Monday, April 25, 2016

Rumors and Promises by Kathleen Rouser ends 5/2


Please welcome Kathleen Rouser to my blog. Kathleen has offered to giveaway a copy of her book. Be sure to read on down to see how to enter.

God’s Heart for Orphans
by
Kathleen Rouser

After I lost four babies to miscarriage, I became even more thankful for the three living children I had. Yet an intense sensation of emptiness in my womb and arms haunted me. My precious kids were getting older, no longer needing to be rocked or hugged as much. I became more aware of how saddened the Lord must feel about a society that throws away its children, whether by the act of abortion, abuse, or neglect. The thought that there were children in the world who would desired to be hugged and cared for as much as I wanted to fill my arms really pulled at my heart.
For a long time I hoped and prayed we would be able to adopt a child. While the timing or finances never worked out due to family situations, still I became more aware of the needs of orphans everywhere.

The Lord’s concern for orphans and widows is mentioned throughout scripture, from provision for them through the law to Psalms 68:6 where it says He puts the lonely in families and in the book of James where it says that caring for widows and orphans is true religion.

Literature is filled with stories of orphans. And why not? They are the underdogs of a society, making their way in an unfriendly world against the odds. Their journeys make great stories.

Perhaps that soft spot for orphans inspired me to write the story of Isabel Jones, in my novella, The Pocket Watch, and the story of Sophie Biddle in my debut novel, Rumors and Promises. Sophie is an heiress on the run with a child in tow. Caira is the illegitimate daughter she tries to pass off as her little sister. Sophie feels abandoned by her family and Caira is without a father. At the beginning of the story, they are both in a sense orphans. The hero, Pastor Ian McCormick, is concerned about helping the poor, and especially unwed mothers, because of his own past failings. He desires to start a home for such “fallen” women. Town gossip doesn’t help as the two fight their growing feelings for one another. Will they find God’s grace and mercy enough to start over and forgive themselves?

Though Rumors and Promises deals with some difficult issues, I enjoyed bringing these fictional characters to life as they found hope and healing through the Lord and His word. Today, in real life, there is still a great need for God’s people to care for orphans and /or to provide foster care in loving homes. One organization that faithfully seeks to find families for children in need, both locally and globally, is Bethany Christian Services (https://www.bethany.org/).

Through our local church we have become aware of the continuing development and growth of an orphanage in Haiti called Centre Loving Hands. Yvette Siliac and her husband, Pastor Jean, were led to plant a church and begin a school in Turbe, Haiti. In 2000 a fulfillment of their prayers for an orphanage became a reality. Though her husband passed away in 2003, this widow has faithfully continued the work. Centre Loving Hands currently cares for 13 children and they hope to eventually open their doors to provide Christ-centered care to more local children. You can learn more about the ministry and helping the children at: www.helpinghaitisorphans.com.

After a long journey of grief I was comforted over my loss and accepted God’s sovereignty, knowing I can ultimately trust Him for His plans for me. Someday my
husband and I will have a lovely family reunion with the babies the Lord has in His hands today. He is caring better for our little ones than we ever could!

GIVEAWAY: Leave your email address and a comment. If you'd like to share some of your heartaches we'd love to be a listening ear. Good luck in the giveaway! If you are a feedburner follower be sure to let me know. 

Back cover blurb: Sophie Biddle is an heiress on the run. Worse, she has a two-year-old child in
tow, an illegitimate daughter she tries to pass off as her little sister. Believing herself abandoned by family and God, Sophie is caught off guard when she meets a kind, but meddling and handsome minister at the local mercantile. Despite her dire straits, Sophie wants only acceptance—not special treatment from the reverend of anyone else.

Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in Stone Creek, Michigan, believing he has failed God and his former flock. He works harder than ever to forget his mistake, hoping to prove himself a pleasing servant to his new congregation and once again to God.

In spite of their attempts to stay romantically untangled, Sophie and Ian find themselves drawn closer through their mutual love of music and their love for the child, Caira. When rumors of her “scandalous” past surface, Ian must decide whether to stand by the lovely Sophie’s side, while Sophie must decide whether to confess the ruse she thought necessary. Will they accept God’s forgiveness and risk forging a future together? Or will they continue to go it alone?

