Saturday, March 6, 2021

Facing the DAwn by Cynthia Ruchti

  


About the Book

Book:  Facing the Dawn

Author: Cynthia Ruchti

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release date: March 2, 2021

Mara Jacobs has been struggling. While her humanitarian husband is digging wells in Africa and caring for widows and orphans, Mara has been battling the home front—working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage three detention-prone kids, and suffering from exhaustion and depression. Even her own marriage is deteriorating after a three-year separation.

Then Liam’s absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara leans on those around her to find her way to healing and renewed faith, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten . . . or unloved.

Facing the Dawn is an emotionally evocative novel that will resonate with readers’ lives and their life challenges. Hemmed in hope, this tender story will be one readers will not soon forget.

My Thoughts:

Wow this book was not a simple, easy read.  It is quite a heavy story and you need to be ready for that when you pick it up (no, I was not!).  There is loss, friendship, love, hurt, a HUGE range of emotions and issues to deal with, but there is also God.  He is the one who can keep us together through anything.

I loved the trust and faith aspect of the book.  Some of it was just so hard to read because the author is incredibly talented in painting the picture for us of Mara's grief.  It really is a good and touching story that will make you think about life and how you would/do handle things.  It just isn't one of those 'quick read, feel good' stories.  It is deep and heavy.  I really enjoyed it though.

4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine. 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Cynthia Ruchti is the award-winning author of more than 30 books, including the novels
Afraid of the Light, Miles from Where We Started, As Waters Gone By, Song of Silence, A Fragile Hope, and They Almost Always Come Home. Her books have been honored with more than 40 readers’, reviewers’, and retailers’ awards, including Romantic Times’s Inspirational Novel of the Year, four Selah Awards, and five Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and has been a finalist for many others, including the Carol and the Christy. Former president of and current professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Cynthia lives in Wisconsin and can be found online at www.cynthiaruchti.com.

 

More from Cynthia

When I sit down to write a novel, I sometimes have little more than a title or a single scene in my head. For Facing the Dawn, I had a mental picture of a woman who felt like circumstances had drained all the “color” out of her life, as if she were a piece of fabric that had been left out in the sun too long. Faded. Threadbare. Bleached out.

Where was I supposed to go from there? What would have made her feel like that? (Oh, I could imagine, but I needed to know THIS character’s story.) I visualized her called in the principal’s office at her kids’ school, not knowing which of the three was in trouble this time. But it was her. The ridiculousness of it all was almost enough to push her over the edge. Ever been there?

For Mara in the story, a long string of disappointments clogged her life like a backed-up sink (which she also had). Then true tragedy struck. And again. But I couldn’t leave her in that place.

When I wrote the last few words of the story, my heart was full. Tears fell on the pages—or the keyboard. And I reflected back on all the symbolism in the story that actually revealed bits of hope embedded in its fabric.

I’m excited to see how readers respond when they discover those little bits—a cardinal in a stand of birch trees, an oil painting with unusual brushstrokes, a papered wall, a cup of soup, a long-forgotten song, an envelope of ashes…

A story comes to life when readers dive in. I’m looking forward to hearing what they find when they do.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 4

lakesidelivingsite, March 4

Through the Fire Blogs, March 4

Rebecca Tews, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations , March 5

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 6 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 7

Reviewingbooksplusmore, March 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 8

Kathleen’s Blog, March 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 8

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Cats in the Cradle Blog, March 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 10

Simple Harvest Reads, March 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 10

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

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

Older & Smarter?, March 12

deb’s Book Review, March 12

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 13

Inklings and notions, March 13

Pause for Tales, March 13

For Him and My Family, March 14

Mary Hake, March 14

By The Book, March 15

Christian Bookaholic, March 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Spoken from the Heart, March 16

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 16

A Baker’s Perspective, March 17

Writing from the Heart Land, March 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a DrinkCo Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated BPA-free beverage container (keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours/hot up to 12 hours), two Sunprint Notecards (Cynanotype art by Anna Atkins), an autographed copy of the novel Facing the Dawn, two Hemmed in Hope magnets/notecard inserts to encourage you or a friend, a Hemmed in Hope flash drive, and Facing the Dawn bookmarks (not shown in picture above)!!

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/108ce/facing-the-dawn-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Torch by R.J. Anderson

  


About the Book

Book:  Torch

Author: R.J. Anderson

Genre: Christian YA Fantasy

Release date: February 9, 2021

How do you fight fire without fire?

When a freak storm uncovers the entrance to a mysterious underground chamber, Ivy and Martin expect to find treasure. But what they discover is even more valuable: a barrow full of sleeping spriggans, magically preserved for centuries. With the vengeful piskey queen Betony determined to capture Ivy and her followers, the secret hideaway could be key to both their peoples’ survival.

But the piskeys and spriggans are ancient enemies, and when Ivy tries to make peace her own followers threaten to turn against her. Plagued by treachery, betrayal and desertion on every side, Ivy must find a way to unite the magical folk of Cornwall–or doom herself, Martin and everyone she loves to death at Betony’s hand.

Yet without the legendary fire-wielding power that marks a true piskey queen, can Ivy convince her people to believe?

 My Thoughts:

Yay!  This book is one I was looking forward to reading quite a lot.  I have read the first two books and was ready to see what happened to the characters.  The author didn't disappoint.  Though I recommend reading the series start to finish, I think you could read this book as a stand alone and enjoy it.  I love that I've watched these characters grow and change through the series.

I liked that it isn't a simple story, there is a mix of issues and Ivy and Martin both have to deal with different things.  Deciding who to trust, what is best not only for self but for everyone, and much much more.  I plan to share this series with my two kids 10 & 13 and expect they will enjoy it just as much as I did.

5/5.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Born in Uganda to missionary parents, R.J. (Rebecca Joan) Anderson is a women’s Bible teacher, a wife and mother of three, and a bestselling fantasy author for older children and teens. Her debut novel Knife has sold more than 120,000 copies worldwide, while her other books have been shortlisted for the Nebula Award, the Christy Award, and the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Science Fiction. Rebecca lives with her family in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

 

More from R. J.

What does it take to be a good leader?
Looking at some of the religious, social and political leaders around us, it seems like a confident attitude, dramatic flair, and the ability to make stirring speeches are the keys to success. But is that the kind of leadership people really need, or is it only what we’ve grown used to?
Ivy, the heroine of my book Torch, never wanted to become a leader, or expected anyone to follow her. After being exiled from her underground home by her proud Aunt Betony, she’s been struggling to make sense of her own life, never mind anyone else’s. But when a ragtag band of old friends and former neighbours turn up on Ivy’s doorstep looking for a new home, she has no choice but to help her fellow Cornish piskeys as best she can.
What Ivy soon finds, however, is that her people’s hopes and expectations for her are much bigger than any she had for herself. They want a queen strong enough to defeat Betony and free their people — but how can Ivy stand up to her aunt’s ruthless tactics and magical fire-wielding powers, when she’s just a slight teenager with barely any magic at all?
As I wrote this book, the last in my Flight and Flame trilogy about Ivy of the Delve, I wanted to explore the difference between the popular idea of a great leader, and the humble servant leadership taught and exemplified by Christ. Unlike Betony, who has become so obsessed with her own power and reputation that she’s blind to her people’s suffering, Ivy only wants to help and encourage her fellow piskeys and keep them safe from harm. She’s willing to sacrifice her own comfort, put aside her own feelings, and do whatever it takes to make sure her followers survive. And though she makes some mistakes and faces some painful challenges along the way, she never forgets that her goal isn’t personal fame or glory, but the good of everyone around her.
Ivy’s personal journey also reflects some of my own recent experiences of caregiving, which can seem like an impossible task when the needs of our loved ones grow greater than our own strength and wisdom can bear. She has to learn, as I did, that the only solution is to ask for help and be willing to let others do it their own way, instead of trying to control everything ourselves.
Torch is the last book of the epic adventure that began with Swift and continued in Nomad, taking Ivy from the depths of obscurity to heights she never imagined, and from a life of loneliness to a love sweeter — and stranger — than she ever dreamed she’d find. It’s a story that’s close to my heart, and I hope it will find a place in yours and your family’s as well!
— R.J. Anderson

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, R.J. is giving away the grand prize package of a signed bookplate, bookmarks, notecards, and a copy of either SWIFT, NOMAD or TORCH!! (winner’s choice)

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/1089c/torch-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Delia and the Drifter by Melody Carlson

  


About the Book

Book:  Delia and the Drifter

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Historical Romance (Western)

Release date: February 15, 2021


An arranged marriage to save the family from ruin?

Delia Blackstone knows what her mother is up to—she intends to marry her off to an older man who is all fortune and no future. And Delia’s having none of it.

When a mysterious visitor appears on the family doorstep and offers an opportunity for Delia to travel from Pennsylvania to Colorado, Delia knows it is time for her to strike out on her own and discover a new life. Along the way she encounters a handsome drifter who captures her heart. But is he interested in trading his exciting life of adventure for love?

Two murders, a missing will, and a number of puzzling relationships are enough to unsettle anyone—even smart, capable Delia. Who can she trust? And can she trust her heart in matters of love?

 My Thoughts:

I completely loved this story.  Delia doesn't want to marry the man her parents have chosen for her, and I don't blame her one bit.  I like a good marriage for convenience story, but not the kind where the man is so much older and I'm just glad that wasn't this story.  This one was fun and exciting.  There is love, romance, murder, secrets, adventure, and more.

Loved that the main characters were Christians and connected so quickly.  Wyatt perfectly compliments her but he has his own plans and they don't include settling down to marry at the moment.  The descriptions were great and make me want to visit 'the old west'.  It just really was a great story.

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

 

 

More from Melody

I love historical stories about women. Particularly ones in the American frontier and old west. Probably because I grew up hearing pioneer stories from my grandparents, whose parents arrived in covered wagons. But contributions made by pioneering females is often overshadowed by their male counterparts. That’s why I enjoy researching and telling these fictional yet reality-based stories of women who lived and loved and did their part to settle the frontier. To me they are the unsung heroes of the West.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, February 24

lakesidelivingsite, February 24

For Him and My Family, February 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 25

Blogging With Carol, February 25

She Lives To Read, February 26

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

Pause for Tales, February 26

Inklings and notions, February 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 28

CarpeDiem, February 28

Betti Mace, March 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 1

Artistic Nobody, March 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 2

Simple Harvest Reads, March 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 3

Older & Smarter?, March 4

Connie’s History Classroom, March 4

Christian Bookaholic, March 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Labor Not in Vain, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 7

Connect in Fiction, March 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 8

Splashes of Joy, March 8

Hallie Reads, March 8

Batya’s Bits, March 9

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody 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/1089b/delia-and-the-drifter-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

  


About the Book

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?

 My Thoughts:

This was an intriguing read.  It is a split time book that is historical and paranormal.  It was an interesting plot and I liked reading the mysterious portions of it.  I had an issue with big parts of it that just seemed dry to me, but I did enjoy different parts of it.  

I liked Dini and the 'current' time period more than the historical portion, but the historical portion had to be there to make the book work.  There is a lot going on and a ghost mystery.  I liked how Dini got so into the historical story and that did tie in together well.  Overall, it was a well-written story.

3/5.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

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.

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

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