Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Gray Chamber Celebration Tour!


About the Book


Book:  The Gray Chamber
Author: Grace Hitchcock
Genre:  Christian Historical / Suspense
Release Date: January, 2020

Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?

Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.

With her late parents’ fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. And Edyth fears she will never be found.

At the asylum, she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

My Thoughts:  This book certainly holds the readers' attention.  Well written with many twists in the plot it is hard to put down.  Grace Hitchcock writes stories based on true facts.   This novel will educate the reader what it was like back in 1887 when women could be "disposed" of by putting them away in an asylum.  The treatment of the women in hair raising and will shock the reader.    The author has done an excellent job with the characters in this story, all of them very believable and easy to relate to.  Honestly, this book had me on pins and needles until the very end, I felt empathy for Edyth and the plight that she had to go through.   I was cheering her on throughout the story.  If you love history you will like this novel based on true facts.  This is a novel about a strong young woman who fully puts her faith in God.  It's a story that shows even though people can turn on you or be untrustworthy, you can always rely on God.  This is a book that comes highly recommended and I look forward to the next book in the series.  

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



IfAbout the Author

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

More from Grace

I am thrilled to share with you my second novel in the True Colors series, The Gray Chamber, which is set in New York City in 1887. I loved writing about Edyth Foster, our cat-rescuing, spunky heroine who spends her days painting, fencing with her dreamy instructor, and avoiding society at all costs, which as you can imagine, comes back to haunt her before the end. I’ve never written about a character who despised reading, so that was a new one for me. Edyth just doesn’t like to sit still long enough to finish a book, but you’ll find out why later.   I am pretty certain the librarians at my local branch are wondering what in the world my hobbies are, judging from the stacks of fencing books for beginners, histories of New York crime in the 19th century, and Nellie Bly’s Ten Days in a Mad-House, and more that I have continuously checked out since moving back to Louisiana.   The inspiration for this book came from Nellie Bly’s scandalous exposé for Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper, The World. In reading Nellie’s articles, I was shocked at the grounds by which the asylum would commit women and that’s when I discovered a tiny mention about an heiress with family members who had her tucked away so they could have her fortune. . .and Edyth Foster was born.   I hope you will enjoy reading about our eccentric leading lady and her fencing master hero, Raoul “Bane” Banebridge. If you are interested in seeing pictures of the asylum and to see what I pictured the characters looking like, check out my Pinterest board here.   Thank you for joining the fun for the Celebrate Lit tour! Join my author newsletter for more bookish news and to find out what is coming next! Just enter your e-mail address and name here. Happy Reading!   “With beautiful description and shiver-worthy scenes, Grace Hitchcock has penned an incredible fiction story based on true history. The Gray Chamber was a fascinating and chilling read. Edyth’s story had me glued to the pages. But as I journeyed with the heiress and her eccentricities, the greed of her family which saw her locked up in an asylum against her will made me grateful for the freedoms I have today. And made me pray that my voice would never be silenced. The nightmare was brought to life so vividly that I found myself holding my breath and then cheering on Bane as he never gave up on Edyth. This is a story that will stick with me for a long time…”   ~Kimberley Woodhouse – Carol-Award winning and Best-Selling Author of more than twenty books, including: MissTaken Identity, The Express Bride, The Golden Bride, The Patriot Bride, and The Mayflower Bride.

Blog Stops

A Reader’s Brain, January 20
Texas Book-aholic, January 20
Emily Yager, January 21
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 21
Older & Smarter?, January 21
Bigreadersite, January 22
Genesis 5020, January 23
deb’s Book Review, January 23
Blogging with Carol, January 23
KarenSueHadley , January 24
Mary Hake, January 24
Godly Book Reviews, January 26
The Becca Files, January 26
Daysong Reflections, January 27
Back Porch Reads, January 28
Robin’s Nest, January 28
Betti Mace, January 29
Rebecca Tews, January 29
Vicky Sluiter, January 29
By The Book, January 30
Hallie Reads, January 30
Remembrancy, February 1
With a Joyful Noise, February 1
Pause for Tales , February 2

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of The Gray Chamber!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!


