Dust Review and a Giveaway!

I feel like I waited forever to hold this book in my hands. Ahh! I have been looking forward to reading Dust by Kara Swanson since I first heard about the story and saw its spectacular cover. I have always loved Neverland, Peter Pan, and all the magic and child-like faith they invoke in readers. This story provides a thrilling and whimsical journey back to Neverland–even if the darker sides of our beloved hero and the island are exposed. And since I first started reading it, I have been talking about it non-stop. Anyone within earshot has heard how I have fallen head over heels for this book.

Dust is a beautifully written adventure, and one I hope you will have the courage to take alongside Claire, Lily and Peter. Keep reading to find out more about the book, the lovely and talented author, and the giveaway!

About the Book

Title: Dust

Authors: Kara Swanson

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Swanson - Dust

The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London…and a boy who shouldn’t exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins. The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

When reading the blurb for Dust by Kara Swanson, a child-like joy came over me, and I couldn’t wait to revisit the characters from Peter Pan that I loved so much growing up. And while the Neverland we may remember is full of adventure, pirates, and beautiful mermaids–the reality Peter is facing in Dust is much darker. The magic that charmed us in Barrie’s story is covering Neverland and its inhabitants in shadow.

I absolutely LOVED this story. The author does an amazing job of taking a childhood fairy tale and forcing it to ‘grow up.’ The insight into Peter and his twisted, immature, and selfish personality was fascinating. But we also see glimpses of the Pan we know–the one who flies with pixies and has fun all day long. It was frustrating how one could despise him and love him all at the same time.

But he isn’t the only character who steals the spotlight. Claire is beautifully written, a broken girl who never fit in anywhere. And yet, Peter shows her there is a place she belongs. I think there are many who can identify with Claire’s painful story–the self-doubt, self-loathing. The internal, physical pain caused by such tormented thoughts. The desperation to be free from it all. Her journey between shadow and light is an important one–ever for those of us without pixie dust. I hope Claire’s story reaches others who might also feel alone and unwanted.

And I can’t finish this review without mentioning Tiger Lily. What a confident, strong, and encouraging woman! I wish there was a whole book about her story. She is amazing–you will see!

The only thing I didn’t like about this story was realizing I’d reached the end! I will be eagerly anticipating the next novel in the series, Shadow, releasing next year.

Fans of YA Fantasy or fairytale retellings will love this book. I think Dust has some amazing emotional themes that would really speak to young adults today who may be struggling to find their place. It’s themes of light and choosing light over shadow are empowering to all.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kara Swason _ Floral Headshot-1000

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairy tales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com

More from Kara

I wrote Dust not just for those who grew up loving the original Peter Pan story — but especially for the children who were left behind. Those of us who never escaped through a window to a magical world, whose childhoods oftentimes felt a little shadowed.

Dust follows Peter Pan when he is cast out of Neverland, grounded in London. For the first time, this Peter has to start thinking about someone other than himself—and become a beacon to remind any Lost ones that there is still magic to be found.

Dust also follows a young woman named Claire who can create pixie dust, but is desperately afraid of herself because when her fears and insecurities leak out, her dust starts to burn. Claire has seen too many shadows to believe in fairytales anymore and is doing everything she can just to lock away the strange dust dripping from her fingertips. But when she meets Peter, he challenges everything she thought she knew.

I wrote Claire for those of us who may feel too weighted to even remember what it feels like to have hope lift your soul. Who can look at ourselves and all we see are our own shadows and shortcomings.

Throughout the course of the novel, Peter has to teach Claire how to see the spark of light inside herself that is far brighter than the darkness. As he helps this girl learn how to fly, Peter rediscovers what it is that truly makes him Peter Pan: the unquenchable childlike belief that there are weightless thoughts in all of us that can lift us out of the shadows.

This story is a love letter to anyone who has ever needed that reminder. We have value simply because we exist. We do not have to be weighed down by our shadows. There is still light that can lift our hearts if we have faith, trust…and a dash of the impossible.

Blog Stops

Andrea Christenson, July 31

Rebecca Tews, July 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 1

Texas Book-aholic, August 1

For the Love of Literature, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Emily Yager, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Blessed & Bookish, August 3

Through the Fire Blogs, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Losing the Busyness, August 5

Adventures of A Travelers Wife, August 5

Remembrancy, August 6

Wishful Endings, August 6

Inklings and notions, August 7

April Hayman, Author, August 7

For Him and My Family, August 8

Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, August 8

Inside the Wong Mind, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Nancy E Wood, August 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 10

Mia Reads, August 10

Simple Harvest Reads, August 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Faery Tales Are Real, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 12

Pause for Tales, August 12

Just the Write Escape, August 13

Blossoms and Blessings, August 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away the grand prize package of a Dust-themed bundle that includes a signed hardcover, bookmarks, character cards, Peter + Claire art print, and an exclusive Dust pin!!

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/fe3a/dust-celebration-tour

Good luck in the giveaway!

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

An Appalachian Summer

I will be perfectly honest. When my historical fiction fan-girl self read the back cover copy of An Appalachian Summer, I KNEW I was going to love it. And I did! The atmosphere up in the hills was captured perfectly, and discovering these brave women who made up the nurses/midwives/couriers of the Frontier Nursing crew was such an honor. This is why I love historical fiction, so people who accomplish such tasks are not forgotten.

Keep reading for my full review and to find where you can get your copy!

About the Book:

n 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson’s parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they’ve picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she’s used to. The only problem? This is not the man–or the life–she really wants.

When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open up a whole new world to her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious–true love–is drawing ever closer.

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites you into the storied hills of Eastern Kentucky to discover what happens when one intrepid young woman steps away from the restrictive past into a beautiful, wide-open future.

Get your copy here.

My Thoughts:

An Appalachian Summer is the first book I’ve read by Ann H. Gabhart, but it won’t be the last! I was completely drawn into Piper and Jamie’s story from the first chapter (if not after just reading the back of the book!). I loved the women in this story, especially Piper and her aunt Truda, for being independent, adventurous, and chasing after their hearts. I had to see where Piper’s thirst for adventure took her, and I’m so glad I did.

Living and working in the mountains is a life of hardship but also blessings. I thought the author did a spectacular job of painting the hills and all their majesty in your mind. The call of the whippoorwill. The chorus of the frogs. The fierceness of the storms. And the gentleness of the dawn. Such beauty! And it extends to the people of the mountains, too. 

Watching Piper conquer one challenge after another made me proud to be reading her story. Her time with the Frontier Nurses is one of those life-changing experiences we never forget. I’m glad I got to know Mrs. Breckenridge and how she made her vision of improving the health of mothers-to-be and babies in the remote cabins of the Appalachian mountains a reality. The level of care they were able to provide is astounding. Definitely a God thing!

Any fan of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this story. The Frontier Nurses are a truly unique piece of history–one that I’m thankful to know. Ride into the hills with Piper and discover a simpler world, but a world soothing to the heart and soul.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

My historical fiction lovers, I urge you to read this book. It’s a great piece of history, and a wonderful story overall!

Happy reading and God bless,

Kristina

Falling for the Innkeeper and a Giveaway!

Falling for the Innkeeper Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Falling for the Innkeeper by Meghann Whistler, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Falling for the Innkeeper
Author: Meghann Whistler
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

A battle for a charming Cape Cod inn…
But what happens when romance checks in?

Single mom Laura Lessoway won’t accept her mother’s plan of selling her late grandmother’s beachfront inn without a fight. But when big-city attorney Jonathan Masters arrives to arrange an offer from his client, she’s drawn to him. And although he came to Cape Cod to close an important business deal—not fall in love—he can’t get her out of his mind.

Laura and Jonathan each try to fight their attraction and focus on business, but it’s not long before Jonathan finds himself confiding in her his other reason for coming to The Sea Glass Inn—he’s trying to find his mentally ill father, who’s recently been spotted at a nearby homeless shelter.

Working together to find Jonathan’s father only brings Laura and Jonathan closer. But with his career and her home on the line, can they ever find common ground?

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


My Thoughts

Falling for the Innkeeper was a sweet, romantic, Hallmark-movie-worthy journey–one I thoroughly enjoyed! I loved the small-town feel of the story, set in Cape Cod, and how Laura was friends with most business owners in the area. It made her life at the inn more genuine and down-to-earth. The playful banter between Laura and Jonathon was amusing and having Laura’s daughter Emma as a go-between was just too adorable. The interactions and affection between Jonathon and Emma were heartwarming and only added to Jonathon’s swoon-worthy charm. Watching him transform from uptight lawyer to relaxed vacationer made it easy to fall for such a hunky man with a huge heart. I loved how he was always willing to try something new–especially if Laura was involved. I might have gotten frustrated a little at Laura for how she treated Jonathon a few times, but I understood why her heart was hesitant to trust and love again. But I respected her, her hard work at the inn, and the time she took to connect personally with her daughter every day. She’s an amazing woman!

Any fan of Christian contemporary fiction will love this book. It’s strong family themes and small-town, beachy feel make it a perfect summer read. I would highly recommend this book.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meghann Whistler


Photo by Sophie Jacobson

Meghann Whistler writes sweet Christian romance novels that won’t make your grandmother blush.

A hopeless romantic who met her husband on a blind date, Meghann recently left her marketing career to pursue her lifelong passion of writing sweet, hopeful stories that demonstrate the power of love and grace.

Before settling down with her rocket scientist husband and raising three rambunctious boys, Meghann earned a B.A. in English from Amherst College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College.

Falling for the Innkeeper is her first inspirational romance, but definitely not her last! She loves to hear from her readers, who can reach her at www.meghannwhistler.com.

CONNECT WITH MEGHANN: Website Facebook Twitter Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a beach locket and a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card!

Falling for the Innkeeper JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 20, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 27, 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.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Heart of a Princess

Eek! I’m so excited to share with you Heart of Princess by Hannah Currie. It is the second novel in the YA series, The Daughters of Peverell. Anyone who knows me could tell you I am NOT a princess-y girl and one of my least favorite colors is pink. But I’m in love with this book and Princess Alina. The best books have heroines who I’d love to have as friends, and Alina would definitely make that list–even if she wore head to toe pink!

Keep reading for more information about the book, purchase links, and my full review.

About the Book:

To the watching world, Princess Alina has it all—maids to serve her, a kingdom to revere her, a prince to marry her, and a wardrobe filled with enough frills, flounces, and shades of pink to rival a flower shop. But behind the smiles and designer clothes, Alina has a secret. She’s barely holding it together.


After a moment of panic almost ends in tragedy, Alina is sent to a refuge far from the palace to recuperate. Her family claims it’s for her own good but—faced with cows, knife-beaked ducks, and far too many of her own insecurities—Alina is pretty sure it will kill her first. And Joha Samson, infuriating man that he is, will laugh as it does.
Only there’s more to Joha than she realizes, and more to herself too. When the time comes to make a stand, will she find the courage?

Get your copy here.

My Thoughts:

Heart of a Princess by Hannah Curie is book two in The Daughters of Peverell Series. I will be honest and say I have Heart of a Royal of my TBR, but I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. However, that did not diminish the brilliance of Alina’s story for me. I absolutely adored Alina and Joha’s story from beginning to end. I literally could NOT put this book down and am guilty of reading into the early hours of the morning to finish it.

Alina is a complicated princess (not that I know very many–or any), but she grows on you quickly. Her outward appearance and behavior may be made to look perfect, but it is a vulnerable, hurting little girl who lives underneath. And I think in today’s world, Alina’s struggles of trying to conform to what she thinks the people of Peverell want is incredibly relevant. How often do we try to conform to what the world wants?

Alina’s journey of healing and search for peace is restorative, a breath of fresh air. I loved her desire to find purpose in everyday tasks and her willingness to expose her weaknesses to learn more about herself and The Rebel’s beliefs. Peverell was blessed to have a princess with such a heart!

And Joha. He may not be your typical hero, with his snarky comments and bushy beard–BUT, ladies, he is amazing! Although not known for tact, his heart is in the right place. And I always love it when a hero can bring the heroine’s best qualities to the surface by believing in her (even if no one else does!). 

Alina and Joha’s story has many ups, downs, and a few twists. You won’t want to close the book until you reach the end–trust me. It was worth forfeiting sleep to finish! The warm fuzzy feelings and cheek-stretching smiles you experience will fuel you to the end. Ah, I miss Alina and Joha already. 

Any fan of Christian young adult fiction will enjoy this book, especially if you are a fan of royalty (who isn’t?).

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I do hope you grab Heart of Princess on pre-order, so you can enjoy Alina and Joha’s story as much as I did!

Connect with the author Hannah Currie on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hannah_currie_author/ or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/author.hannah.currie

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

What Momma Left Behind

Oh, this story really touched my heart. A young woman who is struggling through tragedy and hard times, trying to find herself. What Momma Left Behind immediately pulled me into the life of Worie Dressar, who has a big heart and a big temper. I was entranced as I followed Worie on her journey full of heartache, secrets and heart-filling love. It was a short read, but I couldn’t put it down!

Thank-you to Revell publishing for my copy of What Momma Left Behind. Keep reading for my full review and find out where to get your copy!

About the Book:

Worie Dressar is 17 years old when influenza and typhoid ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1877, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie’s mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.

Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers–one greedy and the other a drunkard–Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma’s children.

Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

Get your copy here.**

**affiliate link

My Thoughts:

What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles is a painful yet beautiful journey of an Appalachian girl who is forced to realize and accept her womanhood. The story begins with the tragedy of the loss of Momma Dressar, and as her daughter, Worie, struggles to make sense of her new life, trouble continues. But so do blessings.

I thought the deeply personal account of Worie’s journey into her own was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. The struggle of grief. The cutting pain of secrets revealed. The often confusing call of the Lord. The search for a purpose. Worie may have stepped into womanhood when she buried her momma, but her growing pains had only just begun. She would be forced to face her own faults, extend forgiveness to others, and learn to trust. What a path she traveled!

I am always reading novels full of romance, but the love in this novel between Worie and the orphan children her momma had been feeding is a selfless, one-of-a-kind, tear-inducing love. Worie’s soft and open heart was inspiring, her ability to create a family out of strangers a perfect example of how God creates His family from people from all walks of life. It is this grand theme of love and selfless service to others that had my heart thrumming as I turned the last page of this story. 

I enjoyed learning about life in the Appalachian mountains. It was amazing to me that despite their isolation and desolation by disease, the people stayed strong in their faith and were quick to help each other. It was easy to see the beauty of their home despite the many hardships.

I thoroughly enjoyed What Momma Left Behind. It’s a beautiful story of healing and growth and a true example of how we ought to love each other. Christian historical fiction fans will enjoy learning about life in the Appalachian mountains during this trying time.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I hope you all have a great July 4th holiday, and I hope you add What Momma Left Behind to your summer TBR!

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina


The Woman in the Green Dress

Thank-you to TNZ Fiction for my copy of The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper for review. I am new to the time-slip genre, and I’d never read a story where both timelines are historical. What a treat!

This book has such depth. It’s descriptions are so rich. You will feel as if you are present with the characters on their unforgettable journey.

Keep reading for my full review and to find purchase links!

About the Book:

A cursed opal, a gnarled family tree, and a sinister woman in a green dress emerge in the aftermath of World War I.

After a whirlwind romance, London teashop waitress Fleur Richards can’t wait for her new husband, Hugh, to return from the Great War. But when word of his death arrives on Armistice Day, Fleur learns he has left her a sizable family fortune. Refusing to accept the inheritance, she heads to his beloved home country of Australia in search of the relatives who deserve it more.

In spite of her reluctance, she soon finds herself the sole owner of a remote farm and a dilapidated curio shop full of long-forgotten artifacts, remarkable preserved creatures, and a mystery that began more than sixty-five years ago. With the help of Kip, a repatriated soldier dealing with the sobering aftereffects of war, Fleur finds herself unable to resist pulling on the threads of the past. What she finds is a shocking story surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress. . . a story that, nevertheless, offers hope and healing for the future.

This romantic mystery from award-winning Australian novelist Tea Cooper will keep readers guessing until the astonishing conclusion.

Get your copy here.**

**Affiliate link

My Thoughts:

The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper is a time-slip novel with two historical timelines, one in the 1850s in Australia and the other just after the end of WWI in England/Australia.

I am new to time-slip novels, but I was fascinated by this one. I am a huge historical fiction fan, so it was perfection for me to have both timelines be historical. And the author does an amazing job painting the setting for readers. The exotic and sun-filled landscape of Australia was made vivid and alive.

The one thing I love about time-slips is making the one big connection between timelines. Sometimes they are obvious, but in The Woman in the Green Dress, I felt you had to really delve into the story and characters to understand all the intricately woven details between generations. It was a fascinating journey, and one that is entirely satisfactory in the end.

The characters are all carefully crafted and memorable for one reason or another. It is difficult to pick a favorite, but I did love Fleur’s tenacity, Bert’s cheekiness, and the Captain’s unwavering honor. They will all stay with you well after you close the book!

Any fan of historical fiction or time-slip novels will appreciate this story. You won’t want to put it down until you have every question answered!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review.

I hope you take a chance on The Woman in the Green Dress. It is a unique and enchanting adventure.

Happy reading and God Bless!

–Kristina

Storing Up Trouble and a Giveaway!

If you are needing some comedic relief through all the troubles of the world today, then Storing Up Trouble will hit the spot! It is an entertaining and well crafted book all-around.

Keep reading to find out more about the book, read more from Jen Turano, and get the details of the giveaway!

About the Book

Book:  Storing Up Trouble

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 6, 2020

Storing Up Trouble

When Beatrix Waterbury’s train is disrupted by a heist, scientist Norman Nesbit comes to her aid. After another encounter, he is swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract—including the attention of the men trying to steal his research—and they’ll soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano is a fantastic read for historical fiction lovers! I absolutely loved everything about this story. And, as usual, the author delivers a story with plenty of opportunities to make you smile and laugh out loud. (My husband even had me read some scenes to him so he could understand why I kept laughing.) The witty banter throughout the story will have you rolling over and over. Trust me!

The characters are superb, and I was beyond giddy when I realized that almost every character was a bit odd, since I consider myself to fit into that category as well. It was fun to be among others whose strengths do not include socializing. And as a self-proclaimed nerd, I loved all the talk of science and experiments as well as the furthering of women’s rights in the workplace and the voting booth. 

I adored the way Beatrix affected Norman. It warmed my heart to see how she set in motion a cascade of awareness in Norman’s mind about his self-centered behavior and how he chose to correct it. He may be an odd, eccentric gentleman, but he is a gentleman of the best kind.

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction with a lighter theme, then you will treasure this book! It was a welcome distraction from the heavier issues of the world, and I enjoyed every word.

I was given a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Turano_Jen1

Jen Turano, (www.jenturano.com) a USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

More from Jen

Thank you so much for visiting me on my Celebrate Lit tour as we celebrate the release of my latest novel, “Storing Up Trouble.” I’m delighted to be here, and I reached out to my street team to help me with the questions you’ll find below. I’m hoping the answers to those questions will allow you to learn just a bit about my new book, as well as allow you to get to know me better. With that said, here we go!

Can you tell us a little about “Storing Up Trouble?”

I’d be delighted to tell you about my latest book. “Storing Up Trouble” is the third book in the “American Heiress” series, but you don’t need to read the first two books in that series (“Flights of Fancy” “Diamond in the Rough” to understand what’s going on. I’ve been writing my books more as stand alone stories, and “Storing Up Trouble” is no exception to that. With that said, this book centers around Miss Beatrix Waterbury and Mr. Norman Nesbit. Beatrix, unfortunately, has annoyed her mother to such an extent that she finds herself banished from New York and on her way to Chicago to spend time with her aunt, a lady Beatrix remembers as being a querulous sort. She, being Beatrix, a lady who lands herself in trouble at the most unexpected of times, soon finds herself a victim of a train heist. An unlikely hero in the form of Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman with a brilliant mind but relatively few social graces, comes to her rescue, and from the moment they disembark from the train, they find themselves thrust into one escapade after another.

In “Storing Up Trouble,” is there a character you’d like to be friends with in real life, or better yet, a character you’d avoid at all costs?

I actually have an answer to both parts of that question. Miss Theodosia Robinson is a lady I would love to count as a friend because she’s loyal to a fault, and is a friend who’ll be there for you, no matter if you want to delve into an unusual scientific experiment, or take a jaunt to your local department store to do a bit of shopping. As for who I’d avoid at all cost – Mrs. George Blossom, who has a very small part in the story, but she’s a customer at Marshal Fields & Company who embraces an air of superiority over the sales girls, and I’ve never been one to enjoy people like that.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

That’s easy. Being Dominic’s mom. He was definitely a handful when he was little, which is why he’s an only child, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to watch him grow over the years. He recently graduated from college with a degree in engineering, and seeing him land a grown up job and begin to embrace the whole adulting thing makes me prouder than any book I’ve written or other job I’ve held.

What was the inspiration behind “Storing Up Trouble?”

There were quite a few things that inspired me to write this book. I’d set another one of my books, “Caught by Surprise” in Chicago, and because of the research I did for that book, research I wasn’t able to fit into that story, I knew I wanted to revisit that city at some point. Beatrix Waterbury gave me the perfect excuse to travel back there. I wanted to take her out of her usual setting of NYC, so off she went to Chicago, on a train ride that definitely turned concerning. I had also picked up a few research books about Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison and I’ve been itching to create a character after those brilliant gentlemen. Norman Nesbit turned into that gentleman, although I have to admit that some of the science Nikola and Thomas used was way over my head. My son, the engineer, tried to explain it to me, but I believe at one point I might have been drooling, and not in the good way, but the bored way. That’s when Norman really began to develop because I thought it would be amusing to have a character who was passionate about his field of study, but most of the people he tried to share that passion with had no idea what he was talking about and always got a bit of a dazed expression in their eyes as he waxed on and on about double-electrical currents.

What fun facts did you uncover while doing research for “Storing Up Trouble” but weren’t able to fit into the story?

There was so much fodder for additional storylines just with the research I did on Marshal Field and his department store. Did you know that the main store in Chicago burned down doing the Great Fire of 1871 and…it burned down several times after that? Who knew? There was also a lot of drama surrounding Marshal and his partner for years, Mr. Levi Zeigler Leiter. They had different ideas about how the store should evolve, which resulted in Marshal forcing Levi to sell his shares of the company to him, at which point the store turned from  Field, Leiter, & Company to Marshal Fields Company. It was also interesting to learn that Mr. Fields was notorious for paying his workers low wages, but those workers accepted those wages because of the prestige that came with working at his store. If you worked at any other store, you were considered common, but to work at Marshal Fields was a feather in your cap, even if you weren’t earning as much as you could have earned at another store.

What are quirky little things you keep on your desk?

At the moment, I have one little pig with googly eyes, one cow with googly eyes, and then another small pig that a reader sent me because she really liked Matilda in “A Match of Wits” and thought this little pig she found at a store was exactly what Matilda would look like.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Oddly enough, no, it never crossed my mind until Dominic was in third grade and we decided to write a book together after finishing this horrible series about this bird. That book was never meant for publication, but it did have me remembering that I had, at one point in time before I became a stay-at-home-mom, enjoyed using my brain. I started experimenting with different genres and learned everything I could about the publishing industry. It took me five years to find an agent, and then she sold “A Change of Fortune” to Bethany House, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

I get this question a lot, and I always answer by saying “Have an honest talk with yourself about what you really want to achieve with your writing.” It’s perfectly fine to want to write because you’re interested in turning it into a career. However, with that said, a writer needs to understand that writing and publishing are two different creatures. Publishing is a daunting business, and it’ll take a lot of perseverance to find success with it. With that said, if you have raw talent and are a story teller at heart, you should write all the time and do whatever you can to learn how to improve your craft.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new series right now – “The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency.” The first book, “To Steal a Heart” releases in November, 2020. It’s about Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who spent her childhood living on the mean streets in Five Points. She’s currently living in a boarding house on Bleeker Street in New York City, and when a fellow resident gets unjustly accused of theft, Gabriella, along with the other ladies living in the boarding house, take it upon themselves to try and clear her name. That’s the beginning of the Bleeker Street Agency, and hopefully the ladies will enjoy much success as the series continues.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope all of you get an opportunity to read “Storing Up Trouble!”

Wishing you all the best,

Jen

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 23

Godly Book Reviews, May 23

Robin’s Nest, May 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 24

Rebecca Tews, May 24

Texas Book-aholic, May 24

Novelscorner, May 24

Among the Reads, May 25

Inklings and notions, May 25

deb’s Book Review, May 25

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 26

Hebrews 12 Endurance, May 26

reviewingbooksplusmore, May 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 27

Losing the Busyness, May 27

For Him and My Family, May 27

Simple Harvest Reads, May 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 28

Inside the Wong Mind, May 28

Mia Reads, May 29

Read Review Rejoice, May 29

Betti Mace, May 30

Breny and Books, May 30

Blogging With Carol, May 30

Life of Literature, May 31

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 31

Emily Yager, May 31

Splashes of Joy, May 31

The Collaborative Press, June 1

Stories By Gina, June 1

Hookmeinabook, June 1

Blessed & Bookish, June 2

Older & Smarter?, June 2

The Artist Librarian, June 2

Blossoms and Blessings, June 2

Through the Fire Blogs, June 3

Beauty in the Binding, June 3

Mary Hake, June 3

amandainpa, June 3

Wishful Endings, June 4

EmpowerMoms, June 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 4

Pause for Tales, June 4

KarenSueHadley, June 5

Raining Butterfly Kisses, June 5

With a Joyful Noise, June 5

Hallie Reads, June 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the the grand prize package of all three books in the American Heiresses series and a $25 Barnes & Noble eGift 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/fb8f/storing-up-trouble-celebration-tour-giveaway

Good luck!

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

Made in Hollywood and a Giveaway!

Happy Thursday! Looking for your next amazing read? Then I urge you to read A Red Carpet Romance series by Michelle Keener. Her stories are excellent–fully of lovable and relatable characters and strong inspirational themes. I loved Mission Hollywood (Book 1) and Made in Hollywood (Book 2). They are stories that touch your heart and lift your soul. And who doesn’t need some of that right now?

Keep reading to find out more about Made in Hollywood, read a special message from Michelle Keener and enter the giveaway!

About the Book

Book:  Made in Hollywood

Author: Michelle Keener

Genre:  Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 10, 2020

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When a pastor’s son saves her life, can a prodigal daughter dare to believe in second chances?

Noah Shaw is almost thirty and he still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. Torn between running his business as a limo driver for Hollywood’s elite, and feeling called to ministry, he prays for direction. But he never expects that direction to include finding a woman near-death on the front steps of his father’s church.

Hannah left her family and her faith when she moved to Hollywood looking for adventure. Instead of finding fame in the movies, she was lured into the life of an exotic dancer. Hopeless and ashamed, suicide seems like her only escape. Until the night Noah saves her life.

The Shaw family welcomes her into their home and gives her a chance to start over. When the shadows of her former life threaten to expose her past, she must choose between running away or fighting for the new life she’s built and the man she’s grown to love.

Click here for your copy.

My Thoughts

Made in Hollywood is the second novel in the A Red Carpet Romance series by Michelle Keener. I have been looking forward to reading Noah’s story since finishing the first book, Mission Hollywood, and I absolutely loved this story!

The characters are amazing, just like the first novel, each so unique and genuine. The cozy family feel of Mission Hollywood extends into this story and to all who are near the Shaws. They are such an amazing example of God’s love and mercy. And yet, they are not perfect either, which makes them even more loveable and relatable!

I loved Hannah’s prodigal story, and the redemption she gained by turning her life over to God. The inspirational themes of forgiveness, redemption and mercy are prevalent and fantastic. I had tears of in my eyes during more than once scene as I was in awe of the power and grace of God. Michelle Kenner knows how to write a powerfully touching story. One that every single one of us can relate to in one way or another.

