Monday, March 27, 2023

Sylvia's Mother by Jennifer Lynn Cary (The Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue Book 2)

 

About the Book

Book: Sylvia’s Mother

Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 26, 2023

She’s an overprotective single mother…

…He’s a former protector who can’t give up the role.

But who will guard their hearts from scheming high school matchmakers?

Eileen Avery is determined her daughter Sylvia won’t experience the heartaches she did. Even if it means taking parenting lessons from her mother, the dragon lady. But she is not like her mother. Not even remotely.

If only Sylvia could see that.

But she wants independence. How much is a good thing? And how much is too risky?

Besides, Sylvia is in love and needing a little freedom. It’s not like she’s about to run away to a commune and become a hippy. However, she is willing to try about anything to get her mom to loosen up, even play matchmaker. Maybe if her mother had her own love life, she’d quite trying to put Sylvia’s under a microscope.

But will it all blow up in her face?

Seth Matthews thought he’d said goodbye to Kokomo until an on-the-job injury with the FBI changed his plans. This town holds more than his family, and those memories had better stay buried for all concerned. But how was he to put his honed instincts on the back burner and stop safeguarding the ones closest to him?

He was willing to help his family with almost anything. But pretending interest in some woman to help with his nephew’s romantic endeavors? That was one thing he couldn’t see himself doing.

Until he realizes there was more than coincidence at play.

Forget about Women’s Lib. Return to 1972 Kokomo, Indiana for the second installment of The Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue series—Sylvia’s Mother—and the fight for personal independence. Join Sylvia, her mother, Eileen, and the kooky mix ups that all point to romance in this small town romp. If you enjoyed the Weather Girls and Judy in Disguise, then this book is a must read.

You will love Sylvia’s Mother, inspired by the pop 1960s song by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, because everyone dreams of a second chance with a first love.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

I have come to really like this author's books! This book is set in 1972 and focus on a mother and her daughter. Sylvia is coming of age, she's graduating high school. Her mom, Eileen apparently needs a love her of own, so that she will let Sylvia live her own life, and make her own mistakes. Eileen just wants to protect her child, but it's not working out as planned. Sylvia and her boyfriend, Luke, hatch a plan to set Eileen up with the prefect guy for her. Seth is Luke's Uncle. Can they have happily ever after? What kind of second chances with God and life will they have to take if they do? Lots of faith and relying on God in this story and a slow backstory reveal to Sylvia's past, her Mom and what kinds of things can be in our lives that God can work with, heal, or use. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Historical Christian Romance author, Jennifer Lynn Cary, likes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl. Now transplanted to the Arizona desert, this direct descendant of Davy Crockett and her husband of forty plus years enjoy time with family where she shares tales of her small-town heritage and family legacies with their grandchildren. She is the author of The Crockett Chronicles series, The Relentless series, and The Weather Girls trilogy as well as the stand-alone novel, Cheryl’s Going Home, her novella Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café, and her split-time novels The Traveling Prayer Shawl and The Forgotten Gratitude JournalSylvia’s Mother is the second book of her spin-off series The Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue.

 

More from Jennifer

Do you remember your high school prom? The one in Sylvia’s Mother is based on an actual prom—the Stardust Ball at Kokomo High School. I didn’t attend it—I’d gone to the Autumn Prom, but not the Stardust Ball in 1972, so I had to contact fellow classmates to get the scoop.

The date in the book is actually when it really occurred. And there are a couple other real events and personalities added to this otherwise fictional dance. It was fun to have friends tell me of their memories and to find out what some of the nominees were doing now.

Something else I learned that made me want to write this story. I had been researching and found an old interview by Chuck Buell who used to be a disc jockey for WLS in Chicago. I’d always liked him so when I ran across the interview, I wasn’t too worried about getting anything specific—it was pretty much a stroll down memory lane.

And then he told a story about meeting up with Dr. Hook. They were hanging out in Monterey, California on the good doctor’s houseboat when he offered to introduce Chuck to the guy who wrote the lyrics for “Cover of the Rolling Stone.” Turns out the guy lived a couple boats down the marina, so they walked over and Chuck Buell met Shel Silverstein for the first time.

