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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

No Small Storm By: Anne Mateer -- ON tour with Celebrate Lit - REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

No Small Storm FB Banner copy


About the Book

No Small Storm
Title: No Small Storm
Author: Anne Matteer
Genre: Historical/Historical Romance
Release Date: August, 2017

September 1815, Providence, Rhode Island
Thirty-year-old Remembrance “Mem” Wilkins loves her solitary life running the farm and orchard she inherited from her father and has no plans to give up her independence. Especially not for the likes of Mr. Graham Lott. But when Mem is unable to harvest the apples on her own, she accepts the help of the man she despises.
Fresh off a boat from Ireland with his four-year-old son in tow, Simon Brennan secures a building in which to ply his trade as a cobbler. Still healing from the grief of his wife’s death a year earlier, he determines to focus only on providing a good life for his son. But when he intervenes in an argument on behalf of the intriguing Miss Wilkins, sister-in-law of the tavern owner who befriends him, he suddenly finds himself crossways with his landlord, Mr. Lott, and relieved of his lease and most of his money.
With no means of support, Simon takes a job helping Mem with her harvest, relieving her of the need of Lott’s help. But their growing attraction to each other makes them both uneasy. Mem gladly escapes to town when her sister begins labor, and Simon, believing it best to distance himself from Mem, takes his son and leaves.
But neither anticipates the worst gale New England has ever seen—or that the storm will threaten all they hold dear.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

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Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. She is the author of 4 historical novels, 1 historical novella, and a few contemporary short stories. Anne and her husband of 30 years, Jeff, love to visit their grown children and tour historical sites. They are currently living an empty nest adventure in Austin, TX.

Guest Post from Anne Mateer

I’m always up for a good historical story. It’s what I enjoy reading. It’s what I enjoy writing. But I find that my pleasure in any historical fiction increases exponentially when the story at hand is based on at least a kernel of historical fact. All four of my full-length novels share this trait. So it stood to reason that when turning my mind to a historical novella I would seek the same grounding in truth I’ve sought before.
So what historical fact inspired No Small Storm? It was a combination of them, actually. Which I think always makes for the best tales!
I like an overarching historical event to help frame a story. Things like war or economic crisis or natural disaster. Situations in the historical record which required courage or resilience or sacrifice from the people who lived through them. When I stumbled upon the Great Gale of 1815, which hit Providence, Rhode Island particularly hard, I knew it could provide obstacles for my characters to overcome.
As I began to read about this event—a hurricane before such storms were commonly called hurricanes—I happened upon some first hand accounts of that day. Fascinating remembrances about a storm arriving without much preamble, then departing and leaving bright sunny skies with which to view the destruction.
And destruction there was! Not only from wind and water, but also the fact that both of those things unleashed the ships moored in the harbor and sent them sailing down the main street of town! Can you imagine looking out of the second or third story window of a building which was likely flooded on the ground floor and seeing a ship coming at you?
That, in itself, was dramatic enough. Especially when coupled with the fact that those ships often broke apart, whether from wind and waves or from contact with the buildings and bridges they encountered on land. Then I considered the in those ships? What happened to them? Many were flung into the water, searching for purchase.
It was just such a circumstance that brought one man to the window of a young woman. She helped him inside. They were later married. And if finding such a story that isn’t a romance writer’s delight, I don’t know what is!
Finally, as I continued to read about the destruction in the area, I discovered a few lines about area orchards. The hanging fruit was found covered with a dusting of white. When tasted, it was discovered to be salt. Salt from storm surge and sea spray. Salt that saturated, even miles inland. Water and wind—and they salt they carried—ruining fruit crops ready for harvest. What could be more devastating to a farmer than that?
And so No Small Storm was born, with Remembrance and Simon each trying to make a good life for themselves, each trying to trust God as they work hard. Each keeping careful watch over their heart. But sometimes circumstances take things we don’t want to give. And give things we never imagined possible.
Historical fact and spiritual truth. Characters who are a product of their times as well as universal in their struggles and desires. It’s the kind of story I love to read. And the kind of story I’m proud to write.

