Sunday, August 14, 2022

Matters of the Heart by Heide Gray McGill

 

About the Book

Book: Matters of the Heart

Author: Heidi Gray McGill

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: July 15, 2022

When those experiencing the same fate she endured show up at her doorstep…

Katie determines to be their champion, no matter the fallout.

Will the man who fought for the other side also fight for her?

Unconventional Katie empathizes with the widows and orphans of the Civil War, searching for a place to call home in Shumard Oak Bend. But with no one to help her, she’ll need to do it secretly, a challenge she readily accepts. She’s taken charge before, and she’ll do it again, no matter who she has to outwit to get the job done.

He vowed to be his own man and stop doing everyone else’s bidding. But he follows orders when a pair of emerald green eyes, blazing red hair, and freckles that dance on the bridge of a pert nose conscript him to duty. Be his own man. Who is he kidding? Skunks don’t change their stripes. They leave disasters in their wake wherever they go, just like him.

Overcoming personal obstacles and finding your true self doesn’t mean going it alone. Yet the answer isn’t always in the one you seek.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Heidi is an optimist who chooses to find the silver lining in life’s clouds of doubt. This plays out in her writing. Her ability to weave scripture seamlessly into the lives of her characters will uplift and encourage you, while her masterful storytelling will keep you turning page after page and wishing for more.

Heidi lives with her husband of thirty years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend.

Fusing Faith and Fiction™

True Christian Fiction. Relatable Characters. Life-changing stories.

 

More from Heidi

Where did the idea for Matters of the Heartoriginate?

 

Before I was an author, I was the founder and director of an English as a Second Language ministry. The program touched the lives of students from 35 different countries. Regardless of culture, religion, language, or age, I found a substantial similarity in these students—they all wanted to improve their lot in life and that of their children.

 

Stories abounded of walks across deserts, financial hardships, desperate attempts to explain emergencies to medical professionals or law enforcement, failed verbal connections with schoolteachers, and an inability to obtain work because of their lack of language skills. Prejudice and distrust blocked them, culture shock took them outside their comfort zones, and the urgent need to survive made them scramble to dig deep inside and find creative ways to secure shelter and put food on their tables.

 

It wasn’t that these immigrants weren’t capable of achieving success. In their home countries, vocations varied from chemist and biologist with PhDs, to teachers, lawyers, and medical professionals. Others came from poverty and had little education but were not afraid of hard work, long hours, and low pay. They were tenacious, and they worked with relentless determination and a bullheaded resolve to achieve their goals. They relied on each other and soaked in everything around them in their desire to assimilate into the American culture and find a new place to belong.

 

Immigrants in the late 1800s were not much different. Individuals came to improve their lot in life and be a part of the greatest country in the world. In Matters of the Heart, Hans Korhonen left Finland with his brothers to take advantage of the land grants. Together, they worked to establish a farm large enough to sustain four families and support troops during the Civil War. Yet, in their desire to belong and give back to our great nation, Hans’s idyllic life changed through his service as a Union soldier.

 

Kathleen Murphy, or Katie, came to the United States to escape a life of extreme poverty and abuse in Ireland. Working in her aunt and uncle’s boarding offered more than a job. It provided the love and support of a family. Katie rose from her previous station and started fresh with hope on the horizon. She found a source of ministry that gave her life a purpose she’d not had before.

 

My association with my former ESL students helped me develop the characters in this book into individuals with which readers can identify.

 

Join Katie and Hans as they establish themselves in their new home of Shumard Oak Bend.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Texas Book-aholic, August 6

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, August 6

Inklings and notions, August 7

lakesidelivingsite, August 8

For Him and My Family, August 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 11

Blossoms and Blessings, August 12

deb’s Book Review, August 12

Connie’s History Classroom, August 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 15

Pause for Tales, August 16

Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, August 17

To Everything There Is A Season, August 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Heidi is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the first three books in the series!!

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/2070c/matters-of-the-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Prodigal Lives by Carol McClain

 

About the Book

Book: Prodigal Lives

Author: Carol McClain

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Release date: April 1, 2022

Life keeps piling problems on Meredith Jaynes. She loses her second foster child—one she was scheduled to adopt. Then Parker Snow refuses to marry her. With only her goats and artisan soap to support her, life will get no better.

If she is honest, though, she still has Crystal. Her funny, happy, loveable toddler makes the sun shine and reminds her of the never-failing love of God.

Pearl Solomon loves her life with her grandfather Guy, but every one of her triumphs is overshadowed by her sisters’ lives. With Mama Meredith, they live a life she envies. Because of her jealousy, she refuses to contact them.

Years later, life for both families twist down paths they do not wish to travel. Pearl knows she’s lost what was most precious in life but has no means of fixing things. Left to her own devices, she spirals out of control.

Meredith finds it harder to mask the despair infertility has brought to her life.

Both families believe they must reconcile themselves to their fates as reality shatters their dreams unless they dig deep for the promise of love.

 My Thoughts:

This book was an emotional roller coaster.   I loved parts of it and wanted to bawl at other parts.  The author did a wonderful job with the characters and descriptions.


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

Carol McClain is the award-winning author of four novels dealing with real people facing real problems. She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work.

Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, a budding potter and photographer. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband and growing farm. Inspired by Meredith Jaynes, she owns two goats. One will kid soon.

You can connect with her at carolmcclain.com.

On goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14030286.Carol_McClain

On BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/carol-mcclain

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.Carol.McClain

 

More from Carol

Have you ever thought you’ve seen yourself in a novel?

 

If you know an author, you probably have.

 

For years I worked with recovering addicts and those helping them in organizations like Celebrate Recovery, a Christian-styled support group like AA. If I read the events of these people’s lives in a novel, I would say, “Too fake to believe.”

 

Their lives are tragic, funny, heartbreaking, heartwarming.

 

Many of their stories made it into my latest novel Prodigal Lives (modified, disguised, and novelized).

 

I not only incorporate others into my work, but I live through my characters’ lives (Please don’t suggest a sky diving protagonist).

 

In Prodigal Lives one of my main characters owns goats. For years, I begged my husband too let me have a goat or two. He promised. Then, he wimped out, so I created Meredith Jaynes a successful artisan specializing in goat soap and raising Nubians.

 

Prodigal Lives is a sequel but can stand alone (reading both books amplifies your enjoyment, of course). This book follows the loss Pearl and Meredith feel as Pearl is adopted by her grandfather. Pearl becomes jealous of her sisters who stay with Mama Meredith, and they lose touch. Although they hear nothing from each other, neither is forgotten.

 

I believe in redemption. All my work illustrates that no matter how far you fall, a loving Father is going to make a way to redeem you. He’s done it for me, and I was an impossibly problematic child of the King.

 

I hope you enjoy Prodigal Lives. Sign up for my newsletter and blog and never miss a new release, my Biblical thoughts or an appearance I’m making. Believe me, I wouldn’t live, my blog and newsletter are fascinating.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 6

Splashes of Joy, August 7 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7

Texas Book-aholic, August 8

Inklings and notions, August 9

For Him and My Family, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 11 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, August 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 13

A Reader’s Brain, August 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 17

Spoken from the Heart, August 18

Pause for Tales, August 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize of a $50 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/20711/prodigal-lives-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, August 12, 2022

Not Dead Yet by Traci Hunter Abramson

 

About the Book

Book: Not Dead Yet

Author: Traci Hunter Abramson

Genre: Suspense

Release date: June 13, 2022

Cassidy Edgemont has been dead for four years. At least, that is what the world has been led to believe. After becoming unwittingly entangled in a group called the Coalition, known for using fake news to generate political unrest in the United States, Cas was offered a devastating choice: stage her own death and join her rescuers, the guardians, or risk the wrath of the organization she betrayed. She chose death.

As an invisible government operative, Cas has been living in Paris with no complications—until her family pays an unexpected visit to the European city, changing everything. They think Cas is dead, and she has to keep it that way. But when a bomb is detonated nearby and fake news incites riots in the city, Cas recognizes the mark of the Coalition.

Donovan, a fellow guardian, is summoned to join her in Paris to attempt to untangle the intricate web linking Cas’s past with the recent bombings. But as the threat level escalates, Cas must again make an impossible decision: face possible exposure to her family in her race to uncover the truth or risk the loss of innocent lives.

 My Thoughts:

This was such a great book.  I loved the character interactions and the uniqueness of the story.  I loved the Paris background and descriptions.

Cas and Donovan were great characters.  I really liked the suspense and the way the story unfolded.  It was one of the best written stories I’ve read in quite a long time 

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

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children’s teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first three Whitney Awards in 2013 (Code Word), 2014 (Deep Cover), and 2016 (Failsafe.) Safe House won Whitney Awards for both the mystery/suspense category as well as 2017 Adult Novel of the Year. She added two additional awards in 2019 (Mistaken Reality – best mystery/suspense and Sanctuary – Adult Novel of the Year.) She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming. 

 

More from Traci

Paris anyone? After years of restricted travel and various COVID-related challenges, I needed to spend some time back in a city I love, even if it was only as part of my fictional world. Add in my years working with the CIA, and Not Dead Yet was born.

While Not Dead Yet is technically the sixth book in the guardian series, all of these books are written as stand-alone novels, which simply visit some characters from previous novels and sometimes introduce characters that will be featured in the stories to come.

Not Dead Yet was particularly enjoyable to write, not only because it gave me an excuse to revisit my photos and memories from my most recent trips to Paris, but also because of the parallels that naturally occurred with my own life.

Cas, the main character, is the first female guardian in my fictional top-secret program of government operatives who strive to serve and protect U.S. intelligence and military personnel. When I worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, I often attended meetings in which I was the only woman in the room. Respect and loyalty had to be earned regardless of gender, and I was fortunate to work with some amazing individuals over the years. Some of those treasured work relationships come through within the pages of this book.

Another similarity to my own background is Cas’s family dynamics. She has her parents and a younger sister, which mirrors my own early childhood. Her family is often in the public eye because of their association with the media industry. While I didn’t come from the extreme wealth and fame as my character did, I do remember well what it was like to have a mom on television (The Home Hunter in Phoenix, AZ) and to have a sister working in the entertainment industry. While my sister (Tiffany Hunter) has taken over The Home Hunter in recent years, a few of her earlier positions included serving as the backstage coordinator for the Grammys as well as working as Bill Murray’s personal assistant.

Not Dead Yet blends many experiences from my past with the events of the present and the ever-present question of What if? I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 4

Inklings and notions, August 5

EmpowerMoms, August 5

For Him and My Family, August 6

Cathe Swanson, August 6

Texas Book-aholic, August 7

Blogging With Carol, August 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 8

Betti Mace, August 9

Wishful Endings, August 9

deb’s Book Review, August 10

Inside the Wong Mind, August 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 12

Holly’s Book Corner, August 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 13

Mary Hake, August 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 14

The Book Club Network, August 14

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 15 (Author Interview)

Dee S. White, August 15

CarpeDiem, August 16

Reading with Emily, August 16

Pause for Tales, August 17

Melissa’s Bookshelf, August 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Traci is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed Book, Matching bookmark, Matching pin, and Matching stickers!!

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/2070b/not-dead-yet-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Rubber-Band:Slingshot Summer by Christy Hoss

 

About the Book

Book: The Rubber-Band: Slingshot Summer

Editor: Christy Hoss

Genre: Middle Grade

Release date: May, 2022

Separated from each other at rival camps by a shared lake, the bond of the Rubber Band is challenged. Lead guitar player, Eddie attends a rustic camp for diabetics while across the lake, the rest of the band is at a posh resort for elite rich people’s children, sponsored by lead singer, Becca. During the annual Olympics between camps, the sabotage of a high-stakes kayak race threatens to sink friendships. From the moment they step off the bus to the last day of goodbyes, it’s a non-stop, hilarious and fun-filled first time-at-camp experience for the guys all while Becca is bullied by a long-time rival. Although both summer camps bring new possibilities, will it strengthen the bond of the band and change hearts or stretch them apart?

 My Thoughts:

Oh how I’ve enjoyed these books!  If you haven’t read the other books in the series, I truly think you should.  These kids are great.  I loved the info the author put into this book along with the fun.

All the band members in one camp except one who goes to a diabetic camp.  I thought the author did a wonderful job with making the info and the kid relatable here.  The competition was strong between the two camps and new friendships and old were tested.  Really good 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

Christycaught the writing bug in second grade after winning a prize for a five-page story about her dog, Noodles. Mrs. Olson told her she was destined to be a writer and that dream never left her thoughts. After teaching elementary school for fifteen years, Christy fulfilled her childhood dream with her debut novel, The Rubber Band. She substitute teaches to support her writing career, deriving writing inspiration from the students and situations she encounters.

At age twenty-five, she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes but refuses to let it limit her. Her diabetic alert dog, Aiden, has saved her life uncountable times and will appear The Rubber Band Snaps, the fourth book in the series. Christy lives by this equation: Living + diabetes = LIVE-abetes.

Christy is a freelance editor and writes children’s Bible stories for Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine and has written articles for Guideposts. She is a featured speaker for conferences, retreats and special events. Christy lives in eastern Tennessee with husband Kevin, the love of her life. They have three grown children.

The Rubber Band Slingshot Summer is the third book in The Rubber Band middle grade novel series by Christy Hoss.

 

More from Christy

If you have ever been to summer camp, I guarantee you will enjoy the Rubber Band’s newest adventure. It takes place at two camps across the lake from each other. Although this is a fictional story, some of it is based on reality. Bearskin Meadow Diabetes Camp does exist and some of the names I used are real people who have given me permission to honor them and what they do. Becca’s exaggerated outdoor adventure camp is, however, purely non-existent and based only on my imagination.

I couldn’t resist writing this light-hearted, fun-filled, nonstop adventure for the band but not without its serious message that I am hoping will encourage strength in my readers.

One week at Bible camp was always the highlight of my summer, giving me something to look forward to. The week always ended too soon for me. Fresh out of high school, I flew to Southern California and worked as a counselor for inner-city kids at a Salvation Army camp in Malibu. It was so much fun, I worked three more summers at various camps on the East Coast and then two more back in Malibu. It was inevitable I would write about the experiences one day.

If you want to experience the camp Eddie attends, check it out here: https://dyf.org/why-camp/

In order to get to Bearskin Meadow, you must travel through Sequoia National Park. Take a sneak peek at its thousand-year-old trees here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/sequoia/home

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 3

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 4

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 6

For Him and My Family, August 7

Inklings and notions, August 8

deb’s Book Review, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 12

Lights in a Dark World, August 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 14

Blossoms and Blessings, August 15 (Author Interview)

Vicky Sluiter, August 16 (Author Interview)

Book Zone Reviews, August 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the grand prize 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/2070a/the-rubber-band-slingshot-summer-celebration-tour-giveaway