Monday, July 31, 2023

My Thoughts and More on A Summer at Thousand Island House by Susan G. Mathis

 



About the Book


Book: A Summer at Thousand Island House

Author: Susan G. Mathis

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: July 25, 2023

She came to work with the children, not fall in love.

Part-nanny, part entertainer, Addison Bell has always had an enduring love for children. So what better way to use her creative energy than to spend the summer nannying at the renowned Thousand Island House on Staple’s Island? As Addi thrives in her work, she attracts the attention of the recreation pavilion’s manager, Liam Donovan, as well as the handsome Navy Officer Lt. Worthington, a lighthouse inspector, hotel patron, and single father of mischievous little Jimmy.

But when Jimmy goes missing, Addi finds both her job and her reputation in danger. How can she calm the churning waters of Liam, Lt. Worthington, and the President, clear her name, and avoid becoming the scorn of the Thousand Islands community?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Working for the summer at the Thousand Island House resort is a dream for Addi, as she knows working with the children will help keep at bay some of her loneliness from losing her father. She also dearly loves working with children and hopes to have some of her own one day. Her arrival, a little later than expected, gives her a few unexpected encounters that don't all necessarily bode well.

Addi steps into her role with gusto, often being reminded of the rules of the resort. There seems to be many. And the gentleman who keeps reminding her is Liam Donavan, her boss. However, he puts her in a conundrum as at times he seems interested in a relationship with her and others she is just another employee, that he talks over. 

Not only is Addi trying to have the children enjoy their summer and keeping them busy and safe, but there are also jealousies afoot and another man whose interests in her are much more than being a nanny. This was a quick and interesting story of a summer spent during the Gilded Age at a resort and what that may have looked like for a young woman looking to make it in the world.

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


Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has eleven in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Peyton’s Promise, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, Colleen’s Confession, Rachel’s Reunion, Mary’s Moment and A Summer at Thousand Island House. Her book awards include three Illumination Book Awards, four American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and four Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to enjoy the Thousand Islands. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction for more.

 

More from Susan

Behind the scenes at A Summer at Thousand Island House

I’ve been writing about the Gilded Age for several years now. A Summer at Thousand Island House is my eleventh published story, and I had so much fun creating it. The American Gilded Age was a time of rapid technical advances, industrialization, and thousands of new inventions from about 1870-1910. Mark Twain coined the term in his 1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today that satirized the era of social problems that were masked by a layer of thin, gold gilding.

It’s a fascinating time in history, especially in the Thousand Islands. I grew up just twenty minutes from the Thousand Islands in upstate New York. Actually, half of the 1,864 islands are in NY and the other half in Ontario, Canada. All of my books are set during the Thousand Islands Gilded Age, when the wealthy came and scooped up the islands and built lavish summer homes, mansions, and castles.

It was an era of economic growth and wages were higher than Europe, so massive immigration drew about twenty million to the U.S. shores. Unfortunately, it was also a time of unequal distribution of wealth where the rich got richer and the poor working class suffered. 

Many young women worked as servants until they married, and that’s what my stories are about—those nameless, faithful women who cooked and cleaned and served tables for the rich and famous. These “downstairs” women had fascinating stories to tell, and I plan to tell many of them.

All my novels are based on a specific place in the Thousand Islands and are the true stories of the owners of that island. So, my plot is generally true. There really was an entertainment pavilion on Staple’s Island where the patrons of Thousand Island House enjoyed all kinds of amenities, including a daycare. And US Presidents, including President Grant and President Chester Arthur (whom you meet), vacationed at Thousand Island House. 

Then I overlay the storyline of the fictional servants to create the story. This makes my stories a bit more challenging, but I love a good challenge. Addison Bell cares for children. Liam Donovan manages the pavilion and Navy Officer Lt. Worthington, a lighthouse inspector and single father, comes and goes. 

And all of my Thousand Islands’ stories have hope as the central theme. Hope for a better future. Hope for love. Hope for healing. A Summer at Thousand Island House also focuses on healing broken hearts and embracing God’s redemption.

Mathis’s attention to detail and rich history is classic Mathis, and no one does it better.—Margaret Brownley, N.Y. Times bestselling author

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 18

Alena Mentink, July 18

Karen Baney Reviews, July 19

Books You Can Feel Good About, July 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 20

She Lives To Read, July 20

Texas Book-aholic, July 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 22

Connie’s History Classroom, July 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 23

Book Looks by Lisa, July 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 25

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 26 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, July 26

The Book Club Network, July 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 28

Holly’s Book Corner, July 28

Cover Lover Book Review, July 29

Blossoms and Blessings, July 30

Blogging With Carol, July 31

Pause for Tales, July 31

For Him and My Family, August 1

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package 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/26b9c/a-summer-at-thousand-island-house-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, July 30, 2023

My Thoughts and More on Managing Millie by Susan Pope Sloan

 



About the Book


Book: Managing Millie

Author: Susan Pope Sloan

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: July 11, 2023

In a time of war, love has to fight for a happily-ever-after.

