Thursday, September 16, 2021

"A Convenient Risk" by Sara R. Turnquist -- Epic Book Launch

About the Book


Book: A Convenient Risk

Author: Sara R. Turnquist

Genre: Clean Historical Romance

Release date: October 26, 2021

He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, only adds to her frustration. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang.

What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?

BOOK EXCERPT

 Amanda stared at the blood on her hands. Her husband’s blood. She was numb. Cried out. She shoved the door open with her hip and stepped into the fading day. Her focus was on the water pump across the yard. The few steps stretched out before her. Holding her hands away from her body, she moved toward it, not caring that she stirred the dust of the dry earth beneath her feet as she walked.

The pump’s handle was solid and cold. She yanked her hand away. Jed’s blood now stained the metal. It couldn’t be helped. Grasping the handle once more, she pulled it up then pressed down. Her long blonde hair fell into her face. Amanda fought the urge to push it to the side. Again and again she pumped, until water began to flow from the spout. Thrusting her hands underneath, she rubbed at the dark red covering her skin.

Once all traces were gone, she tugged at her apron, wrapping her hands in the thin fabric. When she looked at them again, they shook. And she could still see the deep crimson upon them. She blinked. The red vanished.

Spinning on the balls of her feet, she turned back toward the house. The clicking of her shoes alerted her that she was once again inside the house. And the smell.



MISSED ANY EXCERPTS, GO HERE:


Come back after Oct 8th to see all of the excerpts




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sara is a coffee lovin’, word slinging, clean Historical Romance author whose super power is converting caffeine into novels. She loves those odd little tidbits of history that are stranger than fiction. That’s what inspires her. Well, that and a good love story.

But of all the love stories she knows, hers is her favorite. She lives happily with her own Prince Charming and their gaggle of minions. Three to be exact. They sure know how to distract a writer! But, alas, the stories must be written, even if it must happen in the wee hours of the morning. 

Sara is an avid reader and also enjoys reading clean Historical Romance when she’s not traveling. Her books range from the Czech lands to the American Wild West and from ancient Egypt to the early 1900s. Some of her titles include The Lady BornekovaHope in Cripple Creek, The General’s WifeTrail of Fears, and the Convenient Risk Series.


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

"Dinah's Dilemma" by Linda Shenton Matchett -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Dinah’s Dilemma

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 15, 2020

Will she have to run from the past for the rest of her life?

Dinah Simpkins has no chance of making a good marriage. Her outlaw brothers and her father’s gambling addiction have ruined the family’s reputation. Then the Westward Home and Hearts Matrimonial Agency provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After Dinah arrives in Nebraska, she discovers her brothers played a part in the death of her prospective groom’s first wife.

As a former Pinkerton detective Nathan Childs knows when someone is lying. The bride sent by the matrimonial agency may be beautiful, but she’s definitely hiding something, and he has no intention of marrying her until he uncovers the truth. But an easier solution may be to send her packing. Then his young daughter goes missing. He and Dinah must put aside their mutual hurt and mistrust to find her.


 My Thoughts

I like the mail-order bride trope and I was eager to read this book. I liked the biblical faith element. I had a hard time staying the flow of the story with historical inconsistencies popping up. Besides the characters reacting or thinking in modern ways and a 3 year old wanting to be a flower girl (how would she know about flower girls when she grew up on the frontier and probably never been to a wedding?), there were the other issues of belt loops not being on pants until 1922 (the story is in 1870) and them getting their own groceries and bringing them to the counter. Self serve grocery stores didn't exist until 1916. For someone who doesn't care about historical accuracy these wouldn't bother them, I'm sure but to me it was the same as if I'd read a book set during WWII and they were using a laptop. Otherwise, I did like the characters and it was a really fast read.


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

 

More from Linda

Dear Reader,

As a novelist, I write about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. And to me, nothing is more extraordinary than leaving all that you know to travel a great distance (often thousands of miles) to marry a man you’ve never met. Don’t you agree?

During the initial settlement of the American West, the population was primarily composed of men. Men who went in search of gold, to seek new opportunities in farming and ranching, or to make a fresh start where land and resources seemed unlimited. Eventually, loneliness set in for those who were single, yet there was a dearth of suitable women to marry.

The conundrum for the men was how to meet and court a woman without leaving for fear of someone taking their land or claims. Some of the bachelors wrote home asking friends and family for referrals to single women who would make a good wife. Courtship would take place via correspondence until the couple decided they were suited to marry. The more common scenario was that of mail-order brides.

Ads were placed by the men in eastern newspapers. They would tell a bit about themselves and what traits they were seeking in a wife. Interested women would reply, and the advertiser would respond to the applicant he thought was a good fit. As with those men who wrote home to find a mate, the process was much the same with courtship occurring through letters.

Most of the time, the marriages went smoothly, with the couple falling in love, resulting in a long and happy relationship. However, there are stories of marriages that did not survive because of abandonment, abuse, death, or the discovery of a still-living spouse. A few incidents are recorded about mail-order brides whose groom paid her railway passage, only for her to marry someone else because he seemed a better prospect. Fortunately, those instances seem to make up a small percentage.

 I hope you enjoy Dinah’s Dilemma: A Mail-Order Bride Romance.

Blessings,

Linda Shenton Matchett

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, September 14

Mary Hake, September 14

Labor Not in Vain, September 15

Texas Book-aholic, September 16

Inklings and notions, September 17

For Him and My Family, September 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 21

Connect in Fiction, September 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24

Vicky Sluiter, September 25

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 25

Connie’s History Classroom, September 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a Book Journal, Floral Book Plates, Bookjigs Bookmark, a $25 Visa Gift Card, and an autographed paperback edition of Dinah’s Dilemma!!

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/11826/dinah-s-dilemma-celebration-tour-giveaway

I got a free copy of this book and read on Kindle Unlimited. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

"Long Shadows" by Cathe Swanson -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Long Shadows

Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: April 6, 2021

Old sins cast long shadows.

Mona Vickers is forging a new life, building a safe and loving home for her girls far away from the ghosts of the past. She’ll do whatever it takes to make it work, including sending her girls to the Christian-based after school program despite her own lack of faith.

Roy Strough, Director of the Unity Plenkiss Community Center, wants to help the hardworking mother who’s captured his heart, but he’s already offended her pride once. Asking Mona to teach a class at the community center in exchange for tuition seems like the perfect solution.

Mona’s growing faith is put to the test by the shadows of her past. One of her students is caught up in an all-too-familiar human trafficking scheme, and a vengeance-bent stalker pushes Mona into hiding. She’s forced to decide if she can trust the powerful God she’s only beginning to know—as well as the charming man she’s beginning to love.

 

Dive into this gripping romantic suspense with compelling characters, intriguing twists, and an inspiring happily ever after.

 

My Thoughts

It was fun to be able to be back to Unity Plenkiss for a visit, even though you could read this story as a standalone and not be completely lost. I was excited to get Roy and Mona's story. I found the book to be well written. I think that the author did a good job of bringing the dangers of online human trafficking. I can't wait for the next book in the series and to read other books by Cathe Swanson.
Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

After 40 years of wandering (but always in lovely places and not in a desert), Cathe Swanson has recently returned to her childhood home and family in Minnesota.  In the summer, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and being outdoors, gardening, hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. The long winters are perfect for writing books, playing games, reading, and indoor hobbies. Cathe’s been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years and enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper.

Everything inspires new books! A lifelong love of quilting, Cathe’s Swedish heritage and an interest in genealogy led to The Glory Quilts series, and The Hope Again series is inspired by her life in the Midwest and experiences with the elderly, the military, and inner-city ministry. As a child of the sixties, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in the Serenity Hill series.

 

Cathe writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

More from Cathe

One of the best parts of being an author is that I’m able to create happy endings! I can right wrongs and fix a few of the world’s problems. I can rescue people (of course, I’m the one who puts them into danger in the first place, but…) and I can talk about hard topics in a third-person kind of way, with a fictional resolution. Happy endings don’t always happen in this world, but I try to make them work out in my stories.

We all need hope – especially those who find themselves in ongoing difficult situations – and that’s what I want to write into my Hope Again series.  Long Shadows is Book 3 in the series. (It’s a standalone book, so you’ll enjoy it even if you’ve never read the others.)   Except for the first one, Baggage Claim, all the Hope Again books are about the people – staff and guests – of the Unity Plenkiss Community Center.

The UPCC is a fictional Christian ministry – a composite of several real ones, all working hard to meet overwhelming needs with limited resources. It serves an older (fictional) Chicago neighborhood. Writing these books has let me bring awareness to that population – families in crisis, homeless and aging veterans, lonely elderly people, troubled youth…  so many needs!

Roy Strough, the dashing hero of Long Shadows, is the director of food services, but he has big dreams – he’d like to expand the ministry of the UPCC to meet every need, heal every wound, fill every stomach, and tell everyone the Gospel. He wants it to be a real daytime homeless shelter, with laundry facilities, beds for nightshift workers, lockers, and more. (Me, too!)

Mona, the lovely heroine, is a more complex character. I put that poor woman through the wringer! She never got a break. The people she trusted – the only people she had – turned out to be evil betrayers, leaving her alone to raise four little girls without any support at all. She’s the hardest-working woman I’ve ever met! She’s strong, but being strong in our own strength isn’t enough. Mona needs Jesus. She needs hope.

Human trafficking isn’t the kind of problem I can solve and tack a happy ending onto, but I wanted to bring awareness to the way criminals use the Internet to recruit and groom their victims. Young, smart girls who’ve been using computers since they were toddlers often fail to see the dangers in their ordinary online world.

Book 4, Home Run, releases on September 21, and the last Unity Plenkiss book will be included in the 2021 Christmas Lights collection in October.  You won’t want to miss them! Despite all the serious themes in the Hope Again books, they are also funny, heart-warming, and encouraging stories. They’ll make you laugh and make you cry… and then make you laugh again. I hope you enjoy Long Shadows and the rest of the Hope Again series.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Blossoms and Blessings, September 11

Inklings and notions, September 12

For Him and My Family, September 13

deb’s Book Review, September 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 21

Through the fire blogs, September 22

CarpeDiem, September 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of Long Shadows!!

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/1181a/long-shadows-celebration-tour



I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Friday, September 3, 2021

"The Cryptograher's Dilemma" by Johnnie Alexander -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

 About the Book


Book:  The Cryptographer’s Dilemma

Author: Johnnie Alexander

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release date: August, 2021

A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?


 My Thoughts

Code breaking and cryptanalysis is very interesting to me so I jumped at the chance to read this book. It was interesting to learn that it was based on an actual person and real letters written by them.  I found the book to be well written and I liked Eloise and Phillip. It was also interesting to have Phillip have a different "disability" that you normally don't find in books. I haven't read any other books of Johnnie Alexander's but I look forward to reading more from now on.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget in a variety of genres. An award-winning, best-selling novelist, she serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts Writers Chat, and interviews other inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at www.johnnie-alexander.com and other social media sites via https://linktr.ee/johnniealexndr.

 

More from Johnnie

American Traitor in WWII

Not all secret messages involve substitution codes where random letters and numbers replace the original letters and numbers. Velvalee Dickinson, a doll collector who owned a doll shop on Madison Avenue in New York City, used jargon code to pass along information to the Japanese about the U.S. ships that had been damaged at Pearl Harbor.

Here’s an excerpt from one of the letters (as originally written):

The only new dolls I have are THREE LOVELY IRISH dolls. One of these three dolls is an old Fisherman with a Net over his back—another is an old woman with wood on her back and the third is a little boy….I can only think of our sick boy these days. You wrote me that you had sent a letter to Mr. Shaw, well I want to see MR. SHAW he distroyed Your letter, you know he has been Ill. His car was damaged but is being repaired now. I saw a few of his family about. They all say Mr. Shaw will be back to work soon.

Velvalee, who the FBI nicknamed The Doll Woman, wrote this letter on her Underwood typewriter. She used the return address and forged the signature of one of her regular customers, Mary Wallace of Springfield, Ohio. Then Velvalee mailed the letter to an address in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Unknown to Velvalee, the Japanese had abandoned the Buenos Aires address as a drop point. The letter was marked “return to sender.” When Mrs. Wallace received it, she turned it in to the Post Office Director in Springfield who passed it along to the FBI.

Cryptographers determined that the letter was written in jargon code. To the casual reader, the letter is about dolls. But the intended recipient would have understood it’s about much more than that. 

In this example, only one of five letters given to the FBI between February and August of 1942,

cryptographers decoded the message as follows: 

  • Old Fisherman with a Net over his back ~ refers to an aircraft carrier which has anti-torpedo nettings on its sides.
  • Old woman with wood on her back ~ refers to an older battleship, one made of wood.
  • A little boy plus our sick boy ~ a damaged ship.

Cryptographers believed that the words Mr. Shaw and Your were purposely capitalized and that the word distroyed was purposely misspelled to draw attention to them. Mr. Shaw referred to the USS Shaw, a destroyer (distroy + your = destroyer).

The remainder of the letter says Mr. Shaw is ill but “will be back to work soon.”

The ship was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. As the heroine in The Cryptographer’s Dilemma explains, “About two weeks before this letter was written, it [the USS Shaw] was undergoing repairs in San Francisco.”

In the novel, Eloise Marshall is a naval cryptographer who teams up with FBI agent Phillip Clayton, to find the person responsible for forging the signatures on the letters. Their search takes them from Washington, DC to the Springfield, Ohio, to the west coast and back again. On their journey, Eloise will confront an unexpected specter from her past and Phillip will risk his life to save hers.

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, August 25

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 26

Reflections From my Bookshelves, August 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 27

Bizwings Blog, August 27

Daysong Reflections, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 28

A Baker’s Perspective, August 28

Inklings and notions, August 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 29

For Him and My Family, August 30

Simple Harvest Reads, August 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Older & Smarter?, August 31

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 31

Aryn the Libraryan 📚, September 1

Rebecca Tews, September 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 2

deb’s Book Review, September 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 3

Blossoms and Blessings, September 3

Mary Hake, September 3

Connie’s History Classroom, September 4

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, September 4

Sodbusterliving, September 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 5

Labor Not in Vain, September 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 6

Moments, September 6

Splashes of Joy, September 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Pause for Tales, September 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Johnnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a 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/1161a/the-cryptographer-s-dilemma-celebration-tour-giveaway


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.