About Kathleen:
Kathleen Rouser has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She desires to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She is a long time member in good standing of ACFW and a former board member of its Great Lakes Chapter. Kathleen has been published in anthologies, including the Amazon bestseller, Christmas Treasures, as well as in both print and online magazines. Her first full-length novel, Rumors and Promises, will be published by Heritage Beacon Fiction on April 18, 2016.


Previously a home-school mom of three, she has more recently been a college student and then a mild-mannered dental assistant for a time. Along with her sassy tail-less cat, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of 34 years, who not only listens to her stories, but also cooks for her.


Web, social media, and buying links:
Website: kathleenrouser.com
Facebook: facebook.com/kathleenrouser/
Twitter: @KathleenRouser
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7427871.Kathleen_Rouser
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kerouser/
Rumors and Promises is available at:
Amazon.com - http://tinyurl.com/jqmw93e

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sofi's Bridge by Chritine Lindsay ends 4/25


Welcome Christine! It's so nice to have you on my blog this week. Christine has offered to giveaway an ebook to one lucky reader so be sure to read on down how to enter. 
 Sofi’s Bridge (release April 15, 2016)
By Christine Lindsey


I think a novel is best when the author knows their subject and setting well; that way the story comes alive for the reader. The Cascade Mountains in Washington State are almost my backyard. I live in Canada just across the border about 3 miles as the crow flies from the US Cascades that bridge our two countries.

The western, old country feel of this area is home for me, so picture the fictional valley I created based on my real valley. I wake up every day to see mountains where their faces change due to different weather. One of my very favorite places in all the world, an alpine meadow set high in the Cascades for one of the romantic scenes in Sofi’s Bridge, my brand new release.

Here is a slightly modified excerpt from Sofi’s Bridge to give you a feeling for the setting. 


                                                                     ~*~ 

 
At the summit Sofi and Neil reined the Clydesdales in

and settled them under a shady tree. The wind, carrying a clean pine fragrance, blew unimpeded as though they’d reached the top of the world. Just ahead lay a pathway strewn on either side with blue and purple lupine, pink phlox, yellow arnica, and red Indian paintbrush.

Above the tree line, gray peaks scraped the sky, some still capped with snow. In the distance, pale blue and turquoise ice from glaciers filled crevices between serrated granite heights.

Neil stayed behind with Sofi, sweeping his gaze three hundred and sixty degrees where the glaciers, though miles away, seemed close enough to touch.

Quiet awe filled his face.

The warm wind that made the grasses sway, whipped at their clothing and hair. She could only hope that up here for a while Neil could let go of whatever pain he was hiding from the world, and from her.


                                                                      ~*~

As a reader I love a book that takes me away from my ordinary life, which is why unusual and often exotic settings do it for me. Historical fiction is not only a different setting but the era takes us to a completely different world.

I grew up reading the blockbuster romantic epics by MM Kaye who wrote the famous Far Pavilions. When I started writing fiction I wanted to write the same sort of epic novel set in exotic India but from a Christian point of view. That’s how my multi-award-winning trilogy Twilight of the British Raj was born. You can read the first chapters of all my books on my website http://www.christinelindsay.org/p/books.html including the two new books being released this year.

After that I turned my sights on historical settings closer to home, and you have Sofi’s Bridge. I have just begun writing a new series that is set in Ireland and the US, because being born in Ireland I know the setting, the culture, and the history. I love to bring history to life so that we can see it, feel it, and taste it.

Not only do I enjoy interesting settings, but interesting historical facts such as the tidbits I used in Sofi’s Bridge.

My great-grandfather and his 14-year-old son (my grandfather) were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. In fact, the Titanic was my grandfather’s very first ship in the Belfast shipyard. I always wanted to write a book on the trade that my paternal ancestry was so involved in.

Below is a short excerpt from Sofi’s Bridge describing that trade.

                                                                      ~*~

Neil picked out his brother from among the men, and expelled a long sigh. On the bridge deck, or on one of those meager platforms hanging over the side, one slip, one fumble...from that height...and a man could die.

On the deck, Jimmy rapped his elongated tongs against the cone-shaped catcher can, waiting for the man known as the heater. The heater sent Jimmy a nod and thrust the peg of steel into the portable cast iron forge. When the peg of metal glowed to a molten white, he pitched it forward. Jimmy caught it in the catcher can and inserted the glowing rivet into a hole in the girder. With the same concentration Neil would use with a scalpel, Jimmy waited for the bucker to place his buckling tool against the head of the rivet, and for the riveter to hammer it home.

BOOK BLURB for Sofi’s Bridge

Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety. 


To enter in the giveaway Christine mentioned 4 different kinds of flowers. What is one of the flowers she mentioned and tell us what your favorite flower is. And if you'd like to tell us why, we'd love to hear.  Be sure to leave your email address and if you are a follower of my blog be sure to let me know for an extra entry.



Purchase Links for Sofi’s Bridge

Amazon.com for Sofi’s Bridge (Paper & Ebook)

Pelican Book Group (Paper and Ebook) 




About Christine:

Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Tales of her Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and explosive finale Veiled at Midnight.

Christine’s Irish wit and her use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and her newest release Sofi’s Bridge.

Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine and her husband live on the west coast of Canada. Coming August 2016 is the release of Christine’s non-fiction book Finding Sarah—Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story.

Please drop by Christine’s website www.ChristineLindsay.org or follow her on Amazon on Twitter. Subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook, and Goodreads

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Seafaring Women of the Vera B. ends 4/18



The Seafaring Women of the Vera B.
By Susan Page Davis and James S. Davis





·        












     Giveaway details.
I will give away one copy, paperback or e-book; the winner can choose.
Debbie, please limit the paperback winners to USA residents. Thank you!

Blurb:
Our book is The Seafaring Women of the Vera B., set in 1854.
With the captain dead in Melbourne, Australia, Alice Packard thinks the worst has happened, until she learns the crew has deserted her husband’s ship in favor of the goldfields. Only one old man, Gypsy Deak, sticks by her, but Gypsy alone can’t raise a crew from the depleted population. In desperation, Alice turns to the only source of plentiful workers: the women of Melbourne. In a bold move, she and Gypsy empty a brothel, promising the escaped women a new life. Her all-woman (save one) crew put their backs and hearts into the voyage, but Alice finds training her sailors much harder than she expected. Her faith is tested to the limit. With a cargo to sell, angry brothel and tavern owners in pursuit, pirates to evade, and a mysterious stowaway, will the seafaring women of the Vera B. survive to tell the tale of this daring adventure? 


You wrote this book with your son, Jim. How did that work?
I had the initial idea for a sailing ship with a crew of all women. My son helped me pinpoint the time and place this could believably happen. We worked out the plot together during a holiday visit. We live almost 500 miles apart, so most of our communication after that was by phone or email. We worked our way through it, with each of us writing the scenes closest to our hearts. The research was a huge challenge for both of us, but we pulled everything together at last.

Many writers will say they see stories all around them. Is there someplace you found this story?
Yes, I was inspired by a true story. I had read about Abby Pennell, whose husband was a ship captain and died in Rio de Janeiro. She took the ship home. Of course, she had the original crew to do most of the work, but I wondered, what if the crew deserted her? Jim and I found the perfect situation: during the Australian gold rush, dozens of ships sat idle in their harbors while the crews flocked to the goldfields. Where would our heroine find a new crew? That was the big obstacle for her to solve. But once she found her sailors, more trouble followed.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?
Yes, they do. I thought Nell was going to cause a lot of trouble on the ship, but she turned out to be a valuable member of the crew. Ned, on the other hand, nearly got everyone killed. Didn’t see that coming.
 
Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?
I love the scene in the hold when Jenny discovers the stowaway. It’s a little scary, but it fits perfectly in this story.

What is your favorite time period to write in?
While I write both historicals and contemporaries, the late 1800s works well for me, especially 1850 to 1880. I love to tell about the simpler times, and it can be very helpful to a plot if communication and travel are slower than they are now.

If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
I would love to visit Medieval days, but I don’t really think I would like living then. I’m too attached to my modern conveniences, better medical care, longer life expectancy rate, etc. But I would be thrilled to step back there for a week or two.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
Jim has visited Australia, but I never have. I’d love to see some of the country there. I think a road trip through the Outback would be awesome.

What was the greatest thing you learned in school?
Mostly organization and meeting deadlines. My editors love those traits.

What is the hardest part in writing a story?
Getting everything right, especially in a historical. I’m always afraid I’ll miss something.

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
The many real shipwrecks around Australia are fascinating. We mentioned one in this book, but there are dozens that could be jumping-off points for a story.


BIOS:
James Samuel Davis is a writer who has traveled in Australia, China, Micronesia, and Alaska. He resides in rural Travelers Rest, S.C., with his wife and seven children.