Millie Gibson has loved Troy McNeil for years. So when he suddenly confesses his attraction to her, she’s ecstatic, even if their time together is limited as Troy must stay on the move to avoid the Confederate army. When Troy rescues her from an attacker, Millie begs him to replace the awful memory with one of love. But will that love last when he learns their time together produced lasting consequences?

Dodging the Rebel army has kept Troy apart from Millie for months, but he can’t forget their last hours together. The last thing he expects upon his return is to find her surrounded by Union soldiers, and now he’s been apprehended as a possible spy and sent to a Union prison. With his fate in the hands of others, only God can orchestrate hope from the chaos of war.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Millie and Troy are a couple of young people, 16 and 19, living with the backdrop of the Civil War. Growing up together something changed, and they began to fall in love. Unfortunately, with the dangers of the war all around them, and Troy trying not to get caught and enlisted, a couple of fateful things happen. After all is said and done, Troy still needs to run and hide and Millie along with her stepmother must leave with the Union Army. Except that Millie is leaving with a little surprise that will soon become evident to all.

This is the third story in the Rescued Hearts of the Civil War series, and we have seen some of their story already as they were minor characters in the others. This book is all about them, their struggles to survive and to find one another again. They both have many revelations revealed to them as they go forward from that fateful day. Millie and Troy have quite a story to tell.

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


Born into a family of storytellers, Susan Pope Sloan published her first articles in high school and continued writing sporadically for decades. Retirement provided the time to focus on writing and indulge her avid interest in history. Her Civil War series begins (and ultimately ends) in her home state of Georgia with references to lesser-known events of that period. She and husband Ricky live near Columbus where she participates in Word Weavers, ACFW, and Toastmasters.

 

More from Susan

Millie and Troy captured my heart while writing *Rescuing Rose*, and I knew their story had to be told. It was inspired by people close to me—but generations apart–who had a similar experience. *Managing Millie* is loosely based on those.

The challenging part for me was remembering that these characters are very young (16 and 19) and thus plagued by a wide range of volatile emotions and hormones. The decisions they make seem to defy logic at times. Like many young women, Millie tries to grasp control of her life amid difficult situations. Troy is more easy-going, merely trying to stay one step ahead of the Confederate Army until he ends up in a Union prison. Suddenly forced to face his responsibilities, he learns to “man-up” and take charge. His greatest task, of course, is learning to “manage” Millie without destroying their love for each other.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 17

Texas Book-aholic, July 18

Life on Chickadee Lane, July 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 19

Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 20 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Connie’s History Classroom, July 21

The Book Club Network, July 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 23

Christina’s Corner, July 23

Blossoms and Blessings, July 24

Cover Lover Book Review, July 25

annette_reads_daily, July 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 27

For Him and My Family, July 28

Holly’s Book Corner, July 29

Splashes of Joy, July 29

Pause for Tales, July 30

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Susan 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/26b9a/managing-millie-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, July 28, 2023

My Thoughts on Refuge for the Archaeologist by Danielle Grandinetti

 



About:

Will uncovering the truth set them free or destroy what they hold most dear?

Wisconsin, 1930—With her health in shambles and her archaeological career on the line, Cora Davis retreats to Crow’s Nest and the home of her great aunt to heal. She doesn’t think much of the missing memories from between the earthquake that caused her dizzy spells and her trip home. Until she begins remembering the danger that sent her fleeing her last dig and the person responsible. 

After a decade as a ranch hand, Silas Ward returned to Crow’s Nest to provide for the women in his life. That same protective instinct propels him to Cora’s aid. But when finances dwindle, the lies and greed of others threaten to ruin his family. Unless Silas can walk the thin line of compromise. A choice that might cost him Cora’s affection.

As winter’s chill threatens, will Crow’s Nest prove a refuge, or will both Cora and Silas have no choice but to sacrifice their chance at happiness to save those they love?

Welcome to Crow’s Nest, where danger and romance meet at the water’s edge.

My Thoughts:

This story was very unique in the time and place it took place. Taking place in Wisconsin in the year 1930, we see a small lake side town surviving the economic downturn of the Great Depression. There was trouble, especially job losses and the possibility of losing one's home and business, but this town did their best to stick together. There were certain men of this town who took taking the care of widows very seriously.

And that is how Silas Ward meets Cora Davis in a very interesting way as she is staying at her great-aunt's home to recover her health. Their first meeting doesn't go well but as Silas begins to see Cora as someone special, he can't get her off of his mind. 

Cora is an archeologist, (the timing made me think of The Mummy), which was an unusual job for a woman of that time. Cora is also having terrible dizzy spells that has her sent home on leave until she can recover her health. A feat that Cora is fearful will not happen. I actually got dizzy myself reading about her spells, so they were written well.

There is also a couple of mysteries playing out as well. One concerns Silas's family business and his mother. The other concerns Cora and what she can't remember after her head wound, she received in an earthquake at her latest archeological site. And that one is very dangerous to Cora's life.

