Tag Archives: contests and giveaways

Blog Tour + Giveaway — Pearl’s Promise

24 Jun

Pearl's Promise JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Pearl’s Promise by Edwina Kiernan, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Pearl's Promise

Title: Pearl’s Promise
Series: Gems of Grace #2
Author: Edwina Kiernan
Publisher: Moliant Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

A duty-bound heir. A dejected spinster.

An encounter that could ruin both their families’ demands for their futures…

Horrified to see the man she had always dreamed of marrying saying his vows to someone else, Pearl Acton’s devastation only seems to confirm one of her deepest fears – that she’ll remain unseen and alone, never mattering to anyone.

And when her family falls on hard times and seeks to marry her off to a wealthy suitor as soon as possible, her other deepest fear seems inevitable – being trapped in a loveless marriage, just like her parents.

Until an encounter with a quiet and soulful heir, Nicholas Dalton, sparks a fragile hope that perhaps Pearl might save her family’s fortune and marry for love.

But when circumstances on both sides of their families take drastic turns, the promise of happiness seems irrevocably shattered.

As Pearl and Nicholas each strive to uphold their family duties, they soon discover that things aren’t quite what they seem. But is it too late to escape their crushing obligations and forge a new path – together?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


Mr. Acton sighed. “We may have to seek out a position for you.” He looked at her, turning his gaze away almost as quickly as it had met her own.

“A position?” Pearl asked. Her heart picked up speed.

Hear him out, she instructed herself. Perhaps, he does not mean—

“As a governess.”

Mr. Acton’s words seemed to echo in the air as Pearl took them in.

A governess. Not only would she never marry Henry — now, she may never marry at all. Nor would she even be able to take refuge in the company of like-minded friends. Instead, she would be isolated from all that she had ever known, caught in the grey area between gentry and domestics — fitting in with neither, belonging to no one.

She swallowed hard, determined to force back down her rising despair.

“Your mother and I shall remove to a smaller house. We may be able to scrape by. Two mouths may be possible to feed, but three . . . A position as a governess will ensure that you have a roof over your head and food in your belly. It is my duty to make sure you are taken care of, and at present, this is the best way it seems that I might do so.”

Pearl was grateful for the sorrowful remorse that filled her father’s voice as he spoke. It made it sound like he didn’t want to send her away. Not really. Yet, he had referred to her as a mouth to feed. Was that all she was?

A burden. Such a horrid word. It felt as heavy as it sounded.

Nausea rippled through her each time she thought of the other word that would soon describe her.


So that was to be her destiny. A life unseen as she cared for someone else’s children, stripped of the possibility of ever having her own.

Excerpt from Pearl’s Promise (Gems of Grace, Book 2) © Edwina Kiernan 2021



Edwina Kiernan

Edwina Kiernan is a Christian writer, and author of the well-received Inspirational Regency romance novel, Ruby’s Redemption.

An enthusiast of classic novels and history, Edwina combines her faith, imagination, and research in hope-infused tales set in times past. Her latest novel is the second in the Inspirational Regency romance series, Gems of Grace.

A lifelong word admirer, with Welsh and Irish heritage, she started writing stories early in childhood. She still loves to learn, taking courses from places like Oxford University and the Beau Monde, for both fun and further education.

When she’s not writing, Edwina loves spending time with her dashing husband and lively little son, reading and studying the Bible, getting lost in a captivating novel, and drinking more types of tea than most people realize even exist.

For free gifts, updates, and lots of classic and historical fiction goodness, join her mailing list at EdwinaKiernan.com

CONNECT WITH EDWINA: Website | Facebook | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a print copy of Pearl’s Promise and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Pearl's Promise

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 22, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 29, 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Blog Takeover + Giveaway! — The Key to Love

4 Nov

The Key to Love Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for The Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Key to LoveTitle: The Key to Love
Author: Betsy St. Amant
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Love doesn’t always look the way we expect

The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so that she’s created her own version of the famous Parisian love-lock wall at the bakery where she works in Story, Kansas. She never expects a video involving the wall to go viral–or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He’s definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for an epic love story like the one her parents had–and that certainly will not include the love-scorning Gerard.

Just when it seems the Pastry Puff is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just the bakery but the pedestal she’s kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri’s recipe just needs to be tweaked.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook


Betsy St. AmantPhoto Credit: © EA Creative Photography

Betsy St. Amant is the author of more than 15 inspirational romances and a frequent contributor to iBelieve.com. She lives in north Louisiana with her husband, two daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of pickle-flavored Pringles. When she’s not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white chocolate mocha–no whip.

CONNECT WITH BETSY: Website | Facebook | Twitter


(1) winner will receive a copy of The Key to Love, a signed bookplate, a custom The Key to Love cosmetic pouch, and a Paris mug!

The Key to Love JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 19, 2020 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on November 4, 2020. 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.



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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

A Season to Dance Scavenger Hunt! — September 11-24

10 Sep

About The Book

Book: A Season to Dance

Author: Patricia Beal

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: May 6, 2017

Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

About The Author

Patricia writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. She is a Genesis Award semi-finalist, First Impressions finalist, and the author of A Season to Dance and Desert Willow (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2017 and 2020). She writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Visit her at http://www.patriciabeal.com for more.

More from Patricia Beal

When I wrote the first line of my first novel in January of 2011, I wanted to get published because I was desperate to feel important.

I finished writing A Season to Dance that fall and hired coach Gloria Kempton via Writer’s Digest to look at the whole thing and tell me if it was any good.

She saw potential in the story of a small-town professional ballerina with big dreams, but explained I needed a clearer quest, more telling details, better scene structure, and better balance between sequels and dramatic scenes. I joined Gloria’s critique group and spent a year rewriting.

During that year, my husband got orders to move the family from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Germany, and he deployed for the sixth time soon after we settled on a lovely mountaintop in Idar-Oberstein.

When I finished rewriting, Gloria said the novel looked good and had everything a novel was supposed to have. But… “Something’s still missing. I don’t know what it is. We’ve covered it all.”

So of course I did what any writer desperate for validation would do. I told my coach that surely nothing was missing and that it was time to query. I hired a service to blast queries everywhere for me. I know… Shame on me… But God used that.

God’s Plan — Phase One

One query ended up with Mrs. Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary. The novel wasn’t Christian—I wasn’t a Christian. She shouldn’t have received my query. But she did. She sent me a note saying she liked the storyline but that in Christian novels the protagonist couldn’t live with her love interest without being married. She was very kind and said that if she was missing the point and if the novel was indeed Christian that I should resubmit explaining the living together piece.

When I read it I laughed and rolled my eyes. I started typing a condescending reply. Something about Christian fairy tale brains and me living in the real world, but I decided not to send it.

Days passed. A week passed. A month passed. And all I did was collect rejections. I became bitter. Bitterly sad at first. Then bitterly discouraged. And then bitterly ugly. I’d never been ugly before. Not like that.

See, up to that point, I’d believed that there was some kind of “god” and that somewhere, somehow, being good was right and that it paid off. But with the disappointments of the publishing journey those beliefs became a joke to me. I stood in the middle of my empty German kitchen—husband deployed, kids at school, my first dog had just died. And I looked at that inbox full of rejections and stated to whomever or whatever was out there: “God is dead.”

Mercy. Surely I said that to the “god” of my imagination, and not to the real God—God as He reveals Himself in the Bible. But I know that He was in that kitchen with me. And phase two of His plan was about to start.

Luke 22:31-32: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

God’s Plan — Phase Two

As I lost all restraint and became the worst version of myself, God removed me from my green German mountaintop.

After less than eighteen months in Germany, we were sent back to America, to the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. To a place called Fort Bliss—a place from which you can see a Mexican mountain with the words: “Cd. Juárez. La Biblia es la verdad. Leela.” That translates to “City of Juárez. The Bible is the truth. Read it.” Gotta love it. God is good.

