8/19/19

Meghan's Choice


About the Book

 Book: Meghan’s Choice
Author: Donna L. H. Smith
Genre: Christian Historical Western Romance
Release Date: November, 2017

 Meghan Gallagher complies with her father’s demand that she work on her own for a year by choosing to tutor eight children in a wild Kansas railroad town. But she had no idea just how wild it was until she was rescued by a local dance hall girl the day she arrived, and soon after hit by a stray bullet. In short order, she meets a dark, handsome cowboy and a wholesome, attractive doctor who both vie for her heart. As things heat up around town, Meghan’s love life catches fire as well. Is she scandalous to allow both men to court her at the same time? And—how close a relationship with God does Meghan want? Will she draw near? Meghan’s Choice (pre-published) was named a semi-finalist in the 2014 Operation First Novel by Jerry B. Jenkins and an honorable mention for the Golden leaf Award in 2015. Since publication, Meghan’s Choice was a Selah Award finalist and also in the Will Rogers Medallion Award. Published in connection with Hartline Literary Agency, serving the Christian book community. Visit us at www.hartlineliterary.com.

Click here to grab your copy.  

Here are My Thoughts: 
With a name like Meghan's Choice, I had to get on this tour!! (Even if they did spell it wrong.)   This book started out a little cliche with a girl and her beau: he ends the relationship when she thought he might propose. I was listening to it and actually had to double check that I hadn't read it before! But it soon got interesting, so don't give up.

About the Author

Donna L.H. Smith is a Kansas prairie girl transplanted to Lancaster County, PA. She is a graduate of Christian Writer’s Guild Craftsman program and holds two college degrees, both B.S. and M.A. in Mass Communication. She’s been married to a wonderful man named Kirby for thirty years. Her debut novel, Meghan’s Choice, made the finals of both the Selah and Will Rogers Medallion Awards. Rose’s Redemption, the sequel, was just released. She blogs, speaks at workshops and retreats and although she is at an age where many begin slowing down, she wouldn’t think of it. Recently, she took on the role of Managing Editor of Almost an Author.com, and serves as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Mid-Atlantic Zone Director. She is also a member of AWSA’s Protégé program (Advanced Writers; Speaker’s Association).  

More from Donna

Back in 2012, I wrote “Zorro” stories for Fan Fiction. I had an awful lot of fun with them, and people seemed to really like them. So, the thought came, what could I write for ‘real?’ I contemplated, prayed, and after a couple weeks or so, an idea came floating across my brain. “Gunfight at Hyde Park.” Huh? I thought about it, and realized it was an obscure history lesson from my hometown in Kansas. I had Google it to get the details. I thought, well, I’m not gonna write a Christian romance novel just about a series of gunfights that killed and wounded more people than the OK Corral. But I did think that the beginning of the gunfights could be the climax of the story. Now, who should my heroine be? And the hero? I started with that and took Christian Writer’s Guild’s Craftsman and the novel was completed in 2013—but only published in late 2017. I’m proud of Meghan’s Choice. Pre-published it made the semi-finals of the last Operation 1st Novel that CWG held and placed in a couple of smaller contests. Last year, it made the finals of the prestigious Selah Awards for published books through the BRMCWC, and the finals of the Will Rogers Medallion Award. My hope is that you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Blog Stops

Moments, August 14
Godly Book Reviews, August 15
Emily Yager, August 16
Vicky Sluiter, August 18
mpbooks, August 20
Pause for Tales, August 21
Older & Smarter?, August 22
Texas Book-aholic, August 23
A Reader’s Brain, August 24
janicesbookreviews, August 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Donna is giving away the grand prize of a copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

8/16/19

The yellow Lantern





About the Book

Book: The Yellow Lantern
Author: Angie Dicken
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense
Release Date: August, 2019
Josephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck—Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all. What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

 Click here to grab your copy.

My Thoughts:

This is such an interesting series. Each written by a different author and based on a historical crime.  I've also read the first two. You can read my reviews here for The White City and here for The Pink Bonnet. This one, The Yellow Lantern is focused on grave robbing for medical research.  I found the plot interesting and the characters unique. The suspenseful story moved along at a good pace, and the setting was clearly depicted and educational.  I enjoyed this historical suspense!!

About the Author

 Angie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she’s a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer’s Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. Connect with her online at www.angiedicken.com.


