Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky


 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book



Book: Shine Like the Dawn  

Author: Carrie Turansky  

Genre: Historical

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

My Review

A charming historical tale- this fiction will teach you about how tragedy in our lives while difficult at the time, makes us who the Lord is molding us to be. It teaches us about the importance of not making assumptions when others hurt us. Trusting the Lord no matter how glum circumstances may seem. Employing the fruit of the Spirit to resolve conflict and anger with others. The Edwardian era of this book is delightful, and I enjoyed imagining the pretty hats and dresses of the time. Maggie & Nate were both lovely characters which were well developed and interacted very clearly in my mind. The story line had twists as well as its charming moments. I was truly inspired by the book as well as thrilled to the core in my inner history nerd. I appreciated how the author seamlessly combined history, the truth of Christian living, and twists and turns to make a charming yet unpredictable story. I truly enjoyed the plot, the character developments, and the accurate history scene we get to experience in this special read. I recommend for all Christian fiction lovers- or even just your average history nerd :) 

I received this book for free and all opinions given are my own. 


About the Author




CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Hats, Glorious Hats!

 

By Carrie Turansky

 

One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name. 1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.  

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally. The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.


Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.

Like to my Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky/
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/blog/

Blog Stops

February 21: New Horizon Reviews
February 21: Bookworm Mama
February 22: Tell Tale Book Reviews
February 22: Book by Book
February 23: Bibliophile Reviews
February 23: Smiling Book Reviews
February 23: A Readers Brain
February 23: Faithfully Bookish
February 23: Lane Hill House
February 24: Back Porch Reads
February 24: The Scribbler
February 24: I Hope You Dance
February 25: Stuff & Nonsense
February 25: The Power of Words
February 25: A Greater Yes
February 26: cherylbbookblog
February 26: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 26: Splashes of Joy
February 27: Genesis 5020
February 27: inklings and notions
February 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 28: Karen Sue Hadley
February 28: Neverending Stories
March 3: Pause for Tales
March 3: Mary Hake
March 4: Radiant Light

                               March 6: Baker Kella


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher


 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book: The Newcomer

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher  

Genre: Historical; Amish  

Release Date: January 31

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.

But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.

Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

My Review

A sailor suddenly reunited with his conservative Amish family- he's not the same boy that they lost, and the bitterness in his heart against his father holds him back from from a relationship with them and his beloved. The will and timing of God breaks through in unusual and life-threatening circumstances to direct them to their new home. I absolutely loved the time period and excitement of seeking religious freedom in a new world of a growing baby America. I especially loved that our characters were going to the home that Amish are known for today in Pennsylvania. I loved the seamless way we are told the story out on the sea and at a strange refuge and how the two stories intertwine while Anna wonders by herself with a newcomer who seems to be the answer to what she's seeking in her life. We see how God protects and provides our characters through a storyline we are sure will not end up as we had hoped it to. The characters were so clear in my mind, and the conversations and emotions evoked were very clear as well. This is far from your ordinary Amish fiction as it weaves the Godliness & charm of the Amish with sea faring tales, history of our country, and the inspiration of God working in it all.


I received this book for free and all opinions given are my own. 


About the Author



Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.




Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pennsylvania of 1737, the setting for The Newcomer, is like a foreign country. Parts of it might seem familiar—the same hills and creeks and blue sky, but we’d hardly recognize the settlers. People like Anna, or Bairn, or the mysterious Newcomer. We wouldn’t be able to understand their language, their customs and traditions. Their world was that different from our modern one.

The first group of Amish immigrants (first written about in Anna’s Crossing and followed up in The Newcomer) settled northwest of Philadelphia, then a vast wilderness, and relied on each other for safety, security, building projects, and church. In nearby Germantown, settlers were tradesmen, so they clustered houses together in small knots. The Amish farmers took out land warrants for sizeable properties and lived considerable distances from each other.

In The Newcomer, Anna cooked food in a cauldron over a large hearth. One-pot meals can trace their beginnings to open-hearth cooking when ingredients for a meal went into a large kettle suspended over the fire. Traditional dishes—ham and beans, pork and sauerkraut—used sturdy, available, and simple ingredients that improved with long, slow cooking. The dishes could be easily expanded when the need arose to set a few more places at the table. And it did, often. Large families and unannounced company inspired Amish cooks to find ways to “stretch the stew.”

Noodles (including dumplings and rivvels) could be tossed into a simmering broth to make a meal stretch. Most farms had a flock of chickens, so eggs were easily at hand. Today, homemade noodles are still a favorite dish.

