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Thursday, July 11, 2024


About the Book

Book: Trail of Promises

Author: Susan F. Craft

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 25, 2024

A marriage of convenience will protect her reputation on the long trail ahead, but he’s barely more than a stranger…

Tessa Harris is a woman without options. When she’s stranded nearly two hundred miles from her destination, her only companions are a former British Cavalry officer and his two young brothers. Society dictates they cannot travel without a chaperone, but can she trust this handsome stranger to protect her if they choose to marry? And if so, should she show her feelings or guard her heart? She’s learned the hard way how painful it is to love a man who doesn’t reciprocate.

Stephen Griffith has enough responsibility caring for his young brothers, and now he shoulders the massive responsibility of keeping his new wife safe as they cross the wilderness toward a new life. And though he tries to keep her at arm’s length, reminding himself their marriage may only be a temporary arrangement, he cannot seem to shake the feelings growing for her.

When they fall into the hands of outlaws, Tessa and Stephen must overcome their hardest obstacle yet. Only God can bring them safely to the end of the trail where enduring love awaits.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Susan F. Craft retired after a 45-year career in writing, editing, and communicating in business settings.

She authored the historical romantic suspense trilogy Women of the American Revolution—The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia. The Chamomile and Cassia received national Illumination Silver Awards. The Chamomile was named by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as an Okra Pick and was nominated for a Christy Award.


She collaborated with the International Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation to compile An Equestrian Writer’s Guide (www.lrgaf.org), including almost everything you’d ever want to know about horses.

An admitted history nerd, she enjoys painting, singing, listening to music, and sitting on her porch watching geese eat her daylilies. She most recently took up the ukulele.

More from Susan

Tessa Harris and her father, Thomas, are portrait artists, limners, who travel from town to town seeking commissions.

Limners were among the first to record glimpses of life in colonial America. By the early 1700s, wealthy colonists hired limners to paint portraits of their families. These limners, mostly self-taught, generally unknown by name, turned out naive portraits in the Elizabethan style, the Dutch baroque style, or the English baroque court style, depending upon the European background of both artist and patron.

Rather than a true portrait, the paintings were most often idealistic and did not give a true representation of the personality of the sitter and were often two dimensional. Artists focused on the material wealth of the subject, giving much attention to their clothing and accessories. Some artists painted only the faces of their subjects, explaining that they need not bother with tedious sittings and that they would paint the bodies and clothing later. They would show their subjects English and French prints from which to choose whatever costumes and backgrounds they preferred.

Like most artisans of their time who found it difficult to support themselves with paintings only, limners also worked in pewter, silver, glass, or textiles or took jobs doing ornamental paintings of clocks, furniture, signs, and carriages. Many painted miniatures—tiny watercolor portraits—on pieces of ivory, often oval-shaped and commonly worn as jewelry. Limners also painted on paper and canvas and earned, on average, $15 per portrait.

Limners Samuel McIntire and Duncan Phyfe became celebrated painters of furniture. Famous colonial portrait artists included Joseph Blackburn, Peter Pelham, John Smibert, John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull and Charles Wilson Peale. An American artist, Benjamin West, became painter to the king and president of the Royal Academy in London. American artists flocked to his studio to learn under his tutelage, including Gilbert Stuart, who painted a famous portrait of George Washington.

In 1754 in British colonial New York, an artist took out the following ad in the Gazette and the Weekly PostLawrence Kilburn, Limner, just arrived from London with Capt. Miller, hereby acquaints all Gentlemen and Ladies inclined to favour him in having their pictures drawn, that he don’t doubt of pleasing them in taking a true Likeness, and finishing the Drapery in a proper Manner, as also in the Choice of Attitudes, suitable to each Person’s Age and Sex, and giving agreeable Satisfaction, as he has heretofore done to Gentlemen and Ladies in London. He may at present be apply’d to at his Lodgings, at Mr. Bogart’s near the New Printing-Office in Beaver-Street. 

I pray that my Great Wagon Road series honors the Lord and the gifts He has given me and that you will love my characters as much as I do. Soli Deo Gloria.

MY REVIEW 

Beautiful and engaging story of two people who help each other out during trying times. At first I was worried that Tessa would find herself stranded out in the middle of nowhere. Her father has given up and takes to drinking to drown his sorrows.  The wagon  train they are with is long, hot and tiring. When an accident happens , Tessa’s father decides to go seek help. 

Stephen is a good man who has taken care of his brothers after the death of their parents. I liked how he never complained about his responsibility and took great  care in every decision he made. After a tragic death, Stephen feels responsible for Tessa as well. The journey has just begun for these weary travelers. 

The author has done her research well when describing what it was like during this time period. I loved feeling like I was traveling right beside them as they make their way to a new beginning. The story is filled with danger, along with a foundation of faith. I was pleasantly surprised by how serious Stephen was about protecting Tessa. 

Don’t miss this sweet story of romance, faith and an illustration of trusting others. As the  couple departs onto the trail  after being  married they seem happy but a little shy around  each other. Will they stay married when they reach their destination? Grab a copy to find out what happens next. 

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

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, July 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pens Pages & Pulses, July 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 10

Texas Book-aholic, July 11

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 12

For Him and My Family, July 12

Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 13 (Guest Review from Marilyn)

Karen Baney Reviews, July 13

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 15

Life on Chickadee Lane, July 16

Holly’s Book Corner, July 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 17

lakesidelivingsite, July 18

Cover Lover Book Review, July 19

Blossoms and Blessings, July 20

Pause for Tales, July 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 21

Books You Can Feel Good About, July 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan 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://promosimple.com/ps/2ca3e/trail-of-promises-celebration-tour-giveaway





About the Book

Book: To Speak His Name

Author: Tara Johnson

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: March 4, 2024

Avalina is a woman trapped in silence. Stolen from her home in Ireland and sold as a slave to a Barbados plantation owner, the trauma of her past has left her mute, wrapped in a prison of loneliness and isolation amid an island of beauty. Though she longs to be free from the cruelty of her overseer, her heart yearns for a greater freedom…something just beyond her grasp.

Josiah Holland has been born into a South Carolina slave-holding family but all it takes is one trip to the island of Barbados to open his eyes to the ugly cruelty that abounds beyond the confines of his plantation. With the aid of fiery abolitionist Benjamin McGee, Josiah forges a new future, fighting the very ideals he was once a part of.

When Avalina and Josiah’s lives entwine, will their spark engulf them in destruction, or ignite a revolution?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Tara Johnson is an author and speaker, and loves to write stories that help people break free from the lies they believe about themselves.

Tara’s debut novel Engraved on the Heart (Tyndale) earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and was a finalist in the Carol and Christy awards. Tara has been published by Tyndale House, Annie’s, and Guideposts. In addition to being published in a variety of digital and print magazines, she is a certified body language expert and has been on radio, television and podcasts. She is a history nerd, especially the Civil War, and adores making people laugh. She, her husband, and children live in Arkansas.

More from Tara

Barbados Sweet Bread Recipe

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 34cup brown sugar
  • 13cup shortening (or coconut oil)
  • 13cup butter
  • 2cups flour
  • 1pinch salt
  • 14cups grated coconut
  • 14cup raisins, chopped
  • 14cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1tablespoon grated nutmeg
  • 1tablespoon almond extract
  • 13cups evaporated milk
  • 3tablespoons water
  • 1tablespoon butter (for pan)
  • 2tablespoons turbinado sugar

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F and lightly grease a bread pan. The original recipe calls for 2 bread pans, but the bread doesn’t rise at all so it bakes nicely in one pan.
  2. In a mixer cream together the brown sugar, shortening and butter.
  3. Add flour, salt, grated coconut, raisins, cherries, nutmeg and mix well.
  4. Stir in almond extract, evaporated milk, and water, until a firm dough is formed. (You may need to add additional water.).
  5. Split the dough evenly between the two pans, and use a knife to cut a diagonal criss-cross pattern on the top of each loaf. Sprinkle 1 tbsp turbinado sugar over the top of each loaf.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean (Or a digital thermometer reads 190*F.) Cool completely in the pans before removing.

 

The Story Behind To Speak His Name

By Tara Johnson

Who doesn’t love a toe-curling romance? I confess, when I began writing my upcoming story To Speak His Name, romance was the farthest thing from my mind.

This novel was prompted by two unique nuggets. First, I have always been fascinated with how those who have never heard of Jesus come to a saving knowledge of Him. How does the Holy Spirit reveal such marvelous truths to a soul who knows nothing of the spiritual world?

I began meditating on Psalm 19: 1-3: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” At the same time, I picked up a small nonfiction book about the Irish slave trade, and what I learned was astonishing.

The Irish slave trade began when King James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart and 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and neighboring islands.

My imagination quickly took flight. I pictured a young Irish girl named Avalina, stolen away from her home, shipwrecked and found wandering on a sandy beach in Barbados.

Oh, one other thing…Avalina is mute.

She is taken in by a cruel man and forced to work as a slave on his plantation, surrounded by strange people in a strange world who are steeped in polytheism and superstition. The years pass and, with her voice locked away in silence, she wonders if there isn’t something more to life than mere existence.

Enter Josiah Holland.

I never conceived having the son of a slave trader as my hero, but once I wrote the first scene with Josiah, I knew he would be the one to set Avalina’s heart on a path toward freedom. Just as the famed hymnist and former slave trader John Newton found redemption in the arms of Jesus, so Josiah turns away from the world he knows to embrace a broken woman and an uncertain future.

Is Josiah perfect? No. He struggles to please his demanding family. He grapples with his motives and his stained past, yet he is beautifully vulnerable.

When I finished penning the final scene, it hit me: Josiah is a picture of Christ. He redeems Avalina and carries her from the Land of Darkness into a kingdom of Light. He shows her kindness and compassion when all others treat her with disdain. What a lovely picture of grace.

MY REVIEW

This has been a very hard book to read because it is difficult to absorb how slaves were treated. I appreciate the historical facts in the book which enhances the story. I have read several books about slaves, but this  is one of the best written. The opening pages were so intense as we were introduced to our main characters. 

Avalina grabbed my heart instantly. She has never felt freedom in her life and hardly ever speaks a word. When she is alone, her voice is sweet and pure as she sings from her heart. She is always careful not to be alone with the one who owns her. I loved how she hungered to know who God was. How can this God love her as she thinks she is not worthy? 

Josiah is a good man with a big heart. I don’t think he ever realized just how bad his father treated his slaves. While on the ship he begins to wonder why so many were dying. When he goes below deck to see for himself , he is sickened. Chains dangle from wrists so thin, they  barely stay on. The odor is so overwhelming he had to go to the top of the ship to breathe. He now sees for himself the kind of man  his father really  is. Will he join his father’s  business or choose to change and help free those held captive? 

When Josiah and Avalina meet it is at her master’s plantation. I liked how they glance at each other with a sense that perhaps something good will come from their meeting each other. When Josiah witnesses a beating of a child he knows he can not be a part of his dad’s business. I think what really put him over the edge was the horrible treatment he saw that Avalina was subjected to. 

The author delivers a powerful story with faith woven throughout the story. It is important to note that faith was a vital part to many in this time period. Without their faith, many would have given up. I couldn’t wait to see if Josiah would be able to take Avalina away from the place that holds her captive and  silences her voice. 

For those looking for a realistic look at slavery, the fight for freedom and those who stood up against injustice this is the one book you must read. Tensions run high in the story as the author takes us into the battle to free slaves and stand up for truth. I loved how the story was never sugar coated and gave us details that we may not be able to read but is important for all to know. 

“The most important thing we can do is walk and speak in truth.” 

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 11

Texas Book-aholic, July 12

Inspired by Fiction, July 13

Stories By Gina, July 14 (Author Interview)

The Book Club Network, July 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 16

Artistic Nobody, July 17 (Author Interview)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 19

Simple Harvest Reads, July 20 (Guest Review from Mindy)

For Him and My Family, July 21

Through the Fire Blogs, July 22 (Author Interview)

An Author’s Take, July 22

The Lofty Pages, July 23

Holly’s Book Corner , July 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tara 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://promosimple.com/ps/2ca41/to-speak-his-name-celebration-tour-giveaway




About the Book

Book: Love’s True Home

Author: Lori DeJong

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: June 25, 2024

She craves roots. He seeks adventure. Will finding one mean leaving the other behind?

Allyson Kincaid needs roots. After being born and raised on the foreign mission field, all she wants is home and hearth on American soil. Finally past the break-up with the man she’d thought was the love of her life, she’s ready to put herself back out there. Too bad the first guy who’s made her pulse skip in nearly two years dreams of a life spent in foreign missions. She respects and supports his calling but knows it’s not one she shares.

When self-described vagabond Zane Carpenter relocates to Arlington, Texas, his only thought is to meet his obligation with Becker Ministries then move on to a foreign mission assignment, his dream and goal for the past several years. But working so closely with Ally in student ministry has his heart feeling things he’s never experienced. He’s ready for a future with her, until she makes it clear she doesn’t share his calling to the mission field.

A trip to her father’s Guatemalan mission changes everything when one stays and one leaves. Can she make a place on foreign soil, or will he find a home in Texas he didn’t even know he was looking for?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Lori DeJong is a contemporary Christian romance author who enjoys penning stories full of grace and the redemptive power of God’s love that inspire others to hope regardless of circumstance, find joy in the moment, and grow in their faith. She resides in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband and two fur-babies and is the mother of one grown daughter. Lori’s debut novel, “Love’s True Calling”, is the 2022 winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Romance, a double finalist in the 2024 Selah Awards, and was released in June 2023. “Love’s True Home” is the second book in the True Calling Series and releases on June 25, 2024.

More from Lori

Do you ever wish you had a second chance to make a first impression? I know I have.

And I can’t help but think that Allyson Kincaid, the female protagonist in my upcoming novel, Love’s True Home, would desire the same thing. Her first appearance in Love’s True Calling, Book One of the True Calling Series released last year, may not have painted her in the best light. But who could blame her for acting from a broken heart, trying to win back the man she thought was the love of her life? I knew from the moment she stepped off the page in chapter thirty-one she needed her own story. Her own true love. Her own path to finding her true calling. And I hope readers will give her that second chance to win their hearts.

As I set out to get to know her better, I found she had a lot to tell me. Much of her history was spent growing up on foreign mission fields across Central America, leaving her feeling rootless and without a place to call home. Until she came to Arlington ten years ago and found exactly what her heart longed for. Now her dream is to settle right there in Arlington, get a house someday—and a dog, of course—and grow her roots in rich, Texas soil.

Over a brainstorming session with a close writer friend, I mapped out an entire story concept for Ally, with a handsome missionary love interest. Then Zane Carpenter popped up in the last few chapters of Love’s True Calling and I knew he was the guy for Ally. Out with the old story and in with the new.

Getting to know Zane was a kick, even if he has enough of his own heartbreak in his history. His sense of humor, extrovert adventurer personality, and deep love for the Lord had me hooked from the beginning. Except for the myriad friends he’s made in the half-dozen places he’s lived over the past thirteen years, Zane’s alone in the world. And until meeting Ally, he was okay with that. Traveling here and there for new opportunities, new adventures, meeting new people. With a foreign mission assignment being his ultimate dream.

But what happens when the girl who’s been-there-done-that as a missionary kid and has no intention of leaving Texas meets a guy who sweeps her off her feet, only to find out his goal is to work in foreign missions?

Come along for the ride as Zane and Ally discover more about themselves, each other, the Lord they both wholeheartedly long to serve …

And the true meaning of home.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 11

lakesidelivingsite, July 12

Back Porch Reads, July 13 (Author Interview)

Devoted To Hope, July 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 14

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 15 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, July 16

Simple Harvest Reads, July 17 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, July 18 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 18

Cover Lover Book Review, July 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 21 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, July 22

Stories By Gina, July 23 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lori is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and 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/2ca40/love-s-true-home-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, July 7, 2024

12 Ways to Age Gracefully Kick-Off Package

About the Book

Book: 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger

Author: Susan U. Neal

Genre: Nonfiction, Christian Living, Healthy Living

Release date: May 28, 2024

Embrace the Youthful Spirit at Any Age

As you face the mirror each day, do you meet an older version of yourself? It’s a familiar journey, one where we acknowledge that we’re not as young as we once were, yet not quite ready to embrace being old. But what if there was a way to traverse this path with grace and vitality?

The good news is you can slow time down. By making the right choices, you can look and feel younger. You don’t have to spend a fortune on products either; simply learn the tools needed to move gracefully and joyfully through your senior years.

By making simple lifestyle changes, you’ll look and feel better. Discover how to choose vitality over disease; joy over depression; youthfulness over listlessness. 12 Ways to Age Gracefully, will empower you to:

  • boost your energy levels,
  • improve senior brain health,
  • learn how to feel better about yourself,
  • develop better stress management, and
  • fulfill your God-appointed purpose with renewed vigor.

What path will you choose? Discover the secrets to not just feeling better but also looking fantastic as you do so!

 

Click here to get your copy!

MY REVIEW 

I enjoyed this book especially since it is geared toward my age group. As we age some of us begin to worry about our looks. I liked the information about eating right , exercising and doing volunteer work. The author also includes how to make sure we are spiritually healthy. 

The book is encouraging and well written. This would be a nice  gift to someone who is beginning to think about how they are getting older.  Be sure and grab a copy of the book for yourself as well. We need to remember that as we age we still have value. 

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

About the Author

Susan Neal, an RN with an MBA and MHS, combines her passion for health and her faith to guide others toward wellness. As an acclaimed author and health coach, her works including the transformative 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates aim to uplift the health of the Christian community for God’s service. To help fulfill that mission, she wrote, Eat God’s Food: A Kid’s Guide to Healthy Eating.

More from Susan

Welcome to the Journey of Graceful Aging with 12 Ways to Age Gracefully

 

As we embark on this exciting blog tour for my newest book, 12 Ways to Age Gracefully: How to Look and Feel Younger, I’m thrilled to share the passion and purpose behind this project. This journey is about more than just sharing information; it’s about embracing each year with joy and vitality. This isn’t just a book tour; it’s a movement towards embracing a more vibrant, healthful approach to our advancing years.

 

Inspiration Behind the Book

The inspiration for 12 Ways to Age Gracefully stems from my personal journey of losing my health. After facing significant health challenges a decade ago, I’ve been on a quest to inspire others to improve their health and optimal weight. This book is my way of sharing those solutions, offering guidance on how to maintain vitality, strength, and joy as we age.

 

When a person integrates the holistic practices in this book, they not only combat the physical signs of aging but also enhance their overall well-being. This book is a culmination of years of research and personal trials that has been put into practical, actionable strategies that anyone can adopt to enrich their lives.

 

What Makes This Book Unique?

What sets 12 Ways to Age Gracefully apart is its holistic approach, blending scientific insights with practical wisdom along with spiritual considerations. Each chapter is crafted to help you implement changes that have profound effects not just on your physical health, but on your mental and spiritual well-being too.

 

This book isn’t just a guide; it’s an invitation to reevaluate lifestyles and make decisions that can profoundly impact health and happiness. To add a practical component to the book, each chapter concludes with a list of Personal and Practical Applications for the reader to evaluate and incorporate into their daily routines.

 

A Fun, Interactive Element

To make this journey interactive and truly beneficial, 12 Ways to Age Gracefully introduces a “21-Day Age Gracefully Challenge.” This challenge encourages readers to apply one tip from the book each day, helping to form habits that lead to long-lasting health improvements. It’s a great way for readers to engage actively with the content and see real changes.

 

Join Us on This Tour

Throughout this blog tour, hosted on Celebrate Lit, we’ll share more behind-the-scenes details, stories from readers who are already experiencing the benefits of the strategies in the book, and additional tips and surprises along the way.

 

I invite you to join in, leave comments, and share your experiences. And you can find out more about healthy living at my website. Aging gracefully is more than just a concept—it’s a practical, joyful path that we can choose every day. Let’s walk this path together, learning and growing as we go!

 

Blessings,

Susan Neal

This blog post is your gateway into a world where aging is not feared but embraced with energy and enthusiasm. Follow along on the tour for inspiration, community stories, and practical advice that can transform the way you view aging. Let’s age not just gracefully, but joyfully and purposefully!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 3

Lots of Helpers, July 3

Inspired by Fiction, July 4

Vicky Sluiter, July 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 6

Texas Book-aholic, July 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 10

Beauty in the Binding, July 11 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 12

Splashes of Joy, July 13

Artistic Nobody, July 14 (Author Interview)

An Author’s Take, July 15

Lily’s Corner, July 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan 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://promosimple.com/ps/2d112/12-ways-to-age-gracefully-celebration-tour-giveaway