Depending on You (Frontier Vows #3) by Melissa Jagears

About the Book:

Can the joy and hope of Christmas restore their love before it’s too late?

Leah Whitsett’s life was ideal until the disastrous day she nearly died because of her husband’s deceit. When he returns home weeks before Christmas, she knows the best gift she can give him is forgiveness, but how can she relinquish her hard-won independence knowing he plans to turn their family’s life upside down again?

Bryant has always known his wife was a gift he’d never deserved, but how can he provide for her in a town that no longer wants anything to do with him? He longs to atone for the misery he’s put his loved ones through, but when he brings a family member home for the holidays, he and Leah may end up even further apart.

With emotions high and their marriage at stake, will the season bring the hope they need…or are their rifts too large to mend?

My Thoughts:

Christmas is getting closer and the past months have been a struggle for Leah Whitsett. She has has to recover from a near-death trauma, find a way to pay the bills, keep a roof over her head and food on the table alone, without her husband. Now just weeks before Christmas her husband returns and turns her life upside down. Can two hearts once knit closely in love find forgiveness and a way to love again?

It’s not often that you find a story about a married couple who are going through a valley and struggling to find forgiveness and love. When the one person you trust the most has failed you and let you down. I enjoyed my time with Leah and Bryant! It was refreshing to read a story beyond the “Happily Ever After”, and into the “real” of life.

With realistic characters and heartwarming plot this Christmas novella is one you won’t want to miss out on!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

jagearsheadshotcompressed  Carol Award winning writer, Melissa Jagears, is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She’s the author of the Unexpected Brides Series with Bethany House. The prequel ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at

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

The Hope of Christmas Past by Stephenia H. McGee

About this book:

When a mysterious painting offers her a trip to the past,
will Isla find new hope for her future?

On the brink of aging out the foster system, the last thing Isla Laird wants is to spend Christmas in an old-fashioned plantation. What’s the point of bonding with her foster mom when it’s too late to ever be adopted? But when a mysterious painting suddenly thrusts her into the nineteenth century, Isla is forced to face hurts and memories she’s long tried to bury. With time running out and her heart in tatters, can God use an impossible miracle to bring Isla hope for a new future?

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed listening to this audio-book! Books don’t often make me cry, but something about listening to this story unfold, the intensity of emotion hit me and I teared up. This novella packs quite an emotional punch and I loved it!

I enjoyed getting to visit Belmont again and the chance to catch up with much loved characters. So find a cozy spot to snuggle in and enjoy this delightfully original Christmas story that is sure to warm your heart.

(I received a complimentary gift in a giveaway from the author. I am not required to write a review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.)

About the Author:

Steph

 Stephenia H. McGee is a wife, mother of two very active little boys, author, and lover of all things historical. Stephenia currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and sons where she writes stories of faith, redemption and life steeped in the South

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

Don’t miss these other titles from Bestselling Christian Historical author Stephenia H. McGeeIronwood Plantation Family Saga 
The Whistle Walk
Heir of Hope

Missing Mercy

The Liberator Series 
Leveraging Lincoln
Losing Lincoln
Labeling Lincoln

Stand Alone Titles 
In His Eyes
Eternity Between Us

Time Travel 
Her Place in Time

Novellas 
The Heart of Home
The Hope of Christmas Past

First Line Friday: Christmas at the Circus

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

Today I am excited to be featuring Christmas at the Circus by Joanne Bishof. Pour yourself a hot drink and snuggle up with this heartwarming Christmas story! Enjoy a heartwarming visit with Charlie, Ella and Holland Lionheart for their first Christmas.

ChristmasAtTheCircus

December, 1890

          Ella Lionheart hefted a jar of flour onto the work surface, placing it with a cloud of dust to rival that of the high-flying aerialist and their grand landings in the center ring.

 

Pick-up your copy for only .99c!

Christmas at the Circus

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

 

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

A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

Book 2 in Reader Favorite Michelle Griep’s Charming Once Upon a Dickens Christmas Series

Synopsis:

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such deception?

My Thoughts:

This delightful story captured my heart! With irresistible characters, a fully immersable setting, and Michelle Gripe’s signature way with words, it all adds up to an unforgettable story that you are sure to need for your keeper shelf.

The Victorian era comes vividly to life in this charming Christmas story. An exciting, fast-paced story that kept me eagerly turning pages. I enjoyed the Dickens flair woven throughout the story. While this is the second book in the series, it is easily a stand-alone.

I especially appreciated the gentle reminders of faith woven into the story. A reminder of the importance of trusting God and waiting on Him, and finding joy in the unexpected. We are also reminded of the importance of extending forgiveness to others as well as ourselves.

I always know that I’m in for a special treat any time I pick up on of Michelle Griep’s books! I give this delightful story 5 starts and please trust me when I say that you must run out to the store today, and purchase a copy to enjoy! Get a copy for you and for a friend, while you are at it!