During the first six months back in America, I went to two secular writers’ conferences and met more rejection. My lack of restraint and my selfishness didn’t really make me happy. I wanted to go to therapy. I wanted a job. I still dreamed of that book deal that had to be just around the corner. I wanted, I wanted…

But nothing happened, and it didn’t matter how hard I tried to get help, get happy, and find any kind of relief for the pain I felt. Nothing. Happened. I’d never seen so many closed doors—slammed-shut doors—ever in my life. Even the shrink kept double booking, closing early, and somehow cancelling on me. It was ridiculous.

The One Open Door

When God planted our family in the desert, He planted us two blocks from a friend from the Fort Benning years. A friend whose claim to fame was church shopping whenever the Army moved her family. I asked her to take me to church on the first Wednesday of January of 2013.

I fell in His arms. Surrendered, defeated, and dependent. Or what God likes to call—ready. I was born again two weeks later and was baptized on Super Bowl Sunday that February.

Gloria’s “Something Missing”

I had tickets to go to New York for the Writer’s Digest conference that spring, but sometime in March, it dawned on me: “You silly goose of a girl. You wrote a salvation story without the salvation piece.” My first coach, Gloria Kempton, had been right all along. There was something missing!

A Season to Dance isn’t just the story of a small-town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York and the two men who love her. It’s also the story of a girl desperately trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with often misguided career and romantic pursuits.

I deleted Mrs. Hart’s email that week. Yes, it was still in my inbox. Job well done, Mrs. Hart.

Now, I had work to do. I spent 2013 and the first half of 2014 rewriting the novel. Five ladies from my Sunday school read chapter after chapter as I produced them and cheered me on through that gruesome process. I couldn’t have done it without their support. God is good.

Jeff Gerke edited my novel in the summer of 2014 and had me read Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes. God is good.

I went to my first Christian writers conference, the ACFW 2014 in St. Louis. Two weeks later, Les Stobbe offered to represent me. God is good.

ACFW 2015 was fantastic and many houses are looking at that first manuscript. God is good.

My family got saved, too. My husband in July of 2013. Our son in December of 2013. My mom in the fall of 2014. And our little girl just this past summer, the summer of 2015. God is amazingly good.

Q&A with Patricia Beal

BTB — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Patricia — The desire to write a novel came about 35 years ago, when as a teenage girl back home in Brazil, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist touched my heart. I wanted to do that to people, touch their hearts with a simple story that had something to say about the human condition. 

Now, the first time I saw myself as a fiction writer, was much later. That happened during a writers’ meeting at the Barnes & Noble in Columbus, Georgia, about ten years ago. 

Here’s that story –

Someone once told me that getting a book published was like shooting the moon. “What are you really going to do with the rest of your life?”

That conversation bothered me, but I started writing a novel anyway. 

When I took the first chapter of A Season to Dance – fresh out of my head and hot off my cheap printer – to my Barnes & Noble writing group, I asked the leader to read it to the group for me (my accent is something else). As she did, I saw a box of motivational cards on a shelf behind her. It read: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars…”

That hard-to-please group loved my first chapter guys, and I’d received a sign. Yay! Cinderella story, right? I felt like a writer. Big time. 

Now, two years later the novel hadn’t gone far. I stand corrected. It’d gone far – just not successfully. In the summer of 2012, the novel was rejected in three different continents in the same week.

Then Jesus passed by. 

Six months later I was born again and realized that for two years I’d been writing my own salvation story. The novel wasn’t working yet because it was missing a layer. It was more than the story of a ballerina with big dreams and dreamy suitors. It’s about a young woman trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with misguided career and romantic pursuits. 

The bad news was that the rewrite would be lengthy and painful. God gave me people who encouraged me through the fourteen months of labor, and the work got done. He gave me something else too. A Cadillac commercial that remined me of the moon sign – a reminder of where we’d been, and where we were going.

In the commercial, a kid is riding with his dad. It’s dark. There’s nothing to be seen anywhere. Suddenly you start hearing lunar landing audio:

“We are now in the approach phase–everything looking good.”
“Velocity twelve hundred feet per second.”
“You are looking great to us, Eagle.”
“Two thousand feet.”

A big moon shows up at the end of the road. Dad’s hands are strong on the wheel. The kid and Dad exchange an expectant look.

“Still looking very good.”
“Fourteen hundred feet.”

Dad goes faster. The music gets bigger. The moon gets bigger.

Narrator: “Funny thing happens when you shoot for the moon.”
Lunar landing audio: “That’s affirmative.”
Narrator: “You get there.”
Lunar landing audio: “You are GO for landing–over.”

Here’s the commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf_NavbP3GA 

I love sharing that story because I think it’s so important to celebrate our miracles, share them and remember…

If you’re paralyzed by fear today, be free from it. Do you write? Are you doubting your calling? Most of us do. Don’t let that stop you. God already knows most of us feel that way. 

I love this conversation between Jesus and a dad who asks for help for his possessed child: Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:23-24).

God can handle our tendency to believe and not believe at the same time. He’s not surprised. Ask Him for help, like this Bible dad did. He got his miracle. You’ll get yours. Believe. Keep working. Let me be your shoot-for-the-moon box of cards today. Do it. Shoot for the moon! Write that book. Pitch. Submit. Rewrite. Repeat. Get published. 

BTB — What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

Patricia — On-site visits whenever possible. It’s like I see the characters. All I have to do is write down what I observe. 

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Patricia — Redemption. Redemption. Redemption. My name is Patricia Beal, and I write beauty-for-ashes stories 😊

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV) 


Enter to win a $50 Amazon Giftcard!


Scavenger Hunt!

My word for the scavenger hunt is 

To connect with all those participating, click HERE!

Ponder This . . . Scavenger Hunt! (Book Spotlight and Author Interview)

6 May


Welcome to the Ponder This Series Scavenger Hunt hosted by Celebrate Lit and Pelican Book Group. 


About The Book

A Perfect Fit by Christine Schimpf

Series title: Ponder this . . . 

Hannah Lockhart has every intention of saying yes to the marriage proposal she’s expecting…but the proposal never comes. Now she has only one option: pick up the pieces of her broken heart and start a brand-new life.

Matt Winters has never considered himself the marrying kind. He enjoys his freedom and easy lifestyle…until the day he meets Hannah Lockhart. Now, everything he believes about himself begins to change.

Sometimes the hardest lessons in life bring the best of blessings like a perfect fit.


About The Author

Born and raised in a small town in southeastern Wisconsin, Christine Schimpf graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Magna cum Laude. She is an award winning essayist which led her to copy editing and writing. After self-publishing two books, she is presently writing her fifth book in the inspirational romance genre. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

She lives on five acres in the country with her husband and golden retriever. A love for the outdoors has her enjoying golf, tennis, kayaking and simply sitting in a lawn chair listening to nature.

All of her books are available on Amazon: Nick, The Journey of a Lifetime, The Ticket, A Christmas Kind of Perfect, A Perfect Fit and coming soon A Perfect Ending.


Q & A with Christine Schimpf

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

Part-time. I believe in maintaining balance in life as much as possible and strive to achieve an equal portion of exercise, study, and writing every day. 

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

For many of us, we try and fail with love. Instead of placing trust in God first, we try to find it on our own. Once we release the fist-hold on our desires, and trust God, He works His miracles in His own time. 

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’m chapters away from completing my fifth book, hooray! The seeds for book number six have been sown; another love story set in Door County, Wisconsin, with a brand-new message of inspiration and trust. 

How do you find or make time to write?

It’s not a question of making time. For me it’s as involuntary as breathing. Writing is a natural expression of who I am using the gifts God has given to me. My goal in life is to draw from those gifts and do the best job I can for what I have been given. 

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

Dani Petry’s, “Submerged”,  a romantic suspense grounded in Biblical principles. The first line is one of the best I’ve ever read: “Never wager unless you control the stakes.” 



Grand Prize: Two people will receive a framed print of Philippians 4:8 designed by CreativeSteph13 Art, and framed in an acrylic freestanding frame. Size 5×7.

To find out more about the Ponder This Scavenger Hunt, click on the link below.



The word to enter from my blog is:

Spirit of Giving Young Reader’s Giveaway from New Growth Press

26 Nov

Last week, I shared about books from New Growth Press for the youngest members of the family. Maybe your kids have outgrown that stage and are now preteens or teens.

Books are a great gift for those members of the family who need a break from all the electronics in the house. Actually, that may apply to everyone in the house! Books are a great gift for everyone in the family, by the way!

Even if there aren’t kids in your own house, I’m sure you know some young people who would enjoy these books. Maybe you are a youth leader or teacher with young people on your Christmas list.

This week, New Growth Press is giving away THREE gift boxes of books for tweens and teens. From November 26-December 2, you can enter to win one of three gift boxes of books (retail value of $114).


Click the link below to enter.



Each gift box includes the following titles for youth:

The complete Rwendigo Tales series by J. A. Myhre:
A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest
A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue
A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star
A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World

Written by J. A. Myhre, a doctor living and working in East Africa, this adventure series teaches readers of all ages important truths about justice, overcoming evil, and the courage to make a difference. The latest release is A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World, a compelling African adventure story that will enthrall eight- to fourteen-year-old youth who love adventure and learning about faraway places. In the exciting fourth and final book in the Rwendigo Tales Series, readers will be inspired by ordinary people who make the extraordinary choice to stand against great evil.

Dragon Seed by Marty Machowski

An angry teen, a desperate mother, a missing father, and a shadow lurking in the background. Things were going from bad to worse for Nick and his family. Tempted to run away after yet another argument with his mom, Nick receives a handwritten, leather-bound copy of an old book—a family legend passed down to him from his great grandfather. The book, called Dragon Seed, leads Nick deep into his family’s history and introduces him to another angry young man who lived in the shadows (the shadows of the tombs). Like Nick, you’ll be shocked to discover where he fits in this story of epic proportions!

The Biggest Win: Pro Football Players Tackle Faith by Joshua Cooley

The Biggest Win gives athletes and sports fans of all ages a unique, insider’s look into the lives and faith of six Christian NFL players from the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl team. Through the ups and downs of their experiences, author Joshua Cooley shows how these high-profile athletes remain committed to God’s Word, genuine Christian discipleship, and sharing their faith. Using their voices and stories, The Biggest Win gives sports-minded readers hope and direction for living out their faith while competing.  See your youth athletes’ faith grow as they hear and learn from the amazing stories of these Super Bowl Champions.

Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters by Trish Donohue

Between Us Girls was written for mothers with daughters between the ages of seven and fourteen. These twenty-six gospel-driven talks are a fun and easy guide for mothers who want to disciple their daughters but don’t know where to start. In each short chapter, moms and daughters read God’s Word, ask one another questions about their thoughts and experiences, get honest about their struggles with sin, brainstorm ways to live out their faith, and build genuine fellowship into their relationship.

(Between Us Guys for dads and sons will be available in May 2019!)

In case you don’t win the prize pack, sign-up for New Growth Press’ e-news at https://newgrowthpress.com/ to receive information about their Countdown to Christmas discounts so that you can order copies. Be sure to follow them on social media as well where they will be sharing daily deals throughout the Christmas season:




Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop!

14 Jun

Welcome to the Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds. I am giving away a surprise box of books to one lucky reader. To enter leave a comment about something fun you will be doing this summer (besides reading, LOL!). The giveaway runs June 15-30. A winner will be chosen randomly. Please note: US entries only. Good luck!


Click here to find other bloggers giving away books and bookish stuff!

First Love Forever Blitz Tour

4 Apr


Title: First Love Forever Romance Collection
Authors: Suzanne Dietze, Cynthia Hickey, Marcia Gruver, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens and Jennifer Uhlarik
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Release Date: April 1, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fic

Amazon l Goodreads l Book Depository l CBD l Itunes

A first love is never easily forgotten…

and coming face to face with that person again can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the what ifs.

In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. A neighbor returns from law school. An heiress seeks a quick marriage. A soldier’s homecoming is painful. A family needs help. A prodigal son returns. A rogue aeronaut drops from the sky. A runaway bridegroom comes home. A letter for aid is sent. A doctor needs a nurse. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space?

A Most Reluctant Bride by Cynthia Hickey
1880 – Ozark foothill ranch: Maggie Spoonmore marries her father’s former foreman, Zach Colton in order to salvage her reputation, yet struggles to believe he married her for love and not her inheritance.


A Most Reluctant Bride

Cynthia Hickey

Ozark Mountains, Arkansas, 1880

“Oh, Cricket.” Margaret Spoonmore, or Maggie as she insisted everyone call her, leaned her forehead against the white patch on her horse’s head.“ Mama has yet another pompous, stuffed shirt coming to supper tonight. What do you say we run away together, you and I?” She’d much rather live alone with her horse then marry a man she didn’t love.

Cricket nickered and turned to her feed. Obviously, Maggie’s only true friend in theworld had other things to do than listen to her whining. Sighing, Maggie pushed away from the stall and headed for the house nestled among the cottonwoods.

She remembered the day Pa moved her and Mama in. He’d been so proud. Ten years of building up his ranch of quarter horses in a rich Ozark mountain valley, then like a whiff of wind, heaven called him home and Mama wanted Maggie married off. Life wasn’t fair.

“Margaret!” Mama stood on the front porch, hands cupped around her mouth, and yelled.

“I’m here. No reason to holler.”

“Mr. Mason will be here soon and you’re still in your riding clothes.” Mama scowled then pointed inside. “Go get dressed. You know I’m dying. I’ve got to get you married before theGood Lord has me join your Pa.”

Maggie rolled her eyes. A bit of indigestion last month and Mama had thought herself on death’s door ever since. The doctor plainly said she was as healthy as a horse. She giggled. As a woman who constantly had to watch her weight, Mama had taken offense at the comparison and pouted for days.

“Unchaperoned? Mercy, Mama.” Maggie grinned. “How scandalous.”

“Hush. The man was clear when he stated he had no notions regarding you.”

“That was five years ago, Mama. I was a child.” Still, her face heated every time she remembered the humiliation of her trying to steal a kiss from the mountain’s most handsome young man. Since then, she’d avoided Zach like the black plague. Now, her mother wanted her alone with him? Could the day get any worse?

Yep. Mama laid out her pink ruffled dress. “It makes me look like a child.”

“Men like women in frilly things, dear. Stuff the bodice if you want more curves.” With those embarrassing words, she strolled out of the room. Well, Maggie refused to wear such an atrocity. She marched to her wardrobe and pulled out a dress of deepest green. One with a simple bodice and full skirt. A dress complimenting her dark hair and fair skin, one that made her feel pretty. Yes, she was petite, more thin than not, but she wasn’t going to put on false airs for anyone.

She donned the dress and put her hair up in a fashion her mother would approve of and headed downstairs as a knock sounded on the door. Squaring her shoulders, she greeted their guest for the evening.

The banker’s nephew. She hadn’t known his name, only his face, as someone pointed him out at church last Sunday. The man was barely taller than Maggie’s five foot two and almost as round. Shifty eyes like a weasel’s ran over her.

“Miss Spoonmore. You do look a vision.” He removed his felt hat and bowed.

“Thank you. Please come in.”

“Excuse me?” Maggie froze. “Why, didn’t your mother tell you?” His eyes widened. “My uncle will remove the loan on this house …

paid in full … on the day we say our vows.”

Mama was selling Maggie like a prize colt? She wouldn’t get away it. Maggie was taking Cricket and making good on her promise to run away. “I, uh, fear I have a terrible headache. Please accept my apologies.” She hiked her skirt above her ankles and thundered to her room.

She’d just thrown herself across her bed when her mother barged in. “You are embarrassing me.”

“Don’t you think you should have let me in on your little secret? ”Maggie rolled over and glared. “I wasn’t aware we had a loan on the ranch, much less that I was a bargaining chip!”

“Don’t be so melodramatic. We all have to do things we don’t want to do to make it in a man’s world.”

“I won’t.” She kicked her legs, very aware she was behaving like a child. “You’re selling Pa’s legacy.”

“Seriously. Get up. Zacharius arrived early. I’ll pacify Mr. Mason in the meantime. But …” She tapped Maggie on the head.“ You will go through with this marriage. I’m tired of your silly games, and I want off this mountain.”

Tears rolled down Maggie’s cheeks. Pa hadn’t been dead a full year and Mama wasalready giving up. Sure, it was tough running the ranch themselves, but they had good help and had placed an advertisement in the paper for a new foreman. It was only a matter of time before things got easier. Mr. Mason didn’t look the ranching type. He’d most likely sell off the stock and the land to pad his bank account.

Maggie sighed and pushed off the bed, quickly redressing in her riding clothes. A barn was not the place for a nice dress. Especially, since Maggie intended to leave at the first opportunity. She tossed a few things into a small fabric bag and rushed outside before Mama could ask questions.

She tried to skid to a halt to avoid a collision with the man on the porch. Instead, her feet slipped. She slammed into his broad back. They both fell to the packed clay ground, her on top of him as they rolled.

Zach Colton grinned up at her. “Well, hello to you, too. It’s been a long time, Maggie. I can’t imagine a better greeting.”

Mercy. She scrambled to her feet, trying unsuccessfully to pat

her hair into place. “My apologies.” Nose in the air, face flaming, she headed for the barn.

Multi-published and Amazon and ECPA Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey has sold over a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference, several small ACFW chapters and RWA chapters. She and her husband run the small press, Winged Publications, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs, one cat, and three box turtles. She has eight grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.



One print copy of First Love Forever Romance Collection

One print copy of My Heart Belongs in Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels (or any other one of her released titles)

A pair of handmade earrings (*style subject to change from what is pictured)

Additional book swag and a $20 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.

(Only Gift card open internationally. All items open to US mailing addresses.) To Enter, click HERE. Be sure to stop at every stop on the tour for additional entries.

Tour Schedule


Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

14 Mar

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Then you need to enter my Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway. I am giving away a Surprise Box of Books that includes fiction from a variety of genres. Just leave a comment. That’s it! After you leave a comment head over to BookHounds to find more bloggers giving away books and bookish stuff! The giveaway runs through March 28. Give luck!

Book Review (+ Tour Giveaway): Phoebe’s Light

26 Feb

About the Book

Title: Phoebe’s Light

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

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.

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.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Impressions:

Fans of Suzanne Woods Fisher’s contemporary and historical Amish books are going to love the new direction this author is taking. Phoebe’s Light is an historical romance novel featuring the New England Island of Nantucket. I loved the setting, the creatively told dual story lines, and the characters that found a way into my imagination and heart.

Phoebe Starbuck, descendant of the hardy settlers of Nantucket Island, is a determined young woman — determined to turn her family’s fortunes around and determined to have her heart’s way. She has faith in God, but only as far as it goes along with her own plans and dreams. Matthew Macy left the Quaker fellowship years ago. He also left behind his belief in God’s goodness. Danger and secret betrayal are companions on the two’s journey. But so is God’s provision revealed in a forgotten journal from the past.

