Tag Archives: historical fiction

Hearts on Fire: A Book Review of Amanda Cabot’s “Dreams Rekindled”

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As much as I enjoyed Out of the Embers, I have to say that I loved Dreams Rekindled even more. There will be one more book in this trilogy, and I presume that it will also have a fire-inspired title. Symbolic of so many things, in this case I personally think that the connotation evokes a sense of renewal and the presence of the Holy Spirit. While the books could be read as standalones, the stories have much more depth when read in their proper order; the backgrounds of the characters and of Mesquite Springs itself all contribute to the series as a whole, and seeing how they connect enhances the impact.

Combining romance and suspense with the happenings of small-town Mesquite Springs, Texas in the 1850s, Amanda Cabot tells the story of two people on a mission to take a new direction in life—one that sets them straight in each other’s path. Sister to Wyatt from the first book in the trilogy, Dorothy Clark dreams of a career as a writer, fueled by the recent publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Brandon Holloway seeks a quiet town to start over and establish his newspaper after an editorial brings devastation. However, “A newspaper is more than entertainment or simply reporting what happened. When an editor sees important issues, it’s his responsibility to bring them to everyone’s attention,” according to Dorothy. Truly, no matter what our past and present struggles, the Lord can use them for good in ways that we would never have thought possible, and usually there is a part of the resolution that speaks directly to us as a special nudge from God.

Dreams Rekindled raises issues that are mirrored in our current society. One of these is the feeling of guilt over perceived culpability in an unexpected situation over which someone had no control, as is the case with Brandon. Most of us have experienced this to some degree at one time or another, blaming ourselves for something beyond our control and thereby carrying a heavy burden that was never meant for our shoulders. Sowing division also plays a large role in the story as well as in today’s world. Then, as now, pitting citizens against one another is a sure way to tear a community apart and ultimately destroy it. Dreams Rekindled illustrates how this is so often done through nefarious means, planting lies and turning people against one another. As the apostle Paul exhorts in 2 Corinthians 13:11: “Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

One of the prominent themes in the novel is forgiveness. Forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others. Compassion and empathy go a long way toward healing wounds, especially when we seek to understand someone else’s point of view and perspective. Our own might not change, and while the other person may be in the wrong, some understanding can encourage better conduct and communication in the future. That is, after all, part of our mission as Christians: to be encouragers and to communicate well with the Lord and as witnesses for our faith. As Dorothy thinks to herself, “What an amazing answer to prayer.

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

The Silver Shadow Epic Book Launch

About the Book

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Book: The Silver Shadow

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release date: May 2021

A Shadowy Figure Is Intent on Harming Denver’s Women

Book 11 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

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.

Book Excerpt

Edwin adjusted his wire-rimmed glasses and glanced over his scribbled reports. He’d taken them in such haste, he had a difficult time reading them. “They were both struck over the head. And”—he scanned the page—“this is strange. Neither of them was robbed or

violated.”

“That’s very different.” O’Fallon snatched the notebook from Edwin. “What do you make of it?”

“Not much. A pretty typical day in Denver. I just hope both women are going to be okay.” Edwin gestured for the paper, and Ralph returned it. “I’ll go interview Mrs. Lillian Bell first. What is this world coming to when someone attacks a widow? Hopefully I’ll get the chance to speak to the other one at some point.”

“Looks like a late night.”

Edwin excavated his coffee cup from where it was buried under an avalanche of papers and took a swig of the almost-cold brew. Yes, it was going to be a long night.

As he settled into his chair to review his notes before questioning the victim, he caught a uniformed officer leading a slender, doe-eyed woman through the station. Her dark blue skirt swished across the floor as she followed him. Was this one of the victims? If so, she didn’t

bear any signs of being mugged. No cuts, no bruises. In fact, her skin was flawless.

As she approached, she straightened the fedora on her head, the paper tucked in the band labeling her as a member of the press. Fabulous.

Just what he needed.

When the officer stopped at Edwin’s desk, he scraped his chair back and stood. “What can I help you with?”

Missed Past Excerpts? Go Here

Courage in the Mountain Wilderness Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Courage in the Mountain Wilderness

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: April 6, 2021

Keeping her son safe on this epic journey may be harder than she imagined.

Caleb Jackson is on a journey. And not just the mission he and his friends have embarked on to fetch the Nez Perce chief’s runaway daughter. Maybe someday, he could also find God’s plan for his life. He’d once thought being a small town minister was the Lord’s will for him, but he’d proved a failure at living under the scrutiny of his congregation. Yet the chief’s niece and her feisty toddler accompanying them on this expedition make him feel like he might be able to make a difference yet.

Otskai is eager to take on a challenge. She’s lived under the shelter of other’s choices her entire life, especially when she was betrothed to one of the village braves at the tender age of eight. Now with her husband dead, she’s finally found the freedom she always craved—even with a two-year-old to raise. She’s built her camas root harvest into a thriving trade to provide all she and her son need and more, yet she can’t seem to keep her active child safe. When she agrees to accompany her new friends on a trip to bring back her wayward cousin, she knows she’ll have her hands full managing her boy.

The journey turns out nothing like Otskai expects, and for the first time in her life, she’s thankful to have others around to help. Especially Caleb, whose gentle attentions captivate her son and occupy him for hours at a time. But as the danger escalates and her worst fears come to light, she must find the courage to choose between freedom and a love more liberating than she imagined possible.

