Friday, May 27, 2022

Review and Giveaway: A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma


A Promise Engraved JustRead Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


A Promise Engraved
Title: A Promise Engraved 
Series: Doors to the Past 
Author: Liz Tolsma 
Publisher: Barbour Fiction 
Release Date: May 1, 2022 
Genre: Christian, Dual Timeline Fiction, Romance 

Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years? 

Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and forbidden love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love? 

Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hernandez takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Shuman, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to Kayleigh’s work end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love? 

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

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub

My Thoughts:

A Promise Engraved was a deep historical book that took us into the lives of two women who are separated by time, almost two hundred years. Both are haunted by their pasts; both are searching for the truth that can finally set them free.

In this time split novel, we travel back to the troubled times when Texas was rebelling against Mexico. Josie Wilkins is a young woman who has seen her fair share of trouble and as her story unfolded in the pages, wow, she became a very dear character who I really wanted to see some true justice for. She did not expect to find much happiness in this life after what happened to her. She certainly did not think she deserved the love of a good man. I was glad when a certain man showed her through his deeds and words, she was most precious. They were living in perilous times and neither knew how much of a life they would get to live. They experienced much sadness, but their grit and determination saw them through. It just makes me glad for the blessings of those brave men and women of our pasts.

In present times Kayleigh Hewland, another young woman, is experiencing some of the same feelings that Josie was. A sense of unworthiness, and not so much what she did, but what was done to her. She finds a link to her past in a piece of jewelry and enlisting the help of jeweler Brandon Mullins, Kayleigh is hoping to have some closure and peace. What she finds is a love that continues through generations and a link to a much deeper past than she realized. Unfortunately, evil intentions still lurk and are as much alive from the past as the love is.

This was a mesmerizing read and kept me hooked. I cared about both characters and wanted both to have satisfactory resolutions. This was a well done addition to the Doors of the Past series.

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.


The Lady in Residence Bridge of Gold Undercurrent of Secrets Behind Loves Wall High Wire Heartbreak Love's Fortress


Liz Tolsma

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

CONNECT WITH LIZ: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Promise Engraved and a $15 Amazon egift card!

A Promise Engraved JustRead Takeover Tour

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 25, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 1, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Review: To Tame a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund



They share a passion to heal what is broken, but it's their own hearts that need to be made whole. 

Brody McQuaid is a broken man, and he knows it. While his body survived the war, his soul did not. Besides loving his little niece, his only sense of purpose comes from saving the wild horses that roam South Park. Ranchers in the area have taken to killing the horses, which are competing with their cattle to feed on the open grass.

Savannah Marshall is a veterinarian on her family's Colorado ranch. She longs to keep her father happy following the tragic death of her older brother, including marrying a man of his choosing. But days before her wedding, she gets cold feet and disappears to South Park. As she learns more about the destruction of the horses, she joins Brody in an attempt to save the wild creatures. But when Savannah's family and the resentments of the area cattlemen catch up with them both, Brody and Savannah will have to tame their fears if they've any hope to let love run free.

My Thoughts:

The McQaid's are back, and this time brother Brody and his demons take center stage. After fighting and barely surviving the Civil War, Brody comes to live with his brothers Wyatt and Flynn on their ranches. There he makes a very special connection with his niece and Flynn, the caretaker brother, is desperate to heal Brody and for him to find peace in this life. Flynn will do almost anything to achieve that goal. Including hiring a female veterinarian who seems to have caught Brody's eye.

Savannah has run from her wedding day. She just isn't sure that the man her parents picked for her is the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. So, she runs away right into the McQaid brothers. From the very start Savannah sees that she has a calming and healing effect on Brody. Dare she hope for more?

I know every time I pick up a Hedlund book I am in for a romantic, tension filled reading treat. This was no exception as both of our characters are perfect for one another right from the start. They both pretty much guess that as well, but they do have their obstacles to overcome.

I also really enjoyed Savanah's vet skills. She showed that she was smart and capable, even though others looked down on her for being a woman. I liked that Brody just stood back and let her do her thing, with complete trust in her. Theirs was not a story of conflict within the relationship so much as the forces outside it trying to keep them apart.

And the ending. What a doozy and a great build up into sister Ivy's story and quite possibly their brother Dylan's. Though I do hope we might get a fifth book out of this series.

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

About the Author:

Jody Hedlund ( is the bestselling author of over 30 historical novels for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Awards. Jody lives in Michigan with her husband, busy family, and five spoiled cats.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: A Sprinkle in Time by Dana Mentink


About the Book

Book: A Sprinkle in Time

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Cozy mystery (general market)

Release date: May 24, 2022

It’s Alpenfest in Upper Sprocket! Yodelers are congregating in the square, tourists flocking to the town, and Trinidad Jones is scooping up some fall flavors at her Shimmy and Shake Shop.

The cherry on the sundae is her upcoming feature in Go West magazine. She’s determined to serve up the perfect interview, but it won’t be easy, thanks in part to her meddling Cuban grandfather Papa Luis who has decided to make Sprocket his home for the foreseeable future. Papa Luis has set himself up as a taxi driver in his classic 1951 Buick.

But things take a turn when Papa Luis tells her he’s found a corpse in his trunk. Upon closer investigation, they realize the body has disappeared. With the assistance of Juliette and Bonnie (her sisterhood of exes) and the way too handsome nut farmer Quinn Logan, Trinidad must solve the mystery of the disappearing corpse, before her father is up to his neck in a murderous mess.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Trinidad Jones is a woman who is trying to get back on her feet. She has her dream job and business, running an ice cream shop and making some great sounding and fantastical milkshake creations. She lovingly calls them her monster shakes. A big festival, Alpenfest, is coming up in her Oregon town and she is determined to get her business in the black and her bills caught up on. She needs to. This all sounds very promising if Trinidad was not plagued with self-doubt, dubious people, and murders.

Trinidad is still recovering from her disastrous marriage where she thought she would have a happily ever after and kids. Well now she is divorced and good friends with her ex's two other ex's. This is the second book in this series, but the author did a good job on bringing me up to date on what happened in the first book. Needless to say, that one must have been a doozy as well. But I am glad that Trinidad not only has her new "sisters" to rely on, but her grandfather as well.

What starts off as excitement and new beginnings for her and her ice cream shop, she finds out some off-putting news from her new beau and later that night her grandfather brings home a dead body. Well, things couldn't get more interesting or more complicated, could they? Yes, yes, they could.

This was a fun little cozy mystery to curl up with, with a whole bunch of cooky characters and one woman who would just like to live a normal life.

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

Dana Mentink is a USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author as well as a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and the recipient of a Holt Medallion. She’s written over fifty titles in the suspense, lighthearted romance and mystery genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)


More from Dana

Who wouldn’t want to visit Upper Sprocket? Sure there’s the odd corpse that turns up, but it’s a charming place, complete with a rail riders excursion business and the Shimmy and Shake Shop, run by the determined Trinidad Jones. It’s fall in Sprocket and the locals are hosting a series of Alpenfest events with everything from yodeling performances to sausage cook offs. Papa Luis, Trinidad’s grandfather is happy to shuttle people around in his classic Chevy Bel Air until a body turns up in his truck. But other than that, Sprocket is an idyllic place with a newly opened train car inn operated by Bonnie, one of three women who were married at various times to the same rapscallion of a man. Oh, and then there’s Noodles, Trinidad’s senior Labrador retriever who has learned how to operate the windshield wipers which comes in handy as stormy weather approaches. Trinidad, Papa, Bonnie and Noodles along with other Sprocket residents are going to have their hands full as Alpenfest kicks off and gruesome items begin to pop up around town. Come along on the adventure as Trinidad wades knee deep into the sticky mess.

Railriding research with my sister!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 21

The Write Escape, May 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

She Lives To Read, May 22

Daysong Reflections, May 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 23

Texas Book-aholic, May 24

Pause for Tales, May 24

Inklings and notions, May 25

Blossoms and Blessings, May 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 26

For Him and My Family, May 26

deb’s Book Review, May 27

Blogging With Carol, May 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 28

Christina’s Corner, May 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 30

Simple Harvest Reads, May 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 31

Labor Not in Vain, May 31

Bigreadersite, June 1

Vicky Sluiter, June 1

Genesis 5020, June 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 2

Lighthouse-Academy, June 3

A Good Book and cup of Tea, June 3



To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed book!!

(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)

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

Monday, May 23, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Bride of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach


About the Book

Book: Bride of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: January 1, 2022

For botanist, Bettina Gilbert, mining is an offense against God’s green earth. With the shortage of women in Montana, Luke travels to Chicago to manage the Montana mining exhibition hoping to also find a wife. Only that pretty botanist keeps disrupting his mining presentations … and his chances of meeting the right woman! A city girl who despises his way of life would be the worst choice for a miner’s wife, wouldn’t she?

Uplifting, wholesome romance set in the Gilded Age during Chicago’s World Fair. Written by bestselling author and professional genealogist, Angela Breidenbach. Accurate to history while entertaining, inspiring, with a lovely ambiance of hope.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

I do believe this is my favorite story of the Queen of the Rockies series, an historical look at Montana becoming a state and its historical accomplishments. This one's story centers around the Great Chicago World's Fair and the uniqueness Montana wanted to show from their state. Setting a certain budget aside, the women only received 10 percent of what the men received. But lo and behold they came home with the awards. The author in her notes describes what exactly happened and how these wilderness women, with less, showed so much more of their state.

Bettina Gilbert is a young botanist whose sole goal is to help the poor and better feed them through better farming techniques. She is bright, loyal, and driven. Luke is from Helena, Montana and has been chosen to represent Montana and it's mining at the exhibition. He is also looking for a wife. Not just any wife but one who will be the perfect match for him in every way. He believes he has found that in Bettina. 

Theirs is an up and down journey of openness and laying aside the past to embrace the future. In a way, also pursuing new dreams for the future. I enjoyed their journey and courtship with the very interesting backdrop of Montana's women and their ingenuity.

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

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, conference speaker, bestselling author of eighteen books, and screenwriter. Angela lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!


More from Angela

Rabbit trails. The paths that draw a writer away from her planned research. That’s what happened when I started researching Queen of the Rockies. I hopped down a rabbit trail that took me into an entirely different story. Here I was writing about the beginning of Montana as a state, the real people, and the unusual stories of the Gilded Age. Then a thread of the Chicago World’s Fair kept popping up like little bunnies in the middle of the field that darted here and there.

Well, those little rabbit trails captured my fascination. I couldn’t stop chasing them. I wanted to know more about why people who were busy carving out a new state would want to travel halfway across the country and live in Chicago for five months. Why would they care? What were their goals? Who were these unusual people? So, I did the smart thing. I started a new document to think about writing a later story.

The more I researched the first book in this series, Queen of the Rockies, the more I found tidbits of names that reappeared in newspapers. Then I followed a few of those names just to see what had become of them. I found a lot more than I expected. From the social pages in newspapers to club minute books to journals the stories of some really interesting women came to light. Their goals were much more than for one family or one town. These people found a cause bigger than themselves. They found a bond in forging a state that held respectability in the world’s eyes. These people were tired, and offended, of the constant slur — the Wild West. And they were going to change that erroneous misconception!

The rest of civilization didn’t understand how modern, elegant, and valuable Montana was in the 1890s. But the people of Montana were about to prove their infant state was the shining star on the American flag. She was no infant. This beautiful state, whose capitol was fully electric already, could hold her own among the elegant countries slated to be at that fair in 1893.

Come turn the pages of Bride of the Rockies and find out what these people, and especially the women, did to put Montana in the world headlines. See why they stunned with never before seen discoveries displayed in their pavilion during the Columbian Exposition. Can you imagine being given 10% of the budget while the men had 90%, in essence set up as the underdog, and blowing the world away with what you do with it?  Walking away with the win? Not just one win…seven!

Bride of the Rockies took me on a fabulous rabbit trail of research. I hope this story will be fun for you, too!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

An Author’s Take, May 19

Blogging With Carol, May 19

Betti Mace, May 20

Texas Book-aholic, May 21

Mary Hake, May 21

Inklings and notions, May 22

For Him and My Family, May 23

Pause for Tales, May 23

deb’s Book Review, May 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 25

Blossoms and Blessings, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 27

Spoken from the Heart, May 27

Bizwings Blog, May 28

Connie’s History Classroom, May 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 30


To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize of a pair of beautiful opal earrings set in fair trade sterling silver!!

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

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Boulevard of Confusion by Sandra Merville Hart


About the Book


Book: Boulevard of Confusion

Author: Sandra Merville Hart

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release date: May 10, 2022

In times of war, is anything as it seems?

Her aunt’s invitation to Richmond is just the change Beatrice Swanson needs after her brother’s release from a Union prison. Bea’s father agrees to the trip with a condition—one that tosses her emotions into swirling confusion.

Though Jay Nickson wants to serve his country as a Confederate soldier, his work is too important to the government. Bea’s interest in his job, which includes secrets that would benefit the Union, arouses his suspicions. Is she spying for the North? His growing feelings for her are hard to squelch.

Though she participates in activities to benefit Confederate soldiers, Bea struggles with her own loyalties and her father’s demands. Where does her cousin, Meg, go on her solitary errands? Bea’s own growing love for Jay, a Southerner, only adds to her confusion. Tensions escalate in Richmond as the Union army approaches, drawing her into more secrecy. Where does her allegiance lie? And how will she be forced to prove it?

Nothing in war is simple…especially when the heart becomes entangled.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

The year is 1862, and like a lot of families of that time, Bea's has been torn apart in their loyalty to their country and the two different warring sides. Bea is a Northerner and yet she has family in the South as well. She and her cousin have an opportunity to go visit an aunt in the South and Bea wants to go, knowing that it could be dangerous as spies abound on both sides. Bea has also received some startling news from her father that she is also needing to process.

This family was caught up in a war that none of them wanted. But they were forced to reckon with how they would view and how they would participate in it. Bea's thoughts and feelings for most of the book are not concrete on either side. We do see her work through her feelings and her thoughts as she ponders what this war means not only for her family but the country she loves deeply. I like that we see the very real struggle people had and the reasons why they would support one side over the other.

Then Bea falls in love with a Southerner. Her life becomes a tad more complicated. But she rises to the occasions and shows a great capacity for compassion for all sides. This was an interesting look inside a family's struggles with the Civil War.

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

About the Author

Sandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher. Connect with Sandra on her blog,


More from Sandra

In Boulevard of Confusion, Book 2 of my “Spies of the Civil War” series, two people in love—one supporting the North, one supporting the South—struggle to rise above their differing loyalties.

In my book, the hero is a Virginian who supports the South. Though Jay hates slavery, he cannot turn against his state. His job at Tredegar Ironworks supplies the Confederate army with artillery. They develop new weapons and technology, such as submarines, that must be kept secret even from Richmond residents.

Our heroine is from the North. Bea has Southern ties and her brother, a Confederate officer, was recently released from a prison camp. Bea’s understanding of both sides of the conflict tosses her into confusion, especially in light of her growing feelings for Jay.

Part of my research for this novel involved a trip to Richmond museums. One display in particular at the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar made me want to do a little dance. (If you followed me around on my museum visits, you’d witness my enthusiasm for historical people and events and how they impact my stories. Perhaps you share my love of history. 😊)

Anyway, this particular display was a painting of Julia Ann Mitchell, who lived in Richmond at the start of the Civil War. She was from a well-to-do family that traveled often. On one of these trips, she met and fell in love with Frederick Coggill, a New York City resident. Though they loved one another, the couple was divided in their loyalties.

Sadly, Julia’s brother, who fought for the Confederacy, was killed in battle. This probably added to the conflict between Julia and Frederick.

I’m happy to say that the couple seemed to enjoy a happy ending, for they were married in 1863.

I didn’t yet know my characters when I read this display, for the stories ferment in my imagination as research reveals the history. I tucked it away in my mind and it later inspired me.

Boulevard of Confusion isn’t Julia’s and Frederick’s love story. Not at all. It’s simply that history’s record of them overcoming their differing loyalties to marry proves that it happened. That’s all I needed to know.

Avenue of Betrayal, Book 1, is set in the Union capital of Washington City (Washington DC) in 1861, where a surprising number of Confederate sympathizers and spies lived. Boulevard of Confusion is set in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. Actual historical spies touch the lives of our fictional family.

Through both real and fictional characters, this series highlights activities spies were involved in and some of the motives behind their decisions.

I invite you to read both Avenue of Betrayal and Boulevard of Confusion. And please watch for Book 3, Byway to Danger, which will soon follow!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 10

Texas Book-aholic, May 11

Inklings and notions, May 12

Betti Mace, May 13

Books, Books, and More Books, May 13

For Him and My Family, May 14

deb’s Book Review, May 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 17

Connie’s History Classroom, May 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 20

Blososms and Blessings, May 21

Pause for Tales, May 22

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 23 (Author Interview)

Of Blades and Thorns, May 23


To celebrate her tour, Sandra 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.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Presence- The Story of Adel by Lana Wetzel


About the Book

Book: Presence-The Story of Adel

Author: Lana Wetzel

Genre: Inspirational Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Religious Romance

Release date: April 27, 2021

Adel Davis knows something has to change. Living with her parents after her husband left isn’t working out, especially where her son Noah is concerned. Ever since he arrived eight months earlier, Adel has been longing for space and independence. She longs for the family that God has written on her heart.

When Adel learns that she has inherited her grandparents’ old apple orchard in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, she knows exactly what she wants to do. She and Noah leave her parents’ home in San Francisco to discover a new life at Sweet Valley Farms.

What will she find when she gets there? Will living alone on a rural apple farm be more than Adel can bear? What about the attention she begins to receive from a few local men? As Adel learns what it means to run the orchard, she also discovers what it means to have a people, a place, and a home. A girl can start a new life; she just can’t do it alone.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Adel is a woman with many insecurities. She is young, a single mom due to a divorce, and very unsure of herself. I could definitely see all of these insecurities rising to the surface after her husband left her, especially as she was pregnant. Not a nice guy. To make matters worse, she moves in with her parents who basically smother her and Noah. Adel feels inadequate as a mother and does not know quite what to do.

Then her grandmother dies and leaves her everything. Her money and her farm. Her parents assume she will sell but Adel decides to step out of her very uncomfortable comfort zone and moves across the country to see if this city girl can turn into a country girl and run a farm. There were breakdowns and life's realities did come and knock Adel off her feet some. Now the question is, does she stay and continue doing things on her own or were her parents right that she was only asking for trouble and was going to make a mess out of her life?

Well, a little bit of both of those was true. Adel needed a support system. She could not do life just on her own with her baby. None of us can do life on our own. I enjoyed this sweet story of a young adult coming to age and growing up. Sometimes just because you are a certain age number does not necessarily mean you have matured. However, Adel does mature on her journey to independence.

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

As a writer of inspirational fiction and singer/songwriter, Lana offers a unique gift in service to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Characterized by her experiences growing up in rural Northeast Georgia and now as a wife and homeschool mother of four, her works reflect an honesty and a gentle natural beauty that is often missed and sorely needed in a culture saturated with transient entertainment and consumerism. Whether making meals, lesson plans, story arcs, or song lyrics, Lana is listening for the still quiet Voice to draw her nearer to where even messiness and failure can become a redeemed work of art.


More from Lana

When the pace of life is set at break-neck speed and the pressure is on to sacrifice self and family for the sake of achievement, I find joy in writing stories that show a hint of something else: something simpler, something slower. A world where people stop and get to know one another (and themselves). A world where people literally “stop to smell the roses”. Where they hear the birds sing and notice the flowers bloom in the springtime. A world where family and friends and place matter. Where traditions yield comfort and joy. Where home means more than just a house you return to at the end of a long day. Where delight and wonder can be found in the commonplace of everyday life. Where friendships flourish and love blossoms. A place where life happens, and it’s never boring!


In “Presence – The Story of Adel”, Doris Jones takes Adel under her wing and teaches her about life. One of the special memories they share is making blueberry muffins together. Here’s the recipe:


Doris’ Blueberry Muffins:


½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup milk

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 ½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 Tbsp. sugar (for sprinkling on top)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Gently blend in the milk. In a separate bowl: mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add blueberries and stir only until well dusted. Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture with a spoon and place into muffin cups or a well-greased muffin tin. Bake 10 minutes then sprinkle extra sugar over the tops. Bake 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 15

Texas Book-aholic, May 16

Inklings and notions, May 17

lakesidelivingsite, May 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 19

Pause for Tales, May 20

For Him and My Family, May 20

deb’s Book Review, May 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 26

Guild Master, May 27 (Author Interview)

Miriam Jacob, May 27



To celebrate her tour, Lana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 amazon gift card with a hard 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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Review and Giveaway: What Makes Me...Me by Anne Baldwin and Levi Baldwin Illustrated buy QBN Studios


Join Us for This Tour:  May 2 to May 20, 2022
Book Details:

Book TitleWhat Makes Me...Me by Anne Baldwin
Category:  Children's Fictions (ages 3-7), 34 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Anne Baldwin
Release date:   June 2021
Formats Available for Review: print - softback (USA only), e-book PDF
Tour dates: May 2 to May 20, 2022
Content Rating:  G -Suitable for everyone.  
Book Description:

What Makes Me...Me is a story about harnessing your super powered brain. We are all special and unique and our differences are what make us all special. What Makes Me...Me was written especially for those kids with neurological differences, their families, and their friends.
Amazon~ indiebound
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My Thoughts:

Written by love from a mom who has a son with a neurodiversity, this story showcases that those with this specialty, are just like everyone else. They just think or do things a little bit different. The story starts off showing the same biological makeup that all little boys and girls have. That lays the foundation that we are all very much like one another. Yet, we are unique in our own ways. And some kids' uniqueness shows itself more and that is ok. 

The artwork is vibrant and will pull kids into the story and shows that we all are unique individuals and that should never be reason for being bullied by others. I like that this author, who is a mom and wanted to raise awareness about kids like her son, stepped out and wrote a children's book to help other kids who may not understand what Tourette Syndrome is. We need a world with more understanding and love for one another.

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:

Anne Baldwin is a wife, mom, and fierce advocate for neurodiverse kids. Anne wrote her first book What Makes Me...Me after her son Levi was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Passionate about stopping the stigma around Tourette-Syndrome, Anne hopes that her books about embracing your differences as what makes you unique will help kids with Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, and other neurological disorders to feel included and accepted by everyone. Anne lives in metro-Detroit with her husband Nick, their sons Levi and Gus, 3 cats, a dog, and a leopard gecko. 

connect with the author:  website ~ instagram
Tour Schedule:
May 2 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
May 2 - Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
May 2 -
 Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
May 3 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / guest post / giveaway
May 3 - Baroness' Book Trove – book spotlight / giveaway
May 4 – Sandra's Book Club – book review / giveaway
May 5 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
May 6 – Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
May 9 – Triquetra Reviews – book review / author interview / giveaway
May 10 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
May 11 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
May 11 - @twilight_reader – book review
May 12 – Reading is My Passion – book review
May 12 - Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
May 13 – Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
May 16 – Kam's Place – book review
May 17 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
May 17 - Library Lady's Kid Lit – book review / giveaway
May 18 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
May 18 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Westveil Publishing – book review / guest post / giveaway
May 19 - The Phantom Paragrapher – book review
May 20 – Books for Books – book review
May 20 - Ravenz Reviewz – book review / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway:

WHAT MAKES ME...ME Book Tour Giveaway



Friday, May 13, 2022

Review: Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White



Sabina Mancari never questioned her life as the daughter of Chicago’s leading mob boss until bullets tear apart her world and the man she thought she loved turns out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution—all her life, her father sheltered her from his crimes, but now she can no longer turn away from the truth. Maybe Lorenzo, the fiancĂ© who barely paid her any attention in the last two years, has the right idea by planning to escape their world. But can she truly turn her back on her family?

All his life, Lorenzo’s family assumed he would become a priest, but he has different ideas—marrying Sabina and pursuing a career in the law. Despite his morals, he knows at the core he isn’t so unlike his mafiosi father and brothers. Has he, in trying to protect Sabina, forced her into the arms of the Prohibition agent bent on tearing her family apart? How can they rebuild what has so long been neglected and do it in the shadow of the dark empire of the Mafia?

Shadowed Loyalty, set amid the glitz and scandal of the Roaring Twenties, examines what love really means and how we draw lines between family and our own convictions, especially when following one could mean losing the other.

Amazon | Roseanna’sShop (signed)

My Thoughts:

I always enjoy an author White story and this was no exception, even though it was a little bit different. This time we are introduced to a crime family, one of the mafia families to be exact. This was the story of Sabina, the daughter of the crime lord and her fiancé, Lorenzo, also with ties to the family. The time era is the early 1920's, prohibition is strong, and sometimes the "good" guys were just as corrupt as the bad guys.

I found the history interesting. The author dives into why the mafia rose up and a lot of it had to do with the old world from which they came. Their corruption was high and the police were mostly corrupt. In America, though, they had a new beginning but unfortunately that meant that some of the old ways of doing business were brought to this new country. As they were hard to break.

Sabina as we meet her in the beginning is a very naive and confused young woman. She knows what her family is, she just didn't understand or know of all the less than noble businesses and occupations they were involved in. She is also confused in her love life. Right away she is betrayed by the man she loves, yet she was engaged to another, Lorenzo, for years.

Lorenzo was our hero. He knows full well what Sabina and his family is capable of. He doesn't want any part of it. He wants to begin anew with Sabina without the mafia ties. However their tale and journey to eventual marital bliss is going to take some time. Especially as Lorenzo will now need to deal with Sabina's betrayal. And one lesson they both will learn, is just because you want nothing to do with the family business, the family will still have it's hold on you.

This was a great inside read of what it might look like to live in a family that is close-knit and loving, and yet is the mafia. I enjoyed this novel immensely.

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:

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award winning author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at

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Review: The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart



In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of FabergĂ©, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown FabergĂ© Egg that Peter Karl FabergĂ© secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family. 

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

In this time split novel, the story is a little bit different as we get to go along on a treasure hunt for Faberge egg, that may or may not exist. Hopping back and forth between timelines, we are given a story that there was a secret egg that Faberge made and tasked with one of his craftsmen, a woman, by the name of Alma Pihl with hiding and keeping it safe. Especially as 1917-1918 grows dark and closes in on the Russian Romanov family.

Present day Ava, daughter of a renowned treasure hunter and absentee father, is struggling putting her life in some sort of sense. After hardly any contact, her mother and she are called to her father's death bed. What happens is beyond her wildest dreams, but they form a sort of treasure hunting team, along with a few others to try and find this last treasure for her father.

In the course of this adventure, Ava learns a lot, and whether or not she finds this mysterious egg and its treasure, she does find another treasure.

I did enjoy this story; the treasure hunt was intriguing, and the history was mesmerizing. I looked up these famous eggs and their intricate beauty and pondered the dark history in which they were made. In both timelines I also felt for the characters, of their broken relationships, time lost, and the fact that it seemed that for some love had died. The atmosphere combined both artistic beauty with the dark and encroaching death and destruction that was coming as an empire that would not listen was going to be turned on its head. This was a very interesting and gripping historical read.

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:

Kelli Stuart is the author of the Carol Award-winning Like a River from Its Course, as well as A Silver Willow by the Shore and Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom (with Wendy Speake). Stuart has written for The Huffington Post, 5 Minutes for Mom,, Disney, American Girl, The MOB Society, Extraordinary Mommy, God Size Dreams, Short Fiction Break, and (in)courage. Kelli is a storyteller at heart, fluent in the Russian language, and has spent the last two decades studying the Russian and Ukrainian culture. Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband and five children.

My Thoughts on The Way Back by Heidi Chiavaroli

  About: Young love means everything . . . until it leaves you with nothing. The summer before her senior year of high school, Laney Jacobs...