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

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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?

Review and Giveaway Bride by Blackmail

About the Book

Book: Bride by Blackmail

Author: Debbie Lynne Costello

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 15, 2020

A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.

Eager to find the traitor that caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass’s hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Historic Charleston, South Carolina and Debbie Costello—what a fantastic combination. Back to my favorite city, no matter the time period. I love to walk the streets in any decade or century. Debbie brings life and mystery in her writing with characters that capture the time and essence of Charleston.

Her heroine Charlotte has an interesting and possibly devastating dilemma with neither option rendering happiness for all involved. She has to take the less selfish offer to save her family from shame, doesn’t she?

How many times do we put others first even to our own detriment and pain? As a parent—sacrifice. As a spouse—compromise. But do I remember to seek another way, God’s way? It’s comforting to know He can turn my crazy plans into good. How much easier and rewarding if I would listen to Him first.

Envision a beloved town as you the reader meet these characters on the street, in the mansions, trying to find that blend of purpose and hope, doing God’s will even with the sacrifice of the familiar. Enjoy!

About the Author

Debbie Lynne Costello has been writing since the young age of eight. She went to college for journalism. She enjoys medieval settings and settings set in nineteenth century Charleston, South Carolina. She loves the Lord and hopes to touch people’s lives through her stories. Debbie Lynne lives in the beautiful state of South Carolina with her husband of 40 years, their 4 children, 2 Tennessee Walking horses, 2 Arabians, miniature donkey, 6 ducks, and 3 dogs.

More from Debbie

It is fun to build characters in books and one of the best ways is to show some sort of a hobby or skill that the particular character enjoys. In Bride by Blackmail, Charlotte and her sister, Nellie, are doing needlework on a tablecloth that they hope to have done by the holiday season. My grandmother who would be over a hundred today loved to do needlework. I have pieces from when she was young up until her later years when she did needlework on pillowcases to decorate them up as a Christmas present. But I also have pieces done by my great-great grandmother and her sisters. They are cherished pieces I hope to hand down for generations. As part of my giveaway I’ve purchased antique needlework and embroidered pieces to giveaway with the prizes.

Another fun way to build characters is show something they love to eat. Nellie, who is a minor character, is visiting the hero’s home with her family. Duncan being from Scotland has scones on the breakfast menu. Nellie can’t get enough of the yummy biscuits and finds the servant enjoys helping her continue her indulgence even after she leaves.

SCONES

Preheat oven to 400

2 cups of flour

1/3 cup sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup sour cream

½ cup butter (hard)

½ cup cranberries

1 large egg

2 tsp. sugar (do not put this in with the dry ingredients. This is for topping.)

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl. Once mixed well, cut hard butter into pats and drop into the bowl. Now cut the butter into the floured mixture until it is more like a crumble. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together your egg and your sour cream until well mixed.

With a fork (no mixer!) blend the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, keep stirring until the mixture becomes one large ball. If you need to you can use your hands toward the end to make sure all the flour is in the ball.

On a lightly floured surface pat the dough out to about 3/4” thick. I try to make mine a rectangle for the next step. Once you have the thickness right, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tsps. sugar. Cut the dough into triangles and place on cookie sheet (you can use parchment paper on the cookie sheet). Be sure to place adequately apart on the sheet to prevent them touching when rising.

Bake approximately 15 minutes or until they are a beautiful golden color.

Allow to cool slightly. These are wonderful warm or cold!

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 14

Hallie Reads, December 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 15

Novels Corner, December 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 16

Connect in Fiction, December 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 17

Artistic Nobody, December 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Britt Reads Fiction, December 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 19

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Rebecca Tews, December 20

deb’s Book Review, December 20

Inklings and notions, December 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 21

Texas Book-aholic, December 22

Splashes of Joy, December 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 23

Vicky Sluiter, December 23

Labor Not in Vain, December 24

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 25

Connie’s History Classroom, December 26

Bizwings Blog, December 26

For Him and My Family, December 27

Maureen’s Musings, December 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debbie is giving away the grand prize of a smart watch!!

