Out of the Ordinary Blog Tour & Giveaway

My Review: 

Out of the Ordinary is book 2 in the Apart from the Crowd Series written by author Jen Turano. Even though this book is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Historical Christian Fiction at its best. Humorous Romance that you will not want to put down, it will have you ready to read over and over again.

Out of the Ordinary is the story of Miss Gertrude Cadwalader, who is the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport. Thinking this was going to be an easy job, Miss Cadwalader was in for a real treat. The wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a problem, she has sticky fingers around other people’s trinkets. Imagine the relief that Gertrude felt when Mrs. Davenport decided to have a quiet summer away that is, until the woman changes her mind and decides that she will help a young socialite launch into society.

Gertrude tries to do the right thing by returning on of the trinkets that was stolen to its owner, Mrs. Sinclair, who happens to be the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair. Mrs. Sinclair doesn’t give Gertrude time to explain and assumes she stole the item from her. Harrison will not stop until he mends the fences with Gertrude, but is he prepared for all the escapades the friendship with her will entail.

Wonderful book, beautifully written, humorous, and will have you drawn to each word. Jen Turano has done it again, another great book!!

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

About the Book

Name of book: Out of the Ordinary

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian historical

Release Date: November 7, 2017

”With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano’s first Apart from the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles.”–Publishers Weekly on Behind the Scenes

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader’s eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can’t help coming to his friend’s defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

“The second installment of Turano’s Apart from the Crowd series is laugh-out-loud enjoyable. The foibles of the characters, balanced out with a light-hearted yet meaningful love story, is a true treat. . . . All of the threads are tied together in the end, even the small mysteries and side stories. It makes for a very satisfying read when the last page is turned.”–RT Book Reviews

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at http://www.jenturano.com.

Q & A with Jen Turano

What Readers Want to Know from Jen

Hey Everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by today. Because I’m in the midst of a first draft, and in case you don’t know, I don’t actually care for first drafts – all those pesky blank pages, but…I’m getting off track…where was I? Oh yes, why I brought up first drafts in the first place. You see, I’m a little scattered when I’m doing a draft, and because of that, and because my mind is a scary place to visit while filling up those already-mentioned blank pages, I was having a tough time coming up with a post for Celebrate Lit. That’s why I reached out to my fabulous readers, and…here are some of the questions their inquiring minds wanted to know about me or my books. I hope you enjoy them!

Why write in the Gilded Age?

When I started writing historical romance after experimenting with other genres, I didn’t write Gilded age but Regency pieces. However, when I ran across the book “The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York” by Greg King, I was intrigued, and a little baffled about how it came to be that I was so unfamiliar with that riveting time in history. It’s an era where unprecedented fortunes were made at a remarkable rate, those fortunes responsible for so many scandals that I’ll have enough fodder for stories to last me for years. The antics of the members of high society are vastly intriguing, as are the fashions of the day, which is exactly why I’ve never had second thoughts about choosing to write Gilded Age romances.

How do you come up with such unusual names for your characters?

I get asked this a lot. And, contrary to popular belief, I don’t make up the names of my characters. I search through obituaries from the 1800’s, peruse books on the New York Four-Hundred (those were members of high society – chosen by Mr. Ward McAllister, the social arbiter of the day,) and I also scour old census records. I do occasionally pair a first name with a different surname so that my main characters aren’t real historic figures because that can get tricky. Not long ago, while reading through Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: Person and Genealogical, Volume 1, I found a bit on my great-grandfather, which was cool – not that I’ll be using him, but I might have a character modeled after him at some point in time. Another interesting tidbit about choosing names is this – names only work for me if the characters decide they like the names I select for them. If they don’t like the name, they simply stop cooperating. I can’t write their stories until I choose another name. An example – I was recently going to name a heroine Georgianna – but it was like trying to write through mud. As soon as I changed her name to Myrtle, I was back in business.

