Book Review & Celebrate Lit Giveaway: To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano

to steal a heart banner (1)

About the Book

Book: To Steal A Heart

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Comedic Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020

To Steal a Heart

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

Jen

Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by BooklistJen 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.

My Thoughts

To Steal a Heart
by Jen Turano
Book 1 in the Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency series

Wow! I never stop laughing when I read any of Jen Turano’s books. I’m always excited to dig into her world and see what shenanigans her characters are up to. The combination of quirky but strong-willed female characters always makes for entertaining stories that you won’t want to stop reading.

Gabriella “Gabe” Goodhue has not had the easiest life but she is a strong, independent woman living in a boarding house with a job as a seamstress. Having grown up on the streets of the Lower East Side of London, Gabe dressed as a boy and got into trouble with Nicholas Quinn until she got caught and was sent to an orphanage. She’s surprised to see Nicholas again while attempting to break into a safe after thinking he abandoned her all those years ago. This chance meeting has Nicholas floored that Gabe is back in his life and although he’s learned to be a society gentleman, he still wants Gabe to understand what happened. The mysterious Knickerbocker Bandit is still at large and Gabriella is on the case to solve the mystery. Together Gabriella and Nicholas embark on an adventure to discover the truth about their pasts and what it means for their future.

As always, Jen Turano can weave a ridiculously funny story that still has romance, drama, and mystery. Her main characters are lovely and have a past that has made them who they are. I love being part of their journey to find out who they really are and I loved all the other characters too. As a big fan, I’ve read all of Jen Turano’s books and enjoyed reading about places/characters from some of her previous series. The other supporting characters bring much needed intrigue and hilarity to an already fun script.

Highly recommend if you enjoy historical fiction that has humor, romance and mystery.

My thanks to the author and CelebrateLit for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Soulfully Romantic, November 17

Hebrews 12 Endurance, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 17

Robin’s Nest, November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18

The Avid Reader, November 18

Losing the Busyness, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

She Lives To Read, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 19

Wishful Endings, November 19

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

lakesidelivingsite, November 20

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 20

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 20

The Write Escape, November 20

Older & Smarter?, November 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 21

Christian Bookaholic, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Mia Reads, November 22

Writing from the Heart Land, November 22

Betti Mace, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 23

Life of Literature, November 23

Texas Book-aholic, November 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 24

Batya’s Bits, November 24

Joanne Markey’s blog, November 24

For Him and My Family, November 25

Inside the Wong Mind, November 25

Mary Hake, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 26

EmpowerMoms, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26

Novels Corner, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27

Connie’s History Classroom, November 27

Captive Dreams Window, November 27

Book of Ruth Ann, November 27

deb’s Book Review, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 28

Daysong Reflections, November 28

Bigreadersite, November 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

Splashes of Joy, November 29

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 29

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Vicky Sluiter, November 30

Pause for Tales, November 30

Spoken from the Heart, November 30

Hallie Reads, November 30

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 the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103a4/to-steal-a-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review & Celebrate Lit Giveaway: Apprentice by Kristen Young

About the Book

Book: Apprentice
Author: Kristen Young
Genre: Christian Science Fiction
Release Date: October 20, 2020

The Love Collective is everywhere.
It sees everything.
Be not afraid.

Apprentice Flick remembers everything, except the first five years of her life. And for as long as she can remember, Flick has wanted to enter the Elite Academy—home to the best, brightest, and most loyal members of the Love Collective government.

Flick’s uncanny memory might get her there, too … even if it is the very thing that marks her as a freak. But frightening hallucinations start intruding into her days and threaten to bring down all she has worked so hard to accomplish. Why is she being hijacked by a stranger’s nightmare over and over again?

Moving to the Elite Academy could give Flick the future she’s always wanted. But her search for truth may lead to a danger she cannot escape.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kristen Young is an Aussie children’s and youth worker who always has a notebook on hand to catch ideas for her fiction and non-fiction. She loves hanging out with her family, watching movies with subtitles, and chocolate.

My Review

Apprentice
by Kristen Young
Book 1 in the Collective Underground series
Rating: 4/5

Exciting new dystopian YA adventure from Kristen Young! I’ve never read anything from this author before and was very impressed with her world-building and character development.

Kerr Flick has an amazing memory. She can remember everything she’s heard or seen except for her first five years. Because of her amazing memory and short stature, she’s been the outcast and outsider all her life until she gets the opportunity to go to the Elite Academy. She is determined to be the best of the best. Being a Watcher in the Love Collective is her desire and she will do whatever she can to pass the test to become one…or will she? Apprentice Flick has also been having scary dreams or hallucinations which threaten her goal of becoming a Watcher.

This story is about a young girl trying to find her place in a world where all she wants is to fit in and be accepted. She has insecurities like you and me. She wants to prove her worth. She wants to be the Elite of the Elite. The author weaves a compelling story of finding out who you are that is only just beginning. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series!

Highly recommend if you enjoy YA dystopian fiction.

My thanks to the author and CelebrateLit for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Kristen

An interview with Kristen Young

Q: How long have you been writing?

I was the kid who used to create little booklets and puzzle magazines for the family. So writing is something that I’ve been doing for a long time. It wasn’t quite publication-worthy back then, but it was fun. I had to practice a little more before people outside my family wanted to see it.

Q: Where do you write?

Anywhere I have access to a laptop or a pen. I have a desk at home where most of the writing happens, but I usually carry a notebook in my bag in case inspiration hits when I’m out. People think I’m a little eccentric when I’m madly scribbling in the middle of the supermarket. But I have to get that scene idea down before I forget!

Q: What is your writing Kryptonite?

Distractions. For me, writing preparation is a little like building a house of cards — that process of getting my thoughts in order and working out the story direction. Distractions are like the gust of wind that knocks the whole construction over. I usually wear noise-cancelling headphones to try and keep me focused on the process.

Q: Where’s your favourite story setting?

I’m still looking for that wardrobe with a door to Narnia.

Q: What’s the first book that made you cry?

I’m not sure if I can share that without giving spoilers! But I’d have to say Charlotte’s Web. When I read that as a child, it had me wrecked for ages.

Q: Have you read anything that totally changed your idea of the way fiction could be written?

There are a couple of books that totally changed my view of fiction. The first was Margaret Atwood’s novel The Blind Assassin. I was totally captivated by the way she mixed newspaper articles and other media with the narrative sections. It was mind-blowing at the time.

Jasper Fforde’s series that started with The Eyre Affair was also pretty amazing. It took a whole pile of literary references and completely messed with them. It was enormous fun.

Q: So why set something in a world called the “Love Collective”?

I like words, and I’m fascinated by the way people often play with them, or even weaponise them. I kind of wanted to explore this word ‘love’ and what it means. In English, we have this one word to refer to so many different kinds of concepts. I wanted to write an exciting story, so it seemed right to have this concept as a backdrop behind the action, where you’re asking, “What does this mean?”