I hope we get to see more of the Shaw family as well as Kate and Chris in another book! I will be impatiently waiting! I love this series!

If you enjoy contemporary Christian fiction, you will love this book! I would recommend reading the first novel, Mission Hollywood before reading this one as Made in Hollywood picks up where the first book ended.

Happy reading!

I was given a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Michelle Keener

Michelle Keener is a wife, mom, and the author of five books. She lives in Southern California with her retired Marine husband, their two children, and one spoiled dog. When she isn’t writing, she is busy homeschooling, teaching creative writing workshops, or baking something involving chocolate.

More from Michelle

The Story of a Prodigal Daughter

Made in Hollywood is the sequel to my first Christian romance novel Mission Hollywood. It’s the story of Lily’s brother Noah and his search for love and direction. In the book, Noah meets a young girl who has been through some truly dark and terrible places. She’s been wounded, abused, and she’s lost hope. She’s worried that her past is too much for God to forgive, and that she’s fallen too far and doesn’t deserve God’s grace. She is a prodigal daughter lost on the streets of Hollywood.

One of the reasons I wrote Made in Hollywood (aside from the fact that I just adore Noah) is to be a reminder that God never gives up on us. Just like the story of the Prodigal Son, if we turn back to God, He will run to us and bring us home.

There is no place so dark that God light can’t reach.

There is no sin, no mistake, no circumstance that can separate us from the love of God. His arms are always open to us. His love is unchanging, unending, and unfailing. His amazing grace reaches the lost and restores what was broken. His love binds our wounds and heals our past. What the enemy intended for evil, God will turn to good. It’s a truth Hannah had to learn. It’s a truth I had to learn. And it’s a truth God wants His people to share. God’s love never fails.

I hope you enjoy Made in Hollywood!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 25

Batya’s Bits, May 25

Through the Fire Blogs, May 26

deb’s Book Review, May 26

For Him and My Family, May 27

My Devotional Thoughts, May 27

Blessed & Bookish, May 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 29

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 30

Quiet Quilter, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, June 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 1

Splashes of Joy, June 2

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 2

Inklings and notions, June 3

Pause for Tales, June 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 5

She Lives To Read, June 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 6

Artistic Nobody, June 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Read Review Rejoice, June 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the 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/fa95/made-in-hollywood-celebration-tour-giveaway

Good luck with the giveaway!

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

On a Coastal Breeze and a Giveaway!

Have you started your beach TBR for the summer yet? Or maybe, like my land-locked self, just a plain old summer TBR? If so, then Suzanne Woods Fisher’s newest release, On a Coastal Breeze, would be the perfect addition!

Three Sister’s Island is a peaceful and almost magical place. It is a treat to visit a second time around! And it makes me want to pack up to the ocean!

Keep reading for my full review, and don’t miss all the details of the giveaway at the end of the post.

About the Book

Book:  On A Coastal Breeze

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre:  Amish Romance

Release Date: May 5, 2020

On A Coastal Breeze

For Madison Grayson, life is good. Newly licensed as a marriage and family therapist, she can’t wait to start her practice. Despite the unfortunate shortage of eligible bachelors on the island–they’re all too young, too old, or too weird–Maddie feels like she’s finally found her sweet spot. Not even one panic attack in the last year. Not one.

And then Ricky O’Shea drops in. Literally. Floating down from the pure blue sky, the one man in the world she hoped never to see again–the one who’d been her archnemesis from kindergarten through her senior dance–parachutes into town, landing on Boon Dock, canopy draping behind him like a superhero. Ricky O’Shea. Now Pastor Rick, the new minister on Three Sisters Island.

Time to panic.

With wit and a bit of whimsy, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Three Sisters Island where family, forgiveness, and a second chance at love await.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

It was a pleasure to return to Three Sister’s Island for the second installment of the series. I love the Grayson family from the first novel, On a Summer Tide, and I was looking forward to getting the know the sister even better in this story.

On a Coastal Breeze is Maddie’s story, and I enjoyed seeing her overcome her anxiety to help others–both her clients and her sisters. It was refreshing to see a family who turns to each other (or at least to Maddie) to talk through their problems. It seemed her office door was always swinging with one sister or the other.

I also really enjoyed the story of Maddie and Rick. Their shared past was entertaining, frustrating, and downright heartbreaking, but it was gratifying to watch them heal their relationship piece by piece.

Just like in the first novel, the Grayson family is strong, even when one of them is struggling with a weakness. And I love how they rally around each other and are always looking for ways to appreciate and include each other more every day. There are many things I like about the Three Sister’s Island series so far, but the genuine feel of the Grayson family is what I like most. They are damaged. Scared. Insecure. But together they will find a way to persevere.

If you are a fan of contemporary Christian fiction, you will enjoy this book! And while the romance is slow-developing, it is very much satisfying.  I will be impatiently waiting for Blaine’s story!

I was given a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

suzanne woods fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including On a Summer Tide, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, The Deacon’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, among other novels. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs. She lives in California. Learn more at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

More from Suzanne

Dear Reader,

The minute you step off the ferry and onto Three Sister Island, magic begins. Crisp ocean air acts like an elixir. Stress starts to evaporate, like a wisp of steam from a cup of hot tea. Happiness moves in, and you’ll feel more cheerful, more positive about the future.

And then there’s time! Somehow, there seems to be plenty of it.

Little things will catch your notice—finding seashells on the beach, watching waves crash against the rocks, gazing at the star-studded night sky.

Life just starts to slow down…and you wonder if you really want to ever leave Three Sisters Island.

Nor do you have to! That’s the beauty of books—they are the perfect escape. Always available, just waiting to be picked up. Always ready to transport you to a fresh and new state of mind.

On a Coastal Breeze is that kind of a read. The Grayson Family saga continues as they move to Three Sisters Island off the coast of Maine for a fresh start. Maddie Grayson takes center stage in this story. Life is finally coming together for Maddie. On the very day she opens her counseling practice, she spots a billowing skydiver. Parachuting in is Ricky O’ Shea—the one person on earth Maddie hoped she’d never see again. But Rick’s the new pastor for the island’s only church and he’s not about to leave. That’s when sparks start to fly.

Join me for a getaway by the sea that will leave you in a happy, relaxed, vacation-y state of mind…without leaving your home. Once you board the Never Late Ferry, even in your imagination, the island will take it from there.

Warmly, Suzanne

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, May 18

The Avid Reader, May 18

By The Book, May 18

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 19

Artistic Nobody, May 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Betti Mace, May 20

Lighthouse Academy, May 20

The Power of Words, May 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 21

Texas Book-aholic, May 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 21

Wishful Endings, May 22

Inklings and notions, May 22

deb’s Book Review, May 22

Blossoms and Blessings, May 23

reviewingbooksplusmore, May 23

Connect in Fiction, May 23

Remembrancy, May 24

Writing from the Heart Land, May 24

Blogging With Carol, May 24

Blessed & Bookish, May 25

Inspiration Clothesline, May 25

Back Porch Reads, May 25

For Him and My Family, May 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 26

Daysong Reflections, May 26

Spoken from the Heart, May 27

Mary Hake, May 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 27

Simple Harvest Reads, May 28 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Bigreadersite, May 28

Splashes of Joy, May 28

Older & Smarter?, May 29

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 30

EmpowerMoms, May 30

Pause for Tales, May 30

Batya’s Bits, May 31

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 31

Hallie Reads, May 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a copy of her book to five winners!

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/fb52/on-a-coastal-breeze-celebration-tour-giveaway

Good luck with the giveaway and happy reading!

–Kristina

Standoff

A big thank-you to Revell for sending me this beautiful copy Standoff by Patricia Bradley. This is the first novel in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, and I am already looking forward to the next installment!

If you are a fan of suspense or action movies, you should put Standoff on your TBR. It’s intense!

Continue reading for my full review and to find a link to purchase your own copy!

About the Book:

The Natchez Trace National Parkway stretches 444 miles from Nashville to Natchez, the oldest town on the Mississippi River. It’s the perfect road for a relaxed pleasure drive. Unfortunately for park ranger Luke Fereday, lately it’s being used to move drugs. Sent to Natchez to infiltrate the organization at the center of the drug ring, Luke arrives too late to a stakeout and discovers the body of his friend, park ranger John Danvers.

John’s daughter Brooke is determined to investigate her father’s murder, but things are more complicated than they first appear, and Brooke soon finds herself the target of a killer who will do anything to silence her. Luke will have his hands full keeping her safe. But who’s going to keep him safe when he realizes he’s falling–hard–for the daughter of the man he failed to save?

Get your copy here.**

My Thoughts:

Standoff by Patricia Bradley is the first book in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, and what a start! Loaded with action, I was captivated by all the explosive events and the perfectly paced, unfolding mystery.

The layers of evidence mounted throughout the story, but the whodunit was cleverly kept revealed until the end by carefully constructed red herrings. I found myself contemplating all the suspects while not even reading the book! I couldn’t get it out of my mind!

Being from a small town, I appreciated the small town feel of this story. I loved the tight knit community and how the characters had a past with each other that complicated the story and the list of suspects.

If you love romantic suspense (Terri Blackstock, Colleen Coble) you will enjoy this thrilling story!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I hope you all enjoy the thrilling ride-along through Natchez in Standoff by Patricia Bradley!

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina