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Saturday, January 28, 2023

About the Book

Book:What I Would Tell You

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction

Release date: January 1, 2023

DNA Test Unlocks a Family Mystery

Sephardic Jew Mathilda Nissim watches in horror as the Germans invade her beloved city of Salonika, Greece. What angers her most is the lack of resistance her people put up to their captors. In secret and at great risk to her life, she continues to publish her newspaper, calling her people to action. She doesn’t trust God to help them. When she and her husband find out they are expecting a child, Mathilda may have to resort to desperate measures to ensure her daughter’s survival.

Three generations later, college student Riley Payson and her cousin take a popular DNA test only to discover they don’t share any common ancestors. In fact, the test shows Riley is a Sephardic Jew from Greece. This revelation shakes Riley’s tenuous faith and sends her on a journey to discover what happened to her great-grandmother and how all this relates to her faith and her life today.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

Take a Trip to Greece with Me

I was privileged to travel to Greece last year to research my upcoming WWII novel, What I Would Tell You. God orchestrated it so beautifully. Because of Covid, we weren’t sure my daughter would be able to travel there for the summer internship she had applied for. Eight weeks before her scheduled departure, Greece reopened to foreign visitors. Around that same time, I sold What I Would Tell You, which is set in Thessaloniki, Greece, to Barbour Publishing. I had to go and visit!


Greece is a beautiful country. The pictures you see don’t do it justice. And to someone like me, the history is one of the best parts. My daughter and I explored the old city wall, built in the 1400s, many churches that predated the Ottoman Empire, and many excavated Roman ruins that have been dug up in the city’s process of putting in a subway system.


Because this is a WWII book, we also spent a great deal of time learning about the history of the Jews in the city. The Kapani Market, just down the street from our apartment, was a vibrant mix of colorful fruits, fragrant spices, and a cacophony of languages. I could well imagine what this old Jewish market was like prior to the war with people hawking olives, fish, and oregano.


We wasted no time in visiting the Jewish museum. I was shocked by the heavy security presence with armed guards outside of the building. Once inside, we had to show our IDs and were required to turn in our phones. Antisemitism is alive and well in Greece. But what a place. There were displays after displays tracing the history of the Jewish people in Thessaloniki from 1492 until WWII. The most breathtaking was the room with stone-covered walls, the names of all 48,000 Salonikan Jews killed in the Holocaust carved into the marble. There’s an entire scene in the book that deals with this room.


What saddened me most was what we saw when we visited the trainyard where the Jews were herded into cattle cars and shipped to Auschwitz. Before we got to where the station once stood, there was a wall on which someone had pained a mural covered with black-and-white figures in their striped uniforms, their eyes and mouths wide in horror. As if that weren’t difficult enough to view, what sickened me was the blue swastikas someone had painted over them.


We also trekked to the other side of the city to visit what had once been the Jewish cemetery, now the grounds of Aristotle University. All that remains to testify that half a million people were once buried here is a small, ill-kept memorial. There were two dead Christmas wreaths placed there. We visited in August.


In addition to a moving and thought-provoking story, I hope to also introduce you to the amazing city of Thessaloniki and give you a peek into the people and the culture of this amazing place. If you ever find yourself in Greece, plan some time in Thessaloniki. Many Americans miss this gem, but it’s packed with charm and history.


My emotions are a disaster right now after finishing this amazing book. I love that this is a dual timeline and how the author brings the past and present together in a brilliant way. It is evident that the author did extensive research about a war that had no mercy to those the Germans didn’t like. Their hatred for Jewish people was overwhelming to me. The scene where an innocent older man is beat to death then  stomped on brought fresh tears to my eyes. 

The author takes us  to the present where we travel alongside Tessa as she discovers who her ancestors were. A simple DNA test that tells her  about her heritage surprises her so much that she is determined to find answers. I found Tessa to be brave traveling by herself so far away without knowing  anyone in Greece. I was just as intrigued as she was to discover who her relatives were and how they  would tie into Mathilda’s  life. Her journey will take her on a road to discover secrets that were  meant to stay hidden.  As she learns more about what people had to endure she understands that the memories are difficult to hear. 

Mathilda is my favorite character from the story. The author seems to spend a bit more time on her character and she came to life for me. The times were getting very hard as she witnesses her husband being taken away by German soldiers. She doesn’t accept what has happened and  hopes to get the  other women to come together to find a way to get their men back home. I did fear for  her safety as she is also caring a child. She wasn’t able to share the good news with her husband before  he was forced to leave with the  other men. Promises from the Germans that the men would return unharmed  was  hard to believe so Mathilda comes up with an idea to  get them home. 

There is so many details about the story that I want to share but I don’t want to ruin anything for readers. I was shocked at some of the outcome for people but I also witnessed faith, hope and trust for a better life. Sacrifices were made that  were  done with unconditional love just like God sacrificed His only son for our sins. I was thrilled to see how the author had faith elements in the story and how it helped to give strength to those facing difficult times. I cried at the end and didn’t want to leave Tess and Mathilda. They  are an inspiration to me and their story is forever imprinted on my heart. 

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

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 29

Blogging With Carol, January 29

Genesis 5020, January 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 31

For Him and My Family, January 31

Cover Lover Book Review, February 1

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 2

deb’s Book Review, February 2

Betti Mace, February 3

Connie’s History Classroom, February 3

Paula’s Pad of Inspriation, February 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 5

Books You Can Feel Good About, February 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 6

Holly’s Book Corner, February 6

Bigreadersite, February 7

Blossoms and Blessings, February 7

Mary Hake, February 7

Labor Not in Vain, February 8

Pause for Tales, February 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 10

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 10

Lights in a Dark World, February 10


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

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

Thursday, January 26, 2023

About the Book

Book: Rescuing Rose

Author: Susan Pope Sloan

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: January 24, 2023

His army destroyed her livelihood. She represents the people he scorns. How can they reconcile their differences when the whole country is at war?

When the Union Army marches into Roswell, Georgia, and burns down the cotton mill where Rose Carrigan worked, not only is her livelihood destroyed but she’s also taken prisoner and shipped northward with the other workers. Only the unlikely kindness of one of her guards makes the trip bearable.

Union Captain Noah Griffin hates the part of his job that requires him to destroy the lives of innocent civilians, but at least he’s able to protect these women he’s been ordered to transport to Louisville, Kentucky. Especially the one whose quick wit and kindness draw him.

While they’re forced to wait in Marietta, two fugitives arrive to complicate matters between Rose and Noah. As Rose heads north and Noah returns to the battlefront, they each face fears and prejudices. With survival so tenuous, only faith can help them find love in the midst of so much tragedy.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Born into a family of storytellers, Susan Pope Sloanpublished her first articles in high school and continued writing sporadically for decades. Retirement provided the time to focus on writing and indulge her avid interest in history. Her Civil War series begins (and ultimately ends) in her home state of Georgia with references to lesser-known events of that period. She and husband Ricky live near Columbus where she participates in Word Weavers, ACFW, and Toastmasters.

More from Susan

Rescuing Rose is the first book in the Rescued Hearts of the Civil War series. Years ago, I worked with a gentleman who was a Civil War reenactor. We had many conversations about the war and my writing aspirations. He told me two stories that stuck with me, one of which was the Roswell mill workers.


The bare-bones story is this: The Union army entered Roswell, Georgia, in July 1864. They ordered the workers out and burned the mills. Then they arrested the workers, who were mostly uneducated women, sent them to Marietta, and then put them on trains headed north.

Note that they were uneducated, unable to read or write, unskilled except in mill work. How were they to survive without means of supporting themselves and their families? If their husbands, sons, and fathers were away with one or the other army, how would they ever bring the women home again?


Since my hometown has several cotton mills and my grandparents worked in those, I felt a connection to those women. Their story should be told! My research led me to a wonderful scholarly book, The Women Will Howl, which was published thirty years ago and contained ample information to get me started. It became my primary resource, but I also had the advantage of a robust Internet to find other sources.


To provide a main character who was educated, I came up with two daughters of a minister with poor health. The family moved from Dalton, Georgia in 1863 so the daughters could work in the mill and take care of their father. After the mills are destroyed, Rose and her sister (Celeste) decide to teach some of the children how to read and write so they can help their folks and be better prepared for the future. When they reach Louisville, she leads the effort in finding jobs so they can provide for those who’ve fallen ill. In this way, Rose “rescues” the families in her group.


The male protagonist is a Union officer who aids Rose and Celeste when they are accosted by a band of hostile soldiers. Noah assists them again and takes on the role of self-appointed guardian. Though he and Rose often rile each other, he is smitten and does whatever he can to help their group adjust to their new reality. Circumstances tear them apart, however, and both must face hidden fears and prejudices before the relationship can be restored. How will that be possible when the war has pushed them hundreds of miles apart?


What I learned from research and writing this book.

  • There were people loyal to the Union scattered all over the South, even in Georgia.
  • Soldiers endured miserable conditions, often pushed to cover many miles before they reached the next engagement, in all kinds of conditions.
  • Leadership was fractured on both sides, with personalities clashing within the ranks.
  • Lee’s surrender at Appomattox did not end the war. It was months before that happened.
  • Mill workers thought tobacco use would ward off “brown lung” from breathing cotton fibers and losing a finger or two in machinery was almost a rite of passage.

