Thursday, October 6, 2022

Review: A Gem of Truth by Kimberley Woodhouse

 


About:

Escaping her shattered past is much more difficult than she imagined.

Julia Schultz has a reputation for being a storyteller, or as others see it, a liar. But with her dark and painful past, stories are all that have kept her company throughout her life. Longing for a fresh start and a second chance to earn real trust, Julia takes a job as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel, where she's challenged to be her true self.

Learning the trade of a master jeweler is hard work, but Christopher Miller takes pride in running his family's small shop and earning the respect of the people around him. But when he discovers that he has six weeks to buy his building from his landlord before it is sold, he must find a way to save his grandfather's legacy.

United by the discovery of a legendary treasure, Chris and Julia find hope in each other. But when Julia's past catches up with her, doubt creeps into Chris's heart. Can he really trust her and her stories?

My Thoughts:

I have, (unfortunately and hopefully that will change), never been to the Grand Canyon. However, I enjoy viewing videos or pictures of it on the computer and I really enjoy when authors base their stories there. Here is a story that takes place in 1907 at a Harvey hotel. Harvey hotels and how they were run with precision and efficiency never ceases to amaze me, and I wonder what it would be like to have gotten to visit one. Well, Julia Schultz is a Harvey girl, and she is very good at her job. She has transferred to the El Tovar Hotel and is in line for a big promotion. Only one problem, herself.

Julia has not had an easy life. Her parents died when she was just eight years old, and those brutal images she tries not to think about. She has been an orphan since tossed from family to family never really making friendships or deep relationships. To just get through life she becomes a storyteller about her life. She would have made a wonderful author, but these stories she tells to fit in, are lies she talks about herself. She needs to stop. She is expected to stop as per her new job. So, she tries to become a different person. Unfortunately, the past doesn't always like to stay hidden and even with the best of intentions, the past comes back to haunt.

Chris Miller is a jeweler trying to keep his place of business. He has been given a great opportunity to sell jewelry for the Harvey business, but he is in a bit of a time crunch to come up with the moneys he needs. Can he accomplish his goal? And what happens when a certain red head, Julia, catches his eye and pulls him into an adventure? Can he trust her as the truth of her past comes barreling at them both?

The Grand Canyon, Harvey girls, romance, bad guys, and buried treasure are all included in this adventure. And a young woman who just wants to belong to someone will find her place and a love to make her own. I think all of us from time to time have felt the loneliness that plagued Julia and has born our sense of belonging.

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:


Kimberley Woodhouse (www.kimberleywoodhouse.com) is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 25 fiction and nonfiction books. Kim and her incredible husband of 30-plus years live in the Poconos, where they play golf together, spend time with their kids and grandbaby, and research all the history around them.







Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: His Brother's Atonement by Amy Walsh

 



About the Book


Book: His Brother’s Atonement

Author: Amy Walsh

Genre: Contemporary romance – western

Release date: April 26, 2022

Shane Phillips had given up hope of ever meeting the nephew born to the woman his brother assaulted. After checks he sent to Aubrey Anders were returned, Shane decided the most he could ever do was pray for the Anders family. When Shane discovers that he and Aubrey work for the same graphic arts company, he must find a way to assure her he means no harm before both Wyoming branches meet for a conference.

Aubrey thinks she has worked through most of her trauma with the help of her psychologist and loving community. However, meeting Shane Phillips seems to have unleashed suppressed anxiety and insecurity. But as their paths continue to intersect, Aubrey begins to wonder if Shane could be part of God’s plan for her despite their painful connection.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

What happens when the brother of your attacker suddenly appears in your life? How do you treat him, think of him, judge him? And what if you two make the best team at work? Aubrey has these conflicting emotions and more when Shane Phillips shows up in a park that she is visiting with her son. His nephew. Aubrey loves her son and has spent the past six years raising him, building her career, and trying to get over the emotional and physical trauma that happened to her at the hands of Shane's brother. The father of her son had gone to jail for what he did, and there he died. 

