Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Review: Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin

 

About:

What is the price of freedom?

Liliana Vela hates the term victim. She's not a victim, she's a fighter. Stubborn and strong with a quiet elegance, she's determined to take back her life after escaping the clutches of human traffickers. But she can't stay safely in America--unless the man who aided in her rescue is serious about his unconventional proposal to marry her.

Meric Toledan was just stopping at a service station for a bottle of water. Instead, he becomes the key to Liliana's rescue. If he can keep his secrets hidden, his wealth and position afford him many resources to help her. But the mysterious buyer who funded her capture will not sit idly by while his prize is stolen from him.


My Thoughts:

This story was so good. I was thinking about it whenever I wasn't reading it and I couldn't wait to pick it back up again when I had to put it down. 

We start off with a bang as Liliana is running from her captors. She is from Mexico and has been brought into the USA as part of a human trafficking ring, or so it seems. She is rescued by an eccentric and curious man, Meric Toledan, who offers her an unbelievable offer. Marry him and he will protect her. So, this is also a marriage of convenience story for the modern generation. That is my favorite trope so when an author writes this for the contemporary, I get super excited to see their take. This was very good.

Liliana, we are told, is of exceptional beauty, possibly why she may have been targeted. Her backstory is heartbreaking, and she has much to overcome. Not only does she need to get better at the English language, but she is also trying to get stronger, and trying to figure out the enigma who is her husband. Her growth, what she overcomes, and her strength shine through this story.

Meric, what can I say. He is a knight in shining armor. He is moody, secretive, super rich, and hiding so many secrets. His weakness, his wife Liliana. Yet he does not feel he deserves her. His backstory is also heartbreaking, and he is fighting his many demons. But he is such a great protector and his love and desire for Liliana is deep.

So many secrets were unraveled. The danger to both Meric and Liliana was always bubbling just under the surface. And the story took many directions I was not expecting. This story does deal with the horror that is human trafficking. This is the second novel I have read by author Koslin and her stories are really a unique addition to the romantic suspense category.

I received a copy of this novel from Revell Publishing through Interviews and reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views are my own.

About the Author:

Melissa Koslin is a fourth-degree black belt in and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. In her day job as a commercial property manager, she secretly notes personal quirks and funny situations, ready to tweak them into colorful additions for her books. The author of Never Miss, Melissa lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Corey. Find more information on her books at www.MelissaKoslin.com.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Review, Guest post, and Giveaway: Calm in the Mountain Storm by Misty M. Beller

 



About the Book

Book: Calm in the Mountain Storm

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: September 13, 2022

This epic journey will test his strength and ability to protect his children—and they’re all he has left.

When Elise Lane and her brother set out as missionaries to the native tribes in the Rocky Mountains, she knew the work would be challenging. But nothing fully prepared her for the hardships, nor the joys of getting to know the people. And even more so when some of them decide to accept God’s grace. When they discover the entire village where they’ve been working has been massacred, the mysterious brave standing at the edge of the devastation appears to be part of the danger. Especially when Elise realizes he’s holding a baby she recognizes as the daughter of one of the women who now lies dead.

Gone far too long on a mission to return his son who’d been taken by an enemy war party, Goes Ahead is relieved to return home with the boy. Until they reach their village, and the death they find there ignites his fury. His wife has been killed, along with all their friends and neighbors. No one is left alive—except their infant daughter. It can’t be coincidence that both his children have survived such evils. Now he must keep them alive and cross the mountains to return to his family, people who can help protect his family from further danger.

Traveling with an infant not yet four moons old—and no mother to feed her—is more than even Goes Ahead can overcome. Allowing the white strangers to accompany him seems the only choice since one in their party is already nursing a babe of her own. As winter closes in and the mountains prove treacherous beyond anything Goes Ahead can control, only a strength and love greater than his own can save his children—and the woman he’s come to love.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Elise wants to take God's message and love to the Native Americans. So along with her brother, Ben, and Lola and White Owl and with their infant daughter, they have been traveling from village to village giving the peoples God's message. But when they head back to Bright Eye's village, horror awaits them.

Goes Ahead has come back from rescuing his son to find his wife's village decimated and everyone killed. He did not plan on running into the group of missionaries that he did. But he needs help as his infant daughter needs to eat and the only one that can help him with that is White Owl's wife Lola. So begrudgingly and in sorrow he leads this group of five adults and three small children back to his family's home.

Along the way and through Elise's persistence, he lets his guard down, especially around her. Dangers await all of them and he is unsure of the welcome or if he even wants to go back to his family's village. But as his heart begins to open to Elise and to her God, he begins to realize how important family really is. Even those he has blamed for so long.

This was a story of Elise and Goes Ahead's love story and how even though they were from different worlds, could they be right for one another? Another story of adventure and romance in the dangers of Rockies.

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

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Raised on a farm and surrounded by family, Misty developed her love for horses, history, and adventure. These days, her husband and children provide fresh adventure every day, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

Misty’s passion is to create inspiring Christian fiction infused with the grandeur of the mountains, writing historical romance that displays God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Sharing her stories with readers is a dream come true for Misty. She writes from her country home in South Carolina and escapes to the mountains any chance she gets.

 

More from Misty

Early Missionaries to the Rocky Mountain Native American Tribes  

One of the things I love about writing stories set in the 1830s Rocky Mountains is that Eastern civilization hadn’t yet touched the frontier. The only people who lived in or visited the Rockies during that were Native Americans and mountain men (usually trappers, but sometimes just explorers).

From that limited experience with white people, two of the native tribes realized they wanted to learn more about the white man’s God and his “Book of Heaven” (the Bible). In 1831, a delegation of four Native Americans—two Nez Perce and two Flathead—showed up in St. Louis, Missouri, asking for someone to come and teach their people about God.

Over the next several years, a number of people went west as missionaries, and this was the real-life inspiration for the heroine in Calm in the Mountain Storm. Though the characters in this story are fictional, the events certainly could have happened!

When Elise Lane heard that the Indians actually wanted to learn about God and simply needed someone to come tell them, she knew she had to answer that call. Of course, her brother Benjamin couldn’t let her go into that danger alone, so together, they set out on an expedition they knew would likely change them forever. Elise doesn’t have any idea exactly how much!

I pray you enjoy reading the story of Elise and Goes Ahead, the brave she meets who’s desperate for help getting his young children across the mountains. As with our hero and heroine in the story, I pray your faith is inspired!

Blessings!

Misty

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 16

Texas Book-aholic, September 17

Holly’s Book Corner, September 17

Inklings and notions, September 18

Pause for Tales, September 19

Betti Mace, September 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 20

For Him and My Family, September 21

Blossoms and Blessings, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 24

Connie’s History Classroom, September 25

For the Love of Literature, September 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 27

Mary Hake, September 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 28

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Misty 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/21812/calm-in-the-mountain-storm-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Fighting and Flirting with My Cowboy Enemy by Julia Keanini

 



About the Book


Book: Fighting and Flirting with My Cowboy Enemy

Author: Julia Keanini

Genre: Clean and Wholesome Romance

Release date: July 26, 2022

Jackson Ashford seems to have it all. Gorgeous looks, fulfilling job, loving relationship with his family . . . and he looks amazing in a cowboy hat. He may be a bit of a grump at times, but that doesn’t deter the women of Blue Falls from vying for his attention. So when Ruby Ellison arrives at his doorstep and hates Jackson on sight, he’s confused, to say the least.

Ruby Ellison never intended to come to the tiny town of Blue Falls, Idaho, but when her best friend’s search for her birth father takes her there, Ruby follows. She comes because she’d never let Madi down, but she stays because she quickly comes to love the small town. It’s the best place she’s ever lived . . . with one exception. Jackson Ashford. But Ruby figures she’ll just avoid him. Blue Falls is a small town but surely it’s big enough for two people to keep their distance.