Susan Page Davis, James’s mom, is the author of more than sixty Christian novels and novellas. Her historical novels have won numerous awards, including the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest.

Find us at:
Twitter: @SusanPageDavis

Buy Links:
Buy the paperback from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LHmvoe
Kindle e-book: http://amzn.to/1SqaViY

Monday, April 4, 2016

Alarmingly Charming by Debra Marvin ends April 11th

 Please welcome Debra Marvin to my blog this week. Read on down to find out enter to win a paperback, ebook, and Austen calendar!

Help Debra Pick the Best Austen Hero!

Mr. George Knightley.
Nightly, or daily, George is the big brother we all wish we had, unless you can’t get past the Angelina Jolie connection. The fact that he’s seventeen years older than Emma—basically could be her father in this day and age—should be ignored. He’s obviously the perfect tempering agent for one Miss
Woodhouse. He’s the true example of loving someone by helping them become their best, true self, if that includes a bit of scolding now and then. But why, I ask, has it taken Mr. K (or allow me to call him Mr. N?) so long to fall for Emma? Was it truly nothing more than platonic affection all this time? Was he hindered by thinking of her as a little sister? (he brought up that brother-sister thing after all. A bit creepy?) Perhaps he’s been molding a spoiled, short-sighted girl into a proper wife? Why was George still a bachelor? And did he ever leave the house other than to wander to the Woodhouse’s wood house? (Wait. I think it was brick.) Frankly…wealthy, single men who barely leave their library have a bit of the gothic about them, don’t you think?

Henry Tilney
Henry is a ‘soul of patience’, or has he simply made it his life’s work to avoid all controversy and tension? Clearly, he’s the good guy in a family of thoughtless men. While a knowledge of muslin doesn’t rank high enough in our modern lives to justify marriage, he does show a fine empathy for the weaker sex. Considering that I wrote a novella based on Northanger Abbey’s characters, I feel I can speak candidly. Were his expectations for a wife low, or did he just think a silly girl with an over-active imagination was a good choice? (perhaps Mr. Tilney needs to speak with Mr. Bennet about that). I know… I know. Catherine Morland had a lovely kindness to her and the truth is, I adore them both. She has such enthusiasm and lack of guile. Mr. Tilney does come with a lot of family baggage, so where does he fall in your ratings? Did you enjoy his sense of humor or was he just a bit too beige for you?

Colonel Brandon
Put your adoration for Alan Rickman aside, and Colonel Brandon does still warrant hero status. But Marianne had good reason to be put off. The Age Difference. The lack of luster. Good thing she didn’t know he saw her as a replacement for an old love. What? You disagree? An old love from decades ago… Oops. Another man in his mid-30s, making him middle-aged in Austen’s day. But let’s skip the 20 year age gap. With his unequaled long-suffering (emphasis on suffering) devotion, he places high in husband material. Sadly he only shines when compared to the brash, hot-blooded and very thoughtless Willoughby. Is Brandon your favorite hero? Kudos to the Colonel! After all…he was still capable of carrying the never-failing-ever-falling Miss Marianne! Quote some poetry for her and all is well.

Edward Ferrars
Edward, the mysterious “Mr. F.” is a good match for Elinor. She’s sensible enough to fall for a gentleman based on his kindness, not his looks (in the book…ahem. Remember we heard nothing about having piercing blue eyes like Matthew Crawley.) Shall we blame his poor choice in Lucy Steele on having a witchy mother, a hit-or-miss libido (perhaps that was good for a man destined for the church), or just youthful inexperience? But having to face his mistake, one wonders if keeping a promise to a woman he doesn’t love was all that heroic? (Shouldn’t he have just manned up and married the woman he loved—the woman with whom he was written to be a perfect match?). I must say he’s not strong hero material, but I think we love him simply for hanging on long enough for Lucy to mess up and win his frightful older brother instead (and that horrid sister-in-law). Was Mr. F wimpy or wonderful?


Captain Wentworth

Here’s Miss Austen’s true self-made man. Eight years after having his heart broken by Anne Eliot, he’s a bit harsh on her. Was it all intentional? Hmmm. The navy made him a man, but he wasn’t quite mature enough to be kind about the fact she’s listened to her elders and avoided running off with a penniless—if good looking--nobody. A few cold-hearted remarks and some flagrant flirtation with her sister’s sisters-in-law set him up for trouble. Oh, what luck. Good old Anne is there to pick up the pieces (not referring to Louisa’s skull, by the way). By now, we’re wondering if maybe she’s better off without him. But no. All’s forgiven when he realizes he’s been a schmuck. Prodded along (like most men) when it’s almost too late to fix things. Ooops, did I say that? Anne might have been weak eight years prior, but he was weak eight days prior. He makes up for it with a perfectly written love letter (thanks to Jane Austen writing it for him). And who cares if he’s a bit weather worn? He’s going to take her away from that loony family!

Edmund Bertram
Edmund has somehow managed to remain untainted by the wackiest Austen family on record, and I credit that with his companionship with the intelligent, analytical (used to be a wretch) Fanny Price. She sometimes can be a downer and judgmental, but after all, she’s been sleeping in a cold attic room for ten years. Edmund cares for Fanny like a sister, not like a cousin. This should raise concerns, but it doesn’t—we’re used to this, right? Fanny’s not so clueless—she’s long been in love with her good, honest, kind friend who reminds us of Mr. Knightley. They made it through puberty, but it isn’t until a new game in town called Mary Crawford comes along that Edmund struggles with…ahem…passion. Really, Eddie? Did you have to share your school-boy crush on Mary with Fanny? Like.She.Wants.To.Hear.It? After Edmund’s sister wrecks the family reputation, he develops a backbone and has an epiphany. Not the sharpest sabre on the wall, was he? Oh all right. I like him, too.

Fitzwilliam D’arcy
There’s not much to say about Darcy that hasn’t been said. We have no idea what he really looked like in that wet shirt, but as a man who spends a lot of time glowering in drawing rooms, let’s hope that horseback riding helped. Mr. Darcy had many years of practice looking down on people. His sister, his housekeeper and his flighty friend Bingley thought he was the cat’s meow. Okay, we’ll go with that. But brooding gets old fast and just how long will that humility last? Has that cat changed its spots? Does he still secretly believe he’s too good for her—certainly for her family? Someday Lizzie will tire of being clever, and he’ll tire of being kind. Once past the courting, I think this wealthy, snobby man might just return to form. Darcy has set up countless generations of impractical expectations. Women like moody men? Really? Is Fitzwilliam’s entire worth based upon a very heartfelt proposal…twice…and taking care of the Wickham mess? Convince me I’m wrong! Or is my “heart not easily touched?”

GIVEAWAY!
So there you have it, ladies. Please let me know where I’m way off or have pegged our Austen heroes. Who’s your choice for number one? Play along. Humor me. I do love them all. I’m giving away a paperback of Austen in Austin to one commenter, and an ebook of Alarmingly Charming to another (please leave your email address safely) Please mention if you’d prefer an ebook or paperback.

I’m hoping to find the biggest Austen fan ever, and for you, I’m giving away a lovely Jane Austen illustrations calendar 2016. “suitable for framing!”

Austen in Austen from WhiteFire Publishing:
Four Texas-Set Novellas Based on Jane Austen's Novels
Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love--Jane Austen style. Volume 1 includes:
If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, based on Emma A prideful matchmaker examines her own heart when her protégé falls for the wrong suitor.
Romantic Refinements by Anita Mae Draper, based on Marianne from Sense and Sensibility A misguided academy graduate spends the summer falling in love . . . twice.
One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, based on Pride and Prejudice A down-on-her-luck journalist finds the story of her dreams, but her prejudice may cost her true love . . . and her career.
Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin, based on Northanger Abbey A timid gothic dime-novel enthusiast tries to solve the mystery of a haunted cemetery and, even more shocking, why two equally charming suitors compete for her attentions.

Four more exciting novellas will follow in volume 2!
Debra’s contact information and bio: Please consider following her FB page!
LINKS: Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B018QCI2AS Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Debra-E-Marvin-433266640199533 Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraEMarvin Website: http://debraemarvin.com/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraemarvin/ Group Blog- Inkwell Inspirations: http://www.inkwellinspirations.com/

ABOUT DEBRA 
Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live just a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankful that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.
Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has pretty normal obsessions: fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas and whatever mystery series she’s currently reading. Visit her at debraemarvin.com, the Inkwell Inspirations Blog, @debraemarvin on twitter and Debra E Marvin on Facebook and Pinterest, but not her house because she usually has dirty dishes.