Multi-Author Giveaway

Giveaway Pic 6I’m so excited about being a part of this multi-author giveaway. Follow the link for your chance to win. Please post to your social media sites too.
Readers, we are so thankful for YOU! Your support and encouragement mean the world.  To show our appreciation for all you do, we are hosting a HUGE 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/efda/thankful-for-our-readers
This giveaway is going on now through Nov 10.
Giveaway Pic 15Thank you so very much!

El Día de los Muertos

IMG_2681As a preface to this blog, I want to remind you that I teach high school Spanish. Today–this week–was exciting in my classroom. I want to share some pictures and activities that the students and I enjoyed. Pay close attention to all the color!

IMG_2690El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) corresponds to All Saint’s Day–with a twist. This is a Mexican holiday, a true celebration of the dead. There is nothing sad about this day. The families welcome the opportunity to remember their loved ones through various activities. A fiesta for a few weeks ending with this day and November 2.

I started on Monday with a brief history with colorful slides. Believe me there were lots of questions about the colorful skulls and the decorated altars in the homes. The week continued with making papel picado which is the cutouts on tissue paper that we hung from the ceiling. Face painting consumed one class period–no princesses or witches. The students designed colorful skulls! We made paper flowers and the girls put theirs on headbands. Today we finished with a party and a movie—“Coco.”

If you ever have the opportunity to participate in this rendition of  Halloween, try to grasp the idea of celebrating your loved ones.

Do you know anything about Day of the Dead?

Aiming for Love Review and Giveaway

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Aiming for Love

Author: Mary Connealy

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: October 2, 2019

Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew upAiming for Love nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world–a world she’s been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls’ secret home, her older sister is especially frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away.

David’s parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. But his father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Do you like reading about a society existing outside the known world? Well, Connealy has given the reader such a place with vibrant characters living tucked away from civilization and the advances made in the recent years. I was so excited to meet three sisters secluded in the mountains of Colorado in 1873. I question if I could have survived in the rugged terrain with only the knowledge taught by my grandmother and grandfather.

As exciting as that might sound to live away from the problems of society such as disease, finances, war, and expectations of others, community brings love, hope, help, and meaning to life. I learned a few lessons from reading this novel. One has to do with what I teach my children and grandchildren about God. I need to be diligent that my words speak the truth. Also, I want to appreciate my family members to the degree that I want them to thrive in their surroundings and callings.

Connealy gives me much to think about as she carries her characters through the collision of two worlds. I look forward to other installments of the Brides of Hope Mountain.

About the Author

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” Connealy_Maryand is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com.

More from Mary

What would it do to someone to run wild from nearly their earliest memory?

What if three young girls had the basic skills to survive a rugged life but no adults to guide them?

Would they grow up to be a completely odd and untamed version of themselves, or the truest, in some ways most honest version?

I wanted to explore that idea: wild children, tough young women, afraid of the invading world, but lonely, too. So I created the plot for my Brides of Hope Mountain series by mixing the three little girls who’d grown up wild on the top of a mountain with some fairy tale ideas.

Book one, Aiming for Love, is Josephine Nordegren’s story. I had this vision of Ariel the mermaid seeing a man for the first time when strangers invade the high valley she lives in with only her two sisters. Curiosity is her besetting sin, or so she’s always been told. She has wilderness skills, mainly in the form of owning a bow and arrow and understanding wild animals, but for the first time, she is drawn to a man.

Jo needs to be tamed, or Dave, the man she can’t stop watching from in the woods, needs to learn the ways of the wild, because they’re out of place in each other’s worlds.

Blog Stops

Hallie Reads, October 31

Connect in Fiction, October 31

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, October 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , November 1

To Everything There Is A Season, November 1

Daysong Reflections, November 1

Splashes of Joy, November 1

Moments, November 2

Simple Harvest Reads, November 2

Batya’s Bits, November 2

She Lives To Read, November 2

EmpowerMoms, November 3

Seasons of Opportunities, November 3

Remembrancy, November 3

Blessed & Bookish, November 4

For the Love of Literature, November 4

Through the Fire Blogs, November 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 4

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 5

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 5

Pause for Tales , November 5

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

janicesbookreviews, November 6

A Reader’s Brain, November 7

Inklings and notions , November 7

Leona J. Atkinson, November 7

Lukewarm Tea, November 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away a grand prize package of a $20 Amazon gift card, a copy of Aiming for Love, and a copy of Fairy Tales from Around the World!!

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/ed95/aiming-for-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

I look forward to your comments here.

The Painted Castle Review

The Painted Castle FB Banner

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: The Painted Castle

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Bestselling author Kristy Cambron concludes the Lost Castle novels with this sweeping cover Painted Castletale of art and secrets long buried in England.

It was supposed to be a one-week job: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mysteries surrounding the old English manor and the enigmatic art thief who’s employed her stir more questions than answers. Then, Kiera finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin-a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria.

Set in three time periods-the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day-The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith, family, and stories that are generations in the making.

Click here to grab your copy.

My Review

What an imaginative adventure through three historical times, each adding a layer of mystery and clues to answer questions about an impressive painting of Queen Victoria. I’ve read the first two Lost Castle novels by Kristy Cambron and loved them. This one is as mysterious and entertaining.

As a reader, I try to figure out the strings attaching the different periods, but Cambron does such an excellent job of adding a few bits at a time, that I find I don’t want to put the book down. Even if I didn’t know the reputation the author has for historic detail, I would pick up the book because of the word “castle.” Yes, I’m that enamored with anything to do with castles—famous ones, ruins, forgotten, various countries. The history draws me to them and the people who lived there.

The author is able to sustain romance, art, history, family drama, and “odd” personalities in order to complete a riveting novel. I don’t know if there is a book four, oh but I hope so.

About the Author

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her Cambron headshotbestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She’s a Women’s Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10Library Journal Reviews’ Best BooksRT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

More from Kristy

About The Painted Castle

A war-torn estate holding its secrets close. A lost library bricked off from the world. And a portrait-maker’s unknown masterpiece of a Queen named Victoria… What stories do they long to tell?

It was supposed to be a one-week snatch-and-grab: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mystery of an old English manor, a crumbling beekeeper’s cottage, and a library that had long ago been sealed off brick by brick, all stir more questions than answers. What begins as a novice assignment instead peels back layers, lulling Keira into the depths of the estate’s long-forgotten history.

Despite questions swirling around the enigmatic, rumored art thief who’s employed her, Keira finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin—a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria…

1842— In order to salvage what’s left of her family’s shaky circumstances, artist Elizabeth Meade knows her duty must be to marry well. But she hopes looks can be deceiving enough to hide her true motives behind a congenial smile and gain entry into the ballrooms of England’s noble elite. Instead of husband-hunting, Elizabeth searches for the one thing that’s seared to her memory—the eyes of her father’s killer, whom she unwittingly sketched one snowy night in Piccadilly ten years before. She never expects to find answers tucked away in the countryside at Parham Hill, in the form of a portrait-maker who could help her artist dreams come true, if only she could forget the highwayman she’s hunted for the last decade—the estate-owner who unwittingly selects her as his betrothed…

1942—When the 390th Bomb Group arrives at Amelia Woods’ Parham Hill Estate, the American flyboys bring playing cards, B-17 “flying fortresses”, and enough bravado to believe they can triumph over Hitler just by staring him down. Amelia isn’t certain, and she’s unwilling to compromise the safety and security in a carefully-crafted world she’s built for the dozens of London-evacuated children left in her charge. But with Anderson shelters buried in the gardens and an Allied airfield a stone’s throw away, Amelia may have no choice but to wait out the war under blackouts and bombs, and accept help from the captain who offers it—even if it means risking all she has left of her late husband’s memory…

From the streets of Piccadilly and the lavish halls of Buckingham Palace to the countryside surrounding Framlingham Castle, a warn-torn estate, a hidden library, and the lost portrait of a queen come together to write the final chapter in the Lost Castle series. Set in three time periods—the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day—The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith and the family we fight for, of risk and reward, and the artful crafting of a story that can be generations in the making… yet still change everything about a single life.

 

Blog Stops

Daysong Reflections, October 24

Connect in Fiction, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Just the Write Escape, October 24

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 25

Moments, October 25

Simple Harvest Reads, October 25

Pause for Tales, October 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Lis Loves Reading, October 26

Hallie Reads, October 26

Living Life Free In Christ, October 27

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 27

Soutgern Gal Loves to Read, October 28

Remembrancy, October 28

Batya’s Bits, October 28

Leona J. Atkinson, October 28

Juggling

IMG_2533Have you ever tried to juggle? I tried to juggle three balls at once when I was a child, but I believe I quickly gave up the trick finding something else to master. Now, as an adult, I feel I juggle all the time. How I wish it were only three harmless balls. If a ball happens to fly out of my control, it bounces away causing no harm or significance. Well, who knows what will happen if one of my juggling pieces falls. Sometimes it crashes and leaves many pieces to put back together.

IMG_2531We have many areas of life that we all have to juggle. They fit into our schedules and we do the best we can allotting time, money, and energy to each one. Some area I give attention to are family, job, meals, meetings, projects, and church. But lately, the juggling act has become a challenge when certain items are competing for a limited amount of time. Something has to give. What do you do when all the balls in the air cannot keep momentum?

