Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books, Give-aways

“Cross My Heart” by Robin Lee Hatcher ~ JustRead Blog Tour


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

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.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | ChristianBook


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Lee HatcherRobin 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.

CONNECT WITH ROBIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter


MY REVIEW

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!!

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(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

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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.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Posted in blog tour

“A Marvelous Redeemer” by Aleigha Israel ~ Blog Tour Spotlight

A Marvelous Redeemer FB Banner

Good morning, one and all! Today I am pleased to spotlight what looks and sounds to be an amazing book, “A Marvelous Redeemer” by Aleigha Israel! I had hoped to have my review to share today as well, but a family emergency occured making that impossible. But I will be sharing my review as soon as I can. For now, enjoy discovering more about this beautiful book!!

 

 

About the Book

She knew the decision would change her life. But she didn’t know she’d have to fight to survive. When Amira put her faith in Christ, she knew life wouldn’t be easy. But hiding her conversion from her Muslim family soon becomes the least of her worries. Forced to leave the only home she’s ever known, she travels to the island of Gabeburough, trying her best to make a fresh start. Two escaped convicts and a treasure map. A leafy paradise that becomes her home. Amira begins to wonder, where is her Redeemer when she needs Him the most? Caleb Haddington is prince of Carpathia. Life should be perfect, but he can’t get a certain dark-haired girl out of his mind. Amira was his best friend when he lived in France, but her letters to him have suddenly stopped. Her last letter is filled with terror that her faith will soon be discovered. Only a single hope keeps him alive; when the time is right, he’s going after her. He’ll bring her back and prove to the kingdom that he’s a man. But the journey proves to be more perilous than he’d ever imagined. Ridicule, comfortless days and the threat of a hurricane are just the start of his problems. Lying becomes easy for Caleb until his own life crumbles before him. Brought to his knees under the pressure of his actions, he comes to realize the sweetness of his Savior. Forgiveness, grace, and mercy are granted fully to those who ask. Caleb and Amira soon discover that they don’t just serve a gracious Savior, but a wonderful, magnificent, marvelous Redeemer.

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

 

About the Author

aleigha israelALEIGHA C. ISRAEL writer of inspirational fiction and poetry is an author of multiple books and enjoys sharing God’s love through the powerful art of storytelling.

Aleigha loves being a Community Assistant at the Young Writers Workshop and teaching writing classes to her talented students.

When she’s not daydreaming about a new story idea or playing with her sidekick “Marley” (a Pomeranian mix) she can usually be seen traveling with her family’s gospel bluegrass band, “Fret Not” or making personalized author swag for her business Literary Treasures.

She doesn’t have to search very hard for inspiration.

Living in the Israel household, it’s guaranteed there’s an adventure waiting around every corner!

 

More from Aleigha

I’m beyond excited to finally share Caleb’s Song with you all!!

Something I love doing with my stories, is writing songs that become the character’s life songs.

I’ve done it for most of my books.

In A Marvelous Redeemer, Caleb suffers his way through learning several valuable lessons. But His Redeemer never left his side for a single moment.

We don’t have to try and make it through this world alone, because Jesus walks beside us all the way.

Through Jesus, we can find freedom, victory, peace, love and forgiveness. We can find ultimate joy in the sweet presence of our gracious, Marvelous Redeemer.

I hope you enjoy Caleb’s Song!

You can also check out his song on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXykDvOTGVc

And read an exclusive interview with Caleb Haddington and more of the royal family on my blog: https://thepenofthewriter.weebly.com/character-fun.html

(And even have the chance to ask Caleb a few questions of your own!!)

Caleb’s Song:

“A speck on the horizon, nothing big, nothing tall.
Just an ant on this earth,

trying to break down this wall.
A trembling wind, a small ship on the sea,
Understanding this world is not all about me.

Trying to fix all my problems, trying to right all my wrongs.
I just need someone stronger to carry me along.

I can build up walls, and hide within,
but the pain is still there, with no way to win.

I need love,
I need a Savior,
I need the Prince who was born in a manger.
I need strength, in all my weakness.
I need a light to chase all my darkness.
I need Jesus, I need Jesus.

My well is so empty, my spirit is dry.
No relief from this pain, though I try and I try.
I can’t do this anymore, my life is a mess,
I just want to win this battle, nothing more, nothing less.

This world offers answers that only appease for a day.
But I’ve finally found my life source, the only One, the only Way.
My burden’s now been lifted, I’ve found a life boat on the sea.
My walls are broken down, I’ve found victory!

In His love, in my Savior, in my Prince
who was born in a manger.
He is strength, in all my weakness.
He is the light to chase all my darkness.
I’ve found Jesus, I’ve found Jesus.

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Note from Raechel (blogger):

Isn’t that song so inspiring? I absolutely love that the author would write a song for each of her stories. How cool, and beautiful!

Don’t miss out on entering the giveaway, and you can get more enteries by commenting on the various participating blogs!

 

Click on the image above to enter the giveaway or enter HERE.

 

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Blog Stops

Real World Bible Study, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Bigreadersite, May 31

janicesbookreviews, May 31

Carpe Diem, June 1

Girls Living For God’s Glory, June 2

Through the Fire Blogs, June 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, June 4

Mary Hake, June 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 5

Inspired by Fiction, June 6

For the Love of Literature, June 7

Pause for Tales, June 8

For The Love of Books, June 9

A Reader’s Brain, June 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 10

Aryn the Libraryan, June 11

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, June 12

Inklings and notions, June 12

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“Thirty Days Hath” by Chautona Havig ~ Book Review/Celebrate-Lit Tour GIVEAWAY

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“Thirty Days Hath” by Chautona Havig

Christian Contemporary Romance

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About The Book:

Release Date: Revised edition, Feb 26, 2019

Blind Dates Are for Wimps!

At least, that’s what Adric Garrison thinks.
Can you blame him? Thanks to his sister and brother-in-law, Adric is about to embark on a year of month-long, chaperoned, blind dates. Awkward.

He didn’t ask for it. But Adric still finds himself living what seems more like a bad TV reality show than a new life in Fairbury.

Once an ordinary (if prematurely gray and vertically challenged) guy, Adric is now Fairbury’s newest “most eligible bachelor,” and dreams of permanent bachelorhood loom on the horizon. Will he call it quits before the year is out, or will one of his “girls of the month” change his mind?

One man, twelve women, one happily ever after.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts:

The plot sounded quite amusing, and so it was. I enjoyed the whole idea very much. One man, twelve women….in a Christian atmosphere, yep, sounds good! ^.^ I’m almost always game for a fun, light-hearted romance story (Christian and clean of course!).
As I said, I enjoyed the plot, and getting to know each of the women was quite interesting. The profiles they filled out were intriguing, though personally I think in a realistic way this wouldn’t be the greatest way to meet who you’re going to marry. People are so much more than they could ever put down on paper. But still, the questions and answers were very interesting, and I enjoyed reading about it, and seeing how each month played out.
I liked Adric at first, but as the novel progressed, he got on my nerves more and more. He seemed pretty insensitive and “all about Adric” a lot of the time, and I don’t know, he just bugged me from the latter half of the novel on. How he’d react, and judge…and he claimed to be practically in love with one of the gals who he was rather rude and insensitive to for the whole time, so I thought that was irritating. But I know that can be personal preference. I just know that he and I wouldn’t be compatible. XD
Did he choose the right woman? For him, I think so. I think there was one other woman that would’ve been better, but that didn’t pan out.
It was amusing, and clean with Christian references, though the faith-thread wasn’t really that big of an involvement. And there were parts that felt choppy and had me confused, but for the most part, I did enjoy this story and look forward to more of the author’s works.
(For some reason, going into the story, I thought it was a novella instead of a full sized novel, so that was a surprise. It’s actually 488 pages – so you get more than I thought! ^.^)

About the Author

Chautona

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of Thirty Days Hath, book cozy, and a $25 Starbucks gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/dee7/thirty-days-hath-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, April 15

Through the Fire Blogs, April 15

For Him and My Family, April 16

cultivating us, April 16

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

mpbooksApril 17

Among the Reads, April 18

Multifarious, April 19

Inspired by Fiction, April 19

EmpowerMoms, April 20

SusanLovesBooks, April 20

Remembrancy, April 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 21

Rebekah’s Quill, April 22

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Aryn The LibraryanApril 23

janicesbookreviews, April 23

Lots of Helpers, April 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 24

A Reader’s Brain, April 25

BigreadersiteApril 26

Inklings and notionsApril 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 27

The Becca Files, April 27

Real World Bible Study, April 28

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, April 28

 

*I received an ecopy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own.

 

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“Dance With Me” by A.M. Heath ~ Book Review/Blog Tour

Blog tour Dancer

Welcome to one of the last stops on this fun blog tour! Join me in celebrating the release of A.M. Heath’s newest book, “Dance With Me” – you will find my review below, and continue scrolling to enter the giveaway!

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“Dance With Me” by A.M. Heath

Book #1 in the An Art of Love series (can be read as stand-alones)

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two will find a partnership they never thought possible. 
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs. 

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

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My Thoughts:

 

I love dancing. Let me rephrase that; I love the idea of dancing and watching other talented people dance. ;) I have never been very skilled at it myself, but it is a joy to watch, and such a pleasure to read a book where the main characters were professional dancers. In the 50’s no less! I loved mentally picturing each scene as it unfolded. The writing style made that particularly easy to do. Written in first person, it felt like you were right there with the characters.
The story starts out in 2010, switching back to 1959 and then jumps back to 2010 once or twice more before settling in the past story. At first, that had me a little leery, because split-timeline novels aren’t my favorite cup o’ tea, but at the end, as I saw the big picture and we are again brought to 2010, I found this method to work well in this setting. It wasn’t split up much at all, but it added a sweet touch , as the couple look back on their story.
The main characters were both very realistic and flawed, and yet relatable. My heart went out to Arleen as soon as I got to know her. Every person has a back story; something that molds them into who they are.
I really enjoyed the faith-message. It was very soft-spoken, but also pivotal to the plot.
The romance was rather unique, and very sweet. I very much enjoyed this novel!
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I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review.  
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About the Author:
A.M. Heath breaks out as a Christian novelist with the 2014 release of Where Can I Flee, inspired by her love of Christ and 19th century American history.

Being raised in a small Tennessee town, A.M. Heath grew up with a love for southern history and nostalgia. Her husband and 4 children embrace the small town lifestyle and southern standard of back porch relaxing, tea sipping, homemade comfort food, strong Christian values, and tightly woven family bonds.

GIVEAWAY!!

Grand Prize
This giveaway runs from April 8th-14th. You can enter by clicking the photo above or entering HERE.
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Blog Tour Stops:
Monday April 8th: 
Debbie @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
Loretta @ Just Writing
Laura @ Blue Eye Books PLUS an interview
Tuesday April 9th:
Kaylee @ Kaylee’s Kind of Writes
Karen @ KarenSueHadley
Wednesday April 10th: 
Deana @ Texas Book-aholic
Jana @ Review from the Stacks
Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings
Thursday April 11th: 
Bella @ Bella Putt: The Pen and the Pages
Alicia @ A Brighter Destiny
Friday April 12th: 
Esther @ We’ve Got Pockets PLUS an interview
Raechel @ God’s Peculiar Treasure
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Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“Retrieve” by Sarah Addison-Fox ~ Book Review//Giveaway

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Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end!

 

Retrieve Cover

Retrieve (The Stormer’s Trilogy #1)

By Sarah Addison-Fox

Ecopy for review from the author

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

What if the job you took to stay alive might be what kills you?

Kade knows what it is to suffer. He knows what it’s like to lose everything and everyone around him.

His job in a Stormer Unit guarantees not just his survival in the decimated country of Azetaria, but his sister Meg’s. Even if it means facing the Numachi warriors baying for his blood, he’ll do what it takes to keep her safe.

Hadley is alone and surviving the only way she knows how. By hiding where predators won’t find her and scavenging enough just to keep her alive.

When desperation drives Hadley to search for her missing brother, she mistakenly accepts the offer of recruitment into the Stormer’s camp, only to be partnered with Kade and sent as a scout into Numachi territory.

The intimidating young Stormer may just know where her brother has gone. But can they stay alive long enough to find him?

Goodreads Book Link

Amazon Book Link

Where to find the author:

Sarah Author image

Facebook

Instagram

Website

Twitter: @saddisonfox

Facebook Fanpage

Blog

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but this novel surprised me – especially the ending. Because…where is book two? I know we only have to wait a month till that one comes out, but I kind of need to know how the story continues. :)
Anyway!
The first bit of this book definitely had a “Mulan” feel to it which was great. I liked the characters – I liked Hadley from the start, though Kade took a smidgen longer. He’s a rough one. ;) But it was enjoyable seeing their journey together. This is an action-filled story that keeps you on your toes. And I was actually quite thankful for that! I wanted something that kept me wanting to read. “Retrieve” definitely did that.
I’m not sure what this book is technically classified as, but it felt quite “fantasy” like without the magic elements, and I liked that a lot. Kind of like Jaye L. Knight’s Ilyon Chronicles. :) The world was very real, and my mind had no trouble picturing everything. And it was great that even though the book centered on two characters almost exclusively, it wasn’t boring at all, nor did you wish for more character interaction – I loved Hadley and Kade’s relationship. And I want to see it continued. Bring on book two. ;)
One thing I will say – there is a fair amount of swearing involved, and while I know that it was realistic for the character, I didn’t care to read all the cursing continuously. It didn’t shock me, but I wasn’t a fan either. I get when something needs to be realistic, but I prefer the “He cursed” or “swore” etc. Actually reading the words isn’t my favorite, because in essence then I am swearing and that is not a habit I want.
There were mentions of ‘gods’ (ex. “If the gods were real, they wanted nothing to do with them”, etc.), and one they referred to as the Ancient religion, which I assume is alluding to Christianity since the one time it was mentioned, the ‘h’ in “Him” was capitalized. It was very brief in this book, definitely not center or even side plot yet. Not sure if that will change in the next book, though I am curious to see. As it is, I wouldn’t classify this as a Christian book, but it was clean and wholesome (except for the swearing).
If you’re looking for an adventure novel with great characters and exciting plot (not to mention the need to keep reading even when the next book isn’t out…) be sure to check out this one. I enjoyed it very much!
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GIVEAWAY!
Click on the image to enter to go HERE.
Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, blog tour, Books, Give-aways

“An Hour Unspent” Release Day and Giveaway!

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!

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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.

shaouraav-shreshtha-428492-unsplashBig 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.

palace-of-westminster-1659289_1920But 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.

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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…

An Hour UnspentAbout 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 2018

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.

Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Website

Giveaways & Contest

Roseanna has several giveaways and a special CONTEST for her readers! Click on the images below to learn more about each Giveaway. Or visit Roseanna’s blog.

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Posted in Author Interview, Books, Give-aways

Author Interview: Lindsay Harrel! With GIVEAWAY!

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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”!!

 

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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?

 

 

heart-1450300_1920.jpgIn “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!

 

 

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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.

 

 

cross-2209803_1920How 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!). :)

 

 

old-1130731_1920.jpg“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!

 

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image found on google; I do not claim any rights to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you so very much, Lindsay Harrel!

 

 

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Lindsay HarrelLindsay 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.

 

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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.

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Best wishes on the giveaway!!