Fiction Books

Meddlin Madeline: Such A Tease Blog Tour with Giveaway


Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review:

Meddlin’ Madeline: Such a Tease is Book 2 in Chautona Havig’s Meddlin’ Madeline series. Based in 1901 Rockland, Madeline Brown wants to expose her adversary for fraud, but how can she do this? With the help of some of her young friends, Madeline is bound and determined to do this. Her new position has presented more opportunities than Madeline could have dreamed of. This position allows her the chance to observe and there is not one but many investigations being set in motion.

Madeline is so busy trying to find suitors for ladies, to figuring out what important papers are being given to someone, to exposing people for fraud, that she is bound to get her self into trouble and quite possibly danger. What’s going to happen?

I have really enjoyed reading the Meddlin’ Madeline series and can’t wait for the next book! This is a great series that I’m sure you will enjoy!!

I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required, all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

Book: Such a Tease

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical/Mystery

Release Date: March 21, 2017

Madeline, with a little assistance, discovers her old adversary is gaining a following in Rockland! Can she expose him for the fraud she’s sure he is?

In book two of the Meddlin’ Madeline series, Madeline Brown has a new endeavor to occupy her time. But is it to keep her out of the way or a reward for her work in Sweet on You? With the help of her young friends, Madeline discovers her old adversary is gaining a following in Rockland! What’s a girl to do?

But her new position also gives her opportunities to observe, and what she sees sets more than one new investigation in motion. What does her old suitor, Delbert Jackson, know? Why is Mr. Merton giving important papers to that scoundrel, Vernon Smythe, and whatever happened to poor Abigail Cooper?

Add to these intriguing questions Henry Hardwick’s continued attentions, Edith’s newfound devotion to the temperance movement and Madeline’s determination to find her a more reliable suitor, and strange behavior from her Aunt Louisa and things heat up as summer fades from Rockland.

Her dear friend, Russell, busy with an important project at work, finds himself unable to help keep her out of trouble and away from danger. Is Madeline going too far? Will her meddling get her in serious trouble this time, will it destroy her reputation irreparably, or will she rid Rockland of a scoundrel once and for all?

About the Author

Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie, Past Forward, and HearthLand series, Chautona considers herself blessed to live in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and five of her nine children. When not writing, which she admits isn’t often, Chautona enjoys blogging, paper crafts, sewing, smocking, photo editing, and old (read: before her parents’ time) music.

Guest Blog Post from Chautona

Leon Czolgosz is my new nemesis. He’s dead, but he ruined my book. No, really. The guy totally destroyed the opening pages of Such a Tease.

Now, these days, not a whole lot of people remember the name of Leon Cozolgosz. I didn’t. But I’ll never forget him now (although I may never remember how to spell his name).

Who is he? Only the guy who shot President McKinley. Why am I annoyed with him over a hundred years later? The idiot did this thing on September 6, 1901. You know, four days after this book opened? Yeah. Couldn’t he have done it on say… January 6, 1901? Even January 6, 1902 would have served my purposes.

Look, I’m not as callous as I appear. Truly. But if President McKinley had to die, did his murderer have to do it when it would completely mess up my book?

How did it mess up my book you ask?

I’ll tell you. I left it out—the whole assassination thing. There I was, fixing a wedding date for one of the characters, when a thought occurred to me. She could be married on Flag Day—if Flag Day was a thing then. I didn’t think it was. I really thought Wilson was responsible for that—you know, creating holidays in between his notes to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany or something like that. But I hoped. Somehow—just maybe. I mean we had Labor Day from Cleveland, why not Flag Day from McKinley. But noooooo. He didn’t. What did he do?

He got shot. Four days after my book opened. And there wasn’t a single word about it in the story.

Like I could ever get away with that. This was news! Big news. And nothing about it in the life of a daughter of a politician? I think not.

