Friendship, marriage and love – life on the trail

Have you been blessed with a long friendship? My longest one has lasted since I was eleven and no I am not going to tell you how old I am now! Figure it out if you can. She is seventeen years older than me and into her seventies.  I had the privilege of being her bridesmaid, and she talked me into wearing a dress. Horror of horrors as I only ever wore skirts to school and just under pain of death. Dresses/shirts got in the way of climbing trees, playing football and generally rummaging around.

I reckon I would have been suited to life on the trail with the pilgrims in Caryl McAdoo’s book Gone to Texas.  Knowing how to make and light a fire, change a wheel on my bicycle, make things out of junk. Skills I enjoyed along with improvising. But I never improvised with friendship.

In Gone to Texas seventeen souls “joined by blood and friendship” travel together to the promised land, will their friendship survive? Continue reading below for my review.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - Friendship

My Penny’s Worth

“Wagons roll” a blast from my childhood past that blared out from the television. So different from the history of England with our Kings, Queens and Knights in shining armour. I love the simplicity of the American Wild West. Caryl McAdoo’s book Gone to Texas reminded me of that past era. The pilgrimages made by ordinary people to find the promise land.

The Characters make the book

Throw a few families together add a widower and slave, mix it up with secrets and sins, and you have a journey of revelations, forgiveness and redemption. As the wagons roll friendship, marriage and love vie for centre stage.  I felt each character’s vulnerability at times as well as their great strength.

Yes I chuckled at one point

There is a scene: “The ladies gasped in unison, including Alicia. Uncle Laud spoke up, ‘Shot him dead? Mercy!’ ‘Over politics?’ I had to smile.

#amreading Gone to Texas @CarylMcAdoo #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet
The skill of the writer

Caryl McAdoo had me walking alongside the wagons listening into the conversations, holding hands with anticipation. Travelling with these souls as they journeyed onwards to the land of hope. Within the pages, you will find secrets and sins, forgiveness and redemption. These pilgrims walk the path of pain and sorrow while trying to hold onto their friendships.

Yes, there are disasters, it is the 1840’s and travelling by wagon takes months to get to a destination. There are no fast trains to catch back then. Just as I am getting comfortable by the fire with my friends, Ms McAdoo takes the mat from right under my feet.

“The thunder rolled over her heart, and the lightning flashed in her mind, and the rain wet her cheeks every time she found herself alone.”

The life of a pilgrim is tough. And it gets tougher.

“He slumped down to the base of the tree. Her lantern snuffed out, just like his life would be without her. There’d be no light. Tears filled his eyes.”

What are you doing to me?

“He looked skyward. ‘Please, Father, give me the desires of my heart.’”

Does God? My emotions are rung, I want to know what Caryl McAdoo has in store for them all.  But like you dear reader you will have to wait, you to read the book and me for the next in the series.

Does their friendship survive? He he, I can’t tell you 🙂

I am sore from the hardwood of the wagon seat, but I hope you will get on board and read this book.

Thank you, Caryl, for writing this book. I’d like to give it 4****

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

If you liked my book review please comment and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

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

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - Friendship

Book Title: Gone to Texas

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: September 6, 2018

Can beauty truly come from ashes?

Deception drives seventeen souls to hard choices. Either stay on the land they thought they’d bought or heed the lure of free land in the faraway wilderness of a new Republic. Rife with peril and hardship, three families knit together by blood and friendship head out with a widowed man, daughter, and his slave, gambling everything they own on the prospect of land ownership and working it together. Does friendship pave a way to marriage? Can puppy-love survive through a harrowing journey to blossom into a forever lover? With duress at every turn, can the clan stay together all the way to Texas and accomplish their goals?

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo - FriendshipTop priority is God’s glory, and that’s exactly what Caryl McAdoo prays her stories will bring. To entertain and draw readers into a closer walk with Him is next. A quick check of stars and reviews attest to the success of this award-winning, best-selling author—all by the Father’s faithfulness. Besides writing, she loves singing praises, including the new songs He gives her! Visit her YouTube channel. Ron, her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-two years ago, and they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live on thirty-four acres ‘The Peaceable’ in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas and wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

Northeast Texas and wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

Guest Post from Caryl

As much as I hated leaving the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales and the Red River Valley, I loved starting this fresh Family Saga series with all new characters! GONE TO TEXAS is Book One of the Cross Timber Romances and features three families—the O’Neals, Van Zandts, and Worleys—joined by blood and friendship through Liberty O’Neal. Laud Worley is her little brother and Mallory Van Zandt, her best friend since school days.

