Tuesday, November 28, 2023

"Hearts of Gold" by Grace Hitchcock

About the Book

Book: Hearts of Gold

Author: Grace Hitchcock

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: August 14, 2023

The Bridal Shop

Alice Turner, the owner of one of Charleston’s finest bridal shops, is determined never to be dependent on a man for anything after the disgrace of her father’s prison time. When her best friend requests Alice to be her maid of honor, she reluctantly sets aside her feelings on marriage and dons a stylish bridesmaid’s gown, never intending to catch the eye of the handsome groomsman. Will he be able to convince Alice to open her heart again?

Miss Beaumont’s Companion

When Italian lady’s companion Aria St. Angelo is coerced into posing as her political employer’s absent daughter for the evening at the Louisiana Governor’s masquerade ball, she wasn’t planning on falling for Byron Roderick—the most eligible bachelor in the capitol. But, when he pays call at the Beaumont’s home, Aria is quickly shuffled into the shadows once more, forced to watch him fall in love with another woman.

The Becoming of Miss Blanche

Content to remain a Harvey Girl forever, fiery Tacy Blanche has worked in nearly every Harvey House down the Santa Fe line. But, when she accepts the position of second waitress at the new Montezuma resort, Tacy isn’t expecting her former fiancé’s brother to return to her life—

Pinkerton Jasper Caffery had long abandoned hope of ever finding Tacy again, but while on holiday in New Mexico, Jasper collides with the woman who had never noticed him before. He decides to take his chances and attempt to woo her. However, when Tacy’s past catches up with her, more than Jasper’s heart is at stake.



Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts 

I enjoyed reading theses stories. They were sweet and fun with a some biblical faith elements through them. The romances happen fast with the stories being novellas, but they didn't feel rushed or forced. The women were strong and capable, but realized they could love and get married without sacrificing who they were. I look forward to reading more books by Grace Hitchcock. 

About the Author

Grace Hitchcock is the award-winning author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, Dakota, sons, and daughter. Connect with her online at GraceHitchcock.com.



More from Grace

Q: What do you love about writing historical fiction?

Grace: I absolutely love the research aspect. I love learning and discovering little known pieces of history. In that research, I love asking the great “what if” question and see where it takes me while still having to follow the guidelines set up for historical fiction.

I’m pretty certain every author started as an avid reader who dreamed of how they would change an ending or change who the heroine ended up with if they could write the book instead. (Anyone else think Theodore Laurence should have married Jo March?) It’s that ever-beautiful question of “what if” that has haunted some of my favorite stories and often drives my own stories to spark to life.

Q: Have you traveled to any places you’ve written about?

Grace: My books have been set in Chicago, many in New York, Newport, New Orleans, and Charleston, which I’ve been able to visit! My upcoming Regency Romance, To Catch a Coronet, is set in London, which I toured many years ago. After writing my Regency, I’ve added an overflowing number of places to visit in England, and even Scotland where my third book will be set.

Want to know which book is set where?

Hearts of Gold: Charleston, Baton Rouge, and New Mexico

The Finding of Miss Fairfield: Charleston and New Mexico

The Pursuit of Miss Parish: New Mexico

To Catch a Coronet: London

My Dear Miss Dupré: New York and Newport

Her Darling Mr. Day: New Orleans

His Delightful Lady Delia: New York

The Gray Chamber: New York

The White City: Chicago

Q: How do you incorporate faith into your storylines?

Grace: I always weave in a faith theme, or verse, into the story. My goal with this novella collection, Hearts of Gold, is to provide readers with clean entertainment while subtly pointing them to Christ. And as with all of my books, something that I am learning inevitably ends up in the story in some form or another. Even though it feels a bit vulnerable to put my personal lessons in a book, I think that it offers a level of genuineness that can bring life to the story and hope to the reader.

Q: What aspect of romance do you enjoy writing about?

Grace: Before I started writing for publication, I would be reading and get very aggravated if the heroine chose the wrong hero in my eyes and I would rewrite the ending in my head, or even set aside the book with only pages left so I didn’t mess up the ending I wanted. Writing a romance is so much fun because now I understand the “formula” if you will about the obstacles placed in the lover’s path and the beauty of when they finally are together.

Q: Please tell us about your most recent book.

