Friday, December 3, 2021

The Nutcracker’s Suite by Chautona Havig

 

The Nutcracker's Suite

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021

Nutcracker“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of
secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

 My Thoughts:

I always enjoy this author’s books and this one was no exception.  Old school mob?  Count me in!  Suspense, mystery, and murder…that just makes it even better.

If you can’t guess based on the name, this book is somewhat of a fairytale retelling of the nutcracker. Honestly before starting this book, I didn’t remember much of that story but as I read it was ‘oh yeah, I can see that’.  Completely well written book that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Highly recommend.

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.  

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

media-headshot-sm-240x300Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona 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 at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

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/13cfb/the-nutcracker-s-suite-celebration-tour-giveaway


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Finding Love in Bridal Veil Oregon by Miralee Ferell

 

About the Book

Book: Finding Love in Bridal Veil Oregon

Movie Title: Finding Love in Mountain View

Author: Miralee Ferrell

Book Genre: Historical Romance

Movie Genre: Contemporary Romance (Loosely based on the book)

Release date: March 6, 2015

Against a backdrop of thievery and murder in the historic logging town of Bridal Veil, Oregon, a schoolteacher is torn between the memories of a distant love and the man who could be her future.

Margaret Garvey had promised her heart to Nathaniel Cooper the night he disappeared from town. Four years later, just as she’s giving love a second chance with Andrew, a handsome logger, Nathaniel returns to town and delivers a devastating secret. While grappling with the betrayal of those she trusted most, Margaret risks her reputation and position by harboring two troubled runaways who might be involved in the murder of a local man. And as disaster strikes the town and threatens the welfare of its citizens, Margaret will be faced with the most important choice of her life.

 

 

About the Movie

Margaret Garvey (30s) is a successful architect whose relationship with her boyfriend has
become distant due to their different work schedules. Having not talked with her estranged cousin, Susan, for years, Margaret is told that Susan has died in a car accident, and that she is entrusted by Susan to take care of her children and estate in Mountain View, AR. After her initial reluctance, Margaret decides to give it a try and gradually grows to love her life in Mountain View. While taking care of the children, Margaret gets to reunite with Andrew, an old love of hers, and reawaken their feelings for each other. Now she must decide which is more important to her – continuing with her old life, or honoring her cousin’s wish and make a new life with Andrew in Mountain View.

 My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed both the book and the movie.  I watched the movie before reading the book.  The book was really good.  Fast paced and the storyline kept me intrigued start to finish.  I was rooting for Nathaniel the whole way.

I loved God's plan that you could see through the story.  It wasn't in your face, but I liked that it was obvious if you were paying attention.  Torn between two guys that are vastly different, but she really needs God's direction and guidance.  I enjoyed the entire book.

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Miralee Ferrell is a traditionally published, award-winning, best-selling author of 25 books.  Her most recent novel, From the Heart, released in October 2020 as an eBook and print as well as airing on The Hallmark Channel. She has two other books releasing as movies, including Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon, a historical romance, which was remade as a contemporary romance for Hallmark, in October or November of 2021. She is the owner and publisher at Mountain Brook Ink, as well as the speculative line, Mountain Brook Fire, a traditional house in business since January 2014. She is also the lead acquisition editor at MBI and loves encouraging debut authors. Miralee lives in the Pacific N.W. with her husband, two black cats, sixteen chickens, and one very spoiled little dog.

 

More from Miralee

I thought it might be fun and interesting for readers to learn how this journey toward having a book made into a movie came into being—as well as to see how much God had a hand in it all.

In the spring of 2015, I received a phone call from a Hollywood producer. Imagine my surprise when she asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them. They were no longer producing the Love Finds You books into movies and were working on a different project for UP TV, a possible three-movie series, and she hoped I might be able to work with them. Of the thirty-five or so titles she’d read of the line, Finding Love in Sundance, Wyoming, was her favorite (retitled and re-released as Outlaw Angel). However, most channels didn’t want historical or old west movies, so she shelved it for then.

I’d gotten my rights returned to all of my LFY books and had retitled them Finding Love in Last Chance, CaliforniaFinding Love in Tombstone, Arizona, and Finding Love in Bridal Veil, OregonFinding Love in Sundance, Wyoming, became Outlaw Angel, and all four are still in print.

Here’s the amazing part. I came very, very close to turning down that contract with Summerside for Sundance. They sold the line to Guideposts, and that company didn’t continue the line much longer. Understandably, sales waned on their final releases. For a long time, I wished I hadn’t taken the contract and instead held out for one with another company for a three-book series. However, had I done that, I doubt Runaway Romance or the sequel, Follow Your Heart would ever have been written. It was Sundance that grabbed Chevonne’s attention and caused her to contact me.

It took several tries of sending ideas to UPTV for various storylines before they approved Runaway Romance, then the serious work began. Writing fifteen-page summaries of the book/movie idea, reviewing the script after it was written, and writing the book.

Since then, I’ve gone on to have two more books-to-Hallmark movies, with another one in the works. My newest (and it’s tied to the book being featured in this tour) is Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon, which was renamed Finding Love in Mountain View for the movie.  And is currently airing on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. Again, Hallmark wasn’t interested in a historical, so the book was re-invented (with my help) as a contemporary romance. It’s been an exciting, amazing journey and I give God all the glory for bringing it to pass!

Blog Stops

Lighthouse-Academy, November 27

Elly Gilbert, November 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 28

Texas Book-aholic, November 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

deb’s Book Review, November 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 2

Inklings and notions, December 3

For Him and My Family, December 4

Simple Harvest Reads, December 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 6

Splashes of Joy, December 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 7

She Lives To Read, December 8

Bizwings Blog, December 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 9

Blossoms and Blessings, December 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Miralee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/13d01/finding-love-in-bridal-veil-oregon-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, November 29, 2021

Recorder by Cathy McCrumb

 

Recorder

About the Book

Book: Recorder

Author: Cathy McCrumb

Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction

Release date: November 8, 2021

Recorder-Hi-rez FINALThe Consortium is All. But Recorder Can No Longer Obey. 

Recorder has no family, no friends, and no name. Donated to the Consortium before birth, her sole purpose is to maintain and verify the records. A neural implant and drone ensure compliance, punishing for displays of bias.

Suddenly cut off from controlling technology, Recorder tastes what it means to be human. But if the Consortium discovers her feelings, everyone she knows will be in danger.

With no name, no resources, and only an infinitesimal possibility of escape, Recorder’s time is running out.  I’m ready for more.

 My Thoughts:

Oh wow!  This is such a good book.  It was unique and I liked that it wasn’t one of the books I would normally read.  The author did a great job of grabbing your attention keeping it through the entire book.

The characters were great and the world building was awesome.  I can’t believe this is a debut novel because the writing was that good.

4/5

Thank  you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Cathy HinkleCathy McCrumb graduated from Biola University with a degree in English Literature and a love for stories. She and her husband, whom she met while writing letters to soldiers, have five children and currently live within the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. While writing is one of her favorite things to do, she also enjoys reading, long hikes and long naps, gluten-free brownies and raspberries, and crocheting while watching science fiction movies with friends and family.

 

More from Cathy

When I was about three, my first imaginary friend, Sally from Clap-Hands-Land, threw a man’s hat in the air. At the time, I found her action uproariously funny, though I no longer remember why. As I grew older, speculative fiction—almost any variety of fantasy or science fiction—became my favorite stories to tell and read.

Once I had children, however, all I managed were practical lists on scraps of paper. I shoved down that desire to create until after my youngest was born, when a friend challenged me to write again. That first short story began a landslide of words and ideas about grace, worth, and the sometimes-bittersweet reality of daily life. Soon afterward, a story was born from a vivid dream set on a stark moonscape. As I wrote it down, the Recorder herself sprang into being, and Recorder became inextricably bound to her point of view.

For me, stories are fundamentally about possibilities. The tension between catastrophe and eucatastrophe plays out with relative safety on the page. I believe that when ideas and themes intersect, however, stories can reach deep within authors and readers. Indeed, if they do not touch the author, they are unlikely to impact anyone else. When failure, grief, and evil are contrasted with faith, hope, and love, the narratives inspire deeper connections with our own emotions, others, and God. Tales of light and dark challenge us with the opportunity to think through truths and lies without leaving home.

And yet, transformation itself isn’t safe, and therefore fiction can’t be, either. The risks inherent in change open the possibilities of growth and failure. Stories provide an exploration of becoming. They can open a divide through which we can glimpse something greater or worse than our own worlds. Fiction allows us a place where we can practice and triumph.

And maybe, perhaps, even throw our hats into the air.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Mary Hake, November 21

Inklings and notions, November 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 24

Blogging With Carol, November 25

Labor Not in Vain, November 26

For Him and My Family, November 26

deb’s Book Review, November 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 30

Through the fire blogs, November 30

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 1

Wishful Endings, December 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away the grand prize of a personalized, signed hardcover copy!!

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/137ec/recorder-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Weather Girls: Windy by Jennifer Lynn Cary

 

the weather girls windy

About the Book

Book: The Weather Girls: Windy

Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 9, 2021

TheWeatherGirls_Windy couv3She grew up without a mother…

…but her little one wouldn’t.

Can the cardinal help her find true love?

Her family thinks Windy is a flighty accident waiting to happen. But with more at stake than herself, she needs to put her creativity to the test and prove them wrong.

Is there such thing as too much independence?

Kris is a private man of few words, but somehow Windy broke through his defenses. He’d like to be more than a friend, but that would mean revealing his secret.

Will he trust Windy with what he’s kept hidden?

And if he does, will she view him as someone worth building a life with?

Only the cardinal can say for sure.

Return to 1970 Indiana with Windy, the third book in The Weather Girls series for some peace, love, and Christian family values.

You will love Windy, the final book in The Weather Girls trilogy, because everyone knows the sweetest love is the one we wait for.

My Thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed all of the books in this series and was ready for this one.  I’ve grown to love the characters and am sad to see the series ending. Windy is a good character and differs from her sisters in lots of ways.

I believe you need to read the books in order to understand everything going on.  Kris is a good guy and I was rooting for he and Windy through the story.  I don’t usually think of the 70s as historical but they are.  The author did a great job transporting us there and giving us an enjoyable story.

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine. 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Choice 4Historical Christian romance author Jennifer Lynn Cary likes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl. Now transplanted to the Arizona desert, this direct descendant of Davy Crockett and her husband of forty years enjoy time with family where she shares tales of her small town heritage and family legacies with their grandchildren. She is the author of The Crockett Chroniclesseries and The Relentless series as well as the stand-alone novella Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café and her recent split-time novel The Traveling Prayer Shawl.

 

More from Jennifer

Do you remember The Mod Squad? I loved that 1960s TV show and thought Peggy Lipton’s character, Julie Barnes, was the coolest.

A few years ago my sister sent me a photo. She’d just gotten her hair done at a Blow Bar for the first time. With thick, naturally wavy hair, she was shocked at the transformation and had to share. “Jenny, it’s not just straight, it’s Peggy Lipton straight!” I didn’t need to question the reference. I knew exactly what she meant even before checking out the photo link. Peggy Lipton’s hair was board straight. But more than that, she had that pale blonde look with dark brows and lashes. In color draping terms, she’d be classified as a Winter.

Peggy Lipton is who came to mind as I imagined Windy June Day, the youngest of the Day sisters. I also saw her as extremely artistic and brave, but she needed her own book to fully tell her story. In her sisters’ books, you get an idea of her personality but with Windy, now you get to know what went on in her head—her fears, her spiritual journey, her essence. You also get to better understand her fierce nature and amazing potential.

I really loved writing all three of these stories, but there was something personal about Windy’s. I also was an unwed mother and had to consider my daughter before I could think about any relationship. I also learned the freedom of forgiveness and turning my past, my future, my daughter all over to the One who could bring beauty from ashes.

Windy looks at a lot of things that we today have chosen to forget or have learned to look at differently. It’s funny to think that not that long ago, those things were the normal, everyday life. I hope Windy brings back fun memories or gets you to talk to someone who might remember those days.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

Vicky Sluiter, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 22

Inklings and notions, November 23

For Him and My Family, November 24

Blogging With Carol, November 25

deb’s Book Review, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 28

Connie’s History Classroom, November 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 1

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card with a signed 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/137eb/the-weather-girls-windy-celebration-tour-giveaway