Fiction Books

12 Days at Bleakly Manor Blog Tour/Giveaway


My Review:

12 Days at Bleakly Manor is set in 1851 England, written by Author Michelle Griep, it is a Historical Christian Fiction Christmas novel. A story of revenge, forgiveness, and of course Christmas, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor is one Christmas novel you will want to read over and over again each year. The story of Clara Chapman and Benjamin Lane is one full of suspense. I don’t want to tell you too much about this awesome book and give it away, I highly recommend you pick a copy up today!

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

 

About the Book

Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor

Guest post by Michelle Griep

Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…

TREE DECORATIONS

Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.

GREENERY

Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.

WREATHS

“Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.

CANDLES

Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.

DRESDENS

Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal.

And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy.

And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Blog Stops

By The Book, December 14

Bukwurmzzz, December 14

Faery Tales Are Real, December 14

A Baker’s Perspective, December 15

A Reader’s Brain, December 15

Have A Wonderful Day, December 15

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Carpe Diem, December 16

Cafinated Reads, December 16

Just the Write Escape, December 17

A Greater Yes, December 17

Remembrancy, December 17

Allofakindmom, December 18

History, Mystery & Faith, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18

amandainpa, December 19

Kat’s Corner Books, December 19

Mommynificent, December 19

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

Bookworm Mama, December 20

Vicky Sluiter, December 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 21

To Everything A Season, December 21

Reader’s Cozy Corner, December 22

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 22

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)

My Writer’s Life, December 23

Janices book reviews, December 23

For The Love of Books, December 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Red Headed Book Lady, December 25

Raining Butterfly Kisses, December 25

Bibliophile Reviews, December 26

Blogging With Carol,December 26

Mary Hake, December 26

Reflections From my Bookshelves, December 27


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8

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Fiction Books

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/

Fiction Books

Bitter Eyes No More Blog Tour with Giveaway

My Review:

Bitter Eyes No More is the Book 4 i n the Creek Country Saga series by April Gardner.  Historical Christian Romance that you will thoroughly enjoy. Even though it is the fourth book in the series, I found that it can easily be read as a stand-alone. This is the first book in the series that I have had the opportunity to read but I definitely will read the first three soon.

A beautifully written book by Ms. Gardner, Bitter Eyes No More is the story of Lillian McGirth and Captain Marcus Buck, a story of love, friendship, pain and a God who loves them both. Lillian is a unwed mother who is accused of treason. Captain Marcus Buck wants to save Miss McGirth from herself and her child’s father. The Captain finds himself falling for Miss McGirth, he will free her, repair her name and much more.  A sweet story that you will hate to see end.

 

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

About the Book

Name of book: Bitter Eyes No More

Author: April W Gardner

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: Feb, 2017

A man of abiding honor, tested by a woman of ruinous passion. A woman of unspeakable sins, pursued by a God of unquenchable mercy.

Spanish Florida once sheltered Lillian McGirth from her fears. Now, it feeds them. Mercy is for the deserving; for Lillian, an unwed mother accused of treason, there is only battering and defeat, but her fall breaks softly in the arms of an unexpected arrival, a man too beautiful of soul to stain with her lost character.

Captain Marcus Buck sails in on a pledge to save Miss McGirth from herself and from her child’s father, a ruthless don. All the while, he’s to regard her as virtuous and worthy of protection and to guard said virtue from pilfering. But the terms are flawed since he must first guard her from himself. Regardless, he is determined. He will free her, repair her name—simple labor compared to dodging the army’s noose, mending wounds three years deep, and navigating a host of rebel Natives bent on inflicting more.

Through the steady crumble of his pledge, their friendship becomes a consolation, for she knows his pain as no other can or will. Their scars are one; their paths, however, might irrevocably become two…

 Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Author

APRIL W GARDNER writes history with a Christian perspective and a little imagination. She is a copyeditor, military wife, and homeschooling mother of two who lives in Texas. She writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our Southeastern Native Tribes. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.

April loves to hear from her readers at: aprilgardnerwrites@gmail.com and at www.aprilgardner.com

Guest Post from April W. Gardner

I’ve never needed one of those spiritual gifts tests to know I score a big, fat zero in the mercy department. When God impressed on me the themes of Bitter Eyes No More—mercy and justice—I figured I was the least qualified person to broach the topic.

