Spotlight “On The Rails” by Linda Shenton Matchett

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Welcome to my Spotlight

The reviews for On The Rails by Linda Shenton Matchett range from 5* to 3* which is a good mix. There are reviewers who enjoyed the info dumps and others who would have preferred less – so all that says is that you can’t please everyone.

The book is only 130 pages long which would make it readable for a lot of people in one go, and as one reader commented, might it lead to more stories about the Harvey Girls? This could well be a searching question for the author.

“I loved the history that came through in this book. I hadn’t heard of the Harvey House, and I was fascinated to learn about it as the story unfolded. Reading this made me want to be a customer of this great establishment along the railroad system in its glory days.”

As this is a Christian book does it overpower the reader?

This is what one reviewer commented, “I’ve read many books about the Harvey Houses, but never one that includes people coming to knowledge of Christ. That was awesome! And yet the characters are very real, with very real feelings including anger and jealousy. It’s not “churchy” at all.”

What is the main character like?

Most of the readers seem to have enjoyed the historical aspect of On the Rails and even though the story is a little short it is a sweet read, with some people liking the main character  Catherine, and others not warming to her in the same way. Again it is all a matter of opinion.

These are just my summations from reading the reviews on Amazon. I hope you will journey through the blog spots on the CelebrateLit tour, which are listed below, for further recommendations.

Also, don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a fabulous prize.

This spotlight was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

Click here to grab your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak spotlights On The Rails by Linda Shenton MatchettTitle: On the Rails

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: February 6, 2017

Warren, Ohio, 1910: Katherine Newman loves being a teacher, but she loves Henry Jorgensen more, which is why she’s willing to give up her job to marry him. But instead of proposing, Henry breaks up with her. Devastated, Katherine seeks to escape the probing eyes and wagging tongues of her small town. A former Harvey Girl, Katherine’s mother arranges for Katherine to be hired at the Williams, Arizona Harvey House. Can she carve out a new life in the stark desert land, unlike anything she’s ever known?

Henry Jorgensen loves Katherine with all his heart, but as the eldest son of a poor farmer can he provide for her as she deserves? The family’s lien holder calls in the mortgage, and Henry must set aside his own desires in order to help his parents meet their financial obligation. But when Katherine leaves town after their break up, he realizes he’s made the biggest mistake of his life. Can he find her and convince her to give their love a second chance?

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak spotlights On The Rails by Linda Shenton MatchettLinda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her live. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

Guest Post from Linda

My husband and I were fortunate to be able to take a trip to Arizona several years ago. Having been born and raised on the east coast, I was enamored with the distinctive beauty of the state, from the saguaro cacti of Phoenix and red rocks of Sedona to the volcanic landscape of Flagstaff and multi-colored bands of the Grand Canyon.

Harvey Houses

But what intrigued me just as much as the area’s beauty were the stories about the women who migrated to the state to work for the Fred Harvey Company. Upon our arrival at the Grand Canyon, we came upon the El Tovar Hotel, one of the few remaining Harvey Houses. We were given a bit of literature explaining the history of Mr. Harvey and his restaurants, and the more I read, the more I wanted to know.

As it turns in the late 1800s, food was not available to travelers riding the railroad lines, so when the trains made extended stops, passengers would get off and eat at the restaurants located near the stations. From all reports, the dining experience was sketchy at best, with frequent stories of indigestion and food poisoning.

The Harvey Girls

Enter English immigrant and restauranteur, Fred Harvey. Securing a contract with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, he began with two facilities. However, finding reliable employees proved to be difficult. A high percentage of the employees (all men) would use their paycheck to purchase liquor and then did not return to work for several days. At his wit’s end, Fred decided to hire women to act as his waitresses, but the concept was a tough sell. The only women in the hospitality industry worked in saloons and had scandalous reputations.

Fred set up dormitories overseen by a House Mother and implemented a set of rules that included curfews, restrictions on dating, and dress codes. He ran advertisements in the large east coast newspapers. It was not long before candidates came knocking. The reasons they gave for wanting to be a Harvey Girl were as diverse as the girls. Some were looking for adventure, others needed to help fill the family coffers, while a number of them needed to get out of difficult situations ranging from domestic abuse to failed engagements.

Thanks to Fred and his restaurants, most of the 100,000 Harvey Girls found financial stability, confidence, happiness, and/or love. It is my hope that On The Rails commemorates these gals and their intrepid spirits.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, January 31

Blossoms and Blessings, February 1

Mary Hake, February 1

Bibliophile ReviewsFebruary 2

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Connie’s History Classroom, February 4

Janices book reviewsFebruary 5

The Mimosa Blossom, February 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 7

A Baker’s Perspective, February 8

Moments, February 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 9

Vicky Sluiter, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 11

Carpe Diem, February 11

Godly Book Reviews, February 12

margaret kazmierczak, February 12 (Spotlight)

Maureen’s Musings, February 13

BigreadersiteFebruary 13

Giveaway

Finished

I love Authors Interview 18 this is J. E. Grace

I love Authors Interview 18

Julie profile

Welcome to I love Authors Interview 18. Today we have the pleasure of meeting Julie. E. Grace, author of A Walk with Heavenly Spirits which is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 3rd-6th April. Let’s all give Julie a warm greeting.

A Walk with Heavenly Spirits

Hi  Julie, it is a pleasure to have you sitting on my couch today.

I’m so glad you are doing a blog tour with Celebrate Lit as it gives me an opportunity to get to know you better.

Julie – Thank you, Margaret, the pleasure is mine.

Comfy?

Julie – Yes thank you.

I like to do things a little differently to the usual interviews. So now I want you to imagine that we are on a desert island. The sea lapping on the shores and not a ship in sight.

For my first question, if you can take your eyes away from the breathtaking scenery..

What book would you crave to read (you already have the bible, so please pick another book)?

Julie – I would want it to be a book on survival skills so I could make the best out of the situation.  It would be a shock at first not knowing what to expect. I would need to take care of my everyday needs until help came. Knowledge is key.

I can see that you have a practical side Julie, what a great choice. And I like the fact that you would want to make the best out of the situation. You are one cool lady.

This means then that you are likely to explore.

As it happens you find a rowing boat hidden in a cave, what name would you paint on it and why?

Julie – I would paint “FAITH” on it.  To remind me each time I looked at it, to have faith in God to sustain me through the circumstances. I would remember that God is a God of miracles and pray for him to give me the strength I needed to endure until I could be rescued.

How right you are, God is a God of miracles and waiting for his rescue will require faith. That is an apt name to be sure and a great way to remind yourself of His faithfulness.

So while you are waiting ..

I know you like writing but do you have another passion?

Julie – I have always been interested in art since I was a young child. My mother gave me oil painting kits for Christmas and it evolved from there.  I am self-taught in oils and pastels and try to balance my love of art with my passion for writing.  I paint mainly landscapes.

A few years ago,  I branched out into digital art.  Art is another form of expression that gives me great joy.

I agree Julie art is a wonderful form of expression. As a concession, I will allow you to have your art materials so that you can paint.

 

On to the next question Julie

The desert island is very hot, do you like hot or cold weather and which helps you focus on your writing better?

 Julie – I’m not a hot weather person.  My favorite time of the year is Spring when everything is new again and the temperatures are in the 70’s.  Winter time with the snow is beautiful but during really cold periods, I find myself indoors at my desk typing away on a novel while sipping on a cup of tea or hot chocolate.  It becomes my most productive time as far as writing is concerned.

Oh, Spring is a favourite of mine too Julie, all the new beginnings.

 

Sadly this is my final question..

If you could be one of your characters which would it be and why?

Julie – It would be Allison.   The part of Allison’s journey that I would love to experience,  is her visits by Heavenly Spirits.  To be able to travel in time and experience the supernatural would be awesome.  

Wouldn’t it just. You have left me intrigued Julia. This has been a pleasant desert island visit on my couch today. Thank you, Julia, for sharing with us.

Yes give a round of applause for Julie E. Grace and don’t forget to look out for her book.

Julie has also included a GIVEAWAY today, which you will find at the bottom of my post. Click on the code for a chance to win.

Click here to purchase your copy!