Together, they’d traveled south to settle in Tennessee and were about to harvest their first cotton crop that fall in 1840 when they discovered the deed to their land—the land they’d spent all their pooled savings on—was forged and no-good.

New horizons

The legal owner graciously allows them to stay through harvest, taking his portion of their labor and cottonseed. At the gin, Seve Van Zandt hears rumors of Texas, a new Rebublic out west, offering free land to pioneers willing to tame its wildlands. This first story—book one—is all about their journey to the new country filled with hope and dreams.

A hired widower who with his daughter and slave helped harvest the clan’s cotton asked to join them on their journey, and so, on that faithful September morn, seventeen souls set out after they hung a hand painted sign on one of the cabins they left behind. “Gone to Texas”!

A book amongst books

Another very special thing about this novel, one hundred twelve thousand words—about three hundred fifty pages, is that it is also book one in a brand new collection! The Thanksgiving Books and Blessings Collection that includes stories from eight other authors besides me: Lena Nelson Dooly, Heather Blanton, Kristin Holt, Kit Morgan, Suzette Williams, Pauline Creeden, George McVey, and Lynette Sowell!

All nine books will have Thanksgiving Dinner with family around the table, giving thanks to God for all his blessings. I’ve noticed many series launched in December, but Thanksgiving is my favorite. I love giving thanks to the Lord!

And as always, I pray my story gives God glory, and that its readers will be drawn closer to Him through it. He blesses and highly favors me daily. I cannot thank or praise Him enough!

Thank you, too, for reading my stories, reviewing my stories, and participating in the most AWESOME CELEBRATE LIT‘s Blog Tour!!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 11

Captive Dreams Window, September 12

proud to be an autism mom, September 12

Inklings and notionsSeptember 13

Luv’N Lambert Life, September 13

cherylbbookblog, September 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Janices book reviewsSeptember 16

Abba’s prayer warrior princess, September 17

Carpe Diem, September 17

Creating Romance, September 18

Madeline Clark, September 18

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 19

The Mimosa Blossom, September 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 20

Back Porch Reads, September 21

Bibliophile Reviews, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Godly Book Reviews, September 24

BigreadersiteSeptember 24

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away

GRAND PRIZE : $50 Amazon Gift Card

1st Prize: THREE Choice-of-Caryl’s Titles (print–US only or eBook)

2nd-4th: ebook of JOHN DAVID’S CALLING

5th-7th: print copy VOW UNBROKEN

8th-10th: $5 Amazon gift cards!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops to earn nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1a6/gone-to-texas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Shocking from freedom to prison in one day

Don’t take your freedom for granted

Has your freedom ever been cut short? I like so many others have the privilege of living free, so long as we don’t break the law. We are not in fear of being chucked into a prison camp if we say or do things that go against the party line. This life, however, is not the case in certain parts of the world. I wonder how we would cope with living in such a society? But this scenario can happen to a Westerner, a moment of not thinking or wearing the right thing can lead you from freedom to prison in one day. Shocking but true.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Out of North Korea by Alana Terry.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My penny’s worth

Out of North Korea is a different book from the usual ones I read. You are plunged immediately into the thoughts of Ian McCallister, the main character who has been kidnapped and taken from China to North Korea. He wakes in a cell not knowing quite why he is there. His sense of humour at first seems at odds with the trouble he is in. However, Alana Terry uses it throughout the story to good effect helping it to suggest the different mood changes as the tale unfolds.

“Somewhere in the back of my head, I hear my sixth-grade schoolteacher scolding, Ian all your jokes and pranks and antics are going to catch up with you one day, young man.”

Other characters that I liked

The other two main characters, Hee-Man (yes a joke name for the Korea guard) and Grandma Lucy play pivotal roles in the story. There is a strong Christian seed that winds its way throughout but is not dogmatic, more supportive. But does Ian believe, do these threads help him or confirm his thoughts that Christians are blind?