Another “stew stretcher” was cornmeal mush, originally eaten as a bread substitute. Early German settlers who made their home in eastern Pennsylvania roasted the yellow field corn in a bake oven before it was shelled and ground at the mill. The roasting process gave a nutty rich flavor to the cornmeal. Mush is still part of the diet the Old Order Amish—cooked and fried, baked, added into scrapple, smothered in ketchup. Dress it up and you’ve got polenta.

Now here’s one thing we do have in common with 1737 Pennsylvania immigrants…a love of good food and a shortage of time! Here’s one of my favorite one-pot recipes—probably not the kind of stew Anna might have made for ship carpenter Bairn or the mysterious Newcomer (ah, which man one stole her heart?)…but definitely delicious. Enjoy!

Lentil Chili

Here’s one of my favorite “stew stretchers.” You can expand it even more by serving over rice.

Ingredients:
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 c. water
1 lb. dry lentils
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt (season to your taste)
½ tsp. pepper 2 c. salsa (your favorite variety)
29 oz. canned tomatoes, crushed

Blog Stops

February 7: cherylbbookblog
February 7: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 7: inklings and notions
February 8: Just Commonly
February 8: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 8: Ashley’s Bookshelf
February 9: A Reader’s Brain
February 9: Genesis 5020
February 10: Lane Hill House
February 10: Blogging With Carol
February 10: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog
February 11: Quiet Quilter
February 11: Daysong Reflections
February 12: Christian Bookaholic
February 12: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 13: Karen Sue Hadley
February 13: Just the Write Escape
February 14: Rhonda’s Doings
February 14: Bigreadersite
February 15: Blossoms and Blessings
February 16: Bibliophile Reviews
February 16: Book by Book
February 17: Pause for Tales
February 17: A Holland Reads
February 18: A Greater Yes
February 18: The Power of Words
February 19: Lighthouse Academy
February 20: By The Book
February 20: Giveaway Lady

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d1

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Summer on Sunset Ridge by Sharlene MacLaren


 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book



Book: Summer on Sunset Ridge, Freedom Series Book 1  

Author: Sharlene MacLaren  

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is charitable, peace-loving, submissive—and a feisty abolitionist. Determined to aid the Underground Railroad no matter what the cost, her path collides with that of formidable slave-catcher Clay Dalton. When Rebecca is assigned to nurse Clay back to health following a near-fatal gunshot wound, her uneasiness around him and the questions surrounding his mysterious past complicate their strained but developing relationship.

Sherriff Clay Dalton is grimly fighting several battles of his own as he stays on at the Albright farm to work off his debt to the family that has saved his life and taken him in. He is torn between his past commitments in the South and his unlikely present among this quiet Quaker community in the North. Almost against his will, he begins to ponder the impossible idea of a future with Rebecca.…

When tensions between North and South escalate, Rebecca and Clay find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be, and they soon realize that each holds a key to the other’s answer.

My Review

A thrilling, romantic read set at the cusp of the Civil War with the backdrop of a Quaker family. I loved the thrilling work of abolitionists that we are able to encounter. The characters and action were so clear in my mind as though I was part of the story. The family is endearing and all of their decisions are guided by the Lord. Clay enters the scene quite unexpectedly as an outsider, but is taken care of well by this Quaker family. We are able to see how the Lord leads us to Himself and to His will through unexpected circumstances or even circumstances that seem negative at the time. I felt right at home with the Allbright family, and felt welcomed into the Quaker community. I loved the boldness and the way that Rebecca was not your typical quiet girl that we would expect of a Quaker. I love when history and a thrilling, feel good read come together- and that's exactly what Summer on Sunset Ridge brings together in such a seamless way. This book made me catch my breath and fuzzy on the inside as well. How could you not enjoy this read? I recommend it for all! 

I received this book for free and all opinions given are my own.





About the Author



Sharlene MacLaren Born and raised in western Michigan, award-winning, bestselling author Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. After graduating, she traveled with a nationally touring Christian vocal ensemble, returning home to Spring Arbor to marry her husband, Cecil, whom she’d known since childhood. Together they raised two daughters. Now happily retired after teaching elementary school for 31 years, “Shar” enjoys reading, singing in the church choir and worship teams, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. Her novels include the contemporary romances Through Every Storm, Long Journey Home, and Tender Vow; the beloved Little Hickman Creek series (Loving Liza Jane, Sarah, My Beloved, Courting Emma, and Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek, a novella), and three historic romance trilogies: The Daughters of Jacob Kane (Hannah Grace, Maggie Rose, and Abbie Ann); River of Hope (Livvie’s Song, Ellie’s Haven, and Sofia’s Secret); Tennessee Dreams: Heart of Mercy, Threads of Joy, and Gift of Grace.
 

Blog Stops

January 19: Giveaway Lady
January 20: The Power of Words
January 21: Bigreadersite
January 21: just the write escape
January 22: Moments Dipped in Ink
January 22: For The Love of Books
January 23: Genesis 5020
January 24: Pause for Tales
January 25:  Book by Book
January 26: A Greater Yes
January 27: Splashes of Joy
January 28: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
January 28: Christian Bookaholic
January 29: Stuff & Nonsense
January 29: Bibliophile Reviews
January 30: cherylbbookblog
January 30: Daysong Reflections
February 1: Rhonda’s Doings

Giveaway



To celebrate Sharlene’s tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize

Brown and tan fashion purse with cross, multiple interior and exterior pockets and

and

Five Sharlene MacLaren titles: Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom #1); Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1); Livvie’s Song (River of Hope #1); Hannah Grace (Daughters of Jacob Kane #1); Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek #1)

Second Prize

“Keepers of the Light” Orange/Cinnamon/Clove candle from   www.acheerfulgiver.com  and
Summer on Sunset Ridge

Third Prize

Summer on Sunset Ridge

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Covering Love by Caryl McAdoo


 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book: Covering Love  

Author: Caryl McAdoo  

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: January 26, 2017  

Love may cover a multitude of sins, but not knowing all the facts can also get a man killed.

A family calamity gathers the clan, then a dying request tests loyalties and changes lives. New York City’s posh society, living on a rugged Texas hill country ranch, and the isolation of Alaska’s frozen tundra share little commonality and make going from one to another difficult at best. Still, destiny drives Crockett and his sister Charlotte where neither wants to go or thinks they belong. Second and third generations of the Buckmeyer progeny encounter danger, challenges, heartaches, and joys. But then reunions are all the sweeter for it.

This tale continues the breathtaking—and sometimes heartbreaking—family saga of the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales that readers around the world have come to love.

 

My Review

I so enjoyed the sweet, charming, and thrilling romance stories intertwined within Covering Love. Faced with life-threatening circumstances, love covers all. The love of Jesus overwhelms all of our characters, and the love between our characters takes root and blossoms against all odds of parental expectations, an undesired betrothal, age differences, and more- love truly covers all. I loved how the romances were based on friendship and love for the true person, and not just on outward appearance. I personally love the time period that it is set in of the 1880s and the dress and culture of the time. I was charmed by little Evie and her stubbornness- but don't all strong women have a streak of that? Her love for her grandfather resonated with me greatly as I was very close to mine as well and we spent so much time together. I also was there when he was promoted to Heaven. Her love for writing also struck a personal note with me, and I cherished her child like innocence in every situation. I love how the lineage of the family is intertwined in the grace of God, and the love that each character finds in his/her soulmate. Faced with difficult and even life threatening circumstances, our characters both trust or find God, as well as strengthen the cords of love between them. I love to see how the grace and mercy of God effects a whole family and the legacy that they are able to pass to their children for so many generations to come. You will laugh, cry, and feel so good while reading Covering Love!

 I received this book for free and all opinions stated are my own.

 

 

About the Author


Caryl McAdoo loves writing stories for all ages that glorify God, thrilled that Christian fiction fits her life purpose so well. Bold not bashful, she’s quick to share the Bible principles she lives by through her characters. She hopes each title ministers His love, mercy, and grace. Known as the “Singing Pray-er”—with a YouTube channel to prove it, the prolific hybrid author also loves praising with new songs the Lord gives her. She and high-school-sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods and seat of Red River County. After him, Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings. The McAdoos live a few miles south of Clarksville in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons.

Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

Book eight of the TEXAS ROMANCE Family Saga proved difficult to write in the beginning. At my bi-monthly Red River Writers’ Workshop where I read a chapter each meeting, I couldn’t get through one without weeping. This family’s story began in 1832 (book one, Vow Unbroken)—a true-love tale when Henry, a thirty-two year old bachelor living in his mama’s house, and Sue, a twenty-nine year old widow rearing two children find each other.

Fifty years have passed—it’s now 1885—and scripture says it is appointed for every man to die once. Henry is my Ron (my beloved husband), so I could barely get through his demise for his wife’s sake. I’m not giving a lot away. Readers find this out in chapter one of Covering Love. But in a family saga such as this series, characters must pass over into Heaven.

So who’s book is Covering Love? It actually has four love stories! One is sweet budding love, another is Houston’s romance set back in the 1860s, the third is Crockett’s and takes place in Alaska, and the fourth is Charlotte’s. She falls in love in New York City . . . my cover lady who is practically forced to go there and live in May’s brownstone. Well, her older brother wasn’t that happy about going to the frozen tundra of the far North, either.

Henry’s first five children didn’t have the ‘soft’ lives that May’s two offspring experienced. After I made it through the hard beginning, writing Crockett’s and Charlotte’s love stories was great fun! And of course, the old man who’s made appearances in the majority of my novels has his part to play in Covering Love.

Have my readers recognized him? If they’ve not made the connection in prior stories, they will definitely be enlightened in this one. Namrel is his real name, and he’s a delightful cherub who oft visits earth as an angel unaware. He’s also in A Little Lower Than the Angels, volume one in my Biblical Fiction series The Generations, and The King’s Highway, book one in my mid-grade/young adult Days of Dread trilogy.

I truly love how God has given me these multi-genre series and woven common threads through them . . . like the hero and heroine in my second Red River Romance Sing A New Song, have a conversation over the gravestone of the famous Texas Ranger, Levi Baylor, Samuel Levi Baylor’s ancestor. And in the soon coming book four in that contemporary series, The Pitch, readers will meet more descendants of these awesome families God has helped to create.

My slogan is ‘Praying my story gives God glory!’ And that’s what I want every single one to do. My characters are not perfect. They all have flaws and make some poor choices. But it’s in those times of our own lives that God shows up and shows out. Oh how wonderful, how marvelous is our Savior’s love!

Book Excerpt

Crockett tapped on the door. How many times over the years had he knocked on the same one? Better question, how many girls and ladies had called it their own?

“Go away.”

He knuckled it harder. “Come on, Sis. It’s me. Open up.”

She cracked the portal. “Crockett, what are you doing up here?”

“I need a favor.”

“Too bad. The answer is no.” She rubbed her eyes. “I am not lending you any more money, so go back to bed!”

“Let me in.”

The force of the door swung wide and moved her back. “Fine, Brother. Come on in.” She exhaled audibly. “Why can’t we discuss this tomorrow? Why do you always…grrrr…you see, Mother! He’s incorrigible!”

Ma sat on the bed. He smiled. “Sorry, didn’t know I was interrupting you ladies, but if you don’t mind, I need a word in private with Charlotte.”

“If you can’t say whatever it is in front of her, then you don’t need to be saying it at all. Just get out of here. You cannot come into my room and chase Mother out!”

“Fine, if you insist. I need you to go to New York.”

“What for?”

“It’s like this. My partner is a whiz at sniffing out great deals, but he needs someone to keep a firm grip on him. He wants to gallop when he should trot, if you get my drift. If I’m expected to gallivant all over the Northwest, I need someone I can trust in New York, watching over things. You’re it.”

“Son. You’re wanting your sister to take over your business while you’re gone? That’s asking too much.”

Blog Stops

January 17: A Reader’s Brain
January 17: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
January 18: Christian Bookaholic
January 19: Karen Sue Hadley
January 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
January 21: A Greater Yes
January 22: Moments Dipped in Ink
January 23: Ashley’s Bookshelf
January 24: New Horizon
January 25: Giveaway Lady
January 26: Pause for Tales
January 28: Bigreadersite
January 30: Neverending Stories


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away:

GRAND PRIZE: Complete set of the Texas Romance Family Saga series; all eight books, print copies: Vow Unbroken (1832), Hearts Stolen (1839-1844), Hope Reborn (1850-1851), Sins From the Mothers (1851-1853), Daughters of the Heart (1853-1854), Just Kin (1861-1865), At Liberty to Love (1866-1867), and Covering Love (1885)

FIRST PLACE: Firsts of four series: Vow Unbroken (Texas Romance), The Preacher’s Faith (Red River Romance), A Little Lower Than the Angels (The Generations Biblical fiction), and The King’s Highway (Days of Dread)

2 SECOND PLACES: each get: CHOICE of any book in any of Caryl’s series with a surprise.

3 THIRD PLACES: each get: print copy of Vow Unbroken, book one of the Texas Romance Family Saga Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

https://promosimple.com/ps/af06