Friday, August 7, 2020

Katherines arrangement FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Katherine’s Arrangement
Author: Blossom Turner
Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Katherine's Arrangement_final (1)Marrying him is her only choice to save her family, but Josiah Richardson isn’t at all the man she expected.
Katherine William’s family was left destitute when their home was burned to the ground by Yankee soldiers, so the ready solution presented by the prominent Mr. Josiah Richardson seems almost too good to believe. He’ll provide a home, work for her pa, and a new beginning for her family…if only Katherine will accept his proposal. A marriage of convenience is the last thing she wants, but there doesn’t seem to be a better option for her family or herself. Setting aside her dreams of love, Katherine agrees to the arrangement.
The gentleman in Josiah Richardson can no more force his frightened bride into his bed, than he can force her into loving him, so he sets out to gently woo her. He works hard to befriend her, to earn her trust and win her love.
Katherine is pleasantly surprised to find herself drawn to the man she thought she would never love, until an unexpected friendship tears apart all they’ve worked for. Where once the promise of love had budded between Josiah and Katherine, now they wonder what to do with their so-called marriage. Is love strong enough to weave its healing power through two broken hearts?

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
I’m not sure where to begin with this review. I have so much emotions stirring inside me right now that I am about to burst. The author has written a story so touching and faith filled that I don’t know whether to cry or jump for joy. I knew this was a story about an arranged marriage so I had already figured I knew what was to come. To my utter surprise this story is so laden with characters that will forever me part of my life. Some stories just stick with you and this is one of them. 
Katie is more than just a character to me. She represents the scripture about laying your life down for another. I know I paraphrased that but I hope you get the meaning. Her unyielding love for her family makes her decision a little easier for her. Marrying someone you don’t love in order to help your mother and father have a better life is a great sacrifice. I could feel her tears as she said those words that sealed the marriage. Now what was she to do? 
Josiah is a wealthy man and has his eyes only for Katie. His willingness to help her family will come at a cost for Katie. I admired his gentle ways with Katie and his patience as she tried to learn how to be a wife. I did like how the author used the story of Ruth to loosely explain Katie’s marriage. There are definitely similarities and helped see where the author was going with the plot. 
I won’t go into much detail because then I would spoil the book. I will say that I loved Katie’s father and found him to be a kind and honest man. He has a secret that will be discovered but oh how his heart is opened to God. It is probably one of the best parts of the book when Katie’s father confesses knowing the hurt it will cost many. It also explains the relationship between Katie and her mother. There are so many treasures in this story that I could gush all day about them. 
I loved the history in the story and how the author explores a subject that even today is still on people’s minds. The way she describes the closeness that Josiah and Katie experience is done with grace and love. The theme of forgiveness and drawing close to God is like a diamond sparkling in the sun. It is beautiful and flawless. The ending is beautiful and a reminder that “God never leaves us nor forsakes us.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.  

I About the Author

Blossom Turner_small (1)Blossom Turner is a freelance writer published in Chicken Soup and Kernels of Hope anthologies, former newspaper columnist on health and fitness, an avid blogger, and author. Her authentic understanding of the power of love is woven through the pages of Book One in the Shenandoah Bride series—Katherine’s Arrangement. She and her husband, David, have two grown children and live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Read more at blossomturner.com.




