Monday, March 8, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

 



About the Book


Book:  The Lady in Residence

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: February 2021

 

Can a Legacy of Sadness be Broken at the Menger Hotel?

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

Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.

In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

This story, like no other in a very long time, had me jumping at every noise around. My daughter just setting her water mug down on the table scared the snot out of me, as that was the precise moment when the ghost was knocking on Hedda's door.

This was an intense mystery and it was a story wrapped in a story wrapped in a story. Mystery abounded in this timeslip novel as we went from the past to the future and back. All three of the women characters were sad and yet were tough and enterprising in their own ways. So what happens when Dini, in present time, has such a fascination with a woman from the early 1900's by the name of Hedda. And Hedda has a fascination of a woman who died some 40 years earlier by the name of Sallie. Fascination, obsession, and what blurs the line when you need to live your own life?

This was a fascinating and intriguing read that had me turning pages even late at night (though that was probably not a good idea with how jumpy I was). The way the story and stories were told kept me coming back for more and thinking about the story again and again till I could get back to it. If you are looking for a good mystery with a little chill, give this one a try. I also enjoyed the author's notes about this haunted hotel near the Alamo in Texas and what was true and what was fiction.

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

From Haunting to Healing: How Stories Bring New Life to Old Ghosts

If you really think about it, every story is a ghost story. Not the floating spirits of the dearly departed kind, not bumps in the night or mysterious howling in the darkness—but the best stories come from examining a haunted heart. Memories that pursue the present.

A few years ago I took the walking tour of haunted San Antonio. It was a lark, a fun tourist-y thing to do with some visiting friends. I’m not a believer in ghosts, but I am a collector of stories. The tour opens at the Alamo—sacred ground of slain soldiers. The second stop is the Menger Hotel, listed as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States by those who measure and evaluate such things. And while the tour guide waxed on about the guests’ litany of haunted experiences (including Teddy Roosevelt raging through the lobby), my mind stuck with the story of Sallie White. Sallie White is the Menger Hotel’s most famous ghost—a chambermaid whose apparition is reported to be seen walking the halls, towels draped over her arm, or to be heard as an efficient two-rap knock on your door late at night. My mind, however, didn’t dwell on Sallie the ghost, but Sallie the woman—just a normal, hard-working, poor woman, murdered in the street by a man who claimed to love her. But for that, she would have passed into history unknown. Instead, her story is told every night as strangers gather on the very sidewalk where the crime took place.

Years after first hearing the story of Sallie white, I stayed in the Menger for a few days to gather details for The Lady in Residence. I booked what they call a “Petite” room—meaning it is a room that maintains its original structure. Read: tiny. Exposed pipes, creaky wooden floors, antique furniture—the only update, the bathroom fixtures. As it turned out, my room was directly above the place where Sallie White was murdered. One night I pressed my ear against the glass and listened to the ghost tour guide tell her story. The next morning, I stood in the exact spot with a fancy Starbucks drink, thinking about her. She lives on, not because people claim to see her walking and hear her knocking in the dead of night, but because she is a woman remembered.

So, is that beautiful? Is it ghoulish? Maybe it’s both, but when I was given the chance to write a story set in and around the Menger Hotel, I was determined to make Sallie White’s story a part of it. I didn’t want to write her story—that would have required embellishment beyond those few historic, factual tid-bits that such a woman left behind. Sallie White didn’t have correspondence to catalog or a journal to give us insight to her thoughts. Instead, I wanted to tell it to readers everywhere who might never make it to San Antonio to hear it for themselves. When you read The Lady in Residence, you are going to hear the true story of Sallie White, all of it taken from a newspaper account of the time. And then, I did what all historical writers do…I folded it into my own tale and folded that tale into another.

That’s really the joy of writing a split-time novel—being able to draw back and shoot a narrative-arrow straight through the hearts of two stories, threading them together, to bring a haunting to a place of healing.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 23

Artistic Nobody, February 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Fiction Aficionado, February 24

For the Love of Literature, February 24

Where Faith and Books Meet, February 24

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Mia Reads Blog, February 25

Connie’s History Classroom, February 26

Inspiration Clothesline, February 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 27

Books I’ve Read, February 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 28

Remembrancy, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

For Him and My Family, March 2

Hallie Reads, March 2

deb’s Book Review, March 3

Blogging With Carol, March 3

By The Book, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 5

The Write Escape, March 5

Life of Literature, March 6

Inklings and notions, March 6

Godly Book Reviews, March 7

Vicky Sluiter, March 7

To Everything There is A Season, March 8

Pause for Tales, March 8

 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Lady in Residence!!

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/1086e/the-lady-in-residence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Soon the Dawn by Linda Brooks Davis

 



About the Book


Book:  Soon the Dawn

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Historical  fiction

Release Date: February 9, 2020

Ella thought becoming a mother to five daughters a month after marriage would be difficult.  Sixteen years later, letting go is even harder.  What should be a joyous time of Amaryllis spreading her wings as she graduates from the College of Industrial Arts… isn’t.

Ella fears that Amaryllis will lose a grip on her faith, her upbringing, and the goals Ella believes she should have.  Will Ella’s mother-in-law’s high society friends puff up the girl until Amaryllis loses sight of what’s important?  If Amaryllis stays away, can Ella trust that the Lord will keep the girl safe? Can she trust Him with her daughter’s well-being period?

Of course, she can!  But will she?

When everything begins to crumble around her, Ella must decide where she will place her trust—in her own capable hands or in the Lord’s sovereign ones.

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

Sometimes books take me by surprise in both good and bad ways. This one happened to be one of those. I appreciate that the author writes fictional characters based on her own ancestors. The author also shows the grit and tenacity, especially the women, had as they experienced what some would call horror in their lives. If anything, this story definitely reminds the reader not to take for granted those you love.

Ella is a mother of  six beautiful daughters. Like any mother she is concerned as her eldest begins to leave the nest. The year is 1922 and Ella hopes for a good one. Her husband Andrew and she have already battled many other obstacles in their lives and together she knows they are a strong team. But what the year 1922 held for Ella was almost more than she could bear, even for me as a reader.

By the cover and the blurb I went into this story without the knowledge of the tragic circumstances that would unfold. For such a small novella, the author packs a punch and the story is well written. Hope does shine through, but it was just not the story I really was prepared for. This is the first in Author Davis's new series, and I do hope Ella gets a happier storyline.

The reviewing of this book was hard for me. The author knows her craft, the story was very depressing for me.

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

 

About the Author


Linda’s debut novel, Amazon best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland, Book One in the Women of Rock Creek series, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel in 2014 and subsequently, ACFW’s Carol award for debut novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910 and is the prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, which is set in 1914, Amazon best-selling The Mending of Lillian CathleenBook Two. The third novella, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, releases in 2020 and is set in 1912. It is a prequel to Book 3 in The Women of Rock Creek series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, which is set in 1918.

Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

 

More from Linda

When the Backstory Is Tragic

Family lore abounds in my family tree, much of it tragic. There’s the Boyd Irish crystal heiress who forsook her heritage for love in 1747 colonial America. The Billingsley American patriot hanged in his front yard by Tories in 1776. The Brooks great-grandfather who lost his three brothers in the Civil War and its aftermath. And the De Graffenried Swiss baron who brought a group from Switzerland to establish New Bern, North Carolina in 1711 and was captured by Indians.

Among the most tragic stories is how my grandmother, Ella Pyle Banks, buried 5 daughters and 2 husbands. Mama Ella and Papa Tribble’s story has waited years to be told. Part of it is the inspiration for my latest novella release, Soon the Dawn.

Ella Jane Pyle met William Tribble Banks in Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. They married in Elmore City in 1904 and welcomed seven girls over the next 18 years. Papa Tribble, a kind and sensitive one-armed man, farmed. And Mama Ella, known for her salt-of-the-earth character and neighborliness, was the one folks called on to tend their sick and prepare their loved ones’ bodies for burial. She possessed a will of iron, but her voice was whisper soft. I love the story about how Papa tried to kiss her while they were courting, and she responded with a slap. “No kiss from me until you’ve proposed.”

When I decided to write for publication, I knew I would create stories based on my family’s experiences. There are transatlantic stowaways, rejection by Quaker brethren, murder of a groom at his wedding reception, prisoners of war, deaths by lightning, fortunes won and lost, and more disease and death than I can imagine. With such drama hanging on the various branches, how could I not include these stories?

What’s an author to do with such tragedy?

Tragedy and loss are integral parts of life on fallen Earth, but triumph invariably attends each loss. Wellness follows disease. Light peeks through the darkness. Blessings attend tragedies. And life follows death. It’s the space between the two that intrigues me as a storyteller.

My task, then, in creating a story inspired by Papa Tribble and Mama Ella’s experiences was to find the colorful strands among the black, the shining light amid the darkness, and the blessings tucked into the folds of the woe.

Soon the Dawn contains dark and light strands and many colors between. But it’s the stitching—Jesus—who binds the strands together. He turns an ordinary morning into a hint of the “Sweet By & By.” As the delicate aroma of the Rose of Sharon, He scents the sultry stillness before a summer storm. And He wraps the bitterness of grief and failure in the richness of His incomparable grace.

I offer Soon the Dawn to Jesus as a tale that reaches beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary because of His grace.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 25 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Rebecca Tews, February 25

Inklings and notions, February 26

Betti Mace, February 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 27

For Him and My Family, February 28

Connie’s History Classroom, March 1

Bizwings Blog, March 1

deb’s Book Review, March 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 3

Artistic Nobody, March 3 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 4

She Lives To Read, March 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

Pause for Tales, March 7

CarpeDiem, March 7

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a handmade 8×12 wooden cross suitable for shelf or hanging with winner’s personalized engraving on back!!

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/1086b/soon-the-dawn-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, March 5, 2021

Review and Giveaway: Mickey on the Move by Michelle Wagner Illustrated by Jenny Phelps

 


 


Join us for this tour from Feb 1 to Mar 5, 2021!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Mickey on the Move by Michelle Wagner
CategoryChildren's Non-Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
PublisherMascot Books
Release date:   Jan, 2021
Content Rating:  G for everyone.

Book Description:

In this bighearted book, the real story of a young boy with deafness in his ears is aided by his mother and teachers in navigating new school experiences. Mickey is just like everyone else, except he wears cochlear implants and has to do things just a little differently than most. This charming tale reminds us that we can all find happiness if we lean on and support each other.

Buy the Book
Amazon ~ B&N
Mascot Books



My Thoughts:

Mickey on the Move is a heartfelt story inspired by a true story, about a boy named Mickey who has overcome and adapted to his life even though he was born deaf. Mickey is starting a new school and he is starting it with the continued help of his mother and his best friends. But this time is different, he will be doing things much more independently.

There is something that happens and the teacher lets his mother know as it could become an issue. I liked that the mom and the teacher talked it out and didn't jump to conclusions, but came up with a probable reason and a great solution. It happened to show teamwork with the parent and school, and Mickey and his friends.

This story shows that with a little bit of patience and ingenuity you can make the best of your world.  The artwork is simple and done well and pulls the reader into the atmosphere of Mickey's life.

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:

Born and raised in Chicago, Michelle Wagner was always a very positive and outgoing woman. Her energetic love for children and zest for life was admired by everyone who knew her. Michelle is a realtor whose career background involved restaurants and always helping other people. She has dedicated time and support to charities and events to help other children with hearing loss and assist families as they work through the different approaches to raising a special needs child in a typical environment.

connect with author: website ~ instagram
 
Tour Schedule:
 
Feb 1 – Cover Lover Book Reviewer – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 1 - Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
Feb 3 – michellemengsbookblog3 – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 4 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Feb 5 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Feb 8 – The Adventures Of A Travelers Wife – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 9 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 10 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / giveaway
Feb 11 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Feb 11 - Sandra's Book Club - book spotlight / guest post
Feb 11 - Gina Rae Mitchell - book review / author interview / giveaway

Feb 12 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 15 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 16 – Laura's Interests – book review / guest post
Feb 17 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Feb 18 – Westveil Publishing – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 19 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Feb 22 - Library of Clean Reads - book review / giveaway
Feb 23 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 24 – Ice Fairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Feb 25 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 26 – Lisa's Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 1 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 2 – Reading is My Passion – book review / giveaway
Mar 3 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
Mar 3 - Pick a Good Book - book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 4 – I'm All About Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 4 - Bigreadersite  - book review
Mar 5 – Reading Authors Network – book review / giveaway
Mar 5 - Pause for Tales - book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Review and Giveaway: What's That Noise? The Adventures of Forkman by Tiffany Caldwell and W.R. MacKenzie Illustrated by Vanessa Alexandre

 




Join us for this tour from Feb 1 to Mar 5, 2021!

Book Details:

Book TitleThe Adventures of Forkman: What's That Noise? by Tiffany Caldwell and W.R. MacKenzie
CategoryChildren's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
GenreChildren's Picture Book
PublisherMascot Books
Release date:   Jan 2021
Content Rating:  G. This children's book is for everyone.

Book Description:

When poor manners are present, Forkman will be there to save the day! Join Kathryn and William as they learn how to load the dishwasher properly and avoid inappropriate distractions at the table with the help of all their utensil friends. This second book in the Adventures of Forkman series is a great introduction to mealtime etiquette for readers of all ages.

Buy the Book
Amazon.com
B&N
Mascot Books

My Thoughts:

I like children's books that are fun and teach a lesson or two. In What's That Noise?, Forkman, who is something like a superhero, teaches a couple of children (and even their parents) something new. 

This is a children's picture book that is divided in two chapters, three and four. There is an earlier book that must have the first two chapters. This particular book shows how to load a dishwasher and mealtime manners, like what noises should not be present at the family dinner table.

My ten year old son and I read this together. This may have seemed too young for him at first, but I think the lessons inside were invaluable and are a good reminder to all ages. In children's picture books, I think the art is very important and this one was really cute, especially Forkman and his friends. There were a couple of parts that had my son and I chuckling.

Overall I like the commonsense and manners that this book brings up and I think works well as great reminders for all ages.

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 Authors:

Tiffany Caldwell: I have worked with children for over thirteen years and every year basic manners become less evident. When I was growing up, my sisters and I took etiquette classes during the summer while we visited our grandparents. Etiquette was always a big part of our upbringing. When we would have our family dinners, my dad, W.R. MacKenzie, would make our utensils come to life as we were eating. Forkman became a part of our dinner routine! I am a mother of three great kids and military wife to my hero. A few years ago, I told my dad we needed to start writing our story. We are so excited to share Forkman with the world!

W.R. MacKenzie: I spent thirty-nine years in the bakery business. After I retired and my four children were grown, I felt it was time to share the importance of the family meal with the world. The Adventures of Forkman teaches children how to properly conduct themselves at the table. Our books are filled with characters all children can relate with and I believe Forkman and his crew will help children of all ages learn manners and table etiquette. 

connect with the authors: website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
 
Tour Schedule:

Feb 1 - Because I said so and other adventures in Parenting - review/guest post/ giveaway
Feb 3 - Cover Lover Book Review - book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 4 - Fantastic Feathers - book review
Feb 4 - She Just Loves Books - book review / giveaway
Feb 5 - Books for Books - book spotlight
Feb 8 - The Momma Spot - book review / giveaway
Feb 9 - The Adventures Of A Travelers Wife - book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 9 - Westveil Publishing - book review / giveaway
Feb 10 - Laura's Interests - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 11 - Jazzy Book Reviews - book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 12 - Lisa's Reading - book review / giveaway
Feb 15 - Sefina Hawke's Books - book review
Feb 15 - Sandra's Book Club - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 16 - Splashes of Joy - book review / guest post
​Feb 16 - A Mama's Corner of the World - book review / giveaway
Feb 16 - Gina Rae Mitchell - book review / giveaway
Feb 17 - Library of Clean Reads - book review / giveaway
Feb 18 - Deborah-Zenha Adams - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 19 - Icefairy's Treasure Chest - book review / giveaway
Feb 23 - Bound 4 Escape - book review / giveaway
Feb 24 - Locks, Hooks and Books - book review / giveaway
Feb 25 - Rockin' Book Reviews - book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 25 - Nighttime Reading Center - book review / giveaway
March 1 - Reading is My Passion - book review
March 2 - Bigreadersite  - book review / giveaway
March 2 - StoreyBook Reviews - book review / giveaway
March 4 - I'm Into Books - book review / giveaway
March 4 - Pause for Tales - book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Dream Again by Ann Marie Bryan

 



About the Book

 

Book:  Dream Again

Author: Anne Marie Bryan

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: August 20, 2020

One random day. One burst of laughter. One perfect moment. That’s all it takes for Gianna Barrett to capture Carter McIntosh’s attention—and his heart. His whole life has been a series of miracles, so this falls right in line. If only it were that simple. The object of his desire refuses to give him the time of day. Not deterred, Carter is sure he’s ready to put his heart on the line for love. Big mistake. He isn’t quite prepared and finds himself wrestling a soul-deep hurt into submission.

“There has been an accident….”

That devastating revelation shattered Gianna’s life, and in that one chaotic moment, everything she had was taken away. She has spent years carefully crafting her new normal, so there is no way Carter can just insert himself into her life. The fight is on but not for long. Their attraction is instant, and before she knows it, all her cynicism goes out the door.

When Gianna learns more about Carter’s life, she gets a better understanding of her beginning. As she starts her journey to healing, she uncovers Carter’s startling secret. In the days that follow, she struggles with feelings of regret, fueling her natural tendency to retreat. But the flames of desire burn hot and it’s not easy to break their unexpected connection. As the past reaches for them, they soon realize that to move forward, they must look back. Will they allow God to be the anchor they so desperately need—before it’s too late? For all they ever wanted was to be loved.

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

I have really been enjoying my reading year. Dream Again is by another new to me author and the story just really captured my feelings and heart. I would say that this is a story of second chances, of even second chances in your second chances.

Sometimes a girl meets guy and their romance that follows is exactly what I want to read. Gianna and Carter are meant for each other even before they know each other. And one finds out before the other that some things already bind them, but decides to keep them secret, for now.

Gianna is a woman who has suffered the devastating loss of her parents at twelve, and in her adult life she has suffered romantic loss. I think deep down she does not feel she is worthy of love or fun for that matter. She buries herself in her career, which she does enjoy, but there has to be more to life. 

Carter has lost his fiancĂ© to death, and he is a little gun shy of falling in love again as well. But he is much more open to it, especially when it comes to his feeling for Gia. He opens his heart completely to her hoping for a happily every after for them.

But sometimes misunderstandings happen and bitterness can take root. My heart broke for both Gia and Carter and at different times in the story. I just wanted them to be together and let the past stay in the past and their future to begin. I look forward to more in this series.

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

Ann Marie Bryan is a dedicated multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO and Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire, and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Her celebrated bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, blend faith and romance that test the resilience of love.

Ann Marie’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.

 

More from Ann Marie

I am super excited that you are a part of this amazing Dream Again tour. I use the words—emotional, inspirational, compelling, and romantic—to describe my writing style. I love to put readers in the heart of the story to give them a chance to think how they would react in similar situations.

It was therapeutic for me to write Dream Again. Last year, my mom passed, so it was a year of grieving and adjusting for me. While I was going through, I decided to write a story about someone who suffered the loss of a parent. I wrapped that experience into a beautiful love story, Dream Again, which gives hope while showing the awesome power of God in the lives of two hurting people.

I hope you will enjoy reading Dream Again as much as I have enjoyed writing it. In this novel, you will witness the incredible transformative power of love in the lives of Carter McIntosh and Gianna Barrett as they lift their faith and develop the courage and tenacity to leave the past behind. Dream Again is laced with love, faith, friendship, and a sense of community, while demonstrating God’s desire to free people from life-altering events. I pray that you will catch a glimpse of God moving through time to secure the future of those He loves.

Thank you for touring with me and for taking the time to read Dream Again. Stay victorious!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 19

Through the Fire Blogs, February 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 21

Susan K. Beatty, Author, February 22 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 23

Inklings and notions, February 24

For Him and My Family, February 25

deb’s Book Review, February 26

Artistic Nobody, February 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

By The Book, March 1 (Author Interview)

Spoken from the Heart, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 2

Pause for Tales, March 3

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Ann Marie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Dream Again!!

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/10868/dream-again-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Tides of Duplicity by Robin Patchen

 



About the Book


Book:  Tides of Duplicity

Author: Robin Patchen

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: February 16, 2021

A jewelry heist, a kidnapping, and a choice. When Fitz’s sister disappears, he’ll do anything to get her back, even if it means betraying the woman he’s come to love. 

Private investigator Fitz McCaffrey went to Belize on a case, bringing his teenage sister Shelby along with him. They have no good reason to leave the resort and hurry back to the harsh New England winter. They lost their parents, he lost his job as a cop, and they both need time to heal. Besides, when Fitz meets and spends time with the beautiful and charming Tabitha Eaton, he falls hard.  

But minutes after Tabby’s flight leaves, Fitz is summoned by a mobster who believes Tabby broke into the hotel safe the night before and made off with half a million dollars’ worth of jewels—and he has the video evidence to prove it. As Shelby’s guardian, Fitz has to focus on caring for his sister, whether Tabby is innocent or guilty. He refuses to help the man—until he learns the mobster has taken his sister.  

The clock is ticking as Fitz scrambles to recover the jewels. If he succeeds, it’ll cost the woman he’s come to care for. If he fails, it’ll cost his sister’s life.  
 
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My Thoughts:

Tides of Duplicity was a straight up fun and suspenseful romance. Tabby experiences a whirlwind romance in Belize which she decides will always be precious in her memories, but she can't be with Fitz. She just met him for one, and two, she feels really responsible for her Mom's and brother's happiness. So much so that she has just settled into her life. Forgoing all pleasure, (except this trip where she met the man of her dreams), working at a job she is not happy at, and overall just existing.

PI Fitz cannot understand why Tabby and he cannot pursue a relationship together. They don't live that far apart and he would like to have a future with her. Yes he is the sole guardian of his teenage sister, but eventually she will grow up and leave. However, an unfortunate event takes place, accusations are made, threats are given, and this turns everything Fitz thought about Tabby on its head. 

Tabby on the other hand, has gone back to her mundane life not knowing the turmoil that is about to be unleashed on her. Can Fitz choose between Tabby and his sister or can he protect them both from the danger that is breathing down their necks.

I really enjoyed Fitz's protectiveness for Tabby, even when he was not sure of her. Both he and Tabby had issues to work through and the danger they were under motivated them to work through them pretty quickly. And the romance was well told.
 
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


Aside from her family and her Savior, USA Today bestselling author Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Robin to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Texas, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

 

More from Robin

Do you remember the show Party of Five? It ran for six seasons back in the 90s. I wasn’t a huge fan of the show itself, but I loved the premise: the oldest son of five children becomes the guardian for his younger siblings after their parents are killed in a car accident.

Talk about fodder for a great story.

When I was dreaming about Tides of Duplicity, I decided my hero, Fitz McCaffrey, had a similar story. In his case, his parents died when he was twenty-one, leaving him as the sole guardian of his eight-year-old sister, Shelby.

Do you remember being twenty-one? I do, and let me tell you, I wouldn’t have had the first idea how to raise an eight-year-old, especially one dealing with the trauma of losing her parents. Fitz didn’t know, either.

Sure, thanks to insurance, they had plenty of money to survive. He was able to finish college, go to the police academy, and get a job. But emotionally, Fitz didn’t know what he was doing. What he knew was that his sister needed him, and he loved her enough to figure it out.

Our story picks up eight years later when Fitz and Shelby go to Belize for vacation. Shelby meets a teenage boy who takes up all her time. Fitz doesn’t complain when he meets a beautiful woman named Tabby. They spend two weeks together, and by the time those weeks are up, Fitz has fallen hard.

But the morning Tabby leaves, Fitz discovers a few shocking truths:

Tabby was caught on tape stealing from the hotel safe.

The hotel safe held a half million dollars’ worth of jewels belonging to a mafia boss—who happens to be the father of Shelby’s new boyfriend.

And the mob boss wants Fitz to get his stuff back.

His leverage?

He’s taken Shelby.

Shelby’s the only family Fitz has left. He loves her like a father loves a daughter, and he’ll do anything to get her back.

Even betray the woman he’s come to love.

I loved writing this story. I loved writing the conflict Fitz deals with—the desire to save Shelby vs. the desire to protect Tabby from a very dangerous man. I love seeing his newfound faith at work. Frankly, as the world dealt with all the drama of 2020, I loved writing about exotic locations that took me out of my normal life—a couple of resort towns, not to mention Tabby’s hometown, the little snow-covered village of Coventry, New Hampshire.

As the winter winds blow, I hope you’ll take this trip with Fitz and Tabby and Shelby. I think you’re going to love it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 21

Inklings and notions, February 22

Texas Book-aholic, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 24

deb’s Book Review, February 25

Through the Fire Blogs, February 26

Mary Hake, February 26

Older & Smarter?, February 27

Artistic Nobody, February 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, March 1

Spoken from the Heart, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 3

Betti Mace, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 5 (Author Interview)

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite!!

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/1086a/tides-of-duplicity-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Review: Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill

 

About:

She's following her instincts. They're following her every move.

After her rescue of nearly fifty kidnapped children made international headlines, Amara Alvarez gets what she's worked for: a transfer to San Antonio's Homicide Division. But reality sets in quickly when her first case, the suspicious death of a teenager at a crowded local water park, plunges her life into chaos.

As the investigation moves forward, Amara finds herself stalked online by cybercriminals who uncover her personal life in frightening detail. With few leads, she's forced to resort to unconventional methods to find the killer and prevent her first murder investigation from ending up in the cold case files.

Tom Threadgill is back with another riveting page-turner featuring the detective who is willing to put everything on the line to see justice served and lives protected.

My Thoughts:

Amara Alvarez is a homicide detective that has heart and feels the need for the truth of the victim to be revealed. Faced with a new job where she is not quite welcome, bullied by other detectives, and not even a permanent working space, her first case is a bit tricky.

A young seventeen year old male has been found dead floating on a ride at a fun water park. What happened to him everyone assumes is heatstroke and while waiting for the toxicology reports, Amara feels she needs to start investigating before the evidence grows cold. What she discovers in the evidence is that he most assuredly was murdered, but why? And can she prove enough evidence to this that her case can go forward? She works with both a tenacity to solve the crime and with empathy for the family.

On top of all of her work issues she is also kind of dating a fellow detective and trying to probe her feelings on whether she wants more. Also she has been hit with some devastating familial news. All of this is on this one woman's shoulders who is trying very hard to balance both her personal and career life. In this second in the Amara series, Amara proves herself to be a good detective against all that she must stand up against.

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:

Tom Threadgill is a full-time author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). The author of Collision of Lies, Tom lives with his wife near Dallas, Texas. Learn more at www.tomthreadgill.com.