Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Keys to Gramercy Park by Candice Sue Patterson (Doors to the Past Book 12)

 

About the Book

Book: The Keys to Gramercy Park

Author: Candice Sue Patterson

Genre:Christian / Historical / Romance

Release date: April, 2023

Secrets Sealed Within a Wall Come to Light in Lower Manhattan

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Investigative historical journalist Andrea Andrews is tired of waiting tables to make ends meet. If she could find and write the next breakout story, she could secure a promotion with Smithsonian Magazine as their writer-at-large. But not much happens in lower Manhattan out of the ordinary until she discovers post-Civil War counterfeit bills hidden in the wall of her historic district apartment.

Politics have always been Beau Davidson-Quincy’s passion, despite his family’s real estate empire. His clean image and single status make him a target in the media as he prepares to build his campaign for New York governor. He has nothing to hide until a cute waitress unravels a mystery that could destroy his family’s reputation.

Two centuries earlier, wounded Civil War veteran Franklin Davidson lost everything—his house, his wife, his standing in society. In his darkest moment, he’s awarded a position with the newly formed Secret Service to combat the spread of counterfeit U.S. currency. His life and new home in Gramercy Park are the envy of his peers, but nothing is as it seems. Secrets are meant to be kept, and Franklin will take his to his grave.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

This is an emotional and gritty read, that's an excellent addition to this series. A set of twins, one upstanding and running for office, or is it the corrupt one who's into shady dealings and despicable deeds? Franklin and Edward, and their relationships and issues with Cora were gripping. With a split time book, such as this, Andrea is solving things, but I felt like the past, Cora and those connected to her were the center of this story. So much New York history was worked into this story, as well as good vs evil, the dark hearts of humans, the love and light of Christ was also present. Since before Cain and Able, we have had issues with sin, and power, and corruption. This story is so fantastically told, so real, so emotional. I loved it. It's substantial and not just a romance story. 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016.

 

More from Candice

A locked secret garden in Manhattan with historical significance and the only ones privileged to step inside are the wealthy residents who purchase a key—count me in! The plot for The Keys to Gramercy Park was born at our dining room table when my husband looked up from the book he was reading and asked if I knew about Gramercy Park. I hadn’t, so we started Googling and discovered it was a real garden in Manhattan built in 1841 for the cream of society. The fact that it’s been off-limits to the public for one hundred and eight-two years instantly brought all kinds of story ideas to my mind.

Not long after, I discovered that Barbour Publishing Inc. was looking for dual-time stories to fill their Doors to the Past series. I love reading dual-time novels but I’d never written one. I love a good challenge, so I began plotting and before I knew it, I had another first—creating a villain.

I’ve only ever seen the New York City skyline from the New Jersey ferry that travels to and from the Statue of Liberty, so after the story was contracted, I spent several weeks researching Manhattan and Gramercy Park. New York is full of rich history and it was so fun to stumble across the historical details of The Player’s, Edwin Booth, and the stories behind each home along Gramercy Square.

One of my favorite things about writing this story was the juxtaposition of the timelines. We don’t have the present without the past, and what happens in the past affects the future, but the future can also determine how we view, feel, and learn about the past. That’s essentially what The Keys to Gramercy Park is about—the butterfly effect of past events reaching ahead two centuries with dire consequences. I love how in one scene the characters are sending telegraphs and in the next scene, they’re sending text messages.

What’s your favorite thing about dual-time novels? Make sure to check out the other books in the Doors to the Past series!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 26

lakesidelivingsite, May 26

Melissa’s Bookshelf, May 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28

Blogging With Carol, May 28

Book Looks by Lisa, May 29

Connie’s History Classroom, May 29

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

For Him and My Family, May 30

Cover Lover Book Review, May 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 2

Blossoms and Blessings, June 2

Remembrancy, June 3

Holly’s Book Corner, June 3

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 4

Pause for Tales, June 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 5 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 6

Inklings and Notions, June 6

Simple Harvest Reads, June 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Labor Not in Vain, June 7

She Lives To Read, June 8

Books I’ve Read, June 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Candice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-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/2626e/the-keys-to-gramercy-park-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Murmur in the Mudcaves by Kathleen Denly (Chaparral Hearts Book 4)

 

About the Book

Book: Murmur in the Mudcaves

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: May 16, 2023

He came to cook for ranch hands, not three single women.

Gideon Swift, a visually impaired Civil War Veteran, responds to an ad for a ranch cook in the Southern California desert mountains. He wants nothing more than to forget his past and stay in the kitchen where he can do no harm. But when he arrives to find his employer murdered, the ranch turned to ashes, and three young women struggling to survive in the unforgiving Borrego Desert, he must decide whether his presence protects them or places them in greater danger.

Bridget “Biddie” Davidson finally receives word from her older sister who disappeared with their brother and pa eighteen years prior, but the news is not good. Determined to help her family, Biddie sets out for a remote desert ranch with her adopted father and best friend. Nothing she finds there is as she expected, including the man who came to cook for the shambles of a ranch.

When tragedy strikes, the danger threatens not only her plans to help her sister, but her own dreams for the future—with the man who’s stolen her heart.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

This is the final book in this series. I picked it to read because of the title. 1873 in California. It's wild, it's lonely and these gals in trouble. However, their hopeful hero is damaged from the war. What does God have planned with this? Lots of faith in this story! It's a strong but sweet romance, and it's clean. I would defiantly call it inspirational. A good weekend read! 

5 Stars 

About the Author

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

 

More from Kathleen

The Making of a Hero

 

Picture in your mind the typical male rancher or cowboy. Can you see him? If we’re going for the full stereotype, you’re looking at a tall, handsome man who is, above all, strong. Particularly in the nineteenth century, it takes strength to build a house, install fencing, chop wood, haul water, heft hay bales, and most of all manage cattle. Not to mention the 101 other things it takes to start and keep a ranch running. 

 

Now consider the aftermath of the American Civil War. Many men never returned from the battlefields, and those who did often returned with injuries that would remain with them the rest of their lives. Some would suffer chronic pain until the day they died. 

 

In considering whose story I wanted to tell next, I wondered about that last group of men in the context of running a ranch. How could a seriously injured man, suffering chronic pain, keep his ranch going in an era where able-bodied men were more difficult to find? And what about those whose ranches were too new and small to support the cost of hiring help? 

 

This was the beginning of my inspiration for Gideon Swift–a Civil War Veteran still struggling daily with the consequences of having gone to war, ten years after his injuries sent him home. 

 

Raised to believe true men were strong and weak men were next-to useless, Gideon’s identity is shattered when an explosion leaves him with brain damage that causes recurring migraines with aura and the loss of periphery vision in one eye. For those unfamiliar, a migraine with aura is a severe headache preceded or accompanied by sensory disturbances called aura. Examples of such disturbances include flashes of light, blind spots, general blurry vision, and blurry or shimmery lines in vision. There can also be speech or language difficulty, muscle weakness, and/or numbness or tingling in one side of a person’s face, one hand, or one limb. Gideon experiences most of these at different times, but his most common sensory disturbance is a curled shimmery line that appears in his vision. 

 

He is further humbled by a series of tragic losses partially triggered by his medical condition. These are the events that send him to California, determined never to work with cattle again, and never to marry.

 

I am often asked how much of myself I put into my characters. In Gideon’s case, I modeled his pain partially after my own. While I have no peripheral vision loss, nor brain damage, I do have recurring migraines. In my case, these are brought about by my menstrual cycle and only occasionally involve aura symptoms. Still, these severe headaches have lasted from a mere hour, up to nearly a week, and are frequently beyond anything my medications can alleviate. Too often, this pain leaves me unable to function. If I’m lucky I can sleep through it. If not, I lay awake in a darkened room for hours with pain preventing me from drifting into blissful unconsciousness. Nauseousness, foggy thinking, dizziness, and exhaustion are frequently parts of my experience. I have also experienced one-sided tingling numbness and the same curly, shimmering line that Gideon experiences. Yet, I know others who have far worse migraines. So, in describing Gideon’s episodes, I combined my own experiences with those of family and friends whom I have witnessed suffering. 

 

Through Murmur in the Mud Caves, we see how God works in Gideon’s life and heart to remind him of where his true value and strength come from. It is my hope that his journey will touch the hearts of readers and encourage them in whatever trials they may be facing. We are never alone. Whatever God brings us to, He will bring us through. He loves us and has a good purpose for everything we endure in this life, even when we cannot understand His reasons.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

Books You Can Feel Good About, May 18

Texas Book-aholic, May 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 20

For Him and My Family, May 20

Melissa’s Bookshelf, May 21

Connie’s History Classroom, May 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

Betti Mace, May 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 23

Madi’s Musings, May 23

Pause for Tales, May 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 25

Kristina Hall, May 25

Vicky Sluiter, May 26

Blossoms and Blessings, May 26

Blogging With Carol, May 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 28

Cover Lover Book Review, May 29

Holly’s Book Corner, May 30

Karen Baney Reviews, May 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of 1 set of beautifully engraved, metal measuring spoons, 1 pouch of “Baking Day” potpourri, 1 Cat and Mouse kitchen timer, 1 vintage wooden sign with Christian encouragement message, 1 Cowboy Hat cookie cutter with recipe for Cowboy Sugar Cookies, 1 Kitchen towel that reads, “This Home is our Happily Ever After”, and 1 Kathleen Denly engraved pen!!

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/2606f/murmur-in-the-mudcaves-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Stormy Encounters: Lightning Fast Cars - Daunting Dilemmas - Fearsome Choices by B J Howe

 

About the Book

Book: Stormy Encounters

Author: BJ Howe

Genre: Teen/YA Action Adventure

Release date: March 14, 2023

When the biggest bully in town has you in his crosshairs, you can run, or you can dig deep inside and discover who you really are. Steven Carlson finds himself saddled with an unexpected debt he cannot afford, changing his plans for a summer of fun to one that forces him to places he never wanted to go.

There are storms on the horizon and equally daunting storms of the heart. With a father he doesn’t understand and a mother he can’t remember, Steven’s sixteenth year launches him on a journey that will forever alter his world.

In one unforgettable season, Steven Carlson is pushed to the edge of disaster and forced to confront his prison of self-doubt.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review:

This is one of those books that I wasn't sure what to expect from it. The cover shows a tornado, but what's this really about? Steven and Jackson decide to take a car, for a joy ride. Yep, that's a car that's not theirs to drive. Actions have consequences, and they get pulled over for a headlight being out. Uh-oh! That means making amends, and dealing with punishment, so soon they are working on a farm to help make up for what they've done. It doesn't stop there, because coming of age is an issue and each choice they make will have effects. Lots of life lessons packed into this short and fast read. It's excellent for boys, pre-teen and up. 

4 Stars 

About the Author

Barb (B J) Howe has enjoyed entertaining others with stories since she was a child. As an adult, she used storytelling techniques to communicate in various workplace settings before exploring the art of memoir writing and fiction.

Stormy Encounters is her first significant work of fiction. Writing about teenage boys and lightning fast cars was inspired by her grandson, who at age four attempted to drive her car, and at age ten reminded her that he was a mere five years away from a driving permit. He is now entering his teen years.

Howe resides in Chanhassen MN with husband, Dave Howe, author of Live Pure and Free: The 90-Day Game Changer. She is on staff with Christian Grandparenting Network, and has contributed to several publications including: Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and Guideposts. Her desire in writing this book is to encourage young adults to mature in their integrity and pursue a personal relationship with Christ.

 

More from Barb

Getting through those teenage years is an adventure. Ask anyone who’s been there. The challenges are real, the outcomes, let’s just say unpredictable. Today’s young generation seems to have more than a fair share of confusing messages roaring at them, and far more outlets than any previous generation to access them. This can make the journey to adulthood far more daunting.

Too many of the books found at public libraries and book stores carry dark messages with little hope. Stormy Encounters is about smokin’ hot cars, swaggering bravado, and, of course, girls. You know, the things that get young guys’ engines revving in high gear. This approach cruises into their world and shows how to work through difficulties without getting preachy. That’s the kind of thinking that first enticed Howe to speak to teens through fiction.

Face it. No matter who we are, we all share at least one thing in common: every day we make hundreds of choices. Some of those choices affect the rest of our lives. Stormy Encounters is all about helping teens, especially teen boys, make the kinds of choices that bring positive results. The pace is fast enough to be exciting, steady to drive interest. Don’t worry; it’s all clean. Maybe these are the reasons teen girls and adults also enjoy reading Stormy Encounters.

Howe’s writing career began with corporate and freelance writing. But it was the nuances of memoir writing that led to fiction. They’re both centered around human interactions. With Stormy Encounters, readers get to see how three different generations come together with all their individual quirks in one complex story that explores the emotions of grief, happiness, love, sadness, and hope. We can all use a big dose of hope.

When not writing, Howe enjoys urban hiking (a.k.a., neighborhood walks), bicycling through the countryside, and baking bread. Try this wild rice bread recipe. It positively screams Minnesota, the state where Stormy Encounters takes place.

Minnesota Wild Rice Bread

Ingredients:
¼ cup wild rice, raw
2 cups water
1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups milk, scalded
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup rolled oats, uncooked
½ cup rye flour
1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup bran
3-1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus up to 1 cup (if needed)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
¼ cup hulled sunflower seeds

Directions:

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice, cover, and cook over very low heat until rice is tender, approx. 45-60 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. Stir yeast into 1/3 cup warm water and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in milk, butter, honey, salt, and oats. Add cooled rice mixture to milk mixture.
3. Using a wooden spoon, stir together rye flower, whole-wheat flour, bran, and 3-1/2 cups of unbleached flour. Add to milk and yeast mixture, stirring until soft dough forms. Add more unbleached flour, as needed, until dough is easy to handle.
4. Turn dough onto a floured board and knead until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn so the top is oiled. Let rise 2 hours.
5. Punch dough and shape into two loaves. Place in 2 greased 9-1/2 x 5-1/2-inch pans. Let rise again, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
6. Bake 45 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of baking, brush loaves with 1 beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 8

An Author’s Take, May 9

Lots of Helpers, May 10

Girls in White Dresses, May 10

Texas Book-aholic, May 11

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 12

The Life We Build, May 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 15

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 16

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 17 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, May 17

For Him and My Family, May 18

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 19

A Reader’s Brain, May 20

Blogging With Carol, May 21

Holly’s Book Corner, May 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, B.J. is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stormy Encounters!!

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/263d1/stormy-encounters-celebration-tour-giveaway


Thursday, May 18, 2023

Coming Home to Mercy by Michelle De Bruin

 

About the Book

Book: Coming Home to Mercy

Author: Michelle De Bruin

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance

Release date: August 14, 2021

A society woman leaves her comfortable lifestyle so that she can help her daughter adjust to the arrival of twin sons in a small town where the courageous doctor teaches her about taking risks.

Wealthy and sociable Margaret Millerson has always thought of her brother’s Chicago mansion as her home. But when she receives the telephone call that her daughter has given birth to twins three weeks ahead of the expected due date, Margaret must leave her comfortable home, her family, and her friends to travel out of state. While she is helping her daughter care for the infants, Margaret becomes reacquainted with the town’s doctor, Matthew Kaldenberg.

Dr. Matthew Kaldenberg stays busy caring for the health of the citizens of his small town. His profession offers him daily practice in defeating death, his greatest enemy. During the twenty years since losing his own wife and baby in childbirth, Matthew has saved his money for the purchase of a flying machine. But when Matthew takes Margaret for flights on his biplane, he learns that his dreams of rising above the griefs and losses of his past come with a cost. He doesn’t want to lose the trust of the people he cares about most, or the chance at a relationship with Margaret.

Both Matthew and Margaret must make difficult decisions to hold on to the love they have discovered. Will Matthew’s heart recover from sorrow? Will Margaret find her true home?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

I love this title. We all need so much mercy, daily! As it implies, this is about second chances, which we all need those too. History pulls into this story, with the Wright Brothers, the men credited for the foundation of today's planes and aircraft. Matthew is a doctor, so he's got more funds than some. Margaret is in this same town for a much different reason, her twin grand babies. However, she's been left very well off as a widow and now she's got a new passion - flying. Matthew was great for his faith and how he worked to heal, and I came to like Margaret a lot. It's a nice historical based romance. 

4 Stars 

About the Author

Michelle De Bruin lives in Iowa with her husband and two young adult sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Religion with a Christian Ministry emphasis, and in Music. Michelle serves as a Chaplain for Pella Regional Health Center. She writes inspirational historical romance about people who live in rural communities. Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small-town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct. A romantic at heart, Michelle is always on the lookout for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a good story.

 

More from Michelle

Coming Home to Mercy is the first in a trilogy of books set in a small Iowa town during the years 1913 through 1918. This is the second series of books I have written. The Tomorrow series is the first set, and if you’ve already read it, you will recognize characters that appeared in Hope for Tomorrow, Promise for Tomorrow, and Dreaming of Tomorrow.

This book is a graceful story of two people who thought faithful, committed love could only come into their lives once. But they both discover that they get another chance to experience it again.

I wrote Coming Home to Mercy to show what healthy marriages and healthy families are like. I trust this story gives us a glimpse of how true love works, what faithfulness means, and what compassion can do; not only in one person’s life, but in the daily workings of an entire community.

The hero in this story has a sad, broken heart at the beginning. As the story unfolds, he heals and gains a deeper understanding of God’s work in his life. Dr. Matthew Kaldenberg finds love and peace as his belief grows that God truly does work all things together for good.

Thank you for joining me on this tour. I hope you enjoy the blog posts and enter the drawing for the giveaway. Follow me on social media and subscribe to my newsletter at https://michelledebruin.com/.

Grace and peace,

Michelle De Bruin

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 8

Texas Book-aholic, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 12 (Author Interview)

Vicky Sluiter, May 12

Connie’s History Classroom, May 13

Cover Lover Book Review, May 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 15 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 16

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, May 17 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, May 17

Blogging With Carol, May 18

Sylvan Musings, May 19 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & 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/25ca6/coming-home-to-mercy-celebration-tour-giveaway