The Rubber Band Stretches – Rocky’s Story Author Interview

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About the Book

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Book: The Rubber Band Stretches – Rocky’s Story

Author: Christy Hoss

Genre: Middle Grade Novel

Release date: June, 2021

Foster kid Rocky “Roadkill” Espinosa, drummer for the Rubber Band, chooses Elvis for his 4th grade living biography report. With little money to create a costume, Rocky believes he’ll be the worst Elvis impersonation ever, destined to fail.

When his ex-con father Eduardo, sneaks into his life demanding attention, Rocky’s best friend and lead guitar for the band, Eddie, comes to his rescue. Eddie involves the entire band in Rocky’s protection to be “secret service” and comedic chaos erupts.

After the Rubber Band performs its first set at the mayor’s 50th birthday party, Rocky mysteriously disappears. The band realizes it’s no longer about fun and games. Friends and family are what matter most in life. The bond of the band demands that secrets be revealed.

Will friends, foster or blood family win the battle for Rocky’s future?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Christy caught the writing bug in second grade after winning a prize for a five-page story about her dog, Noodles. Mrs. Olson told her she was destined to be a writer and that dream never left her thoughts. After teaching elementary school for fifteen years, Christy fulfilled her childhood dream with her debut novel, The Rubber Band. She substitute teaches to support her writing career, deriving writing inspiration from the students and situations she encounters.

At age twenty-five, she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes but refuses to let it limit her. Her diabetic alert dog, Aiden, has saved her life uncountable times and will appear in future installments of The Rubber Band. Christy lives by this equation:

Living + diabetes = LIVE-abetes.

Christy is a freelance editor and writes children’s Bible stories for Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine and has written articles for Guideposts. She is a featured speaker for conferences, retreats and special events.

Christy lives in Northern California with Kevin, the love of her life. They have three grown children.

The Rubber Band Stretches, Rocky’s Story is the second book in The Rubber Band middle grade novel series by Christy Hoss.

More from Christy

Why the Rubber Band?

Sitting in the front row keeping an eye on my students, the stage curtain opened to our elementary school assemble. A sign over the group declared “The Rubber Band.” With one stroke the lead guitar caused my inner groupie to emerge. I screamed in delight and crooned out. ‘Born to Be Wild’ along with the kid band delivering professional sounds. Our usually reserved staff soon joined me in my whoops of delight and the band had the entire assembly on its feet, dancing and clapping.

I was so impressed by this rock and roll group of fourth and fifth grade students, I asked them to play at my fiftieth birthday party.

Returning to our classroom, I put on my writer’s hat, thinking about what a cool kid’s book The Rubber Band would make. But I had to come up with a plotline. It was then I noticed a rubber band on the floor and knew instantly what needed to be done. It had to be about a good guitar-playing kid getting trouble for a mis-shot rubber band. He’s sent to the principal’s office where he sees the sign advertising the talent contest and he begins his quest to recruit a diverse group of misfit kids to form a garage band.

My imagination took off as I thought about the many children I have taught through the years. Most of my characters are inspired by those actual students and events. Rocky is a fictional name given to a real foster kid who came to our school temporarily. He used to walk alone around the perimeter of the school boundaries – just like Rocky. Edison and Oliver are actual names of maternal twins I taught my first year at Kenwood Elementary, the school I derived Wildwood elementary from. Even Principal Haymaker is based on my friend, Principal Bales.

The band is not without troubles and Eddie soon finds himself challenged by an incurable illness. But the bond of the band is strong, and they will not snap but hang tight to see the dream through no matter how it turns out. Rocky longs to be a part of a permanent family, but has his heartstrings pulled when his freshly paroled birth father shows up. Becca is the lonely, spoiled-rotten rich girl with no friends but a voice of gold. Manny plays bass and Oliver the keyboards, but not without adding their own unique personalities to the mix.

You’ll be hearing more from The Rubber Band as I plan to write about their adventures into adulthood and beyond, and there will be many.

I no longer look at a rubber band and think of it as just an elastic ring to hold things together. It’s a simple, useful object. that inspired a novel series.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

In second grade my teacher, Mrs. Olson, told me I was destined to be a writer after winning a writing contest with a story about my dachshund dog, Noodles. I never lost sight of that dream and began to pursue it 15 years ago by attending writing conferences.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

My first writing conference, I mentored under Brandilyn Collins. She taught me to write a hook at the end of every chapter. I love reading her Seatbelt Suspense books that are always hard to put down, page turners to the very end.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I can’t write unless I’ve had my nails done

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

One hour on, three hours off…do some chores, then try to write some more

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am definitely a pantser, but an aspiring plotter.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

I love to write in my backyard in the shade while sitting in the bench swing my husband built for me, otherwise I’m in my office where I find most of my inspiration.

Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?

I like reading modernism because I can relate to it.

Describe your book in five words.

Rock Music Roller Coaster Ride

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

Rocky “Roadkill” Espinosa speaks to me the most because as a kid, I was always looking to belong and be loved, and this is his heart’s desire- to belong to a forever family

Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?

Yes- but I’m not giving them up…

What are your hobbies?

I love to sculpt and create art, mostly with clay, but when I get an idea in my head, it doesn’t have to be ceramic for me to create it

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

My Dad. He was the kindest, most patient man who taught elementary school 40+ years and always supported my endeavors

What is your favorite book?

Little Women

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

There is nothing like a good page turner. I guess I’m old fashioned that way. A traditional book smells better and is easier on the eyes.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

Joseph from the Old testament. I love how he was a dreamer, overcame extreme difficulties and was able to forgive his brothers, forging a way for the survival of the Israelite nation

If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

The Wizard of Oz

If you could meet one author, living or passed, who would it be?

C.S. Lewis

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Revise, revise, revise and never stop learning the craft

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

For the Love of Literature, August 12 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, August 13

For Him and My Family, August 14

deb’s Book Review, August 15

Vicky Sluiter, August 16 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 17

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 18

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

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the grand prize of a $75 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of both The Rubber Band and The Rubber Band Stretches!!

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/111b5/the-rubber-band-stretches-rocky-s-story-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Scarlet Pen Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Scarlet Pen

Author: Jennifer Uhlarik

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release date: July 2021

Engaged to a Monster

Book 12 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Enjoy a tale of true but forgotten history of a 19th century serial killer whose silver-tongued ways almost trap a young woman into a nightmarish marriage.

In 1876, Emma Draycott is charmed into a quick engagement with childhood friend Stephen Dee Richards after reconnecting with him at a church event in Mount Pleasant, Ohio. But within the week, Stephen leaves to “make his fame and fortune.” The heartbroken Emma gives him a special pen to write to her, and he does with tales of grand adventures. Secret Service agent Clay Timmons arrives in Mount Pleasant to track purchases made with fake currency. Every trail leads back to Stephen—and therefore, Emma. Can he convince the naive woman she is engaged to a charlatan who is being linked a string of deaths in Nebraska?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a preteen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a BA in writing, she has won five writing competitions and was a finalist in two others. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenage son, and four fur children.

More from Jennifer

Hello, Readers! For all who might never have read one of my stories or come across me, it’s great to meet you! I’m a wife, a mom, a (young!) grandma, and an author—among many other things. My author tagline is “Where Grit Meets Grace.” If you’re familiar with my writing at all, you’ll know that most of my stories at least touch on a bit of the difficult side of life. Death, abandonment, war, addiction, or who knows what else you might find. The Scarlet Pen is no different.

Given that this novel is the final installment in Barbour’s True Colors series, the story revolves around a true crime from history—in this case, the murders of serial killer Stephen Dee Richards—AKA the Nebraska Fiend. Anytime you’re dealing with someone so depraved as he, you’ll find plenty of “grit” to write about. But that’s only half of my tagline. Remember, it’s “Where Grit Meets Grace.

While I love a story that delves into difficult topics and, in some cases, pushes the characters right to the edge of what they can handle, I also love a truly redemptive story. When I was asked to write for this series, the ideas that drew me the most were the ones that had something redeeming in the actual history. There were plenty of interesting historical killers I could’ve chosen where I could have manufactured a positive, even happy ending through the fictional characters in the book. In the case of Stephen Dee Richards, there was no manufacturing needed. The “grace” part was already written. The end of Stephen’s story is precisely why I chose to write about him. I hope you’ll find it as though-provoking and compelling as I did. Happy reading!

My Review

Review coming soon!

My rating:

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, July 29

Genesis 5020, July 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 29

For Him and My Family, July 30

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 30 (Author Interview)

Christian Bookaholic, July 30

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 31

Inklings and notions, July 31

Britt Reads Fiction, July 31

Remembrancy, August 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 1

Betti Mace, August 2

Rebecca Tews, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 3

Blogging With Carol , August 3

Older & Smarter?, August 4

Connie’s History Classroom, August 4

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 5

Bigreadersite, August 5

Godly Book Reviews, August 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 6

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 7

Back Porch Reads, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

Through the fire blogs, August 8

sodbuster living, August 8

Connect in Fiction, August 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 9

Texas Book-aholic, August 9

KarenSueHadley, August 9

Pause for Tales, August 10

For the Love of Literature, August 10

Blossoms and Blessings, August 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, August 11

Spoken from the Heart, August 11

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Scarlet Pen!!

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/110e0/the-scarlet-pen-celebration-tour-giveaway

Shadow Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Shadow

Author: Kara Swanson

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Release date: July 13, 2021

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.

 
Click HERE to get your copy!
 

About the Author

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As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairytales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com.

 

More from Kara

One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes is this:

“Some day you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

There’s something subtly profound about the idea that the very stories which captivate our imagination and shape our perspective on good and evil as children, will reveal more gems when we return to them later. When we’ve conquered some dragons of our own.

 

This was especially true when I write my Peter Pan retelling duology Dust and Shadow. These YA novels literally return to a fairy tale. I took a familiar story and dug even deeper, pushing Peter himself to grow a little more and see what new bits of pixie dust and hope there may be in a familiar story.

 

But there is another reason why our hearts gravitate toward fairy tales.

 

I think GK Chesterton put it brilliantly in a quote that is actually at the very front of Shadow:

 

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

 

Because maybe even more than being reminded of the whimsy of a fairy, we need the reminder that even in a world filled with dragons – they can be killed.

 

We can conquer.

 

And that simple truth, told a hundred different ways, will always lift our hearts and our chins.

 

Shadow was not an easy book to write – and it is not a particularly lighthearted tale. It is raw and vulnerable and at times lives up to it’s title in some darker moments. But there is always a sense of courage there too. A reminder that even in the shadowed places, the valleys, the instances that steal our breath and twist our hearts and make us wonder if all is lost –

 

There is another page to turn. Another step to take.

 

We are not finished.

 

No matter how young we are, we can strap on our armor, lift our swords, and fight for the light.

