Author Interview & Giveaway with Karen Witemeyer

Friends, I am super excited to have Karen Witemeyer visiting with us today!  I have been reading her books since 2011 when her very first book “A Taylor-Made Bride” hit the shelves. I’ve not missed one of her stories, I’ve gobbled them all up like a hungry book dragon. Today, you get a front row seat to our conversation about Karen’s news book More Than Meets the Eye! Grab yourself a drink, a cozy chair and don’t forget to enter the giveaway before you go.

karen-witemeyer

Christy Award finalist and winner of the ACFW Carol Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

Website // Goodreads // Facebook // Pinterest

 

 

MoreThanMeetsTheEyeMany consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

 

Grab your copy today!

  More Than Meets the Eye

Welcome, Karen!  I’m thrilled to have you visiting with us today and chatting about your latest book release. Let’s get started with a few fun questions and then chat about the book.

Heather'sGardenQ:  What is your favorite season, and why?

Karen:  Spring – I love seeing new life emerge. Wildflowers (especially Texas bluebonnets), budding trees, grass changing from brown to green, baby animals coming into the world – it’s a season of hope.

Trisha:  Yes! Spring is my absolute favorite season as well!

 

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Q:  What is the best part of your day?

Karen:  The evening. Work is done for the day, dinner dishes are finished, relaxation can begin. Usually this entails sitting in my chair next to my hubby and watching a TV show or two. I usually cross-stitch while he plays on the computer. However, now that it’s summer and the kids don’t have homework to rush off to complete, one or two evenings a week we play board games. Love having the whole family together for a little fun-spirited competition.

Trisha:  Evenings are the ideal time to relax and unwind from a busy day.

 

coffee-2151200_640Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Karen:  Christy by Catherine Marshall is my favorite of all time. I also really enjoyed Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

Trisha:  Oh, yes! Two wonderful selections!

 

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

Karen:  My favorite genres include 80’s love songs, oldies, Christian, and Big Band. So names you might see would include Celtic Woman, Josh Groban, Lauren Daigle, Toby Mac, and Bing Crosby. How’s that for variety?

Trisha:  I love the variety!

 

guy-2609361_640Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Karen:  In More Than Meets the Eye, I would say that the characters came first. Years ago, I read a book by Julie Garwood called For the Roses where a group of street-toughened New York City urchins find a baby girl that someone had tried to dispose of and they decide to take her in and make a new life for themselves out west. This idea of family bonds being formed through shared hardship really spoke to my heart and came back to me as inspiration when I was brainstorming a new idea for a series. I wanted to bring together a group of orphans and have them create a family for themselves. Then came the idea of the orphan trains, but I needed my orphans not to be chosen by families so I had to give them reasons to be discarded and overlooked. Zach, the oldest, became a loner with a huge chip on his shoulder. Seth came into play as a sickly kid with weak lungs and a poor constitution. But how would I make the cheerful, tenderhearted heroine I envisioned for this story undesirable to adoptive families? That’s when I hit on the idea of heterochromia – or two different colored eyes, something people would see as unnatural and cause their superstitious minds to leap to unsavory conclusions. Once I had these characters in mind, the plot began to grow.

 

alphabets-2365812_640Q:  Which character took you by surprise

Karen:  Well, I don’t want to tell too much, because I want this character to take readers by surprise too, but  I will say that I had no idea this little fellow was going to show up until one of my secondary characters spoke him into existence near the end of Chapter 22. I usually keep a tight rein on my story as I write, so when something surprises me, it’s a rare treat and a keen reminder that, ultimately, I’m not the one in control.

 

coffee-2593577_640Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Karen:  I don’t write at night. That’s my down time. My brain pretty much turns to mush around 8:00 pm and is only good for watching television and handling the occasion family board game. I’m best in the morning or early afternoon. Which means I write a lot over the weekends.

 

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

Karen:  I don’t write multiple drafts. I write one, very slow, very careful draft so there’s not much chopping that goes on in my manuscripts. (I know. I’m strange.) I have had a time or two when my editor comes back and says a particular scene isn’t working, leaving me to cut or completely rework a section, but that doesn’t happen too often. I have two such scenes posted in the Bonus Material on my website. One is a deleted epilogue cut from my debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride. The other is a scene removed from A Worthy Pursuit. You can find those here. I didn’t have any large cuts with More Than Meets the Eye. Thank goodness. Those are hard on a writer’s heart.

 

TheChristmasHerloomQ:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)

Karen:  I have two upcoming projects. The first is a fun Christmas anthology where I got to team up with authors like Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade. The concept is a family heirloom that is handed down from mother to daughter across the generations – an heirloom that brings true love to its owner, often when least expected. This was my first stand-alone novella, and I had so much fun writing it. In fact, my Facebook group, The Posse, helped me plot the story and brought in a four-legged critter that ended up playing a key matchmaking role in the story. The Christmas Heirloom releases on October 2.