Q: Your main character never forgets anything. Is she like you?

No way. I think Flick’s memory is a bit of wish fulfilment from me. It was so hard writing her, because I forget so many details! In some ways forgetting is protective. But in other ways I’d love to have her memory.

Q: What can we expect in the rest of the Collective Underground Trilogy?

I can’t tell you the whole story, that would ruin the fun. But in the first book, Flick’s world has started really small, and she’s going to broaden her horizons. She’ll get to explore more of this Love Collective. There also might be some more danger, too. Or more love. We’ll see…

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 31
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 1
Blogging With Carol, November 1
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 2
Texas Book-aholic, November 3
Inklings and notions, November 4
April Hayman, Author, November 4
For Him and My Family, November 5
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 6
deb’s Book Review, November 6
Worthy2Read, November 7
Woven by Words, November 7
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 8
Emily Yager, November 9
Artistic Nobody, November 9 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 10
Simple Harvest Reads, November 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 11
Adventures of A Travelers Wife, November 12
Through the Fire Blogs, November 12
Splashes of Joy, November 13
Inside the Wong Mind, November 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kristen is giving away the grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/102f1/apprentice-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review & CelebrateLit Giveaway: To Love A Prince by Rachel Hauck

About the Book

Book:  To Love a Prince
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre:  Royal Romance
Release Date: August 11, 2020

An enchanting new royal romance from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck

Daffodil Caron is not a princess, even though she once dreamed of being one. After all, she grew up as a playmate to royal princes, running through the halls of Perrigwynn Palace and dining with the queen. But the day she stumbled upon a royal secret, everything changed.

Flash forward eighteen years, and Daffy’s living a sweet, non-royal life. A skilled art curator for the Royal Trust, she has friends, a flat in the heart of the city, and a handsome, successful fiancée. The last person on her mind is Gus, a prince she once called her best mate.

HRH Prince Augustus is no longer “Prince Pudgy,” as caricaturized by the press, he’s charming and gorgeous, possessing a world-famous smile. But when he’s jilted at the altar by an American heiress as millions of people around the world watched, the spare heir to Lauchtenland’s ancient House of Blue escapes, finding solace on a Florida beach.

A year as a regular bloke allows him to rethink his purpose. He’s half decided his calling is to pour pints at a tiki bar, rather than serving his country and the Family.

Until an accident on the beach with a Frisbee changes his course.

Despite his long hair and beard, Daffy recognizes her prince, and their childhood friendship is renewed. She assures Gus Lauchtenland needs him, giving him the courage to return home.

When Daffy and Gus find themselves on assignment to Hadsby Castle in preparation for his brother’s wedding, their friendship blooms into affection.

But Gus cannot, will not, trust his heart again. Daffy’s engaged. And she also remains a royal family outcast because she knows the Queen’s secret.

When affection grows into love and secrets are exposed, trust is destroyed. Gus must choose which is stronger: the lies of his past or the hope of his future. And Daffy must face every fear to prove she will forever love a prince.

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!”  Susan May Warren, USA Today bestselling, RITA award-winning novelist

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

My Thoughts

To Love A Prince
by Rachel Hauck
Book 1 in the True Blue Royal series
Rating: 4.5/5

Another winner from Rachel Hauck!!! I do love all her stories about royals. She captures such beautiful, complicated characters on the page. Any time she writes about royalty, I have to read it. LOL. And I can’t wait for the next story either!

Daffodil “Daffy” Caron grew up around the royal family of Lauchtenland because of her mother’s job and had the biggest crush on Prince Gus, the younger son. They were the best of friends and she wrote a diary of fantasy stories about her life with the prince. When security measures change, Daffy is left estranged from her playmates and must learn to keep a secret.

All grown up and on holiday in America with her sister and best friend, Daffy finds herself enjoying the Florida beach. A chance encounter with a frisbee has her meeting Prince Gus but in disguise. After having his heart broken, Prince Gus has been MIA for the past year and been working at a bar in Florida. He feels ready to return home to plan his brother’s wedding ball and attend his wedding.

As part of her job with the Royal Trust, Daffy is assigned to prepare and display all the royal wedding dresses to be displayed for the wedding ball. Prince Gus is also on the premises to plan the wedding ball and can’t seem to keep his mind off his old friend, Daffy. Will the blushes never stop for Daffy when she’s around the prince? Will her secret keep them from true love?

I do love a good mystery. Hauck weaves an interesting tale that I could not put down. I loved Daffy and Gus because they felt so real and flawed. They were broken and needed to heal. As a Christian, I always enjoy when faith is incorporated into stories and Hauck has a way of doing this that is more subtle but still beautiful. I feel like their journey was rushed at the end but it didn’t take away from the overall story. I still want to see more of them and am curious what will happen in the next book.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy royal romances with a twist of mystery and humor. (and quirky characters).

My thanks to the author and CelebrateLit for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share To Love A Prince with you. So many of you who loved the Royal Wedding Series have asked for more royals so as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward princes and princesses. What’s more romantic than a royal wedding?

This royal story, the first book in a new series, True Blue Royal, is set in a new fictional country, Lauchtenland, in the North Sea. I’m really squeezing all those oil wells currently occupying that body of water.

The beauty of royal stories is they remind us of who we really are: princes and princesses. There is always a point in the story where the royal character, as well as the commoner, must come to grips with his and her true identity! Who God says we are!

Stories are a powerful reflection of life and it’s fun to insert ourselves into the tale. While fiction employs a lot of hyperbole we can find ourselves on the page somewhere, somehow.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and To Love A Prince. You are so vital to my story as an author. Thank you!

Yours,

Rachel

Blog Stops

Worthy2Read, September 10
Captive Dreams Windows, September 10
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 10
Genesis 5020, September 10
Novels Corner, September 10
Connect in Fiction, September 11
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11
deb’s Book Review, September 11
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11
Remembrancy, September 12
Breny and books, September 12
Texas Book-aholic, September 12
Inklings and notions, September 12
For Him and My Family, September 13
Artistic Nobody, September 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13
The Book Chic Blog, September 13
Among the Reads, September 14
Soulfully Romantic, September 14
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 14
Sara Jane Jacobs, September 14
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 15
lakesidelivingsite, September 15
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 15
Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 15
Betti Mace, September 16
Where Faith and Books Meet, September 16
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 16
Blossoms and Blesssings, September 16
She Lives To Read, September 17
Wishful Endings, September 17
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 17
Life of Literature, September 17
Life, Love, Writing, September 17
Book Love, September 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Maureen Timerman, September 18
Batya’s Bits, September 18
Labor Not in Vain, September 18
Bigreadersite, September 19
Hallie Reads, September 19
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 19
Splashes of Joy, September 19
Christian Bookaholic, September 20
Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, September 20
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 20
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 20
Inside the Wong Mind, September 21
By The Book, September 21
Mary Hake, September 21
Godly Book Reviews, September 21
Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 22
Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 22
Livin’ Lit, September 22
Writing from the Heart Land, September 22
Simple Harvest Reads, September 23 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Mamma Loves Books, September 23
Daysong Reflections, September 23
Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, September 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a royal gift box of Pampering Princess items that includes bath balms, tea, tiara and other surprises!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10098/to-love-a-prince-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review & CelebrateLit Giveaway: The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

The Killing Tide FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  The Killing Tide
Author: Dani Pettrey
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 2019

BHP2Killing Tide

When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer’s boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

When investigative reporter–and Finn’s boss’s sister–Gabby Rowley arrives, her unrelenting questions complicate an already volatile situation. Now that she’s back, the tug on Finn’s heart is strong, but with the risks she’s taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can’t ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Dani Pettrey

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance.

Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland. For more information visit www.danipettrey.com

My Thoughts

The Killing Tide
by Dani Pettrey
Book 1 in the Coastal Guardians series
Rating: 4/5

If you are in need of a fast-paced thriller, look no further. I am a huge fan of Dani Pettrey’s Romantic Suspense and I was not disappointed with this first book in a new series. Ever since watching the movie, The Guardian, with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher, I have been in awe of what the Coast Guard rescue teams do. I was excited to catch a glimpse into their world and the author did not let me down.

After a traumatic rescue mission, special agent Finn Walker is forced to retire from his Coast Guard rescue team but joins the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) as a second chance to help others. He is driven by a past that haunts him and his ability to save others. When tragedy after tragedy strikes, he knows that something is wrong and is determined to keep those he loves as safe as possible while unraveling the mystery.

Fearful after an attempt on her life, Gabby Rowley’s older brother forces her to come back home where he and his CGIS team can protect her. Gabby, an investigative reporter, is stubborn and hates that her independence is being taken away, but her real fear is seeing Finn again after she walked out on their relationship to pursue her career. She has a knack for sniffing out a story and when the CGIS loses a team member, she is determined to get to the bottom of the story despite the threat on her life. Will Gabby and Finn be able to do their jobs, stay safe, and work together without reigniting that chemistry? Can Gabby find a way to pursue her dream job and her dream of finding love?

This story was jam-packed full of interesting characters and storylines. As the first book in the series, the author is definitely trying to set up some of the next few books in the series while doing justice to the current story. I love that her characters are flawed and relatable. They have a sixth sense about investigating crimes and weaving all the clues together, but they have their own hardships and trauma to deal with. I am excited to read what comes next.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys clean romantic suspense.

My thanks to the author, NetGalley and CelebrateLit for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Dani

Pettrey kicks off her new Coastal Guardians series with an intense blend of suspense, love, and faith. The Killing Tide features romance that’s as thrilling as the action, and faithful characters integrated seamlessly into a complex web of crime.

— Kate Campos BookList

The Killing Tide is the first book in my Coastal Guardian series. My husband was Navy, so why am I writing about the Coast Guard? Because I think their mission to keep our waters and our country safe should be highlighted more. Before I started writing The Killing Tide, I’ll admit I knew little about the Coast Guard. I had a friend in high school who joined the Guard right after graduation, but that’s about the depth of my experience with them. Then, my husband and I watched a movie called The Finest Hour.

If you haven’t seen it, I highly urge you to. It’s the true story of one of the most dangerous and daring rescue attempts in Coast Guard history. Boatswain’s Mate First Class Bernie Webber takes a small team to rescue the crew of the Pendleton T2 oil tanker, which split in half off the coast of Cape Cod during a brutal nor’easter in 1952. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but let’s just say it’s a wonderful testament to courage in adversity. After watching it, I knew I had to write a series about the Coast Guard. I began researching and came across the Coast Guard Investigative Service and my interest was highly peaked. After talking with Coast Guardsmen, both newly in the service and those long retired, I began to see the story weaving together like a movie in my mind. I hope you enjoy reading the CGIS Wilmington teams’ adventures, cases and…of course, romances.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, June 17

Back Porch Reads, June 17

Losing the Busyness, June 17

Older & Smarter?, June 18

Genesis 5020, June 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 19

Worthy2Read, June 19

For Him and My Family, June 20

deb’s Book Review, June 20

Inklings and notions, June 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 21

Texas Book-aholic, June 21

Pause for Tales, June 21

Betti Mace, June 22

Read Review Rejoice, June 22

Spoken from the Heart, June 22

KarenSueHadley, June 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 23

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 24

Life of Literature, June 24

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 25

Blossoms and Blessings, June 25

A Good Book and cup of Tea, June 25

Emily Yager, June 26

Splashes of Joy, June 26

Just the Write Escape, June 27

Blogging With Carol, June 27

Moments, June 27

Stories By Gina, June 28

Cathe Swanson, June 28

Daysong Reflections, June 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 29

Mary Hake, June 29

Lights in a Dark World, June 29

With a Joyful Noise, June 30

Inside the Wong Mind, June 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dani is giving away the grand prize package of a Kindle, $20 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of The Crushing Depths!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fcce/the-killing-tide-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review & CelebrateLit Giveaway: When I Meet You by Olivia Newport

When I Met You FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  When I Meet You
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre:  Christian fiction
Release Date: May, 2020

When I Met You

Book 3 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees

A trunk abandoned at Denver’s Union Station more than a century ago leads Jillian and Nolan to untangle the mystery of its contents—including correspondence with the head of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency Denver office. While Nolan digs into the legalities of the findings, Jillian searches for the descendants of a stolen identity who might not be who they think they are on Colorado ranch land. When Drew seems anxious to hear what Jillian has to say but his Great Aunt Min slams the subject closed—twice—Jillian is all the more determined to find out what happened to the woman who never claimed her luggage, why Min doesn’t want to talk about it, and what will happen for Drew if he gets the answers he seeks.

When I Meet You is the third 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

OliviaNewport (1)

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.

My Thoughts

When I Meet You
by Olivia Newport
Book 3 in the Tree of Life series
Rating: 4/5

After reading a fast-paced romantic suspense book, reading this story was a little slow for me but the ending was satisfying and I’m glad I stuck it out to the end. The book goes back and forth between the past and present stories which is something I do enjoy but sometimes, it could get confusing to keep track of who’s who. The author does her best to tell you who’s she’s focusing on but sometimes, I read too fast to keep track. All in all, this was a fascinating story and brilliantly woven together. The author will keep you guessing till the end.

As someone who has not read the previous books in this series, I just want you to know that it is not necessary. The main character, Jillian, is a professional genealogist who has her own family history to solve while delving into another mysterious steamer trunk and its contents. The mystery of all the official documents inside the trunk is what leads her on a merry chase to find out what happened. On the path to discover what happened to the owner of the steamer trunk, she finds Drew and his Aunt Min who seems to be hiding something. Can Jillian and her father figure out what happened to the owner the steamer trunk?

