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?

Review and Giveaway The Red Ribbon

red ribbon-banner

About the Book

Book: The Red Ribbon

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian historical/suspense

Release Date: October, 2020

Red Ribbon

An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912

Book 8 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

The author takes the reader back in time to a mountain community broken by feuds and long malicious intentions divided on the grounds of something that happened before any of the characters were born. Feuds have been around since the beginning of mankind, back to Genesis. In current times the word feud is not used, rather grudge, unforgiveness, pain, splits, slander, lies, hatred. But should feuds be allowed to dictate lives generations later, even weeks or months later?

The feuds in The Red Ribbon destroy, kill, and maim lives that God means for good.  Yet, good is present in the lives of characters who believe God knows what is happening and has an answer to prosper and heal. This age hold story of impenetrable walls reads fresh, maybe too fresh in the world today.

A quote from the novel says “They wanted you to live, Ava. So, live with joy and freedom and love.” I want to do that too. Do I hold grudges? Unfortunately, I do, if not grudges then vivid memories lurking at the forefront of my mind of wrongs done to me. What would it be like to exist outside of feuds and damaging images and words?

The mountain dialect transports the reader to walk among the unique characters. But the thread of forgiveness and hope winds its way into my life. Joy, freedom, and love—a great reason to live.

About the Author

PepperBasham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains where her family have lived for generations. She’s the mom of five kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at the award winning Writer’s Alley blog. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in April 2015, and the second in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuted in April 2016.

More from Pepper

Feuds, Moonshine, and Family Loyalties by Pepper Basham

My upcoming release for Barbour’s True Colors series is really close to my heart…and pretty close to my house.

The Red Ribbon, my first foray into a historical suspense novel, takes place in the county where I grew up. Carroll County, Virginia, is a county on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, not too far from Mt. Airy (Mayberry).  Nestled in the foothills and mountains of the Blue Ridge, it is a part of the Appalachian Mountains, and with that comes similar histories as other backwoods Appalachian communities: feuds, moonshine, and family loyalties.

One thing I love most about my Appalachian upbringing is the intense closeness of family – and when I say ‘family’ I mean, of course, my mom, dad, and brother, but also my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents…the whole “gang”, as my granny used to say.

The closeness of family, and the protection of the family name, is a big deal in Appalachia. There’s a lot of pride in the way your ‘name’ is thought of throughout the community, so when someone insults your name, there’s a good chance the repercussions aren’t going to be pleasant. Especially back in the early 1900s, when The Red Ribbon takes place. In fact, insulting someone by “stealing a kiss” is one of the events that leads to The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre/Tragedy.

A long-time feud between the Allen family and the “Courthouse Clan” came to a head inside the Hillsville Courthouse in March 1912 and this event resulted in the largest shootout within a courthouse in Virginia history. The story followed with a nationwide manhunt and made national news until the sinking of the Titanic the following month.

Growing up in Carroll County, I knew a few things about this story. Rumors and whispers, really. Most folks didn’t talk about it because it still caused a stir among those who were descendants (because another thing about Appalachia is that families tend to stay on or around family land for generations). People still took “sides”. So, when I decided to write this book, I knew I was stepping into precarious territory. Not that anyone would start up a shootout nowadays because of a book, but because people still have some deep feelings about how their ancestors are portrayed in history, and since many of my family members still live in Carroll County, I wanted to tread carefully into the events of “The Allen Tragedy”.

What I discovered was a story that still held a whole lot of mystery even one hundred years later. Bullet holes still mark the courthouse steps from that fateful day, rumors still circulate about who was to blame, and no one knows who fired the first gunshot that began the tragic shooting.

I’m not a “scary” book writer or reader, but I love a good adventure, so this book takes the reader on an adventure into Appalachia to my neck of the woods, and follows the journey of Ava Burcham and Jeremiah Sutphin as they live among the illegal moonshiners, dirty cops, and mountain gunslingers of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

(To learn more about the true events of the Courthouse Tragedy, you can read about it here: https://roanoke.com/news/virginia/the-courthouse-tragedy-gunfight-in-hillsville-in-1912/article_45d0d7f3-6e1f-57c4-83be-fceb3d98dafd.html)

Have you ever read a book set in Appalachia? If so, what was the title and what did you learn about the Appalachian culture? Have you ever visited the Blue Ridge Mountains?