The second project is a sequel to More Than Meets the Eye. Older brother Zach Hamilton meets his match in an independent baker who ignores his death grip on bachelorhood and bargains him into a marriage of convenience. Secrets with the power to destroy their happiness loom and a vengeful villain with the power to destroy their lives sabotage them at every turn. The working title is More Than Words Can Say, and it is slated for release next June.

Thanks so much for having me!

Trisha:  Thank you, for visiting. It has been a pleasure to chat with you! Friends, Karen is generously giving away an autographed print copy of More Than Meets the Eye. Read below for the details!

 

***** GIVEAWAY *****

Karen is giving away 1 (one) autographed print copy of “More Than Meets the Eye”. Please note: Due to shipping cost this giveaway is only open to those with U.S mailing addresses.

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 using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Have you read one of Karen’s books before? If yes, do you have a favorite?”

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

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Takeover & Giveaway with Stacy Monson: 7 Psalms for Busy Women

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Author Stacy Monson.  Stacy is visiting with us today and sharing “7 Psalms for Busy Women” as well as sharing with us her new book coming out soon “Open Circle“.  Be sure to stay with us till the end and enter the giveaway!

* * * * * * *

Life can be crazy busy no matter what stage you’re at. Rather than put your head down and power through each day, find those touchpoint moments when you can speak with God and seek His calm and strength for what lies ahead. They need only be long enough to remember who He is, and who you are in Him.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.  Psalm 139:14

He created us as complex, multi-faceted, strong and capable women with a purpose on this earth. He knows our thoughts, dreams, gifts and talents. Every nuance is God-ordained.

  • As you take on new challenges, or simply try to make it through today, do so knowing you are God’s workmanship!

 

Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. Psalm 103:2

He is at work in our lives in ways we will miss unless we watch for Him. He provides the courage we need to face a frightening diagnosis, the words to share with someone who grieves, the stamina to go one more day as a single mom. Our best response is a thankful heart filled with praise for His goodness.

  • Take a moment to remember all that He’s done for you lately.

 

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

This isn’t a request—it’s a two-fold command. But who’s got time to be still? The God who created us knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us with a perfect, all-consuming love. And when we take the time to be still, we can know who He is as well.

  • He wants you to know Him. How amazing is that?

 

The LORD has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea, the LORD will answer my prayer.  Psalm 6:8-9

Does God know how hard we work? How tired we are? How we long for a break? Scripture tells us He hears our pleas, our cries, our pain, and that He never goes back on His word. Our job today is to lay out our fears, hurts, and anger and then be still and wait.  The answers may not be spoken aloud, but they’re there because He promised He will answer us.

  • He’ll never leave you in the lurch. You can trust Him.

 

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

When we get frustrated or angry, our voices rise in pitch. Before we release what’s building inside, it’s good to pause and remember this verse. Are the words we’re going to say pleasing to Him? Are our thoughts centered on finding a solution to the problem? Are our hearts trying to be like Jesus, or are we filled with anger, pity, even revenge? We can expect to hear God’s answers when our words and actions are in line with Him.

  • When frustration threatens, take a breath and ask how you can please Him in that moment.

My breath may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.  Psalm 73:26

Scripture provides many promises that God will give us what we need. While He never promised we won’t face more than we can handle, He does promise to never leave us, to walk beside us day and night, to light our path, be our strength, protector, and provider. In Him we find the energy, fortitude, words, and forgiveness to get through each day.

  • When you think you can’t take one more step, ask Him for renewed energy, strength, and focus (and a bit of joy too!).

 

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.   Psalm 143:10

One of our greatest strengths can also be our weakness. When something needs doing, we jump in with both feet. The flip side of this is burnout, resentment and exhaustion. When is the last time we asked God what we should do before we gave an answer? He has a plan for us based on the way He gifted us and the work He’s set out for us to do. Our best response is to let Him teach us to say yes or no, and to live on the firm footing of His purpose for us.

  • When another request for help comes at you, say you’ll get back to them. Then make your decision after chatting with God.

 

* * * * * *

Author Bio:

StacyMonsonStacy Monson is the award-winning author of The Chain of Lakes series, including Shattered Image, Dance of Grace, and The Color of Truth. Her stories reveal an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. Residing in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, she is the wife of a juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, mom to two amazing kids and two wonderful in-law kids, and a very proud grandma of 3 (and counting) grands.

Webpage // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter //

Her newest book, Open Circle, releases June 21 (available for pre-order HERE!). Here’s a bit about the story:

OpenCircleMindy Lee “Minnie” Carlson’s dream job has dropped into her hands, but there’s a catch. She has four months to revive Open Circle, the town’s only Senior Adult Day Center, or the doors will close, leaving her jobless, and the seniors she cares for stranded.

After decades traveling the globe and documenting the forgotten people of the world, Jackson Young discovers his beloved Grandma Em is still alive in Minnie’s small town. Overjoyed, he races back to his hometown to reconnect with her, only to discover she’s been Minnie’s surrogate grandmother for the past twenty years.

When Grandma Em has a stroke, his ideas about her care pit him against Minnie’s determination and expertise. For Grandma Em’s sake, and the future of Open Circle, they’ll need to do the impossible – find a way to work together.

 

**** GIVEAWAY ****

GiveawayImage

To celebrate, Stacy is giving away a fun canvas tote bag with a paperback copy of Open Circle and other goodies (for a winner in the U.S. International winner will receive an Amazon gift card).

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:
“What is your favorite verse (or passage) in Psalm”

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

***** Giveaway Has Ended ****

Congratulations to Yevhenii P.

 

 

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Jane by the Book by Pepper Basham

About the Book

Four years ago, Jane Warwick escaped the shame and heartbreak of being jilted at the altar by becoming a housekeeper at the secluded Inn at Simeon Ridge. Predictable and quiet, the inn helps Jane find a place to heal and celebrates her strengths, where she is promoted to head housekeeper. But an unexpected visit to Bath, England, upsets Jane’s plans and sends her out of her comfort zone, directly into the harrowing path of historical detective author, Titus Stewart. The only plans Titus sticks to are family holidays and the ones that send him careening into his story worlds, but when an uptight and nervous innkeeper stumbles into his life – and his latest novel – nonfiction begins to take on a much more interesting gleam.

As the unlikely pair delve into the mystery behind a one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old letter, will they both uncover a romance that stands the test of time?

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The Cover!

JaneByTheBook

JaneByTheBook-Backcover

GOODREADS

You can find Jane by the Book this JULY in the Once Upon a Laugh Novella Collection.

About the Author

pepperbarnsmile  Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. You can connect with Pepper over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Also by Pepper Basham

PreOrder-Facade

Amazon | Goodreads

SecondImpressions

Amazon |Barnes & Noble |Goodreads

Giveaway

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As part of this Cover Reveal Blitz, Pepper is giving away 1 (ONE) ebook copy of Second Impressions. Please enter via the Rafflecopter Form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Tour: Bounty Beyond Reason (Brides of Blessings #7) by Kari Trumbo

Synopsis:

For the last four years, she’s wanted to watch him hang.

Hannah Gale has to avenge her husband’s death and the loss of her future and watching Emitt Hayes swing will do just that. When she’s able to catch him, she can bring him back and claim the bounty, redeeming some of the wealth Emitt stole.

Emitt stole a horse to redeem a debt.

It started a landslide of events that changed many lives, and a has eaten at him ever since. He’s taken on the name Cort Nelson to hide. When his past catches up with him, Hannah is more fire than he’s expecting. His quiet, hidden life will never be the same.

A hidden danger appears that could cost them both their lives, can Cort admit to what he’s done and be the man Hannah needs and can Hannah release her grudge to grab hold of a future worth having?

My Thoughts:

I absolutely enjoyed every moment spent in the pages of this story. The characters are vivid and real. The story setting is depicted with such detail, that you feel like you are there in the forest, walking on the trails, smelling the loamy earth after a rain. I enjoyed the adventure and the mystery. I often couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen next. I was loathed to put the book down for even a moment.

Hannah is one feisty heroine who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. She is independent and has a strong sense of family loyalty, even if it’s misguided.

After years on the run, Cort has found a community and a place to belong. But when his past catches up with him, will he learn to give the desires of his heart to God and to rely on a strength greater than his own?

I’ve not yet had the pleasure of reading the other stories in this series, and I can tell you that I am looking forward to carving out some time to catch up with the earlier books. Not once did I feel lost, or like I was missing out on previous information.

If you enjoy reading historical fiction set in the west, then this is the book for you! I give this wonderful story 4.5 stars and would recommend it to anyone, especially fans of Mary Connealy & Tracey Lyons. You are sure to be delighted.

(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:

KariTrumbo  I am an author of Christian Historical Romance novels. My first series, Western Vows is comprised of a prequel Forsaking All Others, then To Honor and Cherish, For Richer or Poorer, and To Love and Comfort. The settings are Kansas and northern Minnesota/Canadian border. If you are a lover of historical romance, especially clean historical romance, please follow my newsletter to be updated on what’s coming!

Kari Trumbo is one of four authors in the best-selling Cutter’s Creek series. She writes Christian Historical Romance and is a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. When she isn’t writing or editing, she homeschools her children and pretends to keep up with them. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of almost twenty years, two daughters, two sons, three cats, and one hungry wood stove.

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

Bounty Beyond Reason (Brides of Blessings #7)

Blessed Beyond Measure (Brides of Blessings #2)

  Brides of Blessing (7 book series)

**** Giveaway ****

bountybeyondreasongiveaway_preview

Kari Trumbo is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, as well as signed copies of Blessed Beyond Measure and Bounty Beyond Reason! One winner. US Only. (International winners may be eligible but for gift card only.)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at Midnight May 28, 2018 and last through 11:59pm June 4, 2018. Winner will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

CLICK HERE to enter the giveaway!

 

tour  schedule

For the full tour schedule and more giveaway entries, head to JustRead’s Launch Page HERE

 

Blog Hop & Giveaway – An Imperfect Promise by Kari Trumbo

an-imperfect-promiseSeries: Abiding Love
Genre: 
Christian, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Indie
Publication Date: April 27,  2018

Some promises aren’t meant to last a lifetime.

Gini would do just about anything to take care of the eleven orphans in her custody. She’s vowed to never marry, but that oath is pushed to the limits when John moves in next door. The new Nebraska rancher is a tad abrasive but willing to step in when the entire town has given up on her little orphanage. She’s prayed for help for so long, but are God’s plans even bigger than she can conceive?

There are some things a man can’t outrun.

John’s running from the love he left behind in Kansas. On a mission to help his sister, John takes over her ranch, which has seen its share of problems. Day after day, John fights against those trying to seize his land, but a more present danger lurks right next door, the sweet redheaded owner of the orphanage, who’s fast stealing his heart.

As the world closes in on him, John must protect his home from rustlers and his heart from getting trampled, once again. If he can’t, he just might lose them both.

Goodreads // Amazon

About the Author

KariTrumboKari Trumbo is a co-author of the best-selling Cutter’s Creek continuity series as well as her personal series, The Seven Brides of South Dakota. She began her writing journey four years ago and has published over twenty titles through self-publishing. Prior to writing, she was a freelance developmental editor and beta reader.
Kari has a degree in Psychology and home schools her four children. She loves to learn new things and believes life should always be a learning environment. To continue her writing education, she is a part of the national Romance Writers of America and the American Christian Fiction Writers Association along with her local chapter, MN N.I.C.E.

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | AMAZON | WEBSITE

Author Interview

1. What are the top 5 books currently on your TBR pile?
I am so behind on my reading! Top 5 in no particular order are!
1) Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
2) When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin
3) The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep
4) Lady Jayne disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano
5) The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

2. What does your writing process look like?  Specifically, what was it like for An Imperfect Promise?
To anyone looking in from the outside, my process is probably a mess, but this is just how my brain works the best. I always have 3 books going on at once and I juggle them throughout the day. In the morning, I’m doing rewrites before a book gets sent to the editor (and marketing my newest released titles). In the afternoon, I’m working on the edits of the next book I will release. In the evening, I’m writing the next book. It all flows really well. This is a full-time job for me and it’s rare that I don’t put in about 60 hours a week between writing, editing, marketing, and improving my craft.

3. What inspired the idea for An Imperfect Promise?
The whole story started with one man that I felt sorry for. I couldn’t just let him go. Poor John (the hero) was in love with Margot from one of my other series (To Love and Comfort) and he leaves to go help his sister. I was so sorry to see him go, even though he was not a particularly likeable character in the other book, and he’s not in the beginning of this book either. He had to be a grump, he’d just been betrayed. He’s angry and doesn’t trust women.

Then, I had to think of the perfect (imperfect) heroine for him. Someone who had also been hurt. A friend of mine and I were talking about promises one day and how people don’t treat them as importantly as they should. People toss around the word promise like they toss around the word love and it’s lost some of its meaning. That conversation lead to the creation of the Gini characters and what her deep turmoil could be.

4. What did you as an author take away from writing An Imperfect Promise?
So very much. I actually re-wrote this story more than three times. It was originally written to be a novella, then I found areas that needed deepening. It then became a short novel and I intended to submit it to Love Inspired Historicals. I found out while it was in editing that Love Inspired Historicals would not be taking any more westers. At that point, I knew the book didn’t need to be held back by a word count and my editor and I fleshed out everything. Now, it is a full length novel, and I’m more pleased with it than I was at any other point in its many stages of life.

5. What is your current WIP?  What can you share with us about it?
I’m currently working on the sequel to the first book of my Brides of Belle Fourche series. The first book is in the Timeless Love Charity Collection, but only for a limited time. I have the preorder up, but the novella itself is still in production. It’s called What the Heart Holds.

Snippet:

A door behind him swung open, then closed with a soft click. “Might I help you find something?” asked a soft voice from behind him. He jumped at the intrusion and the woman’s proximity, slamming his head on the open cabinet door. He flung it closed, swallowing the harsh words that came too easy these days. Who in blazes could that be? White stars danced in front of his face, obscuring his vision. The brighter they flared, the more his head screamed at him. He blinked the bright flashes and moisture from his eyes to reveal a young woman. Her hair was either the brightest red he’d ever seen, or the glow around her meant she was an angel. She stood maybe five foot, short for a full-grown woman. He felt as cumbersome as a giant next to her. She paused by the door, a small basket clutched close. Now that the stars were clearing, he could make out her pleasant smile and pale-green eyes framed by a mass of curly red hair, smothered by a great yellow bonnet he’d mistaken for a halo. He wanted to smile back, if only the pain in his head would let him. The subtle tightening in his chest brought back thoughts of Margot, the woman he’d left back in Kansas, with dark hair and blue eyes. Remembering her would get him nowhere but angry, and he turned from the girl, scrubbing a hand across his face to erase both images. No sense living in the past. A man wasn’t a measure of what he carried with him, but he’d learned from it. “I don’t think that’ll help.” She stepped farther into the room and he glanced at her as a smile flickered across her face. She laid a gentle hand on his arm. Too gentle. He pulled away. He wasn’t there for kindness. He was there to work, and to forget. “Would you like a cool rag? I could get one for you. You might get a bump on your head.” Her voice was soft and coaxing, like she was speaking to a wary child, not a grown man. He pinched the bridge of his nose and used the motion to wipe the water collecting there. “I can get a rag all on my own.” His tone was more abrupt than he’d meant, and when she stepped back from him with hurt in her eyes, he cleared his throat and tried again. “Who are you, and what’cha doing in my kitchen?” He pressed his palm to his forehead against the pain, praying the little angel would get what she needed and move on. If she asked where Martha was, he’d be in an awkward place, since she hadn’t shown herself yet. Her smile faltered. “Your kitchen? Oh, you must be Martha’s brother. I didn’t realize you’d arrived. She’s been waiting for you for so long. I’m Gini. Martha lets me trade eggs for milk.” She set the basket on the counter and held out her hand to him. He stared at her for a minute while he found his voice. The girl certainly wasn’t afraid to face a stranger. He reached for her hand, small inside his own. He’d never thought of himself as peculiarly large, but she made him feel so. Her hand was soft, though calloused with work, and she took it back as quickly as she’d offered it. A nervous smile bloomed and fell from her face. “John. I’m John. Do you need me to get the milk for you?” He should just slug himself. Could he sound any more daft? Was he imagining that slight smile or just seeing what he wanted to? She took the eggs out of her basket and placed them in an empty one on the counter. “No thank you. I’m rather capable at this point, I’ve been doing it for a few months now. I’ve got to finish here and get back to the children.” She turned but tossed another small smile at him over her shoulder. “It was good to meet you”—she hesitated, and her face tinged a pretty pink—“John. Welcome to Nebraska.”

Giveaway

GiveawayGraphic-ImperfectPromise

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Blog Hop Schedule

May 14-cherylbbookblog
May 15-Locks, Hooks and Books
May 16-Blooming with Books  | Remembrancy
May 17-Joy of Reading
May 18-Blossoms and Blessings
May 19-Singing Librarian Books | Jorie Loves A Story

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Author Interview & Giveaway: Meghan M. Gorecki

Welcome, reader friends! I’m thrilled to have Meghan M. Gorecki joining us today to talk about her debut book Amongst The Roses.

Meghan GoreckiMeghan 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

 

About the Book

AmongstTheRosesThe War Between the States shakes Margaret Bryant out of her comfortable upper-class life when her father enlists in the Army of the Potomac. Despite being safely ensconced above the Mason-Dixon Line in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Margaret finds her strength tested by opposition from familiar faces and Confederate threats. Will she let a young man from a lesser station into her heart even as war rages ever nearer to the home front?

 Restless Connor Doyle sees the war as a way to escape from his family’s farm and his identity as a poor Irishman’s son. His brother, Adam, torn between duty to country and his family, enlists alongside Connor. Adam dares to hope in a future with Margaret when he begins a courtship correspondence from the war front. The two brothers make a vow to protect one another at all costs, but when faced with death and destruction from all sides—will they be able to uphold it?

 The three bloodiest days in America’s history bring these three together at Gettysburg and tragedy’s cruelty threatens to tear two hearts apart—and bring two unlikely allies together.

  Amongst the Roses

 

Welcome, Meghan! I’m so happy you could join us today to chat about your new book! Let’s start out with a few fun getting to know you questions, and then talk about the book.

Q:  What is your favorite season, and why?
Meghan:
  Autumn. It’s such a sigh of relief after a sweltering summer. Everything is more gold and bright and crisp. I just love it.

 

Q:  What is the best part of your day?
Meghan:
  My mornings and time with Jesus. Once my feet are out of bed, I’m a morning person. It’s just getting there that’s sometimes tricky. LOL

 

Q:  What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?
Meghan:
  Anything by Lynn Austin—the Refiner’s Fire trilogy was incredible and I read it through multiple times. SO rich in historical detail and with powerful spiritual themes through out.

 

Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?
Meghan:
  A lot of Bethel Music worship songs. J

 

Q:  Did the plotline or the characters come first?
Meghan:
  Oh the plot for sure. I let the history dictate it. And despite how long the characters had been in my head (since grade school!) they took their good old sweet time revealing themselves to me as I tried to write.

 

Q:  Which character took you by surprise?
Meghan:
  Adam. He really developed into a solid, interesting character that I was happy with how he turned out even though he didn’t turn out as I’d expected in a lot of ways.

 

Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?
Meghan:
  Only once or twice—one in the morning. I probably ended up deleting what I’d attempted writing. LOL I write well early in the morning. Not late at night.

 

Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
Meghan:
  Most of the first third of the original draft LOL. I couldn’t remove a whole lot because of the history I wanted to ensure stayed in the book—but you can bet during the last two rounds of edits I cut and combined scenes a lot. It needed it, LOL.

 

Q:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)
Meghan:
  Right now my only writing goal is to finish A Rose Long Awaited and release it in the fall, hopefully. Then, only God knows. The life season I’m in now still has room for writing—but there’s also a lot more tugging at my heart and my time, so I’m just along for wherever God takes me.

Thank you, Meghan for visiting with us today and letting us take a glimpse into your life and this delightful book Amongst the Roses.

 

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Meghan Gorecki is giving away  1 (one) digital copy of her book “Amongst the Roses”. 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 using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What is your favorite flower?”

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

Giveaway Graphic

 

**** Giveaway Ended ****

Congratulations Mindy H.

Author Interview & Giveaway: Michelle Griep

I have a special guest vising with us today! Grab a hot drink and a chair and settle in for a fun interview. Allow me to introduce our Author guest, Michelle Griep.

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 // Pinterest // Goodreads

Join us as we chat about Michelle’s latest released book, The Innkeeper’s Daughter. For those not familiar with this wonderful story, be sure to click here to read my review.

The Innkeepers DaughterDover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

The Innkeepers Daughter

Welcome, Michelle!  I’m so happy to have you here chatting with us today about The Innkeeper’s Daughter. Let’s start out with a few getting to know you questions, and then we’ll dive right into the book.

Q:  Are you a coffee or tea drinker? 

Michelle:  Yes. Both. But I had to switch to decaf recently.

Trisha:  I too enjoy both coffee and tea.

 

Q:  What is your favorite dessert?

Michelle:  Anything chocolate. Dark’s my favorite but I won’t snub milk.

Trisha:  Yes! Love chocolate!

 

Q:  What would be your dream vacation? 

Michelle:  England . . . which I happen to be going to in May! Woohoo! And my favorite place in all of England is Ironbridge. It’s like visiting the Shire.

Trisha:  That’s wonderful! Do you have enough room for a stowaway?! I’m sure that you will have a marvelous time!

 

Q:  If they were to make a movie of The Innkeepers Daughter, who would you choose to play the hero & heroine? 

Michelle:  Alexander Moore is Chris Hemsworth, and Johanna Langley is Rachel Weisz.

You can see their pictures plus the other characters at my Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/michellegriep/the-innkeepers-daughter/

Trisha:  I enjoy seeing all the wonderful pictures you collected for your inspiration board on Pinterest!

 

Q:  Where did your inspiration for The Innkeepers Daughter come from?

Michelle:  I visited Dover a few years back. Roaming the white cliffs and following old smuggler trails made me wonder what those smugglers might be like.

Trisha:  I can almost picture you there!

 

Q:  Did you have a favorite character while writing The Innkeepers Daughter?

Michelle:  Lucius Nutbrown, hands down. Who wouldn’t want to talk only through a puppet?

Trisha:  He was quite the unique character!

 

Q:  Did anything surprise you during your research for The Innkeepers Daughter?

Michelle:  Learning about Congreve rockets was super interesting. I love the tie-in with America as they were used during the war of 1812, and that’s where we get the line in the Star Spangled Banner “and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air.”

Trisha:  Learning about those rockets is interesting!

 

Q:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! 

Michelle:  Thatcher is the spy-sidekick of Alex in The Innkeeper’s Daughter and now I’m working on his story (which will be the 3rd and final Bow Street Runner book). Here’s a blurb:

Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time in coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, it’s finally her time for love. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentlemen in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.

Horse patrol captain Daniel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

Abby pleads with him to escort her for the rest of her journey. He refuses—until she offers him something he desperately needs to achieve his goal . . . money. Delivering her safely will give him more than enough to buy property.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.

Trisha:  I’m so happy that Daniel Thatcher is getting his own story! I can’t wait to read all about his adventure!  Thank you again, Michelle for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to visit with us today.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Michelle Griep is giving away 1 (one) copy of her book “The Innkeeper’s Daughter” Please 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:
“Who is your favorite fictional Spy?”

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

 

*** Giveaway Ended ***
Congratulations: Nicole Cook

 

 

Review & Giveaway: A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund on tour with Celebrate Lit

He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, will they lose what matters most?

Synopsis:

When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.

As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him.

Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives.

My Thoughts:

Travel back through the mist of time. Walk the chilly stone halls of medieval castles, hear the clang of swords as the knights hone their skills, and smell…ok, well don’t breath too deeply! Picking up a Jody Hedlund book is akin to holding a treasure trove of history in your hands. Sit back, and enjoy the travel through time from the comfort of your favorite reading chair.

Olivia isn’t your typical lady of the castle. She is no shrinking violet. Fiercely loyal, Olivia is an independent, sword-wielding heroine, ready to take on anything, or anyone that stands in her way.

Aldric, tasked with the quest to capture Olivia and bring her to Lord Pit. Didn’t realize what he was getting into. Secretly impressed with her creative attempts to escape her capture, he feels a responsibility to keep her safe, even from herself.

Written in alternating point of view, readers are invited directly into the personal thoughts and feelings of the characters. While written for a young adult audience, readers of all ages will fall in love with these characters and their story.

I loved everything about this exciting story, and highly recommend it to anyone to enjoys reading stories of castles, knights & ladies. You won’t want to miss out on this story!

(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:

About the Author:

JodyHedlund Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

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

A Loyal Heart (An Uncertain Choice #4)

Other books in this series:

The Vow (An Uncertain Choice #0.5)

An Uncertain Choice (An Uncertain Choice #1)

  A Daring Sacrifice (An Uncertain Choice #2)

  For Love and Honor (An Uncertain Choice #3)

  Noble Knights Historical Romance Collection

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

The Growing Need for Sweet Young Adult Romances

By Jody Hedlund

This past year my youngest daughter turned twelve and entered seventh grade. And she decided that she wanted to read my books.

Of course I was thrilled that she was taking an interest in my writing. But since my adult historical romances are more intense and contain some mature themes, I handed her the young adult series I’ve written.

As she started the first book, I peeked in her room a time or two to ask her how she liked it.

“It’s the best book you’ve ever read, right?” I teased.

“It’s okay,” she replied, teasing me right back.

The true test for how much she liked the series came when she couldn’t put the book down. She hid away in her room and read all day. Then she read the second book the next day and the third book the day after that.

She never did gush over the series. But she didn’t need to. Her serious reading marathon told me all I needed to know! Then when I was writing the fourth book in the series, she asked me if she could read itearly before it was published which was another testament to how much she enjoyed the series.

“As long as you promise to say that I’m your favorite author,” I said, teasing her again.

I’m happy to say that she finished A Loyal Heart just as quickly as the others. Although I’m not sure that I’m her favorite author, I’m satisfied that she loved the series.

Even more, I’m thrilled that I could hand her sweet romances full of chivalrous qualities—like courage, sacrifice, honor, and loyalty. As she’s being entertained, she’s learning lessons about character traits that are important in relationships.

My daughter, like other young teens I’ve talked to, really enjoys medieval settings and stories. In some ways, those kinds of stories connect them to the princess fairy tales they used to love when they were little. Let’s face it, even adult readers still love stories about knights and castles and daring damsels!

In a book market for teens that has grown increasingly dark, jaded, and sexual, I only wish I had more to offer my daughter and other young women. It’s my passion to continue providing wholesome, clean romances for teens, books I know will encourage and uplift as well as entertain.

How about YOU? Is there a teen reader you know who needs an alternative to what’s available in the market? I encourage you to gift them with A Loyal Heart. And make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the entire series that you can read, pass along, or even gift to your library.

Jody Hedlund is the best-selling author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!). When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

***** GIVEAWAY ****

GiveawayImage

To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of An Uncertain Choice, A Daring Sacrifice, For Love & Honor, and A Loyal Heart!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!https://promosimple.com/ps/cb76

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, March 27

Lighthouse Academy, March 27

Neverending Stories, March 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28

books n baubles, March 28

Blossoms and Blessings, March 28

By The Book, March 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Books, Books, and More Books., March 29

Have A Wonderful Day, March 30

Blogging With Carol, March 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 30

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, March 31

Book by Book, March 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 31

God’s Little Bookworm, April 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 1

Mary Hake, April 1

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, April 2

Daysong Reflections, April 2

Novels Corner, April 2

Remembrancy, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 4

Janices book reviews, April 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 4

Romances of the Cross, April 5

Carpe Diem, April 5

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 6

Karen Sue Hadley, April 6

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 6

Red Headed Book Lady, April 7

Bibliophile Reviews, April 7

Simple Harvest Reads, April 7 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Pursuing Stacie, April 8

Bigreadersite, April 8

margaret kazmierczak, April 8 (interview)

Henry Happens, April 9

Faery Tales Are Real, April 9

Joy of Reading, April 9

A Most Noble Heir by: Susan Anne Mason Review & Giveaway

Synopsis:

When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl’s heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope–believing that once their marriage is sanctioned by God, Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between pleasing Hannah and living up to his father’s demanding expectations.

At every turn, forces work to keep the couple apart, and a solution to remain together seems further and further away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from the woman he loves, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

My Thoughts:

Nolan Price had humble beginnings, and he had plans for his future. Plans that included purchasing a small farm, marrying Hannah, and creating a simple life. All of that changed with his mother’s death-bed confession of his paternity, and the snowball effect that information had on his life.

This “up-stairs, down-stairs” kind of romance had me eagerly turning pages to find out how the story would all work out. I didn’t want to put this book down and stayed up late into the night enveloped in the lives of these dynamic characters.  I fell in love with these characters. My heart ached for their struggles and cheered with their success. I loved the character growth and strong threads of faith seamlessly woven throughout the story.

It’s not often that the majority of the story is after the hero and heroine are married, and this makes the story all that more poignant. It is the perfect reminder that love may start out with the butterflies and all the feels, but love isn’t just about feelings. Ultimately love is a choice. A decision to give unconditionally to another person, without thought for what you might receive in return.

This heartfelt, emotional story is one that you won’t want to miss out on. I give it 4 stars and I hope that you get the chance to pick up a copy to enjoy for yourself.

(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_0301

About the Author:

SusanAnnMason  I have always loved to write. As a teen, I wrote my first novel, only to be politely rejected by my publisher of choice.

Life got in the way – university, marriage and children became the priority. Then once I had time to start reading again, the writing bug bit once more.

I enjoy writing both contemporary and historical Inspirational romances. “Romance sprinkled with faith” describes my writing style. I love themes of forgiveness and redemption!

I am a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Romance Writers of America. My association with such amazing groups of people has been the biggest asset toward learning my craft.

Home for me is Brampton, Ontario, Canada (near Toronto), where I live with my husband, our two children and two cats. My day job is a part-time secretary at a local church. In my spare time, I like to read and research our family history online.

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

  A Most Noble Heir

 

Giveaway (Bethany House):

If you’d like to enter for a chance to win Susan Anne Mason’s Courage to Dream series, plus A Most Noble Heir, here’s your chance! Click Here to enter.

 

 

 

First Line Friday’s & Givaway: Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak

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

This week I’m featuring Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak. This story is filled with delightful characters, a swoony hero, and a fiery heroine. A story sure to capture your attention and keeping you turning pages! CLICK HERE to read my review.

Since today is my birthday, I’m giving away ONE e-book kindle copy of Three Words and a Kiss! CLICK HERE to Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment on this blog post answering the following question “What is your favorite birthday dessert?”

Earn extra entries by tweeting daily during the giveaway period using the rafflecopter entry form. The giveaway will be open until midnight 3/29/18. The winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page at the conclusion of the giveaway period. Giveaway open to USA residents only; see Disclosures & Policies for a full list of rules.

ThreeWordsAndAKiss

Seattle, Washington
July 1892

          The first stars pricked through the sky’s fading canvas as Samantha Klein approached the intersection of Washington and First Avenue, looked both ways, and crossed a line.

 

Hmmm….. What line did Samantha cross? Sounds like she’s about to find some adventure, and maybe some trouble.

 

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

*** Giveaway Ended ***
Winner: Nicole S.