In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.

Synopsis:

Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.

An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.

My Thoughts:

Filled with suspense and page-turning mystery this story is sure to keep you guessing. With plenty of surprises and secrets to uncover you are sure to enjoy time spent reading this debut novel from Abigail Wilson.

Sybil Delafield is a little too trusting, and often blindly goes along with others when I wished she’d push for answers and ask more questions. Of course, this kept me guessing, which after all is the point!

About the time I’d decide who could be trusted, something would happen and my tower of cards would tumble down, only for another character to emerge as the one to believe. This story has a colorful cast of eccentric characters that are sure to keep you on your toes! I enjoyed reading this page-turning story!

While this book is published by a Christian publisher, and listed as Christian Fiction there is no mention of God, and lacking in Christian content. I would label this a clean, regency, Gothic romance.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

About the Author:

AbigailWilson  Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.

Web page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

In the Shadow of Croft Towers

 

 

 

 

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Advent of Solitude 2018

I sure it comes as no surprise to you that I follow many author’s on both their individual blogs and also on social media. One of the authors I follow, Angie Dicken posted an invitation for an “Advent of Solitude” (CLICK HERE to see her post).

I am joining Angie Dicken in dedicating this next season as an ADVENT OF SOLITUDE.

Just what is an Advent of Solitude you might ask…

The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

WHAT IS SOLITUDE? The quality or state of being alone (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) OR according to Ruth Haley Barton, “An opportunity to interrupt this cycle {constant noise of our society} by turning off the noise and stimulation of our lives so that we can hear our loneliness and our longing calling us deeper into the only relationship that can satisfy our longing.”

The only relationship that I’ve found to satisfy my longing, has been through Christ. He is the wholeness of life, the one who has given me a hope and a way to live into each next step. Let us be mindful of Him this next season of Advent where we focus on His birth, to bear a new rhythm that connects us to Him.

 
An ADVENT of SOLITUDE  is  a season of FASTING from social media connection, and instead, connecting to God in   SOLITUDE,   PRAYING,  AND   BEING   PRESENT, with the hope of transforming  daily life into a rhythm that syncs with God.
   

THE QUEST:
To be more mindful of SOLITUDE, rather than screen time. To use the extra moments, or the actual moments, to tap into the quiet, to focus attention into the present.

A hope to be transforming to spiritual wakefulness on a consistent basis.

Does this sound like something you’d like to do? Does this resonate with your heart at all? I’ve spoken with many friends who feel the same longing, who have actually taken time apart from social media because of the noise, and the need for quiet. Does this interest you, too?
THE CHALLENGE:

DAILY: Each morning, I’ll spend some quiet in prayer–just God and me.  I have found an Advent Bible study plan (you can join the reading plan by clicking here). Or you may choose to do your own individual devotional study.

WEEKLY: Each week, I will carve out an 24-hour period to spend in worship, and time with family. From Friday evening to Saturday evening, I will be focusing on worship. Time in quite personal worship, family worship, and church worship.  Time away from social media and its distractions.

I will continue to share weekly Bible verses every Thursday here on my blog in the His Encouragement posts.

CHECK-INS: Each Monday morning, we will check in on Angie Dicken’s Facebook Page (facebook.com/dicken.angie). If you choose to join in the Advent of Solitude, you don’t have to share what is between you and God at these check-ins, just stop by and receive some encouragement, and let us know that you are spending your Advent focusing on Solitude.

MY HOPE:

I am going to do this to re-prioritize my moments. To become more present for my family, and more attuned to my relationship with God. I want to start a new rhythm this Advent, so I can step into 2019 with joy and a closer walk with God.

If you choose to join in the ADVENT of SOLITUDE, please join us on December 2nd, the first day of Advent.

You can also stop by Angie Dicken’s author page (facebook.com/dicken.angie) for pre-check-in.

 

 

 

Deck The Shelves (Heartfalls Romance #1) by Toni Shiloh

Synopsis:

Kendall Jackson is the proud owner of Heartfalls’ bookstore, The Cozy Shelf. Her life is one straight out of the pages, except she’s missing that leading man. Although she has a crush on the handsome auto mechanic, Quinton Hendricks, Kendall wants an old-fashioned type of romance—the stuff swoon-worthy romance books are made of. But Quinton seems to need a little prodding.

Something about Kendall sparks hope in Quinton Hendricks that love could be his again. Only being abandoned by his ex-wife has made him cautious to the point of non-moving.

