Friday, March 24, 2023

A Mark of Grace

 

About the Book

Book: A Mark of Grace

Author: Kimberley Woodhouse

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release date: January 3, 2023

When everything crumbles, her chance for a new beginning hangs in the balance.

Ruth Anniston survived an injury that left her physically scarred, broken, and angry at God. Now, she finds herself working behind the scenes as a kitchen and dining room supervisor at the El Tovar Hotel, hidden away from curious eyes and with little hope of finding love. When money begins to disappear from the hotel, Ruth’s entire livelihood is put at risk when she lands on the list of suspects.

Frank Henderson has at last succeeded in obtaining his dream job as head chef at the El Tovar. But competition in the kitchen is fierce, and one mistake could cost him his future. As the thefts at the hotel continue, and his affection for Ruth grows, Frank’s career–and his heart–are in jeopardy.

As tensions run high, Ruth and Frank must work together to save the El Tovar. They find themselves growing closer . . . but can their combined ingenuity overcome the odds against them?

Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Kimberley Woodhouse (www.kimberleywoodhouse.com) is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books. Kim and her incredible husband of 30-plus years live in the Poconos, where they play golf together, spend time with their kids and grandbaby, and research all the history around them.

 More from Kimberley

It is such a thrill to be able to bring readers A Mark of Grace, book three in my Secrets of the Canyon series. These books have been near and dear to me since 2009, right from the moment the idea of setting a Harvey Girls series at the El Tovar on the rim of the Grand Canyon first hit me.

Ever since the release of A Deep Divide, book one in the series, I’ve received tons of messages from readers who hoped Ruth would have her story. All along, the plan was for the final installment to be hers.

Ruth has been a strong character throughout the series. A mentor. A friend. A headwaitress. But when a crisis hits her life, it affects every area—emotional, physical, and spiritual—and her confidence in everything she thought she knew crumbles.

Life isn’t easy for any of us, and I love a good story that I can grow and learn through. I pray A Mark of Grace is that for you.

My Review: 

Stepping back in time to join Ruth Anniston and Frank Henderson at the El Tovar Hotel was like returning to reconnect with familiar faces and being a part of the intrigue that was happening. There were many things I enjoyed reading in this mystery, including the themes of:

God’s grace
Patient and unfailing love
Knowing you are completely loved for who you are

My favorite character was Frank. He was extremely patient and never gave up on Ruth, even when she was pushing him away. He could look beyond how she was acting and see what was motivating her to withdraw from him and everyone else who cared about her. “Love always wins.” certainly applies here!

While this is the third book in the Secrets of the Canyon, it can be read as a standalone. If you like mysteries, romance, and Christian fiction, you will enjoy reading this book and the rest of the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11

Texas Book-aholic, March 12

Karen Baney Reviews, March 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 13

deb’s Book Review, March 13

Cover Lover Book Review, March 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 15

Where Faith and Books Meet, March 15

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 16

Betti Mace, March 17

Connie’s History Classroom, March 17

She Lives to Read, March 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 18

Stories By Gina, March 19 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, March 19

Batya’s Bits, March 20

Splashes of Joy, March 20

Pause for Tales, March 21

EmpowerMoms, March 21

Through the Fire Blogs, March 22

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 22

For Him and My Family, March 23

Holly’s Book Corner, March 23

lakesidelivingsite, March 24

Book Looks by Lisa, March 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kimberley is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback set of the full SECRETS OF THE CANYON series!!

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/24b79/a-mark-of-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Second Time Around

 


About the Book: 

Who doesn't love a second chance?

When empty nester Mallory Farrell inherits her grandmother's run-down tourist shop in Seaport, Oregon, it seems the only sensible thing to do is to sell it. But when her former secret crush, Grayson Matthews, wants to buy the property in order to complete his plans to redevelop the funky town's business district into a soulless, cookie-cutter outdoor mall, Mallory digs in her heels and decides to renovate the property herself.

With a lot of hard work and a little bit of help, Mallory makes incredible progress turning the store into an eclectic home decor shop called Romancing the Home--all while trying to ignore the depressing and decrepit apartment she's living in on the second floor. When the shop catches the eye of a popular renovation TV show producer, Mallory is thrilled--until it becomes clear that her apartment is to be part of the segment as well.

