November – 2018

What books have you read during the month of November? I’ve had the pleasure of reading some wonderful stories this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in November.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

AHolidayByGaslight  A Holiday By Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

EnchantingNicholette  Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

ChasingSomeday Chasing Someday by Crystal Walton

DeckTheShelves  Deck the Shelves by Toni Shiloh

AMusketInMyHands  A Musket in my Hands by Sandra Merville Hart

SoBrightAHope  So Bright A Hope by Amber Lynn Perry

TheLibertyBride  The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall

UTSS  Under this Same Sky by Cynthia Roemer

BenjyAndTheBelsnickel  Benjy and the Belsnickel by Bonnie Swinehart

SearchingForYou  Searching for You by Jody Hedlund

Character Interview:

ALoveRestored Benjamin Coulter with Kelly Goshorn

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?
What book(s) are you looking forward to reading in December?

 

 

 

Giveaway & Character Interview: Benjamin Coulter from A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn

Friends, we have a special treat today! We have a special visitor, Benjamin Coulter from A Love Restored. But before I welcome Benjamin, allow me to share about the book to refresh your memory.

About the Book:

ALoveRestoredWith pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to Society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

 A Love Restored

CLICK HERE to read my review

About the Author:

KellyJGoshorn  Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith, and family set in nineteenth-century America. Kelly earned a B.A. in Social Studies Education from Messiah College and an M.Ed. in History Education from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.

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

CLICK HERE to read Author Interview

 

Meet the Character

Please join me in giving Benjamin a warm welcome!

Hello, Mrs. Robertson. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance. I’m a bit uncomfortable about being here in 2018, with a lady reporter and all, but Kelly and Ruthie encouraged me to stop by and visit with you and your readers today.

Kelly suggested I begin by telling your readers a little bit about myself. I’m from Pennsylvania and the eldest of four children. My father owns an orchard and had intended for me to inherit. I chose a different path after I witnessed the burning of my hometown, Chambersburg, by Confederate troops in July 1864. At the age of 16, I enlisted in the Union army and served in Tennessee. Not wanting to be a farmer, I didn’t return home after the war. Instead, I took work as a spike man on the railroad. Backbreaking labor for sure. My efforts paid off and I moved up the ranks quickly to chain man and eventually a crew chief before being given the opportunity to apprentice as a surveyor with a land mapping agency. The apprenticeship took me to Virginia where I was tasked with assisting the Washington & Ohio railroad through Clark’s Gap and then over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester. That’s when I had my chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton. The line went right through her hometown of Catoctin Creek, altering the course of my life forever.

Five Favorites:

  1. Jules Verne is my favorite author.
  2. I’m partial to a school teacher I met recently, Miss Ruth Ann Sutton.
  3. I’d rather fish at the creek than attend a party.
  4. I like music and can play both the piano and the guitar.
  5. Did I mention I’m fond of Ruthie?

Character Q&A

TR: What first attracted you to Ruth Ann?

Benjamin: Well it certainly wasn’t her singing voice. She dearly loves to sing but can’t manage to carry a tune with a handle on it. As to your question, I’d have to say her curls. Although they tend to exasperate her, I find their unpredictable nature suit her quite well. But the more I got to know her the more I saw her intelligence and compassionate heart. Kelly tells me women in your century are keen to express thoughts and opinions. It’s rare in my time for a woman to be outspoken, especially before marriage. But I like that Ruthie shares her thoughts freely.

 

TR: In this century, Benjamin, avid readers of romance novels have book boyfriends. Is there an image of you that you can share with us today?

Benjamin: Silence.

TR: Benjamin are you there?

Benjamin: I’m here … just a bit unsure what you meant by boyfriend. I had to check with Kelly and she said it’s similar to a suitor. Here’s my photograph.

Benjamin Coulter

But this may be more what your readers are looking for. Kelly said this is how she pictured me in her head while writing the story.

Daniel Lissing (Ben)

 

TR: Kelly has relayed that A Love Restored is based on her own real-life romance with her husband, Mike. Can you share with us in what ways you are like her husband? How are you different?

Benjamin: We both sure do love to tease our ladies about their singing voices. Is, Kelly going to read this? I mean between you and me, the woman’s voice could haunt the dead—just like my sweet Ruthie. Back to the question. Mike and I both joined the army. Although he never saw combat, he served as a chemical officer during the first Gulf War. We both enjoy Jules Verne novels but Mike listens to them on something called Audible where folks read you the book out loud. Can’t quite figure that one out. We both learned to bake from our grandmothers. My apple pie won a ribbon at the county fair. Between us, I think that gets under his skin a bit. Mike may not agree, but I think my sugar cookies are every bit as good as his. I’ll let you in on a little secret. He actually keeps a copy of that recipe in a special box with other important papers that won’t catch on fire. Kelly said if your readers would like the recipe that inspired the baking scene in A Love Restored they could get that when they sign up for her newsletter at http://kellygoshorn.com/my-writing/newsletter.