Let’s chat mountain people, mountain ways, and mountain books 😊

Blog Stops

Connect in Fiction, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 4

To Everything There Is A Season, November 4

Artistic Nobody, November 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 5

By The Book, November 5

Remembrancy, November 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 6

Britt Reads Fiction, November 6

Life of Literature, November 6

Connie’s History Classroom, November 7

Splashes of Joy, November 7

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

A Reader’s Brain, November 8

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 8

Through the Fire Blogs, November 8

Godly Book Reviews, November 8

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, November 9

Bigreadersite, November 9

Where Faith and books Meet, November 9

Books I’ve Read, November 10

Just the Write Escape, November 10

Adventures of a Travelers Life, November 10

Amanda Tero, blog, November 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 11

Pause for Tales, November 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1032d/the-red-ribbon-celebration-tour-giveaway

Be sure to leave a comment and enjoy reading…

Because Fiction Article

#BecauseFiction October Editions!

Here are a few words from Sandy Barela, Owner of Celebrate Lit Ministries:

Hello Readers! Any weather is book weather….but now it is curl up with a blanket, coffee, and book weather! Adding to the excitement is the Christmas books that are starting to release. I have already started to read a few new ones plus a few of my favorites while listening to Christmas music (shhhh….don’t tell the fam!).  In this edition, we hope you are able to find the latest going on with all our #BecauseFiction Authors, enter some fun giveaways, grab some free books, plus add some to the fall TBR list. Have a wonderful November, Friends!

I have an article in the Historical Edition of the magazine.

“Stop by and read our #BecauseFiction October Historical Edition with featured authors such as Marguerite Martin Gray, Carolyn Miller, and Caryl McAdoo!”

https://mailchi.mp/3deccdfc5bd5/becausefiction-magazine-october-historical-fiction-giveaways-5850314

Maybe you will find a new author to read. Happy November!

Freebies and Exclusives

Happy Fall and weekend! I hope you are finding the little blessings of each day, those small things that satisfy your yearnings. Well, I have a few “novel” ideas to offer.

The first is a free short story, “The Pull of Time,” with the sign up for my quarterly newsletter. This story offers the reason for the birth of the Revolutionary Faith series. Here is the link to join my newsletter and how to receive the free short story.  http://eepurl.com/gF-3I1

The next item you will have to wait to receive. If you purchase Wait for Me as a pre-order in eBook form, you will receive as a bonus “Adventure’s Cost,” a short story featuring Lucy March, on release day, February 9, 2021. I know, that is a while to wait, but it is free with the pre-order purchase. Here is the link for the pre-order http://www.celebratelitpublishing.com/posts/book/wait-for-me/

Other than that, I will be giving away books over the next few months before Christmas. Stay connected for that information.

Happy October. Let me hear from you on this blog.

Review and Giveaway Secret Beach Boyfriend

secret beach boyfriend-trumbo

About the Book

Book: Secret Beach Boyfriend

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 29 , 2020

TRUMBO-Secret Beach Boyfriend-sm

She met Rafe on the beach when she was just five and it seemed like fate tied them together. When a chance encounter returns him to the islands twenty years later, Annie finds her beach friend has grown up and now needs her help.

Damaged and scarred from a past that still hasn’t healed, Annie needs help of her own. True to character, Rafe comes up with a perfect solution, but a temporary island romance does not fit into his agenda at all.

Will an offer to be her secret boyfriend give her heart a second chance? How can it turn into something more and prove there’s power in prayer and that love can triumph over a painful past?

He was Annie’s hero long ago, but can the man he has become save her now?

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

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

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Back on Merriweather Island the day-to-day jobs and tasks of living continue. I love this series because previous characters appear, and their characters deepen as the island life draws more growth and characters. With a few glimpses into the reality of past, and present, hurts and pains, Annie confronts her own misgivings and misunderstandings by helping Rafe reconnect with his parents. Their plans do not take into consideration that their own lives could beg for change too.

These characters carry the burdens of the past. Don’t we all? We allow situations and circumstances from childhood to determine our motives, anxieties, hopes, and failures. That is human nature. But what if in the adult version, we confront the issues and settle the events in their proper place—the past—and move to a fuller, controllable life. It might take counseling, a good friend, a death, or any confrontational episode to persuade us to see the possibility of a better self.

About the Author

Kari Trumbo

Kari Trumbo is a bestselling author of Christian historical and contemporary romance novels. Her books are known for characters who feel real, settings you could move to, and faith woven between the pages. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, and never enough time.

More from Kari

Have you ever hunted for seashells on the beach?

This sweet story actually starts twenty years before the moment you open the front cover. Years before, on a solitary beach, a little boy comforts a girl he finds crying by offering to help her find seashells. He doesn’t know why she’s crying, just that he can help. Even though he knows his mother will be angry with him.