She's tempted to abandon her dreams and the town under a cloud of shame. But perhaps there's more to Grayson than meets the eye. Can he swallow his pride, change his plans, and help Mallory romance her own home--and possibly her life?


My Review: 

It seemed like Mallory Farrell needed a change in her life and when the opportunity to relocate to a small seaside town in Oregon, she went for it. Kudos for her taking a leap of faith to go beyond her normal, expected routine.

This is a sweet love story, but it took awhile to get to the solution of the problem that was an important part of the story. It was unique to have the main character be an interior decorator and designer. Things that I enjoyed and for you to watch for:


* The cover’s font and cover
* The name of the shop, Romancing the Home
* Middle aged main characters
* Overcoming difficulties
* Pursuing your dreams
* Taking a chance on love

I recommend this book for readers of all ages. Younger readers will identify with a quaint coastal town and a grandmother figure. Older readers can identify with the uncertainty of putting aside doubts and finding courage to chase a lifelong dream.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book through the Revell Reads program. I was not expected to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

For Letter or Worse

 


Book Description: 

Every word in his old letter spells mortification.

There was only one reason young Harrison Chase moved away from his idyllic country upbringing to the long dark hours of working in a London factory—he was bound and determined to make his fortune and deserve a chance to court Christine Stone. But as years passed and his dream of making a fortune came closer into view, he realized there were a lot more important things in life than young, unrequited love.

In the middle of his charge to reverse the Corn Laws, and make food affordable to workers struggling to feed their families, his housekeeper helpfully mails a letter she finds languishing amongst his things. Not just any letter—a six-year-old love letter to Christine. With no other choice, he rushes back to his childhood home on Christine’s family estate. If he can’t get his hands on that letter before she does, Christine will discover what a pitiful and pretentious fool he had been. Only, he hadn’t counted on the mail being delayed.

Now, Harrison must decide which is worse—waiting with Christine as he not-so-slowly falls back in love with her, or returning to London without the letter, knowing once she reads it, he will never be able to visit her or look her in the eye again.


My Review: 

Have you ever written a letter to someone that you just wanted to express your feelings, knowing you’ll never send it to them? What if that letter accidentally gets posted? That’s the predicament Harrison Chase finds himself in when this piece of mail, declaring his love for Christine Stone written six years earlier, inadvertently gets sent to her. What’s a man to do?  Try and intercept it of course!


The awkwardness and the misunderstandings between Harrison (Harry) and Christine when they see each other after so many years was so funny. Harry is trying to determine whether Christine has received the letter while she is trying to figure why he suddenly appears. We see Christine’s compassionate, caring nature as she has three days to get Harry to smile at her again before he returns to his solitary life. 


Seeing Christine and Harry repair their relationship makes this a delightful story and one that I recommend reading. It is a novella and you will easily be able to read this in one day. So, grab yourself a drink, a snack, and this book so you can enjoy some time with Christine and Harry. 


I was given a copy of this book with no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Second Time Around

 



Second time around by melody carlson

Who doesn’t love a second chance?

When empty nester Mallory Farrell inherits her grandmother’s run-down tourist shop in Seaport, Oregon, it seems the only sensible thing to do is to sell it. But when her former secret crush, Grayson Matthews, wants to buy the property in order to complete his plans to redevelop the funky town’s business district into a soulless, cookie-cutter outdoor mall, Mallory digs in her heels and decides to renovate the property herself.

With a lot of hard work and a little bit of help, Mallory makes incredible progress turning the store into an eclectic home d├ęcor shop called Romancing the Home--all while trying to ignore the depressing and decrepit apartment she’s living in on the second floor. When the shop catches the eye of a popular renovation TV show producer, Mallory is thrilled--until it becomes clear that her apartment is to be part of the segment as well.

She’s tempted to abandon her dreams and the town under a cloud of shame. But perhaps there’s more to Grayson than meets the eye. Can he swallow his pride, change his plans, and help Mallory romance her own home--and possibly her life?


My Review:


It seemed like Mallory Farrell needed a change in her life and when the opportunity to relocate to a small seaside town in Oregon, she went for it. Kudos for her taking a leap of faith to go beyond her normal, expected routine.

