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Friday, March 16, 2018

This Book is Addicting!-"The Austen Escape" by Katherine Reay Review


My Review:
Why have I not read any books by this author before?!  Note to self: Read more of Katherine Reay’s work because it is amazing!  “The Austen Escape” is the first book by Katherine Reay I’ve read and now I’m hooked! 

“The Austen Escape” is especially meaningful to me as Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors and there are so many references to Austen and her work throughout the story.  For those not familiar with Austen–not to worry; there’s a great character reference section in the front of the book. 

Ms. Reay has a certain style of writing that is witty and easy to read.  Ms. Reay is a genius in the way she connects present day characters to Austen’s characters.  I especially love Mary (our main character) and her complex personality.  I love that she is an engineer, yet also a hopeless romantic and an Audrey Hepburn lover (I can relate to the last two characteristics).  The relationships are also so well written and complex. 

Ms. Reay explores the themes of friendship, family and finding oneself.  What a neat concept of going away and living like one is in a Jane Austen novel (sign me up!).  I think this quote sums up the experience of the Austen Escape well: “In playing other characters, they find themselves.” 

This book is addicting!  I took it everywhere with me and got upset when I had to stop reading and do “real life.”  I highly recommend “The Austen Escape!”

Content:  This is a clean read.  A few minor examples of content are: characters drink alcohol and a character struggles with a type of memory loss/disassociation disorder. 

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Contemporary; Christian Fiction; Romance

I want to thank the Fiction Guild, Katherine Reay and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.


About the Author:

Katherine Reay is a writer, wife, mom, continually rehabbing runner, compulsive vacuumist and a horrific navigator…

She graduated from Northwestern University and earned an MS in Marketing from Northwestern as well. She then worked in marketing and development before returning to graduate school for a Masters of Theological Studies. Moves to Texas, England, Ireland and Washington left that degree unfinished as Katherine spent her time unpacking, raising kids, volunteering, writing, and exploring new storylines and new cities.

The Reay family (with a great sense of permanency) now resides outside Chicago, and Katherine pursues writing with more focus. She writes character-driven stories and non-fiction that focuses upon examining the past and how it influences our present experiences.

To visit her website click here

To purchase the book click here

Monday, March 12, 2018

"Keturah" by Lisa Bergren Blog Tour (Review) and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book:

Keturah (The Sugar Baron’s Daughters) (Bethany House, February 2018)

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined–and that’s just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Click here for the Litfuse tour landing page.

My Review:

Lisa Bergren has long been one of my favorite authors, starting with her famous “River of Time” series.  I was so excited for the chance to read and review her newest book, “Keturah,” the first book in the “Sugar Baron’s Daughters” series.  I can say that I truly loved “Keturah!”
“Keturah” is a beautifully written story.  I love Ms. Bergren’s engaging writing style that kept me turning pages and made me so invested in her characters.  Even though this isn’t as fast-paced as her young adult novels, it’s still written in such a way that I was able to be fully engaged and read it quickly. 
This story also deals with some heavier issues, like slavery and abuse.  The main character has experienced physical and emotional abuse in the past, but nothing is described in detail.  These topics didn’t bog the story down or make it depressing.
I love the way Ms. Bergren writes her characters.  This book tells the story of three sisters embarking on a life changing journey.  Obviously this is mainly Keturah’s story and it sounds like the other sisters will each get their own stories in subsequent books.  Keturah has to learn to make her own way and take things one step at a time.  She is a strong female character.  The sisters have such a great bond and I fell in love with each sister. 
Our hero, Gray, is very swoon-worthy!  The way he cares for Keturah and looks after her is so sweet; even though his love is unrequited for a large part of the novel.  He reminds me of my husband, which is high praise!  I also love the strong faith many of the characters have.  God is a large part in many of the main characters’ lives.  There is such a great faith thread interwoven throughout this story.  I definitely recommend this book!
Content: Ms. Bergren is one of the more “edgy” Christian fiction writers.  I would probably rate this book PG-13.  As I mentioned above, this book does deal with physical and emotional abuse, which could potentially be a trigger.  Some other examples of content are: mention of rape and violence; reference to women of ill repute; talk of a man’s conquests; the word Negro is used in a historical context; a man eyes a woman’s bodice; allusions to abuse in a past marriage; mentions of a man getting drunk; people drink wine as part of a meal; sailors sing bawdy songs, references to tavern wenches and giving favors; a man swears, but the word is not actually written; slaves are nude when being auctioned and there is violence; talk of a woman being a man’s mistress.

Rating: I give this book 5 stars!
Genre: Christian fiction; Romance; Historical
I want to thank Litfuse Publicity, Lisa Bergren and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

About the Author:

Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning "Waterfall," RITA®-finalist "Firestorm," bestselling "God Gave Us You," and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She's also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.

Visit her website here


Enter to win a copy of Keturah. Five winners will be chosen! Click here to enter to win. The winners will be announced March 13 on the Litfuse blog!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

"Washed Under the Waves" by Gloria Clover Blog Tour and TWO GIVEAWAYS!

Book Blurb
A hidden island. A prince in disguise…and a lady torn between love and duty.
Lady Tayte Bashan never desired the distinctive black hair that marks her as Undae royalty, but when her family perishes in a devastating tsunami, the burden of leadership falls upon her young shoulders. Even as she prepares her island for the prophesied prince, she fears the duty to marry him is truly meant for another.
Dispatched by the King to an island untouched by the outside world for centuries, Prince Geoffrey Athan D’Ambrose must lead its people to the ultimate truth. But how is he supposed to win the heart of Undae’s princess when the King sends him disguised as a tutor?
Betrayal stirs within Castle Bashan, a threat as deadly as the rising wave. Now Tayte and Athan must brave the maelstrom or watch as the entire island succumbs to treachery’s destructive tide.
My Review

“Washed Under the Waves” by Gloria Clover is the first book in the “Children of the King” series.  It is an imaginative story that takes place in a historical-like setting with a beautiful portrayal of the Gospel message!  If you like “Pilgrim’s Progress,” C.S. Lewis or Tolkien, you will enjoy this story! 
I don’t normally read speculative or dystopian fiction, but even though this story is set in the future, it reads very much like a historical novel.  I love how it has a medieval like setting, as that is one of my favorite time periods to read about.  Although the author says in the beginning of the book that it is not meant to be strictly allegorical, I definitely can see many aspects of the story that could be allegorical.  Sometimes the story was a little slow moving for me, but overall it’s a great tale!  I love the clear, direct portrayal of the Gospel message.
I really like our two main characters (Tayte and Athan) and their slow building romance.  It is neat to see Tayte’s spiritual journey and her enthusiasm after she first meets the King.  I felt convicted at many points during the story to be more like Tayte with my love for Christ and telling others more about Him.  I like when fiction encourages one in their spiritual walk with the Lord and this story does just that!

Content: This author writes more “edgy” Christian fiction.  I would definitely give this book a PG-14 rating.  There is one scene at the end that I was a little uncomfortable with that talks about a married couple and they are obviously having sex (it’s not graphic or anything).  Some examples of the content are: reference to a woman’s “monthly;” references to a woman’s breasts and being endowed; a couple is caught making out; talk of a woman’s virginity; talk of hearing a couple “mating;” talks about a couple being lovers.

Rating:  I give this book 3.5 stars.
Genre: Christian fiction; Romance; Fantasy; Historical

I want to thank Gloria Clover and By the Vine Press for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.


Gloria Clover’s Bio 

Gloria Clover, Christ-follower and Truth-seeker, writes romantic fiction with the hope of showing God’s love and our need in both humorous and haunting ways. The Children of the King series is her first endeavor into speculative fiction, a series set in the future when the King sends out his children to reclaim his lost lands.

Gloria’s contemporary romances, published by Barbour Books and Son-Rise Publications, include: The Remaking of Moe McKenna in the Race to the Altar anthology, Brianna’s Pardon, and Tangled Truths. She compiled ten volumes of Penned From the Heart and wrote a short devotional, Who We Are in Christ, A to Z.

She is a member of Emmanuel Christian Church, active in prayer ministry, women’s ministries, American Heritage Girls, and various other projects. She participates in writing/book days at local schools and enjoys giving and receiving from her various writing critique groups. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, participating in the ACFW book club and prayer loops.

Married with child, she writes from her little white box in western PA.

Contact Links:
To purchase the book click here
Tour Giveaway:
Win a KINDLE FIRE, e-book of book 2 of the Children of the King, The Fire Starter, an autographed paperback of Washed Under the Waves, and a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Blog Giveaway:
Special giveaway for one of my readers!  The prize is an autographed paperback copy of Washed Under the Waves.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

"The Silent Song of Winter" by Robin E. Mason Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

The Silent Song of Winter

About the Book

The Silent Song of Winter

Series: Seasons
Historical, Romance
Publisher: Bird’s Nest Books
Publication date: February 28, 2018

When all the noise has gone silent, all that is left is her song.

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

Pearl had lived under the impossible taskmaster of perfection. Nothing she does or ever did pleased her mother. And nothing she ever did could disappoint her father.

Caught up in the mystery of her friend’s curious—and secretive—return, Pearl wrestles with her own decisions, and flees lest her own secrets are exposed.

About the Author


I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.



TSSOW Prize Pack

Giveaway includes: a print copy of the book, a (faux pearl) brooch and pair of earrings, peppermint candy’s (Pearl’s fav) china tea and cup, and a sampler of the tea, and a bookmark
Enter the giveaway HERE.

Tour Schedule


Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Riveting, Fast-Paced Regency--"The Innkeeper's Daughter" by Michelle Griep Review

"The Innkeeper's Daughter" by Michelle Griep is a riveting, fast-paced Regency you won't want to miss! This is the second book that I have read by this author and I am just in love with the way she writes. The first book I read by Ms. Griep was "12 Days at Bleakly Manor" (read my review here).

Ms. Griep is a master of characters. The way she writes her characters is very Dickens-esque; she makes the traits and quirks of some characters almost over-the-top. Some of the characters are so eccentric and quirky; I had a big smile on my face every time I read about them. Even the side characters are so well written. Dickens fans especially will probably recognize some familiar character traits and eccentricities.

I love the journey of faith that the two main characters (Johanna and Alex) go through over the course of the novel. Ms. Griep weaves in the themes of surrender, trusting God and rest. She also, like Dickens, shows the corruptness of the justice system and the jails.

"The Innkeeper's Daughter" has intrigue, danger, mystery, secret identities, traitors and spies. What is not to love?! This book made my Dickens, Regency-loving heart happy!

Content: I would give this book a PG rating for some minor content. Some examples of the content are: a character gambles; mentions that people curse, but the curse isn’t actually written; some characters drink alcohol; references to bawdy houses; a joke about a maiden on her wedding night; the word “maggot” is used; references to wenching and drinking; a man notices a woman’s curves; the word “damn” is used; a character is beaten with a whip; some violence; mention of a woman being ravished.

Rating: I give this book 4.5 stars.

Genre: Christian fiction; Romance, Regency; Historical; Mystery

I want to thank Michelle Griep, Shiloh Run Press and Barbour Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

About the Author:

Michelle Griep is an author, blogger, and occasional super-hero when her cape is clean.

You can visit her at https://michellegriep.com/.

To purchase the book, click here

Saturday, February 24, 2018

"The Saturday Night Supper Club" by Carla Laureano Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!

The Saturday Night Supper Club FB banner copy

About the Book


The Sunday SupperTitle: The Saturday Night Supper Club

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Christian fiction/romance fiction

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t…

Click here to purchase your copy!

pic_LGb_Laureano_CarlaAbout the Author

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.


I love how much of this book involves food!  This is the perfect read for a foodie, but even if you’re not a foodie, you will still be able to appreciate all the wonderful descriptions of food.  I love the way this author describes the life of a chef and the food industry.  I really learned so much and had no idea the grueling life a chef lives.

The characters in this book are so well written!  The two main characters have great chemistry that practically leaps off the page and you can almost hear the sizzle.  I especially liked Alex’s character from the beginning.  I appreciate his thoughtfulness and willingness to be humble and admit when he is wrong and apologize.  He wants to do the right thing and seeks God’s direction in a certain situation, even when the “right” thing could be detrimental to himself and his business.
Ms. Laureano doesn’t shy away from writing about potentially controversial topics either.  This story deals with sexism in the workplace and how social media can be harmful (people often feel anonymous and do things they would never do in real life).  I think it’s so great Ms. Laureano is bringing these topics to people’s attention through her story. 
This book is a pure delight!  Reading “The Saturday Night Supper Club” by Carla Laureano is like going to an incredible feast, except you don’t come away with the extra weight gain (you’re just left very hungry). 
Content: This author’s writing seems to fall on the edgier side of Christian fiction.  I would probably rate this book PG-13.  Some examples of the content are: talk of a woman trading sexual favors to succeed in her business; reference to a woman’s butt; reference to drinking with a meal/in a social setting; joking about the “morning after;” a man ogles a woman; references to past verbal abuse; references to past alcohol abuse.

Rating: I give this book 4.5 stars.

I want to thank Celebrate Lit, Tyndale House and Carla Laureano for the complimentary copy of this book for review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

Guest Post From Carla Laureano

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a cooking problem.
It started early and innocently enough, flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and marking things I wanted to try. Making cakes and muffins from a mix. Flipping frozen steak patties. Doctoring canned spaghetti sauce.

It wasn’t long before I got into the hard stuff: muffins from scratch, slow-cooked marinara, cast-iron seared and oven-finished rib eyes. Over the years, I tried to kick the habit numerous times, but every time things got tough, I found myself falling off the wagon and heading back into the kitchen. Even hosting dinner parties. Yes, dear reader, I pulled my hapless friends into my madness. To my shame, I even got some of them hooked with their own addiction.

Before I knew it, my obsessions started creeping into my day job. No longer was it enough to write contemporary romance about normal people who order take-out. No, I had to write chefs and passionate home cooks and describe the food in the books just as lovingly as I did a first kiss. And then the final straw—a book series centered entirely on food and the culinary profession, beginning with The Saturday Night Supper Club.

All joking aside, cooking really is an addiction that I haven’t been able to kick. As a writer, I spend hours locked in my own imagination, creating things out of words and ideas. And while it’s immensely fulfilling, it’s a long, painstaking process that takes months, even years, before I can release the final product into the world. While there’s a large amount of planning and analysis involved in creating a book, the work is still mostly in my head.

Which is why I find cooking to be such a relaxing creative pursuit. Dicing a pile of vegetables into perfectly uniform cubes may take the same concentration and precision, but it’s concrete and measurable. It becomes a personal challenge to do something better than last time, improving by tiny, nearly imperceptible increments. It’s the closest to meditation that my always-on brain ever experiences, clear of all thought except for my activity at the present moment.

And yet, simultaneously, food is ephemeral. Mistakes last only as long as it takes to eat them or toss them directly into the trash can, depending on the nature of the mistake. If a sauce breaks, I toss it and start over. If I burn something, I either cut off the burned part or I order takeout and try again the next day. There’s an element of experimentation and instinct and whimsy that isn’t hampered by the pursuit of perfection. Let’s face it, a mediocre chocolate chip cookie beats a perfect celery stick any day of the week.

It was natural, then, to write a chef heroine who had dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of culinary perfection and explore all the ways that food makes our lives and relationships richer. How it anchors our memories. How we nurture others by feeding them. How a simple meal becomes meaningful not because of the food, but because of the connections we form with others over the dinner table.

In the end, I guess my cooking problem isn’t that much of a problem after all. If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen.

Blog Stops

Rachel Scott McDaniel, February 20
Just Commonly, February 20
Mommynificent, February 21
Among The Reads, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 21
Fiction Aficionado, February 22
Quiet Quilter, February 22
The Power of Words, February 23
Janices book reviews, February 24
C Jane Read, February 24
Faery Tales Are Real, February 24
All of a Kind Mom, February 25
Inklings and notions, February 25
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 25
Carpe Diem, February 26
Smiling Book Reviews, February 26
Splashes of Joy, February 27
Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest post from Mindy)
Radiant Light, February 28
Moments Dipped in Ink, February 28
Baker kella, February 28
Pause for Tales, March 1
Book by Book, March 1
Bigreadersite, March 1
amandainpa, March 4
By The Book, March 5
Pursuing Stacie, March 5



To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize of a $200 Visa Card for the winner and a friend to attend a cooking class!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9b4

Friday, February 23, 2018

"Phoebe's Light" by Suzanne Woods Fisher Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!

Pheobes Light FB banner copy

About the Book

Phoebe's Light-Book Cover

Title: Phoebe’s Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Marcy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.
Click here to purchase your copy!
My Review
“Phoebe’s Light” by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a unique story set on Nantucket Island during the 1600s and 1700s when whaling was prevalent.  I used to read a lot of books about the Amish, Quakers and Mennonites.  It has been awhile now since I’ve picked one up and I was especially excited that this book is about Quakers since I don’t know as much about them.
Ms. Fisher weaves history and detail deftly into her story.  I love the setting of Nantucket, especially since I have visited there before.  I learned a lot about whaling, ships, Quakers and Nantucket during this time period.  The author obviously put a lot of research into her book.  It is fascinating to learn about the Quakers and their faith, and what sets them apart.  It is helpful that Ms. Fisher includes terms and a character list in the beginning of the book.
I really enjoy the way Ms. Fisher writes the characters in this story; especially Phoebe, Matthew and Great Mary.  All three of them have wonderful character arcs, and their characters undergo transformations throughout the book.  At the beginning of the story, I did not like Phoebe and thought the choices she made were unwise.  By the end, the author made me admire the way Phoebe handles certain situations and she really becomes a stronger and much more likeable person.  I loved reading the journal entries of Great Mary, and laughed at how she sometimes crosses out her real feelings (which you could still read).
“Phoebe’s Light” is an inspiring and original story that will hopefully help us each examine our faith.  Ms. Fisher explores what it means to truly be a Christian and the difference between religion and true Christianity. 
Content: I would give this book somewhere between a PG and PG-13 rating for some content.  Examples: Some graphic descriptions of violence against Quakers and sailors; indicates a man is a drunkard and fights a lot; a man smokes tobacco; reference to the wedding bed; says a man curses, but the actual curses are not written; a woman mentions a demon is the cause of her low spirits and there is thought that a demon possesses a baby; a short scene where a man tries to force his wife to fulfill her marital duty, but they are interrupted; a woman uses opium to escape, becomes addicted and goes through withdrawal.
Rating: I give this book 4 stars.
Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Romance.
I want to thank Suzanne Woods Fisher, Revell and Celebrate Lit for the complimentary copy of this book for review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

About the Author


Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher


A Stroll down Petticoat Row

Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.

Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.

Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.

First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.

After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!

Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins

1 ¼ cup sugar
2 ¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup raisins
2 cup grated carrots (4 large)
1 apple, shredded
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup pecans or walnuts
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.

Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café

Blog Sops

Aryn The Libraryan, February 15
With a Joyful Noise, February 16
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16
A Greater Yes, February 16
ASC Book Reviews, February 17
Book by Book, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 18
The Power of Words, February 18
Splashes of Joy, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
Karen Sue Hadley, February 19
All of a kind Mom, February 20
Baker Kella, February 21
Mommynificent, February 21
Janices book reviews, February 21
Lighthouse Academy, February 22
Readers cozy corner, February 22
Mary Hake, February 22
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
Faery Tales Are Real, February 23
Blogging With Carol, February 24
Among the Reads, February 24
Carpe Diem, February 24
Red Headed Book Lady, February 25
Just the Write Escape, February 25
By The Book, February 26
For The Love of Books, February 26
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26
Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)
Maureen’s Musings, February 27
Bigreadersite, February 27
Bibliophile Reviews, February 28
Pursuing Stacie, February 28


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e0