Thursday, March 23, 2017

Meddlin' Madeline - Such a Tease by Chautona Havig (Book 2 Meddlin' Madeline Series)

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About the Book

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Book: Such a Tease
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical/Mystery
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Madeline, with a little assistance, discovers her old adversary is gaining a following in Rockland! Can she expose him for the fraud she’s sure he is?
In book two of the Meddlin’ Madeline series, Madeline Brown has a new endeavor to occupy her time. But is it to keep her out of the way or a reward for her work in Sweet on You? With the help of her young friends, Madeline discovers her old adversary is gaining a following in Rockland! What’s a girl to do?
But her new position also gives her opportunities to observe, and what she sees sets more than one new investigation in motion. What does her old suitor, Delbert Jackson, know? Why is Mr. Merton giving important papers to that scoundrel, Vernon Smythe, and whatever happened to poor Abigail Cooper?
Add to these intriguing questions Henry Hardwick’s continued attentions, Edith’s newfound devotion to the temperance movement and Madeline’s determination to find her a more reliable suitor, and strange behavior from her Aunt Louisa and things heat up as summer fades from Rockland.
Her dear friend, Russell, busy with an important project at work, finds himself unable to help keep her out of trouble and away from danger. Is Madeline going too far? Will her meddling get her in serious trouble this time, will it destroy her reputation irreparably, or will she rid Rockland of a scoundrel once and for all?

My Review:

Here is the anticipated second book of this series! I'm so glad to get to read it. I even picked up a quote I liked up front! "Madeline, for all her meddling, is a humdinger of a girl." I can't agree more with this character, or the author in this case. 

Madeline's life has changed some, she now has to work. It's a little less has to, but is working, much to her dear old fashioned Aunt's chagrin. Now there are new issues. Best read in order, yet it can stand along, this book just makes this series even stronger! It's not a weak second book by any stretch of the imagination. 

While working at the bank, Madeline notices things. Things that don't "add up" at all, and the more she notices, the bigger the mystery there is to solve. History/Time period very well included, this book is both perfect for it's time frame, and way ahead of it's time too. The humor is my favorite kind, funny, punny, and simply the best tease of all, waiting for the next book in the series! 

And look! I found a BOOK TRAILER that is awesome for this book!

My copy came from Celebrate Lit. Thank you! My thoughts and opinions are my own, and I'm excited to leave this review. 

About the Author 

Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie, Past Forward, and HearthLand series, Chautona considers herself blessed to live in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and five of her nine children. When not writing, which she admits isn’t often, Chautona enjoys blogging, paper crafts, sewing, smocking, photo editing, and old (read: before her parents’ time) music.

Guest Blog Post from Chautona

Leon Czolgosz is my new nemesis. He’s dead, but he ruined my book. No, really. The guy totally destroyed the opening pages of Such a Tease.
Now, these days, not a whole lot of people remember the name of Leon Cozolgosz. I didn’t. But I’ll never forget him now (although I may never remember how to spell his name).
Who is he? Only the guy who shot President McKinley. Why am I annoyed with him over a hundred years later? The idiot did this thing on September 6, 1901. You know, four days after this book opened? Yeah. Couldn’t he have done it on say… January 6, 1901? Even January 6, 1902 would have served my purposes.
Look, I’m not as callous as I appear. Truly. But if President McKinley had to die, did his murderer have to do it when it would completely mess up my book?

How did it mess up my book you ask?

I’ll tell you. I left it out—the whole assassination thing. There I was, fixing a wedding date for one of the characters, when a thought occurred to me. She could be married on Flag Day—if Flag Day was a thing then. I didn’t think it was. I really thought Wilson was responsible for that—you know, creating holidays in between his notes to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany or something like that. But I hoped. Somehow—just maybe. I mean we had Labor Day from Cleveland, why not Flag Day from McKinley. But noooooo. He didn’t. What did he do?
He got shot. Four days after my book opened. And there wasn’t a single word about it in the story.
Like I could ever get away with that. This was newsBig news. And nothing about it in the life of a daughter of a politician? I think not.
Not only did this Leon Czolgosz (no, really. It’s spelled correctly) shoot the president on September 6th, but he didn’t do a good job of it! Look, I think I’ve established that I didn’t want President McKinley killed. But if the guy with the unpronounceable last name had to do it, couldn’t he have done a good job of it? Couldn’t he have shot the president in the head? McKinley suffered for eight days before he died. Eight days! They thought he was getting better and then gangrene killed him.
It would have been a mercy had Leon just shot McKinley in the head or the heart. Why the abdomen? Cruel, if you ask me, even for an anarchist.
And it made adding the whole affair to my book even more problematic. No, really! Think about it. I couldn’t have the newspapers announce the death of President McKinley on September 7th and then have a few mentions of the bank being affected or something. No… no… now I had to have a headline event, give false hope, and then add the death on top of it all.
Look, I do an obscene amount of research for my books. No, really. Keen was slang in 1901. Woohoo! Look up “peachy keen”? Yeah. Can’t use it. 1950s. The telephone? Can Madeline expect to use one in a burgeoning city in 1901? Considering there were over 850,000 telephones in use, yes. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that a photographer who works for a local paper might have a telephone in order to receive calls requesting him to come photograph some big event—like the Mayor’s speech on the death of President McKinley, perchance?
Yep. Somehow, I almost missed one of the biggest events in US history. Research saved the book—and ruined my timeline. All at the same time. Gotta love history. Or not.
And Leon Czolgosz? Yeah. Thanks for nothing.