What is the most ordinary thing you enjoy doing?

I love to shovel snow.

Who is responsible for your book covers? Do you choose the model/setting?

Bethany House’s design team does all of my covers, and occasionally they hire out the job to other design houses. The only input I give is when I send in a character/setting sheet, describing my heroine and listing a few scenes that I feel might be good for the background. In “Out of the Ordinary,” I suggested having Gertrude on or near a boat, and the design team then hired a model who resembled my character sketch and put her on a boat.

Which character has been the most difficult to write?

All of my characters give me trouble at some point in time, but recently, Mrs. Davenport was the character who was being incredibly difficult. For the first three edits of “Out of the Ordinary,” she was too complicated and a bit on the dark side, but after I changed her backstory, and remembered she was supposed to be eccentric, not deranged, she turned into a delightful lady, one I enjoyed writing.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever Googled while doing research for a book?

I don’t know if this is crazy, more on the lines of idiotic, but I once googled Gentleman’s Clubs when I was looking for an all-male club my hero would want to join. That was a definite mistake, especially since I didn’t include a very important word – historic. Well, the next thing you know, all sorts of naughty sites were flashing in front of my eyes, and to this day, I still get advertisements for singles looking for a good time and all sorts of other interesting…offers.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Nope, it never entered my head to pursue a career in writing, nor was I ever a person to even keep a diary or a journal. I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a movie star when I was younger, but when that didn’t pan out, I majored in fashion and spent quite a few years working for department stores. It wasn’t until my son was in third grade and we wrote a book together just for fun that I began entertaining the thought of trying to see my stories in print.

How long did it take you to break into the publishing world, and how many books did you write before that happened?

What everyone needs to understand is that publishing is a cut-throat business. I had no idea when I decided to try and get published what the competition was like, and if I had, well, I might have nipped the whole idea of getting a book into print right in the bud. But, because I knew I only wanted to go the traditional route, it soon became clear, what with all the suggestions I was getting about the work I was sending out to agents, that I needed to up my game…a lot. I experimented with quite a few different genres – middle grade, YA, contemporary women’s fiction, Regency romance, and then Gilded Age, getting really proficient with query letters in the process. It wasn’t until I started writing historical romance, though, that I really began getting requests for full manuscript. After I’d been writing for about three years, I finally signed with an agent. She never sold the book she signed on to represent, but after I wrote “A Change of Fortune,” she sold that within two months. Long story short – it took me about seven years to get published from the time I wrote my first book, and…I have seven manuscripts that will never see the light of day because they’re awful.

Is there a reason you include so many animals in your stories?

I’ve always been an animal lover, and as such, I really enjoy writing different animals into my scenes. Dogs are my favorites, followed by pigs, and most of the characteristics my animals have are traits I’ve seen in real life. Matilda, the pig in “A Match of Wits,” was inspired by a pig I used to see in New York. She was so quirky, as well as intelligent, that I knew I would have to write a pig in at least one of my stories. This current series does not have as many animals because I do want to keep my stories fresh. But, having said that, my next series finds my heroine visiting a farm, and well, I don’t know many farms that don’t have animals, especially adorable cows by the name of Buttercup that may or may not have the odd tendency of moseying into the house to eat pie whenever the urge strikes.

Last question – Have any of the crazy antics in your books been inspired by real-life events???

I seem to be a magnet for weird things happening, so…yes, quite a few of those antics were inspired by real life events. I’ll share just one since I do need to get back to that first draft. I live near Denver, and when my son was little, we used to visit the Denver Zoo. That zoo just happens to have a very large flock of peacocks – peacocks that took one look at me one day – and I must add that I wasn’t doing anything except pulling my son in a wagon, and the next thing I knew, I was being chased through the zoo by what seemed to me to be the entire flock of peacocks – all seemingly intent on trying to murder me. Funny how fast a mom can run while pulling a wagon when in fear for her life. My son thought it was fabulous fun, and bless those members of the staff who came to my rescue. They were almost successful in not laughing, and…I received a free lunch after the dastardly peacocks were chased away. That event is what inspired me to write a mad flock of peacocks in “In Good Company.”

Thank you so much for visiting me today. Hope I answered a few questions you may have about me!

All the best,

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

Vicky sluiter, November 11

Bookworm Mama, November 11

cherylbbookblog, November 11

Book by Book, November 11

Lane Hill House, November 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12

C Jane Read, November 12

The Power of Words, November 12

Smiling Book Reviews, November 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 13

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

Faithfully Bookish, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 14

Mommynificent, November 14

All 4 and About Books, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 15

allofakindmom, November 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 16

A Baker’s Perspective, November 16

To Everything A Season, November 16

Neverending Stories, November 17

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

Christian Bookaholic, November 17

A Reader’s Brain, November 18

Karen Sue Hadley, November 18

The April Journal, November 18

Cafinated Reads, November 18

Bibliophile Reviews, November 19

Blogging With Carol, November 19

Mary Hake, November 19

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 19

Baker Kella, November 20

Rachel’s Back Talk, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

Joy of Reading, November 21

Blossoms and Blessings, November 21

Remembrancy, November 21

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 22

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 22

amandainpa, November 22

Inspiration Clothesline, November 23

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 23

A Greater Yes, November 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Radiant Light, November 24

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 24

Raining Butterfy Kisses, November 24


Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Bethany House is giving away a grand prize of Two Jen Turano Novels and a $20 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04914/

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Charming the Troublemaker Blog Tour with Giveaway


My Review:

Charming the Troublemaker is a wonderful, sweet book that you will find yourself reading more than once. Pepper Basham has done it again!! Another great book that I know will be a bestseller. A Contemporary Romance novel that released on November 1, book 2 in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series but it can be read as a stand-alone.

About Dr. Alex Murdock, who has been demoted to a university in rural Virginia and the last thing he expects to find is a future. Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but the trouble and temptations are there!

I don’t want to give too much away about the story! So, I encourage you to get a copy today!! You will not be disappointed!!

I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required. All opinions here are my own. I chose to write a positive review.

 

About the Book

Title: Charming the Troublemaker

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Troublemaking never looked so good…

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell.

Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.

When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.

Click here to purchase!

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

Guest Post from Pepper Basham

I have a thing for underdogs.

Misfits.

Lots souls who desperately need to find where they belong.

I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another.

I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence.

Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued.

In a bad way.

If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy.

As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem.

Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt.

So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero?

What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost?

The answers were surprising!! Just wait.

The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed.

And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family.

Alex rocks her world with his ready charm.

And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul.

Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun!

AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer 😉

Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes:

Anything with Sarah!

Underoos

All of the scenes in Rainey’s house

And those in Mama Mitchell’s

Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.

Blog Stops

By The Book, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 15

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15

Fiction Aficionado, November 16

autism mom, November 16

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 17

Inklings and Notions, November 17

Faithfully Bookish, November 18

Radiant Light, November 18

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 19

The Power of Words, November 19

Cordially Barbara, November 20

Red Headed Book Lady, November 20

Smiling Book Reviews, November 20

Kat’s Corner Books, November 21

A Greater Yes, November 21

100 Pages per Hour, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 22

Carpe Diem, November 23

Bookworm Mama, November 23

A Baker’s Perspective, November 24

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 24

Daysong Reflections, November 25

Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25

Remembrancy, November 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 27

Karen Sue Hadley, November 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers 😉 highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f1

Lydia Blog Tour with Giveaway

My Review:

I love reading Diana Wallis Taylor’s books. These fictional accounts of real women of the Bible will draw you closer to each one. Her writing skills are wonderful and always leave you wanting to read more of her books. Lydia Woman of Philippi is no different. Lydia is the story of a smart, strong, and follower of the Jewish God who is married off at they young age of 15 to a man that she dislikes but despite that she always remains the faithful wife. When her husband is killed, Lydia and her 12 year old daughter return to her fathers house in Thyatira.

Lydia begins a new life in male dominated world of first century commerce. Her and her brother become at odds because he is jealous over her success. When her father dies, her brother Cassisus inherits the family’s home and Lydia inherits the family business as well as a small villa in the city of Philippi.

This is a great book, one that you will not be able to put down until you are finished. It will leave you wanting more! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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

About the Book:

Name of book: Lydia

Author: Diana Wallis Taylor

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society into which she was born. Her father marries her off at age fifteen to a much older man whom she dislikes. Despite an unpleasant wedding and a marriage that doesn’t improve with age, Lydia remains a dutiful and faithful wife. When her husband is killed, years later, Lydia vows to remain single and returns to her father’s house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter.

There, a new life begins to emerge as she is trained in the family dye business. Lydia displays an aptitude for trade in the male-dominated world of first century commerce. Her brother, who had chosen service in the Roman army rather than work in his father’s business, is at odds with his sister. Jealous of her quiet success as she learns the dye business, he’s especially befuddled by what he considers to be Lydia’s obsession with the Jewish religion. When their father dies, Cassius inherits the family’s home; Lydia inherits the business, and unbeknownst to her brother, a small villa in the city of Philippi.

Lydia flees with her mother and daughter to Philippi where she sets up shop. At the mercy of a patriarchal society, Lydia needs a man to serve as the public face for her business. She discovers the right person in the handsome face of Greek man she’d hired — an employee with whom she develops a close friendship. The plot thickens as Lydia meets a strange man named Paul the apostle who is stirring up crowds in town. When Lydia’s brother shows up in Philippi, determined to force her to sell the business, he discovers plenty of fuel to accomplish his goals.

Click to purchase your copy.

About the Author:

Diana Wallis Taylor is best known for her creative stories based on women in the Bible. Thousands have read and enjoyed her books including Mary Chosen of God, Ruth, Mother of Kings, Martha, Journey to the Well, Mary Magdalene, and Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors with the San Diego Library naming her one of 12 “Writers to Watch” in 2017 for Mary, Chosen of God. Her books have received Gold and Silver Medallion Awards for Christian Fiction and she is a San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild “Writer of the Year.” Mary, Chosen of God is a 2017 Christy Award nominee. An inspirational speaker, Diana also leads creative writing and poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren

Blog Stops

A Bakers Perspective, October 3

Carpe Diem, October 3

Moments Dipped in Ink, October 4

Books, Books, and More Books., October 4

By The Book, October 5

A Simply Enchanted Life, October 5

Red Headed Book Lady, October 6

Blogging With Carol, October 6

A Reader’s Brain, October 7

A Greater Yes, October 7

Just the Write Escape, October 8

Simple Harvest Reads, October 8 (Spotlight)

Aryn the Libraryan, October 9

Cordially Barbara, October 9

Pursuing Stacie, October 9

The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 10

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 10

Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 11

Mary Hake, October 11

Radiant Light, October 12

Singing Librarian Books, October 12

Lights in a Dark World, October 12

margaretkazmierczak, October 13

Pause for Tales, October 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 14

Cafinated Reads, October 14

To Everything A Season, October 14

Bigreadersite, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Henry Happens, October 16

For The Love of Books, October 16

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 16


Giveaway

In honor of her tour, Diana is giving away

Grand Prize Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, “Give Thanks” painting on plate by Donna White for The Hearthside Collection, Inc., commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

1st Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem pillar candle, cassia scented, commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

2nd Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem Spikenard candle tin with lid!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c173

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

Covering Love Blog Tour with Giveaway

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

coveringlove-13-195x300Book: Covering Love

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: January 26, 2017


Love may cover a multitude of sins, but not knowing all the facts can also get a man killed.