Not only did this Leon Czolgosz (no, really. It’s spelled correctly) shoot the president on September 6th, but he didn’t do a good job of it! Look, I think I’ve established that I didn’t want President McKinley killed. But if the guy with the unpronounceable last name had to do it, couldn’t he have done a good job of it? Couldn’t he have shot the president in the head? McKinley suffered for eight days before he died. Eight days! They thought he was getting better and then gangrene killed him.

It would have been a mercy had Leon just shot McKinley in the head or the heart. Why the abdomen? Cruel, if you ask me, even for an anarchist.

And it made adding the whole affair to my book even more problematic. No, really! Think about it. I couldn’t have the newspapers announce the death of President McKinley on September 7th and then have a few mentions of the bank being affected or something. No… no… now I had to have a headline event, give false hope, and then add the death on top of it all.

Look, I do an obscene amount of research for my books. No, really. Keen was slang in 1901. Woohoo! Look up “peachy keen”? Yeah. Can’t use it. 1950s. The telephone? Can Madeline expect to use one in a burgeoning city in 1901? Considering there were over 850,000 telephones in use, yes. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that a photographer who works for a local paper might have a telephone in order to receive calls requesting him to come photograph some big event—like the Mayor’s speech on the death of President McKinley, perchance?

Yep. Somehow, I almost missed one of the biggest events in US history. Research saved the book—and ruined my timeline. All at the same time. Gotta love history. Or not.

And Leon Czolgosz? Yeah. Thanks for nothing.

Blog Stops

March 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

March 21: Jeanette’s Thoughts

March 22: Bibliophile Reviews

March 22: Captive Dreams Window

March 23: Blogging With Carol

March 23: A Greater Yes

March 24: Carpe Diem

March 24: A Baker’s Perspective

March 25: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 26: Back Porch Reads

March 27: Splashesofjoy

March 28: Christian Bookaholic

March 29: Lots of Helpers

March 29: The Scribbler

March 30: Neverending Stories

March 30: Bigreadersite

March 31: With a Joyful Noise

March 31: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

April 1: Pause for Tales

April 1: Avid Reader Book Reviews

April 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

April 2: A Room without Books is Empty

April 3: The perfect beginning

April 3: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a Reader’s Teaser Package
that includes:
A paperback copy of both Sweet on You and Such a Tease
A “Tea-for-One” teapot
A Tin of loose-leaf tea of your choice (six options available from our local tearoom)
A pound of assorted See’s chocolates
A set of six handmade antique-inspired note cards
A $25 Amazon Gift Card
And, for the teaser… the winner will also receive the exclusive short story (usually reserved for pre-orders) The Fate of Abigail Cooper!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2b8

Fiction Books

Buried Secrets Blog Tour and Giveaway


Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review:

Buried Secrets is not your typical Amish Fiction novel. Rachel Good has outdone herself with this one. Book two in her Sisters and Friends series, Buried Secrets will have staying up all night to finish and then leave will leave you wanting more!!

It’s been three years since Emma Esh was in an accident that she almost didn’t make it out of alive. She has recovered physically but has suffered memory loss, in fact she has no recollection of the year before her accident. This is hard on Emma so she decides to move to a new community to help her sister and brother-in-law prepare for the birth of twins.

Emma meets Lydia’s neighbor Samuel, it isn’t long before Emma is falling in love. Things will begin to unravel: the twins are born prematurely, the sudden return of Emma’s memory along with a visit from the Englischer Emma once dated. All of Emma’s secrets from her past will be revealed. Will the love Emma and Samuel have be able to make it? Will love overcome the obstacles of life?

I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required of me. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

Book: Buried Secrets

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre: Amish Romance

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Overcome the past and any other obstacles that stand in the way of the future God has planned for you.

Three years after the accident that almost claimed her life, Emma Esh has recovered physically but has no memory of the year before the accident. When she moves to a new community to help her sister Lydia and brother-in-law, Caleb, prepare for the birth of twins, she falls for their neighbor Samuel.

But the twins’ premature birth, a visit from the Englischer Emma once dated, and the sudden return of her memory threaten Emma’s romance. After the secrets of her past are revealed, will love be able to overcome all obstacles?

