAL INFORMATION, General Reviews, Young Adult Reviews

DARK OF NIGHT, / by Carrie Cotten (Just Read Tour)

Dark of Night JustRead Blog Blitz
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Dark of Night by Carrie Cotten, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Dark of NightTitle: Dark of Night
Series: Dreamwalker #2
Author: Carrie Cotten
Publisher: independently published
Release Date: March 25, 2021
Genre: Christian Speculative Fiction

A new life, a new love, and even a new name. For former secret agent Andromeda Stone – now Joanna Carter – a normal, boring life with her handsome husband was the happy ending. But an old enemy resurfaces, determined to leave nothing unfinished, and Andy must step back into the nightmares once again. Andy and Will each face their own worst fears in their search for answers. Will this new mission cost Andy more than she’s willing to pay?

When the journey takes her to deeper and darker places than she’s ever been before, Andy discovers it’s more than just answers she’s looking for.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookDepository

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Carrie Cotten

Carrie Cotten is a recent transplant to the Appalachian mountains where she and her family are trying their hand at homesteading in the tranquil community of Grassy Creek, North Carolina. By day she is a farming, homeschooling mom of four and by night, a writer of intense, emotional and intriguing Christian fiction novels.

While she has been writing her whole life, the Dreamwalker books are her first complete and published series. Her ultimate goal is to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ through her words. Her characters, though dealing with unbelievable situations experience real, raw, and believable faith.

CONNECT WITH CARRIE: Website | Facebook | Instagram

 


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a Dreamwalker prize pack including The Dreamwalker
paperback book, a Dreamwalker charm, Dreamwalker bookmark,
and (4) stickers!

Dark of Night JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 25, 2021

and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 1, 2021. Winner will be notified

within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond

or risk forfeiture of prize.

US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

;


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

THE INDEBTED EARL, / by Erica Vetsch (I Read with Audra Blog Tour)

THE INDEBTED EARL, by Erica Vetsch

Kregel Publications


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Indebted Earl, / by Erica Vetsch (Serendipity & Secrets, 3)
Kregel     ISBN: 9780825446191
Adult     Rating:     4

Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business–
or will it turn into something more?

Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life–especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero’s dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man’s grieving fiance and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.

When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn’t opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed’s elderly mother, and she’s already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she’ll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he’s come to mean to her. Now she’ll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.

Click here to read an excerpt


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

 


GIVEAWAY

Click below to enter

Rafflecopter giveaway


MY REVIEW

Erica Vetsch presents her final inspirational Regency romance in this series, this one featuring an injured naval officer and a duke’s daughter.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Vetsch pens an engaging novel filled with historical detail, faith elements, realistic characters, and unexpected plot twists. The theme throughout is God’s sovereignty, and both Charles and Sophia struggle with this concept. Two naval officers are wounded, but only one dies from his injuries. Why? What happens when God’s plans appear to fall apart? Both learn that God’s plans for them do not include debts from the past.

Interested in the other books in this series? Read my reviews for The Lost Lieutenant, and The Gentleman Spy.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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CAN’T BUY ME LOVE, / by Susan May Warren and Andrea Christenson (JustRead Tour)

Can't Buy Me Love JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Can’t Buy Me Love by Andrea Christenson presented by Susan May Warren,
hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Can't Buy Me LoveTitle: Can’t Buy Me Love
Series: Deep Haven Collection #2
Author: Andrea Christenson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

He can’t buy his way out of trouble this time…

Housekeeper-slash-entrepreneur Ella Bradley prides herself on being ready for anything. After all, with a father who died—and lied to her—and a stepmom and stepsister who despise her, she has no one else to depend on. But on the biggest night of her life, she’s unprepared to be trapped in an elevator with the man of her dreams.

Wealthy prince-to-a-fortune Adrian Vassos wants nothing more than to shed his reputation as a party boy and prove that he is a savvy businessman. Even, a gentleman. But when he’s trapped with a woman who knows his reputation but not his face, he gives into the temptation to be someone else—and lies.

When serendipity brings them together again—this time to work off community service—can their combined sentences spark a new ending? Maybe…if Adrian’s lies don’t find him out. Again.

The magic of Deep Haven enchants in this modern-day Cinderella story.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Andrea Christenson lives in a Minneapolis, MN suburb with her husband and two daughters. When she is not busy homeschooling her girls, she loves to read anything she can get her hands on. She believes that a great loaf of artistic bread can turn a meal into a masterpiece. Andrea’s prayer is to write stories revealing God’s love.

CONNECT WITH ANDREA: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills.

CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com


EXCERPT

Anything had to be better than returning to Deep Haven. Enemy fire. Jumping into hostile territory. Twelve months of MREs. Even cleaning the pit toilets in a remote desert outpost.

Anything but having to face the one person who’d destroyed his life.

Cole Barrett turned up the defrost fan, his grip tight on the steering wheel.

The clouds hung low over Lake Superior, passing cars whipping up a cocktail of snow and ice against his windshield as he traveled north on Highway 61. And now, because the rental company had loaned out the Ford Explorer he’d reserved, he was stuck in a ridiculous Dodge Grand Caravan and thirty minutes behind schedule for his meeting with Deep Haven real estate agent Nathan Decker.

In forty-eight hours, the deal would be done. He’d have his grandfather’s house cleared out and listed for sale, and hopefully, he’d also hear from the U.S. Marshals Service for an interview. And, really, it couldn’t happen fast enough.

He eased his foot off the gas when hazard lights materialized through the snowy January haze. As he drew closer, he spotted a woman standing on the berm of plowed snow that bordered the highway, her Subaru pitched into the ditch.

She wore her blue knit cap pulled down low, and wisps of blonde hair snapped around her forehead as they escaped the scarf wound halfway up her face.

From the angle of her car, the quick math told him she’d hit a patch of ice and spun off the road, burying her front end in the snow.

Cole glanced at the clock and groaned. Yet another delay. Yeah, well, he couldn’t just leave her there. There was no way she’d get out without assistance, and considering how hard it was to get a text through to Nathan up the road in Deep Haven, he didn’t figure she had any help on the way. He slowed, pulling onto the shoulder ahead of her.

Slush splattered on his boots and he tugged his black leather jacket closed against the icy Minnesota gale that sliced through the fabric of his shirt. From the looks of the slope of the ditch, if she’d slid a foot farther, her front bumper would have embedded into the berm and he’d need more than his bare hands to dig her out.

As it were, the right leverage and his brute strength might get them both on their way in a jiffy.

“Hey!” She’d scrambled down the snowbank as he approached. “Thanks!”

She opened a passenger side door and dug through a box, chucking a bundle of blue flowers out of it.

“Are you okay?”

She looked over her shoulder at him. He couldn’t help but think that she resembled a miniature Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in her thick, gray down coat and wrappings, only her hazel eyes visible. She pulled her scarf away from her mouth to speak.

“I’m fine, if you include the fact I’m super late and—oh, never mind.” She turned around, holding the empty box. “You know, my day started out pretty spectacular. Blue skies, happy bride. I’m not sure how it took this plunge into the abyss of terrible.”

“You too, huh?”

“You can’t even imagine.” She pulled apart the box. Clearly, this wasn’t her first off-road excursion.

“Let’s see what we can do.” He circled the car, dropping to his knees to scrape the ice and snow out from under the tire. The cold seeped through his denim and bit at his hands. “I don’t think it will take too much to get you back on the road. You’re not jammed in deep.” He looked at the swirl of tracks leading to her tires. “I don’t see any icy patches. Did you swerve to avoid a deer?”

She shook her head. “I wish. It was a lunch accident.”

He frowned but didn’t know how to follow up. He took the cardboard and wedged it under her tire. “Okay, put it in reverse and I’ll rock it, and let’s see if we can get some traction. Once you get up on the road, get it in drive and keep going. Okay?”

She nodded beneath her layers. “Got it. Thank you for stopping.” She looked up at him, let out a long breath. “It’s a little embarrassing when a minivan outmaneuvers the four-wheel drive.”

“You’re welcome. And, it’s not mine.” Heat rose in his face and he suddenly felt the need to defend himself. “The rental company messed up.”

“Oh?” For the first time he got a smile. She leaned to look past him at the van. “I don’t know, though. I think it makes a real statement.”

The kind of statement he might have liked, if his life hadn’t derailed. Yet another thing he could thank his ex-wife for.

She climbed back inside her car and started it up, waited for a break in traffic. He put his shoulder against the front bumper and pushed. It didn’t take much to regain traction. He nearly fell as her car rolled back onto the pavement. She put her window down. “Thanks!”

“No problem!” He found his feet, waved, and jogged back to the van, his jeans wet and chunks of ice clinging to his boots. Perfect. Now he’d be late, hungry, and cold.

