Fiction Books

Soul’s Prisoner Blog Tour with Giveaway

My Review:

Soul’s Prisoner is set in 1891 Chicago during the winter. An Historical fiction novel that includes suspense as well as romance.

Mental Illness is very common today but back in the 1890’s it wasn’t something people wanted everyone to know about. Families would have their loved ones put away for many reasons, such as a having a child out of wedlock, if they suffered from a mental illness, and many more reasons. In Chicago, the Dunning Asylum for the Insane was where families would commit their loved ones. This is the setting of Soul’s Prisoner. Even though its a fictional book, there are some things about the asylum that are true. Can you imagine spending winter without any heat and without hot water? That is how these people had to live.

This novel will send chills and will also have you feeling pain for what these people endured. I really enjoyed reading Soul’s Prisoner, Cara Luecht completed her research well upon writing this book. I highly recommend picking a copy of this book up today.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.”

About the Book

Book Title: Soul’s Prisoner

Author: Cara Luecht

Genre: Historical fiction with some suspense and romance

Release Date: December 15, 2015

Chicago, Winter, 1891

Rachel is in danger. She’s seen too much.

She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She’d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she’d find a place in the city, never imagined she’d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning’s cold, labyrinthine basement.

Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.

A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.

But when Jeremy, Rachel’s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

The Setting for Soul’s Prisoner: Dunning Asylum for the Insane

Dunning Asylum for the Insane was built in the 1850s and housed psychiatric patients until the early 1900s. It has since been demolished, and a small park currently stands as the only remaining testament to the people who lived and died on the grounds.

The original plot of land also included a poor farm and a cemetery. A railroad used to connect the grounds to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. It was nicknamed the “Crazy Train”—a phrase that still survives in our language today. Those buried in the cemetery include Civil War Veterans, victims of the Chicago fire of 1871, orphans, paupers, and the residents of the asylum for the insane. Most estimates agree that nearly forty thousand people were buried on the grounds.

There is no doubt that mental illness is hard on families, but in the 1800s, having a family member who struggled with mental illness was an embarrassment. With little understanding of mental health in general, and even less compassion for those who suffered, examples of this tragic response to the threat of mental illness can be seen in the numerous inmates who were there simply due to addiction or depression. There are even cases where women were committed because their families were humiliated by their giving birth outside the bonds of marriage. Often times, challenges with mental health were synonymous with the notion of moral failure or vice. Because of this, even many charities looked the other way when corruption or abuse was exposed. Reporters sometimes wrote about the horrors of the institutions, but once the sensational story was out, and the initial outrage worn away, few worried about the people who suffered on a daily basis. And because of the moral implication of mental illness, families commonly turned over their suffering members to the county, and later simply explained to friends that the person had died.

And that is exactly what the mentally ill would do in the institution. Live there until they died, forgotten.

And that’s how the story played out at Dunning, until late in the 1900s when developers began to dig the roads and foundations for a new neighborhood on the grounds of what was once the Asylum. At that time, Dunning, and the people who had resided there, were still within living memory, so when bones were unearthed, it was no mystery how they ended up on that patch of land. What had slipped from memory was the magnitude of the collective stories of suffering and hardship.

For this novel, the people and events are fictitious. However, when examining old news stories from an institution known for corruption, it is not hard to imagine situations like the ones in the novel. The details that are true are the nearly one thousand inmates, no hot water, little to no heat in the winter, bad food, and the general feeling of living ghosts, intentionally forgotten, and doomed to never leave the grounds.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, March 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 8

Multifarious, March 9

Remembrancy, March 9

Connie’s History Classroom, March 10

History, Mystery & Faith, March 11

Reading is My Superpower, March 11

amandainpa, March 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Texas Book-aholic, March 13

Carpe Diem, March 14

Maureen’s Musings, March 15

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Two Points of Interest, March 16

proud to be an autism mom, March 17

A Greater Yes, March 17

Bibliophile Reviews, March 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 18

Janices book reviews, March 19

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Post from Mindy)

Pursuing Stacie, March 20

For The Love of Books, March 21

Bigreadersite, March 21


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Soul’s Prisoner and sketching art supplies!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb74

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Fiction Books

Storms in Serenity Blog Tour and Giveaway

My Review:

Storms in Serenity is book one in the Serenity Key series by Fay Lamb. Set in Serenity Key, Florida during hurricane season. This book is classified in the Romance, Mystery Genre.

We all go through storms in our lives, some worse than others. There is one person who sees us through these storms, God. He is always by our side. Sometimes these storms will lead to destruction, death, or just pain. What we learn from them is what matters the most along with who we put our trust in.

Storms in Serenity is the modern day story of David and Bathsheba. The aftermath of any sin is dangerous and leaves a path of destruction along the way. You will meet characters that have kept secrets for years. Those secrets will bring a storm to the town of Serenity that no one is prepared for.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.”

About the Book

Book Title: Storms in Serenity

Author: Fay Lamb

Release Date: February, 2018

Genre: Romance, Mystery

How can one man save the town he loves when he’s the reason for the destruction?

Serenity Key, Florida, has seen its share of hurricanes, but this time, one foul weather system is about to collide with another storm, and this one has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure.

David New has guarded his secrets for years, but when two brothers, John and Andy Ryan, arrive in town and he gets news that the daughter he’s never told anyone about has disappeared, possibly the victim of a heinous crime, and the lives of many of the town residents begin to unravel in the gale force consequences of Jake’s past, he has nowhere else to turn.

God is the only one Who can calm the storms, but can David and the good folks of Serenity Key survive until He does?

A tempest has been brewing for thirty years, with only one island town in its path.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities.

Storms in Serenity is the first book in Fay’s Serenity Key series. Fay’s other series include, Amazing Grace and her novels, Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, Everybody’s Broken, and Frozen Notes. The Ties that Bind Series includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope. Delilah, is coming soon.

Fay’s is also the author of The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Guest Post from Fay Lamb

ONCE UPON A STORM

I’m one of those people who love storms. I revel in the lightning that streaks across the sky, the rumble of thunder as it rolls over the air, and I dance to the eerie sound of the wind coming through a crack in the window. Storms don’t frighten me. I’m an East Coast Floridian. I’ve lived through many a tempest.

However, so that you won’t think me completely insane, I have also fled a few hurricanes. In our house, a Cat III storm is something to debate as we watch to see how low the millibars fall at the storm’s center. A Cat IV means gather the important documents, place them into plastic bags and tuck them into plastic tubs, batten down the hatches, and depending upon its projected proximity, hunker down or flee. A Cat V is a no-brainer. Run!

If only the storms in our lives had categories so that we know when to stand and face the winds of life or to debate the direction, or to decide when to flee. Sometimes, the storms of life come at us without warning, with no stirring up of the waters by our own hands. Other times, the storms can be abated by the stance we take, the decisions we make, and by failing to move out of harm’s way, perhaps in an opposite direction.

That’s what my first novel in The Serenity Key series is about: one man stirred up a storm many years prior. The destructive force of that storm amassed because he didn’t take a stand, he failed to make crucial decisions, and he choose to run from a situation that God would not allow him to outrun. Storms in Serenity is a modern-day retelling of the Biblical truths of the aftermath of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the destruction the storms of life that blew apart not only David’s family but also those he called friends.

Mostly, though, Storms in Serenity, is a novel that proves that when it comes to sin, truly, no man is an island.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, March 13

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 13

A Greater Yes, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

proud to be an autism mom, March 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 15

Multifarious, March 16

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, March 17

History, Mystery & Faith, March 18

A Baker’s Perspective, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20

MargaretKazmierczak, March 21

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 23

Pursuing Stacie, March 24

Janices book reviews, March 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 25

Red Headed Book Lady, March 25

Daysong Reflections, March 26

Among the Reads, March 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Fay is giving away a grand prize of an Echo Spot!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca75

Fiction Books

The Dream Dress!!!

JaniceThompson_TheDreamDress

The Dream Dress

Weddings by Design Book 3

By

 Janice Thompson

 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of this book for my honest review*

 

About the Book:

 

A seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique, Gabi Delgado dreams of doing more than ripping out seams and fitting dresses to doe-eyed brides. She wants to see her own dress designs gracing the young women of Texas. When Jordan Spencer, the editor of Texas Bride magazine visits the shop to do a feature, Gabi is devastated to lose her job in his very influential presence. Convinced she’ll never get her dreams off the ground now, Gabi needs lots of encouragement–especially from her friend Bella Neeley–to take a chance and start her business. And as she gets to know Jordan, she discovers that she may have to take a chance on love as well. Could it be that she’ll have to design her own wedding dress soon?

As always, Janice Thompson delivers fun, laughter, and romance as she takes readers back to Galveston, Texas, to spend more time with their favorite quirky characters along with fabulous new ones.

About the Author:

 

Janice Thompson also writes under the name Janice Hanna. She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over eighty books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers. Janice currently serves as Vice-President of CAN (Christian Authors Network) and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She was thrilled to be named the 2010 Barbour/Heartsong Author of the Year, with three books on the top ten list for that house. Janice is active in her local writing group, where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing. Her online course, “Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer” (www.freelancewritingcourses.com) has been helpful to many who want to earn a living with their writing. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all. You can find out more about Janice at http://www.janiceathompson.com or http://www.freelancewritingcourses.com. Her Facebook page can be located here: https://www.facebook.com/JaniceHannaThompson

 

My Review:

 

The Dream Dress is the third book in Janice Thompson’s Weddings by Design Series. This is the first book that I have read by Ms. Thompson and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a wonderful story of love, following your dreams and trusting God with it all.

Gabi Delgado is a seamstress at Haute Couture Bridal whose dream is to design wedding gowns, not alter them. She longs to see her designs grace the beautiful brides of Texas. But will she ever have the will power to see that those dreams come true?

Jordan Singer, reporter for the highly acclaimed Texas Bride magazine, has came to Haute Couture Bridal to do a feature on the owner and the acclaimed couture dress he has designed.

Will Gabi fall in love with the reporter, Jordan Singer? Will she ever follow her dreams? You will need to read the book to find out.