Total Pageviews

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Blue Moon Author: Jenny Knipfer On Tour with Celebrate LIt

 



About the Book

Book: Blue Moon

Author: Jenny Knipfer

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: September 27, 2019


By the Light of the Moon series:
Readers who love being trapped in a character’s mind should relish this finely written, gripping series. A must read for fans of historical fiction.”–The Prairies Book Review

A tale of precious things more rare than a blue moon…

The year is 1885 and unwed Vanessa Gulet must surrender her newborn son to her married twin sister, Valerie, to raise. A seed of bitterness grows in Vanessa. When the opportunity arises for her to have what she’s always wanted, Vanessa takes it despite the consequences to her family, getting more than she bargained for.

Meanwhile, Valerie, overcome with loss and grief, faces a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Will she and her husband, Felix, forge through their trials together, or will these upsets cause them to drift apart?

Will Vanessa and Valerie remain at odds, or will they allow the power of forgiveness to heal their strained relationship?

Love seems to bloom in the most unlikely of places in Webaashi Bay for an old friend of Jenay’s and a woman who owns the local dress shop. A parallel tale of love, forgiveness, and reuniting lost things is spun by a local author adding another dimension to the tale of the Gulet twins and their saga.

Fans of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, clean romance, and literary fiction will enjoy this dramatic read!

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.

Jenny’s education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions. She spent many years as a librarian in a local public library but recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability.

She authored and performed a self-published musical CD entitled, Scrapbook of a Closet Poet.

Jenny’s first three books earned five-star reviews from Reader’s Favorite, a book review and award contest company. Their praise: “Ruby Moon is entertaining, fast-paced, and features characters that are real. Blue Moon continues a well-written and highly engaging saga of family ties, betrayals, and heartaches… Silver Moon is a highly recommended read for fans of historical wartime fiction, powerful emotive drama, and excellent atmospheric writing.”

 

She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Historical Novel Society, Wisconsin Writers Association, Indie Christian Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.

Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set. She has self-published the first two books, Ruby Moon and Blue Moon in her four-part series. Two more novels to complete the series are planned for 2020. She is currently writing a new historical fiction series called, Sheltering Trees.

 

Libraries and retailers may find Jenny’s books on Ingram. Support your local bookstores, and request a copy of Jenny’s books there. Purchase paperbacks retail on Amazon. Ebooks are available through your favorite ebook retailer.

Keep current with Jenny by visiting her website at https://jennyknipfer.com.

 

More from Jenny

In Blue Moon I play off a minor character from Ruby Moon, Vanessa Gulet. When Ruby Moon ended, I started wondering what Vanessa’s life had been like, rejected by Renault, her old flame who had promised her his devotion.

 

Vanessa’s story grew along with Valerie’s, her identical twin sister. Asking the question of what could divide twin siblings drew me deep into the drama of the Gulet sisters, and a story of desire and loss sprang from my imagination.

 

An even richer depth occurred when I brought the main character from Ruby Moon, Jenay, into the thick of the twins’ saga. Vanessa must come to grips with what really happened to Renault and who was involved. Will she forgive the past and the unintentional wrongs committed and embrace the new friend she has made or not?

 

Also, I wrote from experience in Blue Moon, as Valerie must face the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and how to live with the fear of the unknown shadowing her life. It was therapeutic for me to write some of my own feeling and thoughts through Valerie. Journaling has always been a way for me to manage my emotions, and writing via story form was no different. Chances are you either know someone with MS or know of someone with MS. The disease is very prevalent in the U.S., and through Blue Moon I want to draw some awareness to what I and many people live with every day.

 

I hope in Blue Moon that the theme of forgiveness will encourage readers through their own struggles and believe that choosing to forgive is always the better choice, often bringing unforeseen blessings.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read a little about Blue Moon and its origin! I hope you get a chance to read it and the twins’ tale of forgiveness. If you do, please let me know, and please leave a review.

 

Blessings, J

 

P.S. Did you know I include a recipe pertaining to the story in most of my books? In Blue Moon, I include an old family favorite: butter tarts. Lily, a daughter of the man Vanessa meets and is drawn to in Webaashi Bay, loves butter tarts. Vanessa and Lily make them together. Following is the recipe.

 

Lily’s Butter Tart

1 C sugar

¼ C softened butter or butter substitute

2 eggs

juice of half a lemon

½ C golden raisins

½ C sweetened shredded coconut

Your favorite pie crust recipe for one 9” crust

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and lemon juice. Beat well. By hand mix in the raisins and coconut. Line pastry tin with pie crust and fill with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set.

I based this recipe from an old one of my grandmother’s from the late 1800’s. NOTE:  You can also cut rounds of pie crust to fill muffin tins to make smaller tarts. (Lily’s style) I make the one dish version because it’s less fuss.