COPYRIGHT: Sunrise Media Group, LLC


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Can’t Buy Me Love ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Can't Buy Me Love JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 16, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 23, 2021.
Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.
US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


MY REVIEW

Andrea Christianson’s debut novel shows great promise – Can’t Buy Me Love has interesting characters, faith elements, and an interesting twist on the Cinderella tale, set in a familiar setting – Deep Haven! This sweet clean romance strikes just the right chords for a contemporary Cinderella retelling. The plot moves along at the right pace and has a number of humorous elements.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

The themes in Can’t Buy Me Love are forgiveness, family history, and trust. Adrian and Ella have to decide whether to follow the footsteps of their respective fathers, or choose a new path.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are written for books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, or authors. I voluntarily reviewed this book, and my review represents my honest opinion.

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS

Review: UNKNOWN THREAT, / by Lynn Blackburn (A Revell Reads Review)

Unknown Threat, / by Lynn H. Blackburn (Defend and Protect ,1)
Revell    ISBN     9780800737955
Adult     Rating:     4

Award-winning author Lynn Blackburn kicks off a new romantic suspense series with a bang — three Secret Service agents from the same office are killed and two more are nearly killed in a short period of time.

In Unknown Threat, Blackburn’s writing continues to improve since her debut novel. Unknown Threat is an action-packed thriller filled with faith elements, a clean romance, realistic characters, and a plot that will keep the reader up late trying to unravel the twists. The book combines several themes: family relationships, forgiveness, and hope. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I received this complimentary copy as part of the Revell Reads blogger program. I am not required to write positive reviews.

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Filed under Adult Reviews, BOOK REVIEWS, Giveaways / Contests

Review: A GROOM FOR GRACIE, / by Heather Blanton

A Groom for Gracie, / by Heather Blanton (Blizzard Brides, 11)
Rivulet Publishing    
ASIN     B08N2FNH31
Adult     Rating:     4

Christian Western romance author Heather Blanton writes an addition to the Blizzard Brides series, where pioneer women find themselves in need of mail order husbands after two devastating blizzards make them widows.

In A Groom for Gracie, Gracie Erstwhile leaves behind a life as a con artist, wanting to settle down and reach for her dream of a community theater. Noble McCain, a farmer who experienced failure and loss, wants a place where he and his son can set down roots. 

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Blanton is a gifted storyteller, penning stories of strong pioneer women who face challenging situations, both in life and love. Her stories include strong faith elements, an adventure, a clean romance, and of course, plot twists. As always, Blanton includes good character development, descriptive narratives, and an original twist to the mail order storyline. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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Filed under BOOK REVIEWS

TORCH, / by R. J. Anderson (Celebrate Lit Tour)


About the Book

Book: Torch
Author: R. J. Anderson
Genre: Christian YA Fantasy
Release date: February 9, 2021

How do you fight fire without fire?

When a freak storm uncovers the entrance to a mysterious underground chamber, Ivy and Martin expect to find treasure. But what they discover is even more valuable: a barrow full of sleeping spriggans, magically preserved for centuries. With the vengeful piskey queen Betony determined to capture Ivy and her followers, the secret hideaway could be key to both their peoples’ survival.

But the piskeys and spriggans are ancient enemies, and when Ivy tries to make peace her own followers threaten to turn against her. Plagued by treachery, betrayal and desertion on every side, Ivy must find a way to unite the magical folk of Cornwall–or doom herself, Martin and everyone she loves to death at Betony’s hand.

Yet without the legendary fire-wielding power that marks a true piskey queen, can Ivy convince her people to believe?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Born in Uganda to missionary parents, R.J. (Rebecca Joan) Anderson is a women’s Bible teacher, a wife and mother of three, and a bestselling fantasy author for older children and teens. Her debut novel Knife has sold more than 120,000 copies worldwide, while her other books have been shortlisted for the Nebula Award, the Christy Award, and the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Science Fiction. Rebecca lives with her family in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

More from R. J.

What does it take to be a good leader?
Looking at some of the religious, social and political leaders around us, it seems like a confident attitude, dramatic flair, and the ability to make stirring speeches are the keys to success. But is that the kind of leadership people really need, or is it only what we’ve grown used to?
Ivy, the heroine of my book Torch, never wanted to become a leader, or expected anyone to follow her. After being exiled from her underground home by her proud Aunt Betony, she’s been struggling to make sense of her own life, never mind anyone else’s. But when a ragtag band of old friends and former neighbours turn up on Ivy’s doorstep looking for a new home, she has no choice but to help her fellow Cornish piskeys as best she can.
What Ivy soon finds, however, is that her people’s hopes and expectations for her are much bigger than any she had for herself. They want a queen strong enough to defeat Betony and free their people — but how can Ivy stand up to her aunt’s ruthless tactics and magical fire-wielding powers, when she’s just a slight teenager with barely any magic at all?
As I wrote this book, the last in my Flight and Flame trilogy about Ivy of the Delve, I wanted to explore the difference between the popular idea of a great leader, and the humble servant leadership taught and exemplified by Christ. Unlike Betony, who has become so obsessed with her own power and reputation that she’s blind to her people’s suffering, Ivy only wants to help and encourage her fellow piskeys and keep them safe from harm. She’s willing to sacrifice her own comfort, put aside her own feelings, and do whatever it takes to make sure her followers survive. And though she makes some mistakes and faces some painful challenges along the way, she never forgets that her goal isn’t personal fame or glory, but the good of everyone around her.
Ivy’s personal journey also reflects some of my own recent experiences of caregiving, which can seem like an impossible task when the needs of our loved ones grow greater than our own strength and wisdom can bear. She has to learn, as I did, that the only solution is to ask for help and be willing to let others do it their own way, instead of trying to control everything ourselves.
Torch is the last book of the epic adventure that began with Swift and continued in Nomad, taking Ivy from the depths of obscurity to heights she never imagined, and from a life of loneliness to a love sweeter — and stranger — than she ever dreamed she’d find. It’s a story that’s close to my heart, and I hope it will find a place in yours and your family’s as well!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, R.J. is giving away the grand prize package of a signed bookplate, bookmarks, notecards, and a copy of either SWIFT, NOMAD or TORCH!! (winner’s choice)

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/1089c/torch-celebration-tour-giveaway


MY REVIEW

Anderson excels in creating her fantasy world, filled with piskeys, spriggans, and faeries who live in their own societies, complete with rules and prejudices about the others in their world. Celtic lore is interwoven into the storyline. Themes of forgiveness, love, and redemption flow together in this magical story.

<SEE FULL REVIEW>

Over the course of the series (Swift, Nomad, and Torch ), Ivy grows from a wingless piskey who felt alone within a community to a servant leader with the courage to step out of her comfort zone for the sake of her people. 

Watch for cameo appearances of characters from her series, No Ordinary Fairy Tale (Knife, Rebel, and Arrow). If you haven’t read this series, be sure to do so. 

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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Recent Reviews Posted (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021)

Click on a book cover to read my review!

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Recent Reviews Posted (November/December 2020)

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CHRISTY AWARD FINALISTS 2020

This is an abbreviated list of the 2020 finalists with links to my reviews.

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

  • The Land Beneath Us, Sarah Sundin    Revell/ Baker Publishing Group
  • The Painted Castle, Kristy Cambron    Thomas Nelson
  • The Number of Love, Roseanna M. White    Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

  • Just One Kiss, Courtney Walsh    Courtney Walsh Writes  (read but not reviewed, rating: 4)
  • Now and Then and Always, Melissa Tagg    Larkspur Press
  • Sweet On You, Becky Wade    Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group

HISTORICAL

  • The Bright Unknown, Elizabeth Byler Younts    Tyndale House Publishers
  • The Medallion, Cathy Gohlke    Tyndale House Publishers (read but not reviewed, rating: 4)
  • Memories of Glass, Melanie Dobson    Tyndale House Publishers
  • My Dearest Dietrich, Amanda Barratt    Kregel Publications

VISIONARY

  • Cry of the Raven, Morgan L. Busse    Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group  (read but not reviewed, rating: 4)
  • Hidden Current, Sharon Hinck    Enclave Publishing
  • The Story Raider, Lindsay A. Franklin    Enclave Publishing

YOUNG ADULT

  • The Means That Make Us Strangers, Christine Kindberg    Bellflower Press
  • The Piper’s Pursuit, Melanie Dickerson    Thomas Nelson
  • The Winter King, Christine Cohen    Canonball Books

Winners will be announced on November 12, 2020.

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CAROL Award Winners 2020

Warmest congratulations to the winners of American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for books published in 2019! Way to go, everyone!
  • Historical Romance: The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin
  • Romance: Driftwood Bay by Irene Hannon
  • Contemporary: The Death of Mungo Blackwell by Lauren H. Brandenburg
  • Historical: Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson
  • Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal
  • Novella: The Groom She’d Thought She Left Behind (from The Runaway Brides Collection) by Darlene Panzera
  • Short Novel: A Rancher to Trust by Laurel Blount
  • Young Adult: Romanov by Nadine Brandes

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Hello, and welcome!

Welcome to my blog!  I love to read — and I love to recommend good books to my students — and others. I’ll be sharing excerpts of my reviews here as well as my thoughts on the world of reading.

Worthy2Read is based on Philippians 4:8 “Whatver is worthy . . . think about these things.” I will focus on works that are worthy of praise, worthy to spend that precious commodity: our time — to read.

Thanks for joining me.

Carol G

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