Tuesday, June 4, 2024

When Hope Sank by Denise Weimer (April 27, 1865 - Day to Remember, 3)

About the Book

Book: When Hope Sank

Author: Denise Weimer

Genre: Christian / Historical / Romance

Release date: May, 2024

Can Hope Resurface After Evil Tries to Drown It?

Introducing a series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic American disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

The Civil War has taken everything from Lily Livingston—her parents, her twin brother, her home. Now she works at her uncle’s inn and keeps her head down. Speaking up for her beliefs proved too costly in a part of Arkansas split by conflicting loyalties and overrun by spies and bushwhackers.

Emaciated in body but resilient in spirit, Lieutenant Cade Palmer is crowded onto the Sultana with other paroled Andersonville and Cahaba POWs for the journey north. But a fiery explosion on April 27, 1865, rends the steamer and empties two thousand men into the frigid Mississippi River.

Recovering from wounds that might end his career as a surgeon but clinging to his faith, Cade threatens both Lily’s defenses and her heart. How can she tell him she might’ve prevented the tragedy if only she’d reported a suspected saboteur’s claims? And when the man returns to town and encoded messages pass through the hotel, will Lily follow her convictions to prevent another tragedy?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

The history just poured into this well-crafted tale.  It's history-based and the author did a fantastic job. Let me make this part clear, this isn't about the famous "unsinkable" ship. This is a different ship. More ships weren't supposed to be able to sink than people were aware of existed. I appreciate this author focusing on one of the lesser-known ones. In the wake of lives being lost and huge calamities happening, hope will sink or faith will rise and float. I found the characters to be strong and the story very good. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. A former magazine writer, Denise authored romantic novella Redeeming Grace, as well as The Georgia Gold Series (Sautee ShadowsThe Gray DivideThe Crimson Bloom, and Bright as Gold, winner of the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for outstanding Southern literature) and The Restoration Trilogy (White, Widow and Witch) with Canterbury House Publishing. A wife and swim mom of two daughters, Denise always pauses for old houses, coffee and chocolate, and to write any story the Lord lays on her heart.

More from Denise

The first novel I ever wrote was set during the Civil War, inspired by travels to historic sites of the Southeast with my parents and scribbled in my eleven-year-old hand in spiral-bound notebooks. Fresh out of college with my new degree in journalism with a minor in history on my shelf, I narrowly missed signing a contract for another Civil War series. Fast forward another decade or so. I was a young mom writing for magazines and directing a volunteer 1800s dance group when my Georgia Gold Series, literary-style historical fiction set between the Cherokee Removal and Reconstruction, found a home with Canterbury House Publishing. Since then, I’ve written everything from Hallmark-style contemporaries to Rev War romances (including my current Scouts of the Georgia Frontier Series with Wild Heart Books, where I also work as an editor). Everything but Civil War-era stories … until this one.

It feels a lot like coming home.

Some of that also has to do with the fact that I love writing stories that illustrate how God can bring healing and redemption out of the most difficult circumstances. I also endeavor to work as much real history as possible into the plots of my novels. And I love finding a little-known aspect of the past to center a story upon. When Hope Sankembodies all those things.

Reeling from the loss of over 600,000 men in the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln just the week prior, the nation hardly noticed when a steamer carrying a couple thousand U.S. prisoners of war exploded in the Mississippi River on April 27, 1865. Over eleven hundred perished in the icy waters that swelled several miles past the normal embankments at flood stage, making the sinking of the Sultanathe most crippling maritime disaster in the nation’s history.

The former POWs on their way to muster out at Camp Chase, Ohio, were already emaciated and ill from imprisonment at infamous Andersonville and Cahaba prison camps. A number were badly burned when the boilers exploded, and many did not know how to swim. You can imagine the scene that ensued. While the steamboats docked at Memphis—which had been under Union occupation since the summer of 1862—got up steam, local citizens hurried to help, even those on the Arkansas shore who had fought for the Confederacy. The towns of Hopefield, Marion, and Mound City had suffered harsh reprisals for harboring Confederate guerillas. The area was well-known as a hotbed of spies and saboteurs intent on disrupting Union shipping on the Mississippi.

From this cauldron of chaos, discontent, and pain, an emotionally rich story was born. Focused on survival for herself and her little brother, Lily works at her uncle’s inn and keeps her Union sympathies to herself in her family of Southern sympathizers. The Yankee lieutenant she pulls from the river needs emotional healing even more than physical, though his wounds may compromise his ability to practice as a surgeon. The bond that forms between them from their shared faith and allegiances makes Lily question if she might have another option besides marrying her childhood sweetheart, a former partisan. And when coded message pass through River’s Rest, Lily struggles to find the courage to do what she didn’t the first time—speak out to save lives.

While the sinking of the Sultana may be the inciting event in When Hope Sank, it’s not the main focus. The reactions of the characters in the aftermath are. In our lives as followers of Christ, isn’t that where the real focus should lie? How we respond to tragedy? How we learn to reach for God instead of blaming Him? How, when we walk with Him, He brings beauty out of our ashes? It’s my prayer that the message of When Hope Sank settles deep in your heart.

 Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 28

Bizwings Book Blog, May 29

Life on Chickadee Lane, May 29

Alena Mentink, May 30

Lighthouse Academy Blog, May 30 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Betti Mace, May 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, June 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2

Book Looks by Lisa, June 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 3

Life, Love, Writing, June 4

Blogging With Carol, June 4

The Lofty Pages, June 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 6

Blossoms and Blessings, June 6

Stories By Gina, June 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 7

Cover Lover Book Review, June 8

Connie’s History Classroom, June 8

Holly’s Book Corner, June 9

An Author’s Take, June 9

Pause for Tales, June 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon e-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/2bbf4/when-hope-sank-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, June 3, 2024

Girl from the Hidden Forest by Hannah Linder

 

About the Book

Book: Girl from the Hidden Forest

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Regency Romance

Release date: May, 2024

The nightmares may free her…but destroy the man she loves.

Enjoy another Gothic Style Regency from Hannah Linder.

Eliza Ellis has stayed hidden in Balfour Forest for as long as she can remember. Perhaps her only friends are the trees, or her little dog, or her story-telling father called Captain. But at least she is safe from the cruel world outside, a world Captain has warned her against and protected her from.

That is, until a handsome stranger named Felton Northwood invades her quiet forest and steals her away. Why does he tell such lies? Why does he insist that her name is Miss Eliza Gillingham, daughter of a viscount, who disappeared fourteen years ago after the murder of her own mother? A murder Eliza is said to have witnessed.

When Felton returns Eliza to Monbury Manor and reunites her with a man who is told to be her father, all she remembers are the strange nightmares that have plagued her since childhood. Why have they suddenly grown worse? Are the answers hidden inside her own mind?

As danger mounts and lethal attempts are made on her life, Eliza and Felton must work together to uncover the identity of a killer who has stayed silent for fourteen years. When she finally uncovers the horrendous memories trapped in her mind, will divulging the truth cost her the man she loves—and both of their lives?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

This book has a lot of descriptive details, which make it intriguing. There's a very tumultuous relationship happening here with Eliza and Felton. What is up with this guy? Why does he keep lying and yet he's the man who has kidnapped her and rocked her entire world. I love, I mean LOVE the gothic elements. It's so classic and timeless. Eliza was sheltered, just her dad and her dog, her woods, and her "elements" if you will. Felton's kidnapping of her is crazy and yet, it's everything. It's romantic, gothic, and yet it's also Christian and readers need not fear exposure to things you don't want to think about, but more than there's a lot of plotting and things afoot. It's well-written and I found it to be quite a page-turner. I'm so excited to read it, and I can't wait for more like this from this author. I'm completely hooked. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels filled with passion, secrets, and danger. She is a four-time Selah Award winner, a 2023 Carol Award semi-finalist, a 2023 Angel Book Award third place winner, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Also, Hannah is an international and multi-award-winning graphic designer who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestsellers. She is also a self-portrait photographer of historical fashion. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, ukulele, and banjolele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, square dancing, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse.

More from Hannah

Everyone has been asking me for years: “Can you see yourself in any of your characters?” I guess I’m in everything, interwoven in all of the sentences. Pieces of me are scattered in the settings. Traits and quirks and secret thoughts are dispersed into the minds and souls of my characters.But I always felt the need to say no. I don’t see myself in my characters.

Perhaps because, in the past, so many of my heroines have been so different than me. Ella Pemberton (Beneath His Silence)—outlandish and stubborn and daring, apt to speak her mind, bold in her manner and flawless in her dance. Nan Duncan (When Tomorrow Came)—injured and worrisome, voice like an angel, childishly sweet, yet too eager to please. Isabella Gresham (Garden of the Midnights)—spoiled and excitable, with raven black hair and an art for entering social circles with impeccable grace and exquisiteness.

I love them, sweet characters of mine.

But I don’t understand them. We’re too different. Like sand and sea, we meet, we touch, we sweep back and forth together but we’re of different substance.

But Eliza Ellis—rather, Eliza Gillingham—is the first character I truly resonate with. Not on purpose. In no wise did I pen her with conscious hints back to myself. But as the story progressed, I found my heart reaching out to her, settling into her.

Because she was the same.

The way she thought, the things she imagined, her forest and her pet and her stories. I comprehended what made her hurt. I understood the dream world she lived in, because I live in a dream world too.

So, if anyone asks me, “Do you see yourself in any of your characters?”, I’ll pull The Girl from the Hidden Forest from the bookshelf and hand it to them. I’ll tell them Eliza and I are like kindred spirits, that we’ve bridged a friendship between reality and fiction.

Whether you’re a reader or a writer, I hope you stumble upon a character one day that feels like you. It’s a strange and special feeling indeed.

Blog Stops

Devoted To Hope, May 30

Inspired by Fiction, May 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 31

Sylvan Musings, May 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 1

Texas Book-aholic, June 2

Mornings at Character Cafe, June 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 3

Blogging With Carol, June 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 4

Betti Mace, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 5

Alena Mentink, June 6

Splashes of Joy, June 6

Stories By Gina, June 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 8

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, June 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 9

Cover Lover Book Review, June 9

Book Looks by Lisa, June 10

The Lofty Pages, June 10

Holly’s Book Corner, June 11

Pause for Tales, June 11

Lily’s Corner, June 12

To Everything There Is A Season, June 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Hannah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a 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/2bbf6/the-girl-from-the-hidden-forest-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, May 31, 2024

Chromatic by Ashley Bustamante (Color Theory Book 3)

 

About the Book

Book: Chromatic

Author: Ashley Bustamante

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: May 7, 2024

Light is Found in Every Hue 

Magus is dying from the inside out, and only the destruction of the barrier can save it. Even color magic can’t defend against earthquakes, strange weather patterns, and erratic wildlife behavior.

After discovering hundreds of captive Yellow magic-users, Ava and Elm fight to set them free. However, new dangers and unexpected enemies await at every turn, forcing them to face their greatest challenges yet. The calamities inside the barrier slowly manifest in the outside world as well, pulling citizens from both sides of the battle into the fray. In this new war, they may not all make it out alive.

Elm and Ava must confront the growing darkness and create a future in a world that has been all but stripped of hope. Can Magus be restored, or is it already too late?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

Here's book three of this series and it's fantastic! It is the perfect follow-up and ending to the series. It's the right blend of heavy and beautiful and light too. All the loose ends were wrapped up and it's all colorful. I loved the characters even more and this final book in this series left me feeling colorful and happy. 

5 Stars

About the Author

Ashley Bustamante has created stories from the moment she could scribble and staple sheets of paper together. She simply cannot recall a time when writing was not a force in her life. When not running through lines of dialogue in her mind, she enjoys taking photographs and spending time with her husband, three children, and any furry, feathered, or scaly creature she can find. She currently works at Arizona State University.

 

 

 

More from Ashley

Sitting down to write the final installment of the Color Theory series was an emotional experience. I wanted to do well by my readers and do well by God. And of course, I wanted to stay true to the story I set out to write in the beginning.

One of the difficult things about writing this book is that I knew the characters were going to have to face higher stakes and deeper pain than ever before. Given the situation they are in, it had to be that way. But, in spite of what Ava, Elm, and crew will face in Chromatic, this is ultimately a story of hope and triumph.

As I’ve watched the struggles of the world right now and seen what so many readers are going through, I knew I wanted to tell a tale of perseverance. No matter how bleak our circumstances may be, we can still find the light.

I hope you enjoy Chromatic!

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 23

Artistic Nobody, May 24 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, May 24

Texas Book-aholic, May 25

Through the Fire Blogs, May 26 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 28

Blossoms and Blessings, May 29 (Author Interview)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 30

Blogging With Carol, May 31

Beauty in the Binding, June 1 (Author Interview)

Min Reads and Reviews, June 1

Labor Not in Vain, June 2

Guild Master, June 3 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, June 4 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Vicky Sluiter, June 5 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ashley is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a hardcover 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/2b9d4/chromatic-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Weaving Roots Epic Book Launch


Weaving Roots Epic Book Launch

 

About the Book

Book Title: Weaving Roots

Author Name: Heather Wood

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction with Romance

Release Date: June 25, 2024

Baltimore, 1828

Spinning. Turning flax to fine linen thread for her family’s weaving business keeps Betha’s hands occupied all day, but it’s the concerns spinning in her heart that never truly rest. How can she give her nephew Henry a secure, loving home when his father remains indifferent? How can she guide the boy who calls her “Ma” to know and follow the Lord for himself? And when past secrets and future changes collide, will she lose Henry altogether?

Colm Gallagher is passionate about teaching boys using innovative educational methods. But is his kind and thorough instruction enough if he is not allowed to give his students the ultimate truth of God’s Word? Confronted by his student Henry Young and the boy’s lovely but determined aunt, Colm considers if he has allowed practical considerations to outweigh his deepest-held beliefs.

Even as Betha and Colm are drawn to each other, family loyalties, financial pressures, and personal uncertainties push them further apart. Will the threads of their lives unravel or become knit together into something stronger?

Weaving linen is her family’s legacy. Weaving roots of truth and grace is her calling.


Book Excerpt

She noted with satisfaction that the information seemed to have pleased Colm, for he almost smiled. He stood blinking at her before Betha realized that she hadn’t answered his actual question and he was still wait­ing.

“Yes, of course. We can do the evaluation now.”

Betha wandered around the schoolroom to give them space while Colm pulled out his books and gestured for Henry to take a seat. Stopping by the window, she took in the view of church steeples and government buildings, the steady, articulated cadence of Colm’s low voice wafting through the room as he quizzed Henry.

Somewhere out in Fell’s Point, their neighborhood surrounding Balti­more’s wharves, Seamus was looking for a flax supplier. Betha re­moved her bonnet from her black hair, breathing out a prayer that she and Henry would return home to good news and she could get the spinning wheel going sooner rather than later. Seamus hadn’t seemed at all con­cerned about suppliers when he packed up his loom in New York.

“Baltimore is just as close to the Delaware Valley as New York is, Betha. It shouldn’t affect our supply at all. Besides, Baltimore is half as big as New York and growing. It’s the perfect place and time to establish our name.”

 

 

 

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About the Author

Heather Wood grew up in the Chicago suburbs, loving history, classic literature, writing stories, and Civil War reenacting. After obtaining her bachelor's degree in Bible/Theology from Appalachian Bible College, she settled in Virginia with her husband David. Her early passions fuel her writing today, although she spends most of her days now working to infuse her love for God and good literature into the hearts of her four children.