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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

Friday, September 30, 2022

Escape from Amsterdam ~ Lauralee Bliss

This book 8 of the Heroines of WWII series, Historical, Christian Romance read.  This book takes place in the Netherlands during the 1940's era, the time of the Germans taking the Jewish people to camps.  When Helen and Erik follow what God is speaking to them, they start to save children being taken away.  They make a plan to escape with the children and take them to a safe farm.  They keep their faith and pray everyday for safety.  While hiding the German patrols are coming closer.  Will they be found out?  Will they be able to get the children to safety?  Are the friends at the farm safe?  What does the future hold for these friends and the children?

I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys historical reads, page turning and following your faith.  This is a very touching story that makes you think and feel sad for a time in history that so many people were hurt and killed.  This is part of a series, but each book is a stand alone with a different author.  The series is all about a time during WWII and women that stepped out and made a difference.  

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: Escape from Amsterdam

Author: Lauralee Bliss

Genre: Christian Fiction/ Historical / Romance / Intrigue

Release date: September 1, 2022

A University Student Smuggles Children Out of Amsterdam

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Helen Smit believed she was called by God to become a teacher. Little does she know that her care for kids will take a drastic turn for survival when the Germans occupy Amsterdam and Jewish children and parents begin to be deported. Now all she can think of is helping all the kids escape before it’s too late.

Erik Misman’s newfound love for Helen is tested when he joins a plot to help move Jewish children to a safe place in the countryside. If danger can foster a closer bond with Helen and save the lives of the little ones, he will do it all. But a German patrol that stumbles upon the farm where they are hiding with three children and a soldier who takes an unexpected interest in Helen, could well destroy their plans for safety and love.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Lauralee Bliss is a published author of many romance novels and novellas, both historical and contemporary. Lauralee’s prayer is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that speaks to the heart and soul. When not writing, Lauralee can often be found on the trails where the author has logged over 10,000 miles of hiking. She makes her home in the Blue Ridge mountains with her family. Visit Lauraleebliss.com for more information about the author and her adventures.

 More from Lauralee Bliss

Oh, the simple beauty of the Netherlands. Windmills. Tulips. Dutch wooden clogs. Beautiful Delftware and delicious speculaas cookies. Quaint villages nestled beside the waters. And here I am, an American that was able to visit this beautiful country on the heels of my husband winning a contest through his work. We had planned to immerse ourselves in Dutch culture, see the sites, and yes, visit places like the Secret Annex of Anne Frank and the town where Corrie ten Boom and The Hiding Place existed. Little did I realize though that this unique trip would become a journey into the heart of a hurting country in World War II. During our time there, we visited the Jewish Quarter in the center of Amsterdam and learned the details of Nazi occupation for many years that eventually caused two-thirds of the Dutch Jewish population to be exterminated. Walking in the place where a theater once stood and Jewish people gathered there to be deported was indescribable. Seeing the Jewish stars embedded in the pavement and noting the name of a man or woman killed at Auschwitz, was heart-wrenching. But through these horrendous details came the strength of courage and heroism. Across the street from the theater, Jewish children were rescued because of the efforts of those who gave everything to see them go into hiding. Thus the book, “Escape from Amsterdam” was born. It honors those that aided and hid Jewish children from the Nazis to avoid deportation. I am grateful for the opportunity to write this story of two common Dutch people, a college student and a grocery store clerk, called to a dangerous mission to save the innocent when the odds were the greatest. It is a timely book that magnifies the strength of courage in adversity and allows us to become better people because of it. I hope you enjoy this journey and as you do, remember those who came before us and allow their acts of courage to encourage you to persevere, no matter what.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lauralee is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-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

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Night Songs ~ Jennifer Sienes (audiobook)


 This audiobook is book  one of The Bedford County Series, Contemporary Christian Romance read. Charlotte has found herself in a situation of a bad marriage, has lost her job and the only thing she has left is a run down farmhouse. She makes the decision to flip the farmhouse to become a house of design by her own hard work.  As she starts the project she comes to find more than she expected.... could a mystery of her parents death be found in this old farmhouse?  What about a lost friend, Derek, that shows up in her life again?  What does all this mean for Charlotte?  Can she find love, happiness and faith again?


I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a romantic mystery story all tide up into one storyline.  It is a read that makes you turn the pages to find out what really happened to her parents and what the future holds for Charlotte.

