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Top 10 Tuesday — Books with Ocean (References) in The Title

6 Apr

Happy Tuesday! Today’s Top 10 Tuesday challenge is listing books that I would throw in the ocean. Uh, even if I don’t like a book, I am not sure I could throw it into the ocean! So instead I am listing books with ocean (or ocean references) in their titles. They include historical fiction, contemporary romance, and suspense — something for everyone!

Have you ever wanted to throw a book in the ocean? (Or at least across the room? 😉 )

For more Top Tuesday posts, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books with Ocean References in The Title

A Bridge Across The Ocean by Susan Meissner

A Christmas by The Sea by Melody Carlson

Far Side of The Sea by Kate Breslin

The Inn at Ocean’s Edge by Colleen Coble

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

The Turning Tide by Melody Carlson

A Vast And Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

Blog Tour with Giveaway! — A Wish for Home

1 Apr

A Wish For Home JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Wish for Home by Jo Ann Brown, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Wish For HomeTitle: A Wish for Home
Series: Secrets of Bliss Valley #1
Author: Jo Ann Brown
Publisher: Love Inspired Trade
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Genre: Christian contemporary romance/Amish

Caught between who she is…and who she was.

Lauren Nolt hasn’t forgiven the Amish community of Lancaster County for shunning her parents. But returning as a successful Englischer working for large developers is just what she needs to get a promotion and give her parents the life they deserve. Coming face-to-face with her childhood bully, Amish widower Adam Hershberger, is the last thing she wants. Yet when her world’s shaken by a shocking discovery, Adam’s the only one she can confide in…

Adam’s never forgiven himself for the part he played in Lauren’s past, nor what drove him to do it. But as developers threaten his great-grossdawdi’s farm, she’s the only one who can help. And with his little girl determined to bring him and Lauren together at every turn, keeping his distance is impossible. Now they must learn to trust each other—even as their secret feelings grow stronger. But is love enough to bridge the gap between their very different worlds?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Walmart | BookBub

The trade paperback version of A Wish for Home is available exclusively at your local Walmart or Walmart.com

EXCERPT

Where was a fairy godmother when she needed one?

Or a lamp with a genie ready to pop out and grant her three wishes?

Lauren knew what the very first one would have been. She wanted to be anywhere but where she was now. Stuck in a storm with Adam Hershberger instead of being at her comfy hotel in Lancaster, reviewing the materials for her presentation tomorrow morning.

She couldn’t say such things to the man staring at her as if she were some bug. She doubted he’d understand. He’d get the urgency of preparing for her meeting, but not the fairy-tale references.

When her parents had jumped the fence and Lauren had entered a public high school, she’d had to take a crash course in the common cultural references everyone else took for granted. She’d read every fairy tale and watched endless Disney movies in an effort to figure out what her new classmates were talking about. Of course, she’d never believed those charming tales were true, but right now she sure wished one or two of them were. She could have used a magic carpet to fly her to Lancaster.

Explaining what had happened to her boss Patrick Giacchino—Don’t call me Pat!—was something she didn’t look forward to doing either. No one was ever supposed to bring him bad news. She guessed her rival Cassie filled his ears with everything he wanted to hear, so Lauren would have to choose her words carefully.

Her boss wasn’t her problem now. Adam Hershberger was. She didn’t lower her eyes as he continued to stare with his cool, brown eyes. He’d tried to intimidate her before, and she wouldn’t let him do that again. Not with his steady gaze and not with his unexpected good looks. The last time she’d been in his company, he’d been a pimply-faced kid. His face hadn’t been as sculpted. He’d seldom smiled. The few times he had was when he was about to do something to annoy her or Naomi. Or when he was exulting with his friends about what nasty thing one of them had done to aggravate her and Naomi.

She couldn’t help wondering whom Adam had convinced to marry him. Though he didn’t wear a wedding ring—no plain man did—his beard, which followed the strong line of his jaw, was an announcement to the world he’d spoken his vows with his chosen bride. Whom had he married? 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jo Ann Brown

Publishers Weekly bestselling author Jo Ann Brown has created characters and stories for as long as she can remember. After college, serving as a US Army quartermaster officer, getting married and increasing her blessings with three children, she sold her first book in 1987. Since then, she has sold over one hundred titles. RT Book Reviews called her “a truly talented author.” She loves teaching and established the romance writing course at Brown University. She divides her time between Florida and Massachusetts with her husband of over forty years. Find out more about Jo Ann and her books at www.joannbrownbooks.com.