 

We are not overcome because our strength does not come from us.

 

It comes from our King.

 

And in the end, He will make all wrongs right, and there will be a happy ending to our tale, even if it may not be the ending we expect.

 

Because it may not be easy to slay the dragon, but as the fairy tales do remind us –

 

The important thing is that they can be slain.

My Review

Review to come!

My rating: 

Blog Stops

Babbling Beck L’s Book Impressions, July 31

Inside the Wong Mind, July 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

The Write Escape, August 1

Remembrancy, August 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 2

Connect in Fiction, August 2

Blossoms and Blessings, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Texas Book-aholic, August 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 4

Losing the Busyness, August 4

For the Love of Literature, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

Mia Reads, August 6

For Him and My Family, August 7

Sodbusterliving, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

deb’s Book Review, August 8

Nancy E Wood, August 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 11

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 12

Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Book Chic Blog, August 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 13

Labor Not in Vain, August 13

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kara Swanson is giving away the grand prize of a $25 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/110e4/shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway

Missing in the Desert Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Missing in the Desert

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspy suspense

Release date: July 27, 2021

Five years ago, her sister disappeared…
Now someone is coming for her.

Who would believe that Mara Castillo’s sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer’s sights with her brother’s best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her, uncovering a long-buried secret could save her life…or claim it.

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 a national and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming 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

Hello, readers! Boy am I excited! Since the virus-that-not-shall-be-named is being brought under control, I am cautiously venturing out again and our first vacation spot will be a return to Death Valley. Papa Bear and I love the amazing diversity of Death Valley, from the salt flats, to the sand dunes, mountains, and everything in between. Writing this book allowed me to relive the incredible topography, as well as let my mind run loose imagining a cold case that warms up to fiery levels in this ferocious climate. Part of this story revolves around “Camp Town Days” which was inspired by the Encampment Days, an event held in November by a volunteer group called the Death Valley 49ers that aims to capture the pioneer spirit with their wagon rides, parade, poetry readings, a vendor show, and historical talks. I hope you can feel the desert wind in your face and hear the distant howl of the coyote as you dive into the second book in the Death Valley Justice series.

My Review

Was this real? Was she in the grip of a heinous nightmare?

The second Desert Justice story by Dana Mentink, Missing in the Desert, shoots out of the gate with a gripping first chapter that sets the pace for the rest of this Love-Inspired Suspense installation. While technically it could be a stand-alone, I recommend reading Framed in Death Valley first; I did not have a chance to do so, and I think that if I had, I would have had a richer understanding of the relationships between the characters. Nevertheless, this did not at all detract from my enjoyment of this novel.

Suspense relies, naturally, on action and plot, but carefully developing the characters and how they interact with one another is likewise imperative. Mentink introduces them here in a rapid-fire style and then proceeds to explore them throughout the narrative, an effective technique that underscores the power of first impressions and demonstrates that people are not always as they appear. Everyone has something in their past that they regret, and for some, the past becomes the present. Five years after her younger sister Corinne disappears and is presumed dead, Mara Castillo reluctantly steps in to help Levi Duke on his ranch, only to find herself in the crosshairs of a killer. Her name stood out to me immediately, and as Naomi called herself Mara in Ruth 1:20, the forename is fitting here, also; Mara Castillo is bitter and sad about her circumstances at the beginning of the story, but as she begins to see things differently, her heart changes.

As a dog and horse lover, this cover caught my eye before I knew anything about the story itself. I enjoy the inclusion of the ranch animals in the narrative, often offering a bit of comic relief during or after tense scenes. For instance, in an amusing twist, Banjo the dog goes from stalwart guard to unlikely mother. The animals also signify the importance of home as a place of belonging, refuge, and freedom to pursue dreams. Even when those dreams end up looking differently than expected, which is when faith must truly believe that the Lord will keep His promise to “make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).

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, July 28

Simply Susan, July 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 28

Remembrancy, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 30

For the Love of Literature, July 30

deb’s Book Review, July 31

Through the Fire Blogs, July 31

She Lives To Read, August 1

Batya’s Bits, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 1

Pause for Tales, August 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 3

Genesis 5020, August 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 4

Bigreadersite, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 5

Blossoms and Blessings, August 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 6

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 6

Older & Smarter?, August 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 7

Labor Not in Vain , August 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 8 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, August 8

Life, Love, Writing, August 8

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Betti Mace, August 9

Daysong Reflections, August 10

Splashes of Joy , August 10

Blogging With Carol, August 10

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/110df/missing-in-the-desert-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Lady in Attendance Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: A Lady in Attendance

Author: Rachel Fordham

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: June 1, 2021

Will the Past Destroy Her Future?

Ada, Mi.—Rachel Fordham’s historical novels have received high praise for their warm and engaging story lines filled with romance, adventure, and happy endings. In A Lady in Attendance, Fordham beautifully blends these same great features in a novel about overcoming obstacles in the past to make room for a better future.

After spending the last five years in a New York state reformatory, Hazel is desperate to begin life anew, but she knows that a tarnished name could ruin her chances. She accepts a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’ lady in attendance but does so under an alias so she can hide her shameful past.

Dr. Watts has come to enjoy the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, but he senses her sadness and wonders if there is more to her story than she’s shared with him. As their friendship deepens, Hazel must grapple with her desire to trust him.

Can Dr. Watts and Hazel’s friends help expunge her record? And can Hazel possibly find hope and love along the way?

