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

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To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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/d8a4/on-the-rails-celebration-tour-giveaway

I love Authors Interview 29 Jodie Wolfe

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Jodie Wolfe author of To Claim Her Heart

I love Authors Interview 29

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Jodie Wolfe author of To Claim Her Heart

Welcome to I love Authors Interview 29. On my couch today I am delighted to introduce you to Jodie Wolfe author of To Claim Her Heart. This book is on tour with Celebrate Lit from June 19-July 2.

I love Authors Interview Margaret Kazmierczak talks to Jodie Wolfe author of To Claim Her Heart

Click here to purchase your copy!

Readers, please show your appreciation for Jodie Wolfe. Alright, that’s enough you’re not trying to call the sheepdog to heal. Crumbs, where did you get this audience?

Thank you, Jodie, for coming along today and partaking in my desert island interview. If you are comfortable we shall begin?

Jodie – Yes of course fire away Margaret.

It can get lonely on the desert island so..

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

Jodie – I would definitely choose my heroine, Elsie Smith. She has the know-how to get a homestead up and running so she would be a great asset.

Elsie Smith sounds like a pioneer with attitude, which no doubt will serve her well in any situation. And would be useful on the desert island.  Sounds like a great choice Jodie.

I can hear the sea lapping and see the cloudless sky, it’s so peaceful..

On the island you have time to think, can you tell me why you decided to become a writer?

Jodie – I felt God’s call to write ever since I was a young girl and started writing my first stories.

I see from your comments in “About the Author” below that you were bitten by the writing bug after reading and watching “Little House on the Praire.” I’m not surprised this family show helped to light your creative candle. Coupled with God’s gift you had a playground of possibilities to draw from.

However, you need the right climate to write and..

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

Jodie – Most definitely cold weather. Give me a cold, winter day with snow falling outside, and I’m snug and warm watching it from my window as I write.

So the hot weather of the island may not be best suited to your creativity. Never mind you can relax instead and take in a few rays as Elsie Smith whips up a cabin or two!

We haven’t mentioned food yet..

Jodie, you are allowed one favourite meal on the island what would it be?

Jodie – It would be the meal that I order whenever we go to Texas Roadhouse – ribeye steak, a sweet potato, and salad. Yummy! 🙂

I’m sure Elsie could rustle up something but it might be more like sharkeye rib steak, a sweet shell and seaweed! Shame it doesn’t quite have the same allure as your favourite meal.

That delicacy might have you running for the waves..

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

Jodie – Strong, independent, determined, committed, and stubborn.

I wonder if these characteristics are based on one of the members in The House on the Praire? I just thought I would throw that out there.

Well, that’s all the questions I have for you Jodie. It’s been a pleasure to talk with you and to take a trip to my desert island.

Readers, please be upstanding for Jodie Wolfe. Yes, ok you can whistle now.

Jodie – Thank you Margaret, I have enjoyed our time together.

What a lovely lady. Now don’t forget Jodie has a GIVEAWAY at the end of this blog so please enter for a chance to win.

If you have enjoyed I love Authors Interview 29 please comment below and tell me what you think. This interview was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak, writer, blogger and all-round good egg. (Alright you can stop laughing now.)

To Claim Her heart @JodieAWolfe #book on tour with @Celebrate_Lit read #bookreview & enter #free #giveaway Click To Tweet

About the Book

To claim her heart

Title: To Claim Her Heart

Author: Jodie Wolfe

Release Date: May 14, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

 

In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his ‘Promised Land’. Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancee, but he didn’t count on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he sadly lacks.

Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith’s only hope for survival, but not just any plot will do. She has a specific one in mind. The plot’s not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. Elsie’s willing to do whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and she determined to keep it, but she wasn’t planning on a kind, handsome preacher standing in her way.

Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land … or her heart.

About the Author

JodieJodie Wolfe got bitten by the writing bug as a young girl after reading and watching Little House on the Prairie. She creates novels where hope and quirky meet. The power of story to influence lives and change hearts is what motivates her to weave tales that tell of the Savior’s faithfulness and forgiveness. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, June 19

Texas Book-aholic, June 19

Blossoms and Blessings, June 20

Remembrancy, June 20

Novels corner, June 21

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 21

Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 22

Connie’s History Classroom, June 22

Among the Reads, June 23

Margaret Kazmierczak, June 23 (Interview)

History, Mystery & Faith, June 24

Reading is my Super Power, June 24  (Interview)

Vicky Sluiter, June 25

Two Points of Interest, June 26

proud to be an autism mom, June 26

Splashes of Joy, June 27

Bibliophile Reviews, June 27

A Baker’s Perspective, June 28

Pause for Tales, June 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 29

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 30

Red Headed Book Lady, June 30

Janices book reviews, July 1

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 1

Bigreadersite, July 2

Godly Book Reviews, July 2

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jodie is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cf88/to-claim-her-heart-celebration-tour

How to listen to God when He speaks.

Listen - Margaret Kazmierczak reviews John David's Calling by Caryl McAdoo
Listen

So many people have told me that God doesn’t listen, let alone speak to us. Well, I beg to differ. God is alive and trying to make His voice heard above the chatter. I missed His message not so long ago to my detriment.

Recently I needed a new car, and with instinct and common sense, I looked over one that seemed to fit the bill, at least from the advert. On the way to the person selling the car, I heard DON’T BUY IT. I stayed quiet and dismissed the warning. After viewing the vehicle and going for a spin in it, all seemed fine. We did a deal, and a few days later I picked the car up.

The car drove well all the way up to my son’s, and there I handed over the keys to him. A week later the car broke down, one of many such incidents to come. Each time it was the turbo and caused my son hours of cold waits on the hard shoulder of the motorway. He became more dissatisfied with my buy, and I embarrassed that I had bought a lemon. I ought to have listened to the voice, but I didn’t. Instead, I tested it thinking I knew better. What a fool I was not to listen.

Proverbs 18:2 (NLT)

Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.

John David’s Calling by Caryl McAdoo is full of wisdom as the main character turns to listen to the Lord for His answers.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews John David's Calling by Caryl McAdoo

My Penny’s Worth

How to listen to God when He speaks

John David’s Calling is a satisfying story of how to listen to God when He speaks. This young man of twenty, Caryl McAdoo’s strong central character, portrays the dilemma’s of a young man desperately trying to live a Godly life while courting his sweetheart. His love for his girl, however, is nothing compared to his love of God. He too heard God speak, but he listened unlike me!

What I liked

The story portrays the obedience God requires of his people in a relatable way. It deals with a personal faith that involves the Holy Spirit, miracles and revival. John David strives to listen to God’s promptings but has to convince his young lady that it is the right journey for the both of them. The action is like a pendulum, swinging from John David to Sandy. From the wise to the spoilt child. There were times when I wanted to take Sandy to one side and tell her she was unreasonable. It took me time to warm to this young lady; a credit to the writing which aroused such feelings.

The admirable portrayal of what Hannah wants and God’s will for John David is woven throughout the storyline.  A struggle that is known to us all. We are called to do God’s bidding but do we have the courage to do so? It requires faith, trust and dependence. Does John David have these qualities? You will have to read the book to find out!

The sentence I loved

I loved Caryl McAdoo’s description of the rising sun. “The rising sun splashed the sky with so many colours and shades that if an artist painted it exactly as it was, viewers would claim it didn’t look real.” I want to see that painting!

The rising sun splashed the sky with so many colours and shades that if an artist painted it exactly as it was, viewers would claim it didn’t look real. #JohnDavid'sCalling #CarylMcAdoo Click To Tweet
And there is more?

Thankfully this is the beginning of a new series, and I am looking forward to travelling with John David and Hannah to their next destination. I feel the apparent slowness (which is just a personal opinion) of this first book at times, will be superceded by a great tale as the couple take up their first challenge. I am really looking forward to book two.

Would I recommend John David’s calling?

I believe this is a great book for showing how God can work in our lives when we listen to His word and utterings. Miracles do happen in the way they are described in the book. They are not just stories. I am glad that Caryl McAdoo has written this story and hope that others will find it an eye-opener in what God can do in our life when we put Him first.

So what should I award this book, well I would like to give it ***** stars

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

Don’t forget Caryl’s GIVEAWAY at the end of this article and to read her guest post that tells more about this new series. It’s well worth reading. 🙂

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

 

Listen - Margaret Kazmierczak reviews John David's Calling by Caryl McAdooTitle: John David’s Calling

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: May, 2018

 

When much is given, much is required.

Everything comes easy to David Nightingale. The favored son of Cypress Springs comes of age in the Texas Hill Country with one foot in PawPaw’s Church of Christ and the other in Gramp’s Holiness Church. He loves tilling the soil, traipsing the back woods varmint hunting, and most of all Hannah Claire. But the Lord calls him to leave everything. Will he choose to follow or succumb to his love for Hannah? If he stays, can he have it all?

About the Author

Listen - Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Caryl McAdoo's book John David's CallingCaryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and a quick scroll through her novels’ rankings by Christian readers attests to the Father’s faithfulness. She loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs He gives her—look her up on YouTube to hear a few. Her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-two years ago, and now they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

At just one-year-old, David John Prescott sat on the hip of his mother, Sandra Louise Harris Prescott in the end of CHIEF OF SINNERS, book ten (and last) of my Texas Romance Family Saga series. His biological father, Buddy Nightingale walked away from them both, choosing obedience to God over the love of his life and his son.

Staunch Church of Christ believers, his mother’s parents took in the baby while her guilt took her to Dallas and eventually France to oversee the care of her mentally deranged husband Harry Prescott. So David grew up in the Texas Hill Country, well loved and cared for, with his mother visiting as often as she can.

Nathaniel Nightingale

David’s paternal grandfather, Nathaniel Nightingale (from Texas Romance’s book eight and nine COVERING LOVE and MIGHTY TO SAVE)—once a famous tent preacher with a healing ministry—has been close, quitting the road to pastor a nearby Holiness Church. As David grows, he sees him occasionally when his father Buddy visits from Alabama and Gramps always came to watch him play sports.

Book One

From a long line of people who love the Lord, I thought to write a trilogy titled THE REVIVALIST. JOHN DAVID’S CALLING is book one.

At fourteen years of age, David stepped in to rescue a little third grader being bullied and instantly became her hero. As Hannah Claire grew, doting on him, making him gifts and cards, swooning, she won him over, and PawPaw allowed him to visit her church one Sunday a month.

Second Book & Third Book

The second book in the Trilogy will be HANNAH’S WILDERNESS, and then I’ll wrap up their stories with book three, KING DAVID’S TABERNACLE.

I’ve so enjoyed these characters—the Buckmeyers, Baylors, and Nightingales—I find it hard put them on the shelf. They’re like family. I’ve even got one story started that’s a contemporary called THE KING OF TEXAS, with Patrick Henry the III as hero.

As all are written to stand alone, it’s never necessary for readers to know all the ancestors to enjoy JOHN DAVID’S CALLING or any of the series really—though I’m pretty certain reading the Family Saga in order would be the best! So if you love David’s book, you might want to go back to VOW UNBROKEN, book one and read all ten. I think you’re sure to love them all!

We have something in common

One thing I love about this JOHN DAVID’S CALLING is that it takes place in my days. I graduated high school in 1968, same as David, so he lives through the same times as me! That’s really been fun. But I must say I do resent it being called a historical a little J LOL

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

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, May 24

cherylbbookblog, May 24

Quiet Quilter, May 25

Bibliophile Reviews, May 26

Texas Book-aholic, May 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28

A Greater Yes, May 28

Janices book reviews, May 29

Margaret Kazmierczak, May 30

Maureen’s Musings, May 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 31

Bigreadersite, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

Connie’s History Classroom, June 2

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, June 3

Splashes of Joy, June 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 4

ansel book blog, June 5

Pursuing Stacie, June 5

proud to be an autism mom, June 6

Carpe Diem, June 6

Giveaway

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To 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!!

I love Authors Interview 13 this is Carrie Turansky

I love Authors Interview 13
carrie
This is Carrie Turansky

Welcome everyone to I love Authors Interview 13. On my couch, today is Carrie Turansky, author of Across the Blue, which is on tour with Celebrate Lit from 22nd Feb to 7th March. Let’s all give Carrie a warm greeting.

Acrosstheblue

 

It’s lovely to have you here today Carrie.

Carrie – Thank you for inviting me, Margaret.

In order to get to know you better I have five questions to ask you, however, I need you to imagine that we are on a desert island as they are themed around that setting.

Carrie – Sounds interesting and different.

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

Carrie – I would definitely want my husband to be marooned with me. He loves adventure and is a great problem solver. I’m sure he’d take great care of us, and we’d find some fun ways to enjoy our time together.

It sounds like you would make the whole experience of being stranded a positive one! So we could leave you there for some time – only joking!

Let’s have a question about food now..

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

Carrie – We’d probably have a lot of tropical fruit. I’d enjoy that, but I might miss the smoothies I make most days for breakfast.

Well, we could let you have a blender, however, it wouldn’t be much use without electricity. Here’s an outside the box suggestion – perhaps you could get your husband to do a workout by squashing the fruit instead to make a smoothy!

As you explore the island..

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?

Carrie – Enjoy your time on the island! It’s not every day you get to spend a few days on a lovely sunny beach without many responsibilities.

Carrie, I love your positive encouragement. I am sure that will help the next island guest.

 

I want to ask you about your book next..

What favourite sentence do you like from your most recent published book?

Carrie – “Hope can become a reality if we work hard to do our part and trust the Lord to do the rest.”

That is so true of life Carrie. Hope is such a powerful force when it is aligned with God’s will for us. A lovely sentence to inspire us all to read your book.

What a shame this is my last question..

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

Bella Grayson is intelligent, determined, creative, adventurous, and caring.

What wonderful attributes to have. I’m sure my readers will find her an interesting character to read about.

Carrie, this has been fun, thank you for joining me on my couch today. Please give Carrie a huge round of applause.

Carrie – It’s been a pleasure, thank you, Margaret.

Don’t forget at the end of this post-Carrie has a GIVEAWAY so carry on reading and enter for a chance to win.

I love Authors Interview 13 was invented by Margaret Kazmierczak – I hope you enjoyed it.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

 

AcrosstheblueTitle: Across the Blue

Author: Carrie Turansky

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 20, 2018

 

An Edwardian romance

Love soars to new heights in this Edwardian romance filled with adventure, faith, and inspiration, but how much will it cost Bella and James to follow their dreams?

Isabella Grayson

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to be the first to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year.

James Drake

When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to win that race across the Channel and gain the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

About the Author

carrieCarrie Turansky

Carrie Turansky has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of nineteen inspirational romance novels and novellas.

Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and five grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends through her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Following your Dreams

By Carrie Turansky

BellaIn Across the Blue, Bella Grayson and James Drake both go to great lengths to pursue their dreams. Bella longs to become a journalist and write for one of her father’s newspapers, but in 1909 England, aristocratic young women did not work as journalists. A young woman’s path was set by the unwritten rules of society. At eighteen she was presented at court, and then she took part in the London social season and hoped for a marriage proposal from a young man from a wealthy family, with an estate and title. Marriage, having children, and taking part in social and charitable events was the prescribed course for their lives.