A Walk with Heavenly Spirit FB Banner copy

About the Book

 

A Walk with Heavenly SpiritsTitle: A Walk with Heavenly Spirits

Author: J.E. Grace

Genre: Christian  Fiction – Inspirational/Romance

Release Date: December 5, 2017

 

The wrong path

Allison Stevens became a Christian at a young age, but she makes a wrong decision that takes her on a collision course of disappointment and heartache. God loves her and wants her back, but Satan wants to keep her in a life of despair and lies.

A divine intervention

Heavenly Spirits are sent by God to instruct and remind Allison of God’s promises. Can she learn to trust God’s word and become the woman God meant for her to be?

Can Allison Stevens return to the right path?

A family she didn’t know she had, a man grieving a personal loss, and a felon who wants her dead makes her relationships more complicated than ever. Can she learn to trust God again and walk by faith?

On the road back to God, she discovers that the path doesn’t come without trials but now she realizes she isn’t alone. God is with her. Can she stay strong and follow God’s path?

About the Author

Julie profileJ.E. Grace was born and raised in Northern California. At a young age, she was an avid reader which led to her interest in fiction writing and poetry. She writes mainly in the  Christian Fiction genre and continues to educate herself in the craft.  All of her work has underlying Christian overtones which are a reflection of her faith in God.

In 2000 she moved to the Midwest with her husband and now calls it home. She loves the Missouri countryside and is amazed by the variety of subjects that serve as inspiration for her artwork. She is an oil/pastel painter and digital artist.  Her work can be seen at Fine Art America, Society 6 and Zazzle.

J. E. Grace retired from a career in real estate in 2012, to finally concentrate on her writing. She published her first novel, a science fiction titled, “The Zarion-Saving Mankind in 2016 and her Pacific Cove Series of Short Reads: Haunted Visions & Testament of Faith. Now she is currently working on several new projects: Book 3 in her Pacific Cove Series and a mystery novel.

Guest Post from J.E. Grace

My inspiration for writing A Walk with Heavenly Spirits:
I was thinking about a Christmas Carol and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future one day. I’m a Christian author, so I thought, why not use Heavenly Spirits to enlighten a person who has lost their way. It just evolved from there. I did a lot of praying for direction during my writing process and consulting God’s word along the way. God I felt was giving me the inspiration to write it. As a result, I found myself getting very emotional while writing certain parts of the book which is something I had never experienced before with any of my other novels. I was feeling the characters pain and /or joy at times.
My purpose for the story was to get the message across, that we are all broken, but God uses the broken for great things. Within the story, Allison’s one decision to finally follow the path God intended for her, not only changes her life but the lives of the all the people who come to know her.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 4

A Greater Yes, April 5

Texas Book-aholic, April 6

Bibliophile Reviews, April 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Janices book reviews, April 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 10

Carpe Diem, April 11

A Baker’s Perspective, April 12

Simple Harvest Reads, April 13 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Artistic Nobody, April 14

margaret kazmierczak, April 15 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, April 15

Reading is my Super Power, April 16 (Interview)

Power of Words, April 16 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, J.E. Grace is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca38

Spotlight Four on A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund

Spotlight on A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund

Spotlight Four

 

Spotlight Four. Today I am doing a spotlight on A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund which is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 27th March – 9th April. Jody has also a GIVEAWAY  for you readers so don’t forget to enter for a chance to win. This is the last day to enter!

To spotlight A Loyal Heart I would like to share with you some of the reviews that this book has received. I hope you find them helpful in deciding to read Jody’s book. Thanks for popping by.

Bibliophile
on April 6, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
I never imagined when I began the journey into this story that I would be so taken with the story. It will leave your breathless, hopeful and is an excellent reminder of the quality writing the author always delivers. This is by far the best book in my opinion and I truly didn’t want the adventure to end.
H
on April 6, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Each addition to Jody Hedlund’s medieval YA series is a delight. As I read A Loyal Heart, I found all the elements I loved in the previous books (An Uncertain Choice, A Daring Sacrifice, For Love & Honor)—romance, danger, chivalry, faith. Hedlund weaves it all into a captivating and thrilling story for Lady Olivia and Sir Aldric, and I wholeheartedly enjoyed both the story and its characters. A Loyal Heart makes the perfect choice for readers of YA romance, so I highly recommend it (and the entire series!). Add it to your TBR today!
Deborah
on April 2, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Jody Hedlund is such a good writer. I believe she writes these for young adults but I really enjoy them. I hope there is another in the series.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

TitleA Loyal Heart Web Copy: A Loyal Heart

Author: Jody Hedlund

Genre: Adult medieval romance

Release Date: March 6, 2018

 

He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, will they lose what matters most?

