Monday, March 4, 2024

What I Promise You by Liz Tolsma (Echoes of the Past Book 2)

 

About the Book

Book: What I Promise You

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance / Historical Fiction

Release Date: February 1, 2024

A Family’s History Is Lost to the Ravages of WWII in Southwest France

1942
Noémie Treves, a young, pregnant Jewish woman, had her entire world shattered when she is arrested and taken to the Camp de Rivesaltes transit camp in Southwest France. No sooner does she arrive, though, than she assists in helping two young girls scheduled for transport escape to a nearby maternity hospital. The matron there befriends her and changes her name to help hide her. But nothing goes according to plan, and Hannah finds herself doing the unimaginable to save one precious life.

2022
Caitlyn Laurant is haunted by recent events in her life and hopes becoming a nurse on the mission field will help her forget. While in training, she and her friends travel to France where her grandfather was born. What should have been an easy search for his birthplace turns into anything but and reveals secrets that no one alive has ever heard.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

I love Christian historical fiction and this book was excellent. This book goes between 1942, 1955 and the current times of 2022 or so. I couldn't help but love that, because I know people who were born in that older time frame. I don't always like WWII novels, but this one was quite good. So much unconditional love and sacrifice was worked into this story.  Noémie is an outstanding character and her ties, just to see her family the generations down the line with the time jumps, it's really emotional. I found this story to have a fresh feeling, and very deep.

5 Stars

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping.

More from Liz

The Story behind the Cover of What I Promise You

In the late summer, I got the preliminary cover for What I Promise You. While Barbour Publishing always does a great job with their covers, and the one they sent was very nice, I wasn’t crazy about it because it didn’t tell the story at all. The mansion that plays such a big part in the novel was nowhere to be seen. Barbour is fantastic when it comes to working with me to get great covers, so I asked if we could include the real mansion that the story is based on. Turns out that they were having trouble getting copyright permission to use any image they could find of the maternity home.

That was disappointing. But I got brave and let them know that I took a picture of it when I was in France last year, and they could use it, but I’m not a very good photographer and I only used my iPhone. I attached the photo to the email and didn’t hear anything for a while.

Then in October, I wanted to include a preorder link to the book on social media or something and went to Amazon to grab it. And there was the cover. I went back and forth between the cover and my picture, and sure enough, it was the picture of the maternity home I had sent them! So I not only wrote What I Promise You, but some of my photography is on the front. I never thought that would happen. Am I in the wrong profession?? Just kidding!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 27

Life on Chickadee Lane, February 27

Lots of Helpers, February 28

Lighthouse Academy Blog, February 28 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 29

For Him and My Family, February 29

Betti Mace, March 1

Devoted To Hope, March 1

She Lives To Read, March 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 3

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 4

Blogging With Carol, March 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 5

Lily’s Corner, March 5

Bizwings Book Blog, March 5

lakesidelivingsite, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 7 (Author Interview)

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 7

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 8

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, March 8

Cover Lover Book Review, March 8

Connie’s History Classroom, March 9

Holly’s Book Corner, March 9

Pause for Tales, March 10

Labor Not in Vain, March 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, March 11

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, March 11

Lights in a Dark World, March 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-Gift card and print copy of the book!!

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/2a3ce/what-i-promise-you-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, March 2, 2024

Mortal Queens by Victoria MaCombs (The Fae Dynasty Book 1)

 

About the Book

Book: Mortal Queens

Author: Victoria McCombs

Genre: YA Fae Fantasy

Release Date: February 6, 2023

They vanish without a trace, disappear into the night… 

Each year on the center island, one girl is chosen to be the next Mortal Queen of the idolized fae. The mortals praise these lucky girls, but their daughters are never seen again.

The fae realm is eternal night, where disputes are settled by chess matches, power is acquired through the most devious kinds of trickery, and seven illusive kings roam. The fae hide their faces behind masks and guard their glass hearts to keep them from shattering. But beyond the veil of this luxurious paradise, a dark secret simmers, for their Queens have disappeared.

When aspiring artist Althea is selected, she is desperate to avoid the same mysterious fate. With no one to trust, she conceals messages in paintings and receives anonymous replies from a stranger who slowly reveals the tale of a girl who outwitted the fae. Only if she is clever enough will Althea survive the fate of the Mortal Queens. As long as the king who cannot love does not claim her first.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

This was a ton of action. The pace is swift for this book. To be Queen of the Fay, as a mortal, would be a powerful draw, for some. But every year a new moral girl winds up vanishing, to be Queen, but only for a year. Their families and lives are left behind as they are snatched up and whisked away.  That's not exactly idealist living now is it? More so, the world of the fae is messy. Everyone is hiding behind masks and trickery and chess, and illusions are rampant. In this regard, I'm reminded of Alice in Wonderland. Althea is a fantastic character and it was easy for me to root for her and to fall deep into this story. It's clean, it's an amazing read, I can't wait for book two and the only negative is that the ending is a hanger waiting for the next book. 

4 Stars 

About the Author

Victoria McCombs is the author of YA fantasy books such as The Storyteller’s Daughter and The Royal Rose Chronicles. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and three children. Her days are filled with coffee, reading, golfing, board games, and homeschooling the littles.

 

 

More from Victoria

There are several parties thrown in the fae realm, so today I’ll be sharing a party favorite recipe! I’ve had strangers reach out years after a party to ask for this recipe, and it’s so simple to make!

Cucumber Party Sandwiches

Ingredients:   One French loaf (the thinner, the better. It will be topped with a cucumber.)

1-2 cucumbers

8 oz cream cheese

½ cup mayo

1 package dry Italian dressing

We’d always buy the French loaf in a roll that you bake like crescent rolls, however I’ve struggled to find them recently, so I just buy the premade bread. However you acquire your bread, you’ll want it cooked and sliced into inch thick pieces.

Cut medium-thick slices of cucumber

Combine the cream cheese, mayo, and dry Italian dressing.

Spread the mixture over the bread, then top with cucumber. May garnish with pepper if desired. Done!

Blog Stops

The Lofty Pages, February 24

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Wishful Endings, February 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 27

Book Looks by lisa, February 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 29

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, March 1

Blogging With Carol, March 2

For Him and My Family, March 3

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 4

Hannahbandanarama, March 5

Fiction Book Lover, March 6 (Spotlight)

Exploring the Written Word, March 6

Simple Harvest Reads, March 7 (Guest Review from Mindy)

Guild Master, March 8 (Spotlight)

Inspired by Fiction, March 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Victoria is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/2a259/mortal-queens-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Torch by Sofia Simpson (An Elemental Series Book 2)

 

About the Book

Book: Torch

Author: Sofia Simpson

Genre: Young Adult Christian Fantasy

Release Date: February 6, 2024

Relentlessly pursued by the Extremists, Vela and Linc embark on a perilous journey toward a hidden Elemental community in the Canadian mountains. It’s a place where couples of different elements thrive, raising families while living off the grid.

These Elementals, like the Extremists, are searching for the portended Chosen Child,  the one who will unite the clans. Vela is forced to accept she might be a part of this prophecy whether she likes it or not.

Vela is more than intrigued by a mixed Elemental in the community who single-mindedly pursues her. Faced with a choice between two very different men makes committing to Linc as her Intended harder than she imagined.

Can Linc win the fight for her heart? Will this prophecy be her undoing or the Elementals’ salvation?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

Here's book two in this series. I like the name of this book, Torch, and it picks up where the first book left off. I recommend reading the series in order though. Vela's healing gift is crucial for those around her, but there's so much darkness and danger, that it's possible she could be used in ways she doesn't want to be. Reliance on God is imperative with this and I was so happy to see so much faith worked into this story. It has so many emotions that pull you during the story, and of course, also the romance triangle because having reached the perfect place to be, Vela and Linc now have Rayne. Rayne is quite interested in Vela and doesn't see her as she sees herself or her connection to Linc and it's mind-opening and perspective-altering for her as well as giving us the deep sides of our characters and this romance. It's still a lot of a cliffhanger and I need the next book. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Sofia grew up moving constantly. Never in one place more than three years, there was plenty of time to daydream during long car rides. College finally gave her a chance to study what she had always dreamed of doing, writing her stories.

She obtained a B.A. in Journalism, married her handsome husband and had two amazing sons.

A big believer in dreaming big, Sofia loves speaking to youth, encouraging them to find hope no matter what their life looks like. Sofia is a daughter of the Lord first and foremost and finds inspiration with the stories like King David and Esther.

More from Sofia

This book has been my absolute favorite to write. I switched my POV to first person, and it made all the difference in the world as far as getting into my character’s head. I’ve been so intimidated in writing in first person POV, so I’m so happy I went out on a limb and tried it. The story flowed so easily once I did! I wrote the first draft of this book in 10 weeks! I got on an intense writing schedule, stuck to it and voila! Out popped this book.

I loved every minute of it, especially the researching part. Researching how to live off the grid was fascinating to me, and it couldn’t have been more interesting. It really made me understand how people lived without modern conveniences. Well, in my book, they lived with modern conveniences thanks to generators and the Elementals’ gifts and abilities, but they had to make their own soap, butter, cheese, sometimes, clothes. I learned how a toilet can work thanks to gravity and setting up the pump on a hill. It’s all fascinating to me and I hope everyone finds it fun to learn, too, all while a great story unfolds!

The following recipe was so neat, I had to include it! And, yes, it’s in the book. They had to cook bread without an oven, so this worked nicely so they could still enjoy some fresh cooked bread.

This recipe was copied from the following link from Veganonboard.com:

Campfire Bread on a Stick Recipe – Vegan on Board

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 ½ cups (300 g) flour
  • ⅞ cup (200 ml) warm water
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Dough:

  • In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients into a moist dough. No need to knead!
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size – about 1 hour.
  • With floured hands, briefly ‘knock back’ the dough by making it into a ball.
  • Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 8 pieces.

Shaping your breadsticks:

  • Start by stretching the dough into a strip and then roll it into a long sausage shape.
  • Twist a strip around the end of your sticks. Pinch the dough together to secure the end if necessary.

Cooking Over a Campfire:

  • Either hold or prop up your stick over the fire.
  • Choose a spot over hot embers for best results.
  • Keep rotating until all sides are browned.
  • Enjoy your freshly baked bread!

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, February 15 (Author Interview)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 16

Guild Master, February 17 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

Fiction Book Lover, February 19 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 21 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, February 22

Simple Harvest Reads, February 23 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 24

A Reader’s Brain, February 25 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, February 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 26

Through the Fire Blogs, February 27 (Author Interview)

Blogging with Carol, February 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sofia is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

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/29dba/torch-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, February 26, 2024

The Last Disciple: Exile in Ephesus Epic Book Launch



The Last Disciple: Exile in Ephesus Epic Book Launch

 

About the Book

Book Title: The Last Disciple: Exile in Ephesus

Author Name: Kurt Brouwer

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: March 15, 2024

 

He awoke jailed in squalor…

Would he complete his final mission?

Or would he fail to record the story only he could tell?

 

The epic saga of the Last Disciple continues in this captivating Christian historical novel from

Kurt Brouwer. 

After surviving imprisonment, John faces his greatest challenge–exile in the distant city of Ephesus. Struggling with grief and despair over the destruction of Jerusalem, John doubts his ability to complete the mission entrusted to him by Mary—to write the true gospel account of Christ’s life. 

But in Ephesus, John finds unexpected allies—Timothy, Priscilla, and Tychicus, who share his passion for spreading the message of God’s love. 

As John shares the good news of Jesus, he makes dangerous enemies, including the influential high priest, Alexander Cosmo, who will stop at nothing to suppress the growing Christian faith. Amid opposition from without and internal divisions from within the early church, John must contend with those pressuring believers to adopt Jewish law and compromise the radical teachings of Christ. 

When tragedy strikes those close to him, can John’s fragile hope be rekindled? Will he finally show the world all the signs, miracles, and events he witnessed on his journey with Jesus?  

Don’t miss this page-turning story of faith, courage, and love.

 

Book Excerpt

“Nay. The guards bring a bucket and dipper twice a day. Glad ye have awakened. Thought you had given up the ghost.”

John fought back against the panic that surged through his body. He felt a gnawing worm of fear moving through his innards. The specter of death lingered in this place. And the smell! Stale, unwashed bodies, human waste, mold, rot, with not a breath of air nor light. Just darkness like the pit of hell.

He longed for light, wishing to see. But when guards marched down the hallway outside the cell and their flaring torches illuminated the hellish dungeon cell, he longed for a return to the cover of darkness.

 

The hair on John’s neck rose. He heard a faint whispery slithering. Felt a cold, alien, and evil presence, like a serpent moving across his legs. He panicked and lashed out, only to hear a grunt

and a curse.

 

John realized he’d been dreaming of a serpent, had seen its amber, glittering eyes and head moving, probing, sniffing delicately for the scent of its prey. He gagged at the stench of sulfur filling the air. 

 

“What’s that smell?”

 

  

Missed Any Questions, Go Here

 


 

About the Author

Kurt is a Christian and a member of a vibrant Christian church on the Big Island of Hawaii. He also loves to write. In addition to all the usual temptations writers face, Kurt has to fight off the lure of beautiful beaches, pounding surf, great weather, and lush golf courses. Can you imagine? Despite those temptations, he writes The Last Disciple series of Christian historical novels and he regularly writes blog posts at KurtBrouwer.com.

A few years ago Kurt did a study for his church on the Apostle John. That little project got him hooked on the man who started out life as a fisherman and then became the last disciple of Christ. The more Kurt learned about John, the more he wanted to know.

If you’ve ever been obsessed by anything, you’ll understand that he couldn’t stop researching the life of John and all those around him. And the result of all that research is:

The Last Disciple Series 

The Last Disciple is a series of Christian novels based on the Bible and Christian history. The first in the series: The Last Disciple: Crisis in Jerusalem, begins in the year 62 AD. In it, you walk with John through the streets of Jerusalem. See how he faces multiple crises and comes to understand what it is to stand alone and lean only on the Lord. 

This book, The Last Disciple: Exile in Ephesus is the third in the series, with two more books planned. Kurt is now writing the fourth book, The Last Disciple: Gospel of John.