Friday, September 29, 2023

My Thoughts on A Royal Christmas by Melody Carlson



Adelaide Smith is too busy for fairy tales. She's been working hard to put herself through law school, and she's determined to stay focused on her goals. Then she receives a letter notifying her that she is a direct descendant of King Maximillian Konig V, the ruler of a small European principality called Montovia.

What? No. That's the stuff of cheesy made-for-TV movies, not real life.

Still, curiosity gets the best of her, leading to a Christmas break trip chock-full of surprises, including a charming village, an opulent palace, family mysteries, royal jealousies, a handsome young member of Parliament, and the chance at a real-life fairy tale romance.

My Thoughts:

Adelaide Smith is just an ordinary woman, trying to finish law school, sharing a home with an older lady who likes cats, and working at a local coffee shop. She misses her mother, who died way too soon, and except for a few close friends, she is pretty much alone. Until one day she receives a letter that states that she is the long-lost daughter of the King of Montovia. What? How can this be possible? Well, it can, as she soon finds out. She also learns a little bit more about her mother and her secrets, as she looks forward to meeting her father.

Not everyone is excited about her existence. Throw in some political intrigue, missing royalty, balls, and Christmas, and you have a delightful holiday novella that for Adelaide is a fairy tale in the making.

This is a beautiful book inside and out, as this book also comes in a beautiful hardcover edition. This was a pleasant escape and I look forward to reading it again. 

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

About the Author:

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, her novel All Summer Long has been made into a Hallmark movie, and the movie based on her novel The Happy Camper premiered on UPtv in 2023. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at

Thursday, September 28, 2023

My Thoughts and More on Jacob's Well by Urcelia Teixeira


About the Book

Book: Jacob’s Well

Author: Urcelia Teixeira

Genre: Christian Mystery & Suspense

Release Date: April 28, 2023

“A mother knows. At least, that’s what everyone told her. That she’d know when something was wrong. Feel it. Deep inside as if there was an invisible cord that had stayed behind the day she brought her son into this life.

Well, they were wrong. Dead wrong.

She didn’t know her son at all. But then, he didn’t know her either.”

©Urcelia Teixeira – Excerpt Jacob’s Well. All rights reserved.

Dark secrets swirl around the small coastal town of Weyport as Mary-Jean Foley discovers just how far she would go to protect her son.

Even with a new sheriff in town. Even when her husband doesn’t agree. Even when she thinks God isn’t looking.

But how far is too far and at what cost?

As newly appointed small-town Sheriff Angus Reid settles into Weyport, it doesn’t take him long to discover just how corrupt his new town is. With a desk full of suspicious open cases and too much to prove, he is determined to rid his town of crime and win the hearts of his people.

But when two teenagers suddenly go missing, it lays bare sinister secrets and emotional ties that threaten to derail his investigation.

And as the case untangles, the secrets buried deep within the coastal borders of the tight-knit community slowly bubble to the surface.

Determined to find justice for the missing boys and their families, he races against the clock to find them. Unbeknownst of the dark forces that rage against him.

Then he gets a call that a body has been found…

If you enjoy suspenseful, twisty secrets and lies mystery novels that are rooted in faith and leave your heart in your throat, you will have a hard time putting down this page-turning Christian mystery and suspense novel.

Get ready to be taken on an emotional journey through a town where it seems everyone has a secret.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This was quite a story of a small coastal town with plenty of secrets, even from those you would not expect it. This story is told through the viewpoint of three people, and it touches on a teen's rebellion, a mother's unrelenting love, and a new sheriff trying to uncover his town's secrets and make the place safe again.

On the outside, Jake seems to be a good kid. His mother and stepfather are involved heavily in the church, he takes care of his handicapped stepbrother, and he gets passable grades. But Jake sees how his parents are struggling with finances, his prospects for college don't look great, and he really doesn't have a close relationship with his stepfather, even though he raised Jake. So, Jake gets offered an opportunity to make money and help his family out. Except it is illegal and very dangerous. But he kind of likes the rush, until he doesn't.

Mary-Jean, MJ for short, looks like a great mother and wife. And that perception really matters to her. It gives her life meaning, until her son Jake goes missing. Then everything she valued in life, or thought she did, shifts. Even her marriage comes under fire as she sees that she and her husband are just surviving. What will she sacrifice to get her son back?

