Sunday, February 5, 2023

Silver Bounty by Victoria McCombs

 



About the Book

 


Book: Silver Bounty

Author: Victoria McCombs

Genre: YA Pirate Fantasy

Release date: January 10, 2023

Never Trust a Pirate

Emme is tasked with getting rid of the king, but kings are not an easy target, and this one is bent on purging his lands of pirates. As Emme’s job becomes increasingly dangerous, she learns to survive the pirate way—cunning and merciless—while consoling herself with one fact: she’s just doing what it takes to get home.

But when Emme mistakenly takes out the wrong man, not even the protective pirate captain can save her from the consequences. In a string of betrayals, one thing is certain. You can never trust a pirate.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 


Author Interview

1. Why did you want to become an author? 

My dad was a writer, and we spent our summers tucked into the corners of libraries, discovering new worlds. So the joy of storytelling was always there. As I grew older, those stories grew louder in my mind, and now they are asking to come out.

 

2. What step of writing this book was the most challenging and why? 

The main character in this book is sick with a disease that I gave a fake name to. But it’s a real disease in my family, and it’s hit us hard. I can’t know until I’m older if I have it as well, but I poured out all my emotions into Emme as I faced my fears of going through it someday. The scene where she discovers her hands are too unstable to write was the hardest, and I think I cried three times while writing/editing that one.

 

3. What/Who inspired you to write on the main themes found in the book?

Can I say the whole world? I wanted to touch on the theme of ‘life is a sum of your decisions’ and show a character going through struggles but still choosing to be good. The concept of ‘good’ is grayed in our world as more and more readers long for morally gray characters who kill people but are still considered the heroes. I wanted a character that stuck clearly in the good category, while the world crumbled around her.

 

4. Which character in your book do you relate to the most?

Definitely Emme since I gave her my family’s disease. I also gave her my inner longing to belong, so she is a reflection of me.

 

5. If you could meet your characters in real life, what would you talk about?

They’d ask me why I put them through so much and I’d hide because they are tough enough to hurt me.

 

6. What did your research process look like for this book? 

A lot of it was what a pirate ship looks like! I kept those tabs open for months. Then there was a lot of what jobs went into keeping a ship running, and the hierarchy of a pirate ship. Some gem research as well, and landscape research.

 

7. What made you choose the setting/time period for this book? 

This is actually ironic, but I thought to myself that I wanted a solid pirate book, but didn’t know of any. So I wrote one. In the process of writing book one, four huge pirate books were released, and I started hearing about so many more, and I realized I wasn’t as original as I thought! Luckily there are some unique things, like the oathbinding tattoos to help it stand out.

 

8. Did you have to step out of your comfort zone to write this book? If so, how? 

For sure! I never talk about my disease, and even now I’ve only mentioned it once on social media. So putting it in my book is really difficult, and I’m actually nervous as to how people will receive it. People who are more outspoken about their disabilities might not relate to my character like I do, and the people pleasing part of me is struggling with that!

 

9. How did you celebrate when you completed your book? 

By outlining the next one! I don’t usually give myself a large break between books.

 

10. Do you have a favorite drink or snack for when you’re writing? 

A basic answer, but I love drinking coffee as I write! My favorite right now is caramel latte.

 

11. What message do you hope readers take away from your book? 

I hope they see how to keep fighting even when things around you appear bleak. Things will get better someday.




About the Author



Victoria McCombs is the author of The Storyteller’s Series, and The Royal Rose Chronicles, with hopefully many more to come. She survives on hazelnut coffee, 20-minute naps, and a healthy fear of her deadlines, all while raising three wildlings with her husband in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

More from Victoria

Pirates are more civilized than I gave them credit for. Did you know the captain didn’t have complete authority over the ship? While researching for the book, I discovered they used a voting system, and the captain followed what the crew wanted. Usually pirate stories depict a strong captain that makes all the decisions, so it was a fun twist to include more of the democracy style of the early pirates into my story. With that, came the fun power struggles as different crew members wanted different things, and they all try to sway the command of the ship. Smaller crew alliances form, friendships are tested, trust broken, and the future of the Royal Rose comes into question as, at times, the greatest threat to them lies within their own crew.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 30

Texas Book-aholic, January 31

Artistic Nobody, February 1 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, February 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 3

