Wednesday, May 25, 2022

"A Sprinkle in Time" by Dana Mentink -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

AsprinkleintimeAbout the Book

Book: A Sprinkle in Time

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Cozy mystery (general market)

Release date: May 24, 2022

It’s Alpenfest in Upper Sprocket! Yodelers are congregating in the square, tourists flocking to the town, and Trinidad Jones is scooping up some fall flavors at her Shimmy and Shake Shop.

The cherry on the sundae is her upcoming feature in Go West magazine. She’s determined to serve up the perfect interview, but it won’t be easy, thanks in part to her meddling Cuban grandfather Papa Luis who has decided to make Sprocket his home for the foreseeable future. Papa Luis has set himself up as a taxi driver in his classic 1951 Buick.

But things take a turn when Papa Luis tells her he’s found a corpse in his trunk. Upon closer investigation, they realize the body has disappeared. With the assistance of Juliette and Bonnie (her sisterhood of exes) and the way too handsome nut farmer Quinn Logan, Trinidad must solve the mystery of the disappearing corpse, before her father is up to his neck in a murderous mess.

 My Thoughts

I enjoyed being back in Upper Sprocket and trying to solve this cozy mystery along with Trinidad. I liked the characters and their realistic portrayals and emotions. I found the book to be well written and an easy read. I look forward to reading more books in the series and by Dana Mentink.


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author as well as a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and the recipient of a Holt Medallion. She’s written over fifty titles in the suspense, lighthearted romance and mystery genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

 

More from Dana

Who wouldn’t want to visit Upper Sprocket? Sure there’s the odd corpse that turns up, but it’s a charming place, complete with a rail riders excursion business and the Shimmy and Shake Shop, run by the determined Trinidad Jones. It’s fall in Sprocket and the locals are hosting a series of Alpenfest events with everything from yodeling performances to sausage cook offs. Papa Luis, Trinidad’s grandfather is happy to shuttle people around in his classic Chevy Bel Air until a body turns up in his truck. But other than that, Sprocket is an idyllic place with a newly opened train car inn operated by Bonnie, one of three women who were married at various times to the same rapscallion of a man. Oh, and then there’s Noodles, Trinidad’s senior Labrador retriever who has learned how to operate the windshield wipers which comes in handy as stormy weather approaches. Trinidad, Papa, Bonnie and Noodles along with other Sprocket residents are going to have their hands full as Alpenfest kicks off and gruesome items begin to pop up around town. Come along on the adventure as Trinidad wades knee deep into the sticky mess.

Railriding research with my sister!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 21

The Write Escape, May 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22

She Lives To Read, May 22

Daysong Reflections, May 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 23

Texas Book-aholic, May 24

Pause for Tales, May 24

Inklings and notions, May 25

Blossoms and Blessings, May 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 26

For Him and My Family, May 26

deb’s Book Review, May 27

Blogging With Carol, May 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 28

Christina’s Corner, May 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 30

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

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 31

Labor Not in Vain, May 31

Bigreadersite, June 1

Vicky Sluiter, June 1

Genesis 5020, June 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 2

Lighthouse-Academy, June 3

A Good Book and cup of Tea, June 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed book!!

(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)

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/1df1a/a-sprinkle-in-time-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.

"Bride of the Rockies" by Angela Breidenbach -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

 

About the Book

Book: Bride of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: January 1, 2022

For botanist, Bettina Gilbert, mining is an offense against God’s green earth. With the shortage of women in Montana, Luke travels to Chicago to manage the Montana mining exhibition hoping to also find a wife. Only that pretty botanist keeps disrupting his mining presentations … and his chances of meeting the right woman! A city girl who despises his way of life would be the worst choice for a miner’s wife, wouldn’t she?

Uplifting, wholesome romance set in the Gilded Age during Chicago’s World Fair. Written by bestselling author and professional genealogist, Angela Breidenbach. Accurate to history while entertaining, inspiring, with a lovely ambiance of hope.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed reading this book. I found it to be well written, although several errors, like extra 'to', 'the' or missing words, were somewhat distracting. I liked Luke and Bettina and their passion for their dreams. The group of "aunts" were fun and made me laugh.  There wasn't really much of a biblical thread which I would have liked. Reading this book made me wish I could go visit the exposition. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. 


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

BreidenbachAngela-Headshot (1)Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, conference speaker, bestselling author of eighteen books, and screenwriter. Angela lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Catch her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach!

 

More from Angela

Rabbit trails. The paths that draw a writer away from her planned research. That’s what happened when I started researching Queen of the Rockies. I hopped down a rabbit trail that took me into an entirely different story. Here I was writing about the beginning of Montana as a state, the real people, and the unusual stories of the Gilded Age. Then a thread of the Chicago World’s Fair kept popping up like little bunnies in the middle of the field that darted here and there.

Well, those little rabbit trails captured my fascination. I couldn’t stop chasing them. I wanted to know more about why people who were busy carving out a new state would want to travel halfway across the country and live in Chicago for five months. Why would they care? What were their goals? Who were these unusual people? So, I did the smart thing. I started a new document to think about writing a later story.

The more I researched the first book in this series, Queen of the Rockies, the more I found tidbits of names that reappeared in newspapers. Then I followed a few of those names just to see what had become of them. I found a lot more than I expected. From the social pages in newspapers to club minute books to journals the stories of some really interesting women came to light. Their goals were much more than for one family or one town. These people found a cause bigger than themselves. They found a bond in forging a state that held respectability in the world’s eyes. These people were tired, and offended, of the constant slur — the Wild West. And they were going to change that erroneous misconception!

The rest of civilization didn’t understand how modern, elegant, and valuable Montana was in the 1890s. But the people of Montana were about to prove their infant state was the shining star on the American flag. She was no infant. This beautiful state, whose capitol was fully electric already, could hold her own among the elegant countries slated to be at that fair in 1893.

Come turn the pages of Bride of the Rockies and find out what these people, and especially the women, did to put Montana in the world headlines. See why they stunned with never before seen discoveries displayed in their pavilion during the Columbian Exposition. Can you imagine being given 10% of the budget while the men had 90%, in essence set up as the underdog, and blowing the world away with what you do with it?  Walking away with the win? Not just one win…seven!

Bride of the Rockies took me on a fabulous rabbit trail of research. I hope this story will be fun for you, too!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 18

An Author’s Take, May 19

Blogging With Carol, May 19

Betti Mace, May 20

Texas Book-aholic, May 21

Mary Hake, May 21

Inklings and notions, May 22

For Him and My Family, May 23

Pause for Tales, May 23

deb’s Book Review, May 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 25

Blossoms and Blessings, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 27

Spoken from the Heart, May 27

Bizwings Blog, May 28

Connie’s History Classroom, May 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize of a pair of beautiful opal earrings set in fair trade sterling silver!!

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/1db54/bride-of-the-rockies-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. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

"Boulevard of Confusion" by Sandra Merville Hart -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Boulevard of Confusion

Author: Sandra Merville Hart

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release date: May 10, 2022

Boulevard of Confusion (1)In times of war, is anything as it seems?

Her aunt’s invitation to Richmond is just the change Beatrice Swanson needs after her brother’s release from a Union prison. Bea’s father agrees to the trip with a condition—one that tosses her emotions into swirling confusion.

Though Jay Nickson wants to serve his country as a Confederate soldier, his work is too important to the government. Bea’s interest in his job, which includes secrets that would benefit the Union, arouses his suspicions. Is she spying for the North? His growing feelings for her are hard to squelch.

Though she participates in activities to benefit Confederate soldiers, Bea struggles with her own loyalties and her father’s demands. Where does her cousin, Meg, go on her solitary errands? Bea’s own growing love for Jay, a Southerner, only adds to her confusion. Tensions escalate in Richmond as the Union army approaches, drawing her into more secrecy. Where does her allegiance lie? And how will she be forced to prove it?

Nothing in war is simple…especially when the heart becomes entangled.

 My Thoughts

It was nice to see characters that I met in the first book in the series. I found the book to be well written and easy to read. I wasn't sure what was going to happen and which "side" Bea was going to choose. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Sandra Merville Hart photoSandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher. Connect with Sandra on her blog, https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com/.

 

More from Sandra

In Boulevard of Confusion, Book 2 of my “Spies of the Civil War” series, two people in love—one supporting the North, one supporting the South—struggle to rise above their differing loyalties.

In my book, the hero is a Virginian who supports the South. Though Jay hates slavery, he cannot turn against his state. His job at Tredegar Ironworks supplies the Confederate army with artillery. They develop new weapons and technology, such as submarines, that must be kept secret even from Richmond residents.

Our heroine is from the North. Bea has Southern ties and her brother, a Confederate officer, was recently released from a prison camp. Bea’s understanding of both sides of the conflict tosses her into confusion, especially in light of her growing feelings for Jay.

Part of my research for this novel involved a trip to Richmond museums. One display in particular at the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar made me want to do a little dance. (If you followed me around on my museum visits, you’d witness my enthusiasm for historical people and events and how they impact my stories. Perhaps you share my love of history. 😊)

Anyway, this particular display was a painting of Julia Ann Mitchell, who lived in Richmond at the start of the Civil War. She was from a well-to-do family that traveled often. On one of these trips, she met and fell in love with Frederick Coggill, a New York City resident. Though they loved one another, the couple was divided in their loyalties.

Sadly, Julia’s brother, who fought for the Confederacy, was killed in battle. This probably added to the conflict between Julia and Frederick.

I’m happy to say that the couple seemed to enjoy a happy ending, for they were married in 1863.

I didn’t yet know my characters when I read this display, for the stories ferment in my imagination as research reveals the history. I tucked it away in my mind and it later inspired me.

Boulevard of Confusion isn’t Julia’s and Frederick’s love story. Not at all. It’s simply that history’s record of them overcoming their differing loyalties to marry proves that it happened. That’s all I needed to know.

Avenue of Betrayal, Book 1, is set in the Union capital of Washington City (Washington DC) in 1861, where a surprising number of Confederate sympathizers and spies lived. Boulevard of Confusion is set in Richmond, the Confederate capital in 1862. Actual historical spies touch the lives of our fictional family.

Through both real and fictional characters, this series highlights activities spies were involved in and some of the motives behind their decisions.

I invite you to read both Avenue of Betrayal and Boulevard of Confusion. And please watch for Book 3, Byway to Danger, which will soon follow!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 10

Texas Book-aholic, May 11

Inklings and notions, May 12

Betti Mace, May 13

Books, Books, and More Books, May 13

For Him and My Family, May 14

deb’s Book Review, May 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 17

Connie’s History Classroom, May 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 20

Blososms and Blessings, May 21

Pause for Tales, May 22

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 23 (Author Interview)

Of Blades and Thorns, May 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sandra 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/1d738/boulevard-of-confusion-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.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

"If You Really Knew Me" by Alison Cheah -- Author Interview, Blog Tour, and Giveway

 

About the Book

Book: If You Really Knew Me

Author: Alison Cheah

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Release date: December, 2021

Cover full 1101 - If you really knew me_FrontTommy is glad of friendships which make him forget the situation at home. His father’s illness makes his behavior so unpredictable that the whole family must tip-toe around him for fear of becoming the butt of his anger.

Elise wishes her twin sister didn’t think being champion swimmers was an adequate goal for their lives. She has her own dreams to fulfil.

Carrie hides a secret, avoiding other students so nobody will ever find it out. But Tommy and Elise both look to Carrie to save them from their situations.

Until she disappears.

Tommy’s protective instinct kicks in, and Elise reassesses her priorities so she can help keep Carrie safe.

 Author Interview

  1. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

The first long story I wrote was one I had been mulling over for twenty years. I used to lie in bed and tell it to myself while I waited to fall asleep. However, when I finally sat down to write it, it ran away with me. I met some characters who had never appeared in the original telling and whose presence created new plot twists.    

Subsequently, I have realized that without a twenty-year incubation, I need careful plotting to make sure I know where the story is going and how it is going to get there. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t serendipitous moments when a character says or does something that takes the action down an unexpected path. 

  1. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

 

As a child I used to experiment with writing stories, and I told my fifth-grade teacher I wanted to be an author. But the physical act of handwriting began to steal my joy in the creation process. 


I made a few false starts in my adult years, and then on February 28th, 2007, I flew home from a visit to my parents in England, knowing that I was leaving my mother in poor health but confident that it was only a matter of time before she was well again. On the plane, something urged me to start writing down that story that had been twenty years in the making. 


My mother passed away nine days later, and in the period of grieving, I came home from work each day and sat down at my computer to pour out my story. When I finished it, I knew this was only the beginning for my writing. 


  1. Where do you get your ideas for your books?


My stories often begin by having a purpose. When a friend commented that she couldn’t find many books with Christian values for her grandsons, I promised to write one for her. Over time, two basic characters emerged—"A Boy and His Dog”—to which, in a flash of inspiration I added “in Alaska.”

If You Really Knew Me and No Longer Orphans grew out of a request for a story about missionaries, but I was anxious to create main characters to whom students could relate. Consequently, the teens you will read about, although not based on real people, were inspired by accounts in prayer letters written by two of my missionary friends. And then I gave my friends small roles as themselves. 

No Longer Orphans and “A Boy and His Dog in Alaska” (working title) are still works in progress. 


  1. Do bits of yourself/friends show up in your characters?


The book I wrote while grieving my mother has one character who is as like her as I could make her given a different set of circumstances of their lives, and the protagonist behaves much as I would have done in the same situation. However, since then, I have tried to remember that not everyone reacts as I would. 

I want to be able to say that my characters are not based on real people, but I’m aware that my whole understanding of humanity depends on what I have encountered, either personally or in my reading. So, I am not surprised when I discover something turning up which reminds me of someone I know.  


  1. Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?


My favorite time to write is over breakfast with my bowl of oatmeal and multiple cups of tea. In front of me is a bank of windows looking out at the fence which separates us from our neighbor’s house—but not just any fence. This one is a mass of trees and creepers and is beloved by birds, who at that time of morning are singing their morning praises. 

This is my magic time. If I don’t get the creative ink flowing then, it’s much harder to start later. If I do manage to write then, it is likely that I’ll be able to snatch more time during the day, and then it doesn’t matter where I am.



Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

alison-cheah-high resolution 1Alison Cheah worked at Youth for Christ for five years and volunteers with her church youth group. One of her favorite activities is preparing Bible Studies and seeking how to connect the stories of the Bible with her students’ own stories.

As a child she was always to be seen with her nose in a book, and nothing has changed. One of her favorite authors was Patricia St. John. Her characters are people you want to know, and you are rooting for them to overcome their problems, but for Alison, the added dimension was that each person discovers their answers in Jesus. She saw that the faith she had grown up with had applicability in real life.

Her prayer is that this story has the same result for you.

 

More from Alison

I spent five years working at Youth for Christ with middle school students like Tommy, Carrie, and Elise. They are not based on kids I met, but they are inspired by my experiences then.

My friend and mentor in youth ministry was Anna-Marie Valles who is also a character in Tommy, Carrie and Elise’s story helping them to make sense of some of the questions they have.

We don’t get to know her well in the book, but I had a chat with her recently about youth ministry and here is an extract from that conversation. I think you will enjoy getting to know her better.

 

Alison: In the story, Elise shares her problems with you. Do you find teens want to talk to an adult about their problems?

 

AMV: Kids are hungry to be able to unload their stories on people who are willing to listen. I remember in one club a student said that all day, adults were telling him what to do. But club was a space where people were asking him, “How are you feeling? “What are your thoughts on this?” He was shocked.

 

Alison: You were only eighteen when you started in youth ministry. After all these years, how do you stay current so kids still want to talk with you?

 

AMV: If you come to kids with a willingness to learn, you become relevant. Say to them, “Tell me what’s going on?” Don’t pretend you have all the answers. I find that has worked for me. “I don’t know your culture like you do. But I’m willing to see through your lens if you’re able to share that with me.”

Age is interesting. I always worried I would age out. At my application interview for seminary I said, “I always thought if I aged out of youth ministry, I’d be a chaplain.” And the professor called me out on that. You never age out because kids still need that safe place where someone is willing to listen.

 

Alison: The profits from this book will be used to send kids to camp. Why is this important to you?

 

AMV: Youth ministry is all relational. But trust can take a while to build. The beauty of camps is that you can create a bond in one week that could take two years without.

 

And at camp they hear the gospel presented in different ways by different speakers. Other people’s creativity and presentation may reach my students in a way that I haven’t been able to.

 

What saddens me is not everyone can go because camps are costly. My desire is that every student who wants to go will have the opportunity to do so.

 

For more of this conversation, see alisonrcheah.com

(Interview transcribed by https://otter.ai )

My prayer is that the story of Tommy, Carrie and Elise will be one of those different speakers Anna-Marie talked about, helping kids to begin their own relationship with Jesus.

 

Thank you.

Alison

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 14

Texas Book-aholic, May 15

Beauty in the Binding, May 16 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, May 16

For Him and My Family, May 17

Inklings and notions, May 18

Blossoms and Blessings, May 19 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, May 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 22

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23 (Author Interview)

Vicarious Living , May 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Guild Master, May 26 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Alison is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 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/1db4d/if-you-really-knew-me-celebration-tour-giveaway