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“I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”- Psalm 138:2

Saturday, November 28, 2020

To Steal a Heart -Jen Turano

 

This is book one of The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency Series.  Just when Gabriella had her life back on track and thought her past was in the past, a friend is accused of theft and she can stand by and let them be falsely accused.  She unexpectedly meets her old friend Nicholas, a thief from her past, and a friend talks him into helping Gabriella prove the innocents of her friend.  When they start to work on proving that her friend was not part of the theft, Nicholas and Gabriella come to terms with the past and find much more than they thought they would find. 

I would recommend this book to those that want a fun, light romance, light mystery read.  This book is a feel good, read to the end.  One of those books that could make it as a Hallmark Movie & Mystery channel movie. I really like this author and her books are always very entertaining from beginning to end. 



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising


About the Book

Book: To Steal A Heart

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Comedic Historical Romance

Release Date: November, 2020

After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.

 
 More from Jen

“To Steal a Heart” is the first book in a new series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?

Oddly enough, this series was inspired by a lot of different things. I keep this idea box, and whenever I stumble on something interesting, I throw the idea into the box. When I was getting ready to assemble a proposal for a new series, I took out the box and began rifling through it. Unfortunately, nothing struck my fancy. What did strike my fancy though, was the movie “My Fair Lady.” I’d recently watched it for the millionth time, and I thought…hmmm…what could I do with that? Well, I didn’t want to do a recreation of “My Fair Lady” and that’s when it hit me – what if I used a gentleman instead of a lady and improved his circumstances in life with the help of a professor? That wasn’t really enough, though, for me to formulate an entire series, but then I went to New York City for a research trip. While there, I roamed around Bleecker Street for hours. It was the perfect place to set a series, and then I saw this older building that my tour guide thought might have once been a boardinghouse. That was what really started me thinking, and before I knew it, I’d created an inquiry agency run by women that came about when a resident of a boardinghouse was unjustly accused of theft. When the police would not investigate further, believing they had the true culprit behind bars, the ladies who lived in the boardinghouse felt compelled to step up and clear their fellow boardinghouse resident of the charges brought against her. The series took off from there, the first book centering around one of the lady inquiry agents, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who used to live on the mean streets of the Lower East Side and, at one point in her life, was best friends with Nicholas Quinn, the man who has now found his circumstances vastly improved from the time he knew Gabriella. Throwing the two of them back together made for an interesting storyline, especially since Gabriella believes Nicholas abandoned her all those years ago, which makes it next to impossible for her to trust him.

 Are there other interesting characters in this series?

 Of course. All of the lady inquiry agents come with their own secrets. Miss Daphne Beekman is a reclusive author who lives in the attic of the boardinghouse. She has the propensity to faint at the drop of a hat, which makes for a few amusing scenes in the first book. She’ll get her own story in “To Write a Wrong,” coming out later in 2021. Then there’s Eunice Holbrooke. She’s the owner of the boardinghouse, and she only wears full mourning garb, covering her face with numerous veils and refusing to speak to anyone about her past. Clearly, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved there, one that will be solved in book three, which I’m just now beginning to work on. The other residents of the boardinghouse provide a lot of color to the story, from the two sisters who work as paid companions by day to gossip collectors and carriage drivers by night, to the resident artist, Miss Judith, who has recently decided to dip her toe into the portrait market even though she’s really not proficient with painting people. There’s also a one-eyed, patch-wearing dog by the name of Winston, a parrot that likes to nick sparkly items named Pretty Girl, and a neurotic poodle that falls for Winston that goes by the name of Precious.

 Did the pandemic affect the writing process at all for “To Steal a Heart?”


