Review and Giveaway When the Pilot Falls

when the pilot falls

About the Book

Book: When the Pilot Falls

Author: April Hayman

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: September 7, 2021

HAYMAN-When-the-Pilot-Falls-sm

In 1923, there aren’t many pilots, but Willie Labeau didn’t let that stop… her.

A bear of a man, Hugh Taylor, needs a stunt plane pilot, and despite their rocky introduction, Willie sets off for golden California and a new life as his pilot. There’s just one little thing she has to do in addition to flying.

Leave his past alone. Period.

When the flame of her own curiosity becomes fanned by encouragement from Willie’s sister, the feisty pilot can’t help but do just a little investigating.

And Hugh vanishes.

Friends rally around her, and with all the information she can find in hand, Willie sets off to rescue Hugh and battle the evil family holding him hostage.

A fierce air race, a sincere act of humility—are they enough to free Hugh and give Willie a chance to be with him… forever?

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. When the Pilot Falls offers a retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as you watch hearts soar and daring dos.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

What vivacious extraordinary characters—a petite lady and a huge, gentle giant. In this retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” the new-to-me author takes the reader to 1923 Kansas to Ward’s Flying Circus then on a wild journey to California where the true mystery begins.

I love the intrigue and historical element. Fairy tales and happily ever afters are not a well thought out plan. Not at all. Sometimes there is no plan or clue to what needs to happen. I enjoyed flying along as a passenger with Willie and Hugh. I love to fly but never would I attempt stunts and loops. Yet, the characters make me want to think I would. The loops and circles are part of life. God does have a plan and a purpose if I stop long enough to listen and heed his flight plan.

About the Author

april

April Hayman lives in the high desert of California with her husband and their three sons. During the day, she focuses on homeschooling the boys and working on client projects. She writes at night when the temperature outside is only somewhat cooler than during the day.

Her passion for reading began in grade school and her teachers often reprimanded her for reading when she should have been completing her math assignments. Now she reads whenever she likes and writes for those who love to read.

April collects fountain pens, has too many pen pals (and always looking for more), journals sporadically, creates art when she can squeeze it in, and hordes stationery.

More from April

I’ve always loved to write. I still remember pounding out a science fiction story about a lizard man on my Grandmother’s typewriter, with its sticky ‘e’ key, then excitedly asking to read it to her. She patiently listened and praised my writing. I was thrilled even though, now as an adult, I realized she was humoring me. I continued to write on an off for the next twenty years, but it wasn’t until I found National Novel Writing Month that I really began to write in earnest.

I’d already begun my search into story structure and, one day while researching, NaNoWriMo popped up on my browser window. Interested, I clicked over and I was intrigued. Here was a chance to write 50,000 words in thirty days with a support group of other writers! And, with a day to go, I signed up. After all, how hard is it to write 50,000 words?

Turns out, it’s super hard. Especially when you’re new to story structure, developing characters, and correct pacing. It was a fabulous disaster of a story, but I did manage to hit my mark and “win” that year. And, best of all, I’d met Chautona Havig. She and I became friends and her brilliant writing advice and support has meant the world to me.

Every year after that, except when I moved away, I participated. Eventually I became a Municipal Liaison, the head volunteer and writer wrangler, for our area. It was a lot of fun but not one of those books has been published. They’re just for me and I love them, even if they’re awful.

Eventually, my participation was noticed by my three boys. While all of them enjoy reading to varying degrees, writing was always hard for them. Not that they don’t love to tell a good story. It’s the writing part that’s hard. Anyway, my eldest son finally decided to join the Young Writers Program (NaNoWriMo for pre-teens and teens) one year and got bitten by the writing bug. We’re currently working on his latest story. I’m so happy to have passed on my love of writing to him and his brothers!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 16

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 16

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

Inklings and notions, October 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 18 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 19

For Him and My Family, October 19

deb’s Book Review, October 20

SodbusterLiving, October 20

ABBA’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 24

Connect in Fiction, October 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Connie’s History Classroom, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 27

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, October 27

For the Love of Literature, October 28

Through the Fire Blogs, October 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 29

Back Porch Reads, October 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, April 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/126ae/when-the-pilot-falls-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

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

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

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

Review and Giveaway Dinah’s Dilemma

About the Book

Book: Dinah’s Dilemma

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 15, 2020

Will she have to run from the past for the rest of her life?

Dinah Simpkins has no chance of making a good marriage. Her outlaw brothers and her father’s gambling addiction have ruined the family’s reputation. Then the Westward Home and Hearts Matrimonial Agency provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After Dinah arrives in Nebraska, she discovers her brothers played a part in the death of her prospective groom’s first wife.

As a former Pinkerton detective Nathan Childs knows when someone is lying. The bride sent by the matrimonial agency may be beautiful, but she’s definitely hiding something, and he has no intention of marrying her until he uncovers the truth. But an easier solution may be to send her packing. Then his young daughter goes missing. He and Dinah must put aside their mutual hurt and mistrust to find her.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

1870—Combining a mail order bride with secrets and an ex-Pinkerton agent gives the reader ample opportunity to experience drama on a Nebraska farm. The Civil War is over, leaving a trail of grief and upsetting memories. But mush is at stake, including the well-being of an innocent three-year-old girl.

None of us can choose our families, nor can we guarantee the mischief that individuals cause will not affect us. Yet, each of us is a separate, individual child of God, responsible for our own actions. Even if no one else can separate the good members from the bad, God can. He is capable of turning a miserable situation with ugly strings attached, waiting for the wrong person to pull them, into a beautiful, purposeful life. Follow Dinah into her world of flight across the country, hopefully far away from trouble.

Linda Matchett never disappoints.

About the Author

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Reader,

As a novelist, I write about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. And to me, nothing is more extraordinary than leaving all that you know to travel a great distance (often thousands of miles) to marry a man you’ve never met. Don’t you agree?

During the initial settlement of the American West, the population was primarily composed of men. Men who went in search of gold, to seek new opportunities in farming and ranching, or to make a fresh start where land and resources seemed unlimited. Eventually, loneliness set in for those who were single, yet there was a dearth of suitable women to marry.

The conundrum for the men was how to meet and court a woman without leaving for fear of someone taking their land or claims. Some of the bachelors wrote home asking friends and family for referrals to single women who would make a good wife. Courtship would take place via correspondence until the couple decided they were suited to marry. The more common scenario was that of mail-order brides.

Ads were placed by the men in eastern newspapers. They would tell a bit about themselves and what traits they were seeking in a wife. Interested women would reply, and the advertiser would respond to the applicant he thought was a good fit. As with those men who wrote home to find a mate, the process was much the same with courtship occurring through letters.

Most of the time, the marriages went smoothly, with the couple falling in love, resulting in a long and happy relationship. However, there are stories of marriages that did not survive because of abandonment, abuse, death, or the discovery of a still-living spouse. A few incidents are recorded about mail-order brides whose groom paid her railway passage, only for her to marry someone else because he seemed a better prospect. Fortunately, those instances seem to make up a small percentage.

I hope you enjoy Dinah’s Dilemma: A Mail-Order Bride Romance.

Blessings,

Linda Shenton Matchett

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, September 14

Mary Hake, September 14

Labor Not in Vain, September 15

Texas Book-aholic, September 16

Inklings and notions, September 17

For Him and My Family, September 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 21

Connect in Fiction, September 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24

Vicky Sluiter, September 25

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 25

Connie’s History Classroom, September 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a Book Journal, Floral Book Plates, Bookjigs Bookmark, a $25 Visa Gift Card, and an autographed paperback edition of Dinah’s Dilemma!!

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/11826/dinah-s-dilemma-celebration-tour-giveaway

Review and Giveaway The Scarlet Pen

About the Book

Book:  The Scarlet Pen

Author: Jennifer Uhlarik

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release date: July 2021

Engaged to a Monster

Book 12 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Enjoy a tale of true but forgotten history of a 19th century serial killer whose silver-tongued ways almost trap a young woman into a nightmarish marriage.

In 1876, Emma Draycott is charmed into a quick engagement with childhood friend Stephen Dee Richards after reconnecting with him at a church event in Mount Pleasant, Ohio. But within the week, Stephen leaves to “make his fame and fortune.” The heartbroken Emma gives him a special pen to write to her, and he does with tales of grand adventures. Secret Service agent Clay Timmons arrives in Mount Pleasant to track purchases made with fake currency. Every trail leads back to Stephen—and therefore, Emma. Can he convince the naive woman she is engaged to a charlatan who is being linked a string of deaths in Nebraska?

Click here to get your copy!


My Review

I enjoy this series of mystery and true crime, although it is haunting at times. As I read fact-based fiction, I’m amazed at the deviances of the human psyche to commit such crimes.

This installment is true to form as heinous, senseless murders pepper the pages. Thankfully, love and mercy are stronger. As the stories of these characters collide, so do the hearts of the good citizens. God allows good to seep into evil situations. Perhaps that is why I enjoy this series, for I see our God of love, power, and promise at work, challenging me to seek the best solutions. Where does He want me to help?

About the Author

Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a preteen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a BA in writing, she has won five writing competitions and was a finalist in two others. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenage son, and four fur children.

More from Jennifer

Hello, Readers! For all who might never have read one of my stories or come across me, it’s great to meet you! I’m a wife, a mom, a (young!) grandma, and an author—among many other things. My author tagline is “Where Grit Meets Grace.” If you’re familiar with my writing at all, you’ll know that most of my stories at least touch on a bit of the difficult side of life. Death, abandonment, war, addiction, or who knows what else you might find. The Scarlet Pen is no different.

Given that this novel is the final installment in Barbour’s True Colors series, the story revolves around a true crime from history—in this case, the murders of serial killer Stephen Dee Richards—AKA the Nebraska Fiend. Anytime you’re dealing with someone so depraved as he, you’ll find plenty of “grit” to write about. But that’s only half of my tagline. Remember, it’s “Where Grit Meets Grace.

While I love a story that delves into difficult topics and, in some cases, pushes the characters right to the edge of what they can handle, I also love a truly redemptive story. When I was asked to write for this series, the ideas that drew me the most were the ones that had something redeeming in the actual history. There were plenty of interesting historical killers I could’ve chosen where I could have manufactured a positive, even happy ending through the fictional characters in the book. In the case of Stephen Dee Richards, there was no manufacturing needed. The “grace” part was already written. The end of Stephen’s story is precisely why I chose to write about him. I hope you’ll find it as though-provoking and compelling as I did. Happy reading!

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, July 29

Genesis 5020, July 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 29

For Him and My Family, July 30

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 30 (Author Interview)

Christian Bookaholic, July 30

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 31

Inklings and notions, July 31

Britt Reads Fiction, July 31

Remembrancy, August 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 1

Betti Mace, August 2

Rebecca Tews, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 3

Blogging With Carol , August 3

Older & Smarter?, August 4

Connie’s History Classroom, August 4

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 5

Bigreadersite, August 5

Godly Book Reviews, August 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 6

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 7

Back Porch Reads, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

Through the fire blogs, August 8

sodbuster living, August 8

Connect in Fiction, August 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 9

Texas Book-aholic, August 9

KarenSueHadley, August 9

Pause for Tales, August 10

For the Love of Literature, August 10

Blossoms and Blessings, August 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, August 11

Spoken from the Heart, August 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Scarlet Pen!!

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/110e0/the-scarlet-pen-celebration-tour-giveaway

Review and Giveaway The Dollmaker’s Daughter

The Dollmaker's Daughter

About the Book

Book:  The Dollmaker’s Daughter

Author: Izzy James

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 16, 2021

9781522303473

Forgetful scientist Simon Morgan lost his chance with Amity Archer ten years ago. He knows there is no hope…until a sea captain trades a meal for an ancient stone reputed to have the power to give him his heart’s desire. Immediately after pocketing the stone, Simon runs into Amity. Did the ancient artifact cause this chance encounter or was it mere coincidence?

Like her favorite travel writer Mrs. Peabody, Amity Archer yearns for adventure, but she’s horrified when her father asks Simon Morgan to escort her on her first real adventure.

With Amity’s Aunt Clementine as a buffer between them, will Simon be able to prove that his love for Amity is real? Can Amity show Sim on that her love for him has nothing to do with a so-called magical rock?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Do we ever know what the journey will entail or cost?

1776 A curious would-be-writer and storyteller desires to interview soldiers and families for her stories. Her father agrees to her request to accompany him on his journey to Williamsburg and secures a friend of the family to escort her and her aunt to parties and to the mountains.

Just call me Amity! I, too, want to “explore the world she had yet to see.” I always have. My natural curiosity drives me to travel to new places and revisit previous favorites. But would I do it during volatile times like 1776 in the colonies? Would seeing the mountains be worth the risk? Plus, highwaymen and wayside inns? All for a story to write? I have traveled in unsure circumstances such as right after 9/11 or during Paris riots or through Munich after a bombing or during a hurricane. So, yes, the desire to travel does not disappear just because outside circumstances change.

Yet, coming home always holds greater appeal. There’s something about the steadfast, permanence of home.

About the Author

IzzyJames

Izzy James lives in coastal Virginia with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

More from Izzy

I am a Geographer by degree. So maps and the shapes of the earth fascinate me. It keeps me looking at the ground. Where I live in Virginia we still travel the imprint of colonial roads. Former villages have been swallowed by large urban areas, but the land is still there. Amity Archer travels these roads on the adventure to love in The Dollmaker’s Daughter.

It makes The Dollmaker’s Daughter special to me. I have traveled the roads Amity and Simon cover many, many times. The research for this book kept me up nights reading true accounts of traveler and taverns in colonial times.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7

By The Book, August 8 (Author Interview)

Connect in Fiction, August 8

Inklings and notions, August 9

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 10

Abba’s Prayer Princess, August 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 12

Beauty in the Binding, August 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 13

For Him and My Family, August 14

Texas Book-aholic, August 15

Connie’s History Classroom, August 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 18

deb’s Book Review, August 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Izzy is giving away the grand prize package of an eBook copy of The Dollmaker’s Daughter and a tea cup!!

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/111b4/the-dollmaker-s-daughter-celebration-tour-giveaway

Review and Giveaway The Last Gasp

The Last Gasp

About the Book

Book:  The Last Gasp

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: ChristianHistorical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: July 6, 2021

1-The Last Gasp

At the pinnacle of his Hollywood career, Garrison Prince’s reign ends tonight.

As plain old Gary Prinz, he can pursue his Bible education, buy a bungalow in Pasadena, acquire a few chickens, and marry the girl of his dreams. He just never imagined trading the silver screen for a pulpit would wreak such havoc.

A cigarillo girl, Lucinda Ashton spends her days with her boyfriend, Gary, and her evenings selling candy and “gaspers” to the Hollywood elite at the Taj Mahal Theater.

However, when gunshots ring out just as intermission begins, Lucinda finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a brouhaha that leaves three dead, and no one has a clue why.

All the police know is that the evidence points to Lucinda as the killer and Gary as the intended target.

Four new friends, one young orphan, and a potluck of clues that don’t seem to fit anywhere leave the police baffled, Lucinda in fear for her freedom, and Gary ready to trade in his acting shoes for gumshoes if it’ll save his “Cinda.”

The first book in the Ever After Mysteries combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries, The Last Gasp. This Cinderella retelling blends a murder with enough crime and story clues to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

A new who-dun-it fairy tale series. The twisting and turning left me guessing with anticipation. Complete with a shoe, a prince, and Cinda, this retelling captivated my attention with the author’s superb imagination and detective skills.

The setting is the 1920s, Beverly Hills with the newness of the moving pictures and the promise of new film inventions on the horizon. Money and glamor surrounded the industry and the stars. Enough for murder and mystery? Bang. Bang. Bang. You’ll have to read this riveting novel and throw your guess onto the stage to mingle with others. Will you be correct? Was I? No spoilers here.

Bravo, Chautona!

About the Author

media-headshot-sm

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

What Beautiful, Unexpected Parallel Did I Find Writing this Mystery?

I bought it at Pic-n-Save when I was eleven—an 8.5×11 paperback book of traditional fairy tales. I learned another side of the age-old stories that you don’t see from Disney. Rapunzel? Yeah. That was the story about the queen who was craving rampion (a salad vegetable) so much that she promised to give up her child for it. Rampion—Rapunzel. It’s a thing.

It’s also where I learned Cinderella’s name as “Aschenputtel.” Look, those Brothers Grimm were… well, they were German and that should explain everything. “Puttel” just sings of German, doesn’t it? That tale was also a bit gruesome. The one sister cut off her big toe to make the shoe fit because her mother said, “You won’t have to walk anywhere if you’re a queen. Who needs it!” So the idiotic girl did. Same for the other sister and her heel. Seriously, didn’t she learn from her older sister?

Oh, and it’s the one where mother and stepsisters get their eyes picked out by birds. It reminded me of Proverbs 30:17. “The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.”

Talk about bringing Scripture to life for kids there. *Gulp*

True confession, our kids used to sing that verse to the tune of “All Hail the Pow’r of Jesus’ Name.” You should have heard the lusty voices of our children in our Grand Marquis station wagon (may the wonderful beast rest in peace) singing, “The ravens shall pick out his eyes and eeee-agles eeee-eeaat the saaaammmme!”

I digress.

Cinderella—I mean, Aschenputtel—really wasn’t my favorite story, though. I liked other stories from other books. Like the Ten Brothers—a Chinese folk tale. You know. Fairy tale.

Know which fairy tale I liked even less than Cinderella?

The Little Mermaid. Seriously, I didn’t like the original (Sorry Mr. Andersen… I just didn’t), and I can’t stand Disney’s. But when we first began planning the Ever After Mysteries, I knew which one I wanted to do. The Little Mermaid had everything going for it. Houdini and a water tank. Can’t you just see it? It would have been great. But a friend asked who was writing about the “cigarillo girl” (as I mention in THIS post), and well… the rest is history. Or at least, it’s set back in history.

But there’s one truth I discovered as I wrote this mystery.

Mystery… that’s a good word for this truth, actually. Cinderella is a beautiful picture of Jesus as our prince. We can be His bride and put on the shoe He has fashioned only to fit us, or we can try to snatch it up and make it suit our wills and hold our overgrown egos (work with me here). He takes us out of our ragged, dirty lives and brings us home… to Him. To His Father.

Is there anything more beautiful? I don’t think so.

In The Last Gasp, Gary knows Cinda long before she knows him—truly knows him. He loves her just as she is. Is it a perfect retelling of the beauty of Christ’s love for his church? Not hardly. It wasn’t intended to demonstrate that relationship at all. But there are tiny nuances that do. And that’s pretty cool.

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, August 2

For Him and My Family, August 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 3 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, August 4

Inklings and notions, August 4

deb’s Book Review, August 5

CarpeDiem, August 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 6

Connect in Fiction, August 6

Texas Book-aholic, August 7

Blogging With Carol, August 7

She Lives To Read, August 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 8

Connie’s History Classroom, August 9

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 11

The Meanderings of a Bookworm , August 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 12

Splashes of Joy, August 13

Mary Hake, August 13

For the Love of Literature, August 14

Back Porch Reads, August 14

Through the Fire Blogs, August 15

Mamma loves books, August 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of copy of the book and 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/11420/the-last-gasp-celebration-tour-giveaway