When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.

As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him.

Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund. Web - CopyJody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

The Growing Need for Sweet Young Adult Romances

By Jody Hedlund

This past year my youngest daughter turned twelve and entered seventh grade. And she decided that she wanted to read my books.

Of course, I was thrilled that she was taking an interest in my writing. But since my adult historical romances are more intense and contain some mature themes, I handed her the young adult series I’ve written.

As she started the first book, I peeked in her room a time or two to ask her how she liked it.

“It’s the best book you’ve ever read, right?” I teased.

“It’s okay,” she replied, teasing me right back.

The true test for how much she liked the series came when she couldn’t put the book down. She hid away in her room and read all day. Then she read the second book the next day and the third book the day after that.

She never did gush over the series. But she didn’t need to. Her serious reading marathon told me all I needed to know! Then when I was writing the fourth book in the series, she asked me if she could read it early before it was published which was another testament to how much she enjoyed the series.

“As long as you promise to say that I’m your favorite author,” I said, teasing her again.

I’m happy to say that she finished A Loyal Heart just as quickly as the others. Although I’m not sure that I’m her favorite author, I’m satisfied that she loved the series.

Even more, I’m thrilled that I could hand her sweet romances full of chivalrous qualities—like courage, sacrifice, honor, and loyalty. As she’s being entertained, she’s learning lessons about character traits that are important in relationships.

Wholesome clean romances for teens

My daughter, like other young teens I’ve talked to, really enjoys medieval settings and stories. In some ways, those kinds of stories connect them to the princess fairy tales they used to love when they were little. Let’s face it, even adult readers still love stories about knights and castles and daring damsels!

In a book market for teens that has grown increasingly dark, jaded, and sexual, I only wish I had more to offer my daughter and other young women. It’s my passion to continue providing wholesome, clean romances for teens, books I know will encourage and uplift as well as entertain.

How about YOU? Is there a teen reader you know who needs an alternative to what’s available in the market? I encourage you to gift them with A Loyal Heart. And make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the entire series that you can read, pass along, or even gift to your library.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, March 27

Lighthouse Academy, March 27

Neverending Stories, March 27

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28

books n baubles, March 28

Blossoms and Blessings, March 28

By The Book, March 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Books, Books, and More Books., March 29

Have A Wonderful Day, March 30

Blogging With Carol, March 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 30

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, March 31

Book by Book, March 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 31

God’s Little Bookworm, April 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 1

Mary Hake, April 1

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, April 2

Daysong Reflections, April 2

Novels Corner, April 2

Remembrancy, April 3

proud to be an autism mom, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 4

Janices book reviews, April 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 4

Romances of the Cross, April 5

Carpe Diem, April 5

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 6

Karen Sue Hadley, April 6

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, April 6

Red Headed Book Lady, April 7

Bibliophile Reviews, April 7

Simple Harvest Reads, April 7 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Pursuing Stacie, April 8

Bigreadersite, April 8

margaret kazmierczak, April 8 (spotlight)

Henry Happens, April 9

Faery Tales Are Real, April 9

Joy of Reading, April 9

Giveaway

 

2181f4c9-19f5-4e35-8547-d0764ecac556To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of An Uncertain Choice, A Daring Sacrifice, For Love & Honor, and A Loyal Heart!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb76

The tempering agent – an impossible love in the desert

Broken hearts and impossible love lead the way in this Egyptian romance. Can two people overcome their past and open their hearts to a new beginning amongst the backdrop of betrayal and suspicion. Both have to dig deep like the archaeological excavation going on in the story.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Tempering Agent by Victoria Pitts Caine

My Penny’s worth

The impossible love of the main characters Priscilla and Donnie dances around a plot that has intrigue flowing through it. Both are on a dangerous mission, and I enjoyed Ms Caine’s writing as she wove the action from dig to romance to jeopardy.

As storylines go, this held me even though the pace seemed to be a bit quick especially with regards to overcoming the past and the possibility of moving on. Consequently, this appeared too neat and not messy enough for me. In fact, I wanted to feel the battle and walk alongside the pain, empathising with the struggle. Would Priscilla just give up?

What I liked

I liked the little gems and twists along the way to keep you guessing as to whom the villains were. But could Donnie protect a woman whose independence had got her to where she was today?

Rayhan and Liz I felt were good supporting characters and added to the story. From the descriptions, I could see, smell, taste and hear the action along with the food and personal relationships.

Cheerio?

One little curiosity I had, why the word “Cheerio” for a greeting? Priscilla’s father, who is English, uses this when he answers the phone. I have not heard it used like this before – yes a minor issue I know, but being English, I just wondered.

This book can be read alone and indeed I haven’t read the first two but not knowing the history of the other characters didn’t actually matter.

Some teasers

In the final analysis what will happen to this impossible love between Priscilla and Donnie? Who are the villains? And what does a pansy have to do with anything? For the answers, you will need to read the book.

What would I rate it?

I did enjoy the book and would like to give it four stars.

Thank you, Victori Pitts Caine for writing it.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Click here to purchase your copy! And don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post. Thanks for reading.

About the Book

TheTemperingAgent_Cover_medBook Title: The Tempering Agent

Author: Victoria Pitts Caine

Release Date: February 14, 2014

 

 

Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself thrown back into the murder investigation of her fiancé, Trey Whittington. While she was a suspect three years ago, she’s now working with the police to find the murderer, Egyptian artifact trafficker, Zarka El-Din. During a sting operation in Siwa, she and Agent Donnie Barnes are drawn to each other but Priscilla, overcome by personal ghosts from her past, decides a relationship isn’t possible. Priscilla realizes she’s the bait in the ruse and uncovers others involved with El-Din. Will she and Donnie reconcile and unravel the reason behind Trey’s death before El-Din kills her, too?

About the Author

Victoria Pitts Caine Head ShotVictoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian and lives in the central portion of the state. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels.

The author has received recognition in both fiction and nonfiction from: Enduring Romance top 10 picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, Holt International Children’s Services Magazine, and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel was published in 2007 followed by two more as well as novellas and short stories in anthologies.

Victoria is a former staff technician in air pollution control. She is the mother of two daughters. Now retired from the work force, Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, cooking, and are self-appointed “foodies”.

Guest post from Vicki Caine

Since childhood, I have been interested in genealogy and ancient Egypt. Two of my prior novels, Alvarado Gold and Cairo, let me follow my fantasies into those two areas. Donnie the hero in The Tempering Agent is also in the other two books, and it was his turn to find his own romance. When archaeologist Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself drawn back into the murder investigation of her fiancé and the missing breast plate of the high priest, Agent Donnie Barnes, is just the man to help her out, even if she doesn’t think so.

Traveling along with Priscilla and Donnie, I discovered some interesting facts about ancient Egypt, from the ruins in the Siwa Desert to the mystery of the Valley of the Kings. The genealogy factor in my novels is Donnie is loosely based on my cousin. Alvarado Gold tells the story of my family while Cairo and The Tempering Agent fueled my inquisitiveness about Egypt.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, March 20

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, March 20

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 21

proud to be an autism mom, March 21

Blogging With Carol, March 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 22

Multifarious, March 23

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 23

Bibliophile Reviews, March 24

History, Mystery & Faith, March 25

Bigreadersite, March 25

A Greater Yes, March 26

Just the Write Escape, March 26

A Baker’s Perspective, March 27

Margaret Kazmierczak, March 28

Janices book reviews, March 28

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 29

Carpe Diem, March 29

Pause for Tales, March 30

Red Headed Book Lady, March 30

Mary Hake, March 31

Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest post from Mindy)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 1

Two Points of Interest, April 1

Among the Reads, April 2

Pursuing Stacie, April 2

Giveaway

Closed