(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:

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About the Author:

2754194 I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Pick up your copy:

  A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #2)

 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #1)

 

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A Lawman for Christmas (Smokey Mountain Matches #12)

The Gift of Family

Synopsis:

Committed to her spinsterhood, Isabel Flores isn’t about to trust a man with her hard-won independence or her heart—especially not lawman Ben MacGregor. But when a little boy is abandoned on her property, the so-called “Debonair Deputy” of their small Tennessee town helps her care for the child. And Isabel begins to hope he might be more than just a handsome flirt.

Ben is well aware of Isabel’s aversion to love and has his own secret reasons for avoiding relationships. But as he and Isabel do their best to make the holiday special for their young ward, Ben wonders if he could be a family man after all. Will this Christmas be the first of many for Isabel and Ben’s little instant family?

My Thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve had the pleasure of reading from Karen Kirst. I was delighted with the characters, the setting, and the storyline. This story is sure to warm your heart and put you in the Christmas spirit. I could so clearly picture the town of Gatlinburg, TN that I felt like I was there.

While I’ve not yet read the other 11 books in the Smokey Mountain series, I didn’t feel at all lost in this story. Yes, there are brief mentions of other characters, but not once did I feel lost. If anything It made me want to read the other books to find out the details of their stories.

Isabel is a strong and independent, blacksmith forge savvy women of the mountains. The last thing she wants is a man interrupting her plans. But under her rough exterior beats the heart of a woman who longs for a family (even if she has buried it so deep, that she forgot).

“Debonair Deputy” Ben MacGregor smiles and the ladies swoon at his feet. He is a self-proclaimed bachelor. However, his actions call into question the sincerity of his claims with the ladies of the town.

When a bank robbery goes wrong, and then a little boy is abandoned on her doorstep, Isabel and Ben are thrust together to not only prevent another robbery but to uncover the mystery of where this little boy came from. Will the tender, trusting smiles of an adorable 4-year old, warm their hearts and change their minds?

Karen Kirst not only breathes life into the setting but the characters as well. From the first page to the last, the story never once lost momentum. I give this story 5 stars. I am looking forward to finding copies of the earlier books in this series, as I’m sure I will enjoy them just as much as I have this one.

(I purchased a print copy of this book for my own collection. I am not required to write positive reviews. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

ALawmanForChristmas

About the Author:

KarenKirst  Karen Kirst was born and raised in East Tennessee near the Great Smoky Mountains. A lifelong lover of books, it wasn’t until after college that she had the grand idea to write one herself. The pursuit of her dream would take longer than she first anticipated…years, in fact. In the fall of 2010, she got the happy news that Harlequin Love Inspired Historical wanted to publish her manuscript-a true blessing from God. Now she divides her time between being a wife, homeschooling mom, and romance writer. She enjoys reading, hosting tea parties and spending time with friends.

Web page // Goodreads // Twitter //

 

His Encouragement: Bible Inspiration for your Thursday

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:

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon
his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
– Isaiah 9:6 & 7

 

To our lost world He gave all He could give. The greatest gift that could ever be given! He didn’t wait until we asked. He didn’t wait until we realized we needed a savior. While we were still sinning, and lost, He left the glory and splendor of heaven. He came to our dark world as a helpless baby. He came to save us. We are helpless, we cannot save ourselves. He paid the price that we could never pay.

Daily commit your life to Him. Don’t wait another moment. He loves you more than you can imagine.

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

 

Be sure to also visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home

If you would like to join us: please contact Trisha or Nicole

 

Wrapped In Red (A Three Rivers Romance Novella) by Meghan M. Gorecki

A Steel City holiday romance sure to melt your heart.

Synopsis:

The holidays haven’t been the easiest for Merry Grainger. Five years ago, she lost her grandfather and got dumped by her boyfriend right before Christmas. Each season since sees her determined to avoid getting hurt again, and so she keeps a steel-like grip on her hopeless romantic heart.

Music used to soothe Sam Shepard’s soul until the death of his biggest cheerleader broke his heart, family, and dreams into pieces. Now he’s focused on thriving in the city, and with the people, he’s grown to love—all to keep the hole in his heart from opening anew with every passing holiday season.

Thrown together by a church play and meddlesome family armed with mistletoe, will Merry and Sam unwrap their guarded hearts to let in the true hope of Christmas—and each other?

My Thoughts:

Some Christmas stories are light and fluffy, some are deep, some mysterious. This one is fun, and engaging with elements that will make you pause and think. Just like real life, this isn’t a fluffy, sticky sweet, story. There are rocks in the road, or maybe I should say slide-offs (since its a winter story).

Will this swoon-worthy hero, Sam be able to gain the trust of the heroine, Merrry who has built up a wall around her heart? There are super fun moments in this story that will have you laughing, and there are tender moments that will have you sighing.

This story is so much more than just another sweet Christmas story. This is one of depth with a message that often we need to be reminded of. Because, let’s be real honest, we are all broken and lost and in need of a Savior. We may polish up well, and put on a good front, but deep down, we are all broken.

This is the first book I’ve read by Meghan M. Gorecki, and it won’t be the last! I look forward to reading many more stories from Meghan! I give this wonderful story 4.5 stars. I hope you each pick up a copy to enjoy!

