Wednesday, February 24, 2021

 

About the Book

Book:  The Lady in Residence

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: February 2021

Can a Legacy of Sadness be Broken at the Menger Hotel?

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.

In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a four-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series, once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties and most recently for the critically acclaimed The Seamstress which takes a cameo character from the Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities and flourishes her to life amidst the French Revolution. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

 

More from Allison

From Haunting to Healing: How Stories Bring New Life to Old Ghosts

If you really think about it, every story is a ghost story. Not the floating spirits of the dearly departed kind, not bumps in the night or mysterious howling in the darkness—but the best stories come from examining a haunted heart. Memories that pursue the present.

A few years ago I took the walking tour of haunted San Antonio. It was a lark, a fun tourist-y thing to do with some visiting friends. I’m not a believer in ghosts, but I am a collector of stories. The tour opens at the Alamo—sacred ground of slain soldiers. The second stop is the Menger Hotel, listed as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States by those who measure and evaluate such things. And while the tour guide waxed on about the guests’ litany of haunted experiences (including Teddy Roosevelt raging through the lobby), my mind stuck with the story of Sallie White. Sallie White is the Menger Hotel’s most famous ghost—a chambermaid whose apparition is reported to be seen walking the halls, towels draped over her arm, or to be heard as an efficient two-rap knock on your door late at night. My mind, however, didn’t dwell on Sallie the ghost, but Sallie the woman—just a normal, hard-working, poor woman, murdered in the street by a man who claimed to love her. But for that, she would have passed into history unknown. Instead, her story is told every night as strangers gather on the very sidewalk where the crime took place.

Years after first hearing the story of Sallie white, I stayed in the Menger for a few days to gather details for The Lady in Residence. I booked what they call a “Petite” room—meaning it is a room that maintains its original structure. Read: tiny. Exposed pipes, creaky wooden floors, antique furniture—the only update, the bathroom fixtures. As it turned out, my room was directly above the place where Sallie White was murdered. One night I pressed my ear against the glass and listened to the ghost tour guide tell her story. The next morning, I stood in the exact spot with a fancy Starbucks drink, thinking about her. She lives on, not because people claim to see her walking and hear her knocking in the dead of night, but because she is a woman remembered.

So, is that beautiful? Is it ghoulish? Maybe it’s both, but when I was given the chance to write a story set in and around the Menger Hotel, I was determined to make Sallie White’s story a part of it. I didn’t want to write her story—that would have required embellishment beyond those few historic, factual tid-bits that such a woman left behind. Sallie White didn’t have correspondence to catalog or a journal to give us insight to her thoughts. Instead, I wanted to tell it to readers everywhere who might never make it to San Antonio to hear it for themselves. When you read The Lady in Residence, you are going to hear the true story of Sallie White, all of it taken from a newspaper account of the time. And then, I did what all historical writers do…I folded it into my own tale and folded that tale into another.

That’s really the joy of writing a split-time novel—being able to draw back and shoot a narrative-arrow straight through the hearts of two stories, threading them together, to bring a haunting to a place of healing.

MY REVIEW 

I love time slip stories because it gives me a glance into the past as I watch it connect to the present. I read the author’s notes at the end and appreciate how much research she did. I have been to San Antonio many times but have not heard of the Menger Hotel. I am going to make sure on my next visit that I will make sure I visit the place that was front and center in the story. 

I also was surprised to find out that one of the characters was about a real person. I’m not giving away who that is, but oh what a tragic life they had. I love how the author weaved a beautiful story from a tragic event. Her imagination gives readers a ghost that seemed so real. I loved both time periods but I have to say I enjoyed the past so much more. Hedda was my favorite character in the book. She lived a life that was lonely and had very few friends. I understand the title so much more after reading the book. Hedda came upon hard times and became a reclusive woman who never ventured out of the hotel. Her encounter with a ghost made others think she was crazy. 

As we go to the present we meet Dini and Quin. Their connection was intriguing and I liked how they methodically unraveled the mystery. The more time they spent together, the more their attraction grew. I really didn’t like Dini’s  job as a magician. I couldn’t quite get why she chose that job except for the fact it was something that generations before her  had done as well. She seemed a bit scattered at times and I never was able to connect with her. 

Quin was a good character and with his connection to Hedda via a relative, it sparked interest between him and Dini. The author does a good job of giving clues to where the story was going and I loved how it all came together. Although it did wrap up nicely, I wanted a little more. I wanted more of Hedda and her struggles. I wanted to stay in the past because for me that was where the meat of the story was. The story does make me think of how important each person is. As we find out how a life was taken in a horrific way, I thought of how that tragedy changed many lives.  Each of us is here for a reason and in the story Hedda comes to understand that her purpose was to finally forgive those who had treated her unkindly and to finally grasp thst she is important. 

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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 23

Artistic Nobody, February 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Fiction Aficionado, February 24

For the Love of Literature, February 24

Where Faith and Books Meet, February 24

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Mia Reads Blog, February 25

Connie’s History Classroom, February 26

Inspiration Clothesline, February 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 27

Books I’ve Read, February 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 28

Remembrancy, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

For Him and My Family, March 2

Hallie Reads, March 2

deb’s Book Review, March 3

Blogging With Carol, March 3

By The Book, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 5

The Write Escape, March 5

Life of Literature, March 6

Inklings and notions, March 6

Godly Book Reviews, March 7

Vicky Sluiter, March 7

To Everything There is A Season, March 8

Pause for Tales, March 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Lady in Residence!!

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/1086e/the-lady-in-residence-celebration-tour-giveaway


 

Alabama Days

About the Book

Book:  Alabama Days

Author: Daphne Self

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 16, 2020

updatedcoverADHow could a loving God hurt so many people?

Paramedic Scott Wilson believes he can chase death away, but his spirit is shattered when people he loves are taken from him. As a paramedic, Scott sees every day the pain that people suffer, and he wants no part of a God that would allow bad things to happen to good people. As a result, he hides behind his work and addiction to ease the pain within his soul.

But once newspaper reporter Angela Mabry and her son, Max, move into town, Scott can’t help but notice the feisty redhead. Angela is determined to uncover the town’s seedy underbelly and reveal the strange coincidences of so many car accidents at one location.

When a prominent city official dies in a car wreck, Scott and Angela find themselves tangled in intrigue and deception. Together they search for the truth and discover that not all is what it seems.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

67177558_10217230486728501_1529675924142817280_o“I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me” (Psalm 119:119). This verse is Daphne’s life.
“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). This verse is the promise made to Daphne.

Daphne Self, formerly published under the name D.M. Webb, resides in Iowa. As a Mississippian transplant, she spends her days in the Midwest state writing, editing, reading, antiquing, and planning adventures with her husband and sons. She pursues her dream as an editor and author with one goal in mind: To Glorify His Name. Daphne is also an avid reader who devours books in many genres.

 

More from Daphne

Why Did I Write What I Wrote?

One question that is always asked of me: “How did you come up with your book?”

Well, it is simple and complex. Like the helix shape of a DNA strand that holds four proteins in an infinite combination, my ideas are a lot like that. My first book, Mississippi Nights, started off as a book from my childhood. I wrote One Big Happy Family when I was about 16. It was buried and put aside for so many, many years. And after the line-of-duty death of my husband in 2005, the idea of resurrecting that novel percolated for some time. Finally in 2010, I took the story, revamped it, and drew from life to create a story about the prodigal son who returns home to family. It wasn’t just his story, but a story about his brother, a family friend, and a little girl. Mississippi Nights brought to life the story of alcoholism and how a person can fall into that addiction.

After that book was published, I started thinking: “What if someone saw death, hurt, and sorrow on a daily basis? What if that person didn’t have Jesus to lean upon? What would he do?”

And that’s how Alabama Days was born. While Mississippi Nights dealt with alcoholism, Alabama Days dealt with drug abuse, and in this case, prescription drug abuse.

Yet it was much deeper than that. What if the person was a really good guy? He was likable, generous, loving, yet he lacked that one relationship that would bring him peace. If he were someone who did what was right, no matter what, what would happen if he committed a wrong act only to find that his wrong act saved the life of another?

I had so many ethnical questions thrown at my characters. How would a Christian and a non-Christian react to certain circumstances. Because life isn’t always clear-cut, yet the Bible is, I wanted to show the messiness of being human.

We know that as Christians, we all fall short. We all sin at times. The difference is that when we sin, we know we can receive forgiveness and “Go and sin no more.” But how would a person who ran from God think? How would I react if I were like him?

Writers play around with what-ifs. We see the many facets of humanity. And that’s how our stories are born. And why we write what we do. For me, I want to show the many sides of human nature and behaviour and show that in all things, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is there for us all.

So, why do I write what I do? To bring glory to His Name and hope that through my words, people will come (or return) to Christ.

MY REVIEW 

I just finished reading this book and I must take a minute to gather my thoughts. Wow. What a powerful story about redemption, forgiveness and trust. The main focus for me was Scott. He is a man who is dedicated to his job as a paramedic. He has seen some horrible things in his job but nothing prepared him for the tragedy he encounters. Losing his best friend and her child was very hard for him. I think that is the moment he starts to spiral out of control. The author does a great job of portraying Scott as a lost person who is angry at God. His drug addiction has gotten to the point where he can’t function without a pill to calm him. Added to his problem is his OCD. This man needed help and I couldn’t wait to see how the author would handle his character. 

Angela was a great character and I loved her job as a reporter. The focus on her is about a mystery that she stumbles  upon that involves suspicious accidents, records missing and danger lurking close to her. The investigation is intriguing and I loved how the author threw in twists that kept me guessing at what was going to happen next. The story is good and I loved the way it weaved faith among the characters. There is plenty of danger as she stumbles upon damaging evidence . Can Scott keep her safe? 

Scott is my favorite character because he is relatable to many people. I have felt at times that God would never forgive me for  the  things I have done in my life. Scott feels like he is nothing but a drug addict who can’t be redeemed. I love that Angela never gives up sharing God with Scott. I cheered for her when she was determined to let Scott know that God loves Him and is waiting for him to ask for help. It is a real look at a person who struggles not only with addiction and anger but coming to realize that he is valuable. The ending is good and I was surprised at all the people who were involved in the investigation.  I loved the scriptures used in the story and the message of forgiveness and redemption. 

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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 17

lakesidelivingsite, February 17

Among the Reads, February 18

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 21

Older & Smarter?, February 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 22

Betti Mace, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Inklings and notions, February 25

For Him and My Family, February 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 26

deb’s Book Review, February 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 28

Pause for Tales, February 28

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Daphne is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Mississippi Nights, a copy of Alabama Days, a floral mug, a leather Is. 40:31 bookmark, 2 mini notebooks, and a Paramedic Prayer keyring with velvet pouch!!

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/10867/alabama-days-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

 

Soon the Dawn Banner

About the Book

CLBD2020_LindaBrooksDavis_ValleyOfPromise_01_SoonTheDawn_EBOOK_FINAL20201028Book:  Soon the Dawn

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Historical  fiction

Release Date: February 9, 2020

Ella thought becoming a mother to five daughters a month after marriage would be difficult.  Sixteen years later, letting go is even harder.  What should be a joyous time of Amaryllis spreading her wings as she graduates from the College of Industrial Arts… isn’t.

Ella fears that Amaryllis will lose a grip on her faith, her upbringing, and the goals Ella believes she should have.  Will Ella’s mother-in-law’s high society friends puff up the girl until Amaryllis loses sight of what’s important?  If Amaryllis stays away, can Ella trust that the Lord will keep the girl safe? Can she trust Him with her daughter’s well-being period?

Of course, she can!  But will she?

When everything begins to crumble around her, Ella must decide where she will place her trust—in her own capable hands or in the Lord’s sovereign ones.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Davis_LindaBrooks_300dpi_2x2.5 copyLinda’s debut novel, Amazon best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland, Book One in the Women of Rock Creek series, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel in 2014 and subsequently, ACFW’s Carol award for debut novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910 and is the prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, which is set in 1914, Amazon best-selling The Mending of Lillian CathleenBook Two. The third novella, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, releases in 2020 and is set in 1912. It is a prequel to Book 3 in The Women of Rock Creek series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, which is set in 1918.

Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

 

More from Linda

When the Backstory Is Tragic 

 

Family lore abounds in my family tree, much of it tragic. There’s the Boyd Irish crystal heiress who forsook her heritage for love in 1747 colonial America. The Billingsley American patriot hanged in his front yard by Tories in 1776. The Brooks great-grandfather who lost his three brothers in the Civil War and its aftermath. And the De Graffenried Swiss baron who brought a group from Switzerland to establish New Bern, North Carolina in 1711 and was captured by Indians.

 

Among the most tragic stories is how my grandmother, Ella Pyle Banks, buried 5 daughters and 2 husbands. Mama Ella and Papa Tribble’s story has waited years to be told. Part of it is the inspiration for my latest novella release, Soon the Dawn.

 

Ella Jane Pyle met William Tribble Banks in Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. They married in Elmore City in 1904 and welcomed seven girls over the next 18 years. Papa Tribble, a kind and sensitive one-armed man, farmed. And Mama Ella, known for her salt-of-the-earth character and neighborliness, was the one folks called on to tend their sick and prepare their loved ones’ bodies for burial. She possessed a will of iron, but her voice was whisper soft. I love the story about how Papa tried to kiss her while they were courting, and she responded with a slap. “No kiss from me until you’ve proposed.”

 

When I decided to write for publication, I knew I would create stories based on my family’s experiences. There are transatlantic stowaways, rejection by Quaker brethren, murder of a groom at his wedding reception, prisoners of war, deaths by lightning, fortunes won and lost, and more disease and death than I can imagine. With such drama hanging on the various branches, how could I not include these stories?

 

What’s an author to do with such tragedy?

 

Tragedy and loss are integral parts of life on fallen Earth, but triumph invariably attends each loss. Wellness follows disease. Light peeks through the darkness. Blessings attend tragedies. And life follows death. It’s the space between the two that intrigues me as a storyteller.

 

My task, then, in creating a story inspired by Papa Tribble and Mama Ella’s experiences was to find the colorful strands among the black, the shining light amid the darkness, and the blessings tucked into the folds of the woe.

Soon the Dawn contains dark and light strands and many colors between. But it’s the stitching—Jesus—who binds the strands together. He turns an ordinary morning into a hint of the “Sweet By & By.” As the delicate aroma of the Rose of Sharon, He scents the sultry stillness before a summer storm. And He wraps the bitterness of grief and failure in the richness of His incomparable grace.

I offer Soon the Dawn to Jesus as a tale that reaches beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary because of His grace.

MY REVIEW 

This has been a very emotional book to read. The author takes us on a journey with a family that has their faith tested. I kept thinking about Job as I read the story. The loss they experienced was hard to read. The author achieved the gift of showing  us how to forgive and never give up. The bond between husband and wife represented unconditional love. The examples of how Ella and Andrew take in children a month after they marry shows compassion. I can’t imagine what it would be like to open my home to children after being married a short time.

I enjoyed getting to know the children and reading how they became faith filled young people. Each one honored their parents by their actions and obedience. It was a great example of preferring one another when one of them becomes ill. They all pitched in to help and never once complained.

My heart went out to Ella as she witnesses great loss. There were times she became angry with God. I liked how the author showed us a person who has great faith can sometimes  feel weary and start to become angry with God. We ask Him why He allows things to happen and there is no real answer. I did see how much Ella grew in her faith and was reminded of scriptures that encouraged her. The book is a fast read, but it is packed with a family that endures so much yet continued to trust God. I am glad  to know that there is another book coming out to continue this family’s  journey. One of my favorite lines in the book is, “They weren’t with us long, but they stitched their fingerprints on our hearts, and we’ll carry them always.” I hold on to that very thought now as I think about the passing of my brother recently. When someone passes away, our grief is overwhelming. But then I read such a profound statement in a book, and I am thankful for the memories that will always be in my heart. 

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 25 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Rebecca Tews, February 25

Inklings and notions, February 26

Betti Mace, February 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 27

For Him and My Family, February 28

Connie’s History Classroom, March 1

Bizwings Blog, March 1

deb’s Book Review, March 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 3

Artistic Nobody, March 3 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 4

She Lives To Read, March 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

Pause for Tales, March 7

CarpeDiem, March 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a handmade 8×12 wooden cross suitable for shelf or hanging with winner’s personalized engraving on back!!

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/1086b/soon-the-dawn-celebration-tour-giveaway