So for some reason I was expecting more romance in this book, but I would categorize this as a mystery with a hint of romance. Though there is some character development, telling the story and unraveling the mystery is the important part. The characters have their flaws but the emphasis is more on finding out the truth and restoring the steamer trunk to its rightful owner. As someone who can’t trace her own ancestry that far back, it was fascinating to see what a genealogist could do. The advances in technology have allowed us to find our ancestors with just one “spit in a tube”, which I have done. I loved the old tied in with the new.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy history and stories within stories to uncover the truth.

My thanks to the author, NetGalley and CelebrateLit for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Olivia

Stolen Identity or Stolen Secrets?

Years ago I made a business trip to a country in Asia. Somehow I managed to pack for two weeks in carry-on luggage. This was before everyone started carrying electronic devices that required a bag of their own, and the impoverished area I visited had only intermittent electricity anyway.

When it was time to come home, my luggage met the requirements to keep it with me as I traveled halfway around the world through several airports. But at the boarding gate, a woman pushed a cart stacked with six oversized and overstuffed suitcases, insisting she had to take all of them on the plane. Her argument was that she couldn’t risk losing her personal belongings. She was moving back to the States, this was everything she owned, and she just wasn’t having this nonsense about abiding by the same limitations as the other 300 people in line or that none of those bags would fit in an overhead compartment anyway. The airline staff began waving people around her to get the large aircraft boarded on time for an international flight. She was one of the last people to take her seat—without her bags.

I admit I prefer keeping my bags with me and getting in and out of airports quickly. And once my bags didn’t come off the same plane I did, and it took a few hours for them to be delivered to me.

But what happens to truly unclaimed baggage? One-half to one percent of baggage that goes through American airports is never claimed. Airlines will try for ninety days to find the owners. If they can’t, they have to do something with it. Generally it’s sold, sight unseen, to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama. There it is opened and sorted into what can be cleaned and sold in their store, what might be donated, and what has no value and is disposed of as trash. They find some pretty interesting things!

But my brain goes back to the curious question of why the baggage is unclaimed in the first place.

It’s not just because the airline lost it. We’ve all seen the lines of suitcases that baggage handlers remove from the circling conveyer belt because they’ve been around enough times that it’s obvious no one is there to pick them up after the flight. People got off the plane and left the airport without their bags. Why?

My new book, When I Meet You, raises the same question about travel in the railroad era. A trunk abandoned at Denver’s Union Station more than a century ago surfaces, leading genealogist Jillian and her lawyer father, Nolan, to untangle the mystery of its contents—including correspondence with the head of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency Denver office. While Nolan digs into the legalities of the findings, Jillian searches for the descendants of a stolen identity who might not be who they think they are on Colorado ranch land. When Drew seems anxious to hear what Jillian has to say but his Great Aunt Min slams the subject closed—twice—Jillian is all the more determined to find out what happened to the woman who never claimed her luggage, why Min doesn’t want to talk about it, and what will happen for Drew if he gets the answers he seeks.

When I Meet You is the third book in the Tree of Life series. 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.

Visit www.olivianewport.com or find me at www.facebook.com/OliviaNewport.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, May 28
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28
Texas Book-aholic, May 29
deb’s Book Review, May 29
For the Love of Literature, May 30
Lighthouse Academy Blog, May 30 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
A Reader’s Brain, May 31
Blogging With Carol, May 31
Older & Smarter?, June 1
CarpeDiem, June 1
Inklings and notions, June 2
All-of-a-kind Mom, June 2
Hallie Reads, June 2
Betti Mace, June 3
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 3
For Him and My Family, June 4
Bigreadersite, June 4
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 5
Worthy2Read, June 5
Pause for Tales, June 5
Just the Write Escape, June 6
Inside the Wong Mind, June 6
Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 7
Connect in Fiction, June 7
Daysong Reflections, June 7
She Lives To Read, June 8
Read Review Rejoice, June 8
A Baker’s Perspective, June 9
Mary Hake, June 9
Remembrancy, June 9
Moments, June 10
With a Joyful Noise, June 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize 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 the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fa0b/when-i-meet-you-celebration-tour-giveaway

CelebrateLit Book Review & Giveaway: Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano

Storing Up Trouble FB Banner

About the Author

Book:  Storing Up Trouble
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: May 6, 2020

Storing Up Trouble

When Beatrix Waterbury’s train is disrupted by a heist, scientist Norman Nesbit comes to her aid. After another encounter, he is swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract—including the attention of the men trying to steal his research—and they’ll soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Turano_Jen1

Jen Turano, (www.jenturano.com) a USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

My Thoughts

Storing Up Trouble
by Jen Turano
Book 3 of the American Heiresses series
Rating: 4/5

Jen Turano never disappoints! Her stories are always quirky and fun and full of adventure!

This story focuses on Miss Beatrix Waterbury who is on her way to Chicago to stay with her eccentric aunt. When she is robbed on her train, she befriends a Mr. Norman Nesbit who has important scientific research that must be protected. In their efforts to deter the robbery, they must join together to get back to Chicago.

Once back in Chicago, Aunt Gladys welcomes Beatrix and tells her she must begin working as a sales girl at the Marshall Field and Company department store in order to experience what it’s really like as a woman in need. Growing up as an heiress, Beatrix has never been treated poorly or unfairly and Aunt Gladys knows that some experience will make Beatrix even more sympathetic to the suffragette movement. While working there, Norman starts visiting the store more often and befriends Beatrix as they continue to unravel who is behind the train heist. When more attempts at stealing his research continue, Norman fears for Beatrix’s safety and realizes he might be developing feelings for her. As Beatrix teaches Norman to look outside himself, Norman realizes that Beatrix has changed his world for the better.

This story was so full of great characters (some from the other books in the series) and I loved all the different interactions they had with each other. As someone who loves science, I was intrigued by Norman’s character and wanted to start psychoanalyzing his behavior but I loved how he came to see how his behavior was affecting others. Because of his intelligence, his family seemed to dismiss his rudeness or self-centeredness but Beatrix wouldn’t stand for it. She really did open up his eyes to how his actions were affecting those he loved around him. It was really interesting to see the interplay between the main characters and hear their thoughts. I always enjoy the intermix of history and fiction.

I highly recommend this book to those that enjoy historical romance with action, humor and a bit of mystery.

My thanks to the author, NetGalley and CelebrateLit for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Jen

Thank you so much for visiting me on my Celebrate Lit tour as we celebrate the release of my latest novel, “Storing Up Trouble.” I’m delighted to be here, and I reached out to my street team to help me with the questions you’ll find below. I’m hoping the answers to those questions will allow you to learn just a bit about my new book, as well as allow you to get to know me better. With that said, here we go!

Can you tell us a little about “Storing Up Trouble?”

I’d be delighted to tell you about my latest book. “Storing Up Trouble” is the third book in the “American Heiress” series, but you don’t need to read the first two books in that series (“Flights of Fancy” “Diamond in the Rough” to understand what’s going on. I’ve been writing my books more as stand alone stories, and “Storing Up Trouble” is no exception to that. With that said, this book centers around Miss Beatrix Waterbury and Mr. Norman Nesbit. Beatrix, unfortunately, has annoyed her mother to such an extent that she finds herself banished from New York and on her way to Chicago to spend time with her aunt, a lady Beatrix remembers as being a querulous sort. She, being Beatrix, a lady who lands herself in trouble at the most unexpected of times, soon finds herself a victim of a train heist. An unlikely hero in the form of Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman with a brilliant mind but relatively few social graces, comes to her rescue, and from the moment they disembark from the train, they find themselves thrust into one escapade after another.

In “Storing Up Trouble,” is there a character you’d like to be friends with in real life, or better yet, a character you’d avoid at all costs?

I actually have an answer to both parts of that question. Miss Theodosia Robinson is a lady I would love to count as a friend because she’s loyal to a fault, and is a friend who’ll be there for you, no matter if you want to delve into an unusual scientific experiment, or take a jaunt to your local department store to do a bit of shopping. As for who I’d avoid at all cost – Mrs. George Blossom, who has a very small part in the story, but she’s a customer at Marshal Fields & Company who embraces an air of superiority over the sales girls, and I’ve never been one to enjoy people like that.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

That’s easy. Being Dominic’s mom. He was definitely a handful when he was little, which is why he’s an only child, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to watch him grow over the years. He recently graduated from college with a degree in engineering, and seeing him land a grown up job and begin to embrace the whole adulting thing makes me prouder than any book I’ve written or other job I’ve held.

What was the inspiration behind “Storing Up Trouble?”

There were quite a few things that inspired me to write this book. I’d set another one of my books, “Caught by Surprise” in Chicago, and because of the research I did for that book, research I wasn’t able to fit into that story, I knew I wanted to revisit that city at some point. Beatrix Waterbury gave me the perfect excuse to travel back there. I wanted to take her out of her usual setting of NYC, so off she went to Chicago, on a train ride that definitely turned concerning. I had also picked up a few research books about Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison and I’ve been itching to create a character after those brilliant gentlemen. Norman Nesbit turned into that gentleman, although I have to admit that some of the science Nikola and Thomas used was way over my head. My son, the engineer, tried to explain it to me, but I believe at one point I might have been drooling, and not in the good way, but the bored way. That’s when Norman really began to develop because I thought it would be amusing to have a character who was passionate about his field of study, but most of the people he tried to share that passion with had no idea what he was talking about and always got a bit of a dazed expression in their eyes as he waxed on and on about double-electrical currents.

What fun facts did you uncover while doing research for “Storing Up Trouble” but weren’t able to fit into the story?

There was so much fodder for additional storylines just with the research I did on Marshal Field and his department store. Did you know that the main store in Chicago burned down doing the Great Fire of 1871 and…it burned down several times after that? Who knew? There was also a lot of drama surrounding Marshal and his partner for years, Mr. Levi Zeigler Leiter. They had different ideas about how the store should evolve, which resulted in Marshal forcing Levi to sell his shares of the company to him, at which point the store turned from  Field, Leiter, & Company to Marshal Fields Company. It was also interesting to learn that Mr. Fields was notorious for paying his workers low wages, but those workers accepted those wages because of the prestige that came with working at his store. If you worked at any other store, you were considered common, but to work at Marshal Fields was a feather in your cap, even if you weren’t earning as much as you could have earned at another store.

What are quirky little things you keep on your desk?

At the moment, I have one little pig with googly eyes, one cow with googly eyes, and then another small pig that a reader sent me because she really liked Matilda in “A Match of Wits” and thought this little pig she found at a store was exactly what Matilda would look like.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Oddly enough, no, it never crossed my mind until Dominic was in third grade and we decided to write a book together after finishing this horrible series about this bird. That book was never meant for publication, but it did have me remembering that I had, at one point in time before I became a stay-at-home-mom, enjoyed using my brain. I started experimenting with different genres and learned everything I could about the publishing industry. It took me five years to find an agent, and then she sold “A Change of Fortune” to Bethany House, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

I get this question a lot, and I always answer by saying “Have an honest talk with yourself about what you really want to achieve with your writing.” It’s perfectly fine to want to write because you’re interested in turning it into a career. However, with that said, a writer needs to understand that writing and publishing are two different creatures. Publishing is a daunting business, and it’ll take a lot of perseverance to find success with it. With that said, if you have raw talent and are a story teller at heart, you should write all the time and do whatever you can to learn how to improve your craft.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new series right now – “The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency.” The first book, “To Steal a Heart” releases in November, 2020. It’s about Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who spent her childhood living on the mean streets in Five Points. She’s currently living in a boarding house on Bleeker Street in New York City, and when a fellow resident gets unjustly accused of theft, Gabriella, along with the other ladies living in the boarding house, take it upon themselves to try and clear her name. That’s the beginning of the Bleeker Street Agency, and hopefully the ladies will enjoy much success as the series continues.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope all of you get an opportunity to read “Storing Up Trouble!”

Wishing you all the best,

Jen

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 23
Godly Book Reviews, May 23
Robin’s Nest, May 23
Locks, Hooks and Books, May 23
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 24
Rebecca Tews, May 24
Texas Book-aholic, May 24
Novelscorner, May 24
Among the Reads, May 25
Inklings and notions, May 25
deb’s Book Review, May 25
Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 26
Hebrews 12 Endurance, May 26
reviewingbooksplusmore, May 26
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 27
Losing the Busyness, May 27
For Him and My Family, May 27
Simple Harvest Reads, May 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 28
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 28
Inside the Wong Mind, May 28
Mia Reads, May 29
Read Review Rejoice, May 29
Becka Jiménez, May 29
Betti Mace, May 30
Blogging With Carol, May 30
Life of Literature, May 31
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 31
Emily Yager, May 31
Splashes of Joy, May 31
The Collaborative Press, June 1
Stories By Gina, June 1
Hookmeinabook, June 1
Blessed & Bookish, June 2
Older & Smarter?, June 2
The Artist Librarian, June 2
Blossoms and Blessings, June 2
Through the Fire Blogs, June 3
Beauty in the Binding, June 3
Mary Hake, June 3
amandainpa, June 3
Wishful Endings, June 4
EmpowerMoms, June 4
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 4
Pause for Tales, June 4
KarenSueHadley, June 5
Raining Butterfly Kisses, June 5
With a Joyful Noise, June 5
Hallie Reads, June 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the the grand prize package of all three books in the American Heiresses series and a $25 Barnes & Noble eGift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fb8f/storing-up-trouble-celebration-tour-giveaway

CelebrateLit Giveaway for If For Any Reason by Courtney Walsh

If for reason FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  If For Any Reason

Author: Courtney Walsh

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 3, 2020

If for any reason cover

Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.

As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Courtney Walsh

Courtney Walsh is the author of ten inspirational novels. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright.

My Thoughts

Please see my review here.

More from Courtney

3 Bits of Wisdom Every Mother Hopes Her Daughter Cherishes

By Courtney Walsh

There are so many types of mother-daughter relationships, and I’ve discovered that in most of my novels, these relationships are explored in one way or another. My most recent book, If For Any Reason, delves a little deeper into this universal relationship, as the main character’s only connection to her late mother is a book of letters she left behind for daughter when she died.

It was interesting to think through the advice and wisdom I would want to be sure to share with my own daughter, if for any reason I wasn’t here to share it in person. There’s so much I would want to say, so many lessons I would want to share, but if I had to boil it down to three bits of wisdom, I think it would be these:

Ask for help when you need it.

I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to admit we need help sometimes, but in the past year and a half, my family has faced some pretty significant medical challenges, and I learned that it’s necessary to let other people help you. One of the quickest ways to burn out and get overwhelmed is to try to do everything on your own. Now, I’m not talking about laziness. I’m not talking about figuring out ways to get other people to do things for you that you don’t want to do, but genuine help in this journey of life—spiritually, mentally, physically—all the ways that you need to be strong and healthy. You were never meant to figure everything out on your own. And it’s less lonely when you let people in.

Mistakes are good . . . as long as you learn from them.

Okay, it’s inevitable. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to make a million mistakes and sometimes you’re going to really, really regret them. It’s okay. It’s okay to make the wrong choice now and then . . . but only if you learn from it. Because even though there’s a lot of grace for your mistakes, there are still consequences, and if you’re not willing to learn what you did wrong, you’re just going to keep making a mess of things. Don’t do that. Don’t be stubborn and unmoving. There are opportunities to learn something new every single day, and there are people all around you who can help teach you—but only if you humble yourself, realize you don’t know everything, and are willing to learn. Remaining teachable is one of the greatest things you can do. Learn this lesson early, and you’ll go far.

Be yourself.

This is one of the most important and most challenging lessons any of us could learn. It’s a platitude, isn’t it? Advice you’d find on the outside of a coffee mug or embroidered on a throw pillow. But it’s more than that, this whole idea of being who you are, who God created you to be. Here’s the tricky part—how do you know who that is? The only way I can tell is to spend time with yourself. And to not be afraid to sit in the quiet with your thoughts. Learn what God says about you so that if those ideas are challenged or someone else tries to put a label on you that you don’t want, you’re armed with the truth. This will serve you well as you work to discover who you are.

The truth is, as a mother, I’m constantly learning. As a person, I’m constantly learning. And while these are just three bits of wisdom I hope my daughter carries with her, there are so many other lessons I hope she learns, lessons I hope I can teach her so she doesn’t need to learn the hard way.

What about you? What’s one bit of wisdom you want to be sure to pass along to the next generation?

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 7
Remembrancy, April 7
Through the Fire Blogs, April 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8
Robin’s Nest, April 8
Texas Book-aholic, April 8
Wishful Endings, April 9
deb’s Book Review, April 9
Read Review Rejoice, April 9
Batya’s Bits, April 10
Just the Write Escape, April 10
Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 11
Just Your Average reviews, April 11
Inklings and notions, April 12
Life Love Writing, April 12
Worthy2Read, April 12
Lighthouse Academy, April 13
Hallie Reads, April 13
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 13
A Baker’s Perspective, April 14
Splashes of Joy, April 14
Older & Smarter?, April 15
Cultivating Us, April 15
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 15
Simple Harvest Reads, April 16 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Inside the Wong Mind, April 16
Blessed & Bookish, April 17
Back Porch Reads, April 17
Writing from the Heart Land, April 17
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18
Vicky Sluiter, April 18
For Him and My Family, April 19
Mia Reads, April 19
My Devotional Thoughts, April 19
Artistic Nobody, April 20 (Guest Post from Donna Cline)
Bookishly Beverly, April 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Courtney is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Nobles gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f92f/if-for-any-reason-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Tour with Celebrate Lit & Giveaway: The Blue Cloak by Shannon McNear

The Blue cloak FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  The Blue Cloak
Author: Shannon McNear
Genre:  Christian Historical/Suspense
Release Date: March, 2020

9781643523149

Evil Incarnate Leaves a Trail of Destruction across the Frontier

Book 5 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Rachel Taylor lives a rather mundane existence in 1797 at the way station her family runs along the Wilderness Road in Tennessee. She attends her friend Sally Rice’s wedding only to watch the marriage dissolve into horror has the groom, Wiley Harpe, and his cousin Micajah become murderers on the run, who drag their families along. Declaring a “war on all humanity,” the Harpes won’t be stopped, and Ben Langford is on their trail to see if his own cousin was one of their latest victims.

How many will die before peace can return to the frontier?

Click here for your copy.

About the Author

ShannonMcNear

Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.

My Thoughts

The Blue Cloak
by Shannon McNear
Part of True Colors – Historical Stories of American Crime
Rating: 4/5

It’s always interesting to me to go from reading about vampires and werewolves to historical fiction to regency and back again. I love how books open new worlds but also allow you to explore the past. The Blue Cloak is an unbelievable story that was difficult to put down. The research that went into this story is incredibly well done and the reader is transported back in time.

Rachel Taylor has lived a sheltered life on the frontier but after her recently married friend Sally leaves town suddenly, everything changes. Rachel moves to live with her brother and sister-in-law to help out since they just had a baby. It’s there that she meets lawyer Benjamin Langford who was planning to meet up with his cousin. When they learn that his cousin was murdered and who the suspects are, Rachel is surprised to find that her friend Sally is among the accused. Determined to help and rescue her friend, Rachel enlists Ben’s help to see justice for his cousin while still defending Sally’s innocence. 

Shannon McNear is a very talented author who can get you to laugh and cry and root for a hero. At the end of the book, she recounts her thoughts on what to include and what not to include. Warning: there may be some triggers in this book regarding a baby. The author struggled with including violent events but I think she did a good job of balancing it all. I can’t imagine being in her shoes and having to discern what should be included. And through it all, there is a thread of faith and endurance. The characters must learn to trust God and pray for His help. Based on real events and people, the author sets her story in this uncertain, wild and untamed time on the frontier.

I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction with some romance.

My thanks to the publisher, CelebrateLit, and NetGalley for an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Shannon

How dark is too dark for a Christian to write?

That was the question I wrestled with when deciding whether or not to take on the story of the Harpes. The histories in Scripture itself aren’t rated G, but writing fiction requires a level of detail and depth of emotion I wasn’t sure would be wise, or helpful, to explore in this case. But as I prayed and sought the counsel of those whose discernment I trust, the answer came back, overwhelmingly …

Is God stronger than the darkness, or not?

Well, of course He is. And nothing in human history has ever escaped His notice, or taken Him by surprise.

So, was there something redeeming to be found in the tale of the Harpes?

For the first few weeks of research, I walked around in a state of shock at the horror of the historical accounts, but details surfaced that helped me shape my fictional characters Rachel and Ben. With Rachel working in her family’s trading post near the wild frontier town of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Ben a lawyer who recently passed the bar, the real-life Hugh Lawson White provided a handy connection point between them. Many other details fell together in ways I had not foreseen when I began developing the story. Sally Rice Harpe, however, rose to the forefront. This was more her story than anyone’s, but realizing I couldn’t properly write the book without using her point of view? That was scary. I knew the moments I’d have to visit, some of them in real-time.

Despite the tragedy, however, I could see an overarching story of spiritual warfare. Felt a growing conviction that prayer must have played a vital role in bringing the Harpes’ reign of terror to an end. So it is my hope that against the backdrop of one of the most chilling episodes of our country’s early history, the hand of God shows clearly, and that yes, the reader finds it redemptive.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, March 24
Texas Book-aholic, March 24
Inklings and notions, March 25
Girls in White Dresses, March 25
Emily Yager, March 25
Godly Book Reviews, March 26
Genesis 5020, March 26
Remembrancy, March 26
Among the Reads, March 27
Through the Fire Blogs, March 27
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 28
Christian Bookaholic, March 28
Inside the Wong Mind, March 28
For the Love of Literature, March 29
For Him and My Family, March 29
Betti Mace, March 30
Older & Smarter?, March 30
deb’s Book Review, March 30
Robin’s Nest, March 31
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 31
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 1
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 1
Stories By Gina, April 1
By The Book, April 2
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 2
Blossoms and Blessings, April 2
A Reader’s Brain, April 3
Connie’s History Classroom, April 3
Artistic Nobody, April 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 4
Back Porch Reads, April 4
Daysong Reflections, April 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 5
Pause for Tales, April 5
Britt Reads Fiction, April 5
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 6
Hallie Reads, April 6
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of The Blue Cloak and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f7a3/the-blue-cloak-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review with Celebrate Lit & Giveaway: From Sky to Sky by Amanda G. Stevens

From Sky to Sky FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  From Sky to Sky
Author: Amanda G. Stevens
Genre:  Christian Suspense/ Fantasy
Release Date: February 1, 2020

Sky to Sky

Zac Wilson can’t die.

Daredevil Zac Wilson isn’t the first celebrity to keep a secret from the world, but his might be the most marvelous in history: Zac doesn’t age and injuries can’t kill him. What’s more, he’s part of a close-knit group of others just like him.

Holed up in Harbor Vale, Michigan, Zac meets two more of his kind who claim others in their circle have died. Are their lifetimes finally ending naturally, or is someone targeting them—a predator who knows what they are?

The answers Zac unearths present impossible dilemmas: whom to protect, how to seek justice, how to bring peace to turmoil. His next action could fracture forever the family he longs to unite. Now might be the time to ask for help. . .from God Himself. But Zac’s greatest fear is facing the God he has run from for more than a century.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

As a child, Amanda G. Stevens disparaged Mary Poppins and Stuart Little because they could never happen. Now she writes speculative fiction. She is the author of the Haven Seekers series, and her debut Seek and Hide was a 2015 INSPY Award finalist. She lives in Michigan and loves trade paperbacks, folk music, the Golden Era of Hollywood, and white cheddar popcorn.

My Review

From Sky to Sky
by Amanda G. Stevens
Book 2 in No Less Days series
Rating: 3/5

Now I’m usually very generous with my book ratings. I am usually spot on when I choose a book to read that I will enjoy it. Unfortunately, after reading 100 pages, I was still not hooked. I went on Goodreads to see what others were saying and found one review that said it got better after the first half so I kept reading to the end. The story does get better during the second half but I dragged my feet reading through the first half. At first, I could not relate to the characters and was so confused by everything that was happening. I probably should have read the first book in the series first but I didn’t realize that until stuff was happening that I did not really understand. The entire mood in this book was a bit depressing but the ending is a bit more hopeful.

The concept of this book was so intriguing that I thought it would be right up my alley but I’m not so sure now.

Zac Wilson is a daredevil and is semi-famous, but he has a secret: he cannot die. Given a serum over 100 years ago when he was dying, he now has the ability to heal from any life-threatening illness. Luckily, he is not the only one of his kind to stop aging. When two more people intend to join his “family”, there seems to be another threat to their kind. He must find out the truth at all costs while also dealing with all the ghosts from his long ago past.

What I liked: once I got past being confused and not really liking the characters, I found that Zac was a very genuine man suffering from demons of his past. What would it be like to live for so long with all your sins and not be relying on a Savior? This story is a journey of redemption and forgiveness. Zac is someone who is a super empath and that makes him carry even more burdens. He is someone who can see everyone’s perspective and feel their emotions. He is a mediator but he is imperfect and needs a life buoy for himself.

What I didn’t like: not understanding what was happening in the beginning. I would have liked a better synopsis in the beginning of the story to help prepare me. Maybe even a character list to help with backgrounds? 

This book is still well written but just wasn’t my cup of tea. I still am a fan of this author and will continue to read what she writes but I’ll have to make sure to read books in a series in order.

My thanks to the publisher, NetGalley and CelebrateLit for an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More from Amanda

For years, the theme of immortality has intrigued me. I love the Elves of Middle-Earth, the “happiest and saddest” of the peoples Tolkien created as they watch the ages pass. I love the exploration of aged sorrow in Tuck Everlasting. I’ve stuck with TV shows which shall remain nameless (but, ahem, a few feature vampires) because I’m always wondering how did this writer tackle immortality? Anything new? Are the characters convincingly old and young at the same time?

The thing is, while some of these fiction works satisfy me more than others, I’m always left with a tug of incompletion. Eventually I figured out this tug was a story in my own head and heart wanting to come out, a contemporary story that included the gospel. What might God’s plan be for those whose earthly days seem unnumbered? How would their age affect their interactions with humanity and with faith? These questions were the springboard for the No Less Days series, and of course the answers vary with the individual. Ultimately this is why I write: to explore people, their inner selves, their relationships. My goal is always to create characters that breathe from the page.

In From Sky to Sky, we get a look into the head and heart of Zac Wilson, who has been on the run from God longer than any of us could imagine: a full century playing the prodigal. I always try to be honest about how much life can hurt, “even” for the Christian; if we had triple the number of years to accumulate hurt in this broken world, we’d have a lot of it. That’s true of all my ageless characters, including Zac. To scratch the surface, this man fought in two world wars and has outlived all his children.

But the sum of Zac is much more than his collected wounds. He is a deep-feeling, fun-loving, generous guy. He enjoys music and physical activity. He has an insatiable sweet tooth and a need for open spaces. He’s not afraid to laugh at his own expense, and he has a boundless love for people and the stories of their lives.

My hope is that readers will grow to love this young old guy as they journey with him through some dark times toward redemption and light.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Texas Book-aholic, February 22

Inklings and notions, February 23

Inside the Wong Mind, February 23

Through the Fire Blogs, February 24

For the Love of Literature, February 25

deb’s Book Review, February 25

For Him and My Family, February 26

Mary Hake, February 26

Older & Smarter?, February 27

Blogging With Carol, February 28

Life love writing, February 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 29

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 29

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, March 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 2

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, March 2

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 3

Hallie Reads, March 3

Simple Harvest Reads, March 4 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 5

Remembrancy, March 6

Bigreadersite, March 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Amanda is giving away the grand prize package of a a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of From Sky to Sky!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f5cf/from-sky-to-sky-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review, Celebrate Lit Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Wedding Dress Christmas by Rachel Hauck

 About the Book

Book:  The Wedding Dress Christmas
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre: Romance, Christmas
Release Date: October 22, 2019

The Wedding Dress Christmas Cover

December covers quaint Heart’s Bend, Tennessee with a blanket of white and the glitter of Christmas lights.

For JoJo Castle there’s no place like home. It’s her safe place. Her one-time love of adventure ended when life in the big city shattered her hopes and dreams. Now that she’s returned to Hearts Bend, she never wants to leave again.

Buck Mathews, the biggest country singing sensation in decades, has the world on a string – his guitar strings, to be exact. However, when news of his mother’s illness sends him back to Hearts Bend for the holiday season, he remembers how good it can be to live among family and friends.

Working with her cousin Haley in The Wedding Shop, JoJo has no aspirations of love. Leaving home, surrendering her heart again, is just too risky.

When she runs into her friend and high school crush Buck Mathews, she discovers Love might have other plans for her .

Buck’s career is on the verge of an momentous leap. But seeing JoJo awakens feelings he’d buried long ago. Falling in love is easy, but winning her heart will take more than one of his melodic tunes and clever lyrics.

JoJo and Buck want opposite things for their lives, leaving no room for compromise. Can love, especially the kind that touches hearts at Christmastime, overcome her fears andhis quest for greatness?

When a very special gown – the wedding dress – begins to make its presence known, JoJo and Buck’s hearts bend in a way neither ever thought possible.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

rachel-hauck-HR-5

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

My Review

The Wedding Dress Christmas
by Rachel Hauck
A Novella in the Wedding Dress Collection
Rating: 4/5

This story was a quick read and so perfect for the holidays. I am a huge fan of Rachel Hauck and couldn’t wait to read this continuation of her Wedding Dress series. This book can definitely be read as a standalone novella, but I recommend reading the others if you enjoy this one. 

JoJo has been back in her hometown for a few years and has been supporting her friend, Haley, in the local wedding dress shop. She uses her PR background to help out the store especially this Black Friday. Shadows of the past haunt her but she feels safe back home in the small town where she knows everyone. She loves her town and has volunteered to help with many different events and activities. 

Buck is ready for a break. After all the touring and living on the road, he is excited to go back home and rest. He is even more enthusiastic about going home when he learns that JoJo is back in town. He hopes they can catch up while he’s back. They were inseparable back in high school despite the fact that she was a few years younger than him. Music had been good to him but he was ready for a change – perhaps to settle down?

When JoJo and Buck get roped into helping out with the Children’s Christmas performance which includes an original song, the sparks fly and JoJo must learn to open up her heart for her old crush if she wants to find happiness. Can she be honest about her past and her current feelings? Will Buck’s career and touring get in the way of their relationship?

Honestly, this story reads like a great Hallmark movie. I loved it. The ending seemed a bit rushed to me but it’s a novella so that’s par for the course. Whenever you bring together two characters with shared history, it’s a bit more believable to move the story forward quickly. The songwriting aspect was a lot of fun (this is coming from a fellow singer-songwriter). The characters do get some time to develop and grow. Rachel Hauck is a beautiful writer who can seamlessly weave in a story of God’s love and the faith that sustains us even in the darkest and most confusing places. 

I highly recommend for those that enjoy Hallmark movies and inspirational romance. 

My thanks to the author, NetGalley, and CelebrateLit for an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

More From Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share The Wedding Dress Christmas with you. I’ve heard from so many how much The Wedding Dress has touched them, and as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward the wedding dress and Christmas. What’s more romantic than a Christmas wedding?

This novella is set in Hearts Bend, Tennessee, the fictional town ofThe Wedding Chapel and The Wedding Shop. Even if you’ve never read one of books inThe Wedding Collection, you’ll enjoy this story, the mystery of the dress, and the women whose lives it changed.

I love weddings. They remind us of the purity and the hope of love, the power of commitment. Something powerful is released when two people pledge to spend their lives together, loving and serving one another in both good and bad times. Every wedding I attend reminds me of the vows I made to my husband and I sign up all over again.

Stories are a powerful reflection of life. Yes, fictional stories are often told with wild hyperbole, but that’s what makes them fun to read.

I also love wedding stories because they remind us of God’s love for us, and that one day there will be the grandest wedding of them all. Isn’t it wonderful that God planned a wedding before He created the earth?

In The Wedding Dress Christmas, JoJo and Buck have their issues, but love proves strong enough to conquer them all.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and The Wedding Dress Christmas.

Yours,

Rachel

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, December 18

Through the Fire Blogs, December 18

Livin’ Lit, December 18

Robin’s Nest, December 18

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 19

By The Book, December 19

Wishful Endings, December 19

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 19

Among the Reads, December 20

Genesis 5020, December 20

Life as Lanhams, December 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 21

Daysong Reflections, December 21

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 21

Bigreadersite, December 21

Simple Harvest Reads, December 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Remembrancy, December 22

Britt Reads Fiction, December 22

She Lives to Read, December 23

Empowermoms, December 23

Inside the Wong Mind, December 23

Mia Reads Blog, December 23

Splashes of Joy, December 24

Christian Bookaholic, December 24

Hallie Reads, December 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 25

Blogging With Carol, December 25

For Him and My Family, December 26

Hebrews 12 Endurance, December 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 27

My Devotional Thoughts, December 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Mamma Loves Books, December 27

Betti Mace, December 28

Batya’s Bits, December 28

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 28

Quiet Quilter, December 29

mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 29

janicesbookreviews, December 29

A Reader’s Brain, December 30

Inklings and notions, December 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 30

Carla Loves to Read, December 30

Back Porch Reads, December 31

CarpeDiem, December 31

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, December 31

☆꧁GIVEAWAY꧂☆

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a print copy of the book and a Visa gift card for $25. Swag!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

***Giveaway is now closed!