Posted in Author Interview, blog tour, Book reviews, Books, character introduction

Author Interview! A.M. Heath (Blog Tour/Book Review)

Blog tour

 

Good morning, readers! For September’s interview, it’s a little different – it is apart of the blog tour for “If Only It Were Yesterday”! So there is a lot of extra fun going on here, including a giveaway, facebook party, and my review. So let us get on with this fun-filled post, shall we?

 

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The Book:

If Only It were Yesterday (A Season Passed, #1)

 

Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885. As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?
Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.

 

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My Review:

*Happy sigh* This was a perfectly delightful read! The first I’ve read by this author, but it most certainly won’t be my last!

I read this as an e-copy, but I made quick work of securing a print copy for myself, because it was that enjoyable and I wouldn’t hesitate to read it again.

Main character Liz Cooke was real and quirky and lovely, and also very relatable. Starting in present day, we get to know Liz and see how she struggles with believing that times past would be a better place to live instead of this trial-torn present day world. Owning an antique store, she comes across a very special trunk that throws her back in time…

There were so many pleasant nods to Alice in Wonderland, and I love the quotes scattered throughout. The Bible verses at the beginning of the chapters was a joy as well, and it was fun seeing how they were interwoven into the chapters.

“If Only It Were Yesterday” portrayed the historical timeline in a realistic way, showing the beauty as well as struggles that we find today too. I loved the encouraging faith message in this book, and the reminder that God is in control and has placed us in the time period He knows is right for us. Being content where we’re at, and serving Him here.

I was just thoroughly impressed with this novel, and eagerly anticipate the following books in the series! Such a good read <3

(And on a bit of a fangirl note…I loved Scott. He was the best ‘best friend’, and he was adorable. I want to see more of him…XD)

 

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AI AM Heath

 

Welcome to my “Peculiar” Blog! I’m so happy to have you here :)  Would you please introduce yourself and the genre that you write:

 

Thanks so much for having me! My name is Anita and I write under A.M. Heath. I write Christian Fiction. Most of what I pen is historical or historical romance. But I have some Contemporary/contemporary Romance under my sleeves as well. ;) But all my stories carry a message for the soul and a bit of clean romance.  

 

 

What inspired “If Only It Were Yesterday”?

 

Me. Lol I inspired the novel. Seriously though, I had to learn the hard lesson about the trap of idolizing history and/or fiction. Once I saw reality a little more clearly, I couldn’t help but notice how many avid readers had fallen into the same trap. I wanted to reach out to them. I wanted to remind them that most of what we see in fiction is an illusion. While there ARE elements of reality, there are also a great deal of unrealistic elements. It blessed me abundantly to hear back from the early readers who admitted to being a little too much like Liz. But it’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when there’s so much around us that makes us discontent. From there, it’s only a matter of longing for that contentment elsewhere … never realizing that it doesn’t exist in our settings but ind Christ.

 

 

Of your characters, is there one that you relate to more than the others? And if so, why?

 

Definitely Liz. I basically just allowed her to become me in many ways. Her natural curiosity. Her need to know what really happened. Her fixation on history and all things Austen. All of this comes from me. And because of that, this was probably the most natural story/character to write. She is her own person in other ways,  but she also a great dose of myself.

 

 

Do you have a special process for how you choose your character’s names?

 

Lol I’m probably the most laid back person you’ll talk to about naming characters. It seems that everyone has a system except for me. I literally just start tossing around ideas, just whatever pops in my head. I also thumb through a list of era-appropriate names and jot down whatever jumps out at me. At that point, it’s just a matter of calling out names until the character answers to one of them.
LOL Okay, I’m aware that this explanation makes me sound a bit crazy. But if you’ve seen The Man Who Invented Christmas, you’d understand. Dickens’ method in the movie actually IS my method. It’s worked well for me so far! And the characters really do come to life when you stumble upon the right name.

 

 

I have heard that many authors have their own interesting writing quirk – do you have one?  If so, would you mind sharing?

 

I have a specific playlist that I like to play while I’m writing. I’ve found that most songs outside of that list tend to annoy me and distract me from my writing.