I’ll give an example of my last week. One area that demands my attention is my writing (which is not my paying job). I need to write, to edit, to review, and to read. I desire to do all four in any given week. It seems my juggling skills are not capable of doing all those items right now. I was so excited to begin writing my next novel and made progress to the count of 15,000 words. At the same time I began to edit another novel that needs to be returned to the publisher. Then, another ball was thrown into the circle–a second round edit for my novel to be released in February. Suddenly, my priority had to shift. A ball had to drop with as little damage as possible. I didn’t want anything to break of be damaged. So I accessed my situation and much to my chagrin I had to put aside my writing and my edit of a future publication. Sad face!

IMG_2534Yet, in a week I will have finished my edit and can pick up my writing again. The cycle can be broken without harm, at least in my situation. I don’t want anyone in my life to suffer because of my clumsy or mismanaged juggling skills. Family, meals, job, and spiritual need to run as smoothly as possible. The other items have their time and place.

What is it that you juggle? Do you ever drop the ball? I sure do… but usually I can pick it up later.

 

Hope’s Highest Mountain–Review and Giveaway

Hope's Highest Mountain FB Banner

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Hope’s Highest Mountain

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October, 2019

When Ingrid Chastain agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining Hope's Highest Mountaintown in the Montana Territory, she never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. Rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, but she’s hesitant to put her trust in this man who seems to have wounds of his own.

After tragedy struck his family, Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor and escaped to the wilds of Montana. But his self-imposed solitude is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he’s forced to call on his doctoring skills once again.

Micah can’t help but admire Ingrid’s tenacity despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on delivering the medicine–with or without his help–he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Last month, I was so excited to meet Misty Beller at the ACFW conference. I participated in three of her marketing classes.  I have been a reader of Misty’s books for a few years. I’m so glad she has a new series that will keep me turning the pages for a good while. When I read her books, I know adventure and romance are weaved in all the pages. And oh, the beauty and majesty of the mountains. I always ask the question about how settlers ever thought they could live in the often-treacherous American frontier. In this novel, Misty does not disappoint. She has a vivid imagination and a keen awareness of what settlers faced. I imagine the farther away they lived from civilization the closer they came to a sincere dependence on God. Thank you for another great read!

About the Author

After working for 13 years in the corporate world, Misty M. Beller (mistymbeller.com) isBeller_Misty now the author of fourteen independently published Christian historical romance novels. Raised on a farm in South Carolina, she combines her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. She lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, is an active member of ACFW, and teaches regularly at conferences and writing groups on effective book marketing.

 

More from Misty

Remember Lassie? Old Yeller? Chance and Shadow from the movie Homeward Bound? There was something about these dogs that gripped my heartstrings and made me love them as though I’d known them for years. (And, yes, I cried during every one of these movies and books.)

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had real dogs I’ve loved too. As far back as I can remember, we’ve had at least one or two dogs, and each one has been my very best friend. They’ve suffered my undying love, even allowing me to dress them up like dolls during my younger years.

But the dogs in my stories have a special place in my heart. Handsome, the sweet little black fluffball in Hope’s Highest Mountain is no exception! He was the runt of the litter, and such a dark black that the story’s hero nicknamed him Shadow. You can see the picture that inspired Handsome at the book’s Pinterest page. Those eyes! Hard not to fall in love, right?

The more I wrote in the story, the more I enjoyed getting to know this little guy, and I could almost feel his soft puppy fur as he snuggled in close. I completely see why Ingrid (the heroine) is smitten him! As you read Hope’s Highest Mountain, I hope you love Handsome as much as I do. Please give him some extra petting for me! ?

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, October 17

Connect in Fiction, October 17

Older & Smarter?, October 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 18

Life of Literature, October 18

A Reader’s Brain, October 18

The Becca Files, October 19

Blossoms and Blessings, October 19

Splashes of Joy , October 19

Through the Fire Blogs, October 20

Moments, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 20

Simple Harvest Reads, October 20

Daysong Reflections, October 21

Wishful Endings, October 21

Joy of Reading , October 21

Pause for Tales, October 22

For The Love of Books, October 22

Britt Reads Fiction, October 22

Lis Loves Reading, October 23

Bigreadersite , October 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 23

Live. Love. Read. , October 24

Deanne’s Book Thoughts, October 24

Hallie Reads, October 24

Remembrancy, October 25

Mia Reads Blog, October 25

To Everything There is A Season, October 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Hope’s Highest Mountain, a $20 B&N gift card, and cute mountain cards!!

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/ed1b/hopes-highest-mountain-celebration-tour-giveaway

Please comment on this page….

A Promise to Break–Review and Giveaway

a promise to break FB Banner

Tour page on Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: A Promise to Break

Author: Kathryn Spurgeon

Genre: Christian Historical

Release Date: July 11, 2016

SIBYL TRIMBLE, the daughter of a wealthy banking family during the Great Depressiona promise to break in Shawnee, Oklahoma, promises her father to be part of a political movement to change the world. By 1932, the timing to fulfill that promise seems right. Her life consists of fashionable clothes, cruising in a Model T, and dancing every weekend at the local speakeasy.

 FREMONT POPE is a handsome, blue-eyed, down-on-his-luck hobo, and Sibyl’s life turns

upside down when she meets him. Her love for him and his Christian family opens her eyes to a different way of life than she has ever known.

 Based on a true story, this historical novel follows Sibyl through some difficult choices. She must dig deep within herself to find strength to face her father and determine which, if any, of her past beliefs can be salvaged. What is more important, love or duty?

Click here to get your copy.

My Review

My motto is “Entertain. Educate. Encourage.” With her debut novel A Promise to Break, Kathryn Spurgeon includes all of the elements. I do not know much about the 1930s, but now I feel like I know something telling about that time. I’ve always lived close to Oklahoma, but I knew nothing about the history. Now I do. Through the lives of her characters I see a bit of what they experienced in a declining economy when the poor and downtrodden occupied the minds of whole towns. Politics, a big issue in our lives today, harbored powers of Socialism and Communism. I’m engaged and wonder about how prevalent the concepts were in a depressed society. This novel is dialogue with the 1930s that leaves me well-informed and invested in the lives of the characters. So, fortunately, Spurgeon has written more books in the series.

About the Author

A Christian writer, Biblical counselor, teacher and speaker who offers insight, the author Katherine spurgeonloves connecting to people individually and through retreats and conferences.

Kathryn’s mission is to teach that the passion of godly love knows no boundaries. Whether with prisoners, international students or those needing assistance, her platform strategy is the concept of personal, intimate encounters with Jesus. Her historical novel, “Up Town,” shows the importance of spiritual encounters with Jesus—small encounters that lead to a more mature spiritual life. Kathryn’s Biblical counseling and teaching background lends itself to this message.

She lived in South Korea for two years in her early twenties, spent time in an orphanage and adopted two Korean babies. A single mom for 18 years, she went from welfare to owner and CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation, Integrity Healthy Care. Her company took care of the medical needs of over 4,000 prisoners and during that time she counseled over 200 women.

Kathryn and her husband, Bill, hold Bible studies for international students attending the University of Central Oklahoma. They have had many different students live in their home and try to help students in all areas of their lives.

Kathryn is on the Mission Team at her home church, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she has been a member for over 13 years. While attending her prior church, Country Estates Baptist Church in Midwest City, Oklahoma, she was on the Finance and Long Range Planning Committees, and taught DivorceCare and Financial classes. She is a Crown Money Map coach.

Bill and Kathryn have six children and nine grandchildren at the last count, including some adopted. Their family is internationally diverse. God’s love is enormous and includes all of us.

More from Kathryn

Nostalgic book

Have you ever wished to go back in time and question a relative who is no longer around? Ask what motivated her, discuss her greatest heartaches and how she overcame them, analyze her spiritual journey?

My grandmother’s life was full of upheavals and I wish I could have spent more time with her and studied her thought-processes. My mother did spend more time with her. With a clear mind of that time, Mom (and many others) enthusiastically shared memories and discussed the lessons the once wealthy Sibyl Trimble may have gathered in life.

What a trip it has been! Autobiographies. Publications. Notes in attic boxes containing information about secret love affairs and heart-breaking losses told with spiritual honesty. The more information I uncovered, the more I wanted to get to know Sibyl Trimble, the person. I wanted to know how God worked in her life. I wanted to write her story.

The nostalgic era of the 1930s came alive to me as I travelled to places of lively, boogie-woogie music, old handwritten documents, and tombstones. The amazing, booming town of Shawnee, Oklahoma, was the perfect setting for a Great Depression tale. Some people moved to California during that time. Others stayed in Shawnee. In contrast to “The Grapes of Wrath,” this book relates the experiences of some who remained during one of the worst times in U.S. history. They stayed and thrived.

This book is not a recount of simple facts but examines the essence of a brilliant woman who traversed through life, maneuvering the hardships along with the blessings. I uncovered anecdotes, read newspaper articles, and confirmed family lore that had been passed down through generations.

Many readers agree Sibyl could have been their grandmother, their heritage, and after reading this book series, they will know Sibyl almost as well as I do.

This story is an intimate look at a searching individual during the wistful days of a long-gone era. I expect, after you read “A Promise to Break,” you’ll agree that Sibyl Trimble’s story needed to be told.

Blog Stops

 

Pause for Tales , October 11

Connect in Fiction, October 11

Reader’s Cozy Corner,October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Bigreadersite, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

janicesbookreviews, October 13

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 13

A Reader’s Brain, October 14

Batya’s Bits, October 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathryn is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon 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/ed93/a-promise-to-break-celebration-tour-giveaway