Can two people hesitant on second chances find love as they Deck the Shelves?

My Thoughts:

Toni Shiloh brings the sleepy town of Heartfalls, New York vibrantly to life inside this bookishly delightful Christmas Novella. Step into the Cozy Shelf bookstore and meet our heroine, Kendall Jackson. Be sure to grab a hot drink from the hospitality table, and take your time browsing the wide array of books.

Kendall finds enjoyment getting lost in the pages of a good book. She enjoys reading to the children when they come in for story time and the cozy community within the warm walls of the bookstore. Sparks fly when Quinton Hendricks visits, but often Kendall is too shy to talk to him beyond a few words. Her friends suggest dropping a note inside his bag the next time he stops in and purchases a book.

After being abandoned by his x-wife only months after the birth of their son, Quinton Hendricks is cautious about forming an attachment to the beautiful bookstore owner. But he can’t seem to stop his racing heart and tangled emotions whenever she is near.

With strong threads of faith and the reminder that God will lead us to his perfect plan in our lives if we let go of our fears and trust Him. This heartwarming Christmas Novella is sure to not only put a smile on your face but get you into the Christmas mood.

(I purchased a copy of this book for my personal collection.)

Favorite Quote:

DeckTheShelves

About the Author:

SONY DSC

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace of the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes soulfully romantic novels to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys. When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, ​making jewelry, and spending time with ​her family. Toni is a member of the American Christian ​Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Newsletter // Pinterest

   Comfort & Joy: Christmas Lights Collection

NovellaCollection

Take-over with Robin Mason: Tessa Book Birthday and Re-new Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Friends, join me in giving a warm welcome to Robin Mason. She is taking over today to celebrate the book birthday of “Tessa” and to share with us the re-new cover reveal!

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Today, I’m celebrating my debut novel’s fourth birthday. A brief word of explanation— Tessa, has a double birthday; at the prompting and with the help of a friend, I first released her in early March 2014, but for Kindle only. I quickly learned the value of having print copies, and with the help of that same friend (who did all the formatting for me) I released and had all the celebration in October.

Tessa’s official book birthday is 31 October, which is fitting for the story—she assumed an identity not her own, thus “wearing a mask.”

So welcome to the celebration! Grab a mask, and a virtual cuppa tea and birthday cake!

About the Book:

One mother.  Two daughters.  One favorite.  One not.

When Cassie Barclay is presented with an opportunity – or is it a curse – she jumps at the chance.  She takes on a new life, her sister’s life, and although at first, it holds appeal and promise, she soon realizes sometimes the fairy tale is tainted.

Assuming the name of Tessa, Cassie moves into the life that was her sister’s, and faces first one realization then another, one disappointment after another. Stepping into Connie’s life does not automatically grant her all that Connie had or was. But it does deny all that she had and was as Cassie. As herself.

Just when she believes her life is on an even keel, something comes along to ripple the waters and remind her of her secret. Until the day she gets a phone call that rips her world apart. Who is the mysterious caller? And who knows her secret?

About the Author:

RobinMason  “I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

Ms. Mason writes stories of identity conflict. Her characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, her stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. “I know, I write from experience.”

Ms. Mason has seven novels, Tessa, Clara Bess, and Cissy, in the unsavory heritage series, and The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, and The Whispering Winds of Spring in her Seasons series. All of Ms. Mason’s books are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. She also has several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. She is working on a on One for the Price of Two, the first story in her new series, FourSquare, to release next year.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Goodreads //

Evolution of a Cover:

Evolution of a cover

Re-new Cover Reveal:

‘Dat first cover’ was my uneducated and oblivious attempt at cover design.  The second try captured the essence I wanted, but didn’t convey well to the second and third books in the series. Number three was professionally done, but as lovely as it is, I still didn’t love it. I took the design back into my hands last year with the fourth cover, but it was missing something. Now, for Tessa’s birthday, she has a stunning new look!

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TessaCover

Isn’t she gorgeous!!

Tessa is available on Amazon, both in print and Kindle format!

Purchase here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IPZ5JEE/

 

* * * * * GIVEAWAY * * * * *

TessGiveaway

*Giveaway run through November 7th*

Bird’s Nest Books is celebrating Tessa’s fourth birthday with a tour-wide #giveaway! Robin is gifting one reader a Prize Pack that includes:

A signed print copy of Tessa
3 oz packette of Tessa’s Tea
unsavory heritage mug
necklace with paint palette pendant
unsavory heritage bookmark
three (3) framed mini art prints
Bonus Books —  from Heather Gilbert, Lisa Lickel, and Linda Rodante

CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter for the Giveaway!

Giveaway is sponsored by Bird’s Nest Books, and is not affiliated by any social media venues. Open to US residents only.

#BirdsNestBooks #bookbirthday #Tessabookbirthday  #unsavoryheritage #RobinEMason

unsavory heritageseries

First Line Friday: The Reluctant Warrior

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring The Reluctant Warrior by Mary Connealy. From the very first page, I was involved in this story and the lives of these characters. I found myself thrown into the action and holding my breath to find out what would happen next. CLICK HERE to read my review.

Reluctant Warrior Spine.indd

Sierra Nevada Mountains
April 1868

          It was the silence that woke him. 

 

Something is about to happen!  If you’d like to read a little more, you can check out the excerpt that Bethany House is sharing. CLICK HERE to read an Excerpt of The Reluctant Warrior!

  The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2) by Mary Connealy

Synopsis:

Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He’s come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may be trying to keep the children.

When danger descends on the cabin where they’re huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and wonders if it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection–and in the process he might just win her heart as well.

My Thoughts:

From the very first page, I was involved in this story and the lives of these characters. I found myself thrown into the action and holding my breath to find out what would happen next.

Gwen is spunky and not afraid to say what’s on her mind and tell things like they are. She doesn’t hold back, and you know where you stand with her. She loves the children and comes to realize that by helping them get to know their father, it will make their lives easier. Little does she realize that her heart may be changed in the process.

Cam is battle-hardened. He is used to giving orders and having them followed without question. But he quickly comes to realize that what has served him well thus far, is now the very thing that is causing him problems. Will he be able to admit his short-comings and ask for help?

Survival is difficult enough on its own in the high Sierra’s, but with a murderer lurking, things have only gotten more difficult. It is only by working together as a team that they can all survive. But will their own personalities get in the way?

I enjoyed my time spent reading this newest book by Mary Connealy. These characters are full of personality and I couldn’t help but feel like I was part of the story right along with them. I would recommend reading the first book, before this one as you would miss out on some back-story. I give this book 4.5 stars and look forward to reading more from Mary Connealy in the near future!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

  The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

MaryConnealy    Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys always with a strong suspense thread. She is a two time Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.
She is the bestselling author of 48 books and novellas.
Her most recent three book series are: Cimarron Legacy, Wild at Heart, Trouble in Texas, Kincaid Bride for Bethany House Publishing. She’s also written four other series for Barbour Publishing and many novellas and several stand-alone books for multiple publishers.
Mary will be a published author for ten years in 2017 with nearly a million books in print. She has a degree in broadcast communications with an emphasis in journalism and has worked at her local newspaper.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads //

Order your copy today:

  The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2)

Available for Pre-order:

The Unexpected Champion (High Sierra Sweethearts #3)

Don’t miss the first book:

  The Accidental Guardian (High Sierra Sweethearts #1)

First Line Friday: An Hour Unspent

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White. I enjoyed every moment reading this delightful story! Roseanna White expertly writes such dynamic characters and expansive settings that I just can’t help but be blissfully lost within the pages of her books! CLICK HERE to read my review.

HourUnspent_comp

May 11, 1915
Poplar, London, England

Barclay Pearce shouldered his way through the mob, invisible. He’d learned over the years how to blend into any crowd, and this one was no different. 

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

AnHourUnspent1

His Encouragement: week #39

Welcome to His Encouragement. I have joined with some blogging friends to bring you a new Bible verse every Thursday, and a little discussion of hope and encouragement. We welcome you to join the conversation by adding your daily verse of encouragement as well.

I pray that these Thursday posts become an encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!

 

Today’s Thursday Encouragement:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence,
and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Psalms 51:10-12

 

When a computer gets bogged down and slows, or when it gets a bug, often the only way to fix the problem is to wipe the hard drive and reset the computer. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need a reset. I can’t do it myself, I need God to clean my heart, to renew and restore.

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

 

To enjoy more Bible Encouragement, visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Becca @ The Becca Files
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories by Gina

The Christy Awards: Blog Blitz & Giveaway

If there were a Christian fiction version of the Oscars, The Christy Awards would be it. And we are teaming up with The Christy Awards to help you read good fiction! Some of the best of the best, in fact.

Last year’s 2017 Christy Award winners included:

The Lady & The Lionheart (Joanne Bischof),

A Note Yet Unsung (Tamera Alexander),

Her One and Only (Becky Wade),

The Mark of the King (Jocelyn Green),

The Silent Songbird (Melanie Dickerson),

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer (James Rubart), and more!

2017-christy-awards

 

The 2018 Christy Award Celebration Gala is coming up on November 7, 2018, but first, the finalists will be announced on September 19th!! And you don’t want to miss it!

Make sure you’re following along with their social media accounts so you don’t miss the big announcement!

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


ChristyAwardsInvite

The Christy Award team invites you to two events that celebrate fiction, both held on November 7, 2018 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN!

First, from 1-5: 30 pm, is the Art of Writing Conference – a focused conference for writers, storytellers, and publishing curators. This is a half day of intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life, provide practical tips for overcoming challenges in a rapidly-changing industry, and answer questions authors are asking. Head here for a full list of speakers, including Carla Laureano, Joanne Bischof, Donald Miller, and Charles Martin.

Then, starting at 7:00 pm, The Christy Award Dinner Gala will celebrate the art of Christian fiction, announce the 2018 winners of The Christy Award, and honor the power of Story, the legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, and the year’s best in Christian fiction.

Wanna know which authors will be at The Christy Awards gala? How about Charles Martin, Carla Laureano, Francine Rivers, Sarah Arthur, and Cynthia Ruchti, for starters?

Many of the finalists will be there too so make sure you follow The Christy Award on social media for the big announcement on the 19th!

***** GIVEAWAY *****

On behalf of the ECPA, JustRead is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to help you read good fiction!

The Christy Awards JustRead blog blitz giveaway

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 15, 2018 and last through 11:59 pm September 21, 2018. Open internationally except where prohibited by law & as long as winner can accept a gift card from US Amazon. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

JustRead publicity tours

A Perfect Weakness by Jennifer A. Davids

Synopsis:

The Civil War left its mark on Dr. John Turner. He turns his back on medicine and sees his unexpected inheritance in England as an opportunity to start over. But he never imagines how God intends to use his new role as lord of Ashford Hall or the beautiful woman he finds there to ease his troubled soul.

A tragic loss led Penelope Howard to bury her heart and dreams in her work for the Hall and the village of Woodley. But the arrival of the new heir stirs not only her discarded longings but her compassion as well. What burden does he carry that he can’t accept that grace covers the darkest of sins?

A deadly epidemic sweeps through Woodley revealing secrets which threaten everything. The doctor faces a choice: leave or dare to believe what the Lord whispers through the woman John has come to love.

No one is beyond redemption.

My Thoughts:

The first thing that captured my attention was the gorgeous cover!  The mysterious castle ruins in the background the beautiful dress with the waterfall lace cuffs. Then I read the back cover copy and I was hooked! I absolutely had to read about these characters.

I enjoyed the twists an turns, and the internal struggles. I struggled the first few chapters to connect with the characters and their story. Once I got a little further into the plot the characters took hold. The ending is strong, filled with emotion and left me with a smile on my face.

The heroine, Penelope Howard, is a strong female lead. She takes on a leadership roll in her community, even when some of the older ladies feel that she oversteps her bounds. The secret that Penelope carries has the power to potentially destroy her good standing, and while she recognizes that God has forgiven her for her past mistakes, she struggles to fully internalize and own that knowledge in her outward expression.

Dr. John Turner struggles with his past. The horrors he witness during the American Civil war, as well as the after effects. He feels that his sins are too big to ever be forgiven, and thus he has decided to give up his medical practice and keep people at arms length. Things don’t go exactly as John plans. John’s character growth was slow, but satisfying and by the end of the story he became my favorite character.

I really appreciated the strong core of faith throughout this story. The reminders of God’s forgiveness and His love for us right where we are. A beautiful picture of redemption.

This is an excellent debut for this author. The story is strong, with a great plot, dynamic, likable characters and an emotionally complex story. I give this 4-stars and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

APerfectWeakness

About the Author:

JenniferA.Davids  Jennifer has been writing stories since she got an A++ on her ninth grade creative writing assignment. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and a graduate of The Ohio State University, she makes room to write in between being a busy wife and mom and despite the fact her cats like to walk in front of her keyboard.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

Click on the title below to snag your copy!

  A Perfect Weakness