CONNECT WITH JO ANN: Website


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Wish for Home!

A Wish for Home JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 30, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 6, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Blog Tour — Harvest Moon

31 Mar

Harvest Moon JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Harvest Moon by Jenny Knipfer, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Harvest MoonTitle: Harvest Moon
Series: By the Light of the Moon #4
Author: Jenny Knipfer
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: November 23, 2020
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

A tale of finding grace and blessing amongst life’s hardships

In the wilds of 19th century Ontario, Maang-ikwe, a young Ojibwe woman, falls into a forbidden love, breaks her father’s honor, and surrenders her trust to someone who betrays it. The abuse she suffers divides her from her tribe and causes her to give up what she holds most dear.

Niin-mawin must come to grips with his culture being ripped away from him. Brought up in a “white man’s” school, he suffers through an enforced “civilized” education and separation from his family. When a man he respects reveals a secret about Niin-mawin’s past, he embarks on a search for the person he hopes can mend the part of his heart that’s always been missing.

Both Maang-ikwe and Niin-mawin wonder how a harvest of pain and sorrow will impact their lives. Will they find the blessings amongst the hardships, or will they allow the results of division and abuse to taint their hearts forever?

Fans of historical fiction, Native American fiction, Christian historical fiction, clean romance, and literary fiction will be moved by this deep, heartfelt novel.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub

EXCERPT

My mother always said that one day I’d get ripped open by my stubbornness, and she was right. It’s my fool, stubborn heart which led to Ignacio’s banishment and will most likely lead to mine. 

A harvest moon of orange glows in the evening sky like a pumpkin guiding my steps. My feet squash down the mounded soil as I walk through the corn in the field. I hope I have not been followed. I turn my head to watch, but I see no one in the shadows. Some spidery strands of corn silk cling to my hide dress. Tufts of silk spring from the corn ears, brown and brittle like an old woman’s hair. 

I walk deeper into the maze of stalks. Wide, curved leaves as big as my arm cling to me as I pass. Most are dry and they crunch as I wade into them. They are reluctant to see me go. Perhaps the corn wonders when I will ripen. 

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenny Knipfer

Jenny Knipfer lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling. Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.

She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association. Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set.

She is currently writing a new historical fiction series entitled, Sheltering Trees. The first title in that series, In a Grove of Maples,—inspired by the lives of her grandparents in the late 1890’s—is slated for summer of 2021.

CONNECT WITH JENNY: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

Harvest Moon JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 29, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 5, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Top 10 Tuesday — Lovely Book Hometowns

30 Mar

I have always been a small town girl, at least in my heart. I grew up in a large-ish town, but as an adult found myself enjoying small town living. I like less traffic, feeling a part of a community, and knowing people when I shop, dine, or recreate. I am aware of the pitfalls of small town life, (people knowing your business at number 1 😉 ), but still prefer to live in my small town. It was great raising children here too!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about favorite book settings that you could live in. It’s no wonder that I chose small towns, both real and fictional.

In what book setting would you like to call your hometown?

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Settings I Could Live In

Blackberry Springs, Alabama — where newcomers can find family, awesome swimming hole

Chawton, England (post-WWII) — it’s where Jane Austen lived!

Edisto Island, South Carolina — southern coastal town, great seafood restaurants, nearby Charleston

Hope Harbor, Oregon — beautiful landscape, interesting mix of new and long-time residents, quirky taco truck owner, engaging seagulls

Maryville, Mississippi — great neighbors, a chance to get involved in the community

St. Simons Island, Georgia — coastal town with a small town feel, artsy, community commitment to important issues

Three Sisters Island, Maine — quirky and independent citizens, wonderful family vacation camp

Book Launch — Providence

27 Mar

Welcome to the book launch of Providence by Jennifer Sienes hosted by Celebrate Lit!

About The Book

Book:  Providence

Author: Jennifer Sienes

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Release date: April 13, 2021

How can she forgive a man she isn’t sure she ever knew?

Melissa Bainbridge doesn’t have time to grieve. She has three kids to feed, bills stacked high enough to crush her, and guilt–oh so much guilt.

When her husband’s death is  ruled a suicide, her financial stability and identity die with the man she now wonders if she ever knew.  How could he choose to leave them like this?  How could she have lived with him for 15 years and not known of his fragile mental health?

A journey of discovery reveals more questions than answers until Melissa finally faces her fears and tries to understand the mind of the man she thought she knew and never did.

The journey from despair to hope leads Melissa beyond grief and into the light of forgiveness in Providence.

EXCERPT

Where the Wild Things Are,”I repeat for the crowd. “By Maurice Sendak.” I turn the page and begin to read. Eli tucks his head beneath my chin, and I inhale. When did the aroma of a sweaty boy become so endearing?

Can life get any better than this?

I let this morning’s argument with Trevor dissipate in the lyrical prose—forget the last two weeks of his getting home later and later. Chalk up his recent moodiness to artistic temperament and embrace gratitude.

A Shirley Temple lookalike leans against my thigh, and I flash her a smile. Is that grape jelly staining the corners of her mouth? I suppose it would be awkward to fish a tissue from my pocket and wipe it.

Eli takes charge of the page-turning until…

“The end.” With a flourish, I close the book. Ten pairs of eyes look up at me as if waiting for an encore.

“Read it again,” Eli demands.

“Yeah,” a couple voices chime in.

“How about this?” I struggle to get my larger-than-child-size fanny out of the beanbag nest, then hand the book to Eli. “Why don’t you read it aloud for everyone?”

He scrunches up his nose. “Okay.”

Purchase Link

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing–and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies – two in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

EXCERPTS

Excerpt One:  https://vickysluitercom.wordpress.com/book-tours/
Excerpt Two:  https://beckiebythebook.com/2021/03/27/book-launch-providence/
Excerpt Three:  https://janemouttet.wordpress.com/2021/03/27/book-launch-excerpt-providence/
Excerpt Four:  http://www.simpleharvestreads.com/posts/providence-book-excerpt/
Excerpt Five:  https://abakersperspective.com/providence-by-jennifer-sienes/
Excerpt Six:  https://litteraegaudium.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/providence-epic-book-launch/
Excerpt Seven:  https://www.susankbeatty.com/providence-by-jennifer-sienes/

Top 10 Tuesday — Ruin A Book With One Letter (Or Two)

23 Mar

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday challenge is Funny Titles. I posted on that not too long ago, and frankly I don’t read many funny books, so the titles aren’t either. So I decided to share the ever popular Ruined Titles. Basically, you change one or two letters of one of the words in a book’s title so that a great read becomes, well, ruined. 😉 My apologies to the authors.

For more funny titles, make sure to visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Ruined Book Titles

All Manner of Strings by Susie Finkbeiner

small town sewing

Collision of Pies by Tom Threadgill

pastry train derailment

Daughters of Northern Snores by Joanne Bischof

sleeping in Scandinavia

Echoes Among The Scones by Jaime Jo Wright

past mystery in a pastry shop

Facing The Lawn by Cynthia Ruchti

grief and lawn care

The Mouse at The End of The Moor by Michelle Griep

Victorian city and country mice

On A Coastal Sneeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher

love and hay fever in Maine

The Traitor’s Prawn by Lisa Harris

Chinese spies and seafood

Under a Turquoise Sty by Lisa Carter

desert pig farming

Book Spotlight — Facing The Dawn

15 Mar

facing the dawn

About The Book

Book:  Facing the Dawn

Author: Cynthia Ruchti

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release date: March 2, 2021

Facing the Dawn-Book CoverMara Jacobs has been struggling. While her humanitarian husband is digging wells in Africa and caring for widows and orphans, Mara has been battling the home front—working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage three detention-prone kids, and suffering from exhaustion and depression. Even her own marriage is deteriorating after a three-year separation.

Then Liam’s absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara leans on those around her to find her way to healing and renewed faith, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten . . . or unloved.

Facing the Dawn is an emotionally evocative novel that will resonate with readers’ lives and their life challenges. Hemmed in hope, this tender story will be one readers will not soon forget.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions:

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti wrecked me. And reached me. I don’t think I have ever read a novel more Spirit-filled than this one. Oh, its genre is women’s fiction, but the story that unfolds is one we all face at one time or another. I don’t mean that our lives will mirror main character Mara Jacob’s, but that we all face loss — of loved ones or security or dreams. And God can seem so far away and our lives so parched that we feel we will shrivel up. At first the story seemed too much. But as Ruchti weaves the hope through the hopeless, we see glimpses of God’s grace, mercy, and provision. I may be making this book sound super-religious. It’s not. It’s about how God can take our hurts and turn them into something useful and beautiful. Mara’s internal voice is snarky and so human. I loved that Ruchti did not shy away from Mara expressing anger and lostness. Supporting characters, and I do mean supporting, are wonderful. The transformation Mara goes through, along with that of her children, is a testimony of the faithfulness of those who come alongside us in our life journey. One particular sentence resonated with me — What we thought was pain upon pain paved the way for the work of God. See, Spirit-filled.

Facing The Dawn was not an easy or quick read for me. I needed breaks to ponder and rest. If you read this book you will understand. And I do hope that you will read it because from me it is very highly recommended.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

About The Author

Cynthia Ruchti Revell Facing the DawnCynthia Ruchti is the award-winning author of more than 30 books, including the novels Afraid of the Light, Miles from Where We Started, As Waters Gone By, Song of Silence, A Fragile Hope, and They Almost Always Come Home. Her books have been honored with more than 40 readers’, reviewers’, and retailers’ awards, including Romantic Times’s Inspirational Novel of the Year, four Selah Awards, and five Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and has been a finalist for many others, including the Carol and the Christy. Former president of and current professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Cynthia lives in Wisconsin and can be found online at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com.

More from Cynthia

When I sit down to write a novel, I sometimes have little more than a title or a single scene in my head. For Facing the Dawn, I had a mental picture of a woman who felt like circumstances had drained all the “color” out of her life, as if she were a piece of fabric that had been left out in the sun too long. Faded. Threadbare. Bleached out.

Where was I supposed to go from there? What would have made her feel like that? (Oh, I could imagine, but I needed to know THIS character’s story.) I visualized her called in the principal’s office at her kids’ school, not knowing which of the three was in trouble this time. But it was her. The ridiculousness of it all was almost enough to push her over the edge. Ever been there?

For Mara in the story, a long string of disappointments clogged her life like a backed-up sink (which she also had). Then true tragedy struck. And again. But I couldn’t leave her in that place.

When I wrote the last few words of the story, my heart was full. Tears fell on the pages—or the keyboard. And I reflected back on all the symbolism in the story that actually revealed bits of hope embedded in its fabric.

I’m excited to see how readers respond when they discover those little bits—a cardinal in a stand of birch trees, an oil painting with unusual brushstrokes, a papered wall, a cup of soup, a long-forgotten song, an envelope of ashes…

A story comes to life when readers dive in. I’m looking forward to hearing what they find when they do.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 4

lakesidelivingsite, March 4

Through the Fire Blogs, March 4

Rebecca Tews, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations , March 5

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 6 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 7

Reviewingbooksplusmore, March 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 8

Kathleen’s Blog, March 8

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

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Cats in the Cradle Blog, March 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 10

Simple Harvest Reads, March 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 11

Artistic Nobody, March 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Older & Smarter?, March 12

deb’s Book Review, March 12

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 13

Inklings and notions, March 13

Pause for Tales, March 13

For Him and My Family, March 14

Mary Hake, March 14

By The Book, March 15

Christian Bookaholic, March 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Spoken from the Heart, March 16

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 16

A Baker’s Perspective, March 17

Writing from the Heart Land, March 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a DrinkCo Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated BPA-free beverage container (keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours/hot up to 12 hours), two Sunprint Notecards (Cynanotype art by Anna Atkins), an autographed copy of the novel Facing the Dawn, two Hemmed in Hope magnets/notecard inserts to encourage you or a friend, a Hemmed in Hope flash drive, and Facing the Dawn bookmarks (not shown in picture above)!!

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/108ce/facing-the-dawn-celebration-tour-giveaway

Top 10 Tuesday — Spring Cleaning!

9 Mar

For book hoarders collectors, cleaning out the shelves presents a daunting task. Books are friends after all. And while I am no Marie Kondo (who needs that kind of negativity 😉 ), I do sometimes get rid of books. Ouch! This week’s Top 10 Tuesday is a Spring Cleaning Freebie. I’d love to know how you keep your books from taking over! For more bloggers’ tips, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top Tips for Cleaning The Old Shelves

 

 

For books I have read.

Except for signed copies, I generally pass on books that I have read. I first share with my book club. We pass around books at every meeting. With the voracious readers in my group, this is a big help with our book budgets. Some books I share with family. For those books that come back around, I donate to my library’s annual sale. The exception is ARCs. They are clearly marked not for resale, and I do not want to see them end up on Amazon.  I have also taken books to my local used book store for store credit. That is also a help to the budget.

  • share with book club
  • share with family
  • donate to library sales
  • use to trade at used book stores

 

For unread books.

Now this is very hard. I am always holding out hope that I will find the time to read all those books on the TBR shelves. If I have another 50+ years of life left and I don’t acquire another book, I might get them read. 😉 So I am trying to find alternate ways to get them read. Audiobooks are a good choice. I check out the books that are included in my Audible subscription or are available through my local library on Libby. I’ve gotten a few read this way. I am then able to pass on the physical copies without remorse. An alternative is to look objectively at each book and decide if I really want to read it. The first thought is, of course, I bought it didn’t I? But realistically, some books were chosen during a season of my life that has passed. I know that the cute fiction that features a 20-something looking for Mr. Right just might not be as appealing as it once was. So, I again donate and share. One fun thing I have started with my book club is Blind Date with A Book. For our Christmas meeting I scan my shelves and select books that will appeal to my members and that I can let go of with few tears. It’s fun to see them trying to figure out which book to choose!

  • free audiobooks from Audible and Libby
  • Blind Date with A Book Swap

 

So, there are some of the ways I deal with overflowing shelves. Hope this gives you some ideas.

Book Spotlight: The Lady in Residence

4 Mar

About The Book

Book:  The Lady in Residence

Author: Allison Pittman

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: February 2021

Can a Legacy of Sadness be Broken at the Menger Hotel?

Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.

Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.

In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?

 

Click here to get your copy!


 

My Impressions:

I have always been a fan of Allison Pittman’s books. Entertaining, insightful, well-researched — all of these superlatives can be attached to her latest novel, The Lady in Residence. In this split-time novel, the setting is key. The historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio is host to one of the characters while it serves as a reference point to the other. Pittman’s use of its history and storied past sets up a shivery ghost story that kept this reader turning the pages. The book is told in alternating narratives. The present day is 3rd person POV focusing on Dini Blackstone, a twenty-something magician intrigued or obsessed with one of the Menger’s past guests. Hedda Krause is the lady in residence referenced by the title. Her story is told using excerpts from her memoir — but can it be trusted? As the stories unfold, the reader becomes immersed in both Hedda and Dini’s stories. Seemingly vastly different, they both struggle with their place in the world. I liked both characters equally. Besides the ghost story that is woven throughout the novel, there is a romance as well. And I loved that in the end both women come to terms with who they are and their value to God.

For fans of a good mystery, an historical setting, and a sweet romance, The Lady in Residence cannot be beat! Recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

About The Author

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a four-time Christy finalist — twice for her Sister Wife series, once for All for A Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties and most recently for the critically acclaimed The Seamstress which takes a cameo character from the Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities and flourishes her to life amidst the French Revolution. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike.

Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.

 

More from Allison

From Haunting to Healing: How Stories Bring New Life to Old Ghosts

If you really think about it, every story is a ghost story. Not the floating spirits of the dearly departed kind, not bumps in the night or mysterious howling in the darkness — but the best stories come from examining a haunted heart. Memories that pursue the present.

A few years ago I took the walking tour of haunted San Antonio. It was a lark, a fun tourist-y thing to do with some visiting friends. I’m not a believer in ghosts, but I am a collector of stories. The tour opens at the Alamo — sacred ground of slain soldiers. The second stop is the Menger Hotel, listed as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States by those who measure and evaluate such things. And while the tour guide waxed on about the guests’ litany of haunted experiences (including Teddy Roosevelt raging through the lobby), my mind stuck with the story of Sallie White. Sallie White is the Menger Hotel’s most famous ghost — a chambermaid whose apparition is reported to be seen walking the halls, towels draped over her arm, or to be heard as an efficient two-rap knock on your door late at night. My mind, however, didn’t dwell on Sallie the ghost, but Sallie the woman — just a normal, hard-working, poor woman, murdered in the street by a man who claimed to love her. But for that, she would have passed into history unknown. Instead, her story is told every night as strangers gather on the very sidewalk where the crime took place.

Years after first hearing the story of Sallie white, I stayed in the Menger for a few days to gather details for The Lady in Residence. I booked what they call a “Petite” room — meaning it is a room that maintains its original structure. Read: tiny. Exposed pipes, creaky wooden floors, antique furniture — the only update, the bathroom fixtures. As it turned out, my room was directly above the place where Sallie White was murdered. One night I pressed my ear against the glass and listened to the ghost tour guide tell her story. The next morning, I stood in the exact spot with a fancy Starbucks drink, thinking about her. She lives on, not because people claim to see her walking and hear her knocking in the dead of night, but because she is a woman remembered.

So, is that beautiful? Is it ghoulish? Maybe it’s both, but when I was given the chance to write a story set in and around the Menger Hotel, I was determined to make Sallie White’s story a part of it. I didn’t want to write her story — that would have required embellishment beyond those few historic, factual tid-bits that such a woman left behind. Sallie White didn’t have correspondence to catalog or a journal to give us insight to her thoughts. Instead, I wanted to tell it to readers everywhere who might never make it to San Antonio to hear it for themselves. When you read The Lady in Residence, you are going to hear the true story of Sallie White, all of it taken from a newspaper account of the time. And then, I did what all historical writers do…I folded it into my own tale and folded that tale into another.

That’s really the joy of writing a split-time novel — being able to draw back and shoot a narrative-arrow straight through the hearts of two stories, threading them together, to bring a haunting to a place of healing.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 23

Artistic Nobody, February 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Fiction Aficionado, February 24

For the Love of Literature, February 24

Where Faith and Books Meet, February 24

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Mia Reads Blog, February 25

Connie’s History Classroom, February 26

Inspiration Clothesline, February 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 27

Books I’ve Read, February 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 28

Remembrancy, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

For Him and My Family, March 2

Hallie Reads, March 2

deb’s Book Review, March 3

Blogging With Carol, March 3

By The Book, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 5

The Write Escape, March 5

Life of Literature, March 6

Inklings and notions, March 6

Godly Book Reviews, March 7

Vicky Sluiter, March 7

To Everything There is A Season, March 8

Pause for Tales, March 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Lady in Residence!!

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/1086e/the-lady-in-residence-celebration-tour-giveaway

Top 10 Tuesday — Characters And Their Jobs

2 Mar

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday features characters with jobs we would like to have. I worked as my husband’s bookkeeper for almost 25 years as I helped him grow his business. It was the right choice for us and helped us achieve our goals. But did I regret leaving upon my retirement a year and a half ago? Uh, no. 😉 While my first year of retirement was a bit different than I imagined, I am enjoying more flexibility and freedom. Not having to plan time off around biweekly payroll is great! So, no, I don’t envy any character’s job!

For a bit of a twist on today’s challenge, I am featuring characters whose jobs play an integral part in their story. They wouldn’t be where they are without the jobs they have. All are recent reads.

For more on character jobs, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Character Jobs

 

Amara Alvarez — homicide detective

 

Josephine Bourdillon — fiction author

 

Caroline Bragg — corporate attorney

 

Evelyn Brand — international journalist

 

Margot De Wilde — codebreaker

 

Madison James — U.S. Marshall

 

Layla Karam — CIA analyst

 

Caitlyn Lindsey — research scientist

 

Alice Grace Ripley — librarian

 

Jeremy Winter — FBI agent