More from Blossom

From the time I was a little girl I had a love for reading, a wild imagination, and the desire to write. At twelve, I received my first Bible and read all the way through a King James Version. My love for Jesus was cemented. I day-dreamed of a Cinderella happily-ever-after story. The traumatic childhood I was living in was gentled by the dream of being whisked away by a handsome prince and truly loved. Put that all together, and the building blocks for writing romantic fiction are all in place.
But how did I get to writing historical romance? Well that was for one reason only…I loved reading stories of arranged marriages and wanted to write one. The drama, the tension, the love that can flourish out of nothing, I just loved the concept but…the scenario had to be believable to me. Thus, the wheels of imagination started turning. What better than right after the Civil War, in the Shenandoah Valley where houses were burned and people left destitute? I’m Canadian and had a smattering of knowledge of that time period, so had to do extensive research to pull it off. To be historically accurate was much more difficult than writing my first novel, Anna’s Secret, set in today’s era. Now I am hooked on writing historical romance. I’m both a sensitive and an old soul and it fits my personality perfectly. Who knew? God did.
I think when you read Katherine’s Arrangement, you will agree that the drama that brings this couple together is both believable and engaging. I am so excited to write this five-book series on five sisters and their love stories, as I come from a large family with six sisters and one brother. I write from family dynamics I know all about.
The reason I write is two-fold. I believe when writing fiction that one must deliver a love story that touches the heart, that draws people in, that makes them both laugh and cry. The entertainment value must be there. Then, I weave in my love for Jesus in a non-preachy, realistic way, with the hopes and failures of everyday people. The resounding theme in Katherine’s Arrangementis that God can work all things for good when we choose to place our life in His trustworthy hands. It is uncanny how love can grow in the fertile soil of good choices. But don’t be fooled, as with most of us, Katherine had to go through her gamut of bad choices before she surrendered.
I pray you will find a little bit of your story in Katherine’s story, and that, above all, you will enjoy the read.

Blog Stops

Betti Mace, August 10
Artistic Nobody, August 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Splashes of Joy, August 14
Pause for Tales, August 15
Simple Harvest Reads, August 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Blossom 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.

Thursday, August 6, 2020


Season of Hope Kick-Off Package


About the Book

Book:  Season of Hope
Author: Carol James
Genre:  20th Century Christian Historical Romance
Hope Stockton’s life is dead, frozen in a winter of guilt, deceit, and fear. When a handsome young pastor, Josh Lewis, comes to serve in her church, she wonders if she can trust him with her past. Will he be able to help her find the answers to the questions that have been buried in her heart for years? Or will his own secrets drive them apart and prevent him from helping Hope find her spring of forgiveness?
Set in small town Texas in the years during and following the Vietnam war, Seasons of Hope is a story of forgiveness and restoration.

Click here to get your copy!
 MY REVIEW 
This has been a very emotional journey as two people struggle with their past. I found the characters to be very easy to relate to. Hope is a sweet woman who is raising her son alone. I loved the setting of the story in a small town during the late 1960s. The Vietnam War saw many young men enlist with hopes of coming home safely. In Hope’s heart she felt that her son’s father had been killed during the war, but she never gave up  on him. 
Josh was definitely my favorite character. He has followed God’s direction and finds himself a pastor of a small church in the town where Hope lives. Their first encounter was really funny and I applaud the author for her creativity. I kept thinking how God works in mysterious ways. Hope is in for a huge surprise when she gets to church. 
The story explores a son who in his eyes has disappointed his father. Josh has tried to reconcile with his dad but each time they end up further  apart. I really liked how the author slowly gives us a look in Josh’s past. It explains the reason his relationship with his father is strained. He has lived with overprotective parents and it has been hard for him to go out on his own. At first I didn’t like Josh’s dad but as the story continues, something changes my mind. 
Hope frustrated me at times because she liked Josh but found reasons to keep her distance from him. She lacks trust and it is causing her to be so clingy towards her son that Josh notices it. There are a few snags along the way that cause misunderstandings between them. The story is definitely faith based and I loved how they both turned to God for answers. The author illustrates trust and forgiveness in a story that made me cry. They were happy tears as I could sense them releasing things from their past. To surrender your pain to God is a door opening to unconditional love. 
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

About the Author

Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell “Terrorist,” Zoe.
Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she’d been encouraged by the works of other authors of inspirational fiction.
Her debut novel, Rescuing Faith, has been a number one best seller on Amazon.
Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. And most days, in the late hours of the night or the wee hours of the morning, she can be found bringing her newest novel to life.


More from Carol

Overcoming the Darkness
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

I’ve read or heard this verse hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. But I remember exactly the moment I truly understood the picture it paints.

I sat in church one Sunday morning. For weeks, I’d been elbow-deep in crafting a manuscript set in the years following the Vietnam war. The title was Season of Hope.

In the squeaky voice our congregation loved, Pastor Buddy read this scripture and then asked a simple question. “Have you ever thought that light always overcomes darkness?”

Of course I’d thought that. I knew The Light was Jesus. I knew through His perfect sacrifice, He overcame the darkness of sin and death to give us life and light.

But then, in his folksy manner that would sneak up on you and drop the truth right in your lap, Buddy’s sermon began to paint a poignant illustration. 

You can walk into a dark room with any amount of light, no matter how small—a candle flame, a flashlight beam, or even the illumination from the face of your phone—and the light will always…always…invade the darkness. 

But the opposite is never true. No matter how great the darkness and how small the light, darkness never prevails. Never overcomes the light. 

And what little you manage to see in the darkness is distorted, not an accurate representation of reality. Because darkness hides reality. It shows us only colorless, indistinct imitations. Light, however, shows us beauty and truth.

Simple, right? Maybe. But like so many truths in the Bible, the idea is rich and full of meaning when you meditate on it. 

When I left church that day, I knew my heroine’s battle was to be a clash between light and darkness, truth and lies. 

In Season of Hope, Hope Stockton’s heart is frozen in the dark winter of her past. She’s spent so many years hiding her failures and fears from the light of truth, she questions whether her heart will ever feel the warmth of spring again. 

Then she meets Josh Lewis, and she wonders, can she entrust him with the dark secrets that have been buried in her heart all these years?

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Author Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Author Interview)
CarpeDiem, August 13
SusanK. Beatty, Author, August 14 (Author Interview)
Sodbuster Living, August 17
Batya’s Bits, August 18
Blossoms and Blessings, August 19 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of a digital copy of Season of Hope and a $40 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

ROMANCING NADINE by AMY LILLARD

I absolutely adored this story because  it is written by one of my favorite authors. She never disappoints me with her gift for satisfying my need for stories that have faith, unconditional love and inspiring characters. I cheered when I realized this would be about an older woman. Yes I can relate to the character’s age and I felt a calmness come over me as I became acquainted with Nadine.

Nadine has had her share of heartaches in the love department. Can she find a way to allow God to show her that there was someone out there for her? I could tell right away Nadine was going to be hard to crack in the love department. Poor Amos. He has his hands full trying to win Nadine’s heart. As you get older you get set in your ways and Nadine was definitely a stickler for having things her way.

Amos is so kind and patient. Love can do that to a person. You don’t see any faults  only the love that you have for that special someone. I wanted to go to Nadine at times and tell her that she was being stubborn and needed to loosen up a bit. The author gives us a few laughs in the story as Nadine and Amos get to know each other. I thought of the awkward moments I had getting to know my husband. The story is a wonderful look at romance through the eyes of the older generation. It is filled with laughs, love and a wonderful ending.

I received a digital copy through the author and Netgalley. The review is my own opinion.


Dual Power of Convenience FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  Dual Power of Convenience

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 28, 2020

Dual Power of Convenience-sm (3)When Richard Danforth inherits the family estate on Merriweather Island, he doesn’t have time to deal with it—especially not from halfway across the globe. He’s too busy working to become the world’s newest billionaire and avoiding the women who would detract him from his goals.

Enter Lyla Santana. Fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in antiques and a relationship that nearly killed her to leave, she’s eager for the isolation and treasure trove that is Danforth Hall. Lyla also is determined to avoid men at all costs. Forever.

It was supposed to be a match made on paper. With him halfway across the globe, they’d never have to see each other again.

So, what’s Richard doing on Merriweather just weeks after the wedding? And how will his arrival test Lyla’s faith, not to mention stretch their so-called relationship?

In a twist on billionaire romance and marriage of convenience, this “Merriweather book” kicks off a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

MY REVIEW 

 Let me take a few minutes to just swoon over this book. I know the author has said that she doesn’t really like to write romance books. Well I will have to disagree with her thought process. This story is one of the best written romance books I have read. It oozes with emotions and clearly is a perfect read for those who like clean books. The storyline is believable and would make a great movie on dare I say The   Hallmark Channel. Oh it’s not sugary sweet but just the right touch of Godly attraction between a man a woman. 

Lyla is so down to earth and like able that I could picture her as my friend. I loved her enthusiasm as she sets out on a new adventure. The place she is going to work at  is an historical mansion.  I can see all the art work, furniture and unexpected treasures she will find by the vivid pictures the author uses with words. The author does a great job of describing the house and its historical background. It would be easy to explore the place and never get tired of the hidden gems that Lyla discovers. 

Richard is a very wealthy man who needs someone to take care of a place he has inherited. Enter stage right we have the connection between Lyla and Richard. I loved reading how they communicated by text or phone while continuing a business arrangement. Lyla is very detail oriented so the match was perfect for both. 

Now I could go on and tell you more but that  would spoil the joy you will find as you read this wonderful example of God working in mysterious ways. Oh he knows what Lyla and Richard both desire for their lives. God has a way of getting our attention in subtle ways at times. Lyla’s past is something I knew  was holding  her back from trusting. The author examines that in a way where you can feel her pain and want to tell her that God has  a plan. Richard is a man who anyone would fall for. He is Godly, honest and respectful. The journey that Lyla and Richard take is one that is full of hope, faith and an ending that I cried at. Yes I cried because I fell in love with these characters who became real to me. Well done Chautona. You have captured the true meaning of love and trust in a story that I will not forget. 

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

About the Author

media-headshot-smChautona 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 on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

Did I Really Agree to Write a Romance Series?

When my fledgling little idea for a single book transformed into a series that then transformed into a SERIES, I kind of missed the part where I agreed (and likely suggested, if truth be told), that the books should be contemporary romance.

I mean, beach reads.  Romance.  Duh.

There’s just one problem?  I rarely write a straight-up romance.  And if I do, it’s usually a short novella in a collection—often at Christmas.

Why?

Isn’t it obvious?

Despite nine kids and being married for almost thirty-two years, I am THE most unromantic woman on the planet. No habla amor.  Or something like that.

So there I was, toodling down the 395 (a treacherous bit of road between my house and the publisher’s) when all of what I’d agreed to exploded in my brain.  I’m still scraping brain matter off the windshield and trying to stuff it back in. I need every last one of those “little gray cells,” thank-you-very-much!

Romance.  My heart sank.  Boy meets girl.  They like each other.  They fight.  They get back together.  They live happily ever after.

It’s a thing, folks.  A formula.  And if you deviate, true romance readers get annoyed.  What was I going to do?  I didn’t want to write romance.  Not really. I had ideas.  The prequel book had been all about trying to bring a young woman back to the Lord.  That’s more my speed, okay?

The wheels began churning.

The ones in my head, I mean.  The tires still rolled along the ground. Fortunately, my cranial explosion hadn’t caused an accident or anything.  Just in case you were curious.

I considered making each one loosely related to a fairy tale retelling.  I’d have a Cinderella story, a Beauty and the Beast, a… nope. That made it that far and I just couldn’t.  The minute we got to Sleeping Beauty, I’d have my readers in comas.  No. Thanks.

Next came Rom-com.  We’d make it funny.  All the stuff that happens in beach romances gone wrong.  Why not?  We live once!

I was yawning before the thought finished forming.

Right about then, I think, is when I wondered what kind of tropes I needed to consider.

See, romance tropes are a thing.  I even talk about them on my podcast.  The tingling sensation that comes when a good idea is brewing happened.  A grin formed.

Tropes. I’d play with tropes.  I’d take all those familiar things and twist them somehow.  Why not?  It would be fun.

And it was.

Right about then is probably when I began recording my ideas.  Creosote and sage whizzed past at breakneck speeds (let me dream.  I’m not a speed demon, but c’mon… for the sake of poetic license and all?). And the ideas whizzed faster (no license needed.  They really did).

Book 1.  Marriage of convenience.  I mean, those are always fun, right?  So why on earth would someone need to get married?

Every idea I came up with has been done… and done again.

That’s when I upped the stakes. Authors do that, you know. We come up with a way to torment our characters, and then we say, “Okay, now how can I make this worse?  Nope, I need it even worse.  Oh, and…” Bam!  The story goes from interesting to can’t-put-it-down.  All because we’re not afraid to be cruel to non-existent people. Score!

How’d I do it with this one? I added in another trope. One I personally just can’t “get.”  People love the things, and I’ve got no idea why.  But it answered my first question of why someone might need a marriage of convenience or… as my gal puts it… “a paper marriage.”

My guy became the world’s newest billionaire.

Yep, you read that right. I wrote a “billionaire romance.”  Sort of.  Now, if I could figure out how on earth I’d take two people on opposite sides of the world and get them together.

*insert hands rubbing together in fiendish delight*

Oh, yeah.  I did it.  And even more than that, I love it.  I made my characters do some stupid things. I really did (you know, like how two Christians didn’t even pray about their marriage decision?  Like how they didn’t even ask if the other person was saved?  Why should they?  They’ll never see each other again… they said.  Ha!  The Lord had other ideas.  Sorta.  This is fiction, right?  Oops! I suddenly feel like that crazy Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality).

From Adelanto to Kramer Jct., I planned out that first book—Dual Power of Convenience.

(the title gives away that reason for marrying, no?  Also, links may be affiliate links that provide a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

It was almost too easy.

Then I started playing with the next ones, and the series became a reality to me.

– Dual Power of Conveniencewhen a woman too afraid of men goes to work for a man who is too busy making money to want anything to do with that whole marriage and family thing.

– Bookers on the Rocks— This couple’s marriage is on the rocks (that’s the trope, of course), and neither of them has a clue. They’ve been married for twenty-five years, neither is having an affair, no one wants a divorce, life is good, so why is it on the rocks?  You’ll see…

– Directing Hearts— The Crawforths got tricked into allowing a reality matchmaking show film on their islands. Brooks Crawforth tangles with the director until their verbal battles turn into a different kind—a battle for their hearts (enemies to “lovers”)

– Just a Memory— In this one, Mallory Barrows (who makes appearances in all of the books) comes across an old journal that tells a story she’d never heard. It’s the old Patti Paige song “Go On with the Wedding” but over forty years later!  Mallory knows something that might just create a (here comes the trope) second chance at romance.

Printed on Her Heart— After being instrumental in so many couples’ relationships, it’s Mallory’s turn in this dual-trope story.  In this one, we get a mashup of friends to more and love at first sight.  Can’t wait to share it.  Squee!

Okay, that’s the deal.  Yes, I really did agree to write a romance series.

And yes, it probably was my idea.

I might deny it to my dying day, but it is also a whole lot of fun… so far.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

lakesidelivingsite, August 6

deb’s Book Review, August 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 7

Rebekah Jones, Author, August 7

For Him and My Family, August 7

Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 9

21st Century Keeper at Home, August 9

She Lives To Read, August 10

Simple Harvest Reads, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 11

Adventures of a Traverlers wife, August 11

Emily Yager, August 12

Stories By Gina, August 12

CarpeDiem, August 12

cultivating us, August 13

Connect in Fiction, August 13

Livin’ Lit, August 13

Read Review Rejoice, August 14

Quiet Workings, August 14

Blossoms and Blessings, August 14

Just Your Average reviews, August 15

Rebekah Reads, August 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 15

Lis Loves Reading, August 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 16

Splashes of Joy, August 16

Pause for Tales, August 17

Captive Dreams Window, August 17

Spoken from the Heart, August 17

Lots of Helpers, August 18

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book (winner’s choice of eBook or paperback format)!!

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/ff14/dual-power-of-convenience-celebration-tour-giveaway