Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 an ivy hill banner (2)

About the Book

Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas

Author: Julie Klassen

Genre: Christmas Historical Romance

Release Date: September, 2020

Ivy Hill ChristmasRichard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Klassen JulieJulie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing‘s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

More from Julie

My fascination with England began as a girl when I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and watched A Christmas Carol. I have now been to Great Britain several times, and my affection for the place has only grown. I love the country villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs, the narrow, winding roads (though not driving on them), the ancient churches, friendly people, plummy accents, and history. Writing fifteen novels set there has been a real pleasure.

An Ivy Hill Christmas includes all the elements of an idyllic Olde English yuletide: A charming village setting, snowfall, mistletoe, caroling, gifts for less fortunate neighbors, and festive gatherings of friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed researching 19th century Christmas traditions and weaving them into this novella.

In the story, a confirmed bachelor is determined to remain aloof from the celebrations going on around him—and from his mother’s matchmaking schemes. But divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance change his heart…and his mind.  I love a transformation story; don’t you?

If you’ve read the TALES FROM IVY HILL series, you will enjoy returning to the village and spending time with favorite characters. But rest assured, the novella is a standalone, meaning you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read the other books, as these reviews attest:

“[A] standalone novella that not only beautifully captures the kindness, hope, love, and faith of Christmas but also skillfully evokes the period holiday atmosphere of Regency England.”  —Booklist

“This feel-good tale of love and redemption will delight Klassen’s fans and new readers alike.” Publishers Weekly

And if you like the novella, I think you will like the other books as well. An Ivy Hill Christmas would also make a lovely gift for a reading friend.

Finally, if you want to add a British flair to your own modern-day celebrations, buy (or make) mince tarts or Christmas pudding, place Christmas “crackers” (pull-apart gift tubes) on your table and wear the included paper crowns. Refer to Father Christmas instead of Santa; and instead of “Merry,” wish everyone a hearty, “Happy Christmas.”

Happy Christmas!


MY REVIEW 

It’s Christmastime 1822  in the grand place of Ivy Hill. The festivities are starting and for our entertainment we have the dashing Richard and the allusive Arabella .  Richard is coming home  only because his mother has summoned him. He must appease her or he may find himself penniless. I really did like Richard and his charm that captured women’s attention. Well not everyone admired him. That  is what makes this story so fun. 

Arabella is not pleased to see Richard and doesn’t even want to speak to him. I loved how the author has them pushed together in different places and is forced to be civil to each other. Richard does come off as a well let’s say an  uncharitable person.  All that is about to change when his path crosses with someone in dire need. I enjoyed watching Richard show that his heart can be touched by others. If only his family can get over the past and he can learn how to forgive and be forgiven. He is not a complicated man, merely someone who wants to be accepted and to find true love. 

Arabella won my heart by her strength and ability to stand up for herself . I know I The banter between Richard and Arabella is funny at times and I wasn’t sure if they would ever see eye to eye on anything. The author brings  this time period to life with vivid descriptions. I wanted to join the group as they caroled and celebrated a special holiday. 

The best part of the book is how God was the center of the  story with illustrations of kindness to others, forgiveness and being able to accept who you are.  “Do you think a man can change his nature?” “With God’s help, yes.” We can’t change people but we can pray for them. Arabella realizes that God is in control . I love happy  endings and was pleased with how the author demonstrated God’s unconditional love as two people find their way back to each other.

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

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Christian Bookaholic, November 30

Andrea Christenson, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 1

KarenSueHadley, December 1

Robin’s Nest, December 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Blessed & Bookish, December 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Mia Reads, December 2

Wishful Endings, December 3

lakesidelivingsite, December 3

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3

For Him and My Family, December 3

Just Your Average reviews, December 3

She Lives To Read, December 4

Remembrancy, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 4

Writing from the Heart Land, December 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 5

Quiet Workings, December 5

Blogging With Carol, December 5

Spoken from the Heart, December 5

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

Connect in Fiction, December 6

Artistic Nobody, December 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Worthy2Read, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 7

Life of Literature, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Connie’s History Classroom, December 8

Batya’s Bits, December 8

Labor Not in Vain, December 8

Hallie Reads, December 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

Older & Smarter?, December 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 9

Betti Mace, December 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Faery Tales Are Real, December 10

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 11

Bigreadersite, December 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 11

Splashes of Joy, December 11

Vicky Sluiter, December 12

To Everything There Is A Season, December 12

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 12

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

The Write Escape, December 12

A Baker’s Perspective, December 13

Bizwings Blog, December 13

Simple Harvest Reads, December 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, December 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Julie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of An Ivy Hill Christmas and the other three books in the Ivy Hill series, plus the winner’s choice of Bingley’s Tea!!

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/103f5/an-ivy-hill-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, November 29, 2020

 

SNOW GLOBE TRAVELERS: Samuel’s Legacy ~ Feature & Review!

Snow Globe Travelers on tour with Celebrate Lit and featured on CarpeDiem.fyiA mysterious snow globe shop. 

A multiverse at war. 

And a girl searching for her father.

In the heart of Vienna, twelve-year-old Sarah Ann Reisende wanders into a mysterious shop where snow globes double as portals to other worlds.CLICK TO TWEET  After breaking the globe tethered to Earth, she discovers a cryptic note scribbled on the back of a photograph. The note links her father, who left before her third birthday, to a place called Elohi. Could this be a chance to find her father at last?

Unable to return home, Sarah follows the lead into the world of Elohi. But an army of vicious hybrids led by a genetically engineered warrior named Malvine now rules the once peaceful planet, and she becomes a target as Malvine wants to use the shop’s connections to wage war.

Can Sarah uncover the truth behind her father leaving and find a way home before Malvine gains control of the shop?

Get your copy HERE

About the Author

K.A. Cummins, author of Snow Globe Travelers on tour with Celebrate Lit and featured on CarpeDiem.fyiK.A. Cummins is an award-winning indie author who enjoys delving into the wonders of the universe to connect human experiences with imaginary settings filled with possibility and adventure. Her work has appeared on goHavok.com and she’s a former Lands Uncharted contributor.

Cummins lives in Alabama with her husband and their youngest son, whom she homeschools.

Catch up and Keep up with K.A. Cummins here:

Website: https://authorkacummins.com

Blog: https://authorkacummins.com/blog

Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/ab3280be8046/45fn6kss4g

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17086212.K_A_Cummins

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kacumminswrites

MY REVIEW 

First let me say how much I love snow globes. I always look at them when I see them in shops. I love picking them up and shaking them while the snow slowly falls and sprinkles white on the item inside the dome. Some of them even have a windup that will play music. But what happens when you pick up a snow globe and everything changes? Nothing is the same and you find yourself in a strange place. That’s the premise of this enchanting story that allows the author to use her imagination and take readers on an adventure of mystery. 

Sarah is at the heart of the story as she finds herself in a strange land. I did get a bit confused at all the gadgets and instructions she found in the shop. I felt like I was on overload at times while I tried to maneuver through the story.  There is a lot going on and many strange creatures lurked about in this place that was unknown to Sarah. Her goal was to get back home and  undo her mistake. A shattered snow globe, adventures that test her strength and hope awaits readers in this sci- fi adventure.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.


 THE EDGE OF BELONGING by AMANDA COX

It is hard to believe that this is a debut book. I was blown away by the emotions that seeped through the pages and the characters that I began to feel like I knew. Hands down my favorite character has to be Harvey. This sweet homeless  man embraces a baby that someone tossed away and protected it as his own. I wondered why the baby was left and why a mother would abandon her baby? His story tugged in my heart so much I wanted to give him a hug. Maybe he thinks there is no hope or reason for his life, but God in His perfect time will reveal the call He  has on his life. 

I love dual time stories and this one was one I will never forget. The author handles the time slips with ease and allows readers to grasp the intensity the story will take. It was easy  to cheer for Harvey because he loved the child with everything he had. His protectiveness was priceless and I loved how people reached out to help him. 

When we go to the present we are introduced to Ivy. My very first thought as I got to know her was that she needed to run as fast as she could away from her boyfriend. He is emotionally and physically abusive, rude, arrogant and unpleasant. 

The author delivers a story filled with abandonment, PTSD, secrets, pain and the knowledge that we all belong to God. As Ivy uncovers her past, she realizes that her life does matter and soon she comes to accept that God was watching over her. There are other characters in the story that bring wisdom, hope, longing for family and forgiveness. This is a must read for everyone who loves a great story that not only illustrates kindness, hope and family, but twists that will surprise you. 

I received a copy of this book from The Librarything Early Reader Program.


 THE BLENDED QUILT by WANDA BRUNSTETTER 


I have loved every book in this series. Each one fills me with joy and comfort. I feel as if Sadie and her family have invited me into their home to visit. The author has a way that makes me wish this was a real family and we could be friends. I would love to sit and eat dinner with them, join them at church services and be part of their nightly Devotionals. 


Sadie is not content with her relationship with Wyman. He flitters from job to job and that makes her have doubts . How can she marry someone who doesn’t have a steady job? I enjoyed reading how they try to work things out but they do not see eye to eye on things. 

When an unexpected inheritance comes to Sadie, her dream of writing a book seems possible to achieve now. I loved reading how she incorporates Hawaiian designs with Amish designs to make beautiful quilts. The book offers a variety of styles along with facts  about Hawaii. I would definitely purchase her book. Not everyone in the family is happy that Sadie inherited so much money. After all her sisters didn’t get anywhere near the amount Sadie did. The author examines how jealousy can cause friction among friends and families. 

I really enjoyed how the family realizes they need to be happy for Sadie and encourage her as she publishes her book. There is a little conflict in the story between a married couple that I found to be quite interesting, The Amish deal with similar issues as we do and money seemed to be one of the big problems between this husband and wife. I liked how the author had them  seek a Christian counselor for help. At times I though the wife was bitter and allowed her anger to push her husband away. 

One of my favorite parts of the book was the turmoil Sadie had as she started to become famous due to her book. She has less time to help with chores and her relationship with Wyman suffers as well. Is pride getting in her way? The author demonstrates how important prayer is and supporting each other in time of need. Sadie is surrounded by Godly people who along with God’s guidance make decisions that will honor Him. Do Sadie and Wyman reconcile and get married? You have to read the book to find out. 

I received a copy of this  book from the author and publisher. The review is my own opinion.


 

snuffed out

About the Book

Book: Snuffed Out

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Christian cozy mystery

Release Date: July 24, 2020

2- Snuffed Out-smPicnics can be murder… scenes.

What was supposed to be a romantic picnic at “their spot” turns criminal when Katrina and Todd stumble—almost literally—over a body.

What’s the college chef doing under a bush up in the mountains? Other than being dead, that is.

Who killed him? Why?

All clues point to people who Katrina is certain didn’t do it. Especially the one who ends up dead himself.

Uh, oh.

Thanks to a slow-burning romantic relationship that can’t seem to get past chapter one, and a determination to save her friend from false arrest, Katrina joins Todd again as they riddle out bizarre clues, weed through unlikely suspects, and learn to communicate on a more personal level.

What do you get when you combine literary humor, sweet romance, and a practical helping of faith? A cozy mystery that’ll keep you guessing. Barbara Cornthwaite’s second Wilkester Mystery has everything you want for a cozy read.

Snag Snuffed Out today.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Barbara Cornthwaite headshotBarbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

 

Teaser for Snuffed Out

Todd closed the folder with the Franklin case paperwork in it and laid it on top of the stack of folders waiting to be filed. He almost reached for the Delaney case notes again but resisted the impulse. There was no new information in there, and he’d gone over everything a dozen times in the last few days. He had promised Katrina he wouldn’t give up, but without any new leads to pursue, there wasn’t much he could do.

He shook his head, impatient with himself. He’d been doing so well at putting her out of his mind—hadn’t thought of her all day until this moment. Now he’d probably be struggling for the rest of the day.

John Ortega poked his head into Todd’s office.

“Hey, we just got a call from the librarian at Wilkester College about the theft of a manuscript. The chief said either one of us could go, but I thought you might like to take it.”

“Why?”

“Oh, come on,” said John. “You think I’m blind and deaf?”

“It’s no use. Nothing’s going to happen between Dr. Peters and me.”

John leaned up against the door frame and grinned at him. “’Dr. Peters,’ huh? She was ‘Katrina’ for weeks.”

“Well, that was before. Now that I know a relationship isn’t possible, I need to keep my distance.”

“She turned you down?”

“I didn’t ask, but trust me, I know what I’m talking about.”

“Hmm,” John said. “You don’t usually give up on things so easily. Well, do you mind handling this anyway? I’ve got that other robbery case to deal with, and I’m supposed to be interviewing that guy from Tacoma in a couple hours.” Todd hesitated and John added, “She’s an adjunct professor, right? She’s probably not even on campus now, and she certainly won’t be in the library.”

“Oh, okay.” Todd sighed. He pushed back his chair and stood up.

“’Attaboy. Thanks for taking the call.” John turned to go and then looked back. “It will get easier, you know.”

“I know.” As long as I don’t see her again. 


MY REVIEW 

This is the second book in the series and I am really enjoying the writing style of the author. She mixes faith, history and mystery into a book that is fun to read. The characters are good and I loved reading about Katrina and Todd. I found it interesting that Todd wanted to take their relationship slow and you can feel at times that Katrina is wondering if they will ever move forward. It is something to be attentive of throughout the story. 

Now the murder was expected in the book, but who the victim was I was not prepared for. Everyone is getting ready for lectures and exhibits for The Regency Conference. The author shines as she gives historic facts about this time period. I almost forgot about the murder because I was so intrigued by the Regency period. My head did do a double take as we find out   that someone on staff at the college could be a suspect for murder. The suspense builds as a list of suspects start piling up. 

I did like that the author gave us a more in-depth look at Katrina. She is having problems believing Todd loves her. Her fear is starting to take over and it may push Todd away. It was an interesting side story and I really enjoyed how she decides to share her fears with Todd. Oh Todd is such a good man and he is going to make someone a great husband some day. 

I was surprised at how the murder was solved and who the killer was. The author does a great job of leaving  a subtle trail but I seemed to not catch on as fast as I should have. I hope you are ready for a tour through literature, history and a well defined murder mystery. I was thrilled by the ending and hope  we get another book in the series, 

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


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Texas Book-aholic, November 29

Nancy E Wood, November 29

The Avid Reader, November 30

Genesis 5020, November 30

For the Love of Literature, November 30

Sodbusterliving, December 1

Artistic Nobody, December 1 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 2

deb’s Book Review, December 2

Remembrancy, December 3

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 3

Splashes of Joy, December 3

Inklings and notions, December 4

21st Century Keeper at Home, December 4

For Him and My Family, December 5

Blogging With Carol, December 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 6

Emily Yager, December 6

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 7

Lis Loves Reading, December 7

Labor Not in Vain, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Mary Hake, December 8

She Lives to Read, December 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 10

Godly Book Reviews, December 10

SusanLovesBooks, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 11

Bizwings Blog, December 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/103f2/snuffed-out-celebration-tour-giveaway