If you are looking for a unique read, this one will probably fit the bill. Romance, mystery, danger, all in the year 1930.

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.


Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Cover Reveal: Summon the Light by Tor Thibeaux

 Now on to cover reveal number 2 for the day, which is Summon the Light, the sixth book in the Classic Retold series, based on Shakespear's Tempest.

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Summon the Light will be published on October 20th.  

  

BLURB: Everything he ever loved is gone. Can what is broken ever be restored?

In a quiet, seaside town, Nick works as a smuggler, disguising himself as a human and hiding his secret past as the servant of the magician Prospero. It’s been two years since the attack that devastated the great magician’s island leaving it dark and ruined. Prospero and his beautiful daughter, Miranda, are dead, and even Nick’s best friend, the spirit Ariel, has slipped into a coma. Nothing is left.

Nick has resolved himself to mere survival when a voice from the past suddenly begins to call to him, urging him to rebuild the magic island’s ruined chapel. No matter how futile the task, Nick cannot ignore the haunting call to restore the heart of the island.

But hope is not the only thing awakening. Darkness is stirring as well—darkness that understands the meaning of Nick’s task better than he does.

As Nick begins his work, he is stalked on land and sea—by enemies human and inhuman—all of them prepared to do whatever is necessary to keep him from summoning the light.

Tor Thibeaux re-imagines Shakespeare’s The Tempest in an epic story of good and evil in a high-stakes fantasy adventure.

Pre-order:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CCLL6JQL?tag=namespacebran320-20&linkCode=ogi

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/165772740-summon-the-light

AUTHOR WEBSITE: https://www.tspecfiction.com/

AUTHOR BIO: Tor Thibeaux writes fiction full of magic, excitement, technology, 

 



Cover Reveal: The River Queen by Stephenia H. McGee

Today is another cover reveal day. I have two cover reveals for you. The first one is the new offering by author Stephenia H. McGee this October, and it sounds dangerous!


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(Those peacock feathers!)

Release Date: October 10, 2023 everywhere

Releasing direct from Stephenia H. McGee Bookshop - September 26, 2023

Book Description: 

River pirates, a stolen steamboat, and a deadly chase down the Mississippi—but falling in love might be the real adventure.

When river pirates attack and steal his steamboat, Emmett Carter barely escapes. Rescued and transported to a magnificent world of glitz and showbiz aboard a flashy showboat, Emmett is immediately captivated by something more than recovering his lost inheritance—The River Queen’s beautiful, but quirky, songbird.

Anola Flynn, the star singer on The River Queen, is struggling to keep the business running as attendance dwindles during the 1923 season. With her dreams of saving the family legacy—and the only life she’s ever known—slipping away, she forges an alliance with Emmett to keep her family afloat.

Now, to outsmart the gangsters chasing them, Anola and Emmett must wade through a dark current of deception and betrayal to save not only their dreams, but everyone they care about, from sinking deeper into the Mississippi River.

 

Purchase Links: 

Buy Direct from Stephenia H. McGee https://shop.stepheniamcgee.com/products/ebook-the-river-queen (read Sept 26, 2023)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C8L8DXPN (Read October 10, 2023)

This will be available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook upon release!

 

 

Author Bio: 

Stephenia H. McGee is a multi-published author of stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. She lives in Mississippi, where she is a mom of two rambunctious boys, writer, dreamer, and husband spoiler. Her novel The Cedar Key was a 2021 Faith, Hope, and Love Readers’ Choice award winner. A member of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), she loves all things books and history. Stephenia also loves connecting with readers and can often be found having fun with her Faithful Readers Team on Facebook. For more on books and upcoming events and to connect with Stephenia, visit her at www.StepheniaMcGee.com.

 



Monday, July 24, 2023

My Thoughts on The Feud series by Tamara Leigh

 


My Thoughts:

I purchase every author Leigh book when it comes out. I cannot believe that I have let this series, of wonderful, swoon worthy romances, and battle of wills between lord and lady sit on my shelf for so long. Each story is good, read together as a series, great.

These are definitely rereads and let me tell you, I did not want to leave their world. I stayed up late too many nights reading this series and thought about them often.

Three families caught up in a feud for over twenty-five years. Ordered by the king to make peace with marriage to one another. All wanting the same thing, all blaming each other, and all have one enemy. Packed with chivalry and sacrifice, this is their stories. These are higher on the romantic scale, and I am very appreciative of how the author handles the intimacy in their marriages.


About:

THE FEUD

England, 1308. Three noblemen secretly gather to ally against their treacherous lord. But though each is elevated to a baron in his own right and given a portion of his lord’s lands, jealousy and reprisals lead to a twenty-five year feud, pitting family against family, passing father to son.

