Friday, February 26, 2021

Dance With Me by A. M. Heath (Art of Love #1)

 

About the Book

Book:  Dance with Me

Author: A.M. Heath

Genre: Christian Historical Romance (1960s)

Release date: April 2019

Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible.
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

What a lovely, lovely read! In this historical fiction, you get dancing, you get faith! Temptation, competition, God's plan for lives unfolding on the pages. I have done a little dancing and this book writes it so well. It's not set that far back in time, just the 50's so if you grew up with older grandparents this is just set in their time. Arleen and Neil, their story, the secrets that come out, and their really awesome romance create a full range of emotions and they feel like they could be family. This book also does an excellent job covering some big topics with wonderful care. I could say this book has waltzed its way right into my heart. 

5 Big Stars

 About the Author 

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

 

More from A.M. Heath

Breathing Life Into A Novel

One of the common remarks I get from my readers is how they felt like they had been transported into the story. The characters felt like real people and the setting felt authentic. And that’s always a blessing to hear as an author!

But the question is how do I do it?

Well, I’ll let the cat out of the bag. Since I’m not big on heavy descriptions, I allow other features to weigh in and help create the setting. In a nutshell, “I’m just keeping it real” (as we used to say in the 90s). And there are 3 areas to focus in on, especially when working with a historical novel:

Common objects or daily habits

Names

Slang

 

Common Objects: 

It’s all about those minor details. The everyday objects or habits that a character might have that will help create the setting and bring authenticity to it.

Here are a few items found in the 1950s that aren’t as common today: 

Two-toned painted vehicles

Phones attached to the wall, with a cord, and a rotary dial

Jukeboxes

Soda shops

Records

Pull tab canned drinks

Clothes lines and ironing boards

 

Names:

I use the U.S. census to preview the top 1000 baby names in any given year starting in 1880. But I also make note when I run across a name that sounds modern but is found in a real historical document.

While I’m writing, I create a name bank so I have era approved names on hand to use for my secondary characters.

Here’s a preview of a name bank for characters set in the 1950s:

 

Female:

Jan

Tabitha

Mabel

Judy

Paula

Rita

 

Male: 

Dennis

Gary

Marvin

Earl

Barry

Rodney

 

Slang: 

I must admit, the slang is my absolute favorite. I browse slang for each era through online searches and history books. But my favorite place to collect phrases is directly from the source. Anytime I’m watching an old movie or TV show, I jot down phrases I heard and the year it was filmed. It doesn’t get anymore authentic than hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth.

While I’m writing, I’ll preview my list and create a smaller word bank of phrases that my characters are most likely to use, so I can remember to weave them into the story.

 

Here’s a look at some of the fun phrases: 

Say, (use at the start of your sentence)

Call dibs

Don’t have a cow

Flick (movie)

Cool it

Righto

No sweat

Cloud 9

Teed off or sore (mad)

Burn rubber

Get bent

Dullsville

Dig it

Fellas

Doll

Gee

Neat

Swell

 

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into the 1950s. Dance With Me was a real neat novel to write. It’s set in 1959, so there’s a strong greaser vibe throughout the story. Believe me, I was on cloud 9 the entire time. 

Now it’s your turn! Do you have a favorite era in history to read about?

Which one of these swell phrases will you dust off and use in normal conversation today? Lol You should definitely surprise someone with it, then tell me about it. It’s a load of fun. My kids get sore at me all the time for using “lame” phrases, but I must say that they have a wide lingo vocabulary whether they wanted it or not.

Happy Reading!

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, February 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Texas Book-aholic, February 14

deb’s Book Review, February 15

Connie’s History Classroom, February 16

Labor Not in Vain, February 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 18

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 20

Inklings and notions, February 21

For Him and My Family, February 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 24

Blossoms and Blessings, February 25

Rachael’s Inkwell, February 25

Blogging With Carol, February 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, A.M. is giving away the grand prize package of a multi-artist CD 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/10747/dance-with-me-celebration-tour-giveaway


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Delia and the Drifter by Melody Carlson (Westward to Home Book 1)

 

About the Book

Book:  Delia and the Drifter

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Historical Romance (Western)

Release date: February 15, 2021

An arranged marriage to save the family from ruin?

Delia Blackstone knows what her mother is up to—she intends to marry her off to an older man who is all fortune and no future. And Delia’s having none of it.

When a mysterious visitor appears on the family doorstep and offers an opportunity for Delia to travel from Pennsylvania to Colorado, Delia knows it is time for her to strike out on her own and discover a new life. Along the way she encounters a handsome drifter who captures her heart. But is he interested in trading his exciting life of adventure for love?

Two murders, a missing will, and a number of puzzling relationships are enough to unsettle anyone—even smart, capable Delia. Who can she trust? And can she trust her heart in matters of love?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

Sometimes I lean toward historical fiction. This book wasn't an exception. Delia has such a story! One of the few to finish a university, especially as a woman, she's home at the ripe "old" age of twenty-one. However, her entire life is about to change and go in directions she hadn't foreseen. Meeting and falling for Wyatt wasn't in that plan, or was it? She has to escape what was about to happen to her, but is this God's plan? What about these murders? Her faith and the plans God has for her life are really undergoing some major challenges. 

I did suspect the killer, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Delia is a wonderful character and Wyatt an amazing driffter. If you have hesitation about this book, don't. It is a lovely read with everything it needs included in it, even the ending. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

 

 

More from Melody

I love historical stories about women. Particularly ones in the American frontier and old west. Probably because I grew up hearing pioneer stories from my grandparents, whose parents arrived in covered wagons. But contributions made by pioneering females is often overshadowed by their male counterparts. That’s why I enjoy researching and telling these fictional yet reality-based stories of women who lived and loved and did their part to settle the frontier. To me they are the unsung heroes of the West.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, February 24

lakesidelivingsite, February 24

For Him and My Family, February 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 25

Blogging With Carol, February 25

She Lives To Read, February 26

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

Pause for Tales, February 26

Inklings and notions, February 27

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 28

CarpeDiem, February 28

Betti Mace, March 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 1

Artistic Nobody, March 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 2

Simple Harvest Reads, March 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 3

Older & Smarter?, March 4

Connie’s History Classroom, March 4

Christian Bookaholic, March 5

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 5

Sara Jane Jacobs, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Labor Not in Vain, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 7

Connect in Fiction, March 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 8

Splashes of Joy, March 8

Hallie Reads, March 8

Batya’s Bits, March 9

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize of a $25 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/1089b/delia-and-the-drifter-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Alabama Days by Daphine Self


Alabama Days

About the Book

Book:  Alabama Days

Author: Daphne Self

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 16, 2020

updatedcoverADHow could a loving God hurt so many people?

Paramedic Scott Wilson believes he can chase death away, but his spirit is shattered when people he loves are taken from him. As a paramedic, Scott sees every day the pain that people suffer, and he wants no part of a God that would allow bad things to happen to good people. As a result, he hides behind his work and addiction to ease the pain within his soul.

But once newspaper reporter Angela Mabry and her son, Max, move into town, Scott can’t help but notice the feisty redhead. Angela is determined to uncover the town’s seedy underbelly and reveal the strange coincidences of so many car accidents at one location.

When a prominent city official dies in a car wreck, Scott and Angela find themselves tangled in intrigue and deception. Together they search for the truth and discover that not all is what it seems.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

I had to get this book, because of the title. I'm very partial to that state, so I couldn't skip this one! I found it to be an excellent sequel to the other book, but it also stands alone. It covers drug issues, with plenty of faith included. The moral and ethical issues presented from both sides make this a very good book to help open up discussions with people. It's full of suspense, high emotions, and most of all, God moving in lives. 

5 Stars 

About the Author 

67177558_10217230486728501_1529675924142817280_o“I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me” (Psalm 119:119). This verse is Daphne’s life.
“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). This verse is the promise made to Daphne.

Daphne Self, formerly published under the name D.M. Webb, resides in Iowa. As a Mississippian transplant, she spends her days in the Midwest state writing, editing, reading, antiquing, and planning adventures with her husband and sons. She pursues her dream as an editor and author with one goal in mind: To Glorify His Name. Daphne is also an avid reader who devours books in many genres.

 

More from Daphne

Why Did I Write What I Wrote?

One question that is always asked of me: “How did you come up with your book?”

Well, it is simple and complex. Like the helix shape of a DNA strand that holds four proteins in an infinite combination, my ideas are a lot like that. My first book, Mississippi Nights, started off as a book from my childhood. I wrote One Big Happy Family when I was about 16. It was buried and put aside for so many, many years. And after the line-of-duty death of my husband in 2005, the idea of resurrecting that novel percolated for some time. Finally in 2010, I took the story, revamped it, and drew from life to create a story about the prodigal son who returns home to family. It wasn’t just his story, but a story about his brother, a family friend, and a little girl. Mississippi Nights brought to life the story of alcoholism and how a person can fall into that addiction.

After that book was published, I started thinking: “What if someone saw death, hurt, and sorrow on a daily basis? What if that person didn’t have Jesus to lean upon? What would he do?”

And that’s how Alabama Days was born. While Mississippi Nights dealt with alcoholism, Alabama Days dealt with drug abuse, and in this case, prescription drug abuse.

Yet it was much deeper than that. What if the person was a really good guy? He was likable, generous, loving, yet he lacked that one relationship that would bring him peace. If he were someone who did what was right, no matter what, what would happen if he committed a wrong act only to find that his wrong act saved the life of another?

I had so many ethnical questions thrown at my characters. How would a Christian and a non-Christian react to certain circumstances. Because life isn’t always clear-cut, yet the Bible is, I wanted to show the messiness of being human.

We know that as Christians, we all fall short. We all sin at times. The difference is that when we sin, we know we can receive forgiveness and “Go and sin no more.” But how would a person who ran from God think? How would I react if I were like him?

Writers play around with what-ifs. We see the many facets of humanity. And that’s how our stories are born. And why we write what we do. For me, I want to show the many sides of human nature and behaviour and show that in all things, Jesus is the answer. Jesus is there for us all.

So, why do I write what I do? To bring glory to His Name and hope that through my words, people will come (or return) to Christ.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 17

lakesidelivingsite, February 17

Among the Reads, February 18

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 21

Older & Smarter?, February 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 22

Betti Mace, February 23

Texas Book-aholic, February 24

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Inklings and notions, February 25

For Him and My Family, February 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 26

deb’s Book Review, February 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 28

Pause for Tales, February 28

Artistic Nobody, March 1 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Daphne is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Mississippi Nights, a copy of Alabama Days, a floral mug, a leather Is. 40:31 bookmark, 2 mini notebooks, and a Paramedic Prayer keyring with velvet pouch!!

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/10867/alabama-days-celebration-tour-giveaway