Total Pageviews

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - The Nutcracker’s Suite Author: Chautona Havig On Tour with Celebrate Lit


 

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021


“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of
secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

media-headshot-sm-240x300Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!


My Thoughts



The Nutcracker’s Suite is book six in the Ever After Mystery Series and is written by Chautona Havig. The Ever After Mystery series is a multi-author series that can be read as stand alone books. They are all tied together by the fairy tale retelling connection. Chautona is one of my most favorite authors and I have been fortunate enough to read several of her new releases this year. She always writes unique stories.




I absolutely love Nutcracker’s. My grandma used to collect them and when she passed I took her collection. Every year that I set it up I get emotional. I was really excited to read this book. I love the detail that the author put into the story about the toy building/painting. It really brought the story alive.




In this story, you will be transported back to the 1920’s. A time where prohibition and gangsters were center story. In this story heads will roll…..literally. Clarice grew up as an orphan. Her father left and her mother passed away. I was drawn to her character immediately. She is working in a toy shop. Her life has been sad. She has been reassigned to a very large order that in her opinion is better suited for the newer girls. She is asked to stay late one day - and when she is told to see her boss after completing a certain amount of dolls, she walks in on her boss’ dead body and the “enforcer” standing close to the body. Clarice is concerned that Milo may have had something to do with it. Clarice is used to seeing members of mob king, Mario Topo’s gang pass through. This time it was different. Milo insists that he did not have anything to do with Meyer’s death and the race is on to try and find the person behind it…. Before they are killed in the process.




The author has woven together a well written, historically accurate, mystery. I love the twists and turns that the author has put into this story. I LOVE this series.



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


Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

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/13cfb/the-nutcracker-s-suite-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - The Debutante's code By: Erica Vetsch - on tour with Read with Audra

 





 


 


Book Giveaway

 

 

Enter to win a copy below! 

Enter Erica Vetsch's Cozy Up with a Good Book Giveaway (audrajennings.com)

 





 

About the Book

 

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series
 
Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love.But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.
 
Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spies. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors--not to mention the nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner, who suspects her of a daring theft.
 
Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents' last mission?
 
Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.
 
Click here to read an excerpt.

 

About the Author

 

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.
 
Vetsch is the author of many novellas and novels, including the popular Serendipity & Secrets Regency series and the new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery series
 
Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
 
Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor), Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

 

My Thoughts

 


The Debutante's Code is written by Erica Vetsch. This is book one in a new series written by the author that is entitled: Thorndike & Swann Regency Mysteries. I have been a huge fan of this author since I discovered her when she wrote for Love Inspired Historical. I am super excited to see a new series from her. 

You will be transported back regency times. We meet Lady Juliette Thorndike. She has just finished finishing school and is ready for her debut into society. Her life changes when her parents disappear. She soon discovers she never really knew them. She learns that they led a whole life that she knew nothing about. One where they were government spies. She is left in the care of her uncle and soon discovers she is drawn toward the world of espionage

Daniel Swann comes from a very different background. He finds himself as a Bow Street detective. His first case involves thefts from wealthy homes, factor in a murder and Daniel soon realizes he has more then he bargained for. The crimes have left him puzzled. Daniel and Juliette keep crossing paths everywhere. Daniel is curious to if she is involved somehow. What does she know? 

This story is very well written. I enjoyed the mystery and turning pages trying to figure it all out. I love the care and research that the author put into this book to bring the Regency time period alive. Daniel and Juliette are wonderful characters and I hope to continue to read their stories. 

I received a copy of  this book through the author and Read With Audra. All thoughts are my own. 

 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway- Behind Love’s Wall Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 

Behind Love’s Wall Kick-Off Package

Behind Love's Wall

About the Book

Book: Behind Love’s Wall

Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels

Genre: FICTION/ Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

9781636090696 (2)Two successful women, a hundred-and-twenty-years apart, build walls to protect their hearts. Modern-day Willa, a successful interior decorator, is chosen to consult for the Grand Hotel’s possible redesign. She discovers a journal detailing the struggles of a young woman, Lily—which reveals dark secrets. The renowned singer wasn’t who she pretended to be. As Willa reaches out to Lily’s descendant, a charismatic and prominent landscape artist, she lets down her guard. Should she share the journal with him, or once again erect a wall as she struggles to redesign both the Grand and her life?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

CarrieFancettPagelsECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.

 

More from Carrie

Why I Wrote This Novel

 

I got a chance to write another novel set on Mackinac Island!!!

 

I’m the author of over twenty published stories. I have many books, both novel and novella length, set at the Straits of Mackinac including Maggie Award winner and Romantic Times Top Pick My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. In the summer, I go up to the area and I’m blessed to sign books at the Island Bookstore—sometimes hundreds of books which is such an amazing thing I can’t tell you! Now that MHBoMI is out of print, Barbour has been helping by doing limited print runs for while I am up there.

 

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island was originally part of a full series that I pitched but it didn’t get picked up for all three stories. MHBoMI got picked up as part of the My Heart Belongs series that Barbour put out a few years ago. The second book in my original Brides of Mackinac series was heroine Sadie’s story, which was published as a novella “His Anchor” in First Love Forever collection.  So I had two of my book babies delivered out into the world and Lily’s story sat there for a while.

 

In the Covid summer of 2020, I arrived in my home state of Michigan and over dinner with a close friend I learned that the folks at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island were having legal trouble with their previous long-time designed Carlton Varney suing them. I’d been disappointed that the Mussers, who’d owned the Grand for generations, had sold the hotel but this new development really bugged me.  While I was in the Upper Peninsula, I finished an Indy book, Dogwood Plantation, which only figures since I often write my Michigan stories while I am in Virginia and vice versa! I knew the only other book I wanted to work on was to complete my Brides of Mackinac trilogy (not exactly since they aren’t all in one series!) with Lily’s story. I also had a manuscript about 70% done that was my very first contemporary Women’s Fiction novel. When my agent encouraged me to submit a Mackinac Island story set at the Grand Hotel to Barbour’s Doors to the Past series, I knew immediately that the only story for historical I wanted to write was Lily’s. That meant that I needed, for this dual-timeline series, a contemporary story. That wasn’t just a chance sharing at dinner—I believe the info about the lawsuit was meant to be passed on to me one of those God-incidences. My modern-day heroine then became an established resort designer who had a trunkful of issues just like Lily did.

 

Was I ever glad that I had finally written my first contemporary Women’s Fiction (Butterfly Cottage) because that skill set came in very handy in writing the modern-day 2020 story of Willa in Behind Love’s Wall! This was the most difficult novel to write that I have done so far as I write in character and going back and forth between the 1895 and 2020 timelines could be draining. I tried to write each character and setting on separate days but that couldn’t always be managed.

 

I pray that this story will touch readers’ hearts. I pray that someone, like the young waitress I meant on Mackinac Island who had been spiritually moved by My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (she read her grandmother’s copy after her grandma passed away!), will read this book and feel that connection to our Maker. That’s what Christian Fiction is all about!


My Thoughts 

Behind Love’s Wall is written by Carrie Fancett Pagels. This is part of the “Doors to the Past” series. This is a series that is written by munitions authors. They are stand alone books but can be tied by the dual time storyline. 


I always love reading books by this author. She always does great job researching her setting and time period and the story feels as real as possible. This dual timeline is 1895 and 2020. The setting is the Grand Hotel in Mackinaw Island. Willa is our modern day character who is an interior designer. She is chosen to help consult on a redesign for the Grand Hotel. Lilly is our past character. Willa has found a journal that was written by Lilly. It captures all of her struggles and dark secrets. Willa isn’t sure if she should reach out to Lilly’s descendants and share the journal. There’s also a connection between the two characters that I enjoyed trying to figure out. 



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


Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 19

Cats in the Cradle Blog, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Inklings and notions, November 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Mary Hake, November 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

For the Love of Literature, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Betti Mace, November 23

Genesis 5020, November 23

Older & Smarter?, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

Blossoms and Blessings, November 25

Stephanie’s life of determination, November 25

Connect in Fiction, November 25

Rebecca Tews, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 26

Through the fire blogs, November 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Bigreadersite, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 28

Connie’s History Classroom, November 29

Bizwings Blog, November 29

Labor Not in Vain, November 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 30

To Everything There Is A Season, November 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 1

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, December 1

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/137e9/behind-love-s-wall-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review and Giveaway- The Weather Girls: Windy Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 

the weather girls windy

About the Book

Book: The Weather Girls: Windy

Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 9, 2021

TheWeatherGirls_Windy couv3She grew up without a mother…

…but her little one wouldn’t.

Can the cardinal help her find true love?

Her family thinks Windy is a flighty accident waiting to happen. But with more at stake than herself, she needs to put her creativity to the test and prove them wrong.

Is there such thing as too much independence?

Kris is a private man of few words, but somehow Windy broke through his defenses. He’d like to be more than a friend, but that would mean revealing his secret.

Will he trust Windy with what he’s kept hidden?

And if he does, will she view him as someone worth building a life with?

Only the cardinal can say for sure.

Return to 1970 Indiana with Windy, the third book in The Weather Girls series for some peace, love, and Christian family values.

You will love Windy, the final book in The Weather Girls trilogy, because everyone knows the sweetest love is the one we wait for.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Choice 4Historical Christian romance author Jennifer Lynn Carylikes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl. Now transplanted to the Arizona desert, this direct descendant of Davy Crockett and her husband of forty years enjoy time with family where she shares tales of her small town heritage and family legacies with their grandchildren. She is the author of The Crockett Chronicles series and The Relentlessseries as well as the stand-alone novella Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café and her recent split-time novel The Traveling Prayer Shawl.

 

More from Jennifer

Do you remember The Mod Squad? I loved that 1960s TV show and thought Peggy Lipton’s character, Julie Barnes, was the coolest.

A few years ago my sister sent me a photo. She’d just gotten her hair done at a Blow Bar for the first time. With thick, naturally wavy hair, she was shocked at the transformation and had to share. “Jenny, it’s not just straight, it’s Peggy Lipton straight!” I didn’t need to question the reference. I knew exactly what she meant even before checking out the photo link. Peggy Lipton’s hair was board straight. But more than that, she had that pale blonde look with dark brows and lashes. In color draping terms, she’d be classified as a Winter.

Peggy Lipton is who came to mind as I imagined Windy June Day, the youngest of the Day sisters. I also saw her as extremely artistic and brave, but she needed her own book to fully tell her story. In her sisters’ books, you get an idea of her personality but with Windy, now you get to know what went on in her head—her fears, her spiritual journey, her essence. You also get to better understand her fierce nature and amazing potential.

I really loved writing all three of these stories, but there was something personal about Windy’s. I also was an unwed mother and had to consider my daughter before I could think about any relationship. I also learned the freedom of forgiveness and turning my past, my future, my daughter all over to the One who could bring beauty from ashes.

Windy looks at a lot of things that we today have chosen to forget or have learned to look at differently. It’s funny to think that not that long ago, those things were the normal, everyday life. I hope Windy brings back fun memories or gets you to talk to someone who might remember those days.

My Thoughts 


The Weather Girls: Windy is written by Jennifer Lynn Cary. This is book three in the Weather Girls series. I have read the whole series and I would recommend that you do. The series covers three sisters from their point of view. Windy is the youngest sister. This book is set in the 1970’s. The author did a great job capturing the time period perfectly.  


Windy has had a child out of wedlock. During this time period that was a huge No-no. Windy wants to try and do everything on her own without the help of others. She wants to prove she can be a single mom. Kris, who is the handyman around for their property is so tender and loving toward Windy and her child. 


There are a lot that is uncovered in the series finale that is mentioned in the first two books. I was happy to uncover some of the hurt and pain that the sisters have gone through. I felt the finale brought the sisters stories full circle. 


I’ve enjoyed getting to know this family. The sister bond has me missing my own sisters. I live 800 plus miles away. This series has become one of my favorites to read. 


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


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

Vicky Sluiter, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 22

Inklings and notions, November 23

For Him and My Family, November 24

Blogging With Carol, November 25

deb’s Book Review, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 28

Connie’s History Classroom, November 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card with a signed copy of the book!!

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/137eb/the-weather-girls-windy-celebration-tour-giveaway