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

Mom Guilt—it’s real, no matter what your race or tribe.

One of the things I love about writing the Call of the Rockies series is the cast of characters that covers almost more races than I can count on all my fingers! From Spaniards, to Frenchman, to Southern Americans, to Blackfoot, to Nez Perce, to Salish, to Shoshone. And let’s not talk about the various sectors within some of the tribes (Peigan Blackfoot, Blood Blackfoot, Pikunin of the Nez Perce…oops, we weren’t going to talk about those!).

But what I love the most about so many people groups represented is learning how much we really are alike, down deep in our cores! Sure, some are introverts, some are extroverts. Some like to swim, some hate to swim. Some like to cook, some like to play with the kids (okay, maybe most like to play with the kids!).

Yet there are common threads that connect us all. As I was writing Courage in the Mountain Wilderness, I discovered a new thread that I have in common with Otskai, the Nez Perce hero of the story.

Mom guilt.

Yep. Our situations are a little different—I’m married with four kiddos, and she’s widowed with one very energetic two-year-old son. But we both struggle with that same push and pull. That same set of conflicting longings. When I’m with my kiddos, sometimes I just desperately want time alone. Time to actually get things done. But then at night when they snuggle close at bedtime, wrapping their sweet arms around my neck and not just saying, but showing, how much they love me, I can’t imagine how I could ever want to do anything but spend time with these sweet little ones God has trusted me with.

Thus, the guilt.

Maybe Otskai and I are the only ones who’ve ever experienced that particular strain of Mom Guilt. But I’ll bet there are other ways you can relate—both to these very real fictional characters who may or may not be the same race as you. And also to the very real real-life characters you meet every day.

The great news is that God loves each and every one of us, Mom Guilt and all.

My Review

Misty Beller never fails to deliver an adventurous, romantic historical novel that takes readers on an uplifting journey through the mountains. One of the aspects of these stories that I most appreciate is the fact that they are not sensationalized; I personally prefer a more realistic approach, with some danger and excitement written in but not belabored. My experience with Beller’s writing so far has been thoroughly satisfying: a gratifying mixture of both the serenity of nature and its inherent peril.

Courage in the Mountain Wilderness, book four in the “Call of the Rockies” series, weaves together the stories of former minister Caleb Jackson and Nez Perce widow Otskai, who has her hands full keeping her spirited two-year-old son, River Boy, out of trouble. Reading this series in order is not required, but I do recommend it for a more enriching experience; the main characters are part of a diverse group that travels together to accomplish missions, which in this case is bringing home the Nez Perce chief’s strong-willed daughter, Otskai’s cousin. I enjoy how they work together and take care of each other despite their ethnic differences. As Caleb thinks to himself when considering Otskai, “How hard it must be to travel with people who always spoke a foreign tongue.” The effort that they make to effectively communicate and learn each other’s language points to mutual respect and how people of different backgrounds can come together. This is a lesson that never becomes outdated!

Furthermore, the element of faith that Beller infuses into Courage in the Mountain Wilderness stems from recognizing and acknowledging different backgrounds. It is a gentle reminder to keep our testimony simple and to make sure that we are speaking in the hearer’s language. This doesn’t always just refer to someone’s mother tongue, but also to their level of knowledge about Christianity. People who are unfamiliar with the Bible and with church may well be intimidated if we use religious terms rather than speaking less formally. Otskai finds herself drawn to God through her struggles after Adam, another member of the group, talks to her: “He put is so simply, laid out a picture that called to her in its simplicity. In the image Adam painted, she wouldn’t have to find her own way in life. She worked so hard. And she accomplished much, yet it never seemed enough. There was always more. Always something she failed at, like protecting her son. Could God forgive those failures, put those bad things behind her? Could he show her a better way? She wasn’t sure she could stand putting her life under the control of another man who would be scrutinizing her every move. Expecting perfection. Was that what God would require?

Overcoming trauma also plays a large role in this heartwarming story. Due to being orphaned at a young age, Otskai has fears that are put to the test along the mountain trek. She also fears failure as a mother and as an overall tribe member as she strives to keep her energetic son safe while doing daily chores. Likewise, Caleb is determined to minister to those in need on an individual level. As situations arise, both have to examine their own hearts to decide what freedom means to them, and to find their Courage in the Mountain Wilderness.

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, April 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 6

Blossoms and Blessings, April 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 7

reviewingbooksplusmore, April 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 8

cats in the cradle blog, April 8

Betti Mace, April 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 9

For the Love of Literature, April 10

deb’s Book Review, April 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 11

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 11

Texas Book-aholic, April 12

Maidens for Modesty, April 12

Inklings and notions, April 13

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 13

Older & Smarter?, April 14

Blessed & Bookish, April 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 15

Splashes of Joy, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 16

Mary Hake, April 16

For Him and My Family, April 16

She Lives To Read, April 17

Connie’s History Classroom, April 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 18

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, April 19

Simple Harvest Reads, April 19 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

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/10a1f/courage-in-the-mountain-wilderness-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Unique Perspective on Moses’ Story: A Book Review of Jill Eileen Smith’s “Miriam’s Song”

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As she watched the fire of God move and breathe like a spirit ablaze, somehow she knew. He cared for her. She might never see His face, but she had felt His touch. And that was enough.

