Saturday, December 23, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Grip

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Bleakly Manor COVERAbout the Book
Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor
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.
LORI'S REVIEW
It was an ok book but I tend to think that this story sounds like Charlie and the chocolate factory.
I did get enjoy getting to know each of the characters and it's also putting me slowly in the Christmas mood just like Christmas at Carnton.
There were several people in the story that gave me the creeps.
I do however like Clara. She has a heart of gold and never failed to serve where she was needed. 
Ben is a likeable fellow too. I think that I want to give him a hug and tell him that everything will be ok.
In some ways I didn't like all of the complaing that went on. I feel like that life is short enough as it is for all of that (I guess I'm the adventurous sort.) 
My favorite part of the story were the intriguing mysteries that went on in the story. 
I enjoyed the setting in the Victorian home and could just picture the room Clara was in. (Wishing I was in it myself)
I do like how the author mentioned that friends come in all different types.
I like that life can offer second chances and if it comes your way you'd better snap it up.
Michelle, please keep your stories coming. You are on my list of favorite authors!!

Click here to purchase your copy.

unnamedAbout the Author

Michelle 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 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
Simple Harvest Reads, December 18
amandainpa, December 19
Kat’s Corner Books, December 19
Mommynificent, December 19
Bookworm Mama, December 20
Vicky Sluiter, December 20
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21
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
Red Headed Book Lady, December 25
Bibliophile Reviews, December 26
Blogging With Carol,December 26
Mary Hake, December 26
Reflections From my Bookshelves, December 2



Giveaway




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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



Seeds of Hope by Barbara Cameron

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Miriam Troyer has had a secret crush on Mark Byler since they were teenagers. She knows they can never have a relationship: Mark is a big-city attorney—an Englischer—and Miriam loves her quiet way of life in her Amish community. But when Mark unexpectedly shows up in Paradise, Pennsylvania, Miriam realizes it’s going to get a lot harder to hide her feelings.

Even though Mark always loved visiting his grandfather’s farm as a boy, he’s convinced the Amish life is not for him. But when he suddenly finds himself out of a job and without direction, Mark heads back to the farm just in time to help with the harvest. Coming for a visit and coming to stay, however, are two very different things.

Everything changes when Mark sees that Miriam, the girl he remembers from his youth, has grown into the kind of faith-filled woman he wants in his future. Could life in this simple world be right for Mark after all? Has Miriam finally found her happily ever after? True love sprouts from seeds of hope.


LORI'S REVIEW

I can't wait for y'all to read this excellent book by Barbara Cameron!!
Barbara is an excellent writer who can blend everything nicely in the best of both worlds.
The cover of the book is what made me want to read this book and the fact that Amish fiction is my most favorite thing to read along with historical fiction.
I wanted to strangle Mark because he didn’t know what he had and what he had was right in front of him!! But, yet I wanted him to do what was best for him.
A very wonderful and powerful story full of love and hope all wrapped up into one!!
I can’t wait for y’all to read this wonderful new book by Barbara Cameron!!
I enjoyed Seeds of Hope very much and couldn’t put it down!!
I can’t say enough about this book!!!
I recieved this book for free. All opinions are my own!! 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Barbara CameronLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

CBD, CBA, and ECPA bestselling author of 24 books (including new series upcoming for Abingdon Press in 2011/2012) including fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers.

I sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and am the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.

My two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).



 


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley

like moonlight at low tide FB cover copy



About the Book
Like Moonlight at Low Tide Cover - F2
Title: Like Moonlight at Low Tide
Author: Nicole Quigley
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: 2012
When high school junior Melissa Keiser returns to her hometown of Anna Maria Island, Florida, she has one goal: hide from the bullies who had convinced her she was the ugliest girl in school. But when she is caught sneaking into a neighbor’s pool at night, everything changes. Something is different now that Melissa is sixteen, and the guys and popular girls who once made her life miserable have taken notice. When Melissa gets the chance to escape life in a house ruled by her mom’s latest boyfriend, she must choose where her loyalties lie between a long-time crush, a new friend, and her surfer brother who makes it impossible to forget her roots. Just as Melissa seems to achieve everything she ever wanted, she loses a loved one to suicide. Melissa must not only grieve for her loss, she must find the truth about the three boys who loved her and discover that joy sometimes comes from the most unexpected place of all.

Click here to purchase your copy!


LORI'S REVIEW

I really did like the story. I had no idea what adventure or journey i was going to go on but I soon found out!! I really dont care for some of the teen books bc some are very depressing but i was really surprised by thos one!!! I enjoyed it because from page one, Missy draws you into her story. 

Another reason I enjoyed this book was because it was told in 1st person and since it was told this way it makes me feel like I'm inside the person's head taking their journey with them!!! 

And, may I say that cover of this book is very hauntingly beautiful and it was what drew me to read it.
This book is full of surprises that's for sure!! I won't tell because it will give it away!! I can't wait for y'all to read it!!
I can relate to Missy in many ways.

About the Author

Quigley - Book Signing 2Nicole Quigley is the author of Like Moonlight at Low Tide, a winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers “Carol Award” and “Genesis Contest” for best young adult fiction. Nicole works in public relations and spent many years in Washington, D.C. She now lives on Florida’s Gulf Coast, where she grew up. Nicole holds a B.S. from Appalachian State University, where she majored in Communications/Public Relations and minored in English. Her favorite place in the world is Western North Carolina, and her favorite place to 
write is a late night coffee shop, wherever she can find one 





Guest Post from Nicole Quigley
Three Things I Hear from “Like Moonlight at Low Tide” Readers
When I first wrote “Like Moonlight at Low Tide,” I thought my readers were going to get the same things out of it that I did. The book gets off to a start when Missy Keiser sneaks into her neighbor’s pool to go nightswimming. She thought no one was home until she sees the figure of an unknown guy standing in the dark, at the edge of the pool.

Missy was bullied when she was younger, but this story is about what happens after she is bullied. What happens if you got everything you ever wanted? Would it be enough? I think that when we really look at the reasons behind why we want things and why the things we want can become so big in our lives, especially in high school—we often find that there’s really a bigger question left for all of us.

Who is going to love me?

Since “Like Moonlight at Low Tide” debuted, I’ve been so honored to hear from readers who could relate to Missy’s story. One thing that has surprised are the things I hear about from readers time and again.

First, I always hear about the ending! I definitely wrestled with how to bring the book to a close. I won’t say more about it (no spoilers!), but I have to laugh because most readers tell me I was really close to hearing a lot more from them! Second, I always hear about a certain guy who becomes the male protagonist. Yes, girls, I have to admit that I loved writing him!

Lastly, I often hear the book was written “just for them.” That’s what touches me most of all. I wrote this story from the heart. It means so much to hear that it reached others, and often in ways I never predicted. I love that.

Once a reader picks up my story and brings her own experiences to it, it becomes something new. And it’s really special to connect with a reader on some of these heart questions that we all have in common. One reader who has really made an impact on me sent me a hand-made charm bracelet based on the book. She took Missy’s story, and she turned it into something entirely new. Her creativity is really special, and the bracelet is now one of my most treasured possessions

I love hearing from readers about what they liked (or even didn’t like) in Missy’s story. As it turns out, listening to readers is one of the very best parts of writing for them.

Blog Stops

amandainpaDecember 9
Multifarious, December 10
Rembrancy, December 11
allofakindmom, December 11
SusanLovesBooks, December 12
A Greater YesDecember 13
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
Power of Words, December 14
Janices book reviews, December 17
Blogging With Carolecember 17
Carpe Diem, December 18
Pause for Tales, December 20
Red Headed Book Lady, December 21
Bigreadersite, December 21
Pursuing StacieDecember 22

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Nicole is giving away a $50 Amazon Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/p








Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon




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The Esther Paradigmjpg



Genre:  Christian, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Radiant Publications
Publication date: November 2, 2017
The daughter of missionaries, Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan with whom she spent her childhood. After completing her education in the United States, she returns to the desert to pursue that dream—only to learn her parents have been receiving threats from within the community they serve. As the danger escalates, Hannah must decide how far she’ll go to stay faithful to a calling that could cost her everything.
As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravages the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, some of his people believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep Hannah and her parents safe—even if the only solution is to be found within marriage vows.
In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, where Christianity is outlawed and foreigners suspect, will Karim and Hannah’s union heal wounds . . . or inflict a final, fatal blow?
Old Testament history meets Twenty-first Century tensions in this compassionate, tender inspirational romance.
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sarah-monzon-hr-4

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings. Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 SELAH award for contemporary romance.
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1. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
I am the happy (exhausted) mother of two, Elijah (6) and Arianna (3) and the wife of the most wonderful Navy chaplain in the military (not biased at all).
2. What does your writing process look like?I never really know how to answer this question because I don’t feel like I have much of a process. It starts with a small idea that germinates, takes root, and won’t go away until I write down the story the characters tell me. Usually I may have a vague idea of where the story is going to go, but I’m often surprised by it myself. Mostly, I just sit down and write and let the story come out organically. Is that a process?
3. What inspired the idea for The Esther Paradigm?
Is it okay to say I didn’t really have a direct inspiration? I’m not even sure where the idea came from except from God. One day the idea for a modern day story inspired by Esther entered my head and the need to write it was so strong, the character’s voices so loud, that I had to write it then even though I was in the middle of writing another series. This story…it was more like it wrote me than the other way around. Like I was but a tool to get it down, it flowed so freely. No other story has been like that before.
4. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Esther Paradigm?
Love. I want readers to take away love. Love for those who are different, whether they believe differently, live differently, or look differently. I want 1 Corinthians 16:14 to take root in everyone’s hearts. “Let all that you do be done in love.”
5. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about this project?
Shhh…It’s a super secret project at this point, but I CAN tell you it’s also a super fun novella story that will be in a collection with some super awesome authors. You can expect some info to start leaking about the project come the new year.
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This was not how I’d thought I would die.
Not that I sat around imagining my death. I’m not that morbid. But never in my wildest dreams had I imagined this.
Along the horizon, racing toward me with frightening speed, a billowing brown wall licked the earth’s surface and spit it out again—a ferocious scream that caused my heart to stutter in my chest. Six years away and this was how my beloved desert welcomed me home.
Wind whipped my long, loose dress around my legs and tugged at the few strands of hair not safely tucked in a ponytail under my hijab. I’d always been thankful the Bedouin clan my parents ministered to as missionaries didn’t adhere to the more concealing Muslim headwear, such as a niqab or burqa. I had to admit, though, that having more material to cover my nose and mouth would be helpful against the dust storm about to consume me. With quick motions, I reached around my head and unwrapped the bottom of my hijab, rewrapping it around my nose and mouth. A bit of water or petroleum jelly would work even better to save my nose and lungs from the dry desert sand, but some protection was better than none.
Tiny grains of sand picked up by the wind pelted my body like fastballs pitched by major league baseball players. I hunched over, lowering my frame as close to the ground as I could. Never knew if the wind had picked up more than just the earth’s surface. An abandoned tire rim or something else could decapitate a person when chucked at top speeds. It would be just like that temperamental mistress to hurl an object absently left on the wayside.
The storm was on me now.
My lungs constricted to rid themselves of the tiny particles I’d breathed in, coughing hot breath into the material around my mouth. My eyes watered with the force of the wind, and I blinked rapidly to try and rid the granules scratching my irises.
Lifting my backpack, I shielded my face and eyes, wishing I hadn’t let the driver drop me off so far from where the clan currently had their tents pitched. The inside of a twenty-year-old Jeep would have served as a wonderful bunker against this onslaught. Now I had no protection.
In the thick of it, I squinted through the brown haze, looking for something to hunker under on the leeward side. The rise of a nearby dune lied of its ability to protect. Fortunately, I understood the reality of the phrase “shifting sands.” Had no desire to change my death sentence from asphyxiation due to sand in my lungs to being buried alive when the wind deposited the dune right on top of my head.
A camel’s bray rent through the cacophony of the storm. My heart restarted. If ever there was an animal built to survive the temper of the desert, it was the camel. I pushed my legs forward, wishing I wore pants rather than my dress, which wrapped itself around my calves and threatened to topple me. If I could hear the camel’s call, perhaps its owner could hear mine. I lifted my chin and took in a lungful of air before pulling down the covering from my lips.
Musaeada!” I yelled for help in Arabic. “Musaeada!”
The camel answered, and I took a few more stumbling steps toward the sound. The sand made it difficult to do anything—walk, see, breathe. If I didn’t find a place to wait out the storm soon, I wouldn’t survive it.
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LORI'S REVIEW
I enjoyed another book by Sarah Monzon. A very talented writer who has the ability to bring us the best of both worlds.
I felt like I  was on a great adventure with Hannah as I enjoyed the camel rides and I learned a lot about the desert and the Bedouin ppl.

I was intrigued by the marriage customs that are so different than ours.

The only thing that I didn't like as I lived in the desert with Hannah was breathing in all that sand as I have asthma! 

I love how Sarah has brought these people to life in her books! She has  the ability to make their feelings come alive and makes you want to choke them, shake them, hug them, or pray for them. 
I strongly recommend this book! I would give this book a 10 star recommendation if there was one!! 



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Amazon GC

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Enter the giveaway HERE.
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Reviewers: Mindy Houng
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