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/104ae/bride-by-blackmail-celebration-tour-giveaway

I look forward to reading your comments.

Review and Giveaway Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed banner

About the Book

Book: Something Borrowed

Author: Weaver, Dawn, Boyd, Tysinger, Shiloh

Genre: Christian/Contemporary/ Romance / Holiday

Release Date: October 20

Something Borrowed Cover FINAL 6x9

Old friends, new loves, and a borrowed tiara.

Always Been Yours — Hanady’s planning her dream wedding, but her injured best friend Keenan isn’t the groom. If she can’t see she’s marrying the wrong guy soon, his leg won’t be the only thing broken.

All the Moore — Leilah Anderson has been living behind the screen to hide her disability, then she meets Reggie Moore face-to-face. Can their relationship survive the truth and distance between them?

A Holly, Bolly Christmas — A dream wedding venue at Christmas? Sign Chahna Kapoor up. Even if her fiancé doesn’t know it…

Somehow, This Christmas — When not-so-merry mishaps threaten wedding planner Cate Forsyth’s holiday wedding and reputation, will her own happily ever after with sweetheart Noah Bennett melt away?

A Promise So Sweet — Lydia Osborn hasn’t heard from her ex in ten years, so imagine her surprise when he shows up proposing marriage. Tis the season for love?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Oh, to have friends that stick close through the years. My sister has a college clan like this one in the novel. After years removed from the connection in college, my sister’s group plans not just girl weekends, but girl weeks where they meet, bringing all their lives from miles apart together for renewal and focus (usually at the beach or the mountains). The bond has not been broken even though the woes of life—physical, mental, and emotional woven with spiritual. They have something special that not everybody has or understands. It takes work and commitment.

In Something Borrowed, these friends, still in their twenties, are finding love, making career choices, facing financial and physical strains. Each has chosen a life in a different city far from the close community of college. Yet, they stay connected and share their individual and corporate struggles and joys with the reader.

At Christmas, this collection of novellas is really one great novel of truths about friendship, love, connection, sharing, and growth. It inspires me to reach out to any friends and connect or reconnect with others even the simple act of a card or a memory. Count it a blessing to have multiple life-long friends.

(As a side note, I LOVED Toni Shiloh’s story set in New Orleans. I’m from Louisiana and enjoy the references to lifestyle, accents, and setting.)

About the Author

JayceeWeaver_HeadShot

Jaycee Weaver Author
Lover of Jesus, family, books, coffee, music, and crafting (in that order), Jaycee Weaver is perpetually pursuing at least one of her passions. She writes contemporary Christian romance with realistic characters in everyday situations where they always find a happy ending. Visit her at www.jayceeweaver.com.

toni

Toni Shiloh Author
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Visit her at www.tonishiloh.com.

MikalDawn_HeadShot

Mikal Dawn Author
Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and military (retired) wife. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Mikal lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two of their three children. Visit her at www.mikaldawn.com.

TeresaTysinger_HeadShot

Teresa Tysinger Author
Teresa Tysinger is a wife, mother, and communications director for a national non-profit. She writes charming Christian romance, inspired by grace. Teresa now resides in Texas, though part of her heart remains in North Carolina. She loves Jesus, coffee, and happy endings. Visit Teresa at www.teresatysinger.com.

AndreaBoyd_HeadShot

Andrea Boyd Author
Each of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible. Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC. Visit her at www.andreaboyd11.com.

More from the Something Borrowed Authors

Dear Readers,

Thank you for stopping by the Celebrate Lit blog tour of Something Borrowed. Before we share our excitement for the collection, we’d like to give a brief history of how it came to be.

Last year, the five of us crafted the Once Upon a Christmas collection, but Teresa needed to step down and we were blessed to have Angela Ruth Strong join us in her stead. Early this year, we rejoiced as Teresa was able to resume her place, and then our hearts broke as we learned of Angela’s breast cancer battle. Through all life has thrown our way, we’ve formed a beautiful friendship and have plans to write more collections together!

In January, we decided on a Christmas weddings theme, but we wanted it to be different and unique. Ideas sprang to life and six college roommates emerged, each from a different walk of life but bound by friendship. And then, we found ourselves missing our sixth. With prayers and a blessing over Angela’s health and a writing endeavor that’s been a dream for years (read her story on Facebook!), we found a way to include her in the form of a sixth roommate who no longer needed a love story.

Enter Ruth Ann. Married right out of college, she’s been busy cranking out babies like nobody’s business. And when the next bride, Jaycee’s character Hanady, brings them together for a girls’ reunion weekend, it’s Ruth Ann who produces the perfect something borrowed for this circle of friends.

Hanady’s planning a wedding to the wrong groom—just ask Keenan, the injured best friend who’s loved her for years. Wheelchair-bound Leilah doubts she’ll wear the tiara, but her online gaming friend might be too wonderful to resist. Chahna “Ana” Kapoor just knows she’s going to wear the tiara, so she books her dream venue—she just needs her boyfriend to propose and her parents to tone down the drama. After being engaged to Noah for years, Cate is more than ready for the tiara to be hers, but not-so-merry mishaps the week of the wedding threaten a happily ever after. And finally, having watched all of her friends marry and start their families, when Lydia’s ex shows up on her doorstep with an outrageous proposal, she finds it hard to believe her turn might finally have come.

We are so happy to present to you this collection of five interconnected stories where friendship and faith take center stage. For some, it’s new love. For others, it’s finally sealing an old one. Each tale is unique and yet together they weave one overarching message of love, joy, hope, and peace through the Christmas season.

As you read these stories, we pray they touch your heart. We pray they entertain you and maybe even make you laugh a time or two. And lastly, we pray the Christmas truths bless you this holiday season.

Blessings,

Jaycee, Toni, Mikal, Teresa, and Andrea

Blog Stops

Remembrancy, December 10

Connect in Fiction, December 10

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 12

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 12

For Him and My Family, December 13

EmpowerMoms, December 13

She Lives To Read, December 14

Through the Fire Blogs, December 14

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 15

deb’s Book Review, December 15

Inklings and notions, December 16

Captive Dreams Window, December 16

Artistic Nobody, December 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Livin’ Lit, December 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 19

CarpeDiem, December 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 20

Cultivating Us, December 20

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, the Something Borrowed Authors are giving away the grand prize package of an Amazon gift card, pens, and chocolate!!

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/10462/something-borrowed-celebration-tour-giveaway

I’d love for you to comment! Merry Christmas to all.

Review and Giveaway An Ivy Hill Christmas

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About the Book

Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas

Author: Julie Klassen

Genre: Christmas Historical Romance

Release Date: September, 2020

Ivy Hill Christmas

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Take me back to Ivy Hill any day, especially a day during the Christmas season where I can roam the quaint streets with old friends. Sharing a history with these authentic, loveable characters draws me to the pages. In my mind I leap onto the well-worn paths and country roads into the familiar homes with ease.

Klassen exposes some delightful Christmas traditions involving baskets filled to overflowing, caroling, giving, and including less fortunate people that spark a yearning to share.

Even while participating in the Christmas glitter and coverings, the characters cannot mask the ever-present problems of finances, work, society, politics, and relationships. Sound familiar? They are part of our lives today. For a needed retreat from the imposed solitude of today, go to the quaint, but far from perfect, life in Ivy Hill. Honestly, I want to return to this place often.

About the Author

Klassen Julie

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing‘s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

More from Julie

My fascination with England began as a girl when I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and watched A Christmas Carol. I have now been to Great Britain several times, and my affection for the place has only grown. I love the country villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs, the narrow, winding roads (though not driving on them), the ancient churches, friendly people, plummy accents, and history. Writing fifteen novels set there has been a real pleasure.

An Ivy Hill Christmas includes all the elements of an idyllic Olde English yuletide: A charming village setting, snowfall, mistletoe, caroling, gifts for less fortunate neighbors, and festive gatherings of friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed researching 19th century Christmas traditions and weaving them into this novella.

