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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway - Boulevard of Confusion Author: Sandra Merville Hart On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 



About the Book

Book: Boulevard of Confusion

Author: Sandra Merville Hart

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release date: May 10, 2022


In times of war, is anything as it seems?

Her aunt’s invitation to Richmond is just the change Beatrice Swanson needs after her brother’s release from a Union prison. Bea’s father agrees to the trip with a condition—one that tosses her emotions into swirling confusion.

Though Jay Nickson wants to serve his country as a Confederate soldier, his work is too important to the government. Bea’s interest in his job, which includes secrets that would benefit the Union, arouses his suspicions. Is she spying for the North? His growing feelings for her are hard to squelch.

Though she participates in activities to benefit Confederate soldiers, Bea struggles with her own loyalties and her father’s demands. Where does her cousin, Meg, go on her solitary errands? Bea’s own growing love for Jay, a Southerner, only adds to her confusion. Tensions escalate in Richmond as the Union army approaches, drawing her into more secrecy. Where does her allegiance lie? And how will she be forced to prove it?

Nothing in war is simple…especially when the heart becomes entangled.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Sandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher. Connect with Sandra on her blog, https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/.

 

More from Sandra

In Boulevard of Confusion, Book 2 of my “Spies of the Civil War” series, two people in love—one supporting the North, one supporting the South—struggle to rise above their differing loyalties.

In my book, the hero is a Virginian who supports the South. Though Jay hates slavery, he cannot turn against his state. His job at Tredegar Ironworks supplies the Confederate army with artillery. They develop new weapons and technology, such as submarines, that must be kept secret even from Richmond residents.

Our heroine is from the North. Bea has Southern ties and her brother, a Confederate officer, was recently released from a prison camp. Bea’s understanding of both sides of the conflict tosses her into confusion, especially in light of her growing feelings for Jay.

Part of my research for this novel involved a trip to Richmond museums. One display in particular at the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar made me want to do a little dance. (If you followed me around on my museum visits, you’d witness my enthusiasm for historical people and events and how they impact my stories. Perhaps you share my love of history. 😊)

Anyway, this particular display was a painting of Julia Ann Mitchell, who lived in Richmond at the start of the Civil War. She was from a well-to-do family that traveled often. On one of these trips, she met and fell in love with Frederick Coggill, a New York City resident. Though they loved one another, the couple was divided in their loyalties.

Sadly, Julia’s brother, who fought for the Confederacy, was killed in battle. This probably added to the conflict between Julia and Frederick.

I’m happy to say that the couple seemed to enjoy a happy ending, for they were married in 1863.

I didn’t yet know my characters when I read this display, for the stories ferment in my imagination as research reveals the history. I tucked it away in my mind and it later inspired me.

Boulevard of Confusion isn’t Julia’s and Frederick’s love story. Not at all. It’s simply that history’s record of them overcoming their differing loyalties to marry proves that it happened. That’s all I needed to know.

Avenue of Betrayal, Book 1, is set in the Union capital of Washington City (Washington DC) in 1861, where a surprising number of Confederate sympathizers and spies lived. Boulevard of Confusion is set in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. Actual historical spies touch the lives of our fictional family.

Through both real and fictional characters, this series highlights activities spies were involved in and some of the motives behind their decisions.

I invite you to read both Avenue of Betrayal and Boulevard of Confusion. And please watch for Book 3, Byway to Danger, which will soon follow!


My Thoughts

Boulevard of Confusion is book two in the Spies of the Civil War Series. The series is written by  Sandra Merville Hart. I have read book 1 and believe you can read them as stand alones. I absolutely loved this book. It was my favorite one so far. 

I have a masters in Military History. I did my Master Thesis on the use of Women and African Americans as spies in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Espionage is something that has always interested me. The fact that the author brought in real people as characters (IE: Rose Greenhow, Elizabeth Van Lew) made me love the book so much more. She did a great job with research to accurately bring her story to life. 

Bea and her cousin Meg are traveling to Richmond to stay with Bea's Aunt Trudy. We are in the midst of the Civil War. Bea is thrilled to be visiting with her aunt. She remembers spending summers in Richmond before a huge family rift happened. Bea's mother instilled abolitionist views in her her children from an early age. Bea does not like this war and is conflicted with her loyalty to the North and helps out on both sides. Her childhood friend, Jay has a top secret government job assisting with the Confederacy. 

Bea is concerned when her cousin, Meg starts to run errands on her own. She is a widow in a Southern state. Bea is concerned for her safety. Bea is also concerned for the feelings that she has for Jay. Could she love someone who supports the opposite cause? Jay is a good, upstanding, loyal character. He deeply cares for Bea and her family. He wrestles with the fact that she supports the North. Can they overcome their differences?

The book is well written, the historic facts sprinkled in helped bring the story to life. I cannot wait to read Meg's story next. Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book. 


Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 10

Texas Book-aholic, May 11

Inklings and notions, May 12

Betti Mace, May 13

Books, Books, and More Books, May 13

For Him and My Family, May 14

deb’s Book Review, May 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 17

Connie’s History Classroom, May 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 20

Blososms and Blessings, May 21

Pause for Tales, May 22

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 23 (Author Interview)

Of Blades and Thorns, May 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d738/boulevard-of-confusion-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway -Not by Sight Author: Elizabeth Jacobson

 



About the Book

Book: Not by Sight

Author: Elizabeth Jacobson

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release date: May 16, 2022


Seventeen-year-old Joseph’s life is far from perfect. He does have his father’s favor and trust, and the love of his younger brother Benjamin and sister Dinah. What he does not have is the love of his ten older brothers. Embittered by their father’s favor towards Joseph, his brothers take every opportunity to spite him. Spurred to anger by their actions and horrified by a threat made towards Benjamin, Joseph, overcome with fury, tells them of his dreams – for his dreams show a future where they will bow down to him.

Outraged, his brothers take their revenge, and Joseph is sold into Egypt as a slave. Bitterness and hate threaten to overcome him, and, in desperation, Joseph turns to the stories of his father’s God, a distant and omnipotent being whom Joseph has never dared to speak to. Slowly, Joseph begins to pick up the pieces of a shattered life. But only when those carefully gathered pieces re-break, over and over again, does Joseph truly begin to understand what it means to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Elizabeth Jacobson is a middle-school math teacher in sunny California who loves the Bible, fantasy, and science fiction. She got bit by the writing bug at age thirteen and has been frantically putting words on pages ever since. Her goal in writing is to share with the world the most important message anyone can express: the Love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Not by Sight: A novel of the patriarchs is her first novel. You can connect with her at headdeskliz.com or on Facebook or Instagram.

 

More from Elizabeth

Imagine you’re back in Sunday School, sitting down with all your friends and watching the volunteer parent who teaches the class smile over the flannelgraph. (Or, if you never went to Sunday School, just imagine yourself in a smallish room with too many little friends around you, and an adult who doesn’t want to mess this up running the class.) “Now, friends,” (s)he says, holding up a flannel image of a teenager in what looks like a rainbow bathrobe: “This is Joseph.”

Joseph is plastered to the flannelgraph, and the parent puts up a flannel group of angry men next to him. “His brothers hated him because his father gave him a beautiful coat. They threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave!”

Appreciative gasps echo from the crowd of five-year-olds – even kids know that good drama comes from torturing your characters.

“His master threw him in prison – ” (we necessarily skip why) “– but one day Pharaoh had a dream!”

Flannel Pharaoh appears, slapped on the flannelgraph, wearing a white skirt and lots of bling.

“Joseph interpreted the dream, and Pharaoh made him his second-in-command. When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food in a famine, Joseph helped them. And you know what, friends?” The parent looks around with a grin. “Joseph never lost his faith in God! Isn’t that amazing?”

You and your friends nod solemnly. What a guy.

You probably hear this story at least once a year in Sunday School, with more detail added each time, but by the time you’re a worldly-wise sixth grader, you start to nod a little less and frown a little more.

You know the story like the back of your hand.

But it doesn’t make any sense anymore.

The truth is that this version of Joseph, whose flannel avatar has been waved in your face for years, this icon of the Sunday-School world, isn’t a person to emulate. He can’t be emulated.

Because the story of a man who faced every unthinkable hardship thrown his way with a smile on his face and praise on his lips and forgiveness in his heart is. Not. A. Story. Of. Real. Faith.

You want real faith? Look at the guy who talked to Jesus in Mark Chapter 9. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Translation: “I know I’m supposed to trust You, but in this moment, I don’t. Please help me out!”

Humans aren’t perfect. Why then are we shown a perfect Joseph?

Various adaptations of the Joseph story have tried their hand at mitigating the perfect Joseph problem. For the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the whole thing is played so humorously that character exploration ranks at exactly nil, and no one questions anything Joseph does. For the perennial Sunday-School favorite Joseph: King of Dreams cartoon movie, God and faith are taken mostly out of the story, so Joseph is free to be an “ordinary person” who reacts accordingly. (Do you see the problem with this last idea? I hope you do. faith ≠ superhuman).

Other adaptations have tried as well, but this fantasy and science fiction writer was one day struck with the need to try it for herself. I loved the story (remember, torturing characters = good drama, and boy does Joseph get the – extremely – short end of the stick for a good chunk of his life) and secondly, because I knew it would be a challenge.

Part of the reason for this “perfect” Joseph we so often see in Sunday School is that the Bible is not written as a novel. Most narratives in the Bible go over the events needed to comprehend the message or information in bare-bones, rapid-fire succession. No fluff involved, no discussion of motives, internal conflict, or thought processes. The Joseph account in Genesis is unique in that it is one of the longest continuous narratives in the Bible, but even it gives very little in the way of discussing these storytelling necessities.

The goal then became to come up with consistent personality traits and motivations, and logical, human reactions to events, that would lead each player in the Joseph narrative to take the actions recorded in Genesis. I felt like an archaeologist, piecing together ancient clues that could lead me to a bigger, more complete picture of the story.

It was a wild ride, but I had an absolute blast writing it. I can’t wait to share Not by Sight: a novel of the patriarchs with you!

My Thoughts

Not by Sight is a Biblical Fiction story that is written by  Elizabeth Jacobson. This is her first novel. This is a retelling of the story of Joseph - the 11th son of the Patriarch Jacob. Joseph, if you remember had his father's love and admiration. Which angered his brothers. His brothers sold him to Egypt. He is left with nothing. However, his faith did not waver. 

One of the things I appreciated most about this book, is how the author did careful research to stay close to the story. The author really brought to life the way that Joseph lived - how the culture was back in the day. She also showcased how he trusted God in trying situations. You forget sometimes what Joseph went through and how God was faithful through all. 

I am so thankful to have been able to read the author's debut novel. The story is well written. The author did a great job with creating a story that stuck close to the Bible. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 6

Vicky Sluiter, May 7 (Author Interview)

Miriam Jacob, May 7

Inklings and notions, May 8

For Him and My Family, May 9

deb’s Book Review, May 10

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 11 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 13

For the Love of Literature, May 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 14

Connie’s History Classroom, May 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 16

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 17 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, May 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elizabeth is giving away the grand prize package of a hardcover copy of Not by Sight: a novel of the patriarchs, combined with a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d72a/not-by-sight-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, May 13, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway- Book: A Giant Murder Author: Marji Laine Narrator: Christa DelSorbo On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 

About the Book

Book: A Giant Murder

Author: Marji Laine

Narrator: Christa DelSorbo

GenreChristian Women’s Fiction

Release date: January, 2022

2- A Giant Murder AUDIOWould you like a shot of… death with that, sir?

Josephine Jacobs was just doing her job, serving at an exclusive party, so why is she now being accused of shooting TG Taggert?

At a party full of suspects in the murder of Taggert, Josie served the food giant everything but an eternally “parting shot.” Who really killed TG Taggert? His wife? His son, Jack? What about Harper Davis? Rumor has it, she was having an affair with him—motive for her or Taggert’s wife! The list of those who seemed to hate him keeps growing, including a chemist and a chef!

With her long-time friend, Office Porter O’Brien, Josie sets out to clear her name and find out who really killed “the giant”.

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. A Giant Murder offers a retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” with enough clues and suspects to keep you looking over your shoulder. We’d recommend Kevlar… but it hasn’t been invented yet!

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Marji LaineMarji Laine is a graduated home-schooling mom of four with two college students staying in the nest for a little longer. She and her hubby of 34 years also share their North Texas home with a rescue pup named Rosie. When Marji isn’t editing or publishing the books for her authors at Write Integrity Press, she indulges in penning her own mystery, suspense, and romance novels. She loves acting in musical comedy, has directed many stage productions, leads a high school Bible study and sings in her church choir. She prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, NASCAR to football, Magnolia pie, white roses, green, and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. You can find her at her website: MarjiLaine.com

 

About the Narrator

christaheadshot (1)Speaking Life into Story

Queen of the one-eyebrow quirk, Christa DelSorbo auditioned for the role of Tarzan’s mom and has the photos to prove she ended up as the only cast member in a literal cast. These days, they keep her stuck in a box with a ball on a stick and only feed her when she reads another chapter of another fabulous book. She loves every minute. Or so they tell her. *eyebrow slowly raises *

 

More from Christa


My Thoughts 

A Giant Murder is written by Marji Laine. This is book 2 in the Ever After Mystery series. A series that is fairytale retelling stories that are written by a group of wonderful authors. I believe this is the first book that I have read by this author and I enjoyed it very much.

This story is a retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” but with twists and turns. This is set in Dallas in 1926. Josephine Jacobs is serving at a upscale party thrown by TG Taggert. The whole time Josephine is serving, she sees a lot of the guests acting different. However Josephine is trying to concentrate on her task. Her job helps her mother pay the bills. Josephine retreats to her room to get a key - and is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. She hears a gunshot - and TG Taggert is dead. Josephine is the prime suspect. 

Josephine can't believe she is the prime suspect. She knows she needs to clear her name. Her friend, Officer Porter O'Brien helps her and is investigating the case. Who would want the food giant dead? One of my favorite things about this character, is despite what she was walking through - she still shared her faith and the Gospel. Despite her circumstances she keeps her faith in God, and her eyes on Jesus. The Gospel message is woven all throughout this story and it is a beautiful reminder. 

The author wrote the time period well, she has the roaring 20's lingo, the notes of Prohibition, and so much time period specific info. Well written characters, suspenseful mystery and a all around good read. I love the Ever After mysteries! 


Let’s talk about the narrator now. I have been fortunate enough to listen to several stories that Christa has narrated. She is one of my favorite narrators. Her voice is so smooth and flowing. She brings the right amount of emotion to all of the story. She really brings the story to life through her voice. 


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







Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, May 3

Texas Book-aholic, May 4

SodbusterLiving, May 5

By the Book, May 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 7

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 8

deb’s Book Review, May 9 (Spotlight)

Inklings and notions, May 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 12

Connie’s History Classroom, May 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 14

Lights in a Dark World, May 15

Books I’ve Read, May 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Christa is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free code for the audiobook!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1db48/a-giant-murder-audiobook-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway -Then Judgement Author: Caryl McAdoo On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book: Then Judgement

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Biblical fiction

Release date: April 8, 2022


A story of the three days Jesus did not spend in the tomb.

The Son of Man was made sin, cast away from the presence of the Great I AM’s presence, and condemned to Hades to face judgement. What exactly happened during those three days from the Lord’s lifeless body of flesh being placed in the tomb and His glorious resurrection? Hints throughout the Scriptures give clues to what transpired—how He got to Paradise to be with the thief on the cross that same day. One thing is certain! He rose on the third day and now lives forever more seated on His throne at the right hand of the Father! Hallelujah!

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over sixty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and twenty-one grandsugars (three are greats), Caryl and Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-three years, live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

 

More from Caryl

As many of you know, my husband Ron and I write together. When Simon and Schuster released our tenth title, the editor requested one name for the cover and since it was a historical romance, preferred a female’s. The arrangement worked so well for us that we continued only my name being on the cover after we went Indie!

Anyway, we have been talking about writing this book for years, coming across little clues for the story in Scripture studies now and again over that time. At last, God released us to write THEN JUDGEMENT based on the twenty-seventh verse of Hebrews, nineth chapter: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

I love searching the scriptures and telling a story that strictly adheres to God’s Book, His Living Word, the Holy Bible. I love His stories and so understand that His Word is bread to our souls, feeding us wisdom and knowledge of our Creator and His everlasting, never-ending love for us!

Creating Biblical fiction tales carries a lot of responsibility that I truly enjoy taking on, being a guardian of the Truth. I love to bring characters from those days gone by so long ago to life on the pages of my books! I do feel a bit like John when he said this, writing of our Savior.

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:27

Biblical fiction could easily become my favorite genre—if it isn’t already. I do write more historical romance stories set in the 1800s (a favorite time period) in Texas (my favorite state)! And as much as I love that research . . . nothing compares to digging into the Word!

I pray you will enjoy living through the three days that Jesus did not spend in the tomb! May my story cause you to dig a little yourself, checking out our theory! I know this to be Truth: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

Hallelujah! Glory be to His Holy Name! The righteous run into it and are saved! There is no one like unto Him! He alone it the Great King over all the earth! Worthy to receive glory and praise!
As always, I’m ‘Praying my story gives God glory!’
Blessings, y’all!

My Thoughts

Then Judgement is written by the mega talented  Caryl McAdoo. Since joining the Celebrate Lit team as a blogger, I have read several of Caryl's books. She writes across multiple genres and a variety of topics. However, one thing remains. God will shine through in every story. This is a Biblical Fiction story. 

This is such a beautifully written story. I will admit that I cried several times through this book. This book follows Dodi who was tasked with guarding our Savior and watching over him throughout his life. Dodi takes the job very seriously. Even when he fully did not understand why God was letting things to happen, Gabriel, Namrel and others remind him that God has a purpose. 

The crucifixion topic always makes me cry. The way the author wrote this scene really reminded me of what my Savior went through for me. Dodi had a hard time watching this. Once Jesus passes, his soul slips from his body - and Dodi and Namrel carry him to go through a trial with Lucifer. The author has portrayed Lucifer like he is in our world. Lucifer will take THE WORD and twist it around and use it against us - and as the trial goes through the patriarchs and Dodi provide evidence to how he has never sinned. 

The author writes her story with lots of biblical evidence to back it up. The writing flows nicely. This was a quick and easy read. Make sure you have tissues ready while reading. My copy that was sent to me is now stained with my tears. Thank you to the author for reminding me of what our perfect Savior did to save us. 

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

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, May 11

Connie’s History Classroom, May 12

deb’s Book Review, May 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 15

Inklings and notions, May 16

Texas Book-aholic, May 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 21

Splashes of Joy, May 22

Mary Hake, May 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 24 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1db49/then-judgement-celebration-tour-giveaway