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 4

Blogging With Carol, February 5

A Reader’s Brain, February 6 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 7

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 7

Through the Fire Blogs, February 8

For Him and My Family, February 9

Holly’s Book Corner, February 10

Simple Harvest Reads, February 11 (Author Interview


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Victoria is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a hardcover 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/23ccd/silver-bounty-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The Two-Cent Piece by Dennis Conrad/ Illustrated by Courtney Smith

 

 


About the Book

Book: The Two-Cent Piece

Author: Dennis Conrad (Illustrated by Courtney Smith)

Genre: Children’s Picture Book (Fiction)


Release date: September 3, 2022

Anne wonders what secret her three older brothers are hiding. When she finds out they joined to fight with the Union Army and would leave the next day, she gives them each one of her favorite two-cent pieces and says, “I want you to take one of my new two-cent pieces. I learned these coins are the first to have the words ‘In God We Trust.’ I just memorized Psalm 91:2. ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’”

Out of a heart of love, Anne gives six of her special coins away hoping the message on the two-cent pieces will strengthen each person’s faith.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Review

I found The Two-Cent Piece to be a charming, educational, and faith based book for preschool age up to lower elementary age. The book was simple enough to keep kids' attention to finish the story in one setting, but along the way learn about the civil war, different coins of the past, and most importantly how to care for others like Jesus does. I found the illustrations to be very colorful and something a child would enjoy looking at to understand the story better. I think this book would spur many important conversations with a child about faith in Christ and how we can love one another. I also think some children may find a very worthwhile hobby in coin collecting that they didn't know about before. I could recommend this book for any child preschool age through about third grade.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own. 


About the Author



A former coin collector for over fifty years, Dennis combines his love for the Bible, children’s literature, and sharing stories about the history behind coins.

He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a Fellow of the National Writing Project.

He retired as a professor of Speech Communications from Barstow Community College. He and his wife served as English and public speaking teachers ten summers overseas.

The Two-Cent Piece is Dennis’s first of seven books in the In God We Trust Series from Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

 

More from Dennis

HOMESCHOOLERS, TEACHERS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS –

Coin collecting brings together history, art, and the thrill of discovery.

Children who collect coins will LOOK at coins differently. They can…

 

Look for people. For example, who is on the nickel? (Hint: Thomas Jefferson)

The new quarters featuring women include coins with Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star; Nina Otero-Warren, who advocated for women’s suffrage and was a government official in New Mexico; and Wilma Mankiller, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

 

Look for places. The state quarter series includes all of the states like California with Yosemite Valley.

 

Look for dates. Connect coins to historical events. For example, coins minted in 2001 were minted the same year as the World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001.

 

Look at coins as art. The people who design coins are artists.

 

Look for and find coins in change. Let the great adventure begin.

 

Look and learn why some coins are more valuable than other coins. There is a difference between the face value of a coin (a dime is worth ten cents), and its value to collectors.

 

Are you a homeschooler, a teacher, or a family member who wants to help children start their first coin collection?

 

Get Free Resources about coin collecting by conveniently subscribing to Dennis Conrad’s newsletter.

 

You will receive a link to my resource page, where you will find two free resources. One for ages 5-6 year olds, and another for ages 7 and up. Or you can choose both. Let the fun begin! https://dennisconradauthor.com/coincollecting5/

Blog Stops

Lots of Helpers, January 18

Girls in White Dresses, January 18

Library Lady’s kid Lit, January 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 20

For Him and My Family, January 20

Cover Lover Book Review, January 21

A Reader’s Brain, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 25

deb’s Book Review, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 28

Labor Not in Vain, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Lights in a Dark World, January 30

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, January 31


Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Dennis is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a hardcover copy of The Two-Cent Piece!!

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/23bc2/the-two-cent-piece-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, November 18, 2022

Wellspring of Life by Allen Brokken

 


 

About the Book



Book: Wellspring of Life

Author: Allen Brokken

Genre: Middlegrade Christian Fantasy

Release date: November 4, 2022

Lauren (12), Aiden(9), and Ethan(5) have been reunited with their mortally wounded Father. But, they must take him to the Wellspring of Life before it’s too late.

The Dark One suffered a massive loss when twelve-year-old Lauren and her younger brothers Aiden and Ethan rescued their father from his clutches. However, the battle left Father horribly burned and barely hanging on to life. However, they found a clue to his salvation, the fabled Wellspring of Life.

As the children trek across the wildlife of the prairie, take sides against them to drive them off their path. Meanwhile, the giant known as Skull Crusher hunts them mercilessly while seeking to master the Darkness so he can destroy the family once and for all.

New friends join them in their quest to save Father, but they could also choose the Darkness and lead them further astray. The children’s mission to save their father will fail if they can’t find the Wellspring of Life in time. Will they have the faith to stay on the narrow path to redemption?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband and father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age appropriate way.

He’s dedicated 18 years of his life to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development.  Now that his own children are off to college he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media @allenbrokkenauthor, and through his website allenbrokkenauthor.com.

 


Author Interview 


 

Why did you want to become an author? 

 

As a kid I always had an active imagination and took to writing as soon as I learned how. I began the Towers of Light Series as a story to my kids. I was traveling for work 4 days a week and spent a lot of lonely nights in hotels across the country. I started writing a story about them in a fantastic setting and then shared it on the weekends. They loved it.

 

What/Who inspired you to write on the main themes found in the book?

 

I began writing the towers of light series for my kids when they were little. I was traveling for work and would come home on the weekends and tell them a fantastic story about themselves.

 

 

What did your research process look like for this book?

 

For this series I did a bunch of research on the technology of the 1700-1800 in America. A lot of it was research from trips to places like the Little House on the Prairie Museum and the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion.  A trip back to the Living History farms in Iowa this past year really helped solidify some of the “technical details” of running a wagon across the prairie.

 

 

What made you choose the setting/time period for this book?

 

The setting is inspired by Little House on the Prairie and the rural Midwest I grew up in. 

I really wanted to build out an American frontier feel for this series. I believe that has been well received.

 

Do you have a favorite drink or snack for when you’re writing? 

Coffee, lots of coffee.  I start my day writing and there’s generally a big mug sitting on my desk.  However, now that I’m over 50 I can’t have caffeine after about noon or I don’t sleep.  So my new favorite non-caffinated drink is Spindrift soda, particularly the grapefruit.


More from Allen

Wellspring of Life was a blast to write! As a writer, one of the things I’ve had to contend with is that my characters rarely take me on an easy linear path from the start of a book to the end. As I work on a story, things tend to develop organically, and suddenly, the story’s conclusion is very different than when I put the first word on a page.

 

That’s where I found myself at the end of book 4 in the series, Armor of God. Unfortunately, the devastating way Father was wounded wasn’t in the original outline of the story or the series as a whole. So I had to write a whole book to determine if he survived. I also wanted to collaborate with a good friend, K. A. Cummins, author of the Snowglobe Travellers series, on a possible crossover. These combined to let me try out some new things as a writer.

 

For example, Wellspring of Life has a glitter bomb, a murder of wicked crows, and no good egg stealin’ prairie dogs, to name a few of the twists and turns you’ll find in this book. The kids also meet some new friends along the way. I enjoyed this the most because the new kids reflect the personality of my kids’ best friends from our homeschool co-op. Despite these kids now being off to college, we all had fun brainstorming their roles in the story.

 

Speaking of homeschool co-op, the book is dedicated to the Wellspring Homeschool Co-Op that my kids grew up in. Their verse is Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart because it’s the wellspring of life.” I couldn’t find a more appropriate theme for this book that deals with the consequences of an unguarded heart.

 

So I hope you take the time to pick it up, because it’s a wild ride across the prairie with a message of redemption I’m sure your family will enjoy.

Blog Stops


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 9

Texas Book-aholic, November 10

Inklings and notions, November 11

Blossoms and Blessings, November 12 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, November 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 14

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 15 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

For Him and My family, November 18

A Reader’s Brain, November 19 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 20

Lights in a Dark World, November 21

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, November 22 (Author Interview)


Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Allen 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://www.celebratelit.com/wellspring-of-life-celebration-tour/

Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Bookshop of Secrets by Mollie Rushmeyer





 

 


About the Book

 


Book: The Bookshop of Secrects

Author: Mollie Rushmeyer

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction (Christian)

Release date: October 25, 2022

A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family’s legacy…and her future.

Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family’s history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope’s last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.

Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she’s lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…

 

Click here to get your copy!

 


My Review

I found Bookshop of Secrets to be quaint, adventurous, and enjoyable. I really enjoyed each character and felt the depth the author created in each one. While the plot seemed somewhat predictable to me, it brought a certain comfort and charm to the enjoyment of reading. The romance was very sweet and took its’ time to blossom. The reality of our heroine’s past and how she slowly opened up to members of the small community was very satisfying to watch. The treasure hunt and the bookshop made me want to visit this community for sure. I believe anyone who enjoys clean fiction could enjoy this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.


About the Author



Mollie writes contemporary fiction with a heart for history. What does this mean exactly? She loves to write inspirational fiction in contemporary settings with fascinating historical elements, people, objects, and stories woven throughout.

A modern girl herself– She wouldn’t want to go a day without modern plumbing and central air! But she’s always felt a special connection to the past. The legacies and lives left behind are like gifts waiting to be unwrapped, and she’s excited to share this blend of history and contemporary living with readers.

A born and bred Midwestern gal, Mollie Rushmeyer, makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband and two spunky, beautiful daughters. She is not only a bibliophile (the dustier the better, in her opinion), she’s a true anglophile at heart. Tea and coffee fuel her travels, by Google maps at least, and her passion for the written word.

 

More from Mollie

Since childhood, opening up a book unlocked a whole new world for me. Of possibilities and adventure, and made me care for people and places that didn’t exist. Like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia, books transported me. It was like magic.

As I began dreaming up The Bookshop of Secrets in its early stages, I knew I wanted to create a character who loved books and was in awe of their transformative and transportive power as much as I am. Thus, Hope Sparrow, a human trafficking survivor and ultimate book lover, was born. I also wanted to honor my grandpa, who planted the seed—love of the written word—in my heart from the time I was very young. And so, Ulysses, the owner of Dusty Jackets Bookshop in the story, is based on my sweet grandpa who has since passed away. But I know he’d love this homage to all things literary.

Afterward, I didn’t know if I’d ever write again and I was more terrified of that than not gaining back the full strength of my left arm.

In the middle of writing this book, in 2018, I had a stroke. As with most medical emergencies, it was quite unexpected. I had a hole in my heart (that has been repaired, thankfully). Afterward, I didn’t know if I’d ever write again and I was more terrified of that than not being able to fully move my left arm again. My brain had to make new connections and it was so difficult, still is some days, to be creative. To find the right words.

But God. In the way that only He can, He brought this forgotten story, this project’s finish line that seemed to be at the summit of an insurmountable mountain within reach. I thought I had something to prove to myself. I begged God not to forget my dream to write. Like He could. But in the end, I just had to trust like my character Hope. Trust that He is good even when life hurts and is uncertain.

“Do you know what the opposite of fear is?”

“Bravery? Peace?” Dare she say her namesake, hope?

“The true counterpart of fear is faith. It takes faith to walk into the future, the unknown, with confidence. Secure in the love of the One who created you and those around you outweighs any hardship, real or imagined, that lies on the path ahead.”

I hope following Hope’s journey of healing and love in The Bookshop of Secrets truly blesses you.

Blog Stops


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 27

lakesidelivingsite, October 27

Inklings and notions, October 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 28

Simple Harvest Reads, October 28 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

An Author’s Take, October 29

The Write Escape, October 29

deb’s Book Review, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Rebecca Tews, October 30

Blogging With Carol, October 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 31

Inspired by fiction, October 31

Life of Literature, October 31

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 1

Cover Lover Book Review, November 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 2

Losing the Busyness, November 2

For Him and My Family, November 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 3

Holly’s Book Corner, November 3

Mary Hake, November 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 4 (Author Interview)

Paula’s Pad of Suspense and Detection, November 4

Blossoms and Blessings, November 4

Sylvan Musings, November 5

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 5

A Reader’s Brain, November 6

Book Looks by Lisa, November 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 7

Truth and Grace Homeachool Academy, November 7

Story Craft, November 7

Through the fire blogs, November 8

Pause for Tales, November 8

Labor Not in Vain, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 9

To Everything There Is A Season, November 9

Lights in a Dark World, November 9


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mollie is giving away the grand prize package of a eBook or signed paperback copy (paperback U.S. Only) of The Bookshop of Secrets and 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/226c7/the-bookshop-of-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway