The Secret Slipper

The Secret Slipper final

About the Book

Being a cripple is only the beginning of Lia’s troubles. It seems as if Bioti’s goal in life is to make Lia as miserable as possible. If Lia’s purpose is to be a slave, then why did God make her a cripple? How can He make something beautiful out of her deformity?

Raoul never questioned the death of his daughter until someone reports her whereabouts. If Ellia is still alive, how has she survived these ten years with her deformity? When Raoul doesn’t know who to trust, can he trust God to keep Ellia safe when evidence reveals Bioti’s dangerous character?

As time brings more hindrances, will Raoul find Ellia, or will she forever be lost to the father she doesn’t even know is searching for her?

About the Author

Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate who desires to provide God-honoring, family-friendly reading material. She has enjoyed writing since before ten years old, but it has only been since 2013 that she began seriously pursuing writing again – starting with some short stories that she wrote for her sisters as a gift. Her mom encouraged her to try selling the stories she published, and since then, she has begun actively writing short stories, novellas, and novels.

If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!

Amanda bio pic

Guest Post From the Author

Do you ever have plans that come up from almost nowhere? That is kind of how “The Secret Slipper” started. I had written a fun novella, “Befriending the Beast.” It was a stand-alone. Just for fun. My relief project during a longer project. Well, no sooner had “Befriending the Beast” released when a friend asked me, “Hey, have you considered a father/daughter Cinderella story?” That night I stayed up until after midnight, mulling over ideas and coming up with the title. Lord Kiralyn, who appeared in “Befriending the Beast” as Belle’s uncle now had a story—involving a daughter that I didn’t know existed, but whose existence created a whirlwind of adventure, heartache, and excitement. And now that I have two books in the series, my brain is already pulling at ideas for a book three. But that’s another story for another day.

My Review

The Secret Slipper is a fairy tale similar to Cinderella, but with some very different twists in it.  I love how Tero turned the main character into a cripple.  This made the story-line more believable, but still intriguing.  It also portrayed how strong a father’s love can be.  

The characters are believable and well-created.  I tried and tried to figure out why Bioti did the things she did.  She was a miserable woman who did some despicable things.  I disliked her from the beginning of the story.

Ellia was a sweet, caring character, even though she was raised by a horrible person.  She pushed past her disability in order to do what was expected of her.  She knew she was being mistreated, but it didn’t stop her from obeying.

This was a fun story!  Tero made me dislike and love the characters.  Her writing is well-done and her imagination is very rich.

Summation

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Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Amanda is giving away a grand prize of paperback copies of Amanda’s three novellas: Journey to Love, Befriending the Beast, and The Secret Slipper.Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b994

Blog Stops

June 6: Desperate Homeschoolers

June 6: Remembrancy

June 6: Pursuing Stacie

June 7: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker

June 8: Fiction Aficionado

June 9: These Splendid Sentences

June 9: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 10: Blogging With Carol

June 10: Reading Is My SuperPower (Spotlight)

June 11: The Power of Words

June 11: Karen Sue Hadley

June 12: Moments Dipped in Ink

June 12: A Path of Joy

June 13: Bukwurmzzz

June 13: cherylbbookblog (Spotlight)

June 14: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

June 15: Zerina Blossom’s Books

June 16: Live.Love.Read.

June 17: A Baker’s Perspective

June 18: History, Mystery & Faith

June 19: Henry Happens

June 19: Bookworm Mama (Spotlight)

Letters From Skye

About the Book

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.
 
March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.
 
June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.
 

About the Author

A Letter from the Author, Jessica Brockmole

Jessica Brockmole

Dear Reader,

As an American who spent years living abroad, I know too well the challenge in maintaining relationships from a distance. Before telephones and webcams made separations easier, people had no choice but to entrust bits of their heart to the postman with every letter they sent. A lost letter could cause sleepless nights, a returned letter, even more. But a reply penned immediately, in a hot rush of emotion, could make the soul soar. Letters from Skye is a story about lovers and families separated by war, with nothing but pen and paper to hold everything together.

I first wrote this book six years ago, while I was living in Edinburgh, Scotland. After my youngest was born, we escaped the city and went to the Isle of Skye for one gorgeous week. We stayed in a cottage on the beach and chased legends across the island in the rain. Evenings, I sprawled before the little peat coal fire with maps of Skye, tracing the coast and trying my tongue at the Gaelic. On the drive back to Edinburgh, a story came together in my head. The story of a woman bound to the poetry of Skye, held within those rocky coasts, being given a glimpse of the greater world with the unexpected arrival of an envelope. The story of a man, desperate to prove himself fearless, finding his only fear on the other end of those letters. The story of a daughter, trying to catch the past as it comes tumbling out of the wall. I scribbled notes right there in the car and started furiously writing when we got back home.

The result of that outpouring wasn’t just a novel; it was an extended letter to myself, written in those secret, lonely hours after the rest of the world went to bed. A letter reminding me to not lose touch with those I love, no matter where in the world we may be. Reminding me that it’s okay to have fears; I’m stronger for overcoming them. Reminding me to walk to the borders of who I am, and then to take a step beyond.

I invite you to do the same.

 

My Ideation

What a clever way to tell a story – through letters!  This book was romantic without having all the sappiness that normally comes with romance novels.  It had a great story-line that went on for decades.  David is a college student who reaches out to poet, Elspeth Dunn, through a letter.  These letters continue as the two get to know one another and eventually fall in love.

When an earthquake rocks Elspeth’s home, a letter falls from the wall that sparks her daughter’s curiosity.  That curiosity sparks even more when Elspeth goes missing.  While Margaret is looking for her mother, the reader gets insight into the many letters between Elspeth and David.  These letters have quite a story to tell and Margaret will not stop until she gets the answers and finds her mother.

I enjoyed how the story went from 1915 and up, to 1940.  It was fun learning about how different Scotland was back in that time.  It touched upon the war, as well and how love, no matter what time era, could be so rich and strong.

This was a book I purchased for my own enjoyment and to review.

 

Summation

♥♥♥♥ 

Violet Dawn

Violet Dawn (Kanner Lake Series Book 1) by [Collins, Brandilyn]

About the Book

Something sinuous in the water brushed against Paige’s knee. She jerked her leg away.


What was that? She rose to a sitting position, groped around with her left hand. 

Fine wisps wound themselves around her fingers. 

Hair?

She yanked backward, but the tendrils clung. Something solid bumped her wrist. 

Paige gasped. With one frantic motion she shook her arm free, grabbed the side of the hot tub, and heaved herself out.
Paige Williams slips into her hot tub in the blackness of night—and finds herself face to face with death.
Alone, terrified, fleeing a dark past, Paige must make an unthinkable choice. 
In Violet Dawn, hurtling events and richly drawn characters collide in a breathless story of murder, the need to belong, and faith’s first glimmer. One woman’s secrets unleash an entire town’s pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.

About the Author

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademarked Seatbelt Suspense®–fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. She also writes insightful contemporary novels with rich characters. She is often blamed for keeping her readers up at night, as they “just have to see what happens next.”

Brandilyn Collins

My Review

Brandilyn Collins is one of my favorite Christian mystery writers.  Her books are so suspensful!!  Paige is new to Kanner Lake.  She found a job right away and loves it there.  The people in the town are very nice and welcoming.  She is running from something, but what?

Collins does a great job pulling the reader in.  I found myself cringing and covering my mouth at points in the story.  I could feel all that Paige went through when she found the body in her spa and the actions she took to get rid of it.

I enjoyed how Collins intermingled the characters so that the mystery continued.  She is a brilliant writer!  I purchased this book to read and review.

 

Summation

♥♥♥♥♥

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train: A Novel by [Hawkins, Paula]

About the Book

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

 

About the Author

Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. Her first thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been published in over forty languages, has been a No.1 bestseller around the world and is now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt. Into the Water is her second thriller.

Paula Hawkins

My Review

This was a book that I would see on the bookstore shelf and kept putting off buying.  Why?  I have no idea!  I spent an entire Saturday reading the book from beginning to end!  Rachel, the main character is a mess!  Divorced, scorned, and lonely, and an alcoholic, she fixates on a house with a married couple.  She gives them names and is certain that their lives are perfect.

Somehow, Rachel finds herself in a bind when the police show up at her home.  Due to her alcoholism, she suffers from blackouts.  She is asked about her appearance on the street where her perfect couple lives because she is now missing.  She is set on helping out the perfect husband so that he is not charged with his wife’s disappearance and while doing so, makes a mess out of just about everything.  There are lots of twists in this story!  

I purchased this book to read and review.

 

Summation

♥♥♥♥

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter: A Novel by [Little, Elizabeth]

About the Book

Former “It Girl” Janie Jenkins is sly, stunning, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a high-society beauty known for her good works and rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie makes herself over and goes undercover, determined to chase down the one lead she has on her mother’s killer. The only problem? Janie doesn’t know if she’s the killer she’s looking for.

Janie makes her way to an isolated South Dakota town whose mysteries rival her own. Enlisting the help of some new friends (and the town’s wary police chief), Janie follows a series of clues—an old photograph, an abandoned house, a forgotten diary—and begins to piece together her mother’s seemingly improbable connection to the town. When new evidence from Janie’s own past surfaces, she’s forced to consider the possibility that she and her mother were more alike than either of them would ever have imagined.

As she digs tantalizingly deeper, and as suspicious locals begin to see through her increasingly fragile facade, Janie discovers that even the sleepiest towns hide sinister secrets—and will stop at nothing to guard them. On the run from the press, the police, and maybe even a murderer, Janie must choose between the anonymity she craves and the truth she so desperately needs.

A gripping, electrifying debut novel with an ingenious and like-it-or-not sexy protagonist, Dear Daughter follows every twist and turn as Janie unravels the mystery of what happened the night her mother died—whatever the cost.

 

About the Author

Elizabeth Little was born and raised in St. Louis and graduated from Harvard University. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications, and she has appeared on All Things Considered, The World, and Here and Now. She has written two works of nonfiction: Biting the Wax Tadpole: Confessions of a Language Fanatic (Melville House, 2007) and Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America’s Languages (Bloomsbury, 2012). Dear Daughter (Viking and Harvill Secker, 2014), her critically acclaimed debut novel, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and will be published worldwide. Dear Daughter has been nominated for the Barry and Macavity Awards for Best First Novel, was longlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, and won the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Elizabeth Little

My Review

This book was hard to put down!  I couldn’t wait to get off work so I could continue reading it.  Janie is the typical spoiled rich kid who has spent 10 years in prison for murdering her mother, only she’s not sure she did it.  Donning a disguise, she steals a truck and heads to a little town that has the strangest history.

This book will leave you hanging and wondering.  There are so many twists that it makes for a very exciting story.  There is foul language, which I just tuned out.  Other than the language, it was exciting!

This was a book I purchased to read and review.

 

Summation

♥♥♥♥♥

Dark Alleys

Product Details

About the Book

Being innocent and proving it are two different things, especially when a powerful politician is involved

Tessa’s life spiraled out of control, and she finds herself in a dark alley on a cold wintry night where she witnesses a murder, and almost becomes his second victim. Homeless and alone, she knows the authorities won’t believe someone like her, leaving her only one option—to run.

 

About the Author

Lillian Duncan writes stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. She lives in Ohio with her husband, two parrots, one Jack Russell, and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that she’s thinking about renaming Clifford since he keeps growing and growing and….

She writes the type of books she loves to read–suspense with a touch or two of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

 

My Review

I had the pleasure of reading another of Lillian Duncan’s books for review and I enjoyed it so much that I purchased this one to read!  A great mystery with God incorporated into it.  Tessa had it all: a home, a husband, and a new baby, but when tragedy strikes she flees.

Living on the streets, drinking heavily, she witnesses a murder.  She is able to escape, but must go through many trials to free herself of the murderer and her alcoholism.  There are lots of twists and turns that will keep you wanting to read and read.

I purchased this book to read and review.

 

Summation

♥♥♥♥

The Cellar

Product Details

About the Book

“Lily?”

My stomach dropped as a tall, dark-haired man stepped into view. Had he been hiding between the trees?

“No. Sorry.” Gulping, I took a step back. “I’m not Lily.”

He shook his head, a satisfied grin on his face. “No. You are Lily.”

“I’m Summer. You have the wrong person.” You utter freak!

I could hear my pulse crashing in my ears. How stupid to give him my real name. He continued to stare at me, smiling. It made me feel sick.

“You are Lily,” he repeated.

Before I could blink, he threw his arms forward and grabbed me. I tried to shout, but he clasped his hand over my mouth, muffling my screams. My heart raced. I’m going to die.

For months Summer is trapped in a cellar with the man who took her—and three other girls: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. His perfect, pure flowers. His family. But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out…

 

About the Author

Natasha Preston is the New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar. A UK native, she discovered her love of writing when she shared a story online—and hasn’t looked back. She enjoys writing romance, thrillers, gritty YA, and the occasional serial killer.

Natasha Preston

 

My Review

This was quite a book!  Although there is foul language in it, the author displays the kidnapper as the perfect insane man.  Wanting a family to call his own, he kidnaps women that he knows have no ties, no family.  Through his abuse, he manipulates them into playing along with his insanity.  

Summer, the newest addition is the youngest.  She does not manipulate easy, however.  She’s ready to fight and tries to get the other women to do the same.  Luckily, her boyfriend does not stop until he finds her.

The author does a great job revealing the fear these women are put through and the emotions of her family and boyfriend who are desperate to find her.  

This is a book I purchased to read and review.

 

My Summation

♥♥♥♥

Soar Like Eagles

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About the Book

Carol becomes a Red Cross doughnut girl, serving GIs and boosting their morale. Convinced wartime romances are doomed to disappointment, she attempts to avoid entanglements. She didn’t plan on Chet, the navigator who tempts her to throw caution to the wind.

Chet’s father and brothers always belittled him. As a squadron lead navigator, he longs to prove them wrong. He’s already been offered a terrific job with PanAm after the war. First he must survive his combat tour. Will he even have a future?

 

About the Author

Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

terri-wangard

Guest Post from Terri Wangard

For the third book of my World War II series, I needed something to involve my main character with. At first I considered the train canteens, where volunteers laden with food met troop trains crisscrossing the country. That wouldn’t work though, because my navigator was heading overseas and I didn’t want a correspondence relationship. Besides, someone else had already written a novel about the canteens. Then I discovered the Red Cross clubmobiles.

The American Red Cross operated canteens on the home front and clubs and clubmobiles overseas during World War II to provide soldiers and sailors with a cup of coffee, a doughnut, and a bit of friendly conversation that gave the men a familiar connection with home.

Around the world, the Red Cross staffed permanent service clubs, traveling clubmobiles, and other recreational facilities. Service clubs provided refreshments, accommodations, and comfort and recreational activities wherever American troops were located overseas. In major cities, they offered meals, recreational activities, overnight accommodations, and barbershops and laundries. Some also provided sightseeing opportunities, touring museums, castles and cathedrals, and attending local theaters and movie houses.

Smaller clubs provided food in outlying areas near American military camps. The Red Cross also operated rest homes, often in stately manor houses in rural, tranquil locations overseas, for service personnel needing respite from the pressures of war.

To serve military sites in isolated areas, the Red Cross used clubmobiles in Great Britain in 1942 and later, the continent. Staffed by three American Red Cross women and a local driver in England, they visited several sites in a day, bringing refreshments, entertainment, and a touch of home to the troops in a foreign land. They used converted half-ton trucks and single-deck London buses, which featured kitchen equipment for making and serving doughnuts and coffee. Some carried phonographs and loudspeakers to provide music for the troops, and the women often danced with the servicemen. On the continent, the women had to drive and service their trucks.

Many American servicemen had never traveled far from home. At Red Cross clubs and clubmobiles in far-flung places around the globe, they received a connection to home and civilian life through friendly American women and familiar food. The Red Cross served a basic purpose of raising morale.

Carol Doucet of Soar Like Eagles was proud to be a Red Cross Doughnut Girl.

 

My Review

This is Wangard’s third book in her World War II series and I have had the pleasure of reading all three.  Soar Like Eagles is another fantastic read!  There is a lot of action and historical facts that give the reader more of an insight to that time period.  I learned a lot about the Red Cross Girls.  I had no idea that there was such a thing.  These women were a great help to the servicemen.  This is a stand alone story, but I liked how Wangard brought in one of the characters from the first book.  He was not the main character, but served a vital purpose.  The story flowed very well and had a lot of excitement in it.  The characters were likable and had big personalities.  If you enjoy historical facts, you’ll love this book!

 

Summation

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Blog Stops

December 8: Blossoms and Blessings

December 8: Artistic Nobody

December 9: Daysong Reflections

December 9: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

December 10: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

December 10: Bukwurmzzz

December 11: Petra’s Hope

December 12: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

December 12: The Power of Words (spotlight)

December 13: A Baker’s Perspective

December 14: Carpe Diem

December 14: Reading Is My SuperPower

December 15: Bigreadersite

December 15: Quiet Quilter

December 16: Christian Bookaholic

December 17: A Path of Joy

December 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts

December 18: Karen’s Krayons

December 19:  Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)

December 19: A Greater Yes

December 20: Moments Dipped in Ink

December 21: Bibliophile Reviews

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback copy of Soar Like Eagles. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/aa5f

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

Link to purchase book: http://amzn.to/2gsu2MU

Christmas Lights

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About the Book

Four novellas in a variety of genres—that’s all they are. Just four stories to quiet your heart and soul as you embrace the beauty of the Christmas season. Inside, you’ll find Vikki Kestell’s historical romance and a reminder that the Lord’s plans are always just what we need. You’ll be introduced to Cathe Swanson’s unlikely romance about a woman who sets out to do one good deed and is drawn into the lives of a cast of eccentric elderly people. You’ll meet April Hayman and her southern madcap mystery featuring an FBI agent, a con artist or two, and a few eccentric elderly people of her own. And you’ll find Chautona Havig’s Christian fiction novella that blends comedy, suspense, with a garnish of romance.

In the hope that through these Christmas stories your heart will be lightened and brightened, we offer you this collection. Merry Christmas! And a happy, light read!

 

The Heart of Joy by Vikki Kestell

Denver, Colorado, 1914
Joy Michaels, grieving mother and widow, resides in an aging but remarkable Denver home: a beautiful, three-story Queen Anne/Victorian mansion resplendent with towers, turrets, peaks, and gables and known locally as Palmer House. Palmer House—a most extraordinary refuge for young women rescued from prostitution.

Joy and her mother, Rose Thoresen, share the responsibilities of ministering to and mentoring the young women who live under Palmer House’s roof. But now Joy faces an agonizing decision: Should she remain true to the memory of her first love or open her heart to the possibility of new love?

 

Snow Angels by Cathe Swanson

Lisa Marsh has been avoiding God and people for over three years.

When her best friend challenges her to reach out and help others over her Christmas vacation, she sees it as an opportunity for redemption and takes on the project of reforming a homeless vagabond from the local mission – whether he likes it or not.

She only wanted to do one good deed…

As Lisa is irresistibly caught up in the community of teenagers, stubbornly independent veterans, and eccentric elderly people, her one small project of fixing Pete  snowballs until she is reluctantly running a large Christmas ministry. And in the course of serving others and harassing Pete, Lisa learns to forgive herself and move on with life.

Snow Angels will make you laugh and make you cry and then make you laugh again. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Trip the Light Fantastic by April Hayman

Lance “Trip” Devereaux is an FBI agent tasked with the nearly impossible job of tailing and, hopefully, arresting Landry Crawford, the wiliest conman east of the Mississippi River. But during his investigation, things go horribly wrong for the klutzy G-man. Will Trip nab his man in time for Christmas? Or will he be left out in the cold?

 

Christmas Stalking by Chautona Havig

Seven Christmas trees–excessive in some people’s minds, but for Wendy Nabity, they aren’t excessive but essential. One tree for each of her cats. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Cupid, Blitzen, and Vixen each need their own trees, you see. And what “mommy” wouldn’t have stockings hung on her chimney “with care”–one for each of her fur babies?

But something isn’t right at the Nabity house. Wendy keeps finding things where they shouldn’t be, and the local police–well, they think she’s half-crazed and blind to the obvious. The cats are playing with the trees in her absence.

Neighbors on each side of her do little to help. Shy Peter will hardly look her in the eye as he blushes his way through conversations and rushes away–the besotted darling. Neal, well the whole town knows just what a rude curmudgeon Neal Kirkpatrick is! But if he makes one more rude demand of her, she might just start dumping the litter box on his front porch!

But even Fairbury’s police can’t ignore a threatening note left in one of the stockings, and one officer takes it upon himself to do something.

 

 

About the Authors

Vikki Kestell is the author of the acclaimed inspirational series, A Prairie Heritage—a compelling saga of family, faith, and great courage. Vikki’s contribution to this collection, The Heart of Joy, asks, “Can true, enduring love happen twice in a lifetime?”

Cathe Swanson: Author of contemporary mystery and romantic suspense, Cathe brings us Snow Angels – an entertaining companion novella and introduction to her upcoming Great Lakes series.

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April Hayman: Author of Heirlooms of Deception series, debuts with a novella featuring mystery, humor, and “divine intervention.”

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Chautona Havig: Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie’s Inheritance, Past Forward, and HearthLand series, Chautona brings humor, stalkings, and stockings to this collection.

chautona

Guest Post from the Authors

The Christmas Lights Collection formed in the spring of 2016 with the idea of bringing four novellas together with one unifying theme: light. After all, each author in this collection has one primary focus in life: Jesus.  And in the book of John, He is called the “Light of Men.”

We thought we’d share what inspired our novellas and pray that these books are a delight and encouragement to all.

 

The Heart of Joy:  This novella is a spin-off story from Vikki Kestell’s Prairie Heritage series and features one of her most beloved characters, Joy Thoresen, from book three, Joy on This Mountain. After three years of widowhood, Joy mourns not only the loss of her husband but the child someone has kidnapped as well.  Only her faith sustains her through difficult days.

Vikki’s goal in writing is to provide FaithFilledFiction to Christians, and this novella is no exception. She worked to show that even amid our sorrow, the Lord brings good, hope-filled gifts to us even when we think we’re not ready for them. She also desired to fill in small, time-veiled gaps in Joy’s story.  The Heart of Joy puts the finishing touches on Joy’s story.

 

Snow Angels:  The idea for Snow Angels came to Cathe in slow increments. The idea of using homeless veterans originally prompted research into homeless shelters and programs, but the scope of those became too much for a novella. Still, those characters had stories Cathe wanted to tell, so she continued her research and became increasingly concerned with the plight of homeless veterans—particularly the women. For some reason, we often forget that women serve, get PTSD, and end up on the streets just like the men.

Cathe wanted to combine those realities with other misconceptions that often blind us to the person behind the façade. She wanted to demonstrate how people in otherwise normal lives also can be thrust into situations that trigger PTSD and how those people work through it. Of course, with such a heavy topic, Cathe chose to write the story with a liberal dusting of humor to lighten the mood as you read.

As her debut novel, Cathe introduces readers to characters we’ll see more of in her Great Lakes series and paves the way for her upcoming novel, Baggage Claim, releasing in early 2017.

 

Trip the Light Fantastic: April has been working on a mystery surrounding, of all things, Shakespeare’s inkwell!  So, when she was invited to be a part of the Christmas Lights Collection, April decided to do an introductory novel to her Heirlooms of Deception series and Lance “Trip” Devereaux was “born.”

April admits to loving another character, Landry, just a little bit more than the others. Yet, he could never be a main character. He’s too much of a rascal and a mastermind, so he works best from the shadows. While this book wasn’t about him directly, it could be about someone similar—someone who works in the light but has lost his way and needs help from God and some new friends. Trip the Light Fantastic is a sideways introduction into a character that April hopes will entertain readers for more books to come.

April set her series in Mississippi where her grandparents lived, so the books are rich in southern manners, mannerisms, and manors!  Well, there’s one plantation belonging to her irascible but charming con-artist.  Watch for a book set at the Crawford house in Spilled Ink, releasing in December 2016.

 

Christmas Stalkings: A couple of years ago, Chautona was on a Facebook group and a young woman admitted to having seven Christmas trees.  Intrigued, she named it the “Seven Tree Obsession” and wondered what kind of character would have seven trees—and why.  Well, the more she thought about it, the more interesting it became. After all, what would happen if ornaments got moved around when she wasn’t looking?  Who would do that?  Why?  And what could she add to complicate it?

So, when the opportunity to do the Christmas Lights Collection came, Chautona decided she wanted to do that story.  It seemed easy enough to contain into forty-thousand words.  HA!  But she got in her car, turned on her trusty voice recorder, and in the three-hour trek to her ACFW meeting, she schemed, plotted, and laughed until her sides ached at the ideas she came up with.  Half never made it into the book, of course, but that’s okay. Chautona has a prequel/sequel planned for it.  Lord willing, New Year’s Revolutions will release on December 31.  It’s the “Paul Harvey” version—the “rest of the story.”

While Christmas Stalkings does stand alone, Chautona wanted to explore Neal’s side of things a bit.  So she is. It’ll be the fastest “write-to-publication” she’s ever done, but she just had to try.  So, for NaNoWriMo, Chautona is off to try to figure out what’s up with Neal and why he’s such a crusty curmudgeon.  He’s too young for that!  And maybe, just maybe, he’ll embrace a “new life” in the New Year.

My Review

I absolutely love to read Christmas books!  Getting four in one is well worth it.  Each story is different and exciting in its own way.  I think my favorite story would have to be Christmas Stalkings.  I love cats and I loved how Havig created seven cats with Santa’s reindeer names, the seven individual Christmas trees that were special to each cat, mystery, and her two very different male neighbors.  I cracked up each time Wendy questioned herself as to whether she had done something or not because I do the exact same thing.  I loved how she spoke to her cats and they sometimes “answered” back.  Ironically, my cats do it too!

These short novellas helped put me into the Christmas Spirit.  I am also intrigued with the character Joy and the storied that go along with her life (from The Heart of Joy).   I received this book in exchange for an unbiased opinion.  These thoughts are my own.

 

Summation

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Blog Stops

November 15: Bibliophile Reviews

November 16: blogging it out

November 16: God’s Little Bookworm

November 17: A Reader’s Brain

November 17: Blogging With Carol

November 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

November 18: Proud to be an Autism Mom

November 19: Daysong Reflections

November 19: Splashes of Joy

November 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

November 20: Christian Bookaholic

November 21: Bigreadersite

November 22: A Baker’s Perspective

November 22: A Greater Yes

November 23: Back Porch Reads

November 24: Blossoms and Blessings

November 25: Reviewing Novels Online

November 25: A Path of Joy

November 26: Bukwurmzzz

November 27: Raining Butterfly Kisses

November 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

November 28: Once upon a time

November 28: Carpe Diem

 Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, the authors are giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a8ae

Buying Love

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About the Book

Will money ruin everything?

Nina Warrenton is ready for the next step in her life plan—marriage, but no one has proposed. Taking matters into her hand, she places an ad in the newspaper hoping to entice a willing stranger. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money.

Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant. When he sees Nina’s monetary offer for a husband, he goes for it. He’s determined to save the legacy his dad left him, but can he let it go to prove his love for her?

Can Nina and Dwight find true love, once money has entered the equation?

 

About the Author

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys. When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, making jewelry, and spending time with her family. Toni is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

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Guest Post by Toni Shiloh

Hi, Reader Friends!! I’m so excited to be here at Celebrate Lit for the kick off of my new release, Buying Love. I wrote this book last year for National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In one month, I managed to write a little over 50,000 words. However, that’s not why this book holds a special place in my heart. No, it’s the message in the story.

Nina Warrenton has struggled with being alone in life. Thus, she decides to take matters into her own hand and places an ad for a husband, complete with a monetary offer. What seemed like an intelligent and simplistic way to get a husband, soon proves to have a multitude of complications. Not only that, but Nina has to discover who God is in her life and the body of Christ fits into that.

Y’all have you ever felt alone in a room full of people? Or felt isolated? Or maybe you’re an orphan…whatever your background, I hope that this book shows you that God loves you. He loves you so much, He’s adopted you into the body of Christ. So if you’re a believer, we’re family. As a person who always wanted a friend and lots of family, that’s music to my soul. It’s what I wanted Nina to discover and what I hope the readers discover.

Ephesians 1:4-6, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved” (KJV).

 

My Ideation

Ready for a husband and family, but no prospects?  Then place an ad in the newspaper.  That’s what Nina did in this fun story.  She knew what she wanted and took a big leap in trying to gain it.  She had a good job and money in the bank.  It was time for a family.  She was very methodical in placing the ad.

Dwight is in need to money to help save his family’s restaurant.  Since Nina is offering a dowry, Dwight answers the ad.  Although this is not the ideal arrangement, love works its way into these two hearts.

The story line is believable and the characters are well-polished.  The story was well-written.  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  This is my own opinion.

 

Summation

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Blog Stops

October 27: Bibliophile Reviews

October 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 28: Reading Is My SuperPower

October 29: Moments Dipped in Ink

October 30: Reviewing Novels Online

October 30: Artistic Nobody

October 31: A Baker’s Perspective

November 1: blogging it out

November 2: Christian Author: A.M. Heath

November 3: autism mom

November 3: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)

November 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

November 5: inklings and notions

November 6: just the write escape

November 7: Carpe Diem

November 8: Quiet Quilter

November 9: Bukwurmzzz

November 9: The Power of Words

 

Giveaway

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In honor of her tour, Toni is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a650