Grace: To Catch a Coronet releases with Kregel Publications in May 2024! This Regency Romance has been so much fun to research and while it is a challenge to change eras from Gilded Age to Regency, I’ve loved finding new, unique ways to get my heroines into trouble that inevitably has them meeting their true hero!

About To Catch a Coronet:

London, 1813

Sometimes the only way to out stride scandal is to catch a crown big enough to silence it.

After breaking off two arranged engagements, country baker turned heiress Muriel Beau takes matters into her own hands and asks the visiting baron she loves to marry her in a very public proposal and is met with an emphatic rejection. With no other course but to flee Kent society, Muriel knows the only way out of this debacle is to out stride it by catching what every society matron dreams of obtaining—a coronet with a sumptuous title to match. And after a glittering reception in the courts of London, Muriel’s best laid plans might come true after all.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 18

DevotedToHope, November 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 20 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

Lakesidelivingsite, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23

Alena Mentink, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24

Cover Lover Book Review, November 25

Hannahbandanarama, November 25

For Him and My Family, November 26

Books You Can Feel Good About, November 26

Back Porch Reads, November 27

Exploring the Written Word, November 27

Blossoms and Blessings, November 28

Holly’s Book Corner, November 29

Splashes of Joy, November 29

Pause for Tales, November 30

Connie’s History Classroom, December 1

Lights in a Dark World, December 1


To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed Copy of My Dear Miss Dupré, Her Darling Mr. Day, and His Delightful Lady Delia!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

"A Penny Saved" by Terri Gillespie & Cynthia L. Simmons -- Author Interview


About the Book

Book: A Penny Saved

Authors: Terri Gillespie & Cynthia L. Simmons

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy & Mystery

Release Date: May 27, 2023

A Move, A Mess, A Mystery

Mason’s world turns upside down when he, his little sister, Olivia, and their mother move into their grandfather’s house.

Mason misses his cool friends. Unfortunately, R.B., the weird kid down the street, thinks he’s Mason’s new best friend.

Mason’s grandfather, a retired professor, stays in his office filled with musty, dusty books. Never realizing there’s a magical treasure hidden in plain sight. An 1860 Indian Head penny, named Penny, who is alive!

When Penny goes missing, Mason helps his grandfather look for her.

Will Mason find Penny and learn her secret?


Click here to get your copy!

Author Interview 

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Generally, the plot is set in my mind, or in the case of A Penny Saved, my co-writer Cynthia and
I collaborated on the plot. Having said that, we did deviate when the story and/or characters
made their wishes known.
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?
This is going to sound strange, but I need a “safe” place to write. Public places don’t work for
me because I am hypersensitive to noise and movement. My office is where I do most of my
writing. If I’m at a writing retreat, I find an isolated place to write.
A paper with drawings on it

Description automatically generatedWhen did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
I was pretty young when the
fire ignited. I was around five
or six.
My grandmother was my best
friend and a spellbinding
storyteller. I remember while
my brothers played outside, I
sat on the porch swing with
Grandma as she spun tales that
sixty-five years later, I still
Somehow, she could see the
writer in me. Which was
discerning because I had
challenges with reading that
took decades to overcome.
The definitive moment for me
was when Grandma set an
ancient Royal typewriter atop a rickety metal table, with a small stack of paper and said, “Write.”
My first “publication” on that old typewriter was Jilly the Teddy Bear (1959). That sparked the
fire to write and the hope that maybe I could see a real book with my name—not one bound with
Although I have written a women’s devotional (2008), it is stories I’m most drawn to. Those
stories Grandma told me changed my life. How wonderful if I can do the same for readers.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
As with many writers, I get my ideas from life. Events around me or in me that trigger an
emotion—happy, sad, anger, fear. Then I think: What if? What if my hairdresser wanted to fire
the beauticians she inherited and start fresh—but couldn’t, legally. What if twins were separated
as toddlers by a troubled mother and reunited twenty years later. What if an 1860 Indian head
penny that has been passed down through generations is alive, but no one knows?
The more conflict and twisty plot, the better.
Do bits of yourself/friends show up in your characters?
Absolutely. In A Penny Saved, the protagonist, Mason, has a lot of the qualities of my grandson,
DJ. In fact, the artist based the illustrations on several photographs of him.

About the Terri

Terri Gillespie is a multi-award award-winning author and speaker and YouTube personality. Terri lives with her hubby outside Atlanta. They have one adult daughter, who lives in Chicago with her husband and son. Terri was one of the managing editors of the bestselling Tree of Life Version of the Holy Scriptures.




More from Terri

My grandson, DJ, loves to read, but there is a lack of inspirational and clean books with Black protagonists. DJ loves fantasy and mysteries, and as his safta (grandmother), I wanted a book that gives even more, a sense of legacy with a theme of looking past the exterior to the value underneath.


When the strange, awkward R.B. offers to pray for Mason’s grandfather and then brings over his granny’s tuna casserole, Mason is touched and wonders if he has misjudged R.B.


After tasting this recipe, would you change your mind?


Widow Savier’s (R.B.’s granny) Tuna Casserole

2 (5 oz.) cans chunky-type tuna in water (drain well)

1 cup frozen peas

1⁄2 cup milk

3⁄4 cup butter-Ritz-like crackers, crushed or crushed potato chips (R.B. prefers the chips)

4 oz. (about 2-1⁄2 cups) thick egg noodles

1 can (10.75 oz.) cream of mushroom soup

1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder

Bit of butter (it is the south after all)


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Cook noodles according to package instructions, adding peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking; drain in strainer.
  • While noodles are cooking, in a separate bowl, mix together soup, milk and garlic powder.
  • Stir in the noodles and peas, then add the tuna.
  • Transfer to a 1-1⁄2 quart lightly buttered casserole.
  • Bake 15 minutes; top with cracker crumbs OR CHIPS. Continue baking 5 – 10 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 4, so Widow Savier doubles the recipe for Mason’s family so they have leftovers.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Stories By Gina, November 17 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 19 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Vicky Sluiter, November 21 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

A Reader’s Brain, November 23 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24

Blogging With Carol, November 25

Blossoms and Blessings, November 26 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, November 26

For Him and My Family, November 27

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 28 (Author Interview)

Little Homeschool on the prairie, November 29


To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card, signed copy of A Penny Saved, and A Penny Saved Mug!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Friday, November 24, 2023

"Building Character Through Picture Books" by Terrie Hellard-Brown -- Author Interview


About the Book

Book: Building Character Through Picture Books: 25 Family Devotions Based on Favorite Picture Books

Author: Terrie Hellard-Brown

Genre: Devotional

Release Date: May 27, 2023

Bring the Bible into bedtime. After reading the picture book together, families can read the short devotion, discuss compelling questions (questions for younger and older children provided), and end with prayer together as the children prepare to sleep. The book includes 25 devotions matched with 25 popular and classical picture books. Each devotion includes a section for parents to go further in the discussion or to add an activity to continue the conversation the following day.


Click here to get your copy!

Author Interview 

1. If you could spend the day with anyone (living or dead) who would it be? Why?
Thom Wolf, one of my seminary professors. He used to be a pastor in Los
Angeles. Last I heard, he was the president of the Baptist Seminary in Thailand. But he is
one of the most interesting, knowledgeable people I know, and he really challenged me in
my walk with Christ and in my teaching. I’ve always wished I could just follow him
around learning from him for about a year. But I’d take a day!
2. Do you have a special writing area?
I love to write in my office. My office was a gift from my family
last year. It is decorated with all my favorite things including quotes
from literature and bright colors. It has my craft cabinet with all my
jewelry-making supplies and painting supplies. It is my creative place
for writing and making art. It is wonderful!
3. How do you balance writing time with the demands of life/family?
This is so hard for me. I love all that I do, and I tend to
overcommit myself. I teach, I’m a mom and pastor’s wife, and I write
and create. My husband teases that I don’t sleep. I’ve really started
making family time more of a priority lately. I realized I was not being
the wife I should be. We are both busy people, and both love all that
we do, so it is easy to lose sight of the simple but most important
things in life, and that is keeping our relationships strong. So, I have
to plan and make it a point to spend time with the people who are
important in my life, and especially with my husband. My kids are
grown, but I still make it a point to spend time with them too. I don’t
know any other way than to make it a priority and an appointment
when necessary. I determine to focus on them and what they are
saying because it is easy to keep thinking about what I’ve been
teaching or writing or what I need to get done for the next deadline.
But we all need to be heard. We all need to share what’s on our minds
and hearts with each other. So, balance has been a challenge for me,
but I’m doing better.
When my children were young, we were on the mission field.
Many times I felt like my life was running me with four kids and an
active ministry plus I worked as a teacher part of our time overseas. I
was able to make family time a priority because they were my main
ministry and focus. I also learned to ask for help. I had someone come
help me clean once a week. This made life much more manageable. I
needed that. It’s not like you have family nearby who can help babysit
or anything. We had friends who would sometimes let us go out for a
date night, but that was usually after 9 pm at night, and we really just
wanted to go to sleep! But we’d go out and spend some time just
being us again.
Three of our four kids are on the autism spectrum, so life has
always been challenging as we tried to find out how best to help them
be successful. One of the wonderful things about being on the mission
field is our family is super close. And raising children with special
needs caused us to keep them as a priority. Nothing else was more
important than our family. Ministry was important but did not outweigh
the importance of our family. That was not always an easy balance,
but having that attitude and priority made a difference in how we
planned our schedules. One of us was always home with our kids in
the afternoon and evenings no matter what else was going on.
5. What kind of research do you do?
6. How long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
7. Was there anything you found interesting while researching the topic?
8. Do you have any writing quirks?
4. Do you read much? 
I read and listen to podcasts constantly. I am reading or
researching almost daily. I love learning as much as I love teaching.
5. What is different about writing non-fiction vs fiction? Would you say
one is easier than the other?
I find both challenging when writing for children. One of the
biggest myths I found I believed was that writing for children
should be easy. It is not! When I write a picture book or
children’s story for a magazine, I may edit that story dozens of
times before it is ready. Always, whether writing fiction or non-
fiction for children, I must be aware of the words I’m using. Are
they right for the age level to which I’m writing? Am I using a
word they don’t know yet, and if I am, is it one they should learn
at this age? How can I get the message across in the fewest
words possible? I say that every word in the story has to fight to
be there. We have to edit every word.

About the Author

Terrie Hellard-Brown uses her experiences as a mother of four (three on the autism spectrum), 35+ years in ministry (15 in Taiwan), and 35 years teaching to speak to the hearts of readers. She writes and speaks to empower children and adults to embrace everyday discipleship every day. She teaches workshops and writes devotional books, children’s stories, and Christian education materials.

Her podcast, Books that Spark, reviews children’s books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion leading to teachable moments with our kids.

Her blog discusses living as a disciple of Christ while discipling our children. She challenges us to step out of our comfort zones to walk by faith in obedience to Christ and to use the nooks and crannies of life to disciple our children.

More from Terrie

As an English teacher, pastor’s wife, and missionary, I LOVE books. I’ve taught every grade from pre-K to community college in my career and taught the Bible to people who didn’t know anything about the Bible or Jesus, and through it all, I’ve come back to the joy of picture books and the simplicity of sharing stories that change lives. Of course, I love teaching Shakespeare, Dickens, and C. S. Lewis, but picture books are still where my heart is. So, it was only natural that I combined my two favorite things: picture books and the Bible.

My friends affectionately call me the Picture Book Lady since I have one to offer for almost any topic, event, or purpose. This new devotional book is no different. A dear friend said one day, “You should write a devotional book based on picture books!” Who wouldn’t jump at such a fun project!?

I chose some of my favorite picture books where I found connections to Scripture, and I began to write devotions to go along with each book. I wanted to use general market books so that we can use whatever book we’re reading with our children to make spiritual connections and bring in lessons naturally in those teachable moments. That’s how Building Character Through Picture Books was born.

Blog Stops

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 21

Fiction Book Lover, November 22 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, November 22

For Him and My Family, November 23

Blossoms and Blessings, November 24 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Cover Lover Book Review, November 28

Lots of Helpers, November 29

A Reader’s Brain, November 30 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, November 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 1

Guild Master, December 2 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 3


To celebrate her tour, Terrie is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 gift card and paperback copy of book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Sunday, November 19, 2023

"Demolishing the Stronghold" by Allen Brokken


About the Book

Book: Demolishing the Stronghold

Author: Allen Brokken

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Release Date: November 4, 2023

Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan finally found respite for their whole family in the grove surrounding the Wellspring of Life. However, the threat of the Dark One’s forces still looms over the Heathlands, and lighting the tower of Light in Blooming Glen is their only hope of cleansing their land of The Darkness once and for all. While the family plans a surprise attack on the stronghold at Blooming Glen, the Bishop calls forth the Calamitous Drake, a monster forged from the essence of The Darkness in the corrupted heart of the Iron Mountain. In the midst of the battle, the monster scatters the family, leaving Mother, Uncle, and Tye in the hands of Lord Refi’Cul and the evil giant Skull Crusher who aims to make Tye his wife and become the Master of the Heath Wardens

The children must take to the skies to forge a weapon capable of defeating the Calamitous Drake. Will Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan’s faith give them the strength to Demolish the Stronghold?


Click here to get your copy!


Becky Dempsey

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

I generally just get cool scenes in my head that I want to write.  Like I wanted a cool Dragon appearing scene in this story and then a battle in the air and a few others.  I laid those out in what I call a flight plan and sort of ordered them together in something like a logical sequence.  Then see how the characters end up putting them together.

What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?

Time on my hands. When I have no deadlines or far away deadlines, I just end up with fanciful ideas bouncing around in my head with no outlet. Give me a deadline, even a self-imposed deadline and words fill the page.


What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?

Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?

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?

I write while I travel. I’m most productive on an airplane. Something about the general discomfort keeps my brain sharp. However, I’m a really big guy and I can’t usually use my laptop or I’m beating people up with my elbows. So, I’ve taken to writing books on my phone keyboard. Something like 30% of the first draft of Still Small Voice was written on my phone.

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

As a kid, I always had an active imagination and took to writing as soon as I learned how. I began the Towers of Light Series as a story for my kids. I was traveling for work 4 days a week and spent a lot of lonely nights in hotels across the country. I started writing a story about them in a fantastic setting and then shared it on the weekends. They loved it.

How long does it usually take you to write a book?

About 40 hours to draft a 300 page novel.  Another 40 to tweak that draft so it’s ready for my editor.  Then 40 once it comes back from those edits, another round of edits and another 40 to finish it off.  So roughly 160 hours.  But that spans about 9 months from November to July.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

What is your work schedule/routine when you write?

I write best early in the morning or on an airplane. When I have a deadline, I build a chart of what I need to get done and then drive that as many days a week as possible early in the morning.

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

The kids in the story are my kids. That was very intentional since I was writing a story about their adventures. I have also used the names and personalities of their actual childhood friends as well.

Anything else you'd like to share?

Demolishing the Stronghold was super fun to write because I got to really play around with a bunch of creative stuff.  Creating an Airship vs. Dragon showdown was really one of the highlights of the series for me.

About the Author

Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband, and a father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age-appropriate way. He’s dedicated 18 years to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development. Now that his children are off to college, he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media.




More from Allen

As I worked to close out the Towers of Light series, I had to work hard to develop something new and different that still fit the 1800s frontier setting.  I had a lot of pressure from my readers to bring a dragon to the prairie.  On multiple occasions, I had to remind my biggest fans that there aren’t any dragons on the prairie.  But they were insistent that dragons make an appearance.


So, as I put the final touches on the previous book, Wellspring of Life, I thought that the censors spreading evil could bring evil things into the world to corrupt the prairie. So, the concept of a dragon formed from the censor’s smoke made a lot of sense.  But what would a “Smoke Dragon” be like?  I shared the idea with my Realm Makers critique group, and they helped form something that early feedback says works well.  The dragon’s name, The Calamitous Drake, is also an homage to a line from “The Hobbit” that refers to Smaug as a great calamity.


With a dragon flying about, I also had to devise a way for the kids to engage it in the air.  This took significant research as I didn’t want to introduce giant eagles or something else that didn’t exist on the frontier.  As I investigated different options, I discovered that hot air balloons were more common in the 1800’s than I thought.  It turned out they served in minor roles during the Civil War and used a technology they called a gasifier to fill them up.  I took some artistic liberty with that, and Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan now had a way to get off the ground to meet the dragon in the air.


This story was so much fun to write, and early reviews from my biggest fans say it was the perfect end to the series.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, November 11 (Author Interview)

Fiction Book Lover, November 12 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

Guild Master, November 15 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, November 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 17 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Blossoms and Blessings, November 19 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 20

A Reader’s Brain, November 21 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 22

Lights in a Dark World, November 23

Beauty in the Binding, November 24 (Author Interview)


To celebrate his tour, Allen 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.