Luckily, I had already turned in the book before the pandemic hit. With that said, though, I then had to do some of the edits during the first few months of the pandemic. That was interesting. I have very specific conditions I need in order to write and edit and having Al (the husband person) working from home isn’t one of those conditions. It took me far longer than it normally does to complete the editing process, which threw off my schedule for the next book in the series, “To Write a Wrong.” Drastic measures were needed. That’s why I’m now the proud owner of a she-shed. Al thought I was joking when I first broached the subject of a she-shed, but after I had my millionth meltdown, he decided that might be a really good idea. Turns out sheds are in high demand at the moment, so getting a shed in a timely fashion wasn’t possible. It took 6 weeks for us to get a shed delivered and then we had to frame the inside and put up a ceiling and walls. I was not actually very involved with that process because I’m a danger to everyone surrounding me when nail guns are being used. 🙂 I did paint the outside of the shed, then painted the inside. Of course the air conditioning unit I had to order was delayed, so I painted in 100 degree heat. Lost about five pounds doing that, so…unexpected bonus there. I just recently finished decorating the inside, and I’m typing this interview from my new space. I’m thinking I’m going to call it “Jen’s Novel Nook” but that might change, so don’t quote me on that.

 Anything else you’d like to add?

 Just that I hope everyone is surviving these crazy days. I know there are many people out there who are suffering from many different problems this pandemic has caused. Know that you’re not alone, and that brighter days will show up again. Until that time, try to remember to smile and, perhaps, read a few books.

 Wishing all of you the very best!

 Jen

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of copy of To Steal a Heart, plus all three books in the American Heiresses series and a 30 second mystery kit (Link: https://amzn.to/3nqrIpC)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

CLICK HERE


Saving Mt. Rushmore ~ Andrea Jo Rodgers

 

This is a great book about United States History of Mt. Rushmore and more.  It is for middle age children, but can be read at any age.  It is a fun imaginative book with true history all wrapped into one.  When John is having to go to his aunts for his summer vacation at the ranch, he is very upset and not looking forward to a boring summer.... Little does he know, the it will be anything but boring.  John finds a mysterious mirror that takes him to a super hero world of kids his own age, set out on missions to save America's historical monuments.  John meets others that have super powers that they use on each mission they are assigned to.  Can John and his friends save Mt. Rushmore?  What is John's super power for helping with the other's?  

The book is short and takes the reader on a journey through the time, history and the bonding of friends.  It has you using your imagination and thinking of how our country was built  with every page turned.  This book is Mission One and I can't wait to read Mission Two, these books will have children looking at history again in a new way, making history interesting and a learning experience.   I loved this book and ready to read Mission Two....... I the mission's to keep continuing and keep the characters coming... great book.  This would make a great family tv series. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising. 

 About the Book

Book: Saving Mount Rushmore

Author: Andrea Jo Rodgers

Genre: Christian Nonfiction

Release Date: April 15, 2018

When John Jenkins’ parents ship him off to stay with his aunt, he’s certain it will be the worst summer ever—until he learns he’s been accepted into a top-secret school. St. Michael’s Academy is home to gifted students with extraordinary talents. Although John has no idea why he’s there, he’s assigned to Team Liberty, who assist authorities with solving low-level crimes. Their first mission: stop a trio of mischief-making teens from vandalizing Mount Rushmore. John battles feelings of inferiority as he and Team Liberty compete against Devlin Black and his cronies to track down clues and solve puzzles at Mount Rushmore. Along the way, John makes several key contributions, and his self-confidence grows. When he discovers he was admitted to the school due to a clerical error, he’s mortified. Now, he’s strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to save Mount Rushmore, and he learns an invaluable lesson: every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Andrea Jo Rodgers is the author of award-winning Christian middle grade fiction as well as inspirational adult nonfiction novels. She holds a clinical doctorate in physical therapy and specializes in women’s health, orthopedics, and lymphedema. She has served her community as a volunteer emergency medical technician for over thirty years, responding to more than 8,200 first aid and fire calls. She lives on the east coast with her husband, two children, and their two rescue dogs, a Shih Tzu and a Dachshund.