Shane is sad over what his brother did. He was still his brother though, and we see some of the fallout and the grief of the family seep through. The way he and his parents were judged for his brother's sin. The fact that he hasn't gotten to know his nephew or his parent's their grandson. Then his brother's tragic death. 

This was a story that tackled some difficult subjects. The grief and horror that touched both families, the cruelty of others who spread untruth. However, on the flipside was the fresh new start that Shane and Aubrey decided to grab hold of, their friendship that eventually turns into something amazing and beautiful.

Sins effect everyone and forgiveness is hard to do. But when we let go of the past grievances and open our hearts to a better future, who knows what blessings await us. This was a very good story that showed sensitivity to a difficult topic and turned the story around.

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


Amy Walsh is a 5th-grade teacher who loves teaching children about what she loves to do herself: reading and writing. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and camping. Amy also appreciates opportunities to share her faith through singing, teaching, and writing for her church family. Amy and her husband, Patrick, have three children: Bree, Spencer, Liz, and a son-in-law, Kyle. Amy and her family love to spend time together celebrating special occasions, listening to great music, swimming and kayaking, and having occasional ping pong tournaments.

 

More from Amy

Thank you for helping me spread the word about my first Whispers in Wyoming novel! I am thrilled to be part of this gospel and heritage-themed series! If you haven’t read any of the novels yet, you are in for a treat! There are thirty-three novels ahead of His Brother’s Atonement – and they are all STANDALONES, so they can be read in any order!

Meet Aubrey, Shane, and Jayson

Aubrey is a young mother and graphic designer from Engelmann, Wyoming. Her terrible experience during college has caused her to keep to herself. Aubrey has no close friends and has never dated. But her parents are supportive, her son keeps her happy and busy, and she loves her job. Aubrey believes she is doing pretty well emotionally until the brother of the man who assaulted her turns up in town.

Shane suffered quite a bit when his brother was tried and imprisoned for assaulting Aubrey. People  actually turned their backs on his family, and Shane’s fiancé ended their engagement. Even worse was watching how it affected his parents. After Shane’s brother died in a freak prison accident, their mother spent several days in the ICU. For years, Shane has yearned to do something to help Aubrey and her son, wanting to atone for his brother’s terrible action. But Shane gave up hope of ever meeting his nephew years ago.

Jayson is Aubrey’s six-year-old son. He is obsessed with cowboys, horses, and the wild west. Art runs in Jayson’s genes from both sides of his family, so it is not surprising that he loves drawing and helping his grandpa with woodworking. Jayson never seemed to notice that he doesn’t have a dad, but when he finds out that his father died, he is so heartbroken that Aubrey promises to let him meet his uncle. So much for her thinking that she would never have to see Shane again!

The Creation of His Brother’s Atonement

I never really know when or how a story idea will enter my head.  I can drive by a house that catches my eye, and the next thing I know, I am imagining the characters that live there and writing their story in my imagination.  Sometimes watching the interactions of people prompts a story.  Other times my ideas come from research.

For His Brother’s Atonement, there were a bunch of factors that came into creating Aubrey and Shane’s story as far as the setting.  I had just been to a writing conference where one of the speakers said that many readers still love contemporary westerns. Adding to that, I had been following the multi-author group Whispers in Wyoming and other authors who wrote westerns, and I had been enjoying their posts.  Additionally, one of my teacher friends has spent portions of her summers out west and I love to hear her talk about landscapes and small communities.   A camping trip to Yellowstone and other western parks has been high on my bucket list for several years.

As for the situation that Aubrey is in, how she became a single mother and how she now deals with anxiety, her story just came to me while I was brainstorming.  Her and her son’s personalities developed in my mind as if they were real people.  I have wondered what it must be like to have a family member who is a criminal, the conflicting emotions it must bring: to still love that person; to be ashamed for what that person has done; to yearn to find a way to help the victim.  So I am sure those thoughts helped me create Shane’s struggles.

