Monday, August 22, 2016

October Celebration Box Spotlight Information

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Celebrate Lit October Celebration Box
Celebrate Lit is excited to announce their new Celebration Box! The celebration box is a unique, one of a kind box with goodies hand picked by the author just for you! These boxes are special because they are not sold anywhere else. There is a limited supply so be sure to get yours right away!
October’s box features Molly Jebber’s Change of Heart. Sales for the October box will close on September 16 or while supplies last.
The basic box includes:
  • A minimum of 6 items handpicked by the author themed around the book.
  • A themed charm specifically chosen for this book.
  • One lucky box will contain a special item that no one else will receive.
Along with the basic box, you can purchase the ebook or paperback book for a discounted price.
To purchase your box, click here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Review, Tour, and Giveaway: "Beauty for Ashes" and "Monstrous Beauty" by Carol E. Keen

About the Books

BeautyForAshes
Beauty for Ashes
Jazz is being forced to move and her mom has given her a major task to accomplish. She has to pack up the attic. What Jazz finds in the attic changes her life in ways she never imagined, and opens her up to life altering possibilities.
Monstrous Beauty
MonsterousBeautyEthan’s father was a piece of work, to put it mildly. His father managed to become quite wealthy before he died, yet he left Ethan deeply damaged in more ways than one. Can the love and care of a strange young woman with a past of her own free him, or is he doomed to never change?


 My Thoughts
Beauty for Ashes:

I liked the different twist on the Cinderella story and Carol Keen's take on it. I enjoyed "Cinder's" growth in her Christian walk and how she became a better person for it. The fact that more than one woman fit the slipper was a cool twist, so the Prince had to employ other methods of discovering the identity of the fleeing beauty. I thought that was cool. I had a hard time reading the story as it didn't flow well for me and jumping back and forth from 3rd to 1st person when we were following the same person was confusing. I liked how the story was tied in to the Bible verse.


Monstrous Beauty:

The book kept you wondering what happened to Ethan to scar him so badly. It was not what I expected at all. You feel sorry for Annabelle and the treatment she gets from her sisters. I almost wondered if it was going to be a cross between Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, but I knew that "Beauty for Ashes" was the Cinderella remake. The book was slightly easier to read than "Beauty for Ashes" but still had quite a few errors that made it jarring for me. I liked the different twist on the Beauty and the Beast story.

About the Author
Carol E. Keen currently resides in Alabama with her husband and family. She spends her time writing, reading, working on photography, and working with her much loved critters. She started creating stories to share with others at the age of two years old. She was published for several years in FAMA magazine (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) as a contributing editor. She published her first book on CD, called Simply Seahorses. She is overjoyed to be publishing her fiction to share with you now. Carol currently has more books in the “works”. Please feel free to follow her for updates.
On a personal note: Carol really enjoys coffee and a good book.

Guest Post from Carol E. Keen

Can you believe it? I’m on my second tour with Celebrate Lit! Wow! I’m floored and happy and close to tears too. I have to say a HUGE thank you to Sandy and Denise for their encouragement and patience and help.
Today we are talking about my first series, The Beauty Series. The first book, Beauty For Ashes is the very first published fiction book that I have released. It started out as a contest entry. When it didn’t make the winning selection, I expanded it and had several trusted people read it. It was well received over all, and so I braved the scary world of navigation Amazon and published it.
Beauty For Ashes is based on Cinderella, and it was a challenge to write. I had always had some questions about why certain things weren’t covered in that story, so in my version, I added them. I answered my unanswered questions. I also have always felt that Cinderella had to be Christian to survive what she did and still be who she was.
My third published book is the second book in this series, and one of my favorite fairytales of all time. Monstrous Beauty is based on Beauty and the Beast. As with Beauty For Ashes, I always felt a “back story” to what drove the Beast was missing. In this version I have added all that, as well as having other answers to why “Beauty” was in this situation to start with. How would either of them relied on God to get through their situations?
I had a lot of fun writing Monstrous Beauty, and I’m looking forward to the next book I plan to write in this series.
Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure, and please feel free to ask questions!
Blessings, Carol 🙂

Blog Stops

August 14: Back Porch Reads
August 15: Pause for Tales
August 17: A Greater Yes
August 17: inklings and notions
August 18: Karen’s Krayons
August 20: simpleharvestreads
August 22: The Power of Words
August 24: ArtisticNobody

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away three ebook copies of the Beauty Series with bookmark. Enter the giveaway here: https://promosimple.com/ps/a180



Beauty for Ashes is available for Kindle:
  • File Size: 2904 KB
  • Print Length: 56 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Carol E. Keen (July 13, 2015)
  • Publication Date: July 13, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B011LLL19A


Monstrous Beauty is available for Kindle:
  • File Size: 4087 KB
  • Print Length: 125 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01E539P9O

I received free copies of both of these books in exchange for my honest review as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review, Tour, and Giveaway: "Twice Redeemed" by Mimi Milan

About the Book

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Click to purchase
Who will save her from herself?
After helping another girl escape, Mercedes Nobles suffers unspeakable abuse at Jericho. So when an American cowboy rides into town, she jumps at the opportunity to start a new life… even though she carries a secret that could destroy any chance of happiness for either of them.
John Durbin may have turned in his badge, but he still believes in living by a code of honor. That includes returning to a seedy Mexican saloon and rescuing a woman who helped his friends escape. However, the tables turn and he finds himself married in name only.
Struggling with cultural differences, they questions if their marriage will survive. Will John sacrifice his faith to make his new bride happy? How will Mercedes redeem herself when John learns of the secret she’s hiding?

My thoughts

"Twice Redeemed" is the second book in the Jericho Resistance series and I did not read the first book. I didn't feel totally lost, so it isn't necessary to read the first book first, but it would probably be better to meet the characters in the first book. The book had twists I did not expect it, which makes it fun that I was surprised by things. I liked watching Mercedes' journey to God and acceptance of her worth. John never told Mercedes whatever his past had been. I'm not sure if I would have learned more about him if I'd read the first book, but it would have been nice to know a little more about him. I just realized I have the first book, so I am definitely going to be reading it! 

About the Author
Profile PicMimi Milan spent two decades scribbling away in notebooks before realizing that her life’s calling was to write. So she returned from Mexico and attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Film. She currently resides in the suburbs of Charlotte, making time for God, family and imaginary friends.

Blog Stops

August 11: Books,Dreams,Life
August 13: A Greater Yes
August 14: The Wits About
August 15: Daysong Reflections
August 17: Bibliophile Reviews
August 18: God is Love
August 20: cherylbbookblog
August 21: Karen’s Krayons
August 22: Bigreadersite

Giveaway

Click to enter for the chance to win a gift basket filled with goodies like suspense novels from some of our favorite Christian authors, tea and biscotti to enjoy while reading the books, and some author swag.

"Twice Redeemed" is available in paperback:
  • Series: The Jericho Resistance
  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Eaton House (July 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996435328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996435321
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 889 KB
  • Print Length: 202 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Eaton House (June 24, 2016)
  • Publication Date: June 24, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01DL85L60

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review as part of the Celebrate Lit book tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Book Review: "Fateful Fall" by Erin Unger


Ava Worthington and her Private Investigator partners need to do a good job on their first murder case to help pay the bills after quiting her long time job with her dad. She is assigned Cory Mortel as a guide to help her during her investigation and is drawn to him.

Cory left the life he used to live for the seclusion of the mountains. When his boss asks him to help Ava during her investigations, he as a hard time not falling back into old habits. Will he be able to keep his distance and still keep her safe?


The characters grew through the book and came to know themselves better. I liked Cory and his desire to do what is right and honorable. The mystery had twists and turns that made you wonder how the clues would fit together. I did have a suspicion as to who was responsible for Trey's death right from the beginning that turned out to be true. There is kissing and hand holding, but not anything more racy. I'm not really sure why the book is called "Fateful Fall".

"Fateful Fall" is available in paperback:
  • Series: Worthington Detective Agency
  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: HopeSprings Books (July 30, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938708814
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938708817
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review, Tour, and Giveaway: "Love's Harvest" by Linda Shenton Matchett


About the Book

Click to purchase
Noreen Hirsch loses everything including her husband and two sons. Then her adopted country goes to war with her homeland. Has God abandoned her?
Rosa Hirsch barely adjusts to being a bride before she is widowed. She gives up her citizenship to accompany her mother-in-law to her home country. Can Rosa find acceptance among strangers who hate her belligerent nation?
Basil Quincey is rich beyond his wildest dreams, but loneliness stalks him. Can he find a woman who loves him and not his money?
Three people. One God who can raise hope from the ashes of despair.

My Thoughts

“Love’s Harvest” by Linda ShentonMatchett is a retelling of the Naomi and Ruth story set in pre-WII Germany and England. The first part of the book is mainly for setting up the story for Noreen and Rosa to head back to England, so you know that the male characters are going to die. I liked how the characters’ names started with the same letter as the Biblical characters (except for the baby Obed). So Naomi is Noreen, Ruth is Rosa, Chilion is Conrad, Boaz is Basil… I also liked how she worked in the “Levirate marriage” into a more modern setting. I had never really considered that Ruth may have been “discriminated” against being from Moab until I read this book and Rosa was looked down on because she was a German during WWII. There seemed to be an error in the date for Chapter 2. The book starts in 1923 and by the 2nd chapter it is 1931, but it seems to be soon after they left Russia (in 1923). Later, Noreen mentions to Conrad that he was only 7 when his father died but he was five when they left Russia, so using the 1931 date, he would have been 12 when Edmund died. This book was a quick read and I enjoyed reading it.

About the Author

linda-eA freelance writer for over ten years, Linda Shenton Matchett has had a wide and varied career that includes stints as a Human Resources professional, youth center director, B&B owner, and dining services manager. She loves history of all kinds, and serves as a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII. A member of Sisters in Crime and ACFW, Linda writes World War II and mystery fiction. She was a semi-finalist in ACFW’s 2013 and 2015 Genesis contests. She makes her home in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region with her husband Wes and fur-baby, Ben.

Guest Post from Linda Shenton Matchett

I’ve been scribbling since I was a child. One of my favorite memories is about the weekly “newspaper” I published when I was about seven or eight years old. Written on three-ring-binder paper, it included a weather report (complete with “graphics”), an editorial, letters to the editor, and lots of articles-most of which make no sense when I read them now! The newspaper didn’t last long, but I continued to write stories until I graduated from high school. Then it was on to college and my “real life.”
Fast forward nearly twenty-five years. My husband and I were fleeing the rat-race known as Washington, DC for a small village in New Hampshire to purchase a bed and breakfast, and I decided to journal about the experience. My first entry was made while we pulled out of the driveway. As I filled my diary, I remembered the joy that writing gave me. After we got settled in NH, I decided to try my hand at writing for publication. I found some freelance opportunities, and my articles were published in various magazines.
But fiction was still calling my name.
It took about a year, but I finished a historical novel about a young woman who leaves her home to become a Harvey Girl. I thought it was brilliant (it was not) and hurried it off to a Christian publisher. It was rejected. And rejected. And rejected. Fortunately one of the rejection letters offered some practical advice. The editor said the manuscript showed promise, but I had a lot to learn as a writer. She suggested I attend writing conferences and join a critique group.
I found a group of other Christian writers, then searched for a conference. The Crimebake Mystery Conference is sponsored by Sisters in Crime New England and Mystery Writers of America and located about two hours from my home. I wasn’t writing mystery stories at that point, but figured a lot of the information must be transferrable. Besides, the conference was driving distance and very affordable. What could I lose?
As an unpublished author, I felt like an imposter at first. But I was quickly enveloped by authors (published and unpublished), editors, and agents, and made to feel at ease. The workshops were jam-packed with information, and I filled page after page in my notebook.
Hungry to learn more, I signed up for Jerry Jenkin’s Christian Writers Guild course and was paired with Eva Marie Everson. An excellent mentor, she helped me improve my writing by leaps and bounds. I also continued to attend the annual Crimebake conferences. In 2010, I was selected to attend a three day writers retreat with authors Hallie Ephron, Roberta Islieb, and Susan Hubbard. I received one-on-one critique and instruction from each of them. It was an unforgettable experience.
By 2014, I finally completed the manuscript, Under Fire, I had started as my Christian Writers Guild assignment. What an accomplishment! I worked with freelance editor Janice Elsheimer to polish the book, and she made me realize it was time to bite the bullet and submit the manuscript to a publisher or agent. Since I was headed to the ACFW conference that year, I signed up for two agent pitches. Gulp! I was going to do this in person!
I was a nervous wreck, but both agents were gracious and calming. One didn’t care for what she read. The other agent loved everything that the first agent disliked. She requested a full manuscript. Ultimately it was not a fit for her, but I had made it over the hurdle of preparing my one sheet and making a pitch. Meanwhile, I wrote two sequels to complete the trilogy. Under Fire is currently under consideration at a traditional publisher.
Last year, members of my group blog (StitchesThruTime.Blogspot.com) decided to put together a collection of novellas. Over the years, I have toyed with the idea of writing a fictionalized account of a Bible story. I did a significant amount of research about Priscilla and Aquila, but never felt led to put pen to paper. So, the story idea simmered on the back burner. I realized the novella project was the perfect opportunity to pursue that idea. But instead of Priscilla’s story, I decided to write about Ruth and her relationship to Naomi.
Writers are told to write what we know, but I believe we should also write what we don’t know so we can learn. I had a very special relationship with my mother-in-law until she passed away from cancer in 1999. I wanted to capture that in a story. I also wanted to explore what it would be like to leave everyone and everything you know to go to a foreign land. I grew up moving a lot, and I considered it an adventure. My husband grew up moving a lot, but considered it a nightmare. I wanted to explore that aspect of Ruth’s story. I thought that World War II was the perfect era to combine these themes. The result is Love’s Harvest. It features German-born Rosa and Englishwoman Noreen.
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not calamity, to give you a future and a hope.” The story of Ruth is a perfect example of this. She and Naomi experienced terrible tragedies, yet in the end both women were blessed, and God was glorified. Sometimes it is hard to see “the forest for the trees” when something awful is happening to us or our loved ones. My hope is that readers will be able to relate to Rosa and Noreen, and learn how God takes care of us even when we don’t realize it.

Blog Stops

August 4: A Reader’s Brain
August 7: A Greater Yes
August 9: Sharon R Paavola
August 10: Texas Book-aholic
August 11: Pause for Tales
August 13: Karen’s Krayons
August 14: Donna’s BookShelf
Giveaway
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To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a handwoven basket with a box of English Breakfast tea and a copy of her book Love’s Harvest. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a094
"Love's Harvest" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Linda Matchett; 1 edition (May 24, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692723242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692723241
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 961 KB
  • Print Length: 105 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Linda Shenton Matchett (March 29, 2016)
  • Publication Date: March 29, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01DMB3ZX2

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and to participate in the Celebrate Lit blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Review, Tour, and Giveaway: "Through Raging Waters" by Renee Blare



Timber Creek is swollen with runoff from the melting snow and the rain storms hitting the area. When some surveyors don't check in, Paul Fitzgerald leads the rescue team to find them. He must confront his past to be able to move forward. When things start to spiral out of control, will everything slip through his fingers?

Melissa Hampton has her own issues she is trying to deal with but when people in town start acting strangely, she must decipher who has her best interests at heart and who just wants their own way.

"Through Raging Waters" is the second book in the "Snowy Range Chronicles" series. I think that it would be very beneficial to read the first book, "To Soar On Eagle's Wings", first as the characters and relationships from the second book are introduced in the first book. I found this book to be a white water ride of action and suspense. I didn't find there to be a lot of romance. Paul and Melissa seemed to just suddenly like each other (although they did seem to be "checking each other out" in the first book). Melissa digs up some questions about her mother's past and I didn't feel that all of them were answered by the end of the book and near the end I was confused when Paul called her by a different last name as I didn't see anything that explained that. The characters grew in their relationships with each other and with God, which was nice. I stayed up late reading too many times because the book just pulled you along and you didn't want to put it down and have to wait to see what was going to happen. There were many twists and turns in the plot that kept me guessing as to what was going to happen right up to the end. I found this book to flow differently that the first book in the series, but I enjoyed reading both of them.

About the Author

Renee Headshot BH (3)Renee Blare’s nose has been buried in a book for as long as she can remember. Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, she started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, she lives in Wyoming with her husband, crazy dogs, and ornery cat. She serves her beautiful small town as a pharmacist while penning her stories about struggling Christians as they travel along the journeys of their lives. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.

Guest Post from Renee Blare

I Wrote a Book
Five years ago, I wrote a book…and then I wrote another and another and another. Many said that the words flowed like a river onto the page. Or I painted a picture with letters.  As for me? I simply write what I see so you can see it too. What about you? Do you want to write a book?
If so, there’s one thing I’d like you to know. A book’s like a child. It starts out small or simple with garbled language…often repetitive and indistinguishable. Kind of like when a baby babbles “dada” over and over. And then that moment comes when you rejoice because you hear him say “mama.” That’s the growth every book…writer…reader…yearns for.
Different stories float around inside an author’s mind, flowing in a way much like labor. Some authors plot, others don’t. And still others combine the process in a convoluted method. But like birth, no matter how the words eventually find their way to the page, the development of a book doesn’t stop with its first dawn. It takes time, energy, and growth.
Take my first release, To Soar on Eagle’s Wings. Five years ago, I wrote it, my very first book, in three months. And it was awesome! I couldn’t believe it. God brought the plot together in a phenomenal way. But publication wasn’t the next step. I had a lot to learn before that could happen.
My latest release, Through Raging Waters is the example of a writer’s growth, but also her soul. I learned that I had to leave more than my knowledge and my heart on the page. I needed to leave a piece of my soul. When you read Paul’s struggles, you read mine. Melissa’s fear and confusion? Yes, they’re mine. The anger, the pain . . . the trials, the lessons learned are scriptural but also first-hand, taught by my Father.
Writing is more than a job. It’s more than a hobby. It’s sharing your knowledge, your hope with the world. So if you want to write a book. Do it. Then take that next step, and the next. You’ll get there. Oh, and I can’t wait to read it!

Blog Stops

July 19: Pause for Tales
July 24: A Greater Yes
July 25: bigreadersite
July 26: Splashes of Joy
July 29: Quiet Quilter
July 31: Bukwurmzzz
August 1: Carpe Diem

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Renee is giving away a wonderful package that includes a $20 Cabelas gift card, a set of her series paperbacks (books 1 and 2), and fleece blanket. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9f08


"Through Raging Waters" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 6, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1534990453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1534990456
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 484 KB
  • Print Length: 275 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Prism Book Group (July 8, 2016)
  • Publication Date: July 8, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01HBSB9BM


I received a free copy of this book for me to give an honest review and participate in the Celebrate Lit tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.