Friday, March 16, 2018

The Innkeeper's Daughter by Michelle Griep

The Innkeepers Daughter FB Banner copy

About the Book

Title: The Innkeeper’s Daughter
Author: Michelle GriepInnkeepersDaughter_CoverImage
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction
Release Date: March 1, 2018
A London officer goes undercover to expose a plot against the Crown
Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.
All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.
Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.
Click here to purchase your copy!
My Review:
There are books and then there are *books*. This one is the later, the kind that sweeps you off to another place and you don't want to leave it. The settings are rich and tangible and the story is so good. I lost track of time, lost sleep that I didn't want because I just wanted to stay in this book. I have a new favorite author now. The Inn, the secrets, the characters, this is an amazing read and I don't think my review is coming close to doing it justice at the moment. I can't wait to read another book by this author. It needs more than 5 stars. 

About the Author

MichelleGriepMichelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Celebrating Oak Apple Day
Spring is just around the corner, or maybe it’s in full bloom in your neck of the woods. Regardless, by this time of year, everyone is ready to celebrate. . .and nothing new is under the sun. For centuries people have been eager to welcome budding greenery and warmth.
In my recent release, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, I incorporated a spring holiday that’s been around for over 500 years in England, one you may never heard of.
Oak Apple Day.
This ancient celebration dates back to the year 1651. At the time, Charles II escaped the Roundhead army by taking cover in an oak tree. Everyone loved ol’ Charlie and was glad he lived, so in his honor, a new national holiday was born—one that in some parts of England is still celebrated today.
Another name for this annual event is Royal Oak Day and the festivities occur every May 29th. Celebration traditions vary from parades to the ringing of bells, but one thing that is standard is that it’s a day to pin an oak leaf on your lapel. If you fail to wear one, you could end up getting pinched.
The hero in my latest release is kind enough to remind the heroine that she forgot to pin on her leaf, thus saving her from untoward pinches. Interested in hearing more about this gallant fellow and the forgetful miss? Here’s a blurb about The Innkeeper’s Daughter
Tension is high with the threat of a Napoleonic attack in Regency England, but risk from abroad means nothing when there’s danger at home.
Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the crown—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.
All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.
Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.
It’s a race against time for them both.

Blog Stops

Mommynificent, March 16
Among the Reads, March 17
Mary Hake, March 17
Karen Sue Hadley, March 18
Kathleen Denly, March 19
Remembrancy, March 20
Book by Book, March 20
Bookworm Mama, March 22
Vicky Sluiter, March 22
Carpe Diem, March 22
Pause for Tales, March 23
margaret kazmierczak, March 23 (Interview)
A Greater Yes, March 24
Simple Harvest Reads, March 26 (Mindy Houng Guest Post)
Pursuing Stacie, March 27
Bigreadersite, March 27
The PhD Mamma, March 28


To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of The Innkeeper’s Daughter and a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Soul's Prisoner by Cara Luecht (Spotlight)

Souls prisoner celebration tour copy

About the Book

Soul's Prisoner front
Book Title: Soul’s Prisoner
Author: Cara Luecht
Genre: Historical fiction with some suspense and romance
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Chicago, Winter, 1891
Rachel is in danger. She’s seen too much.
She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She’d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she’d find a place in the city, never imagined she’d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning’s cold, labyrinthine basement.
Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.
A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.
But when Jeremy, Rachel’s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.
Click here to purchase your copy!
My Review:
Since I have reviewed this book before, I just wanted to spotlight it again this time. You can see my review of this book from before HERE. I felt this book was worth spotlighting. Enjoy! 

About the Author

140223_132100ph(2)Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

The Setting for Soul’s Prisoner: Dunning Asylum for the Insane
Dunning Asylum for the Insane was built in the 1850s and housed psychiatric patients until the early 1900s. It has since been demolished, and a small park currently stands as the only remaining testament to the people who lived and died on the grounds.
The original plot of land also included a poor farm and a cemetery. A railroad used to connect the grounds to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. It was nicknamed the “Crazy Train”—a phrase that still survives in our language today. Those buried in the cemetery include Civil War Veterans, victims of the Chicago fire of 1871, orphans, paupers, and the residents of the asylum for the insane. Most estimates agree that nearly forty thousand people were buried on the grounds.
There is no doubt that mental illness is hard on families, but in the 1800s, having a family member who struggled with mental illness was an embarrassment. With little understanding of mental health in general, and even less compassion for those who suffered, examples of this tragic response to the threat of mental illness can be seen in the numerous inmates who were there simply due to addiction or depression. There are even cases where women were committed because their families were humiliated by their giving birth outside the bonds of marriage. Often times, challenges with mental health were synonymous with the notion of moral failure or vice. Because of this, even many charities looked the other way when corruption or abuse was exposed. Reporters sometimes wrote about the horrors of the institutions, but once the sensational story was out, and the initial outrage worn away, few worried about the people who suffered on a daily basis. And because of the moral implication of mental illness, families commonly turned over their suffering members to the county, and later simply explained to friends that the person had died.
And that is exactly what the mentally ill would do in the institution. Live there until they died, forgotten.
And that’s how the story played out at Dunning, until late in the 1900s when developers began to dig the roads and foundations for a new neighborhood on the grounds of what was once the Asylum. At that time, Dunning, and the people who had resided there, were still within living memory, so when bones were unearthed, it was no mystery how they ended up on that patch of land. What had slipped from memory was the magnitude of the collective stories of suffering and hardship.
For this novel, the people and events are fictitious. However, when examining old news stories from an institution known for corruption, it is not hard to imagine situations like the ones in the novel. The details that are true are the nearly one thousand inmates, no hot water, little to no heat in the winter, bad food, and the general feeling of living ghosts, intentionally forgotten, and doomed to never leave the grounds.

Blog Stops

Multifarious, March 9
Remembrancy, March 9
amandainpa, March 12
Carpe Diem, March 14
A Greater Yes, March 17
Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Post from Mindy)
Pursuing Stacie, March 20
Bigreadersite, March 21


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Soul’s Prisoner and sketching art supplies!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Meddlin' Madeline: Fine Print by Chautona Havig

Banner-Fine Print (1)

About the Book

Book Title: Meddlin’ Madeline Fine Print
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Historical, Mystery
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Budding detective, Miss Madeline Brown, has gained quite the reputation for “meddling” in the circa 1900 city of Rockland. With two successful “cases” under her belt, it was only a matter of time before she found something new to interest her insatiable curiosity.
This time, however, the “curiosity” found her.
Challenged by Edward Gastrel, to prove her deductive prowess, Madeline embarks on riddling out the puzzle of a journal left to him by his grandfather. If she can decode the contents, the local gentleman may find himself in the possession of something quite valuable.
As usual, however, things aren’t as they seem, and Madeline finds herself in a race against more than time and ambiguity.

My Review:

This is my spotlight of this book. My review will be here later. Right now, I'm waiting with growing anticipation of reading this book. Oh, the suspense! It's like being in line at the theater and watching the trailers over and over. ;) 

About the Author

ChautonaChautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to point readers to the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona

Denny’s. “America’s Diner.” It’s also my “office away from my office away from home.” Most nights I write at our local prayer house. But on Wednesday nights for a few hours, and then all night on Saturday, I sit in booth 14 and write.
It was a cold, frosty Wednesday night. With thoughts from Bible Study still swirling in my mind and heart, I ordered my loaded baked potato soup and began brainstorming with my writing and podcasting buddy, April.
She left around midnightish—as usual. And another evening regular began chatting.
Look. I like this guy. He’s a fascinating conversationalist. We have a lot of fun talking books, movies, politics, history, computers… He’s even given me a great idea for a book (without meaning to, but still).
But… that night, I needed to get a bunch done on Madeline and didn’t have time for chatting. So, when he started talking about his evening, I wanted to bang my head on the table. I kept repeating, “People are more important. People are more important. People are more important,” over and over in my head.
I can’t tell you how often this has happened at Denny’s. Employees stop to chat. Regular diners stop to chat. This guy starts a long conversation and always on nights I can’t afford to spend… chatting!
But everything shifted in an instant. 
The man said something—what, I can’t remember—and my brain started churning.
I asked a question.
He answered.
The next thing I knew, he’d moved into my booth and began firing questions at me. Suggestions. Most of what he suggested wouldn’t work with the story, but he had no way of knowing that. Still, every time he did I got a new idea. And I’d ask a question. He’d answer, suggest. I’d counter—ask or answer. Ideas blossomed and exploded into seeds of even more ideas.
And right there, at two o’clock in the morning, with Angela the wonder server keeping me in fresh glasses of Coke, Fine Print went from not only my favorite of the Madelines (thus far) but also became much more exciting.
The whole thing taught me a couple of lessons. First, I always say that people are more important than the “stuff” I do. Sometimes, that’s not so easy to live. But the Lord is always faithful, like He did that night, to remind me that it sometimes helpsme, too.
Second, sometimes a mid-book brainstorming session is just what I need to keep my excitement high. And, if that means a “wasted” Wednesday night in booth 14, then I’d say it’s worth it.

Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, March 7
Pause for Tales, March 8
Multifarious, March 9
A Greater Yes, March 11
Lots of Helpers, March 12
Carpe Diem, March 14
Mary Hake, March 16
Simple Harvest Reads, March 17 (Guest post from Mindy)
Among the Reads, March 17
Pursuing Stacie, March 18


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize package worth over $50 that includes an antique journal, Pilot fountain pen (gold), Pilot refill cartridges, and a print copy of Fine Print!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Massacre of Mankind: Sequel to The War of the Worlds by Stephen Baxter

War of the Worlds, we love it. It terrified a nation and captivated our imaginations. This book is a sudo-sequel to War of the Worlds. However, this book has issues. I liked it, but it didn't stay cohesive. It's got the basis, but at the same time this book didn't follow through on delivery. It wound up skipping and jumping. After a while the repeated references to the first book got tiring. The ending, after all that reading, was disappointing. So even though I tried my best, I can't give it but three stars.

My copy came from Blogging For Books. My review and my thoughts are my own. This review was left of my own free will.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger

Someplace Familiar FB Banner copy

About the Book

SomeplaceFamiliar_COVERBook Title: Someplace Familiar
Author: Teresa Tysinger
Release date: May, 2017
Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That’s what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason.

Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon’s Supplies, and once again the town’s most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project – and an undeniable whirlwind romance.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts and discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?  

My Review:
This book worked for me. First, Livy is an artist, so I connected with her right away. Next, I know people in North Carolina. Now, I have to say, North Carolina isn't nearly as Southern as I'd hoped it would be, but this book manages to keep that out of the picture and used truer "Southern-ness" like you'd have where I come from. I was grateful for that. Jack and Livy complement each other and their relationship grows naturally in this story. It's very "at home" because I'm very familiar with the "someplace" that is comfortable to me. It made the story super easy to read. It's a very nice debut book, with a focus on growth, change, forgiveness, and staying out of abusive relationships. (That didn't go too deep, so don't be afraid to read it.) 
4 stars
Click here to purchase your copy!
 About the Author
TeresaTysingerTeresa Tysinger is a wife and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas. When not working as the Director of Communications for a large downtown church, she writes charming southern romances inspired by grace. Her debut novel, Someplace Familiar, released this summer. She also is a contributing writer for the Fort Worth Moms Blog (part of the national City Moms Blog Network). A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Religious Communicators’ Council, and the Association for Women in Communications, Teresa has spent over a decade committed to telling stories of faith through written word. She loves coffee, caramel, and stories with happy endings.
Guest Post from Teresa Tysinger
Someplace Familiar began way back in 2014 when I participated in National Novel Writer’s Month, a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. It was an exhilarating, albeit exhausting, experience! Since then, the book was workshopped with a critique group, had large portions rewritten countless times, pitched at workshops, edited by two editors, and even renamed (original title was Good Graces). After a lot of prayer, I decided that self-publishing would give me the greatest flexibility and control while being able to maintain my responsibilities as a wife, mother, and full-time communications director. It’s been a wonderful ride!
About the Inspiration for Someplace Familiar One thing I’ve learned about myself through writing Someplace Familiar is how much I am personally drawn to setting and place. The idea for the book was born out of my desire to introduce readers to the charming small-town life found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where I went to college. Laurel Cove, the fictional town where the story is set, is directly based on my best friend’s hometown of Burnsville, NC. The other source of inspiration comes from my great-grandmother’s tiny bungalow home in West Palm Beach, Florida. Long weekends and summer vacations spent there were full of imagination, adventure, and sweet memories. The scents of her garden, feel of the damp earth beneath my feet, slow pace matching gauzy curtains dancing in the breeze—it all is mirrored in the cottage home of Livy’s Gram in the book. The rest of the story formed around my desire to capture my childhood memories of this home that was so magical and safe for me.
About My Writing Style Here are a few ways I would describe my writing style: Sensory—I aim to provide readers with an experience that enlivens all of their senses. Relatable—It’s my hope that readers see themselves in realistic, flawed characters trying to make their way to discovering grace in a less than perfect world. Charming—Like any good southern fiction, there’s a good dose of charm in these pages.
My prayer is that Someplace Familiar will touch readers with an awareness of God’s grace even during circumstances and within relationships that feel hopeless. Restoration is possible!

Blog Stops

Just Commonly, March 1
Pursuing Stacie, March 1
Among the Reads, March 2
Bigreadersite, March 2
Quiet quilter, March 3
C Jane Read, March 4
Remembrancy, March 5
Book by Book, March 7
A Greater Yes, March 10
Carpe Diem, March 13
Simple Harvest Reads, March 14 (Guest post from Mindy)


To celebrate her tour, Teresa is giving away a grand prize of a gift basket that includes a signed copy of the book, an Original Painting by Author’s Sister (artist Cyndi Browning), and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!