More from Angie

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep into 19th century Massachusetts. Grave robbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancement. Men and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits. Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kind of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle. I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—desperate doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a mill, not only offering that escape, but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community. My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, August 15
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 15
Bigreadersite, August 16
Emily Yager, August 16
Kathleen Denly, August 19
Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Godly Book Reviews, August 21
A Reader’s Brain, August 21
Betti Mace, August 22
Hallie Reads, August 23
Mary Hake, August 23
Pause for Tales, August 25
amandainpa, August 26
Texas Book-aholic, August 27
janicesbookreviews, August 27
Back Porch Reads, August 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each of the books in the series!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

8/12/19

Story Raider



About the Book

Book: The Story Raider
Author: Lindsay A. Franklin
Genre: Christian YA Epic Fantasy
Release Date: July 23, 2019

Deceiving an empire is a treacherous game.

Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret—Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse.

As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone—least of all herself.

The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent.

My Thoughts:


I love this series.  I reread The Story Peddler to prep for this tour. I flew through The Story Raider in a day. Then I told my daughter that she needed to read them too. My one complaint, is I don't know when the third book comes out.  This book is fun, unique, well-written, full of suspense, relationships and emotion. I can't wait to complete the series and I highly recommend it to all.


Click here to grab your copy.
 

About the Author 


Lindsay A. Franklin is a best-selling author, freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her scruffy-looking nerf-herder husband, their precious geeklings, three demanding thunder pillows (a.k.a. cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following. You can find Lindsay on social media, too, if Wombatman hasn’t hijacked all her accounts. She’s @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at www.facebook.com/LindsayAFranklin.  

More from Lindsay

I often get asked how I came up with the idea for The Story Peddler, book 1 in The Weaver Trilogy. It’s a dangerous thing to dig too deep into a fantasy novelist’s imagination (it’s pretty weird in here, you guys), but the short answer is I was sitting in a workshop at a writers’ conference, and an acquisitions editor made a comment—something like: “I have to peddle your stories to executives. At the end of the day, I’m just a story peddler.” When I heard that phrase, my imagination exploded. I thought of what a “story peddler” might look like if we added a little wonder and a sprinkling of fairy dust to the equation. Then Tanwen emerged as a character who might be a fun vehicle for this story-peddling process, and I imagined a story that would suit her. The Story Peddler was born.
But someone recently asked me why I visualized the supernatural art of storytelling in the way I did—as strands of color, light, fabric, or glitter coming out of the hands of the person telling the story, then crystallizing into a solid object for her to sell. And I have no real answer for that, except, again, “It’s pretty weird in here, you guys.” The Weaver Trilogy is a celebration of creativity and art, and that gave me reason to think about what other types of strand-weavers in this story world might look like.
If you’re new to the series, here’s a primer on the weavers you’ll find in these books.
Storytellers: Strands pour from their hands as they tell stories. When they reach the moral or ending of the story, the strands come together to form a crystallized sculpture. A story peddler then sells the sculptures to make her living.
Songspinners: Strands are lighter, airier, and come from their mouths instead of their hands as they sing. Songspinner strands are emotive and speak to the hearts of the hearers. Once the song is over, the strands disappear.
Colormasters: Strands are like streams of paint, ribbons of fire, or jets of water. When they hit a solid object, they create an image on the object. Colormasters seek to reflect the beauty of their surroundings, capturing the physical world exactly as it is or simply as it feels.
Stoneshapers: Their hands light up as they manipulate rock and stone with their fingertips. They create beauty by molding something that already exists and releasing the art trapped inside.
If that sounds like fun, welcome to my weirdness! Tanwen can’t wait to weave a sparkling adventure for you.

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lindsay is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, The Corsyth custom Story Peddler candle from Novelly Yours, The Cethorelle custom Story Raider candle from Novelly Yours, choice of two tea tins from the Adagio Story Peddler Tea Shoppe, “Hedgenibblers, fluffhoppers, mountainbeasts, oh my!” mug Story Peddler book sleeve, Story Raider enamel pin, and assorted bookmarks, stickers, and art prints.
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

8/8/19

Warriors with Holy Hands




About the Book

Book: Warriors with Holy Hands
Author: Peter Toeg
Genre: Christian Suspense
Release Date: February 3, 2017

Warriors With Holy Hands  is the story of a young woman who finds herself lost in time and whose life over a period of three years is spiraling downward. Ruth Falk is stricken with an inexplicable illness and then orphaned. With only a distant relative in her life now, Ruth faces a life of debilitating pain and infirmity. She determines to look to the past for answers she believes her bloodline may reveal.