Click HERE to get your copy! 

About the Author

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Rachel Fordham is the author of The Hope of Azure Springs, Yours Truly, Thomas, and A Life Once Dreamed. Fans expect stories with heart, and she delivers, diving deep into the human experience and tugging at reader emotions. She loves connecting with people, traveling to new places, and daydreaming about future projects that will have sigh-worthy endings and memorable characters. She is a busy mom, raising both biological and foster children (a cause she feels passionate about). She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

More from Rachel

Ten behind the scenes extras from A Lady in Attendance:

  1. This book takes place in Amherst and Buffalo New York, places I lived for four years. Buffalo has had some rough years but if you ever visit the area you will see gorgeous old buildings, beautiful parks and cemeteries and understand why it was once a booming and prosperous city (and why I love it still). Gilbert and Hazel both grew up in the area (though, they did not know each other until the story begins). Two of my children were born in Buffalo and though they aren’t being raised there, I tell them stories.
  2. Hazel spent five years in a New York State reformatory. Reformatories were basically the first juvenile delinquent facilities (the ages of who could be sentenced there was different from today). Reformatories were a new idea. There were still a lot of people who believed in “bad blood” and that a criminal could never be anything but a criminal. There were some heroes who fought hard to convince the public, that people could change. Because of this book’s storyline, I could not go too deeply into this subject, but it is fascinating!
  3. Gilbert Watts is this book’s leading man. I gave up on being able to use the name Gilbert on one of my own kids and instead gave it to a character. I adore the name Gilbert and everything about this character, hope you do too!
  4. There is a joke at the end of the book about a graveyard (don’t worry, it’s not scary) and it’s a nod to my mom who used to use this joke on us every time we passed a cemetery. I really love sneaking in things into my stories that will make my kids, family and friends smile when they read it. I often think of my books as love letters from me to others and the best kind of love letters are personal.
  5. My husband is a dentist and as a result, we tend to notice dentist in media. They are often portrayed as villains or comic relief. I decided it would be my goal to write a romantic dentist that would change the image in readers minds.
  6. Gilbert tells Hazel that being a dentist is really being an artist. When my husband was first trying to decide on a career path, he shadowed a dentist. He didn’t really think it would be for him, but he was open to exploring options. He came home and told me that the cool thing about dentistry was that you were essentially making art that was functional, every day. Little sculptures that helped people eat and smile better. Gilbert from the book is very different from my husband, but it was fun sneaking in little pieces of him in there.
  7. One of my favorite scenes from this book take place at a corn husking. There is a tradition that says, if a red ear of corn is found, the finder gets a kiss. Sigh, I love that scene!
  8. Without always meaning to, my books end up having messages woven into them. I believe one of the messages in A Lady in Attendance is forgiveness. In this case, it’s forgiving of one’s self. I believe this message is one that we all need at some point in our lives (or many points!).
  9. My books are coming out in a different order than they were written in. I actually wrote this book before Yours Truly, Thomas and after A Life Once Dreamed. This story has been waiting a long time to be in print! During that time, it has been reshaped in little ways. It gained a prologue and lost an epilogue, it was tamed down in places and intensified in others, but the heart of it has always been the same!
  10. One last piece of A Lady in Attendance trivia—several of my books have had their titles changed. It’s part of the writing process. The books get a working title and later a title that the rest of the world knows it by. The Hope of Azure Springs was originally just Azure Springs. Yours Truly, Thomas was originally Dear, Azure Springs. A Life Once Dreamed was originally The Belle of Penance. A Lady in Attendance began as A Lady in Attendance and stayed A Lady in Attendance. Not only is this title fitting because dental assistants were knowns by this or as an attending lady, but also because Hazel wrestles with her worth. In a society that believes a mistake made once can leave a mark forever, it takes the right eyes and open heart to realize that there truly is a lady in attendance.

My Review

Her sentence might always mar her record, but was there a way to escape the fear, to live free and honestly?

Set primarily in Amherst, New York in 1898, A Lady in Attendance is the latest standalone novel by Rachel Fordham. I would say that it’s my favorite, but to my embarrassment, it’s the only one that I’ve had a chance to read so far, although her other three novels are on my to-read list, and I can definitely say that I’ve been missing out! A woman with a past, a mystery, a sweet romance or two…this story is both unique and familiar, and it is one that you will not want to put down until the last page is turned.

To begin with, the subject matter itself is intriguing. A Lady in Attendance being a foreign term to me, I learned something new right from the start; in 1885, ladies in attendance began to be employed in order for women to see dentists unaccompanied without the risk of tarnishing their reputations. Hazel Bradshaw, using the pseudonym McDowell due to her former criminal status, takes the only job she can find, as a lady in attendance to dentist Gilbert Watts, who quickly became my favorite character. His shy innocence and goodness endeared him to me, and I love how Fordham connects dentistry with art, which is an entirely new concept to me. Gilbert tells Hazel that “Every day I get to build dentures and bridges. Tiny sculptures that may never be appreciated, but I know they make life better and easier for the receiver…I consider myself quite blessed to use my hands to make such important art.” Finding such purpose in our work is an important aspect of using our skills to glorify God.

As the past continues to haunt Hazel, Fordham skillfully constructs a narrative that demonstrates the power of faith and forgiveness while establishing the truth that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Spending five years in a reformatory “had taught [Hazel] to persevere, to keep going when she wanted to quit, and above all else, to find solace in prayer.” Now, with the possibility of having an opportunity to set the record straight, Hazel realizes that hope may yet have a fighting chance. As Gilbert reminds her, “I told you once that I was a Christian man who believed it my duty to help. I even offered to help you if you were ever in need, and I see no reason to take that offer back. Either I am a man of my word or I am a fraud. I don’t believe any verse of Scripture says to help only those who are perfect when none of us are.” Forgiveness may not be as clear-cut, particularly when facing the past means confronting those who have been hurt the most and perhaps even some who set into motion the events of two long-ago fateful nights with echoing repercussions.

For anyone who enjoys a heartfelt redemption story, proving that “No one is unredeemable,” and for those who believe in the power of love and second chances, Rachel Fordham’s A Lady in Attendance is a match made in heaven!  

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

Girls in White Dresses, June 30

The Sacred Line, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 30

lakesidelivingsite, July 1

Inklings and notions, July 1

For Him and My Family, July 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, July 2

Mary Hake, July 2

deb’s Book Review, July 3

Remembrancy, July 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 4

Reviewingbooksplusmore, July 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 5

Breny and Books, July 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 7

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 8

Older & Smarter?, July 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 9

Connie’s History Classroom, July 10

For the Love of Literature, July 10

Pause for Tales, July 10

Splashes of Joy, July 11

Life of Literature, July 11

Daysong Reflections, July 12

Bliss, Books & Jewels, July 12

Labor Not in Vain, July 12

Through the fire blogs, July 13

Texas Book-aholic, July 13

Blossoms and Blessings, July 13

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of A Lady in Attendance as well as A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham, a signed bookplate, book swag, and a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble!!

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/10e71/a-lady-in-attendance-celebration-tour-giveaway

Oh the Places You’ll Go as A Packhorse Librarian: A Book Review of Ann Gabhart’s “Along a Storied Trail”

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While this is not the first time I’ve heard about the packhorse librarians, it is the first book that I’ve read featuring them, and what a grand initiation! Along a Storied Trail may be a fictional tale, but Ann Gabhart incorporates the intrepid spirit of the women who promoted literacy among the Appalachian Mountain communities during the Great Depression while offering readers a glimpse into life in the hills. Women, both married and single, become the heroines as they accept paying jobs to follow the postal service’s creed to travel through all forms of inclement weather to keep to their schedules—an early bookmobile! “A packhorse librarian had to be tough and ready for anything,” Tansy Calhoun asserts. I was interested to learn that they received payment for this job, and that it was a full-time commitment that involved traveling to different areas daily, returning to each location every two weeks. I also love that these women had a weekly meeting at the Booneville Library to swap out books, choosing ones that they knew would suit their readers, and to repair books and use magazines to make their own books and write their own stories for the children on their routes.

Gabhart creates a satisfying cast of characters that provide a kaleidoscopic portrait of life in the Eastern Kentucky hills in 1937. Tansy Calhoun is a girl after my own heart, with her unabashed love of the written word and her dedication to bringing books to her neighbors in Owsley County. I can’t think of a more perfect occupation: “A day chin-deep in words and stories seemed the next thing to heaven to Tansy.” Being able to share, and in some cases introduce, literature to those who would otherwise go without it, and doing so on horseback through the mountains sounds like a dream come true to me, as well. I also felt a connection with Tansy in the way that she stood out from the majority of the mountain folk due to her pastimes, and just reading about the decline of the American chestnut saddened me while at the same time bringing a smile to my face, particularly given that she did share this interest with Caleb Barton. Gabhart does not give readers much detail about Caleb’s work with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) because the story begins after his time there, but that aspect drew me in also because my grandpap worked with the CCC in the 1930s, too.

As with any story from this era, Along a Storied Trail has its share of heartache and romance. Unexpected death, the loss of one’s home, unrequited love, and the challenges of everyday survival pepper the narrative. I appreciate that the author does not sugarcoat the lives of her characters, but instead portrays them as realistic individuals. Damien Felding represents the outsider who does not understand the mountain way of life but sees it as something to escape from, while Jenny Sue and Junie prove that grieving has no geographical or time limits. Nevertheless, Tansy sagely notes that “While there were some things a book couldn’t heal, a story could give you some minutes to escape from what was to what a person could imagine.” And it is through the pages of a fire-tested Bible that healing comes to these Appalachian hills.

Reminiscent of such beloved classics as Christy while also possessing its own unique Appalachian flair, Ann Gabhart’s Along a Storied Trail is a must-read for fans of the genre and for anyone who enjoys an inspiring story of love, books, and family—both the one we’re born into and the one we create for ourselves, or as Perdita Sweet would say, a “family born of need.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Buy your copy HERE

Bridge of Gold Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Bridge of Gold

Author: Kimberley Woodhouse

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: June 2021

Repairs on the Golden Gate Bridge Uncover a Century-Old Murder

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Underwater archaeologist Kayla Richardson is called to the Golden Gate Bridge where repairs to one of the towers uncovers two human remains from the late 1800s and the 1930s. The head of the bridge restoration is Steven Michaels, who dives with Kayla, and a friendship develops between them. But as the investigation heats up and gold is found that dates back to the gold rush, more complications come into play that threaten them both. Could clues leading to a Gold Rush era mystery that was first discovered during the building of the bridge still ignite an obsession worth killing for?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than twenty fiction and nonfiction books. A popular speaker and teacher, she’s shared her theme of “Joy Through Trials” with more than half a million people across the country at more than 2,000 events. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-five-plus years have two adult children. She’s passionate about music and Bible study and loves the gift of story.
You can connect with Kimberley at: www.kimberleywoodhouse.com and www.facebook.com/KimberleyWoodhouseAuthor

More from Kimberley

BRIDGE OF GOLD was a blast for me to write. Not only do I love writing dual-timeline stories, but the present-day hero and heroine are named after my daughter and her husband. Steven and Kayla in the book are fictitious, but there are a few things in the book that do mimic their real-life namesakes.

One of them is food.

My son-in-law Steven in real life is six-foot-four and active military. The man can eat. It’s amazing to me how many calories it takes just for him to survive! Then there’s my daughter, Kayla. She was an elite swimmer for many years along with her brother. I could never keep them fed when they were at the height of their swimming careers. In fact, I joked that all I did was cook and load the dishwasher during those years.

To celebrate the release of BRIDGE OF GOLD, I’m going to give out a recipe that I created almost thirty years ago. It went through many revisions the first few months as I perfected it and now you get a special treat because I do not give this recipe out. In fact, one of my dearest friends begged for it when our kids were little. I gave in but made her promise to close her eyes while she made it (LOL) and to never, ever give it to anyone else.

Enjoy! And thanks for joining us on the tour for BRIDGE OF GOLD. I hope you love it.

Kim’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies – recipe by Kimberley Woodhouse

2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. kosher salt

¾ cup melted/browned butter (this is important! Don’t skip this step)

2 Tb. Hot chocolate mix

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

1 – 12 ounce package mega morsels (I use Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips)

Directions: combine the first three dry ingredients and mix well. In a small saucepan on the stove, melt and brown the butter. Medium heat is recommended but you’ve got to watch it so it doesn’t burn. You want a beautiful caramel color. Set aside and allow to cool to around 100 degrees F before continuing. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Once the browned butter is cool, add the hot chocolate mix to it. Transfer to a stand mixer and blend the butter mixture with the sugar. Whip it until well combined and frothy about 2 mins. Gradually add eggs and flour mixture, beating on low just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, drop heaping TB scoops 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-14 minutes, watching carefully. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks. Enjoy!

For other fun tidbits about BRIDGE OF GOLD make sure you check out my blog at – kimberleywoodhouse.com

My Review

Barbour has been knocking it out of the park lately with their historical series, including Doors to the Past. Each book is noteworthy in its own right, and unique due to the variety of authors. Because the uniting theme is historical monuments, each story provides a journey between the past and the present, combining fact and fiction amidst a backdrop of romance. This most recent addition, Bridge of Gold by Kimberley Woodhouse, proves to be the most suspenseful thus far, and I often found myself holding my breath in anticipation, which I did not expect but which thrilled me!

Never having visited anywhere west of the Mississippi, Bridge of Gold introduced me to life in San Francisco and to the Golden Gate Bridge. As a bona fide country girl with no interest in cities of any size, I honestly did not expect to enjoy this book nearly as much as I did, but I can say without hesitation that it is the most suspenseful novel that I’ve read in the first half of this year. Better yet, Woodhouse employs a creeping sense of dread rather than gruesome horror, evoking a psychological response that resonates with me more than would a visceral one. Although I did have the opportunity of riding in a submarine once, I have never been diving, and it is incredibly fascinating to read about the more primitive techniques utilized in the 1930s and to wonder how anyone survived in such tricky waters as those in the area of the Golden Gate Bridge!

Woodhouse deftly relates this dual-timeline narrative in the third-person, through the perspectives of six different characters. Yet not once did I find myself confused or wondering which character I was reading about, which is a genuine testimony to the author’s skill because I am terrible at remembering names and keeping track of storylines with multiple main characters. The two stories, one occurring in 1933 and one in the present day, synchronize beautifully and retain the plot resolutions to the end. The romance is sweet and tender, but to my delight, the mystery and suspense receive most of the spotlight. Foreshadowing plays heavily into the narrative from the opening chapter, and I could sense the turbulence coming as soon as Margo thought that “It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. The first day of the rest of their lives.” As events unfold for Luke and Margo in the midst of the Great Depression in 1933, Luke tells Margo, “Let us make a promise to one another at this moment that we will seek to keep God first, our marriage relationship next, then our children and family—all of those above the priority of job or money or anything else.” To which Margo agrees that “As long as they kept God first, the rest would fall into place.

Indeed, the Bible verse that echoes throughout the generations of this story is 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Nearly 90 years later, underwater archaeologist Kayla Richardson and head of restoration Steven Michaels find themselves entangled in the same legend, brought to light during repairs to the Bridge’s south tower, and Kayla points out an issue that has become prominent today: the loss of our history. She tells Steven: “History has always been a love of mine. That’s what got me into the field in the first place. I know a lot of people are purely after making a buck. But to me, I think we need to save as much of our history as possible so that future generations can learn about it and from it.” There is so much more at stake than financial gain. In the words of Jesus, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Regardless of the time period, these words remain true. Our witness to others about the Lord is a treasure with benefits reaped both here and in eternity.

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, June 24

The Sacred Line, June 24

The Write Escape, June 24

lakesidelivingsite, June 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 25

HappyWhenReading, June 25

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25

Through the Fire Blogs, June 25

Texas Book-aholic, June 26

Bigreadersite, June 26

Pause for Tales, June 26

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

Inklings and notions, June 27

Christian Bookaholic , June 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 27

For the Love of Literature, June 28

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 28

Where Faith and Books Meet, June 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 29

Bliss Books and Jewels, June 29

Lis Loves Reading, June 29

For Him and My Family, June 29

deb’s Book Review, June 30

Simple Harvest Reads, June 30 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Livin’ Lit, June 30

Remembrancy, June 30

Older & Smarter?, July 1

Lighthouse-Academy, July 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 1

Genesis 5020, July 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 2

Betti Mace, July 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 3

Inspiration Clothesline, July 3

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, July 3

Live.Love.Read., July 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 4

Mamma Loves Books, July 4

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 4

Mary Hake, July 4

Blossoms and Blessings, July 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 5

Blogging With Carol, July 5

Connie’s History Classroom, July 6

Life of Literature, July 6

A Baker’s Perspective, July 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 7

To Everything There Is A Season , July 7

KarenSueHadley, July 7

Splashes of Joy, July 7

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kimberley is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and 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/10e03/bridge-of-gold-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Man of Purpose and Power Spotlight

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About the Book

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Book: A Man of Purpose and Power

Author: Dr. Myles Munroe

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Devotional

Release date: June 6, 2021

Best-selling author Dr. Myles Munroe offers daily practical and biblical advice for men. Based on two of his most popular books, Understanding the Purpose and Power of Men and Understanding the Purpose and Power of Women, this 90-day devotional will help you truly understand your God-given purpose and power as a man.

Each day’s reading includes teaching and encouragement, a Scripture reading from both the Old and New Testaments, and a thought for the day to draw you closer to God the Father and His purposes for you. Explore the nature and role of men as God intended, addressing such issues as: What does the Bible really teach about men and women? What does it mean to be male? What are the purpose and design of the man? How is a man uniquely different from a woman? What is a man’s role as a husband and father? What are a man’s sexual needs? How are men and women meant to relate to one another? How can a man build a better life for himself, his family, and the world?

Through this devotional, you can strengthen your relationship with your heavenly Father as you discover how to fulfill your destiny and potential as an integral part of His eternal purposes.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Dr. Myles Munroe (1954–2014) was an international motivational speaker, best-selling author, educator, leadership mentor, and consultant for government and business. Traveling extensively throughout the world, Dr. Munroe addressed critical issues affecting the full range of human, social, and spiritual development. He was a popular author of more than forty books, including The Power of Character in Leadership, The Purpose and Power of Authority, The Principles and Benefits of Change, Becoming a Leader, The Purpose and Power of the Holy Spirit (formerly titled The Most Important Person on Earth), The Spirit of Leadership, The Principles and Power of Vision, Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer, Understanding the Purpose and Power of Women, and Understanding the Purpose and Power of Men. Dr. Munroe was the founder and president of Bahamas Faith Ministries International (BFMI), a multidimensional organization headquartered in Nassau, Bahamas. He was the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the International Third World Leaders Association, president of the International Leadership Training Institute, and founder and executive producer of a number of radio and television programs aired worldwide.

More from Myles Munroe

Best-selling author Dr. Myles Munroe offers daily practical and biblical advice for men. Through this devotional, you can strengthen your relationship with your heavenly Father as you discover how to fulfill your destiny and potential as an integral part of His eternal purposes.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, June 17

Artistic Nobody, June 18 (Spotlight)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 20

Texas Book-aholic, June 21

Simple Harvest Reads, June 22 (Spotlight)

For Him and My Family, June 23

Fiction Book Lover, June 24 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, June 25

For the Love of Literature, June 26 (Spotlight)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 27

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 28 (Spotlight)

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 29

Blossoms and Blessings, June 30 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, Whitaker House is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks 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/10db0/a-man-of-purpose-and-power-celebration-tour-giveaway

Faith in the Mountain Valley Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Faith in the Mountain Valley

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 15, 2021

This epic journey is the only way to leave her secrets behind.

After eleven years spent looking for the girl who stole his heart, Jean-Jacques Baptiste—better known as French to his friends—is tempted to give up. Until the day he spotted the flaxen-haired stranger traveling the wooded path with Blackfoot Indians. He never imagined he’d find his childhood friend masquerading as a man in this Rocky Mountain wilderness, hundreds of miles from the Canadian town where he last saw her. No matter her reasons, he can’t let her go this time.

Colette Mignon’s life has become a cacophony of lies, including the fact that her Blackfoot Indian companions believe she’s a man. She’s willing to live the taxing life of a trapper in these desolate mountains as long as it keeps her secrets hidden. When her childhood friend and first love discovers her, his determination to help might put everything at risk.

As the worst of her past threatens to catch up with her, the hope for Colette’s new life shatters. But no matter what, she must protect the one good thing that came from all her mistakes. Though French is determined to stay at her side, she can’t let him become entangled in the perilous consequences of her actions. If only it wasn’t so painful to push him away. The danger pressing in may leave her only one choice—leave everything behind…again.

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.

Click HERE to get your copy!

More from Misty

Ever Played Dress-up?

I’ll bet most of us played “Let’s Pretend” when we were kids. Maybe you dressed up as a princess, or a knight, or a soldier. When we were little, my grandmother had a secondhand wedding dress she let us play with. It had the long train and veil that dragged several feet behind a grown woman. We spent so many fun hours dressing up and pretending. And of course, there were all the times my older brother and I played cowboys as we rode our horses.

With so much experience playing dress-up and “let’s pretend,” I thoroughly enjoyed writing the story of a heroine who pretended to be a man! And not just a fellow around town. She joined up with a group of five Blackfoot braves and attempted to pass herself off as a man for weeks while she lived in their camp, trapping alongside them!

She had a good reason for attempting the ruse, and you can find out if she pulls it off in Faith in the Mountain Valley. This might be my favorite of all the books in the Call of the Rockies series. I pray you enjoy it too!

My Review

Book five in Misty Beller’s Call of the Rockies series, Faith in the Mountain Valley takes readers on a journey through future Idaho Territory that is both poignant and inspiring. I am always impressed by this author’s ability to craft a multiplicity of stories with the same general setting and genre without them becoming repetitious or formulaic. Even though I would not consider myself much of a romance fan, I do love this series; it is undeniably romantic, but in a gentle manner, entwined within the Christian message and the adventure of the nineteenth-century wilderness. The stories can be easily transplanted into a contemporary context because the issues that the characters face are relevant across time periods.

Those familiar with the series will recall the group’s storyteller and entertainer, Jean-Jacques Baptiste (nicknamed French), and Faith in the Mountain Valley gives us his story. As such, while these books can be read as standalones, I would recommend reading them in chronological order; doing so will provide insight into the characters and nuances of the tales that would otherwise be overlooked. Of the five books in this series thus far, this one is my favorite. French is one of the characters to whom I’ve been the most drawn, and I was glad to find out more of his story, which dovetails with that of Colette Mignon. Interestingly enough, I will admit that she is not my favorite character, but even so, Beller makes her sympathetic by explaining her past, from the time she and her family moved away from Jean-Jacques. One aspect of the characters Beller employs in her novels that I appreciate the most is the inclusion of both whites and Native Americans as both primary and secondary characters. I enjoy learning by observing how their cultures interact with one another, including the various tribes.

Among the most prominent themes in this story are trust of other people and of God, and not running ahead of God and His plan for your life. Jumping to conclusions, while easy to do, rarely brings right assumptions and often results in unnecessary pain. French’s eleven years of searching for Colette reminded me of the Biblical figures who also had to wait, only receiving what they prayed for and were promised when it seemed that all hope was lost. Sometimes we need to be forced to wait in order to understand that ultimately God is the One who provides, and that we are incapable of doing anything without Him. Not only that, but it is in the trials that our faith develops, as Colette reflects: “At first, I was thinking of how much pain we could have missed if we’d reached this point sooner. But then God reminded me how much I’ve grown through the hard times. This moment is so much better for who I’ve become. Who we both are now.” This statement sums up Faith in the Mountain Valley, pointing to the blessed Scriptural promise of Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all thing God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

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

lakesidelivingsite, June 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 8

Texas Book-aholic, June 9

Blessed & Bookish, June 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 10

Inklings and notions, June 11

Betti Mace, June 12

For Him and My Family, June 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 13

Connie’s History Classroom, June 14

cats in the cradle blog, June 14

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 15

deb’s Book Review, June 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 16

Mary Hake, June 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 17

Reviewingbooksplusmore, June 17

For the Love of Literature, June 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 19

Blossoms and Blessings, June 19

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, June 20

Splashes of Joy, June 21

Jeanette’sThoughts, June 21

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/10d0a/faith-in-the-mountain-valley-celebration-tour-giveaway

Ablaze Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Ablaze

Author: M. Liz Boyle

Genre: Christian YA

Release date: February 25, 2021

This summer the Stanley sisters and the Miles boys are excited to hike together again, and now they have the unique opportunity to help two of their ranger friends with an outdoor program in the beautiful Montana mountains.

Marlee has always considered herself a willing follower. Give her a direction and she’s happy to help. Her older sister Ellie is a natural leader, and Marlee is content in her role as assistant.

Marlee and her sisters have been assigned to help with Ranger Rose’s team, and they are savoring the adventure. But in a heartbeat while the group is divided by a few hundred feet, fire breaks out between Ranger Rose and Marlee’s group. In this enthralling finale to the Off the Itinerary series, Marlee must face her fears with courage that only God can provide.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Liz is the author of the Off the Itinerary series, the wife of a professional tree climber, and the homeschooling mom of three energetic and laundry-producing children. Liz once spent a summer in Colorado teaching rock climbing, which she believes was a fantastic way to make money and memories. She resides with her family in Wisconsin, where they enjoy hiking and rock climbing. Liz and her husband have also backpacked in Colorado and the Grand Canyon, which have provided inspiration for her writing. She makes adventurous stories to encourage others to find adventures and expand their comfort zones (though admittedly, she still needs lots of practice expanding her own comfort zone).

More from Liz

After sending my five teenage characters through an avalanche and subjecting them to a lunatic with handcuffs (during a flash flood), I decided that a wildfire was the next disaster they should endure. From a plot perspective, a wildfire allows for much excitement; but I especially love the character refinement that takes place as my cast faces this natural disaster in the finale to my Off the Itinerary series. I hope your family will find encouraging entertainment in Ablaze.

My Review

Review to come!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 5

EmpowerMoms, June 5

Texas Book-aholic, June 6

Remembrancy, June 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 8

Inklings and notions, June 9

For Him and My Family, June 10

deb’s Book Review, June 11

Rebecca Tews, June 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 13

For the Love of Literature, June 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 15

Mary Hake, June 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 17

Giveaway

HWXVWCAI

To celebrate her tour, M. Liz is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of Ablaze and a $25 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/10d04/ablaze-celebration-tour-giveaway