Friday, January 11, 2019

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano (American Heiresses Book 1)

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About the Book

Flights of Fancy
Title: Flights of Fancy
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age
Release date: January 1, 2019
Publisher: Bethany House
Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.
Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.
Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

Get your copy HERE! 
My Review:
What a grand read! From animals to children, romance, and suspense, it's all in these pages. This book is well titled in more ways than one. It's full of history and fun. This story tickled my fancy and I loved its message. I had a great time following the plans God had for this couple as they unfolded in this book. 

5 stars

About the Author

Jen TuranoNamed One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

Guest post from Jen

Q &A With Jen Turano
“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series?
The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief. 
How do you come up with the names of your characters?
I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board. 
How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies?
Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be.
What are some of your favorite resources for historical research?
I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr.
The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that?
My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters.
You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?”
Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens. 

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job!
All the best,
~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 10
Among the Reads, January 10
Through the Fire, January 10
Blogging With Carol, January 11
Back Porch ReadsJanuary 12
KarenSueHadleyJanuary 12
Godly Book Reviews, January 12
Daysong RefectionsJanuary 12
Livin Lit, January 13
The Becca Files, January 13
Texas Book-aholic, January 13
Rebekah’s Quill, January 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15
Stories By Gina, January 15
Splashes of JoyJanuary 16
Mary Hake, January 17
Maureen’s Musings, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 17
Baker Kella, January 18
Simple Harvest ReadsJanuary 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Robin is Bookish, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Have A Wonderful DayJanuary 20
Life with the Tribe, January 20
Inklings and NotionsJanuary 20
amandainpaJanuary 21
Pause for Tales, January 22
Live Love Read, January 23
A Rup Life, January 23
Bigreadersite, January 23

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!
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/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, December 31, 2018

Escape by Glenn Haggerty




About The Book: 
“I’d never seen a dead body before, but I was pretty sure the guy in the car trunk was dead.”

Middle school's tough, and Tyler Higgins just wants to hang with the cool kids. But Dustin’s idea of quality entertainment is spying on parked cars on Lover’s Lane. When two creeps show up with a body, Tyler doesn’t want to stick around. Then again, he might not have much choice.

My Review: 
I found this book to be full of action adventure, drama, and bullying. It has some animals, and this story has a faith theme. It is very short but that's good for young readers and those of us who are in need of a good, fast read. I loved the core of who is and who isn't your friend. Tyler has some major lessons to learn in this story. I enjoyed it and I may read more of this author's books.

5 Stars 


Author Bio: 


Glenn writes inspiring adventures with an edge. No matter how dark the day, finding hope to pursue the prize is the core of all his novels and studies. He is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a graduate of Vision Loss Resources and Bethel Seminary, the father of six and grandfather of seven. Glenn likes tandem biking, kayaking, and daydreaming and lives in Minneapolis with his wife. He is also an award-winning author with short stories published in SplicketyHavokCadet Questand PartnersChase, the third book in his Intense series was released on April 1, 2018.

Link to Book 

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This book is part of a Celebrate Lit Review Blast. 


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse (The Ravenwood Saga Book #1)



About the Book: 

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

My Review:
Christian fantasy is one of my all-time favorite categories. I found this book to be a good read that I enjoyed except for a few things. 1) Cliffhanger alert. 
2) Repetition. 
3) It takes a while to lay the foundation so it doesn't pick up until later in the book. 
Beyond that, I felt that the story was entertaining enough, very gothic, and Lady Ragna's motives clearly shown. The supporting characters were almost stronger than the main ones. I hope they are featured more prominently in the next book in the series. Faith is interspersed, but not overwhelming. That may make this book ideal for newcomers to Christian Fiction. This is my first book by this author. 

4 stars

Purchase a copy here! 

About the Author:


Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the award-winning steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. Her debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Shadow of Croft Tower by Abigail Wilson

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About the Book

Book: In the Shadow of Croft Towers
Author: Abigail Wilson
Genre: Historical fiction, romantic suspense
Release Date: January 15, 2019
In the Shadow of Croft TowerFrom debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.
Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.
An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.

GET your copy HERE! 
My Review:
It's always a pleasure to have a book that is a fantastic read. Here's a read with mystery, murder, gothic tones, a bit of romance and history all rolled into one tale. War and spies, drama and adventure are all included. It's a clean read. It is not overflowing with "Christian" content, which keeps it open to all readers. That could be a big bonus if the author is working to get people in, and then give them more Christian content in upcoming books. It's not preachy, and I'm grateful for that sometimes. Today is one of those times. It's a book you can pass out to just about anyone, and pray over it and see how it opens doors for later on. Because of that, and the really interesting story, I give it 5 stars. 

About the Author

Abigail WilsonAbigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at www.acwilsonbooks.com

Excerpt from the Book

1813
THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE
I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had never learned the truth. I wouldn’t have set off as I did for Croft Towers. I never would have met him.
It’s strange what I remember about the day I left London. The mail coach was late; the weather wretched. The clock had struck midnight long before two strangers and I ducked beneath the postmaster’s outstretched umbrella to board the Royal Mail and rumble across the North Downs.
That difficult journey east marked the beginning of an unseasonably cold autumn. Frigid rain pelted the coach windows. The undercarriage squealed beneath the seats as a metallic scent wound its way between the drafty boards. I gripped the windowsill, wondering if the coachman intended to hit every bump in the road.
“Far to go, miss?”
The woman’s voice startled me. Dressed head to toe in red
satin, she’d endured the last few darkened hours with a handful of smelling salts and a tongue hot for complaints, but she hadn’t spoken to me until now. Not until the first hint of rain-soaked daylight peeked over the horizon.
I lowered my gaze and fiddled with my bonnet ribbons. “Yes, ma’am . . . well, not too much farther, I hope.”
Taken from “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” by Abigail Wilson. Copyright © 2018 by Abigail Wilson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, December 20
Faery Tales Are Real, December 20
The Avid Reader, December 20
Mary Hake, December 22
Carpe Diem, December 22
Inklings and notions, December 23
Blogging With Carol, December 23
Stories By Gina, December 24
Remembrancy, December 24
Madeline Clark, December 25
Janices book reviews, December 26
Back Porch Reads, December 27
Book by Book, December 27
Daysong Reflections, December 28
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 28
Godly Book Reviews, December 29
Bigreadersite, December 29
A Rup Life, December 30
Bibliophile Reviews, December 30
A Reader’s Brain, December 31
Texas Book-aholic, December 31
Bookworld Reviews, January 1
Pause for Tales, January 1

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Abigail is giving away a grand prize of one finished 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/d777/in-the-shadow-of-croft-towers-celebration-tour-giveaway