12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Celebrate Lit book tour & giveaway.

 

12 days at bleakly manor copy

Click here to purchase your copy.

Would you take a gift from a stranger by staying at a Manor for 12 days to receive it? These people did and each day brought about a surprise. Good, bad, funny or deadly! I enjoyed the mystery, the suspense and the ending… not what I suspected! Totally enjoyed it!

*Scroll down to enter the giveaway…

About the Book

Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor        Bleakly Manor COVER

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

About the Author

unnamedMichelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or Pinterest.

 

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor

Guest post by Michelle Griep

Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…

TREE DECORATIONS

Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.

GREENERY

Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.

WREATHS

“Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.

CANDLES

Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.

DRESDENS

Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal.

And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy.

And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Blog Stops

By The Book, December 14

Bukwurmzzz, December 14

Faery Tales Are Real, December 14

A Baker’s Perspective, December 15

A Reader’s Brain, December 15

Have A Wonderful Day, December 15

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Carpe Diem, December 16

Cafinated ReadsDecember 16

Just the Write Escape, December 17

A Greater YesDecember 17

Remembrancy, December 17

AllofakindmomDecember 18

History, Mystery & Faith, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 18

amandainpa, December 19

Kat’s Corner Books, December 19

Mommynificent, December 19

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

Bookworm Mama, December 20

Vicky Sluiter, December 20

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, December 21

To Everything A Season, December 21

Reader’s Cozy Corner, December 22

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 22

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)

My Writer’s Life, December 23

Janices book reviews, December 23

For The Love of Books, December 23

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 24

Red Headed Book Lady, December 25

Raining Butterfly Kisses, December 25

Bibliophile Reviews, December 26

Blogging With Carol,December 26

Mary Hake, December 26

Reflections From my Bookshelves, December 27

Giveaway

cd62edc0-0105-4e08-a6e7-50bcf86b86ca

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8

I was gifted a copy from Barbour Publishing,  Net Galley and Celebrate Lit, my participation is voluntary..

 

 

 

Advertisements

My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah. A Celebrate Lit book tour with a giveaway..

I do enjoy a historical romance and I learned so much about this time in history, the dangers of coal mining and the discrimination of immigrants. Family was very important, the miners jobs were hard and Castle Gate, Utah was a perfect setting for this story. Leanna was a special lady and I cheered her on when she finally made the best decision for her future..  I wanted more of their story when I read the final page!
About the Book

My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah    CastleGate

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life.

Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.

Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him. When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Gate. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.

About the Author

Angie Dicken BioAngie Dicken is a third generation Greek American, the granddaughter of strong men and women who endured hardship to grow American roots. My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah is set near the birthplace of her grandfather, a Greek coal miner’s son, and published 100 years after his birth. Angie is a contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog and an ACFW member since 2010. She lives with her husband and four children in the Midwest where she enjoys exploring eclectic new restaurants and chatting with friends over coffee. You can connect with Angie at http://www.angiedicken.com.

Guest Post from Angie Dicken

My Publishing Story: A Journey of Perfect Timing

“Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14

I wrote a story five years ago. My footing was finally solid on how to write, after a couple ACFW conferences and connecting with my bestie writing sister, Ashley. So in 2012, I poured my heart out within the parameters of what I’d learned.

The story I wrote stemmed from my heritage. From a very young age, I’ve been inspired by my grandfather. He was the son of a Greek coal miner who came over from Greece in the 1910’s. My grandfather always had wonderful stories to tell–he stirred up my intrigue for WWII era as he was a Purple Heart recipient (twice), and spoke of freeing concentration camps and invading Hitler’s homes; my grandfather lived a rags to riches legacy, having been born in a tent in a coal town, and then becoming a successful home and commercial builder–I declared I’d be an architect at age eleven…even majoring in Landscape Architecture in college.

My great grandfather, born in 1884 and immigrated to Utah in 1910’s.
My great grandfather, born in 1884 and
immigrated to Utah in 1910’s.My great grandfather, born in 1884 and immigrated to Utah in 1910's.
Papou was one of my greatest heroes. And my novel was a tribute to him, to my Greek roots, to an American legacy.
So, at ACFW 2012, I took my novel to conference with more confidence than I had before. This story caught the attention of an agent– and I signed a contract with the Steve Laube Agency in November of that year. That was amazing…I chuckle now because the name of the room that I interviewed with Tamela was the “McKee” room–the last name of my heroine. A sign? Maybe. When she sent my story out for all publishers to see that next month, I thought my time for that book was just around the corner.

And…

Now it’s 2017, and that story is under contract with a publisher as of Fall 2016.

What timing, right?

