Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Dust by Kara Swanson

 

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About the Book


Swanson - Dust

Title:
 Dust
Authors: Kara Swanson
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: July 21, 2020

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London…and a boy who shouldn’t exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins. The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

It has been way too long since I have read a YA book that captured my attention, was an unbelievable good story, and did not have a bunch of garbage in it. It is also kind of funny that I have actually picked up two YA books this week to read. This one and another one I have been waiting a long time to read.

Dust has it's roots in the fairytale of Peter Pan. It is not a retelling of the story but a continuation of what-ifs and what might be happening now. I was mesmerized from the very beginning by a young woman's story, Claire, who has had a very hard time fitting in and not only that but she has also been searching for and dealing with the emotional, physical, and spiritual ramifications of her missing twin brother for six very long years. Now everything seems to be falling into place for her to find Connor.

Peter is of course one of the main characters as well. What I really liked was that the author captured the essence of his character. He was still the over confident, aggressive, selfish little boy he always was, except he is also wrapped in a different package. Peter has grown some. I will not say anymore, except that Peter Pan was never a favorite of mine but this Peter has grown on me.

The author brings in other important characters: Tiger Lilly, Hook, a Darling, the Lost Boys. I enjoyed all the references back to the original story along with the new mythos. This was a highly entertaining read that I would recommend to a wide range of readers. It surprised me how fascinated I became with the story and I wait in anticipation for the second helping in this Heirs of Neverland series.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author


Kara Swason _ Floral Headshot-1000


As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairy tales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com


More from Kara


I wrote Dust not just for those who grew up loving the original Peter Pan story — but especially for the children who were left behind. Those of us who never escaped through a window to a magical world, whose childhoods oftentimes felt a little shadowed.

Dust follows Peter Pan when he is cast out of Neverland, grounded in London. For the first time, this Peter has to start thinking about someone other than himself—and become a beacon to remind any Lost ones that there is still magic to be found.

Dust also follows a young woman named Claire who can create pixie dust, but is desperately afraid of herself because when her fears and insecurities leak out, her dust starts to burn. Claire has seen too many shadows to believe in fairytales anymore and is doing everything she can just to lock away the strange dust dripping from her fingertips. But when she meets Peter, he challenges everything she thought she knew.

I wrote Claire for those of us who may feel too weighted to even remember what it feels like to have hope lift your soul. Who can look at ourselves and all we see are our own shadows and shortcomings.
Throughout the course of the novel, Peter has to teach Claire how to see the spark of light inside herself that is far brighter than the darkness. As he helps this girl learn how to fly, Peter rediscovers what it is that truly makes him Peter Pan: the unquenchable childlike belief that there are weightless thoughts in all of us that can lift us out of the shadows.

This story is a love letter to anyone who has ever needed that reminder. We have value simply because we exist. We do not have to be weighed down by our shadows. There is still light that can lift our hearts if we have faith, trust…and a dash of the impossible.

Blog Stops


Andrea Christenson, July 31

Rebecca Tews, July 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 1

Texas Book-aholic, August 1

For the Love of Literature, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Emily Yager, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Blessed & Bookish, August 3

Through the Fire Blogs, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Losing the Busyness, August 5

Adventures of A Travelers Wife, August 5

Remembrancy, August 6

Wishful Endings, August 6

Inklings and notions, August 7

April Hayman, Author, August 7

For Him and My Family, August 8

Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, August 8

Inside the Wong Mind, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Nancy E Wood, August 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 10

Mia Reads, August 10

Simple Harvest Reads, August 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Faery Tales Are Real, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 12

Pause for Tales, August 12

Just the Write Escape, August 13

Blossoms and Blessings, August 13

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away the grand prize package of a Dust-themed bundle that includes a signed hardcover, bookmarks, character cards, Peter + Claire art print, and an exclusive Dust pin!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Love's Mountain Quest by Misty M. Beller

 

Love's Mountain Quest FB Banner

About the Book

LovesMountainQuest

Book:  Love’s Mountain Quest
Author: Misty M Beller
Genre:  Historical romance
Release Date: June 30, 2020

After losing her husband in the Rocky Mountain wilderness, young widow Joanna Watson is struggling to make a new home for her five-year-old son, Samuel, in the little mountain town of Settler’s Fort. When she returns home from work to find Samuel and the woman watching him missing–and the sheriff dead–she enlists a man she prays has enough experience in this rugged country to help.

Isaac Bowen wants nothing more than a quiet, invisible life in these mountains, far away from the bad decisions of his past. But he has a strong suspicion of who’s behind the kidnapping and murder, and if he’s right, he knows all too well the evil they’re chasing.

As they press on against the elements, Joanna fights to hold on to hope, while Isaac knows a reckoning is coming. They find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it can withstand the danger and coming confrontation is far from certain in this wild, unpredictable land.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Wow, what a ride through the mountains this story takes us on. I knew I was in good hands with author Beller's storytelling, but she certainly puts her characters through much.