Sheriff Angus Reid knows all about sacrifice, and what sacrificing the wrong stuff can do to a family, marriage, and life. He is the new sheriff in Weyport and is shocked with how corrupt the previous sheriff was and what he let the villains get away with. Now he has two missing teenagers and something nefarious is going on in his town and he needs to get to the bottom of it.

This is a riveting suspense that kept me turning those pages as lives and the lies they told are at stake.

I was provided 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

As the author of a dozen plus Christian suspense thrillers, Urcelia Teixeira writes to first and foremost, bring glory to God. Then, to delight, entertain, and encourage her readers by creating pulse-pounding stories that are infused with inspiration and biblical truths.

Readers have said her books are “addictive and impossible to put down!”

They describe her work as being “prolific and well written stories that keep you in suspense,” and love her “imagery and attention to detail” that swoop them into the minds of her characters ” as if watching a blockbuster movie!”

Many of her readers appreciate the clean action scenes and love that her “faith shines through in her writing as she stays true to herself, giving pause to contemplate.”


More from Urcelia

Many years ago God gave me a prophetic scripture through which He named me Hephzibah (meaning ‘My delight is in her’). Some time after that, life happened and for a long while I felt unworthy of that name.  But, God showed me grace in this area for the nearly ten years that followed and, although I never aspired to be a writer, I wrote my first ever book on a bucket list whim in December 2017. Somehow it evolved into a series, but, while writing the fifth book in my Alex Hunt adventure thriller series, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging and directing me into using my God-given talent for enhancing His Kingdom instead.  I obeyed and wrote the final book in that series, The Caiaphas Code, as my statement of faith before switching to writing Christian mystery and suspense instead.  Two days later, the idea for Every Good Gift was born and the day I finished writing the last sentence of this book, I heard the Lord whisper in my ear, Hephzibah, Hephzibah, over and over.  That has been the most noteworthy highlight of my short career so far: knowing that I have pleased God.

My heart and soul went into writing Jacob’s Well. I have three teenage sons, and raising them in a world filled with all kinds of temptation is not easy. They have to cope with so much more than we had to as kids: social media bullying, peer pressure to fit into a pretentious world that seems to intensify overnight, the lure of riches through online gaming or videos instead of education, to name but a few. But through the years, the pull of narcotics has remained the primary evil that threatens to destroy our children. I am blessed to have boys who aren’t scared to share their struggles with us and upon hearing a few of the stories about kids in their schools and our town, one of the main characters in Jacob’s Well was born. On the flip side, I have a mother’s heart and imagining what it would be like to watch your child go down the wrong path added in an entirely different element to the story, especially if that mother was a Christian. The spiritual and emotional battles that would rage within, the helplessness and desperation that come with wanting to do whatever it takes to save your son, the pride within your church community––these are all human responses. And that is how Mary-Jean Foley’s character was born.

Throw in a lawman and a villain in a coastal town where everyone has a secret and Jacob’s Well spilled out onto the pages!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

For Him and My Family, September 24

Texas Book-aholic, September 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 26

Girls in White Dresses, September 27

Betti Mace, September 28

Pause for Tales, September 28

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

The Book Club Network, September 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 1

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 2 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 2

Cover Lover Book Review, October 3

The Sacred Line, October 4

Blogging With Carol, October 5

Lily’s Book Reveiws, October 6


To celebrate her tour, Urcelia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a paperback 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.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

My Thoughts and More on Path to Grace by Cheri Swalwell



About the Book

Book: Path to Grace

Author: Cheri Swalwell

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release Date: October 20, 2022

Everyone knows that Ariana does not get rejected.

Used to getting her own way, Ariana grew up having her daddy wrapped around her little finger—and he still is. As an adult, she goes through life expecting that all men will give into her whims. When the one man she sets her sights on won’t give her the time of day, Ariana is truly baffled.

Matt avoids Ariana whenever possible. The young woman has no way of knowing that she reminds Matt of his mother and the heartbreaking memories that he worked hard to bury. If Matt has his way, there won’t ever be a reason to discuss the issue.
But when Ariana’s life is turned upside down, and rumors about Matt could destroy everything that he’s worked so hard to achieve, it will take a heavenly amount of grace to prevent history from repeating itself. Will Matt and Ariana accept God’s plan for their lives?

If you like wholesome fiction with a faith-filled message, explore the Path to Grace, the fifth book in the heartwarming Redemption of Green Pines series today. Each book can be read on its own, but they’re best enjoyed when you read them as a full series!