This is a sweet love story, but it took awhile to get to the solution of the problem that was an important part of the story. It was unique to have the main character be an interior decorator and designer. Things that I enjoyed and for you to watch for:

* The cover’s font and cover
* The name of the shop, Romancing the Home
* Middle aged main characters
* Overcoming difficulties
* Pursuing your dreams
* Taking a chance on love

I recommend this book for readers of all ages. Younger readers will identify with a quaint coastal town and a grandmother figure. Older readers can identify with the uncertainty of putting aside doubts and finding courage to chase a lifelong dream.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book through the Revell Reads program. I was not expected to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Faith Lights a Flame

 

About the Book

Book: Faith Lights a Flame

Author:Loni Kemper Moore

Genre:Clean Historical Fiction

Release date: April 2022

Love and Forgiveness…

Seventeen-year-old Francesca “Chessa” Campbell would give anything to have her perfect family back. Instead, her father faces a death sentence, her mother takes ill, and her heritage suddenly makes her the target of prejudice in the small 1920s New Mexico town. Then a single act irrevocably changes her life forever…and rescue comes in the unlikely form of her new teacher, Walker Smythe.

Hoping to earn enough money to finish college and forget the woman who broke his heart, Walker Smythe rides a train for three days from Indiana to the Texas Panhandle to become a cowhand. Instead, he accepts a teaching position in Clayton, New Mexico, to replace a man dismissed in disgrace. Even though Walker secretly questions his faith, friends call him straight as an arrow — and he is. At least, until he is permanently disabled and realizes the only woman who has caught his attention is one of his students.

Thrown together by fate and circumstance, Walker and Chessa must forge a life together. But will the drought hitting the American southwest and dust storms swirling across the plains rip them apart? Find out in this compelling story of faith, love, and the power of forgiveness.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

This is a story of the love and faith that Francesca and Walker face during difficult times in the 1020’s with not only finances, but also racism directed toward Chessa, and physical disabilities that Walker must face after a tragic fire. The love that Walker shows Francesca after she is brutally attacked was what I liked most about the story. He didn’t listen to others and their opinions, but helped her to heal emotionally and physically. 


I was given a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

About the Author

Loni Kemper Moore is a sports cheering, Diet-Pepsi sipping, Rocky Mountain adventure-seeking kind of girl. She wants to share God’s beautiful love through life’s ugliness with remarkable women around the globe.

A preacher’s kid, her wanderlust was fueled by hearing missionary stories. She’s visited a dozen countries learning from other cultures while experiencing a sort of “minority” feeling. Although she attended several schools as a minority and her DNA test returned a percentage African, she’d never presume to claim such status.

She completed a bachelor’s degrees in Education and Biblical Studies at the former Denver Baptist Bible College and graduate work in Education at the University of Evansville.

A Jesus following history nerd, she was named Leonnie Sue for dead people. Leonnie was her great-grandmother whose died in the Influenza pandemic, and Sue is a common name on the family tree, dating to the 1640’s when Susanna Dean stepped off a ship in Korea, Maine.

Her writing came alive when the crazy Covid time forced her to flip through diaries and family albums. She was specifically struck by a memory of visiting her grandmother during the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial, shocked to hear her say, “He’s innocent!” What followed was a tale of her as a 14-year-old testifying in her father’s murder trial. As Loni put the story on a computer, her imagination expanded to become Faith Lights a Flame.

When she’s not writing, she’s a technical support engineer for a product called Cherwell, named for the river near Oxford which T.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis walked. During a trip to the company office in Swindon, UK, she visited the Child and the Eagle Pub where Tolkien and Lewis’ writers group met.

She’s also mom to Adam. a mechanical engineering student; traveler with dear “Hugsband” Robert an embedded engineer; thrilled by her GrandMiracles, Naomie, Zemira and their parents Becca and Anthony.

Loni’s experiences of loving history, learning to trust God through tragedy, and being the granddaughter of ranchers put this story close to her heart. Her grandparents’ love for God and each other helped them survive the Dust Bowl and provide guiding examples for life.

 More from Loni

Why I Wrote “Faith Lights a Flame”

I visited Grandma James’ retirement apartment. A news channel distracted us and blared the familiar report of a retired football player’s homicide trial of his ex-wife and friend.