Sometimes our pasts come back and they haunt us. Nothing could be more true for Isaac Bowen and now it has come time for him to rectify that. Especially since Joanna Watson's son and her friend have been kidnapped by ruthless men.

The adventure and danger in this novel was off the charts. I enjoyed being transported back into time in these characters' adventures. Or at least that is what this story felt like. I liked that we got views from Isaac, Joanna, and Laura as she is trying to keep herself and Samuel alive. 

This story was very atmospheric and I enjoyed every part of it even if at times I was really terrified for the characters. I had to keep reading just to see how everything worked out. I do believe this is my favorite story now from this author.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Beller_Misty (1)

After working for 13 years in the corporate world, Misty M. Beller (mistymbeller.com) is now the author of fourteen independently published Christian historical romance novels. Raised on a farm in South Carolina, she combines her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. She lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, is an active member of ACFW, and teaches regularly at conferences and writing groups on effective book marketing.



More from Misty

The Story Behind the Story: Love’s Mountain Quest

Love’s Mountain Quest was one of the hardest books I’ve ever written, even though I LOVE Isaac and Joanna and their story. What made this book so hard was the fact that I wrote most of the story during my third trimester of pregnancy with our son!


Our little Matthew is our fourth baby (and first boy), so I was VERY heavy with child during the last three months I carried him, and that was the time that I’d scheduled to write Love’s Mountain Quest. Needless to say, the words were not flowing very well. My creativity was as exhausted as the rest of me! I could see Isaac and Joanna’s story in my mind, but showing it for readers using real words was the hard part..

Thankfully, I have an amazing editor at Bethany House (waving at Jen Veilleux!) who helped me massage the first draft, pushing both me and the story to be the very best we could be. Unfortunately for her, the edits for this book were the first bit of writing I did after taking a short maternity leave after the birth, so my brain was still a bit mushy from all the post-partum hormones and lack of sleep a newborn always brings. Jen’s patience through the process was remarkable, yet I so appreciate her determination not to stop until we had the very best book possible.

Our little Matthew just turned one, and Love’s Mountain Quest is finally making its way out into the world. Because of Jen, I’m so excited to share it with you! I can’t wait for you to meet the characters and story I love so much.

Blog Stops

Splashes of Joy, July 30

deb’s Book Review, July 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 31

Connect in Fiction, July 31

lakesidelivingsite, July 31

Emily Yager, August 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 1

Simple Harvest Reads, August 1 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Inklings and notions, August 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 2

She Lives To Read, August 3

Genesis 5020, August 3

For Him and My Family, August 3

Texas Book-aholic, August 4

Read Review Rejoice, August 4

April Hayman, Author, August 4

Betti Mace, August 5

Blossoms and Blessings, August 5

Life of Literature, August 5

For the Love of Literature, August 6

Adventures of A Travelers Wife, August 6

Daysong Reflections, August 7

Labor Not in Vain, August 7

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 7

Older & Smarter?, August 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 8

Mary Hake, August 8

Through the Fire Blogs, August 9

Pause for Tales, August 9

Just Your Average reviews, August 9

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 10

Blessed & Bookish, August 10

Hallie Reads, August 10

Wishful Endings, August 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 11

Lighthouse Academy, August 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Artistic Nobody, August 12 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Bizwings Blog, August 12

To Everything There Is A Season, August 12

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of Love’s Mountain Quest, Hope’s Highest Mountain, and a bath bomb!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Cover Reveal: Sleep Like Poison by Jes Drew

 

Introducing the next book in the Clockwork Faerie Tale Series by author Jest Drew:

Now, get ready for it...

 

Another beautiful cover by 100 Covers

 

And now-




The inauguration year of Queen Victoria hasn’t yet reached across the ocean to the Caribbean Islands . . .

Aurora has everything she could ever want now that her childhood sweetheart is her betrothed. Everything, that is, except her brother’s freedom from a dishonest life and the ability to move on from her mother's mysterious death. When an opportunity arises that will both repay her brother’s debt and grant her a chance to learn what really happened to her mother, Aurora seizes it. If it means becoming a novice in a sisterhood of thieves, so be it. But sometimes the worst nightmares happen when you’re awake . . .

Henry Huntsman turned his life around and left behind all he ever knew to start fresh. Everything, that is, except the only woman he ever loved. But when Aurora is offered the opportunity to rescue her brother from the life Henry left behind, nothing he can say will stop her. But when Aurora goes missing, there’s nothing Henry won’t do to find her. All is not what it seems on the islands. Not when there is alchemy in the water . . .

The Clockwork Faerie Tale Novella series can be read as standalones or together, for whenever you want your steampunk happily ever after.

 

 

Coming August 31!


What do you think, agents? Which cover do you like more? What is your favorite fairy-tale? Share in the comments below!


Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Irish Encounter by Hope Toler Dougherty

 

Irish Enoucnter FB Banner

About the Book

 Irish Encounter - FC

Book:  Irish Encounter
Author: Hope Toler Dougherty
Genre:  Sweet, inspirational romance
Release Date: May 7, 2015

After almost three years of living under a fog of grief, Ellen Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in her life, perhaps an adventure during a visit to Galway. Her idea of excitement consists of exploring Ireland for yarn to feature in her shop back home, but the adventure awaiting her includes an edgy stranger who disrupts her tea time, challenges her belief system, and stirs up feelings she thought she’d buried with her husband.

After years of ignoring God, nursing anger, and stifling his grief, Payne Anderson isn’t ready for the feelings a chance encounter with an enchanting stranger evokes. Though avoiding women and small talk has been his pattern, something about Ellen makes him want to seek her—and God again.

Can Ellen accept a new life different than the one she planned? Can Payne release his guilt and accept the peace he’s longed for? Can they surrender their past pain and embrace healing together or will fear and doubt ruin this second chance at happiness?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Irish Encounter was a beautiful old-fashioned love story that had me wanting to pack my bags and go see the "green" of Ireland. This is a story that I have long wanted to read and I am pleased that I finally got the chance.

We have a story of two people who have seen grief in their lives, and though neither lets that grief define them, they are certainly still heart sore. Ellen is 44 years old and has been a widow for three. She certainly never thought she would fall in love again. I think she was settled on working on her business and watching her kids move on with families of their own. She was by far not an 'old' woman, but she already married the love of her life. What more was there?

Payne is a wanderer. He has his work and his bachelorhood, but after going out of his way to speak to a stranger, Ellen, his whole world begins to change. I really enjoyed seeing his growth in his life and especially in spiritual matters. 

I stayed up way too late finishing this story. It was that good. I enjoyed the more mature love story, their banter, and the somewhat cat and mouse game that was going on.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Hope Dougherty

Hope holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Forever Music is her fourth novel. Residing in North Carolina, she and her husband enjoy visits with their daughters and twin sons.




More from Hope

Inspiration Behind Irish Encounter

A few years ago, I was staring at the first day of the rest of my life. My oldest daughter was set to graduate high school in less than a month. Two years later, her sister would march right behind her, followed in two years by their twin brothers.

Life as I’d known it for the preceding eighteen years was about to change enormously.

Throughout my tenure as a stay-with-my-children mom, I’d written for publications—sporadically—but I had a portfolio of articles with my byline in print.

That May afternoon, I decided to write something for Guideposts, a magazine filled with inspirational, faith-filled stories. I’d just completed “The Life of Moses” with Bible Study Fellowship, and I envisioned sharing wisdom and insight gleaned from thirty two weeks of study.

I penned What I learned from Moses on the top line of a yellow legal pad. As soon as I wrote this fascinating title, I immediately began daydreaming—about Ireland, not Moses.

In my daydream, a woman in an Irish café scribbled in a journal. A little old man in a tweed vest approached her, introduced himself, and began talking about his late wife.  I saw the wooden buttons on his vest and the Irish cap clutched in his hands.  Suddenly another man, dressed in dusty safari clothes, appeared to the woman’s left, lounging at his table and eavesdropping on their conversation.

This scene interested me infinitely more than the Moses idea. I turned the page to a fresh sheet and wrote everything I saw and heard in that Irish coffee shop.

Irish Encounter began that day. I didn’t know it yet, but God did. I just hurried back every morning to my desk to see what happened next. Before writing, I’d recite Bible verses from the Moses study, like Exodus 3:12 “And God said, ‘I will be with you’” and Exodus 4:12 “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (NIV)

I’d pray for guidance and help, and then I’d travel to Galway.

God led me onto this writing journey with a lot of prodding and pulling and nudges toward those interesting characters. I’m thankful every day He did, and I hope readers will enjoy the trip to Ireland with Ellen and Payne, too!

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, July 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 28

Inklings and notions, July 29

deb’s Book Review, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 30

Genesis 5020, July 30

For Him and My Family, July 31

The Collaborative Press, July 31

Through the Fire Blogs, August 1

Godly Book Reviews, August 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 2

Older & Smarter?, August 3

Writing from the Heart Land, August 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 4

Reflections From My Bookshelves, August 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 5

Betti Mace, August 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 6

Locks, Hooks And Books , August 7

Maureen’s Musings, August 7

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 8

Pause for Tales, August 8

Just the Write Escape, August 9

Read Review Rejoice, August 9

Emily Yager, August 10

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 10

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour Hope is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & 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.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Tempting Tait by Chautona Havig

 

About the Book

Book:  Tempting Tait
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release Date: July 30, 2020

He chose to be a dad before he realized he’d need a wife, too.

When Tait took in an abandoned girl, he had no idea it would change his life.

Tait Stedtmann–accountant, fledgling do-it-yourselfer, and all-around nice guy. He’d been more than a little interested in Bentley Girard and had finally worked up the courage to ask her out. That was before that fateful day at the rest stop when he saw a girl shoved from a car and abandoned there.

She’s not like any girl he’s ever met, and now she’s given him an ultimatum.  Adopt her baby, or she’ll abort it.

Eden doesn’t think he’ll do it. She can have the abortion and move on with her life–far away from these creepy Christians in Fairbury.  But when Tait agrees, she finds herself keeping her word… and the pregnancy.

Nine months later, Tait is wracked by guilt as relief sets in when Eden leaves and terrified as he decides he can’t do this daddy thing alone. Bentley figured out how to make marriage happen for her.

Would she help him, find someone, too?

Tempting Tait is the second in the Marriages of Conviction series.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Tempting Tait is a novel that tells of an unconventional marriage of convenience story and of unusual life choices. It is a contemporary story that shows what doing and living the Christian life would look like instead of just preaching it. Being the Christ follower and showing it in the sacrifices of our livelihood, finances, and ourselves.

Tait has his entire life changed when he decides to step in and rescue Eden after she is thrown from her boyfriend's car. Little does he know the sacrifices he is about to make, nor is he forewarned. He just acts. He is a bit quirky but he has a really good heart and he honestly is trying to live out his faith. And meeting Eden gives him chance after chance.

This book read like a two part story. Once you start and kind of wonder if the story is going to go one way, we are thrown for a surprise as that is not the road the author takes. I know I was kind of hoping for one resolution but a much better one happened to come along. No more hints, but I do recommend picking this one up and being entertained for awhile.

This is another author Havig story that not only entertains but shows convicting truth as well, in a nice way.
 
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.


About the Author



Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.



More from Chautona

How One Man Turns A Mess into a Miracle
It’s been ten… maybe fifteen years since Eden Pohl waltzed into my brain and settled in. Despite my focused attention on other books, her taunts never strayed far from my hearing.
If you really believed what you say about abortion, you’d tell my story.

You just don’t want to have to write the messy stuff.

Ouch. Worst of all, she was wrong.  And she wasn’t.

I don’t mind attacking the hard things when it’s the right time, but I only had half a story. I knew what would not happen but not what would.

So, she languished there in what is probably the longest pregnancy in fiction.

After my friend, Sandy, killed my dreams of combining Tait and Bentley’s stories and added Tait’s (and therefore Eden’s) into a series, things clicked.  Duh. Tait would need a wife. Being a single parent is hard. It isn’t how God designed things, you know? We’re supposed to have help.  A spouse, extended family, the church.

But sometimes things don’t work in this fallen world.  Sometimes we find ourselves parents—even by choice—without the daily support of another parent. Not only that, sometimes our own parents aren’t in a position to be able to help. Age, illness, or distance can remove us from the God-given networks we should have and don’t.

Finally, our decisions sometimes cause us to isolate ourselves even from God’s family, and the result can mean we don’t have that help that we otherwise would.

One verse came to mind over and over when I planned out the rest of Tait’s story.  

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Sometimes the words tried to transform themselves into, “It is not good for a father to be alone, so God will find him a helper parent suitable…”

And I had to silence that voice.

First, because we don’t just change Scripture to suit our purpose. Or rather, we shouldn’t.

Second, because that’s even more out of order than having a baby before marriage.  It happens sometimes—sometimes by choice, as in Tait’s situation. However, the healthiest marriage will usually put a strong emphasis on the marriage relationship first (after the Lord, of course) and then focus on the children.  Why? Because it is best for the children if their parents are in unity. Children find security and strength in knowing their parents love and are committed to each other.

So many times, I started to put that emphasis in the wrong place struggled to get it right. Then one day I realized that this was the very thing I needed to do.  Show that struggle.  I needed to show that Tait’s focus was wrong—that he created problems he could have avoided simply by being a good daddy… but also by being an even better husband.

I hope you’ll enjoy Tait’s story, and I pray that his heart for the unborn will touch your life in a real and tangible way.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, July 29

Godly Book Reviews, July 29

Among the Reads, July 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 31

Book of Ruth Ann, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Cultivating Us, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 3

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 4

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 4

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, August 5

deb’s Book Review, August 5

Older & Smarter?, August 6

Back Porch Reads, August 6

Through the Fire blogs, August 7

Daysong Reflections, August 8

Pause for Tales, August 8

She Lives To Read, August 9

Spoken from the Heart, August 9

Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 10

Lots of Helpers, August 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 11

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of Tempting Tait and an original watercolor of “Tait’s Wedding”!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.