But when Jackson and Ruby are both asked to coach an eight-year-old girls’ basketball team, Ruby realizes there will be no avoiding the man. She’ll just have to hate him up close rather than from afar. But as Ruby gets to know him she realizes that maybe the man she thought she knew isn’t really who Jackson is at all.

Join Ruby and Jackson as they fight and flirt their way to a happily ever after.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This title grabbed me, made me curious to open the pages, and delve right into this story. Why does Ruby hate Jackson so much, especially when a bunch of women will not take no for an answer from him. Jackson is also very curious. What did he do? Do they know each other from the past? He feels Ruby must have a reason for her animosity and he makes it his personal goal to find out.

Things also get more complicated as they both become coaches for a girls' basketball team. Ruby's plan of avoiding Jackson doesn't work and the more time she spends with him, the more her heart unravels around him. Can she keep a hold of her heart or is she destined to fall for him? If Jackson has anything to say about it, she will fall in love with him like he already is with her.

This was a cute small-town romance with a couple of characters who had to come to grips with trauma from the past before they could move on to their future. I liked that not only did the attraction grow, but so did the friendship between these two. Especially how they could barely be in each other's presence in the beginning. Their maturity and growth were a delight to watch. Along with the flirting.

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


Julia Keanini is just a city girl living in a country world (and secretly loving it). She loves the mountains and would adore the beach, if it weren’t for all the sand and salt (wait, that is the beach?). A good book, a great song, or a huge piece of chocolate can lift her mood, but her true happiness is found in her little fam. She writes about girls and women who deal with what life throws at them and always about love, because she LOVES love.

 

More from Julia

I almost got run over by a cow when I was thirteen. I homeschooled during my middle school years and my parents decided I needed to do more with my free-time. So they sent me to work at a friend’s ranch. I was a typical very self-conscious teen and I had been near horses and cows probably at most five times in my life. You could see that this maybe wasn’t the best combination but my parents were sure and they promised me a juice at the end of every shift so I was game.

I started by brushing horses tails and braiding them. I was the oldest of five girls so this was totally in my wheelhouse. I also shoveled a whole bunch of manure. This wasn’t my favorite part of the job. But I quickly fell in love with horses. They were majestic if not a little stinky, but I loved them all the same.

Then came the big day. The cows needed to be branded and it was my job (who decided this I will never know) to get the cows into the chute where they would be branded. Granted I did this with four other grown men, the people who should have been doing the job, but I was out there as well. In the middle of this arena. Trying to not get killed. I managed for about five cows and then there was a mean one. I knew from the moment I saw her that she wanted me out of there. The moment she was let free she beelined it in my direction, letting me know that I didn’t stand a chance. Somewhere in the background I heard people yelling my name, telling me to move. But I froze. Did nothing. Thankfully one of those grown men saved me and I lived to tell the tale.

But even after all of that, I loved ranch life. I knew I would one day write a story about it. I saved it in my heart for a long time, this is book number forty-seven for me, but it finally came to fruition. A series about seven brothers (even though I grew up with four sisters) in the most beautiful land in Northern Idaho.

Welcome to Blue Falls Ranch.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 6

Inklings and notions, September 7

For Him and My Family, September 8

A Baker’s Perspective, September 9 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 13

For the Love of Literature, September 14 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 15

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 16 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, September 16

Simple Harvest Reads, September 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, September 18

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Julia is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and 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/2136a/fighting-and-flirting-with-my-cowboy-enemy-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Mabel Goes to the Dogs by Susan Kimmel Wright

 



About the Book


Book: Mabel Goes to the Dogs

Author: Susan Kimmel Wright

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Release date: June 5, 2022

Mabel plans to bring the thrills of volunteering to the masses—if she doesn’t go to the dogs first.

When Mabel finds herself sharing a thicket with a dead body while volunteering with canine search-&-rescue, her life has clearly—once again—gone to the dogs!

After her losing her job at age forty-nine, Mabel thought she’d turned things around. Now she’s doing good by volunteering, and surely, she’ll soon be a successful author, writing about her experiences. After solving two notorious decades-old cold cases while serving as a historical society volunteer, she’s already getting invitations to appear on TV.

Her new assignment couldn’t be simpler. All she has to do is hide in the woods and let Millie the search dog practice finding her. But to her horror, Millie finds more than Mabel—there’s a dead body hiding in the same patch of brush. To make things worse, Mabel’s maybe-boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow, has a dark history with the victim.

While struggling with maid-of-honor duties for best friend Lisa, a string of disasters created by handyman Acey, and a disagreeable new neighbor, can Mabel solve another murder in time to save John’s detective license—if not his neck?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This was a cute cozy mystery about Mabel, who is fifty, and finds herself in a new spot in life. Having recently lost her job as a lawyer for twenty-three years, doing volunteer work, writing a book, finding a dead body, and John. Especially John, and the fact she is not so sure how to define their relationship. Although there is definitely kissing involved.

Well, Mabel has decided to volunteer again, even after her harrowing first experience which was told in book one. This is a different volunteering position, and she can't possibly stumble across another dead body. Or can she? 

Poor Mabel. I felt for her. She is so unsure of herself even though she is fifty and now she has wound up in another murder investigation. This time however, John is involved. I wanted so many times to tell Mabel, and maybe I did, to just ask questions. I wanted her to grow in her self-esteem and be the bold woman I know she can be. I think she is getting there. I did not read the first in the series, I will need to rectify that, but I look forward to seeing where Mabel's next adventure takes her in this quirky and interesting life she has.

I received 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.


About the Author


Susan Kimmel Wright is a child of the Appalachian Mountains. A former lawyer, Susan has published three children’s mystery novels and is a prolific contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Mabel Goes to the Dogs, Book Two in Mysteries of Medicine Spring, her first cozy mystery series for adult readers, is now available from Mountain Brook Ink. Susan shares an 1875 farmhouse in southwestern PA with her husband, several dogs and cats, and an allegedly excessive stockpile of coffee and tea mugs.

 

More from Susan

A bit about Mabel and how she got herself into this situation…

One of the great joys of writing this series has been the wonderful reaction my main character Mabel has gotten from so many readers. Typical comments are: “I love how quirky and imperfect Mabel is…Mabel is a fun character with a big heart who has the best of intentions.” (I also hear “hilarious” a lot… 😉)

 

Mabel is fifty, and her entire life has just unceremoniously changed. For the past twenty-three years, she’s had a job as a low-level attorney in a law firm. Boring, yes, but every day, she knew where she was going, what she was doing, and when and how much she was going to get paid. But suddenly, she gets the ax, and her old life is over. Blessed with a severance package from her former employer, as well as an inheritance from her grandma (also named Mabel) that includes a cluttered Victorian house in the town of Medicine Spring, Mabel resolves to reinvent herself. She will do good by volunteering while building a glamorous new career as a writer.

 

Many readers have told me they see themselves in Mabel. As one reviewer said, “She’s a bundle of insecurities ironclad in over self-confidence and I can relate to that!” And I guess I do too!  While Mabel is certainly a product of my imagination, she also reflects a bit of me. I left my job as a lawyer after about twenty years too (though I didn’t “get the ax!). I also live in a somewhat ramshackle Victorian farmhouse with a bunch of animals, and I see many of Mabel’s insecurities in myself. (Not to mention Mabel’s love of food—writing about Mabel’s diet gives me the opportunity to indulge in all the yummy things I try to limit in real life!)

 

Of course, nothing goes according to Mabel’s master plan. Mabel knows little about writing, her new old house is stuffed to the rafters with her grandma’s accumulations and comes with a hostile neighbor bent on continuing a decades’ old feud, and her first volunteer endeavor comes complete with a dead body. On the plus side, Mabel and her cat Koi acquire a new family member—Grandma Mabel’s big dog Barnacle, and Mabel seems also to have acquired a possible boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow.

 

By the time we run into Mabel in Mabel Goes to the Dogs, she has stumbled through two homicide investigations and also discovered the solution to an eighty-year-old cold case—the ax murder of a father and son in a neighboring historic house. This has gotten her an invitation to appear on a local morning TV show—and little else. Then Mabel undertakes a new volunteer assignment, helping train search-and-rescue dogs. The discovery of yet another body makes her wonder if she’s somehow bringing this on herself. Boyfriend John assures her, “You’re not causing dead bodies with the power of your mind, you goof.” Mabel isn’t so sure. Nobody else seems to be having this problem.

 

At least, life is now far from boring in the village of Medicine Spring…

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 8

Lily’s Book Reviews, September 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 10

Inklings and notions, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 12

Pause for Tales, September 13

deb’s Book Review, September 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 18

Blogging With Carol, September 19

For Him and My Family, September 20

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 21 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 21

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Mabel Goes to the Dogs!!

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/2159b/mabel-goes-to-the-dogs-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Laura's Shadow by Allison Pittman

 



About the Book


Book: Laura’s Shadow

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Christian/Historical/Romance

Release date: August 1, 2022

Family Secrets Spill One Conversation at a Time

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

De Smet, South Dakota—1890
Young women growing up in DeSmet live by two rules: don’t go out in a snowstorm and don’t give your heart to Cap Garland. Young Mariah Patterson only managed to obey one. Orphaned and having devoted her youth to scrapping out a life with her brother Charles, Mariah finds herself with no interesting suitors or means of support. Throwing caution to the wind, she seizes an opportunity to lay her feelings at Cap’s feet, even though she knows Cap sees the world through the torch he carries for Laura Ingalls. Mariah is certain her love for Cap will be strong enough to break both bonds, and she’s willing to risk everything to prove it.

De Smet, South Dakota—1974
Trixie Gowan is the fourth generation of living Gowan women residing in the sprawling farmhouse on the outskirts of De Smet. Well, former resident. She’s recently moved to Minneapolis, where she writes ads for a neighborhood paper edited by Ron Tumble. She might live and work in the city, but her co-workers still call her Prairie Girl. Thus the inspiration for her comic strip—“Lost Laura”—in which a bespectacled girl in a calico dress tries to make her way in the city. The name is a quiet rebellion having grown up in a household where she’d been forbidden to mention the name, Laura Ingalls. But when her great-grandmother Mariah’s declining health brings Trixie home for a visit, two things might just keep her there: the bedside manner of Dr. Campbell Carter and the family secret that seems to be spilling from GG’s lips one conversation at a time.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

I loved the Little House on the Prairie show growing up and though I have not read the book series yet, this story that tied with Laura Ingalls Intrigued me. Here we meet Mariah Patterson who was one of Laura’s students when Laura first started teaching. She watched, as a fourteen-year-old girl, her teacher Laura ride away with her love Almonzo. This was a romance she craved. Now years later Mariah loves a man whom she knows will never love her back. She knows this because he has told her and because he is still in love with Laura Ingalls Wilder, even though his good friend Almonzo married her. Then Mariah makes a fateful choice that will change her life forever.

Fast forward to the 1970’s and we have another girl, Trixie Gowan who is making her way in the world as far as she could get from her hometown and country life. Working at a newspaper and writing a comic strip, she is getting ready to get a big break when her great-grandmother needs her. She needs to tell Trixie her story. Trixie’s great-grandmother is Mariah, and she wants to tell her story of what it was like living in Laura’s shadow and the family secrets that follow.

This is at times a heartbreaking and witty novel. I liked seeing through the eyes of another character that knew Laura, if for a brief time. There is romance and Trixie must decide whom she will embrace. I liked how the author brought breath and life to a lesser-known character and what her life might have been like. This was a very unique story.

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

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a four-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series, once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties and most recently for the critically acclaimed The Seamstress which takes a cameo character from the Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities and flourishes her to life amidst the French Revolution. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

 

More from Allison

I can credit Laura Ingalls Wilder for just about every aspect of my identity. I’m a reader because I read her books over and over and over again, checking them out from my little elementary school library. I can still see them—last bookcase, bottom shelf. During the summer, I checked them out from the Bookmobile, and one magical Christmas, I received my own set. The well-worn, yellow paperbacks have a place of honor in my office: top shelf, center stage. It was amazing to my eight-year-old self that I could pick up Little House in the Big Woods, skip the dull parts, and jump straight to These Happy Golden Years in a single afternoon.

Looking at Laura’s writing now (as I often do), I realize I spent my childhood absorbing the art of telling a story. Her books masterfully string meaningful vignettes within an over-arching conflict. She creates stories-within-a-story-within-a-story whenever Pa launches into a tall tale, and minor characters come to life no matter how brief their appearance. (Aunt Docia, anyone?)

When I first came up with the concept of writing a story set in the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, I knew I couldn’t bring Laura herself in as a character. There’s a sacredness to her story, and I wouldn’t dream of inserting myself into the cannon of her pages. But—I thought—surely she had peers who grew up alongside her, classmates who also hated Miss Wilder, young men who might have set their own cap for her, townsfolk who remembered the vibrant young woman with the button-brown eyes and dark curls. And then I pondered further: maybe there was another side to Laura—a side that she kept from the romanticized ideal skipping through the pages of her books. My first thought was to create a fictional De Smet town girl, but then…

In researching and reading Pioneer Girl, The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, I came across a bit of information that brought the story to life for me. In These Happy Golden Years, Laura teaches her first class: five students, two families. And while the “Brewster” children are documented in other sources, the Harrison children are not. There are no census records, land deeds, or any official documents to support the identity of Charles and Martha as they are depicted in the novel. And so, it clicked. If Laura could fictionalize these people, well, then, so could I. Thus Martha Harrison was lifted from those pages, renamed Mariah, and given a new life and a new story in mine.

Writing Laura’s Shadow allowed me to indulge in a few favorite directions. First, I’m fascinated with the idea of extreme longevity (showcased in my novel All for a Song) and creating a character whose lifespan stretches from homesteading to disco was delightful. My Mariah chafes at the romanticized depiction of pioneer life, telling us in her old age that it was really more of a daily struggle for survival. I also enjoyed exploring the family dynamic of four generations of women and how each generation faced the same battles and fought them so, so differently. Finally—and this is what truly speaks to my fourth-grade self…

You know that Elton John song, “Your Song” with the lyrics, “I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words…” Well, I got to put down in words my lifelong crush on Cap Garland. Sure, Almonzo is great and everything, but I always thought Cap was more exciting. More fun. More…more. Bringing him to life in this book set my old heart racing. My research for this novel took me to De Smet, and to his gravesite, where I spoke this story to his stone. I like to think he’d approve, and I hope all of the Laura fans will join me in this tale and let their imaginations run wild.

Blog Stops

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , August 31

Texas Book-aholic, August 31

Genesis 5020, September 1

Inklings and notions, September 1

The Avid Reader, September 2

For Him and My Family, September 2

deb’s Book Review, September 3

Simple Harvest Reads, September 3 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 4

Blogging With Carol, September 4

Betti Mace, September 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 5

Blossoms and Blessings, September 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 6

lakesidelivingsite, September 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 7

Connie’s History Classroom, September 8

Mary Hake, September 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 9

Through the Fire Blogs, September 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 10

Bigreadersite, September 11

Pause for Tales, September 11

For the Love of Literature, September 12

Labor Not in Vain, September 12

Remembrancy, September 13

To Everything There Is A Season, September 13

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon E-gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/210cb/laura-s-shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Review: Escape from Amsterdam by Lauralee Bliss

 

About:

A University Student Smuggles Children Out of Amsterdam

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
 
Helen Smit believed she was called by God to become a teacher. Little does she know that her care for kids will take a drastic turn for survival when the Germans occupy Amsterdam and Jewish children and parents begin to be deported. Now all she can think of is helping all the kids escape before it’s too late.
 
Erik Misman’s newfound love for Helen is tested when he joins a plot to help move Jewish children to a safe place in the countryside. If danger can foster a closer bond with Helen and save the lives of the little ones, he will do it all. But a German patrol that stumbles upon the farm where they are hiding with three children and a soldier who takes an unexpected interest in Helen, could well destroy their plans for safety and love.

My Thoughts:

Helen and her family and countrymen are living in peace in Amsterdam and have no wish to fight in the war the German's want them too. They have decided to remain neutral like in the first World War. Unfortunately for them, that is not to be. The Germans have invaded and will have totalitarian rule over them and force them to see things their way.

Helen is on the cusp of her lifelong goal. She has been accepted to go to college and become a teacher. Not only that but she has met a young man, Erik, who seems just perfect for her. As they begin their courtship, war has come for them.

This was a story that delves into what do you do when your country has been occupied. When the weak minded are being turned and controlled by fear. There was so many great lines and lessons in this story. Really, a good mirror to look at for our culture today. Many lessons on trusting the Lord no matter what as well. The danger for Helen and Erik and those they love only intensifies, and this is where their faith is tested. This is a good story of doing right no matter what the consequences.

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

 

Friday, September 9, 2022

Review: Deception by Patricia Bradley

 

About:

She refuses to let someone from her past define her future.
But does she really have a choice in the matter?

After being forced to kill an FBI agent gone rogue in self-defense, ISB ranger Madison Thorn is happy to be working in the fraud and cybercrimes division. At least numbers don't lie. So she's less than thrilled when she's drawn into a violent crime investigation in Natchez, Mississippi. She could also do without being forced to work with former-childhood-enemy-turned-infuriatingly-handsome park ranger Clayton Bradshaw.

When a woman who looks just like Madison is attacked on the same night Madison's grandfather is shot, it becomes clear that there is something much bigger going on . . . and that Madison herself is in danger. Madison and Clayton will have to work together--and suppress their growing feelings for one another--if they are to discover the truth before it's too late.

My Thoughts:

Wow, this story was chock full of so much suspense from the very beginning. ISB ranger Madison Thorn is now working in the fraud and cybercrimes division. No more violent crimes for her, especially after her former love and FBI partner tried to kill her and she ended up killing him instead. Now she is brought to the area where her grandfather lives, in Natchez, Mississippi.

Things quickly heat up for Madison when she has an unfortunate, or maybe not so unfortunate run in with ranger Clayton Bradshaw. He's interested, even if she is a bit reluctant. However, too many things are happening that are not only eerie, but they are way too close to Madison. Madison is discovering some family secrets she never knew about, and some maybe she never wanted to know. And toss in all the unfamiliar like what happened to her four years ago and the death threats against her grandfather as he is a judge, there is plenty of suspicious characters.

This was a hard one to put down and do real life. The characters jumped off the pages demanding to know how their story ends and the suspense and secrets really had me hooked. Something is unraveling in Natchez and Clayton and Madison must work together to find out what. This is new favorite by author Bradley.

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:


Patricia Bradley is the author of StandoffObsession, and Crosshairs, as well as the Memphis Cold Case novels and Logan Point series. Bradley won an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award in Romantic Suspense, a Daphne du Maurier Award, and a Touched by Love Award; she was a Carol Award finalist; and three of her books were included in anthologies that debuted on the USA Today bestseller list. She is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.