Monday, July 31, 2017

Manuscript for Murder by Chautona Havig

Manuscript for Murder
Click here to pick up your copy.
 About the Book

Click to Purchase

Book title: Manuscript for Murder
Author: Cahutona Havig
Release date: October 13, 2012
Genre: Mystery
Alexa Hartfield. Author, local celebrity, fashion connoisseur. She chose Fairbury for its close proximity to Rockland, its small town atmosphere, and its low crime rate.
Then someone made her life a literary cliché. A mysterious accident with a light bulb sparked an interesting idea for her latest novel—and for Fairbury’s new serial killer. The first replication infuriated her. The second left an even worse taste in her mouth. The third blasted more than her self-confidence, and the fourth beat her down so far she’s considering giving up writing completely.
Who is killing Fairbury’s citizens, and furthermore, why and how are they using her novels to do it?  

My Review:
The tiny town of Fairbury, sometimes compaired to Mayberry, is home to an author. Alexa Hartfield spends her days writing murder mysteries and dressing in all kinds of vintage clothing. Frankly, that sounds absolutely awesome to me. However, Alexa's easy going, predictable life is being altered.

I have a connection to Alexa with people being shocked that such a lovely Christian woman spends her days whipping up murders. Ah, so much that people don't understand sometimes. With someone bent on destroying her, are they trying to silence her underlying messages or are they simply targeting her because they can? 

I found Manuscript for Murder to be an inserting story. It occasionally jumped about a bit, but it wasn't anything that I can't follow or enjoy. I appreciated the clothing and the characters in this book. 

About the Author 
media-headshotChautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert with her husbnd and five of her nine children. Through her novels, she hopes to encourage Christians in their walk with Jesus.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

How Arrows & My Obsession with Vintage Clothes Inspired Murder
A swath of fabric cut across my bedroom at an odd angle but that angle ensured that I could stretch it all out. With painstaking precision, I pinned every last piece to the fabric, disgusted at the enormous waste stretching out before me.
The pattern called for three and a half yards. I’d crammed it into two at most.
Just as I picked up the scissors for the first cut, Mom popped her head in the door to see how I was doing. I pointed out the waste. “Grandma said patterns always told you to buy way too much, but I’ve got enough to make another dress!”
Mom stepped closer. I want to say a cigarette hung from her lips, but let’s face it. No way would Mom ever allow the ashes to drop on the carpet. But it felt like one was there, nonetheless. Mom pointed. “Chautona, I don’t know anything about sewing, but I think those arrows are there for a reason.”
And with that, she turned away.
I stared down at the pattern. My arrows zig-zagged all over the place. A glance at the directions showed all arrows going exactly the same direction. Straight up and down the fabric.
You know, if I’d been doing this for the first time in 2017, I could have just zipped on over to “the Google,” as Mom calls it, and looked up why. Instead, I grabbed a thick sewing manual I’d bought for a buck at Pick-N-Save and flipped through it until I found a section on laying out patterns.
A couple of minutes later, I flew down the stairs. “The book says that the long, smooth edges are called selvages. The arrows are supposed to run parallel or the dress might hang wonky.”
Here, I can guarantee Mom took a puff of that cigarette. Man, I hated those things. “Well, like I said. I don’t know anything about sewing, but they looked important.” She blew a puff of smoke.
That’s when I suspected that Mom knew more about sewing than she’d let on.
What does this little sewing lesson have to do with mysteries and murder?
Well, see. This was a test dress. I’d only decided to learn to sew because I’d also decided that I wanted Nancy Drew’s wardrobe. In 1982, you couldn’t buy trim, neat clothing from the 50’s. I had Gunne Sax skirts and preppy tops with ruffles that my parents hated. When they found out I wanted a sewing machine to make clothes like that, they got me one.
Yep. I cut my reading teeth on Nancy Drew and didn’t stop there. I read all the youth mysteries—Bobsey Twins, Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys, Meg Duncan (she was a fave, too), and when I got a little older, Phyllis Whitney.
I loved the challenge of seeing events play out—and figuring out why. Why told me who. You get to where you can figure out things rather easily. But if you make me doubt my ideas, that’s good enough. I love that.
Is it any wonder that one of the first books I conceived was a mystery? I’d never put the ideas together until I began working on this post, but really… is it any wonder that I gave that author a love of vintage fashion? Too funny. But those arrows on that pattern? They taught me pretty cool lessons as a kid. Like Mom said:
 “Those arrows are there for a reason.”
Isn’t that what God’s directional arrows in His Word are like? They’re there for a reason. They keep us from getting all wonky. It’s why Alexa writes the kind of books she does. I never could, but as she says when she describes telling someone why she writes horror/suspense,
“I tried to describe a world where we never see justice—where sin surrounds us, but the only response we see is a sweet romance or a heartwarming tale of doing good to our neighbors… And God is a God of more than love and mercy. [He’s also a God of] justice.”
Alexa writes what she does to help people sort out those crossed arrows and see that there is a point to it all—that eventually justice and mercy converge paths into one rather than criss-crossing all over the place, trampling each other. She doesn’t write Christian fiction, but I don’t know how a Christian can write fiction without some part of faith shining through. In Alexa’s, and I hope in mine as well, there’s an overarching theme that illustrates that the Lord hasn’t forgotten the people He created.

Blog Stops

July 28: Bigreadersite
August 1: Mommynificent
August 3: Carpe Diem


In honor of her Manuscript for Murder Celebration Tour, Chautona is giving away a mystery prize package worth over $100. Enter here:
Would you like to know what’s in it? Find the first clue within the giveaway image below, then hop on over to Chautona’s website to begin the search for more clues and you might find a special giveaway just for clue hunters! Can you find all the clues before Augusta Septemus does?

Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl (Defenders of Justice #2)


Kate O'Brien's quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas is shaken when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and she's been in witness protection ever since.

When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn't the murderer, she's subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis.

Tony readily takes on the assignment; Kate's beauty and inner strength made more of an impression on him than he expected. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.

My Review:

Mehl has toped herself with this book. I really enjoyed it! This is the second book in this series and I'm so pleased I read it. This book actually has twists. I love those, when I don't see them coming.
It's a throughly engaging read, one that keeps you reading long past when you should be sleeping. Kate and Tony are strong characters and their story is one worth reading. There's defiantly a dark deception occurring in this tale.

It can be read alone, but why would you do that when you can have more? I'm anticipating the next book in this series.

My copy came from Bethany House. My thoughts and opinions are my own, and I have left this review of my own free choosing. 

Nancy Mehl ( is the author of twenty-seven books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters:, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Kennedy Stern sale/Liberty in North Korea fundraiser!!

Alana Terry is doing a fundraiser right now to help the underground railroad in North Korea. I bought my set, have you gotten yours? 
Carol :) 

Here is a blurb from Alana:

The first 3 novels in award-winning novelist Alana Terry's Kennedy Stern Christian suspense series are on sale this week for 99 cents! She's running the sale as a fundraiser for Liberty in North Korea in hopes of raising enough money to rescue a refugee on their underground railroad.

A three-in-one bundle of suspense and page-turning excitement as missionary kid Kennedy Stern faces more danger, mystery, and controversy than she knows how to handle.

Confronted with questions of underage abortion, plagued by a stalker and paralyzing PTSD flashbacks, and eventually caught in the center of a police brutality scandal, Kennedy discovers that her first year at Harvard University involves a lot more than passing a few lab classes and fulfilling her premed requirements.

With her parents serving North Korean refugees overseas, Kennedy befriends a loving and highly opinionated pastor, his hospitable and encouraging wife, an eccentric but respectful roommate whose worldview is drastically different from Kennedy's, and a foreign lab partner who's harboring a grave secret he'd do just about anything to keep from being exposed.

The Kennedy Stern Christian suspense series tackles controversial issues facing the church today and brings them to light in a way that encourages questions and fosters discussions without ever turning preachy or heavy-handed.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ghost King By Jeff Altabef

The Red Death has returned, but the battle is just beginning! Find out what happens next in Book 2 of The Red Death Series – The Ghost King!

We love book launches, and we know how much readers loved the first book in this series. From the author of The Chosen Series, comes a new #YA #dystopic fiction series – The Red Death! Book 1 is already available, and we’re please to announce that Book 2 is out!
Keep reading for exclusive excerpts, review posts, spotlights & of course a Rafflecopter with book themed prizes!

About the Book 

An Ancient Prophecy foretold.
An Evil haunts the land.
A battle looms against overwhelming odds.
Led by a powerful witch, a wild invading army threatens to tear the Soulless lands apart. To survive, the three tribes must join together, but old grievances and hatred divide them. Only Wilky can unite them, but when he glimpses the future, he sees only a glimmer of hope; too much of the future remains veiled in darkness.
As the battle approaches, King Dermot orders his brother, Eamon, to stay behind at the Stronghold and defend against a possible siege. Eamon, who took an oath to fight the invaders, defies his brother, risks everything, and plunges into a desperate race with Aaliss and Wilky to unite the tribes.
Enemies from all sides conspire against them. Only together can they hope to succeed against the witch who will stop at nothing to destroy them. Yet even united, they will need magic to defeat this enemy at their door.
As battle looms, only one chance at survival remains—the Ghost King—but who is he, and what will be the price of their redemption?
My Review: 

I guess I'm a sucker for a good prophecy at times. I was tickled to pick up this second book in the series. It picked up where the first book left off flawlessly. It then went right on into capturing my full attention while refreshing my memory in case I forgot anything from the first book. Wilky has to stop something major, and I happen to like what this event is called. I'm not going to spoil it for you, so you have to read that for yourself. It does have a few twists, which I appreciate. I love getting more attached to characters, and this book accomplished that. This book is even stronger than the first book, something that always makes me appreciate a series and that author. I can't wait to read more of this captivating series. 

My copy is an ARC. My review is left of my own free volition. My thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 

About the Author:

Jeff Altabef is an award-winning author who lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, was his debut novel. Evolved Publishing has published Jeff’s second thriller, Shatter Point, which won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Fall 2014 in the category of Best Thriller.Jeff’s first young adult novel, Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel will be published in March by Evolved Publishing. He’s extremely excited that his daughter, Erynn Altabef, is his co-author on the Chosen Series. As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories.
You can follow Jeff on FacebookTwitter, or join his newsletter!

***Excerpt 3***
Chapter 5

Dermot’s face looked hard and resolute, as he appeared every bit the King his tribe needed. Done with Eamon, he turned toward Aaliss and softened his tone. “You and Wilky are welcome to join us on the field of battle. We could use your sword and Wilky’s... advice. You both have proven yourself worthy to be members of our tribe. It would honor me if you would join us.”
Join the tribe?
All eyes turned to her, and heat singed her face. She had no desire to commit to the Butcher Tribe. She desired a simple life, but she also needed to keep Eamon and Wilky safe. How could she do that and refuse? She needed time to think. “We will consider your generous offer and let you know our decision in the morning.”
Dermot looked disappointed, but he nodded. “So be it. May the herd be forever strong and the heavens guide us in all matters.” He rose and stalked off.
The War Council dispersed, leaving her, Wilky, and Eamon behind by the Naming Tree. Eamon rubbed his hand through his shaggy hair and walked in circles. “I can’t believe he’s doing this to me. Has he no faith in me?”
Aaliss stood in his path and forced him to stop. She pressed her hand against his chest. “Protecting the Stronghold is important. If the war goes badly, you’ll have to make sure the rest of the tribe is safe.”
“My place is at Dermot’s side. He should see that. I made an oath with P’mina to fight these invaders. I can’t stay behind now.”
Wilky stepped beside him. “You must come to the battle. We all must go. Otherwise, only darkness.”
Wilky might as well have swung a war hammer into Aaliss’s stomach. She seemed to have so little control over events. Surely, the Stronghold would be a safer place for Eamon than the battlefield, yet Wilky’s decree meant that she couldn’t keep him in the stone city behind the sturdy walls.
“We all have to go to the front to have a chance to win? Are you sure?” she asked, even though she knew the answer.
Wilky nodded. “Even then the result is hidden in shadows. I only see glimpses of light.”
Eamon whispered. “That settles it then. We’ll have to escape tonight.” He glanced over his shoulder.
Two armed members of the King’s Guard stood ten paces away, watching them.
Great. Another escape from the Stronghold, and this time we’ll be heading straight into the storm itself.
“There’s more,” said Wilky.
“More?” asked Eamon.
“A witch leads the Wolves. Darkness gathers behind her like a long shadow.” Eamon spit on the ground, his way of warding off evil spirits. Aaliss narrowed her eyes. “Witches can die like anyone else.” Her voice sounded sure, but her heart wasn’t. What did she know about witches?

FINALIST: 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards in the Category of YA

FINALIST: 2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards in the Category of YA

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Name Unknown by Rossana M. White

A Name Uknown FB Banner copy
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: A Name Unknown
Author: Roseanna M. White
Release date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

She’s Out to Steal His Name.
Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.
When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.
 My Review:
This first book in a new series by White was excellent if you ask me. I'm not a big war story buff, probably because so many people I know had to deal with wars. However, this book is a good read. It has enough Christian content, and a sweet story with Peter and Rosemary. Peter was going to be Rosemary's mark, and then things changed. Rosemary is a valiant young woman, even with her spy like mission and the fact that she's doing things she shouldn't. She has a really good reason. That doesn't make it right, but it did explain it. I felt connect and comfortable with Peter. I liked him a lot. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, which is off to a super start. 

About the Author 

RoseannaJuly2016Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Guest Post from Roseanna White

It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.

I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.

Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)


100 grams butter, cold and diced
225 grams all-purpose flour
¼ heaping teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice
100 grams superfine (caster) sugar
4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.

In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Blog Stops

July 20: Genesis 5020
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 22: Bigreadersite
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
July 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 29: Karen Sue Hadley
July 31: Cafinated Reads


To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!