This may be the first book by Jill Eileen Smith that I’ve read, but it most certainly won’t be the last! Biblical fiction is difficult enough as a genre when using fictional characters who serve as onlookers to major historical events, but taking on the formidable task of writing about some of the main Biblical figures is something else altogether. As Smith herself mentions in her note to readers at the end of this book, there is not much information about Miriam in the Bible, and extracting her character means working through that of her brothers Aaron and especially Moses. In doing so, Miriam emerges as a woman who has been called by God to serve, alongside her brothers, in leading His chosen people out of Egyptian slavery.

So many aspects of this familiar Old Testament story struck me anew as I read Miriam’s Song, not the least of which is a fresh appreciation for the men and women who paved the way for the eventual coming of Jesus. To think that at the time of Moses and the Exodus, the people had not heard from God in four hundred and thirty years! Jochebed refers to her son, the infant Moses, as their “tikvah,” or hope, and years later Miriam’s husband Jephunneh tells Miriam to “Pray God will do something, because if He does not, there is no hope.” Those whom God raised up throughout the Old Testament prove that every person has a propensity for sin, thereby making Christ’s coming and sacrifice necessary to enable God to live among us.

As I read, Smith’s perspective of this time in Biblical history revealed connections that I hadn’t necessarily made before. I can see parallels between the Exodus and the coming Tribulation, as well as between some of the Egyptians joining the Hebrews in fleeing Egypt and, later, the Gentiles joining God’s chosen people for salvation through Jesus. Similarly, I don’t think that I had ever really honed in on the fact that the ten plagues which God released on Egypt also afflicted those Hebrews who had followed sinful Egyptian practices, or that each plague was clearly aimed at defeating a specific Egyptian god. As Miriam attests, “She had never considered that God would judge His own people as well as their oppressors. But sin was sin, and she knew deep within her that no sin went unnoticed by their God.” Miriam learns that they are the ones holding themselves back from the Promised Land, and instead of becoming frustrated and angry with God and with Moses, she recognizes that “If only the people would realize that to obey was freedom. To rebel only brought heartache and loss.” Some things never change!

Related in five parts with third-person narration, Miriam’s Song by Jill Eileen Smith delves into the largely-unknown life of Moses’ older sister, Miriam. While fictional, it remains true to the Biblical account in regard to historical events, taking artistic liberty to explore the possible perspective and life of Miriam, prophetess of God and leader of women during the Exodus and afterward. Time lapses in the narrative can be a bit abrupt but are understandable and handled well, with a succinct explanation of the intervening years. I highly recommend this Biblical fiction novel to fans of the genre and to anyone interested in the Exodus and the life of the Hebrews during that time.

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

Wait for Me Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Wait for Me

Author: Marguerite Martin Gray

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 9, 2021

A town besieged by the enemy with just one Sovereign order: wait.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1780

With the inevitable occupation of Charles Town by the British pounding at the gates, Louis Lestarjette braces for possible imprisonment or worse. How can he provide for his growing family with the evil chains of the enemy binding his source of existence? The scenarios of imprisonment and starvation force him to realize he has no control over the outcome of the stronghold of the British. All that remains is a sense of survival at almost any cost.

Elizabeth Lestarjette faces looming confinement with both a drive to protect her children and a desire to do her part to undermine the enemy. They must thwart the British plans to imprison more men, but how? Who can they trust?

Just how long will Elizabeth’s confidence in justice withstand the constant battering of war and circumstance?
Discover the destiny of the Lestarjette family in the final book of the Revolutionary Faith Series as they hope and wait upon deliverance from a world under siege.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Marguerite enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband in north Louisiana. She writes historical fiction.

More from Marguerite

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Thank you for stopping by the Wait for Me tour. I’m so excited about the release of this novel, the finale of the Revolutionary Faith series,

I have always been fascinated with the ordinary—the simple acts from day to day. When an historical event is added, I surround my fascination with questions. What did they wear or eat? Why did they marry? Did they have children? Where did they shop? What is incredible or surprising to me about the historical event or activity was at one time ordinary to the characters whether in fiction or nonfiction.

The ordinary that I like to encounter and write in historical fiction includes how the characters dressed. I even had the dress pictured here made for me just in case I want to present in costume!

Also, I like to explore the food my characters ate. I found a wonderful recipe for a beefsteak pie in an American Girl cookbook. I’ve made it several times. Yummy!

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The ordinary activities such as going to church or to the market or mercantile make the characters real. Their lives have depth in their interaction with society. My simple faith in God’s provisions and promises flow into the lives of my characters. What makes the story exciting is the historical element linked with the dramatic background of war.

Thank you for continuing the journey with Wait for Me, rooted in the ordinary from two centuries ago.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

What a great question, that takes me way back to when I was in fifth grade. I devoured every book I could get ahold of that had to do with mystery (Nancy Drew), horses (Black Stallion Series), Anne of Green Gables, and anything about King Arthur. I started writing children’s books that I kept in a journal. Later, I majored in Journalism thinking that would satisfy my writing urge. It didn’t. If wasn’t until my children were in high school that I took the time to put my thoughts and plots from a notebook into action. In two years I wrote six rough draft novels. Now, whether I get published or not, I write two novels a year.

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

I choose four to five hours a day for a month. During this time frame, I can write 60,000 words that I consider a nice rough draft. I then spend a few more weeks to complete an additional 30,000 words. Once the initial words are written, I take another month of two to three hours a day to edit, rewrite, edit, and rewrite until the novel is ready for new eyes and critiques.

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

This is going to sound strange but my hero Louis Lestarjette, 1770 Charles Town, S.C. resonates with me more than any other. It’s a little bizarre because he is a guy. Why didn’t I choose Elizabeth or Jeannette? His story is full of excitement and conflict and questions. How would it have been for a Frenchman to loose his title, land, direction, and faith and end up in the New World? He has the adventurous spirit that I lack. Could I have done it? I want to think I would cross the ocean to a new life, but I don’t think I have it in me. But he does, and he succeeds where I probably wouldn’t. In a way, I’m living my alter personality through him. Also, I love anything French—the language, the culture, the food, the people.

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspirations through the many years have been my parents. They gave me the awesome opportunity to travel and explore the world at a young age. Daddy is an architect and student of history. He lives, writes, and loves the historic aspect of people’s lives, buildings, churches, cemeteries, and art. My mom stands by his side and supports his endeavors. My sisters and I lived in England with them where we received a life-changing education and experience. We traveled all over Europe, studied French, art, and people.  I “blame” them for my constant desire to travel. It really is a big deal for I’m constantly planning the next trip!

Yet, I cannot forget my husband as my biggest encourager. I would not have written one novel without his sweet, honest words of support and encouragement.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

This is such an important question. Two years ago I would say hands down—traditional books. I love the feel, the smell, the sound of the pages, the bookmark—absolutely everything about a print book. But, I also see the value of ebooks. I have a full library of books on my ipad. I like the availability of having a book for the road, the plane, etc., not forgetting the economical aspect. My bookshelves breathed easier because of ebooks. Audiobooks are a lifesaver when I on the interstate. For three years I drove 50 minutes twice a day to and from work. I “read” so many books and found some awesome authors. My answer? I’ll always lean toward traditional books but have huge libraries of ebooks and audiobooks.

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, March 26

Artistic Nobody, March 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 28

For the Love of Literature, March 29 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 29

deb’s Book Review, March 30

She Lives To Read, March 31

Betti Mace, March 31

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 1

Splashes of Joy, April 2 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 4

Inklings and notions, April 5

For Him and My Family, April 6

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 7 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away the grand prize package of a print copy of all five books in the series and a box of Charleston Plantation Tea!!

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/109d4/wait-for-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Purple Nightgown Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

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Book: The Purple Nightgown

Author: A.D. Lawrence

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release date: March, 2021

Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.
Book 10 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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A.D. Lawrence makes her home in Northeastern Nebraska. She has been passionate about writing and true crime for years, and her two obsessions melded into the goal of authorship. She is an active member of the ACFW, writes a true crime blog, won the 2019 Crown Award and was a 2019 First Impressions finalist.

More from A.D. Lawrence

Times have changed. And like so many things, health retreats have experienced their own metamorphosis. Sure, they’ve always catered to people with both spare money and time, but aside from similar clientele, the face of the health spa is nothing like its early 20th century sister.

If you could afford a getaway to a modern-day health spa like The Golden Door, you’d be treated to the luxury of rest. Yoga on the beach. Deep tissue massages. A much-needed break from technology and life’s constant pressures. Mental well-being is valued almost as highly as physical health, and the two are thought to be connected. After days or weeks of pampering, you would return home relaxed, recharged, and ready to dip back into the hustle of the real world.

In 1911, during the time of The Purple Nightgown, the medical community took a diametrically different approach to health. Weight equaled health. The prevailing assumption was that any ailments were directly connected to weight. Thus, ‘fat camps’ grew in popularity. Men and women checked into sanatoriums where the aides put them through grueling exercise regimes and provided them with just enough food to sustain life. No coddling. Not many of us would subject ourselves to the treatments early health spas required.

In this era of already extreme health measures, Linda Hazzard made her mark in Washington State. Obsessed with fasting, she ran her patients through an unfathomable course of ‘diet and exercise’ that proved the undoing of many. She did give massages though, which you’ll learn more about when you read The Purple Nightgown.

Although it’s fun to long for a simpler time while reading historical books and watching shows like Little House on the Prairie, there are some modern ways of thinking and advances in human comfort I’d rather not give up. One of those is the vastly superior spa experience we have today. Somehow, a facial with soothing background music sounds much more appealing than running mile after mile every day with nothing to look forward to but a glass of orange juice or a bowl of canned tomato broth.

Hot stone massage anyone?

My Review

A.D. Lawrence is a girl after my own heart with her passionate interest in true crime, and I am so glad that her debut novel is part of Barbour’s True Colors series. From the time that I first heard about the series, I knew that I would read every book; it can be difficult, if not downright impossible, to find a Christian approach to this genre, which mollifies the otherwise horrifying details and adds hope. Even though the stories are fictional, their basis stems from historical American crimes, some perhaps more disturbing than others. In my opinion, The Purple Nightgown fits into the “more disturbing” category, although Lawrence handles it very well, balancing the story with a beautiful romance and life lessons.

Surprisingly, I was not familiar with this particular crime story prior to reading The Purple Nightgown. I will be completely honest and admit that if this was not part of the series, which can be read in any order since they each cover a different crime, I may not have picked it up. As someone with a history of negative medical encounters, this was a difficult story to read at times, but that testifies to how incredibly well Lawrence has translated the experiences of the characters to the reader. I felt a connection to Stella Burke, who suffers from nearly daily debilitating migraines, because I have had long periods of uncontrolled chronic migraine throughout my life, and I empathized with her desperation to be well and to make a difference. Her close friend and chauffeur, Henry Clayton, is my favorite character for his steadfast loyalty and devotion. Certain scenes are so beautifully evocative that I had tears in my eyes.

As for the Institute of Natural Therapeutics run by Linda Hazzard, it at first seems to stretch credulity to consider that people voluntarily submitted themselves to strict fasting regimens and tortuous treatments in order to achieve the promised perfect health. However, in some respects, not much has changed today, as people still search for the latest diet plan or take incalculable risks for the potential of improvement. Gaslighting, as we now call it, also continues to be a problem, contributing to an already burdened system. Perhaps the most shocking element is that Hazzard’s book, Fasting for the Cure of Disease, is available on Amazon in various formats, and the Kindle version is only $0.99! I definitely cannot recommend it.

Despite how full of premonitions the first half to two-thirds of The Purple Nightgown is, the last fifty or so pages proves to be nothing short of harrowing. The edge-of-your-seat suspense bears down as the forces of God and the enemy collide and Stella finds herself forced to “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13,14). Stella is portrayed realistically, with the flaws of her wealthy upbringing as an only child, as is Henry, her opposite in status but a champion when it comes to helping others. Stella finally comes to the realization that “Though she’d chased her own pursuits, God hadn’t changed—His love hadn’t changed. He’d waited for her at the very spot she’d wandered away and welcomed her back with open arms as the father of the prodigal had his errant son.” The use of the color purple and the nightgown is inspired and significant throughout the story.

Recommended for those who enjoy true crime and who don’t mind some details thereof; while lacking anything graphic, there is necessary context within the story that may be disturbing to sensitive readers. The nickname of Linda Hazzard’s institute was Starvation Heights, after all.

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.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 23

lakesidelivingsite, March 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 23

For Him and My Family, March 24

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 24

Godly Book Reviews, March 24

Through the Fire Blogs, March 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 25

For the Love of Literature, March 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 26

Mary Hake, March 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 27

deb’s Book Review, March 27

Pause for Tales, March 28

Remembrancy, March 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 28

Connie’s History Classroom, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 29

Babbling Becky L’sBook Impressions, March 30

Texas Book-aholic, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 31 (Author Interview)

Cathe Swanson, March 31

Older & Smarter?, April 1

Betti Mace, April 1

Rebecca Tews, April 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2

Vicky Sluiter, April 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 3

Amanda Tero, blog, April 3

Blossoms and Blessings, April 3

Christian Bookaholic, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

Spoken from the Heart, April 4

Splashes of Joy, April 5

Artistic Nobody, April 5 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Southern Gal Loves to Read, April 5

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, A.D. 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/1098d/the-purple-nightgown-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Lady in Residence Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Lady in Residence

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: February 2021

Can a Legacy of Sadness be Broken at the Menger Hotel?

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

Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.

In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a four-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series, once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties and most recently for the critically acclaimed The Seamstress which takes a cameo character from the Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities and flourishes her to life amidst the French Revolution. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

More from Allison

From Haunting to Healing: How Stories Bring New Life to Old Ghosts

If you really think about it, every story is a ghost story. Not the floating spirits of the dearly departed kind, not bumps in the night or mysterious howling in the darkness—but the best stories come from examining a haunted heart. Memories that pursue the present.

A few years ago I took the walking tour of haunted San Antonio. It was a lark, a fun tourist-y thing to do with some visiting friends. I’m not a believer in ghosts, but I am a collector of stories. The tour opens at the Alamo—sacred ground of slain soldiers. The second stop is the Menger Hotel, listed as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States by those who measure and evaluate such things. And while the tour guide waxed on about the guests’ litany of haunted experiences (including Teddy Roosevelt raging through the lobby), my mind stuck with the story of Sallie White. Sallie White is the Menger Hotel’s most famous ghost—a chambermaid whose apparition is reported to be seen walking the halls, towels draped over her arm, or to be heard as an efficient two-rap knock on your door late at night. My mind, however, didn’t dwell on Sallie the ghost, but Sallie the woman—just a normal, hard-working, poor woman, murdered in the street by a man who claimed to love her. But for that, she would have passed into history unknown. Instead, her story is told every night as strangers gather on the very sidewalk where the crime took place.

Years after first hearing the story of Sallie white, I stayed in the Menger for a few days to gather details for The Lady in Residence. I booked what they call a “Petite” room—meaning it is a room that maintains its original structure. Read: tiny. Exposed pipes, creaky wooden floors, antique furniture—the only update, the bathroom fixtures. As it turned out, my room was directly above the place where Sallie White was murdered. One night I pressed my ear against the glass and listened to the ghost tour guide tell her story. The next morning, I stood in the exact spot with a fancy Starbucks drink, thinking about her. She lives on, not because people claim to see her walking and hear her knocking in the dead of night, but because she is a woman remembered.

So, is that beautiful? Is it ghoulish? Maybe it’s both, but when I was given the chance to write a story set in and around the Menger Hotel, I was determined to make Sallie White’s story a part of it. I didn’t want to write her story—that would have required embellishment beyond those few historic, factual tid-bits that such a woman left behind. Sallie White didn’t have correspondence to catalog or a journal to give us insight to her thoughts. Instead, I wanted to tell it to readers everywhere who might never make it to San Antonio to hear it for themselves. When you read The Lady in Residence, you are going to hear the true story of Sallie White, all of it taken from a newspaper account of the time. And then, I did what all historical writers do…I folded it into my own tale and folded that tale into another.

That’s really the joy of writing a split-time novel—being able to draw back and shoot a narrative-arrow straight through the hearts of two stories, threading them together, to bring a haunting to a place of healing.

My Review

The spirit of Sallie White had stolen the spirit of Hedda Krause, and I was determined to reclaim it.

After turning the last page of Allison Pittman’s The Lady in Residence, my first thought is that this is a very cinematic novel that plays out on the pages as would a film on the screen. It is at once simple and multifaceted. A split-time story, interplay between the two time periods forms a mirror of sorts that becomes apparent as the tale progresses. The book opens in 2017 with magician Dini Blackstone, a young, somewhat reclusive performer from San Antonio who has had a lifelong obsession with Hedda Krause. Hedda’s account forms the other half of the storyline, focusing on her life at the Menger Hotel beginning in 1915 and related through excerpts from her autobiography entitled My Spectral Accuser: The Haunted Life of Hedda Krause, Published by the Author Herself.

When the two stories converge across the century that separates them, the power of the past to inform and guide the present becomes apparent, as does the bittersweet influence of love. First-person narration in Hedda’s account reinforces this truth, which forms the basis for all that will unfold. With five words, Hedda’s brokenness and sanity teeter on the edge: “Something for you, Hedda Krause.” In the present, Dini meets Quin Carmichael, whose own connection to the Hedda Krause case shares uncanny features with her own. With Quin, too, comes the only explicitly Christian content in the novel, marked by his brief but sincere comments about God and His working in the world.

The Lady in Residence offers a unique addition to the dual-timeline category and to Barbour Publishing’s new “Doors to the Past” series. I would have liked to have seen more Christian thematic elements, but I still enjoyed this story very much, and I do find the author’s note to be informative with regard to this and other topics in the story. I appreciate Pittman’s definition of a haunting as a memory of something that stays with you, expanding it beyond and even eclipsing the paranormal aspect. Also, for as much as I usually do not like magic being used, I do respect that it was defined as illusion, which forms one of the main themes of the story. Despite my reservations, I do recommend The Lady in Residence for readers of romantic split-time novels with a Gothic, somewhat supernatural feel.

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: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 23

Artistic Nobody, February 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Fiction Aficionado, February 24

For the Love of Literature, February 24

Where Faith and Books Meet, February 24

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Mia Reads Blog, February 25

Connie’s History Classroom, February 26

Inspiration Clothesline, February 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 27

Books I’ve Read, February 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 28

Remembrancy, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

For Him and My Family, March 2

Hallie Reads, March 2

deb’s Book Review, March 3

Blogging With Carol, March 3

By The Book, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 5

The Write Escape, March 5

Life of Literature, March 6

Inklings and notions, March 6

Godly Book Reviews, March 7

Vicky Sluiter, March 7

To Everything There is A Season, March 8

Pause for Tales, March 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Lady in Residence!!

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/1086e/the-lady-in-residence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Her Steadfast Heart Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Her Steadfast Heart

Author: Sharlene MacLaren

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: January 26, 2021

Joey Fuller is still mourning three years after his wife’s death, so much so that he leaves his four rambunctious young children to throw himself into the Civil War as a Union captain. But his kids are so ill-behaved that nannies keep quitting—and now, his mother has a broken leg and can’t handle them either. In desperation, Joey decides to advertise for a wife.

Faith Haviland is in a different kind of mourning. Not long ago, her fiancé left her to marry her best friend. Her customers at the diner where she works keep reminding her of that humiliating event and one of them, an older man, has been making aggressive advances. She’s desperate to flee the city—and Joey Fuller’s “Wife Needed” ad seems to be the answer to a prayer.

Will Faith live up to her name when Joey’s kids torment her with their mischief? Can she surrender this strange marriage to God while her new aloof husband is off fighting? And will a string of buttons convince her that he truly loves her?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. After traveling for a year, she returned to her teaching job, then in 1975, she reunited with her childhood sweetheart, and they married that very December. They have raised two lovely daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, Shar loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family—in particular, her adorable grandchildren!

Shar has always enjoyed writing, and her high school classmates eagerly read and passed around her short stories. In the early 2000s, Shar felt God’s call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further, so in 2006, she signed a contract with Whitaker House for her first faith-based novel, Through Every Storm, thereby launching her professional writing career. With more than twenty published novels now gracing store shelves and being sold online, Shar gives God all the glory.
Shar’s novels have won numerous awards. Her Steadfast Heart is her twenty-first novel and the second book in her Hearts of Honor series (after Her Rebel Heart).
Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings and has participated in several interviews on television and radio. She loves to speak for community organizations, libraries, church groups, and women’s conferences. In her church, she is active in women’s ministries, regularly facilitating Bible studies and other events. Shar and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton.

Shar loves hearing from her readers. If you wish to contact her as a potential speaker or would simply like to chat with her, please send her an e-mail at SharleneMacLaren@Yahoo.com. She will do her best to answer in a timely manner.

More from Sharlene

Faith Haviland swept a few strands of damp hair off her forehead, irritated by how it had escaped the neat bun of this morning. She shoveled more dishes into the sink and set to washing them as fast as possible to prepare for the supper crowd that would soon descend upon Daybreak Diner. It wasn’t a fairytale job by any means, but, alas, it was a job, and many would clamor for it if her Aunt Martha ever hung up a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. Her aunt, who happened to be her father’s younger sister, owned and operated the establishment and often stated her wish for Faith to one day take it over. Faith shuddered at the prospect of telling Martha she’d been entertaining the idea of leaving Columbus. Martha wouldn’t like the news, but Faith couldn’t worry about that. Things had grown too tedious in her hometown, and too many found it their job to remind her of the unfortunate event of her canceled wedding. Add to that the troublesome, if not peculiarly obsessive, behavior of Stuart Porter, and tedious hardly described it. Ever since her fiancé’s departure with her best friend just two weeks before their April 15 wedding day, Mr. Porter had started closing in on her, insisting he would marry her in an instant if she’d simply agree.
For as long as she could recall, the man had outwardly admired her, even though she had done nothing to encourage it. Nothing about him appealed to her. First, he didn’t serve the Lord; second, he was an obsessive drinker; third, he came off as pushy and persistent; and finally, he resembled a goose with his nose sticking out like a beak. Not that looks meant all that much—goodness, she didn’t consider herself any major prize—but it was all the other things thrown in. The man was almost twenty years older than she and widowed to boot. At least, that was the rumor anyway. No one had really known his wife, only that she was there one day and gone the next. Some said she’d died, and others said she’d left him for another man. Whatever the case, it’d been a mysterious event that few knew anything about, and if they did, no one discussed it much, probably mostly from lack of caring.

My Review

Review pending due to unexpected circumstances

My rating:

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, February 9

Texas Book-aholic, February 10

Britt Reads Fiction, February 10

Artistic Nobody, February 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 13

For the Love of Literature, February 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 15

Inklings and notions, February 16

Reviewingbooksplusmore, February 16

For Him and My Family, February 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 18

Labor Not in Vain, February 18

deb’s Book Review, February 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 20

Blossoms and Blessings, February 21

Vicky Sluiter, February 22

Genesis 5020, February 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Sharlene 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/1073e/her-steadfast-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Faith’s Mountain Home Review and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Faith’s Mountain Home

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian historical romance

Nate Long has always watched over his identical twin brother, Aaron, even when it put him on the wrong side of the law. When Aaron is wounded in a shootout, the brothers are taken to Settler’s Fort to recover. As Nate works to make reparations for their past, he marvels at the nursing Aaron receives under the care of a woman with all the reason in the world to resent him.

Laura Hannon knows what it is to start over, and she knows Nate’s newfound faith is real. What she can’t look past is how far he allowed himself to be led astray by his brother’s weaknesses.

As a fledgling trust grows between Nate and Laura, they stumble upon a mysterious cave in the mountains that may not be as uninhabited as it seems.

As they work together for a common cause, will the new lives they seek for themselves include love, or is there too much that stands between them?

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

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Who doesn’t love a good cave?

Well, maybe not everyone, but I have to confess, I love exploring!

While there aren’t many caves near my South Carolina home, I’ve always loved the idea of finding an opening hidden in the rocks. Then venturing in and finding a huge cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites and a host of other beauties I can’t pronounce!

And dark tunnels? As long as I have a light and a string to unravel as I go so I can get back out, I’m game!

Unfortunately, I’ve never found a large cave in real life that had never been explored, but in Faith’s Mountain Home, Nate and Laura found exactly that! Although…turns out, it had been discovered by someone already. I won’t give you (too many) spoilers, but let me just tell you there’s a precocious Native American girl involved, and a few other things not so delightful.

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The good news is, you can enjoy the story without actually entering the pitch black cavern!

Last summer, I had the opportunity to tour a cave with many features like Nate and Laura discovered in their hidden cave. The Caverns of Sonora in Sonora, Texas was a fantastic experience! As you can imagine, it’s hard to get good pictures in solid darkness, but here are a few of the amazing formations still growing in those two miles of underground tunnels.

My Review

Review pending due to unexpected circumstances

My rating:

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 26

Artistic Nobody, January 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, January 27

Bigreadersite, January 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 27

Betti Mace, January 28

Connect in Fiction, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Lighthouse Academy Blog, January 29 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

lakesidelivingsite, January 29

Bizwings Blog, January 29

Through the Fire Blogs, January 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 31

Fiction Book Lover, January 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inspiration Clothesline, January 31

Wishful Endings, February 1

Life of Literature, February 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 1

deb’s Book Review, February 2

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 2

Blossoms and Blessings, February 2

For Him and My Family, February 3

Splashes of Joy , February 3

Simple Harvest Reads, February 3 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blessed & Bookish, February 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 4

To Everything There Is A Season, February 4

Older & Smarter?, February 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 5

Pause for Tales, February 5

For the Love of Literature, February 6

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6

Remembrancy, February 7

Inklings and notions, February 7

Hallie Reads, February 7

She Lives To Read, February 8

HookMeInABook, February 8

Genesis 5020, February 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of the entire Hearts of Montana series, plus a “Faith Moves Mountain” sign!! (See Here: https://etsy.me/2JjZAVV)

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/1062c/faith-s-mountain-home-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Midwife’s Heart Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Midwife’s Heart

Author: Brenda Ray

Genre: Historical

As Abraham’s descendants prepare to cross into the Promised Land, led by Moses, Hannah, a disillusioned midwife will be tested in ways she cannot imagine. She wanted love, a home, and children, but gave up on that dream long ago. One heartbreak and humiliation was enough.

Ze-ev is a commander in the army, protecting his people. Busy doing what must be done, finding a wife is not his priority. Besides, when his childhood sweetheart marries another, he lost interest in securing a match to be his bride.

When he meets Hannah, they are both tested. Will either of them let down their guard long enough to trust again?

Set on the Plains of Moab, amidst attacks on the camp, spies, plague, and the unprecedented request of Zelophehad’s daughters, Ze-ev and Hannah must navigate the thorny path of the heart.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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RWA award-winning author, Brenda Ray, grew up along the Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida. A University of Florida trained nurse-midwife, she traveled as a military wife and raised three remarkable sons. She is now retired and writing full time in Vero Beach, FL. A graduate of the University of Florida, as well, she is always confused during football season, but she is never confused about loving feedback from her readers. You may contact her at: www.wildwolfwomanwriter.com

More from Brenda

I didn’t set out to be a writer. In 1997, I was a practicing nurse-midwife, blessed to have delivered hundreds of babies. In one day, latex allergy abruptly ended my career, ended my job, and took my health. Seven years of college felt like a waste. At times the grief felt bottomless.

My strong faith in God got me through that dark time. My daily meditation and clinging to God’s Word were by lifelines. One morning, while reading the second chapter of Exodus, (which I had read many times before) the story of Puah and Shiphrah struck me in a new way.

I began asking myself how that came to be. Why would a pharaoh order his future workforce murdered? Did all the babies arrive before the midwives could arrive or did the midwives lie? With much research and study and my own experiences as a midwife, the answers to those questions became The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth.

The book started a flood of writing that continues today. Writing is a creative process and as the Holy Scripture teach, “In the beginning, God created….” We are told we are made in God’s image. Thus, we ourselves are destines to create. For me, it has been quilting, sewing, cooking, and writing. I also write under the pen name of B. K. Ricotta. Two of a Kind is my first book under that name. A sweet novella will be released soon by Wild Rose Press entitled A Love So Sweet by B. K. Ricotta. Finally, the finishing touches are being done on a historical romance set in Northwest Florida when it was a new state.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

Writing chose me.  In 1997, I was a practicing nurse midwife.  When I anaphylaxed to latex, my career was over.  One day I was reading my Bible and I re-read the verses in the second chapter of Exodus that talks about Puah and Shiphrah, the midwives of Egypt.  It grabbed me.  In asking myself questions about how that transpired, a book was born, which was The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth.  I knew that I could write, but most of my writing prior to that was technical for my master’s thesis.  So, I began studying creative writing. I joined RWA, and began plotting the first book in the Hebrew Midwives Trilogy.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

In the past, my stories have been written intuitively, but I am now working on writing with plotting the stories before writing them.  I think that when I master that, I can be more productive, and the storylines will be tighter.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  It is a very spiritual book, but not religious.  It teaches us how we live as women.  It was life changing for me.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I adore a print book.  Over my lifetime I have probably owned thousands of books, but as a former military wife, I could not take them all with me, so I learned to read books and only keep the one’s that are most loved or those I know I will read again.  I also keep research books.  With that said, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve downsized and only own a small bookshelf of books now.  I read most of my pleasure reading on my Kindle.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I would advise them to study creative writing as if it were a job, because it is a job.  Study things such as plotting, character development, etc.  They should network with other writers, such as joining a critique group.  If they have a favorite genre, join professional writer’s organizations, and get involved with their chapters for various genres.

Second, if someone wants to write and be successful, they must treat it like a job.  Set aside time each day to just write or work on writing projects.  Create a space that is dedicated to and conducive for writing.

Finally, never give up.  I heard Susan Wiggs speak many years ago and she told the story about how when her husband built her writing studio, she wallpapered the bathroom in it with her rejection letters.  Great writers must learn to keep moving forward and don’t take rejection letters as a sign that you are no good.  It’s simply a “this story is not right for us” letter.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 5

For the Love of Literature, February 6 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6

Artistic Nobody, February 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Texas Book-aholic, February 8

For Him and My Family, February 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Older & Smarter?, February 12

Inklings and notions, February 13

Through the Fire Blogs, February 14 (Author Interview)

Our Whiskey Lullaby, February 14

Connie’s History Classroom, February 15

deb’s Book Review, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Brenda is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of “The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth (1st edition) and a few rainy day comfort items!!

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/1073f/the-midwife-s-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway