Because Fiction November Article and Giveaway

Time for another Because Fiction article and giveaway. This month I’m giving away a copy of Bring Me Near. Click below and read the article and enter.

Marguerite Martin Gray

#BecauseFiction November Editions!Hello readers, I hope you had a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving. It is so hard to believe that Christmas is here. We are decking our halls (and our yard) just like each year….but Christmas is meaning more to me this year. It is easy to get caught up in the hussle and bussle but this year, with all that has happened. We always try to make Christ the center of our Christmas celebration, but I think this year with all that we have experienced, we are thankful to be able to celebrate Christ. I hope this Christmas is a blessed one for each of you, readers! Speaking of celebrating… We have some fun things coming up at Celebrate Lit. We have our Black Friday Sale going on today…Celebrating with FREE books! That’s what I call a celebration! We also have our Cyber Monday Sale coming up on Monday, Nov 30 with MORE FREE books! WHAAAAAT?????!!!!!  Our 4th Annual 12 Days of Christmas is coming December 13. 12 days of videos featuring a different book each day. Did I mention there will be giveaways? Oh yes. 12 days of giveaways with books, gift cards, and more! If you want to keep up with all the fun, be sure to follow Celebrate Lit on Facebook or join our Celebrate Lit Community Forum. WHEW! Okay. Speaking of fun….. We have a lot of fun for you in this edition. Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas. Plus giveaways and a free book. YAY! Be sure to visit each authors article to find their latest news and fun.  I hope you have the merriest, the most blessed of Christmases, dear reader friends.Sandy BarelaOwner of Celebrate Lit Ministries
Visit the #BecauseFiction Website
Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction October Contemporary & Romance Edition with featured authors such as Chautona Havig, Michelle Keener, and Melissa Wardwell!

https://mailchi.mp/fce2924155b3/becausefiction-magazine-november-contemporary-fiction-giveaways-5867046
Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction October Women’s Fiction & Suspense Edition with featured authors such as Sara Blackard, Susan K. Beatty, and Dana Mentink!

https://mailchi.mp/73c5e9f7ba28/becausefiction-magazine-november-suspense-womens-fiction-giveaways-5865930
Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction October Historical Edition with featured authors such as Misty M. Blossom Turner, and Caryl McAdoo!

https://mailchi.mp/5226e89a5afb/becausefiction-magazine-november-historical-fiction-giveaways-5865938

Review and Giveaway Her Merriweather Hero

About the Book

Book: Her Merriweather Hero

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 27, 2020

He just wanted a place to rest and recuperate.

She only needed a repairman to help fix up her beach house.

For marine sergeant, Tyler Banner, nothing could be further from the memories of his time in Iraq than the slow, easy pace on Merriweather Island. Taking up a job as a physical trainer serves to keep him in shape while he enjoys a little downtime. Making friends with the local vet—veterinarian, that is—on his morning jog is just a bonus.

When Kendall’s sister tricked her into recruiting Tyler’s help one day, she didn’t fortify herself against a breach to her heart. Making friends with the marine was easy, but helping him overcome the PTSD that holds him captive isn’t. As she picks her way across a minefield of memories and horrors Tyler endured, Kendall begins to hope he could be the man she’s prayed for.

Falling in love wasn’t in Tyler’s orders, but a new deployment to Iraq is. How can he convince Kendall not to go AWOL when she hears? What can he do to convince her that they’ll make it… together?

This “Merriweather book” is the fourth in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I love coming back to the series as each author adds more to the experience of the islands. One of the characters in this novel, Mallory, states “I can’t say I’ve ever been in a situation like yours, but I have experienced loss and the fear of losing someone.”

I think we all can say that. It is a real fear. Fears grip in a fast hold. Fear of moving, changing, growing, losing, loving. But letting that fear go or better yet giving that fear to God releases power and strength to live and grow through the pain and uncertainty. Also, the blessings flow from the relinquished fear.

What an example of the possibility of fear: a military tour overseas where death and wounds prevail. How does one release that fear? The same way a parent lets a child go to college or ride his bike or drive a car. By God’s grace and love. Bad things happen, but He has that in his embrace too.

About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

More from Rachel

Her Merriweather Hero has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding stories I have written. Often when I am starting a new book, I immerse myself in the world-building process, which involves a lot of research and notetaking. This time around, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Celebrate Lit and the authors in the Independence Islands Series to map out these beautiful island stories. It has been an exciting journey so far.

This story was inspired by my parents who met through letters while my dad was in the Marine Corps. They both came from different backgrounds, with my mom being from Massachusetts and my dad from a small town in Iowa, but their differences didn’t stop them from falling in love. For Her Merriweather Hero, I used themes of opposites attracting, New England, and the Marine Corps from my parent’s love story.

Kendall is a young veterinarian who moves to the Independence Islands with her sister to start a new mobile clinic. There, she meets Sergeant Tyler Banner who is on medical leave after a tour overseas. She tries to avoid Tyler at first, determined to concentrate on making her business a success, but over time she can’t ignore the handsome military guy who keeps ‘accidently’ crossing her path. It doesn’t help he lives a few doors down from her fixer-upper beach house. Can she continue to try to ignore him or is it true that opposites attract?

This romantic island tale is also inspired by the verses from Hebrews 6:18-19 which describe God as our anchor. The characters feel tossed around by waves of difficulties at certain parts of the story, but He is always the anchor who keeps them secured.

Blog Stops

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 27

Rebekah Reads, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Life, Love, Writing, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 29

Batya’s Bits, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a $50 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/103a0/her-merriweather-hero-celebration-tour-giveaway

I can’t wait to read your comments!

Rejoice, Again and Again…

Thanksgiving 2020! Who would have guessed what the year would hold? Well, God knew before the New Year’s bell tolled. We can and should rejoice and be thankful even with what 2020 has dealt to our “normal” lives.

My sister sent a challenge to all my sisters and me (four of us) earlier this week: collect the little treasures from the day that God gifts to us and share at the end of the day. Amazing results. Thanks for the reminder, Sis!

On that day I sat in the rental car office awaiting my rental since my car had to make a detour to the service department. For an hour and a half, I read, walked, prayed, and thought about the little treasures. Wait, wasn’t I having to spend extra money for a rental, plus money to fix my car? Yep! But the challenge was to find treasures. I did…because of shortage of economy cars to rent, I received a brand new 600 miles RAV 4! I felt like a princess. Certainly not what I was expecting. A little treasure for me to enjoy for a week.

My list grows daily, hourly…even in 2020 when time expands and warps into new dimensions:

–multiple daily walks with Tully, my rescue 2020 dog

–weekly FaceTime family events full of laughter and shared memories

–new job encouraging 270 online high school students

–precious one on one time with individual family members including a few new additions

–extra hours to read and discover new authors and bits of history on literary adventures

–almost daily visits with my parents who are mostly isolating and staying healthy

–worship, praise, and fellowship (small numbers) with my church family

–writing and receiving cards and notes of encouragement

–renovating a couple of houses and managing a couple of Airbnbs (huge learning curve)

–perfecting some recipes (petit fours and chocolate tart) and making healthy food choices

–oatmeal with Bumbleberry Honey, a gift from a shower I hosted, and hot chocolate with marshmallows

Of course, I rejoice in my faithful, ever present, loving relationship with my husband which has blessed me in this 2020 chaos becoming an anchor that all is not bizarre and new. I can’t forget my children, family, and friends, a constant in the craziness.

So, I’m still finding those little treasures that God is faithful to leave. I’m praying I continue to recognize them in the mundane and the awesome path of life.

I’m sure you have a few to share. Happy Thanksgiving!

Review and Giveaway What You Said to Me

About the Book

Book: What You Said to Me

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: November 2020

Book 4 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees

When 15-year-old Tisha Crowder gets caught shoplifting, attorney Nolan Duffy tries to protect her from consequences that could rattle her already troubled life. His daughter, Jillian, feels like she’s the one being punished instead—by having Tisha assigned to work with her on a backlog of genealogy files. Tisha doesn’t seem interested in taking the job seriously, and Jillian’s patience wears thin. Besides, everyone in Canyon Mines knows the Crowder family has experienced generations of brokenness. Then a sliver of hope turns up in long-ago words in plain sight, challenging shrouded assumptions about Tisha’s family. Now Jillian is the one who can walk with Tisha back to 1893 and uncover where everything went wrong in the first place—and save her from the past.

What You Said to Me is the fourth book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I say this every time I read a book in this series: Jillian is my favorite genealogist. In fact, she the only one I “know.” I want her job! Her character expands and grows in each book. Also, who doesn’t love her father with his immense amount of wisdom and love for helping families maneuver through life’s difficult turns?

The split time format is something I am loving in lots of novels. Two seemingly unconnected stories wind their ways through the pages to a point of collision. The moment of contact and connection is a highlight of the novel.

Through the series the characters, major and minor, have developed with depth, making them friends more than fiction. There is a love element that is unresolved, so I do hope there is another genealogist/lawyer mystery ahead.

I still want to pretend to be a genealogist. Does DAR member count? I had to research the death, birth, marriage, and military angles of eight generations. Oh, but I didn’t have to piece together a difficult puzzle like Jillian. Welcome to an inspiring work pulling on the need for forgiveness, strength, wisdom, and letting go of the past.

About the Author

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak.

More from Olivia

Careful Words

“You didn’t just say that.” Or, “I can’t believe you said that.”

Have you ever said that in retort to someone whose comment offended or wounded? I know I have. But what cuts me even more deeply is when I say to myself, “I can’t believe I just said that.”

The words of a parent at wit’s end, a spouse harboring hurt, a friend saddened by misunderstanding, an employee feeling undercut—they have all been my words. And they came out too fast to swallow back before they did their damage.

I hope I have also had the words of a parent who set aside busyness to listen, a spouse offering loving encouragement, a friend checking in with someone going through a tough patch, a coworker curious to see how I could help rather than compete. Those are the kinds of words I’ve never regretted, never had to repent of, never had to do rebuild from.

I certainly didn’t write What You Said to Me because I think I get it right all the time or even most of the time. Far from it! In our culture of rushing and achieving and—let’s face it, sometimes just getting through the demands of the day—sometimes our words are the last thing we are careful with. Yet they have the longest lasting consequence in our relationships and families—sometimes for generations. The dual-timeline story traces how words that injure became a pattern in one family line until one girl finally fought back to find healing for her future.

My challenge for myself, and all who read What You Said to Me, is to be the person who speaks healing words of hope so that “I can’t believe you said that” becomes “Thank you for saying that.”

If you have a particularly poignant experience of how another’s words impacted you, I’d love to hear from you.

Olivia Newport

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, November 21

deb’s Book Review, November 21

Remembrancy, November 22

Connect in Fiction, November 22

lakesidelivingsite, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 23

Splashes of Joy, November 24

Robin’s Nest, November 24

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 25

Mamma Loves Books, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 26

Lis Loves Reading, November 26

Hallie Reads, November 26

Older & Smarter?, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Inklings and notions, November 28

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 28

The Write Escape, November 28

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

Blogging With Carol, November 29

Mary Hake, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Artistic Nobody, November 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Betti Mace, December 1

Worthy2Read, December 1

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 1

Lots of Helpers, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 2

Amanda Tero, blog, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia 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/103f1/what-you-said-to-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Leave your comments here. And….good luck!

Sylvan Reads–My newsletter

The first of my newsletters is out!. Hopefully, you will sign up! Only a few a year, so not a big commitment. I’d love to have all my blog followers be a part of my newsletter updates. http://eepurl.com/gF-3I1

Do historic venues, front porch reads, and voyages inspire you? As someone who loves all things historical, I read and write inspirational and historical fiction for those who crave old homes, gardens, and a good cup of tea.

SIGN UP for Sylvan Reads, my quarterly newsletter, for updates on my writing journey, new release information, book reviews, and more.

You will receive a FREE short story, “The Pull of Time.” To sign up use this link: http://eepurl.com/gF-3I1

Thankful for Our Readers Multi-Author Giveaway!!!

Hey, friends and readers. My publisher is Celebrate Lit. I enjoy these multi-author giveaways so much. I’m giving away Draw Me to Your Side. Be sure to enter.


We want you to know how thankful we are for you! Your thoughts, your prayers, your support – They mean so much! Thanksgiving being in the month of November, I have teamed up with Celebrate Lit and other authors to offer a fun giveaway just to honor you!


We want you to have a chance to win 40+ of books or a $500 Amazon card to buy a ton of books yourself in the Celebrate Lit 3rd Annual Thankful for Our Readers Multi-Author Giveaway!

Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/1017a/3rd-annual-thankful-for-our-readers


The event and giveaway is going on now through November 14.

What a great time of year to win 40+ books! Good luck.

Review and Giveaway So This is Love

About the Book

Book: So This Is Love

Author: Laura Hile

Genre: Historical Christian Romance; Regency Romance

Release Date: May 29, 2020

So This is Love

“I am not romantic, you know. I never was.”

Newly escaped from a loathsome engagement of convenience, Charlotte Lucas has no interest in romance. More than ever, she is convinced that no man would—or could—love her. As companion to an aging aunt, Charlotte’s new life is as predictable as it is circumspect.

But then she is rescued from a robbery by her uncle’s heir, a masterful man who is disastrously handsome. Why has he remained as a guest in the house? Why is he so determined to draw Charlotte out and make her talk? And what of his invitation to visit his home by the sea?

Romance is not on the chart for Captain Jack Blunt. Never again will he be played for that kind of fool! He is ashore only to heal from an injury and see to business, nothing more. And yet the pointed disinterest of his cousin’s pert niece is intriguing. She is forthright, refreshingly honest—and altogether lovely. She will make a fine wife for one of his officers. But not, of course, for him.

So This Is Love is a joyride of a Regency, bringing whirlwind romance and happily-ever-after to Jane Austen’s staid and practical Charlotte Lucas.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I have read every one of Laura’s novels. She stretches my imagination in such fun and beautiful ways! In this Austen based jewel, Elizabeth Bennett step aside. A new star is born in the brilliant, refurbished Charlotte Lucas. She needs a story, I agree. As she takes center stage, hope is born for all of us struggling to find our footing in this crazy world. Not all of us can be Elizabeth Bennett. Huzzah for Elizabeth’s faithful friend.

Several relevant themes wind through the English 1800 countryside and cities, giving the reader glimpses of the roaring coastline and waving fields. The main character faces challenges of her will, alternatives, living the consequences of decisions, weighing the options, all with an open prayer to God to guide. Don’t we all have to do that every day? One decision sets a course. I’m not going to tell you what choice Charlotte makes. You will have to read that on your own!

I look forward to Laura Hile’s next novel….  

About the Author

Laura H

Encourager. Believer. Author. Teacher. Friend.

By day, Laura Hile teaches at a Christian school. By night—or rather, in the early morning when she can think! —she writes Jane Austen and Regency romance with laughs and happy endings.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with middle school students!

She enjoys gardening (she is a weed warrior!), choral singing, and having coffee with friends.

Laura lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with her husband and a collection of antique clocks. One day she hopes to add a cat or three.

More from Laura

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas is stuck marrying the awful Mr. Collins. It is a prudent choice, given her age and circumstances, but still.

Generations of women readers have felt badly for her, including me. “No, no!” we want to shout. “The man’s a spineless braggart! Don’t marry him!”

Charlotte claims that she is not romantic. We don’t believe that for a minute. She simply hasn’t met the right man.

With an eye on the rugged seaside setting of the classic movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), I decided to change all that. With two little words, I sent Charlotte’s story spinning from its Pride and Prejudice rails: What If?

What if, when Collins returns to Meryton to negotiate the settlement, his lustful thoughts overpower good sense? What if, before they are married, Collins gets handsy—and something within Charlotte snaps? What if she abruptly ends the engagement?

That’s what we would do in real life, right? We’d kick Collins to the curb!

What if, to escape gossip, Charlotte is sent to live with her father’s sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Allen (borrowed from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey). Mr. Allen’s heir is also a house guest, and thus we have a perfect opportunity for romance.

Although I intended to use The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’s Captain Gregg as a model, Captain Jack Blunt wasn’t having any. He strode onto the story’s quarterdeck as very much his own man. For one thing, he is Royal Navy (1812), not merchant marine. And for another, he is surprisingly devout. Although he has a gentleman’s beard like Gregg, he is blond.

If you’re thinking Chris Hemsworth in Thor, you’re getting the right idea.

Look, if our girl Charlotte is brave enough to give Collins the heave-ho, she deserves to meet a swoony hero, right?

Captain Blunt’s house by the sea in Dorset plays the role of Captain Gregg’s Gull CottageCliff House, and the cove it’s built above, almost become characters themselves as Charlotte and Jack share daily walks beside the sea. This book is filled with delicious banter between the two. Isn’t that our favorite thing about a romance?

So This Is Love is a swashbuckling, sweep-away Regency that is just plain fun to read. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, November 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connect in Fiction, November 6

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 7

Pause for Tales, November 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 8

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9

Emily Yager, November 9

She Lives To Read, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Blossoms and Blessings, November 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Laura 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/102f0/so-this-is-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

I hope you leave a comment on this blog. Happy Reading!

Add a New Perspective

What a year 2020 has been, and it isn’t over yet! As I am living this year of unpredicted, unusual, unprecedented events, I reach back into history, wondering how unique this strange year is in the centuries. I’m no expert on politics or pandemics, but I do love studying historical events. The one I’m most familiar with is the American Revolution. Even with my research, I have only touched a fragment of available information.

Anyway, I can’t help but make a little comparison. I’m not going to touch the subject of the politics of today. Let’s go on a journey to the 1770s in the thirteen colonies. What a conglomeration of people from different nations, backgrounds, and languages. The things they had in common circled around wanting something different than they had in their former lands, whether for religious, financial, or political reasons. Some even involved criminal elements. But did they expect a major war that would turn their world upside down.?

It wasn’t total chaos. Years of preparation, discussions, decisions, study, and even voting flooded the colonies. The destiny of a nation was formed through debate, disagreements, amendments, creativity, prayer, and eventually battles. The birth of our nation was painful, but the Patriots thought it important enough to press on to claim freedom for all mankind. Perfect? Far from it. I think we are still pursuing that goal today.

Heads up, my friends. Looking into the past can bring you hope in these times. Faith in our God goes a long way to living a peaceful life even in a year as confusing as 2020.

Can you think of another example of when the world was thrown into chaos and survived?