In the story, a confirmed bachelor is determined to remain aloof from the celebrations going on around him—and from his mother’s matchmaking schemes. But divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance change his heart…and his mind.  I love a transformation story; don’t you?

If you’ve read the TALES FROM IVY HILL series, you will enjoy returning to the village and spending time with favorite characters. But rest assured, the novella is a standalone, meaning you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read the other books, as these reviews attest:

“[A] standalone novella that not only beautifully captures the kindness, hope, love, and faith of Christmas but also skillfully evokes the period holiday atmosphere of Regency England.”  —Booklist

“This feel-good tale of love and redemption will delight Klassen’s fans and new readers alike.” Publishers Weekly

And if you like the novella, I think you will like the other books as well. An Ivy Hill Christmas would also make a lovely gift for a reading friend.

Finally, if you want to add a British flair to your own modern-day celebrations, buy (or make) mince tarts or Christmas pudding, place Christmas “crackers” (pull-apart gift tubes) on your table and wear the included paper crowns. Refer to Father Christmas instead of Santa; and instead of “Merry,” wish everyone a hearty, “Happy Christmas.”

Happy Christmas!

Blog Stops

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

Connect in Fiction, December 6

Artistic Nobody, December 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Worthy2Read, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 7

Life of Literature, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Connie’s History Classroom, December 8

Batya’s Bits, December 8

Labor Not in Vain, December 8

Hallie Reads, December 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

Older & Smarter?, December 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 9

Betti Mace, December 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Faery Tales Are Real, December 10

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 11

Bigreadersite, December 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 11

Splashes of Joy, December 11

Vicky Sluiter, December 12

To Everything There Is A Season, December 12

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 12

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

The Write Escape, December 12

A Baker’s Perspective, December 13

Bizwings Blog, December 13

Simple Harvest Reads, December 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, December 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Julie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of An Ivy Hill Christmas and the other three books in the Ivy Hill series, plus the winner’s choice of Bingley’s Tea!!

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/103f5/an-ivy-hill-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Be sure to leave a comment and enjoy reading what others have to say.

Review and Giveaway Georgia Ann–English Rose

Georgia Ann

About the Book

Book: Georgia Ann, English Rose

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Georgia Ann English Rose

Two Charles Town men love Georgia Ann Cooper—Samuel Vargas and his step-brother, Joshua Becket—but only one both attracts and infuriates her. Even though he’s a dangerous budding patriot and a privateer—or more likely pirate—Samuel fills her dreams and waking moments. When he leaves Charles Town for high sea adventure on the legendary Spice Trail, she determines to push him out of her thoughts and her graces. A task made slightly easier when she sets out on her own journey to accompany her father on one of his merchant trips to the Mediterranean.

Samuel Vargas is determined to make his own way in the world, not live in the glow of his parents’ escapades throughout Charles Town and the seas surrounding the Spanish Main. There’s no better place to earn his fortune than the Spice Trail. But the adventure becomes more than he bargained for when he stumbles across a familiar face from Charles Town in Tripoli, and he’s forced to use all his abilities to save the life of the woman he’s been trying to forget.

As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with Barbary pirates, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Georgia Ann and Samuel.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Just say the word Charleston and I am there in my mind, wanting to be there in person. In Georgia Ann—English Rose the adventures are endless, whether in Charleston, on the High Seas, or Tripoli, the characters are thrown into action for survival and rescue. The prospect of landing in a harem or marring the wrong man because of a whisper of a promise aren’t to be taken lightly in the 1700s.

Danger lurks today as we travel but we expect to reach the destination with little discomfort. Stories of piracy, abduction, and slavery still exist too. But the feats of bravery in this novel beat beyond what most of us face in a lifetime.

If the reader wants a fast-paced read, I’d recommend Georgia Ann—English Rose. The characters resonate as flesh and blood always a heartbeat away from danger.

I almost forgot to mention one of my favorite historical characters, Christopher Gadsden, has a role, alluding to the idea of war with the British.

About the Author

Elva Cobb Martin

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

Georgia Ann (& the Spice Trade) – Book 2 in my Charleston Brides Series

I enjoy researching material to make my novels richer and help readers learn something new while enjoying my Christian historical romances. In Georgia Ann, my hero, Samuel Vargas, sails off to make his fortune in spices we take for granted in our kitchens today. I loved doing the research about this flavorful commodity.

The Spice Islands are actually called the Maluku Islands and theylie in the Indonesian Pacific archipelago, north of Australia and south of Thailand and China.

The history of spices reveals a hazardous, exciting tale spread over centuries of daring, courage and greed and many countries and oceans.

The spice trade actually drove the world’s economyfrom the end of the Middle Ages well into modern times. But the economical importance of spices, recorded in the history of Kerala, referred to as “The Spice Garden of India,” goes back as far as 3000 BC which marks the beginning of the spice trade.

Wars have been fought on land and sea and nations have been made wealthy (and at least one annihilated) in the battle for control of the spice trade.

Nutmeg and New York

The spice trade brought great riches to Arab, Indian, Venetian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish traders. It once brought death to residents of the Banda Spice Islands over a nutmeg monopoly. In 1603 the Dutch East India Company (known as VOC) ousted the Portuguese control of nutmeg on these islands.

Here’s an interesting tidbit in the history of nutmeg. The English fought the Dutch over control of this spice. England finally handed their island of Rhun over to the Dutch in exchange for a swampy island trading post in North America, an unattractive property known then as New Amsterdam; today as Manhattan Island!

The search for cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cassia, in the ancient world gave rise to unbelievable tales. To satisfy the curious, to protect their market, and to discourage competitors the spice-source countries like India and Asia spread fantasy tales of danger, magic, strange animals, and snake-infested glens. Sinbad the Sailor stories grew out of this mindset.

For us in the USA, another most important fact stands out about the Spice Trade, besides it being involved in the trade for Manhattan Island. The Americas were discovered (1492) due to Spain sending Columbus to find a western route to India (from the Atlantic to the Pacific) to reap in the rewards for these valuable spices desired by all Europe.

The danger-fraught routes at that time (1400’s) from Europe were through the Mediterranean and Egypt (Alexandria) overland to the Red Sea and down the Persian Gulf, then sailing over the Indian Ocean to India, and to the Spice Islands.

Cloves

A native tradition of the Spice Islands was to plant a clove tree at a child’s birth, symbolically linking the child to the tree’s life.

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to twelve feet tall with large glossy leaves and crimson flowers in clusters that when ripe and dried become the cloves like we use in cooking.

Today, spices are grown in many countries other than the Spice Islands that have temperate climates.

The World’s Three Most Traded Spices Today

Pepper, vanilla, and ginger are spicing up lives and economies. Millions of dollars are earned in sales. Pepper is exported by Viet Nam, India, and China. Vanilla comes from mainly Madagascar, Indonesia, and Mauritius. Main exporters of ginger are China and the Netherlands.

And one last spicy tidbit: The United States leads the world in spice consumption and imports.

Hope I haven’t bored you, but I love discovering history like this and sowing bits into my novels.

Thanks for stopping by.  And remember when you use cloves again to stick in that ham, or use the powdered form in an apple pie—a lot of “stuff” happened over centuries to get this spice so readily available in your kitchen.

Elva Cobb Martin

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, November 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 2

Connect in Fiction , December 2

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/103eb/georgia-ann-english-rose-celebration-tour-giveaway

Please leave your comments. Is there a special spice that you enjoy?

Review and Giveaway Her Merriweather Hero

About the Book

Book: Her Merriweather Hero

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 27, 2020

He just wanted a place to rest and recuperate.

She only needed a repairman to help fix up her beach house.

For marine sergeant, Tyler Banner, nothing could be further from the memories of his time in Iraq than the slow, easy pace on Merriweather Island. Taking up a job as a physical trainer serves to keep him in shape while he enjoys a little downtime. Making friends with the local vet—veterinarian, that is—on his morning jog is just a bonus.

When Kendall’s sister tricked her into recruiting Tyler’s help one day, she didn’t fortify herself against a breach to her heart. Making friends with the marine was easy, but helping him overcome the PTSD that holds him captive isn’t. As she picks her way across a minefield of memories and horrors Tyler endured, Kendall begins to hope he could be the man she’s prayed for.

Falling in love wasn’t in Tyler’s orders, but a new deployment to Iraq is. How can he convince Kendall not to go AWOL when she hears? What can he do to convince her that they’ll make it… together?

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

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I love coming back to the series as each author adds more to the experience of the islands. One of the characters in this novel, Mallory, states “I can’t say I’ve ever been in a situation like yours, but I have experienced loss and the fear of losing someone.”

I think we all can say that. It is a real fear. Fears grip in a fast hold. Fear of moving, changing, growing, losing, loving. But letting that fear go or better yet giving that fear to God releases power and strength to live and grow through the pain and uncertainty. Also, the blessings flow from the relinquished fear.

What an example of the possibility of fear: a military tour overseas where death and wounds prevail. How does one release that fear? The same way a parent lets a child go to college or ride his bike or drive a car. By God’s grace and love. Bad things happen, but He has that in his embrace too.

About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

More from Rachel

Her Merriweather Hero has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding stories I have written. Often when I am starting a new book, I immerse myself in the world-building process, which involves a lot of research and notetaking. This time around, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Celebrate Lit and the authors in the Independence Islands Series to map out these beautiful island stories. It has been an exciting journey so far.

This story was inspired by my parents who met through letters while my dad was in the Marine Corps. They both came from different backgrounds, with my mom being from Massachusetts and my dad from a small town in Iowa, but their differences didn’t stop them from falling in love. For Her Merriweather Hero, I used themes of opposites attracting, New England, and the Marine Corps from my parent’s love story.

Kendall is a young veterinarian who moves to the Independence Islands with her sister to start a new mobile clinic. There, she meets Sergeant Tyler Banner who is on medical leave after a tour overseas. She tries to avoid Tyler at first, determined to concentrate on making her business a success, but over time she can’t ignore the handsome military guy who keeps ‘accidently’ crossing her path. It doesn’t help he lives a few doors down from her fixer-upper beach house. Can she continue to try to ignore him or is it true that opposites attract?

This romantic island tale is also inspired by the verses from Hebrews 6:18-19 which describe God as our anchor. The characters feel tossed around by waves of difficulties at certain parts of the story, but He is always the anchor who keeps them secured.

Blog Stops

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 27

Rebekah Reads, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Life, Love, Writing, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 29

Batya’s Bits, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize 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/103a0/her-merriweather-hero-celebration-tour-giveaway

I can’t wait to read your comments!

Review and Giveaway What You Said to Me

About the Book

Book: What You Said to Me

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: November 2020

Book 4 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees

When 15-year-old Tisha Crowder gets caught shoplifting, attorney Nolan Duffy tries to protect her from consequences that could rattle her already troubled life. His daughter, Jillian, feels like she’s the one being punished instead—by having Tisha assigned to work with her on a backlog of genealogy files. Tisha doesn’t seem interested in taking the job seriously, and Jillian’s patience wears thin. Besides, everyone in Canyon Mines knows the Crowder family has experienced generations of brokenness. Then a sliver of hope turns up in long-ago words in plain sight, challenging shrouded assumptions about Tisha’s family. Now Jillian is the one who can walk with Tisha back to 1893 and uncover where everything went wrong in the first place—and save her from the past.

What You Said to Me is the fourth book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I say this every time I read a book in this series: Jillian is my favorite genealogist. In fact, she the only one I “know.” I want her job! Her character expands and grows in each book. Also, who doesn’t love her father with his immense amount of wisdom and love for helping families maneuver through life’s difficult turns?

The split time format is something I am loving in lots of novels. Two seemingly unconnected stories wind their ways through the pages to a point of collision. The moment of contact and connection is a highlight of the novel.

Through the series the characters, major and minor, have developed with depth, making them friends more than fiction. There is a love element that is unresolved, so I do hope there is another genealogist/lawyer mystery ahead.

I still want to pretend to be a genealogist. Does DAR member count? I had to research the death, birth, marriage, and military angles of eight generations. Oh, but I didn’t have to piece together a difficult puzzle like Jillian. Welcome to an inspiring work pulling on the need for forgiveness, strength, wisdom, and letting go of the past.

About the Author

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak.

More from Olivia

Careful Words

“You didn’t just say that.” Or, “I can’t believe you said that.”

Have you ever said that in retort to someone whose comment offended or wounded? I know I have. But what cuts me even more deeply is when I say to myself, “I can’t believe I just said that.”

The words of a parent at wit’s end, a spouse harboring hurt, a friend saddened by misunderstanding, an employee feeling undercut—they have all been my words. And they came out too fast to swallow back before they did their damage.

I hope I have also had the words of a parent who set aside busyness to listen, a spouse offering loving encouragement, a friend checking in with someone going through a tough patch, a coworker curious to see how I could help rather than compete. Those are the kinds of words I’ve never regretted, never had to repent of, never had to do rebuild from.

I certainly didn’t write What You Said to Me because I think I get it right all the time or even most of the time. Far from it! In our culture of rushing and achieving and—let’s face it, sometimes just getting through the demands of the day—sometimes our words are the last thing we are careful with. Yet they have the longest lasting consequence in our relationships and families—sometimes for generations. The dual-timeline story traces how words that injure became a pattern in one family line until one girl finally fought back to find healing for her future.

My challenge for myself, and all who read What You Said to Me, is to be the person who speaks healing words of hope so that “I can’t believe you said that” becomes “Thank you for saying that.”

If you have a particularly poignant experience of how another’s words impacted you, I’d love to hear from you.

Olivia Newport

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, November 21

deb’s Book Review, November 21

Remembrancy, November 22

Connect in Fiction, November 22

lakesidelivingsite, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 23

Splashes of Joy, November 24

Robin’s Nest, November 24

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 25

Mamma Loves Books, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 26

Lis Loves Reading, November 26

Hallie Reads, November 26

Older & Smarter?, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Inklings and notions, November 28

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 28

The Write Escape, November 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 29

Blogging With Carol, November 29

Mary Hake, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Artistic Nobody, November 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Betti Mace, December 1

Worthy2Read, December 1

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 1

Lots of Helpers, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 2

Amanda Tero, blog, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia 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/103f1/what-you-said-to-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Leave your comments here. And….good luck!

Review and Giveaway So This is Love

About the Book

Book: So This Is Love

Author: Laura Hile

Genre: Historical Christian Romance; Regency Romance

Release Date: May 29, 2020

So This is Love

“I am not romantic, you know. I never was.”

Newly escaped from a loathsome engagement of convenience, Charlotte Lucas has no interest in romance. More than ever, she is convinced that no man would—or could—love her. As companion to an aging aunt, Charlotte’s new life is as predictable as it is circumspect.

But then she is rescued from a robbery by her uncle’s heir, a masterful man who is disastrously handsome. Why has he remained as a guest in the house? Why is he so determined to draw Charlotte out and make her talk? And what of his invitation to visit his home by the sea?

Romance is not on the chart for Captain Jack Blunt. Never again will he be played for that kind of fool! He is ashore only to heal from an injury and see to business, nothing more. And yet the pointed disinterest of his cousin’s pert niece is intriguing. She is forthright, refreshingly honest—and altogether lovely. She will make a fine wife for one of his officers. But not, of course, for him.

So This Is Love is a joyride of a Regency, bringing whirlwind romance and happily-ever-after to Jane Austen’s staid and practical Charlotte Lucas.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I have read every one of Laura’s novels. She stretches my imagination in such fun and beautiful ways! In this Austen based jewel, Elizabeth Bennett step aside. A new star is born in the brilliant, refurbished Charlotte Lucas. She needs a story, I agree. As she takes center stage, hope is born for all of us struggling to find our footing in this crazy world. Not all of us can be Elizabeth Bennett. Huzzah for Elizabeth’s faithful friend.

Several relevant themes wind through the English 1800 countryside and cities, giving the reader glimpses of the roaring coastline and waving fields. The main character faces challenges of her will, alternatives, living the consequences of decisions, weighing the options, all with an open prayer to God to guide. Don’t we all have to do that every day? One decision sets a course. I’m not going to tell you what choice Charlotte makes. You will have to read that on your own!

I look forward to Laura Hile’s next novel….  

About the Author

Laura H

Encourager. Believer. Author. Teacher. Friend.

By day, Laura Hile teaches at a Christian school. By night—or rather, in the early morning when she can think! —she writes Jane Austen and Regency romance with laughs and happy endings.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with middle school students!

She enjoys gardening (she is a weed warrior!), choral singing, and having coffee with friends.

Laura lives in Beaverton, Oregon, with her husband and a collection of antique clocks. One day she hopes to add a cat or three.

More from Laura

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas is stuck marrying the awful Mr. Collins. It is a prudent choice, given her age and circumstances, but still.

Generations of women readers have felt badly for her, including me. “No, no!” we want to shout. “The man’s a spineless braggart! Don’t marry him!”

Charlotte claims that she is not romantic. We don’t believe that for a minute. She simply hasn’t met the right man.

With an eye on the rugged seaside setting of the classic movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), I decided to change all that. With two little words, I sent Charlotte’s story spinning from its Pride and Prejudice rails: What If?

What if, when Collins returns to Meryton to negotiate the settlement, his lustful thoughts overpower good sense? What if, before they are married, Collins gets handsy—and something within Charlotte snaps? What if she abruptly ends the engagement?

That’s what we would do in real life, right? We’d kick Collins to the curb!

What if, to escape gossip, Charlotte is sent to live with her father’s sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Allen (borrowed from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey). Mr. Allen’s heir is also a house guest, and thus we have a perfect opportunity for romance.

Although I intended to use The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’s Captain Gregg as a model, Captain Jack Blunt wasn’t having any. He strode onto the story’s quarterdeck as very much his own man. For one thing, he is Royal Navy (1812), not merchant marine. And for another, he is surprisingly devout. Although he has a gentleman’s beard like Gregg, he is blond.

If you’re thinking Chris Hemsworth in Thor, you’re getting the right idea.

Look, if our girl Charlotte is brave enough to give Collins the heave-ho, she deserves to meet a swoony hero, right?

Captain Blunt’s house by the sea in Dorset plays the role of Captain Gregg’s Gull CottageCliff House, and the cove it’s built above, almost become characters themselves as Charlotte and Jack share daily walks beside the sea. This book is filled with delicious banter between the two. Isn’t that our favorite thing about a romance?

So This Is Love is a swashbuckling, sweep-away Regency that is just plain fun to read. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, November 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connect in Fiction, November 6

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 7

Pause for Tales, November 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 8

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9

Emily Yager, November 9

She Lives To Read, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Blossoms and Blessings, November 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/102f0/so-this-is-love-celebration-tour-giveaway

I hope you leave a comment on this blog. Happy Reading!

Review and Giveaway The Red Ribbon

red ribbon-banner

About the Book

Book: The Red Ribbon

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian historical/suspense

Release Date: October, 2020

Red Ribbon

An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912

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

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

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

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

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

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

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

About the Author

PepperBasham

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

More from Pepper

Feuds, Moonshine, and Family Loyalties by Pepper Basham

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Stops

Connect in Fiction, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 4

To Everything There Is A Season, November 4

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

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 5

By The Book, November 5

Remembrancy, November 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 6

Britt Reads Fiction, November 6

Life of Literature, November 6

Connie’s History Classroom, November 7

Splashes of Joy, November 7

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

A Reader’s Brain, November 8

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 8

Through the Fire Blogs, November 8

Godly Book Reviews, November 8

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, November 9

Bigreadersite, November 9

Where Faith and books Meet, November 9

Books I’ve Read, November 10

Just the Write Escape, November 10

Adventures of a Travelers Life, November 10

Amanda Tero, blog, November 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 11

Pause for Tales, November 11

Giveaway

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

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

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

Be sure to leave a comment and enjoy reading…