Why the heck did it take so long? Not for lack of trying. My agent and I took every possible measure.

Why did I get rejection after rejection, and write two other books in the wait?

What happened between then?

Only in looking back, do I see why I had to wait for this book. And when I look back, I realize just how much Timing is His and there’s nothing I can do to speed it up or make it mine. All I can do is take courage, and wait.

I’ll give you a quick recap of what happened between 2013–when the book was put in the proverbial drawer of unwanted manuscripts–and now, 2017, the year it will get published (um, after a few rewrites and edits–always learning…).

In looking back, this is what I see:

 

My Community was Built. I fell in love with my writer friendships. A bit dramatic? Maybe, but it’s the truth. I connected with ladies who knew my heart as a writer, and allowed me into their lives in an authentic, Christ-loving way. I found hope in the writing journey because my friends held my hands and rubbed my back when all seemed lost. And in this, I grew not as a writer, but as a heart. My heart became soft for the needs of others and the value of authenticity in this short, precious life.

There was a Pride Monster, and He needed to kill it. Oh, Lord, if ever there was a pride monster, it was me. My gut reaction in every rejection, every criticism, every other person’s success was a measurement against them according to me. Yuck. Do you know what the best way to kill a Pride Monster? Starve it. Even though I had my sweet friends and my agent encouraging me along the way, my heart was set on publication and I was not getting that. I wanted it so badly that I turned ugly when it seemed to slip through my fingers with every rejection. And I spiraled and I came up for air to those authentic friendships speaking Truth in love. God knew what He was doing when He built my community, and He knew He would use it to lift me up and tear down my ugly.

The Darkest Valley Was Ahead. Everything stood still in 2014. My personal crisis gave me little room for any true focus on my writing success. If anything, it made the effort seem petty. When you go through your days wondering if you’ll make it to the next morning without a complete mental breakdown, you can’t really dream. My dream in those moments was to crawl out of my skin and run away. This was not about my writing, this was about God’s faithfulness to someone who was losing faith–in the person she loved, in the life she constructed, in the heart that was broken. Looking back (I did climb up and out of this valley), I needed this valley walk (or crawl) to happen when it did–without a book on the shelf, without confidence in something that I had accomplished. I needed brokenness to become stronger and know that my strength has nothing to do with me.

There are several other moments and signs that I see as I look back, but I’m not going for the longest blog post of 2017, but I do want to share two sweet confirmations that the timing really is His.

First, I got a book contract! You know this, but, the contract came at a time when I had grown peaceful in the journey–the pride monster lay slain, and I picked up a pen and took an opportunity. My Oklahoma Land Run book with Love Inspired Historical won the Manuscript Matchmakers contest…and WAS coming out in Spring 2018.

I had secretly told those closest to me, that it would’ve been nice for it to come out in September instead…just because that’s when the book opens–September, 1893–the historical date of the Land Run.

So, what happens after I turn in my complete book a few days before its deadline? My editor tells me they bumped up my date to September of 2017. And I am sure, for them, it had nothing to do with the history, but for me, it was everything to do with the history–and His timing. Look for my debut novel, The Outlaw’s Second Chance this September!

There’s more…

My second contract came in! And this was a wonderful surprise. My agent and I had found out last spring that a new series was being launched based on geographical places around the U.S. I immediately thought of my Coal country story. So, I put together a proposal for a book I’d written long ago…and got a contract with Barbour this Fall for my novel, My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah.

But, the timing? November 2017 is my release.

God’s Timing in its finest…The book comes out during the centennial year of my grandfather’s birth. He was born in Dec. 1917 in Carbon County, Utah. My hero and my inspiration for this very book.

I just can’t stop smiling at the chance to honor my late grandfather with a story written by his third generation Greek American granddaughter who was inspired by his roots grown a century ago.

If only he could be here now. But I know he’s smiling, too.

A century.

It took a CENTURY.

Only by God’s grace, and His perfect timing.

Book Tour Blogs:

A Baker’s Perspective, October 31

Faithfully Bookish, October 31

Caffeinated Reads, October 31

Captive Dreams Window, November 1

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 1

A Greater Yes, November 2

Janices book reviews, November 2

Daysong ReflectionsNovember 2

Red Headed Book Lady, November 3

Books, Books, and More Books.November 3

Just the Write Escape, November 3

Carpe Diem, November 4

Christian Bookaholic, November 4

Radiant LightNovember 5

History, Mystery & Faith, November 5

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 6

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Babs Book Bistro, November 7

Kristin’s Book Reviews, November 7

Singing Librarian Books, November 8

Connie’s History Classroom, November 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 9

J.E. Grace Christian Author Blog, November 9

Neverending Stories, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day, November 10

Pause for Tales, November 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 11

Mary Hake, November 11

Splashes of JoyNovember 11

BigreadersiteNovember 12

Blossoms and Blessings, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Vicky Sluiter, November 13

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 13

Giveaway

acde5580-5133-4fd9-a2d9-561d67d698b5

 

 

To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of her book The Outlaw’s Second Chance!!

Click promo link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1ff

 

I was gifted a copy to participate in this book tour and my participation is voluntary.

The Return (Giveaway)

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

A young Amish girl captured by Indians, the first Conestoga wagon, Benjamin Franklin helping restore peace with the Indians and the massacre of both Whites and Indians.  Inspired by true events, I found this story an enjoyable history lesson.

About the Book

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Release date: Sept 1, 2017The Return-Book Cover

Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

About the Author

Fisher_SuzanneWoods (1)Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer 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 http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.

According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.

ThreeSistersGarden2Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

302893_TheReturnFisher_GiveawayPosts3 **You can find all the blog stops “HERE”

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:

Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:

An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return

Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return

The Amish Beginning 3 book set series

One grand prize winner will receive:

An iPad Mini

You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)

To Wager Heart by Tamera Alexander 

To Wager Heart by Tamera Alexander 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover113285-small.png

When Sylas Rutledge finds he doesn’t have the social graces he needs to win a Railroad contract he desperately wants, he enlists Alexandra Jamison to teach him. These main characters lead us through some historical events that are woven into a wonderful story of hard work, faith, prejudices, Nashville society and a touch of romance. I really enjoyed the story and the history lesson was enlightening!

About the Book:

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn’t tear them apart first.

Set against the real history of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island

 My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels  A little deception went a long ways in this wonderful story. A story of life of the rich being targeted by men and women looking for a marriage to success and wealth! A wonderful family story, with a little sweet romance! I really enjoyed this story and hope there will be a continuing series with these interesting characters..

 

About the book:

Moor your heart on Mackinac Island along with resident sweetheart Maude Welling, an heiress trying to prove her worth by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel. Meet Ben Steffans, a journalist posing as a wealthy industrialist who has come to the island to uncover a story about impoverished men pursuing heiresses at the famed hotel. Will a growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed in this Gilded Age romance?

About the Author:      Carrie Fancett Pagels

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is an ECPA-bestselling award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

For Love & Honor (giveaway)

For Love and Honor Banner

I really enjoyed this story! Lady Sabine feels she has no hope in finding a suitable young man to marry.  Sir Bennet has no desire to marry, he has to fix the family finances. These two are thrown together and the story of young maids, Knights, family responsibilities and battles against neighbors. Such an interesting story it’s definitely on my favorites list!

For Love & Honor

Click “HERE” to Purchase     Follow the tour  “HERE”

About the Book
Author: Jody Helund
Genre: Young Adult Historical               
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

About the Author

Jody Hedlund. Web - CopyJody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

Guest Posts by Jody Hedlund

Guest Post 1
Is Chivalry on the Brink of Extinction?

With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its popularity, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term consequences that such ideology will have on how people view relationships.

Already, too many couples struggle to maintain happy, healthy relationships. In fact, it’s become almost a weekly occurrence to get news of another friend or acquaintance who is dealing with a spouse cheating or leaving.

Mutual respect, loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice have become out-dated, forgotten, or tossed aside in place of short-term pleasure that often leaves people feeling hollow and empty.

I honestly can’t help wondering where chivalry has gone, and not just the man-doting-on-the-woman chivalry. But mutual chivalry, the kind where each person in the relationship puts the other in high esteem, uplifts them, and makes a concerted effort to protect and cherish (both emotionally and physically).

Has chivalry become antiquated in our modern society? And even if it has, should it be outdated and on the brink of extinction? Should we be making more of an effort to reclaim mutual respect in relationships?

The kind of respect that does things for someone with no thought of getting anything in return.

The kind of respect that is graciously honest about problems instead of sneaking around and being unfaithful.

The kind of respect that is willing to sacrifice and see the needs of others instead of demanding our way and our own needs be met first.

As my teenage children enter into dating relationships, I worry about the influence of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey. I worry that they’ll see dysfunction as the norm. I worry that they’ll settle for a lot less than they should in their relationships. I worry that they won’t even know the meaning of chivalry.

Of course, we’re having candid conversations about all of these issues. Of course, my husband and I attempt to model mutual respect. And of course, I’m praying my teens work on growing their own character so that they can be strong and ready for whatever they might face.

But one of the things I’ve done over the past couple of years is write a young adult (YA) series that is aimed at some of these very issues The third book, FOR LOVE & HONOR, just released this spring (and can be read as a stand-alone). Since the story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies, chivalry is already a huge part of that era.

More than giving readers a glimpse of chivalry, however, I hope the book sparks some discussion about what it means to have healthy, respectful relationships. The book contains reader questions at the end that youth groups, moms and daughters, or friends can use together.

It’s not just another dating book. Instead it’s a fun and entertaining story that can hopefully facilitate discussion regarding what it means to truly demonstrate chivalry in our relationships.

So what do YOU think? Is chivalry on the brink of extinction? What are some ways we can make sure that we don’t lose it?

Guest Post 2
Why I Write Young Adult (YA) Books

FOR LOVE & HONOR is the third book in my Young Adult (YA) series set during medieval times and centering around knights, castles, and daring damsels. For those who haven’t yet read An Uncertain Choice or A Daring Sacrifice, don’t worry. All of the books can be read as standalones.

While this YA medieval series has been a step away from my usual historical romances, I have to admit that the series has been SUPER fun to write.

First, I love writing in the medieval time period, a time overflowing with danger, wars, plagues, strange customs, harsh living conditions, and incredible differences between the have’s and the have-not’s. All of that is such excellent fodder for developing page-turning stories. And so usually as I’m writing these stories, I have no trouble putting my characters into life-threatening danger, which is always fun.

Second, I’ve had fun writing my YA series because I love being able to speak truths into the hearts of young people. I have 4 teenagers and one tween, so I’m surrounded by teen angst every day! As a result of dealing with lots of teen issues with my children and their friends, it’s my goal to share hope and encouragement that if my characters can persevere and handle the growing-up issues with integrity and strength, then my readers can too.

Finally, I’ve enjoyed writing my YA series because I believe teens need clean romance alternatives. A lot of teens are reading romances (that’s when I started reading them). I’ve loved being able to provide a clean romance alternative with chivalry and honor and courage and lots of other themes that will hopefully give young ladies encouragement and inspiration as they move forward into building healthy relationships of their own.

Lest adult readers worry that FOR LOVE & HONOR might be too juvenile for them, then let me put your fear to rest. Reviews from my adult readers are showing that they, too, are enjoying the new book:

“This is marketed as YA, but it’s wonderfully interesting for all ages, in my opinion.”

“Even though it is written with the younger set in mind, I, being of the older set, enjoyed it immensely.”

“For Love and Honor is everything that fans of Jody Hedlund have come to appreciate and enjoy; regaling her readers across the generations with the timeless reminder that God-given uniqueness is a priceless gift, bestowed out of everlasting love.”

How about YOU? Have you read any YA books lately?

Guest Post 3

The Importance of Recognizing an Author’s World View

Over the past several years, I’ve read quite a number of Young Adult (YA) books. Part of the reason is because I have four teens and one tween. So I want to keep up with the literary smorgasbord offered to teens, especially because so many books end up as blockbuster movies. Both the books and the movies open the door for lots of discussion. We talk about objectionable behaviors, difficult life-issues, character likability, and so much more.

One question I almost always ask is: So what’s this author’s world view?

We all have a world view– a set of principles we live by or the philosophy of life that guides us. Usually we see everything through the lens of our world view which dictates how we live, the decisions we make, the way we treat others, etc.

Authors have world views too. And those views color and shape everything we write into our books, whether we intend to or not.

For example, after reading the best seller A Fault in Our Stars, I talked to my daughters about cancer and all of the sadness and fear that come with it. But beyond that, we talked about the author’s world view. What did he believe about death, the afterlife, about God (or the lack thereof), and about the meaning of human existence? The author’s philosophies DO come across. Perhaps subtly. But they are there nonetheless.

Most of the time, however, we don’t really take the time to think about the views that form the foundations of the books we read. In fact, I would go as far to say that most of the time our kids read for entertainment with little thought about the author’s world view and how it may or may not line up with what they believe.

As a result of simply drinking in whatever we’re told, we become susceptible to fads, whims, and sometimes even deceitful philosophies masquerading as good.

Obviously, I permit my children to read a wide variety of books. I don’t shelter them or require them to only read classics. But hand-in-hand with giving them the opportunity to read popular books, I take my responsibility seriously to have frank discussions about what they’re reading (and watching).

The fact is, sadly, that all too many teen books nowadays require a lot of debriefing. And I have to admit that I would love to be able to have more choices for wholesome (yet entertaining!) books that I can put into my kids’ hands.

It’s my prayer that FOR LOVE & HONOR can be that kind of book. Please spread the word so that we can pave the way for more books just like it!