I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Seeking Him Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival




Revival isn’t just an emotional experience. It’s a complete transformation. It can happen in your heart, in your home, in your church, and in your world. Restore your first love. Develop a heartfelt desire for God’s Word. Resolve conflicts. Repair relationships. Remove bitterness, fear, and worry. Refresh your spirit. Renew your mind. Reenergize your life. You can’t get back your passion and zeal for the Lord. Begin by Seeking Him!

My Thoughts:  If you are looking for a Bible study this should be one that you consider.  Written by leading author Nancy  DeMoss Wolgemuth, it will certainly bring you closer to God.   This study will certainly "revive" the reader into a closer walk with God.  It is a 12-week study, broken down into daily exercises to be done throughout the week, which makes it easier to study and to keep up with Bible reading.  It begins by discussing who needs revival, dealing with topics such as humility, honesty, and repentance just to name a couple.  The format is wonderful, it has a faith builder story, making it personal and truth encounters.  A great study!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Above the Fold Celebration Tour


About the Book


Book:  Above the Fold
Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: December 3, 2019

Confined behind a secretarial desk at her father’s struggling newspaper, Elissa Tillman longs for her father and the world to take her seriously—not just as a suffragette, but also as a full-fledged journalist.

Cole Parker regrets the day he’d abandoned Pittsburgh to chase a high-profile journalism job in New York, but now he’s returned to the steel city to amend his mistakes and win back the woman he once spurned.

The murder of a millionaire offers the perfect chance for Elissa to nab the headline and prove her skills. But there’s a catch. To get her story above the fold, she must compete for it. Her rival is none other than Cole Parker, the very man who shattered her heart.

My Thoughts: A lovely story about a young woman trying to find her way in a field that overlooked women.  The United States is in the midst of prohibition and women are trying to make their mark in the world fighting for equality. All Elissa wanted was to have a news story in her name.   This is a wonderful story of forgiveness, trust all mixed in around a mystery.  Readers will be able to relate to and enjoy the characters in this novel.  It is a book that the reader will not want to put down.  The author captures the readers attention and keeps it with the twists and turns in the plot.  I will certainly be looking for more books by Rachel Scott McDaniel.
⭐⭐⭐⭐


Click here to get your copy.  

About the Author


Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. She currently enjoys life in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Rachel can be found online at www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms.  

More from Rachel

What does the classic movie His Girl Friday, famous mystery writer Agatha Christie, and my husband’s grandfather all have in common? They were all used as inspiration for my debut novel Above the Fold. His Girl Friday is one of my favorite stories. This movie captures the thrill of the newspaper world—that drive within the reporter’s heart to get the scoop, that hum of activity from the newsroom to the firing of the presses, and that inescapable pursuit to beat out the opposing paper. But what I loved most about this movie was the chemistry between the two main characters. They share a romantic history. In turn, there is major tension, but man oh man is there spark! So this triggered my creative mind. What would happen if I switched the roles and had the heroine be the one that gets jilted? What if I set this story in the 1920s when the profession of journalism was male-dominated? What if I add some more mystery? Cue Agatha Christie. this person the villain instead of that one? The idea that came to me had nothing to do with the story we’d been watching, but one thing that’d been said flickered a light in me. I love it when that happens! And I also love it when I can incorporate pieces of my personal life into the book. This brings me to the biggest inspiration of the story—my husband’s grandpa. Grandpa Jay Lewis had two loves in his life—his wife and the newspaper press. He’d started working for the local newspaper during his early teens and made his way up the ranks until he became the press foreman. Here’s a picture of Jay when he was in his early 20s. The hat shown was made of folded newsprint paper and worn to keep the ink from dripping on his head. But the expression in this picture says it all—the press was his happy place. He’d worked with the presses for over five decades, until he no longer had the strength. In 2004, he passed away, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of many. So in tribute to Jay and his great passion for the newspaper world, I included him in the cast of characters. I only hope I was able to capture his zeal. So there you have it. Inspiration came to me in a myriad of ways, but they all worked together to bring you a story that I pray delights your heart.
 My husband and I love Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple series. Did you know that she wrote over 74 books? That’s staggering to me. My mind reels at how intricate and varied all her plots are. My husband and I would try to guess who the murderer was at the beginning of a story and more often than not, we were wrong! On one particular night we were watching a PBS version of Miss Marple and an idea struck me. What if I changed my story to go this route? What if I made


Blog Stops

Robin’s Nest, January 14
Godly Book Reviews, January 15
Betti Mace, January 18
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 18
Texas Book-aholic, January 19
janicesbookreviews, January 20
Emily Yager, January 20
She Lives to Read, January 21
Life of Literature, January 22
Daysong Reflections, January 23
Stories By Gina, January 24
Jacquelyn Lynn, January 24
Hallie Reads, January 25
Back Porch Reads, January 26
Batya’s Bits, January 27

Giveaway


To celebrate her giveaway, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an Autographed Paperback copy of Above the Fold, A Custom Newspaper-Themed Book Cozy, An Above the Fold vintage-style bookmark!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 



I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, January 10, 2020

Priceless Celebration Tour!

 

About the Book


Book:  Priceless
Author: Vickie Burns
Genre: Devotional/Cookbook
Release Date: November, 2019

Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 is a Bible study and cookbook combined. The author, Vickie Burns, takes the reader verse by verse through Proverbs 31, showing them how precious and loved they are. At the end of each day’s study, meal suggestions and recipes are provided to fill their homes with tantalizing aromas and great food. Even young children can help with meal preparation so they learn that dinner doesn’t just magically appear on the table.

For women who’ve read Proverbs 31 and felt inadequate, like they could not possibly live up to God’s description of the perfect woman, Priceless reveals that they have more in common with her than they ever imagined.

“Today’s busy mom rarely finds time to steal a few moments of peace and quiet to spend with the Lord each day,” Vickie says. “On top of that, she most likely does not take the time to flip through endless sections of cookbooks to plan a unique evening meal. Priceless encourages women to view their tasks as God’s call to an abundant life, empowers them by providing a daily word from Proverbs 31, and eases their minds by providing a full menu for the evening meal each day.”

My Thoughts:  This is such a unique idea,  a devotional and a cookbook all in one.   This is a book that helps us learn and to become more like the virtuous woman... just like the woman of Proverbs 31.  This is the Godly, industrious woman that is devoted to her family.  This book will give the reader many insights into this woman, and encourage the reader.  This book also gives the reader a full  menu for the evening meal.  A wonderful idea, and great encouragement to the women who read it.
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Click here to get your copy. 

About the Author


Vickie Burns is passionate about showing women how to love and live the abundant life that Jesus Christ offers. Through Bible study, public speaking, and writing inspirational cookbooks, Vickie inspires women to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength; to see and love themselves as Christ does—PRICELESS; and to love others through genuine hospitality. She lives in Texas with the love of her life, Todd Burns, and they have two daughters.  

More from Vickie

This book, Priceless, is not my story but it was birthed from it. I was raised in a single-parent Christian home after my parents divorced. I watched my mom handle everything: cooking, cleaning, bills, homework, a full-time job, etc. I had no idea until I became a wife and mother all that she must have been through while raising three children on her own. I do know that she had a strong relationship with the Lord and that she had friends and family support. Today, I look back at my childhood with renewed respect for my mom. My husband, Todd and I did our best to raise our two girls to honor the Lord while we went to school for our master’s degrees and tried to keep our household running smoothly. I had the help of a husband and was still overwhelmed while working as a teacher, trainer, coach and administrator in public education. On top of that I was still a wife, mother, friend, sister, chef, chauffer, nurse and more. Over the years, as I have gotten to know other women, I realize that I am not alone. We all long for ways to balance work and family, cooking and cleaning, physical busyness and spiritual warfare. As my heart broke for the busy women in my life (to whom I totally relate) I longed to try and make life a little easier for all of us. I began to study God’s Word for answers. As I studied, I learned that God created us for relationship with Himself and with others. I learned that sharing our burdens with one another is His design. I found out that love should drive every word and action as we relate to others. I discovered that the crazy life that we are trying to balance is actually our ministry to our families and communities. I also realized that hospitality isn’t just something that was dreamed up by Martha Stewart. God ordained hospitality from the beginning when He created Adam and Eve in His image and placed them in the garden of Eden. God touches the heart of mankind with a piece of His own. There are examples of this throughout scripture. The biggest deposit of God’s heart within us is the gift of His Spirit. This gift is what makes genuine hospitality possible today. When we touch another person’s heart with a piece of our own, we are showing hospitality, sharing the love of Christ, and making connections that impact our world. This revelation was the birth of my ministry. I call it The Heart of Hospitality. Through my writing and speaking engagements, I share with women how to see the tasks and responsibilities of our daily lives as a calling from God. Beyond that, I help women understand that viewing their lives in this way is what Jesus meant when He said He came to give us “abundant life”. My prayer for you, as you read this book is:
  • that you will be touched with a piece of God’s heart.
  • that hospitality will come to mean something new to you.
  • that each devotion in this book exposes your pricelessness in Christ.
  • that you will know beyond the shadow of any doubt that you are rare, unique and have significant meaning to your Creator.
May God richly bless you and your household.       When people hear about my Job-like experience with the modern-day Cinderella story ending, I often hear remarks like “WOW, that should be a movie!” It has been six and a half years of full-on redemption and restoration and, honestly, I still pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming this! After 12 years of spiritual abuse that left me a shell of a person, devastated and distraught, I began a breathtaking journey of healing for all the loss I’d endured. The loss of my 18 year marriage, destroyed relationships with my adult children, the death of my well known publishing company and destruction of my career, along with the fatality of my credit score as I lost my home, my income, and all material things that meant anything to me. Those 12 years of deception cost me big time, but we serve a Romans 8:28 God who uses all things, even that, for good. I’m on the other side now, healed and restored, proclaiming the faithfulness of a God who used what the enemy meant for evil … for good! I love the creativity He uses in the redemption process … to think He would allow me to be a pastor’s wife now … hand-picked by my pastor-hubby’s late wife of 49 years … with restored relationships with my adult children and grandchildren … to be a radio show host interviewing authors whose stories ring of the faithfulness of God … to steward well another publishing endeavor called Redemption Press … so many full circles where God’s sovereignly connects the dots and brings insight that mends my soul. I’m excited to share my story with you, to be authentic and transparent, and to reflect the glory of God. I pray that you’re encouraged by all that God has done, and that you’re left with a healthy dose of hope in His faithfulness and His ability to bring good out of bad, every time. And now, I’ll leave you with an inviting peek into some trivia about my life… My Uncle Skeeter is a famous actor, James B. Sikking. Known for his part as Howard Hunter on Hill Street Blues and Doogie Howser’s Dad. When I was 14 years old, I owned 7 horses and showed most of them in horse shows across the country, with my last official show being Madison Square Gardens. I absolutely LOVE Vizslas…also known as Hungarian Pointers…I’ve had 2 of them over the last 14 years and am addicted. They are THE COOLEST dogs! I used to work for Helen Reddy, as an administrative assistant to her manager/husband, and before that, for the manager of Rufus & Chaka Khan when they recorded their first hit, Tell Me Somethin’ Good. My Grandma’s house overlooked the Santa Monica beach and originally belonged to the silent movie star, Mary Pickford. When I was five years old, my grandma, Dr. Sue Sikking, was the honored guest on the popular TV show “This is Your Life” with host Ralph Edwards. I was part of the cast when our family surprised her with our attendance, and fervently tugged on Mr. Edwards suit jacket to try to get his attention!

Blog Stops

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Vickie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Priceless and a $50 Amazon Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! 



I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Monday, January 6, 2020

Focused Backstory Celebration Tour!

 

About the Book


Book:  Focused Backstory
Author: Carol Alwood
Genre: Non-fiction, writing resource
Release Date: June 26, 2019

Learn how to write characters readers will love.

Has an industry professional told you not to dump character history at the beginning of your story? If so, you aren’t alone. But what’s the solution to this common advice? Most writers take the time to design interesting characters with troubled pasts. They long for readers to care about the characters’ lives. However, the sad truth is on page one, readers don’t care—yet. That’s why industry gurus tell writers to stop overusing character history, also called backstory, at the beginning of stories. Have you ever wondered… How to use backstory correctly? What are the ways other writers successfully incorporate backstory into their work? Do tools exist to help writers better plan stories so the backstory isn’t such a problem? In Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys, you’ll find answers to these questions and more. You’ll learn how to avoid the dreaded info-dump and instead, harness curiosity so readers keep turning pages. This resource breaks down focused backstory into simple pieces to use flexibly in any story no matter what genre or length. Worksheets, tables, questionnaires, and templates will help you plan an engaging story with deep characters. Examples from popular stories will help you understand this method.


You’ll learn how to
• design a character around a troubled past.
• create additional characters around the main character.
• weave interesting sub-plots within a characters’ journey toward healing.
• design proper obstacles which interfere with characters’ goals.
• guide readers’ emotions so they have a satisfying reading experience.

No matter what kind of writer you are, if you take the time to analyze the use of backstory, it will enhance your style. Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys is the missing gadget in your writing tool kit.

My Thoughts:  Are you thinking about writing?  Or maybe you're stuck with a thought you want to get down on paper but just not sure where to go with it.  This book will certainly help you with your writing process, helping you develop your characters and get the story rolling.  Overall, this was an informative book on backstory with a wide variety of examples from books, film, and television to illustrate the concepts. Definitely worth a read by anyone looking for an in-depth, analytical look at how to break down the concept of character backstories.  This is an in-depth study guide to what makes a good background for your story concept.  She tells the reader how to choose your character's background and how to leave traces of them throughout the storyline.  There are a number of worksheets for the reader to download to help assist the reader in working on their character's background.    This is a helpful tool for writers.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author


Carol Alwood has an unending passion for fiction, and she can’t think of a better way to spend her life than writing books for young adults and teaching about techniques she has learned along the way. With a Master of Education, experience as a content editor, and over a decade of establishing and working with critique groups, she is an excellent resource. An award-winning author, Carol finds joy in helping writers find the right tools to plan, draft and revise their novels so they can achieve excellence in storytelling.

More from Carol

Focused Backstory resulted from a personal quest to please industry critics who suggested I keep character history out of the first pages of my novels. My initial questions to this advice were: What? Why? I searched for resources to figure out how to write a more powerful beginning without relying on the past but found little help. On a mission to find answers, I studied popular books, television and movies to abstract what made stories work and — boom! I found it! We can break down backstory into simple pieces to use flexibly in any story without compromising artistry. This book provides definitions, examples, worksheets, templates, and comics to help writers study the art of using powerful character histories to keep readers turning pages. I’m so excited to offer this resource and hope it will empower your writing as it has mine.

Blog Stops

Holly Jo Morris, December 28
janicesbookreviews, December 29
CarpeDiem, December 29
Jacquelyn Lynn, December 29
Mary Hake, December 30
Blogging With Carol, December 31
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 31
Genesis 5020, January 1
Pause for Tales, January 1
Emily Yager, January 3
Remembrancy, January 4
A Reader’s Brain, January 5
Sara Jane Jacobs, January 5
Godly Book Reviews, January 6
A Diva’s Heart, January 8
Artistic Nobody, January 9
Texas Book-aholic, January 10
Stories By Gina, January 10

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!


 I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”