(I purchased an ecopy of this book from Amazon. I am not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

“We’re fond of saying He came to seek and save the lost. But that doesn’t end when we accept Him into our hearts. He continually pursues us, His love is just that immense, and matchless.”

About the Author:

Meghan Gorecki Meghan M. Gorecki is an author of inspirational fiction about what God can make beautiful from the ashes of history, and hearts. A lover and avid studier of people, times gone by, and fiction, she has been writing since childhood and now houses her books under Northern Belle Publishing. Coffee and red lipstick color her days as a redhead from a box, alongside her treasured tribe of family and friends in her beloved hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Connect with her on social media and at her blog/website at: northernbellemeg.com
Northern Belle Publishing

Amazon // Facebook // Goodreads // Instagram // Twitter

 

 Snag Wrapped in Red today for just 99 Cents!

WrappedInRed

Author Interview & Giveaway with Michelle Griep

Welcome! I am thrilled to be visiting with Michelle Griep today and chatting about her latest book 12 Days at Bleakley Manor. Join us for a fun chat, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Be sure to share the post with your friends also. You can read my review by clicking here.

2754194Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on

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

12DaysAtBleaklyManorEngland, 1851: When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #1)

Trisha:  Thank you Michelle for visiting today. It’s always fun to get to know the authors behind the stories that we enjoy and love. Let’s get started with a few getting to know you questions and then we’ll chat about the book.

Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?

cornucopia-1789664_640Michelle:  I adore autumn. The colors. The scents. The double dark hot chocolate with marshmallows. Plus my favorite holiday is in the fall: Thanksgiving.

Trisha: Fall is a beautiful time of year, and I do so enjoy the yummy foods of fall. Fresh crisp apples, and juicy grapes!

coffee-2593577_640Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Michelle:  Slapping on my jammies and crawling into bed with a good book.

Trisha: That does sound like a cozy way to end the day!

 

Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

love-2614754_640Michelle:  My all time fave is Robin Hardy’s Streiker’s Bride trilogy. Absolutely awesome. I came to know God’s love for me in a whole new way after reading that series.

 Another series I loved was Tahn by L.A. Kelly It’s kind of a medieval but kind of not. The plot is thrilling and I love the character arcs.

 

podcasts-2633018_640Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Michelle:  A quirky mix of James Brown and the Last of the Mohicans sound track.

Trisha:  Oh, I too love listening to movie soundtracks. The Last of the Mohicans is a favorite of mine.

 

vintage-1706208_640Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

 Michelle:  The characters for Bleakly Manor came first. As much as I admire Dickens writing, it’s his characters that first and foremost grab a reader by the throat. I thought it only fitting to steal a few of his and tweak them to my liking.

Trisha:  The characters in this story are so vivid and rich in detail! I was hard pressed to pick a favorite.

 

 

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Michelle:  Miss Scurry turned out to be quite a sweet old lady. At first, I thought she might be a bit more mysterious, but she ended up being an all-around nice senior.

Trisha:  Yes, I wasn’t sure what to think of her at first, but you are right, she turned out to be quite charming.

 

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

Michelle:  Only midnight. After that, I turn into a pumpkin and things get real messy.

Trisha: Haha! I often don’t make it much past 11 pm myself.

 

correcting-1870721_640Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Michelle:  Nothing, actually. It takes me forever to write a manuscript compared to other authors, but that slow pace allows me to think carefully about what I’m putting in and why. It’s a rare manuscript of mine that I’d have to cut any scenes.

Trisha:  Thank you Michelle for visiting today. It was truly a pleasure to have you here. Please do come visit again!

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Michelle is giving away 1 (one) copy of her book “12 Days at Bleakley Manor”  The winner may choose a paper copy or e-copy (paper copy USA only). Please review the policies here. 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.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“If you could step back in time to the Victorian era, would you?”

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

*** GIVEAWAY ENDED  ***
Congratulations: Janice M.

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12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #1) by: Michelle Griep

Synopsis:

When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

 

My Review:

As I opened the pages and began to read I was instantly catapulted to December 24, 1850. It may have been early August in reality, but in my mind’s eye, I was there in the story. I could smell the musty drapes and wood smoke; I could feel the sting of the cold on my fingers and toes. My senses sprang to alertness as I tried to discover who was behind the mysterious transgressions. Would my favorite characters make it to the end of the story?

In just under 200 pages, Michelle Griep has penned a spine-tingling Christmas mystery to rival that of Charles Dickens himself, and I was blissfully along for the ride.  Kept on the edge of my seat with curiosity until the very last chapter when, like a beautiful Amaryllis, all was expertly revealed.

Underlying the twists and turns of this delightful page-turning story, the magnetic characters, and the realistic detailed setting is the gentle reminder of our Savior’s love,  we are all “inherently precious” and “we have all fallen from grace, yet it is grace alone that saves the worst of us.”

Bottom line: I loved this fantastic 5-Star book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

(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:

“One does not question an opportunity, my dear.One simply mounts it and rides.”
– Aunt Deb

About the Author:

2754194I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

 

 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #1)

 

Let’s Connect:

What do you enjoy most about Christmas books?

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