You see, Rafe (that’s the little boy) has a mother who has minor OCD and doesn’t let him go on the beach. But when Annie (that’s the little girl) is obviously heartbroken, he can’t leave her sitting there and not do anything. At that moment, a hero is born.

It’s the little things that make a hero. That moment in time when he made a choice to put Annie above his own discomfort created a past for them both, an anchor they could both look back on. It was pivotal enough for them both that they remembered it years later. Rafe, because he hid the shells and cherished the one time he got to collect them. Annie, because she was going through something no child of five should have to. His kindness was a glimmer of hope.

Fast forward twenty years and these two meet again, but don’t realize right away they are the people they’ve been thinking about on-and-off for most of their lives. Interestingly enough, that part of my story is true. I had a friend I met at a local beach when I was too young to recall names or anything else of great significance other than the feeling that it was the best day ever. She made me her best buddy for the day, and that stuck with me.

When I think of this story beyond the printed page, where Annie and Rafe live on in my mind, I have to wonder if shells will continue to be a theme in their lives.

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 27

deb’s Book Review, October 27

Connect in Fiction, October 28

lakesidelivingsite, October 28

Artistic Nobody, October 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Godly Book Reviews, October 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 30

Livin’ Lit, October 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 31

Life, love, writing, October 31

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 1

Batya’s Bits, November 1

Daysong Reflections, November 2

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 2

Blossoms and Blessings, November 3

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 3

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

Splashes of Joy, November 4

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/102a8/secret-beach-boyfriend-celebration-tour-giveaway

Be sure to leave your comments here on my blog!

Christmas gifts in October?

It’s that time of year again. What time? Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse. And now, more than ever, I am conscious of all the children in the world who need a little sunshine. And personally, I need to spread a little hope, even if beyond my borders.

So, I have my boxes on the table ready to be filled. I know its not even Halloween or Thanksgiving yet. But my spirit and attitude soar when I glance at the boxes surrounded by happies and little pretties.

If you’ve never participated in this project, you might want to gain information from Samaritan’s Purse. The shopping for special items takes me from thinking of myself to the part of me who wants to give to others, especially children. I’ve tracked my boxes in the past years as they traveled to Mexico, Panama, Ukraine, Guatemala, and Colombia. I wonder where they will go this year.

It might be a little early to say Merry Christmas, but why not? I plan on enjoying and celebrating the season beginning with these boxes.

For more information go to: www.samaritanspurse.org/occ

Have you participated in anything like this or with Samaritan’s Purse?

Review and Giveaway A Christmas Tale for Little Women

A Christmas Tale for Little Woman

About the Book

Book: A Christmas Tale for Little Women

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: September 15, 2020

A Christmas Tale for Little Women

Broadview is attired for Christmas. Oklahoma heiress, Adelaide Fitzgerald, is hosting two young girls who have chosen to celebrate Christmas with Auntie Addie rather than their family in Colorado.

Adelaide must give these girls a Christmas like no other. Has she thought of everything? What would top off this holiday in an extraordinary way?

The answer lies just the other side of Rock Creek. But what will it take for her to realize it is the Christmas topper she’s been seeking?

It’s 1912, and Adelaide Fitzgerald’s view of Christmas is about to emerge as a tale for a lifetime.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I love prequels even after reading the first novel in a series. This one is a lovely surprise during the Christmas season. The title intrigues me—Little Women. I am from a family of four girls with the glorious birth order of number one. Reading about the antics of girls opens floods of memories. In fact, we’re still creating new mischievous and productive endeavors. The bond of siblings and friends endures the years and with four the bond survives the frays and cuts of life.

Addie’s care of children in this novella inspires lives, the good of the community, the cause of Christ, acceptance, imagination. Sometimes we are at our best when dealing with the welfare of children or of others in general. Once the light is taken off us, love and generosity can abound.

About the Author

Davis_LindaBrooks_300dpi_2x2.5 copy

Linda Brooks Davis is a lifelong Texan who devoted 40 years to special education as a therapist, teacher, and administrator. She retired in 2008 and now writes full time.

Linda’s debut novel, Amazon best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland, Book One in the Women of Rock Creek series, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel in 2014 and subsequently, ACFW’s Carol award for debut novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910 and is the prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, which is set in 1914, Amazon best-selling The Mending of Lillian CathleenBook Two. The third novella, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, releases in 2020 and is set in 1912. It is a prequel to Book 3 in The Women of Rock Creek series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, which is set in 1918.

Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

More from Linda

Everyone worked at my home on a South Texas farm near the U.S. border with Mexico.

My playmates were children of Hispanic laborers. Language never hindered playing la casa, making mud pies, or rocking los bebésFrijoles and tamales served from stewpots over open fires tasted delicioso in either language. I learned outside their homes a broom works great on hardened soil.

Daddy paid workers on Saturdays, some by the hour, others by production. Lining up, they extended their hands, and he laid cash across their open palms. They checked the figures they had scribbled on paper scraps, trusting el patrón to correct discrepancies. Humble, grateful people, they showed respect.

My father verified immigration paperwork for those whom he housed. Others lived in the shadows, arriving around sunup and disappearing before sundown. Each evening a car or truck would rattle alongside the field, and the shadow worker would slip inside. Then the vehicle would clatter toward the horizon. And returned another day.

Occasionally, however, an alarm shouted in Spanish would sound across the field. Dropping his cotton sack, a worker would dash toward the cotton trailer in the turn row. Like hounds burrowing under a house, he and a compadre would leap over the trailer’s sides and dig a hole in the freshly picked cotton. The first crawled in, and the other covered him.

The immigration officer making his rounds would walk into the field and occasionally stomp around inside the trailer, searching for man-sized lumps. I never witnessed the discovery of a shadow worker, but I heard about them on other farms. Worst of all, I heard about tragedies. With very little oxygen between tightly packed fluffs of cotton, a man could suffocate and occasionally would. I wondered what would lead a man to take such chances and how my law-abiding, God-loving father justified his complicity. So, I asked, and he answered, “Desperation, sugar. All they want is work. A man wants to provide for his family wherever or however he can. I can’t turn them away.”

Sounded like work was a gift. Huh? my ten-year-old brain asked itself.

Years later, I understood this principle. The second chapter of Genesis shows us that God created man not to laze around all day, but to work.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15

Therefore, not only in “the beginning,” but on our farm in 1956, a man’s strength to work was God’s gift. The opportunity to work was Daddy’s gift to the men. The fruit of each man’s labor was the gift he sent home each week and the fulfillment of his need to provide for his family.

At Christmas we enjoyed preparing bushel baskets of meats, fruits and vegetables, candy and nuts, and toys for each family. I wondered about those who stayed around for a single day. Would their children find fruits, nuts, or even a piece of candy on Christmas morning?

Answers evaded me then—-as they do now—-but as a writer in my eighth decade of life, one truth I hold onto is that the strength for each day of writing and less pain in my arthritic hands and back are gifts from God. Each opportunity to write is an opportunity not only to entertain but to inspire readers to seek God in their everyday lives. Each word, unique turn of a phrase, or plot idea . . . is my gift to Him.

Protecting our safety is a far more complicated endeavor in 2020 than it was in 1956. Threats arise like none presented five decades ago, but work is still a gift. God wired it into our DNA. Come to think of it, the ideas for A Christmas Tale for Little Women and the subsequent novel—one set in the southern tip of Texas, a story about a loving, destitute man who wants only to provide for his family—are gifts.

Those diligent workers of 1956 and other years deserve a story that honors them. My gift to them and to Him is A Christmas Tale for Little Women.

Thank you, Lord.

Note: Photos from Pixabay

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

Blogging With Carol, October 20

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 21

Connect in Fiction, October 21

Get Cozy Book Nook, October 21

She Lives To Read, October 22

Artistic Nobody, October 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Splashes of Joy, October 23

Connie’s History Classroom, October 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 25

Mary Hake, October 25

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 26

KarenSueHadley, October 27

lakesidelivingsite, October 27

Pause for Tales, October 27

Older & Smarter?, October 28

Inklings and notions, October 28

Betti Mace, October 29

Captive Dreams Window, October 29

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 30

CarpeDiem, October 30

Texas Book-aholic, October 31

Batya’s Bits, October 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 1

Moments, November 1

Lighthouse Academy Blog, November 1 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of all 6 eBooks in the The Women of Rock Creek Series!! (The Calling of Ella McFarland, A Christmas to Remember, A Christmas Measure of Love, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, and The Awakening of Miss Adelaide)

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/10264/a-christmas-tale-for-little-women-celebration-tour-giveaway

Be sure to leave a comment and enter the giveaway.

My newsletter Sign-up–Sylvan Reads

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,” and be ENTERED TO WIN a prize!

To sign up use this link: http://eepurl.com/gF-3I1

My newsletter is different from my blog. I have a weekly blog where I share my life, my works, giveaways, etc. My newsletter will be quarterly, highlighting my book life with a short update and important info on releases and works in progress. I hope you will join my newsletter for quarterly updates.

Blessings, Marguerite