How about YOU? Do you think about an author’s world view as you’re reading books?

GIVEAWAY:

2181f4c9-19f5-4e35-8547-d0764ecac556

To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!
Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b6fc

I received a copy of this book to participate in this Celebrate Lit book tour.

Dawn of Liberty (giveaway)

dawn-of-liberty-banner

   Liberty comes with a price. Can a fledgling nation bear the cost? ~ Dawn of Liberty

My Thoughts:   This was an interesting story of Samuel Adams’ and how the Declaration of Independence could have happened. There was three short stories that told of the battle of getting independence. The British and the struggles of the colonial army and the choice of the delegates of the Second Continental Congress made for a lesson in History that was told as maybe a story that my Grandfather may have retold to a captive audience.. I enjoyed the story.

dawn-of-liberty-194x300

About the Book:

British forces advance upon a struggling colonial army. The time of decision has come. Declare independence, or give up the fight. The weight of a nation rests on Samuel Adams’ shoulders as he joins the delegates of the Second Continental Congress. Can he raise the cause of Liberty above the fear of the King’s wrath in the hearts of his countrymen?

Three riveting short stories follow Samuel Adams as he struggles through the events surrounding the Declaration of Independence and evokes the Dawn of Liberty.

Dawn of Liberty

Liberty hangs in the balance. With Pennsylvania’s vote divided, the declaration may not pass. Samuel Adams has two hours to convince the delegates to pass the document, or the lives sacrificed for freedom will be worthless.

A Shot at Freedom

“The Regulars are coming!”

Samuel Adams is awakened by Revere’s cry of alarm. A large force of British soldiers are marching on Lexington to seize him and his compatriot John Hancock. Adams and Hancock encourage the militia to make a stand against the Regulars, but should they stay and join the fight, or escape to safety?

Travail of a Nation

Samuel Adams felt the weight of the nation resting on his shoulders as he and his cousin entered the Pennsylvania State House. If the declaration did not pass today, their chances at ever truly gaining independence were all but lost. The British forces bound to arrive in New York any day would crush their revolution if it was not bolstered by a formal declaration. The “Travail Of A Nation” has begun…

Purchase your copy here.

**Scroll down for the giveaway..

About the Author 

author-shot-reading-277x300  Author of over half a dozen books, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/

Guest Post From Amber Schamel

On July 4th, 2016, Americans across the nation will celebrate the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Besides the basic overview you got in history class, how much do you really know about the document and the men that signed it?

As an American and a history nerd, I was upset when I realized how much I didn’t know the struggle these men went through, who they really were, what they felt, and what they were putting on the line when they signed their name to that document. There are SO many inspiring stories in the signers and founding fathers, so when I began looking at which signer to feature in Dawn of Liberty, it was a tough decision to pick only one. One of the signers was terminally ill and rode unthinkable miles through the rain to be there in time to sway the vote. Most were away from their homes and families for incredible amounts of time. Some sacrificed fame and fortune.

But after looking through all of the names, I ended up with Samuel Adams. Sam is such a passionate and inspiring character, and I really related to him. He voiced his passion for freedom and independence before the idea was popular, spent countless nights writing articles and pamphlets promoting the cause, always held faith and optimism that someday the Colonies would be free from the tyranny of England. His character is so intriguing and inspiring…Yet, Sam is only known as a beer brand.

Talk about infuriating a history nerd!

Sam Adams is a patriot and a hero. The more I learned and read about him, the more I liked him. Americans should know Sam for who he really is, rather than as the icon to sell liquor. That’s why I am so excited for people to meet Sam in DAWN OF LIBERTY. These stories give folks a chance to experience the tension in Philadelphia at the time of the signing, meet some of the signers, and feel the weight of the decision placed in their hands. It is my hope that this collection of short stories will make the signers more than just portraits in a history book. By the time you finish reading it, my prayer is that you feel you know Sam and his compatriots as friends.

Blog Stops

June 21: inklings and notions

June 22: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

June 23: Petra’s Hope

June 24: A Greater Yes

June 24: Simple Harvest Reads

June 25: A Holland Reads

June 26: bigreadersite

June 27: Red Headed Book Lady

June 28: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

June 29: History, Mystery and Faith

June 30: A Northern Belle

July 1: Singing Librarian Books

July 2: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

July 3: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

July 4: Cassandra M’s Place

Giveaway

dawnoflibertygiveaway-300x150

 

To celebrate her tour, Amber is giving away a signed copy of The Healer’s Touch and a $15 Amazon Gift Card! Enter to win here: https://promosimple.com/ps/9ccf