Oh! Here’s another that I never knew was odd, but the more I talk to other authors, the more I find that it’s rare. When a new book idea is conceived (we’ll have to call it the plotting process because it’s typically the only real plotting I do) I tend to work with the last things first. Almost immediately, I’m hashing out title ideas, naming main characters, and visualizing my cover options. Once these things are established and I have a basic sense of my plot, I’m ready to start writing. And I don’t go far before I’m writing the clincher and ending scenes. I think for me, the most vital part of the plotting process, is to be able to visual the final product. To see those characters in their most crucial scenes and to have a solid idea of a the cover and title gives me a sense of direction that a detailed outline gives to a seasoned planner. I’ve tried several times to formally outline a story, but I can’t seem to do it. I use that finished imagine in my head to guide me. Knowing the title helps point me toward my goal and purpose for the story. I typically know the starting point and the end result, so I just wing it from there.

 

 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

 

Typically, it energizes me. I actually get weighed down if I don’t get to write for long periods of time. Editing and formatting drains me to no small degree, so I keep another draft in the writing process, so I can slip away and refuel with some creative time.

 

 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

 

SLOW DOWN! So many new self-published authors rush to finish their first book that it suffers as a result. I was one of those. I ended up revising my first book and re-releasing it the following year because I wasn’t completely satisfied with the outcome as the reviews started rolling in. With a traditional publisher, an author doesn’t have a choice except to wait until they’re picked up. But with self-publisher, the author is in charge of everything and it’s all too easy to let your eagerness put something out when you and the story isn’t quite ready.  

 

 

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

 

There’s a great network of authors who have helped me in various ways, some of which I’m just beginning to get to know. But Alicia G. Ruggieri, Amanda Tero, and Krista Noorman have worked alongside of me for several years. They’re always there to encourage me as well as help critique and line edit my work. I highly value their lovingly honest opinions. They, along with others on my team, push me to craft a better story. And there’s no substitute for talking shop with someone who knows what you’re going through.  

 

 

How important to you is the faith-element in your writing? Is it central to the theme or more of a sideline plot?

 

Normally, when I craft the plot, the spiritual theme is in clear view and a central part of the story. There have been a couple of times when the faith element was hidden and had to be layered on in order to bring it into focus properly. But, for me, it really is the heart of the story and the reason I’m penning one at all.

 

 

What does your family think of your writing?

 

They’re very proud. Some of the women in my family read my books. And my kids are always thrilled to see Mommy’s books in print. Lol My husband isn’t a reader so I think the whole tedious process baffles him. He’s told me multiple times that he doesn’t see how I sit in front of the computer as long as I do. Lol But I love it.

 

 

And lastly, would you recommend a book that my readers might like if they’ve read, or plan on reading, your latest, “If Only it Were Yesterday”?

 

I’ve given this a lot of thought. The character, Liz, is such a fan of Jane Austen, so I don’t think you could go wrong by picking up one of her novels or any classic. But another would be Lynn Austin’s Wonderland Creek. The fact that it has Wonderland in the title is a fun coincidence. But I would recommend it because they’re both written in the first person and both main characters have an unfortunate addiction to fiction which leads them astray and brings them to some tough lessons.

 

 

Thank you for the wonderful interview, Anita! I so enjoyed your answers, and you’ve been a joy to get to know!!

 

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Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

 

You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

 

 

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Facebook party! Click on the graphic below to join!


Liz Party

And don’t miss out on the give-away!! Click on the graphic below to go to the giveaway and enter!

Grand Prize

Also, catch up on the other stops of this blog tour!

Release Day Spotlights: 
Sept 4: 
Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings 
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny

Reviews for If Only It Were Yesterday:

Sept. 5:
Laura Wilson @ Blue Eye Books

Sept. 6:
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny

Sept. 10: 
Karen Hadley @ Karen Sue Hadley

Sept. 11:
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings

Sept. 12: 
Virginia Winfield @ Bigreadersite

Sept. 13:
Heather G. @ Blue Jeans and Teacups

Sept. 17:
Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae

 

**I also did a Character Introduction post featuring Liz Cooke from “If Only It were Yesterday” – you can check that out here!

CI Liz Cooke

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Posted in blog tour, Books

Choose Your Own Story

Choose Your Own.png

 

Welcome to my blog, God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae. If you’re new here, my blog is mainly a bookish blog with life post sprinkled inbetween. :)  Today I’m taking part in Sarah Holman’s, Choose Your Own Story, event. This is to celebrate the release of her latest book, Escape and Endurance . In this event, you get to pick the outcome of the story by making choices. A lot of different things can happen. What are you waiting for? Start your adventure by clicking the image below.

 

 

 

 

“This will teach her a lesson.”

Phillip stared at him opened mouthed.

“Do not gape at me, old friend. You know as well as I that she has become a trial even to her own family. We also know that Lord Burn will not harm her. He is a selfish man and wishes to gain attention, but he and the princess grew up together. I know that he will not harm her.”

“I doubt the king will share your attitude,” Phillip said pulling himself to his full height.

“I think you underestimate how much trouble Gail has caused.”

Andrew patted his horse and then he…

 

 

Mounted his Horse or Saw the King.png

 

 

 

Are you interested in reading about a knight, a tower, a princess, and a servant? Pick up a copy of Escape and Endurance! Haven’t read the other books in the Tales of Taelis series? Not to worry. Each book can stand alone. 

And I would definitely recommend this series! It’s excellent! <3

 

 

 

About Sarah:

Sarah Holman is a not-so-typical girl, a homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and lives in the great state of Texas. If there’s anything adventuresome about her life, it’s because she serves a God with a destiny greater than anything she could have imagined. You can find out more about her at her website: www.thedestinyofone.com

You can join the Adventurers (her newsletter) by going here: http://eepurl.com/bitBIf

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books

“When Beauty Blooms” by Victoria Lynn ~Blogtour/Review

When Beauty Blooms Blog Tour Header.jpg

Hello!

Today I am pleased to share about this little novelette titled “When Beauty Blooms” by Victoria Lynn! The cover is truly lovely, and the story inside is even better. There’s also a very nice giveaway included, so don’t miss that either!

 

 

 

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Revolutionary War Era England

Marjorie Kirk is a woman with no fortune, no prospects, no family, and no skills. Or so she thinks. She is awkward, shy, and the farthest thing from any semblance of a society lady.

The new minister keeps turning up in the most awkward of places and she can’t help but feel that her life is doomed to one of embarrassment. But will her flaws actually be the thing that others find the most attractive?

A story of a young woman with social anxiety and how she learned to bloom.

 

 

 

 

My Review:

 

What a lovely short story! The dedication at the beginning was beautiful too.
Easy to read in just a couple of sittings (might’ve been one if life had allowed ;)), “When Beauty Blooms” is a beautiful reminder that our beauty is not defined by our looks or what we think we should be. We are beautiful because of how God made us. I loved main character Marjorie right away. She was endearing and relatable. The story was well written, and I found it very encouraging.
While short, this novelette was lovely and I’d highly recommend it!
*I received a complimentary ecopy from the author; I was not required to write a positive review.

 

 

About the Author:

Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, modesty, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.

Add it on Goodreads

 

Amazon Link:

Paperback

Kindle

Author Links:

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Instagram

Amazon

 

GIVEAWAY!

 

When Beauty Blooms Giveaway final

 

 

Victoria Lynn is generously offering a signed copy of her book and a $10 Amazon giftcard to one blessed winner! Click on the image above to enter! :)

 

 

 

Tour Schedule:

Aug. 6

Michaela Bush // Spotlight //

tangledupinwriting.blogspot.com

Ashley Spies // Spotlight

Creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com

Aug. 7

Gabriellyn Gidman // Spotlight //

https://pageturnersweb.wordpress.com/

Aug. 8

Liv K. Fisher // Review //

https://the-book-sprite.blogspot.com/

Medomfo //Review //

www.writingsfromagodgirl.wordpress.com

Aug. 9

Kaylee // Review //

kayleeskindofwrites.blogspot.com/

Giana // Interview //

Giannaandgemini.wordpress.com

Aug. 10

Gracelyn Buckner //Review //

gracelynbuckner.wordpress.com

Aug. 11

Angela Watts // Spotlight //

Thepeculiarmessenger.wordpress.com

Aug. 12

Allison Tebo // Interview //

www.allisonswell.com

Aug. 13

Jana Tenbrook // Review //

Reviewsfromthestacks.wordpress.com

Lilly Shyree // Review/Interview

Alillyingodsgarden.blogspot.com

Aug. 14

Hosanna Emily // Guest Post //

HavingaHeartLikeHis.blogspot.com

Aug. 15

Laura Grace // Review // Interview

www.unicornquester.com

Lydia // Review //

https://spoonfulofsurprises.com

Allyson Kennedy // Interview/Review //

https://authoringarrowheads.wordpress.com/#content

Aug. 16

Madison Guy //Spotlight //

Alittlesoutherngrace.com

Aug. 17

Tammy Lash // Guest Post/Spotlight

https://tammylash.wordpress.com/

Aug. 18

Laura Guenot // Review //

https://www.beautifulthingsbylaura.com/

Aug. 19

Grace Maples // Review //

https://proclaiminghisexcellencies2910.wordpress.com/

Aug. 20

Sunny Houk // Interview //

https://thatowlnerd.wordpress.com

Aug. 21

Rebekah Morris // Review //

http://www.readanotherpage.com

Aug. 22

Abigail Mckenna //Review //

Novelsdragonsandwardrobedoors.blogspot.com

Raechel Lenore // Review //

Godspeculiartreasurerae.wordpress.com

Aug. 23

Sarah // Review

http://smylinggirl.blogspot.com/

Aug. 24

Kaitlyn Smith // Interview/Review //

https://www.maidensformodesty.com

Aug. 25

Faith Potts // Review //

chosenbythePotter.blogspot.com

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Give-aways

“Julie” by Catherine Marshall ~ Blog Tour with Giveaway and Review!

 

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 :)

 

Title: Julie

Author: Catherine Marshall

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

ReIssue Date: April 17, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction

Links: Goodreads l Amazon l ChristianBook l Book Depository l Itunes

*A New York Times bestseller*

——————————-

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?

 

TO PURCHASE A COPY

Amazon l ChristianBook l Book Depository l Itunes

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

 

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.

 

 

MY REVIEW:

 

 

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.

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY

 

 

(1) Winner will win:

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Bookmark Swag
  • Necklace (exact or similar & *subject to change)
  • Print Copy of Julie

(Only Gift Card open internationally. Others open to US Mailing Addresses)


ENTER HERE (or click on the giveaway image above)

 

 

TOUR SCHEDULE:

JustRead Publicity Tour Landing Page

April 23
Backing Books
Beautifully Broken 
Glamamamas Goodies
Glimpse of Our Life
The Power of Words
Remembrancy
Just Commonly
Book Reviews by Steph


April 24
All of a Kind Mom
Amanda In PA
Locks, Hooks and Books
Two Points of Interest
This Chattanooga Mommy Saves
Savings in Seconds
Veronica’s ‘Views
Meagan Davenport
Faery Tales Are Real


April 25
As We Walk Along the Road
Texas Book-aholic
Book by Book
Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Bibliophile Reviews
Moments
Quilting Along Life’s Way
Girls in White Dresses
Mom 2 Mom Connection


April 26
A Baker’s Perspective
Impressions In Ink
A Room Without Books is Empty 
Christian bookaholic
Mocha with Linda
Lighthouse Academy
Running Through the Storms 
Coffee Addicted Writer
Live. Love. Read.
Thoughts from Mill Street
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae


April 27
For the Love of Books
I’m Hooked on Books
She Lives to Read
Becky J Miller
Jami’s Words
Ponderings of a Poet & Procrastinator
Have A Wonderful Day 
Pause for Tales
Hope for Today’s Heart
Neverending Stories
Jen Around the World
Maureen’s Musings
Singing Librarian Books
Splashes of Joy 
Katherine Scott Jones
My Full Cup

Posted in blog tour, Books

Seventh Born by Rachel Rossano// Blog Tour

Having seven sons is a honor above no other. Which is why she is a disappointment. The only girl of seven children, she brought shame to her family. Who knew something like this could be turned into a book, but Rachel Rossano has done just that with her book, Seventh Born. Read on to learn more about the book and enter the giveaway.

About the Book

In a world where seventh born sons are valued for their strength and power, she is born a daughter.

Zezilia Ilar is the disappointment. Born after six brothers, she was supposed to be the son to restore her family’s prestige. She intends to remedy her shortcomings by being a dutiful daughter, marrying well and producing children, preferably a set of seven sons. But when someone offers her an alternative, she begins to dream of more.

In a society that worships a goddess, he follows the Almighty.

Hadrian Aleron, as a seventh son of a seventh son, stands to take up the second highest position in government, Sept Son. His main qualification for office is his birth. Despite preparing for this role from childhood, he does not desire what is to come. As a follower of the Almighty, he knows he will be the target of many, and his faith might eventually lead to death.

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079Z2PPJL
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seventh-born/id1351646000
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seventh-born-2
Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seventh-born-rachel-rossano/1128018000

About the Author

Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.

Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page.

Follow Rachel on:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RachelRossanoRambles
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RachelRossano
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+RachelRossano
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/rachelrossano/
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1430209.Rachel_Rossano
Blog – http://www.rachelrossano.com/
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Rossano/e/B004MV17GE/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/anavrea
Newsletter Sign Up – http://eepurl.com/4sbsv

Giveaway

Rachel is giving away an eBook of her book. You can enter here. Your odds of winning increase with every person you refer so spread the word! Good luck, and I hope you win!

Character Spotlight:

 

NameHadrian Aleron

As the youngest of seven sons, he was given seven names (a cultural tradition): Ilias Durand Fidel Hadrian Krispin Valens Savill Aleron (which mean Jehovah is my God, enduring, faithful, dark one, curly-haired, valiant, from the willow farm, eagle). However, he goes by Hadrian most of the time.

 

Physical Appearance – Tall, dark brown unruly curls, angular features, and intense dark eyes

 

Tallest among his siblings, he stands out in many ways. Perhaps it was because of the knowledge that he was going to have to help lead a nation at a young age, but even before he took up the role, he carried an air of purpose and gravity about him.

Hadrian was raised by believing parents to honor, love, and obey the Almighty at all costs. In a nation that worships a goddess, that fidelity could mean persecution and, for a public official, possibly death.

 

YOU PUT IN YOUR EXCERPT (FOUND IN THE MEDIA KIT), GUEST POST, CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT, OR REVIEW.

Tour Schedule

 

April 9
Bookish Orchestrations – Introductory post
Just A Glimpse – Guest Post
Faith, Loyalty, Adventure Blog – Book Review
April 10
Rachel John Writes – Book Review
Annie Louise Twitchell – Book Review
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Character Spotlight

April 11
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Character Spotlight
Romantic Typewriter Gardens – Guest Post
The World of the Blue Bells Chronicles – Book Review

April 12
Rebekah Lyn Books – Book Spotlight
Frances Hoelsema – Book Spotlight
Hunting for Truth – Book Review and Guest Post
April 13
Reading On The Edge – Book Spotlight
Ember’s Reviews – Book Review
With a Joyful Noise – Character Spotlight
Views from the Window Friend – Book Review

April 14
Bookish Orchestrations – Giveaway winner

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Litfuse

“Keturah” by Lisa T. Bergren ~ Book Review & Giveaway!

“Keturah” by Lisa T. Bergren

Book One in The Sugar Barren’s Daughters Series

Review copy from the publishers through Litfuse

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined-and that’s just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

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My Thoughts:

I love the cover of this book – it is definitely one that draws you in. The story setting was quite a unique one, which I enjoyed!

It was adventurous, three sisters deciding to set out on their own to an unknown place. I admired how the sisters banded together; their bond was very sweet.
This book focused primarily on Keturah – the title of the book indeed. :)  We learn from the beginning that her first marriage was not a good one. That was sad, and all too true for many. I liked the message that God does desire for everyone to be loved well, as He cherishes us.
Because of her previous abuse, her actions were very understandable. Her determinedness to never be ruled by a man made sense due to her background pain. I hurt for her when her painful memories resurfaced.

However, I guess personally, I was a little concerned with how ‘glorified’ it was to put yourself above men – to the point where she reveled in donning men’s clothing at one point. And granted, the act was reasonable in itself for what was needing to be done at that point, but I think during that time period especially, it would have felt very odd and not been so…glorified. I know most people just adore the ‘strong female lead who doesn’t need any man’, but I guess they’re just not my favourite. Yes, woman are capable – not denying that at all – but I don’t think that means we need to constantly be rising above the men.

This is not to say I didn’t have compassion on Keturah’s suffering and what made her feel this way – I did get that. I was just hoping for some more healing portrayed. Learning that yes, we are whole in Jesus (hallelujah!), but also that God created men and women alike, and we don’t have to be so independent. God created us to be wholly dependent on Him and to need each other, as Paul tells us constantly in God’s word.

The setting of this book, Nevis Island, was very well portrayed. Beauty and danger wrapped into one.

I also liked the reoccurring theme spoken between the characters, of “One limb at a time” – meaning that we can only take each day as it comes. A very wise – and Biblical – thing. :)

I’m guessing, from the title of the book and series and way this book was, that each book  will focus individually on each sister. I must say, I am very much looking forward to Verity’s book – I really loved her character, and would love to see more of her. And Captain McKintrick. :D

So yes, in conclusion, I enjoyed this book though personally struggled with the one aspect, but I do look forward to the next. :)

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 Quotes:

 

“But this is a harsh world, full of harsh realities. We cannot expect to shield ourselves from all harm, forever. You cannot assume you can do that for us. We shall, as you say, use our good minds. Look for God’s lead and do our best to follow. But we cannot live in fear of hurt. It will keep us from venturing into new things, welcoming new people.” – Selah

“All God asks of us is to do our best, from morning until night. He doesn’t expect us to do things that only He can accomplish – only what we’ve been given to do and to trust Him with the rest.” – Gray

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Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She’s the author of the Christy Award-winning “Waterfall,” RITA®-finalist “Firestorm,” bestselling “God Gave Us You,” and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She’s also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.
Find out more about Lisa at http://lisatawnbergren.com.

Enter to win a copy of Keturah. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced March 13 on the Litfuse blog!

 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Author Interview, blog tour, Book reviews

Blog Tour: Caselli Family Series by Ta’Mara Hanscom Author Inteview and Review!

Tour Banner

Ta’Mara has published her Caselli Family series before, but she is now relaunching the series starting with The Pretender and Pit of Ambition! Join this super fun blog tour and find out more about the first two books (of five). Below you’ll find an author interview and book review of “Pit of Ambition”. Also, make sure you check out the great giveaway!

About the Books

Cover OnlyThe Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise is the first volume of 5 in the family epic series The Caselli Family Series. It begins in South Dakota in 1975 where eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beers in a bar and loaded guns were kept under the counter. Frankie Valli sang My Eyes Adored You, and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.

​It’s within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again. Their lives were mysteriously intertwined – and had been for many years – yet they had no idea.

​From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart – and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.

​These compelling stories are interwoven with Biblical truths and light-hearted, real life events from the author’s own past. Easy to understand and relate to, as well as encouraging.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GPVK3FU/

Pit of AmbitionPit of Ambition is the second volume of 5 in the family epic series The Caselli Family Series.

Five years have passed since Noah and Tillie’s “chance” meeting. They’ve married other people by now, and are both beginning their families.

In the pursuit of professional and political success, Alex runs headlong into a pit of pride and ambition…and Giuseppe begins to hate the husband he chose for his daughter.

Alex and Noah are doing business on many fronts, which will bring Noah to town for an unintended meeting with Giuseppe. Tension abounds as he attempts to conceal his daughter’s identity from Noah.

Alex strays when Tillie needs him the most, and it’s Noah who will bring him home. But, instead of learning Tillie’s identity, he connects with her brothers, especially Marquette.

Unbeknownst to Noah, his new foreman is a member of the crime family Marquette has sought since 1968.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HT5IZHO/

About the Author

About the AuthorI was born and raised in South Dakota, and I love her people and rich history. For many years I’ve also had a deep love for Italy and her colorful chronology. I was fortunate enough to visit Italy on my 25th wedding anniversary, and I added some of the details of my travels to my fictional series The Caselli Family Series.

My favorite sport is baseball – Detroit Tigers – and I can’t wait until the next time I get to see them play in Comerica Park.

I live for the next family barbeque.

My husband and I own a national pizza franchise in Iowa, where we currently reside. We have three grown children and one grandson. We’ve rescued two cats and one Pomeranian.

I teach AWANA Cubbies and speak at women’s events.

www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com.
https://tamarahanscom.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TaMara-Hanscom-Author-473920855079/?ref=bookmarks
https://twitter.com/TaMaraHanscom?lang=en&lang=en

Giveaway

Giveaway

Ta’Mara is generously offering a $50 Amazon gift card! There are many different ways in the Rafflecopter to enter. The more you choose, the better chance you have of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Interview:

  • Welcome to my “Peculiar” blog! I’m happy to have you here. :) Would you please introduce yourself and your books? I’m Ta`Mara Hanscom and I write the Caselli Family Series, which is an Italian-American saga that begins in 1975 and works its way forward.

 

  • What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I don’t know that I have one particular quirk. I know that I get really lost in the story at times and I’ll look up and much of the day has passed without me even knowing it! It will be dark outside, and my office light is the only one on! Sometimes I’ve even forgotten about my little dog. If he falls asleep in my office and it’s really quiet, I’ll be just shocked to get up from my desk and see him there. Thankfully he really loves uninterrupted naps.

 

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you? Energizes me!

 

  • How important to you is the faith-element in your writing? Extremely important. I can’t write anything decent unless I’m talking to my Savior on a regular basis (like, daily). And my faith has to come out on the pages or isn’t a story—then it’s just fluff on the page.

 

  • What does your family think of your writing? For the most part they really love it, my husband especially.

 

  • If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Go to college, learn how to write. It’s too hard to learn all this stuff on your own.

 

  • How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? I have 3 more for the Casellis, and several more unpublished that are completely finished, one that is about half way there, and one new series in the works.

 

  • What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? My little sister, Mary Angela, is probably my closest writer friend. We share all sort of pointers with each other, and make each other read our books. We’re honest with each other, and that’s a big help.

 

  • And lastly, would you recommend a book that my readers might like if they’ve read your Caselli Family series? I like Irene Hannon, though hers are really full of action and suspense. You might like her too!

 

Thanks for visiting, Mrs. Hanscom!

Review:

 

Before I begin my review, I’d like to recommend that anyone who plans on reading this series start with the first novel for sure, as it is a continuing story.
I fell in love with Noah Hansen in book one, and was pretty much heart-broken by certain events that occurred. But I mended, and was prepared to dive into the second book. I came to terms with how it had ended, and the character’s marriages.
There is something about this series that just utterly pulls you in, and you become so very invested in these characters lives. So…effected. This can be good and bad. ^.^
I’m impressed with the author’s ability to weave a complex storyline that stretches across a five-book series. In most series, each novel deals with – and resolves – a certain topic/plot etc. But what I’ve noticed with these two books is that the next one builds off the last, continuing the main plot.
So, as I mentioned, I was prepared, going into this next book, with how the characters ‘stood’, and where their lives were at. Or so I thought….there were times during the reading of it where I had wished for a different outcome, but truly had accepted that it was not to be.
And I again loved Noah – his character really is my favourite. And seeing his devotion to Carrie, and their children – so endearing.
I liked Tillie a lot too, and commended her for her own devotion to Alex, even when he was not the most supportive husband. Alex was not my favourite character, but I respected their marriage, mainly because of Tillie.
I also like Tillie’s mother a lot. Her father, Guiseppi, put himself through a lot of turmoil. I ached to jump into the book and tell him he need only repent and leave the rest in God’s hands. Too bad we can’t jump into books, eh?! ^.^
I would like to explain why I am giving this book 3.5 stars instead of a full 4 – there were several moments where I was fully feeling a 4 rating, as I read. But when another bad thing occurred toward the end, and where I see this story starting to go…that kind of threw me. I know life does not always deal us good cards, but it seems like it’s just one bad thing happening to them after the next, and that gets a bit hard to read sometimes, I will admit. And I know that many may not share how I feel about that, and that’s fine. Each person is entitled to their own opinion.
The author’s note at the end of the book was really well spoken, and shared a great message. Really appreciated that part!
In conclusion, I loved many aspects of this book and struggled with a couple others. It will be interesting to see how this series continues. :)

 

 

Tour Schedule

 

February 26
Bookish Orchestration – Introductory post
Rachel Rossano’s Words – Author Interview
Adventures in Publishing – Author Interview
Rebekah Lyn Books – Book Review and Character Spotlight

February 27
Simply Kelina – Book Review
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Character Spotlight

February 28
Little Homeschool on the Prairie – Book Spotlight
Seasons of Opportunities – Book Review
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – Book Review

March 1
Moments – Book Spotlight
Reader’s Cozy Corner – Book Review
Fiction to Ignite Your Faith – Post from the author

March 2
New Horizon Reviews – Book Review
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Book Review
Adventures Of A King Daughter – Book Review

March 3
Bookish Orchestrations – Giveaway Winner

 

 

 

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author for the purpose of this review.