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This is a story of a very lost soul who strives to please her father no matter what the cost and to even use manipulation when it suits her. Ariana is used to getting what she wants, especially when her older brother and sister are not really in favor with their father. However, when Ariana makes a costly mistake that will change her life, she learns just how conditional her father's love is for her. When she defies his request the realization of what a mess her family life has always been comes very clear. What is she to do? Well thankfully her sister and brother and their church friends have her back, and she won't need to face anything alone.

Matt has had some of trouble of his own, and certainly no shortage of family trouble. As he tries to stay on the straight and narrow, he tries to avoid Ariana. He knows women like her are nothing but trouble. But one evening he finds her at her lowest and wounded, and he cannot leave her alone. Through some soul searching and a surrender to the One, Ariana and Matt are put on a path that could lead them to a happily every after, even if it all started out as a mistake.

This is a very thoughtful and hard look at a young woman who was living life for herself. She finds out who her friends are and who are not. We watch as Ariana grows from a self-centered woman to one who forgives without question and learns love is the ultimate gift. Hers was not the easiest of journeys.

I was provided 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

Cheri Swalwell is a Christ follower who thoroughly enjoys her calling to be a wife, mother, writer, podcaster, and speaker, in that order. Cheri loves to encourage people through her fiction series and many nonfiction books including devotionals, Bible studies, and compilation books. Interested in receiving encouragement 365 days a year right in your inbox? Then the JESUS in the EVERYDAY monthly membership is for you! For a full list of books visit Do you like YouTube? Head to JESUS in the EVERYDAY for 5 to 7 minutes of encouragement weekly.


More from Cheri

Have you ever thought about how different two siblings’ lives could turn out, even though they were raised by the same parents in the same household? Two sisters, one the middle child and one the baby of the family. One always considered “less than,” the other the golden child … until she’s not.

Book 5 in The Redemption of Green Pines series, Path to Grace, shows us what happens when one sister has been favored her whole life, until she falls off the pedestal due to one mistake. 

Join the community of Green Pines as life unravels for Ariana. Will her siblings rally around her despite how she treated them her whole life, or will she be left on her own to figure out what to do now? 

If you’d like to read the whole story, I’d suggest you start with Book 1, Adventure’s Invitation, but if you’re simply curious about the differences Wynn and Ariana face, I invite you to start with Book 4, Road to Freedom, and get introduced to Wynn and what her life is like living in the same household as Ariana, her baby sister, and Randy, her big brother. I’m pretty sure it’s nothing like you imagined it would be.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 12

Texas Book-aholic, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 15

The Book Club Network, September 16

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 17 (Author Interview)

Christina’s Corner, September 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 19

Bizwings Book Blog, September 20

For Him and My Family, September 21

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, September 22 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 22

Cover Lover Book Review, September 23

Pause for Tales, September 24

Susan K. Beatty, Author, September 25 (Author Interview)



To celebrate her tour, Cheri is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card!!

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

Friday, September 22, 2023

My Thoughts on He Should Have Told the Bees by Amanda Cox



Beekeeper Beckett Walsh was living her dream, until her father's death sent her world into a tailspin. She suddenly finds she must deal with a new part owner of the family apiary--one who is looking to sell the property--and she cannot fathom why her father would put her in the position to lose everything they built together.

When Callie Peterson is named in the trust of a man she's never heard of, she's not sure what to do. Her fledgling business has just taken wing and her mother has reentered her life asking for help, making Callie's financial situation rather . . . precarious. She's sure she has no right to someone else's farm, but the money from the sale could solve her problems and give her the stability she's always craved.

With an entangled past behind them and an uncertain future ahead, Beckett and Callie must discover why they've been thrown together before all is lost.

My Thoughts:

First, this title really caught my attention. I wondered who it was and what should he have told the bees. Well according to a superstition, beekeepers need to tell the bees when their lives get turned upside down, or the bees may die. Interesting, and this story was quite interesting as well.

We are introduced to two women who both seem to be carrying the world on their shoulders. Many family secrets abound, and when Beck's father dies, their worlds collide, and they need to find a way through this new truth.

Beckett Walsh is a beekeeper who has been an assistant to her father all her life. He suddenly dies and leaves her alone. Alone, she doesn't mind too much, but she lives with an almost debilitating fear that has imprisoned her. After her father's death she needs to deal with things she never even bargained for.

