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:
Website for authors:
Sign up for Janalyn’s mailing list:
Goodreads Author Page:
Bookbub Author Page:

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


Monday, February 19, 2018

Callum's Compass by Sara Foust ends February 26th

Please welcome Sara Foust to my blog. Sara has graciously offered to giveaway a print or ebook copy of her book so be sure to read on down on how to enter. 

I do not consider myself an athlete. In fact, I really don’t like exercising at all. I am an active person, don’t get me wrong, but the thought of “working out” makes me want to take a nap. I also don’t watch sports on television. But, I love the Olympics. They are a totally different ballgame to me. It’s not all about which team beats who or how much money the players make. It’s about young people with big dreams pushing themselves to do their best, good sportsmanship, and the honor of representing your country to the world.
As we piled up on the couch to watch the games this last week, I couldn’t help but smile. Even just making it to the Olympics is a dream come true for most of them. My dream may not be as grand as becoming an Olympian, but it has been just as important to me. And I am so thankful and feel so blessed that God has let it come to pass this past fall.
Callum’s Compass is my first book baby. I have dreamed about being a published novelist since I was about seven or eight. I always kind of thought I would be “old” before it happened (my kids think I am old now), but it is so fun to have it happen in my 30s and know I can now have a chance at making this my lifelong career. Someone asked me at an event over the weekend if this was who I was now, just an author writing books. He smiled and waited for my answer. I said, “You know, I sure hope so.”
God is so good to me. My second book, Camp Hope, will be releasing this summer and hopefully book number three, Rarity Mountain, in early 2019. After much prayer, I already have ideas for books four through six. It’s just amazing to me. I really hope that you will find the courage to pursue your dreams too. They may seem scary at the outset, but I have no doubt that if you trust Him, He can bring you to them.

What is your dream career?  Are you taking steps to get there?  GIVEAWAY: Answer the questions above in the comments to enter Sara's giveaway. Don't forget to leave your email address with your comment!

 KAT WILLIAMS’S brother died in a gruesome accident in the mountains of East Tennessee. She blames herself.
RYAN JENKINS’S fiancée was murdered. He couldn’t protect her.
With the death of her brother, Kat believes she is unworthy of love from anyone—even God. When a good friend elicits a promise that she will stop living in the past and then leaves her clues to a real-life treasure hunt, Kat embarks on an adventure chock-full of danger. To find the treasure, Kat will have to survive wild animals—and even wilder men. Can she rely on Ryan, the handsome wildlife officer assigned to protect her . . . without falling in love?
Ryan swore off love when his fiancée was murdered, but feelings long-buried rise to the surface around Kat. He volunteers to help with her treasure hunt, vowing to keep her safe. Together they venture deep into caves and tunnels . . . and even deeper into the depths of their unplumbed hearts.

Buy Links:
About Sara:
Sara writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Tennessee Mountain Writers. Her debut novel Callum's Compass won second place in Deep River Books' 2017 Writer's Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit

Connect with Sara:
·       Newsletter sign up:
·       Email:
·       Facebook:
·       Twitter:
·       Pinterest:
·       Instagram:

Monday, February 12, 2018

Love by Numbers

Story Behind the Story – Love by the Numbers

Caleb was a minor character in couple of my Amish books – I think he first made a by name appearance in Amish Wanderer and Christmas Admirer. A minor character. Lydia was a very minor one-time appearance in those stories, too, a girl who happened to be in the room with Bethany and Susanna at a wedding. (This story is stand alone!) But I knew when Caleb first saw Lydia that they would end up together by the way he reacted to her presence. I wondered what their story was.
March and April is tornado season in Arkansas (and in many other states) and in 2011 we had a bad one. I was out and about that day, driving to the county seat with my five children, and there was something in the air. It was heavy, hard to breathe, and the sky was black off to the west. I’m sure I broke speed limits racing to Melbourne, and then home again so we wouldn’t be out in the storm.
Later that afternoon, tornado sirens went off. One went over our house – even from the basement we could hear the sound of a train roaring overhead. Scary. And still thanking God it didn’t touch down. Highland, Ash Flat, and Evening Shade, Arkansas were hit hard. Buildings completely gone. When we drove out that way later in the week there were pickup trucks in the tops of trees. Other things in odd and unusual places. I always wondered how they got the treetop pickups down. I would’ve stopped to watch if I’d been out there when it was done. I did hear that some of those trucks weren’t damaged at all. Unreal.  My two sons and my husband both helped with clean up and my oldest son went with a crew to Joplin, Missouri, to help with clean up there.
There has been other occasions I’ve been out in tornados. Once I was in the Walmart parking lot when a tornado went through a town west of it. We could see the funnel touching down from where we stood. It did hail when we were on our way home, praying our house was still standing. It was.
On a different note, in 2016 my oldest son came home with a kitten. She was the sweetest thing ever, and he named her Rosie. Sadly, I was highly allergic to her. I couldn’t even be around the children after they played with her. They’d have to go change clothes and wash their hands, otherwise I couldn’t breathe. Rosie was full Siamese, blue eyes and all, and she was so adorable. I allowed my son to keep her in the shed. I was about four chapters into the story when Rosie found some poison (I think, not sure) and died. We all cried.
Also about the time I was writing this, a very dear friend of a lot of writers died. I told my street team I was going to name a character after her, and was told a lot of writers would be. I agreed. And a lot of their books were released already. But Aenti Judith in this story is named after Judy Burgi. I still miss her and pray for her family. 
One of the verses my daughter had to memorize in Sunday School was 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.  ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’ Perfect for the faith message in Love by the Numbers!  I love how God always provides the perfect verse for my characters’ faith messages. I’m pretty sure this verse is one I never memorized, and I never would of thought of it on my own, but God put it in my daughter’s lessons for Sunday School, so she had to memorize it – and thus I did too since I help my daughters learn their verses every week.
I hope you’ll enjoy the story!

Because of Him,
Laura V.  Hilton

Love by the Numbers 

After her fiancé dies in a buggy accident, Lydia Hershberger is invited to Jamesport to manage her
Mennonite aunt’s gift store while her aunt and uncle are on a mission trip. While there, Lydia gets acquainted with her aentie’s best friend, Bethel Bontrager, and her grown son, Caleb. Lydia is surprised to find herself drawn to handsome clockmaker, Caleb Bontrager. But in spite of an instant flame of attraction between them, he doesn’t seem interested. In fact, pesky Caleb treats her like he doesn’t even like her.

Bright and sparkly. That’s Caleb’s first impression of Lydia. He’s always been attracted to sparkly things. In fact, his affinity for those things, and the trouble they can cause, are exactly why he’s determined to change his ways and settle down. With Lydia’s aentie gone, he is handling the books for the gift shop and is forced to spend too much time in her presence.

When God offers Lydia a second chance at love and family, will she take it? Or will the secret Caleb harbors cause her even more heartbreak?  

About Laura:
Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas. 

Connect with Laura:
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Purchase my books:

Monday, February 5, 2018

Love Calls Her Home by Patricia Lee ends February 12th

Please welcome Patricia Lee to my blog this week. Patricia is giving away an e-book of Love Calls Her Home so be sure to read on down on how to enter. 

The story behind the story: Love Calls Her Home

Several years before I started writing the second novel in my Mended Hearts series, Love Calls Her Home, which releases March 1, our country was heavily invested in the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wanted to tell the story of two characters in different branches of our armed services who fall in love, and the military angle would become part of the focus.
I was deeply troubled by the reports of soldiers returning from their deployments badly injured—their bodies torn by explosives, their dreams haunted by the terrors of war. Since my Marine hero would be coming home in this story, I wanted him to land in a safe environment where he could find solitude and healing.
Not long after that, I read an article in the Oregonian, a newspaper that serves much of our state, about a horse rescue ranch in a northernmost city. A man and his wife had established the rescue center together, and when the husband died, the woman continued the ranch because the work there enabled her to cope with her loss.
That resonated with me. I’d grown up with horses and knew the kind of friendship and bonding that could come from caring for a treasured animal. I envisioned a wounded soldier finding the same satisfaction nurturing neglected horses. I moved the rescue center near Steens Mountain in eastern Oregon where a herd of Spanish mustangs, believed to be the last of their kind, were protected by the government. I added a couple of key characters, a neglected filly, a dog, a young boy, and the story took form.
This book became multi-faceted as I wrote. Not only does it contain the trauma of war, it also touches on the fears of a terminal illness, the fallout from a dysfunctional marriage, the loneliness of a neglected child. These elements weave themselves throughout the story, producing what I hope booklovers will find to be a satisfying journey—one that’s not predictable—the kind I like to read. Stories that make the reader feel are the kind of tales I try to compose.

Here is what Melanie Bates of Romantic Times wrote about it:
 "The second novel in Lee’s Mended Hearts series is a sweet, modern-day love story between two vulnerable people facing intense personal struggles. With a solid plot, complete with genuine characters and strong conflict, Lee brings a tender story that will touch readers’ hearts. Along with the intense romantic connection between Lissa and Kurt, the highlight of this story is the adorable, wounded little boy along with an equally wounded young horse who are both in need of healing. Though it takes a while to get to the heart of the story, once readers reach that point, they will not be able to put the book down. This story is one inspirational, heart-tugging read.
When former Navy officer Lissa Frye meets the old love who broke her heart, Marine Kurt McKintrick, after not seeing him for two years, it is an awkward reunion. Both are back in the same Oregon town, Lissa starting anew as a sheriff’s deputy and Kurt fulfilling a promise to his best friend and dead fellow Marine, Foster Blake. He is working with Foster’s mother at her animal rescue center, tending horses. Kurt knows he hurt Lissa and he wants to explain the reason why, but the tension between them is thick. However, time spent together at the animal rescue center because of a wounded boy begins to thaw the chill between Lissa and Kurt. Suddenly, their love is rekindled. But will their personal fears derail the opportunity of a second-chance romance and a happy future? (MOUNTAIN BROOK INK, dl $2.99
 Reviewed by: Melanie Bates

1. Have you known a soldier who has returned from war ? What kinds of adjustments did he/she have to make to re-enter civilian life?
2. Are there marriages among your friends who met while serving in the military? What challenges did they face being soldiers and husbands and wives?

Answer one or more of the questions above to enter. Don't forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!

About Patricia:
Patricia Lee wrote her first short story at the age of six. She remembers little of the plotline, but her teacher’s excitement stayed with her. “Putting words on paper obviously made people happy,” Pat remembers. “And I liked the way writing made me feel.”

From there her journey of words took her through a stint as a high school columnist and on to the University of Oregon where she majored in magazine article writing and advertising. She sold to major publications like Moody Monthly, Power for Living, and Expecting before raising her family. After homeschooling her children, Pat returned to writing and pursuing her dream of penning the perfect novel.

Pat has recently written for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and released her debut novel, An Anchor on her Heart, July 15, 2017 from Mountain Brook Ink Publishers. She is a member of Oregon Christian Writers (OCW) and of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). This second novel in the series, Love Calls Her Home, is scheduled for release March 1, 2018. She lives in Oregon with her husband of forty-twp years, four cats, and a yard full of squirrels and flowers.

Web: (be sure to sign up for my newsletter to be entered in a drawing for a free book)