Saturday, July 30, 2016

An Elegant Façade by Kristi Ann Hunter


Praise for Kristi Ann Hunter's A Noble Masquerade
"Debut author Hunter pens a fantastic Regency romance."--RT Book Reviews "If you're looking for an engaging Regency romance to sweep you away for a few hours, this is the book for you!"--'s Happy Ever After blog 

"This is a lively and entertaining romp through Regency London--and is great fun."--Jane Austen's Regency World
Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.

With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.

But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina's social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden--and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they'll be forced to make?

Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dance and Be Glad by Melissa Wardwell (Promises from Above #2)

Purchase your copy here.

About the Book

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Jillian Matthews is a widowed mom and owner of a dance studio in a small farming community. When her husband died nine years ago in the desert of the Middle East, a piece of her died as well and she lost all joy in the day to day blessings. Tiny dancers and her daughter, Katie, are her main focus until an old flame, Michael Emerson, waltzes back into her life, awakening things she thought dead and gone.
Dr. Michael Emerson told himself he was happy with his bachelorhood after a messy divorce. He thought his life as an ER doctor and yearly missions work left  no room for a wife and family. When tragedy strikes and he is left with an unforeseen situation, he must evaluate his life and make some major changes.

My Review:

The series: 
What God Brings Together is the first and I plan to have a review for it up soon. Then comes A Christmas Wedding. Then comes Dance and Be Glad. They all tie together, so reading them all is a good idea, but they can be read alone.

Jill's husband has passed. She is raising a daughter, Kate, by herself. Meanwhile, her high school sweetheart is back in her life. Not only has Micheal been divorced, his brother and sister-in-law just died in an accident. He has current custody of his niece, Emily. Kate is an early bloomer and that is causing added stress for Jill. Micheal is just struggling with being an instant dad and being a full time doctor. Now things are really getting interesting! 

Jill and Micheal are drawn towards each other, and even their offices are next to each other. Jill is a dance teacher. I really liked that a great deal! What happens next is a good journey into these people's lives. 

This book started out as a narrative in style, and then after a few chapters swaps over to the telling of the story style. I really enjoyed this book even more than the first one. 

Carol :) 

About the Author
Head shotI am an independently published author of Christian romance.
I wear many hats from one day to the next. I am a devoted wife, basketball and dance mother, teacher, taxi service, friend, caregiver, daughter, sister, and now, published author. Seeing all that is enough to make my head spin. But more importantly, I am the Daughter of the Most High King.
I was raised in and still reside in a little farm town in Mid- Michigan called Corunna. It’s quiet and simple, just the way I like it. If I can’t live out in the country among the corn fields and trees then living in this small town works for me.  My husband and I have been together since high school and have 3 children, all of whom we homeschool. It has been quite the journey, but I couldn’t ask for a better life.
I decided to give writing a try because I needed something to occupy my down time, but after reading my first draft of my first book, What God Brings Together, I then understood that God had a much bigger plan.  God does not give His children a desire just so that it can go to waste. I never anticipated the journey God would put me on through writing, but I am excited to see what He has in mind for the future.
I have always felt a call to reach out to women and mothers, to encourage them in their lives. So naturally, all my stories revolve around women who are mothers: single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.
My greatest hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life. Lord, knows we have earned it.

Guest Post from Melissa Wardwell

When I wrote the first book in this series, “What God Brings Together”, it wasn’t supposed to become a series. It has seemed to have a mind of its own and is spiraling into other books.
You met Dr. Michael Emerson in the first book as the third wheel to Emma and Ryan’s crazy triangle. As soon as I finished it and read through it one last time, Mike’s character begged to have his own story. I felt bad giving such a nice guy a sad ending. So an idea formed for a story focused on him but it took me a while to decide on who his other half would be. I was sitting in front of the dance studio two of my kids attend, and it hit me. A Dance teacher and studio owner. From there the story went out of control- in a good way. The dance studio is the actual studio my kids dance at, and much of the descriptions of the location are the same as the space. The town is even the real town this studio is in. It is such a quiet place and I love it.
I live in the area this series takes place. The county has a funny name as it is a Native American name – Shiawassee. It is nothing but small towns and farm land. New Lothrop, the main location for this story, has a population of approx. 600. I spend many hours there because of dance and I have grown to love the quiet little farm town.
I like to bring light to actual business in some of my work, so when I chose to write in Infinity Dance Company I had to include the location. There is also a neat little coffee shop that I talk about in this book that is also an actual coffee shop.
I am all about promoting local business, so if I can plug a cool business in my books, I will.
You will see a bit more of another character from the first book, Tiffany, and you’ll get some insight into her story as well but you won’t get the full picture until the release of “I Know the Plans” which is set to come out no later than next spring – hopefully. I also introduce a new character in “Dance and Be Glad” whose story is heartbreaking but you won’t know much more until book four “Redeemed Through Grace” comes out in 2018.
“Dance and Be Glad” is about finding joy in the middle of uncertainty and the scary moments in life. We can let the sudden changes bring us down or we can look at them as an opportunity to learn something new. I have witnessed a lot of tragedy and sudden losses in my personal life to learn that God still has me in His hands even when I feel like my world is crumbling. My prayer is that each reader can have a similar revelation.

Blog Stops

July 13: Carpe Diem
July 14: Sue Stinnett
July 15: KarensKrayons
July 17: Petra’s Hope
July 17: Splashes of Joy
 July 24: Quiet Quilter


To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away a wonderful package that includes a hand-crafted necklace. Click here to enter:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Going Up South by Janet W. Ferguson and Leaving Oxford - Southern Hearts Series

Going Up South Kick-off Package

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To purchase your own copy of Going Up South, click here.

My Review :

I was so fortunate to get to read this series. It starts with Leaving Oxford. I had to read this series when I found out Mrs. Ferguson was writing about Mississippi, and living there. I have some ties, so that drew me from the start. Once I started reading, I was soon involved in a story of a young woman with a broken heart. Sarah Beth has been through the wringer. Now she is being drawn to someone, but she doesn't want more pain. Jess was going to be a pro ball star, but life didn't turn out like he planned either. Sarah Beth copes with panic attacks, and takes comfort in a puppy she hadn't planned on raising. Now everything is changing. Sarah Beth doesn't want to leave Oxford, but what if her only road to healing and happiness is getting out of Oxford? Book one of this series has romance, and healing and lots of sports, and plenty of realistic Southern living. I appreciate that, being a Southern gal. ;) At the end of Leaving Oxford, I picked right up with Going Up South! 

The emotions that were in Leaving Oxford are now dwarfed by the effects of the life events in Going Up South. Dylan is angry, and with cause to an extent. He has a son, and that child doesn't have his name, or the relationship with him. How could this be possible? Angry and determined Dylan is going to fight for his rights to his child. 

Looks like this will be a long, hard, complicate drawn out war, so Cassie is brought into it to mediate an agreement between Dylan and his child's mother. Cassie herself has a son, and an ex-husband. Her heart hurts, and she has pain that God has to heal. Cassie has a bigger problem now. Is her draw to Dylan just because her son needs a father figure? Is this going to be too much like her ex? What about the fact that he is pretty much a client? If their friendship grows into love, will Dylan loose his son? As they become closer, will they find healing for their brokenness, and forgiveness from their past mistakes? 

What if they get together only to find out that Dylan is following his absentee father's footsteps? So many lives hang in the balance and the scales will be tipped the most on who decides to follow God's plan for their lives. A plan that isn't always easy, and isn't always pain free. 

With the steady Mississippi backdrop that I still enjoy, this book was a very good read and set us right up for the third book in the series which I am looking forward to reading! 

Carol :) 

About the Book 
goingupsouth-ferguson-ebookwebNo one told him he had a son.
Actor Dylan Conner is furious. Not only has he been left out of his child’s life, the baby boy has been given another man’s last name. Determined to be a better father than the sorry guy who’d left him and his mother, Dylan fights to ensure a significant place in his son’s life. Unfortunately, his bad-boy reputation overshadows his good intentions. Only one woman in this small town sees beyond his Hollywood image. And he’s falling for her. Too bad she’s the custody mediator.
After her scandalous divorce in the small town of Oxford, Mississippi, attorney Cassie Brooks has no intentions of practicing law again. The humiliating experience left a bitter taste for love, marriage, and her profession.
Now friends need Cassie’s help in a custody negotiation, and her role demands she remain objective. She never expected to be drawn to Dylan Conner—the actor who everyone warns is bad news. Not only is the mediation at stake, but so is her heart.
About the Author
janetprofileJanet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served her church as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.

Guests Post from Janet W. Ferguson

Hi, I’m Janet W. Ferguson, and I’m so excited to meet the readers of Celebrate Lit!
I’ve always been an avid reader, but I’ve had an odd career path prior to writing.
With a Banking and Finance degree, I took my first job working at a brokerage firm handling their mutual fund trades. After the market crashed in the late 80s, I took a job managing a large, upscale apartment community. During this time, I married and became a stay-at-home mom and church volunteer. My volunteering eventually led to a staff position as children’s minister. After five years, I felt my calling had changed, and I left the job, not really sure what God had in store. Haphazardly, my husband suggested I apply at our local schools. Not long afterward, I certified in teaching and became the library media specialist at the large public high school near our home. I met so many wonderful young people as children’s minister and high school librarian.
During my times as a librarian, I had a story idea for about seven years, but never made time to try my hand at writing. Finally, after my elderly parents passed away, and I felt it was time. I wrote every evening for three months, and finished my first story which was Leaving Oxford. I spent the next three years learning about the craft of writing and editing that story. Yes, there was much to learn! In the meantime, one secondary character from Leaving Oxforddemanded his own story… From that, came Going Up South.
I tend to write what I know, and I’m from the peculiar and wonderful state of Mississippi. My first story was set mostly in Oxford, Mississippi. The charming town made the perfect backdrop for book 1. So book 2 is also mostly set in Oxford, although the characters go on a mission trip to Honduras.
The hero of Going Up South, Dylan Conner, is a funny and charming actor that made a number of appearances in Leaving Oxford. From outrageous costumes to intense flirting, he just had a personality as large as the characters he portrayed on the screen. In Going Up South, he realizes that he fathered a child, but he had been left out of the baby boy’s life. Though he’d never planned to have a family, due to his disappointment in his own father, seeing the child, his child, changes his mind.
Dylan’s not sure how he’ll raise a child or what to do, but he finds help in his new friend and custody mediator, Cassie Brooks.
The scripture theme for this series comes from Isaiah 61. This particular book draws on “He binds up the brokenhearted.”
The heroine, Cassie Brooks, is still hurting from her scandalous divorce in a small town. Unlike my last heroine in Leaving Oxford, Cassie had done things the way she’d been taught, avoiding alcohol, drugs, and sex outside of marriage. And her heart was still broken by an unfaithful husband. I wanted to show that life just hands out some tough blows, no matter how hard we try to do the right thing, but God is there in the midst of it all. He does bind up our broken hearts.
I pray that you are uplifted by this story, and whatever hurts life has dealt you, that you find comfort in the arms of our faithful Father. Blessings!

Blog Stops

July 8: Bigreadersite
July 11: Pause for Tales
July 17: Quiet Quilter


To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away some fantastic prizes including a $50 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter:

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Delilah by Angela Hunt

Sampson and Delilah. Even now her name is a bad girl name. What could possibly motivate a woman to seduce a man and then eventually cause his death? The scripture verses only go so far. 

Angela Hunt gives us a possible perspective on this infamous woman from the Bible. In this book, we meet Delilah, a woman who's step father has passed. She and her mother are now under the dictatorship of her step-brother. 

This is life changing for her. Meanwhile, Sampson, when he wasn't doing acts of great renowned, was an "ordinary" guy with a calling on his life. He longed for what most men do, a wife and kids. Delilah is not from his linage. He is a Nazarite, sworn to serve God and follow some set rules. 

She is an exotic, beautiful pagan Egyptian. These opposites are not just attracted, but deadly. Told from both "sides" of the story, this book was well interwoven with scripture and rich in the settings of the time. I enjoyed it. 

My copy came from Net Galley and Bethany House in exchange for my honest review and nothing more.

Nice Cover- Don't you think so too? 

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible's Most Notorious Women
Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself. 

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.
Angela Hunt  author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty.Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at

A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell

There is a Haven on Orchard Lane, and for that haven, those in need of its respite and healing. Former actress Charlotte Ward finds herself needing to reconnect with daughter, Rosalind. In fact, Rosalind is going to have to help take care of her mother, who has a husband that treats her badly. He's a jerk, using her for all her financial worth, and treating her like a prisoner. Her hope of any kind of life left at all is her daughter. A daughter who she failed in so many ways, thinking that she was doing the best thing for her. There is a great deal of pain that needs healing there. 

Meanwhile, Rosalind appears to have found love, or at least romance. She went to the book store for Sci-Fi books, and came away with a lot more than just books to read. She found Jude, and his dog Jinny. Now how will that turn out? So many questions, and such amazing answers as the pages go by rather quickly. The good, bad, ugly, hurting, forgiven, and much more are all in this book. I liked the Victorian era it was portrayed it, and I didn't think this book left anything too major hanging without answers. 

My copy came from Net Galley and Bethany House in exchange for my honest review and nothing more.


An urgent escape . . . a wounded heart . . .
Will Charlotte find the solace she longs for at the cottage on Orchard Lane?
Famed actress Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. Now in desperate circumstances, she tries to restart her career--only to experience a complete collapse. Against her better judgment, Charlotte's estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village where her mother can evade the gossip columnists, at least for a time. 

Charlotte is grateful to re-establish even tenuous family ties with Rosalind. As one with regrets over her own romantic past, she's happy to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching, and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could possibly be more complicated than romance?

But there can be no permanent escape from the threats of recent months. As the privacy they seek is threatened, mother and daughter must make some difficult decisions--ones that jeopardize those they care about most.

Beloved Author Lawana Blackwell Returns With a Charming and Memorable Tale!

Lawana Blackwell has thirteen published novels to her credit, many of them set in the English countryside of the 19th century. She and her husband live in Frisco, Texas.