Back to school giveaway

Back to School Giveaway Picture 1Kids are back in school and fall is on its way! You know what that means? We need books, books, and more books!  To help readers fill up their TBR pile, we are hosting a HUGE Back to School Giveaway.
Don’t miss your chance to enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card and over 40+ books. Click here to enter:  https://promosimple.com/ps/ea58/back-to-school-promo-2019
Back to School Giveaway Picture 1 (B)The event and giveaway is going on now through September 22
***Notice Bring Me Near is one of the books! Tell all your friends!

My TBR for the Fall

IMG_2241Well, I’m ready for fall, and I have the books to read. If only I had a cool breeze and a reason to fix a cup of hot chocolate. But, I can’t wait for the weather to change in order to start these new books. As always I have so many to choose from, and I keep ordering more.

IMG_2234The first one is A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette. I’ve already read the second one in the series. This is Biblical fiction about a Levitical city of refuge. What a great way to contemplate what might have happened in the time of Joshua and tribes of Israel.

I am the oldest of four sisters, so this title fascinated me. 12 Sisters who Changed History. Amber D. Schamel offers six stories exploring the lives of 12 women who found their places in history.

Kellyn Roth is a young author. Her Chronicles of Alice and Ivy Book 2 is Ivy Introspective about a girl sent to a boarding school far from home. I enjoyed Book 1 too.

A long-lost cousin appears in Ryan’s life opening up questions about the past. Is it true that Christmas is a time for miracles? Miracle on Maple Street is written by Linda Rondeau.

1813 England. In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson secrets and their uncovering drive the characters to seek answers. Murderers, smugglers, and spies, oh my!

Contemporary fiction, Snow out of Season by Christy Brunke is about two pregnant women separated by time and somehow they are connected. But how?

I love a princess story. Lady Airell’s Choice by Rachel Skatvold satisfies my princess search in this medieval romance. 1187 A.D.

There it is. What will you be reading this fall? Share below so others can find a good book or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you planning on reading in the next few months?

Importance of Community: Family and Friends

This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”               John 15: 12-13

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I have always been surrounded by family: a house full of sisters, grandparents not far away, then my own children and husband. With three sisters now married with children, our gatherings at special occasions consist of lots of relatives. I love it! For the majority of my adult life, I’ve lived a few hours away from my parents and siblings. The time together seemed so short but packed full of memories. I’ve been blessed with my large family. Today, I’m still hours from my sisters, yet I’m only a few hundred yards from my parents. I love it!

IMG_0699Family, and friends, form an important circle around my life, encouraging me with love and support. The bond is firm, strong, and unwavering, one I can’t imagine living without. Through the years friends have come and gone, leaving me now with the ones to see me through the rest of my life.

I enjoy my community of family and friends. Even when I am alone, I know I have the love of many who challenge me not to give up, to face my days with hope and courage.  Even though blessed with a close family and a few dedicated friends, I know God is always with me giving me my community of family and friends.

070.JPGI hope you have your own community of family and friends. God’s blessings!

 

Review: Sword of Forgiveness

After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father’s estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosen Craig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn’t enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered.When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin’s wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.

Purchase your copy here:

My Review

1398 England—What a frightful time to live! Would you want to live in a castle fighting for your life? I find this time fascinating as the people struggle with protecting their lives, securing food and sanitary conditions, deciphering God’s plan and God’s word. Debbie Costello maneuvers her characters through a barrage of events that challenge their precarious positions in society and basic level of relationship with God. God is still present in their world of swords and battles. Sometimes, as with us, the battle is against God. The lessons we learn over and over—to forgive, to trust, to love—abound even in the 14th century. Life lessons that must be revisited for our present time too. Hold on as the characters present challenges that we might be experiencing right now—minus the swords.

About the Author

Debbie Lynne Costello is the author of Sword of Forgiveness, Amazon’s #1 seller for Historical Christian Romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina with their 5 horses, 3 dogs, cat, and miniature donkey

 

 

Follow the author on Social Media:

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Leave any comments or questions below. Happy reading.

Importance of Community: Social

colonial-dance.jpgLast week I shared that many find the community of faith to be a pillar of life that supports all other areas. I agree. Whether a community like Charles Town, S.C. 1776 or a modern town, city, or village. But what else holds a special place in our lives? I believe one is the social element. Society.

img_2201.jpgAs I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of an introvert, not minding my own company. In the past, social events pulled me to participate. Now, not so much. I was one to always have a dinner party or birthday gathering. Fun. Fiesta. As my life continued to get busier and fuller, I found my social calendar suffered.

I remember the regular parties my friends and I had about fifteen years ago. We called them “hoolahs.” Every season, every occasion, or no occasion. The laughter, the food, and the awesome memories. So worth it!

Perhaps, we have lost the art of social events. I’m thinking back to the 1770s. In my Revolutionary Faith Series, Elizabeth and Louis enjoy numerous community events, large and small. Their commitments tire me just reading about them.  Dinners. Balls. Weddings. Charity events. Gowns. Hats. Flowers. In their world without movies, TV, cars, and internet, these events filled their time as entertainment. We’ve lost the need for that level of entertainment. And perhaps we’ve replaced these personal encounters with our impersonal devices.

IMG_2200I think I might plan a “hoolah” to satisfy my desire for social mingling.

Do you entertain at your home? 

State of Lies Review

state of lies FB banner

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: State of Lies

Author: Siri Mitchell

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: August 13, 2019

Months after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie State of liesBrennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.

With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next Secretary of Defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains. Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too.

The more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.

Not her friends.

Not her parents.

Maybe not even herself.

Click here to grab your copy.

My Review

After the first chapter, I could not put the book down, except at night. The suspense and drama surrounding the untimely death of Georgie’s husband made my heart pound and my head spin as pieces of her normal life fall asunder leaving only lies. LIES. I started wondering about my life and all the things around me that seem normal to me. It was eerie. The knowledge the author portrays about the military, government, and science far exceeds my knowledge base. I felt a part of the investigation, inspecting under my bed for clues and suspects. To protect my dreams, I only read it during the day!

If you want a suspenseful read, this is a good choice for you. I couldn’t figure out the answers. Can you?

About the Author

SIRI-MITCHELL_headshot Mitchell is the author of 14 novels. She has also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri is a big fan of the semi-colon but thinks the Oxford comma is irritatingly redundant. Visit her online at sirimitchell.com; Facebook: SiriMitchell; Twitter: @SiriMitchell.

More from Siri

A Sense of Place

I’m so excited about the release of State of Lies! Among the many reasons for my excitement is the fact that I set the story in my own home town: Arlington, VA. Here are some things you might not know about Arlington:

  1. Arlington was originally included within the borders of Washington, DC.
  2. Arlington isn’t actually a city – it’s a county. We’re the smallest self-governing county in the nation.
  3. Arlington regularly takes the top spot as the most educated place in the country.
  4. Arlington LOVES books. I count at least a dozen different little libraries in my neighborhood alone.
  5. Our region often has a hurricane warning or two every hurricane season. Can you guess where I’ve seen the longest lines when people start to make last-minute preparations? It’s not the grocery store; it’s not the hardware store. It’s the library! (Why wouldn’t you stock up on books too?)
  6. We host Arlington National Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Pentagon.
  7. We are home to the very first Five Guys hamburger joint location.
  8. We are also home to the headquarters of over a dozen national agencies as well as organizations like Rosetta Stone and Nestlé.
  9. People who attended our high schools include Sandra Bullock, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, Katie Couric, and Patch Adams.
  10. The thing I love most about Arlington? Its people. Countless government contractors members of the federal workforce live here. I number them among my friends and neighbors. I’ve never met a group more dedicated, more informed, or more determined to put their expertise to good use. And guess what? My heroine, Georgie Brennan, is one of them!

 

The Pentagon and Washington, DC

Blog Stops

Hallie Reads, August 30

Bigreadersite , August 30

Living Life Free in Christ, August 30

Connect in Fiction, August 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 31

Texas Book-aholic, August 31

janicesbookreviews, September 1

A Reader’s Brain, September 1

Inklings and notions , September 1

Life of Literature, September 2

Real World Bible Study, September 2

Please leave any comments.

 

Surf Smugglers Review and Giveaway

Surf Smugglers FB Banner

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Surf Smugglers

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: August 15, 2019

In the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Surf Smugglers CoverCove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness.

Adding to Anna’s frustrations, her good friend Dr. Daniel seems to run hot and cold. He loves Oregon, and maybe Anna too, but he’s pulled by his East Coast family responsibilities. Even the lure of a new modern Sunset Cove hospital doesn’t seem enough to keep him in Sunset Cove.

Meanwhile, Anna’s strong-willed daughter Katy continues to develop her dress shop by inviting family friend Sarah Rose to help out. But the woman’s presence tests the small town’s tolerance. And Anna’s concern that her daughter is growing up too fast is confirmed when Katy’s romantic life takes an unexpected turn, which Anna fears is influenced by the pressure of a devastating war that is not only changing the entire world but Sunset Cove as well.

My Review

I love dialogue. Melody Carlson has crafted a surplus of riveting dialogue is Surf Smugglers to satisfy my craving and interest. The pages are full of interaction between the characters through their words as well as their deeds. The dialogue holds the story together as it drives the plot forward.

Also, I always enjoy a novel full of history where I learn new things or rediscover facts I had forgotten. This novel confronts the issues of war, race, NAACP, journalism, and women’s rights and independence from the worldview of 1917. Through multi-generation relationships, the conflict is relevant, real, and even reassuring. Reassuring because today the conflict between generations is obvious leading to drama and hopefully understanding on both sides.

By the end of Surf Smugglers, I find hope and forgiveness through the personal conflicts and sacrifices brought on by war and progress.

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for Melody Carlsonteens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

 

More from Melody

My favorite way to learn history is through historical fiction—both by reading and by writing it. And I’ve discovered that World War 1 (previously known as the Great War, since WW2 had yet to happen) is quite fascinating. As well as incredibly sad. But I’m amazed at how science and technology evolved so quickly in this era. Whether it was advancement in automotive, communication, medicine . . . the culture was rapidly changing. And the war pushed it along at an even faster pace.

Another factor that makes this era interesting is prohibition. Oregon, my home state and where I set my series, was one of the earliest states to adopt prohibition of alcohol—in 1914. As a result, Oregon became ripe territory for bootlegging and rum-running along the coastline. And because my series involves a small town coastal newspaper that’s run (gasp!) by a woman, it gets even more interesting—and exciting!

Speaking of women, the suffrage movement was approved in Oregon in 1912—also well ahead of the rest of the nation (and the main reason that prohibition passed). My theory on why this happened is that the brave women who’d made the arduous journey West (via perilous wagon train or long hard voyages on clipper ships) were strong and opinionated and tough. And many of them were sick and tired of drunken slacker husbands. Also, thanks to Oregon’s amazing land donation act of 1850, many of these women were equal landowners to their husbands—and land equaled power.

Of course, what these suffragette-prohibition supporters didn’t realize is that banning alcohol would make matters worse because bootlegging and rum-running suddenly became a very lucrative business. The crime rate soared and the booze continued to flow freely. But all this makes for good newspaper stories, keeping our female editor in chief rather busy. In the first two books of the series, Anna McDowell has her hands full with trying to run her ailing father’s newspaper, restoring family relationships, and staying ahead of the growing crime element in Sunset Cove.

By book three, Surf Smugglers, Anna has her feet under her and doing a good job of standing up to the criminal element in their region. But by now the Great War is really heating up and the United States must get involved. Of course, this means that many young men, as well as Anna’s very good friend Dr. Daniel Hollister, are being shipped overseas to serve. Meanwhile, there is plenty of trouble at home. And the rum-runners, who despise the newspaper’s support of prohibition, target Anna’s good friend Sarah Rose because she’s a woman of color who’s sought refuge from the big city . . . and naturally things get dicey.

I’m currently finishing up the fourth and final book of the Legacy if Sunset Cove series, and I’m sad to think my ‘history lesson’ in this interesting era is drawing to an end. Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve really come to love the McDowell family . . . and I’m getting worried that not all the men from Sunset Cove will survive the brutal war. Of course, this is fiction . . . but the war was very real and the losses were great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the war to end all wars like they’d hoped, but I appreciate the sentiment . . . and continue to pray for world peace.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, August 31

Connect in Fiction, August 31

Among the Reads, September 1

She Lives To Read, September 1

Through the Fire Blogs, September 1

For Him and My Family, September 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 2

Just the Write Escape, September 3

Patiently Waiting, September 3

Blogging With Carol , September 3

CarpeDiem, September 4

Betti Mace, September 4

Christian Bookaholic , September 4

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 5

Wishful Endings, September 5

Remembrancy, September 5

Maureen’s Musings, September 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , September 6

Bigreadersite , September 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 7

It’s Story Time With Van Daniker, September 7

Connie’s history classroom , September 8

For the Love of Literature, September 8

Hallie Reads, September 8

Moments, September 9

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9

FOR THE LOVE of Books , September 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 10

Pause for Tales, September 10

To Everything A Season, September 10

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Older & Smarter?, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 12

janicesbookreviews, September 13

A Reader’s Brain, September 13

Inklings and notions , September 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize of three of her books: Harbor Secrets, Riptide Rumors, and Surf Smugglers!!

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/e982/surf-smugglers-celebration-tour-giveaway

Please comment and enter for a chance to win!