I loved the dual story lines Fisher weaves together. The main story is told in a straightforward third person style, but is supported through the journal entries of an early Nantucket settler, Mary “Great Mary” Coffin. Fisher deftly adds historical details and figures to create a fictional story that is believable and riveting. Her portrayal of colonial Nantucket and its whaling trade are spot on. She sprinkles the narrative and dialog with phrases from the day and industry that is long gone. But you won’t be lost, there is a great glossary included at the beginning of the book. I also learned a great deal about the Quakers as Fisher naturally includes their beliefs and practices within the novel. Characters are real and relatable with their struggles, doubts, fears, hopes, and dreams. The two main characters’ faith journey is realistically portrayed as well. The romance is sweet and satisfying, as is the epilogue that brings the reader closure on all the doings on the island. Fisher’s signature voice shines through. The only complaint I have is the use of a few modern phrases that jolted this reader from the story. But those were few and didn’t spoil the overall reading experience.

Phoebe’s Light is just the first book in the Nantucket Legacy series. It’s a great start, and I look forward to many more visits to Nantucket!


Audience: older teens to adults.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit and Revel for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The 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.

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.

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


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


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 Libraryan, February 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 Books, February 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 Joy, February 18

A Reader’s Brain, February 19

Karen Sue Hadley, February 19

Blossoms and Blessings, February 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 Classroom, February 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


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

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e0

Children’s Corner (+Giveaway!) — That Grand Easter Day!

5 Feb

An engaging picture book about the first Easter Day, with a fun cumulative story structure.

That Grand Easter Day! is a cumulative story that begins with the stone in front of the tomb and ends with a new beginning — the Resurrection of Christ. The lively narrative builds as it progresses, adding people, objects, and animals that may have witnessed the events of that day long ago. Little ones will love the repetition, which adds a pleasing level of predictability and helps to make the story of the first Easter more memorable.

The upbeat, reverent story is accompanied by luminous illustrations which bring the story to life. This engaging picture book will be a read-aloud favorite at Eastertime and throughout the year. Ages 4-7.


Jill Roman Lord is a wife, mother of three amazing kids, runner, author, writer, nurse anesthetist and Jesus lover. She is an author of Christian Children’s books. It is her desire in her writing to draw children closer to Jesus and to provide books that parents (or grandparents or caregivers) can enjoy reading with the kids snuggled on their laps.

Jill is a Christian and loves Jesus to her core. He is her all-in-all. She tries to follow His lead but messes up a lot. She looks forward to all God still has in store for her in this journey called life. Charlotte, NC is home to Jill and her family, and you can find her running, hiking, and golfing.

Connect with Jill on Facebook, Goodreads and also on her Amazon author page, Jill Roman Lord.

Alessia Trunfio is an Illustrator, Background Artist and Animator based in Rome.


My Impressions:

Does anyone under the age of 50 remember the poem The House That Jack Built? It was a favorite of mine while growing up. I loved the repetition and the fun associated with this beloved nursery rhyme. In the same vein of cumulative story structure, Jill Roman Lord retells the most important story in the world, the story of Jesus’ resurrection. With the beautiful illustrations, the rhyming structure, and the message of the gospel of Christ, That Grand Easter Day! will soon become a favorite with your family. Unlike the old English nursery rhyme, the story that Lord tells changes as the miracle of Easter Day unfolds. You and your child will meet the many people involved in the story — the Roman guard, the women who came to anoint Jesus’ body, the disciples, the angel, and finally Christ Himself as He appears alive! The story begins and end with scripture promises of eternal life — a great way to introduce the story and begin discussion. A great addition to a family library, That Grand Easter Day! will become a perennial family favorite.


Audience: children ages 4-7.

To purchase, click HERE.

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



A big thank you to Worthy Publishing! They are generously giving away a copy of That Grand Easter Day! to one of my readers. Leave a comment letting me know who you will share this book with. The giveaway ends February 19th.