Yep, the man who wrote The Giving Tree and those childhood collections of poetry—Light in the AtticFalling Up, and Runny Babbit—got his start writing rock and roll lyrics. Among them are “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” “A Boy Named Sue,” and “Sylvia’s Mother.” And once I learned that, I couldn’t help hearing his style (“voice”) in the songs since I had taught from his books in my elementary classrooms for many years. The thought made me smile and I had to write a story from one of those. “Sylvia’s Mother” fit the plan for my new series, so I borrowed the title.

I hope you will enjoy the story, even if you’ve never heard the song. But if you do know that old pop hit, I think you will enjoy a couple Easter egg surprises I hid along the way.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 17

Texas Book-aholic, March 18

By The Book, March 19 (Author Interview)

Cover Lover Book Review, March 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 21

Sylvan Musings, March 22 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, March 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 23

Connie’s History Classroom, March 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, March 25 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 26

Blogging With Carol, March 27

Pause for Tales, March 28

For Him and My Family, March 29

Beauty in the Binding, March 30 (Author Interview)

Books I’ve Read, March 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card and an eBook 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/24dbe/sylvia-s-mother-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, March 25, 2023

Trail of Secrets by Lacy Williams (Wagon Train Matches Book 2)

 

About the Book

Book: Trail of Secrets

Author: Lacy Williams

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: March 16, 2023

Stella is the oldest of three sisters and she’s got a long history of being the one to protect and provide for her family. When a dangerous threat sent the Fairfax sisters on a wagon train journey west, Stella knew her best bet was to disguise herself as a man to keep herself and her sisters safe.

Collin Mason has secrets of his own. And his family isn’t short on drama either, not with his troublemaking twin and an older brother about to get hitched. But he’s the only one who sees the real Stella—and that she needs help.

Collin sees the vulnerability Stella tries so hard to hide. When he becomes the only one she can trust and she discovers that danger has followed her family, Stella must rely on him despite her reluctance…

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

 I read this book as a standalone, but it's the second book in the series. I found Stella to be full of secrets and surprises while Collin was, in so many ways, a mirror of her with his own issues and secrets. The author went to great lengths with excellent history that made me feel like I was on the trail, with the wagons, in the dust and rain. Think of a more grown-up version of a sort of Little House on the Prairie type feeling, but in a moving wagon that has oh-so-far to travel and having to do it disguised as a man! 

I love the historical content and the strong characters that have so much realism! Strength, relying on God, and working together are strong themes in this story. While I hadn't been sure I'd like this story, I wound up liking it a lot more than I'd thought I would. It earned its five star rating from me. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Lacy Williams wishes her writing career was more like what you see in Hallmark movies: dreamy brainstorming from a French chateau or a few minutes at the computer in a million-dollar New York City penthouse. In reality, she’s up before the sun, putting words on the page before her kids wake up for the day. Those early-morning and late-night writing sessions add up, and Lacy has published sixty books in a decade, first with a big five publisher and then as an indie author. When she needs to refill the well, you can find Lacy birdwatching, gardening, biking with the kiddos, or walking the dog. Find tons of bonus scenes and reader extras by becoming a VIP reader at www.lacywilliams.net/vip .

 

More from Lacy

Exploring birth order in fictional characters

Are you a firstborn? Middle child? Baby of the family? I’m not versed in all the psychology or science of birth order but I can tell you that I knew my second-born had a different personality from my first-born within a few hours of his birth.

I am two years older than my brother and four years older than my sister. We’re all three different. I get along with my siblings in different ways. We enjoy doing different activities together.

I love reading books with strong sibling ties. And in my books, I often like to explore the relationships between siblings. I like to play with the dynamics between brothers or have squabbling sisters (that truly love each other, deep down). And my new book TRAIL OF SECRETS is no different!

Heroine Stella is an oldest child. When her father died, she took responsibility for her two sisters. She kept the family together (even in an unconventional way) and she’s going to get the three of them to Oregon. No matter what.

Hero Collin is a middle child and a twin. He’s a peacemaker and a protector. And he drives Stella a little bit crazy with his ability to always look on the bright side. Their personalities clash but only in the best way.

After a tornado ravages the wagon train, Collin and Stella have to work together to survive and rescue family members. Can their differences be strengths when they partner up?

-Lacy

Blogs Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 19

Texas Book-aholic, March 20

Karen Baney Reviews, March 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 22 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 23

Vicky Sluiter, March 24

Blogging With Carol, March 25

Simple Harvest Reads, March 26 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Splashes of Joy, March 27

For Him and My Family, March 27

Cover Lover Book Review, March 28

lakesidelivingsite, March 29

Connie’s History Classroom, March 30

Pause for Tales, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Holly’s Book Corner, April 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lacy is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a paperback 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/255bc/trail-of-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The Finding of Miss Fairfield by Grace Hitchcock (A Victorian Harvey Girls Romance - Aprons & Veils, Book 1)

 

About the Book

Book: The Finding of Miss Fairfield

Author: Grace Hitchcock

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: August 29, 2022

When an engagement of convenience becomes anything but convenient . . .

Forced into a betrothal with a widower twice her age, Charleston socialite, Sophia Fairfield is desperate for an escape. But, while her fiancé is away on business, he assigns his handsome stepson, Carver, the task of looking after his bride-to-be. Much to her dismay, Sophia finds herself falling in love with the wrong gentleman—a man society would never allow her to marry, given Sophia was supposed to be his new stepmother. The only way to save Carver from scandal and financial ruin is to run away, leaving him and all else behind to become a Harvey Girl waitress at the Castañeda Hotel in New Mexico.

Carver Ashton has had his life planned out for him since birth, but when he encounters Sophia Fairfield, he glimpses a new life—apart from his overbearing stepfather’s business. But, when the woman he loves disappears before he can express his devotion, Carver abandons all to find her. However, his stepfather has other intentions for Sophia and will stop at nothing until she is his bride . . . even if it is against her will.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

Back in the 1899 we meet Sophia, who, due to her circumstances now wants to be a Harvey Girl. For this goal, she will have to travel a very long way. Charleston to New Mexico is not an easy thing for a woman in this time frame, but what options does she have? Her arranged marriage to an older man, her dad's business partner is not the life she's wanting. Her protecter, Carver, Preston's stepson, is a man she could love for life. That's not at all proper when she's being forced to marry Preston, so she creates a plan, and runs. 

Will life as a waitresss pay her bills? What about happiness, or family, or loyalty? Where is God in the middle of this mess? Can the heartaches be overcome? Can Carver and Sophia have a future together? 

Rich with history, and suspense, romance and an in-depth story, this book was a mesmerizing read from a time back in history that's much changes from today, and yet, not so different at all.

5 Stars 

About the Author

Grace Hitchcock is the award-winning author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, Dakota, sons, and daughter. Connect with her online at GraceHitchcock.com.

 

More from Grace

Q: What type of fiction do you write? What is it about this type that appeals to you? 

Grace Hitchcock: I write historical romance with a dash of suspense, unless it was for my true crime books which have a bit more than a dash of suspense  For my American setting novels, The Gilded Age speaks to me as it was a time of change for women. While still having that epic romance feel with balls and dancing and courtships with a sweet romance, women were breaking ground and making history and pairing that with the fact that it was a time of emerging inventions, it is an all-around exciting era to research, read, and write.

Q: Who were the Harvey Girls?

Grace Hitchcock: Whenever I tell people I am writing about a Victorian Harvey Girl romance, they usually assume the Harvey Girls are associated with an old-time saloon, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the 1890s, there were not many respectable jobs for women, so when Englishman Fred Harvey created his chain of fine dining restaurants along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroads, single women without an education, or in need of earning their own way, were given a chance to earn an honest wage without the speculation that they offered anything else but food as a service. With Mr. Harvey’s strict rules about the waitress’s code of conduct, the women were given their independence while still maintaining their good name and place in society under the protective, fatherly arm of Fred Harvey. These extraordinary, brave women became known as the Harvey Girls, the ladies who tamed the Wild West with fine china, good pie, and exceptional service with complete propriety.

While Harvey Houses were built to serve the needs of the passengers on the rail to encourage tourism in the west, the railroad workers and local townsmen also dined at the restaurant, but usually at the lunch counter. At a time when men filled towns and women were scarce, inevitably, a railroad worker or townsman would express interest in marrying a Harvey Girl. In order to marry, she would need to fulfill her work contract or risk paying a fine of a month of salary. The fine was set in place to ensure that Fred Harvey would have enough workers and that he wouldn’t simply train a girl to have her shipped to a town of bachelors and leave him without a waitress.

As you can probably tell, such a set up sends an author’s head to spinning with all the romance that could come from a woman venturing out on her own in a land filled with cowboys, bandits, ranchers, and farmers. The possibilities for romance are endless! There is so much more I could write about these fascinating ladies and their contributions to society, but I hope you enjoyed this taste of history on the Harvey Girls!

Q: What are your publications? And what are you currently working on? 

Grace Hitchcock: After signing with The Steve Laube Agency in 2015, I sold three novellas to Barbour Publishing and then, in March 2019, I released my debut novel, The White City, from Barbour Publishing and signed for a second novel, The Gray Chamber.

My latest release, His Delightful Lady Delia, concludes my 3-book American Royalty series for Bethany House Publishers and hit the shelves in November 2022.

This spring, I signed with Kregel Publications for my first ever REGENCY series!!!! I am thrilled for this dream come true!

While I wait for its release, I’m keeping busy editing and writing book two in my Harvey Girls Aprons & Veils series, The Pursuit of Miss Parish.

The Pursuit of Miss Parish summary:

Love’s gentle promise becomes nothing more than a withered dream.

With dreams of love and a hope for belonging, shy Belle Parish leaves her position as a maid in Charleston to travel to New Mexico with her best friend to become mail-order brides. Colt Lawson’s letters hold great promise and while his devilishly handsome face matches his picture, something does not add up. Discovering his lie only moments before they wed, Belle flees the church and straight into the Castañeda Hotel Harvey House. Giving up the prospect on ever marrying, she dons her nun-like uniform and focuses on her role as a Harvey Girl waitress until a strong, former Texas Ranger rides into her life.

Colt Lawson didn’t want to send that letter to Belle Parish in the first place, but her first response had all but captured his heart. When he is left standing at the altar alone, he is left with two choices—either release his dream of a love marriage, or attempt to win her heart. Wooing her would be a lot easier if that Texas Ranger wasn’t back in town. Who wants a dusty rancher with a past when she could have a shining knight in a Stetson?

While you wait for The Pursuit of Miss Parish to release in Summer 2023, please be sure to check out book one in my brand-new Harvey Girl series set at the historical Hotel Castañeda, The Finding of Miss Fairfield, a tale about Charleston socialite who is on the run from an engagement of convenience.

Happy reading, friends!

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, March 12

Christina’s Corner, March 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 13

Genesis 5020, March 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 14

deb’s Book Review, March 14

Texas Book-aholic, March 15

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, March 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 16

Splashes of Joy, March 16 

Melissa’s Bookshelf, March 16

Vicky Sluiter, March 17

Cover Lover Book Review, March 17

Simple Harvest Reads, March 18 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

Books You Can Feel Good About, March 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 20

For Him and My Family, March 20

Blogging With Carol, March 21

Back Porch Reads, March 21

Artistic Nobody, March 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

EmpowerMoms, March 22

She Lives To Read, March 23

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, March 23

Pause for Tales, March 24

Holly’s Book Corner, March 24

Mary Hake, March 24

Lights in a Dark World, March 25

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 25

Giveaway

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

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/24b7a/the-finding-of-miss-fairfield-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, March 20, 2023

Where Treasure Lies by Amanda Tu (Suamalie Islands Book 1)


About the Book

Book: Where Treasure Lies

Author: Amanda Tru

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 28, 2023

Two stories…thirty years apart. Will solving the mystery of the past provide the key to the present?

Scott Connelly arrives in the Suamalie Islands determined to acquire property for his father and leave as soon as possible. But he doesn’t count on the animosity of the residents, the fascinating local legend of a sunken Spanish treasure ship, or the highly unavailable waitress who comes to his rescue. The fabled treasure promises to buy his freedom, but even seeking it may be a dangerous risk.

News of her father’s death precedes Tavia Connelly’s arrival in the Suamalie Islands. Despite the hatred of the island residents, Tavia’s determined to settle her father’s affairs and return immediately to assume her role as head of the family company. But her father’s wishes require her to find out what happened long ago, given only Scott’s mumbled clues, crazy rumors, and a centuries-old fable.

Tavia should be safe after all those years, but her presence attracts a lot of resentment, and the ghosts of Scott’s enemies may still lie in wait for someone to come searching for a treasure that may have never existed.

But what if it did?

Take a trip to the Suamalie Islands where palm trees sway, the sand and sea pulse with life, and the people will steal your heart.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

This is book one of a series that has four books so far, and will have nine total.  The series will have different authors, but the same setting. For a series opener, this book did a good job. The setting is the Suamalie Islands. Sure, we have some fictional places and so on, but over all the world building there was fantastic. Here we have a dual time line, with a rich story and a new desperate need for warm days and a beach under my feet. Tavia is a good character. I about cried when she was dealing with her father's affairs aka his estate because I know how that feels. Diving in this book was fantastic. I have years of fish raising experience and a love of ocean life, so I can tell you I liked what the author did there. 

Then there's the mystery of where did the treasure go? What IS your treasure? What can you really take with you when you leave this world? What treasures do you need or want, what matters while you are here? 

I loved the theme, the ebb and flow, and pretty much everything about this story. I appreciated the mystery and I am looking forward to seeing what the next author does for this series. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Amanda Tru is a best-selling author of over thirty Christian fiction books. She writes page-turning fiction to inspire real-life stories. In her own real story, she sheds her super-hero writing cape to be mommy to four kids in a small Idaho town.

 

More from Amanda

I love to mix truth with fiction. Sometimes I use my own experiences as inspiration for my stories, sometimes I use actual events, and sometimes I do both! When I started writing Where Treasure Lies, I wanted to anchor my fiction in truth. We’ve all read stories that featured a rather cheesy treasure hunt, and I wanted more than that. Besides the subject, the format of a dual time story made it even more difficult. However, a book isn’t worth writing if it isn’t a challenge.

What I found in my research thrilled me, driving my imagination to create a story even better than I thought possible. We’re all familiar with the fantastic tales of treasure ships in the Caribbean. But the story I wanted to tell was set on the fictional Suamalie Islands located a bit farther away—the Pacific. Was it even possible that a Spanish treasure ship could be in that area?

My initial research was discouraging. After all, the main age when Spanish galleons sailed the seas was from 1565 to 1815. The Suamalie Islands were supposedly not discovered until the early 1800s. And they were discovered by a French explorer, which didn’t quite fit my Spanish treasure ship idea. But the more research I did, the more it fascinated me. Starting in the late 1500s, Spain did run treasure ships to the Caribbean, but they also ran them the other direction, seeking the treasures of the New World from the western coast of the continents. Typically, they would set out from Manila in the Philippines, transporting spices, porcelain, and silk to Acapulco where they would trade them for New World silve, gold, gems, and other treasures. They would often make land in Oregon or California before following the coast south. Then they would turn around with their new load and take the treasure back to Manilla and then mainland Spain.

The exact trade route was kept secret. After all, if it were known, the treasure ships would be prime targets for pirates. To this day, the route of the Manilla galleons isn’t known. However, it is estimated that at least 30 Manilla galleons were wrecked, and not all of them have been found. There are even rumors that one of them was shipwrecked off the coast of Oregon!

With that information, I knew it was possible that one of these mysterious Spanish treasure ships could have passed by the fictional Suamalie Islands, even before it was officially discovered. And it would have been kept hush hush because of the secrecy of the trade route. And if one was passing by the island of Oli Oli when there happened to be a big storm… And if residents of the island of Oli Oli told a local legend about such a ship (similar to what is told today even in Oregon)… And if certain characters came to the island and heard the tale… Maybe, just maybe, they would go searching. Whether or not they found a treasure, that search could be a story. And if two different people were searching for the same treasure thirty years apart, maybe readers would want to go on the search with them!

I won’t reveal any spoilers. I won’t say if a Manilla galleon is found, or if four hundred years later such a ship would still contain treasure. However, I hope you will still find treasure as you read this book. In 2023, finding a wonderful story, filled with mystery, romance, and adventure with a few deeper truths mixed in is a wonderful treasure indeed.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Texas Book-aholic, March 10

Sara Beth Williams, March 10

deb’s Book Review, March 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Stories By Gina, March 13 (Author Interview

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 13

Sylvan Musings, March 14

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 14

Aryn the Libraryan, March 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 17

She Lives To Read, March 18

For Him and My Family, March 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 19

Blogging With Carol, March 20

lakesidelivingsite, March 21

Mary Hake, March 21

Simple Harvest Reads, March 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Amanda 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/24b77/where-treasure-lies-celebration-tour-giveaway