Blog Stops

March 23: A Greater Yes
March 24: Carpe Diem
March 26: Back Porch Reads 
March 27: Splashesofjoy 
March 29: Lots of Helpers
March 29: The Scribbler 
March 30: Bigreadersite
April 1: Pause for Tales


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a Reader’s Teaser Package
that includes:
A paperback copy of both Sweet on You and Such a Tease
A “Tea-for-One” teapot
A Tin of loose-leaf tea of your choice (six options available from our local tearoom)
A pound of assorted See’s chocolates
A set of six handmade antique-inspired note cards
A $25 Amazon Gift Card
And, for the teaser… the winner will also receive the exclusive short story (usually reserved for pre-orders) The Fate of Abigail Cooper!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Murder for the Time Being by Joanie Bruce

Murder for the Time Being

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About the Book

FINAL - Murder for the Time Being Front 72dpi
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Book: Murder for the Time Being
Author: Joanie Bruce
Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance
Release Date: November 29, 2016
“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”
Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?
Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.
Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

My Review:

This book has an interesting title. That got me to wanting to read it. I have also read a few other books by this author that I really enjoyed. Suspense, action, romance, all included in this book. More so, the theme that drives our heart, Trust in God. I'm going through some things in my own life right now, so an added dose of trusting in Him was timely for me. Strong Lexi survived a past that has her in the witness protection program. Now she finds herself as an adult, with her mother, hostages in a bank robbery. What happens after they are free from the bank is the driving plot of this book, so if your scared it's all about a bank robbery, it's not. That is just the background for mysteries inside of mysteries that unfold as we follow Lexi and Drew's possible relationship. I love how the title ties to the murder, for the time being. I'd love to tell you, but I can't share a spoiler that big. It's as good one! The end of the book came before I was ready for it. Please have more soon! 

My copy came from Celebrate Lit. My review is of my own choosing, and my thoughts and opinions are all my very own! 

About the Author 

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Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

Guest Post from Joanie Bruce

Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.
In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.
This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.
After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 15: autism mom
March 16: A Reader’s Brain
March 17: A Greater Yes
March 18: Radiant Light 
March 20: Karen Sue Hadley
March 24: Pause for Tales
March 24: 2014 and Beyond!
March 26: Carpe Diem


To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Buried Secrets by Rachel J. Good

Buried Secrets FB Cover

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About the Book

Buried Secrets_Good
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Book: Buried Secrets
Author: Rachel J. Good
Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Overcome the past and any other obstacles that stand in the way of the future God has planned for you.
Three years after the accident that almost claimed her life, Emma Esh has recovered physically but has no memory of the year before the accident. When she moves to a new community to help her sister Lydia and brother-in-law, Caleb, prepare for the birth of twins, she falls for their neighbor Samuel.
But the twins’ premature birth, a visit from the Englischer Emma once dated, and the sudden return of her memory threaten Emma’s romance. After the secrets of her past are revealed, will love be able to overcome all obstacles?

My Review:

Somehow, I have not read one of this author's books before. This book stood alone just fine, thought I do like to read everything in a series. Emma is one distressed young woman. She has major panic attacks. Having dealt with that some myself, and with many friends and family, that is not an easy thing to overcome. Emma has some buried secrets, and things that are hidden don't tend to stay that way forever. Emma's amnesia was not an easy thing either. It's hard to have missing memories. Emma has to trust that God knows what He is doing, and that she is on the right track and Sam, he has to figure out why he feels the need to rescue her. Emma and Sam have a lovely relationship that we get to watch grow in this book. I felt pretty close to Emma, and I liked the aspects of God's forgiveness showing through so clearly. 

My copy came from Celebrate Lit. I have left this review because I choose to do so. Thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

About the Author 

rachel-photo-web-1Inspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – Sisters & Friends series, Love & Promises series, and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books and the contemporary novella, Angels Unaware, part of the Hope Chapel series. Rachel also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. She loves reading (of course!), traveling, and spending time with her five children and three grandchildren. Visit her at her websiteFacebookauthor pageTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads. You also can sign up for her quarterly newsletter here.

Guest Post from Rachel J. Good

Readers who have read Change of Heart, the first book in the Sisters & Friends series, will remember Emma as the wild teen who defied her family. Her older sister, Lydia, tried to prevent Emma from making mistakes during Rumschpringe, the Amish running-around time. Throughout most of the story, Lydia and Emma were at odds with each other, but in the end, the family needed to forgive Emma and show her God’s love.

In Book 2, Buried Secrets, Emma has no memory of her rebellion, so she’s devastated when she finally does remember. Then she must confront her past, learn to forgive herself, and also ask for and accept God’s forgiveness. Sometimes when we’ve done things we’re ashamed of, we struggle to believe that God can forgive what we’ve done. But God’s mercy has no limits. Emma needs to open her heart to that truth. As she does, she discovers an important lesson: Some mistakes in the past can never be undone, but God can forgive anything.

Authors often write about themes that are close to their hearts, and I’m no exception. Many times, after I write a novel, I look back and see how God directed me to tell a story containing lessons I needed to learn. In Change of Heart, Lydia discovers that judging other people or suggesting ways they can improve their lives can be a form of self-righteousness. God used my young daughter to point that out to me, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating. And as I finished the novel, I clearly saw it as a reminder not only to Lydia, but also to me.
Emma’s story also blessed me by reminding me how deep and wide God’s love is for each of us. No matter how we’ve failed, He never stops loving us, and His forgiveness is only a prayer away. 
I also hope to remind readers that “all things work together for good for those that love God.” So often we expect hardship when we do God’s will, but He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts. Lydia learned in Change of Heart that God’s will was so much better than anything she could have planned, and Emma, too, comes to realize that, by trusting God to direct her life, she is blessed many times over.
Has God ever given you a desire of your heart? To enter the giveaway, share one of God’s blessings in your life. And let’s rejoice together at the many wonderful things He has done for each of us.
Book Excerpt
Emma concentrated on the plants beside her. Gardening soothed her, made her feel whole again. The spring sunshine warmed the ground and sent comforting rays through her cloak as she bent over the soft, moist earth. She lifted a seedling from its pot and inhaled the savory tomato-y aroma. Then she pinched off the lower leaves, set it in the hole, and gently bent the stem before covering it with soil.
Whoosh. A heavy weight slammed her backwards, smashing her head against the ground. Gasping, desperate to suck some air into her crushed lungs, Emma opened her eyes to find a furry face inches from her own. A huge mouth opened, revealing pointy white teeth. Then a wet pink tongue scraped across her cheek.
“Bolt,” a deep male voice commanded. “Off.”
A handsome stranger, black bangs hanging in front of his eyes, bent over her, his hand outstretched. “Ach, I’m so sorry. She slipped out the door again.” He clamped his other hand on the Irish setter’s collar and pulled the dog off Emma, leaving muddy paw prints across her skirt.
Still dazed, Emma lay where she’d fallen, gazing up at him, unsure whether the rapid pattering of her pulse was from her recent fright or from looking into the greenest eyes she’d ever seen.
“Are you all right?” Worry crinkled his brow.
 “I–I’ll be fine.” Ignoring the hand he’d extended, she tried to sit.
The stranger dropped to one knee beside her. “Don’t get up if you’re hurt. Is there someone I can fetch?”
“I don’t need help.” Heat flooded Emma’s cheeks when her words came out sharply. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “Please forgive me.” Then pinching her lips together, she steeled herself to sit without assistance.
 “There’s nothing to forgive. I’m the one who let my dog escape.” The words were barely out of his mouth when the Irish setter twisted free and bounded off, crushing the rows of seedlings Emma had just planted.
 “Oh, no!” The stranger dashed off after the dog, swerving to avoid the tomato plants the setter had crushed. Gasping for air, he made a desperate tackle, landing a few feet beyond the garden, the dog wriggling under him. With a firm grip on the Irish setter’s collar, he stood, the front of his shirt, galluses, and black pants splattered with dog hair and dirt.
Emma suppressed the urge to giggle at his sheepish expression, the clod of mud clinging to his forehead, and the panting dog struggling to jerk free of his hold.
He pinched his lips together as he studied the mess. “I’m so sorry. Let me put Bolt in the house. Then I’ll help clean up.”
“Bolt?” Had he called the dog that earlier? Emma had been too distracted to pay attention. Now she couldn’t hold in her mirth.
Rather than taking offense, the stranger glanced down with a rueful expression, then joined in her laughter. “Jah,” he said between hearty chuckles. “Short for Lightning Bolt. She zigs and zags so fast I can’t catch her sometimes.” He waved a hand toward the disaster in the garden. “Like she did here. And now look at me.”
Emma did, and her laughter ended in a sharp intake of breath. And then his eyes met hers, and she stopped breathing altogether.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading Buried Secrets as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Blog Stops

March 9: autism mom
March 13: Bigreadersite
March 15: Carpe Diem
March 16: Splashes of Joy
March 20: A Greater Yes
March 22: Rhonda’s Doings
March 22: Karen Sue Hadley


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a full box of Whoopie Pies freshly baked for you from a bakery in Amish country, along with copies of Angels Unaware, the brand new Amish Words and Proverbs Coloring Book and Amish Quilts Coloring Book #1 (Large Print Edition), an autographed copy of Change of Heart, and an Amish cookbook!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!