About the Author

Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Visit her at her website, Facebook, author page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. You also can sign up for her quarterly newsletter here.

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Readers who have read Change of Heart, the first book in the Sisters & Friends series, will remember Emma as the wild teen who defied her family. Her older sister, Lydia, tried to prevent Emma from making mistakes during Rumschpringe, the Amish running-around time. Throughout most of the story, Lydia and Emma were at odds with each other, but in the end, the family needed to forgive Emma and show her God’s love.

In Book 2, Buried Secrets, Emma has no memory of her rebellion, so she’s devastated when she finally does remember. Then she must confront her past, learn to forgive herself, and also ask for and accept God’s forgiveness. Sometimes when we’ve done things we’re ashamed of, we struggle to believe that God can forgive what we’ve done. But God’s mercy has no limits. Emma needs to open her heart to that truth. As she does, she discovers an important lesson: Some mistakes in the past can never be undone, but God can forgive anything.

Authors often write about themes that are close to their hearts, and I’m no exception. Many times, after I write a novel, I look back and see how God directed me to tell a story containing lessons I needed to learn. In Change of Heart, Lydia discovers that judging other people or suggesting ways they can improve their lives can be a form of self-righteousness. God used my young daughter to point that out to me, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating. And as I finished the novel, I clearly saw it as a reminder not only to Lydia, but also to me.

Emma’s story also blessed me by reminding me how deep and wide God’s love is for each of us. No matter how we’ve failed, He never stops loving us, and His forgiveness is only a prayer away.

I also hope to remind readers that “all things work together for good for those that love God.” So often we expect hardship when we do God’s will, but He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. Lydia learned in Change of Heart that God’s will was so much better than anything she could have planned, and Emma, too, comes to realize that, by trusting God to direct her life, she is blessed many times over.

Has God ever given you a desire of your heart? To enter the giveaway, share one of God’s blessings in your life. And let’s rejoice together at the many wonderful things He has done for each of us.

Book Excerpt

Emma concentrated on the plants beside her. Gardening soothed her, made her feel whole again. The spring sunshine warmed the ground and sent comforting rays through her cloak as she bent over the soft, moist earth. She lifted a seedling from its pot and inhaled the savory tomato-y aroma. Then she pinched off the lower leaves, set it in the hole, and gently bent the stem before covering it with soil.

Whoosh. A heavy weight slammed her backwards, smashing her head against the ground. Gasping, desperate to suck some air into her crushed lungs, Emma opened her eyes to find a furry face inches from her own. A huge mouth opened, revealing pointy white teeth. Then a wet pink tongue scraped across her cheek.

“Bolt,” a deep male voice commanded. “Off.”

A handsome stranger, black bangs hanging in front of his eyes, bent over her, his hand outstretched. “Ach, I’m so sorry. She slipped out the door again.” He clamped his other hand on the Irish setter’s collar and pulled the dog off Emma, leaving muddy paw prints across her skirt.

Still dazed, Emma lay where she’d fallen, gazing up at him, unsure whether the rapid pattering of her pulse was from her recent fright or from looking into the greenest eyes she’d ever seen.

“Are you all right?” Worry crinkled his brow.

“I–I’ll be fine.” Ignoring the hand he’d extended, she tried to sit.

The stranger dropped to one knee beside her. “Don’t get up if you’re hurt. Is there someone I can fetch?”

“I don’t need help.” Heat flooded Emma’s cheeks when her words came out sharply. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Please forgive me.” Then pinching her lips together, she steeled herself to sit without assistance.

“There’s nothing to forgive. I’m the one who let my dog escape.” The words were barely out of his mouth when the Irish setter twisted free and bounded off, crushing the rows of seedlings Emma had just planted.

“Oh, no!” The stranger dashed off after the dog, swerving to avoid the tomato plants the setter had crushed. Gasping for air, he made a desperate tackle, landing a few feet beyond the garden, the dog wriggling under him. With a firm grip on the Irish setter’s collar, he stood, the front of his shirt, galluses, and black pants splattered with dog hair and dirt.