 More from Andrea

Can John embrace his God-given gifts in time to save Mount Rushmore?

Have you ever admired the extraordinary talent of another person? Perhaps you enjoyed listening to someone belt out a spellbinding rendition of your favorite song at church or a concert. Or, maybe you have dreamed that you’d gain the same athletic prowess of a professional sports player.

The amazing gifts of others can take many forms. These gifts may be linked with intelligence, such as an aptitude for math and engineering. They may reflect the beauty of the arts through singing, dancing, or painting. Certain individuals may dazzle the people around them with incredible athletic talents, from gold-medal Olympians to professional baseball, football, and basketball players.

Most people consider extraordinary talents to be God-given gifts. They allow people to stand out and shine among others. However, do each of us need a breathtaking talent to be considered special?

In Saving Mount Rushmore, John Jenkins, an awkward thirteen-year-old teenager, is unexpectedly chosen to attend Saint Michael the Archangel Academy. The top-secret school’s mission is to protect our nation by assisting authorities in solving crimes. Since the academy is for students with extraordinary abilities, John is puzzled as to why he’s been accepted. After all, he’s an average teen without any notable gifts.

While working with Team Liberty to save Mount Rushmore from Devlin Black and Team Mischief, John struggles to discover his special gifts. He’s mortified when he discovers that he’s been accepted to the academy due to a clerical error. He becomes strictly an “observer” until the mission’s end. But when his teammates run into trouble, John must summon up the courage to try to save Mount Rushmore. He learns that every person has special God-given gifts—including him.

I came up with the idea for Saving Mount Rushmore while in the airport, just before our plane departed for the famous landmark. I wrote feverishly the entire flight, and the first chapters were born. Saving Mount Rushmore is a middle grade novel which combines information about Mount Rushmore, adventure, and Christian values. My goal was to write an exciting, fun, educational book for middle grade readers that incorporates Christian values into the fabric of the story. John and his friends have an opportunity to save another national monument in the sequel, Saving the Statue of Liberty. I hope you celebrate our country’s heritage by joining John and Team Liberty in their adventures.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of Saving Mount Rushmore: Saint Michael the Archangel Academy, Mission 1 as well as a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

CLICK HERE



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Blue Moon ~ Jenny Knipfer

 

This is book 2 of the By the Light of the Moon Series.  This book takes place in the 1880's and reflex around the twin sisters Vanessa and Valerie and how situations and choice make them have bitterness, anger and resentment that takes on a path of a deeper look into forgiveness.  Vanessa is  an unwed mother and has given Valerie her son to take care of.  When Vanessa has an opportunity to get a better life for herself, she decides to take it and move on to the future.  Valerie and her husband are having to deal with alot of issues, a child, their relationship and the future of Valerie after she is diagnosed with MS.  Can the marriage survive with all the trials and tribulations?  Can the sisters make amends and have forgiveness? 

If you like reads about family, faith, love and friendship, you will enjoy this Historical Christian read.  It takes you on a journey of two twin sisters, dealing with what life deals you and having to survive their choices with grace and forgiveness.  This is book 2 of the series, but can be read as a stand alone, if you want more of a background for the series reading book one will give you more feelings for the setting and the characters.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising. 

  

About the Book

Book: Blue Moon

Author: Jenny Knipfer

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: September 27, 2019

By the Light of the Moon series:
Readers who love being trapped in a character’s mind should relish this finely written, gripping series. A must read for fans of historical fiction.”–The Prairies Book Review

A tale of precious things more rare than a blue moon…

The year is 1885 and unwed Vanessa Gulet must surrender her newborn son to her married twin sister, Valerie, to raise. A seed of bitterness grows in Vanessa. When the opportunity arises for her to have what she’s always wanted, Vanessa takes it despite the consequences to her family, getting more than she bargained for.

Meanwhile, Valerie, overcome with loss and grief, faces a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Will she and her husband, Felix, forge through their trials together, or will these upsets cause them to drift apart?

Will Vanessa and Valerie remain at odds, or will they allow the power of forgiveness to heal their strained relationship?

Love seems to bloom in the most unlikely of places in Webaashi Bay for an old friend of Jenay’s and a woman who owns the local dress shop. A parallel tale of love, forgiveness, and reuniting lost things is spun by a local author adding another dimension to the tale of the Gulet twins and their saga.

Fans of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, clean romance, and literary fiction will enjoy this dramatic read!

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.

Jenny’s education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions. She spent many years as a librarian in a local public library but recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability.

She authored and performed a self-published musical CD entitled, Scrapbook of a Closet Poet.

Jenny’s first three books earned five-star reviews from Reader’s Favorite, a book review and award contest company. Their praise: “Ruby Moon is entertaining, fast-paced, and features characters that are real. Blue Moon continues a well-written and highly engaging saga of family ties, betrayals, and heartaches… Silver Moon is a highly recommended read for fans of historical wartime fiction, powerful emotive drama, and excellent atmospheric writing.”

 She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Historical Novel Society, Wisconsin Writers Association, Indie Christian Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.

Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set. She has self-published the first two books, Ruby Moon and Blue Moon in her four-part series. Two more novels to complete the series are planned for 2020. She is currently writing a new historical fiction series called, Sheltering Trees.

 Libraries and retailers may find Jenny’s books on Ingram. Support your local bookstores, and request a copy of Jenny’s books there. Purchase paperbacks retail on Amazon. Ebooks are available through your favorite ebook retailer.

Keep current with Jenny by visiting her website at https://jennyknipfer.com.

 More from Jenny

In Blue Moon I play off a minor character from Ruby Moon, Vanessa Gulet. When Ruby Moon ended, I started wondering what Vanessa’s life had been like, rejected by Renault, her old flame who had promised her his devotion.

 Vanessa’s story grew along with Valerie’s, her identical twin sister. Asking the question of what could divide twin siblings drew me deep into the drama of the Gulet sisters, and a story of desire and loss sprang from my imagination.

 An even richer depth occurred when I brought the main character from Ruby Moon, Jenay, into the thick of the twins’ saga. Vanessa must come to grips with what really happened to Renault and who was involved. Will she forgive the past and the unintentional wrongs committed and embrace the new friend she has made or not?

 Also, I wrote from experience in Blue Moon, as Valerie must face the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and how to live with the fear of the unknown shadowing her life. It was therapeutic for me to write some of my own feeling and thoughts through Valerie. Journaling has always been a way for me to manage my emotions, and writing via story form was no different. Chances are you either know someone with MS or know of someone with MS. The disease is very prevalent in the U.S., and through Blue Moon I want to draw some awareness to what I and many people live with every day.

 I hope in Blue Moon that the theme of forgiveness will encourage readers through their own struggles and believe that choosing to forgive is always the better choice, often bringing unforeseen blessings.

 Thank you for taking the time to read a little about Blue Moon and its origin! I hope you get a chance to read it and the twins’ tale of forgiveness. If you do, please let me know, and please leave a review.

 Blessings, J

 P.S. Did you know I include a recipe pertaining to the story in most of my books? In Blue Moon, I include an old family favorite: butter tarts. Lily, a daughter of the man Vanessa meets and is drawn to in Webaashi Bay, loves butter tarts. Vanessa and Lily make them together. Following is the recipe.

 Lily’s Butter Tart

1 C sugar

¼ C softened butter or butter substitute

2 eggs

juice of half a lemon

½ C golden raisins

½ C sweetened shredded coconut

Your favorite pie crust recipe for one 9” crust

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and lemon juice. Beat well. By hand mix in the raisins and coconut. Line pastry tin with pie crust and fill with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set.

