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BLOGWORDS – Friday 3 July 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-FRIDAY – BOOK REVIEW – VOLITION by CHAUTONA HAVIG

070320 - volition - tuesday reviews day banner

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-FRIDAY – BOOK REVIEW – VOLITION by CHAUTONA HAVIG

NOTE: I originally had this review scheduled for 16 May, but following my father’s death the week prior, I was too unfocused to keep up my reading pace, and deferred my post till I could get caught up. And though the tour is long over, I wanted to give credit where credit is due—after all, it is through Celebrate Lit that I came to read this little gem!

 Volition Banner

ABOUT THE BOOK

Print

Book:  Volition

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Christian fiction, futuristic

Release Date: December 31, 2019

 

THE BLURB

“I should have made that left turn at Tucumcari.”

It’s Doctor Who meets mail-order brides when “rescuers” from the future arrive to save Andi Flanders from a happy life with her loving family and fiancé.

Okay, so they meant to get her suicidal roommate, but hey. Mistakes happen, right?

And as far as Andi’s concerned, they can fix them—by sending her home.

However, when she learns what happens when she disappears from home, Andi has an impossible choice. Stay in the government-controlled futuristic world she despises and never see her family again or return to the twenty-first century and doom an innocent person to death.

Volition— Life and death decisions are so overrated.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

THE AUTHOR

Chautona

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

What Happens When You Explore Logical Progressions?

She used chopsticks. Me? I’m a fork kind of gal. But over plates of sesame chicken and fried rice, we hashed out what our NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) books would be. Every year, I challenged myself.  Once by writing drippy romance (Discovering Hope).  Once by turning a sermon into a story that wasn’t preachy (Argosy Junction). (psst… links are affiliate links—they provide a small commission at no extra expense to you!)

This time, I’d decided the challenge would include writing in the first person.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I don’t like the first-person perspective. As we tried to figure out what our plots would be, my friend added another challenge. “Do science fiction.”

I’ll be honest. I almost laughed her out of the restaurant. But then an idea hit me.  Why shouldn’t I?  I could kill two dislikes in one book.  Bam! Done!

That kicked off a book I probably never would have written otherwise.

I knew doing major techno-science stuff wouldn’t be conducive to trying to write 50,000 words in thirty days, so I immediately chose futuristic over space travel.  The decision to go with a form of time travel was probably inspired by Doctor Who, now that I think of it. I didn’t back then. I just went with what I thought I might be able to make interesting—to write, if not to read.

That kicked off an idea that sent my brain spinning.

What would happen if you got kidnapped and taken to the future, but returning to your former life means someone’s soul will never be redeemed?

Of course, it would take a really strong, amazing character to pull off that kind of thing. Not everyone could do it. But who… who give up her life for someone else?

That’s when I knew. That soul saved would have to belong to someone my character didn’t even like. Gotta raise the stakes, you know?

That’s also when I discovered that I wouldn’t like her—not at first.

Andi Flanders jumped onto the page with hands on hips and eyes flashing. She was livid that people in the future had interfered with her life. Then she’s broken when she realizes she can’t go back.

Fiercely independent, Andi enters futuristic Rockland with a critical eye and condemning spirit.  Since most sci-fi stuff I’ve seen focuses on sleek, pristine futures full of glass and steel, I wanted to go a different direction.  But how?

That’s when my solution came to me.

I’d take today’s world and push everything to logical exaggerated conclusions.

  • Environmentalism? We’ll have a world that tries not to encroach on nature any more than necessary
  • Population? I took China’s “one child” policy and made it worldwide… and then let the future deal with the fallout.
  • Globalism? I let them have their one-world government that protects everyone from themselves.
  • Apathetic faith? I didn’t persecute Christians. I just let their faith die a slow, natural death.

And then I threw in a character with a love for Jesus and a minor obsession with Ayn Rand’s objectivism.  Yes, I’m aware that those two things can be mutually exclusive. That was the fun of it.

This Rand-spouting, Jesus loving, freckle-faced, fiery redhead had to deal with all if this stuff in a world as opposite from her freedom-loving self as can stand.

Ninety-thousand words later, I was done.  And then I shelved the book.

For ten years.

On December 27, 2019, I got a message from my son.

He’d found a book cover design contest and wondered if he should enter.  And if so, with what book?  We hashed out ideas when I remembered Volition.  It wasn’t edited.  Done, but not edited.  Could I possibly get the whole thing cleaned up before December 31 rolled over into January 1?

I decided to try.

Nolan got to work on a cover while I began editing like nobody’s business.

With the help of my amazing launch team, an incredible editor, and no sleep, the book was live on New Year’s Eve with three hours to spare.

Then my son decided not to worry about entering this year.

He lives. This is a testimony to God’s grace and control over my life.  And my hands.

Or maybe it’s because he lives three hours south of me, and I’ve only seen him once since then. You don’t kill your son at your daughter’s wedding reception. Just sayin’.

But let’s go with the first reason. It makes me sound more spiritual or something. 😉

 

MY REVIEW

I don’t even know where to begin!! Amazing seems to small a word for this story!

A fan of stories written in first person (if done well,) I was immediately drawn into Andi’s dilemma. And the situation with her roomie.

But then the story felt off-putting, and I didn’t think the futuristic aspects would hold my attention. Boy was I wrong!

Now, having finished the book, I think I was feeling some of Andi’s confusion and frustration—and disbelief! (that first person point of view!) Then the choice she had to make—would I be that strong? How many of us could do that? Make that much of a sacrifice?

James was likeable enough, easy going, non-condemning. But frustrated and confused, too. After all, it was his [SPOILER] that was mixed up. He was just as bewildered with Andi’s previous life experience as she was with his. And yet, made great allowances for her, and defended her time and again.

The progression of this story, the incredible character arcs, were a thing of beauty. Little by little, two steps forward, one step back, dancing around feelings that at first weren’t there, Andi and James came to know and understand one another. Both thrust into a situation neither asked for, their first days were more than a little rough. Abrasive better describes it.

Ms. Havig created not only a plausible if tragically lost future world but wrapped a plausible and victorious story into it. With each page, each chapter, some new revelation unfolds, another rough edge of conflict was made smooth. As the story progressed and the characters evolved, so too did their marriage—from an arrangement to a friendship to something more.

A page-turner and tear-jerker, Ms. Havig’s story kept me captive to the last page. The last, lovely, tear inducing page.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide5ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Friday, #TRD, Book Review, Volition, Chautona Havig, Celebrate Lit Publicity

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 30 June 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE GREEN DRESS by LIZ TOLSMA

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TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE GREEN DRESS by LIZ TOLSMA

The Green Dress FB Banner

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Green Dress

Book:  The Green Dress

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release Date: June 2020

 

THE BLURB

Death Seems to Follow Harriet’s New Friend

Book 6 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.
As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?

Click here to get your copy!

 

THE AUTHOR

LizTolsmaLiz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.

MORE FROM LIZ

We’ve all been there—started a letter or an email or even a list, didn’t like what we had, crossed it out or hit the delete button, and tried again. Now imagine that happening when you’re writing a novel.

That’s what occurred with The Green Dress. Finding the perfect place to start a novel can be tricky, but when you’re trying to balance fact with fiction, it’s even harder. I needed the fictional heroine, Harriet Peters, to have a good reason to come into contact with and become close to the factual Robinson family. And I needed for the hero, Michael Wheaton, to meet Harriet early on. So I dove into the story. Five chapters later, the hero and heroine hadn’t yet met. The book wasn’t working.

I scrapped those chapters and started at a different point. At first, it seemed to be going better. I was happy. Until I got to the fifth chapter, when I realized again that the book wasn’t working. Frankly, it was boring. So those ended up in the virtual trash bin. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking on my deadline. I was desperate to find the right starting point, at a place with high tension. Finally, I had an “aha” moment, and the story flowed from there. That’s how the first five chapters (and the rest of The Green Dress) came to be.

 

—Liz Tolsma

 

MY REVIEW

This series!! What horrific tales!!! The depravity of man exposed in a “palatable” fashion—fiction, with fictional characters woven deftly through the fabric of the story.

Ms. Tolsma opens her story with a chilling scene, dousing the reader immediately with high drama and tension. As Lizzie fades away and Harriet struggles with the loss, Mrs. Robinson stands out as either a suffering mother and victim herself—or a sinister and wicked woman.

I was fond of Harriet and appreciated her devotion to the Robinson family. But I questioned her willingness to be manipulated; it happens of course, but Harriet was clever and quite tenacious at times, too.

