“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Monday, July 9, 2018

"Her Place in Time" by Stephenia McGee--Guest Post

 

Her Place in Time Blurb:
 
Can love offer a new future…in the past?

A mysterious gown, unexpected courage, and a love that transcends time. 

Nursing student Lena Lowery faces a grim diagnosis and a dangerous surgery. On the cusp of the life-changing procedure, Lena stays at the Rosswood Plantation Bed and Breakfast for one last weekend with her mother. There in an antique armoire, Lena discovers a Civil War-era gown that holds an unimaginable cure…a trip back in time to when the house served as a hospital.

Confederate Sergeant Caleb Dockery lost his brother, his eye, and nearly his life. Stuck in a makeshift infirmary, he’s counting the days until he can return to duty…and seek revenge. When a stranger appears, he suspects she’s a spy. If he can’t return to duty and find the revenge he craves for his brother’s death, he can serve his country by stopping this traitor. But her nursing skills are saving lives, and her courage and independence stirs his heart. When Lena’s safety is threatened, Caleb must strain the loyalties that bind him or risk losing her forever. 

Caught between a future that holds no promises and a past that could offer new life, Lena must face an extraordinary decision. Should she return to her own time where her days are numbered? Or can she and Caleb find a love that stretches across time?

If you like historical romance with a twist, strong female characters, and heroes that transcend eras, you’ll love this journey through time that tests the limits of love.

*Her Place in Time is set in the house from The Liberator Series, just prior to the start of Leveraging Lincoln. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing Annabelle and Peggy in this new novella.



Guest Post: Blurring fact and fiction

 Stephenia H. McGee, Her Place in Time

 
I really love weaving fiction with reality. I suppose that’s why I am so drawn to historical fiction. I wonder what it would be like in the past, and then try to paint that world by bringing the research to life.
 
One of the best things about research is traveling to the historical locations, and one of my favorites has been Rosswood Plantation.
 

Beautiful, isn’t it? I first happened on Rosswood when looking for a historical plantation to set The Liberator Series. I met with the owners and asked if they would be interested in letting me use the house for my books. Not only did Miss Jean allow me to use the house, but she also told me all about its history as a Civil War hospital and let me see copies of the historical owner’s (Doctor Walter Ross Wade) plantation diaries (which you can also see if you stay at the bed-and-breakfast!)




My mother and I had a wonderful stay, and we were served a mouth-watering breakfast by Rosswood’s very own Peggy (I adored this lovely lady so much, I named one of my characters after her).
Here they are, Mr. Ray Hylander and the talented Ms. Peggy, both real people who appear in Her Place in Time when Lena visits Rosswood in the present.


And here are a few more pictures from our stay.

 
 

I loved the house and the history and knew it would be a great house for the story. After the completion of The Liberator Series, I wanted to take another trip to Rosswood, and had this wild idea. What if by putting on one of the house’s Civil War era gowns, a guest could be transported to the past?

Thus, the idea for Her Place in Time was born!
Here are two Civil War period gowns they found at Rosswood that are believed to have belonged to Maybella Wade, Rosswood’s historic lady.

 

 
Recognize that yellow one? It’s on the cover of Her Place in Time!







As is Rosswood, as well. I really had a lot of fun blurring the lines of fact and fiction in this one. When Lena stays at the bed-and-breakfast, she finds the yellow gown, and when she puts it on…goes back in time to when Rosswood served as a Civil War hospital. She was in for quite a shock, but no more of one than Sargent Caleb Dockery, who is intrigued by the sudden appearance of a rather unconventional lady.


You can get your copy of the novella here: https://amzn.to/2GCRNep

And be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get updates on new releases, have a chance to enter giveaways, finds some new recipes, and more! And as my thank you, I’ll send you the first book in The Liberator Series for free!

Sign up on my website: www.StepheniaMcGee.com
 
So how about you? Would you think it would be fun to travel back in time? If you could, what time would you visit?
 


 
Bio for Stephenia H. McGee
 
Stephenia H. McGee writes stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. After earning a degree in Animal and Dairy Sciences, she discovered her heart truly lies with the art of story. She put pen to page and never looked back. Visit her at www.StepheniaMcGee.com for books and updates.

Sign up for her newsletter for monthly giveaways and more, and get a FREE novel! Get yours instantly here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/81eo2tc3lm

Social Media connections: 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Mystery, Danger and Intrigue, O My!--A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano--Review



A Rumored Fortune is a masterpiece!  Joanna Davidson Politano’s debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, was on the list of my top ten fiction reads of 2017.  So I was a little worried that her next novel would not live up to her stunning debut.  As you can see, I loved A Rumored Fortune just as much!

Ms. Politano is a master storyteller and a wordsmith!  It’s hard to describe why her writing is so unique.  Some words I would use are lyrical, whimsical and creative.  It is such a pleasure to read the way she phrases sentences and paragraphs. She does a wonderful job describing people and places.
 
I love the story and the mystery in A Rumored Fortune.  It has a Gothic feel to it, reminiscent of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights.  The whole novel is very atmospheric.  Ms. Politano also weaves allusions to Christianity throughout her fictional story of Tressa and the hidden fortune.

Tressa is a main character I fell in love with.  I love how she is delicate, yet spunky.  She can take care of herself, yet also asks for help when she needs it.  She prays and I like how she talks with God.  Our hero (who shall remain a mystery because we don’t know who to trust in the beginning) is very swoon-worthy.  He also talks to God and follows his convictions to help others. 

You will not be disappointed with this book!  Ripe (in more ways than one, as it involves a vineyard) with mystery, intrigue, danger, and secrets, you will be frantically flipping through the pages to find answers.  Who can Tressa trust and where is this fortune everyone is looking for? 

Content:  This book is a clean read.

Rating: I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Christian fiction; Mystery; Historical fiction; Romance; Victorian

I want to thank Joanna Davidson Politano, LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Revell 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: 

I’m a work-from-home mom of one super cute baby girl (pictures to prove it) and I write novels. I married my hero Vince, who is my love and my polar opposite. I write, he tears it up with the red pen. I break cars and other mechanical things, he puts them back together. He’s nailed the “speak the truth” thing, and I bring the “in love” part. But the real spark to our marriage is that he does not like chocolate and I…  like it a normal amount. We love and live from our little house in the woods near Lake Michigan, which is undergoing a constant renovation.

To visit the author's website click here

To purchase the book click here

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The secret's out! This book is fantastic!--Miss Serena's Secret by Carolyn Miller--Review





It’s no secret that I love all things Regency and Jane Austen!  Ms. Miller writes stories that are Austen-esque with fabulous faith content and her own original twist.  So obviously I was ecstatic to be able to read and review Miss Serena’s Secret, her newest book in the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series!

Ms. Miller writes an engaging story true to the Regency time period.  Regency lovers will appreciate all of the historical detail included throughout the story.  Even though the book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone.  It is fun to see characters from previous books make appearances in Miss Serena’s Secret.  I love how Ms. Miller even includes a family tree.  

Let me just take a moment to appreciate Ms. Miller’s descriptions of the scenery. Wow!!!  It felt like I was watching a movie as I could envision the beautiful English countryside so well.  I need to go visit England now!  My Austen loving heart was excited to see many nods to Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. 

Miss Serena’s Secret is a book readers will love because of how the main characters are very flawed and broken in the beginning, making them relatable and accessible.  The characters learn about faith and living it out in one’s everyday life.  They pray, look to Scripture for comfort, and let their belief determine their actions. 

Miss Serena’s Secret  is a lovely tale of healing, redemption, forgiveness and faith!  Regency and romance readers won’t want to miss Carolyn Miller’s newest book!

Content:  I give this book a PG-13 rating because of the issues the main character deals with (being assaulted).  Nothing is described in detail and it is written very tastefully, but it is a sensitive topic nonetheless.  Some examples of the content are: a teacher gives unwanted attention to a student and looks down her neckline; mention of gambling; a character drinks wine; a little innuendo about a married couple but nothing overt; reference to a woman’s period; mention of a woman being assaulted; a man notices a woman’s figure, a character has episodes that could be PTSD related.

Rating: I give this book 5 stars!
Genre:  Christian fiction; Regency; Romance; Historical
I want to thank Carolyn Miller, Kregal Publications and NetGalley 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


Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's previous novels have won several contests, including the 2014 RWA "Touched by Love" and 2014 ACFW Gensis contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy.


To visit the author's website click here


To purchase the book click here

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Brilliant Historical Fantasy Novel!--"Fawkes" by Nadine Brandes--Review

 

Wow, this book deserves an award!  Nadine Brandes does an amazing job weaving fantasy and history in her new young adult book, Fawkes!  It can be enjoyed by guys, girls, and young adult and adult readers alike.  You need this book now!

Fawkes has so many amazing elements and layers to it!  Ms. Brandes did such an incredible job with this book that I could gush about it forever!  I love the concept of the whole story with the magical elements, the historical setting and the faith allegories.  I think lovers of Harry Potter and Narnia would really enjoy this book, as many parts of Fawkes are reminiscent of these classics.

Ms. Brandes describes 17th century London so well and very realistically.  I loved learning more about the gunpowder plot and the battles that were going on between Catholics and Protestants (also known as Keepers and Igniters in this story).  There are great action sequences that will keep your adrenaline pumping into the wee hours of the morning.

The characters are well developed and are sure to become reader favorites.  Thomas, the main character, finds himself caught up in a plot full of intrigue and mystery.  Thomas is looking for confidence, purpose and identity.  Emma, the other main character, is a great role model.  I love the interactions Thomas and Emma have with the White Light.  Emma and Thomas both learn that the plague or one’s skin color doesn’t define who one is.  The story has so many layers to it—religious dissension and persecution, feuds between Catholics and Protestants, religious freedom, race, and Light versus darkness. 

There are so many great messages in this incredible read!  Fawkes shows how culture affects so much of a person’s life and beliefs.  We need to have discernment, seek the source and come to our own conclusions.  We need to fight for truth and stand firm in our beliefs.  A lot of people do things in the name of God, but He doesn’t ask for murder, etc.   Instead, He asks for us to respond to His voice.  The plague in Fawkes seems to be reminiscent of sin in our lives and how the Bible talks about us having a heart of stone and that only Christ can ultimately heal our sin and hearts.   My husband is already begging to read this book and I want to give it to my nephew as well.  I highly recommend Fawkes!

Content:  I would give this book a PG-13 rating for some of the graphic descriptions and violence. Some examples of the content are: students drink wine; people drinking in an inn; the word “hell” is used; some graphic descriptions of people who were hung on the gallows or executed; a girl threatens to tell her guardian that a man forced himself upon her; talk of castrating a man; mention of cleavage; a man is drunk; a man and woman slap each other; reference to a concubine and whorehouses.

Rating: I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Fantasy; Young Adult

I want to thank Nadine Brandes, NetGalley 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

 
  • I wrote the Out of Time Series. I think it’s kind of cool.
  • I’m an adventurer.
  • I’m a Harry Potter super-nerd who has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family-size) by herself.
  • I watch Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. (Wait…you don’t?)
  • Oh yeah, I’M AN AUTHOR! (Der…) I write about other worlds soaked in imagination.
  • I love the word bumbershoot.
  • I learned to write using a fountain pen. They are the magic behind avoiding hand cramps. For reals.
  • I hate peanut butter, but I like brussel sprouts. (Sorry if you just gasped and gagged at the same time.)
  • I’ve driven a dogsled, eaten a raw potato, walked a tightwire, and waded through a cattail marsh all for the sake of book research.
  • I’ve been journaling since I was 7-years-old.

  •  
    To visit the author's website click here
    To purchase the book click here

    Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    Christian Satire at its Best—"How to Be a Perfect Christian" by The Babylon Bee—Review



    I've been following The Babylon Bee on Facebook for a couple of years and was interested in what their book would be like.  They are a group that puts out satirical articles poking fun at cultural Christianity.  For "How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living," some authors got together, and now they have a whole book that does basically the same thing in a how-to type format.  The whole book is meant to be read as satire.  It pokes fun at all of the ways our culture has made Christianity into a hip, me-centered universe that does and says all the right things to fit in.  Heaven forbid we actually make it all about the Gospel and stop judging someone on what version of the Bible they read.  Which, in the end, is their whole point—that no one can be a perfect Christian and that's why we need Christ. 

    This book was at times super relatable, so much so that it was scary.  I found myself laughing out loud, nodding my head because something was all too true, and cringing.  I think this book is geared towards my generation, as I appreciated the DC Talk, fish bumper sticker references.  I also related a lot because I went to a Bible college with a lot of rules.  Many of the rules we had to follow were in this book, down to what Bible we had to use.  I think those who do not enjoy satire or don't have this kind of sense of humor might get offended.  But it is clear that The Babylon Bee does it all in love and I found it to be a quick, fun read!

     Content: This is a clean read.

     Rating: I give this book 4 stars

     Genre: Christian Non-fiction

    I want to thank WaterBrook and Multnomah Launch Team, Multnomah and The Babylon Bee 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.

     


     
     
    To learn more about the book click here
    To purchase the book click here

    Friday, June 15, 2018

    A Must Read for Lovers of Fairy Tale Retellings and Disney!-"The Orphan's Wish" by Melanie Dickerson Review



    O my goodness, I’m so excited about this book! (flails arms in excitement and squeals!)  If you didn’t already know, Melanie Dickerson (also known as the “Queen of fairy tale retellings”) has long been one of my favorite authors.  I always eagerly anticipate her next release.  The book I’m reviewing today is called “The Orphan’s Wish” and is an Aladdin retelling and it’s amazing!  Okay, enough fan-girling.

    “The Orphan’s Wish” is a fantastic Aladdin retelling!  Even though it’s a fairy tale retelling, Ms. Dickerson sets her stories in realistic settings, choosing not to use the fantastical elements some would equate with the words “fairy tales.”  She uses great historical details and I felt like I was transported to medieval Europe and the Holy Land.  While reading, I was in the midst of a bustling German town with ornate doors, I could smell the fresh bread, and see the old churches so vividly.  She uses great descriptions of the culture, clothing, and it’s obvious that she possesses a vast knowledge of the time and place.  I also enjoyed picking up on the nods to the original Aladdin fairy tale and the Disney version.

    I love the main characters in this book, especially their faith and their love story.  I’m a sucker for stories with childhood friendships that later lead to something more, so this one melted my heart from the very beginning.  Our main characters, Kirstyn and Aladdin, start off with a strong friendship at a young age.  It’s so sweet how protective Aladdin is of Kirstyn and how kind Kirstyn is to Aladdin.  They are both great characters who have both dealt with trauma in their past and are forced to grow in their faith separately before they are able to be together.  I love the way God teaches both of them through their trials.  It’s great watching how they grow stronger through those trials instead of becoming bitter.  They pray a lot and God is such a huge part of their lives.  The Gospel message is also clearly conveyed, which I love!

    This is such a great book for all ages!  Parent and child alike will relish this retelling with strong faith aspects and lessons such as depending on God, knowing His peace, and trusting Him through trials.  I highly recommend this book!

    Content: This is a clean read, with a PG to PG-13 rating for some content.  Some examples of the content are: a man threatens to beat a boy if he doesn’t do what the man says; a man is abusive towards a child; someone mentions an illness could be caused by a demon; Aladdin is met with prejudice and racism because he’s Palestinian; men are described as drunkards; some violence; an evil man beats and handles women roughly; mention that a boy has tried to molest a girl in the past; a woman is in an abusive relationship; a girl is abducted and held prisoner.

    Rating: I give this book 5 stars!

    Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Fairy tale retelling; Romance

    I want to thank Melanie Dickerson, Thomas Nelson, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction and NetGalley 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

    Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama.


     
    She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. 

    A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.


    To visit the author's website click here
    To purchase the book click here

    Thursday, June 14, 2018

    Forsaking All Other by Catherine Meyrick Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!


     

     

     

    FORSAKING ALL OTHER BY CATHERINE MEYRICK

     
    Publication Date: April 1, 2018
    Courante Publishing
    eBook & Print; 291 Pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction
     
     
    Love is no game for women; the price is far too high.
    England 1585.
    Bess Stoughton, waiting woman to the well-connected Lady Allingbourne, has discovered that her father is arranging for her to marry an elderly neighbour. Normally obedient Bess rebels and wrests from her father a year’s grace to find a husband more to her liking.
    Edmund Wyard, a taciturn and scarred veteran of England’s campaign in Ireland, is attempting to ignore the pressure from his family to find a suitable wife as he prepares to join the Earl of Leicester’s army in the Netherlands.
    Although Bess and Edmund are drawn to each other, they are aware that they can have nothing more than friendship. Bess knows that Edmund’s wealth and family connections place him beyond her reach. And Edmund, with his well-honed sense of duty, has never considered that he could follow his own wishes. Until now.
    With England on the brink of war and fear of Catholic plots extending even into Lady Allingbourne’s household, time is running out for both of them.
    You can read the first chapter here.
    The beautiful cover for the novel was designed by Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Fiction Book Covers.

    AMAZON (KINDLE) | KINDLE (PAPERBACK) BARNES AND NOBLE | KOBO

    About the Author

    Catherine Meyrick is a writer of historical fiction with a particular love of Elizabethan England. Her stories weave fictional characters into the gaps within the historical record – tales of ordinary people who are very much men and women of their time, yet in so many ways not unlike ourselves.
    Although she grew up in regional Victoria, Australia, she has lived all her adult life in Melbourne. She has worked as a nurse, a tax assessor and finally a librarian. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also a family history obsessive.
    For more information, please visit Catherine Meyrick’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

    Blog Tour Schedule

    Monday, June 4
    Review at Broken Teepee
    Excerpt at Teaser Addicts Book Blog
    Tuesday, June 5
    Review at Impressions In Ink
    Review at Books and Glamour
    Wednesday, June 6
    Review & Excerpt at Laura’s Interests
    Thursday, June 7
    Review at Donna’s Book Blog
    Interview at Let Them Read Books
    Friday, June 8
    Review at Pursuing Stacie
    Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
    Saturday, June 9
    Review at Cup of Sensibility
    Sunday, June 10
    Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All
    Monday, June 11
    Review at What Cathy Read Next
    Tuesday, June 12Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
    Wednesday, June 13Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
    Thursday, June 14Interview at Books and Glamour
    Feature at Faery Tales Are Real
    Friday, June 15Review at WS Momma Readers Nook
    Saturday, June 16Feature at Passages to the Past
    Monday, June 18Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

    Giveaway

    During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 paperback copies of Forsaking All Other! To enter, please enter via the direct link below.
    Giveaway Rules
    – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
    – Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
    – Only one entry per household.
    – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
    – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
    Enter the giveaway here: