The Painted Castle

 About the Book

Book: The Painted Castle

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October 15, 2019

cover Painted Castle

Bestselling author Kristy Cambron concludes the Lost Castle novels with this sweeping tale of art and secrets long buried in England.

It was supposed to be a one-week job: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mysteries surrounding the old English manor and the enigmatic art thief who’s employed her stir more questions than answers. Then, Kiera finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin-a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria.

Set in three time periods-the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day-The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith, family, and stories that are generations in the making.

Click here to grab your copy.

My Thoughts

First things first, the cover! Amazing. It’s so green and fresh and begs to be explored.
2nd, the setting, who doesn’t love a book set in Great Britain? Perfection.
I love Ms. Cambron’s writing and her story telling skills are top notch. She weaves time periods together in such a great way. I feel like sometimes time hop novels can be disjointed. This is not the case here. The stories flow nicely in sync with one another. I did struggle a little bit with the amount of description. The descriptions were great, don’t get me wrong. It just felt overwhelming at times. I was lost in the details and had a hard time pulling myself out to the big story surrounding them. This story contains a little mystery, murder, a little history, ok no a lot of history, family, royalty, who doesn’t love a story that includes an element of royal!, art, love and just life! What an amazing stack of topics. This story doesn’t disappoint. Snuggle up under a warm blanket, with a cup of something hot and enjoy! I gave this book 4 stars out of 5. I received a copy of this book from CelebrateLit. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Cambron headshot

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She’s a Women’s Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10Library Journal Reviews’ Best BooksRT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

More from Kristy

About The Painted Castle

A war-torn estate holding its secrets close. A lost library bricked off from the world. And a portrait-maker’s unknown masterpiece of a Queen named Victoria… What stories do they long to tell?

It was supposed to be a one-week snatch-and-grab: survey an art find, collect a hefty fee, and use that to settle historian Kiera Foley’s life back into balance. But from the moment she sets foot in the East Suffolk countryside, the mystery of an old English manor, a crumbling beekeeper’s cottage, and a library that had long ago been sealed off brick by brick, all stir more questions than answers. What begins as a novice assignment instead peels back layers, lulling Keira into the depths of the estate’s long-forgotten history.

Despite questions swirling around the enigmatic, rumored art thief who’s employed her, Keira finds the existence of a portrait captivating enough to upend all of her expectations. This one could be a twin—a painting so close in composition to a known masterpiece, it may be rendered priceless if it truly captured the likeness of a young Queen named Victoria…

1842— In order to salvage what’s left of her family’s shaky circumstances, artist Elizabeth Meade knows her duty must be to marry well. But she hopes looks can be deceiving enough to hide her true motives behind a congenial smile and gain entry into the ballrooms of England’s noble elite. Instead of husband-hunting, Elizabeth searches for the one thing that’s seared to her memory—the eyes of her father’s killer, whom she unwittingly sketched one snowy night in Piccadilly ten years before. She never expects to find answers tucked away in the countryside at Parham Hill, in the form of a portrait-maker who could help her artist dreams come true, if only she could forget the highwayman she’s hunted for the last decade—the estate-owner who unwittingly selects her as his betrothed…

1942—When the 390th Bomb Group arrives at Amelia Woods’ Parham Hill Estate, the American flyboys bring playing cards, B-17 “flying fortresses”, and enough bravado to believe they can triumph over Hitler just by staring him down. Amelia isn’t certain, and she’s unwilling to compromise the safety and security in a carefully-crafted world she’s built for the dozens of London-evacuated children left in her charge. But with Anderson shelters buried in the gardens and an Allied airfield a stone’s throw away, Amelia may have no choice but to wait out the war under blackouts and bombs, and accept help from the captain who offers it—even if it means risking all she has left of her late husband’s memory…

From the streets of Piccadilly and the lavish halls of Buckingham Palace to the countryside surrounding Framlingham Castle, a warn-torn estate, a hidden library, and the lost portrait of a queen come together to write the final chapter in the Lost Castle series. Set in three time periods—the rapid change of Victorian England, the tumultuous skies over England’s eastern shores in WWII, and modern day—The Painted Castle unfolds a legacy of faith and the family we fight for, of risk and reward, and the artful crafting of a story that can be generations in the making… yet still change everything about a single life.

Blog Stops

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15

The Power of Words, October 15

A Baker’s Perspective, October 15

The Avid Reader, October 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 16

Betti Mace, October 16

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 17

Fiction Aficionado, October 17

Through the Fire Blogs, October 17

Inklings and notions , October 18

AndreaChristenson, October 18

She Lives to Read, October 18

Bloging With Carol, October 18

The Christian Fiction Girl, October 19

Back Porch Reads , October 19

Christian Bookaholic , October 19

KarenSueHadley, October 20

Livin’ Lit, October 20

A Reader’s Brain, October 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 20

Genesis 5020, October 21

Worthy2Read, October 21

Life of Literature, October 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 22

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 22

janicesbookreviews, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

Older & Smarter?, October 23

Mia Reads Blog, October 23

The Becca Files, October 23

Daysong Reflections, October 24

Connect in Fiction, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 24

Just the Write Escape, October 24

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 25

Moments, October 25

Simple Harvest Reads, October 25

Pause for Tales, October 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Lis Loves Reading, October 26

Hallie Reads, October 26

Living Life Free In Christ, October 27

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, October 27

Soutgern Gal Loves to Read, October 28

Remembrancy, October 28

Batya’s Bits, October 28

Leona J. Atkinson, October 28

Strands of Truth

About the Book

Book: Strands of Truth

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: September 10, 2019

cover Strands of Truth

Harper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts

She’s done it again! Colleen Coble is that author you know you can count on. Her writing is consistently amazing. This book follows that description perfectly. I loved the characters and their back stories were unique and interesting. The setting is beachy balmy and makes you want to visit, kinda. The plot moved along well and kept me interested the entire time. I didn’t feel like I knew who-done-it early in the book either, which is a huge plus! I don’t like it when you can guess the end at the beginning. This is not one of those books. It is however, a book that makes you not want to clean you house, not want to go to bed, not want to watch tv… I had to just keep reading! That’s the sign of a great book. You’re not going to want to miss this amazing story. The faith aspects are minimal, maybe to the point of wanting some more. They’re definitely not in your face at all. I gave this book 4 stars. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

colleen-coble-headshot-small

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s EdgeTwilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at colleencoble.com; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.

Read a Premium Excerpt

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

“Free-dive into a romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and craving for more.” –DiAnn Mills, bestselling author

“As always, Colleen Coble never disappoints. Strands of Truth is no exception. I was hooked from the first page. Trying to read this story slowly is impossible. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself flipping the pages in a hurry to find out what happens next! This one is for your keeper shelf.” –Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice Series

“Colleen Coble’s latest book, Strands of Truth, grips you on page one with a heart-pounding opening and doesn’t let go until the last satisfying word. I love her skill in pulling the reader in with believable, likable characters, interesting locations, and a mystery just waiting to be untangled. Highly recommended.” –Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Formula of Deception

“Once again, Colleen Coble delivers an intriguing, suspenseful tale in Strands of Truth. The mystery and tension mount toward an explosive and satisfying finish. Well done.” –Creston Mapes, bestselling author

“Just when I think Colleen Coble’s stories can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. In Strands of Truth, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characterization of Ridge and Harper and their relationship pulled me immediately into the story. Fast paced, with so many unexpected twists and turns, I read this book in one sitting. Coble has pushed the bar higher than I’d imagined. This book is one not to be missed.” –Robin Caroll, best-selling author of the Darkwater Inn series

“It’s in her blood! Colleen Coble once again shows her suspense prowess with a thriller as intricate and beautiful as a strand of DNA. Strands of Truth dives into an unusual profession involving mollusks and shell beds that weaves a unique, silky thread throughout the story. So fascinating I couldn’t stop reading!” –Ronie Kendig, bestselling author of The Tox Files

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 3

Inspired by fiction, September 3

EmpowerMoms, September 3

Blogging With Carol, September 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4

My Devotional Thoughts, September 4

Christian bookaholic, September 4

KarenSueHadley , September 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5

Susan Cornwell, September 5

Inside the Wong Mind, September 5

Godly Book Reviews, September 5

Through the Fire Blogs, September 6

Emily Yager, September 6

Older & Smarter?, September 6

Blessed & Bookish, September 6

Andrea Christenson, September 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Avid Reader Nurse, September 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 7

The Becca Files, September 8

Blossoms and Blessings, September 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 8

Mary Hake, September 8

Spoken from the Heart, September 9

Betti Mace, September 9

Back Porch Reads, September 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 9

Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , September 9

Moments, September 10

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 10

For Him and my Family, September 10

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Daysong Reflections, September 11

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , September 11

SusanLovesBooks, September 11

Remembrancy, September 12

Worthy2Read, September 12

Just the Write Escape, September 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, September 12

Bigreadersite , September 13

janicesbookreviews, September 13

As He Leads is Joy, September 13

Livin’ Lit, September 13

To Everything A Season, September 13

Simple Harvest Reads, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

For The Love of Books , September 14

Living Life Free In Christ, September 14

A Reader’s Brain, September 15

Quiet Quilter , September 15

Hallie Reads, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Inklings and notions , September 16

By The Book, September 16

Real World Bible Study, September 16

Patiently Waiting, September 16

State of Lies

About the Book

Book: State of Lies

Author: Siri Mitchell

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: August 13, 2019

State of lies

Months after her husband, Sean, is killed by a hit-and-run driver, physicist Georgie Brennan discovers he lied to her about where he had been going that day. A cryptic notebook, a missing computer, and strange noises under her house soon have her questioning everything she thought she knew.

With her job hanging by a thread, her son struggling to cope with his father’s death, and her four-star general father up for confirmation as the next Secretary of Defense, Georgie quickly finds herself tangled in a political intrigue that has no clear agenda and dozens of likely villains. Only one thing is clear: someone wants her dead too.

The more she digs for the truth, the fewer people she can trust.

Not her friends.

Not her parents.

Maybe not even herself.

Click here to grab your copy.

My Thoughts

This book had me holding my breath! I could feel my heart pounding trying to jump out of my chest. I listened for noises in my house at night. I hate to love books like this. They grab your entire person and take you on this crazy ride. I love when an author can illicit such a response from a reader with just words! I read half of the book in one sitting and couldn’t wait to read the rest in the next. The few issues I had with the book were small in the scope of things. I felt like some of the details were unnecessary and like other details would have been more helpful. I wanted to know more about the inner life of the main character. It seemed like there was a lot of external focus. I also felt like there were details that sent you down a small rabbit trail only to snap you back to the main part of the story with no warning. Why were those things included? I was confused. I also struggled to understand all the military talk. I couldn’t grasp every part of the story. I had to back off and read it as a whole instead of worrying about trying to understand all the details. I also thought the ending was a little rushed. There was so much build up but them bam! it was done. An epilogue would have been a great addition to this book. But overall the story was great. Definitely kept my interest and my heart beating fast. I would recommend the book and gave it 4 stars. I received a copy from CelebrateLit. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

SIRI-MITCHELL_headshot

Siri Mitchell is the author of 14 novels. She has also written 2 novels under the pseudonym of Iris Anthony. She graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri is a big fan of the semi-colon but thinks the Oxford comma is irritatingly redundant. Visit her online at sirimitchell.com; Facebook: SiriMitchell; Twitter: @SiriMitchell.

More from Siri

A Sense of Place

I’m so excited about the release of State of Lies! Among the many reasons for my excitement is the fact that I set the story in my own home town: Arlington, VA. Here are some things you might not know about Arlington:

  1. Arlington was originally included within the borders of Washington, DC.
  2. Arlington isn’t actually a city – it’s a county. We’re the smallest self-governing county in the nation.
  3. Arlington regularly takes the top spot as the most educated place in the country.
  4. Arlington LOVES books. I count at least a dozen different little libraries in my neighborhood alone.
  5. Our region often has a hurricane warning or two every hurricane season. Can you guess where I’ve seen the longest lines when people start to make last-minute preparations? It’s not the grocery store; it’s not the hardware store. It’s the library! (Why wouldn’t you stock up on books too?)
  6. We host Arlington National Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Pentagon.
  7. We are home to the very first Five Guys hamburger joint location.
  8. We are also home to the headquarters of over a dozen national agencies as well as organizations like Rosetta Stone and Nestlé.
  9. People who attended our high schools include Sandra Bullock, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine, Katie Couric, and Patch Adams.
  10. The thing I love most about Arlington? Its people. Countless government contractors members of the federal workforce live here. I number them among my friends and neighbors. I’ve never met a group more dedicated, more informed, or more determined to put their expertise to good use. And guess what? My heroine, Georgie Brennan, is one of them!

The Pentagon and Washington, DC

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 20

Among the Reads, August 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 20

Blogging With Carol, August 21

CarpeDiem, August 21

Josephine Anne Writes, August 21

Fiction Aficionado, August 22

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 22

Genesis 5020, August 22

Andrea Christenson, August 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 23

Pause for Tales, August 23

Through the Fire Blogs, August 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 24

Inspired by fiction, August 25

Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , August 25

Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife, August 25

For Him and My Family, August 26

Rebekah Jones, August 26

Betti Mace, August 26

As He Leads is Joy, August 27

Wishful Endings, August 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, August 27

Moments, August 28

Mary Hake, August 28

Remembrancy, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 29

Simple Harvest Reads, August 29

Hallie Reads, August 30

Bigreadersite , August 30

Living Life Free in Christ, August 30

Connect in Fiction, August 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 31

Texas Book-aholic, August 31

janicesbookreviews, September 1

A Reader’s Brain, September 1

Inklings and notions , September 1

Life of Literature, September 2

Henry Happens, September 2

Real World Bible Study, September 2

Daughters Of the Northern Shores

About the Book

Book: Daughters of Northern Shores

Author: Joanne Bischof

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: March 12, 2019

Daughters of Nother Shores Cover

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the Norgaard orchard after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade, where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s—which is already imperiled due to a grave illness brought to him at the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

Click here to grab your copy!

My Thoughts

What an adventure! I feel like I got transported back in time. The sights the sounds the colors of life appeared vividly in front of me as I gulped down this book. Loved the pictures of Norway that I got as I read. It’s always been on the top of my bucket list for places to visit. I feel like I got a lovely picture through this book and now I want to visit even more. The characters captured my heart. They were so well written and intriguing. So much story but so well paced that I didn’t feel like I was overwhelmed with trying to sort out the different elements of each character while trying to sort out the plot line. There was some romance, some mystery, some conflict, some loss, some family, lots of things that happen to us and that we experience in daily life. The writing flowed nicely and I didn’t struggle to understand the story or keep reading. I never felt the need to go back and reread for lack of understanding. I loved this story. It touched my heart. What more can you wish for in a book! I gave it 5 stars. Can’t wait to read Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
I received a copy of this book from CelebrateLit. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Bischof Joanne

Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com; Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof; Instagram: @JoanneBischof.

More from Joanne

One of the questions I receive most often is “How do you get it all done?” As a single, homeschooling mom, I’ve long-since learned that there would be easier ways to have a day job than being an author, but God has been gracious in providing abundantly in so many areas. Here are four that I am most thankful for as I look back over the last few years, including this season of writing Sons of Blackbird Mountain and Daughters of Northern Shores.

Togetherness

Now, most authors would agree that “togetherness” isn’t exactly conducive to quality writing time – especially when kids are involved! And while I do need quiet focus to be able to work through a scene or chapter, what I’ve been thankful for is the chance to share story and research discoveries with my children. It’s created more unity around the stories. Instead of needing to usher the kids away, isolating them from the novels I’m writing, I’m able to invite them into them. For the Blackbird Mountain series, I walked them through the Pinterest boards, showing them the different characters. Then we did a history unit on Vikings since that’s the Norgaard Family’s background. We had a blast and it helped make “the story that Mom was working on”, something that they were more aware of and interested in. For my current work-in-progress, we just recently finished an all new history unit including visits to a few local museums and stories that the kids wrote on their own!

Patience

I used to want to write, write, write all the time. And often, that’s what I did! Well, I still would love to write as often as I can, but God has been teaching me something oh-so-important: patience. As part of this, I set aside certain parts of the week for writing office hours. These slots of writing time typically occur on Tuesday evenings, and include a few additional 1 ½ hours slots during the week, once homeschooling is done. In this manner, I am able to carve out some quiet writing time while still making sure the kids are having a great and productive day. But for any writer or working mom, we can agree . . . that’s not a lot of time when added up! In God’s wonderful provision, though, He seems to extend much richness to those little snatches of time. They might not be many, but they are mighty! It’s been a prayer of mine for several years now, that by keeping my writing below these other priorities, that God would help me fill in the cracks of time and energy—and He has been so faithful to supply. I still have my moments when I feel frazzled,  especially when deadlines are near, and that’s why I am thankful for this next lesson that God has been teaching me . . .

Communication

The thing about living with a writer, is that you often find them staring at a computer screen. That doesn’t look all that productive, does it? But what we’re doing on the other side of that screen is weaving a story-world of plot, characters, purpose, and heart. Typing words onto the page that we hope will touch lives, digging through old articles for research, or jotting down messy plotting notes that we pray will somehow amount to a story one day. By communicating with my kids (like sharing with them about the story and characters) I’m able to help them see what I’m doing and why. And since kids can be rambunctious and full of life (and questions, and needs for snacking, and ideas, and messes . . . *wink*) and since this writer works well with quiet, I have a little chalkboard that I hang on my doorknob when it’s one of my “office hour” slots. I jot down my start time and end time for that 1 ½ hour block, add a heart or smiley face, and often make note of what our next task will be like preparing a meal or doing an activity together. Then I shut my door and the little sign dangling from the knob outside helps the kids remember what I’m up to. It reminds them that I won’t be tucked away for long, but that I do need to focus for a little while. They’re always allowed to come knocking if a need arises, but for the most part, they’re happy on these afternoons with their own projects. When the hour or so is up, we reconvene and go back about our day, usually slipping into something fun that we do together. By having these slots of time in the week, and by communicating carefully with them in a way they can understand, it helps to bring us all what we need.

Grace

There are days when I blow it, and days when I need a lot of grace. Maybe I’ve spilled iced tea on one of the research books (don’t worry, this is a hypothetical example 😉 ) or maybe I didn’t save a scene properly, or just feel stuck and exhausted with a plot thread. These days can certainly tamper with the harmony, which begins with my heart and the need to remember the reason for why I write these stories: for God’s glory. When I begin to lose my calm, or grow frustrated or weary with the challenges afoot, I know it’s time to circle back to what it’s all for. It’s for the readers, it’s for my children, it’s for my joy, and most of all, it’s for God’s glory. By me being harried or stressed, very little of this is being accomplished! God has used the writing process to speak to my heart in ways that have reminded me of what I can surrender, and more and more of the ways that I can look to HIM for guidance. The lessons aren’t always easy, but through each season, and through each book, I have come to see more and more all the ways to be thankful.

Blog Stops

Retrospective Spines, August 6

Just the Write Escape, August 6

KarenSueHadley , August 7

Batya’s Bits, August 7

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 8

By The Book, August 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 9

Adventures of a travelers wife, August 9

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, August 10

Betti Mace, August 10

Connie’s History Classroom, August 11

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, August 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 12

Moments, August 12

Simple Harvest Reads, August 13

Connect in Fiction , August 13

For the Love of Literature, August 13

Aryn The Libraryan 📚 , August 14

Through the Fire Blogs, August 14

Bigreadersite , August 15

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 15

Daysong Reflections, August 16

Living Life Free In christ, August 16

A Reader’s Brain, August 17

Texas Book-aholic, August 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 17

Inklings and notions , August 18

janicesbookreviews, August 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 19

LifeofLiterature, August 19

As He Leads is Joy, August 19

Love & Other Mistakes

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About the Book

Book: Love and Other Mistakes

Author: Jessica Kate

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Release date: July 31, 2019

Love and Other Mistakes

There’s a fine line between love and hate . . . And for the last seven years, Natalie Groves has hated Jeremy Walters.

Natalie Groves was meant for great things. But soon after her fiancé left, Natalie’s father was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly her grand plans evaporated . . . and God felt very far away.

Fast-forward seven years, and an internship presents Natalie a chance at her destiny—but she needs a job to work around it. And the only offer available is worse than a life sentence. Her ex Jeremy, now back in town, is desperate for help with his infant son and troubled teenage niece, Lili. And Natalie may be just the one to help Jeremy . . . provided they don’t kill each other in the process.

