Title: Cross My Heart Series: Legacy of Faith #2
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 25, 2019 Genre: Contemporary Romance/Split Timeline
Can two broken paths lead toward God’s redemption?
When Ashley Showalter and Ben Henning meet on Ashley’s horse rescue farm, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Both were raised by single moms. Both want to help where they see a need. And both work with horses in the Boise valley. Ben needs Ashley’s help and expertise after starting an equine therapy barn on his great-great-grandfather’s farm—and the more time they spend together, both Ashley and Ben have the feeling that there could be something more between them.
They also carry the burden of past experiences that may drive them apart if the truth is ever revealed. Ben is a recovering alcoholic with five years of sobriety behind him, while Ashley’s brother is an opioid addict residing in court-ordered rehab. Holding fast to the belief that addicts can never be cured, Ashley has promised herself she will never walk knowingly into the chaos created by addiction. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? Or will her brother’s mistakes and the pain of her past jeopardize her future with Ben?
Cross My Heart threads together a contemporary love story with the heartwarming tale of Ben’s great-great-grandfather, Andrew Henning—reminding us that God’s Word is timeless and that His promises are new every morning.
Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love.
Her numerous awards include the RITA® Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America®.
When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.
Only my second novel by author Robin Lee Hatcher, I am quickly becoming a big fan of her writing!
“Cross My Heart” is a beautiful book with a fantastic story of faith and trust in the Lord. The plotlines themselves are amazing, but my favorite part is the heart of the novel – the overwhelming, encouraging, and satisfying message of God, soaked into each page. It was truly beautiful, and I can’t express how much I appreciate that in a novel! This wasn’t just a Christian book in theory or title – it was fulfilling, and I loved that.
I also love how the duel-timeline was presented, with the present day story being the focus, but at the end of each chapter we receive a glimpse of Andrew Henning’s story in 1940’s. So enticing, and so good.
I will admit that I am not a huge horse person (I know. Gasp.). I love my sister’s horse and adore my own mule, but horses have never been a huge passion of mine. However, that theme in this book was delightful and I really liked seeing what it meant to both Ashley and Ben. And how they related over their shared interest and love of horses, and helping people. That was great.
I was just really impressed with the whole book, and greatly look forward to the next book in the Legacy of Faith series!!
(1) winner will receive Book 1 & 2 of Robin Lee Hatcher’s LEGACY OF FAITH series (US only) – Who I Am With You & Cross My Heart
Copy the following phrase to claim your bonus entries for this stop:
“My times are in Thy Hands” Psalm 31:15 KJV
Each host on the tour (excluding the launch pages) has a “timeless” verse or phrase for you to enter on the Rafflecopter form for bonus entries!
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 21, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 28, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only.
Happy Release day to “An Hour Unspent”! I am currently reading this beauty and thoroughly enjoying it!! I hope you will enjoy this post from the author as well as the giveaway!
When Big Ben Joined the Skyline
When the design for A Name Unknown, book 1 in the Shadows Over England Series, was shown to me and I saw the spine for the first time, I was so excited to see the series logo they’d come up with. Big Ben’s clock tower.
Big Ben says London. Which is what the designers were no doubt trying to invoke, as my family of thieves are firmly Londoners. But for me, it was more than that. Because in the third book of the series, An Hour Unspent, that iconic clock actually plays a role in the story.
For starters, a bit of naming. Most of us think of “Big Ben” as the clock, but it’s technically not. Big Ben is actually the bell. The clock is the Great Westminster Clock, though over the years the name Big Ben has come to be associated with the entire structure. So now that we’ve got that straight… 😉
The clock tower was designed by Augustus Pugin and completed in 1859. Pugin was an architect, one who is most remembered for redesigning the interior of Westminster Palace and the tower in question, which has become one of the most iconic symbols of England. Though he also designed the face of the clock, the mechanics of the thing he wisely handed over to someone else.