Searching through diaries and records, Ruth discovers blood relatives and others who lived far away over the course of a century.  We follow their lives across three generations culminating in the revelation of indisputable connections that are created—words and actions with lasting results.

Ruth learns that a curse spoken by one ancestor may have had a devastating domino effect, one whose beginning also engaged her prayer-warrior grandmother in a pitched spiritual battle to break. A challenged believer herself, Ruth grows in the faith of her predecessors who faced ominous situations.

The rich symbolism of Judaism provides a backdrop for the saga with traditions and meaning sprinkled throughout the story.

When she faces increasing paralysis, Ruth and a birth friend in the faith journey to the Southern Highlands of Tennessee where it all began. Here in the span of seven days—over ten months—all that has unraveled in recent years comes together. Life as she knows it will never be the same.

God reveals himself to Ruth and others in remarkable ways along a tortuous path that comes full circle.

Warriors is a mystery that is finally, stunningly, revealed as serendipitous fruit from the branches of a family tree. It is a story of encouragement and life that empowers those who seek God and believe.


Grab your copy here.


My Thoughts:


I am the first to post in this book tour, and I am behind in my reading. I want to post on time because the book has a strong start and already I would recommend it. I just have a feeling its going to be a good one.  I cannot wait to see how the storylines connect and how the resolution displays God's power! I would put this in the category of split-time novels due to the multiple story lines involved. These are currently my favorite style of novel. I will finish this up tonight or tomorrow and update this post with my final thoughts!!
 

About the Author

Peter Toeg was a technical writer for over twenty years and a trained journalist who taught communication and media writing for fifteen years at a small Midwestern university. A believer for thirty years, he has roots that extend both to Iraq and Judaism, two themes in Warriors.

He writes full-time now: mostly memoir and short stories with several published. Writing is his avocation.  


More from Peter

I’ve always been fascinated with connections, whether family or circumstances. As a memoirist, I have been granted a wonderful perspective on my life filled with connections. Warriors With Holy Hands is a family saga in that vein. Exploring our roots and bloodline. In Warriors, a young woman receives a wonderful gift from the grandmother she never knew and learns the power of prayer.
Ruth Falk, the main character faces two problems: an illness that is robbing her of her mobility and, as an orphan, little knowledge of her past. She wonders whether the two are connected: her background and her illness. So begins her amazing search. In her debilitating condition, time is not on her side. As often happens in a family, we discover more than we expect. I did forty years after being orphaned myself. I learned that my father rescued his own sister and mother, spiriting them to safety with him when he emigrated from a hostile land to the United States. The grand deception was revealed in documents I’d tucked away. I’d never been told the story. Ruth Falk also crosses paths with a man on a spiritual journey and another mysterious soldier-warrior, who is mentally gifted—and also her rescuer. Spanning one hundred years and populated by a dozen remarkable people and a few miscreants, Warriors With Holy Hands is a mystery and adventure with wonders and rich spiritual truths. And maybe a miracle or two. It was quite a trip for me in the writing as I trust it will be for my readers. Peter Toeg  

Excerpt from Warriors:

“Tell me why you’re here, Jacob,” I said through the chorus. We sat at angles to each other in wicker chairs, the vantage of direct face-to-face lost. A candle on a small table before us illuminated considerably more than our plastic glasses and now-soggy paper plates. “Everybody has to be somewhere, sis.” A quick response. I pressed. “What are you looking for here? I have reasons—that you’ve hammered me with. What about your family? Are you taking the genealogy route?” Jacob finished his wine. A loud swallow. I caught him looking at his stump, the prosthetic he’d removed before we came out. He’d rarely been this quiet in my presence this long, the flight excepted. Then he placed the drained glass down, stood, and, with his hand, moved the table to his left, pulled his chair more directly opposing me, and sat down. Military posture, his arms on the chair arms. He looked kindly at me with wine-softened eyes. “I’m here to help you, Ruthie.” He looked into the night and back at me. “I confess I do have some unfinished business. You’re smart enough to know that—and what it is.” A sad smile formed, genuine emotion breaking out. I saw hurt in his eyes brewing deep down. “Your father. You have a bridge to cross.” I touched his hand with mine and withdrew it after a moment. “Over a river.” Jacob looked away longer now, and then back, but he said nothing. “I can carry you, Jacob,” I said confidently. “You’re not alone.” Jacob looked at me, a little surprised and pleased at the same time, his eyes damp. “We are kin, are we not? Covenant. A covenant of three.” I nodded, looked at his stump and then down at my legs. I lifted up my plastic glass and looked at Jacob through its prism with a squint. “Your father’s spirit is not at the river, but God is… Look for Him and you’ll find your father.” He nodded. “As much as we think what happens is about us, it’s not, is it?” I shook my head. I had momentarily seen Jacob’s face distorted through the glass by the candlelight. Now, the glass removed, his face was almost radiant. “It is said the mystic knows God by contact of spirit with spirit; cor ad cor loquitur. He has the immediate vision…he hears the still, small voice speaking clearly to him in the silence of his soul.” “And what is the translation?” Jacob perked. I felt at rest in the moment after a day on the road had awakened nerve pain in my limbs. Gone now. “It means ‘heart speaks to heart.’ Some Catholic theologian. Some say that the origins of the heart speaking are in music—a crystal voice, the sounds of the night, the call of a bird—rushing water.” I waved my hand in a sweeping motion at the darkness before us that was filled with sound. Jacob nodded then returned to his usual playful self. “So, you’re going to carry me, eh kid?” “We all need to be carried.” (p. 123)

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, August 10
CarpeDiem, August 12
Mary Hake, August 13
Artistic Nobody, August 13 (Spotlight)
Texas Book-aholic, August 18
janicesbookreviews, August 19
A Reader’s Brain, August 20


Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Peter is Giving away a grand prize package 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.


-with-holy-hands-celebration-tour-giveaway

8/1/19

Fragments of Fear


About the Book




Book: Fragments of Fear

Author: Carrie Stuart Parks

Genre: Suspense

Release date: July 23, 2019


From award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks comes a new novel with danger that reaches from a New Mexico Anasazi archaeological dig to micro- and nano-chip technology.



Evelyn Yvonne McTavish-Tavish to her friends-had her almost perfect world in Albuquerque, New Mexico, come to a crashing end with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she’s given the news that her dog is about to be destroyed at the dog pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine-with her name and address-makes it hers.
Tavish recognizes the dog as one owned by an archaeologist named Pat Caron because she did a commissioned drawing of the two of them months earlier. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner, but she arrives only to discover Caron’s murdered body.
After meeting undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price the mystery deepens as more people start disappearing and Tavish becomes a target as well. Her only solution is to find the links between microchip technology, an Anasazi site in the desert, her fiancé’s death, a late-night radio show, and the dog. And the clock is ticking.

My Thoughts: 

I sped through this fast-paced suspense. The Christian message is low key but clear.
Tavish is unique and demonstrates real growth throughout the story. There were a couple of "coincidences" that I felt were a little too unlikely, but I thoroughly enjoyed this and read it quickly. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it!

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author



Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol Award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.




More from Carrie


Using Art to Solve Crime: Techniques Used by Forensic Artists

Since 1981, I’ve been a forensic artist—an amazing feat since I’m only . . .um. . . well, younger than that. In those years, I’ve seen some shifts and trends, but some things have never changed. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of computers in almost every other field, they have never been able to replace a trained forensic artist. Artists have an amazing toolbox of techniques we use to gather the information we need to help solve crime.



  1. The pencil. Any forensic artist worth her weight in graphite knows the power of the lowly pencil and a sketchpad. Law enforcement would love a photographic image of the suspect, but all we have to work with is memory…and memory is faulty. The more the image looks perfect, the more imperfect it is for helping to identify a suspect. We want the drawing to just suggest a likeness and eliminate those not similar.

  2. Now that we brought up the subject of memory, a forensic artist needs to understand how memory works. The average witness will remember between four and five facial features. When they describe the person they saw, they will do so from their strongest memory to their weakest memory, from most important to least important. We listen carefully to the order of facial features.

  3. Whole vs Parts. We don’t look at faces as individual parts, although a particularly outstanding nose or Marty Feldman eyes might catch our attention. We will remember the face as a whole, with the proportions of the face an unacknowledged part of that. Forensic artist prefer to use reference photographs where the whole face is viewed.

Want more? Check out the rest of my article at The Strand Magazine



Blog Stops


The Avid Reader, July 24
CarpeDiem, July 24
Livin’ Lit, July 26
The Becca Files, July 26
Cathe Swanson, July 27
Bigreadersite, July 29
Simple Harvest Reads, July 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Mary Hake, July 29
EmpowerMoms, July 30
By The Book, August 1
Remembrancy, August 2
amandainpa, August 2
Pause for Tales, August 3
Hallie Reads, August 4




Giveaway



[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]




To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a grand prize of her book!!


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