As I said earlier, Alana’s writing had me right there in Ian’s head; I could feel the gravity of the situation as Ian realises he is alone where he knows no-one nor speaks their language. How would I think if that were me?

I’m already mentally and physically at the bottom of a very long rope. Quote from #Out of North Korea Click To Tweet
What key points would I say were important

There is a lot that can be taken from this book.

Being positive in the face of an unknown future.

Finding ways to give thanks even in the mess of life.

Understanding that freedom is precious and ought to be celebrated not taken for granted.

Being grateful for small mercies.

Friendships come in different shapes and sizes.

Yes it had me crying

My heart cried as I experienced Ian’s humiliation but felt proud when he managed to turn his misery to thanks. That is not a smooth turn around for anyone. You see Ian has got under my skin, to me he is real, he has lost his freedom and is in dire straits. I don’t think I am giving away the plot by stating so, I mean what else would the story be about – Tulips in Amsterdam?

Did the book grip me?

I needed to know what happened to Ian. I liked the small chapters as it built up the suspense and forced me to keep turning those pages. Each one walked me deeper into Ian’s world.

“He’s (God) the friend who whisper’s peace to you when the darkness tempts you toward despair.”

Again I cried, (I don’t tend to, very few books have this impact) when Grandma Lucy writes a letter to Ian. I hope the author won’t mind that I copied it and stuck it on my wall – I need reminding of its message.

So would I recommend Out of North Korea

Yes, I would. It’s easy to take your freedom for granted and ignore the places in our world where citizens are not as fortunate as ourselves. The book is as powerful as you want it to be. At first, I thought the humour too much in such a severe situation, but it seemed to work when viewed overall in the context of a man’s spirit. Usually, humour is the first thing to go!

I would like to give the book 5 ****

Thank you, Alana Terry, for bringing attention to the plight of those who have lost their freedom.

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

Now I have had my say, don’t forget the GIVEAWAY from Alana Terry at the bottom of this post.

Out of North Korea by #AlanaTerry #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway $30 Amazon gift card #amreading Click To Tweet

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Out of North Korea by Alana Terry

Book Title: Out of North Korea

Author: Alana Terry

Genre: Christian Thriller/Suspense

Release date: June 25, 2018

A single photograph could cost his life …

Ian McAllister has searched the world over, hunting for that all-elusive perfect photograph.

He finds it on a tourist trip to North Korea when he stumbles upon a young street kid foraging for roots.

Unaware that this single act will brand him a spy and cost his freedom, Ian takes the shot.

Now he must pay the penalty.

A true-to-life novel about an American imprisoned behind North Korea’s closed borders.

A gripping tale of courage, faith, and hope from award-winning Christian novelist Alana Terry.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak review Out of North Korea by Alana TerryAlana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnightsun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

Guest Post from Alana Terry

Have you seen in the news that the leaders of North and South Korea have both publicly stated their willingness to promote peace on the Korean peninsula? It was certainly a historic moment, and this part of the world has earned its place in global headlines.
My interest in North Korea, however, goes back over a decade, when as a young mother I received a prayer burden for the people of North Korea. Fast-forward to five years ago when my debut novel was released. The Beloved Daughter follows the life of a young girl who is sent to a prison camp because of her father’s Christian faith. In addition to winning several awards, The Beloved Daughter gave an expression to my prayer burden to see North Korea free to worship the one true God.
Out of North Korea is unique among my other titles because it’s the first story that focuses on an American in North Korea. Ian McAllister is captured and held in a Pyongyang prison because of a photograph he took of a young homeless boy. I hope the message leaves you as inspired and encouraged as I was when I was writing it.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 16

All of a kind Mom, August 16

Multifarious, August 17

Mary Hake, August 17

Bibliophile Reviews, August 18

Just the Write Escape, August 19

Genesis 5020, August 20

Purposeful Learning, August 20

Margaret Kazmierczak, August 21

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, August 21

Inklings and notions, August 22

Blogging With Carol, August 22

Maureen’s Musings, August 23

proud to be an autism mom, August 23

Carpe Diem, August 24

A Baker’s Perspective, August 25

Texas Book-aholic, August 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 27

A Reader’s Brain, August 27

Janices book reviews, August 28

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 28

Henry Happens, August 29

Bigreadersite, August 29

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a grand prize of a $30 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/d06d/out-of-north-korea-celebration-tour-giveaway

I love Authors Interview 12 this is Michelynn Christy and Brandi Gabriel

I love Authors Interview 12

Welcome to I love Authors Interview 12. Today we are talking to Michelynn Christy & Brandi Gabriel authors of If He Only Knew – Let’s all give Michelynn Christy & Brandi Gabriel a warm greeting. We are doing a double act today!

Your book If he only knew is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 17th Feb to 2nd March.

Michelynn & Brandi – Yes it is and we are really excited about it.

Hi ladies, it’s a pleasure to have you sitting on my couch today. I think we are going to have some fun today!

Now I want you to imagine that we are on a desert island. This means we are going back to basics.

Michelynn – Desert island? Sounds magnificent, but I think I’m going to let Brandi handle this interview!

Well, you just sit back and enjoy the scenery Michelynn and chip in if you want to.

 

I think Michelynn has gone for a paddle!

So, Brandi, my first question is about books..

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

Brandi – Well, since I am on this desert island, I reckon the book I would crave the most is a survival manual. That would definitely be high on my priority list.

I wonder if there is a chapter on finding missing authors? Only joking, I think that would be a handy book to have in the circumstances.

Brandi – I think Michelynn is waving?

Oh don’t worry about her I’m sure she’s fine, although is that a fin I can see circling her?

 

My next question is about animals!

You are given one wish, but there is a clause which means you can only ask to be an animal. What creature would you like to be?

Brandi – A dolphin, maybe? Then I could just swim my way away from the island. But then I’d have to stay in the sea, huh? I couldn’t really return home. Well… I still think I’d choose a dolphin. At least I’d have plenty to eat in the ocean. If I was a horse, on the other hand, I don’t know if I’d do so hot alone on a desert island.

Just keep away from the sharks Brandi!

 

Brandi – I think I can hear Michelynn shouting something. What’s that, yell a bit louder.

Michelynn – (from a distance) – Choose the dolphin. It’s your best bet. 😉

So while Michelynn is playing with the shark..

You are allowed to invite another person to stay with you on the desert island, which of your characters would you choose and why?

Brandi – Invite? Wait a sec, do I have a carrier pigeon? ‘Cuz that would be awesome. If that were the case, I would definitely invite someone with a boat so they could come pick me up and bring me back to shore!

LOL… Seriously though, probably Preacher Peterson. Not only is he super sweet and a great person to be around, but I think he’d really help me stay positive.

He sounds like a good choice Brandi, he might be able to save Michelynn too!

 

Do you think someone could shoo the hammerhead off please, its time for the last question?

To leave the island, you have to describe your main character in five words, can you tell me what they would be?

Brandi – Beautiful, broken, redeemed, priceless, and courageous. That’s how I would describe Donna.

It sounds like you’ve both written a relatable character in Donna.

 

Well, Brandi, that is all we have time for. Ah here comes Michelynn, did you enjoy your dip?

Michelynn – Yes thank you, shall we do the interview now?

And finally..

Thank you Brandi & Michelynn for joining me today, it has been fun.

B & M -Thank you so much for having us! It’s been a true pleasure. 🙂

I hope you have a successful blog tour. That’s all we have time for readers, so let’s show your appreciation to my guests. No, I don’t mean pass the collection plate around. Put your hands together everyone, Brandi & Michelynn.

Now don’t forget the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post. Comment, enter and smile 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy.

if he only knew fb banner copy

About the Book

Title: If He Only Knew

Author: Michelynn Christy, Brandi Gabriel

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: August 19, 2017

 

It’s 1968, and love is in the air in the small coastal town of Cambridge, California.

Donna Peterson, the preacher’s daughter, has her entire life ahead of her and the future looks promising. But things aren’t as they seem in Cambridge. A tangled web of secrets threatens to destroy the lives of each person involved – Donna, her boyfriend Bobby, and Rick, Bobby’s best friend. Will the truth make them free, or will they lose their friendship forever?

About the Authors

Michelynn Christy
Author Michelynn Christy resides in the Midwest and enjoys creating romantic stories that point to Jesus. Her faith in God shines through the pages of her writing. Michelynn’s debut novelette A Christmas to Remember launched in late 2015. While this pen name and genre are somewhat new to her, she has penned over twenty titles under another pseudonym, has won awards for her works and has earned best-selling title status. With that said, all glory goes to God!
Brandi Gabriel
Brandi Gabriel is co-author of twelve Christian fiction books, including this one. Her first solo novel, The Orphan Bride, released in 2016 and she has since added a sequel in the same series. Her goal in writing is to touch readers’ hearts in some special way and to glorify Jesus Christ, her Lord and Saviour.

Guest Post from Michelynn Christy & Brandi Gabriel

Take a step back in time…

If He Only Knew is a novel set in the late 1960s. The book deals with family relationships, loyalty, friendship, love, and loss. The main topic is somewhat controversial in nature, but we won’t mention what it is lest we spoil the story for readers. A similar book was written in a different genre under another name and the story really resonated with readers. We felt compelled to share this story with others who perhaps wouldn’t pick up that particular genre, and that is how this book came about. It may be set in the sixties, but the message is as relevant today as ever. Our prayer is that God will touch readers’ hearts and draw them closer to Him.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Reading is my Super Power, February 17

A Greater Yes, February 18

proud to be an autism mom, February 18

Texas Book-aholic, February 19

Inklings and notions, February 19

Radiant Light, February 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

Christian Author, J.E.Grace Blog, February 21

Janices book reviews, February 21

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22

A Baker’s Perspective, February 23

Karen Sue Hadley, February 23

Avid Reader Book Reviews, February 24

margaret kazmierczak, February 24 (Interview)

Bigreadersite, February 25

Among the Reads, February 25

Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)

Pursuing Stacie, February 27

Red Headed Book Lady, February 27

Maureen’s Musings, February 28

Carpe Diem, February 28

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 1

Josephine’s Thoughts, March 2

Have A Wonderful Day, March 2

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate their tour, Michelynn and Brandi are giving away the following:

Grand Prize: ONE themed book box, (this will contain small items that relate to the story
1st Place Prize: ONE $25 Amazon gift card,
2nd Place Prize: ONE signed paperback copy of If He Only Knew
3rd Place Prize: ONE signed paperback copy of If He Only Knew!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c601

I love Authors Interview 10 this is Anne Mateer

I love Authors Interview 10

anne_2_web crop

This is Anne Mateer

Welcome to “I love Authors Interview 10 ” on the couch today we have Anne Mateer, author of No Small Storm – Let’s all give Anne a warm greeting.

No Small Storm

I’m so glad Anne you are doing a blog tour with Celebrate Lit from 6th-19th February as it gives me an opportunity to get to know you better.

Have a seat Anne and make yourself comfortable.

Thank you, Margaret, I am happy to be here with you and your readers.

Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Anne Matteer author of No Small Storm

Anne, as you can see we have a lovely picture of a Desert Island in front of us. Now I want you to imagine that you are on this island and I will ask you five questions. Ready for the fun?

Anne –  Yes I am.

Great. My first question is..

Who would you like to be marooned on the island with and why?

Anne – I would definitely pick my husband! After 30 years of marriage, we know when to talk and when to be silent and give each other space. And because his job is very demanding in time and attention, I would enjoy being with him without his phone taking over.  🙂

I expect he will enjoy being with you without interruption too! Oops, that came out the wrong way lol.

 

Let talk about books

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

Anne – I think I would crave Bleak House by Charles Dickens. (It was a hard choice, believe me!) That book would satisfy my need for beautiful usage of language, great character development and story telling, humor, drama, romance, and a very, very long read.

That’s a great choice Anne, and I’m sure Charles Dickens would be impressed with it! I see what you have done there, choosing a long book to read while your husband gets on with building a shelter and making the dinner! Only joking.

And now food..

What food would you miss the most being on a desert island?

Anne – Coffee. Is that a food? It is certainly a necessity of life for me! Could I even survive without it? I’m not sure. My brain simply doesn’t function until I have at least one cup. Some mornings require two. I would miss it in every form, too: black, with cream, latte, flat white or iced!

I think we can allow that Anne as it is what you would miss the most!

 

Ok onto my next question..

You find a piece of paper with a pencil left behind from the previous Author who was shipwrecked here, what encouraging message would you leave for the next cast away?

Anne – I would write “You can view this solitude as a curse or a blessing. Embrace it. Use it. Let it open your eyes to who you are, to what you value most. Humble yourself to face who you truly are and find the courage to become who you want to be when you leave this place. This time alone will either be wasted or it will become the foundation for everything you accomplish as you go from here.” Even as I write these words I know I write them for myself, for I am currently living in a pretty isolated season of life. So far it feels like time wasted, but I don’t want it to end like that. I want this time to be a foundation for something greater in whatever season comes next.

That is really heartfelt Anne. I love these words and pray that you will emerge from your isolated season knowing what God has in store for your future. He has the victory in this season.

Sadly this is my last question..

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

Anne – I would be Alyce from my novel At Every Turn because she is everything I am not: outgoing, adventuresome, confident, impulsive. She decides a course of action and does it without fighting the fear and anxiety that often paralyses me. And yet she lives and acts in such a winsome manner that people like her in spite of her sometimes reckless behavior because they see the compassionate heart that often drives her actions.

What a wonderful character Anne. Perhaps you could step into Alyce’s shoes and practice on the island impersonating her behaviour. You wouldn’t have an audience so you could pretend to be an actor embracing your character’s role. Just a thought.

Time to wrap it up

Well, Anne, I have enjoyed your company very much and it’s been a pleasure to meet you. I hope you have a successful tour and readers will buy your book.

Thank you, Anne, for joining me on my couch. Let’s stand up and give Anne a huge hand (not literally) in appreciation. Yes, you can clap now everyone, the interview is over!

What a lovely lady.

Anne has a GIVEAWAY for you so don’t forget to enter by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. You might need to do this asap as the tour finishes on the 19th. Hoping you are successful 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy.

No Small Storm FB Banner copy

About the Book

No Small Storm

Title: No Small Storm

Author: Anne Matteer

Genre: Historical/Historical Romance

Release Date: August, 2017

 

September 1815, Providence, Rhode Island

Thirty-year-old Remembrance “Mem” Wilkins loves her solitary life running the farm and orchard she inherited from her father and has no plans to give up her independence. Especially not for the likes of Mr. Graham Lott. But when Mem is unable to harvest the apples on her own, she accepts the help of the man she despises.

Simon Brennan

Fresh off a boat from Ireland with his four-year-old son in tow, Simon Brennan secures a building in which to ply his trade as a cobbler. Still healing from the grief of his wife’s death a year earlier, he determines to focus only on providing a good life for his son. But when he intervenes in an argument on behalf of the intriguing Miss Wilkins, sister-in-law of the tavern owner who befriends him, he suddenly finds himself crossways with his landlord, Mr. Lott, and relieved of his lease and most of his money.

With no means of support, Simon takes a job helping Mem with her harvest, relieving her of the need of Lott’s help. But their growing attraction to each other makes them both uneasy. Mem gladly escapes to town when her sister begins labor, and Simon, believing it best to distance himself from Mem, takes his son and leaves.

But neither anticipates the worst gale New England has ever seen—or that the storm will threaten all they hold dear.

About the Author

anne_2_web cropAnne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. She is the author of 4 historical novels, 1 historical novella, and a few contemporary short stories. Anne and her husband of 30 years, Jeff, love to visit their grown children and tour historical sites. They are currently living an empty nest adventure in Austin, TX.

Guest Post from Anne Mateer

A historical story needs to be based on a kernel of fact

I’m always up for a good historical story. It’s what I enjoy reading. It’s what I enjoy writing. But I find that my pleasure in any historical fiction increases exponentially when the story at hand is based on at least a kernel of historical fact. All four of my full-length novels share this trait. So it stood to reason that when turning my mind to a historical novella I would seek the same grounding in truth I’ve sought before.

So what historical fact inspired No Small Storm? It was a combination of them, actually. Which I think always makes for the best tales!

Choosing a historical event

I like an overarching historical event to help frame a story. Things like war or economic crisis or natural disaster. Situations in the historical record which required courage or resilience or sacrifice from the people who lived through them. When I stumbled upon the Great Gale of 1815, which hit Providence, Rhode Island particularly hard, I knew it could provide obstacles for my characters to overcome.

Research

As I began to read about this event—a hurricane before such storms was commonly called hurricanes—I happened upon some first-hand accounts of that day. Fascinating remembrances about a storm arriving without much preamble, then departing and leaving bright sunny skies with which to view the destruction.

And destruction there was! Not only from wind and water but also the fact that both of those things unleashed the ships moored in the harbor and sent them sailing down the main street of town! Can you imagine looking out of the second or third story window of a building which was likely flooded on the ground floor and seeing a ship coming at you?

A glut of  questions

That, in itself, was dramatic enough. Especially when coupled with the fact that those ships often broke apart, whether from wind and waves or from contact with the buildings and bridges they encountered on land. Then I considered the people on those ships? What happened to them? Many were flung into the water, searching for purchase.

The piece de resistance

It was just such a circumstance that brought one man to the window of a young woman. She helped him inside. They were later married. And if finding such a story that isn’t a romance writer’s delight, I don’t know what is!

Finally, as I continued to read about the destruction in the area, I discovered a few lines about area orchards. The hanging fruit was found covered with a dusting of white. When tasted, it was discovered to be salt. Salt from storm surge and sea spray. Salt that saturated, even miles inland. Water and wind—and the salt they carried—ruining fruit crops ready for harvest. What could be more devastating to a farmer than that?

The birth of the book

And so No Small Storm was born, with Remembrance and Simon each trying to make a good life for themselves, each trying to trust God as they work hard. Each keeping careful watch over their heart. But sometimes circumstances take things we don’t want to give. And give things we never imagined possible.

Historical fact and spiritual truth. Characters who are a product of their times as well as universal in their struggles and desires. It’s the kind of story I love to read. And the kind of story I’m proud to write.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Carpe Diem, February 6

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 7

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 7

The Power of Words, February 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 8

Inklings and notions, February 9

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

Kathleen Denly, February 10

History, Mystery & Faith, February 10

Bukwurmzzz, February 11

Views From the Window Friend, February 11

By The Book, February 12

Maureen’s Musings, February 12

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 13

Mary Hake, February 13

proud to be an autism mom, February 14

Connie’s History Classroom, February 14

A Greater Yes, February 15

Janices book reviews, February 15

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 16

A Baker’s Perspective, February 16

Bibliophile Reviews, February 17

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 17 (Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy)

Bigreadersite, February 18

Pink Granny’s Journey, February 19

Pursuing Stacie, February 19

Giveaway

1d68a794-d050-463a-adc6-a003271d72c3To celebrate her tour, Anne is giving away a grand prize of a reader bag of goodies—including a Pride and Prejudice fleece throw, a “reading” charm necklace from Storied Jewelry, a Secret Garden lithograph tote bag, and 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/c604

Hysterical people quickly make judgement on troubled teenager

Hysterical people quickly make judgement on troubled teenager

Have you ever had a judgement day? I have had a few, but one remains in my mind to this day – telling a parent that I had not passed my exams and couldn’t apply for the career I desperately wanted.

In no uncertain terms, I could see the disappointment on his face. His anger welled up, and razor sharp eyes cut me to the quick. I had tried, but there would be no compassion that day. In his judgement, I was a failure, to him especially. I had not come up to his expectations and therefore not his daughter. His daughter would have excelled, been top of the class in everything and someone he could introduce as an extension of himself.

Being a disappointment hurts, its tendrils weave in and out of your heart and mind lying to you that you are not good enough. That judgement convicts you even though you know you are worthy of more. You have not changed from the person you were before, but now you carry the mark of embarrassment. You have become diseased, someone to ridicule and get rid of.  If only my father knew the real me, my heart, my kindness, but he wanted the trophy, the model daughter. He never got over my failure.

Adam, the main character in Kerfuffle suffers too. However, his judgement is by far worse for his crime….

Kerfuffle FB Banner copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

My penny’s worth

What right have we to make a judgement?
Kerfuffle - my book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

Challenging

Kerfuffle by Kirstin N. Spencer is a thought provoking book which in my humble opinion ought to be a must for church discussion groups.

It is brave in its challenge to test Christian beliefs and thinking. Which side of the coin would we fall on I wonder?

What I liked

I found the characters all believable with flaws and thoughts that were in line with the plot. My heart went out to Adam and Sophia whom I could relate to as they coped with their dilemmas. What wonderful friends they had but even here there were surprises.

There is judgement in my church

I recognised faces and sentiments from my own church which made the book feel real and also sad.

Guardianship

How wonderful for Adam that he had such guardians to help him as he came to understand the implications of discovering the root of his secrets.

How helpful and healing it would be if such guardians patrolled our churches with such acceptance and support.

Finding the answers

This book offers Jesus’ answers through biblical verse and encourages the reader to seek mercy and compassion as a solution rather than judgement. This I feel is one of the strong areas in the book.

Would I recommend this book?

This book needed to be written, and I hope more people – both teenager and adults alike, will pick it up and start discussing its contents. Thank you, Kirsten, for your book.

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

About the Book

Kerfuffle Front Cover v3

Book title: Kerfuffle

Author: Kristin N. Spencer

Release date: June 1, 2017

Genre: Young Adult

Olive’s best friend needs her now more than ever, but can she piece together everything in time to help him?

When an anonymous email circulates through Normandie High, everything Olive knows about her family, church, and friends will change. In the midst of controversy, Olive finds she has been entrusted to protect her best friend and his secrets, though revealing them would make her life much easier. Meanwhile, she struggles to figure out what the Bible teaches about homosexuality while the members of Revive church lobby accusations back and forth, threatening to cause a church split.

In a twist that even Olive couldn’t anticipate, family relationships waiver as Olive tries to decode her mother’s mysterious behavior. When the past stirs up new accusations against Olive’s family, she learns that some secrets are more painful to reveal than others.

Though a helpful guy in Spanish class has her attention, Olive realizes that boy problems are the least of her worries. Can she balance drama, schoolwork, and still be the supportive friend and daughter God wants her to be?

About the Author

Kristin Author Photo 2017

Kristin N. Spencer is an American expat living in a 68 square meter flat with her husband and three kids near the Aegean Sea. When she isn’t wifing, mothering, counselling, disciplining, or writing, she enjoys sewing cosplay costumes for her family, baking, and hanging out with other geeks. She writes whatever she wants, including Non-Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. Her favorite person is Jesus and her favorite X-men character is Jean Grey. Kristin studied Comparative World Literature at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelors, which she fondly calls a degree in reading

Guest Post from Kristin N. Spencer

Retrospective thoughts are so powerful, aren’t they? Now that I’m an adult I often look back on my adolescence and think, “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” As a YA author, I read a lot of books in my own genre, and I’ve noticed a pattern. Though many of the secular YA authors are brave enough to talk about the tough stuff, not many Christian authors go after the real world difficulties that face our young people. The passage of time constantly rips through generations creating new problems and situations. The world that my children are growing up in is very different from what I experienced, and the challenges that they face as Christians are also different. The Desires & Decisions series was born out of the need for me to able to address these controversial topics with my own children. Olive, a teenage girl growing up in Southern California, serves as the lens of perspective as we see almost everything from her point of view. Her world provides a safe, fictional place for Christians to flesh out these thoughts and think through what the Bible teaches about topics like racism, bullying, loving one’s neighbor, what real love is and addiction.
Kerfuffle specifically explores the complex emotions associated with the Church and the temptation of same sex attraction. We get to experience the conflict Olive feels and also witness the varied reactions from different generations through Olive’s parents and other members of Revive Church. This issue isn’t going away, and as a Church, we must be able to talk about it without alienating ourselves from those that struggle with this temptation. There is hope for every person through the blood of Jesus Christ, whether you struggle to love those who experience same sex attraction or you struggle with that temptation yourself. I hope Kerfuffle encourages you as you seek to walk closer to Christ.

Blog Stops

August 15: Bukwurmzzz

August 16: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 17: Ashley’s Bookshelf

August 18: Blogging With Carol

August 19: Just the Write Escape

August 20: Carpe Diem

August 21: A Reader’s Brain

August 22: Remembrancy

August 23: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 24: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 25: Baker Kella

August 26: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 27: The Power of Words (Spotlight)

August 28: JosephineAnneWrites

Giveaway

99e7dfe6-edf5-4da0-baa7-6730722c53de

To celebrate her tour, Kristin is giving away a grand prize of all three of her books: Newfangled, Flummoxed, and Kerfuffle and a T-shirt of your choice from the WritersLife Artist Shop (https://writerslife.threadless.com)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb66 – this giveaway is now closed.