Review and Giveaway A Dark Beauty

About the Book

Book:  A Dark Beauty

Author: Clarissa Kae

Genre: Fairytale

Release date: March 9, 2021

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.
Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.
When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.
Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I felt welcome and invited into Queen Victoria’s drawing room in 1850. The author explores the Victorian world with vivid characters with the backdrop of the Great Exposition. I’m always excited to read a new-to-me author, and I am not disappointed. From the first page the characters expose their flaws and deep wounds in a less than perfect world, whether from the glitter of the palace or the dark rooms of townhouses. Their physical flaws work their ways into altering personalities and overall outlooks on life.

While reading the intriguing drama and ensuing changes due to life in London and at court, I ponder my own physical realm with my own flaws and failures. Am I forgiving of myself and my frailties? Or do I allow them to alter my character? Do I depend on God to see me through anything or do I turn to people to fulfill my purpose? This book offers opportunities to question personal motives as I view fellow humankind and how I treat them, flaws and all. I hope you decide to go on this journey, joining the lives of people in pain as they grow and possibly escape their physical bonds and frailties. Bravo to Clarissa Kae!  

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

More from Clarissa

As a young girl most of the fairy tales talked about beauty as the only attribute but when Disney came out with Beauty and the Beast, my world was rocked. For the first time the heroine was a woman with a brain and a plan. I began researching the fairy tale and read every version. When my youngest daughter was born (with dark hair and big beautiful brown eyes) I named her Isla Belle. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling. And finally, that dream as come true.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, March 25

Labor Not in Vain, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

The Write Escape, March 26

Books and Everyday Life, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Breny and Books, March 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 29

Through the Fire Blog, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 30

deb’s Book Review, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

Inside the Wong Mind, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Inspiration Clothesline, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 3

To Everything There Is A Season, April 3

Beauty in the Binding, April 3

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 5

Pause for Tales, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Godly Book Reviews, April 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 7

Mary Hake, April 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Clarissa is giving away to two winners one $25 Amazon gift card each!!

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/109d3/a-dark-beauty-celebration-tour-giveaway

Have you read a historical novel about the Victorian era?

Review and Giveaway Love at First Flight

Love at First Flight

About the Book

Book:  Love at First Flight

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical  Romance

Release date: September 15, 2020

LAFF cover

Can two people emerge from the clouds of past hurt to find a silver lining of love?

Evelyn Reid would rather fly than do anything else, so when war engulfs the U.S., she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. One of the program’s top pilots, she is tapped for pursuit plane training…the dream of a lifetime until she discovers the instructor is her ex-fiancé, Jasper MacPherson.

Collecting enough points to rotate stateside, fighter pilot Jasper MacPherson is assigned to teach the WAFS how to fly the army way. Bad enough to be training women, but things take a turn for the worse when his former fiancée shows up as one of his students.

Click here to get your copy!


My Review

In the historical WWII genre, it’s not often for a novel to come along set in the US. I forgot what a major role the work in the continental US did to propel the end of the war. This novel takes place in Brownsville, Texas. I’ve been there, and Matchett’s description is accurate—hot and dusty with a unique beauty.

Besides offering a view of states side wartime, the active role of women in the war shines through the WASP program. Headway is made even though not fully realized. Love is difficult in normal situations. But wartime? Romance blossoms and can quickly be extinguished. In wartime or pandemic or economic depression romance and love have roles, but will the sacrifice be worth it? As I read this novel, I put myself into a war and wonder what role I would play? Would I love or leave?  

About the Author

Linda Matchett Head Shot

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. 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 serving as a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, exploring historic sites, and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

More from Linda

Dear Readers:

It’s all I can do to parallel park my car…well, actually I can’t. I’m terrible at that sort of thing, which is why I’m so impressed with the Women’s Air Service Pilot who served during World War II. Created in August 1943 by merging the Women’s Flying Training Detachment and the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, the WASP was a civilian organization that came under the authority of the Air Force and freed male pilots for combat or other duties. Their leader was the intrepid Jacqueline Cochran, an award winning pilot who set and broke numerous records during her career.

Qualifications for the program were stringent, and of the more than 25,000 women who applied, only 1,800 were accepted. Of that number, 1,074 completed the program. These women flew over sixty million miles and transported every type of military aircraft from the ninety-nine foot long B-29 Bomber that weighted over 100,000 pounds to the P-51 Mustang that could fly at over 400 miles per hour.

The WASP also towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice, simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. Thirty-eight WASP members lost their lives and one disappeared while on a ferry mission, her fate still unknown. Disbanded in December 1944, the WASP did not receive military status or benefits for their service. However, after nearly three decades its members were granted veteran status, and in 2009 they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

It is my hope that Love at First Flight honors these brave women in some small way.

Blessings,

Linda Shenton Matchett

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24

Texas Book-aholic, March 25

Genesis 5020, March 25

Inklings and notions, March 26

Betti Mace, March 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 29

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 29

Hebrews 12 Endurance, March 30

For Him and My Family, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

She Lives To Read, April 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 2

deb’s Book Review, April 2

Connie’s History Classroom, April 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 4

Blossoms and Blessings, April 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 5

CarpeDiem, April 6

A Novel Pursuit, April 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed paperback edition of Love at First Flight, eco-friendly reusable shopping bag with image of Women’s Air Service Pilots, stuffed WASP bear, Norman Rockwell notecards, VJ Day book mark, and I {heart} Spam socks!!

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/109d2/love-at-first-flight-celebration-tour-giveaway

Do you read books about WWII?

Review and Giveaway Heart Pressed

Heart Pressed

About the Book

Book:  Heart Pressed

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 23, 2021

Hearts pressed

Crushes are great for grapes, wine, and romance—not so great for hearts.

The Sweetheart Festival, an Elnora Island institution, has sparked more than a few romances over the years, but who would have thought it would light a fire in two hearts from two of the island’s oldest families. When Amara Martin and Dante Greco meet, sparks fly that may ignite more than romance.

Two wineries, old feuds, generations of traditions.

Seeing the attraction at Amara and Dante’s chance meeting, Beth Stevens and Scott Anderson join forces to do a little matchmaking, not realizing the pressure it would bring to both households and their own hearts. The new couple must decide if they will adhere to tradition or break free from expectations and choose love. Pressure on every side threatens a love that hasn’t yet had a chance to ripen—for both Amara and Dante as well as for Beth and Scott.

In this “forbidden love” novel, Heart Pressed continues the Elnora Island romances 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

Melissa’s Independence Islands novels are yummy! Beth and her concoctions make me want to bake something delicious dripping with calories. The portrayal of island life fills a yearning for a simpler existence. There is no lack of entertainment or drama. The background lacks the noise and rapidity of life on the mainland.

With the introduction of Amara and Dante, the age-old vice of holding grudges laced with secrets winds through the generations to land in their laps. They have a choice to continue the feud or twist it up a bit. One reason I love this series is the continuation of the stories of beloved characters. Beth’s story is not finished which reminds me that my story is ongoing too. Life and worth has nothing to do with age but everything to do with God’s purpose.

About the Author

Chautona

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.  Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads. To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit http://www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

“Life never goes as planned.”
That is the understatement of the century. 2020 has been the perfect example of it. Around the world, plans were made on January 1st to do this or that. Plans to use the year as a spring board for something new, better, or just a change.

Then that virus dashed all those plans. We were shut out from the world with only our books, our televisions, and our families. Some battled the shut down alone, while others had a house full (one friend of mine had eleven people in her house and only one was not her child). I know a couple of single friends who decided to stay at one house for the few weeks that Michigan was closed. Others, like myself, may not have done as well as everyone thought they were. Brave face and all. But we survived. We persevered. We adapted.

“Heart Pressed” is my covid story. It is about the unexpected way life change while you are in the middle of making plans for the future. How some changes are wonderful and rewarding, while others will bring you to the ground, begging for mercy.

Take Amara, for instance. She had a plan and put things into motion to make that plan come to fruition, but God (don’t you love those two words?) had a different plan and took hold of her heart. He softened it, molded it, made it a place where He could reside. Then life came knocking. The one person she thought would be there, couldn’t be, but God (there it is again) gave her someone to count on, hold her hand, and help her through the storms. He showed her that she wasn’t alone in this world by surrounding her with new people who loved her and cared for her.

(Disclaimer – I know God didn’t do anything, but we all have those stories in our own lives where God intervened on our behalf.)

Did you find a way to survive the storm? Did God bring people into your life, even at a distance, that made things better? Did your faith strengthen to new levels? I hope so because life never goes as we plan, but it sure is nice to have someone to hold your hand.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

lakesidelivingsite, March 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 20

A Novel Pursuit, March 20

She Lives To Read, March 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 23

Aryn the Libraryan, March 24

deb’s Book Review, March 24

Artistic Nobody, March 25 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Blossoms and Blessings, March 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 26

Batya’s Bits, March 26

For Him and My Family, March 27

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

Inklings and notions, March 28

Cultivating us, March 28

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

Blogging With Carol, March 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 30

Connect in Fiction, March 30

Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 31

Splashes of Joy, April 1

Godly Book Reviews, April 1

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/10988/heart-pressed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Enjoy the tour!

Review and Giveaway Delia and the Drifter

About the Book

Book:  Delia and the Drifter

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Historical Romance (Western)

Release date: February 15, 2021

An arranged marriage to save the family from ruin?

Delia Blackstone knows what her mother is up to—she intends to marry her off to an older man who is all fortune and no future. And Delia’s having none of it.

When a mysterious visitor appears on the family doorstep and offers an opportunity for Delia to travel from Pennsylvania to Colorado, Delia knows it is time for her to strike out on her own and discover a new life. Along the way she encounters a handsome drifter who captures her heart. But is he interested in trading his exciting life of adventure for love?

Two murders, a missing will, and a number of puzzling relationships are enough to unsettle anyone—even smart, capable Delia. Who can she trust? And can she trust her heart in matters of love?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This book has a different feel as the author gives the reader two distinct tales—one of Delia and the other of Wyatt, the drifter. Unlike most novels where the main characters exist in each other’s presence for the majority of the time, this novel takes a delightful turn and has the characters acting out their own separate lives for half of the book. I loved it. I knew the other character existed through references, letters, and thoughts. Somehow, the author used her talent in masterful form to allow her characters to grow separately as they grew together through distance.

It reminds me of the bond of love that ties relatives and friends across the miles. I might not see my sisters very often but the bond seems to be strengthened by time and distance. When we meet again, we are closer than ever. Bravo, Melody Carlson, for Delia and the Drifter.


About the Author

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

More from Melody

I love historical stories about women. Particularly ones in the American frontier and old west. Probably because I grew up hearing pioneer stories from my grandparents, whose parents arrived in covered wagons. But contributions made by pioneering females is often overshadowed by their male counterparts. That’s why I enjoy researching and telling these fictional yet reality-based stories of women who lived and loved and did their part to settle the frontier. To me they are the unsung heroes of the West.

Blog Stops

Christian Bookaholic, March 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Labor Not in Vain, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 7

Connect in Fiction, March 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 8

Splashes of Joy, March 8

Hallie Reads, March 8

Batya’s Bits, March 9

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody 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/1089b/delia-and-the-drifter-celebration-tour-giveaway

Be sure to leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Review and Giveaway Bookers on the Rocks

About the Book

Book:  Bookers on the Rocks

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

If it ain’t broke, why’s she so intent on fixing it?

Tessa Booker hates romance.

For twenty-five years, Tessa Booker has insisted that romance is something Hollywood cooked up to sell books and movies. Yes, she knows the word existed before movies.  She doesn’t care. That’s her story, and she’s sticking to it.

So when Ross gets a gentle nudge from Mallory Barrows to look into what Tessa’s doing every day while he’s at work, he discovers a romance in the works–one that sounds a little too “ripped from the pages” of his life!

Who is this woman, and what has she done with his wife? 

Armed with advice from 101 Ways to Romance Your Wife and a copy of the manuscript he printed while she was napping, he’s determined to figure out what’s up with his wife… and if maybe a little romance wouldn’t be a good thing after all.

In a twist of the “on the rocks trope,” this book introduces the next island in 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

This book is full of wisdom and truth. How often along the journey of marriage (and relationships) so we neglect the one most important to us? I’m throwing myself right into the mixture. The oh-so human element trickles into every aspect of our closest relationships.

This journey with Ross and Tess sparks a hope for better solutions. Even in an idyllic island home, negative vibes find root. I’ve taken the lessons here and put them into practice. I don’t have to implement the entire “101” list to see a difference. I’ve enjoyed this couple with real struggles. Perhaps, the read and journey can put a little spark in your relationship. And the lessons work for other relationships too. Enjoy the adventure. Beware it might hit close to home!

About the Author

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

Who Needs Romance? My Marriage Is Great as It Is!

Writing a book about a couple who are in love, devoted to each other, and don’t have marriage problems is… challenging. Let’s face it. Most books about married couples, especially ones “on the rocks,” are going to have fights, an affair (at least of the emotional variety), or some big thing threatening to send them straight to divorce court.

Mine doesn’t.

In fact, Bookers on the Rocks shows what happens when couples become too comfortable in their routines—so comfortable, in fact, that they become blind to each other’s needs. If you asked Tessa Booker if anything is wrong in her marriage, she’d say no. If you asked her if she wanted anything different, she’d say no. The age old, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.

Still, if you look at stories in Scripture, you see deep love and even romance in some places. Elkanah, who loved his wife enough to say, “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” Jacob who worked fourteen years to marry the woman he loved. Solomon and his love for the Shulamite woman. While the first two do not make me squirm, Solomon does. That book… oh, that book.

What I think Song of Solomon does is remind us of the Lord’s wooing of His people and how invested the Shulamite woman was in being delighted in her beloved—in all of him. If that isn’t a picture of how we should devote ourselves to our Lord, I don’t know what is.

In Bookers on the Rocks, I explore the possibility that those of us who aren’t naturally romantic might just be missing a vital ingredient in our marriages. A body can look and feel perfectly healthy for years—even decades. But if some essential nutrient is missing in a person’s diet, eventually that body will show it in some way. A lack of calcium can create brittle bones. No one sees the problem until a slight stumble turns into a nasty break.

Did it change how I view my marriage? No… not yet. Then again, yes it did, too. I’m more… aware of what is going on in my marriage these days. I doubt candlelight and roses will ever become a thing in our relationship, but translating what romance might mean and look like to my husband has become something I do think about from time to time. That probably means more Wienerschnitzel and less broccoli, but hey. He did a lot of dishes, dinner, and diapers (my perfect three Ds of romance) when our kids were small. I can endure a hot dog or three thousand, right?

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, February 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 20

CarpeDiem, February 20

deb’s Book Review, February 21

Connect in Fiction, February 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 22

Blogging With Carol, February 22

Blossoms and Blessings, February 23

Godly Book Reviews, February 23

Pause for Tales, February 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and 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/10740/bookers-on-the-rocks-celebration-tour-giveaway

I needed an island read during our cold snap! What are you reading?

Review and Giveaway The Dressmaker’s Secret

The Dressmaker's Secret banner

About the Book

Book:  The Dressmaker’s Secret

Author: Kellyn Roth

Genre: Christian historical women’s fiction

1 - The Dressmaker's Secret

IF THEY KNEW WHO SHE WAS, THEY’D NEVER ACCEPT WHAT SHE’S BECOME.

Claire will stop at nothing to provide for her daughters. An unwed mother, she does everything possible to raise them whilst avoiding her scandalous past. Some secrets are best kept, even between mother and daughter. Alice longs for a father, especially if that means her mother will be happy. She takes matters into her own hands—but she never expected what she finds.

Despite her efforts to shelter her daughters, Claire’s ghosts rise up to haunt her, and any semblance of control over her life vanishes. If her secrets are uncovered, what will become of her family?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

A few years ago, I found Kellyn Roth’s The Dressmaker’s Secret and remembered being so startled that a young teenager could produce such a piece of art. Now, she has rewritten and repackaged an already good book turning it into a more awesome read. I love the new twists and depth of character. My promise to follow Kellyn’s writing career holds strong.

The “secret” drives the story, shrouding it in mystery. The secret manipulates the lives of two innocent little girls. Isn’t that the way with secrets and falsehoods? They become live entities, intending to cushion life but making the fall rather jarring.

How long have you kept a secret? Was it as a child or a mature adult? Some secrets last a lifetime. Kellyn uses her imagination and writing skill to present a beautiful, yet imposing, adventure of love, protection, and promise in a situation made into a prison, impregnable due to society and the dressmaker’s unbendable parent.

I loved the point of view of eight-year-old Alice. Children see the world differently, challenging adults to break from the confines of black and white. The world is a little brighter because of them.

Bravo for Kellyn and The Dressmaker’s Secret.

About the Author

Kellyn Roth

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.

Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, arbitrary cat, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.

When not writing, Kell likes to blog, teach writing to her various students, have day jobs which allow her to keep her car properly insured, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries.

More from Kellyn

I’ve honestly never rewritten a book as many times as I rewrote The Dressmaker’s Secret, and I hope I never do.A first draft flew out of me one November when I was fourteen, and before the next November had come around, I’d gone through twelve drafts, changed points of view multiple times, and eventually rewrote the whole thing from scratch.The ending especially went through many, many versions … until at last I settled on the final. Or so I thought.Not long after, some more issues were called to light, and I revised again. And again. Years passed. I went through over twenty-five drafts! And, at the time, I liked all of them. Would I ever like one for longer than a month, though?Well, turns out, it was possible! I’m over a year and a half into loving my draft of The Dressmaker’s Secret – e.g. the published draft – and that’s not likely to change any time soon.This book taught me a lot. It practically taught me how to write – and edit! – a good book, and it made me really focus in on quality, even when it took some humility to admit I was wrong and critics were right – or, sometimes, that my gut was right. It taught me to not give up on something I love. It taught me that the risks I always wanted to take are worth taking. It taught me that no mistake is too great to be corrected … well, in some ways, at least.And it taught me that there’s a great God out there who has grace for all my delays and mistakes and learning experiences.So, that’s the story of how The Dressmaker’s Secret came to be written!

Blog Stops

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 2

Inklings and notions, February 3

lakesidelivingsite, February 3

Betti Mace, February 4

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 4

deb’s Book Review, February 4

For Him and My Family, February 5

Connect in Fiction, February 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 6

Connie’s History Classroom, February 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 7

Godly Book Reviews, February 7

Labor Not in Vain, February 7

Artistic Nobody, February 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Blogging With Carol, February 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 9

Sodbuster Living, February 9

Bizwings Blog, February 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kellyn is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of both The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective, as well as 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/10689/the-dressmaker-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

Leave your thoughts here…

Review and Giveaway Beauty Among Ruins

About the Book

Book:  Beauty Among Ruins

Author: J’Nell Ciesielski

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: January 12, 2021

American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

How romantic and mystical to live in an old Scottish castle, unless it is during WWI, used as a convalescent home for soldiers, with the walls and ceiling crumbling down. Add in an unwanted American girl serving as a nurse and a grumbling laird. The air of privilege and prosperity meet, leaving a vague potential for romance.

Another aspect of war is the healing and housing of the wounded, safely away from the mayhem of the war zone. Some of the heroes yearn to return to war, others dread the prospect, and still others want to die. I’m always impressed with the women in any war who exit their homes and leave family to tend to the tasks out in the world in the years of war.

In Beauty Among Ruins, a wealthy American heiress in Scotland in 1916 before America enters the war is not accepted with open arms. Proof is needed to secure that respect. The heroine faces the mysterious threats to the castle, herself, and the laird with bravery. But is it enough?

I wonder what my role would have been close to a country at war. This novel reveals many difficult sides of war. The author takes the reader on a journey through the trials of owning and managing a dilapidated castle during wartime as a home for the wounded of body and heart. I was not disappointed in participating in this aspect of war.

About the Author

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the INSPY and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’Nell

Inspiration for Beauty Among Ruins

Once again, blame it on Downton Abbey. This time on Lady Rose. She was impulsive, spoiled, a free spirit, yet with a good heart. I knew I wanted to take on the challenge of writing a heroine like her. A character who starts off one way and by the end of the book has completely charmed you over. So I started writing and everything was going great until … it wasn’t. The plot just stopped on me. No matter how hard I tried the story refused to reveal itself to me which is incredibly frustrating for someone who doesn’t like to give up once they’ve started something. But I had to. In the end, I had to put the story, affectionately titled Love on the Limp, away for several months while I wrote The Socialite. Then one day the story clicked. It was meant to be a WWI telling on the classic Beauty and the Beast story. Everything fell into place and the story and characters burst onto the page in glorious technicolor.

Lily and Alec took me by surprised with how much I fell in love with them. Bubbly Lily and brooding Alec. Never had two more opposites been so perfect for one another (at least in my writing experience). They had so many obstacles to overcome, many of them self-imposed, that I often found myself in tears over their heartaches, but golly gumdrops when they came together, boy o boy were there fireworks!

You may have also noticed that the story is set in Scotland because I happen to believe that every good story is set there. I had the privilege of staring at pictures of this breathtaking landscape for months so I could imagine the characters strolling among the heather  and watching the river twist through the green moors. To me, nothing rivals the awe inspiring beauty of a certain place, and hopefully readers will feel that through these pages.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, January 27

Fiction Aficionado, January 27

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 27

Wishful Endings, January 28

Genesis 5020, January 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 29

lakesidelivingsite, January 29

Reflections From my Bookshelves, January 29

Connect in Fiction, January 30

Connie’s History Classroom, January 30

CarpeDiem, January 30

Artistic Nobody, January 31 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 31

Rachael’s Inkwell, January 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, February 1

Rebecca Tews, February 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 1

Texas Book-aholic, February 2

As He Leads is Joy, February 2

Robin’s Nest, February 2

Older & Smarter?, February 3

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 4

Remembrancy, February 4

Inklings and notions, February 4

Mia Reads, February 5

Joanne Markey, February 5

Splashes of Joy, February 5

Mary Hake, February 5

Betti Mace, February 6

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 6

For Him and My Family, February 6

She Lives to Read, February 7

deb’s Book Review, February 7

The Write Escape, February 7

Simple Harvest Reads, February 8 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Novels Corner, February 8

To Everything There Is A Season, February 8

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

Pause for Tales, February 9

Lis Loves Reading, February 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J’Nell is giving away the grand prize of a paperback copy of the book and an audiobook copy of The Socialite!!

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/10688/beauty-among-ruins-celebration-tour-giveaway

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Review and Giveaway Faith’s Mountain Home

Faith's Mountain Home copy

About the Book

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Book:  Faith’s Mountain Home

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian historical romance

Nate Long has always watched over his identical twin brother, Aaron, even when it put him on the wrong side of the law. When Aaron is wounded in a shootout, the brothers are taken to Settler’s Fort to recover. As Nate works to make reparations for their past, he marvels at the nursing Aaron receives under the care of a woman with all the reason in the world to resent him.

Laura Hannon knows what it is to start over, and she knows Nate’s newfound faith is real. What she can’t look past is how far he allowed himself to be led astray by his brother’s weaknesses.

As a fledgling trust grows between Nate and Laura, they stumble upon a mysterious cave in the mountains that may not be as uninhabited as it seems.

As they work together for a common cause, will the new lives they seek for themselves include love, or is there too much that stands between them?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I love this series where minor characters become major ones. Isn’t that true in life? Everyone is a major character depending on the point of view. Misty Beller shares her gift of storytelling, linking souls together. Unlikely friends join in the healing process which begs for forgiveness and patience.

The challenges the characters face—emotional, physical, and spiritual—might appear more than anyone can bear. But the application is not missed with today’s problems and dilemmas. Illness and death surround us. Financial possibilities loom just out of reach—some hopeful, others disasters. Questions and pleas soar to God daily. The mountain and harsh winter may not be a physical reality, but the ensuing difficulties sure are.

Join the journey with Laura and Nate as they collide with the elements and hope for a brighter future.

About the Author

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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

Who doesn’t love a good cave?

Well, maybe not everyone, but I have to confess, I love exploring!

While there aren’t many caves near my South Carolina home, I’ve always loved the idea of finding an opening hidden in the rocks. Then venturing in and finding a huge cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites and a host of other beauties I can’t pronounce!

And dark tunnels? As long as I have a light and a string to unravel as I go so I can get back out, I’m game!

Unfortunately, I’ve never found a large cave in real life that had never been explored, but in Faith’s Mountain Home, Nate and Laura found exactly that! Although…turns out, it had been discovered by someone already. I won’t give you (too many) spoilers, but let me just tell you there’s a precocious Native American girl involved, and a few other things not so delightful.

The good news is, you can enjoy the story without actually entering the pitch black cavern!

Last summer, I had the opportunity to tour a cave with many features like Nate and Laura discovered in their hidden cave. The Caverns of Sonora in Sonora, Texas was a fantastic experience! As you can imagine, it’s hard to get good pictures in solid darkness, but here are a few of the amazing formations still growing in those two miles of underground tunnels.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 26

Artistic Nobody, January 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, January 27

Bigreadersite, January 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 27

Betti Mace, January 28

Connect in Fiction, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Lighthouse Academy Blog, January 29 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

lakesidelivingsite, January 29

Bizwings Blog, January 29

Through the Fire Blogs, January 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 31

Fiction Book Lover, January 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inspiration Clothesline, January 31

Wishful Endings, February 1

Life of Literature, February 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 2

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 2

Blossoms and Blessings, February 2

For Him and My Family, February 3

Splashes of Joy , February 3

Simple Harvest Reads, February 3 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blessed & Bookish, February 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 4

To Everything There Is A Season, February 4

Older & Smarter?, February 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 5

Pause for Tales, February 5

For the Love of Literature, February 6

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6

Remembrancy, February 7

Inklings and notions, February 7

Hallie Reads, February 7

She Lives To Read, February 8

HookMeInABook, February 8

Genesis 5020, February 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of the entire Hearts of Montana series, plus a “Faith Moves Mountain” sign!! (See Here: https://etsy.me/2JjZAVV)

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/1062c/faith-s-mountain-home-celebration-tour-giveaway

Review and Giveaway The Thief of Blackfriars Lane

About the Book

The Thief of Blackfriars Lane

Book:  The Thief of Blackfriars Lane

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian historical

There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint

Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

A game of cat and mouse around Victorian London pulls the reader into the workings of evil schemers. A constable and a street swindler find a tenuous partnership to defeat nefarious crime.

Do you ever test the line between doing good and breaking a mandate or a law, whether written or perceived? When it comes to care of loved ones, we can tread close to putting our personal needs aside to make sure others are cared for and safe. How many sacrifices do parents make? How many dreams are put on hold for our children? Breaking the law rarely the right option, but creativity, sacrifice, and love go a long way to aiding loved ones or even strangers.

Michelle Griep gives the reader a fantastic run through the dangerous streets, hoping to settle a few entanglements and mysteries.

About the Author

Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at http://www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

More from Michelle

Zootopia in Victorian London

I admit it. I like kid’s movies. You know, the animated sort that entertain both young and old alike. One of my favorites is Zootopia, a rollicking adventure about a bunny whose dream it is to be a police officer and make the streets of the big city safe for all animals. In fact, I loved it so much that I thought why not set it in Victorian London?

So I did.

And that’s what The Thief of Blackfriars Lane is all about, but that meant I had to do a little digging into the history of police force of the late 1800’s. Here’s what I learned…

The Metropolitan Police (founded in 1829 by Robert Peel) was composed mostly of young men, many of whom were recruited from rural areas. Few were from London, the philosophy being that they would thus be free from local patronage and influence.

It is a bit of an anomaly that hero Jackson Forge and his friend, Officer Baggett, carry a sidearm. Some did, but most relied on truncheons. It was up to the officer. Revolvers were usually only supplied after the death of a police officer by an armed criminal, at the discretion of the Divisional Officer, or if a constable requested to use one during night duty. In 1884, after the deaths of several police officers, the Home Office ordered nearly a thousand revolvers from Webley & Scott to be issued to branches of the London police. . .which is where I got the idea of a shipment of guns for the villain to attempt to steal.

Police detectives were recruited from within the ranks of existing uniformed officers. There were actually women on the force at the time, employed as police matrons. But these were behind-the-scenes workers, tasked with guarding women and children. If my heroine, Kit, were to be out in public, serving as Jackson’s assistant, she’d have to keep her job secret. The first female police officer wasn’t seen on the streets until 1919.

And so, armed with that information, I wrote the adventures of not a police bunny and a con artist fox, but of Jackson Forge, a fresh-faced constable, and his thorn in the side, swindler Kit Turner. Snatch up your own copy and enjoy a visit to Victorian London!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 23

Bigreadersite, January 23

Inklings and notions, January 23

Bizwings Blog, January 23

Remembrancy, January 24

Connect in Fiction, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 24

Blogging With Carol, January 24

She Lives To Read, January 25

Blessed & Bookish, January 25

Genesis 5020, January 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 25

Library Lady’s kid Lit, January 26

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 26

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 27

CarpeDiem, January 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 28

For the Love of Literature, January 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 28

Connie’s History Classroom, January 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Rachael’s Inkwell, January 29

Life of Literature, January 29

Betti Mace, January 30

Older & Smarter?, January 30

Texas Book-aholic, January 30

HookMeInABook, January 30

For Him and My Family, January 31

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 31

Mia Reads, January 31

Godly Book Reviews, January 31

Through the Fire Blogs, February 1

KarenSueHadley, February 1

The Book Chic Blog, February 1

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, February 1

Artistic Nobody, February 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Simple Harvest Reads, February 2 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mamma Loves Books, February 2

Blossoms and Blessings, February 2

Splashes of Joy, February 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 3

Vicky Sluiter, February 3

Pause for Tales, February 3

The Write Escape, February 4

Wishful Endings, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 4

Hallie Reads, February 4

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, February 5

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 5

To Everything There Is A Season, February 5

Daysong Reflections, February 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Thief of Blackfriars Lane!!

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/1062a/the-thief-of-blackfriars-lane-celebration-tour-giveaway

I’d like to know your thoughts. Does this sound interesting to you?

