Review and Giveaway The Petticoat Spy

About the Book

Book: The Petticoat Spy

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: October 5, 2021

A Charles Town belle and a blockade runner ignite fireworks in more ways than one during the American Revolution.

To Anna Grace Laurens, the war is like a distant bad dream until her family’s Charles Town plantation is burned and her parents murdered by those loyal to the king. She flees on horseback and leaps into the Cooper River to escape her pursuers.

As John Cooper Vargas sails his sloop down the river, he spots a woman diving into the water. After firing on the Tory raiders chasing her, he rescues her and offers to take her with his parents to an island hideaway for the duration of the war. But she has other plans, including revenge for her parents’ deaths. She insists he drop her off in Charles Town, even with the British planning a massive attack by land and sea to retake the city, the Pearl of the South.

John employs his sailing skills for the patriots, risking capture and death, but he enjoys his skirmishes with the British navy blockade to bring goods from the islands to aid the cause. But when Charles Town falls to the British, he docks his ship in a secret cove and joins Francis Marion’s militia. This decision lands him wounded on a harbor prison ship where more men die than on the battlefield.

Anna Grace braves the deprivations, first of a city barricaded against the British, and then one surrendered and ruled by fists of iron under the English flag and injustice. Can she find a way to rescue John before it’s too late?

As both American and English armies gather near Yorktown, Virginia, for a pivotal battle, can John and Anna’s love for each other and their faith in God preserve them and help forge a new nation?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Old friends come to life—historical giants of the American Revolution in South Carolina: Christopher Gadsden, Francis Marion, The Ravenels, and the Laurens. I embrace their familiarity as the characters interact with the Patriots.

The author’s beloved individuals from her first two books in the series (The Pirate’s Purchase and The Sultan’s Captive) has produced a strong, brave, pirate-like rebel to sail the British infested waters in attempts to aid the Patriots. With the aid of a lady-spy, they accomplish battle-worthy feats. One of my favorite eras draws me face to face with questions about what I would have done. Would I cower or dig for bravery? Retreat or become a spy? I’ve enjoyed the history and lives of Charles Town’s best possession: her people!

About the Author

Elva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at http://www.elvamartin.com.

More from Elva

I loved researching and writing this historical novel in a day when our nation’s true history is being threatened by political change agents. My faith in our godly heritage and the courage and faith of so many true Americans was confirmed as never before. Who can ever discount the wisdom, bravery, and escapades of Francis Marion, Andrew Pickens, and Thomas Sumter that helped save South Carolina after the British retook Charleston? Who can doubt the prayers and courage of George Washington and the Continental Army, and the many brave patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice, or who suffered privation and loss of property but who never gave up the dream of a free nation? We are the land of the free because of the brave.

In honor of the brave patriots, I placed quotes from leaders in this period at the head of each chapter. Here’s the quote I chose to introduce the book:

The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in the course of the war that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith. –George Washington, August 20, 1778.

Many interesting tidbits I found in my research surprised me. Francis Marion was dubbed the Swamp Fox by his British pursuers who could never catch him. His battle tactics gave him the distinction of being the father of modern guerilla warfare and the inspiration for Mel Gibson’s character in The Patriot. Also, Marion did not drink alcoholic beverages. The drink he prescribed for himself and required of anyone who joined his militia was the old Roman drink of water mixed with a little vinegar. Today we know this as a fortifying concoction, and it probably prevented scurvy and was a natural antibiotic for the militia.

Another surprising tidbit I learned was about George Washington. Barely into his second term as president (1793) the popular French Ambassador Genet stirred up a furor with a lot of the colonists. He wanted to force Washington to join France in their renewed war against England. Having just won our independence, the president refused to lead our fledgling nation back into war. Ten thousand people gathered in the streets of Philadelphia, the nation’s then capital, day after day, and threatened to drag Washington out of his house, raucously demanding that America take up France’s struggle for liberty as France had done for America. The peace and unity of the new nation seemed to be hanging by a thread.

Just when it seemed like the new nation would fall over the precipice into anarchy, America was ultimately saved, according to the later retired Vice President Adams, by an outbreak of Yellow Fever in the capital city. “The coolest and firmest minds,” he told Jefferson, “have given their opinions to me, that nothing but Yellow Fever…could have saved the United States from a total Revolution of government.”

