Monday, May 3, 2021

The Sword and the Secrets by Jan Davis Warren

Sword and Secrets

About the Book

Book:  The Sword and the Secrets

Author: Jan Davis Warren

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: April 20, 2021

TheSwordandtheSecretsWhen Julianna’s final mission proves more deadly than she imagined, help comes from the most unlikely of places. 

Raised in a castle on the remote border of England and Scotland, Lord John Stanton is the last male heir of his royal lineage. He has the responsibility to marry and carry on the family name, but a secret vow to God, after a near-fatal battle wound, could change his future from royal heir to humble servant of the church. His journey to the monastery to become a monk is interrupted when he meets a dangerous, but beautiful, woman who has plans and secrets of her own.

Abandoned by her father and raised in an institution as property of the Crown, Julianna Westerfield longs to be free to pursue love and have a family of her own. Trained to be a spy and assassin, she has a chance to earn her freedom by completing this last and most dangerous assignment. Her mission to uncover a murderous plot and the identities of the Black Guard has already cost several agents their lives, and now the assassins are after her. To survive she must depend on a handsome monk and his cantankerous donkey.

Was it divine intervention that caused John and Julianna’s paths to cross? Can they put aside their differences and join forces to deliver stolen papers containing vital information to the king in time to save countless lives?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

Book two of a series, and I would highly recommend reading book one, The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline, first. You can read this one alone, but you would miss so much I can't stand for you to miss. John is the son from that story so it continues on in this book.  this installment we find more adventure, drama, action, romance, deep thinking, faith, and an awesome story. Oh, but please note; as with book one, you should think of this as more Steampunk, or Victorian. It's has pitfalls that don't fit into a Medieval story, unless we are in a parallel Earth or another time frame. While they stand out to me as out of place, it's okay to give this a pass because the book is so very good!  

John is a fantastic example of being pretty sure you're doing what God wants you to, but you're doing it the wrong way. He's convinced that he's supposed to be a Monk, which, would excluded a relationship with Julianna. What if God's plans are not quite what he thought? Can they find the person who's guilty of murder and bring them to justice? Will they have a happily every after? What will God do in their lives and will we loose sleep as we stay up reading this story?

5 Stars


About the Author 

Jan Davis Warren photoJan Davis Warren is a mother, grandmother, and a young-at-heart great-grandmother. Her wonderful husband passed away the same year she won the ACFW Genesis Award for Romantic Suspense. That win and many others are encouraging reminders that God wants her to continue writing even in the tough times. Learn more at www.janwarrenbooks.com.

 

More from Jan

The Sword and the Secrets is a Historical Romantic Suspense. It is written as a Medieval Christian fiction story set in England around 1209. I chose to keep the historical details to a minimum because of the inconsistency I found in researching this particular time and place. I humbly apologize to you lovers of more in-depth historical facts. I would’ve loved to have traveled to England for more hands-on research but the pandemic made that impossible.

I live in a once-rural area in Oklahoma. Urban development is fast encroaching transforming peaceful pastures into busy neighborhoods. I know it’s called “progress”, but I miss knowing all of my neighbors by name. In the good-old-days, my husband and I loved raising our children here on the farm. As a family, we had all kinds of poultry and livestock, so I can’t resist including a variety of animals in my stories from time to time.

Rosita and her daughter, Daisy, were two of our favorite donkeys on the farm. I’ll never forget when Daisy was born. I think her ears were almost long as her legs. Speaking of donkeys, did you ever hear the story about how the donkey got its cross? I included it in the book.

Precious is the name of the donkey in The Sword and the Secrets. Her mother was killed when she was but a few days old, and she was raised by an old woman who took her into her home and treated with the care and affection of the child she never had. Needless to say, Precious is smart and creative when it comes to getting her way. When her elderly master is about to die, the woman is directed by God to entrust Precious into Lord John Stanton’s care.

For the war-weary hero of this story, Lord John Stanton’s secret battlefield vow to serve God and the Church became more complicated when he was charged with the responsibility of caring for the contrary donkey. His intent to walk to London to join a monastery was supposed to be peaceful and most of all, solitary. It wasn’t until after John accepted the animal that he found out that the donkey’s elderly master had taught Precious not to budge unless first called by name. It was to keep her from being stolen, which served her well. But the name sticks in the hero’s throat every time he must submit to calling her Precious to make her move.

John’s plans also never included protecting a beautiful spy with secrets of her own.

The heroine, Julianna Westerfield was a fun surprise to me. As the story took shape in my mind, I thought the hero would meet the heroine by coming to her aid against brigands. Perhaps she was a princess fleeing her wicked guardian, etc. That however was not the way the story unfolded. As I came to Julianna’s part, I realized she had a colorful past of her own.

I love it when the story develops into something I never expected. 

The beautiful heroine of The Sword and the Secrets, Julianna Westerfield is not the princess I first envisioned but an indentured servant. She was abandoned as a child at the Grandfork Institute for Higher Learning. It is an institution run jointly by the Crown and the Church for the sole purpose of training spies and assassins to do their bidding.

I hope you’ll join John and Julianna (and Precious) on their quests and perchance uncover their deepest secrets.

May God bless and keep you and draw you ever closer to Him.

Blessings!

Jan Davis Warren

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 20

Connect in Fiction, April 20

Texas Book-aholic, April 21

Inklings and notions, April 22

For Him and My Family, April 23

deb’s Book Review, April 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 26

Connie’s History Classroom, April 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 30

Romances of the Cross, April 30

CarpeDiem, May 1

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, May 2

Mary Hake, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/10ad1/the-sword-and-the-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Secret Place by Camille Eide

 

The Secret Place

About the Book

Book:  The Secret Place

Author: Camille Eide

Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction/romance

Release date: April 15, 2021

The Secret Place (1)How far can love bend before it breaks?

Josie Norris became an instant mommy when her twin sister Nadine handed over her newborn son and vanished. What Josie saw as a temporary arrangement grew into a mother-son bond too deep to uproot. But with her irrational sister threatening to steal him back, Josie has been living the last few years with Kennedy in hiding, afraid to go home.

When Aunt Libby—the only person who knows the truth about Kennedy—suffers a traumatic head injury, Josie rushes to her McKenzie River home to help Gram care for the woman who raised her. But not only is Libby’s injury causing family secrets to spill, it’s forcing Josie to see the women in her life in a new light.

Will—a ranger who Kennedy adores and who Josie is determined not to—is desperate to help the woman who has stolen his affections. But can Josie ever truly be authentic with the man she loves? With her son’s fate hanging in the balance, she is faced with the choice to risk everything she loves in order to bridge the most impossible gulfs.

In this story of mothers, daughters, and sisters, Josie must find the grace to forgive people for not being who she needed them to be…and the courage to surrender her fears to the God who has never once left her side.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

What a story! Abandoned twins, raised by their grandmother. That alone was enough to make me concerned for these girls. These girls have deep hurts from their upbringing, and are dealing with it in different ways. Some heavy things have happened in their lives, and they are trying to heal. Josie and Nadine have steps to take to find healing and forgiveness, and to find each other again. I liked the girls, and I loved Aunt Libby and Gram. I miss my own Grandmother. This book is surprisingly deep. Forgiveness, healing, and family are deeply woven into this story, as well as redemption and healing. 

4 Stars 

About the Author 

Camille EideCamille Eide (EYE-dee) is the award-winning author of poignant, inspirational love stories including The Memoir of Johnny Devine. Camille lives in Oregon with her husband and has three adult kids and five grandkids. She loves baking, muscle cars, and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She also loves the liberating truth and wisdom of God’s word, and hopes that her stories will stir your heart, strengthen your faith, and encourage you on your journey.

 

More from Camille

Secrets That Won’t Stay Hidden

Josie, the heroine in The Secret Place, faces more than one dilemma as a result of imperfect confidantes and their unkept secrets. So what inspired this story?

Many years ago, my late father-in-law suffered a traumatic brain injury and was life-flighted to a hospital 150 miles away. Family members gathered and were told to prepare for the possibility that he wouldn’t last the night. In an answer to many prayers, he made it through the night, but was in a coma, and no one knew what his future held or what long term effects his injuries would have.

His recovery was long, strange, and uncertain. In the first two weeks, he went from unconscious to incoherent to muttering. Then he progressed to forming real words, but what he said made no sense.

As his communication began to improve, his speech turned into an ongoing narrative. He talked about events and people and things long ago—including things we hadn’t heard before, things that confused and surprised family members young and old. We realized that these revelations were not simply a product of his addled brain, but in fact true. To our dismay, his social filters and verbal etiquette were gone, which made his kids and grandkids more than a little nervous. What kinds of memories and expressions would we hear from this beloved man of faith whom we all suspected had been a bit of a rascal as a youth?

To everyone’s relief, though my father-in-law said peculiar things and told us stories no one knew about, he didn’t have any shocking skeletons in his closet, and after eight weeks, he was pretty much back to his sensible, knowing self. But the fact that his private thoughts and potential secrets had at one point been so completely exposed sparked some intriguing “what if” questions in this writer’s mind:

  • What if you lost the ability to keep your private thoughts and secrets safe?
  • How might your life change if your secrets or some hidden past were exposed?
  • What if the person to whom you’ve entrusted a most crucial secret suddenly couldn’t?

The book’s title refers to several kinds of secret place. I look forward to hearing how many secret places readers can find in this story.

-Camille

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 27

Genesis 5020, April 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, April 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 30

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 30

deb’s Book Review, May 1

For Him and My Family, May 2

Blogging With Carol, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 4

Mary Hake, May 4

Texas Book-aholic, May 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 6

By The Book, May 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 8

Pause for Tales, May 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 9

The Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, May 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Camille is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon card & a signed 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/10b28/the-secret-place-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham

 

Hope Between Pages

About the Book

Book:  Hope Between the Pages

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: April, 2021

9781643528267Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

This split time frame book, is spectacular. It's not just the Blue Ridge Mountains, or the bookshop, it's everything. This book is indeed, filled with hope. It didn't waver on faith. It didn't fall short of romance, or characters to love. I have been to Biltmore, so having the library there as a setting in 1915, was such perfect thing for me. The 100 year old mystery, just wonderful! Sadie and Oliver, they are just amazing and Clara and Max were nice too. 

This book is steeped in romance, but not the kind that I don't like. It's clean, and it's endearing. It has a pull that tugs on you past the last pages. I don't think my review can do this book justice, you just have to read it. I think a hardcopy might have to grace my bookshelves soon. 

5 Stars 

About the Author 

PepperBashamPepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

 

More from Pepper

Books are a uniquely portable magic – Stephen King

Appalachia is known for having a high illiteracy rate. A place of beautiful scenery and rugged landscapes, the people of the mountains developed stories through oral storytelling much more than “book learning”.  As a young girl growing up in this world, I loved hearing my granny share tales from up to five generations ago, filling in the narrative gaps between a birth date and a death date on a tombstone – giving flesh and breath to the stone-etched names.

It’s no surprise then, with a heart cultivated from rich oral stories, I fell in love with reading. Books became that “portable magic” that took me places my little Appalachian community couldn’t provide. I fell in love with the Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew. Wept through the end of Bridge to Terabithia and Old Yeller. Traveled to the plains with Sarah Plain and Tall and fell in love with horses with The Black Stallion. But when I was in seventh grade, I read my very first “British” novel, The Secret Garden. In that one introduction, my world expanded into mysterious English manor houses and British classics. Before long, I’d consumed Jane Eyre, Austen’s classics, some Dickens, Dracula, Frankenstein…and the list goes on! And then…I found Tolkien and Lewis – and the ‘real’ world swelled into OTHER worlds.

I’m grateful for true stories of book-loving pioneers traveling into the world of Appalachia to provide books and literacy training to “my people”, because I know some of those books made their way to my tiny elementary school library…and not only brought me the chance to discover stories, but to write them too!

Isn’t it amazing how books can do that?

In Hope Between the Pages, I wanted to bring the same awe and discovery I felt as a child (and continue to feel as an adult reader) to the story of two people whose words had seemed small. Stories stretched their worlds, but the stories also gave them wonderful imaginations and positive perspectives. It’s still amazing to me that ink-and-paper words can make such a lasting impact on hearts and minds. They can lead us to dream, teach us new things, encourage our hearts, help us to think outside the box, swell our imaginations, broaden our horizons, and encourage our hope.

Books are not a replacement for real adventures and relationships, but they certainly provide a beautiful “door” into other lives and worlds that we may never have a chance to experience in real life. Sadie, my historical heroine, and Clara, my contemporary heroine, both have kept close to home but traveled greatly through books…and BOTH are given the opportunity to reach beyond the bindings to discover real-life adventures. I’d like to think that their love for stories helped them have the courage to step away from the page and into their own tales even more prepared than they would have been without stories.

What are some of your favorite books you read as a child? Did any of them influence you to become a more avid reader?

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 24

Worthy2Read, April 24

Texas Book-aholic, April 25

Reviewingbooksplusmore, April 25

Christian Bookaholic, April 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 25

She Lives To Read, April 26

Books and Everyday Life, April 26

For the Love of Literature, April 26

For Him and My Family, April 26

Wishful Endings, April 27

Bigreadersite, April 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 27

deb’s Book Review, April 27

Inklings and notions, April 28

Connect in Fiction, April 28

Writing from the Heart Land, April 28

Blogging With Carol, April 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 29

Life of Literature, April 29

Pick a good book, April 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 30

Betti Mace, April 30

Kathleen’s Blog, April 30

lakesidelivingsite, May 1

Connie’s History Classroom, May 1

Fiction Book Lover, May 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 2

Godly Book Reviews, May 2

Mary Hake, May 2

Older & Smarter?, May 3

Genesis 5020, May 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 4

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads , May 4

Blossoms and Blessings, May 4

sodbusterLiving, May 4

Splashes of Joy, May 5

Where Faith and Books Meet , May 5

Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Through the Fire Blogs, May 5

Pause for Tales, May 6

To Everything There Is A Season, May 6

Remembrancy, May 6

Lights in a Dark World, May 6

Live.Love.Read., May 7

Karen Sue Hadley, May 7

Amanda Tero, blog, May 7

The Write Escape, May 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper 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/10b27/hope-between-the-pages-celebration-tour-giveaway