I wrote most of Aubrey and Shane’s story while I was spending nights with my grandmother in hospice.  Grammy was often sleeping while lovely hymn instrumentals were playing, and I felt as though I was in a sacred space.  I think some of my own inner struggles with trusting God’s sovereignty, with remembering that God does work out everything for our good, may have become part of the novel.  And in the last chapter when Aubrey prays during the Thanksgiving dinner, you can see some of my own angst about life changing and my own feelings of grief being resolved.

His Brother’s Atonement is a fundraiser!

As I was researching for this novel, I read too many firsthand accounts of women who had been assaulted and the devastating effects of the violence in their lives. According to rainn.org, every 68 seconds another American is assaulted, and one out of every six American women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. According to multiples sources, there are at least 30,000 rape-related pregnancies in the U.S. each year. Sexual violence is a significant problem in the U.S., and in other countries around the globe, it is even more rampant.

As I was delving into Aubrey’s thoughts and pondering how her assault had affected her and her family, I decided that I needed to do more to help women and children who have been victimized. As a first step, ten percent of the profits from the sales of His Brother’s Atonement will be donated to Heaven’s Family. To find out more about this organization, follow this link:  https://www.heavensfamily.org/ministries/victims-of-sexual-violence/

Here is the recipe for Nana Ander’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pie.  Bloggers can copy and paste or just share the link.

https://walshmountainpublishing.com/2022/03/26/nana-anders-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-pie/

 

Shane and Aubrey’s Anti-Meet-Cute

Aubrey and Shane don’t get to have a “meet-cute”, you know that sweet moment when a couple-to-be meet for the first time? In fact, when Aubrey sees Shane across Engelmann Park, she almost has a panic attack thinking that he is the man who assaulted her.

In the next book about Engelmann Wyoming, Portrait of Redemption, Cody will help Shane set up a “meet-cute” redo. I think it is so adorable that Shane wants to do that for Aubrey!

Two special characters mentioned in His Brother’s Atonement are from another of my novels, Elsie Whitmore. Elsie meets famous actor Graham Thurston for the first time when he tracks her down at her school, determined that she will audition for a movie he is producing. A somewhat spoiled star, he is annoyed that she hasn’t taken calls from his talent agency, so he is cold and judgy during their first meeting. In return, she thinks it is ridiculous for Graham to assume that she would consider giving up teaching just because he liked one of her YouTube videos. They also do not have a cute first meeting!

Here is my meet-cute!  I worked part time at a Sears in a mall while I was going to college. My husband, Pat, was a loss prevention agent there.   A coworker who had a crush on Pat asked me to draw a Christmas card for her to give to him. In the PS, she told Pat that I was the one that illustrated the card. That led to Pat investigating who I was, and soon he was regularly stopping by my register at Sears to make small talk. He would have silly excuses to stop by, like having me help him put a baby outfit on a stuffed animal to purchase for his nephew.  It could have become very awkward if my co-worker hadn’t developed a crush on someone else in the meantime!

During the launch party for His Brother’s Atonement, some of the readers shared the stories of their first meeting with their husbands.  Some were adorable, and some were so awkward.  Have you shared your “meet-cutes” with your children and grandchildren?  Surprisingly it is something we forget to talk about, but it is part of their heritage!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

deb’s Book Review, September 25

Inklings and notions, September 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 1

A Baker’s Perspective, October 2 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, October 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For the Love of Literature, October 4 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 6 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, October 6

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 gift card along with His Brother’s Atonement, a Rocky Mountains Shirt and a Rocky Mountains wooden bookmark!!

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/21a6a/his-brother-s-atonement-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, October 3, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Tethered by Eleanor Bertin

 



About the Book


Book: Tethered

Author: Eleanor Bertin

Genre: Christian Contemporary

Release date: July, 2020

Perfectionistic librarian Jacqui Penn is ripped up by the roots when she’s dumped by her longtime boyfriend. She is drawn two thousand miles west across Canada to the last place she ever thought could offer stability—the old homestead where her father grew up.

Renovating the derelict house soon becomes a personal battle as it stubbornly resists her efforts. While Jacqui struggles to renew the home, she spends time with the family Pops bitterly resented. Her hunger for roots grows stronger as she fights to discover the long-buried reasons her father fled the house as a beleaguered teen. But will she ever find the belonging she craves?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Jacque Penn is a forty-year-old woman whose ground has shifted beneath her.  Her partner for twenty years has betrayed her and left her for someone else, and she did not see that coming. They were partners in a business as well as in life, and she is left wondering if any of it was ever real. So, Jacque, a bit of a perfectionist has decided to pack up all she owns and leave for her father's family home, which she has now inherited. She goes on this journey, 2000 miles west into Canada to start a new life and hopefully find her purpose again. The house certainly needs some help and Jacque wonders if she is up for this fixer upper.

We are in her head a lot; the grief and pain were palpable. She thought of her ex, Geoff a lot, and thought about what he would say as if he were with her. She was angry, grieving, and lost and was searching for solace in a place where her father did not have peace. So, her journey is one of acceptance, new life goals, and most importantly, she is looking for her family. As the title suggests, she wants to be connected to people of her own, to a greater purpose.

I felt for Jacque and at times it was hard to be in her head and feel her loneliness. But in her adventure and connection to others, she learns to live and love again.

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

Eleanor Bertin loves books, people, and the sweeping skies of the Canadian Prairies where she was raised.

She studied Communications in college and returned to writing after raising and home-educating a family of seven children. The author of Lifelines, Unbound, Tethered, and the memoir, Pall of Silence about her late son, Paul, she lives in central Alberta with her husband and youngest son where, much like Jacqui, they are coaxing to life a century home.

 

More from Eleanor

Long before Jacqui came to be, I had the title Tethered, drawn from the first book in the Ties that Bind series, Lifelines. I was taken by the rope imagery that played so well into biblical themes of God drawing people to Himself. The second book, Unbound, deals with the way cables of guilt and fear can keep us in bondage to legalism.

But ropes have positive uses too. Tethered explores how ties of family and home provide the roots and grounding we all crave. Through each of the books, we see Anna, a widow of deep trust in God. She may seem insignificant, but her influence is powerful. Through her Jacqui, who’s been raised by Anna’s bitter brother, finds the foundation on which her family history is built, and makes it her own.

One of my favourite scenes in Tethered is where Anna teaches Jacqui to bake pie. It’s a piece lifted from my own life. My mother, now 94, was renowned for her pies, which she often gave to the bereaved or struggling. Like Anna, she generously taught her techniques and tips to the women of our family who carry on the tradition.

Here’s where Mom’s tips make all the difference. We don’t freeze whole pies. Instead, we freeze pie crusts already rolled out to size, layered between parchment paper, or better still, the plastic liners from cereal packaging cut to size. (Mom was “green” long before it was fashionable.) Making a batch of skins ahead of time saves space in the freezer compared to fully assembled pies, yields a fresher result when baked, and saves so much time. Whenever you want a pie, pull out a couple of the prepared crusts. While they quickly thaw, prepare your pie filling, assemble, and bake! Even our menfolk have been able to proudly say they baked a pie themselves.

Here is the recipe we use:

Pie Skins

 

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

In mixer, mix dry ingredients together. Then, a half cup at a time, cut in (with wire whips):

1 lb. lard (vegetable shortening will not give the desired flakiness)

Cut into flour mixture until crumbled to the size of peas. Do not overmix!

In a 2-cup measuring cup, beat:

2 eggs until frothy

Add:                2 Tablespoons vinegar

Add enough cold water to the liquid to make 1 cup. Then add to flour/lard mixture.

Using dough hooks, mix gently just until dough forms and will hold together. Again, do not overmix.

Divide dough into six or seven balls.

On each floured piece of cereal box plastic, roll out pastry from the center outward to just over 1/8-inch thickness. Keep flouring the rolling pin to prevent sticking.

Cut the crust to size of pie plate with ½ inch extra all around. Re-roll the scraps into the next ball of dough.

Freeze skins in a plastic pie keeper or even in a zippered plastic bag on a flat surface.

Bake pie on bottom rack of oven, 450F for 15 minutes, then 375F until golden brown (another 10-15 minutes). No pale, anemic pies for us!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 21

deb’s Book Review, September 22

Inklings and notions, September 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 26

lakesidelivingsite, September 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 30

Guild Master, October 1 (Author Interview)

Rebecca Tews, October 1

For Him and My Family, October 2

For the Love of Literature, October 3 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, October 3

Pause for Tales, October 4

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Eleanor is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon 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/21aad/tethered-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, October 2, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: The Vermillion Riddle by Dana Li

 



About the Book

Book: The Vermilion Riddle

Author: Dana Li

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: March 1, 2022

“To enter Faerie’s blessed demesne
four secrets must be found:
the land unbound by time and space
opens only to the one who knows
the Light, the Song, and Mortal Gate.”

In the sheltered town of Carmel, women do not have a future outside of a good marriage. That future is threatened when Leah Edwards’ father gambles away the family’s livelihood and estate. She and her sisters must hurry to find husbands. Then August Fox, a Guardian from Cariath, comes to town and purchases a supposedly haunted manor. Charged to keep the peace between mortals and Faerie, the Guardians are the stuff of legend. After he stuns her with a marriage proposal, Leah reluctantly journeys to Cariath, discovering there is more to August and the legends than she guessed.

Nimrod and his Oath-breakers betrayed the Guardians, seeking to solve an ancient riddle that would unlock the Faerie realm. Not all his followers share his desire for conquest. Benedict Fox, his second-in-command, has different motives. But as he continues fulfilling Nimrod’s plan, Benedict hurtles towards a choice between saving his family and settling a personal vendetta.

For Leah, August, and their allies, it is a race against time to solve the ancient riddle before the Oath-breakers, and reunite the Guardians to save the mortal realm. The war is never really over, and this time, the battle lines cut through blood ties and brotherhood.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

The Vermillion Riddle was a strange and exciting tale within a world that was hidden in secrets that some thought were just fables. At first the story was like two different worlds and as the chapters progressed, like I was reading two stories in one book, a fantasy one and a regency one. Until they converge and the story of a war and fairy world comes alive.

This is a story of two brothers, Benedict and August Fox. They are enemies now, fighting against one another. There is a war between a group called the Guardians and one called the Oath Breakers.

This is also a story of a marriage, Leah's and August's. Leah comes from a family who is about to be ruined due to her father's debt. Then a mysterious young man that has all the women talking buys a so-called haunted estate. He has a ball and meets Leah. That part of the story was very much like a regency. It was mysterious and in part a little touch of gothic as well. Since I am more of a romance reader than a fantasy one, I enjoyed the complicated relationship of Leah and August.

Leah is about to have an adventure of a lifetime as she gets to know her husband and all his family secrets that will be uncovered. Even some of her own.

This was a very interesting and unique story that merged two different worlds together into one imaginative story.

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 Li is a software product manager by day, and a novelist by night. She holds an MS in management science and engineering from Stanford University and a BS in computer science from USC, but she’s always been better at writing stories than code. Her writing misadventures began with a dozen now-deleted Star Wars fanfiction tales. She loves good fantasy/sci-fi, classy cuisines, and roller coasters (but not all at once). Dana currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and The Vermilion Riddle is her first novel.

 

More from Dana

Two of my favorite fiction authors are J.R.R. Tolkien and Jane Austen. Besides both being British, their works are worlds apart, literally – one wrote epic, sprawling stories of the battle between good and evil, while the other wrote of small town families, romance, and culture in the Regency era. If Tolkien’s heroes failed, death and darkness would sweep across the land. If Austen’s heroes failed, a lady would be single at thirty. (The horror!)

As different as they are, I had a desire to blend the best of both genres. I didn’t think it’d be the most marketable book, but then, I also thought no one else would write this. That concept sparked the genesis of The Vermilion Riddle. I wanted an epic fantasy that was also character-driven and intimate. I love how Austen deftly explored familial and romantic relationships in the framework of her society, and I was curious to see how that would unfold in the context of a traditional fantasy. I shamelessly drew influence from the Regency era for parts of my story’s culture, simply because it’s got that quaint, cozy vibe, stored inside a broad, sweeping world.

This is a snippet of what I wrote in my original query letter for The Vermilion Riddle: 

“While the novel evokes elements of classic fantasy—quests, duels, and the battle of good versus evil—it thrives on character exploration. The plot hums to the beat of a cosmic conflict and climax, though the struggles within a family—between fathers and sons, brothers by blood (and not), husband and wife—forms its core melody.”

When it came to the characters and relationships in the story, three questions framed my writing.

What makes a strong, relatable, and feminine heroine?

What happens to brothers who are pitted against each other ideologically?

What does a love story that happens after marriage look like?

I did not know, concretely, the answer to any of these when I began, and Riddle was going to be my way of exploring them. In retrospect, I was in over my head. I’m not sure if I ever found totally satisfactory answers, but as I worked on the novel over the years, I felt the story mature quietly alongside of me. There were nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from life and other people that made their way into the story. There were also surprising insights that emerged from the characters as I was writing.

In the end, I wanted to write characters who, though born into another world, were achingly human. Though they chase ancient secrets and face the fury of the faerie-kind, they aren’t wrapped in an air of mythology that makes them feel far removed from us. They are the sort of people who could be legends – but a legend is usually formed in retrospect. They are like Merry and Pippin, hobbits who felt like useless baggage for much of their journey before they were hailed as heroes.

That’s what I strove for, at least – a story that’s epic yet intimate, that’s far-flung and yet close to home.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

Blogging with Carol, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

Inklings and notions, September 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 23

deb’s Book Review, September 24

Holly’s Book Corner, September 24

Christina’s Corner, September 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 26

Rebecca Tews, September 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 29

For Him and My Family, September 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 1

Pause for Tales, October 2

Artistic Nobody, October 3

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of The Vermilion Riddle (e-book for those outside the US)!!

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/21816/the-vermilion-riddle-celebration-tour-giveway


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Review: To Win A Prince by Toni Shiloh

 

About:

Can she stop herself from falling before she's too far gone?

As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Ọlọrọ Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a sustainable clothing line to help citizens in impoverished areas and honor the country's resources. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo--the man who betrayed her best friend--will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins.

Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his fellow Ọlọrans. To pay for his actions against Ọlọrọ Ilé, he's forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely--but he can't allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status.

Though they come from vastly different worlds, Iris and Ekon are both determined to reach their goals, and the only way to do that is to work together--if they can just keep their hearts from getting in the way . . .

My Thoughts:

This was a beautiful redemption story of second chances, forgiveness, and dreams come true. Even if it looks like all is lost. This was Iris's story who is the best friend of the new queen, who left her American home, and decided to make a go at a clothing business in the country of Oloro Ile.

This is also Ekon's story. He was the one-time suitor of the queen who got caught up in some political turmoil which stripped him of his title of prince. To add insult to injury, his father stripped him of everything else. I was appalled along with Iris at how far Ekon's father went in his punishment. Ekon's story touched me as he fell from a high place. He was a prince and acted so, so when he lost everything, he did not know how to even make a basic meal. Beyond the physical and monetary consequences, there were spiritual ones as well. Ekon felt worthless. What a terrible feeling to be had. He was deserted by all his friends. All he had was Iris, his boss for a time.

Iris was such an empathetic character. She tried hard to have a tough shell around Ekon. But as they got to know one another while working together, she could not keep up her guard. They became friends while both fighting the chemistry between them. There was certainly some swooning going on.

This was a beautiful love story between Ekon and Iris and Ekon's spiritual journey that led to his awareness of how much God loves him made for a satisfying read.

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:


Toni Shiloh
 (www.tonishiloh.com) is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. Her novel In Search of a Prince has been praised by OprahDaily.com, Popsugar, Library Journal, and Booklist, and is a Parable bestseller. Her books have been finalists for the HOLT Medallion and the Selah Award. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Toni loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Review: Worthy of Legend by Roseanna M. White

 

About:

1906

After a summer of successful pirate-treasure hunting, Lady Emily Scofield and her friends must hide the unprecedented discoveries they've made, thanks to the betrayal of her own family. Horrified by her brother, who will stop at nothing to prove himself to their greedy father, Emily is forced to take a stand against her family--even if it means being cut off entirely.

Bram Sinclair, Earl of Telford, is fascinated with tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table--an interest he's kept mostly hidden for the last decade. But when a diary is unearthed on the islands that could lead to a secret artifact, Bram is the only one able to piece the legends together.

As Bram and Emily seek out the whereabouts of the hidden artifact, they must dodge her family and a team of archaeologists. In a race against time, it is up to them to decide what makes a hero worthy of legend. Is it fighting valiantly to claim the treasure . . . or sacrificing everything in the name of selfless love?

My Thoughts:

I have very much enjoyed my reading adventures to the Scilly Isles and the hunt for Arthurian artifacts as the characters search for buried treasure and in turn find somethings much more valuable: friendship, love, acceptance, and the peace of God. 

This is Bram and Emily's story, and the side characters of Tommie (Thomasina) who is Emily's lady's maid, and Enyon, who is Oliver's best friend. Emily comes from a family who do not love or accept her. She is basically a pawn for her parents and nothing to her brother. Tommie has a few deep seeded secrets she is keeping to herself in regard to Emily's family as well. Nonetheless, Emily is ashamed of her position in her family, unloved and unwanted. 

Especially compared to her best friends whose brothers are loving and protective, and do not see her as something insignificant to torture. I felt for Emily as her feelings, fears, and insecurities came rolling off the pages. 

Bram, Libby's brother, is a protector and really an all-around knight in shining armor. He has a vast knowledge of Arthurian legends; some I was not even aware of. So just like the Islands themselves, I went in search of some of these legends author White included in her story. I enjoy learning new tales and due to that I could understand Bram's somewhat obsession of Lyonesse and the hero Tristan. Bram also is asking some deep spiritual questions, as many do, and trying to reconcile all that he knows and learned to a God he does not quite understand. And in the meantime, he becomes enamored with Lady Emily and her plight, striving to be the hero she needs.

This was a wonderful ending to an adventurous, treasure finding series. All the characters were back for this last adventure, and it was like going on a treasure hunt along with them. I enjoyed watching the friendships and the love deepen among this group of people who were from all walks of life and found a grand adventure to share together.

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:

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 www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Worthy of Legend - Secrets of the Isles, Book 3 - Roseanna M. White (roseannamwhite.com)

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Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Texas Wildflowers by Caryl McAdoo

 



About the Book


Book: Texas Wildflowers

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release date: September 3, 2022

Raise up your children in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will will not depart from it.

Getting them old is the key! Maisie Lowell and Rayne St. Laurent, both as beautiful as a wild Texas prairie rose, were born to privilege, reared in the fanciest hotel west of the Mississippi, and used to having their ways. In 1875 Dallas, Texas, the best friends determine to choose their own life paths to peace, love, and joy regardless of what their parents consider right or wrong. Do their choices and what their parents think have to be so different?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

The Lowell's and the St. Laurent's children are growing up, as all children must do, and they are starting to look for their spouses. Maisie Lowell and Rayne St. Laurent are the best of friends growing up together. This is their story, and the love matches that they make.

Rayne has been in love with Maisie's brother, Baxter, since she was a little girl. He left after a fight with his father two years ago and now he is back. Just as handsome as ever and with a past he learned much from and a new appreciation for Rayne. But can she forgive him as she should as she begins to know some of the things he has done? Baxter has changed and he needs for Rayne to understand and forgive him if they are to have a life together.

Maisie's love story is not so cut and dried as her friend and brother's is. She has a couple of suitors that confuse her, and her mother is dead set against one of them. Is he not the one or does her mother just think she is throwing away her life? He is a man about thirteen years older than her and already has four little girls. The other one is her brother's business partner, but he has some secrets he is keeping. 

These two young women want the right men for their lives, but they will have some adventures and soul searching first and before their happily ever afters. I always find great lessons to be learned in author Mcadoo's stories and this one had some tough ones. Especially in regard to Maisie and her mother.

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

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over sixty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen to a few on YouTube. Sharing four children and twenty-four grandsugars (six are greats), Caryl and her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-three years Ron live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

More from Caryl

As I write this, Texas wildflowers adorn hills and pastures and create beautiful ribbons along highways and byways! I love flowers! I love Texas! And I love Texas wildflowers! In my new novel by that name, the dear best friends, Maisie Lowell (Morgan and Charity’s third child and only daughter) and Rayne St. Laurent (daughter of Quincy, and stepdaughter of Priscilla, both of QUINCY & PRISCILLA fame) are growing up and becoming intensely interested in boys—or men as they see it.

It’s so fun when I think of it, because they are seventeen, and Ron and I were sixteen when we met and fell in love. Things are so different today. My oldest grandsugar-daughter married last year at the age of 30, and a grandsugar-son at the age of twenty-six. By then Ron and I had three children and eight years of marriage under our belts!

Isn’t it fun to think that only a hundred years ago, daughters were treasured and when men were ready to find a wife, they came courting, never spending any unchaperoned time alone with the young woman he wanted to get to know. My how things have changed as the Spirit of Anti-Christ is loosed in our world, and love, romance, and families have certainly suffered for it.

This is one reason why I love writing historical Christian Romance, telling tales of sweet and modest young girls with parents who watched and ruled over them until they married. At twenty-four or five, a young lady loomed close to being a spinster! I had so much fun with Maisie and Rayne in TEXAS WILDFLOWERS!

I think you will love them, too! TEXAS WILDFLOWERS is book eight in the Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga, and I believe you’ll enjoy books one through seven just as much! In all my books God is highly praised and ways for us to live abundant lives as He promises are included for readers.

My author’s motto is “Praying my story gives God glory!” If that doesn’t happen, I’ve failed my Father, but do I worry about that? I do not! God is on the throne and in control. He’s the one who gives me such wonderful, fun stories to share with you all! Enjoy TEXAS WILDFLOWERS and be blessed!

Anyway, we have been talking about writing this book for years, coming across little clues for the story in Scripture studies now and again over that time. At last, God released us to write THEN JUDGEMENT based on the twenty-seventh verse of Hebrews, nineth chapter: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

I love searching the scriptures and telling a story that strictly adheres to God’s Book, His Living Word, the Holy Bible. I love His stories and so understand that His Word is bread to our souls, feeding us wisdom and knowledge of our Creator and His everlasting, never-ending love for us!

Creating Biblical fiction tales carries a lot of responsibility that I truly enjoy taking on, being a guardian of the Truth. I love to bring characters from those days gone by so long ago to life on the pages of my books! I do feel a bit like John when he said this, writing of our Savior.

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:27

Biblical fiction could easily become my favorite genre—if it isn’t already. I do write more historical romance stories set in the 1800s (a favorite time period) in Texas (my favorite state)! And as much as I love that research . . . nothing compares to digging into the Word!

I pray you will enjoy living through the three days that Jesus did not spend in the tomb! May my story cause you to dig a little yourself, checking out our theory! I know this to be Truth: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

Hallelujah! Glory be to His Holy Name! The righteous run into it and are saved! There is no one like unto Him! He alone it the Great King over all the earth! Worthy to receive glory and praise!

As always, I’m ‘Praying my story gives God glory!’ 

Blessings, y’all!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 14

Texas Book-aholic, September 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 16

deb’s Book Review, September 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 18

Connie’s History Classroom, September 19

Inklings and notions, September 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 21 (Author Interview)

“To Every” BOOK “There is a Season”, September 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 22

A Baker’s Perspective, September 23 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 24

For Him and My Family, September 25

Pause for Tales, September 26

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 27 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, September 27

 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the prize of a $50 Amazon 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/21811/texas-wildflowers-celebration-tour-giveaway