 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: Night Songs

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Narrator: Christa DelSorbo

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: June, 2022

What’s a girl to do when her life sounds ripped from the lyrics of a country music song?

Charlotte Van Cleave’s hissy-fit reaction to her husband’s infidelity sours her world like a pot of boiled chitlins. She’s left with no husband, no job, and no home—well, besides the dilapidated farmhouse inherited from her nana.

But Charlie learned early that southern girls dig deep when things go sideways. She’d climbed out of the mire when her missionary parents were killed in Congo, endured two late-term miscarriages, and survived the death of her nana and papaw. Too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash, Charlie follows a new path with her interior design skills.

Derek Daniels spent his life serving his country until a helicopter accident ended his military career. Now back home on the family farm, he’s stuck between his philandering brother, Nicky, and the only girl he’s ever loved—sweet Charlie Van Cleave. Unwilling to cross a line, he vows to keep his feelings to himself. Easier said than done when Charlie discovers a mystery surrounding her parents’ death and asks him to help investigate.

What’ll Charlie and Derek have to do to turn those lyrics into a country hit?

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies—two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

  About the Narrator

Speaking Life into Story

Queen of the one-eyebrow quirk, Christa DelSorbo auditioned for the role of Tarzan’s mom and has the photos to prove she ended up as the only cast member in a literal cast. These days, they keep her stuck in a box with a ball on a stick and only feed her when she reads another chapter of another fabulous book. She loves every minute. Or so they tell her. *eyebrow slowly raises *

 More from Christa

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a code for the audiobook!!

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

CLICK HERE 

Monday, September 26, 2022

To Belong Together ~ Emily Conrad

This is book 2 of the Rhythms of Redemption Romance series, Contemporary Christian Romance read.    John and Erin are so different in many ways, one being a rock star drummer the other being a mechanic.  When they are together their faith and family bring them closer, can it last?   Both are having family issues that seem to be taking them apart and away from their faith.  Can they stay together through all of this?  Will the careers separate their relationship?   What will their future be?  What is God's plan?

I would recommend this to anyone that likes a story of romance and standing strong in your faith.  This book is a good addition to this series.  It is book 2, but can be read as a stand alone.  This is a book that can happen in the real world and makes you think, how would you handle all the difficulties happening in your life and relationships?

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: To Belong Together

Author: Emily Conrad

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 28, 2022

Fame and money have a way of complicating love.

Drummer John Kennedy can keep a beat, but he can’t hold a conversation, so he relies on actions to show he cares. Unfortunately, when he’s instantly intrigued by a spunky female mechanic, he can’t seem to convey the sincerity of his intentions. And the rejections don’t stop there. His own sister is pushing him away just when he could help her most.

Erin Hirsh’s life would be easier if God hadn’t given her a love for cars. Only her father understood her, and she’s losing him to dementia. Her brief romances have always backfired worse than a mistuned engine, and she refuses to give John the chance to wreck her heart. A rock star with a supermodel ex can’t possibly see anything in her.

At least that’s what she thinks until they find common ground in faith and their worsening family situations leave them each longing for a place to belong. Could God intend for this pair of opposites to belong together?

To Belong Together is the second book in the Rhythms of Redemption Romances. The men of the rock band Awestruck have conquered the music industry, but to find redemption and love, they must each face the wounds of the past. Good thing no one—and no difficult situation—is too much for grace.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Emily Conrad writes contemporary Christian romance that explores life’s difficult, but relevant, questions. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their energetic coonhound rescue. She is the author of the stand-alone novel Justice and the Rhythms of Redemption Romance series, as well as a series of short stories, which she emails in installments to subscribers. Learn more about her and her books at emilyconradauthor.com.

 More from Emily

Who are you?

 On the surface, this is a simple question, but as it kept popping up in To Belong Together, I realized my characters kept asking it because their answers left them unsatisfied and insecure.

 (Which is writer speak for: My brain kept circling back to the question because God had something to show me!)

 At first, the answer for John seems to be that he’s a famous drummer. For Erin, it’s that she’s her father’s daughter (her father instilled her love of cars).

 If someone I’ve just met asks me who I am, I usually say, “I’m Emily. I’m a novelist.”

 I’m sure you have a way you describe yourself too.

 These easy answers are helpful in conversation. In fact, I’d love for you to comment on this post with your answer, because it’s a point of connection with people we’re getting to know, and I love to get to know readers and other writers!

 But, as I was writing To Belong Together, I realized anew that these things are not our identities. They are roles—roles we play in relationships, in our jobs, in our hobbies. Because a role is not the same as an identity, it can’t provide the lasting purpose, worth, and security we crave.

 As believers in Christ, our eternal identity is that we are beloved children of God.

 Because our roles take so much of our time and energy, and because they really do serve a purpose in conversation when we’re meeting someone new, I think it’s easy to lose sight of that greater identity.

 At least, I know John and Erin struggled with it. (Again, writer speak for: I needed some reminders in this area!)

 If you read To Belong Together, I hope you enjoy seeing that theme pop up throughout the novel and come away with a greater understanding of who you are in Christ. After all, that identity makes all the difference as we fill those beloved roles God’s blessed us with.

 If you have a minute to introduce yourself in comments, I’d love to meet you!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Emily is giving away the grand prize package of a 10 Amazon gift card, an electronic copy of To Belong Together, and 2 hand-painted and framed pine forest watercolors (US Only) or printable PDF downloads of the paintings (International)!!

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

CLICK HERE 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Delicious Devotion ~ Melissa Wardwell

This is book 26 of the Independence Island series, Contemporary Christian Romance read.  Beth comes to the Island to start a new business and not find a guy, but things change......  She gets engaged to Scott and plans a Christmas Eve wedding.  When wedding planning gets tough and falling apart, can they make it to that special day?  Scott stands by his bride to be, but, things get tough and tests his feelings to make it to the alter.  Will these two stay together?  Is the Island wedding going to be on Christmas Eve?  What is the future of Beth and Scott?

If you like romance and Hallmark channel movies this book is for you.  This is a light romance that will keep you smiling until the end.  It is book 26 of the series, but all in the series can be read as a stand alone.  Some characters show up, but it will not make you miss any part of the story. 

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: Delicious Devotion
Author: Melissa Wardwell
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: August 30, 2022

Why do weddings do their best to ruin relationships? Friends, family—even the couple!

Beth Stevens didn’t come to the Independence Islands to find a guy, but thanks to her beloved Gram, she had a place to go and the skills to start a business she loves. Meeting Scott again and getting engaged was a bonus she only dreamed of.

Now, in the final weeks before their Christmas Eve wedding, she can’t imagine not having him in her life. They have endured one hurdle after another in their two-year relationship and have remained devoted through it all.

And then months of wedding planning begins to fall apart as one person continues to undermine Beth’s choices.

Scott has waited for this day to come but as he witnesses Beth unravel, he does everything he knows to do to protect and stand by her.

The question is, will things ever come together enough to get them both to the altar before it’s too late?

This Breakers Head novel is Melissa Wardwell’s final novel in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband and three teen-aged children.

She doesn’t mind alternating between the world of writing and the reality of being a mother, but she would rather sit with a good book or a good friend and a cup of coffee.

When she isn’t penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books for her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

 More from Melissa

For five books I have tormented and teased readers. Some have even emailed me asking when they were going to see a wedding for Beth and Scott. Now I can say, this is your chance.

I cannot tell you how fun this book was to write. Every plot line, great or small, that I left hanging in the previous four books will come together here. I know some didn’t like it, and I’m sorry, but that was the way the characters told me their stories.

See, my books for The Independence Islands run together like that of a television series. Not every plot is resolved at the end of the season and the characters come back in the next season. We know someone is ill at the end of season four, but will they survive through season five? And if it involves legal issues, well those don’t resolve in a short amount of time, no matter what. Then, there is the slow burn romance. I mean, come on, not every romance is a flash in the pan. The good ones build over the span of months, or in Beth and Scott’s case, years.

Throughout this series, these characters have faced their demons while learning to trust God’s hand in their lives. They have lost and loved, married and buried, celebrated and cried all while searching for something more. I don’t know about you, but finishing Delicious Devotion was like saying good-bye to dear friends. Of course, the hardest was Gram’s final piece of wisdom to the bride and groom…

“Be vulnerable with each other, in every way. If you cannot be vulnerable and open with your spouse, then there is no trust in your foundations. When you pray together, pray openly. When you talk about those private things that only spouses talk about, be willing to listen to your spouse and act accordingly. Remember to keep everything stated in those moments of vulnerability between the two of you. No bed is big enough for three people.”

That lady was so smart.

Thank you for going on this journey of self-discovery and growth in faith. Beth was not the only one who went through some changes over the last two years. I’d like to think that she and I grew together as we processed loss, success, new friendships, and healing of old wounds.

If you stuck with it through all five of my contributions and loved every minute, then you are welcome. If you wanted to lay hands on my swiftly and repeatedly, I apologize. Stories like this have minds of their own.

I hope you will continue to follow me as I publish more books with the wonderful people at Celebrate Lit and integrate a couple of these characters in future books.

Grace and peace be with you all your days,

Melissa Wardwell

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa 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 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

His Brother’s Atonement ~ Amy Walsh

This is book 34 of the Whispering in Wyoming Series, a contemporary western fiction read.  Aubrey, living in Wyoming a  single mom, and dealing with her past.   Shane a graphic artist, working for the same company as Aubrey and his hiding a secret. What will they both feel when the past catch up with them?  How will they handle the one thing they have in common?  Is this a part of God's plan?  What is the future for them?  Does the past tear their futures apart?

I would recommend this if you love Hallmark movies, reading a heartfelt book, and cheering for the outcome.  This book is a great afternoon read, sitting on the porch, lounging and sipping a cool ice tea.  Really enjoyed this story. It is book 34 of the series, however it can be read as a stand alone. This is the only book I have read in the series and glad I did. 

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: His Brother’s Atonement

Author: Amy Walsh

Genre: Contemporary romance – western

Release date: April 26, 2022

Shane Phillips had given up hope of ever meeting the nephew born to the woman his brother assaulted. After checks he sent to Aubrey Anders were returned, Shane decided the most he could ever do was pray for the Anders family. When Shane discovers that he and Aubrey work for the same graphic arts company, he must find a way to assure her he means no harm before both Wyoming branches meet for a conference.

Aubrey thinks she has worked through most of her trauma with the help of her psychologist and loving community. However, meeting Shane Phillips seems to have unleashed suppressed anxiety and insecurity. But as their paths continue to intersect, Aubrey begins to wonder if Shane could be part of God’s plan for her despite their painful connection.

 Click here to get your copy!


 About the Author

Amy Walsh is a 5th-grade teacher who loves teaching children about what she loves to do herself: reading and writing. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and camping. Amy also appreciates opportunities to share her faith through singing, teaching, and writing for her church family. Amy and her husband, Patrick, have three children: Bree, Spencer, Liz, and a son-in-law, Kyle. Amy and her family love to spend time together celebrating special occasions, listening to great music, swimming and kayaking, and having occasional ping pong tournaments.

 More from Amy

Thank you for helping me spread the word about my first Whispers in Wyoming novel! I am thrilled to be part of this gospel and heritage-themed series! If you haven’t read any of the novels yet, you are in for a treat! There are thirty-three novels ahead of His Brother’s Atonement – and they are all STANDALONES, so they can be read in any order!

Meet Aubrey, Shane, and Jayson

Aubrey is a young mother and graphic designer from Engelmann, Wyoming. Her terrible experience during college has caused her to keep to herself. Aubrey has no close friends and has never dated. But her parents are supportive, her son keeps her happy and busy, and she loves her job. Aubrey believes she is doing pretty well emotionally until the brother of the man who assaulted her turns up in town.

Shane suffered quite a bit when his brother was tried and imprisoned for assaulting Aubrey. People  actually turned their backs on his family, and Shane’s fiancĂ© ended their engagement. Even worse was watching how it affected his parents. After Shane’s brother died in a freak prison accident, their mother spent several days in the ICU. For years, Shane has yearned to do something to help Aubrey and her son, wanting to atone for his brother’s terrible action. But Shane gave up hope of ever meeting his nephew years ago.

Jayson is Aubrey’s six-year-old son. He is obsessed with cowboys, horses, and the wild west. Art runs in Jayson’s genes from both sides of his family, so it is not surprising that he loves drawing and helping his grandpa with woodworking. Jayson never seemed to notice that he doesn’t have a dad, but when he finds out that his father died, he is so heartbroken that Aubrey promises to let him meet his uncle. So much for her thinking that she would never have to see Shane again!

The Creation of His Brother’s Atonement

I never really know when or how a story idea will enter my head.  I can drive by a house that catches my eye, and the next thing I know, I am imagining the characters that live there and writing their story in my imagination.  Sometimes watching the interactions of people prompts a story.  Other times my ideas come from research.

For His Brother’s Atonement, there were a bunch of factors that came into creating Aubrey and Shane’s story as far as the setting.  I had just been to a writing conference where one of the speakers said that many readers still love contemporary westerns. Adding to that, I had been following the multi-author group Whispers in Wyoming and other authors who wrote westerns, and I had been enjoying their posts.  Additionally, one of my teacher friends has spent portions of her summers out west and I love to hear her talk about landscapes and small communities.   A camping trip to Yellowstone and other western parks has been high on my bucket list for several years.

As for the situation that Aubrey is in, how she became a single mother and how she now deals with anxiety, her story just came to me while I was brainstorming.  Her and her son’s personalities developed in my mind as if they were real people.  I have wondered what it must be like to have a family member who is a criminal, the conflicting emotions it must bring: to still love that person; to be ashamed for what that person has done; to yearn to find a way to help the victim.  So I am sure those thoughts helped me create Shane’s struggles.

I wrote most of Aubrey and Shane’s story while I was spending nights with my grandmother in hospice.  Grammy was often sleeping while lovely hymn instrumentals were playing, and I felt as though I was in a sacred space.  I think some of my own inner struggles with trusting God’s sovereignty, with remembering that God does work out everything for our good, may have become part of the novel.  And in the last chapter when Aubrey prays during the Thanksgiving dinner, you can see some of my own angst about life changing and my own feelings of grief being resolved.

His Brother’s Atonement is a fundraiser!

As I was researching for this novel, I read too many firsthand accounts of women who had been assaulted and the devastating effects of the violence in their lives. According to rainn.org, every 68 seconds another American is assaulted, and one out of every six American women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. According to multiples sources, there are at least 30,000 rape-related pregnancies in the U.S. each year. Sexual violence is a significant problem in the U.S., and in other countries around the globe, it is even more rampant.

As I was delving into Aubrey’s thoughts and pondering how her assault had affected her and her family, I decided that I needed to do more to help women and children who have been victimized. As a first step, ten percent of the profits from the sales of His Brother’s Atonement will be donated to Heaven’s Family. To find out more about this organization, follow this link:  https://www.heavensfamily.org/ministries/victims-of-sexual-violence/

Here is the recipe for Nana Ander’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pie.  Bloggers can copy and paste or just share the link.

https://walshmountainpublishing.com/2022/03/26/nana-anders-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-pie/

 

Shane and Aubrey’s Anti-Meet-Cute

Aubrey and Shane don’t get to have a “meet-cute”, you know that sweet moment when a couple-to-be meet for the first time? In fact, when Aubrey sees Shane across Engelmann Park, she almost has a panic attack thinking that he is the man who assaulted her.

In the next book about Engelmann Wyoming, Portrait of Redemption, Cody will help Shane set up a “meet-cute” redo. I think it is so adorable that Shane wants to do that for Aubrey!

Two special characters mentioned in His Brother’s Atonement are from another of my novels, Elsie Whitmore. Elsie meets famous actor Graham Thurston for the first time when he tracks her down at her school, determined that she will audition for a movie he is producing. A somewhat spoiled star, he is annoyed that she hasn’t taken calls from his talent agency, so he is cold and judgy during their first meeting. In return, she thinks it is ridiculous for Graham to assume that she would consider giving up teaching just because he liked one of her YouTube videos. They also do not have a cute first meeting!

Here is my meet-cute!  I worked part time at a Sears in a mall while I was going to college. My husband, Pat, was a loss prevention agent there.   A coworker  who had a crush on Pat asked me to draw a Christmas card for her to give to him. In the PS, she told Pat that I was the one that illustrated the card. That led to Pat investigating who I was, and soon he was regularly stopping by my register at Sears to make small talk. He would have silly excuses to stop by, like having me help him put a baby outfit on a stuffed animal to purchase for his nephew.  It could have become very awkward if my co-worker hadn’t developed a crush on someone else in the meantime!

During the launch party for His Brother’s Atonement, some of the readers shared the stories of their first meeting with their husbands.  Some were adorable, and some were so awkward.  Have you shared your “meet-cutes” with your children and grandchildren?  Surprisingly it is something we forget to talk about, but it is part of their heritage!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 gift card along with His Brother’s Atonement, a Rocky Mountains Shirt and a Rocky Mountains wooden bookmark!!

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

CLICK HERE 

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Vermilion Riddle ~ Dana Li

This book is a Religious Science Fiction read.  This book takes you into another world of fantasy and the futuristic era.  This takes place in the town of Carmel, where women are only expected to marry.  Leah is challenged to find a husband when her father gamble's away the families future.  She meets August who is not what the family will want for her.  With everyone trying to keep peace with mortals, faerie, the guardians, and oath breakers what does the future hold and look like? 

If you like fantasy and sci-fi reads this book will be for you.  I am not a fan of this type of read, I was lost in the book and unable to finish.  I tried several times to finish, however, with all the fantasy story going on, I just wasn't interested nor was I able to understand.  This is only because I am not a fan of this type of book. I wanted to like it, but just couldn't.  If you like imaginary and different world reads, then pick up 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: The Vermilion Riddle

Author: Dana Li

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: March 1, 2022

“To enter Faerie’s blessed demesne
four secrets must be found:
the land unbound by time and space
opens only to the one who knows
the Light, the Song, and Mortal Gate.”

In the sheltered town of Carmel, women do not have a future outside of a good marriage. That future is threatened when Leah Edwards’ father gambles away the family’s livelihood and estate. She and her sisters must hurry to find husbands. Then August Fox, a Guardian from Cariath, comes to town and purchases a supposedly haunted manor. Charged to keep the peace between mortals and Faerie, the Guardians are the stuff of legend. After he stuns her with a marriage proposal, Leah reluctantly journeys to Cariath, discovering there is more to August and the legends than she guessed.

Nimrod and his Oath-breakers betrayed the Guardians, seeking to solve an ancient riddle that would unlock the Faerie realm. Not all his followers share his desire for conquest. Benedict Fox, his second-in-command, has different motives. But as he continues fulfilling Nimrod’s plan, Benedict hurtles towards a choice between saving his family and settling a personal vendetta.

For Leah, August, and their allies, it is a race against time to solve the ancient riddle before the Oath-breakers, and reunite the Guardians to save the mortal realm. The war is never really over, and this time, the battle lines cut through blood ties and brotherhood.

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Dana Li is a software product manager by day, and a novelist by night. She holds an MS in management science and engineering from Stanford University and a BS in computer science from USC, but she’s always been better at writing stories than code. Her writing misadventures began with a dozen now-deleted Star Wars fanfiction tales. She loves good fantasy/sci-fi, classy cuisines, and roller coasters (but not all at once). Dana currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and The Vermilion Riddle is her first novel.

 More from Dana

Two of my favorite fiction authors are J.R.R. Tolkien and Jane Austen. Besides both being British, their works are worlds apart, literally – one wrote epic, sprawling stories of the battle between good and evil, while the other wrote of small town families, romance, and culture in the Regency era. If Tolkien’s heroes failed, death and darkness would sweep across the land. If Austen’s heroes failed, a lady would be single at thirty. (The horror!)

As different as they are, I had a desire to blend the best of both genres. I didn’t think it’d be the most marketable book, but then, I also thought no one else would write this. That concept sparked the genesis of The Vermilion Riddle. I wanted an epic fantasy that was also character-driven and intimate. I love how Austen deftly explored familial and romantic relationships in the framework of her society, and I was curious to see how that would unfold in the context of a traditional fantasy. I shamelessly drew influence from the Regency era for parts of my story’s culture, simply because it’s got that quaint, cozy vibe, stored inside a broad, sweeping world.

This is a snippet of what I wrote in my original query letter for The Vermilion Riddle: 

“While the novel evokes elements of classic fantasy—quests, duels, and the battle of good versus evil—it thrives on character exploration. The plot hums to the beat of a cosmic conflict and climax, though the struggles within a family—between fathers and sons, brothers by blood (and not), husband and wife—forms its core melody.”

When it came to the characters and relationships in the story, three questions framed my writing.

What makes a strong, relatable, and feminine heroine?

What happens to brothers who are pitted against each other ideologically?

What does a love story that happens after marriage look like?

I did not know, concretely, the answer to any of these when I began, and Riddle was going to be my way of exploring them. In retrospect, I was in over my head. I’m not sure if I ever found totally satisfactory answers, but as I worked on the novel over the years, I felt the story mature quietly alongside of me. There were nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from life and other people that made their way into the story. There were also surprising insights that emerged from the characters as I was writing.

In the end, I wanted to write characters who, though born into another world, were achingly human. Though they chase ancient secrets and face the fury of the faerie-kind, they aren’t wrapped in an air of mythology that makes them feel far removed from us. They are the sort of people who could be legends – but a legend is usually formed in retrospect. They are like Merry and Pippin, hobbits who felt like useless baggage for much of their journey before they were hailed as heroes.

That’s what I strove for, at least – a story that’s epic yet intimate, that’s far-flung and yet close to home.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of The Vermilion Riddle (e-book for those outside the US)!!

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

CLICK HERE 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Ezekiel’s Song ~ Naomi Craig

This is book 2 of the Yahweh's Legacy series, Christian Historical Fiction read.  This is the about Ezekiel's story from the bible. It goes through what God wants His people to do, worship for Him.  When Ezekiel has to determine how to get the people to follow God's word, he is put in a position of having struggles to follow God.  With the sweet sound of  Shiriel and her singing, could this be the way God wants to get the people to worship?  Do Ezekiel and Shiriel follow God's calling?  

I would recommend this to those that love reading historical books and about people in the bible.  This is a book that makes you think and go to the bible to find out what really happened and how much is fictional in the story.  It is book 2 of the series, but can be read as a stand alone.  Each book in the series is about a character in the bible.

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: Ezekiel’s Song

Author: Naomi Craig

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release date: August 16, 2022

A prophet’s heart broken, a woman’s joy gone. What does Yahweh have planned for His people?

On the brink of Jerusalem’s demise, devoted priest, Ezekiel, sees the insincerity of Judah’s worship. Despite his efforts to call the people back to true worship of Yahweh, priests, artisans, valiant warriors, and royals are exiled to Babylon. When God gives him messages of continued judgment for the people in his homeland, his heart breaks. How can he minister to the people from so far away?

The presence of the Lord is tangible when Shiriel sings in the temple, and her voice prepares the hearts of many to worship. When she is exiled to Babylon, her faith is shaken. Does the Lord’s presence extend beyond Jerusalem and His holy temple?

Ezekiel is struck mute and paralyzed as he begins his prophetic ministry, and Shiriel devises a plan to get the Lord’s message back to the unfaithful people of Judah. Shiriel struggles with discontentment as serving the Lord looks nothing like she’d imagined. Can she provide for her family and carry out her husband’s ministry when her joy is gone, and her own dreams are placed on hold?

How will Yahweh save His people from themselves? Find out in Ezekiel’s Song!

 Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, pastor’s wife, Naomi loves reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. When she’s not serving in various areas at church, trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes or convincing her rescue dog, Freeway, to be cute on command for Instagram reels, you’ll most likely find her enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. Naomi co-hosts #BehindTheStory with Naomi and Lisa, an author interview show on YouTube and your podcast platform of choice.

 More from Naomi

What do you recall about Ezekiel?

The wheel within the wheel?

The dry bones living.

Ezekiel 4:9 bread?

Did you know the Lord asked him to prepare his food over human dung? Or that he was paralyzed for about 14 months? What about mute for seven years?

There are so many bizarre prophecies and symbolisms in the book of Ezekiel. So many prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. Raise your hand if you tend to skim through these parts of God’s word.

I do.

But when I read Ezekiel a couple years back, the story really jumped of the page.

What about the people who lived with the prophecies and symbolisms?

Ezekiel saw the Lord, and the message He gave was one of Jerusalem finally meeting their just reward.

Only problem is Ezekiel is already in Babylon.

Oh and there’s the whole paralyzed and mute thing.

How is a man who is physically and geographically bound able to get this message a world away?

What was it like to live on rations of war (contrary to how today’s scientists have discovered the right combination to make nutrient dense, protein packed super bread?) in a land that wasn’t suffering from famine or scarcity.

How did the prophet respond when the people who heard the message in Babylonia and Jerusalem brushed it aside as inconsequential?

Ezekiel’s Song explores the lives of those affected by the prophecies. You’ll meet Ezekiel–in the priestly service, turned prophet, Shiri—the Bible states Ezekiel had a wife, her name and her backstory is my imagination, and Gilead—a fictional valiant warrior from Jerusalem.

Discover the book of Ezekiel like you’ve never seen it before!

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Naomi 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