Review and Giveaway Mishaps off the Mainland

Mishaps-bouldin

About the Book

Book:  Mishaps off the Mainland

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre:  Christian fiction, contemporary romance

Release Date:  November 24, 2020

BOULDIN-Mishaps Off the Mainland

All Mel wants is to run the business of her dreams.

Melody Carmichael’s mobile pet grooming business might sink before it can sail when a favorite pet escapes her care. Doggie escape-artist, Daphne, got a taste of freedom, and the Afghan hound refuses to be found.

Enter Zeke Solomon. Desperate to bring the dog home for his grandmother, Zeke steps in to save the day.

And working together with Zeke would be a snap—if he would just stop blaming Mel for Daphne making a break for it.

Zeke is desperate to prove himself worthy of the Solomon name and step out from his father’s shadow. With his father breathing down his neck and demanding he return to the company business, Zeke must decide whether confronting the man he admires most is worth the risk of alienation.

Everything’s falling apart, and Mel’s dream transforms into a nightmare. She thought this was what God wanted for her life, but can you blame her for second-guessing everything?

Was it all just a mistake?

Mishaps off the Mainland is the fifth “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

Oh, how I love this island series. Each book is like another season of a favorite show. Onward with the life of a pet groomer—might I say a struggling business with a series of mishaps.

A star of the novel is a runaway dog—an escapee. She ties, and tries, the lives together of many characters as she remains elusive. I can relate as a recent rescue dog owner. My Tully is a puppy, a rather large puppy, begging to be set free to roam. I never intended to have a dog, but I think God had another idea. I rescue cats too. My latest was a mama-to-be cat who gave us six babies—we kept two.

As the heroine Mel explores her options as a groom, she continues to rescue, love, and foster animals. She is an inspiration for us all. If you like animals, this tale is relatable. Sometimes animal lovers do crazy things for the good of the furry “beasts.” Live, laugh, and wander the islands with Mel, Zeke, and the escapee.

About the Author

Tabitha Bouldin

Tabitha Bouldin is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and an avid reader. When she’s not busy homeschooling her two boys, you’ll find her buried in a book.

More from Tabitha

Why mobile pet grooming?

I get this question a lot when I bring up Mishaps off the Mainland.

I mean, I could have chosen any occupation as long as it could be mobile. Anything from a mobile doctor office to a bug specialist. The world was wide open for ideas.

After just completing a rather serious series, I wanted to write something lighter, funnier, but with that same depth and heart that I love to read. I also needed something that fit my character, and Mel had some pretty strong opinions right out of the gate.

You see, Mel is one of those characters who spoke to me right away. She loves animals. All animals but especially dogs. They’re her happy place. Mel is also a giver. She will drop everything to help someone else.

When I asked her what her dream job would be, she answered me faster than any character ever has. Pet groomer! (Yes, I talk to my characters.)

And I thought, why not a mobile pet groomer? She gets to spend all her time with animals (which is a bonus for me as the author), and Mel’s character traits can shine through her actions and reveal her giving heart.

Once the job was decided, I knew there needed to be some drama. What would be the underlying fear of a pet groomer? I didn’t want to injure an animal, so I went for what felt like second most traumatic, an escaped animal.

While Daphne’s escape is serious and causes Mel no end of sleepless nights, it also provides some comedic relief for Mel and Zeke while they work through their own personal battles. I like to think of Mishaps off the Mainland as a mixture of quirky fun and serious truth. The story was a joy to write, and I hope you fall in love with Mel and Zeke.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 18

Livin’ Lit, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

21st Century Keeper at Home, December 19

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 20

Connect in Fiction, December 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 21

deb’s Book Review, December 21

Inklings and notions, December 22

The Collaborative Press, December 22

For Him and My Family, December 23

lakesidelivingsite, December 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 23

Joanne Markey, December 24

Reviewingbooksplusmore, December 24

Batya’s Bits, December 25

Daysong Reflections, December 25

She Lives To Read, December 26

Rebekah Reads, December 26

Splashes of Joy, December 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Blossoms and Blessings, December 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 28

Captive Dreams Window, December 28

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

Simple Harvest Reads, December 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Aryn the Libraryan, December 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 30

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tabitha is giving away the grand prize package 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/104fd/mishaps-off-the-mainland-celebration-tour-giveaway

I look forward to your comments. What animals do you like as pets or just because?