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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

 

Lost in Darkness

About the Book

Book: Lost in Darkness

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: FICTION/ Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

9781636090658England, 1815

Amelia Balfour has one dream. . .to tour Egypt as a travel writer. But when her wish is finally within reach, her father dies, and her malformed brother Colin depends upon her to arrange for a revolutionary surgery. Amelia returns home, hoping he’ll recover before the ship sails for Cairo.
Former Navy surgeon Graham Lambert is sick—of travelling, loneliness, and especially the injustice of the world. Leaving behind the military, he partners with a renowned surgeon, the man who promises new life to Amelia’s brother.
But just as the operation begins, Graham suspects the surgeon is a fraud. After a botched procedure, Colin goes mad and escapes, terrorizing their neighbor, author Mary Godwin—planting the seed for her greatest creation, Frankenstein.
Can Amelia and Graham stop Colin before he destroys everyone in his path and find the tender soul still trapped inside…or will they be too late?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

MichelleGriepMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

 

More from Michelle

Are You a Monster Too?

 

“Look at that! The fattest girl in the class is the first one to get in line for a cupcake.”

 

Those words, spoken to me in junior high by a clueless boy, are forever seared into my memory. Just because I wasn’t a willowy stick-figure who didn’t match up to magazine covers, I was singled out. Made to feel ashamed. Made to feel like a monster.

 

Have you ever felt that way?

 

Chances are you have. We are all poked and prodded at some point in our lives…which brings up a few questions. How do you deal with the sometimes ugly perceptions with which others view you? How do you stop trying to prove your worth to others, when in their eyes you are somehow worthless? Why does God allow such hurtful things to happen anyway?

 

These are the questions I attempt to tackle in my new release, Lost in Darkness. And surprisingly enough, those are the very same issues contemplated in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Now hold on. Don’t go rolling your eyeballs quite yet—which is the usual response whenever Frankenstein is mentioned.

 

Most people’s conception of this great piece of literature has been forever ruined by Hollywood’s green creature. You know the one, the giant with bolts sticking out of his neck and a stiff-legged walk. So not true. The essence of Shelley’s “horror” story is instead about a creature who struggles with heartfelt needs that can only be met by his creator. In this story, Shelley respectfully handles the subject of what we owe our creator and what our creator’s responsibility is toward us as the created…the very same questions we all struggle with.

As does Colin Balfour, a man with a heart of gold and a face that causes children to scream. In Lost in Darkness, he hopes to undergo a life-changing surgery that will end his self-imposed isolation. But what really happens is a life change for his sister Amelia and the surgeon who tries to prevent it all from happening. For indeed, even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.

MY REVIEW 

If there ever was a book written that asks the question “Do looks matter?” this is the one. Through the darkness of a person’s soul hides the insecurity of wanting  to be accepted. We are all guilty of judging people by their looks. It reminds me of the  saying, “Beauty is in the  eye  of the beholder.” This book takes a look at a man who is disfigured yet is the kindest most gentle person you could meet. 

Getting to know Amelia has been such fun to read. She is a sweet woman who adores her brother. She has put everything on hold to be with him for his upcoming surgery. The relationship between brother and sister is sincere and you can sense their close bond. I’m not sure that  surgery is best for Colin, yet the doctor has convinced everyone that it is going to change Colin’s life. Mr. Peckwood is a strange man with dark secrets that make me wonder if he is capable of this life changing surgery. Could it be that this is an experiment of sorts with tragic consequences? 

Graham is a skilled doctor who convinces Mr. Peckwood to take him on as a partner. His encounters with Amelia are nice as their feelings start to grow for each other. There is something stopping Graham from pursuing her though. He has this idea that he is not worthy of her. How sad that he thinks God does not love him as well. Whatever he has done in his past stops him from trusting God or allowing him to open his heart to Amelia.

This story has all the elements of a book that grabs you from the beginning and allows you to discover how devious a person can become when they crave power and greed. My heart went out to Colin as he so desperately wanted to look normal. There is nothing good I can say about Mr. Peckwood except his character is very defined and oozes evil in every thought he has. This a different kind of book where the unthinkable happens as an experimental operation causes Colin to become someone who people fear. 

Although this story can at times be a bit unnerving and filled with darkness it has an excellent lesson on being content with who you are. Finding peace with God becomes evident as characters struggle with their faith. Colin for me was the best character because he never gave up, always had kind words to say and his faith never wavered. The unimaginable pain he endures only strengthens his faith. I loved how he lived by the scripture, “Greater  love has no one than this:to lay down one’s life for ones  friends.” 

This has been a story that blends sadness with hope, evil that is overcome by faith and insecurity destroyed by the unconditional love of God. After reading this book filled with darkness and a feeling of heaviness I reminded myself of this ,  “God is light,  in Him there is no darkness at all.”

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 29

Genesis 5020, November 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

The Write Escape, November 30

Betti Mace, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Remembrancy, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 2

Daysong Reflections, December 2

For Him and My Family, December 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 3

Bigreadersite, December 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 4

For the Love of Literature, December 4

SodbusterLiving, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 5

Splashes of Joy, December 5

Back Porch Reads, December 5

Connie’s History Classroom, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 8

Pause for Tales, December 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 9

Labor Not in Vain, December 9

To Everything There Is A Season, December 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, December 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 10

Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, December 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 11 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 11

Rachael’s Inkwell, December 12

Blogging With Carol, December 12

Connect in Fiction, December 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/13cfd/lost-in-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, November 29, 2021

 

About the Book

Book: Finding Love in Bridal Veil Oregon

Movie Title: Finding Love in Mountain View

Author: Miralee Ferrell

Book Genre: Historical Romance

Movie Genre: Contemporary Romance (Loosely based on the book)

Release date: March 6, 2015

Finding Love BridalVeil Front coverAgainst a backdrop of thievery and murder in the historic logging town of Bridal Veil, Oregon, a schoolteacher is torn between the memories of a distant love and the man who could be her future.

Margaret Garvey had promised her heart to Nathaniel Cooper the night he disappeared from town. Four years later, just as she’s giving love a second chance with Andrew, a handsome logger, Nathaniel returns to town and delivers a devastating secret. While grappling with the betrayal of those she trusted most, Margaret risks her reputation and position by harboring two troubled runaways who might be involved in the murder of a local man. And as disaster strikes the town and threatens the welfare of its citizens, Margaret will be faced with the most important choice of her life.

 

 

About the Movie

thumbnail_image014 (1)Margaret Garvey (30s) is a successful architect whose relationship with her boyfriend has become distant due to their different work schedules. Having not talked with her estranged cousin, Susan, for years, Margaret is told that Susan has died in a car accident, and that she is entrusted by Susan to take care of her children and estate in Mountain View, AR. After her initial reluctance, Margaret decides to give it a try and gradually grows to love her life in Mountain View. While taking care of the children, Margaret gets to reunite with Andrew, an old love of hers, and reawaken their feelings for each other. Now she must decide which is more important to her – continuing with her old life, or honoring her cousin’s wish and make a new life with Andrew in Mountain View.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

ThePhotographySpecialist.comMiralee Ferrell is a traditionally published, award-winning, best-selling author of 25 books. Her most recent novel, From the Heart, released in October 2020 as an eBook and print as well as airing on The Hallmark Channel. She has two other books releasing as movies, including Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon, a historical romance, which was remade as a contemporary romance for Hallmark, in October or November of 2021. She is the owner and publisher at Mountain Brook Ink, as well as the speculative line, Mountain Brook Fire, a traditional house in business since January 2014. She is also the lead acquisition editor at MBI and loves encouraging debut authors. Miralee lives in the Pacific N.W. with her husband, two black cats, sixteen chickens, and one very spoiled little dog.

 

More from Miralee

I thought it might be fun and interesting for readers to learn how this journey toward having a book made into a movie came into being—as well as to see how much God had a hand in it all.

In the spring of 2015, I received a phone call from a Hollywood producer. Imagine my surprise when she asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them. They were no longer producing the Love Finds You books into movies and were working on a different project for UP TV, a possible three-movie series, and she hoped I might be able to work with them. Of the thirty-five or so titles she’d read of the line, Finding Love in Sundance, Wyoming, was her favorite (retitled and re-released as Outlaw Angel). However, most channels didn’t want historical or old west movies, so she shelved it for then.

I’d gotten my rights returned to all of my LFY books and had retitled them Finding Love in Last Chance, CaliforniaFinding Love in Tombstone, Arizona, and Finding Love in Bridal Veil, OregonFinding Love in Sundance, Wyoming, became Outlaw Angel, and all four are still in print.

Here’s the amazing part. I came very, very close to turning down that contract with Summerside for Sundance. They sold the line to Guideposts, and that company didn’t continue the line much longer. Understandably, sales waned on their final releases. For a long time, I wished I hadn’t taken the contract and instead held out for one with another company for a three-book series. However, had I done that, I doubt Runaway Romance or the sequel, Follow Your Heart would ever have been written. It was Sundance that grabbed Chevonne’s attention and caused her to contact me.

#It took several tries of sending ideas to UPTV for various storylines before they approved Runaway Romance, then the serious work began. Writing fifteen-page summaries of the book/movie idea, reviewing the script after it was written, and writing the book.

Since then, I’ve gone on to have two more books-to-Hallmark movies, with another one in the works. My newest (and it’s tied to the book being featured in this tour) is Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon, which was renamed Finding Love in Mountain View for the movie.  And is currently airing on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. Again, Hallmark wasn’t interested in a historical, so the book was re-invented (with my help) as a contemporary romance. It’s been an exciting, amazing journey and I give God all the glory for bringing it to pass!

MY REVIEW 

The story is a wonderful journey as Margaret settles  into a small town as the teacher. Her heart was broken at one time, but she is trying to move forward and allow her heart to heal. I liked the backdrop of the quaint town and the historic time period of 1898. Margaret is kind hearted and still grieves the loss of her parents. 

When two orphaned children show up on Margaret’s doorstep, her first reaction is shock but then her compassion welcomes them in. I enjoyed getting to know Sammie and Joel and how protective Sammie is of her brother.  The story is filled with mystery as a man from the town is found dead. Suspicion is abound as several subjects are questioned. It was no surprise to me that the children would be on the list of possible suspects. After all, no one knows anything about them. 

There is excitement in the town when an out of control fire threatens them.  Men rush to do what they can but it is in God’s hands as the flames grow closer. I liked how the author illustrates how trusting God is important. Margaret has struggled with that for so long, but now she knows she needs to put her worries aside and let God take her doubts away. 

The best part for me was reading about the relationship between Margaret and Andrew grow as they became protective of Sammie and Joel. The children are in danger but the town is there to make sure the right person has custody of them. The faith element is woven very nicely throughout the story and shows how faith and trust are important for each of us to have. I enjoyed the author’s notes at the end of the book. It gives readers  an inside look at the history of Bridal Veil and the logging company. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Lighthouse-Academy, November 27

Elly Gilbert, November 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Texas Book-aholic, November 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

deb’s Book Review, November 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 2

Inklings and notions, December 3

For Him and My Family, December 4

Simple Harvest Reads, December 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 6

Splashes of Joy, December 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 7

She Lives To Read, December 8

Bizwings Blog, December 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 9

Blossoms and Blessings, December 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Miralee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/13d01/finding-love-in-bridal-veil-oregon-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, November 27, 2021

 

The Nutcracker's Suite

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021

Nutcracker“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of
secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

media-headshot-sm-240x300Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!

MY REVIEW 

Each book in this series is based on a fairytale. I have these stories to be exciting, creative and intriguing. I couldn’t wait to go back to the 1920s and see how the author incorporates a fairytale into a story filled with the mob, illegal  alcohol, dolls and a mystery that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats. 

Clarice has a very unusual job of painting faces on nutcrackers. What  a unique trade to have and it seems that her boss is impressed with her work. I began to wonder why she was suddenly working on a special project. Having the job of painting fifteen thousand dolls by hand was crazy. How is she suppose to do that all by herself? Sonething is strange here and the author had me hooked on the story. 

When a murder occurs Clarice is helped by Milo to get away from the danger. Just what has she gotten herself into? With men coming and going from the place she works at, she knew something was wrong. Can she trust Milo? Milo seems like a scary guy and is determined to keep Clarice from going to the police. Now who can Clarice trust? I loved how the police turn up at the factory to question Clarice. Her voice is shaky as she tried to compose herself. Can you imagine being surrounded by detectives firing questions at you? The guilt of what  she knows is causing her to be physically ill. 

Just as I’m settling down into the story, the author throws a curve ball. Oh my I didn’t see this turn of events coming. Now Clarice is in a dilemma . Her world changed with some unexpected news, but not everyone is happy for her. These dangerous men keep getting closer to harming her and the detectives don’t seem to believe her story. 

I was very impressed with how Clarice stood up to Mr. Topo. He doesn’t like how Clarice is turning down the completion of his order and there looks like trouble is heading her way.  She is in way over her head  but she continues to stand up for what is right. I liked how the author incorporated faith in the story and used several people from the Bible to represent how God loves  us unconditionally. The ending is written with intensity as Clarice puts her life in danger to help solve the murder. 

I will say that Milo is my favorite character because he is a good example of a man who has done many things that were against the law. He thinks that he can’t be saved but when God is shared with him, he begins to realize that he has been forgiven for his sins. I loved how protective he is with Clarice and always puts her safety first. The mystery is solved with the help of several people. I was surprised who the guilty  person  was and how quickly others tried to distance themselves from this person.  

The ending is filled with bullets  flying , deceit and corruption revealed and a person who finds redemption. I loved how realistic the story is and how creative the author is in combining faith with flawed characters and watch them make a choice to change their life forever, 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

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/13cfb/the-nutcracker-s-suite-celebration-tour-giveaway