Lost in Darkness Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Lost in Darkness

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: FICTION/ Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

England, 1815

Amelia Balfour has one dream. . .to tour Egypt as a travel writer. But when her wish is finally within reach, her father dies, and her malformed brother Colin depends upon her to arrange for a revolutionary surgery. Amelia returns home, hoping he’ll recover before the ship sails for Cairo.
Former Navy surgeon Graham Lambert is sick—of travelling, loneliness, and especially the injustice of the world. Leaving behind the military, he partners with a renowned surgeon, the man who promises new life to Amelia’s brother.
But just as the operation begins, Graham suspects the surgeon is a fraud. After a botched procedure, Colin goes mad and escapes, terrorizing their neighbor, author Mary Godwin—planting the seed for her greatest creation, Frankenstein.
Can Amelia and Graham stop Colin before he destroys everyone in his path and find the tender soul still trapped inside…or will they be too late?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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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.

More from Michelle

Are You a Monster Too?

“Look at that! The fattest girl in the class is the first one to get in line for a cupcake.”

Those words, spoken to me in junior high by a clueless boy, are forever seared into my memory. Just because I wasn’t a willowy stick-figure who didn’t match up to magazine covers, I was singled out. Made to feel ashamed. Made to feel like a monster.

Have you ever felt that way?

Chances are you have. We are all poked and prodded at some point in our lives…which brings up a few questions. How do you deal with the sometimes ugly perceptions with which others view you? How do you stop trying to prove your worth to others, when in their eyes you are somehow worthless? Why does God allow such hurtful things to happen anyway?

These are the questions I attempt to tackle in my new release, Lost in Darkness. And surprisingly enough, those are the very same issues contemplated in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Now hold on. Don’t go rolling your eyeballs quite yet—which is the usual response whenever Frankenstein is mentioned.

Most people’s conception of this great piece of literature has been forever ruined by Hollywood’s green creature. You know the one, the giant with bolts sticking out of his neck and a stiff-legged walk. So not true. The essence of Shelley’s “horror” story is instead about a creature who struggles with heartfelt needs that can only be met by his creator. In this story, Shelley respectfully handles the subject of what we owe our creator and what our creator’s responsibility is toward us as the created…the very same questions we all struggle with.

As does Colin Balfour, a man with a heart of gold and a face that causes children to scream. In Lost in Darkness, he hopes to undergo a life-changing surgery that will end his self-imposed isolation. But what really happens is a life change for his sister Amelia and the surgeon who tries to prevent it all from happening. For indeed, even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.

My Review

Review to come! In the meantime, anything Michelle Griep writes is always a must-read, so be sure to enter the giveaway and/or order a copy for yourself or a friend for Christmas!

My rating:

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 29

Genesis 5020, November 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

The Write Escape, November 30

Betti Mace, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Remembrancy, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 2

Daysong Reflections, December 2

For Him and My Family, December 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 3

Bigreadersite, December 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 4

For the Love of Literature, December 4

SodbusterLiving, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 5

Splashes of Joy, December 5

Back Porch Reads, December 5

Connie’s History Classroom, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 8

Pause for Tales, December 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 9

Labor Not in Vain, December 9

To Everything There Is A Season, December 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, December 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 10

Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, December 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 11 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 11

Rachael’s Inkwell, December 12

Blogging With Carol, December 12

Connect in Fiction, December 12

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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/13cfd/lost-in-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Nutcracker’s Suite Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021

“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of
secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!

My Review

My review will be in the December issue of #BecauseFiction magazine. I will post a link to it here when it becomes available.

My rating:

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

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

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

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/13cfb/the-nutcracker-s-suite-celebration-tour-giveaway

Murder at the Empire Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Murder at the Empire

Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: October 5, 2021

Gayle Wells is a killer organist, but does a killer have her in his sights?

They call him the Emperor. John Starek fills his theater with fine artwork and treasures. He’s particularly pleased to have one of the country’s first female organists – and he thinks Gayle Wells is the bee’s knees.

Despite pressure from her social crusader mother, Gayle isn’t interested in changing the world. She just wants a car of her own – and a career playing the organ at the Empire movie palace would be especially ducky.

Then the Empire’s treasures start disappearing and employees start dying. Are a few pieces of art really enough motive for the string of murders? Will Gayle be next?

Murder at the Empire brings the Nightingale into an elegant movie palace in the roaring 20’s – but the real excitement is all off-screen.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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After 40 years of wandering (but always in lovely places and not in a desert), Cathe Swanson has recently returned to her childhood home and family in Minnesota. In the summer, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and being outdoors, gardening, hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. The long winters are perfect for writing books, playing games, reading, and indoor hobbies. Cathe’s been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years and enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper.

Everything inspires new books! A lifelong love of quilting, Cathe’s Swedish heritage and an interest in genealogy led to The Glory Quilts series, and The Hope Again series is inspired by her life in the Midwest and experiences with the elderly, the military, and inner-city ministry. As a child of the sixties, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in the Serenity Hill series.

Cathe writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

More from Cathe

The 1920’s is a fascinating era. Women had recently won the right to vote, and America adopted the Volstead Act – Prohibition – which led to the growth of underground clubs and organized crime. Women were forging new paths in social reform, politics, science, medicine and every other career. America became more urbanized, building suburbs and developing a large middle-class population. The affordable automobile changed the entire culture! It was a time of innovation and rapidly expanding technology. Synthetic fabrics, convenience foods, electric appliances and other inventions made daily life easier. People had more free time, money and access to a variety of entertainments than ever before.

So much happened in this brief, exciting decade between the end of WWI and the Great Depression! It’s always interested me, so I was flattered and thrilled when Celebrate Lit Publishing invited me to participate in The Ever After Mysteries, a collection of 1920’s mysteries inspired by fairy tales. I’m a great fan of mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and I read at least a thousand fairy tales as a child.

To be honest… I set about it backward. I knew I wanted to write about a young woman playing the Mighty Wurlitzer organ to accompany silent films at a glamorous movie palace, so I Iooked for a fairy tale to match it!

I chose The Nightingale, an old Chinese story about an Emperor with a beautiful palace. Everything in it was exquisite and fragile, and people came from all over the world to admire his palace. He loved to show it off and even tied little bells to the prettiest blossoms in the garden, to make sure no one missed them. When the emperor heard rumors about a bird that sang more beautifully than anything else, he sought it out and brought it home to live in the palace, where it could sing to entertain him and his guests.

At that point, the fairy tale and my story diverge. In the fairy tale, the nightingale lives in the palace singing for the court until the Emperor of Japan presents the Emperor of China with a bejeweled mechanical bird – so much prettier than the plain brown nightingale. The Chinese emperor abandons the real bird and enjoys the mechanical one until it breaks. He falls into a deep depression and is only restored to health by the return of the real nightingale.

None of that happens in Murder at the Empire, but there’s lot of other fun, jazzy excitement as the John Starek – the “Emperor” – fills his magnificent movie palace with fine artwork and beautiful things – including Chicago’s first female theater organist, Gayle Wells. He thinks she’s the bee’s knees, but she’s a pretty independent girl, busy working and saving money to buy her own car.

And then things start falling apart… with murder at the Empire. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it!

My Review

Review coming soon!

My rating:

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 17

Blossoms and Blessings, November 17

Texas Book-aholic, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Sodbusterliving, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

For Him and My Family, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 25 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 25

Connie’s History Classroom, November 26

Genesis 5020, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Back Porch Reads, November 28

Through the fire blogs, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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/133b9/murder-at-the-empire-celebration-tour

Behind Love’s Wall Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Behind Love’s Wall

Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels

Genre: FICTION/ Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

Two successful women, a hundred-and-twenty-years apart, build walls to protect their hearts. Modern-day Willa, a successful interior decorator, is chosen to consult for the Grand Hotel’s possible redesign. She discovers a journal detailing the struggles of a young woman, Lily—which reveals dark secrets. The renowned singer wasn’t who she pretended to be. As Willa reaches out to Lily’s descendant, a charismatic and prominent landscape artist, she lets down her guard. Should she share the journal with him, or once again erect a wall as she struggles to redesign both the Grand and her life?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.

More from Carrie

Why I Wrote This Novel

I got a chance to write another novel set on Mackinac Island!!!

I’m the author of over twenty published stories. I have many books, both novel and novella length, set at the Straits of Mackinac including Maggie Award winner and Romantic Times Top Pick My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. In the summer, I go up to the area and I’m blessed to sign books at the Island Bookstore—sometimes hundreds of books which is such an amazing thing I can’t tell you! Now that MHBoMI is out of print, Barbour has been helping by doing limited print runs for while I am up there.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island was originally part of a full series that I pitched but it didn’t get picked up for all three stories. MHBoMI got picked up as part of the My Heart Belongs series that Barbour put out a few years ago. The second book in my original Brides of Mackinac series was heroine Sadie’s story, which was published as a novella “His Anchor” in First Love Forever collection. So I had two of my book babies delivered out into the world and Lily’s story sat there for a while.

In the Covid summer of 2020, I arrived in my home state of Michigan and over dinner with a close friend I learned that the folks at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island were having legal trouble with their previous long-time designed Carlton Varney suing them. I’d been disappointed that the Mussers, who’d owned the Grand for generations, had sold the hotel but this new development really bugged me. While I was in the Upper Peninsula, I finished an Indy book, Dogwood Plantation, which only figures since I often write my Michigan stories while I am in Virginia and vice versa! I knew the only other book I wanted to work on was to complete my Brides of Mackinac trilogy (not exactly since they aren’t all in one series!) with Lily’s story. I also had a manuscript about 70% done that was my very first contemporary Women’s Fiction novel. When my agent encouraged me to submit a Mackinac Island story set at the Grand Hotel to Barbour’s Doors to the Past series, I knew immediately that the only story for historical I wanted to write was Lily’s. That meant that I needed, for this dual-timeline series, a contemporary story. That wasn’t just a chance sharing at dinner—I believe the info about the lawsuit was meant to be passed on to me one of those God-incidences. My modern-day heroine then became an established resort designer who had a trunkful of issues just like Lily did.

Was I ever glad that I had finally written my first contemporary Women’s Fiction (Butterfly Cottage) because that skill set came in very handy in writing the modern-day 2020 story of Willa in Behind Love’s Wall! This was the most difficult novel to write that I have done so far as I write in character and going back and forth between the 1895 and 2020 timelines could be draining. I tried to write each character and setting on separate days but that couldn’t always be managed.

I pray that this story will touch readers’ hearts. I pray that someone, like the young waitress I meant on Mackinac Island who had been spiritually moved by My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (she read her grandmother’s copy after her grandma passed away!), will read this book and feel that connection to our Maker. That’s what Christian Fiction is all about!

My Review

Review coming soon!

My rating:

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 19

Cats in the Cradle Blog, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Inklings and notions, November 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Mary Hake, November 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

For the Love of Literature, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Betti Mace, November 23

Genesis 5020, November 23

Older & Smarter?, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

Blossoms and Blessings, November 25

Stephanie’s life of determination, November 25

Connect in Fiction, November 25

Rebecca Tews, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 26

Through the fire blogs, November 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Bigreadersite, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 28

Connie’s History Classroom, November 29

Bizwings Blog, November 29

Labor Not in Vain, November 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 30

To Everything There Is A Season, November 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 1

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, December 1

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 1

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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/137e9/behind-love-s-wall-celebration-tour-giveaway

Honor in the Mountain Refuge Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Honor in the Mountain Refuge

Author: Misty Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 9, 2021

This epic journey is his last chance to start a new life.

After being cast out of his Blackfoot village for his kindness to the Nez Perce captives, Chogan travels west in search of meaning for his life. Meaning that doesn’t require killing or torturing innocent people. Though the lovely face of Telípe, a Nez Perce woman, is imprinted on his heart, he avoids her village. She deserves a happy life with her husband and coming child.

With her husband dead and the birth of her babe imminent, Telípe’s reality looks nothing like she planned. She’s been forced to return to the village where she grew up and the chaos of her family’s lodge—with all her boisterous younger brothers. She desperately desires to start a new life for herself and the babe growing within her, but she can’t seem to climb above the mire of her past. When she stumbles into the brave who’d shown her kindness during her captivity, something ignites within her—a new hope.

Chogan’s determination to stay and help Telípe is thwarted by her people’s fear and hatred for his tribe—especially since he was among last winter’s kidnappers. It doesn’t matter that he did everything he could to keep her and her unborn child safe and comfortable during that awful event. But as a new predator threatens the safety of the village, Chogan determines to take down the massive wildcat that’s already injured several children—including one of Telípe’s younger brothers. When the danger escalates, Chogan is faced with an impossible choice. No matter which option he chooses, his life will never be the same—nor that of the woman he’s come to love.

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

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

More from Misty

When minor characters get their own story!

One of the things I love about writing in series is the chance for minor characters to become major characters, with fascinating lives and personalities of their own! The heroine in Honor in the Mountain Refuge, Telipe, first appeared in Light in the Mountain Sky as Meksem’s little sister who was kidnapped by a band of Blackfoot warriors. Even when I’m the writer, characters often surprise me by doing things very differently than what I expected!

Telipe did exactly that in one of the final scenes of that previous book. When Meksem and her friends showed up to rescue Telipe and the other captives, Telipe actually braced herself in front of one of one of her Blackfoot captors, stopping anyone from injuring him. Why would she do that?

In that book, Telipe only says that the man had been kind to her when the other warriors were not. I knew there HAD to be more though.

I pray you enjoy learning Telipe’s story as much as I did, including how that Blackfoot brave she protected shows up again in the most unexpected of places!

My Review

In this sixth book of the Call of the Rockies series, Misty Beller pens another engaging adventure. As with the prior books, Honor in the Mountain Refuge can be read as a stand-alone but continues the story of former characters and is best appreciated chronologically. Set in the Clearwater River Valley in the future Idaho Territory in the summer of 1831, this narrative follows Telipe, the Nez Perce half-sister of Meksem who was kidnapped by the Blackfoot in book 3, Light in the Mountain Sky. She has returned, pregnant, to her home village after the death of her husband, yearning for “her own life again, free from the pressure to wed a man she couldn’t even bring herself to like.” She misses her former life and finds it difficult to deal with the commotion of her younger brothers, but she doesn’t know where her future lies.

Feeling similarly displaced, Chogan has been disowned by his father and the Blackfoot tribe whose bloodthirst he has never shared. As one of Telipe’s former captors, he ensured her wellbeing, and when they encounter each other in the woods, Chogan wonders if he was led here for a reason. Telipe feels understandably unsettled about him: “He was such a mystery, this man. Enemy, yet friend. Fierce warrior, yet gentle and kind. Undecided, yet determined.” I think that this unlikely pair is a large part of the reason that I found Honor in the Mountain Refuge so compelling. There were a few times during my reading that I questioned the odds of certain circumstances happening, but then again, that is part of the point; sometimes we encounter impossible situations in order for the Lord to step in to achieve what only He can, and sometimes things happen to reveal to us the divine intervention at work behind them.

Beller creates a unique model of harmonious collaboration within Telipe’s village, one that reminds me of the body of Christ. Besides the indigenous Nez Perce tribe, there are interracial couples, trappers, and native Blackfeet. Telipe amusedly remarks to herself, “Conversation flowed freely among the group, sometimes in Nimiiputimpt, sometimes in English. And she couldn’t be certain, but it seemed like every so often, a bit of the French tongue slipped in. There was such a mix of nationalities and languages represented in this group that it was a wonder anyone could follow along. Often, Elan or Beaver tail would lean forward and translate something said into a language the rest could understand.” The first thing that came to mind while reading this description was the “great multitude” spoken of in Revelation 7:9. It is a beautiful depiction of what the church should be like here on earth, too, and it dovetails well with the faith journey of the main characters. When people see the peace and joy that our faith produces in us and experience the Lord working through us, they will be more inclined to seek the Savior.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 9

Texas Book-aholic, November 10

Inklings and notions, November 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 11

Splashes of Joy, November 12

For Him and My Family, November 12

lakesidelivingsite, November 13

deb’s Book Review, November 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 15

Vicarious Living, November 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 17

For the Love of Literature, November 18

Connie’s History Classroom, November 18

Betti Mace, November 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 20

Blossoms and Blessings, November 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 21

Through the Fire blogs, November 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Pause for Tales, November 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/12f8d/honor-in-the-mountain-refuge-celebration-tour-giveaway

Yukon Justice Review and GIVEAWAY!

Yukon-Justice[1]

About the Book

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Book: Yukon Justice

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: October 26, 2021

Sabotage on a family ranch…

Newfoundland Ella and her Alaska State Trooper partner is on the case.

When her estranged uncle attempts to sabotage her family’s reindeer ranch, K-9 team assistant Katie Kapowski heads home to help save it—and becomes his target. With their rocky past, Alaska State Trooper Brayden Ford and his furry partner are the last team Katie wants assigned to protect her. But with the ranch under siege, they must work together…or risk falling victim to a killer.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the Publisher’s Weekly and Amazon bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Up on the housetop, click, click, click, down through the chimney with good St. Nick. Does anyone know that line from the famous Christmas song? I’ve been singing it for years but only recently did I learn that the clicking is a real reindeer phenomenon. Those reindeer ankle joints make a clicking sound so they can find the rest of their herd if they are separated in a blizzard. It’s just one of the many things I learned about reindeer while researching to write Yukon Justice. In the novel, Katy has to take over running her aunt’s reindeer ranch and protect it from threats by a dangerous intruder. I had the pleasure of “Zoom” interviewing the owner of the Running Reindeer Ranch in Fairbanks, Alaska! Jane helped me learn all kinds of interesting things about reindeer. How much do you know about these critters? Take my quick three question trivia quiz to test your knowledge!

  1. What’s the difference between caribou and reindeer? They are the same animal but caribou are the wild variety and the domesticated version are called reindeer.
  2. Do males or females grow antlers? Both! Reindeer are a type of deer and the only species where the female grows antlers as well as the males.
  3. How come kids put out carrots for Santa’s reindeer? Good question! Carrots are not, in fact, part of a natural healthy reindeer diet. The animals don’t even have front teeth! A much better treat would be willow or birch leaves, or their favorite food…lichen, which they find by scraping the snow away from the ground with their hooves.

So how did you do? If you want to know more about these amazing creatures, snag yourself a copy of Yukon Justice!

My Review

Once again Dana Mentink writes a pulse-pounding romantic suspense, this one perfect for chilly weather. Set on a fairly remote reindeer ranch near Palmer, Alaska, Yukon Justice has me rethinking the loveliness of such Alaskan solitude. It’s a state that I would love to visit precisely for its natural beauty and seclusion, and the fact that it’s not part of the contiguous United States only adds to its mysterious allure. Although obviously not true of the entire state, when I think of Alaska, the first thing that comes to mind is off-grid living, which speaks to the pioneering, simplicity-seeking part of me. There are, however, drawbacks to such a lifestyle, or to just living in an isolated location. Such as a murderous relative, for example. And you thought your family didn’t get along!

On leave from her hard-earned job as assistant to the Alaska K-9 Unit Colonel and the group of state troopers with their canines, Katie Kapowski is working to help save her Aunt Addie’s reindeer ranch from her Uncle Terrence’s resentful sabotage. Believing himself to be the rightful owner, Terrence will stop at nothing, including coldblooded murder, to claim what he thinks is his. To Katie’s dismay, State Trooper Brayden Ford is the co-worker assigned to the case, a challenge given their less-than-congenial past encounters. Nevertheless, as the situation at the ranch escalates, Katie and Brayden, along with his Newfoundland, Ella, take on the challenges as a team. During one moment early in their partnership, they connect over the Scripture verse of Romans 8:31, and Brayden reflects that this is “A God thing, as his mom used to say. Too bad he didn’t let more of those God things out of his mouth. Might be less room for his foot.” Such amusing contemplations imbue the story with comedic relief throughout.

Yukon Justice delivers an inspirational tale of perseverance and overcoming through the ordeals of the characters. Ella, trained in underwater search-and-rescue, plays a more secondary role to Katie, Addie, Brayden, and Terrence, in my opinion, and although I would have liked to have seen her used a bit more, she still adds entertainment and her own proficiency to the storyline. Mentink develops and matures her characters as the plot unfolds and they must face their weaknesses, which includes releasing control and asking for help. I love the maxim that Brayden learned from his mom and passes on to Katie, one derived from Romans 8:31: “Eyes up, not down.” As Katie experiences, “There was danger and stress and uncertainty, all mixed up with a mega portion of fear, but with Brayden’s hand holding hers, she felt a strong surge of hope, and another smile broke across her face.” Trusting that God will ultimately work everything out is rarely easy in the midst of the storm, but it is necessary if we want our anchor to be secure.

Complete with suspense, life lessons, romance, a goofy Newfie, and yes, reindeer, Yukon Justice hits all the sweet spots for lovers of the genre and newcomers alike. “Sure as eggs in April!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 6

lakesidelivingsite, November 6

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 7

Gina Holder, November 7 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 8

Daysong Reflections, November 8

Genesis 5020, November 8

For Him and My Family, November 9

Lighthouse-Academy, November 9

Bigreadersite, November 9

For the Love of Literature, November 10

Remembrancy, November 10

Betti Mace, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 11

deb’s Book Review, November 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 12

Blogging With Carol, November 13

To Everything There Is A Season, November 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 14

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 15

Vicarious Living, November 15

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings, November 16

Bizwings Blog, November 16

She Lives To Read, November 17

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 17

Splashes of Joy, November 18

Through the Fire blogs, November 18

Kayem Reads, November 18

Labor Not in Vain, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Raining Butterfly Kisses, November 19

Giveaway

Yukon_Justice_Giveaway[1]

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of the book OR signed copy of the book (U.S. Only)!!

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/12f8a/yukon-justice-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Picture of Hope Review and GIVEAWAY!

picture-of-hope[1]

About the Book

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Book: A Picture of Hope

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: October, 2021

A Photojournalist Risks Her Life to Save Children

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Journalist Nellie Wilkerson has spent the bulk of the war in London, photographing pilots taking off and landing—and she’s bored. She jumps at the chance to go to France, where the Allied forces recently landed. She enlists Jean-Paul Breslau of the French underground to take her to the frontlines. On the journey, they come upon an orphanage where nuns shelter children with disabilities. Can they help save them before the Nazis come to liquidate it?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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

More from Liz

Why Another WWII Novel Set in France

You may well read the back cover of my latest release, A Picture of Hope, and wonder why on earth we need another WWII novel set in France. After all, Kristy Cambron just had one. Melanie Dobson and Sarah Sundin will be coming out with theirs in 2022. So why did I feel the need to write my novel with the same setting?

First of all, I’m a Francophile. I love all things French. It started when I took French in high school. Everyone else was learning Spanish, but I wasn’t into being part of the crowd. There were only a few of us in the class, and it was great fun. We had a wonderful teacher. Being able to pull out some of that French, refine it a bit, and use it in the book was a blast. But I also love French food (who doesn’t?) and everything else.

Secondly, I hadn’t written about France before. When I wrote this proposal at least five or six years ago, I didn’t know France would be so hot. God did, and the book came about in His perfect timing. I’d explored the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Philippines. Such a shame that I was leaving out France, so I set about to write a novel located in that country.

Thirdly, there was so much good material to pull from. The French resistance, while small, did good work and sacrificed a great deal to get Jews out of the country and into Switzerland or Spain. The books that Kristy, Melanie, Sarah, and I write are all so different. Only the setting is the same. And when I found out that the famous mime Marcel Marceau was part of the resistance, I couldn’t help but giving him a cameo. Be on the lookout!

Along the way, I discovered some truly heartrending incidents that took place in France. They also compelled me to write this book. I long for the world to remember what happened so that we will never forget. And so that the atrocities committed there will never be repeated.

Fourthly, this was originally the third book in a series. Don’t worry – it’s a stand-alone. Maybe someday I’ll get to publish the other two. The women in the series are all American journalists in Europe. One is a reporter, the other is a broadcaster, and so I decided to make Nellie, the heroine in A Picture of Hope, a photojournalist. And where better to take pictures than on Omaha Beach soon after D-day. How she gets there is based on a very interesting true story, so be sure to read to the end for that one.

There are so many stories about WWII to be told and so many countries that participated in the conflict in one way or the other. The ground is so rich that we aren’t plowing the same parcel. You’ll find all of these books to be very different from each other, each with its own message, its own voice, and its own plot.

The focus in my book is on children with Down syndrome. I have a background in special education, and my husband and I adopted a child from the Philippines with an intellectual disability, so I’ve always had a heart for people with special needs. My daughter brings us so much joy that I wanted to share a glimpse into what these remarkable people are truly capable of.

So that is why I wrote a WWII novel set in France. Make yourself a cup of café au lait, butter up a croissant, and enjoy A Picture of Hope!

My Review

For too long, too many had been silent. She had a chance to give voice to those who were helpless. She couldn’t allow it to pass.

Ever since doing a unit on Anne Frank in eighth grade, I have read about and studied the Holocaust. It’s difficult to describe why this horrific time in history speaks to me so much, except to say that the resiliency of those who endured and, in some cases, survived the horrors inflicted upon them inspires me to learn more and to make sure that their legacies are never forgotten. What seems so egregious and dangerous, sadly, is that as the remaining members of that generation pass away, the world appears ready to forego the painful lessons learned from the Nazi regime and travel down the same destructive path. This is why stories will always be important, to keep history alive alongside contemporary society, not to inhibit but to inform. A Picture of Hope by Liz Tolsma may be a work of fiction, but it’s based on the actions of real people and true events that occurred during the latter part of WWII.

What do you get when you take a female photojournalist, a French maquisard, and a war and mix them together? A riveting, heartbreaking, inspirational story that manages to be unique in a heavily-occupied genre. A Picture of Hope is truly distinctive to me for its focus on another group that Hitler was intent on eliminating: the disabled. I do not recall ever previously reading any stories or accounts that concentrated on the intellectually disabled—in this case, children with Down Syndrome. As photojournalist Nellie Wilkerson notes of Claire, “Every inch of dirt on the planet was stained with blood. With evil. Was there any good left anywhere? Perhaps only in the brown eyes of a Mongoloid girl.” (A note to sensitive readers: The author explains her careful and respectful choice to use the historically-accurate term Mongoloid in place of Down Syndrome at the very beginning of the book.) Having been friends, until he passed away, with an intellectually-disabled boy who was born one day before me, I can attest that these special individuals possess remarkable compassion and joy. Again, Nellie captures the essence of Claire: “From a disposable child to one who would inspire the entire world to care.

Many wonderful characters inhabit these pages. Nellie is eager to do all that she can for the Allies, and her reckless impatience leads her straight into trouble on more than one occasion. It also brings her to Jean-Paul Breslau, a maquisard of one of the rural guerrilla bands of French resistance fighters battling to wrest control of the country from Germany back into French hands. Jean-Paul’s training did not include how to deal with a rebellious, independent female, but a seminal figure in this story, Sister Maria-Theresa, assures him that “No matter what comes into our lives, God uses it in the best way for us. His ways and His plan are perfect. You will learn that in the coming days, though the lesson will be difficult.” Likewise, Nellie slowly begins coming to terms with the darkness of her childhood in America while simultaneously dealing with the challenges of her present, coming at last to the realization that “Perhaps there were those who were good in this world. Not good in and of themselves, but good because they reflected the light of Christ in the midst of this choking darkness.” As each of the characters moves forward through obstacles both personal and shared, what emerges is not only A Picture of Hope, but a testament of faith and a legacy of love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 28

Life of Literature, October 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 28

Genesis 5020, October 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

The Book Chic Blog, October 29

Blogging With Carol, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Sodbuster Living, October 30

Spoken from the Heart, October 30

Elly Gilbert, October 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Inklings and notions, October 31

Labor Not in Vain, October 31

CarpeDiem, October 31

Splashes of Joy, November 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 1

Life, love, writing, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1

deb’s Book Review, November 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 2

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 3

Betti Mace, November 3

Worthy2Read, November 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 3

Daysong Reflections, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 4

Vicky Sluiter, November 4

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 5

By the Book, November 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 5

Connie’s History Classroom, November 6

For the Love of Literature, November 6

Bigreadersite, November 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 6

Rebecca Tews, November 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 7

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 7

She Lives To Read, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 8

Where Faith and Books Meet, November 8

Pause for Tales, November 9

Christian Bookaholic, November 9

Through the Fire Blogs, November 9

To Everything There Is A Season , November 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 10

Mary Hake, November 10

Giveaway

A_Picture_of_Hope_Giveaway[1]

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of A Picture of Hope!!

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/12b83/a-picture-of-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

Rising Danger Review and GIVEAWAY!

Rising-Danger[1]

About the Book

Rising-Danger-Cover-Final-680x1024[1]

Book: Rising Danger

Author: Jerusha Agen

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: May 25, 2021

It’s up to a K-9 handler and her canine partner to stop a bomber before it’s too late.

Someone’s planting explosives on dams in the Twin Cities, and Bristol Bachmann and her bomb sniffing dog must move quickly to find them before everything ends up underwater. That means relying on the dams’ supervisor—an ex-boyfriend Bristol never thought she’d see again. Hopefully Remington Jones has grown up from the rakish charmer she knew in her academy days. Because lives now depend entirely on them…

It’s an environmental terrorist who wants the dams gone, and his bid to set the waters free has lethal consequences. When he sees Bristol and her K-9 working to stop him, he sets his sights on them. Can they evade him in a lethal game of cat and mouse and protect their cities from devastating destruction before the clock runs out?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner, but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ.

With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is a speaker, writing instructor, and Fear Warrior who sounds the call to battle against fear in our everyday lives.

Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats. You’ll often find her sharing irresistibly adorable photos of them in her newsletter and on social media.

Get a free suspense story from Jerusha and find more of her thrilling, fear-fighting novels at www.JerushaAgen.com.

More from Jerusha

Hi, readers! For those of you who are familiar with my suspense novels, you know I love to interweave fast-paced suspense with powerful character journeys of redemption. I got to do just that in my romantic suspense novel, Rising Danger.

But what I especially loved about writing Rising Danger was the chance to feature a canine hero. Bristol Bachmann, the heroine of Rising Danger, partners with Toby, an explosives detection K-9, to stop a bomber from unleashing terror on the Twin Cities.

As a lifelong lover of dogs, I’ve always been fascinated by working K-9s like Toby. Getting to portray this black Labrador’s heroism in Rising Danger was so much fun.

I also feel that writing about Toby and the other K-9s in this tale who are part of the Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency was a way to honor the heroic dogs I’ve had in my own life. No, I haven’t known any working K-9s, but I’ve shared my life with dogs who were heroic in different ways.

Take Lancelot, my first Leonberger. Lancelot was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. With his huge size, he was a true gentle giant. At an early age, he became terribly afraid of strangers and new places. I worked with skilled trainers to help him battle his fear, and he did have some improvement. But he would always struggle with meeting new people or visiting locations away from home.

Even so, he never stopped fighting against his fears. He continued to get better the more he fought. And while he battled his fears, he taught me how to battle mine.

Then, the worst battle of all commenced when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors gave him only three to four months to live—a frightening and devastating death sentence for the dog of my heart.

But God had more to teach me through Lancelot. This courageous dog fought cancer as hard as he had fought his fears. He taught me how to find joy in every moment of life, even when there’s pain or sadness. He taught me how precious and powerful love can be. And God used him to give me unforgettable evidence of God’s loving providence and sovereignty at work.

Because God had a different plan for Lancelot. God gave me the gift of over 1,000 more days with my heroic dog.

Right up to the end of his days, Lancelot remained my hero. I’m so pleased to begin a series of books with prequel Rising Danger that feature K-9 heroes who, in different ways, remind me of the heroic dogs I’ve been privileged to love.

My Review

There is so much to love about this Love-Inspired book, Rising Danger by Jerusha Agen! To start with, the cover hooked me right away, with its mixture of formidable blues and greys, fog, and most of all, the dog. As soon as I see a canine, I have to check it out, and to put at ease any other readers like myself who always worry about the fate of dogs in the stories they read, I can safely say that they need have no fear of the dogs meeting their demise. This is one of my chief concerns in any story that contains animals, but dogs (and horses) have a special place in my heart. As a service dog handler, I am familiar to some extent with the everyday life of a working dog, and with scent training. Toby, in the story, is a black lab, and my dog is a yellow lab. While I have no experience with search and rescue or the detection of explosives, I love that Toby is trained to do both, and that Phoenix seeks out rescue dogs to train and use. Furthermore, I appreciate that Agen demonstrates how even highly-trained working dogs are still dogs and enjoy playing and relaxing, too.

Rising Danger provides a fantastic example of how valuable and expedient K-9 working dogs can be while also presenting a mystery and a potential second-chance romance. Agen opens the story with a bang, and the intensity never relents from that point forward. The focus is on environmental terrorism, an issue germane to the conservation-minded contemporary society, and dams in the Twin Cities. Bristol Bachmann, a new member of the close-knit Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency, finds herself and her canine partner Toby working with a face from the past in the form of Remington Jones. Whereas Bristol is a perfectionist who leaves no room for mistakes or forgiveness after the tragedy she experienced sixteen years earlier during Hurricane Katrina, Remington has reformed from a partier to a man who offers his best to his job as security supervisor for the dams. Both continue to suffer from the events of their pasts, but whereas Rem has turned to the Lord, Bristol wants nothing to do with who she considers to be an uninterested or cruel God. Her grandmother Jessica and later her friend and co-worker Cora, along with Rem, try to draw her into a relationship with Jesus, but she resists. The Bible verse that especially encompasses the message of the narrative is Romans 8:28. As Rem illustrates by explaining Romans 8:28, “We can’t always see what He’s doing right away. Sometimes we won’t see it until we get to heaven. But He promises He’ll use even the worst things that happen for good. That’s why he allowed it. So something better can happen in the end.

Agen pursues the idea of giving worries and troubles over to God through a few of the core characters, demonstrating flaws we all have and Truth we all need. Bristol’s grandma is especially cogent and persistent in her faith, and she isn’t afraid to lovingly speak the words she knows Bristol needs to hear: “I’m saying if you don’t let go of trying to keep yourself safe and protected from everything, you will miss out on real joy. And love. God’s best gifts usually come as a surprise, often packed in problems and trials. They’re things we never could have planned ourselves, even if we had known we needed them.” As Bristol deals with the current situation and PTSD from her childhood experience, she and the others working on the case learn their own weaknesses and what it really means to trust not only each other but most importantly, God Himself.

Rising Danger is the prequel novel to author Jerusha Agen’s new Guardians Unleashed series, and fans of thrilling, lightning-fast books with faith, romance, and even K-9s, will find this a story and a series to follow.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 20

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

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

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

CarpeDiem, October 22

Betti Mace, October 23

Daysong Reflections, October 23

lakesidereadingsite, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Inside the Wong Mind, October 25

deb’s Book Review, October 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 26

Blogging With Carol, October 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 27

Simple Harvest Reads, October 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, October 28

An Author’s Take, October 28

Through the fire blogs, October 29

For Him and My Family, October 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 30

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 31

Just Your Average reviews, October 31

Mary Hake, October 31

Pause for Tales, November 1

Spoken from the Heart, November 1

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 2

For the Love of Literature, November 2

Giveaway

Rising_Danger_Giveaway[1]

To celebrate her tour, Jerusha is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, one signed copy of Rising Danger, and book swag!!

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/126b0/rising-danger-celebration-tour-giveaway

When the Pilot Falls Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: When the Pilot Falls

Author: April Hayman

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: September 7, 2021

In 1923, there aren’t many pilots, but Willie Labeau didn’t let that stop… her.

A bear of a man, Hugh Taylor, needs a stunt plane pilot, and despite their rocky introduction, Willie sets off for golden California and a new life as his pilot. There’s just one little thing she has to do in addition to flying.

Leave his past alone. Period.

When the flame of her own curiosity becomes fanned by encouragement from Willie’s sister, the feisty pilot can’t help but do just a little investigating.

And Hugh vanishes.

Friends rally around her, and with all the information she can find in hand, Willie sets off to rescue Hugh and battle the evil family holding him hostage.

A fierce air race, a sincere act of humility—are they enough to free Hugh and give Willie a chance to be with him… forever?

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. When the Pilot Falls offers a retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as you watch hearts soar and daring dos.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

april[1]

April Hayman lives in the high desert of California with her husband and their three sons. During the day, she focuses on homeschooling the boys and working on client projects. She writes at night when the temperature outside is only somewhat cooler than during the day.

Her passion for reading began in grade school and her teachers often reprimanded her for reading when she should have been completing her math assignments. Now she reads whenever she likes and writes for those who love to read.

April collects fountain pens, has too many pen pals (and always looking for more), journals sporadically, creates art when she can squeeze it in, and hordes stationery.

More from April

I’ve always loved to write. I still remember pounding out a science fiction story about a lizard man on my Grandmother’s typewriter, with its sticky ‘e’ key, then excitedly asking to read it to her. She patiently listened and praised my writing. I was thrilled even though, now as an adult, I realized she was humoring me. I continued to write on an off for the next twenty years, but it wasn’t until I found National Novel Writing Month that I really began to write in earnest.

I’d already begun my search into story structure and, one day while researching, NaNoWriMo popped up on my browser window. Interested, I clicked over and I was intrigued. Here was a chance to write 50,000 words in thirty days with a support group of other writers! And, with a day to go, I signed up. After all, how hard is it to write 50,000 words?

Turns out, it’s super hard. Especially when you’re new to story structure, developing characters, and correct pacing. It was a fabulous disaster of a story, but I did manage to hit my mark and “win” that year. And, best of all, I’d met Chautona Havig. She and I became friends and her brilliant writing advice and support has meant the world to me.

Every year after that, except when I moved away, I participated. Eventually I became a Municipal Liaison, the head volunteer and writer wrangler, for our area. It was a lot of fun but not one of those books has been published. They’re just for me and I love them, even if they’re awful.

Eventually, my participation was noticed by my three boys. While all of them enjoy reading to varying degrees, writing was always hard for them. Not that they don’t love to tell a good story. It’s the writing part that’s hard. Anyway, my eldest son finally decided to join the Young Writers Program (NaNoWriMo for pre-teens and teens) one year and got bitten by the writing bug. We’re currently working on his latest story. I’m so happy to have passed on my love of writing to him and his brothers!

My Review

A romantic mystery full of unexpected twists and turns, April Hayman pens the third installment in the Ever After Mysteries, When the Pilot Falls. I have to say that this is now my favorite book in the series, due in part to the fact that I am unfamiliar with the original fairy tale from which it is adapted, East of the Sun, West of the Moon. As such, I truly went into this one without any idea of the plot or characters, and I love that because it kept me in anticipation throughout. As always, I avoid reading book summaries, so I became privy to the crime itself alongside the figures in the story and was unable to predict the outcome. To me, that is the best kind of mystery!

Hayman confronts some of the most challenging issues of 1920s America while infusing the narrative with humor and intriguing characters. Opening in Kansas in 1923, When the Pilot Falls features barnstormer Willie Labeau, an intrepid female pilot who speaks her mind and has no problem wearing trousers. Her philosophy is likewise straightforward: “Everything was simpler in the air. She only had to worry about the plane.” However, as a woman in a predominantly male profession, she is considered easily replaceable, and when she ends up back at home, she laments to her father that “I’m just so tired of it. Of trying to prove myself over and over. And when I do the right thing, it doesn’t do me any good.” He tells her that “If things were that bad, you might have asked for help before it got out of hand. But that’s in the past and something to learn from for the future,” a reply that proves to be prophetic in the next leg of her journey. She becomes a Hollywood stunt pilot, working for Hugh Taylor under the curious condition that she doesn’t pry into his family life. Things seem nearly idyllic until her new life comes crashing down when Hugh vanishes.

There is a plethora of action and background in each chapter of When the Pilot Falls, yet it never feels overwhelming or confounding. The story is clean, with references to characters praying but no overt religious content. Estie, an African-American female pilot, is my favorite secondary character. Not only is she groundbreaking in aviation, she is loyal and dauntless, as are her family members. They contribute so much to the second half of the story, and they are witty and enterprising. Conversely, Queenie makes a repulsive villainess, and Hayman uses her character and the era of Prohibition to great effect in establishing the climax of the plot. It all makes for a story that flies along so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to put down!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 16

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 16

Texas Book-aholic, October 17

Inklings and notions, October 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 18 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 19

For Him and My Family, October 19

deb’s Book Review, October 20

SodbusterLiving, October 20

ABBA’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 22

Simple Harvest Reads, October 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 24

Connect in Fiction, October 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 25

Connie’s History Classroom, October 26

Mary Hake, October 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 27

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, October 27

For the Love of Literature, October 28

Through the Fire Blogs, October 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 29

Back Porch Reads, October 29

Giveaway

When_the_Pilot_Falls_Giveaway[1]

To celebrate her tour, April is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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/126ae/when-the-pilot-falls-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Postman’s Lantern Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Postman’s Lantern

Author: J.C. Comerford

Genre: Christian Children’s Fiction, Christmas

Release date: January 8, 2020

During a devastating Christmas Eve snowstorm, John the postman arrives at his last stop, at the steps of the Frost family. Here, he rediscovers a stowaway letter in his mailbag, not for his route. It’s a letter from a hospitalized grandfather, to a very special grandson. John feels obligated to make the delivery. His unselfish act of kindness leads him, and then the Frost family, on an unforgettable journey across a seemingly endless track of farmland. Little does John know what he’s actually carrying. The lantern he carries becomes a mystery that guides their way through astonishing events. They finally arrive at the Evans house, where they find themselves before an extremely sick boy, a mother’s pain, and the mystical workings of God.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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John Charles Comerford grew up playing hard, on the streets and fields of Washington Township, New Jersey. He attended Our Lady of Good Counsel Grammar School through 8th grade. He then jumped across the street to attend Westwood High School, where he soon began playing guitar and composing songs at the age of sixteen. Writing short musical stories would soon turn into a more involved field of composition, as he later attended Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ. Here, he developed a desire to become a paperback writer. While attending college, he took a job with the US Postal Service as a mail carrier and is still delivering, thirty years later. He is still a performing musician and a recording artist on itunes. He now resides in Pawling, New York with his wife Bridget and his son Jack.

More from John Charles

I was just a little kid at the time. The temperature outside was 93 degrees. I had awakened earlier that day, because it was a Saturday. I wanted to catch some early morning cartoons, instead of lying in bed, waiting for my dad to give out chores for the day. I knew it was going to be a hot one, and I dreaded going outside.

Before long, there I was slapping paint on the side of my house. Soon after, I was weeding and watering the front lawn before it reached into the 90’s. At about 12:00, I went inside to cool off. I ate some lunch and relaxed a bit, listening to the “Boston Pops” my dad had put on.

From a calm and collective state of mind, I was suddenly burdened by the noise of my barking dog, at the front window. I went to the front door and opened it wide. As I looked up, the mailman was looking down. His face was dripping sweat, and his uniform was soaked. He had a big smile and said, “Too hot to play today.” He laughed a bit and handed me the mail. I heard my mom and dad yell out “Thank you, do you need a cold drink at all?” He said “I’m all set but thank you.” He moved on, while adjusting that full bag of mail that he was carrying around his shoulders.

It was then that I decided I would never become a mailman. God, no, not this kid. That was no easy job.

14 years later, I was working for the post office, with a packed satchel around my neck, and a can of pepper spray, to boot. I was now walking that mile, in my old mailman’s boots. Many times I’ve prayed to God for help and to keep me from dozing off in trucks that reached 120 degrees inside. I prayed for help from dog attacks that would occur five times a day at least. I prayed for help from the pain you feel when it’s 30 degrees to 20 below and you’re soaked from rain. Your fingers are ready to fall off after being soaked from the rain or as they burn to the bone.

So I wrote my book, seeking the world’s attention to the mail carrier’s integrity, and a forever caring attitude to those who patiently await their arrival.

My Review

With its beautiful cover and holiday theme, The Postman’s Lantern by J.C. Comerford immediately beckoned to me. It is just the kind of story that my mom would have sought out, with its peaceful cover art and its nostalgic feel. I appreciate that the author retains an old-fashioned ambience and sense of values, as expressed by the brothers’ care for one another and for their dog, Mick, and by their respect toward the adults. I also tip my hat to the author for unabashedly speaking about God through the characters and their prayers. The snowstorm and the frightening events that occurred during this short tale made the plot flow even more quickly, so that this book could be finished in one sitting. Also, the chapters are very brief, which is convenient for those who may only have a minute or two to read at a time.

So, why not a higher rating? I really struggle with rating this, because I wanted so badly to love this book. I believe that The Postman’s Lantern has great potential, but I think that the story needs some work for that potential to be fulfilled. Part of my issue, the lesser part, is that the book needs the attention of an editor. I support independent publishing and understand that not everyone has an English degree or can afford an editor; with this story, some of the errors were inconsistent, with the correct form used in one instance and not the next (e.g. the Evan’s house vs. the Evans’ house), so I think that more thorough proofreading would remove many such errors. The characters are mostly described as shouting or crying out, especially in the first half of the book, although this isn’t always the most appropriate descriptor. My biggest issue, however, is that the adult characters regularly take the Lord’s name in vain. In a Christian book, this is unacceptable to me. This story does not seem to be officially designated as a children’s book, but it reads like one that a family would enjoy together, which further concerns me on this point. If these issues were fixed, I think that The Postman’s Lantern could be a pleasant story to remind readers of the goodness of God and the magic of Christmas no matter the season.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 2 stars ♥♥

Blog Stops

Christian Bookaholic, October 7

Pause for Tales, October 8

For the Love of Literature, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 10

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 11 (Guest Post from Marilyn Ridgway)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Mary Hake, October 12

Girls in White Dresses, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 13

Inklings and notions, October 14

Vicky Sluiter, October 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 16

To Everything There Is A Season, October 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 17

deb’s Book Review, October 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 18

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 20

For Him and My Family, October 20

Giveaway

The_Postman's_Lantern_Giveaway[1]

To celebrate his tour, John Charles is giving away the grand prize package for 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/11fdd/the-postman-s-lantern-celebration-tour-giveaway