A family calamity gathers the clan, then a dying request tests loyalties and changes lives. New York City’s posh society, living on a rugged Texas hill country ranch, and the isolation of Alaska’s frozen tundra share little commonality and make going from one to another difficult at best. Still, destiny drives Crockett and his sister Charlotte where neither wants to go or thinks they belong. Second and third generations of the Buckmeyer progeny encounter danger, challenges, heartaches, and joys. But then reunions are all the sweeter for it.

This tale continues the breathtaking—and sometimes heartbreaking—family saga of the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales that readers around the world have come to love.

My Review:

Covering Love is Book 8 in the Texas Romance Family Saga series by Caryl McAdoo. Set in 1885 Texas, continuing the stories of the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales, Covering Love will test loyalties and will definitely change lives. Crockett and his sister Charlotte will face challenges, danger, heartaches and joy but what they will receive in the end will be worth it. I don’t want to give a lot away, if you want to know what happens you will have to pick the book up. I highly recommend beginning with Book 1 if you haven’t read it yet, but like most books, this one can be read as a stand-alone.

I give Covering Love 5 out 5 stars and can’t wait to see what comes next!!

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

About the Author

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Caryl McAdoo loves writing stories for all ages that glorify God, thrilled that Christian fiction fits her life purpose so well. Bold not bashful, she’s quick to share the Bible principles she lives by through her characters. She hopes each title ministers His love, mercy, and grace. Known as the “Singing Pray-er”—with a YouTube channel to prove it, the prolific hybrid author also loves praising with new songs the Lord gives her. She and high-school-sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods and seat of Red River County. After him, Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings. The McAdoos live a few miles south of Clarksville in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons.

Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

Book eight of the TEXAS ROMANCE Family Saga proved difficult to write in the beginning. At my bi-monthly Red River Writers’ Workshop where I read a chapter each meeting, I couldn’t get through one without weeping. This family’s story began in 1832 (book one, Vow Unbroken)—a true-love tale when Henry, a thirty-two year old bachelor living in his mama’s house, and Sue, a twenty-nine year old widow rearing two children find each other.

Fifty years have passed—it’s now 1885—and scripture says it is appointed for every man to die once. Henry is my Ron (my beloved husband), so I could barely get through his demise for his wife’s sake. I’m not giving a lot away. Readers find this out in chapter one of Covering Love. But in a family saga such as this series, characters must pass over into Heaven.

So who’s book is Covering Love? It actually has four love stories! One is sweet budding love, another is Houston’s romance set back in the 1860s, the third is Crockett’s and takes place in Alaska, and the fourth is Charlotte’s. She falls in love in New York City . . . my cover lady who is practically forced to go there and live in May’s brownstone. Well, her older brother wasn’t that happy about going to the frozen tundra of the far North, either.

Henry’s first five children didn’t have the ‘soft’ lives that May’s two offspring experienced. After I made it through the hard beginning, writing Crockett’s and Charlotte’s love stories was great fun! And of course, the old man who’s made appearances in the majority of my novels has his part to play in Covering Love.

Have my readers recognized him? If they’ve not made the connection in prior stories, they will definitely be enlightened in this one. Namrel is his real name, and he’s a delightful cherub who oft visits earth as an angel unaware. He’s also in A Little Lower Than the Angels, volume one in my Biblical Fiction series The Generations, and The King’s Highway, book one in my mid-grade/young adult Days of Dread trilogy.

I truly love how God has given me these multi-genre series and woven common threads through them . . . like the hero and heroine in my second Red River Romance Sing A New Song, have a conversation over the gravestone of the famous Texas Ranger, Levi Baylor, Samuel Levi Baylor’s ancestor. And in the soon coming book four in that contemporary series, The Pitch, readers will meet more descendants of these awesome families God has helped to create.