I love when a book is so good that it keeps me from doing anything  else. I had a lot of chores to do, but there was no way  I was  going to put this book down. The historical facts in the book sent me right to the  middle of a war that cost many lives. Families were divided and many suffered great loss. I was mesmerized by the fate of those who were taken from their homes and jobs and sent to other “safer places.” I was heartbroken when Rose and Celeste had to leave everything behind and start new in a place where chaos seemed to be.

Rose’s character is very well written with grace and  determination to survive whatever comes her way.  With  her sister Celeste,  they embrace their new adventure with faith and gratitude. I loved how the author illustrates how we should love  each other and not be prejudice against  anyone. Sometimes we think of someone as our enemy but as Rose finds out it is possible that not everyone supported the side  they were fighting on. 

This brings me to Noah. He is abrupt at times but underneath that hard exterior is a man who cares deeply for others. He builds a friendship with Rose that I found endearing. He is concerned for  her safety  as  well as others in her group. The letters they write to each other are filled with hope and a hint of feelings for each other. I was very interested in where the  author would go with these two characters. I also learned a lot about this time period and how it changed so many lives.

 It must have been difficult to watch  your  home being overtaken by the enemy and thrust into a place where you needed to be aware of your surroundings at all times. With  the creativity and passion that the author uses in this story I could feel the pain as those displaced walked for hours. The emotional turmoil came at a price  to some.  When one  woman confides in Rose what a soldier did  to to her, Rose showed compassion and helped her see that God still lives her and that it was not her fault. What I loved the most was an honest look at war and how faith helped keep our main characters strong in the midst of danger. 

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 25

Bizwings Blog, January 26

Holly’s Book Corner, January 26

Texas Book-aholic, January 27

deb’s Book Review, January 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 29

Cover Lover Book Review, January 30

Betti Mace, January 30

Connie’s History Classroom, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 1

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 2

For Him and My Family, February 3

Pause for Tales, February 4

Blossoms and Blessings, February 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6

To Everything There Is A Season, February 7


To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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



New Year's Eve has always been a special time for the small town, Holiday Junction, with its annual tradition, the Sparkle Ball, along with the town Merry Maker spreading joy and cheer to all its residents. But this year, the joy is short-lived when local nuisance and troublemaker, Hillary Stevens, is found murdered in holiday town’s mini-village.

As the town's resident nosy journalist, Violet Rhinehammer is determined to uncover the truth behind Hillary’s murder and bring the killer to justice. But her investigation is complicated by her own secret - she is the town Merry Maker, and must keep her identity hidden from Mae West, her best friend who is visiting for the festive town’s Sparkle Ball.

With suspects at every turn and a town full of secrets, Violet must use her keen investigative skills and determination to uncover the truth before the killer strikes again. Will she be able to solve the mystery and bring the killer to justice, or will her own secret be her downfall?

New Year's Nuisance is a gripping tale of mystery and intrigue, perfect for fans of small town crime novels. With well-developed characters and a twisting plot, this book will keep you guessing until the very end.


It is so nice to be back with Violet and bonus she has a special guest from her home town. Mae has come a calling and I knew for sure we were in for a laughing, mystery happening book. The first little snag in the visit is when Mae assumes she will be staying with Violet. Oops. Well that didn’t go as planned. Violet is very busy with work and trying to keep up her duties as the secret town  Merry Maker. 

We are in for quite the adventure as Violet and Mae find themselves investigating a murder. Oh I’m not surprised  at all that this is happening but I didn’t expect all the twists in the story. The author does a great job of keeping us guessing while entertaining us with antics from the two women. It’s the perfect setting in this little quaint village for southern charm, holidays filled with family and oh yeah a murder here or there. Don’t miss the latest in this laugh out loud on the edge of up your seat cozy mystery. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

About the Book

Book: A Winter at the White Queen

Author: Denise Weimer

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: January 3, 2023

In the world of the wealthy, things are never quite as they appear.

Ellie Hastings is tired of playing social gatekeeper—and poor-relation companion—to her Gibson Girl of a cousin. But her aunt insists Ellie lift her nose out of her detective novel long enough to help gauge the eligibility of bachelors during the winter social season at Florida’s Hotel Belleview. She finds plenty that’s mysterious about the suave, aloof Philadelphia inventor, Lewis Thornton. Why does he keep sneaking around the hotel? Does he have a secret sweetheart? And what is his connection to the evasive Mr. Gaspachi, slated to perform at Washington’s Birthday Ball?

Ellie’s comical sleuthing ought to put Lewis out, but the diffident way her family treats her smashes a hole in his normal reserve. When Florence Hastings’s diamond necklace goes missing, Ellie’s keen mind threatens to uncover not only Lewis’s secrets, but give him back hope for love.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

North Georgia native Denise Weimer has authored a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas—historical and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and time slip. Having served three years as managing editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ two historical imprints, as well as a freelance editor, she’s helped other authors reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.

More from Denise

Enter the Age of Wonder …    

I like to think of the time period between the Gilded Age and WWI as the Age of Wonder. New ideas and inventions swept society in waves while those who wanted to preserve the old ways tried in vain to hold back the tide. Opportunity and advancement flowed as railroads and communications linked America’s coasts, motorcars allowed individual freedom of travel, and companies flourished following Reconstruction.


My goal was to capture this excitement and promise in A Winter at the White Queen. You follow my heroine, Ellie, and her uncle and his family for their fashionable winter 1910 season at the Hotel Belleview in Clearwater, Florida. Ellie is more than “the poor relation companion” to her younger cousin Ava. She’s also a trusted friend, and like the heroines in her female detective novels, a budding sleuth—sniffing out promising matrimonial candidates for Ava at the bequest of Aunt Florence. Little does she expect to stumble into her own romance—and a mystery surrounding a certain intriguing entrepreneur.


Ellie Hastings is tired of playing social gatekeeper—and poor-relation companion—to her Gibson Girl of a cousin. But her aunt insists Ellie lift her nose out of her detective novel long enough to help gauge the eligibility of bachelors during the winter social season at Florida’s Hotel Belleview. She finds plenty that’s mysterious about the suave, aloof Philadelphia inventor, Lewis Thornton. Why does he keep sneaking around the hotel? Does he have a secret sweetheart? And what is his connection to the evasive Mr. Gaspachi, slated to perform at Washington’s Birthday Ball?

Ellie’s comical sleuthing ought to put Lewis out, but the diffident way her family treats her smashes a hole in his normal reserve. But when Florence Hastings’ diamond necklace goes missing, Ellie’s keen mind threatens to uncover not only Lewis’s secrets, but give him back hope for love. 

Lewis’s work allowed me to sprinkle White Queen with clever inventions that spark Ellie’s curious nature. Among them are:


Temperature-compensated balance wheels, which Lewis invented as a teen. The backstory of how he sold his invention to the railroad, allowing them to synchronize all their watches, provides an unexpected link to uncover between Lewis and Ellie.


The cinématographe, patterned after Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope but intended by the Lumière brothers to show films to a wider audience. Used in the show at Washington’s Birthday Ball to end the season, the cinématographe aids in the culmination of the mystery of Florence’s missing diamond necklace.


The magical orange tree, which not only blossomed but appeared to grow actual oranges, was a real mechanical invention featured at Ava’s birthday party by The Great Gaspachi.


The Hydro-Vacu. I couldn’t resist including this titter-worthy, real-life machine, used, of course, by the appearance-conscious Aunt Florence. After applying a bleaching cold cream or “tissue food” to ensure plump cheeks, the massaging “Depurator” was rotated slowly over the face. How long until that idea makes a comeback?


As fun and whimsical as A Winter at the White Queen may be, our characters have some real growth to do … if they can get past the social expectations and masks, the suspicions and past hurts. I hope you’ll brighten your winter days by joining them at the White Queen.


This was a  delightful story that is set in the time period referred to as the Gilded Age. I loved the way the author describes the era and I adored Ellie. She is such a sweet humble person who doesn’t realize her worth. She is sent on a mission to find a suitor for her cousin. The winter social is sure to bring many bachelors to choose from if Ellie can put her detective books away. I love that Ellie  has this knack for investigation. She will soon be putting it to good use. 

Lewis is a nice character who has put Ellie on high alert. She doesn’t trust him and thinks maybe he is not suited for her cousin. Lewis seems to disappear a lot so Ellie is determined to find out what he is up to. The story offers laughs, a magician, mystery and a wonderful story that I enjoyed. The interaction between Ellie and Lewis  is at times comical. I wonder why Ellie doesn’t realize that maybe just maybe someone is attracted to her and not her cousin. I think her uncle and aunt out a lot of pressure on Ellie to find her cousin a suitor. Poor Ellie needs to see herself as a treasure and not  so much as an old maid. Readers will find this story easy to read and entertaining.

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

Blog Stops

Book Looks by Lisa, January 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 20

An Author’s Take, January 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 21

deb’s Book Review, January 22

Christina’s Corner, January 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 23

Connie’s History Classroom, January 24

Betti Mace, January 25

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 25

Texas Book-aholic, January 26

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, January 26

Bigreadersite, January 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 28

Cover Lover Book Review, January 29

Holly’s Book Corner, January 29

Rebecca Tews, January 30

Blogging With Carol, January 30

Back Porch Reads, January 31

Simple Harvest Reads, January 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, February 1

Blossoms and Blessings, February 1

Pause for Tales, February 2

To Everything There Is A Season, February 2



To celebrate her tour, Denise 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.