But interestingly, the movement–the gears and weights that make a clock work, and in this case, work with amazing reliability–was actually designed by two amateurs to the field. Edmund Denison, a lawyer, and mathematician George Airy. The construction was the only part undertaken by an actual clockmaker, Edward Dent.
The Great Clock’s inner workings are so precise that a penny sitting on the pendulum is all it takes to make slight alterations to the time. That one little coin will make an adjustment of nearly half a second a day. That doesn’t sound like much, but it allows for small incremental adjustments to keep the clock accurate year after year. The pendulum still has a stack of old coins on it, and the clock is still hand-wound three times a week.
In my story, I gave the job of upkeep of the Great Clock to my heroine’s father, a clock maker. This part is purely fictional, of course, but it would have been considered a great honor to be tasked with such a responsibility, and in my story that’s the proof of Cecil Manning’s proficiency in his trade, even though he’s by no means made himself rich.
That honor goes to another historical figure that my fictional Manning claims as a friend, who revolutionized the timekeeping world. But you’ll have to check out An Hour Unspent: Companion Guide to learn more about that…
About the Book
With Danger Creeping Ever Closer, Do Their Dreams Still Matter?
Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.
Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.
Series: Shadows Over England (Book 3) Paperback: 416 pages Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 4, 2018) ISBN-13: 978-0764219283
About the Author
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Happy Monday! Today not only do I have the pleasure of sharing a character-introduction for Megan Jacobs of “The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel, but I also am here to announce the winner from the giveaway featured last week of this very special book! So be sure to read till the end to see who won!
(If you’re new to these posts:The idea behind them is just to spotlight the character a bit, give a little description of their personality, and for fun, a few books I’d recommend to them if I could.)
Megan is a courageous character. She struggled with health complications growing up, and eventually received a heart transplant.
These things kept her “grounded” – she lived her life carefully. But then she meets the parents of her heart-donor and they lend Megan their daughter’s journal. I would say that this was a life-changing point for her.
As Megan sets out to fulfill her heart donor’s Bucket List, she learns about herself too, realizing she has been courageous all along. The Bucket List quickly becomes her own..
I like Megan because she is relatable. Yes, she did live her life in fear sometimes, but she also stepped out in crazy faith and grew so much along her journey. And I loved following her on her adventures. :)
Books I would recommend to Megan:
Well, she is more into travel books, not necessarily fiction. None the less, I would suggest…
Melissa Tagg’s books// The writing style of these books is fun, not to mention the stories are great. I think Megan would enjoy them for sure.
“A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White// While this is WWII historical, and I kind of think Megan would read more contemporary fiction, I do believe she’d like this book and its heroine. I just get that feeling. :)
Meet Megan for yourself in “The Heart Between Us”:
Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.
And now….how about we get to that giveaway winner?!
!!!!* Beth Tate *!!!!
Congratulations, Beth! I hope you’ll love “The Heart Between Us” as much as I did! I’ll be in contact with you to get you the book from Lindsay Harrel :)
And a HUGE thank you to each of you who entered – I was very thankful to see the entries! :) I’m sorry you can’t all win, but I do definitely encourage you to check out the book!
If you missed the Author Interview from last Monday, or my review of this book, you can find those here:
Good morning, and happy Monday! Today, not only do I have an amazing author interview to share, but she’s also offered a GIVEAWAY to go along with it! Isn’t that fantabulous? I fell in love with “The Heart Between Us”, and knew I’d love to have Lindsay Harrel for an author review. And when she offered a giveaway – well, goodness, what fun! Keep reading to find all the details, and don’t forget to enter for a COPY of “The Heart Between Us”!!
Welcome to my “Peculiar” Blog! I’m so happy to have you here :) Would you please introduce yourself and the genre that you write:
Sure! My name is Lindsay Harrel and I write inspirational romantic women’s fiction. Thanks so much for having me!
What sparked the idea for your book, “The Heart Between Us”? (I thought it was so clever and absolutely loved the whole thing!)
Thank you for your kind words. I heard a radio feature story on K-LOVE or some other station about a woman who went sky diving because her heart donor had always wanted to do it and never got to. It just made me ask the question, What if someone fulfilled her heart donor’s entire bucket list?
In “The Heart Between Us”, is there a character that you relate best to? And if so, why?
Yes! The story is about twin sisters Megan and Crystal and how they have both been affected by Megan’s long-term illness and subsequent heart transplant. When I was first going to write the book, it was just going to be Megan’s story and Crystal was just the antagonist who was overprotective and didn’t understand Megan. But my agent challenged me to dig deeper and tell Crystal’s story too. When I did, I discovered a character who had been deeply affected by living with a sick sister her whole life. I could relate, since my mom was sick for many of my formative years. Between that and Crystal’s penchant for defining herself by her achievements, she became the character I related to most.
Do you have a special process for how you choose your character’s names?
Not really. I always look up common baby names in the year the character is born and when one pops out at me as feeling “right” for the character, I choose it. Funny though—I didn’t do that with Megan’s character at first. I chose Maddie because I liked the name, but I got the comment that it made the character feel for high school age, not 32. So I went back, applied the process mentioned above, and chose Megan (I also have a good friend named Megan so that was a bit of fun in choosing that name).
I have heard that many authors have their own interesting writing quirk – do you have one? If so, would you mind sharing?
I don’t know if it’s a quirk, but I really prefer silence when I write. I also can’t stand the idea of only writing part of a scene; if I’m going to write, I try to finish an entire scene in one sitting. It feels incomplete to me to write only, say, 500 or 1000 words at a time!
Megan in “The Heart Between Us” is fulfilling the bucket list of her heart-donor; Do you have a bucket list yourself?
It’s not something I’ve actually written out, but yes! At the top right now is visiting Italy with my husband.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Great question. I think both. I actually don’t care as much for the drafting stage of writing (I much prefer editing!); the blank page is a bit intimidating to me. But I am energized by the thought that I get to live my dream. It’s also exhausting to pour yourself and your emotions out on the page, and to be a good writer, I think you have to be constantly doing that.
How important to you is the faith-element in your writing? Is it central to the theme or more of a sideline plot?
I’ve read all sorts of Christian fiction, and the ones that resonate with me the most are those that infuse faith organically. So that is what I try to do. Some stories require more actual mention of faith; with others, the character kind of just has this misconception about God and has an epiphany at the end, but faith isn’t constantly mentioned. I think it just depends on what the story calls for. But because I am a Christian, I can’t help but write stories from that perspective and worldview, so I think in that sense, my stories will always be faith filled.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are 100% supportive! Of course, my boys (who are 1 and 3.5 years old) don’t really understand it. But my husband is amazing in giving me time to write when I’m on deadline, and my mother-in-law and stepmom help with the kids too.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Stop worrying! Things will happen in their time. Just enjoy the process and stop stressing over how you’re going to get there (and when! and if!). :)
“The Heart Between Us” visits many places all over the world – have you traveled much in your life, and did you make any special travel-plans during the writing of this book?
In college, I took a study abroad trip to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Paris one summer. It was amazing and definitely shaped my desire to write about those places. I have wanted to go back, but my husband and I haven’t had the time or money. But we are saving and dreaming!
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am blessed to be friends with SO many in the writing community, and have been craft and brainstorming partners with Gabrielle Meyer, Melissa Tagg, and Alena Wendall. I’ve also been mentored by incredible authors like Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. All of them challenge me to do deeper with characters and—more than anything—they just encourage me when I’m down and help keep me grounded and rooted in the things that are most important on this writing journey. I’m so glad my writing life isn’t a solitary endeavor.
And lastly, would you recommend a book that my readers might like if they’ve read your latest, “The Heart Between Us”?
I think readers who enjoyed The Heart Between Us would enjoy anything by Katherine Reay, specifically Lizzy and Jane or her latest, The Austen Escape!
Thank you so very much, Lindsay Harrel!
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working freelance jobs, teaching college English courses online, and—of course—writing novels.
When she actually has time to do other things, she loves to sing, read, and sip passion iced teas from Starbucks. She loves to watch God work in ordinary lives to create something extraordinary, and she writes to bring hope to those who may have lost it along the way. Connect with her at www.LindsayHarrel.com and any other place she hangs out online, including Facebook and Twitter.
What a lovely interview, wouldn’t you say? I just love learning more about an author and their writing process/books! <3
And now, how about we get to that giveaway!
DETAILS: Lindsay Harrel is offering 1 (one) print copy to be given away to one reader! Follow the link below to enter this lovely giveaway – trust me, you don’t want to miss this book!
**US address only due to shipping costs**
Giveaway will start TODAY and will end SUNDAY the 10th, and the WINNER will be announced next MONDAY with the Character-Spotlight post, so be sure to check back!!
Click the graphic to be led to the giveaway widget, or click here.
Welcome to this stop on the Julie by Catherine Marshall Reissue Celebration Blog Tour with JustRead Publicity Tours! I pleased to be sharing about this book, my review of it, and a giveaway! Let’s get started :)
Author: Catherine Marshall
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
ReIssue Date: April 17, 2018 Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
Will the dam hold? Julie Wallace has always wanted to write. Trying to escape the Great Depression, Julie’s father buys the Alderton Sentinel, a small-town newspaper in flood-prone Alderton, Pennsylvania, and moves his family there. As flash floods ominously increase, Julie’s investigative reporting uncovers secrets that could endanger the entire community. Julie, the newspaper, and her family are thrown into a perilous standoff with the owners of the steel mills as they investigate the conditions of the immigrant laborers. As the Alderton Sentinel and Julie take on a more aggressive role to reform these conditions, seething tensions come to a head. When a devastating tragedy follows a shocking revelation, Julie’s courage and strength are tested. Will truth and justice win, or will Julie lose everything she holds dear?
Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), “The New York Times” best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel “Christy.” Based on the life of her mother, “Christy” captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in “A Man Called Peter.” A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of “Guideposts,” forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.
I’m probably one of the few that hasn’t read or seen Catherine Marshall’s infamous “Christy”, but when “Julie” was brought to my attention, I wanted to give this author a try. And I love the new cover of “Julie” – truly beautiful!
The story itself was an interesting one. It was good, and the author obviously put a lot of effort into the historical fact side of it. Sometimes the facts got a little heavy when I wanted to focus more on the characters and their relationships/lives, but overall it wasn’t too much, and it all was indeed interesting. The build-up to the dam-break was a slow crescendo but well-written as we received more information piece by piece. And the newspaper aspect was an enjoyable story – I’ve always enjoyed plots like that.
The characters: The book is of course centered around Julie, as the title suggest. It’s written from her POV and that reads nicely. She is an eighteen year old girl with a lot of gumption and passion. I applauded her devotion to her family, even when crisis after crisis hit. The Wallace family was in it together, no matter what.
The romance struck me as a bit…odd/underdeveloped. First off, there was a sort of love-triangle, only Julie couldn’t decide which of the three men she liked best. And she had no problem flirting with each one nonchalantly. I didn’t care for that. Also, there was a lot of physical attraction between her and Rand, and they shared their kisses freely – and often times, passionately – but with no definite commitment, and then there was the fact that Rand might’ve been in love with someone else…it just did not come across as virtuous or gentlemanly on his part, or caution on her part. And then, towards the end, when we’re expecting to find the conclusion of her romance – find who she chooses – it was summed up really quickly without depth or much emotion. That kind of shocked me. I was expecting a bit more…story on that. Of the three men, I admit I was definitely more for Rand, though their relationship definitely could’ve used some foundation other than just physical attraction.
I appreciated the faith-message, and relying on God through the various trials life throws our way, and the growth we go through under such pressured. There was one character who was particularly strong in his faith, and that was Dean Flemming. I liked him quite a bit and his mission. He was steady in his beliefs and loved the Lord. However, the desire to keep his “ministry”, if you will, so secret didn’t sit right with me. Yes, we are to “not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing” and not do our deeds for man to see, but when someone asks us of our faith, we are to be always ready to give an answer and to be transparent. To let our acts be known so that they glorify God. Having a “secret society” just felt very off to me, and didn’t sit well.
But that’s not to say I didn’t like what they did, and their commitment to serving God’s people. That was respectable and encouraging. I just don’t think the secrecy aspect was needed.
I realize that my review so far seems a bit critical. I did enjoy “Julie” and am glad I read it! I just had some concerns, which I’ve stated. It was a fascinating story, with happy moments and sad moments, and many gripping scenes. The dam-breaking scene was fairly heart-rending, and I cannot imagine all the horrors entailed. Seeing the town recover was inspiring.
I’m sorry for the lack of posts – I had hoped I’d be able to post more in November, but life has a way or throwing surprises, some good, some bad. I have reviews I want to get posted soon, and of course the monthly recap, but currently my family and I are enduring a rough patch of grief which has taken up most of our energy and time. But I will return to posting in good time, God-willing. And I have a blog tour post scheduled for tomorrow, so there’s that. :)
For now, I wanted to let you all know about a fun post and giveaway that is happening on Inkwell Inspirations. You might recall THIS post where I mentioned that my blog and I were interviewed on Inkwell Inspirations. That was fun. :) (You can read that interview by going here.) Well, lots of other book reviewer bloggers were also interviewed over the summer, and now a party is being help to celebrate that fact! so pop on over to Inkwell Inspirations and join in the fun, read some of the interviews, and enter the giveaway!
It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you (which, come one, I hope they do!), Indie Christian Books has a perfect event for you.
Like most other bookdragons, great books easily make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites (in other words: rather impossible), but I painstakingly picked five books I read in 2017 that I am thankful for. But know that I will have a bigger list of favourite reads coming towards the end of 2017/beginning of 2018, as usual! Because I can’t keep it to just five favourites. :D For now, though, here are five that I am thankful for:
“Everything’s Coming Up, Josey!” by Susan May Warren:I’m thankful for this book because it was the first book that introduced me to SMW’s writing and got me hooked. And it was adorable, funny, annnd set in MN/Russia. :)
“Destiny Defended” by J.A. Marx:Thankful for this one because it was the last book in the series, and I was so excited to see how it ended! I love J.A. Marx’s books! They’re deep, enjoyable, and God-centered.
“Bread of Angels” by Tessa Afshar: I’m always thankful for a new Tessa Afshar book! Her Biblical Fiction is some of the VERY best there is, and I’m always deeply touched by her novels. This was no exception!
“Out of the Dark” by MacKenzie Morganthal: I’m thankful for this book because it was the long-awaited sequel to “Not Abandoned”, and the author happens to be my kindred spirit. :) This is an amazing, beautiful book!
“Lady Jayne Disappears” by Joanna Davidson Politano: Thankful for this book because it was a spectacular debut novel, one that keeps you enraptured, and it was so… bookish! Absolutely delightful.
And because I may be a rule breaker when it comes to books, one of my favourite NON-Fiction reads was:
“Daring to Hope” by Katie Davis Majors,and I’m thankful for it because it is so encouraging and inspiring. Very touching.
So, there’s my list! I had to leave out a couple, but as I mentioned, I will be creating a more extensive list come December/January!
And I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors has banded together to offer a huge selection of discounted books between Nov 24th and 30th. There’s literally something for everyone.
There are quite a few bloggers participating in this blog tour, so be sure to visit them (links in the giveaway widget) too! This event promises to be lots of fun. :)
(Here’s a link to the list of supporters for ICB – it should be live on the 24th: http://www.indiechristianbooks.com/supporters/)
You can meet our authors by visiting the Author Database on the website. Want to get to know the authors better AND have the chance to win some fun prizes? We’d love to have you join our week long Facebook party which will feature 39 authors over 7 days.
What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?
A note on the Ebooks Only page. Many of the books are listed as “Sold Out.” This is because we aren’t selling those directly through our site. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.