Callie Peterson has never really had a stable life. Her alcoholic mother moved her around constantly and she never really put down any roots. Now she is on the cusp of her girlhood dream to become independent of anyone and open her new business. Until unfortunately everything seems to fall through. She is dealing with financial problems and red tape while trying to open her business. And her mother steps back into her life with all her problems again.

Callie and Beckett are in for a surprise. And that surprise can either heal them or tear them apart more. This is a story of addiction, tragedy, mental illness, family, and the important role of motherhood and how it affects children, good or bad. There is also a couple of men who are ready to help, and a very precocious girl who is very convincing as an alien.

I was provided 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:

Amanda Cox is the Christy Award-winning author of The Edge of Belonging, The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery, and He Should Have Told the Bees. She holds a bachelor's degree in Bible and theology and a master's degree in professional counseling, but her first love is communicating through story. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her husband and their three children. Learn more at

Thursday, September 21, 2023

My Thoughts and More on What I See is Love by Gabriella Fiorletta Illustrated by Nyrryl Cadiz



Book Details:

Book Title:  What I See is Love by Gabriella Fiorletta
Category:  Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 38 pages
Genre:  Children's Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:  August 8, 2023
Content Rating:  G.  This children's book is for everyone.
Book Description:

In the daily rush to get to school and work, check the alerts on our phones, worry about scary monsters (AAAHHHH!), and keep up with our favorite shows, it can be easy to lose sight of the most important thing in life―love.

But from kindly crossing guards to thoughtful neighbors to our closest friends and family, love is everywhere. It’s in the smell of Mom’s freshly baked croissants. It’s in the wag of a dog’s tail. It’s in a teacher’s warm greeting at the schoolhouse. And it’s in a goodbye kiss from Dad as he makes his way to work.

​When the world sometimes feels uncertain and the sky feels gray, just look around and notice how love can melt your worries away.
Buy the Book:
add to goodreads
My Thoughts:
This is a heartwarming children's book about seeing love. I think, really, choosing to see love in the little heartfelt things loved ones do and the moments that most of us would take for granted. But this little girl doesn't and instead after each encounter she states that she sees love.
Seeing love can come from a mother's kisses and comfort to a father letting their kids pick the music all the while getting ready for a job that provides and protects them. From the time spent with friends at school to the jobs of teachers and crossing guards teaching and protecting. Even the sweet gestures of a puppy loving on their people.
This is a brightly and colorful illustrated book that can be enjoyed with young children as they learn about seeing love.
I was provided a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Meet the Author:

Gabriella Fiorletta studied English literature at the University of South Florida. She is a former teacher, guidance counselor, and stay-at-home mom. When she is not reading a book to her three young children, you can find her enjoying the beaches of sunny Florida, cooking her favorite Italian meals, or planning her family’s next RV adventure. Writing a children’s book has been a dream of hers since she was a little girl. One night when she was tucking her daughter Charlotte into bed, she pointed to her mom’s heirloom necklace and said, “Mom, when I look at you, I see love.” With that, the foundation of Gabriella’s first children’s book was laid.

connect with the author: website ~ instagram goodreads

Enter the Giveaway:
What I See is Love Book Tour Giveaway

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

My Thoughts and More on Redemption in the Wilderness by Andrea Byrd


About the Book

Book: Redemption in the Wilderness

Author: Andrea Byrd

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 19, 2023

Two sisters alone on the Kentucky frontier…love is the last thing they expect to find.

After the death of their parents during the Hard Winter, Margaret and her sister have struggled to survive. Between her mother’s dying wish that Margaret protect her sister, and the nagging sensation that they are not alone, guilt and worry are her constant companions. And if someone is following them, is their watcher friend or foe?

Iain Donegal can’t afford roots, not with the pain and guilt of the life he’s left behind, or the memory of the drink that once threatened to consume him. But his solitary life as a long hunter in the wilds of Kentucky finds a new path when he happens upon a young woman digging a grave for her own mother. Unable to pull himself away when he realizes that she and her sister are on their own, he begins to provide anonymous aid. But when the women truly need him, can he risk leaving his solitary life behind to step in and fill the void?


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

I was delightfully surprised by this book. I don't always like to read the back covers of books, I like to be surprised, but I did read this one. However, it just touches only a little about what is in this book, and that is what surprised me, how deep this novel got with only 163 pages or so.

The title of this novel fits the story well. It is not only one character that finds redemption in the wilderness, but all of them. The sisters Margaret and Muireall, have had to watch both of their parents die. Now they are living alone in the Kentucky wilderness surrounded by dangers from men, war, nature, and sickness. Neither of them is aware of a lone guardian watching over them until one fateful day when he must intervene.

Ian Donegal is a lone wolf who is trying to run away from who he is and his past. But he cannot help but help the two sisters who are barely surviving. What he does not realize, and he needs to, is that his actions speak of those of a changed man already. That is his story to find out.

Taking turns and twists I did not see coming and including some of my favorite tropes, I could hardly put this book down. It is one that will stick with me for a while.

I was provided 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

Andrea Byrd is a Christian wife and mom located in rural Kentucky, who loves to spend time with her family in the great outdoors, one with nature. Often described as having been born outside her time, she has a deep affinity for an old-fashioned, natural lifestyle.

With a degree in Equine Health & Rehabilitation gathering dust and a full-time job tethering her to a desk eight hours a day, Andrea decided it was time to show both herself and her children that it is truly possible to make your dreams come true. Now with over 1,000 contemporary Christian romance novellas sold, Andrea is pursuing her passion of writing faith-filled romance woven with a thread of true history.


More from Andrea

One of my favorite aspects of being a historical fiction author is learning new tidbits of information with each novel I pen.

Not only have I always loved learning, but I also harbor a deep passion for novels that incorporate real places and events. In Redemption in the Wilderness, I was blessed with the opportunity to research the beginnings of Harrodsburg, KY. This town was founded in 1774 as Harrodstown by James Harrod. What began mainly as a civilian fort with the building of Fort Harrod has endured more than 200 years of Kentucky’s rich history. Tourists and locals alike can still visit a replica of Fort Harrod today. And, you, yourself, can visit the original fort in Redemption in the Wilderness.

Beyond historical places and events, I also always find myself on a search engine with the strangest little inquisitions. Such as… What plants are native to Kentucky? When do said plants bloom? And which can be used as a natural remedy for this particular ailment? With this novel, I found that feverfew, a native Kentucky wildflower, was so aptly named because early settlers used this native plant to reduce fever. I cannot wait for you to see what role it played for the characters in Redemption in the Wilderness.

Blog Stops

Life on Chickadee Lane, September 19

Holly’s Book Corner, September 19

Alena Mentink, September 20

Pause for Tales, September 20

Lighthouse Academy Blog, September 21 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 22

For Him and My Family, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 25

lakesidelivingsite, September 26

Karen Baney Reviews, September 26

Bigreadersite, September 27

Connie’s History Classroom, September 28

Cover Lover Book Review, September 29

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, September 29

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 30 (Author Interview)

Avid Reader Nurse, September 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 2


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

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

Sunday, September 17, 2023

My Thoughts and More on A Counterfeit Betrothal by Denise Weimer


About the Book

Book: A Counterfeit Betrothal

Author: Denise Weimer

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: September 6, 2023

A frontier scout, a healing widow, and a desperate fight for peace.

At the farthest Georgia outpost this side of hostile Creek Territory in 1813, Jared Lockridge serves his country as a scout to redeem his father’s botched heritage. If he can help secure peace against Indians allied to the British, he can bring his betrothed to the home he’s building and open his cabinetry shop. Then he comes across a burning cabin and a traumatized woman just widowed by a fatal shot.

Freed from a cruel marriage, Esther Andrews agrees to winter at the Lockridge homestead to help Jared’s pregnant sister-in-law. Lame in one foot, Esther has always known she is secondhand goods, but the gentle carpenter-turned-scout draws her heart with as much skill as he creates furniture from wood. His family’s love offers hope even as violence erupts along the frontier—and Jared’s investigation into local incidents brings danger to their doorstep. Yet how could Esther ever hope a loyal man like Jared would choose her over a fine lady?


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This story takes place during 1813 in the frontier of Georgia. There is danger and trouble all around with Native Americans and others just out for revenge. Esther Andrews is a young woman who is caught up in the middle of some of that turmoil. Her husband has just been killed by an arrow and the Native American who did the deed is trying to take her away. With her cabin on fire, which alerts Jared Lockridge, Esther is saved. At least from one cruel existence, her marriage, but now what?

Jared rescues Esther and takes her back to his family home where his brother and sister-in-law live. Something about Esther brings out his protective instincts. It is more than the loss she just endured or her lame foot. After spending time together, his feelings turn to more. But Jared is not free to just give his feelings away, he has given his word to another woman, his betrothed.

This was an interesting story about Georgia and what was going on there and how it was affected by the War of 1812, the scouts that made sure the land was safe, and the people who carved out a life there. Who will Jared choose, and will Esther stick around long enough to see? A story of many dangers and surprises.

I was provided 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

North Georgia native Denise Weimer has authored over a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas—historical and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and time slip. As a freelance editor and Acquisitions & Editorial Liaison for Wild Heart Books, she’s helped other authors reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.



More from Denise

Romance on the Colonial Georgia Frontier

Near my home north of Atlanta, we have plenty of history, which is great for a lifelong history buff like me. But apart from some Colonial-era settlement in Savannah and Augusta, most of it (at least, the recorded part) doesn’t trace back much before the Civil War. Many town and river names hint of the native people and earlier times.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that a War of 1812 fort existed in what is currently Gwinnett County—then Jackson County—less than forty miles northeast of current downtown Atlanta. That evidence of this fort was plowed up in someone’s back yard in 2009 made it even more intriguing. And the fact that I grew up in Jackson County and later briefly lived and worked in Gwinnett (as a historical interpreter, of all things) made my connection to Fort Daniel a close one. The location is now an archeological site with a small museum maintained by the Fort Daniel Foundation.

Most folks, even those who live around here, aren’t aware that the Creek War (or Red Stick War) fought in modern-day Alabama was part of the War of 1812. Or that the Cherokees fought alongside the Americans against the Creeks, allied to the British. The military side of that story is explored in my earlier novel, Bent Tree Bride. But when I learned about Fort Daniel, a home front romance, A Counterfeit Betrothal, book one in my Scouts of the Georgia Frontier Series, was born.


At the farthest Georgia outpost this side of hostile Creek Territory, Jared Lockridge serves his country as a scout to redeem his father’s botched heritage. If he can help secure the peace against Indians allied to the British, he can bring his betrothed to the home he’s building and open his cabinetry shop. Then he comes across a burning cabin and a traumatized woman just widowed by a fatal shot.


Freed from a cruel marriage, Esther Andrews agrees to winter at the Lockridge homestead to help Jared’s pregnant sister-in-law. Lame in one foot, Esther has always known she is secondhand goods, but the gentle carpenter-turned-scout draws her heart with as much skill as he creates furniture from wood. His family’s love offers hope even as violence erupts along the frontier—and Jared’s investigation into local incidents brings danger to their doorstep. Yet how could Esther ever hope a loyal man like Jared would choose her over a fine lady?


Esther seems to have everything against her—a physical handicap, an abusive past, and then being stranded on the frontier without money, friends, or relatives. Not to mention, the assailant who killed her husband still appears to be stalking her. Her only skill? The herbal remedies learned from a Cherokee woman. The harshest winter in Georgia history closes in, threatening to extinguish all hope. Yet through the example of the loving Lockridge family who take Esther in, she finds her identity and strength in God’s love…and eventually, the love of a good man.

In writing this story, I drew on real history and folklore as related in History of Gwinnett County Georgia 1818-1943 Vol. I by J.C. Flanigan and The Early History of Jackson County Georgia: The Writings of the Late G.J.N. Wilson. The panther attack Esther and Tabitha Lockridge face during the hard winter is based on an 1830s account of a Missouri settler. And the Wog? This strange creature of legend is not only mentioned in the History of Jackson County, but I grew up hearing tales about it as late as the 1980s.

A Counterfeit Betrothal is a story of how healing and redemption can happen among the harshest circumstances. But it’s not just a survival tale. Its sweet romance and loyal friendship will take you back to bayberry candles and syllabub at Christmas, the scratch of a fiddle at a spring log rolling, and the laughter of loved ones gathered around a crackling fire. I hope you enjoy the journey!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 6

For him and My Family, September 7

Life on Chickadee Lane, September 7

Connie’s History Classroom, September 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 9

Avid Reader Nurse, September 9

Bizwings Book Blog, September 10

Books You Can Feel Good About, September 11

Blossoms and Blessings, September 11

lakesidelivingsite, September 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 13

Holly’s Book Corner, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 14

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 15 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 15

Cover Lover Book Review, September 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 17

Pause for Tales, September 17

Simple Harvest Reads, September 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

She Lives To Read, September 19

Love. Love. Read., September 19


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

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