However, in His perfect way, He knew exactly where I needed to be stretched, and over the seven months He used me to craft the story, He poked and prodded at my flaws, making them large in my mind and reminding me that no one is deserving of any quantity of mercy, grace, or forgiveness, and that He alone is righteous enough to wield the gavel of justice.

Captain Marcus Buck, the hero in Bitter Eyes No More, learns the same lesson. Because of a horrifying stint of slavery on a British frigate, he drives through life seeking justice—all in accordance with the law, of course, but swift, fierce justice nonetheless. Lillian, the same story’s female lead, knows beyond a doubt she deserves the most righteous justice there is—an eternity apart from God. Mercy is only for the deserving, she says, but there can surely be none for her, an unwed mother with the label “traitor” hovering over her head.

Marcus, a surgeon and splendid swordsman, has engraved his sword with a passage from the prophet Zechariah. “This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.’” (Zech. 7:9) It’s a beautiful piece of advice, but Marcus is blind to the second half.

What neither of these characters realizes at first is that God doles out mercy and justice as a packaged unit and in bountiful, equal measure. In our finite human minds, we tend to separate these two qualities, but God cannot give one without the other. More than that, He cannot be one without the other. He is all mercy and all justice in one perfect being.

Aren’t you glad? I sure am!

Every subscriber instantly receives the first in the Creek Country Saga for FREE!

Newsletter Sign-up: http://eepurl.com/vujA9

Blog Stops

Faithfully Bookish, October 24

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 25

A Greater Yes, October 26

Bigreadersite, October 27

Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 28

Karen Sue Hadley,October 29

Carpe Diem, October 30

Mary Hake, October 31

A Baker’s Perspective, November 1

Red Headed Book Lady, November 2

History, Mystery & Faith, November 3

Simple Harvest Reads, November 4

New Horizon Reviews, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6


Giveaway

In honor of her tour, April is giving away a grand prize package of a $15 Amazon gift card and four of her books in paperback, signed by her! Click to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c0d2

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

February 24: Back Porch Reads

February 24: The Scribbler

February 24: I Hope You Dance

February 25: Stuff & Nonsense

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

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!

Fiction Books

At Liberty to Love Tour & Giveaway

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Purchase your copy here.

My Review:

At Liberty to Love is book 7 in the Texas Romance series by Caryl McAdoo. Rebecca Rusk longs for a family, being widowed for two years, she sets off to visit her sisters in California. While she is there, she looks into adopting children, when a set of siblings catches her heart and she vows that these are the children she should adopt. All Rebecca longs for is children, she has vowed not to love another man. Marcus Ford still blames God for the loss of his wife and baby, he is not looking for another woman not until he meets Rebecca. He falls hard for her but his duties are calling him east.

Will he forgive God? Will she finally let her heart go?

At Liberty to Love is another great book from Caryl McAdoo. I have throughly enjoyed reading the Texas Romance series. She will have you reading all night!!!!! If you love Historical Christian Fiction then this is the book for you!!

Thank you to the Author and Celebrate Lit for providing me with an Ebook copy of this book for my honest review.

About the Book

AtLiberty3rd-194x300Obedience is better than sacrifice…and trumps romance, no matter how sweet.

Profound loneliness propels a childless widow west to choose an orphan to share her life. On the way, a fellow traveler takes her by surprise. She never dreams, is unprepared, doesn’t need another man, but can’t get him out of her head…or heart. He’s so perfect—every bit the one she’d searched for as a young woman—except his mistrust of God has erected a wall she cannot breach.

Marcus Ford blames God and struggles for peace after losing his wife and baby. Not once has he considered another woman could be the answer, but the widow is like none other he’s ever met. He falls hard, but plans are taking him east. Hope dashed sends two hearts into the pit. If only Ford could forgive God or the widow ease up on her adamant resolve.

Will God’s mercy shine a beacon in the fog of despair and prove sufficient to heal their souls?

About the AuthorFireplaceBkgrnd-200x300

Caryl McAdoo is all about loving God! She currently writes four series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; The Generations, her Biblical fiction, and the newest Days of Dread Trilogy for mid-grade readers. Known as the Singing Pray-er, she loves praising with new songs the Lord gives her and prays her story gives God glory! In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Besides glorifying Him, she hopes each title will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons.

Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

Obedience Trumps Romance

7-titles-At-Liberty-212x300Rebecca, forty-two years young, has never known true love. Oh she’s loved—and had a best friend—but that special made-just-for-her soul mate, she’d never met. She settled, instead, and lived a happy life, even though never blessed with children. Then the unthinkable happened, and she found herself alone, widowed too soon by the Civil War that claimed so many lives.

Rather than throw a pity party, she prayed and formulated a plan for the rest of her life. God gave her a way to turn her mourning into dancing! She’d adopt an needy child to love and fill her lonely days with joy. And her sisters in San Francisco happened to have an orphanage. She’d never traveled by herself, but determined to put the idea into action, she left Clarksville, Texas for a month long journey to California!

This new story is one of my favorites as it extols the goodness of the Lord, how His plans are always so high above mere man’s, and how He moves those who love Him into place to receive His blessings. And Rebecca had loved Him since a little girl. He’d been her father when she was born without one and then when she’d prayed for a daddy, sent Henry Buckmeyer into her life.

And how do we show God we love Him? By our obedience to His Word.

Before, that’d come relatively easy for her, but early on her trip, a man climbs into the stagecoach and makes her uneasy. Glad that Daddy had bought her a Derringer and taught her to use it, she rides in silence, feeling his gaze and sneaking her own peeks from her reading.

With no idea of the test God was about to put her through, when the fellow traveler finally figures out who she is and speaks, Rebecca is taken aback by the surge of totally unexpected attraction. Marcus Ford was handsome, intelligent, and everything she’d looked for in a suitable man back when she’d been courted.

But alas, he almost hates God, blaming Him for the premature deaths of his wife and baby girl during the yellow fever epidemic that plagued New Orleans. If she leaned one thing from her mother, it was not to unequally yoke herself. Besides, her life had been planned. She had a goal and a child to save. Plus, when her trip took her west, he went east for a job interview.

It was never meant to be. How many times do we make our plans only to be thwarted by circumstances beyond our control? We thought God had been leading us, we’d given Him the glory, and trusted the path to be in His will. So then why—when she at last had her life figured out—had she even met the man? She didn’t need another one, but never experienced what she did in Marcus’ presence.

When confronted with temptation, do we quote God’s Word to the one out to kill us, steal from us, and destroy our lives? Or do we toy with doing exactly what we know we should not? I pray as you read AT LIBERTY TO LOVE, you’ll be encouraged and root for my dear heroine to do what’s right and not give in, not fall into a place God never meant for her to be…or did He?

Blog Stops

June 1: Petra’s Hope

June 2: A Greater Yes

June 3: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

June 4: bigreadersite

June 5: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

June 6: Bows and Basketballs

June 7: Mary Hake (Facebook Review)

June 7: Cassandra M’s Place

June 8: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 9: Texas Book-aholic

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away eight prizes including the complete print set of the Texas Romance series. Enter here: https://promosimple.com/ps/9b0e

Fiction Books

Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter and Giveaway

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Purchase your copy of Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter here.

My Review:

Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter is a historical Christian fiction novel written by Carrie Fancett Pagels. Set in 1745 and takes place in France, Germany and America. In a time when you were persecuted for religion, Suzanne Richelieu escapes Versailles. Her father, a Huguenot has been arrested. All Suzanne has is her mother’s rosary. Johan Rousch, a German peasant helps to bring her to safety at his families farm but soon they are forced to leave when her brother shows up and tells them they are going to burn the area. In order to escape, the both become indentured servants to come to Philadelphia.

Suzanne becomes ill aboard the ship and marry’s Johan only to not have a relocation of the wedding. Her former fiance shows up and is going to bring her with him, Johan has to save her again but can he do it before she is gone forever? This has been a great book for me to read. This is the first book by Carrie that I have read and can I say I am hooked! I love the detailed information she includes in the story, you can tell she did her research.

This is definitely a must read for all you Historical Fiction lovers. I promise you will not be disappointed when you read this book and you will find yourself not putting it down until you are finished!

Thank you to Celebrate Lit, the Author and the Publisher for providing me the ebook for my honest review.

SavingTheMarquisesGranddaughter_w11911_750-182x300About the Book

In a land fraught with religious strife, they must break the barriers between status and faith to forge a fresh future in a new world… After her Huguenot father is arrested, aristocrat Suzanne Richelieu escapes Versailles. Handsome German peasant, Johan Rousch, risks his life to bring her to the safety of his family’s farm in the Palatinate duchy, but when Suzanne’s brother and the French army arrive with a warning that they plan to burn the area, she and Johan are forced to flee. With no money or options, both become indentured servants in exchange for safe passage to Philadelphia. Suzanne falls gravely ill aboard ship and marries Johan, only to survive with no memory of the wedding—a reality made worse when Johan spots the “priest” who married them working as a surveyor and later in Quaker cleric garb. Are their wedding vows valid? When Suzanne’s former fiancé arrives in port, planning to abduct her, Johan must save her again—but can he do so before Suzanne is lost to him forever?

About the AuthorCarrie-headshot-150x150

Carrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

 

Guest Post from Carrie Fancett Pagels

Hi, I’m Carrie Fancett Pagels, so excited to see this particular book “baby”, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, finally being “born!” I started working on this over eight years ago!

Roush-book-1-150x150Would you believe it was a genealogical search that began this story? We had a lot of research on my father’s side of the family but not on my mother’s. Sites like Ancestry.com were getting big. One of my mother’s cousins posted the genealogy that he’d found, on one of the genealogy sharing sites and I got that information but only back to where I found two Rousch cousins marrying. I honestly didn’t want to go on after that, as it appeared they were first cousins – yikes! But after praying about it, and knowing my mom was curious, too, I went forward.
While I am interested in genealogy, as a former psychologist, I’m more interested colonial-Patriot-marchers-DSCN4653-150x150in people’s stories. So when I discovered that the two cousins were the grandchildren of Johan Adam Rousch, who had been acknowledged because nine of his ten sons had fought in the American Revolution, I wanted to know more about him and his family and ancestors. Since there were books already written about him, I went up to the University of Virginia Rare Books Library and read what people had to say about the real life Johan. He sounded fascinating. He was an immigrant from the Palatinate of Germany and lived in the western part of Virginia, after immigrating via Pennsylvania.

I had joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) group and had been working on a novel set in the Charleston, South Carolina area, where I’d previously lived. I got so interested in Johan and his story that I began to write. But I couldn’t wrap my mind around Susanna, his real life wife who likely also came from the Palatinate, possibly on the same ship. No matter how I tried to work on her, through various writing classes I took, I couldn’t make her “real” because she just wasn’t speaking to me. I tried and I have the old scenes to prove it!

rousch-monument-150x150When I write, I pray. I asked God to show me scriptures for each scene, which were included on my rough drafts (they are not there in the final novel.) I did some research, at the library, and a massive tome about the Hundred Years War was recommended to me and one on European History from that time frame. By learning of some of the reasons the Palatinate was persecuted, such as the French punishing them for taking in Protestants, I began to imagine a different sort of heroine for my story. Of course, although the story was inspired by Johan and Susanna, this book is fictional. That freed me up for God to inspire me to make this story about faith. A core tenet of the book is that we must find our own faith – we cannot “borrow” it from someone else!

Since I was still practicing as a psychologist, as I developed Suzanne’s character I included traits that would be common in someone is the situation she was in. She’s living in an aristocratic French family, with parents who are actually of the Huguenot faith. If they are discovered there can be drastic consequences, including death. So a young lady like that may become more obsessive and compulsive as a way of dealing with that anxiety.

I hope those who read this story will be inspired by the message of overcoming and of finding one’s own path to faith in the Lord!!!

Blog Stops

May 24: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 25: Blossoms and Blessings

May 26: The Power of Words

May 26: Just Commonly (Spotlight)

May 27: A Greater Yes

May 27: Cassandra M’s Place (spotlight)

May 28: Christian Bookaholic

May 29: Bigreadersite

May 29: Mary Hake

May 30: Reading Is My SuperPower

May 31: inklings and notions

June 1: Singing Librarian Books

June 2: Karen’s Krayons

June 3: Rhonda’s Doings

June 4: Southern Chelle

June 5: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation

June 6: Simple Harvest Reads

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a Kindle Fire 7, one signed copy of Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter along with Postcard & bookmark and Fleur de Lis Earrings. Click the link to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9a1a