My Thoughts

Blue Moon by Jenny Knipfer is book 2 in the Light of the Moon series. I have read book one. You can see my review: HERE. This book is set in 1895 on the shores of Lake Superior. I love this time period and all the history that goes into it. Last story we met Jenay, and this one we meet unwed Vanessa Gulet who is forced to give her newborn son to her married twin sister, Valerie, to raise. I cannot imagine this and the pain that it would have caused. Vanessa's father has made this decision and it has caused a seed of bitterness to grow in and settle into her heart. 
Vanessa stays involved in the child's life and spends time with him daily. When he is 10 years old, she finds out that the child's father has passed away and she has an inheritance. Vanessa takes her child and leaves her sister a note. She then tells the child that she is his actual mother. (I can only imagine the shock on his poor face!) Both Vanessa and Valerie want what is best for Luis. It was interesting to watch all this play out. 
This book contains romance, some tragedies, lots of forgiveness, and how family is everything. I cannot wait until the next book in the series. 

Trigger warning - This book is not suitable for those under the age of 13. There are talks of extramarital affairs', women's bodies, passionate kissing and sexual connotations. 

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 20

lakesidelivingsite, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Inklings and notions, November 22

For Him and My Family, November 23

KarenSueHadley, November 23

Rebecca Tews, November 24

deb’s Book Review, November 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 26

Captive Dreams Window, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 27

Artistic Nobody, November 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 29

Betti Mace, November 30

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 1

Connie’s History Classroom, December 2

Splashes of Joy, December 3

Bizwings Blog, December 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jenny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a copy of Blue Moon, and a pair of earrings reflecting Blue Moon’s theme!!

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/103ed/blue-moon-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway -- Georgia Ann, English Rose Author: Elva Cobb Martin On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book: Georgia Ann, English Rose

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020


Two Charles Town men love Georgia Ann Cooper—Samuel Vargas and his step-brother, Joshua Becket—but only one both attracts and infuriates her. Even though he’s a dangerous budding patriot and a privateer—or more likely pirate—Samuel fills her dreams and waking moments. When he leaves Charles Town for high sea adventure on the legendary Spice Trail, she determines to push him out of her thoughts and her graces. A task made slightly easier when she sets out on her own journey to accompany her father on one of his merchant trips to the Mediterranean.

Samuel Vargas is determined to make his own way in the world, not live in the glow of his parents’ escapades throughout Charles Town and the seas surrounding the Spanish Main. There’s no better place to earn his fortune than the Spice Trail. But the adventure becomes more than he bargained for when he stumbles across a familiar face from Charles Town in Tripoli, and he’s forced to use all his abilities to save the life of the woman he’s been trying to forget.

As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with Barbary pirates, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Georgia Ann and Samuel.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Elva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at http://www.elvamartin.com.

 

More from Elva

Georgia Ann (& the Spice Trade) – Book 2 in my Charleston Brides Series

 

I enjoy researching material to make my novels richer and help readers learn something new while enjoying my Christian historical romances. In Georgia Ann, my hero, Samuel Vargas, sails off to make his fortune in spices we take for granted in our kitchens today. I loved doing the research about this flavorful commodity.

The Spice Islands are actually called the Maluku Islands and they lie in the Indonesian Pacific archipelago, north of Australia and south of Thailand and China.

 

The history of spices reveals a hazardous, exciting tale spread over centuries of daring, courage and greed and many countries and oceans.

 

The spice trade actually drove the world’s economy from the end of the Middle Ages well into modern times. But the economical importance of spices, recorded in the history of Kerala, referred to as “The Spice Garden of India,” goes back as far as 3000 BC which marks the beginning of the spice trade.

Wars have been fought on land and sea and nations have been made wealthy (and at least one annihilated) in the battle for control of the spice trade.

 

Nutmeg and New York

The spice trade brought great riches to Arab, Indian, Venetian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish traders. It once brought death to residents of the Banda Spice Islands over a nutmeg monopoly. In 1603 the Dutch East India Company (known as VOC) ousted the Portuguese control of nutmeg on these islands.

Here’s an interesting tidbit in the history of nutmeg. The English fought the Dutch over control of this spice. England finally handed their island of Rhun over to the Dutch in exchange for a swampy island trading post in North America, an unattractive property known then as New Amsterdam; today as Manhattan Island!

The search for cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cassia, in the ancient world gave rise to unbelievable tales. To satisfy the curious, to protect their market, and to discourage competitors the spice-source countries like India and Asia spread fantasy tales of danger, magic, strange animals, and snake-infested glens. Sinbad the Sailor stories grew out of this mindset.

For us in the USA, another most important fact stands out about the Spice Trade, besides it being involved in the trade for Manhattan Island. The Americas were discovered (1492) due to Spain sending Columbus to find a western route to India (from the Atlantic to the Pacific) to reap in the rewards for these valuable spices desired by all Europe.

The danger-fraught routes at that time (1400’s) from Europe were through the Mediterranean and Egypt (Alexandria) overland to the Red Sea and down the Persian Gulf, then sailing over the Indian Ocean to India, and to the Spice Islands.

 

Cloves

A native tradition of the Spice Islands was to plant a clove tree at a child’s birth, symbolically linking the child to the tree’s life.

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to twelve feet tall with large glossy leaves and crimson flowers in clusters that when ripe and dried become the cloves like we use in cooking.

 

Today, spices are grown in many countries other than the Spice Islands that have temperate climates.

 

The World’s Three Most Traded Spices Today

Pepper, vanilla, and ginger are spicing up lives and economies. Millions of dollars are earned in sales. Pepper is exported by Viet Nam, India, and China. Vanilla comes from mainly Madagascar, Indonesia, and Mauritius. Main exporters of ginger are China and the Netherlands.

 

And one last spicy tidbit: The United States leads the world in spice consumption and imports.

 

Hope I haven’t bored you, but I love discovering history like this and sowing bits into my novels.

Thanks for stopping by.  And remember when you use cloves again to stick in that ham, or use the powdered form in an apple pie—a lot of “stuff” happened over centuries to get this spice so readily available in your kitchen.

 

Elva Cobb Martin

My Thoughts

Georgia Ann - English Rose by Elva Cobb Martin is book 2 in the Charleston Brides series. I have not read book 1 - and I did not have any problems following along. This is also the first I have read from this author -and I will be making sure to check out her other books. 
I don't read a lot of books that have a swashbuckling romance in it - but this book is definitely a must read! Two brothers are in love with Georgia Ann - one she cares for - one she can't stand. Samuel and Joshua compete for her love. I preferred Samuel over Joshua. Samuel took a more successful path at life. Both bring a lot to the table. 
The author has done such an amazing job putting in research to make this feel as real as possible. I don't know a whole bunch about pirate ships/ Ships in general- but I feel that with her attention to detail I learned so much about them. I cannot even imagine what would have happened with Ships that are taken over while out at sea.  
This book is filled with swordfights, a kidnapping, lies and a faith element. It flowed nicely and the storyline grabs you from the first page. The characters are well written and feel real. This book is set in the slave era - it does contain information for the slave trade - which happened during the time period set. 

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 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 24

Betti Mace, November 25

Labor Not in Vain , November 25

Daysong Reflections, November 26

Artistic Nobody, November 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, November 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 2

Connect in Fiction , December 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Elva 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/103eb/georgia-ann-english-rose-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, November 27, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - To Steal A Heart Author: Jen Turano On tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book: To Steal A Heart

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Comedic Historical Romance

Release Date: November, 2020


After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by BooklistJen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.

More from Jen

“To Steal a Heart” is the first book in a new series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?

Oddly enough, this series was inspired by a lot of different things. I keep this idea box, and whenever I stumble on something interesting, I throw the idea into the box. When I was getting ready to assemble a proposal for a new series, I took out the box and began rifling through it. Unfortunately, nothing struck my fancy. What did strike my fancy though, was the movie “My Fair Lady.” I’d recently watched it for the millionth time, and I thought…hmmm…what could I do with that? Well, I didn’t want to do a recreation of “My Fair Lady” and that’s when it hit me – what if I used a gentleman instead of a lady and improved his circumstances in life with the help of a professor? That wasn’t really enough, though, for me to formulate an entire series, but then I went to New York City for a research trip. While there, I roamed around Bleecker Street for hours. It was the perfect place to set a series, and then I saw this older building that my tour guide thought might have once been a boardinghouse. That was what really started me thinking, and before I knew it, I’d created an inquiry agency run by women that came about when a resident of a boardinghouse was unjustly accused of theft. When the police would not investigate further, believing they had the true culprit behind bars, the ladies who lived in the boardinghouse felt compelled to step up and clear their fellow boardinghouse resident of the charges brought against her. The series took off from there, the first book centering around one of the lady inquiry agents, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who used to live on the mean streets of the Lower East Side and, at one point in her life, was best friends with Nicholas Quinn, the man who has now found his circumstances vastly improved from the time he knew Gabriella. Throwing the two of them back together made for an interesting storyline, especially since Gabriella believes Nicholas abandoned her all those years ago, which makes it next to impossible for her to trust him.

 

Are there other interesting characters in this series?

 

Of course. All of the lady inquiry agents come with their own secrets. Miss Daphne Beekman is a reclusive author who lives in the attic of the boardinghouse. She has the propensity to faint at the drop of a hat, which makes for a few amusing scenes in the first book. She’ll get her own story in “To Write a Wrong,” coming out later in 2021. Then there’s Eunice Holbrooke. She’s the owner of the boardinghouse, and she only wears full mourning garb, covering her face with numerous veils and refusing to speak to anyone about her past. Clearly, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved there, one that will be solved in book three, which I’m just now beginning to work on. The other residents of the boardinghouse provide a lot of color to the story, from the two sisters who work as paid companions by day to gossip collectors and carriage drivers by night, to the resident artist, Miss Judith, who has recently decided to dip her toe into the portrait market even though she’s really not proficient with painting people. There’s also a one-eyed, patch-wearing dog by the name of Winston, a parrot that likes to nick sparkly items named Pretty Girl, and a neurotic poodle that falls for Winston that goes by the name of Precious.

 

Did the pandemic affect the writing process at all for “To Steal a Heart?”

 

Luckily, I had already turned in the book before the pandemic hit. With that said, though, I then had to do some of the edits during the first few months of the pandemic. That was interesting. I have very specific conditions I need in order to write and edit and having Al (the husband person) working from home isn’t one of those conditions. It took me far longer than it normally does to complete the editing process, which threw off my schedule for the next book in the series, “To Write a Wrong.” Drastic measures were needed. That’s why I’m now the proud owner of a she-shed. Al thought I was joking when I first broached the subject of a she-shed, but after I had my millionth meltdown, he decided that might be a really good idea. Turns out sheds are in high demand at the moment, so getting a shed in a timely fashion wasn’t possible. It took 6 weeks for us to get a shed delivered and then we had to frame the inside and put up a ceiling and walls. I was not actually very involved with that process because I’m a danger to everyone surrounding me when nail guns are being used. 🙂 I did paint the outside of the shed, then painted the inside. Of course the air conditioning unit I had to order was delayed, so I painted in 100 degree heat. Lost about five pounds doing that, so…unexpected bonus there. I just recently finished decorating the inside, and I’m typing this interview from my new space. I’m thinking I’m going to call it “Jen’s Novel Nook” but that might change, so don’t quote me on that.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

 

Just that I hope everyone is surviving these crazy days. I know there are many people out there who are suffering from many different problems this pandemic has caused. Know that you’re not alone, and that brighter days will show up again. Until that time, try to remember to smile and, perhaps, read a few books.

 

Wishing all of you the very best!

 

Jen

My Thoughts

I am super excited about this new series by Jen Turano. "To Steal a heart" is the first book in the Bleeker Inquiry agency series. In this book we meet  Gabriella Goodhue, a former thief who is trying to move on in life. She is convinced that she will never have to return to her own life. However, her friend is accused of theft - she knows that she has to pull her old skills together and help prove her innocence. However she is stopped in her tracks when she runs into her former childhood friend, Nicholas that abandoned her. In the opening chapters you can feel the tension when they run into each other again. Daphne was one of my favorite characters - she is feisty, stubborn and clumsy - a GREAT combination if you ask me. I hope to see her in the next book. 

I loved how much research and detail is in this book. The author has done such a great job dropping so many breadcrumbs into the mix so that while you are reading, and trying to figure out the mystery there are some twists and turns that are thrown in. I love that this focuses on a female inquiry agency. I did my master thesis on the use of women and African Americans as spies during the Revolutionary and Civil War. So anything along those lines is right up my alley

Reading the tension that Nicholas and Gabriella face through the book was fun - however she will need to use some of his skills to prove her friend's innocence. These two made me smile throughout the entire book. 

Well written, comical, real feeling characters. Lots of research went into this to present the story to fit into real 1886 New York City back drop. I cannot wait until the next book. 

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

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Soulfully Romantic, November 17

Hebrews 12 Endurance, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 17

Robin’s Nest, November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18

The Avid Reader, November 18

Losing the Busyness, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

She Lives To Read, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 19

Wishful Endings, November 19

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

lakesidelivingsite, November 20

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 20

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 20

The Write Escape, November 20

Older & Smarter?, November 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 21

Christian Bookaholic, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Mia Reads, November 22

Writing from the Heart Land, November 22

Betti Mace, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 23

Life of Literature, November 23

Texas Book-aholic, November 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 24

Batya’s Bits, November 24

Joanne Markey’s blog, November 24

For Him and My Family, November 25

Inside the Wong Mind, November 25

Mary Hake, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 26

EmpowerMoms, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26

Novels Corner, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27

Connie’s History Classroom, November 27

Captive Dreams Window, November 27

Book of Ruth Ann, November 27

deb’s Book Review, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 28

Daysong Reflections, November 28

Bigreadersite, November 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

Splashes of Joy, November 29

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 29

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Vicky Sluiter, November 30

Pause for Tales, November 30

Spoken from the Heart, November 30

Hallie Reads, November 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of copy of To Steal a Heart, plus all three books in the American Heiresses series and a 30 second mystery kit (Link: https://amzn.to/3nqrIpC)!!

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/103a4/to-steal-a-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tour Reminders