Emma suppressed the urge to giggle at his sheepish expression, the clod of mud clinging to his forehead, and the panting dog struggling to jerk free of his hold.

He pinched his lips together as he studied the mess. “I’m so sorry. Let me put Bolt in the house. Then I’ll help clean up.”

“Bolt?” Had he called the dog that earlier? Emma had been too distracted to pay attention. Now she couldn’t hold in her mirth.

Rather than taking offense, the stranger glanced down with a rueful expression, then joined in her laughter. “Jah,” he said between hearty chuckles. “Short for Lightning Bolt. She zigs and zags so fast I can’t catch her sometimes.” He waved a hand toward the disaster in the garden. “Like she did here. And now look at me.”

Emma did, and her laughter ended in a sharp intake of breath. And then his eyes met hers, and she stopped breathing altogether.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading Buried Secrets as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Rachel

Blog Stops

March 9: autism mom

March 9: A Baker’s Perspective

March 10: Inklings and notions

March 11: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 12: Blossoms and Blessings

March 13: Bigreadersite

March 13: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

March 14: Bibliophile Reviews

March 15: Carpe Diem

March 16: Blogging With Carol

March 16: Splashes of Joy

March 17: Chas Ray’ s Book Nerd Corner

March 18: Connie’s History Classroom

March 18: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 19: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 19: Just the Write Escape

March 20: A Greater Yes

March 20: Christian Bookaholic

March 21: His Grace Is Sufficient

March 22: Rhonda’s Doings

March 22: Karen Sue Hadley

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a full box of Whoopie Pies freshly baked for you from a bakery in Amish country, along with copies of Angels Unaware, the brand new Amish Words and Proverbs Coloring Book and Amish Quilts Coloring Book #1 (Large Print Edition), an autographed copy of Change of Heart, and an Amish cookbook!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b160

Bible Studies, Non-Fiction Books

Seven Mile Miracle Pastor Steven Furtick

Seven Mile Miracle
Steven Furtick

About the Book:

His Final Words Are Your New Beginning

It’s Good Friday. The Son of God is giving up his life. What does he want to say to us in His final hours? What does He tell the people standing at the foot of the cross, to pass down to the ages? He speaks only seven short statements. Words of forgiveness, salvation, relationship, abandonment, distress, triumph, and reunion. Seven statements that mean everything.

In Seven-Mile Miracle, Pastor Steven Furtick shows us how Jesus’s last words offer mile markers for our journey in relationship with God. It’s a lifelong journey and it’s not always easy. But Jesus is both our guide and our destination as we travel.

Includes questions for reflection and a forty-day reading guide to Jesus’s death and resurrection.

A Proven Path for Spiritual Growth

From time to time we all feel stuck in our relationship with God and frustrated by life’s setbacks. Jesus faced what could have been the ultimate defeat on the cross. Yet he emerged triumphant through his relationship with his heavenly Father. And he showed us the way so that we could do the same.

In Seven-Mile Miracle, Steven Furtick explores how Jesus’s seven last statements on the cross offer a proven spiritual growth path for us. You will experience the Easter message more personally than ever before as you engage the words of forgiveness, salvation, relationship, abandonment, distress, triumph, reunion.

After all, we are not simply believers—people who have put our faith in Jesus. We are not simply disciples—pupils who learn from him. We are called to be followers of Christ. This is your opportunity to follow Jesus through his death, and move forward in his resurrection power, starting now.

About the Author:

STEVEN FURTICK is the New York Times best-selling author of Sun Stand Still, Greater, Crash the Chatterbox, and (Un)Qualified. He is also the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, which since its founding in 2006, has grown to multiple locations across several states. He preaches around the world and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Steven and his wife, Holly, have three children.

Follow him on social media @StevenFurtick.

My Review:

Seven Mile Miracle: Journey Into the Presence of God Through the Last Words of Jesus is Pastor Steven Furtick’s newest book. Steven is the Pastor at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.

Seven Mile Miracle takes us deeper into the last words that Christ spoke before his death, burial and resurrection. Steven shows us how Jesus’ lasts words offer mile markers for our journey in relationship with God. It is a lifelong journey that is not always easy.

Jesus speaks words of forgiveness, salvation, relationship, abandonment, distress, triumph, and reunion. These seven statements mean everything. Words we need and use in our everyday lives.

There are many times you and I may feel stuck in our relationship with God, frustrated with the way life has been, the setbacks we have faced. We can’t give up even though we want to and feel its our only option but we need to remember Jesus didn’t give up, God doesn’t give up so why should we.

Steven Furtick explores how the last seven statements the Jesus made can offer us a proven spiritual growth path. We are not simply just believers but people who have put our faith in one person, Jesus Christ. We are His students, designed to learn. We are Followers of Christ, who look for every way possible to grow in our faith and walk with Christ.

I highly recommend Seven Mile Miracle to anyone. There is also a study guide and DVD available as well. Right now Pastor Steven’s sermon series is Seven Mile Miracle.

I received a copy of this book for free. A favorable review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Fiction Books

Murder for the Time Being Blog Tour and Giveaway


Click here to purchase your copy

My Review:

Murder for the Time Being is a Christian Suspense/Romance novel written by Joanie Bruce. Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her and she doesn’t know the reason why unless it has to do with a bank robbery she witnessed. She has already had one kidnapping attempt on her life. She doesn’t have anyone she can turn to. The only thing she does have is her knowledge of computers.

Drew Sheffield couldn’t help but rear end Joanie when she stopped abruptly. At first he is upset, but all he can see know is those green eyes of hers. He wants to help Joanie in anyway he can. She doesn’t want to put his life in danger?

Murder for the Time Being is a great book. I’m not one who likes suspense novels but this one had me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the story line, the writing style and the characters. This is definitely on suspense novel I highly recommend.

I received a copy of this book for free.  A favorable review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

Book: Murder for the Time Being

Author: Joanie Bruce

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: November 29, 2016

“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.

Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

About the Author

Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

Guest Post from Joanie Bruce

Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.

In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.

This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.

After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 14: Ashley’s Bookshelf

March 14: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 15: autism mom

March 15: Inklings and notions

March 16: A Reader’s Brain

March 16: Blossoms and Blessings

March 17: Blogging With Carol

March 17: A Greater Yes

March 18: Radiant Light

March 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 19: A Baker’s Perspective

March 20: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 20: Karen Sue Hadley

March 21: History, Mystery & Faith

March 21: Through the Open Window

March 22: cherylbbookblog

March 22: Seasons of Opportunities

March 23: Daysong Reflections

March 24: Pause for Tales

March 24: 2014 and Beyond!

March 25: Lights in a Dark World

March 25: For The Love of Books

March 26: Carpe Diem

March 26: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 27: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

March 27: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b291

Fiction Books

Shine Like the Dawn Blog Tour with Giveaway

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Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review:

I love Carrie Turansky books, the way she researches what era she is writing about amazes me. Shine Like the Dawn is an historical christian fiction novel written by Carrie and it is set in Edwardian England. This book is about a young lady, Margaret Lounsbury who diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop making hats. Margaret is willing to do whatever she has to to protect her sister Violet. Their parents were killed on the lake, leaving Margaret to take care of Violet.

Shine Like the Dawn is a great story that will leave you wanting more! I absolutely fell in love with this book and will re-read it over and over. I loved Carrie’s Highland Hall series and if you loved it, then you will love Shine Like the Dawn.

I received a copy of this book, a favorable review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

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Book: Shine Like the Dawn

Author: Carrie Turansky

Genre: Historical

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

About the Author

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CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Hats, Glorious Hats!