 

TR: Some readers have wanted to purse whomp you, Benjamin. Is there anything you’d like to say them?

Benjamin: Go right ahead. I deserve it. Or at least I did. I know Kelly was hesitant to write this story at first because she worried how people may view us (her husband and myself) but Mike kept encouraging her to do it. Kelly shared with me that she found writing my character the most challenging part of the whole story. She feared people might give up on me when I grappled with Ruth Ann’s fuller-figure. She said romance readers usually prefer their leading men to be white knights and my armor had serious dents in it. But I think if we’re honest with ourselves, most of us are seriously flawed. As my friend, Neil Peterson so aptly pointed out, “that’s why we need a savior.”

 

TR: Neil played a huge part in your change of heart. Can you share with us more about Neil and your relationship?

Benjamin: Neil is … well, the father I never really had. My own father was an angry drunk. I’m sorry to speak so ill of him but that’s the truth of the matter. Where my own father said I’d never amount to anything, Neil taught me to believe that my future wasn’t defined by my past. He came alongside me and walked me through some dark times. Without judgment, he gently nudged me to examine what the Bible had to say, and it didn’t take long for the Holy Spirit to prod me to make serious changes in my lifestyle and eventually, in my attitudes.

 

TR: Ruth Ann had a fuller figure when you met her, and you were instantly attracted to her. What changed?

Benjamin: We’re back to the purse whomping issue, huh? Fair enough. Let me be clear that Ruth Ann didn’t change. I did, and the problem was all mine. Sure, I noticed that she was plumper than most of the ladies I’d been attracted to before but when she unpinned those long brown curls, I was done for. Not only does she have a beautiful smile, but she’s smart and possesses more courage and strength of conviction than most folks I know.

What changed? I did. Not the way I felt about Ruth Ann. I never stopped loving her but when the men on my crew poked fun of her round figure, I began feeling like she wasn’t enough or that I deserved better. You see, just like Ruthie had repeated ugly words about herself over and over, I’d made vows too—about what kind of woman I’d marry. Without me even realizing it, those words began to dictate my choices. I’d let everything get turned inside out and I didn’t have the courage to stand up in the face of ridicule and declare my true feelings. Instead of following God’s will for my life, I resisted because the wrapping on the gift He’d given me wasn’t to my liking. I’m ashamed to confess that, but that’s the way of it. I had to come to terms with my own prejudice and when I was finally able to admit that to myself and to God, He gave me new eyes for Ruthie and I no longer saw anything, but the beautiful, Godly woman Ruth Ann is.

 

TR: What advice do you have for those who may be struggling with similar issues today?

Benjamin: I’m not sure I’m in any position to give advice, but if any of your readers are struggling with an attraction to someone society says doesn’t measure up whether it be their weight, their income, the color of their skin, their job, or something entirely different, I encourage them to focus on the characteristics that drew you to them in the first place. While attraction is always part of the equation, lifelong relationships have their foundation in a solid friendship. Above all else, seek God’s direction for your life and the courage to follow it. You will never be disappointed when you walk the path He has chosen for you. I have no regrets. I’m confident you won’t either.

TR: Thank you, Benjamin, for visiting with us today. I am sure that my blog readers have enjoyed getting to know you a little bit better!

 

*****GIVEAWAY*****

Kelly Goshorn is giving away a beautiful, handmade book-charm bookmark and a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card. Review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this giveaway is only available to those in the continental USA. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period, the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Do you have a favorite dessert you enjoy baking? ”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

 

***** GIVEAWAY ENDED *****

Winner: Becca

 

 

 

August 2018 – Month in Review

What books have you read during the month of August? I’ve had the pleasure of reading some wonderful stories this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in August.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Book Reviews:

TheBestOfIntentions  The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason

Reckless  The Reckless by MaryLu Tyndall

FreedomsKiss  Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon

ADangerousDeception  A Dangerous Deception by Debra E. Marvin

ALoveRestored  A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn

ARumoredFortune  A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

CaughtBySurprise  Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano

 

Book Spotlight:

BookSpotlight-MagnoliaSummer-crop  Magnolia Summer by Melanie Dickerson

 

Author Interviews:

PhotoFunia-1532360617  Kelly Goshorn

PhotoFunia-1535382334  Jen Turano

 

Cover Reveals:

CoverReveal-Graphic Finally Accepted by Toni Shiloh

IMG_0869 Eternity Between Us by Stephenia H. McGee

CoverImage  When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?
What book(s) are you looking forward to reading in September?

Today is the last chance to enter the giveaway for an autographed print copy of Caught By Surprise! Check out the Author Interview & Giveaway with Jen Turano!

FreedomsKiss

First Line Fridays: A Love Restored

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

Today I’m super excited to be featuring A Love Restored by Kelly Goshorn. I knew the moment I read the synopsis that I’d enjoy this story, what I didn’t expect is all the emotions I’d feel as I read the story! To learn more, see my full review!

Be sure to check out the Author Interview & Giveaway with Kelly Goshorn

ALoveRestored

Loudoun County, Virginia
August 1873

          Land sakes it was hot. 
          Ruth Ann Sutton peeled the black stockings from her legs and stuffed them inside her boots. If only she could do the same with her corset.

 

August sure is hot, and I for one am thankful that we don’t wear corsets or have to wear thick stockings!

You can be sure that something exciting is about to happen next, and trust me when I say that you won’t want to miss out on reading this fantastic story!

 

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

IMG_0905

A Love Restored by Kelly J. Goshorn

Synopsis:

With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to Society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

My Thoughts:

I knew the moment I read the synopsis that I’d enjoy this story, what I didn’t expect is all the emotions I’d feel as I read the story! Kelly Goshorn has written a phenomenal story, one that not only drew me into the lives of the characters but a story that touched my heart and has lingered with me long after I close the page.

Ruth Ann is spunky, determined, and broken. She has a big heart for others, especially her students at the Freedman’s School.  But, like so many of us, she carries with her a heavy baggage of words that were careless tossed her direction. Sometimes it is easier to believe the negative messages people tell you than the positive messages. For some reason, those negative messages seem a lot stickier.

What to say about Benjamin Coulter? I went from loving him to wanting to smack him upside the head, to feeling for him, and his personal struggle, and cheering for him and hoping for the best outcome. He is quite the hero. He will wrap himself around your heart for sure! Benjamin has his flaws and tends to have to learn his lessons the hard way. His love for Ruth Ann is endearing, heartbreaking and profound.

I saw myself in each of these characters and was reminded of several important truths. It is infinitely important that we choose to listen to God’s voice and to know who we are in Him. It is just as important that we don’t allow our perception of beauty to be dictated by others. I was also reminded of how easy it is to fall into the trap of wanting to please other people, and seek their admiration and respect when our focus should really be on pleasing God and seeking His approval.

This is a story that you don’t want to miss! I give this book 5 enthusiastic stars and would encourage you to pick up a copy to enjoy for yourself today!

(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:

IMG_0905

About the Author:

KellyJGoshorn  Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. Kelly earned a B.A. in Social Studies Education from Messiah College and a M.Ed. in History Education from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.

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

Pick-up your copy today!

 A Love Restored

 

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Author Interview & Giveaway – Kelly Goshorn

I have a special treat for you today! Author Kelly Goshorn is visiting with us to share an excerpt and to chat about her book “A Love Restored”. Be sure to stick around until the end to enter the giveaway!

KellyJGoshorn  Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith, and family set in nineteenth-century America. Kelly earned a B.A. in Social Studies Education from Messiah College and a M.Ed. in History Education from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.

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

ALoveRestoredWith pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to Society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

 A Love Restored

Excerpt:

Loudoun County, Virginia
August 1873

Benjamin Coulter cringed as the shrill tune hung in the air. That woman sure knew how to ruin a Sunday afternoon. Sounded like something was dying and needed to be put out of its misery.

He shook his head. All he wanted to do was rest a while longer. His decision to go around his headstrong superior and talk to Mr. Farrell directly about his boss’s inaccurate measurements had made for a nerve wracking week. That decision could have cost him his job. Thankfully, his discovery had been received well, saving the struggling railroad both time and money.

Benjamin leaned against the sycamore tree and tossed his line into the creek. A slight hint of remorse nicked his conscience. He now sat poised to guide the construction of the Washington & Ohio Railroad through the town of Catoctin Creek and over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester, but he hadn’t intended to get his boss fired. If only the man hadn’t refused to admit he’d made a mistake.

Yep, it was all coming together. Just the way he’d hoped it would when he agreed to leave Texas and take this apprenticeship in Virginia. All he had to do was pass that examination next spring and…

He shuddered. The woman’s screeching escalated to a bone-grating pitch. She’d frighten the fish away for sure. Like most folks, Sunday was his day off, and he didn’t intend to spend it listening to her sing off-key.

Wedging his pole in the mud of the creek bank, he set off to investigate. Her ear-piercing slaughter of The Merry, Merry Month of May led the way. He spied his first glimpse of the lyrical assassin through the thin limbs of a dogwood tree. Perched on a large, flat rock at the edge of the creek, she swirled her bare feet in the water. Behind the rock sat a pair of woman’s boots—fancy ones. Too bad she hadn’t spent some of her shoe allowance on singing lessons. Her voice cracked. “The skies were bright, our hearts were light, in the merry, merry month of May…”

Benjamin winced. That was the fourth time in a row she’d sung that part. For the love of Pete, didn’t Miss Fancy Boots even know the words? He needed to put a stop to this so he could continue fishing—and napping. He stepped forward then stopped. The woman reached up and removed a pin from her hair, then another. Mounds of long chestnut brown ringlets spilled over her shoulders into the middle of her back.

Curls. He groaned. Why’d she have to have curls?

“The skies were bright. Our eyes were light…”

Never mind. Curls or not, the woman’s voice could haunt the dead.

Author Interview:

Welcome, Kelly! I’m so glad you could visit with us today and share about your new book!

Hi Trisha, thank you for having me on Joy of Reading. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you lately through all our mutual friends on Facebook and look forward to spending time with you and your readers today.

 

BlueRidgeFallQ:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Kelly:  Definitely, fall. I love the cooler temperatures, the crisp air, harvest festivals, pumpkin flavored everything magically appears on grocery store shelves and let’s not forget those leaves. The Blue Ridge mountains are covered in a vast array or orange, yellow and red that never gets old. I’m always in awe of God’s artistry.

Trisha:  Fall is a lovely time of year. I grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains and the colors just can’t be beat!

 


7e3ee79caa15de6e986e5b63ce69311aQ:  What is the best part of your day?

Kelly:  I really enjoy the early morning. I get up around 4:45 or 5 am and the house is so quiet. I make a cup of Earl Grey tea and have some prayer time then start writing.

Trisha:  I enjoy mornings, but you have me beat by about an hour!

 

books-315677_640Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Kelly:  Great question—the books that made me fall in love with Christian historical romance were the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke (well just about anything she wrote) and Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I also loved all of DeAnne Gist’s books.

Trisha:  Those are some wonderful author’s, I’ve enjoyed their books also!

 

mobile-616012_640Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Kelly:  Cory Asbury (Reckless Love), Toby Mac (I Just Need You), Mandisa (Unfinished), Matthew West (Mended), Jordan Feliz (Witness) and Elevation Worship (Come to the Altar ).

Trisha:  I’ve not yet listened to Cory Asbury’s music. I’ll have to go listen to a sample on iTunes!

 

love-2614754_640Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Kelly:  Since A Love Restored is based on my real-life romance with my husband, Mike, the plotline definitely came first.

Trisha:  I do enjoy stories based on real-life experiences!

 

book-863418_640Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Kelly:  Tough question but I think I’d have to say Ruth Ann’s brother-in-law, Joseph Palmer. Although I always envisioned him as tender, kind and protective, I was surprised when his back story emerged and placed him in the mentor role, persuading Ruth Ann to trust again.

 

desk-1148994_640Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Kelly:  While writing ALR I worked nights at Target and often returned home after midnight. I’d be wide awake and sometimes write or edit until 2 or 3 am. That’s funny because I’ve completely become an early morning person now and am usually in bed by 9:30.

 

pencil-918449_640Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Kelly:  Considering the second draft was 116,000 words, lots of things didn’t make it into the final copy? LOL! I had several chapters where Ben & Ruth Ann traveled to Pennsylvania to meet his family. There were several comical scenes where she learns to gather eggs and milk a cow.

 

alphabets-2365812_640Q:  What are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)

Kelly:  I do not currently have anything under contract, so I do not know how long it will be until I have another story published but I am currently working on a series set in Civil War Virginia.  Surrendered Hearts examines what happens when God calls us to surrender those things we hold most dear. Characters are called to sacrifice their dreams and ambitions, their pride, and ultimately their hearts as God recklessly pursues each of them. Hearts and wills are challenged, and lives transformed as characters experience restoration with one another and with God.

Trisha:  Thank you, Kelly, for visiting today! It was great getting to know you and your story a little better! I’ll be sure to watch for your next book!

 

* * * * * GIVEAWAY  * * * * *

Kelly Goshorn is giving away 1 (one) print copy of her book “A Love Restored”. Review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this print copy is only available to those in the continental USA. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period, the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Do you have a favorite time period that you enjoy reading?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

***** Giveaway Ended *****

Winner: Becca