I based this recipe from an old one of my grandmother’s from the late 1800’s. NOTE:  You can also cut rounds of pie crust to fill muffin tins to make smaller tarts. (Lily’s style) I make the one dish version because it’s less fuss.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jenny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of Blue Moon, and a pair of earrings reflecting Blue Moon’s theme!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

CLICK HERE


Monday, November 23, 2020

Georgia Ann English Rose ~ Elva Cobb Martin

 

This is book 2 of the Charleston Bride Series.  This book is a Christian Historical Romance between Georgia Ann and Samuel Vargas during the 1700's in the town of Charles Town and the area of  the Mediterranean Sea.  Georgia Ann is fond of Samuel, however she is attracted but also has feelings of anger and very impatient  towards him.  Samuel decides to leave and go on the hunt for Spices in the Mediterranean Sea.  Georgia Ann can't stop thinking about him and decides that she will take him off her mind by going on her own adventure to England on her father's ship.   When trouble arises and Samuel comes across her, will he be able to save her and capture her heart?  or does Georgia Ann let her past get in the way of her feelings? 

If you like History and light romance this book will interest you.  It has romance, history, travel, pirates, and the grace of God to keep the story moving and you turning the pages.  This book is book 2 but can be read as a stand alone. I didn't read book 1 and found I was able to follow the story without any problems.  The history of spices and the background of them in this book is a very interesting part of the book, you will find that you look at spices in a different way after reading this book. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising. 

About the Book

Book: Georgia Ann, English Rose

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020

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

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

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

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Elva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at http://www.elvamartin.com.

 More from Elva

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Nutmeg and New York

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

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

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

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

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

 Cloves

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

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

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

 The World’s Three Most Traded Spices Today

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

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

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

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

 Elva Cobb Martin

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elva is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

CLICK HERE


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Free Runner ~ Kathy Cassel

 

This is the story of Kia and facing the challenges of everyday life and those that no one should have to deal with.  Kia is on her way of being a normal teenager, loving life and enjoy high school.   When a former reality star, Terrence Jones becomes the new track coach, Kia decides to try out for the team.  When all seems to be going well and Kia is on her way to a new life, her abuser comes back into her life and start to bring back all the bad from her past.  Kia, not only is dealing with this issue, she then finds being on the track team is causing more stress as people don't seem to be what they seem.... Can Kia overcome all this turmoil in her life?  Kia needs to make certain decisions that will effect her and others around her, can she make the right ones?

I would recommend this to all teens that are dealing with all the problems in today's world.  This is a young adult reader book, but anyone older can read and enjoy.  It is a good story that really fits into today's society and how people are having to deal with stress, anger, acceptance and doing the right thing.   It does deal with molestation and child abuse, so parents may want to read before having their teens read, especially for any child or even adult that has gone through this terrible situation, and have a discussion before the teen reads.  Overall it is a good book for the subject matter and dealing with it and bringing the subject up for teens to be able to open up about the matter.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising. 

About the Book

Book: Freerunner

Author: Kathy Cassel

Genre: YA fiction

Set against the backdrop of the sport of freerunning, Kia must decide whether she will continue running or face her past abuser in order to save another child.

Night is Kia’s favorite time, when she freeruns to outdistance the memories of abuse she suffered as a young child. But when former reality television star Terrence Jones arrives at their school as the new head track coach, things begin to change in unpredictable ways. Kia tries out for the team to fit in, but just as she’s gaining a new sense of normal, her abuser steps back into her life. Not only that, but being on the track team causes even more turmoil. Why does the assistant coach, Cassandra Clark, dislike Terrence Jones so much, and even more troubling, why does Coach Clark dislike her so much? As the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, Kia realizes she has to choose between running from her past or saving a child from the same sort of abuse she suffered. But will she have the courage to do so?

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Kathy grew up in northern Indiana, lived in three different continents while her husband was in the USAF, and now lives in the Florida Panhandle. She and her husband have eight children, five of whom are adopted, three from Haiti and two from the United States. They also have four grandchildren. Kathy’s favorite activities are those that involve traveling and adventures that include her children and grandchildren.

In order to better relate to the characters in her stories, Kathy has done things such as whitewater rafting, certify in scuba diving, and get her motorcycle endorsement. She draws the line at sky diving.

 

More from Kathy

[Insert Kick-Off Post Picture Here]

Meet the cover model for Freerunner.

I asked a friend if I could photograph her daughter to give the design team an idea of what I envisioned for the cover of Freerunner. I took action shots and mood shots (and even have some fun bloopers). When I sent them to the design team, they actually chose to use one of my photos for the cover. Now one of my friend’s daughters is on the cover of my first teen fiction book. She’s an amazing young lady, so it’s special to me to have her as the cover model.

The cover model is fifteen–year-old Larissa (fourteen when the cover photo was taken), who is part of an adoptive family that has twelve children. She and her brother were adopted as toddlers, and while Larissa doesn’t share Kia’s story, she has had struggles of her own. To accommodate some medical issues, she is homeschooled. She is involved in modeling, dance, musical theater and singing. The amazing part about Larissa performing is that because of the trauma of spending three years in foster care she struggled with selective mutism, not able to talk to anyone outside of her family. Amazingly she has been able to overcome it and is now able to express herself verbally as well as through music and dance. Larissa’s newest interest is photography, and she loves llamas and collecting realistic dolls.

 

Here are a few fun facts about Larissa:

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite sport: dance

Favorite Bible verse: Proverbs 3:5

Favorite Bible character: Noah

Favorite activity: singing and dancing

What do you want to be as an adult? Performer and photographer

What one thing do you want to do more than anything else? Walk a runway in Italy

What advice would you give a girl in Kia’s situation or in any abusive situation? Pray and ask an adult for help. You are the victim, it isn’t your fault.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

CLICK HERE

What you said to me ~ Olivia Newport

 

This is book 4 of the Tree of Life series.   The series takes you on a journey, back into time to explore genealogy and learning about family history.  With this book we go back to Colorado that takes us back to 1893 and deals with the background of Denver's mining industry during that time.  Tisha, is a 15 yr old that is having to deal with her shoplifting issues and her attorney decides to help her by having her do her community service by work with Jillian, his daughter, a lawyer, on a back log of files dealing with genealogy.   Jillian is not happy about this, but goes along with her father's idea.  Can Jillian and Tisha make a difference?  What does Tisha find that could change her past and future?

This is book 4 of the series but can be read as a stand alone. Each book in the series is a different story about families and their genealogy with Lawyers, Nolan and Jillian (father and daughter team).  This is a good series for any age to read as each book deals with a different issue and I like how each book takes you back to history.  If you like history and family genealogy, you will love this book and all the others in the series. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising. 

About the Book

Book: What You Said to Me

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: November 2020

 

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

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

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

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

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

 More from Olivia

Careful Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Olivia Newport

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

CLICK HERE


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Her Merriweather Hero ~ Rachel Skatvold

 

This is book 4 of the Independence Islands Series.  When 2 sisters make the decision and  decide to open a traveling veterinary service on the island, they purchase a fixer upper of a house and try their best to remodel it.  Tyler the next door neighbor and Marine Sargent steps in to help with the house needs.  With all the repairs, relationships begin and so does the adventure.  Tyler soon finds feelings for one of the sisters, when his PTSD starts to get in the way, what will he do?  Can the sisters survive life on the island and all that comes with it?

Want a nice afternoon read, this is the book to pick.  This is book 4 of the series but can be read alone, if you read the books of the series you will get more attached to this book and the island feeling.  This is a fun and touching light romance to read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.

About the Book

Book: Her Merriweather Hero

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 27, 2020

 He just wanted a place to rest and recuperate.

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

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

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

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

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

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

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

 More from Rachel

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 

CLICK HERE