When Jeremy and Natalie join forces, sparks fly. But will either of them get burned along the way?

Get your copy here!

My Thoughts

This is my first experience with this author and won’t be my last for sure! I loved the storyline. It was funny, it was charming, it was full of emotion and depth, it did not leave out real life hard issues, sadness, pain, but it embraced them as part of the journey. I liked the characters too. They were genuine and interesting individuals. I did struggle a bit with the writing. I found a lot of sentences really long and overly full of detail, especially at the beginning. I felt like the details were a bit forced and unnecessary all at once. I liked all the information but wish it came out a little slower. Overall though the storyline won my heart and the writing issues seemed to fade into the background. I was mostly able to ignore them because I enjoyed the story. I consider that a win. I give this story 3 stars. I look forward to reading more from this author.
I received an early release copy of this book from CelebrateLit. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Jessica Kate

Australian author Jessica Kate writes inspirational romances with wit, sass, and grit. Jessica is a screenwriting groupie, cohost of the StoryNerds vlog and podcasts, and her favorite place to be—apart from Mum and Dad’s back deck—is a theme park. She has traveled North America and Australia, and samples her favorite pasta wherever she goes—but the best (so far) is still the place around the corner from her corporate day job as a training developer. She loves watching sitcoms with her housemates and being a leader in a new church plant.

Jessica Kate brings rom-com fans a reminder that love has its own timing in her breakout novel, Love and Other Mistakes. Kate is best known in the book world as the cohost of StoryNerds, a vlog and podcast about all things books and pop culture, recorded from her home city of Toowoomba, Australia. Now, she’s carving her own place in the Christian fiction arena and helping to fill the rom-com genre gap with a novel full wit, sass, and grit.

More from Jessica

A romance that makes me laugh and snort my strawberry milkshake across the keyboard when I sneak in chapter at work – that’s just the best. My loftiest career aspiration is to create that experience for someone else. There can never be enough of those books in the universe, especially novels that include deep faith and emotion, as well. I adore love-hate romantic comedies like The Hating Game by Sally Thorneand I spend my days dreaming up plotlines that force characters who hate each other to work together as a team. But, Natalie’s journey came from a real place for me—that feeling you’re missing out on your purpose and you don’t know how to fix it.

Read an excerpt at https://jessicakatewriting.com/books/love-and-other-mistakes/

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 31

Among the Reads, July 31

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 31

Reflections From My Bookshelves, August 1

Through the Fire Blogs, August 1

Wishful Endings, August 1

Emily Yager, August 2

Godly Book Reviews, August 2

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 3

CarpeDiem, August 3

Livin’ Lit, August 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 4

Genesis 5020, August 5

Carla Loves To Read, August 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 6

Pause for Tales, August 6

Back Porch Reads, August 7

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, August 7

Britt Reads Fiction, August 8

Hallie Reads, August 8

For Him and My Family, August 9

Living Life Free in Christ, August 9

Real World Bible Study, August 10

Remembrancy, August 10

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 10

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 11

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

A Reader’s Brain, August 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 12

janicesbookreviews, August 13

Inklings and notions, August 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jessica is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of Love and Other Mistakes!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e563/love-and-other-mistakes-celebration-tour-giveaway

Cross My Heart

Cross my Heart FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Cross My Heart

Author: Robin Lee Hatcher

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: June 25, 2019

Cross My Heart

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.

Click here to grab your copy.

My Thoughts

First things first, the cover on this book is just so beautiful. I love the distant mountains, big blue sky, the big red barn and the couple holding hands. It did however, give me a little too much information! I came into the story with a big idea what would happen. It left little to the imagination. So while I love the cover, I wish it wouldn’t have included so much information.

Anyways, the story! The story was great. It was unique with its focus on rescue horses and horse therapy. I didn’t come into the story knowing much about these topics so that was a nice treat. The characters are really likeable and well written. I love the romantic tension between Ben and Ashley from the moment they first meet. I found myself rooting for them as a couple! I love the way Hatcher balances dialogue with story. It’s never too much. It comes in right at the right time and gives the reader a good feel for the characters and what is going on not only externally but internally as well. The story reads quickly and is enjoyable. Great for a slow summer evening or a cold winter day inside.

I did feel a little disconnect between the time hops. I felt like that could have been left out with no real affect on the storyline. I know people love time hops and usually I do too. Sometimes though I feel like they are a little overdone. I loved the consistency of the time hop, at the end of the chapters. They were well written and interesting… I am just not sure how much they add to the story.

Overall I loved the story. It follows suit from Hatcher’s previous books. I almost wished for a little surprise. A little something unexpected. But I love Hatcher’s books and will continue to read each one! They are great. I give this book 3.5 stars. I received a copy from CelebrateLit. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Hatcher Robin Lee

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 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. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She 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. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

For more information, visit robinleehatcher.com; Facebook: robinleehatcher; or Twitter: @robinleehatcher.

More from Robin

MY WRITING DESK
ROBIN LEE HATCHER

I have a wonderful home office with a large screen iMac and the perfect place to keep important papers and reminders right in front of me for easy access. There is also a bed for my dog, Boo, because no office is complete without a bed to welcome the dog. Right?

I also do a lot of writing while seated in a big easy chair in the living room. It all depends upon my mood and how many reference books I might need at the time.

My office usually looks neat when I begin a book. By the time I’m writing the end, the room has become a disaster—stacks of papers demanding my attention and a layer of dust are the most obvious issues.

My office also serves as my art studio (where I do decorative planning and Bible art journaling), so every inch that isn’t taken up by writing related items is filled with art related ones—paints, washi tape, stickers, pens galore, etc.

An early riser naturally, I consider sleeping in to be anything after 6 AM. On a normal writing day, I try to get in half an hour on the treadmill first thing in the morning (and often return to it for ten minutes segments a couple other times during the day). Then I sit at my desk or in my easy chair to do my Bible study. And finally I begin writing.

I can usually create new words for about four hours or so a day. The rest of the work day is filled with editing, revising, research, and correspondence with publisher, agent, readers, and other writers. I have an active online presence which needs attention daily, as well.

I am also a late-in-life part time college student, taking my classes online, so at least a couple of days a week, you’ll find me doing assignments and taking quizzes. For some reason, I rarely use my office for that. The kitchen table seems to suit me better. Probably because it is a large table and I can really spread out.

I feel very blessed to be able to work at home. I had a full time job when I wrote my first book. In fact, I wrote nine novels over the course of nine years while still working full time. The month my ninth book released, I quit my job in order to write full time. Seventy books and almost 28 years later, I’m still at it. As I said, I am blessed.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 27

The Power of Words, July 27

Carla Johnson-Hicks, July 28

Christian Bookaholic , July 28

Through the Fire Blogs, July 29

A Baker’s Perspective, July 29

Back Porch Reads, July 30

Cultivating Us, July 30

Godly Book Reviews, July 31

For Him and My Family, July 31

God’s Little Bookworm, August 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 1

Daysong Reflections, August 2

EmpowerMoms, August 2

Southern Gal Loves to Read, August 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, August 3

Moments, August 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 4

Remembrancy, August 4

Pause for Tales , August 5

For The Love of Books, August 5

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 6

Hallie Reads, August 6

Living Life Free in Christ, August 7

To Everything A Season, August 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7

Wishful Endings, August 8

Texas Book-aholic, August 8

janicesbookreviews, August 8

A Reader’s Brain, August 9

Inklings and notions, August 9

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a copy of her book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e681/cross-my-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

The String

About the Book

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.

Rule #2: If any one person refuses to play, the threats to all players will come to pass.

My Thoughts

What a rush! This story is so incredibly creative. So original. It’s one that you won’t be able to stop reading. You just have to figure it out! I read the book in a day. It moves quickly and reads easily. The story is fast paced and gripping.

I did wish there was a little more character development. I felt like I didn’t know much about the characters. There were so many players and I felt like I couldn’t keep them straight because all they were was a name. It seemed like some detail was left out for the sake of packing more action into the story. While the action was great the story would have been better developed had there been some more detail development. I felt like some of the places could have been described better. Some of the in-between scene stuff could have helped the reader understand the flow. It felt kind of jumpy. I had a hard time keeping track of who where what why how.

Overall I liked the story. I give it 3.5 stars. I received a copy from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.