While the story was gripping—who was the guilty party and why—I felt that it rather dragged on somewhat. The dialogue was, for this reader, dry and bland. And though Mrs. Robinson was a seamstress, there was (if memory serves) only one vague reference to a green dress with a subtle implication that it presaged Harriet’s death, which begged the question of the purpose of the title.

Still, as the story built, and more people died, the more I kept turning the pages to find out the answers.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide3 THREE FEATHERS

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

amazon gift card

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand 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/fcd8/the-green-dress-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

BLOG STOPS

The Power of Words, June 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 26

deb’s Book Review, June 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 26

A Reader’s Brain, June 27

Rebecca Tews, June 27

For Him and My Family, June 27

Texas Book-aholic, June 28

Back Porch Reads, June 28

Inklings and notions, June 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 29

Genesis 5020, June 29

Emily Yager, June 29

Christian Bookaholic, June 30

Robin’s Nest, June 30

To Everything There is A Season, June 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 30

Blogging With Carol, July 1

Bigreadersite, July 1

Read Review Rejoice, July 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 2

Life of Literature, July 2

Connie’s History Classroom, July 2

Betti Mace, July 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 3

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 3

Stories By Gina, July 3

For the Love of Literature, July 4

Remembrancy, July 4

Reviewingbooksplusmore, July 4

Godly Book Reviews, July 5

Splashes of Joy, July 5

Vicky Sluiter, July 5

Older & Smarter?, July 6

Through the Fire Blogs, July 6

Daysong Reflections, July 6

amandainpa, July 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 7

Pause for Tales , July 7

Just the Write Escape, July 7

Hallie Reads, July 8

Where Faith and Books Meet, July 8

Blossoms and Blessings, July 8

Spoken from the Heart, July 9

With a Joyful Noise, July 9

Artistic Nobody, July 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, The Green Dress, Liz Tolsma, Celebrate Lit Publicity

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 26 May 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE SOCIALITE by J’NELL CIESIELSKI

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE SOCIALITE by J’NELL CIESIELSKI

ABOUT THE BOOK

Book:  The Socialite

Author: J’nell Ciesielski

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: April 14, 2020

 

THE BLURB

Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis.

As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

THE AUTHOR

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

 

MORE FROM J’NELL

I blame Pinterest. Too many hours are spent chasing rabbit holes of glorious pictures of fashion from eras gone by, Highlanders in kilts, WWI ambulances, and fairytale castles. One day I was browsing something super important (or possibly escaping from the actual work I was supposed to be doing, er, we’ll never know) and stumbled across a black and white picture of six beautiful girls. Who are these lovely ladies? I wondered. A quick search brought up the Mitford sisters. Six gorgeous daughters born into an aristocratic English family, each girl with a different passion: Diana the fascist, Jessica the communist, Unity the Hitler lover, Nancy the novelist, Deborah the duchess, and Pamela the poultry connoisseur. Whoa. You know dinner time around their family table was interesting. How could such different personalities belong in the same family? What would you do if your sister got moon-eyed over Hitler??

Bam. An idea was born.

In the beginning, my little rebel Ellie was going to be a full-fledged Nazi ideology lover, but she quickly informed me that it wasn’t so much the Nazis or their crazy ideas she loved, but one man in particular. One twisted Nazi who had fallen completely under her spell, and she under his. The ideas of love can often be more difficult to break as Kat finds out when she tries to rescue her naïve sister. Luckily, she has a hunky Sottish bartender to help her while providing a few romantic intentions of his own. With everyone hiding past hurts and true identities, how will they ever hope to find the love they each long for when war rages under the bright lights of Paris? Guess you’ll have to read to find out 😉

 

MY REVIEW

Right on the first page Ms. Ciesielski plunges her heroine right smack in the midst of danger. And the conflict doesn’t let up.

In occupied France, it’s hard to know who to trust, and Barrett Anderson doesn’t make a good first impression. In fact, Kat is sure he’s a burglar at best, a Nazi at worst.

“He’d crashed in on her like a bomb, blasting her well-laid plans to shards and scattering them to the four winds.”

Ms. Ciesielski had written a vivid story of conflict, with so many layers, so many twists. The writing is exquisite, drawing the reader into each scene, page after page. Her characters are vibrant and real, the dialogue compelling and crackling. This is my first novel by Ms. Chisielski but it won’t be my last!

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a book and a book sleeve!!

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/fa09/the-socialite-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG STOPS

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

Emily Yager, May 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22

Back Porch Reads, May 22

Inklings and notions, May 23

Breny and Books, May 23

Stories By Gina , May 23

For Him and My Family, May 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 24

Connect in Fiction, May 24

Simple Harvest Reads, May 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Life, Love, Writing, May 25

Livin’ Lit, May 26

Robin’s Nest, May 26

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 26

For the Love of Literature, May 26

Betti Mace, May 27

Maureen’s Musings, May 27

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 27

Genesis 5020, May 28

Book of Ruth Ann, May 28

Remembrancy, May 28

Read Review Rejoice, May 29

Quiet Workings, May 29

Mia Reads, May 29

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 30

Rebecca Tews, May 30

deb’s Book Review, May 30

Older & Smarter?, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, May 31

Books I’ve Read, May 31

Batya’s Bits, June 1

Blossoms and Blessings, June 1

Splashes of Joy, June 1

Through the Fire Blogs, June 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Moments, June 2

Pause for Tales, June 3

Andrea Carmen, June 3

Just Your Average reviews, June 3

To Everything There Is A Season, June 3

Fiction Aficionado, June 4

Lis Loves Reading, June 4

Hallie Reads, June 4

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, The Socialite, J’Nell Ciesielski, Celebrate Lit Publicity

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BLOGWORDS – Saturday 23 May 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – STORING UP TROUBLE by JEN TURANO

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – STORING UP TROUBLE by JEN TURANO

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Book:  Storing Up Trouble

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 6, 2020

 

THE BLURB

When Beatrix Waterbury’s train is disrupted by a heist, scientist Norman Nesbit comes to her aid. After another encounter, he is swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract—including the attention of the men trying to steal his research—and they’ll soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

THE AUTHOR

 

Jen Turano, (www.jenturano.com) a USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

 

MORE FROM JEN

Thank you so much for visiting me on my Celebrate Lit tour as we celebrate the release of my latest novel, “Storing Up Trouble.” I’m delighted to be here, and I reached out to my street team to help me with the questions you’ll find below. I’m hoping the answers to those questions will allow you to learn just a bit about my new book, as well as allow you to get to know me better. With that said, here we go!

Can you tell us a little about “Storing Up Trouble?”

I’d be delighted to tell you about my latest book. “Storing Up Trouble” is the third book in the “American Heiress” series, but you don’t need to read the first two books in that series (“Flights of Fancy” “Diamond in the Rough” to understand what’s going on. I’ve been writing my books more as stand alone stories, and “Storing Up Trouble” is no exception to that. With that said, this book centers around Miss Beatrix Waterbury and Mr. Norman Nesbit. Beatrix, unfortunately, has annoyed her mother to such an extent that she finds herself banished from New York and on her way to Chicago to spend time with her aunt, a lady Beatrix remembers as being a querulous sort. She, being Beatrix, a lady who lands herself in trouble at the most unexpected of times, soon finds herself a victim of a train heist. An unlikely hero in the form of Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman with a brilliant mind but relatively few social graces, comes to her rescue, and from the moment they disembark from the train, they find themselves thrust into one escapade after another.

In “Storing Up Trouble,” is there a character you’d like to be friends with in real life, or better yet, a character you’d avoid at all costs?

I actually have an answer to both parts of that question. Miss Theodosia Robinson is a lady I would love to count as a friend because she’s loyal to a fault, and is a friend who’ll be there for you, no matter if you want to delve into an unusual scientific experiment, or take a jaunt to your local department store to do a bit of shopping. As for who I’d avoid at all cost – Mrs. George Blossom, who has a very small part in the story, but she’s a customer at Marshal Fields & Company who embraces an air of superiority over the sales girls, and I’ve never been one to enjoy people like that.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

That’s easy. Being Dominic’s mom. He was definitely a handful when he was little, which is why he’s an only child, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to watch him grow over the years. He recently graduated from college with a degree in engineering, and seeing him land a grown up job and begin to embrace the whole adulting thing makes me prouder than any book I’ve written or other job I’ve held.

What was the inspiration behind “Storing Up Trouble?”

There were quite a few things that inspired me to write this book. I’d set another one of my books, “Caught by Surprise” in Chicago, and because of the research I did for that book, research I wasn’t able to fit into that story, I knew I wanted to revisit that city at some point. Beatrix Waterbury gave me the perfect excuse to travel back there. I wanted to take her out of her usual setting of NYC, so off she went to Chicago, on a train ride that definitely turned concerning. I had also picked up a few research books about Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison and I’ve been itching to create a character after those brilliant gentlemen. Norman Nesbit turned into that gentleman, although I have to admit that some of the science Nikola and Thomas used was way over my head. My son, the engineer, tried to explain it to me, but I believe at one point I might have been drooling, and not in the good way, but the bored way. That’s when Norman really began to develop because I thought it would be amusing to have a character who was passionate about his field of study, but most of the people he tried to share that passion with had no idea what he was talking about and always got a bit of a dazed expression in their eyes as he waxed on and on about double-electrical currents.

What fun facts did you uncover while doing research for “Storing Up Trouble” but weren’t able to fit into the story?

There was so much fodder for additional storylines just with the research I did on Marshal Field and his department store. Did you know that the main store in Chicago burned down doing the Great Fire of 1871 and…it burned down several times after that? Who knew? There was also a lot of drama surrounding Marshal and his partner for years, Mr. Levi Zeigler Leiter. They had different ideas about how the store should evolve, which resulted in Marshal forcing Levi to sell his shares of the company to him, at which point the store turned from  Field, Leiter, & Company to Marshal Fields Company. It was also interesting to learn that Mr. Fields was notorious for paying his workers low wages, but those workers accepted those wages because of the prestige that came with working at his store. If you worked at any other store, you were considered common, but to work at Marshal Fields was a feather in your cap, even if you weren’t earning as much as you could have earned at another store.

What are quirky little things you keep on your desk?

At the moment, I have one little pig with googly eyes, one cow with googly eyes, and then another small pig that a reader sent me because she really liked Matilda in “A Match of Wits” and thought this little pig she found at a store was exactly what Matilda would look like.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Oddly enough, no, it never crossed my mind until Dominic was in third grade and we decided to write a book together after finishing this horrible series about this bird. That book was never meant for publication, but it did have me remembering that I had, at one point in time before I became a stay-at-home-mom, enjoyed using my brain. I started experimenting with different genres and learned everything I could about the publishing industry. It took me five years to find an agent, and then she sold “A Change of Fortune” to Bethany House, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

I get this question a lot, and I always answer by saying “Have an honest talk with yourself about what you really want to achieve with your writing.” It’s perfectly fine to want to write because you’re interested in turning it into a career. However, with that said, a writer needs to understand that writing and publishing are two different creatures. Publishing is a daunting business, and it’ll take a lot of perseverance to find success with it. With that said, if you have raw talent and are a story teller at heart, you should write all the time and do whatever you can to learn how to improve your craft.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new series right now – “The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency.” The first book, “To Steal a Heart” releases in November, 2020. It’s about Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who spent her childhood living on the mean streets in Five Points. She’s currently living in a boarding house on Bleeker Street in New York City, and when a fellow resident gets unjustly accused of theft, Gabriella, along with the other ladies living in the boarding house, take it upon themselves to try and clear her name. That’s the beginning of the Bleeker Street Agency, and hopefully the ladies will enjoy much success as the series continues.

 

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope all of you get an opportunity to read “Storing Up Trouble!”

Wishing you all the best,

Jen

 

MY REVIEW

Ms. Turano has a knack for wrapping a quirky story around deeper issues. Women’s rights and the suffragist movement, for instance. The dialogue, the banter, so true to life, so many rabbit trails. So entertaining.

Underneath the quirky in this story lie two very strong-willed and independent characters, Beatrix Waterbury and Norman Nesbit, who from their very first encounter butt heads. And personalities. And philosophies.

As life, i.e. meddling friends, thrusts them together their clashing becomes something of immovable meets unstoppable, both of them adapting to the force the other is.

Ms. Turano takes the reader on Norman’s journey of self-examination, and Beatrix’s discovery of purpose, and keeps her readers turning the pages to see whatever will happen next!

