Saturday, March 30, 2019

Dead Letter, A Meddlin’ Madeline Mystery by Chautona Havig


Madeline Dead Letter FB Banner

About the Book

Dead Letter
Book: Dead Letter, A Meddlin’ Madeline Mystery
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian historical, mystery
Release Date: February 19, 2019
For the first time, Madeline has permission to meddle.
Sent by the Rockland Pinkerton’s office to investigate shady banking practices, Madeline finally has the opportunity to try out all her developing detective skills. From her new disguise to an assumed persona, complete with non-existent fiance, Madeline takes on embezzlement in Castleberry, Ohio.
Now, to find the culprit and get back to Rockland before Amy arrives, before Mrs. Barnes gets any sicker, and before Russell writes her off as a hopeless, heartless girl.
As Madeline figures out what’s happening, even Mr. Flint begins to lose confidence in her. How will she prove who is taking the money and why–especially after her primary suspect ends up dead?
Get a copy: HERE!

My Review:

It's book four, and frankly, the best in the series so far. Now Madeline is pretending to be a Jane, complete with a fake fiancee. As she writes letters to "Royal" and in doing so is communicating about her inside position on this case. Somethings take a stretch of the imagination because they wouldn't actually work with most families or anything else, but it's still an interesting read. I'm a bit aggravated by the ending, I do despise cliffhangers. I read series because I like them, not because they leave me hanging. 

4 Stars

About the Author

ChautonaChautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

3 REASONS YOU’LL LOVE THE BOOK AND HATE ME

“This is book four, right?”
I nodded.
He looked at me with those eyes that conjure up the idea of puppy dogs begging for treats. So deceptive. “You’re going to have to up the stakes then.”
“Well, this is the one where she goes into official active detective mode and decides if she even wants that kind of life.”
“Not enough.”
He was right and I knew it. Fortunately, I’d prepared for this moment. You see, I know him well. He’s a horror writer. He likes to torment in ways that make my worst meannesses seem petty (like the time I suggested killing off Chad in Past Forward—trust me. That was kind compared to his ideas).
So, I pulled out my bigger gun and plopped it on the table. I added ammunition. And grinned.
Look, you guys are going to hate me for it, but trust me. It needs to be done. You’ll forgive me… eventually. Maybe. I hope.
Then he did it. He gave me that look. No, not the, “Yeah, baby!” look you want to see when you’ve hit a hole in one. The, “Is that all you’ve got?” look.
The work began. He suggested one thing. I toned it back. He looked like that puppy again—except this time I’d kicked him. Bless his heart, he does love his horror.
Still, he whistled his way out the door a short while later, and I grinned. Compromise is beautiful. But what does that mean for YOU?

3 REASONS YOU’LL LOVE THE BOOK AND HATE ME

First—
Love the book: Madeline as Jane Sempleton is a hoot. She cracked me up from the beginning, and I’m still chuckling.
Hate me: Madeline’s faith and integrity are tested in this one—exponentially. Without giving away too much, her father even rebukes her!!!
Second—
Love the book: Mrs. Barnes is such a sweet mentor to Madeline
Hate me: Mrs. Barnes. That’s all I’m sayin’. Mrs. Barnes.
Third—
Love the book: Snippets of the heart get revealed.
Hate me: Russell. That’s all I’m sayin’. Russell.
So, there you have it. All the reasons you should read this book… and remember that the series isn’t over. Not by a long shot. It’s darkest before dawn. And um… a whole bunch of other clich├ęs.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, March 18
Mary HakeMarch 19
Back Porch ReadsMarch 21
Carpe Diem, March 22
BigreadersiteMarch 28
Lots of Helpers, March 28
Multifarious, March 29
The Becca Files, March 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of Dead Letter, a Madeline-inspired book cozy, and a book-themed candle!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dee6/meddelin-madeline-dead-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway

An Unpresentable Glory by Eleanor K. Gustafson



An Unpresentable Glory

About the Book:

Cover
Book: An Unpresentable Glory
Author: Eleanor K. Gustafson
Genre: Christian, contemporary, literary fiction
Release Date: July, 2018
“I trusted you, and some day, you may know just how much you hold in your hands.”
Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. It is not so joyful finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums! The mysterious man is sick, unable to do anything more than drink water—and beg for secrecy. Ignoring all alarm bells, Linda sees to his needs, but her caring act takes on unexpected significance, and unpresentable glory.
Seeds of trust, and perhaps love, are planted in Linda’s garden haven. But as secrets are revealed and scandal hits the headlines, the act of caring for this man threatens to tarnish both of their reputations. Like weeds in Linda’s garden, circumstances threaten to choke out their fledgling relationship, and small moments prove to be the biggest influencers—on a national scale.
Click here to purchase your copy.
My Review:
So much is happening in this book. While it seems like one kind of book, soon it's totally different. It becomes a story full of flawed and struggling people who are swept into something bigger than themselves. True, they could have made a few different choices up in the first few chapters of this story. However, since that didn't happen as it often doesn't in real life, you just keep reading about what occurred after that.

The man Linda Jeanson helped, a stranger, was not just any ordinary stranger. Her act of intended kindness has pulled her, and us as readers, into a much larger picture. This book has love and misplaced love. It has strength and weaknesses shown in various characters. My heart often hurt for Glynneth as well as being upset with her. Larwrie needs to figure himself out, and Linda. Oh, Linda. As she and others often prayed over issues they were dealing with, I was close to tears on a few occasions.

This book was very different than most books in its genre. It's not afraid to mention that three lettered word that's always missing from "clean" reading, but it's not graphic. Instead, it shows emotions that are present or missing between a husband and wife and those issues happen to be crucial to the story. The writing style is rather back and forth from conversations to almost narration without a narration overtone.

5 Stars 


About the Author
Ellie GustafsonEllie grew up in Branchville NJ, in a county with more cows than people. She attended Wheaton College in Illinois as a music major, then married a pastor/college professor/tree farmer/organist and writer. Together, they have three children and eight grandchildren.
Music was Ellie’s first love until she tried on the cloak of writing and found it a comfortable fit. However, early writing attempts saw friends—and even her mother—advising her to stick to music as a career. She pushed manfully along, though, and An Unpresentable Glory is her sixth novel.
“God first touched me through story,” Ellie says, “and made the bigger Story come alive. I love Him passionately!”
 More from Ellie
What’s An Unpresentable Glory about? Here’s Linda’s point of view: Linda Jensen, a noted gardener, finds a stranger sprawled near her delphiniums, obviously ill. She gets him into her house and puts him to bed, deciding that water is the only safe thing to give him. Water in, however, must come out. He is helpless; she must serve him; but in doing this unpresentable task, she feels the presence of angels. [See the book Preface for my personal experience with this.]
Jay’s point of view: Jay finds himself ill and helpless on the lawn of a wealthy but caring gardener. He can’t even reveal his real name. When he leaves at week’s end, he sees the relationship as hopeless because of who he is and enormous repercussions if the hidden week comes to light. Tragedy and disaster haunt him, but a dual set of mentors leads him through churning waters. Will he ever get back to the garden?
* * *
Linda’s sun tea was “mostly Darjeeling with lemon and a sprig of mint.” After reading her description, I tried it and found it tasty, indeed!

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, March 24
Creating Romance, March 26
2014 an Beyond!, March 29
The Becca Files, March 29
BigreadersiteApril 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Ellie is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Butpee Flower 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/ddb4/an-unpresentable-glory-celebration-tour-giveway

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A Very Austen Valentine by Robin Helm


A Very Austen Valentine FB Cover

About the Book

A Very Austen Valentine Book CoverBook: A Very Austen Valentine
Author: Robin Helm
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency), Religious and Inspirational
Release Date: December 29, 2018
Six beloved authors deliver romantic Valentine novellas set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite, together with Susan Kaye and Mandy Cook, share variations of Pride and PrejudicePersuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, featuring your favorite characters in sequels, adaptations, and spinoffs of Austen’s adored novels.
Experience uplifting romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and poignant regret as these authors deftly tug on your heartstrings this Valentine’s Day.
I Dream of You by Robin Helm
Newly-married Elizabeth Darcy has a plan: to charm her too-busy husband into desiring her company as much as he did when he was courting her. A series of romantic dreams gives her just the push she needs to put that plan into action.
Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile
Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen’s worst snobs.
My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis
Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will she endure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?
Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite
A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.
My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook
Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her well as she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?
The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye
In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth’s love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers’ Ruse”follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.

Get a copy: HERE! 
My Review:
This book starts in the middle of a conversation. From there on, it became fun, after a bit of meandering. I like reading new authors and this was a good way to meet several ones that were new to me. My Valentine by Mandy cook and Sir Walter Takes a Wife were my favorites. It's an interesting read full of light romance and literary charm. 

4 Stars 

About the Author

robin helmRobin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.
Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: GuardianSoulFire, and Legacy (a guardian angel protects a supernaturally gifted girl), the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours (Fitzwilliam Darcy switches places in time with his descendant, Will Darcy), and Understanding Elizabeth(Regency sweet romance).
She contributed to A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1, an anthology featuring like-minded authors, in 2017, and A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2 which was released on December 29, 2018.
New releases for 2019 include More to Love, a standalone historical sweet romance dealing with body image; Lawfully Innocent, a historical U.S. Marshal romance book in the Lawkeepers series; Maestro, a historical sweet romance featuring a brilliant musician and his student; and A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3.
She lives in sunny South Carolina where she teaches piano and adores her one husband, two married daughters, and three grandchildren.

More from Robin

Do you love Historical romance, but avoid “those” covers like the plague?
Would you enjoy an anthology featuring six Valentine-themed novellas set in the Regency period written by Christian authors?
In A Very Austen Valentine, stories range from a young wife searching for a way to bring her marriage back to the way it was, to a laugh-out-loud courtship between Jane Austen’s worst snobs.
Misunderstandings, concealed identities, and romance abound.
There is even a sequel featuring the children of the Darcys and the Brandons.
Every reader will find something to love in this wonderful collection.

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, March 29
Moments, March 31
Mary Hake, March 31
Pause for Tales, April 1
Creating RomanceApril 2
Book by Book, April 2
The Becca Files, April 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away
Grand Prize: a $50 Amazon gift card
1st Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1
2nd Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 2
3rd Place: A set of three ebooks – Reader’s Choice of any three of my books and
4th Place: a $5 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/ddfa/a-very-austen-valentine-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The White City Celebration by Grace Hitchock

The White City FB Banner

About the Book

Book: The White City
Author: Grace Hitchcock
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense
Release Date: March, 2019
The white CityMysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime
While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.
Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

Click here to order your copy.
My Review:

This is not the book I thought it would be. There's not a lot of focus on the crimes, it's more a romance/cozy read. I liked the characters, they are cute and sometimes funny. I liked the quotes too. The rest of the plot is very status quo, predictable, but still, a fun read. 

Because the book is based on a true crime, it drew my attention. I knew that Chicago was once known as the white city so I thought this would have a lot of history base to it.  I also thought the author's last name is a very familiar one and she'd have lots of leeway with that last name. While it does have some history in it, read this book with an open mind that it's not going to fit the category you thought it was. It's still a good book to read, just not what I expected. 


Even with all the other faults, I think this book is a 4-star read. 


About the Author
grace hitchcockGrace Hitchcock is the author of three novellas in The Second Chance BridesThe Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. The White City is her debut novel and releases March 2019 with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.

Guest Post from Grace

True Colors—Fiction Based on Strange, But True, American Crime Stories
True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through 6 unique stories of historical romantic suspense in the exciting new True Colors series.
In book one, The White City, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped while attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a detective, for bodyguard.
Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?
The Real Criminal Behind the Story
While Winnifred Wylde is a fictional character, Doctor H. H. Holmes was very real and became infamously known as America’s first serial killer. Learn more about him HERE.

Blog Stops

The Lit Addict, March 14
Multifarious, March 15
Back Porch Reads, March 15
Livin’ Lit, March 16
By The Book, March 18
EmpowerMoms, March 19
Bigreadersite, March 21
Genesis 5020, March 21
The Becca Files, March 21
Emily Yager, March 22
Pause for Tales, March 22
Mary Hake, March 23
Book by Book, March 23
amandainpa, March 25
Older & Smarter?, March 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The White City!!
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/dd7d/the-white-city-celebration-tour-giveaway