My slogan is ‘Praying my story gives God glory!’ And that’s what I want every single one to do. My characters are not perfect. They all have flaws and make some poor choices. But it’s in those times of our own lives that God shows up and shows out. Oh how wonderful, how marvelous is our Savior’s love!

Book Excerpt

Crockett tapped on the door. How many times over the years had he knocked on the same one? Better question, how many girls and ladies had called it their own?

“Go away.”

He knuckled it harder. “Come on, Sis. It’s me. Open up.”

She cracked the portal. “Crockett, what are you doing up here?”

“I need a favor.”

“Too bad. The answer is no.” She rubbed her eyes. “I am not lending you any more money, so go back to bed!”

“Let me in.”

The force of the door swung wide and moved her back. “Fine, Brother. Come on in.” She exhaled audibly. “Why can’t we discuss this tomorrow? Why do you always…grrrr…you see, Mother! He’s incorrigible!”

Ma sat on the bed. He smiled. “Sorry, didn’t know I was interrupting you ladies, but if you don’t mind, I need a word in private with Charlotte.”

“If you can’t say whatever it is in front of her, then you don’t need to be saying it at all. Just get out of here. You cannot come into my room and chase Mother out!”

“Fine, if you insist. I need you to go to New York.”

“What for?”

“It’s like this. My partner is a whiz at sniffing out great deals, but he needs someone to keep a firm grip on him. He wants to gallop when he should trot, if you get my drift. If I’m expected to gallivant all over the Northwest, I need someone I can trust in New York, watching over things. You’re it.”

“Son. You’re wanting your sister to take over your business while you’re gone? That’s asking too much.”

Blog Stops

January 17: A Reader’s Brain

January 17: The Power of Words (Spotlight)

January 18: Christian Bookaholic

January 18: Simple Harvest Reads

January 19: Karen Sue Hadley

January 19: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

January 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

January 21: A Greater Yes

January 22: Moments Dipped in Ink

January 23: Ashley’s Bookshelf

January 24: New Horizon

January 25: Giveaway Lady

January 26: Pause for Tales

January 27: Reading Is My SuperPower

January 28: Bigreadersite

January 29: A Simple Life, really?!

January 30: Neverending Stories

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away:

GRAND PRIZE: Complete set of the Texas Romance Family Saga series; all eight books, print copies: Vow Unbroken (1832), Hearts Stolen (1839-1844), Hope Reborn (1850-1851), Sins From the Mothers (1851-1853), Daughters of the Heart (1853-1854), Just Kin (1861-1865), At Liberty to Love (1866-1867), and Covering Love (1885)

FIRST PLACE: Firsts of four series: Vow Unbroken (Texas Romance), The Preacher’s Faith (Red River Romance), A Little Lower Than the Angels (The Generations Biblical fiction), and The King’s Highway (Days of Dread)

2 SECOND PLACES: each get: CHOICE of any book in any of Caryl’s series with a surprise.

3 THIRD PLACES: each get: print copy of Vow Unbroken, book one of the Texas Romance Family Saga

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

Finding Margo Blog Tour with Giveaway

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Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review:

Jen Turano has done it again, written another great, I can’t put it down until I’m finished book. Finding Margo is book one in her new series Finding Home. Finding Margo is about an international pop star who is ready for a night off after dealing with her entourage and tour. She decides to disappear to a small Dutch town in Ohio. She isn’t the only one undercover. Brock Moore, a sheriff’s deputy is undercover too but he knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be. Margo has a resemblance to a local Amish woman and makes her a target.

They both are determined to find out all the answers but one thing is standing in the way; the attraction between them. What is going to happen to Margo and to Brock?

With a little suspense, mystery, and maybe a hint of romance, Finding Margo is one of the hottest books to pick up.

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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Off the charts and on the run.

International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It’s time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small town in Ohio?

Sheriff’s deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions . . . the kinds that make her a target for a killer.

Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone. Is finding Margo the solution to Brock’s problems or the just the beginning . . . ?

img_1634a-200x300About the Author

USA Today best-selling author Jen Turano writes contemporary and historical romances with quirky characters and unusual storylines. Just outside Denver, Colorado, Jen and her husband live as empty-nesters, and they do so fabulously. Contact Jen at jenturano.com.

Guest Post from Jen Turano

The Making of “Finding Margo”

By Jen Turano

To say that my entrance into the publishing world was a tad difficult is certainly an understatement. My very first attempt at writing was centered around a middle grade book, specifically written for my son who was in the third grade at the time. After finishing that, and sending it out to all of five companies, none of whom represented middle grade, I then moved on to young adult with a little more interest sent my way, but no success story to report in the end. Not one to embrace the idea of complete and utter failure, I then tried my hand at a contemporary romance, moved on to what I assumed was a delightful regency romance, but one that turned out to be not that delightful, at least according to numerous agents, and finally landed on gilded age stories, filled with quirky heroines. That is when I finally received my very first publishing contract, which then saw me catapulted into the very weird world of publishing. After completing the second gilded age story of my two-book contract, I found myself with some time on my hands as I waited to see if anyone would read my stories, which might then result in an offer of additional book contracts. As I waited, I decided I might as well keep writing, so decided to try another contemporary story, although my agent at that time suggested I try to write an Amish book since she had numerous requests from publishers for those specific books.

Because my writing voice is not what anyone might consider normal, I really didn’t believe I’d be able to do justice to an authentic Amish story. Because of that, I settled on the idea of writing a contemporary romantic suspense, being a huge fan of that genre. I had a vague notion of exploring a theme centered around a dog walker who might stumble on a body while walking her pack of dogs, or perhaps have a storyline that centered around a makeup artist who witnessed a crime while setting out her makeup for a client, but those ideas went straight away when I pulled out the vacuum one fine day.

Vacuuming, as well as staining the deck, cleaning the shower, and power-washing the garage, are my go-to activities when I need to get the muse working right before I start a first draft. On that particular day, as I pushed the vacuum around the house, I suddenly had the most intriguing idea – an idea that started off with two delightful little words…What…and…If.

That was all it took for a premise to begin festering through my mind, a fester that grew into this – What if three Amish children were stolen straight out of their beds, never to be seen or heard from again until… Now here’s where it gets interesting. I decided to have a woman by the name of Margo Hartman, an international superstar no less, stumble into this small Ohio town quite by accident, and…she happens to bear an uncommon resemblance to an Amish woman who lives in this town. To add an addition sense of intrigue, someone immediately begins trying their very best to kill poor Margo.

By the time I was done vacuuming, the storyline for “Finding Margo” was firmly cemented in my mind, which translates into Jen had no choice other than to write the story. However, before my agent at that time found a home for the manuscript, I signed another contract for more gilded age books, which meant I did not have the time to commit to what was certainly going to have to be a three-book series since, well, there were three Amish children who’d gone missing.

Fast forward around five years and I found myself a little ahead of schedule at exactly the right time. There was a new publishing house in town, my current agent remembered me talking about this quirky book I’d written long ago, and as luck would have it, I found the flash drive that’s been home to “Finding Margo” for all these years.

Since my writing style has certainly changed since I first wrote Margo’s story, I ended up rewriting the entire book, and I must say that I’m still just as intrigued with the storyline as I was when it popped to mind while vacuuming what seems like ages ago. I’m just tickled to death that Margo Hartman has finally found her way out of a flash drive and onto the pages of a book. I’m hoping readers will enjoy her as much as I enjoyed writing her.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today, and for supporting my books over the years. I cannot properly express how important all my readers have become to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for every one of you. You’ve brightened up my life and without you, well, I wouldn’t have anyone to share the stories that always seem to rumble around my mind.

God bless!

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

November 17: Book by Book

November 17: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

November 17: cherylbbookblog

November 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

November 18: A Reader’s Brain

November 18: I Hope You Dance

November 18: Blogging with Carol

November 19: ASC Book Reviews

November 19: Bibliophile Reviews

November 20: Lighthouse Academy

November 20: Karen Sue Hadley

November 20: Back Porch Reads

November 21: Reading Is My SuperPower

November 21: Genesis 5020

November 21: 100 Pages per Hour

November 22: Pause for Tales

November 22: Quiet Quilter

November 22: Bigreadersite

November 23: Just Commonly

November 23: A Greater Yes

November 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

November 24: Smiling Book Reviews

November 24: Ashley’s Bookshelf

November 24: Singing Librarian Books

November 25: It’s Storytime With Van Daniker

November 25: History, Mystery & Faith

November 25: inklings and notions

November 26: Daysong Reflections

November 26: The Scribbler

November 26: Blossoms and Blessings

November 27: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

November 27: A Baker’s Perspective

November 27: Through the Open Window

November 28: The Power of Words

November 28: His Grace is Sufficient

November 28: Reader’s Cozy Corner

November 29: Fiction, Faith, and Fun

November 29: Faithfully Bookish

November 29: Christian Bookaholic

November 30: Raining Butterfly Kisses

November 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings & Butterfly Kisses

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of her book! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine entries on the giveaway!

https://promosimple.com/ps/a8ad

Aboard Providence Blog Tour and Giveaway

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To purchase your copy, click here.

My Review: 

Aboard Providence is part of the Uncharted Series by Keely Brooke Keith. Historical Christian Fiction at its best!! This was the first book by this author that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it and definitely plan on going back and reading the first 4 books in this series. This book can be read as a stand-alone. In this book, you have the story of Jonah Ashton and how he had a plan to escort his family to their new settlement in South America and had every intention of returning back to Medical school in Pennsylvania. Things happen and this isn’t the plan. I can’t give anymore away, to find out what happens, get a copy of Aboard Providence today, You will not be disappointed!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

About the Book

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Click Picture to Purchase

In November 1860, Jonah Ashton boarded the Providence with a plan to escort his family to their new settlement in South America and then return to medical school in Pennsylvania before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he didn’t count on was getting lost at sea and falling in love. When they finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart?

About the Author

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Keely Brooke Keith is the author of the Uncharted series (Edenbrooke Press) and Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in unconventional ways. When she isn’t writing stories, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort, and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW.

Guest Post from Keely Brooke Keith

The Uncharted series has a past…

The Uncharted storyline begins in the 21st Century in a hidden land that was settled in the 1860s by Americans. Throughout the Uncharted books, the characters refer to their founders’ history. Soon after the release of The Land Uncharted, readers expressed their desire for more. Why did the founders leave America in 1860? How did they plan the group migration? Where did they believe they were going? How did they establish what is now a fascinating culture?

I too was drawn by the founders’ story. When I set out to write it, I enjoyed fleshing out the mystery of how the founders arrived in the Land and what it was like for them, not only for the characters who wanted that adventure, but also those who didn’t. I became swept away on a journey of faith, sacrifice, and God’s unfailing provision.

The result is Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media, 2016).

Join the founders as they embark on their voyage to an uncharted land.

Blog stops

October 20: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

October 21: 1994

October 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

October 22: A Greater Yes

October 22: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation

October 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

October 24: cherylbbookblog

October 24: Through the Open Window

October 25: History, Mystery & Faith

October 26: I Hope You Dance

October 26: Mary Hake

October 27: Genesis 5020

October 27: Blossoms and Blessings

October 28: A Readers Brain

October 29: Singing Librarian Books

October 29: Bigreadersite

October 30: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

October 31: Bibliophile Reviews

November 1: Pause for Tales

November 1: Karen’s Krayons

November 2: Proverbial Reads

November 2: Seasons of Opportunities

Giveaway

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In honor of her tour, Keely is giving away The Uncharted Series ebooks! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a60d