By Carrie Turansky

One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat maggieinhat-300x298making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

2e59191fde836985dfd98f399afeae46-200x300Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name.
1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for 6ca0c7f3f38874b8095d6884c2fd52f6-197x300the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally.
The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

 

68e75a1cae2f5eb955404bdff990157c-300x187Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.

Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.
Like to my Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky/
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/blog/

Blog Stops

February 21: New Horizon Reviews

February 21: Bookworm Mama

February 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

February 22: Tell Tale Book Reviews

February 22: Book by Book

February 22: History, Mystery and Faith

February 23: Bibliophile Reviews

February 23: Smiling Book Reviews

February 23: A Readers Brain

February 23: Faithfully Bookish

February 23: Lane Hill House

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February 24: The Scribbler

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February 25: The Power of Words

February 25: A Greater Yes

February 26: cherylbbookblog

February 26: Moments Dipped in Ink

February 26: Splashes of Joy

February 27: Genesis 5020

February 27: inklings and notions

February 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

February 28: Karen Sue Hadley

February 28: A Simple Life, really?!

February 28: Neverending Stories

March 1: Daysong Reflections

March 1: Connie’s History Classroom

March 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 2: These Splendid Sentences

March 2: Singing Librarian Books

March 2: Blossoms and Blessings

March 3: Pause for Tales

March 3: blogging With Carol

March 3: Mary Hake

March 4: Radiant Light

March 4: For The Love of Books

March 5: Christian Bookaholic

March 5: Rachel Scott McDaniel

March 6: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after

March 6: Baker Kella

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb

Fiction Books

Amish Wanderer Blog Tour with Giveaway

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Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review:

We never know how someones words can hurt until its you or someone you love that is affected by them. Bethany Weiss is ready to leave her home in Jamesport, MO from all the talking about her father. Her dad, the bishop of the church in their Amish community was admitted into a mental hospital for things he had done to the community. Bethany hides the pain, she doesn’t want anyone to see how she really feels.

Silas Beiler has had a rough life, kicked out of his family’s home, blamed for everything that happens, he leaves headed for Pennsylvania. When Bethany spies someone asleep in her hayloft, she at first fears for her life and then when she sees who it is, the memories come back.

What will happen between Bethany and Silas?

The Amish Wanderer is a wonderful book, full of issues we deal with on a daily basis. Laura V. Wilton has written a great book, and she does her research on the Amish. I enjoy reading her work and can promise that you will love her newest book.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit, a favorable review was not required.

About the Book

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Book: Amish Wanderer

Author: Laura V. Hilton

Genre: Amish Romance

Release Date: February 14

Bethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven’t stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania in the hope of some stability.

When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Was their old love strong enough to overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

About the Author

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Laura V. Hilton

Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer.

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Guest Post from Laura Hilton

I didn’t intentionally set out to write an Amish story loosely based on a true story. If fact, when people asked me if I would write my maternal grandparents’ story, I told them no.

But when time came to write Bethany’s story, all I knew was a short paragraph blurb about it. Bethany and her once-upon-a-time boyfriend Silas who left that particular Amish district and her before their relationship became serious. I didn’t know their backstories, really, and had no idea how the story would proceed. And since I don’t plot, I spend a lot of time praying about the story, because really, I want to write what He says to write. He knows who He wants it to reach.

So I sat down to pray about it. And God gave me a verse. Which is unusual at the beginning of the story. Usually, for me, it’s at the middle when God reveals His theme for the book. But this time, it was at the beginning. The verse is:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

And the verses caused more prayer. What am I supposed to do with it?

I was driving to Melbourne (Arkansas, not Australia) to pay property taxes and get my vehicle tags renewed, listening to the radio as we (my three daughters and I) drove down Larkin Road (that’s not the real name, just what everyone calls it—we have a lot of those around here: Day Road, Moko Road, etc—because there are ghost towns on these roads so they are called by the name of the ghost town). A song came on the radio and I don’t remember the name of it, or even who the singer was, but when I arrived in Melbourne, I had the opening line to my story.

The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide.

I’m sure the people at the county clerk’s office might have been a little concerned about the state of my mental health when they saw the words scribbled at the top of my bill. I did get a strange look. I didn’t offer an explanation. And they didn’t ask.

When I got home, I started writing and paying close attention to Bethany’s mental clues (and Silas’s) to figure out what their stories were. And how they tied into the verse God had given me.

And then, without even realizing it until it hit, I knew who’s story I was writing.

My grandmother’s. My grandfather’s.

Except they are different. My grandmother wasn’t date raped. It was a member of her own family. And she wasn’t in love with my grandfather. She just discovered he was leaving the Amish and she wanted—needed—to escape.

Neither were Christians at the time. My grandfather was saved on his death bed. My grandmother’s youngest child was a teenager when she was saved. My mother, her sister, and all their girlfriends went to a tent meeting for a United Brethren Church and my grandmother attended one of the meetings with her daughters and was saved as a result. And their testimonies ultimately led to the salvation of my uncle and my grandfather.

Both of my grandparents had a lot of issues to work through as to why God allowed the bad things in their lives to happen. That they eventually came to Christ is a miracle but I’m glad they did, as I was raised in a Christian home.

Why does God allow bad things to happen to people? The short, pat answer is: because sin entered the world. Yes, God could stop them. But what if He uses the bad thing to refine a person’s faith, to draw them closer to Him as a result?

How a person reacts to the bad things directly ties in to how they affect them. In my story, Silas chose to trust God even though he feared for his life. No, he didn’t like what had happened, but even though he didn’t see how, he trusted God was working behind the scenes to bring Silas to where he needed to be, spiritually and physically. On the other hand, Bethany believed God had rejected her. Pushed her away and didn’t care about her. If He didn’t care for her, why should she care about Him? So she went into a stand-off with God.

The lessons ultimately learned, for both my grandparents and my characters, brought them to their knees before the living and holy God who was, and is, and is to come. And I trust God will use this story to help a reader out there who might be questioning something terrible that happened in their life.

You might not see how now and may not know why until eternity, but God has this. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

Blog Stops

February 14: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

February 14: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

February 14: inklings and notions

February 15: A Rup Life

February 15: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

February 15: Lane Hill House

February 16: Daysong Reflections

February 16: A Simple Life, really?!

February 16: Blogging With Carol

February 17: Reading Is My SuperPower

February 17: Bigreadersite

February 17: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

February 18: Rhonda’s Doings

February 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts

February 19: A Greater Yes

February 19: A Holland Reads

February 20: Connie’s History Classroom

February 20: Blossoms and Blessings

February 21: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

February 21: Mom Is Forever

February 22: A Baker’s Perspective

February 22: Splashes of Joy

February 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

February 23: Carpe Diem

February 24: Pause for Tales

February 24: Quiet Quilter

February 25: For The Love of Books

February 25: Donna’s BookShelf

February 26: Christian Bookaholic

February 26: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

February 27: Giveaway Lady

February 27: Autism Mom

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away Amish Wanderer, Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour #1), Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport #1),
a 10 x 17” canvas banner: “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly” (Micah 6:8), and
Abba Scripture Candle (3” natural, clean-burning wax, scented) – “With God All Things Are Possible”! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d8

Fiction Books

The Newcomer Blog Tour with Giveaway

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Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review:

The Newcomer is book two in the Amish Beginnings series by Suzanne Woods Fisher. A historical Amish novel set in the 1700’s in the raw Pennsylvania Frontier.

Anna Konig and her fellow church members have just stepped off the small wooden ship that they have been on for the past ten weeks. Eager to start their new life in the raw Pennsylvania Frontier. Waiting on the docks of Port Philadelphia is Jacob Bauer, the founder of the settlement and father to Bairn, a ship carpenter. The Bauer family is reunited, and Anna and Bairn’s romance can bloom.

A story of unexpected events and love. Their in a new place and Bairn is learning to grasp what it means to be Amish in the new world but with an overpowering father, Bairn decides to take the offer to cross the ocean one more time, leaving Anna behind.

Will Anna wait for Bairn or will she fall for Henrik Newman a newcomer to the church? What secrets will be revealed? Will their lives ever be the same?

I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Newcomer today, this has been one of the best Amish books I have read so far. One you will not want to put down until your finished.

I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book

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Book: The Newcomer

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical; Amish

Release Date: January 31

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.

But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.

Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

About the Author

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Suzanne Woods Fisher
is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pennsylvania of 1737, the setting for The Newcomer, is like a foreign country. Parts of it might seem familiar—the same hills and creeks and blue sky, but we’d hardly recognize the settlers. People like Anna, or Bairn, or the mysterious Newcomer. We wouldn’t be able to understand their language, their customs and traditions. Their world was that different from our modern one.

The first group of Amish immigrants (first written about in Anna’s Crossing and followed up in The Newcomer) settled northwest of Philadelphia, then a vast wilderness, and relied on each other for safety, security, building projects, and church. In nearby Germantown, settlers were tradesmen, so they clustered houses together in small knots. The Amish farmers took out land warrants for sizeable properties and lived considerable distances from each other.

In The Newcomer, Anna cooked food in a cauldron over a large hearth. One-pot meals can trace their beginnings to open-hearth cooking when ingredients for a meal went into a large kettle suspended over the fire. Traditional dishes—ham and beans, pork and sauerkraut—used sturdy, available, and simple ingredients that improved with long, slow cooking. The dishes could be easily expanded when the need arose to set a few more places at the table. And it did, often. Large families and unannounced company inspired Amish cooks to find ways to “stretch the stew.”

Noodles (including dumplings and rivvels) could be tossed into a simmering broth to make a meal stretch. Most farms had a flock of chickens, so eggs were easily at hand. Today, homemade noodles are still a favorite dish.

Another “stew stretcher” was cornmeal mush, originally eaten as a bread substitute. Early German settlers who made their home in eastern Pennsylvania roasted the yellow field corn in a bake oven before it was shelled and ground at the mill. The roasting process gave a nutty rich flavor to the cornmeal. Mush is still part of the diet the Old Order Amish—cooked and fried, baked, added into scrapple, smothered in ketchup. Dress it up and you’ve got polenta.

Now here’s one thing we do have in common with 1737 Pennsylvania immigrants…a love of good food and a shortage of time! Here’s one of my favorite one-pot recipes—probably not the kind of stew Anna might have made for ship carpenter Bairn or the mysterious Newcomer (ah, which man one stole her heart?)…but definitely delicious. Enjoy!

Lentil Chili

Here’s one of my favorite “stew stretchers.” You can expand it even more by serving over rice.

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced
10 c. water
1 lb. dry lentils
1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt (season to your taste)

½ tsp. pepper
2 c. salsa (your favorite variety)
29 oz. canned tomatoes, crushed

Blog Stops

February 7: cherylbbookblog

February 7: Moments Dipped in Ink

February 7: inklings and notions

February 8: Just Commonly

February 8: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

February 8: Ashley’s Bookshelf

February 9: A Reader’s Brain

February 9: Genesis 5020

February 9: A Simple Life, really?!

February 10: Lane Hill House

February 10: Blogging With Carol

February 10: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

February 11: Quiet Quilter

February 11: Daysong Reflections

February 11: Southern Gal Loves to Read

February 12: Christian Bookaholic

February 12: Jeanette’s Thoughts

February 12: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

February 13: Karen Sue Hadley

February 13: Just the Write Escape

February 14: Rhonda’s Doings

February 14: Bigreadersite

February 14: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

February 15: Blossoms and Blessings

February 15: Connie’s History Classroom

February 16: Bibliophile Reviews

February 16: Book by Book

February 17: Pause for Tales

February 17: A Holland Reads

February 18: A Greater Yes

February 18: The Power of Words

February 19: Lighthouse Academy

February 19: A Baker’s Perspective

February 20: By The Book

February 20: Giveaway Lady

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d1