Against the norm

But Bella has a different future in mind. She wants to marry for love, and she won’t settle for anything less. There are also articles she wants to write. Articles about the important events of the day that will inform and inspire people. Bella wants to be a world changer, and that is a very unique role for a woman in England in the Edwardian Era. At that time women didn’t have the right to vote yet and very few pursued any kind of career.

James Drake

JamesAirplaneJames is an aviation pioneer, and his dream is to build an airplane that will allow him to be the first to fly across the English Channel. This is no easy accomplishment, and he faces many challenges as he pursues his dream. Aviation is brand new. Wilbur Wright demonstrated his airplane in France the year before and stunned Europeans with his skill. With the help of his mentor, Professor Steed, James conducts experiments, refines his design, and makes countless test flights. It takes great courage and determination to overcome setbacks and make it through near fatal crash landings, but James has his heart and mind set on perfecting his airplane and reaching his goal.

Exploring your dreams

74fdde720c5ae29bd4c7672fe3b6f205What about you, what hopes and dreams do you have for your future? Contemplate the goals that you would like to accomplish. As you think about your dreams and future plans I hope you’ll gain some insight from James and Bella’s experiences in Across the Blue. When they considered the cost of pursuing their dreams they realized their plans and choices impacted others as well as themselves. James and Bella believed striving for their dreams is important, but they learned it must be balanced with commitments to family and friends, and most of all a commitment to following the Lord on the path He has for them.

Being in alignment with God’s plan for us

AcrossSpineFollowing our dreams and working toward accomplishing our goals, especially those the Lord puts on our heart, is important. However, sometimes we may have to put our dreams on hold and wait for the right time and season. We don’t need to be discouraged when this happens. As we listen to the Lord and ask Him to guide and direct us He will show us the right path at the right time to follow it.

Just like James and Bella I hope you’ll pursue your dreams but also hold them with an open hand, allowing the Lord to guide and direct you each step of the way. When you do I’m confident you’ll be headed toward seeing your dreams become reality in His time and in His way. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

With that wonderful promise in mind, I hope you’ll enjoy reading Across the Blue and joining Bella and James as they pursue their dreams. You’re in for high-flying adventure, romance, and inspiration, and I can’t wait to share this new story with you. Happy reading to you!

Blog Stops

Bookworm Mama, February 22

Carpe Diem, February 22

Blogging With Carol, February 22

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 23

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 23

Karen Sue Hadley, February 23

Christian Bookaholic, February 24

Mary Hake, February 24

Among the Reads, February 24

The Power of Words, February 25

History, Mystery & Faith, February 25

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 25

Maureen’s Musings, February 26

Rachel’s Back Talk, February 26

Smiling Book Reviews, February 26

Radiant LightFebruary 27

Faithfully BookishFebruary 27

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 27

Bibliophile Reviews, February 28

Remembrancy, February 28

Two Points of Interest, February 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 1

Book by Book, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

proud to be an autism mom, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 2

Have A Wonderful Day, March 2

margaret kazmierczak, March 2 (Interview)

Pursuing Stacie, March 3

Neverending Stories, March 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 3

Texas Book-aholic, March 4

Janices book reviews, March 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 4

Simple Harvest Reads, March 4 (Guest post from Mindy)

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 5

My Writer’s Life, March 5

Baker Kella, March 5

Kat’s Corner Books, March 6

A Greater Yes, March 6

A Baker’s Perspective, March 6

Romances of the Cross, March 7

Henry Happens, March 7

For The Love of Books, March 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a grand prize of an autographed copy of Shine Like the Dawn and $30 gift card to Christianbooks.com!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c987

Secrets, love and an old mystery – Phoebe’s light

I love a good mystery, and when looking into my family history, I found quite a few. Imagine my delight when I found some missing ancestors on foreign shores after a clue in a letter written 100 years ago. Who would have thought that a mention of a snake in the garden the vital key?

Pheobes Light FB banner copy

My Penny’s worth

Because of my love of research, I felt drawn to read Phoebe’s Light when I saw the synopsis referring to Great Mary’s journal. Clues from the past, written in a diary alluring to a mystery for the main character to solve. I rubbed my hands in glee and expectation of a good read. Added to this I knew nothing about Quakers so my interest increased.

Strong women

What is it about strong women that men find hard to cope with? Phoebe’s Light certainly has its fill with powerful ladies. Great Mary came through as one trying to live on an island as a pioneer, her tenacity being a driving force in getting matters done, but does her love life suffered for it? Then you have Phoebe’s determination to marry Captain Phineas Foulger and leave her unadventurous life behind causing all sorts of problems for her husband. How does he deal with a headstrong woman? I doubt you will guess the answer to this!

There she blows or does she?

With the tempting lure of adventure and mystery from the blurb, I was surprised that I had to wait until halfway through the book to experience some action. Indeed the slow build up, although introducing the characters and the parts they play in the story, gave me an inkling of what a journey on a whaling ship might have been like. I could understand the crew’s restlessness waiting to sight a whale. I stood in the crow’s nest expectant, but the sea ahead remained devoid of the treasure they sought.

Did I like this book?

I wanted to like this book and continued to read it because I needed to know what the mystery in Great Mary’s journal was. However, at times I found the inclusion of some diary entries superfluous and didn’t always flow in line with the story.

Which character impressed me?

In my opinion, Matthew Mitchell lifted the book with his flawed character, and I enjoyed the honesty that he bought to the storyline about his faith.

Who might like this book?

I think readers who are interested in 17th-century American history might like this book, with its emphasis on Quakers, Nantucket and Whaling.

Thank you, Suzanne Woods Fisher, for writing Phoebe’s Light. I will give it 4 stars.

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

Suzanne has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Book

Phoebe's Light-Book Cover

Title: Phoebe’s Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

 

Odd Gifts

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

The book of secrets

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

About the Author

Fisher_SuzanneWoodsSuzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s CrossingThe Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Stroll down Petticoat Row

Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air.

Nantucket Women

Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women.

From inspiration to paper

Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world.

First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it.

After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip!

Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sugar

2 ¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup raisins

2 cup grated carrots (4 large)

1 apple, shredded

8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained

½ cup pecans or walnuts

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well.

Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well.

Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café

Blog Stops

Aryn The LibraryanFebruary 15

A Simply Enchanted Life, February 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, February 15

Kaylee’s Kind of Writes, February 15

Girls in White Dresses Blog, February 16

With a Joyful Noise, February 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16

A Greater Yes, February 16

ASC Book Reviews, February 17

Locks, Hooks and BooksFebruary 17

Book by Book, February 17

Texas Book-aholic, February 18

The Power of Words, February 18

Two Points of Interest, February 18

Splashes of JoyFebruary 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 19

Karen Sue Hadley, February 19

Blossoms and BlessingsFebruary 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 20

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 20

All of a kind Mom, February 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 20

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 21

Baker Kella, February 21

Mommynificent, February 21

Janices book reviews, February 21

Lighthouse Academy, February 22

Readers cozy corner, February 22

Mary Hake, February 22

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22

Pause for Tales, February 23

Have A Wonderful Day, February 23

Faery Tales Are Real, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, February 24

Among the Reads, February 24

Carpe Diem, February 24

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, February 25

Red Headed Book Lady, February 25

Just the Write Escape, February 25

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

By The Book, February 26

For The Love of Books, February 26

Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26

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

Maureen’s Musings, February 27

Connie’s History ClassroomFebruary 27

proud to be an autism mom, February 27

Bigreadersite, February 27

Bibliophile Reviews, February 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 28

Pink Granny’s Journey, February 28

Pursuing Stacie, February 28

 

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