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Saturday, October 8, 2022

About the Book

Book: Peyton’s Promise

Author: Susan G. Mathis

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: May 24, 2022

Summer 1902

Peyton Quinn is tasked with preparing the grand Calumet Castle ballroom for a spectacular two-hundred-guest summer gala. As she works in a male-dominated position of upholsterer and fights for women’s equality, she’s persecuted for her unorthodox ways. But when her pyrotechnics-engineer father is seriously hurt, she takes over the plans for the fireworks display despite being socially ostracized.

Patrick Taylor, Calumet’s carpenter and Peyton’s childhood chum, hopes to win her heart, but her unconventional undertakings cause a rift. Peyton has to ignore the prejudices and persevere or she could lose her job, forfeit Patrick’s love and respect, and forever become the talk of local gossips.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has seven in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, and Colleen’s ConfessionHer newest, Peyton’s Promise, came out in May 2022 and Rachel’s Reunion releases October 7, 2022. She just finished writing book ten, Mary’s Moment. Her book awards include two Illumination Book Awards, three American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and two Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to enjoy the Thousand Islands. Visit for more.


More from Susan

In the 1980s I had the privilege of staying on Calumet Island when it was a bed and breakfast. My time there was so inspiring that I knew I had to write a story about it one day. Then, last summer, the caretaker graciously brought me over to the island for an afternoon of touring it, hearing stories, and recapturing the essence of the island.


I grew up just twenty minutes from the Thousand Islands, so I spent every summer and more exploring the beautiful region. Google it—all ten of my novels and novellas are set on these beautiful islands. I’ve stayed on several of the islands and camped and rented cottages there. So, after I wrote my debut novel, The Fabric of Hope, about the largest island, Wolfe Island, I kept on writing. There are so many fascinating stories to tell.


I’m hooked on the wonderful world of historical fiction, and especially the Thousand Islands Gilded Age history. It’s gives me so much “scope for the imagination” as Anne Shirley would say. All my novels are based on a specific place in the Thousand Islands and are the true stories of the owners of that island. So, my plot is generally true. Then I overlay the storyline of the fictional servants to create the story.


I LOVE researching! There’s a lot of interesting information in Peyton’s Promise about the women’s suffrage movement and upholstery work. But I really enjoyed researching about fireworks—how they’re made, how they’re shot off, etc. I connected with the leading fireworks historian and gleaned lots of great information that I sprinkled into the story. I’ll never view another fireworks’ show the same.


I hope you’ll reading enjoy Peyton’s Promise as much as I enjoyed writing it. Happy reading!




What a beautiful book that shows how one woman wanted to prove that she could do any job that a  man could. Peyton is perhaps one of my all time favorite characters. She is spunky, determined and is very gifted in her craft. I loved the time period which shows that women were beginning to fight for their right to vote. I can’t imagine not being able to vote simply because you are a woman. We have certainly made strides since those times  in history. 

Peyton has been asked to reupholster the furniture at the Calumet Castle. The description of this massive place is breathtaking. I think I would need a map to find my way around there. The decor is elegant and with Peyton’s gift she will turn the castle into something of beauty. I was fascinated by her work and the author did her homework to give us details about upholstery, materials and how much work is involved to turn a piece of furniture into something that brings warmth and beauty to each room.  

Patrick has known Peyton since they were children. In fact they were best friends. It was nice to see them working at the castle at the same time. Patrick has always had feelings for Peyton but now that they are grown his feelings seem even stronger. The author gives a glimpse into Patrick’s  childhood and shares how cruel his father was to him. That bitterness still stands today even when he sees him at church. His hatred for his father is concerning for Peyton. Will he be able to forgive his father and be free to find happiness?

There is a little mystery going as someone is sabotage Peyton and Patrick’s work around the castle. Who is so vindictive that they would destroy such precious items and all the hard work that was put into it?  I had my suspect in mind but I wasn’t quite sure so I read as fast as I could to find out who  the culprit was. 

With everything going on Peyton and Patrick find themselves with a day off. It is perfect timing as they can help Peyton’s father with the fireworks display that evening. It is sure to be spectacular with vivid colors blasting across the sky. We get a great lesson on how fireworks work and I appreciated the author including this to help readers understand what it takes to put on a show for all to enjoy. 

This has been a wonderful adventure where forgiveness, unconditional love and finding your worth  make for a touching story. I love how Peyton never gave into the gossip about her and continued to follow her dream. Patrick encouraged me to let go of my bitterness towards someone and find peace with God. 

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8

Texas Book-aholic, October 9

Artistic Nobody, October 10 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, October 10

deb’s Book Review, October 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 12

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 13 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 14

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 15 (Author Interview)

Connie’s History Classroom, October 16

Guild Master, October 17 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, October 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 18

A Reader’s Brain, October 19 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 20

For Him and My Family, October 21


To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a Peyton’s Promise themed basket including the novel!!

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

Friday, October 7, 2022

About the Book

Book: A Thousand Lies

Author: Kathy Cassel

Genre: YA

Release date: June 19, 2022

For talented teen photographer Bailey Collins, small-town life is good if predictable. Great friends. Loving if overly-protective parents. Academic and artistic success. An amazing new boyfriend.

Until a school field trip to a Chicago photography exhibit turns upside-down everything Bailey has believed about her life. Why are the baby pictures missing from her own past exhibited under another child’s name? Who is this elusive artist whose own identity appears as much a mystery as her exhibit? Or the hostile stranger bizarrely claiming to be Bailey’s birth father?

Above all, if everything about Bailey’s life is a lie, who are the people she has always called Mom and Dad? And if they can’t be trusted, how can she trust the loving God in whom they’ve taught her to place her faith? As a mountain of unraveling lies place both Bailey and those she cares about in danger, she sets out on a peril-filled quest to expose the truth. Will uncovering her true identity bring the closure and purpose Bailey seeks—or turn out to be the worst mistake of her life?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Kathy Cassel is author of more a dozen fiction and non-fiction titles for preteens and teens, including 2021 Selah Award finalist Freerunnerand the iParenting award winner Christian Girls Guide series. Kathy has lived on three different continents with her USAF husband, has eight children, five adopted from Haiti and the United States, and six grandchildren. To better relate to her characters, she enjoys learning their skills such as whitewater rafting, scuba diving, and riding a motorcycle, but draws the line at sky diving.

More from Kathy

A book begins in my head long before the actual writing starts. For A Thousand Lies I had a vague idea in my mind of a girl discovering her parents weren’t her actual birth parents and setting out on a journey to find the truth.

I kicked the idea around in my mind for longer than I’d like to admit before writing A Thousand Lies. I chose three teens for main characters, Bailey, Reese, and Draya, and I chose NYC as the alternative setting because I fell in love with the city after my first visit there a few years ago.

After several drafts, I felt the story was a strong one and ready for publication. But as I lay watching my clock go around one night, a thought hit me. “What if the birthfather didn’t die in prison? What if he’s alive and free and comes after both Bailey and her birthmom?” And that started a rewrite that led to the completed YA novel A Thousand Lies.

I hope that my readers will find both the characters and the plot compelling as they join Bailey’s quest to find out her true identity.


I enjoyed reading this book that has danger, mystery and valuable life lessons. It is a great look at a young teen who suddenly doesn’t really know who she is. Everything her parents have told her is a lie and Bailey is on a quest to find out the truth. As I read the book I thought of this saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” What would it be like to suddenly find out your parents weren’t your real biological parents and the name you have always gone by is suddenly not the name you were given at birth? 

The author delivers great characters that are relatable. Bailey is a very determined person and I admired her for stepping out of her comfort zone to find answers. However I do think it was a bit unwise for her to travel by herself to a city that is crowded and at  times unsafe.  Draya is definitely a good friend and helps Bailey even though their methods were a little on the shady side. Getting a fake ID and giving Bailey a lot  of  money wasn’t the best idea they had. It put Bailey in a position where she lied to her parents, her boyfriend and took off to a big city all alone. 

What did shine in the story were  friends who were there when you needed them and finding God in the midst of danger. I loved the part where Bailey finds herself at a church. The encounter between her and the pastor is really what the story represents. Bailey has been searching for her identity but never realized that God had a plan for her life. As she finds herself in danger God was there to protect her.

 This may be defined as a young  adult book but I think adults would enjoy reading it as well. The ending is very emotional and delivers a message of forgiveness and second chances. Never give up hope and continue to seek God’s wisdom as you face trials. Bailey is someone who many will discover was lost but now is saved.

“Choose to believe you were created as a masterpiece even when you don’t feel like it.” 

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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 6

Books, Books, and More Books, October 7

Texas Book-aholic, October 8

The Book Club Network, October 8

Inklings and notions, October 9

deb’s Book Review, October 10

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 15

Blogging With Carol, October 16

For Him and My Family, October 17

SusanLovesBooks, October 18

Book Zone Reviews, October 18


To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million Gift Card!!

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

Thursday, October 6, 2022

  Liliana Vela hates the term victim. She's not a victim, she's a fighter. Stubborn and strong with a quiet elegance, she's determined to take back her life after escaping the clutches of human traffickers in her poor Mexican village. But she can't stay safely over the border in America--unless the man who aided in her rescue is serious about his unconventional proposal to marry her.

Meric Toledan was just stopping at a service station for a bottle of water. Assessing the situation, he steps in to rescue Liliana from traffickers. If he can keep his secrets at bay, his wealth and position afford him many resources to help her. But the mysterious buyer who funded her capture will not sit idly by while his prize is stolen from him.

Melissa Koslin throws you right into the middle of the action in this high-stakes thriller that poses the question: What is the price of freedom?

There are many books out there about human trafficking but this one is different because it features someone who risks their life everyday to rescue those who have been kidnapped. It was intriguing to see how the author unravels a dangerous game that puts Meric in a position that could cost him more than his reputation. I loved how the author brings Meric and Liliana together at a truck stop. After trying to escape her captors, it is hard to trust anyone. Will Liliana let down her guard and let Meric convince her he is there to save her? 

There is plenty of suspense as Liliana finds herself in a strange apartment with someone she barely knows. The author surprised me with what measures Meric would do to keep Liliana close by him to know she was safe. Meric is a mystery to most everyone. He is very private and wealthy but why are women coming forward and saying things about him that would damage his credibility or possibly put him in jail? As the two start to get closer we begin to see that Meric is trying to heal from something. He is gentle with Liliana and  always protective of her but he won’t allow her to know anything about his past. I did admire how he put his life before hers and at times found  himself having to fight off people to  keep her safe. 

We do witness a softer side to Meric that made the story so emotional. All this time he has been doing everything he can to let Liliana heal from her past, but the author delivers a twist in the story that helped me understand Meric better. In a tender moment Meric explains that he was attracted to her for more than her beauty. He admired her strength and how she has compassion for others. What happens when his past catches up with him? 

The ending is an adrenaline rush and the author illustrates how faith can heal the broken-hearted while showing them unconditional love. Get ready for action, surprises and a little romance in this book. 

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

Monday, October 3, 2022

About the Book

Book: Forgotten Memories

Author: Penny Zeller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 30, 2022

Some memories are best forgotten…

The Wyoming Territory is rife with lawlessness and disorder, something Annie Ledbetter and her parents discover when their wagon train is robbed. Seven years later, Annie settles into her lifelong dream as a teacher in the small town of Willow Falls. When she meets handsome rancher Caleb Eliason through a humorous misunderstanding, she is quickly drawn to his kind heart and charming smile.

Former outlaw Caleb Eliason embraces his chance at a fresh start. Gone are the days of robbing stagecoaches and wagon trains. When he falls in love with the new Willow Falls teacher, he doesn’t realize they’ve met before—under much different circumstances. When his past comes to light, will it put the growing love between them at risk?

Can forgiveness and redemption heal two broken hearts or will the past keep them from sharing a future?


Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics.

Today Penny is the author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. Her desire is to assist and nurture women into a closer relationship with Christ.

When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball.

Penny is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and on Facebook at


More from Penny

The Inspiration Behind Forgotten Memories


I am often asked how I come up with ideas for my books.


Many different things inspire my plots. One inspiration comes from real-life stories. For instance, today our local librarian told me how her family homesteaded in our town in 1881. Of course, I had a million questions. I am also inspired by photographs, people-watching, and sometimes I will hear from readers about a story they’d like to read. I have often joked that I will need to be at least 102 to write down all the stories percolating in my mind.


The idea for Forgotten Memories came from reading about a mail-order bride named Eleanor. Eleanor answered an advertisement from a man named Louis, and after a time of written correspondence, they eventually made plans to marry. During the journey to meet her soon-to-be husband, Eleanor’s stagecoach was robbed. After obeying her request to hand Eleanor her trousseau, the robbers blew up the stagecoach and rode away with their loot.


When the time to be wed arrived, Louis recognized Eleanor immediately. Only later, when Eleanor and Louis were preparing to sign the marriage license, did Eleanor recognize him as the robber due to his voice and a discernable scar. Louis fled and rode off without a word, leaving Eleanor with a broken heart.


After reading Eleanor’s story, my imagination wandered and what-ifs filled my mind. What if something similar happened to a character who, years later, fell in love with a man who robbed her? What would happen when the truth was discovered? Was there any hope for a happily-ever-after?


Thus, Annie and Caleb’s story was born.


After finishing this book I had to collect my thoughts so I could let readers know how powerful this story is. I love the historical setting and liked how the author described it. My granddad traveled by wagon to homestead his place in the late 1800s. I can remember stories he told me about how hard the travel was and the difficult time he had going through terrain that was hard to maneuver. The author captures this part of the  story very well and I appreciate how she helped remind me of my granddad. I couldn’t wait to see where Annie’s journey would go so I anxiously dived into  the book. 

At the beginning of the book we witness Annie as a young girl traveling with her family hoping for a new beginning. It was hard for them to move but they packed up what they could and off they went with all their belonging in the wagon. Along the way the unthinkable happens. I loved how the author shows how Annie grows up but always keeps that day tucked away in her memories.

I loved Annie and how kind she was. Her devotion to teaching made me so happy. I loved how the author described the one  room school house and how the children loved being there. When she finds a family to stay with while teaching it seems she is content. Annie is starting to enjoy her teaching job and soon finds an admirer named Caleb. I’m sure this new relationship helped Annie start to feel more comfortable in the town and helped her start to become more independent away from her own family. It was nice that she would travel home on weekends when weather permitted. 

Caleb has a dark past that he hoped to never have to relive. Being adopted was a blessing for him and his new family is just what he needs to change  his life. The author does share his childhood and illustrates how much Caleb wanted to be accepted and be part of a family. It is pointed out in the story that it is not a coincidence that Annie and Caleb meet. Now I was intrigued.

Without going into much detail I loved the theme of forgiveness and second chances. What if we had not been given a second chance? I think about the things I have done in my life  and am thankful that my sins have been forgiven. Caleb has walked through sone hard trials but God showed him he was forgiven and now has changed into a man who now shares his faith with others. It was hard for Annie to forgive Caleb after she realized who he was. I liked how the  author didn’t rush Annie to forgive, but showed us how sometimes it is hard to forgive when the pain is too much. 

There is one other person in the story that I must mention. Caleb’s brother Cain was a mean and cruel person. He robbed, harmed and took advantage of others. He brought his young brother into this lifestyle thinking it was the best way to survive. Caleb holds bitterness towards Cain and hasn’t thought about him in years. When they meet up again, this to me was the most emotional part of the whole story. We can  remember that God forgave us, but when faced with having to forgive someone it becomes harder. Caleb wants to hold on to bitterness and finds it hard to believe his brother would ever change. What happens when they meet face to face years later ?  To find out, grab yourself a copy and experience the  promise that, “God will never leave us nor forsake us.”

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 3

Texas Book-aholic, October 4

“To Every” BOOK “There is a Season”, October 4

lakesidelivingsite, October 5

Inklings and notions, October 6

deb’s Book Review, October 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 10

Connie’s History Classroom, October 11

Holly’s Book Corner, October 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 13

Splashes of Joy, October 14

Pause for Tales, October 15

For Him and My Family, October 16


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

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

Sunday, October 2, 2022


It's spooky season in Holiday Junction and Halloweenie Festival is a hauntingly great time. Treats aren’t just sweet and delicious, sometimes they’re also deadly.

Holiday Junction really knows how to throw holiday festivals, and it goes all out for Halloween.

The holiday celebration includes a ghost walk of haunting tales, a hay ride, carnival games, pumpkin carvings and costume party. 

Violet Rhinehammer has the perfect assignment—represent the Junction Journal by attending all the fun festive activities and reporting on them.

When Violet reluctantly goes on the ghost walk, she realizes the body that fell out of the fake casket is a real one and not a prop. She knows trouble is brewing. She puts on a sleuthing costume after someone she loves becomes Chief Strickland's number one suspect in order to catch the real monster.


What a perfect time to read this book as Halloween fast approaches. I loved the excitement in the air as the town gets ready for the festival. Violet has been invited to go on the Ghost Walk before the event starts.  The author gets us in the mood with goblins, ghosts and spooky trails. What no one expected was to find a dead body in the casket. I think I screamed when they found the poor man. I don’t know about you, but I would be running as fast as I could away from whatever was just found. 

Violet is once again in the middle of a murder mystery as she happens to be present when the body was discovered. This is where I get really interested in the  story because the author gives us clues along the way with plenty of suspects to keep readers guessing. I grabbed my journal and started jotting down notes to see if I could solve the mystery. Finding Peter dead raises a lot of questions and Violet is curious as she begins to investigate. Could the mayor have anything to do with the murder? Peter did want the mayor out of office and was campaigning for a reelection. Well I can see why some would want a new mayor. After all the mayor is a dog. Yes folks a dog is in charge and has fierce competition or is it jealously when it comes to the powerful position of being in charge of the town. The couple who own the mayor could become suspects and Violet was ready to dig into the clues. 

Violet’s mom is a hoot and her southern charm is easy to fall for. She has decided that she is joining  Violet with the investigation. Her shenanigans are funny and entertaining. Millie Kay  is by far my favorite character in the story. She oozes with enthusiasm for everything she is involved with. I laughed so hard when Millie Kay  invites all the suspects to her house along with Violet. Talk about a time bomb ready to explode. The house is in chaos as fingers point at each other and tempers start to flare. A secret about the paper is exposed and let me tell you, I think I fell out of my seat. 

I loved the interaction between Violet and Darren. I think they have a love/hate relationship at times. They are both stubborn and at times don’t communicate well with each other. I enjoyed getting to know them better and how the author explores their undeniable  attraction to each other. It does give a little realism to the story as we see these two work through their issues. I also liked how an old murder starts to play an important role in the story. As we find out, there has been a very well kept secret about a certain person who has been  in prison. Could this be the reason that Peter was killed just a few days ago? The plot thickens as I began to check my notes. 

I hope you are ready for ghosts, secrets, revenge and a taste of adventure in this latest book that highlights Halloween. I didn’t figure out the killer and  I was very shocked at the ending. I never saw this person as a suspect and how it all started such a long time ago. This is a great story that will satisfy any mystery buff. 

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

Southern Hospitality with a Smidgen of Homicide

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Tonya Kappes has written more than 175 southern cozy mysteries, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today and Woman's World Book Club pick twice . Best known for stories charged with southern charm, emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband in northern Kentucky. Now that her four boys have flown out of the nest, Tonya writes full-time in her camper! 

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