THE DECREE

England, 1333. The chink in Baron Boursier’s armor is his fondness for a lovely face. When it costs him half his sight and brands him as one who abuses women, he vows to never again be “blinded” by beauty. Thus, given the choice between forfeiting his lands and wedding one of his enemies to end their feud, he chooses as his betrothed the lady said to be plain of face, rejecting the lady rumored to be most fair.

THE ENEMY

On the eve of the deadline to honor the king’s decree of marriage, the fair Elianor of Emberly takes matters into her own hands. Determined none will suffer marriage to the man better known as The Boursier, she sets in motion her plan to imprison him long enough to ensure his barony is forfeited. But when all goes awry and her wrathful enemy compels her to wed him to save his lands, she discovers he is either much changed or much maligned. And the real enemy is one who lurks in their midst. One bent on keeping the feud burning.


My Thoughts:

Bayard's time is up and he now must choose a bride from one of the other warring families. Since he was already messed up with his first wife from the Verdun's, he chooses the young Thomasin de Arell. That is until Elianor of the Verdun's sets her plans in motion and changes everything for all three of the families.

This first in the series deals with mistaken identity and a marriage that neither individual wanted. But what was wrought in vengeance becomes something so much more. A second marriage between two people deeply hurt from their first. One from adultery and the other abuse. Can two hurt people let go of the past and embrace a future where love rules?

This was a beautiful emotion fueled story that at times was heart wrenching as we find out what exactly happened to these two. And their romance, was just what was needed, even though Elianor was not the Boursier's chosen bride.

I purchased a copy of this novel for my own reading pleasure and all views and opinions are my own.



About:

A WARRIOR DANGEROUSLY IN CONTROL

England, 1334 ~ In the second book of The Feud series, Baron Magnus Verdun is a warrior whose handsome face gives little indication of the darkness he struggles to contain. While pursuing the murderous brigands who plague his lands, he becomes the unwitting savior of the woman the king has decreed he wed—the reckless Lady Thomasin, whose very presence threatens his carefully ordered life. And more so when she proves outspoken beyond what is required of a dutiful wife. Can he tame this woman whose willful ways ought to offend, but instead captivate? More, dare he allow her near and risk exposing the secret that could push her away?

A LADY PERILOUSLY IMPROPER

Despite efforts to make a proper lady of her, the illegitimate Thomasin de Arell knows she is no match for the Baron of Emberly. Though she expects her new husband will think her beneath him, she is unprepared when he insists on separate chambers. When he also demands she control her behavior, the spurned Thomasin rebels—and unknowingly becomes the pawn of forces determined to further the feud. But upon finding herself in Magnus’s arms, she discovers he is not as indifferent as he would have her believe. And when she glimpses his torment, she is determined to shine light on his darkness. Will he let her in? Or will their enemies use the distrust between husband and wife for their own ends?

In this sequel to the bestselling medieval romance, Baron Of Godsmere, join Baron Verdun and his lady as they discover that true love seeks first the soul, and is as easily seen in the dark as in the light.

My Thoughts:

Whelp, I did not think I could like the next story more than the first, but this is my favorite of the series. Thomasine and Magnus's romance was so good I can barely wrap my head around it. As we know from the first book, Elianor of the Verdun's changed everything. Now Thomasine is wed to Magnus, Baron of Emberly. Magnus is described as very handsome, so much so they call it a curse. He has other issues that weigh on his mind, and that has much to do with his keeping in control.

However his wife is the illegitimate daughter of Griffin de Arell and she has not lived the life of a noble woman for long. In fact she was a servant and commoner until her father rescued her. And she is described as plain. Needless to say, Thomasine is less in control than what Magnus would like.

But oh their love story was one for the ages. So intense and new. And like the first couple, they are surrounded by danger and traitors in their midst.

I purchased this book for my reading enjoyment. All views and opinions are my own.


About:

THE PRIZE

England, 1333. When Lady Quintin Boursier leads an army against the Baron of Blackwood to demand the release of her abducted brother, she finds the same fate awaits her. Now she must free herself and discover where Griffin de Arell holds her brother before her family’s lands are forfeited. But as the long winter nights unfold and those prowling the black wood move the feud nearer its deadly end, Quintin realizes she may have wronged her captor. And he is as much a captive to her—she whose secret will spoil the prize others seek to make of a woman no man should want.

THE VICTOR

Baron Griffin de Arell protects those who belong to him, and now that the tempest who dared put a blade to his throat is his, he intends to protect her—if only from herself. However, Quintin Boursier yet has games to play. Though Griffin resists her wiles, when it appears her family’s lands are forfeited, a glimpse of her woman’s heart tempts him to make the lady his in truth. Now with the enemy responsible for inciting the feud determined to claim her as his prize, Griffin must join his grudging allies in bringing peace to their lands and protecting the woman who first set herself at his walls—then his warrior’s heart.

Join Griffin and Quintin in the third and final book in this best-selling medieval romance series as the Boursiers, De Arells, and Verduns seek the light at the end of their long, dark feud.

My Thoughts:

Now onto Griffin and Quintin's story, a sigh worthy conclusion if there ever was one. This story goes back and recaps and gives us a panoramic view of the first and the second book. This story is told through Griffin and Quintin's eyes. I know some people don't like that sort of storytelling, but I had been most excited about getting their stories from the get-go. And what a story.

These two were quite snarky with one another. However, the attraction for them was there from the beginning. They had but to hide it from the world. Quintin needed a man like Griffin, and I am so glad that Elianor messed up the alliances as they were going. And as danger closes in on all three families, secrets come out, and the whole of the villain's plan is shown.

I enjoyed the comradery between the barons and their ladies as they became family and confidants. I have such a book hang over now after reading this entire series in a week, I feel quite lost in our modern world. This is one of the best series I have ever read.

I purchased a copy of this novel for my reading enjoyment. All views and opinions are my own.




Wednesday, July 19, 2023

My Thoughts on Stay With Me by Jody Hedlund

 

About:

Sacrificing and dying to oneself is costly.
But doing so brings new purpose and joy.

As a private investigator, Sybil Huxham has seen her fair share of strange occurrences. But nothing in her career has been more perplexing than the miracles she’s witnessed as a result of people drinking ancient holy water. When she discovers more of the rare holy water, she experiences strange overlaps with a nobleman in the Middle Ages who is languishing in a dungeon, accused of treason and condemned to die. To save his life, she finally crosses to the past completely.

Nicholas Worth has never met a woman quite like Sybil, and as the two run for their lives into the Weald, they find refuge among a community of outlaws. With both their reputations on the line, they have little choice but to marry. As they get to know each other, an undeniable attraction develops. But danger and disease chase after them, drawing ever closer. Will they be able to escape the threats? And will Sybil choose to stay with Nicholas in the past, or will she be ripped apart from him forever?

My Thoughts:

Sybil and Nicholas's story was another wonderful adventurous and romantic time travel from the pen of author Hedlund. Both Sybil and Nicholas were side characters from the last Water of Time story, and I was very happy to read about their adventure and romance.

Sybil is very curious about the holy water that Harrison and Ellen used to not only heal themselves, but it also sent them back into time. Now Sybil tries it, and she ends up in a dungeon with Nicholas a man who had helped Ellen and her father in the last story. Nicholas is there as a prisoner to his older brother who is trying to trap him as a French spy. However, Nicholas knows how his brother really is and will try to last as long as he can, and it helps when a beautiful woman keeps appearing in his cell.

Sybil really wants to help Nicholas, and after the disappearance of her mother and her brother wanting her out of his life, Sybil decides to do all she can do for this man in the past. What transpires is a prison break, that leads to a hasty marriage, to both of their lives being in very real danger. Both Sybil and Nicholas want to do all the good they can for one another, and both are willing to sacrifice. Just not each other. Bonus, this had a Robin Hood vibe to it.

So, if you are looking for an escape in reading, I recommend this whole series. It will do the trick.

I purchased a copy of this novel for my own reading enjoyment.

My Thoughts on This is Where it Ends by Cindy K. Sproles

 

About:

How long is a body expected to keep a secret?

When Minerva Jane Jenkins was just fourteen years old, she married a man who moved her to the mountains. He carried with him a small box, which he told her held gold. And when he died fifty years later, he made her promise to tell no one about the box or the treasure it contained.

Now at ninety-four, Minerva is nearing the end of what has sometimes been a lonely life. But she's kept her promise. Even so, rumors of hidden gold have a way of spreading, and Minerva is visited by a reporter, Del Rankin, who wants to know more of her story.

As an unlikely friendship develops, Minerva is tempted to reveal her secret to Del. But the truth of what's really buried in the box may be hidden even from her.

My Thoughts:

The synopsis of this story really caught my eye. First off, why was a fourteen old getting married? Well, this was a different time and so begins the married life of Minerva. Her husband Stately moves her up to a mountain and he has a box that is most precious to him. He continues to want her to keep this box and its secret even with his dying breath. Minerva promises, even though she doesn't know what this box holds and maybe she doesn't want to know.

This is a story of a woman who now is ninety-four years old still doing what her husband asked her to do beyond the grave. The story mainly takes place thirty years after his death. Minerva certainly loved her husband and showed him faithfulness and loyalty even after his death. But did he deserve it? I don't want to spoil this story for you as the answers are revealed when Minerva gets an interesting visitor who wants to know her story. A young reporter by the name of Del. Not ever having been blessed with children of her own, Del becomes to her like a grandson.

A heartwarming and at times heartbreaking story of a unique friendship that develops from a persistent young person and an older person who is gold herself, and the ties that bind them.

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:

Cindy K. Sproles is the author of What Momma Left Behind and the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries. A popular speaker, Cindy teaches at writers conferences across the country and directs the Asheville Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina. She is the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us and freelance editor for Iron Stream Media. Cindy has a BA in business and journalism and lives in the mountains of East Tennessee with her family.

Cover Reveal for Raise the Dead by Nina Clare

Welcome back to another Wednesday cover reveal day for a much-anticipated series, A Classic Retold and today's book is a Jane Eyre retelling titled Raise the Dead (releasing October 13th). Hmmmmm......And here we go:

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About:

Would you go into hell to rescue the one you love?

After long years of hardship Jane Rochester is now a young bride settling into a quiet life with the man she loves. But a mysterious stranger at the door resurrects old troubles, unearths buried secrets, and revives a family curse; the past will not leave them in peace.

A malignant force is tearing Jane’s new family apart, and she will have to journey into the very mouth of hell to seek to break it, with no assurance of ever returning home to the living world.

Nina Clare re-imagines Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre in a fantasy quest through the supernatural realms of heaven and hell.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/168322057-raise-the-dead?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=y6QRUwUGfz&rank=1

 PREORDER LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CBL4ZQ8P?tag=namespacebran320-20&linkCode=ogi

AUTHOR WEBSITE: https://www.ninaclarebooks.com/

AUTHOR BIO: When she’s not writing stories or thinking up stories or reading other people’s stories, Nina likes to paint and collage pictures, get taken for long walks by her adorable dogs, and cook all things plant-based. She also does other things, like office work, but that’s the boring bit. She lives very happily in rural Cornwall, England with her family.

 




Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Cover Reveal for Unearth the Tides by Alissa J. Zavalianos

Here is cover reveal for book #4 in The Classic Retold series releasing later this year. This one is pretty cool looking.

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Blurb:

𝐁𝐞𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐓𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐬

𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐓𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮 

Huxley Krew Gannon III always knew he would be a royal guard; defending the Crown is in his blood. And coming from a long line of Gannons, that means the job is to be taken seriously at all costs. 

When tragedy strikes, Huxley is framed for treason, and his only option is to flee to Braka’s most feared place: The Wasteful Tides. 

It’s rumored a monstrous beast haunts those waters, but what Huxley encounters is even worse: an elusive captain, magical herbs, a beautiful lady, and unearthed truths that could change the course of history. 

Unearth the Tides is a fantasy retelling of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Filled with mystery, found family, and themes of truth and forgiveness, Unearth the Tides is perfect for those who love the coziness of the classics and the thrill of adventure. 

Release Date: October 6, 2023

Preorder Status: Available in ebook (eventually KU), paperback, and hardcover formats. (If Amazon doesn’t show all formats yet, it’s just taking its time to process)

Preorder through Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CB6PS85K

 

Submit receipts for preorder swag here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfuBDbJ8M5Suy8t_V6vCFXTiO8B8-W6yjbxSDY_Ed3KVqEaqg/viewform

 

Preorder signed copies here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdT7RsmAxmJ4xuOsraesJaWduLd8AaIP6l4iuT2dgeNdzy9Fw/viewform





Friday, July 7, 2023

My Thoughts and More on Man of Shadow and Mist by Michelle Griep

 



About the Book


Book: Man of Shadow and Mist

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: June, 2023

“The world seems full of good men—even if there are monsters in it.”

–Bram Stoker, Dracula

England, 1890

Vampires are alive and well in North Yorkshire, leastwise in the minds of the uneducated. Librarian Rosa Edwards intends to drive a stake through the heart of such superstitions. But gossip flies when the mysterious Sir James Morgan returns to his shadowy manor. The townsfolk say he is cursed.

James hates everything about England. The weather. The rumours. The scorn. Yet he must stay. His mother is dying of a disease for which he’s desperately trying to find a cure—an illness that will eventually take his own life.

When Rosa sets out to prove the dark gossip about James is wrong, she discovers more questions than answers. How can she accept what she can’t explain—especially the strong allure of the enigmatic man? James must battle a town steeped in fear as well as the unsettling attraction he feels for the no-nonsense librarian.

Can love prevail in a town filled with fear and doubt?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This was an excellent read. Just enough romance, intrigue, gothic vibes, and creepiness all wrapped up in an addicting story that was so hard to put down. I have always had a weird fondness for vampire stories, and author Griep hit this one out of the park. The atmosphere of Whitby in midsummer had me shivering just a bit. That fog must be something to see.

Sir James Morgan has dedicated his life to finding a cure for his mother and himself. He knows the rumors that swirl about him and his family. He understands that he will forever be alone except for a few faithful servants. He knows that not only will he live life alone but die alone as well. Until one day a bit of sunshine enters his life in the form of Rosa Edwards.

Rosa is a librarian who wants a bit more out of life than what her mother has planned. Her mother blames it on all the books her father, the library owner, has allowed her to read. Rosa just wants to make the poor lives better, and to help them stop believing in all of the old superstitions and see that there is an explanation for things, most of the time anyway. But people themselves can turn into monsters when the mob mentality awakens, and Rosa would like to prevent that from happening with her newfound friend.

Rosa and James have an interesting relationship. They do both try to hide their attraction for one another. Rosa is also well aware of the many secrets James is hiding. Could she be just his friend so that he might trust her, even though she would like to be so much more? Could they make a life together no matter his dreaded secrets?

With an atmosphere of eeriness and trouble just around the corner, this tale of forbidden love had me caught in its snares. The notes the author provides at the end were enlightening as well.

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


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

And guess what? She loves to hear from readers! Feel free to drop her a note at michellegriep@gmail.com.

 

More from Michelle

A Visit to Whitby

Every time I skip across the pond, I make it a point to visit Whitby. What’s the draw? This northern Yorkshire town is steeped in history and is every bit as magical today as it was back in Bram Stoker’s day…when he went to visit and was inspired to set much of his Dracula tale there. In fact, that is exactly where he got the inspiration for the name Dracula when he visited the library and did a bit of research.

Sound interesting? Then come along with me on a virtual visit with pictures from my last trip.


When walking the windy, narrow roads of Whitby, you can’t help but let your imagination wander because it’s as if you’re there in the nineteenth century. Can’t you just see a long-gowned heroine glancing over her shoulder at you as she flees down this lane?

And overlooking these lanes is the infamous abbey ruins, an eerie sentinel that sits atop the cliffs. It is rumoured a ghostly woman appears in the window, but I didn’t see her.

Still in operation today is this old coaching inn, which of course I had to use in one of my scenes.

There are still fishermen who ply these waters for trade, but this harbor isn’t nearly as active as it was centuries ago.

Twice I’ve made the coastal hike from Whitby to Robinhood’s Bay. This is where I imagined librarian Rosa Edwards riding her bicycle delivering books.

And yes, indeed, the sea mists are a very real thing, sometimes so thick it’s disorienting.

So, see what I mean? Whitby is a magical place, well worth the effort to get to if you ever venture over to England. And if that doesn’t quite fit into your budget or schedule, never fear.





Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L, June 29

Book Looks by Lisa, June 29

Betti Mace, June 30

Vicky Sluiter, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 1

Back Porch Reads, July 1

Daysong Reflections, July 2

Texas Book-aholic, July 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 3

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, July 3

To Everything There Is A Season , July 4

Cover Lover Book Review, July 4

Kristina Hall, July 4

Connie’s History Classroom, July 5

Scott’s book reviews, July 5

Lights in a Dark World, July 5

Sylvan Musings, July 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 7

Pause for Tales, July 7

Tell Tale Book Reviews , July 8

annette_reads_daily, July 8

Through the Fire Blogs, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, July 9

Where Faith and Books Meet, July 10

Wishful Endings, July 10

For Him and My Family, July 11

Blossoms and Blessings, July 11

Holly’s Book Corner, July 12

Splashes of Joy , July 12

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Michelle 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/26791/man-of-shadow-and-mist-celebration-tour-giveaway


Thursday, July 6, 2023

My Thoughts and More on the Colter Sons series by Karen Baney

 

Colter Sons series JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for the first three books of the Colter Sons series by Karen Baney, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Books

The Reluctant Cattleman

Title: The Reluctant Cattleman
Series:
Colter Sons #1
Author:
Karen Baney
Publisher:
Desert Life Media
Release Date:
August 19, 2022
Genre:
Christian Historical Romance

A Love at First Sight Christian Historical Cowboy Romance. Coming of age story set in Prescott, Arizona in 1887. 

As Sam Colter takes on more responsibilities at the family ranch, he believes he is a disappointment to his father. He feels like the misfit of the family. When a journalist shows up to interview his mother, secrets from the past threaten his fledging sense of security. Can he overcome his fear and doubts to accept his role as a cattleman and rancher? Will he allow himself to love the woman who turned his life upside down? 

Ellie Mae Thatcher moves to Prescott to start her career as a writer. When she misleads the Colters about her identity, she hurts the man she is falling in love with. Can she win back his trust and his heart?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub

My Thoughts:

I am so happy to have found and read these books. I actually started reading these books all out of order, by accident, but that has not stopped my enjoyment of them. This series is about the Colter brothers and their sister. My first taste of this series was with The Restless Wrangler, book four, and I read through that one pretty quickly. Then I started, quite by accident, The Roaming Adventurer. After that I quickly got myself sorted and read this one, second oldest brother, Sam's story and the first in the series.

I like how each of the brothers start off by telling us their story, and it usually begins with how they view their relationship with their parents. Sam is the one who is very steadfast, he likes to play by the rules. He acts more like the oldest child would, but he is not. He is the one who is taking over the ranch for his parents. He can also be one that can hold a grudge. 

Ellie May is the woman Sam loves. She is a writer and to get around in a man's world, she does not advertise her full name. So when the Colters agree for this upcoming writer to do a series of articles on them, imagine their surprise when Ellie May shows up.

Sam is quite surprised not only that she is a woman writer, but also his attraction to her. But he is not going to show that to anyone. There are a few times where he lets his temper get the best of him. This was a give and take romance and I enjoyed watching them grow into better people.

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.


The Roaming Adventurer

Title: The Roaming Adventurer
Series:
Colter Sons #2
Author:
Karen Baney
Publisher:
Desert Life Media
Release Date:
October 21, 2022
Genre:
Christian Historical Romance

A Shotgun Wedding, Main Character Disguise Christian Historical Cowboy Romance. Set in Prescott, Arizona Territory in 1890 – 1891.

Boisterous Boone Colter settled into his career as a surveyor when his older brother approached him to survey a route for a new railroad. When Boone hires Jack Bennett, he never expected to be forced to choose between his desire for independence and protecting Jack. Will he rise to the occasion? Can he find a way to strike a balance? 

Jaclyn “Jack” Bennett spent the last six years apprenticing as an assistant surveyor under her father. When her father asks her to give up her dreams, settle down, and get married, Jaclyn disguises herself as a man and flees to Prescott, Arizona. Except she never thought through how her choice would destroy the lives of those around her. Will she find a way to reconcile broken relationships?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub

My Thoughts:

Boone Colter is the third son and he a wild one. I got many chuckles reading about his parents struggles with him and all of his shenanigans. So, his career choice of a surveyor suited him well. He liked to live life a little more dangerously than the rest of his family. Working for his brother James as a surveyor for the railroad brings him across a certain young lady, Jaclyn Bennett. Or as Boone first knows her as Jack.

Jaclyn has worked since a young age with her father as an assistant surveyor for him. Now that she is of marriageable age, her father would like her to forget that life and settle down as a married woman. Not so for Jaclyn, as she has an adventurous streak as well. So, she hires herself out to Boone's team disguised as a man.

Well, obviously things don't go as planned. Accidents happen, truths come out, and to protect reputations an unplanned marriage takes place. Boone and Jaclyn must learn to navigate their wills, wants, and needs now with one another. I think Jaclyn was a great match for Boone's adventurous streak. I really enjoyed their romance growing as a married couple with all life has for them, in joys and heartbreaks.

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.


The Railroad Magnate

Title: The Railroad Magnate
Series:
Colter Sons #3
Author:
Karen Baney
Publisher:
Desert Life Media
Release Date:
December 2, 2022
Genre:
Christian Historical Romance

A Love at First Sight Christian Historical Cowboy Romance. Set in Prescott, Arizona Territory in 1891 – 1893.

James Colter was a successful entrepreneur and businessman in the railroad industry. As he watches his younger brothers marry and start their families, his loneliness deepens. He has everything, except the one thing he longs for the most:  a wife and family of his own. When he dances with the daughter of an older friend, was it love at first sight, or will he put his personal dream on hold again to pursue his professional aspirations? 

Keri Glassman wants to follow in her parents’ footsteps. She dreams of becoming a contract attorney. When a handsome suitor invites her on a train ride, the course of her life is rewritten. Like her mother, she wants it all, a career, a loving husband, and a family. Can she find her own way or will her desire to please her parents threaten to destroy her hope for a lasting love?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub

My Thoughts:

Oldest brother James's story is told in the third book of this series. He is the go getter, living life for what he can get out of it. He loves his family certainly, but James is going to forge his own way. He enjoys working and keeping busy and making money. Then he meets Keri Glassman at a dance. He doesn't realize he met her before, she was just a little girl then, as there is a ten-year age gap between them.

Keri is a contract attorney. Another unusual job for a woman of that time, but one that started opening up to them. Keri falls in love with James and understands why he is waiting for her to grow up. When she does their romance moves rather quickly. She just wishes her mother was on board with it. She and James have to learn to adapt to the changing financial world, and through those ups and downs they fall even more in love.

Then on a trip to Chicago's world fair, James and Keri make a decision that changes their whole life. When they come back home, Keri is between a rock and a hard place. She does not want to disappoint her parents, but in the end she may just end up disappointing everyone. 

This was another good romantic addition to the Colter's family saga.

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.

More Books in This Series

The Resourceful Stockman   


About the Author

Karen Baney

Karen Baney is passionate about writing stories full of flawed characters. She enjoys weaving together stories of second chances, redemption, and overcoming personal trials. As a transplant to Arizona in the late 1990s, she loves researching the state’s history and finding ways to seamlessly incorporate real history and real settings into her novels. In addition to writing and speaking, Karen works as a Software Development Manager for a Christian ministry.

Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing. Karen and her husband, Jim, make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs, Bella and Daisy. Both Jim and Karen are active at Rock Point Church in Queen Creek, Arizona. 

Connect with Karen by visiting karenbaney.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.


Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will each win all 6 books in the Colter Sons series (winner picks paperback or ebook)!

Colter Sons series JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight July 3, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 10, 2023. 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

My Thoughts and More on Mabel and the Little Green Men by Susan Kimmel Wright

  About the Book Book: Mabel and the Little Green Men Author:  Susan Kimmel Wright Genre: Cozy Mystery Release date: October 5, 2023 The la...