The exploding epidemic sent those who could afford to, fleeing the city, and those who couldn’t, locked themselves up inside their homes.

I discovered this incident of heated colonial protest during the recent rioting and destruction of property that rocked our American cities in the summer and fall of 2020. It actually gave me hope for our nation. It seems there have always been hotheads in every generation who rise up against the rule of law and order. However, America and our wonderful Constitution have been preserved, and we give God the praise, and pray for His continued help.

The Petticoat Spy is, above all, Anna Grace Laurens and John Cooper Vargas’ love story. It’s also the story of the patriot dream and victory over an undefeated British military while also dealing with serious supply shortages and conspiring neighbors who hated the dreamers.

It is my prayer that both threads will inspire hope and encouragement to all my readers.

Elva Cobb Martin

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 5

Life, Love, Writing, October 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 6

Rebecca Tews, October 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8

Texas Book-aholic, October 9

Joanna Bair, October 9

Inklings and notions, October 10

Betti Mace, October 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 11

For Him and My Family, October 12

deb’s Book Review, October 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 15

Connect in Fiction, October 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 16

Connie’s History Classroom, October 17

She Lives To Read, October 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 18

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/11dd3/the-petticoat-spy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Great Lakes Light by Kari Trumbo

This is a different review from what I normally do. I have found a new-to-me author this year. I’ve read some of her contemporary novels: Secret Beach Boyfriend (Book 3 in the Independence Islands Series), Matchmaker’s Best Friend (Book 9 in the Independence Islands Series), and More than a Heartthrob (Book 15 in the Independence Islands Series.) I love her style and encouraging and entertaining stories. As you know, I crave and seek out historical fiction. Great Lakes Light fits perfectly with my genre-likings.

My Review

Ah…another place to add to may travel list: the Great Lakes. The words flowing from Kari Trumbo’s pen sink into the crevasses of my curious brain. The beauty and mystery and sheer power of the lakes inundates the lives of her characters. Three women face their own struggles with nature in their male dominated world of the early 1900s.

When the mores and social whims tell you to step no closer, what do you do with your convictions to step forward to instigate change? I tend to cross the lines an inch or two to test the resistance. On this Great Lake’s journey, that line is guarded by fathers, government, and the culture. Yet, each woman seizes the moment to do her part in a crisis—one involving saving lives.

Thanks, Kari, for a glimpse into the past and the awesome beauty and majesty of the Great Lakes. Five stars!!!

About the book, Great Lakes Light

Here is the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Lakes-Light-Kari-Trumbo/dp/B09FS31QKG/ref

Tossed on the stormy waters of Lake Superior, can three best friends risk everything to bring the safety of a lighthouse?

Guide in the Storm


April is a journalist, working tirelessly the night of November 28, 1905. She captures photographs of ships going down in the gale. A lighthouse could’ve saved them. When she shares her story and a lobbyist comes to team up with her, can the pair work together, or will his connection to the men trying to stop them keep them apart?

Safety on the Rock

Danielle travels to Washington D.C. to watch the lighthouse hearings. Her lifelong friend and confident, Oliver, sits by her side as the legislature determines what is more important, men or money. She takes a risk to keep a representative safe, but can Oliver keep her from the danger of people who’d like the world to forget the stormy waters of Lake Superior?

Light in the Darkness

Candice has watched her friends help the process of bringing a lighthouse to Split Rock, but what can she do? Her father is a ship’s captain and she’s far too close to the problem. He introduces her to Acke, a young captain who is the answer to the problems at the build site. But will he survive the dangerous conditions to bring the needed supplies when fall storms hit the Great Lakes?

Will anyone see a light over Lake Superior from Split Rock? Follow these three friends in their quest to bring a lighthouse to the largest of the Great Lakes.

Get the entire Regional Romance Series featuring scenic historic locations, exciting drama, and sweet (yet swoony) romance!

About Kari Trumbo:

Where western meets happily ever after.

Kari writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart.
Her favorite place to write about is the place her heart lives, (even if she doesn’t) South Dakota.

Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota, land of frigid toes and mosquitoes the size of compact cars, with her husband of over twenty years. They have two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.

My advice!

Give Kari Trumbo’s novels a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Has anyone been to the Great Lakes? I hope to go soon…

Great Lakes Light Amazon link again: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Lakes-Light-Kari-Trumbo/dp/B09FS31QKG/ref

Multi-Author Giveaway Bring on the Fall!

Hello, Readers!

Fall is here and we are looking to stock up that TBR pile for winter!

I have partnered up with Celebrate Lit Publicity to do an amazing giveaway where you can win a spectacular prize of over 50 books or a $500 Amazon gift card to buy books you love to build up that TBR pile!

Be sure to enter Celebrate Lit’s Bring on the Fall Multi-Author Giveaway going on now through October 16.

Enter here: https://promosimple.com/ps/11771/2nd-annual-bring-on-the-fall-multi-author-giveaway

Review and Giveaway A Warrior’s Heart

About the Book

Book: A Warrior’s Heart

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 31, 2021

Brielle Durand still feels haunted by the massacre that killed her mother a dozen years before. Vowing to never let it happen again, she’s risen to be the key defender for her people’s peace-loving French settlement living in hidden caves in the Canadian Rockies. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret homes, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. But now, what to do with this man who looks at her in a strange way and insists he can be trusted?

Hoping to escape past regrets, Evan MacManus ventured into the unknown, assigned to discover if the northern mountains contain an explosive mineral that might help America win the War of 1812. Despite being taken prisoner, Evan is determined to complete his mission. But when that assignment becomes at odds with his growing appreciation of the villagers and Brielle, does he follow through on the promise he’s made to his government or take a risk on the path his heart is leading him down? Either choice will cause harm to someone.

Brielle and Evan must reconcile the warring in their hearts, if they’ve any hope to find the peace the seek.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

French settlement. Hidden caves. Canadian Rockies. All the words conjure up a life on the edge of civilization. A well-kept secret with the potential of explosion when faced with the volatile maneuverings of the rest of the world. Add 1814, an American government man, and a war to the equation, and one cannot help but wonder if the outcome could ever be a positive one.

Once again Misty Beller has created a world based on historic truisms with vibrant characters in a time of upheaval. A question of values and beliefs. A remembrance of past wrongs replaced by possible hopes and refurbished dreams. Wander the mountain trails and experience a fresh look at history as she presents her tale of longing for peace and hope.

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

More from Misty

A secret village living in hidden caves for a century…

One of the fun things about being a writer is letting your imagine run away with itself at times. In general, I’ve never considered myself a creative person. Not like my grandmother, who’s an amazing artist and decorator. She can look at something plain and normal and, with a little paint, create something truly beautiful.

But little by little, I’ve finally learned that just because I don’t feel creative like she is, I still have an imagination that can come up with intriguing ideas.

For example, I was listening to a historical podcast a few years ago that talked about the Vikings and the female warriors who would sometimes gain fame among them. As the hosts talked about the first Viking raids to North America, I started thinking… “What if one of those groups went farther west than any of us thought? What if they found the Rocky Mountains and lived there in a hidden community for centuries?” The thought took hold, and little by little, the idea for the Brides of Laurent series came to life.

I eventually changed the village to be a French settlement named Laurent. The village’s primary warrior was a woman named Brielle Durand, who’d worked hard to win her place as Le Commandant, leader of the Guards and Hunters. I love Brielle’s strength and wit, but also how real her personal struggles became as I wrote her character.

Add in a mountain man spy working for the United States government, and you have the secret for a romance with sparks to light up the mountain sky!

I pray you love A Warrior’s Heart, the first book in this new series. And keep an eye on some of the other characters in the book who might get their own stories soon!

Blessings!

Misty

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 30

An Author’s Take, September 30

Remembrancy, October 1

Bigreadersite, October 1

lakesidelivingsite, October 2

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

Joanna Bair, October 2

Inklings and notions, October 3

To Everything There Is A Season, October 3

Reviewingbooksplusmore, October 3

Wishful Endings, October 4

For Him and My Family, October 4

Mary Hake, October 4

deb’s Book Review, October 5

Life of Literature, October 5

Betti Mace, October 6

Blossoms and Blessings, October 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 6

Blessed & Bookish, October 7

Connie’s History Classroom, October 7

For the Love of Literature, October 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 8

Connect in Fiction, October 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 10

Through the Fire Blogs, October 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 11

Simple Harvest Reads, October 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 12

Pause for Tales, October 12

Live. Love. Read., October 12

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/11dc9/a-warrior-s-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Review and Giveaway More than a Heartthrob

Heartthrob

About the Book

Book: More Thank A Heartthrob

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: September 28, 2021

Trumbo_More_Than_a_Heartthrob

Whoever said beauty is only skin deep lied. Beauty begins from within.

Jazzy is comfortable in her own skin, but the world cringes at it. Her personal armor since her teen years, makeup hides the scars that make anyone who sees them wince. The true test of any friend is: will they accept her without it?

Chris races to Hooper Island to escape a life-altering situation. The only person he knows and can trust there is a woman he met once. It wasn’t a good meeting. Lost and lonely after being the center of attention in Hollywood, he won’t risk losing the one friend he has.

Befriending Chris poses a risk Jazzy is loath to take. If anyone will reject her for her scars, it’ll be a guy whose life is focused on beauty. But as she helps him work through his own problems and his struggles with faith, will she gather the courage to pluck the plank from her own eye?

Once alone and vulnerable, will Jazzy and Chris rely on one another? Or will the force of their polar opposite lives push them apart—for good.

More Than a Heartthrob continues the Hooper Island stories of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

One thing I love about this multi-author book series is following the characters from book to book as they grow and change as they meet the challenges of life head-on. Jazzy is one of those characters introduced earlier that I wanted to know better immediately. This book is her story–although in my imagination she has only begun her adventure.

An important question is posed–in my words, how much do I need to change to make the world happy with me? The challenge put forth in this novel is real. What masks do I wear and why? What does God want me to do and be? To what extreme do I go to be comfortable in my own skin? My self-worth as seen through God’s eyes is the answer.

Bravo, Kari, for another inspiring installment.

About the Author

kari

Kari writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart.
Her favorite place to write about is the place her heart lives, (even if she doesn’t) South Dakota.

Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota, land of frigid toes and mosquitoes the size of compact cars, with her husband of over twenty years. They have two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.

More from Kari

Hello Readers!

Welcome to the blog tour for More than a Heartthrob. I hope you’ve had a chance to read about the book a little. Thank you to today’s blog host and to Celebrate Lit for the tour and for publishing this great set.

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like everyone was staring at you for whatever reason? For me, it’s my weight. I’ve been overweight since my second year of marriage when I made a personal (and poor) decision to take a medication that made me gain a lot of weight quickly. And because of back pain, I’ve never been successful in shedding it.

For Jasmine (Jazzy), it’s her scars and lack of hair that she hides under makeup and wigs. She’s carefully kept them a secret her entire life. Only her friends and family know. She even has a beauty vlog (video blog) where she talks about faith and gives beauty tips.

But she isn’t happy. She’s lonely because it’s all fake. The skin she shows the world isn’t hers. I know I feel like that sometimes when I hide behind baggy clothes or sit behind a table so no one can really see me.

But, do people really think in their heads what we think they are? All that worry is spent, but it is fruitful? The answer to that, is no. Do some people judge us on our looks, behavior, or faith? Absolutely, but this book challenges the view that people “always” do.

Jazzy is challenged to forgo what she thinks makes her beautiful, it’s a twist on the old beauty and the beast story and I think you’re going to enjoy it. Especially because the guy who believes in her most, is the one society says should be the most critical, a Hollywood actor.

I hope, if you’re one of those people who wishes for a tall plant to hide behind when you’re in a crowded room, that you’ll find a kindred spirit in Jazzy.

Kari

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 2

Blossoms and Blessings, October 2

lakesidelivingsite, October 3

Texas Book-aholic, October 3

She Lives To Read, October 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 5

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 5 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, October 6

CarpeDiem, October 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, October 7

SusanLovesBooks, October 7

For Him and My Family, October 7

Connect in Fiction, October 8

deb’s Book Review, October 8

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 9

Splashes of Joy, October 9

Batya’s Bits, October 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 11

Blogging With Carol, October 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 13

Simple Harvest Reads, October 13 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 14

Kayem Reads, October 14

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 15

Daysong Reflections, October 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away the grand prize package 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/11dd0/more-than-a-heartthrob-celebration-tour-giveaway

The old, godly way

While reading yesterday, this verse from Jeremiah reached me in a way I really needed. A place of confusion and questions. In need of direction, these words resonated and rested where I could understand and utilize them right away.

The Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.” –Jeremiah 6:16

How often am I, and possibly you, at a crossroads? My tendency is to not pause and look around, but I want to race in the direction I think is best—the easiest, the shortest, the cheapest, the friendliest. The one with the least resistance.

These words encourage me to halt, to rest, to look, to study. At that point I shall see the old, godly way. This way is proven and stamped by God as the perfect way for me. I’m not a trailblazer, nor am I a stoic follower without contemplation. But many times, I just take off and do things. And I’m tired along the journey.

But, look what God promises: Rest for your souls. When I have traveled the road planned for me, I can enjoy and relax in its purpose. I want this to be my goal for this season of my life—well, for all the seasons God gives me.

Stop, look, ask and walk! Great advice!  

Review and Giveaway Seasoned Grace

Seasoned Grace copy

About the Book

Book:  Seasoned Grace

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: August 31, 2021

Wardwell_Seasoned_Grace

You can run from your past, but you can’t escape it.

Though he disappeared that day, Raylin McReynolds never believed her father died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

So, when a mysterious letter arrives from Breakers Head, informing her that she would find him on the Independence Islands off the coast of Georgia, she has no choice but to find a job, get there, find her father.

As mainland troubles encroach on Hooper Island, Sean Anderson devises a plan and presents it to the island pastors and his cousin, Scott. The result: Grace Mission—a place where those struggling can find the help they need.

What he didn’t need was a distraction in the form of a newcomer to the islands—a mission volunteer, no less.

Others at the mission, Beth and Scott, see more than just frustration brew between Raylin and Sean. What will it take to convince Sean and Raylin to stop bickering long enough to see what’s obvious to everyone else?

Raylin’s on a mission to find her father and protect her heart, but neither seem willing to cooperate.

Seasoned Grace continues the Hooper Island stories of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I was hooked after the first few pages. What a draw to the story, as I clutched the pages. Do I continue quickly or savor the suspense? Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have to spread out my reading time due to “life.” So, savoring the captivating story, it is! I’ve read every one of Melissa Wardwell’s novels, and this one has touched my heart the most. Why? She covers the pages with emotions and episodes of extreme guilt, heartache, sins and poor decisions. Yet, all is not lost, not yet.

Grace enters the scene every time in our lives. Grace never drifts away with the tide or the falling towers or a father’s misconstrued worth. Oh, the power of grace reaching across twenty years of missed opportunities because of selfish miscalculations. Melissa develops dynamic characters under the powerful umbrella of grace.

About the Author

Melissa Wardwell

She doesn’t mind alternating between the world of writing and the reality of being a mother, but she would rather sit with a good book or a good friend and a cup of coffee.

When she isn’t penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books for her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

Here we are, in the middle of the collection. The third island—Hooper Island. Have you enjoyed the journey so far? I hope you have, I’m sure you have 😉

Seasoned Grace quickly became my favorite addition to the Independence Islands Collection. It is a little more serious on a few of the topics than my first two contributions. Now that a foundation has been set, I felt like I could get a little deeper into my character’s emotions and pasts. People are complex so writing two-dimensional characters are not something I like doing. I want readers to see the secret hurts that mold them into the person they are, and how God can heal those painful areas.

Grace is the running theme throughout this book. Grace enough to let things go, the Father’s grace, showing grace to those around us, and any other form of grace that might come up. Grace is like salt and pepper. It gives the right kind of flavor to our lives. At least I think that is a life quote Gram would tell Beth.

There is one chapter that you will see one of the new characters lay out their painful past in a rather quick way in a conversation with another character. This character suffered much in their life that some will struggle with understanding how they could talk about it so freely (which is why I am shining a light on it now).

When a person has found healing in life by following Christ and has allowed Him to take away the sting of what others have done to them, those moments become easy to talk about with others. Especially if it means that the one listening will seek healing for themselves.

This conversation in the book is intense and thought-provoking. It also displays the level of grace required to see people the way God might see them instead of through our tainted lenses. I found myself crying as I wrote it because I know how freeing it is to forgive and let the Father heal a wounded heart.

Seasoned Grace also has several returning characters—Beth and Scott, Thaddeus, Amara and Dante, Sarah Reid, and her boys. There are also two new faces, Raylin and Sean, as well as a couple of other mobile business owners who come together to help Elnora Island bounce back from a hurricane.

All my contributions to the collection flow from one book to the next like a television series. While the other writers may have written their stories to be independently read from the others, that is not something I have done. Trust me when I say that it wasn’t my original intent. As I saw my five stories develop, there was a constant feeling of community and character interaction throughout the books. I couldn’t just leave some characters behind, never to be heard from again, while I bring in new faces. It just wouldn’t be right. They have developed friendships and that cannot be overlooked. That said, when they come together at the end for Thanksgiving diner, they, and you the reader, will have a pleasant surprise.

So, stay with me, push through, read on—it will all be worth it in the end.

P.S. I realize that I gave a recipe for Scrumptious Independence, but not Heart Pressed. I apologize for that one.

I hope this one makes up for it. Scott’s favorite

Fish Tacos

Oil

If you don’t have a deep fryer (like me), get a thick bottom, deep pan

Use natural oil, like corn or canola oil

Gauge the temperature with a candy or deep fry thermometer

Fill your pan no more than 2/3 of the way

Heat the oil slowly to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit

too low of heat, you will get greasy fish

too high of heat, you will burn the fish

Fish

Cod works the best, but Salmon is pretty interesting option as well.

Rinse it off after thawing if you use frozen fish, excess water will make your oil spatter

Pat it dry with paper towel – I use a lot of paper towel, but I feed five adults

If fish pieces are thick, cut into 1 inch-ish strips.

I use Panko fish batter for my batter. I don’t make it from scratch

Slowly place coated pieces of fish into the hot oil and let it cook until golden brown.

While that cooks, prepare your toppings.

Cole Slaw

8oz. bag of pre-shredded Cole slaw mix

1 1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp of sugar

1 cup of mayo or Miracle Whip

1/4 cup of mustard or 1/2 tsp of mustard powder

Avocado

Make sure it is ripe—soft, not hard

Mash it wit a fork

Cut a lime in 1/2 and squeeze the juice over the mashed avocado

Sprinkle salt and pepper on it

Stir together

Layering the taco

Spread some of the Avocado mixture on a tortilla

Place a strip or two of fried fish on top

Finish with Cole slaw mix

Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 24

Texas Book-aholic, September 25

Blossoms and Blessings, September 25

Inklings and notions, September 26

HappyWhenReading, September 26

For Him and My Family, September 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 27 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 28

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 28

Aryn the Libraryan, September 29

The Sacred Line, September 29

She Lives To Read, September 30

Connect in Fiction, October 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, October 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 3

Life, love, writing, October 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 4

Simple Harvest Reads, October 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 5

Splashes of Joy, October 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 6

Blogging With Carol, October 6

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 7

Mary Hake, October 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package 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/11b5d/seasoned-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway

#BecauseFiction September Edition

Welcome to September’s edition of #Because Fiction with giveaways and interesting articles

https://mailchi.mp/13b87a83a85d/becausefiction-magazine-septemebr-editions-giveaways-more-6228754?e=8bd66cb31f

Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction September Historical Edition with featured authors such as Caryl McAdoo, Marguerite Martin Gray, and Liz Tolsma!

(I’m giving away a copy of Wait for Me!)

https://mailchi.mp/9506e2e14fb8/becausefiction-magazine-september-historical-fiction-giveaways-6227950

Review and Giveaway A Giant Murder

About the Book

Book:  A Giant Murder

Author: Marji Laine

Genre: ChristianHistorical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: August 3, 2021

Would you like a shot of… death with that, sir?

Josephine Jacobs was just doing her job, serving at an exclusive party, so why is she now being accused of shooting TG Taggert?

At a party full of suspects in the murder of Taggert, Josie served the food giant everything but an eternally “parting shot.” Who really killed TG Taggert?  His wife?  His son, Jack?  What about Harper Davis?  Rumor has it, she was having an affair with him—motive for her or Taggert’s wife! The list of those who seemed to hate him keeps growing, including a chemist and a chef!

With her long-time friend, Office Porter O’Brien, Josie sets out to find out who really killed “the giant,” and clear her name.

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. A Giant Murder offers a retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” with enough clues and suspects to keep you looking over your shoulder. We’d recommend Kevlar… but it hasn’t been invented yet!

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

The second fairy tale mystery in the series. This one is a new-to-me author. 1920s Dallas weaves its historic secrets as a murderer wanders the streets, seeking answers harbored by innocent carriers. The elements of this mystery coerce the reader to search for answers from the clues scattered in the rubble. New chaos creates different tactics if the murderer is ever to be discovered.

I love wandering the old streets of Dallas with the characters. Familiar with the present-day city, I see the historic scene from experience. My children were born in Dallas. I’ve attended First Baptist Church and explored the parks and museums. The city, past and present, offers a world of activity and adventure. Bravo for Marji Laine’s accurate depiction of a favorite American city. Thank you for hours of entertainment, following the clues along the trail of inspiring words.

About the Author

Marji Laine is a graduated home-schooling mom of four with two college students staying in the nest for a little longer. She and her hubby of 34 years also share their North Texas home with a rescue pup named Rosie. When Marji isn’t editing or publishing the books for her authors at Write Integrity Press, she indulges in penning her own mystery, suspense, and romance novels. She loves acting in musical comedy, has directed many stage productions, leads a high school Bible study and sings in her church choir. She prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, NASCAR to football, Magnolia pie, white roses, green, and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. You can find her at her website: MarjiLaine.com

More from Marji

I so enjoyed researching the history of downtown Dallas as I crafted my story, A GIANT MURDER. The house that I chose for Josie and her mom is actually still there on Haskell Avenue. The photo with the wrought iron is about twenty years old, but the house was built circa 1914. The photo with the wooden fence is from last year, after a big remodel. This house was also the setting of another of my books. It and the field that used to be next to it was an after-school child care center in AIN’T MISBEHAVING.

Thinking about what life might have been like in this house in the twenties, I can’t help but think about my grandparents. They were teenagers at the time of my story – 1926 – and while my grandfather grew up in, what was then, a little farming town called Paris, Texas, my grandmother grew up in Oak Cliff, just across the bridge over the Trinity River from this house in downtown Dallas.

Makes the research that I did on this era even that much more special. Having come through COVID, I realize that my great-grandparents had to nurture their preteens and teenagers through the Spanish Flu that devastated whole communities. The more things change, the more they stay the same?

All of this reminiscing sent me to an old recipe book that had been a wedding present for me from my mom almost thirty-five years ago. In the dessert section near the back, I found a precious recipe for Date Candy that had come by way of my great-grandmother, Carrie Ethel Leatherwood Morin. I never met her, but I do remember hearing from my mom that she was a woman of faith, and I have a poem she wrote late in life, about growing up in the country.

I would say this is a 1920s recipe, but who could tell? She was a middle-aged mom at that point, so it’s a good bet.

Date Candy

1 box – light brown sugar

4 T – corn syrup

½ pt – whipping cream

1 cup – dates

1 cup – pecans

1 t – vanilla

Mix sugar, syrup, and cream. Cook until almost a hard ball. Just before removing from pan, put in dates and stir until they melt. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat until almost hard – then add pecans. Wet a cup towel. Pour mixture onto cup towel and roll into a roll. Let it cool – firm – then slice.

Let me know if you decide to make my great-grandmother’s candy. I’d love to find out how it turned out!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 17

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

For the Love of Literature, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 19 (Author Interview)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 20

For Him and My Family, September 20

deb’s Book Review, September 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 22

A Reader’s Brain, September 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 23

Connie’s History Classroom, September 24

Simple Harvest Reads, September 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 25

Mary Hake, September 25

Rebecca Tews, September 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 27

Connect in Fiction, September 28

Bigreadersite, September 28

Through the fire blogs, September 29

Blogging With Carol, September 30

Back Porch Reads, September 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marji is giving away the grand prize package 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/119f5/a-giant-murder-celebration-tour-giveaway