Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mountain Brook Inks Romance Reads Blog Tour Winners!

Thank you everyone who participated and followed the tour. Below are the winners!


Steve Weber

$10 Amazon Gift Card Winners (Second Place Prizes):
Will Griesmer
Chanel Monroe
Wendy Newcomb
Trish Musgrave

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Story Behind the Story by Tamera Lynn Kraft

The story behind the story: The idea of writing a series of novels about Ladies who graduated from Oberlin College before the Civil War came about because I was interested in women preachers and women leaders of Christian causes. I had an idea of writing about them for some blog posts. Oberlin College kept coming up in my research. That's when the germ of an idea sprang up.

Oberlin College was the first college to allow women to graduate with a bachelor's degree. Oberlin College was founded in 1833 in Oberlin, Ohio by two Presbyterian ministers, and became the first college in the United States to admit women as well as men. In the early days, women could only get women's studies certificates, but that changed in 1837. Four women - Mary Kellogg, Mary Caroline Rudd, Mary Hosford, and Elizabeth Prall – entered the college degree program, the Collegiate Department. All but Kellogg graduated with a Bachelor of Arts College Degree.

Lucy Stone, a Christian who fought for a woman's right to vote, was a graduate at Oberlin College in 1847. Antoinette Brown Blackwell graduated in 1847 and was the first woman to complete a theological degree in 1850. Blackwell was the first ordained minister in the US. Many of the women who graduated from Oberlin were involved in abolition, women's suffrage, child labor and abuse laws, ministry and overseas missions work, and prohibition. These women forged the way for those who came after them.

One other interesting fact about Oberlin was its commitment to equality in races. It was one of the first US colleges that allowed blacks to earn college degrees from its beginning. In 1862, Oberlin graduate Mary Ann Patterson was the first African American woman in the US to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. She went on to become the first black principal in a public school. Oberlin also became the center of controversy when Oberlin student chased down slave catchers to rescue a fugitive slave from them. The incident became known as the Oberlin Wellington Rescue. and 20 students were arrested.

My character in Red Sky Over America, America Leighton is a student at Oberlin College in 1857. She wants to become a missionary, but she believes if she doesn't have the courage to confront her slave owning father in Kentucky, she won't have the boldness she needs on the mission field.

Red Sky Over America
Ladies of Oberlin, Book 1
By Tamera Lynn Kraft

William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America's classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

Red Sky Over America tackles the most turbulent time in history with thorough research and fascinating characters. Tamera Lynn Kraft has woven a tale about the evils of slavery that should never be forgotten. -- Mary Ellis, author of The Quaker and the Rebel, The Lady and the Officer, and The Last Heiress.
You can purchase Red Sky Over America at these online sites:

 About Tamera:
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novels and novellas in print. She’s been married for 39 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. 
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
You can contact Tamera on her website at

You can contact Tamera online at these sites.
Word Sharpeners Blog:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cheyenne Sunrise by Janalyn Voigt Blog Tour!

Hello Reader! Thank you for joining The Sword and Spirit on Mountain Brook Ink's "Romantic Reads Blog Tour." Follow the tour schedule below from February 23 - March 2 for opportunities to win free e-books, Amazon gift cards, and the grand prize, a Kindle Fire HD. Comment on this post and join the conversation for an opportunity to win a free e-book from Janalyn Voigt. To enter for the Kindle Fire or a giftcard, enter the rafflecopter form below. We hope you'll discover a new favorite author and make some new friends! Have fun!

When You Can’t See the Light at the End of the Tunnel
By Janalyn Voigt

I’d like to believe that someone, somewhere has lived an idyllic life. I am not that person. Circumstances and my own choices took me through a tunnel so dark I couldn’t see the light at its end. I emerged, thankful to have survived but wondering why God had seemed absent in my darkest moments. Have you ever felt that God cared about everyone but you?

Faith doesn’t always come easy.

My struggle to believe in God’s goodness despite hardship inspired my depiction of Bryanna Brennon, the heroine of Cheyenne Sunrise. A young Irish widow ready to start anew on her brother’s ranch in Montana Territory, Bry isn’t sure what she believes about God anymore. She has little grief for the husband who punished her imagined offenses with his fists, but the deaths of her mother and young brother on the journey from Ireland haunts her.

Why does God allow the innocent to suffer?

Amid the difficulties her wagon train encounters, Bry finds reasons to repeat her question. She comes to rely upon her friend Maisey’s strong faith, but can summon little of her own. Shane, her preacher cousin and the hero of Hills of Nevermore (Montana Gold, book 1), provides the Biblical answer she’s been seeking.

Sometimes we blame God for circumstances that were none of His doing. God is all-powerful, but we have free will and a part to play in what happens to us. Turning away from God when things go wrong separates us from our source of comfort. There’s nothing worse than feeling out of sorts with God, unless it’s simultaneously enduring a loss.

Another of Bry’s dilemmas came straight from her author’s life. I had been a single mom for several years when I received a marriage proposal. Deciding whether to risk loving again was not an easy prospect. It required me to let go of the security I had built for myself.

Bry has similar concerns after meeting Nick Laramie, the wagon train’s half-Cheyenne trail guide. Her attraction to him startles and dismays her. She would much rather protect her heart than give it away.
I accepted my sweet husband’s proposal and am now living proof that: “God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6; WEB). Loving again after heartbreak takes the courage to trust what the Bible says about God’s goodness.  “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 136:1; KJV). Allowing ourselves to hope in God fleshes out our faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1; KJV). 

Sometimes you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

To be entered to win a signed copy of Hills of Nevermore (Montana Gold 1) answer this question and don't forget to leave your email addy. How does trusting in God’s goodness change a person?

Hills of Nevermore (Montana Gold 1)
America Liberty Reed is a young widow who can’t believe God will forgive her secret sins. In fact, she thinks He’s out to punish her. America hopes to redeem herself by creating a good life for her infant daughter. Enter Shane Hayes, a blue-eyed circuit preacher who makes it his mission to keep America safe at a time when the West was wildest. Shane’s refusal to use violence to protect himself or anyone else creates problems for him. Both must learn what it means to fully trust God. 

Cheyenne Sunrise (Montana Gold 2)
Romantic Times: "Janalyn Voigt is a talented writer and brings to life the long-ago wild west with vivid descriptions of the landscape."

Young Irish widow Bry Brennan doesn’t want another husband to break her spirit. She ignores her fascination with Nick Laramie, her wagon train's handsome trail guide. Nick lives in an uneasy truce between the settlers and his mother’s tribe without fully fitting in among either. With no intention of dragging a woman into his troubles, he stifles his yearning for Bry.

The perilous journey throws the two together, leaving Bry no choice but to trust Nick with her life. Can she also trust him with her heart? Purchase Cheyenne Sunrise

About Janalyn Voigt
Janalyn's father instilled a love of literature in her at an early age by reading chapters from classics as bedtime stories. When Janalyn grew older, and he stopped reading to her, she put herself to sleep with tales "written" in her head.
Today Janalyn is a storyteller who writes in multiple genres. The same elements--romance, mystery, adventure, history, and whimsy--appear in all her novels in proportions dictated by their genre.

Visit Janalyn Voigt Online:
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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:">February 23: Angela Ruth Strong w/ Shannon Vannatter">February 23: Angela Ruth Strong w/ Caffinated Reads">February 24: Angela Ruth Strong w/ Books, Music, and Life">February 25: Patricia Lee w/ Books N Baubles">February 25: Patricia Lee w/ Miralee Ferrell">February 26: Patricia Lee w/ Christian Shelf-Esteem">February 27: Janalyn Voigt w/ Among the Reads">February 27: Janalyn Voigt w/ Homemade Mythology">February 28: Janalyn Voigt w/ Debbie Lynne Costello">March 1: Barbara J. Scott w/ Kat's Corner Books">March 1: Barbara J. Scott w/ April Erin">March 2: Barbara J. Scott w/ Petticoats & Pistols