I love every one of Ms. Turano’s books that I’ve read and will snatch up any of her titles any chance I get.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

FOUR FEATHERS

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the  grand prize package of all three books in the American Heiresses series and a $25 Barnes & Noble eGift 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/fb8f/storing-up-trouble-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG STOPS

The Avid Reader, May 23

Godly Book Reviews, May 23

Robin’s Nest, May 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 24

Rebecca Tews, May 24

Texas Book-aholic, May 24

Novelscorner, May 24

Among the Reads, May 25

Inklings and notions, May 25

deb’s Book Review, May 25

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 26

Hebrews 12 Endurance, May 26

reviewingbooksplusmore, May 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 27

Losing the Busyness, May 27

For Him and My Family, May 27

Simple Harvest Reads, May 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 28

Inside the Wong Mind, May 28

Mia Reads, May 29

Read Review Rejoice, May 29

Betti Mace, May 30

Breny and Books, May 30

Blogging With Carol, May 30

Life of Literature, May 31

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 31

Emily Yager, May 31

Splashes of Joy, May 31

The Collaborative Press, June 1

Stories By Gina, June 1

Hookmeinabook, June 1

Blessed & Bookish, June 2

Older & Smarter?, June 2

The Artist Librarian, June 2

Blossoms and Blessings, June 2

Through the Fire Blogs, June 3

Beauty in the Binding, June 3

Mary Hake, June 3

amandainpa, June 3

Wishful Endings, June 4

EmpowerMoms, June 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 4

Pause for Tales, June 4

KarenSueHadley, June 5

Raining Butterfly Kisses, June 5

With a Joyful Noise, June 5

Hallie Reads, June 5

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Saturday, #TRD, Book Review, Storing Up Trouble, Jen Turano, American Heiress Series, Celebrate Lit Publicity

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 14 April 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – DESERT WILLOW by PATRICIA BEAL

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – DESERT WILLOW by PATRICIA BEAL

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Book:  Desert Willow

Author: Patricia Beal

Genre:  Romance

Release Date: February 12, 2020

THE BLURB

After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?

College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.

Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

THE AUTHOR

 

Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Her second novel comes out in February of 2020. Patricia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and has worked for the U.S. Army as a writer and editor for many years. Patricia writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children. You can find more info about Patricia on her website here.

 

MORE FROM PATRICIA

Desert Willow: A Love Song to the City of El Paso, to Family, and to Prince Harry

I enjoy this story so much! It’s great to finally get to share it with you.

Desert Willow started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2015 and has a lot of my grandma’s history in it—life in the German colonies of the south of Brazil, the beginning of the shoe industry there, and the story of the most influential man her town has ever known, my great-grandfather.

And what does that have to do with El Paso and Prince Harry?

Well, my Prince Harry lookalike, a young Army captain named Andrew Lee James who lives in El Paso, is helping the protagonist deliver her grandmother’s last love letter, a letter she was urged to write all those years ago after what happened in Brazil.

The contemporary story of Clara (protagonist) and Andrew was fun to write too because I’ve been around the Army since the nineties. We moved to Fort Bliss/El Paso in 2012 and lived there for six years. I thought I was going to hate it, but I loved it, so I just had to write an El Paso story.

Now I think that what I enjoyed the most about writing this novel was making all the connections and showing how the actions of a distant past affect and inform the modern story so deeply.

Some of you have journeyed with me for a while and know that my debut, A Season to Dance, was my salvation process. What comes after salvation can be hard. What’s that? Well, looking at past mistakes through God’s eyes and realizing just how wrong we were, for starters.

We know how quickly God forgives us, but can we forgive ourselves and each other as quickly?

Desert Willow deals with all that. And with Prince Harry… 😊

 

MY REVIEW

Clara Malone has only ever had one dream—to dance onstage with a prominent ballet company. Now she has a single mission—to deliver a letter from her dying Grandmother to an Army General.

Captain Andrew James is finally free of the woman who jilted him at the altar, and has his life and career on track.

When Clara and Andrew’s lives cross, it changes both their futures.

I appreciated the way Andrew gently eased into Clara’s life, taking care with her broken heart. What he didn’t know was the guilt she carried. A common human failing. Ms. Beal handled Clara’s burden skillfully, easing her to the point she could forgive herself.

The dialogue seemed to run on a lot, and for this reviewer, the “church speak” and religious talk was heavy handed, even though I am a Christian.

But I enjoyed the dance bits, especially the [SPOILER] class. And especially enjoyed the bits of Portuguese, and the challenge to translate it.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

THREE FEATHERS

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Patricia is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 (https://amzn.to/37TEN21)!!

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/f8de/desert-willow-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG STOPS

Among the Reads, April 13

The Power of Words, April 13

For the Love of Literature, April 14

Robin’s Nest, April 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 15

Batya’s Bits, April 15

She Lives to Read, April 16

Older & Smarter?, April 16

Texas Book-aholic, April 17

deb’s Book Review, April 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 18

Writer Without a Space, April 18

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 19

Rebecca Tews, April 19

Emily Yager, April 20

Simple Harvest Reads, April 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Hallie Reads, April 20

Inklings and notions, April 21

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 21

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 22

Godly Book Reviews, April 22

For Him and My Family, April 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 23

As He Leads is Joy, April 24

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, April 24

A Reader’s Brain, April 25

janicesbookreviews, April 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26

Pause for Tales, April 26

April Hayman, Author, April 26

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Desert Willow, Patricia Beal, Celebrate Lit Publicity

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 8 April 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-WEDNESDAY – BOOK REVIEW– IF FOR ANY REASON by COURTNEY WALSH

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-WEDNESDAY – BOOK REVIEW – IF FOR ANY REASON by COURTNEY WALSH

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Book:  If For Any Reason

Author: Courtney Walsh

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 3, 2020

THE BLURB

Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.

As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

 

Click here for your copy!

 

THE AUTHOR

 

Courtney Walsh is the author of ten inspirational novels. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright.

 

MORE FROM COURTNEY

3 Bits of Wisdom Every Mother Hopes Her Daughter Cherishes

By Courtney Walsh

 

 

There are so many types of mother-daughter relationships, and I’ve discovered that in most of my novels, these relationships are explored in one way or another. My most recent book, If For Any Reason, delves a little deeper into this universal relationship, as the main character’s only connection to her late mother is a book of letters she left behind for daughter when she died.

It was interesting to think through the advice and wisdom I would want to be sure to share with my own daughter, if for any reason I wasn’t here to share it in person. There’s so much I would want to say, so many lessons I would want to share, but if I had to boil it down to three bits of wisdom, I think it would be these:

 

Ask for help when you need it.

I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to admit we need help sometimes, but in the past year and a half, my family has faced some pretty significant medical challenges, and I learned that it’s necessary to let other people help you. One of the quickest ways to burn out and get overwhelmed is to try to do everything on your own. Now, I’m not talking about laziness. I’m not talking about figuring out ways to get other people to do things for you that you don’t want to do, but genuine help in this journey of life—spiritually, mentally, physically—all the ways that you need to be strong and healthy. You were never meant to figure everything out on your own. And it’s less lonely when you let people in.

 

Mistakes are good . . . as long as you learn from them.

Okay, it’s inevitable. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to make a million mistakes and sometimes you’re going to really, really regret them. It’s okay. It’s okay to make the wrong choice now and then . . . but only if you learn from it. Because even though there’s a lot of grace for your mistakes, there are still consequences, and if you’re not willing to learn what you did wrong, you’re just going to keep making a mess of things. Don’t do that. Don’t be stubborn and unmoving. There are opportunities to learn something new every single day, and there are people all around you who can help teach you—but only if you humble yourself, realize you don’t know everything, and are willing to learn. Remaining teachable is one of the greatest things you can do. Learn this lesson early, and you’ll go far.

 

Be yourself.

This is one of the most important and most challenging lessons any of us could learn. It’s a platitude, isn’t it? Advice you’d find on the outside of a coffee mug or embroidered on a throw pillow. But it’s more than that, this whole idea of being who you are, who God created you to be. Here’s the tricky part—how do you know who that is? The only way I can tell is to spend time with yourself. And to not be afraid to sit in the quiet with your thoughts. Learn what God says about you so that if those ideas are challenged or someone else tries to put a label on you that you don’t want, you’re armed with the truth. This will serve you well as you work to discover who you are.

 

The truth is, as a mother, I’m constantly learning. As a person, I’m constantly learning. And while these are just three bits of wisdom I hope my daughter carries with her, there are so many other lessons I hope she learns, lessons I hope I can teach her so she doesn’t need to learn the hard way.

 

What about you? What’s one bit of wisdom you want to be sure to pass along to the next generation?

 

MY REVIEW

I have to confess I’m more than a little jealous of Emily—I’m an actress who hasn’t been on stage in years!

Even though dimmed, Emily’s passion for theatre is evident. Pain from the past distorted her heart and her thinking, shadowed her every decision.

Hollis had a past that stirred conflict with his present—and alienated his from his twelve-year-old daughter.

Ms. Walsh spins a tale that tugs at the heart, with characters so real, emotions so raw. She crafts her words in lovely patterns, descriptions that invite the reader into the scenes.

I ached along with Emily as she returned to the last place she wanted to be. I squealed like a giddy adolescent when she and Hollis chatted—and as their hearts resisted in vain the growing attraction—and urged them to let the sparks rekindle their youthful attraction.

I eagerly read this story, looking for the answers as keenly as Emily and Hollis. A page-turning story, beautifully told.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

FOUR FEATHERS

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

To celebrate her tour, Courtney is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Nobles 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/f92f/if-for-any-reason-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

BLOG SCHEDULE

Among the Reads, April 7

Remembrancy, April 7

Through the Fire Blogs, April 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Robin’s Nest, April 8

Texas Book-aholic, April 8

Wishful Endings, April 9

deb’s Book Review, April 9

Read Review Rejoice, April 9

Batya’s Bits, April 10

Just the Write Escape, April 10

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 11

Just Your Average reviews, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Life Love Writing, April 12

Worthy2Read, April 12

Lighthouse Academy, April 13

Hallie Reads, April 13

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 13

A Baker’s Perspective, April 14

Splashes of Joy, April 14

Older & Smarter?, April 15

Cultivating Us, April 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 15

Simple Harvest Reads, April 16 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Inside the Wong Mind, April 16

Blessed & Bookish, April 17

Back Porch Reads, April 17

Writing from the Heart Land, April 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18

Vicky Sluiter, April 18

For Him and My Family, April 19

Mia Reads, April 19

My Devotional Thoughts, April 19

Artistic Nobody, April 20 (Guest Post from Donna Cline)

Bookishly Beverly, April 20

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, If for Any Reason, Courtney Walsh, Celebrate Lit Publicity

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 17 March 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ONE LITTLE LIE by COLLEEN COBLE

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – ONE LITTLE LIE by COLLEEN COBLE

NOTE: Writing reviews is not easy for me, and my original post for this fantastic book was just awful. I was tired and distracted, and utterly dissatisfied with it. I have, therefore, scrapped that and written a new review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Book:  One Little Lie

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Release Date: March 3, 2020

THE BLURB

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

THE AUTHOR

 

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. You can visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

 

 

MY REVIEW

My goodness, what a story! The layers, the threads, all skillfully twisted together into a single compelling story.

Ms. Coble’s characters are real, raw, and personable. Jane Hardy’s fears shape her life and her every decision, keeping her prisoner to an array of “what ifs.” Reid Bechtol has secrets, too. But unlike Jane, he is being proactive, trying to resolve the damage of the past.

The conflict between Jane and Reid smooths into a tenuous alliance as she investigates the murders in her town.

It took me a couple of chapters to settle in to the story and become acquainted with the characters. But once I did, it took hold and didn’t let go. The city council member who had it out for Jane for no other reason than she was a woman. The detective who resented her promotion. The detective who always had her back. And her father.

I played detective along with Jane, and rooted for her to come out from her self-imposed injunction on any kind of personal life and embrace the attraction she felt for Reid. I applauded Reid for his courage, especially with [SPOILER] making waves.

Ms. Coble has long been a favorite author, and I was happy to read her latest story.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

FOUR FEATHERS

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

BLOG STOPS

Back Porch Reads, March 10

Life of Literature, March 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 10

Texas Book-aholic, March 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 11

The Avid Reader, March 11

Lighthouse Academy, March 11

By The Book, March 12

Older & Smarter?, March 12

Through the Fire Blogs, March 12

Remembrancy, March 12

Betti Mace, March 13

April Hayman, Author, March 13

Emily Yager, March 13

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

deb’s Book Review, March 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 15

Inklings and notions, March 15

CarpeDiem, March 15

Christian Bookaholic, March 15

Just the Write Escape, March 16

For Him and My Family, March 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Robin’s Nest, March 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 17

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 17

Stories By Gina, March 18

Janicesbookreviews, March 18

Mary Hake, March 18

Empowermoms, March 18

For the Love of Literature, March 19

Blossoms and Blessings, March 19

Because I said so – and other adventures in Parenting, March 19

Hallie Reads, March 19

A Baker’s Perspective, March 20

Quiet Quilter, March 20

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Splashes of Joy, March 21

Moments, March 21

amandainpa, March 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 21

Pause for Tales, March 22

Britt Reads Fiction, March 22

Spoken from the Heart, March 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 22

To Everything There is a Season, March 23

Life love writing, March 23

Daysong Reflections, March 23

Lights in a Dark World, March 23

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, One Little Lie, Colleen Coble, Pelican Harbor Series, Celebrate Lit Publicity

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