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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 CafĂ© 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

Friday, November 26, 2021

Book Review And Giveaway- Murder at the Empire By: Cathe Swanson

 

About the Book

Book: Murder at the Empire

Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: October 5, 2021

Murder at the Empire CoverGayle Wells is a killer organist, but does a killer have her in his sights?

They call him the Emperor.  John Starek fills his theater with fine artwork and treasures. He’s particularly pleased to have one of the country’s first female organists – and he thinks Gayle Wells is the bee’s knees.

Despite pressure from her social crusader mother, Gayle isn’t interested in changing the world. She just wants a car of her own – and a career playing the organ at the Empire movie palace would be especially ducky.

Then the Empire’s treasures start disappearing and employees start dying. Are a few pieces of art really enough motive for the string of murders? Will Gayle be next?

Murder at the Empire brings the Nightingale into an elegant movie palace in the roaring 20’s – but the real excitement is all off-screen.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

6-20-2016-1000After 40 years of wandering (but always in lovely places and not in a desert), Cathe Swanson has recently returned to her childhood home and family in Minnesota.  In the summer, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and being outdoors, gardening, hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. The long winters are perfect for writing books, playing games, reading, and indoor hobbies. Cathe’s been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years and enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper.

Everything inspires new books! A lifelong love of quilting, Cathe’s Swedish heritage and an interest in genealogy led to The Glory Quilts series, and The Hope Again series is inspired by her life in the Midwest and experiences with the elderly, the military, and inner-city ministry. As a child of the sixties, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in the Serenity Hill series.

 

Cathe writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

 

More from Cathe

The 1920’s is a fascinating era. Women had recently won the right to vote, and America adopted the Volstead Act – Prohibition – which led to the growth of underground clubs and organized crime. Women were forging new paths in social reform, politics, science, medicine and every other career. America became more urbanized, building suburbs and developing a large middle-class population. The affordable automobile changed the entire culture! It was a time of innovation and rapidly expanding technology. Synthetic fabrics, convenience foods, electric appliances and other inventions made daily life easier. People had more free time, money and access to a variety of entertainments than ever before.

 

So much happened in this brief, exciting decade between the end of WWI and the Great Depression! It’s always interested me, so I was flattered and thrilled when Celebrate Lit Publishing invited me to participate in The Ever After Mysteries, a collection of 1920’s mysteries inspired by fairy tales. I’m a great fan of mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and I read at least a thousand fairy tales as a child.

 

To be honest… I set about it backward. I knew I wanted to write about a young woman playing the Mighty Wurlitzer organ to accompany silent films at a glamorous movie palace, so I Iooked for a fairy tale to match it!

 

I chose The Nightingale, an old Chinese story about an Emperor with a beautiful palace. Everything in it was exquisite and fragile, and people came from all over the world to admire his palace. He loved to show it off and even tied little bells to the prettiest blossoms in the garden, to make sure no one missed them. When the emperor heard rumors about a bird that sang more beautifully than anything else, he sought it out and brought it home to live in the palace, where it could sing to entertain him and his guests.

At that point, the fairy tale and my story diverge. In the fairy tale, the nightingale lives in the palace singing for the court until the Emperor of Japan presents the Emperor of China with a bejeweled mechanical bird – so much prettier than the plain brown nightingale. The Chinese emperor abandons the real bird and enjoys the mechanical one until it breaks. He falls into a deep depression and is only restored to health by the return of the real nightingale.

 

None of that happens in Murder at the Empire, but there’s lot of other fun, jazzy excitement as the John Starek – the “Emperor” – fills his magnificent movie palace with fine artwork and beautiful things – including Chicago’s first female theater organist, Gayle Wells. He thinks she’s the bee’s knees, but she’s a pretty independent girl, busy working and saving money to buy her own car.

 

And then things start falling apart… with murder at the Empire. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it!


My Thoughts 


Murder at the Empire is a fairytale retelling historical story that is written by Cathe Swanson. This is a book that is set in the 1920’s. Which is one of my favorite time periods. The author did great research to ensure historical accuracy. 


In this story you will be transported back to Chicago. A city that while prohibition is going on, speakeasy clubs try to go undetected. A city where there are murders and lots of secrets. We meet a very talented organist, Gayle Wells. She’s working in a theater that has been beautifully designed by John Starek. He is also known as the Emperor. Then weird things start happening. Some of the beautiful decorations start to disappear and people are dying. 


I loved this story. Gayle wants to branch out on her own. She wants to have her own car and is hoping to achieve that by her organ playing. She finds herself in danger and potentially the next target. I like that the author peppered in the topic of women’s rights that was prevalent during this time period. 


I am not familiar with the fairytale this is based off of, The Nightingale. I read a few summaries of it so I can say that the author did a good job recreating it with her own flair and style. The book is easy to follow and presents a great unique story. 


I’m enjoying this series. They can all be read as stand alone. They are written by different authors and are all tied together by the fairytale retelling topic. 


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 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 17

Blossoms and Blessings, November 17

Texas Book-aholic, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Sodbusterliving, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

For Him and My Family, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 25 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 25

Connie’s History Classroom, November 26

Genesis 5020, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Back Porch Reads, November 28

Through the fire blogs, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathe 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/133b9/murder-at-the-empire-celebration-tour

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Garrett Author: Izzy James On Tour with Celebrate Lit

 


About the Book

Book: Garrett

Author: Izzy James

Genre: Christian Romance

Release date: November 27, 2020


Garrett Tyler thought he was leaving Ballard House for home, secure in the knowledge that love had finally won-out for his long-time friend Olivia. He steps out the door and into the past, 1769 to be exact. While finding his bearings Garrett stumbles upon a beautiful woman being attacked. He makes sure she gets home and because of his kindness, she allows him to stay in an outbuilding—even believing his time travel story—while he figures out how he will get back to his life in the future. The more time they spend together, the deeper friendship they build, but one thing is going to rip her world apart.

Mercy Hansford is a confidant, independent woman running her own tailor shoppe. Her world is shaken when she is brutally attacked after delivering one of her sought-after shirts. The consequences of this night could be more far-reaching than either of them can guess.

Should Mercy trust a man she barely knows?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Izzy James grew up in coastal Virginia. She lives there still with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

 

More from Izzy

Why did I write Garrett?

While I was writing Max I was working through physical therapy prior to a lumbar fusion surgery. My physical therapist’s assistant was a young man named Garrett. He was intrigued that I was a writer and asked me if I would use his name in a book one day. So I had a name.

As I finished writing Max–who came forward in time from 1769–I started thinking about what it would be like for a young person of today to find himself back in 1769.

Garrett of the book bears no resemblance to Garrett of the physical therapy office! Garrett was fun to write. I hope you will enjoy reading it.

If you’d like to hear more about my books and be included in a monthly giveaway sign up for my newsletter.

Newsletter Link: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/websitesignupform0708201983447pm

Every Christmas I send Christmas cards to each member of my Christmas Club. I pray for each reader as I sign and address the cards. If you’d like a Christmas Card from me please sign up before December 1. It does require your physical address. It will never be used for anything else.

Christmas Card Link: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/websitesignupform0708201975614pm

Both email and physical addresses are held sacred. They will never ber sold or used for anything but what you signed up for.

My Thoughts

Garrett is a time travel novella that is written by Izzy James. This novella is 112 pages. This is book two in Yorktown Christmas Time Travel series. I have not read book one. While I was able to follow along in book two, I would recommend reading book one, Max before this one. That being said, it was still a good book that I enjoyed. 

One of the things that I love about this author is the fact how well she writes the revolutionary time period so well. This book travels back to 1769. The author always writes this important part of history so well. 

I loved Garrett and Mercy. Garrett walks into the year 1769 and right into Mercy being attacked. He is able to intervene and take her to safety.  Mercy was so strong and had to overcome so much - she believes that Garrett is from the future. Since he did save her life, she gives him a place to stay. This is such  a wonderful read. 

While this is a novella, there's a lot of story packed into the 112 pages. The characters are fun and unique. It took me a few chapters to grasp the full storyline, but I was able to figure it out. I love this author, and will always try and read everything she puts out. 

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 16

Britt Reads Fiction, November 16

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

Inklings and notions, November 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 19

By the Book, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, November 20

deb’s Book Review, November 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Kayem Reads, November 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 23

Connie’s History Classroom, November 24

Mary Hake, November 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, November 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 28

Pause for Tales, November 28

Connect in Fiction, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Izzy 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/133b3/garrett-celebration-tour-giveaway