“O. J. Simpson is innocent!” My petite grandmother settled on her couch with ankles crossed.

My jaw dropped. “What? I’ve heard many people talk about him, but you are one of the few I’ve heard say he’s not guilty.”

An hour later her tale of being forced as a fourteen-year-old to testify in her father’s murder trial in 1920’s New Mexico, shifted the way I viewed her. Dreams, laughs and tears filled me with admiration and desire to be like her.

But twenty-four years later, when my brother-in-law, Ray returned from China, an alarming disease, COVID Flu, invaded my awareness. For Christmas he gave us hand-sanitizer, boxes of K-95 masks, and advice to purchase more Vitamin D and an oxygen concentrator.

COVID rumors and Ray’s comments frustrated me as much as the story I hadn’t finished. I pushed aside those thoughts to reminisce, surrounded by binders, diaries and books penned by family members. Good times outweighed the bad.

My Covid fears diminished in light of additional stories of those who maintained strength through the deadly Spanish Flu Pandemic, a hostile Dust Bowl, the devastating Depression, and unbelievable heartbreaks.

I pictured reunions where older ladies and cowboy-hat-wearing men covered tables with their arduous work just like troubles of youth were covered with laughter. How did they do that? Could I use their skills to survive the Covid pandemic?

Having lost dear relatives and friends, I know that COVID was costly indeed, but writing stimulated my faith through those uncertain times. I envisioned book of love and survival which became Faith Lights a Flame loosely based on the saga told by my grandmother.

My prayer is your faith will burn like a flame as we travel along on a fictional journey through decades of beloved memories. Please let me know what you think.

“Faith does not quench desire, it enflames it.” Thomas Aquinas

–Loni Kemper Moore

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 8

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Connie’s History Classroom, March 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 14

Artistic Nobody, March 15 (Author Interview)

Book Looks by Lisa, March 15

Cover Lover Book Review, March 16

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 17 (Author Interview)

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, March 18

For Him and My Family, March 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, March 20 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, March 20

Pause for Tales, March 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Loni is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

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/24dba/faith-lights-a-flame-celebration-tour-giveaway


Monday, March 13, 2023

The Metropolitan Affair



About the Book: 

For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she'd accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.

The first is her repentant father's offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York's wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.

With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut's tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York's high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger's identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.


My Review: 

 “Dead people were easy to talk to. It was the living ones that often gave Lauren trouble. Even her father. No. Especially him.” Therein lies the difficulty that Dr. Lauren Westlake has as her estranged father reappears in her life after being absent for so long. I loved this book. The ever-forgiving Lauren, fake Egyptian artifacts, mystery, romance, villains, it’s all there. 

Ms. Green is a masterful storyteller weaving historical facts and an intriguing story into a book that once I began reading it was hard to put down. Here are some other things I loved about it: 


1920’s era

a female assistant museum curator

a detective with right on hunches

lifelike historical details

plot twists!

redemption message


I highly recommend purchasing this book. It would be a perfect selection for a book club so that others can enjoy reading and discussing it with you. 


I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, March 9, 2023

In Spotlight and Shadow

 

About the Book

Book: In Spotlight and Shadow

Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical Fiction / Mystery / Romance

Release date: February 1, 2023

A Gem of a Mystery Takes Center Stage

​Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Elise Malvern has a habit of letting people down. Her former boyfriend who hoped she’d be his bride. Her grandfather who hoped she’d take over the family’s auction company. But mostly she’s disappointed herself. What’s the point of pursuing her passion as a violinist, if she is too scared to audition for a seat in the Pittsburgh Symphony? Her internship at the elegant Heinz Hall places her in the wings of the stage, but never on it. By accident, she discovers an old stage prop. Her instincts tell her there’s more to the paste necklace than meets the eye. Whether a good idea or not, she accepts help from a childhood friend, who happens to be country music megastar—Peirson Brooks. Peirson and Elise share a history; one she doesn’t care to repeat. The more involved they become in the mystery, the more things get tangled, including her heart.

A century earlier…
Sophie Walters longs for center stage, her name on the marquee, and all that jazz, but climbing her way into an acting career is more difficult than she imagined. Having spoiled all her chances in Hollywood, she returns to Pittsburgh, accepting an insignificant role in a popular production. She watches her dreams pass by from behind the curtain at the illustrious Loew’s Penn Theatre. She finally gets the coveted spotlight, but not for her talent. No, her surge to fame is all one terrible mistake. Somehow, she’s suspected to be a notorious jewel thief known around Pittsburgh as The Mirage. The man she pleads for help is none other than the man she jilted at the altar five years before, Sterling Monroe.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review: 

The past always affects the future as seen in the stories of two strong protagonists, Sophie Walters and Elise Malvern. Dual timeline stories are difficult to write, but the author does an excellent job of making two stories engaging and weaving them together into a story of redemption and second chances at love. 


I loved the story of the past with the Low’s Penn Theatre with all of its opulence and the famous vaudeville actors as they were part of the acts there. The details in this time period were written in such detail that it was easy to be a part of the story. 


The comparison throughout Elise’s story (modern era) of music to God’s plan for her were well done. It had me pause, think, and say, “Amen!” This is one of my favorite quotes,“He was the masterful composer of Elise’s life, a beautiful melody to her days. By His grace, she was more than willing to sing along.”


I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. All opinions expressed are my own.


TW: infidelity, hints of physical abuse 

About the Author

Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. Rachel can be found online at www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Rachel resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.

 

More from Rachel

HISTORY OF THE LOEW’S PENN/HEINZ HALL THEATER

The Loew’s Penn theater in Pittsburgh opened its doors on September 6, 1927. Thousands of Pittsburghians crammed the streets hoping to enter. Those who were fortunate to claim a seat gasped at the grandeur of what that has been billed the ‘Temple of Cinema.’ The new hotspot in the Steel City was regarded as the most magnificent theater between New York and Chicago.

The Loew’s Penn was five stories high and could seat over 3,000 guests. The grand lobby had a 50-foot-high vaulted Venetian ceiling, gilded Corinthian columns, and two spectacular chandeliers. The crystal for the chandeliers was imported from Vienna. From silk drapes to artwork by Renaissance masters to Italian marble staircases the theater seemed more like a museum than a cinema palace. As for the entertainment, the night began with a live stage show followed by a silent film feature.

Attendance averaged around 60,000 theatergoers a week. And with an admission charge of $.50, the theater made around $30,000 a week. Which was a substantial fortune during the 1920s. The theater hosted live stage shows and they also brought in national acts including Paul Whiteman and the Rhtyhm Boys featuring Bing Crosby. Also Buster Keaton and Eddie Cantor graced the stage.

Over the years, the allure of the Loew’s Penn faded, and the theater fell into disrepair, finally shutting its doors in 1968. The Howard Heinz Endowment purchased the building, saving it from demolition. After a 16-month renovation that had cost over $11 million, the doors opened yet again under the new name of Heinz Hall. The plush red carpet is bold and beautiful, but also a subtle nod to … you guessed it … Heinz Ketchup. The grand lobby features the original marble flooring as well as the two 15-foot chandeliers. The main auditorium seats 2,661 guests. Heinz Hall is now the home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra it also hosts concerts and Broadway touring companies.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Melissa’s Bookshelf, February 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 26

Just Your Average reviews, February 26

Rebecca Tews, February 26

Where Faith and Books Meet, February 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 27

deb’s Book Review, February 28

Simple Harvest Reads, February 28 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 1

Blogging With Carol, March 1

Remembrancy, March 2

Connie’s History Classroom, March 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 3

Betti Mace, March 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 4

Cover Lover Book Review, March 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 5 (Author Interview)

Christina’s Corner, March 5

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, March 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

For Him and My Family, March 6

Through the Fire Blogs, March 7

Bigreadersite, March 7

lakesidelivingsite, March 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 8

For the Love of Literature, March 8

Blossoms and Blessings, March 9

Holly’s Book Corner, March 9

Labor Not in Vain, March 9

Book Looks by Lisa, March 10

Pause for Tales, March 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/24705/in-spotlight-and-shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Mark of Grace

  About the Book Book:  A Mark of Grace Author:  Kimberley Woodhouse Genre:  Historical Fiction Release date:  January 3, 2023 When everythi...