MY THOUGTS

One of the best things about being a book blogger, is discovering new authors. This is a new author to me. I was immediately hooked within the first few pages. The early 1800's is not a period that I read a lot of, but I need to. I loved being transported to such vivid desciptions and settings. Beautifully written, great character development, carefully done research. I look forward to reading more from this author. 

I received this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging program, all opinions are my own. 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 6
Carpe Diem, February 6
The Power of Words, February 8
Kathleen Denly, February 10
Bukwurmzzz, February 11
By The Book, February 12
Maureen’s Musings, February 12
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 13
Mary Hake, February 13
A Greater Yes, February 15
Janices book reviews, February 15
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 16
Bibliophile Reviews, February 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 17 (Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy)
Bigreadersite, February 18
Pursuing Stacie, February 19

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Anne is giving away a grand prize of a reader bag of goodies—including a Pride and Prejudice fleece throw, a “reading” charm necklace from Storied Jewelry, a Secret Garden litograph tote bag, and a $25 Amazon gift card!!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c604

Friday, February 9, 2018

Book Review! Love's Bright Tomorrow - An Eagle Harbor Novel -- by Naomi Rawlings

Love's Bright Tomorrow - Historical Christian Romance ebook by Naomi Rawlings

About the Book 

Synopsis


Aileen Brogan wants a place to call home. After leaving Ireland for America and losing her father and brother within a year of each other, she feels lost and alone. No matter how hard she tries, she just doesn’t seem to belong in the quaint town of Eagle Harbor. However, Sheriff Isaac Cummings is determined to help her fit in—into town and into his arms—if only she'll say yes to his courtship. But if he knew her secrets, he'd surely rescind his offer.
Isaac is determined to serve the people of Eagle Harbor in a way that will do his family proud, but he’s haunted by past mistakes. When a band of criminals threatens his beloved town’s safety, he doesn’t want to fail the people he loves like he did four years earlier. But if he doesn't turn out to be the hero the town needs, what chance does he have of winning Aileen's resistant heart?
When old wounds reopen, can Isaac and Aileen figure out how to move past their brokenness and find the promise of a bright tomorrow?
Come visit the rugged yet beautiful coast of Lake Superior and the remote historical town of Eagle Harbor that readers can’t get enough of.
Eagle Harbor Series--Where Love Finds Its Anchor
Book 1: Love's Unfading Light (Mac and Tressa)
Book 2: Love's Every Whisper (Elijah and Victoria)
Book 3: Love's Sure Dawn (Gilbert and Rebekah)
Book 4: Love's Eternal Breath (Seth and Lindy)
Book 5: Love's Winter Hope (Thomas and Jessalyn)
Book 6: Love's Bright Tomorrow (Isaac and Aileen)
Prequel Novella: Love's Violet Sunrise (Hiram and Mabel)
Short Story: Love's Beginning (Elijah and Victoria)
Note: Love's Bright Tomorrow contains a character who was previously sexually abused. No instances of sexual abuse occur in the novel.

About the Author:
Naomi Rawlings
Naomi Rawlings is the author of historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. While she'd love to claim she spends her days huddled in front of her computer vigorously typing, in reality, she spends her time homeschooling, cleaning, picking up, and pretending like her house isn't in a constant state of chaos. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan's rugged Upper Peninsula, along the southern shore of Lake Superior where they get 200 inches of snow every year, and where people still grow their own vegetables and cut down their own firewood--just like in the historical novels she writes.

Find out more at: https://naomirawlings.com//


My Thoughts

What a wonderful story! This is the final book in the Eagle Harbor Series. This is the second one that I have read and I have enjoyed reading them. This story is a great reminder of God's grace and mercy, and how he is always there for us no matter what. The characters are very well written, they seem real. The setting is described to where you feel like you are there. Aileen has left her homeland for America and has some very important decisions to make in her life. I love that this is a story of an immigrant who comes to America and wants to live the American Dream. The author has done a phenomanel job of winding a story with a Message. 

I received a copy of this book from the author, all thoughts are my own

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

This Treacherous Journey -- By Misty M. Beller --- On Tour with Celebrate LIt

 

About the Book

Title: This Treacherous Journey
Author: Misty M. Beller
Genre: Christian historical romance
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?
Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.
But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Misty
Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream. Learn more at www.MistyMBeller.com.

Guest post from Misty M. Beller

The Treasure of Family
I’m an old-fashioned girl. Always have been. And growing up on the family farm, with grandparents in the old farmhouse next door and cousins living all around us, I can’t imagine my life without family. Now that I’m married with three daughters of my own, I treasure my family even more—both immediate and extended!
In my books, I tend to weave the importance of family into each story somewhere, and This Treacherous Journey is no exception! I first wrote the prologue as a standalone short story, the account of the birth of the hero from another of my books (Reuben Scott from The Lady and the Mountain Call).
It was the story of a father, grieving the loss of his wife and feeling as if he has no choice but to give his newborn twins to another family to raise. I wrote this part of the story a week after my third daughter was born, and I cried buckets through the writing! The story has an even stronger emotional connection for me, because my younger brother and sister were both adopted into our family. I can’t imagine their birth parents having the courage to give them up for adoption unless they knew without a doubt it was the best choice for those sweet babies.
So, as you read This Treacherous Journey, it’s my prayer that you’ll take a moment to cherish your own family. Remember all the special moments. Spend extra time with those you love. Relish the treasures God placed in your life!

My Thoughts:
What a heartwarming story that takes you on an adventure! I love all the descriptions that the author puts in. I felt like I was there on a tour. All the scenes were so vivid in my mind. The characters are well written, the storyline wasy to follow, and you will be HOOKED from the first chapter. This story depicts God's great love for us, and his grace that he extends to us. I can't wait until the next one in the series. 
I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, all opinions are my own. 

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, February 3
A Greater Yes, February 4
margaret kazmierczak, February 4 (Interview)
Kathleen Denly, February 5
Blogging With Carol, February 5
Faithfully Bookish, February 6
Books n baubles, February 6
Mommynificent, February 7
Mary Hake, February 9
Texas Book-aholic, February 11
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 11
Bigreadersite, February 12
Kat’s Corner Books, February 13
Janices book reviews, February 13
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 14
Carpe Diem, February 14
Karen Sue Hadley, February 15
Pursuing Stacie, February 16
Simple Harvest Reads, February 16 (Guest post from Mindy)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c8e4

Monday, February 5, 2018

Book Review: The Melody of the Soul By Liz Tolsma --- on tour with Litfuse

The Melody of the Soul
The Melody of the Soul (Gilead Publishing, January 2018)
Anna has one chance for survival—and it lies in the hands of her mortal enemy.
It’s 1943 and Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian living in Prague, has lost nearly everything. Most of her family has been deported, and the Nazi occupation ended her career as a concert violinist. Now Anna is left to care for her grandmother, and she’ll do anything to keep her safe—a job that gets much harder when Nazi officer Horst Engel is quartered in the flat below them.
Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Horst, dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.
Anna finds herself falling in love with the handsome officer and his brave heart. But what he reveals might stop the music forever.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LIZ TOLSMA
Best-selling novelist Liz Tolsma is the author of several World War II novels and prairie romance novellas. She also works as a freelance editor. She lives in a semirural area of Wisconsin with her husband and two daughters. Her son serves with the US Marines. All of their chidlren came to them through international adoption. Her other passions include walking, gardening, camping, and reading.

My Thoughts: 

What a great story. Well written characters, great story line - great setting. Set during WW2 - which has been a time period I do not read enough. Grips the heart. Ms Tolsma is a master crafter and this story brings you on an adventure. 

I received a copy of the book through LItfuse Blogging Program. All thoughts are my own. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway --- Their Daring Hearts: By Sharlene MacLaren -- On tour with Celebrate Lit

Their Daring Hearts FB Banner copy

About the Book

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Author: Sharlene MacLaren
Genre: Christian Historical Romance (Civil War)
Release Date: Jan 9, 2018
Levi Albright rebelled against his Quaker roots to fight for abolition in the Union army in the first year of the Civil War. Two years later, 19-year-old destitute orphan Josephine Winters, with her chopped hair, boy’s clothes, and new name, “Snipp,” enlists in the Union army out of desperation.
Just over five feet tall and barely weighing as much as a newborn calf, Snipp seems to Levi to be barely old enough to hold “his” gun. But despite being teased by the regiment, Snipp quickly earns admiration for skill with a musket and unequaled bravery. When Levi explains one night that he is a Quaker leading a regiment, it leads to a late-night discussion of faith and a developing friendship.
But Snipp’s secret can only be hidden for so long. After an injury forces Josie to reveal her real identity, Levi is angered by her deception. Worse, Josie is marched out of the company without a chance to explain—or even say goodbye. Will their friendship survive? Or will the hatred saturating the war-torn nation affect even the heart of a peace-loving Quaker?
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author


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Born and raised in western Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren graduated from Spring Arbor University then traveled nationally with a contemporary Christian vocal ensemble. She married Cecil, with whom she’d grown up in Spring Arbor, and the couple had two daughters. Shar embarked on a teaching career that would span over 30 years. As she contemplated retirement, Shar sought God’s guidance, praying for a vocation that would provide the kind of fulfillment and joy she experienced as a teacher and mother. A lifelong gifted story teller, she began to write Christian romance novels. Her first book, Through Every Storm, published in 2007, was met with critical acclaim and brisk sales. The rest, as they say, is history. Whitaker House’s bestselling fiction author, she’s subsequently published 18 books, mostly historical romances. Shar enjoys reading, singing in her church choir and worship team, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She’s very interactive on Facebook and Twitter. For more: www.sharlenemaclaren.comwww.facebook.com/sharmaclaren, Twitter @ sharzy_lu.

MY THOUGHTS
This is book two in the Forever Freedom series --- and it is just as amazing as the first one. The Civil War era is one of my most favorite eras in American History and I loved the writing and desciptions of the battles. The author did great research and I felt that I was learning something as I was reading. The characters are well written, the storyline easy to follow. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, all opinions are my own. 


Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, January 25
ASC Book Reviews, January 26
Multifarious, January 26
Remembrancy, January 27
Carpe Diem, January 28
Inklings and notionsJanuary 28
Mary Hake, January 31
Daysong ReflectionsFebruary 1
Pause for Tales, February 2
Cafinated Reads, February 3
Bibliophile Reviews, February 4
My Wrtier’s Life, February 5
Simple Harvest Reads, February 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houg)
Pursuing StacieFebruary 6
A Greater YesFebruary 6
Texas Book-aholic, February 6
BigreadersiteFebruary 7
Janices book reviewsFebruary 7

Giveaway


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To celebrate her tour, Whitaker House is giving away:
Grand Prize Package: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom Series #1) signed by the author, Sharlene MacLaren, Abba Jerusalem Hyssop 6” Pillar Candle.
1st Place: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1) by Sharlene MacLaren; Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils.
2nd Place: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils.!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c602

Monday, January 22, 2018

Soul’s Cry By: Cara Luecht Review and Giveaway -- On tour with Celebrate Lit.

soul's cry FB banner copy


About the Book

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Title: Soul’s Cry
Author: Cara Luecht
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: June 15, 2017
Ione has everything she’d wanted with her busy shop filled to the brim with sumptuous fabrics, gossiping debutants, and a neatly increasing profit margin. Not to mention the unexpected attention of a man who doesn’t know her past.
And then the letter dropped from the mail slot onto to lush carpet. He was back. And the abuse, the shame, rushes in, reminding her of how unworthy she really is.
Miriam also has everything she’d wanted—and with a baby on the way, for the first time in her life, she has everything to lose. When she’d been alone, the future had held promise, but now with her life full, it also holds fear.
Unwilling to risk a vision of loss, Miriam stops painting what will be…right before Ione needs it most.
Click here to purchase your copy

About the Author


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Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. In addition to freelance writing and marketing, Cara works as an English Instructor for a local college. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest post from Cara Luecht

The moment you realize how subtle racism can be.
As someone of Northern European ancestry, I approach this topic with caution and with the knowledge that I can never fully understand racism in America from a personal perspective. That being said, part of me knows that unless white America owns up to the problems that still exist, they will never go away, or if they do, they will not go away because of what I have done. I don’t want to be on the right side of history as a spectator.
Writing Soul’s Cry was daunting, because the main character in this part of the trilogy is African American. I’ll tackle the challenges with that in another blog. For now, I want to talk about one simple example of ongoing racism.
A few months ago, my publisher contacted me looking for inspiration pictures for the cover. The picture I had pinned to my desktop for Ione was from the 1800s, and heaven-only-knows how I would find permission to use it. Besides, it was in black-and-white, and we needed something that would go well with the other covers in the trilogy.
Ione’s Inspiration Picture
I went to the popular sites that cover designers use to look for modern pictures of women, in Victorian Era clothes, who had the smart, determined expression I’d imagined for Ione.
I found a bunch of models–problem is, they were all white.
I then typed in “African American Victorian Woman.” One picture. And she was dressed as a burlesque dancer. Nice. I tried “Black woman in 1890,” a bit miffed that I had to use the term “Black” rather than “African American”—nothing. I got desperate, rolled my eyes, and even attempted the archaic “Negro woman in 1890” in hopes of getting something…nothing.
I tried other sites. I found the same problem.
I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised—when you think of a high-society Victorian woman, does an African American face come to mind?
This doesn’t match up with the truth, though. In the late Victorian era, there was a thriving, influential, African American community in Chicago as well as many other major cities. While there were indeed crowded ghetto areas, the “Black Elite” prospered in the medical and legal professions.
Unfortunately, we rarely hear of these remarkable people who moved beyond the place society had deemed was theirs, who built on the humble foundation of literacy, who pushed innovation forward, who served on boards and cultural societies, and who worked to pull their families out of the devastation of slavery and the Civil War.
It is uncomfortable to admit, but the picture that comes to mind when thinking of an African American in the late 1800s has more in common with slaves than with a prosperous, thriving community.
And since poor African Americans outnumbered wealthy ones, I suppose one could make the argument that this reflected how a majority of African Americans lived. And that would be true…
…but it would also be true for whites. One of my grandfathers was born in an Iowa coal town. Another, into the dustbowl conditions of North Dakota. In fact, if I look back in my own history, almost every one of my ancestors lived in poverty.
So why is it that when I think about a Victorian Era woman, the picture that comes to mind looks like someone from the set of Meet Me In St. Louis.
And here’s the twist…because the picture of the woman in my mind looks a bit like me (in that we are both white), her poise, the no-nonsense posture and expression…it makes me feel a bit of pride—even though I have no real connection with her. The fact is, I can look at these old pictures and see in her the determination I hope to have. I want to live up to this woman’s expectations. As crazy as it sounds, when I look at these pictures, I feel pride in a heritage I do not own. My family was in poverty, but because of these pictures, I can identify with affluence. Prosperity does not feel like a foreign concept.
Now imagine that every picture of a white woman I saw as representative of my past looked haggard, tired, and hopeless.
I’ll leave the implications for you to puzzle out.

My Thoughts

I have not read the first two books in this series. I did not find myself having any issues following along. I was so drawn in by the cover of this book. It is absolutely breathtaking. The characters are so well written and the storyline is one that you will find yourself reading and not wanting to end. Ione is a talented dressmaker with her own successful dress shop in Chicago. I loved Ione. I loved that the book was historical and had slight mystery and suspense in it.  I will be going back and reading the other two books in this series. 

I received a copy of this story through the Celebrate Lit blogging program. All opinions are my own. 

Blog Stops

Blogging With Carol, January 24
allofakindmom, January 25
Pursuing StacieJanuary 26
A Reader’s Brain, January 27
BigreadersiteJanuary 28
Bibliophile Reviews, January 29
A Greater YesJanuary 30
margaret kazmierczak, January 30 (Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, January 31
Janices book reviewsFebruary 2
Carpe Diem, February 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of signed copies of the entire series!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c729