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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: The Socialite by J’nell Ciesielski





Book:  The Socialite
Author: J’nell Ciesielski
Genre:  Historical Romance
Release Date: April 14, 2020

Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis.

As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?



Click here to get your copy!


I really enjoy Historical Fiction and was thrilled to be able to read and review this book. The book is set in Paris during World War II, which is a really intriguing setting. 

Once I got into the book, I just kept reading and couldn't put the book down. I was reeled into the book from the very beginning. The author, J'Nell Cielinski, does a really great job at telling the story and keeping the reader's focus and interest peaked. The 3 main characters of the book are: Ellie, Kat and Barrett. I really enjoyed their story and the romance between Kat and Barrett. The characters are going through trying times in the midst of WWII, they especially have issues with Trusting one another, but their endurance and courage is shown throughout the book. 

I LOVED all the twists and turns in this book. The author is a new to me author, but I am very excited to read more of her books. The author is a GREAT story teller and I really felt that I was in Paris while reading this book. FANTASTIC BOOK!







With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’Nell

I blame Pinterest. Too many hours are spent chasing rabbit holes of glorious pictures of fashion from eras gone by, Highlanders in kilts, WWI ambulances, and fairytale castles. One day I was browsing something super important (or possibly escaping from the actual work I was supposed to be doing, er, we’ll never know) and stumbled across a black and white picture of six beautiful girls. Who are these lovely ladies? I wondered. A quick search brought up the Mitford sisters. Six gorgeous daughters born into an aristocratic English family, each girl with a different passion: Diana the fascist, Jessica the communist, Unity the Hitler lover, Nancy the novelist, Deborah the duchess, and Pamela the poultry connoisseur. Whoa. You know dinner time around their family table was interesting. How could such different personalities belong in the same family? What would you do if your sister got moon-eyed over Hitler??
Bam. An idea was born.
In the beginning, my little rebel Ellie was going to be a full-fledged Nazi ideology lover, but she quickly informed me that it wasn’t so much the Nazis or their crazy ideas she loved, but one man in particular. One twisted Nazi who had fallen completely under her spell, and she under his. The ideas of love can often be more difficult to break as Kat finds out when she tries to rescue her na├»ve sister. Luckily, she has a hunky Sottish bartender to help her while providing a few romantic intentions of his own. With everyone hiding past hurts and true identities, how will they ever hope to find the love they each long for when war rages under the bright lights of Paris? Guess you’ll have to read to find out ;)


Emily Yager, May 22
Simple Harvest Reads, May 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Livin’ Lit, May 26
Betti Mace, May 27
Genesis 5020, May 28
Remembrancy, May 28
Mia Reads, May 29
Rebecca Tews, May 30
Moments, June 2
Andrea Carmen, June 3
Hallie Reads, June 4


                

To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a book and a book sleeve!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Illusions by Jennifer Sienes





Book:  Illusions
Author: Jennifer Sienes
Genre:  Christian Contemporary
Release Date: April 28, 2020

Corey Schaffer, pastor’s wife and mother of two teens, has spent her entire marriage subconsciously repenting for one reckless night the week before her wedding.

Upon discovery of Corey’s indiscretion, her 17-year-old daughter, Taylor, is in a car accident resulting in a weeklong coma, traumatic brain injury and memory loss. Corey is riddled with guilt and would like nothing better than to confess all to her husband, Paul. But how can she when his pastoral position is at risk, thanks to their son’s thoughtless act of rebellion the year before—an act Paul has yet to forgive?

Instead, Corey loses herself in the day-to-day work of Taylor’s rehabilitation and prays God will give her the courage to face the past. But when a disgruntled church member sees an opportunity for revenge, Corey must find the faith and strength to put her family first, even if it means walking away.


Click here for your copy!


Illusions is a page turner book from beginning to end. I finished the book in about 5hrs, it is truly that good!! 

Corey Schaffer is a Pastor's wife and has something that has been eating away at her since she married. She is just about ready to confess to her husband of many years and her 17yr old is in an accident that puts her in a coma. She is also dealing with her rebellious son who is putting his Dad's job as a Pastor in jeopardy. A "revengeful" Church Member almost really breaks Corey. Corey decides she will stand up and be the bigger person through all this and puts her family first through this all. Will the Family, especially Corey, come through this time in their life a stronger family? Grab a copy of this book and find out! 

I really enjoyed this book. It really spoke to me that even through times when we want to run and hide, God will uplift us and encourage us to do the right thing. This book is about Forgiveness and giving grace where it is needed. 

Illusions is Book #2 in the Apple Hill Series by Jennifer Sienes. I am really enjoying this series and look forward to more books in this series! GREAT BOOK! 






Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies including several in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

More from Jennifer

Since I was twelve years old, I’ve been writing stories. I even wrote fan-fiction before it was a thing—a Happy Days episode, which I’m sure dates me. I took every creative writing class I could, starting in high school, and even declared journalism as my college major until I realized I like fiction a whole lot more than truth because I can create the characters any way I like.
However, my first attempts at writing emotionally charged novels fell flat; I hadn’t lived enough to truly understand what deep emotion felt like. Then life happened—a series of tragedies that made me feel I was more on par with Job than with Jesus. Someone wise told me that all writers must find the core of why they write—that deep part of us that God instilled in our hearts. What is it we, as writers, want to communicate to our readers? What I came away with was that we all need hope, especially in our darkest days.
Illusions was born out of a near-fatal car accident my daughter was in only weeks after her eighteenth birthday. It was walking through that accident with her that started the what if questions years later. What if an accident is the result of a mother/daughter argument? What if that argument was caused by something the mother did in her past—a deep, dark secret that even she cannot face? And what if that mother is held to a higher standard than most others? Say the wife of a pastor? And what if that pastor already has a black mark against him because of an act their other child (a boy) previously committed?
Would the congregation turn against him? We all know people in church who seek any opportunity to throw a wrench into things—that live with a big ol’ log in their eye, blinding them from the concept of grace.
To add to the tension (because, what’s the point of a story without it?), what if the accident caused a traumatic brain injury and the daughter remembers nothing? It may not be on par with Sophie’s Choice, but now a mother is torn between wanting her daughter to be whole again and hoping the deep, dark secret remains lost somewhere in the recesses of her mind.
Admittedly, the two children of Corey and Paul Schaffer (the main characters) are based loosely on my own children, Nicole and Christopher. It is so much easier to write what I can easily envision in my mind. And many of the challenges Taylor (the accident victim) faces were actually those my own daughter experienced. But that’s where truth and fiction part ways. So, Illusions started with inspiration, but God took it to whole new level. It’s one of the ways He uses the challenges I’ve faced in life to connect with readers and hopefully give them His inspiration and encouragement.


Genesis 5020, May 14
Emily Yager, May 15
CarpeDiem, May 23
Moments, May 24


            

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon & 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.

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Monday, May 18, 2020

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: A Life Renewed by Olivia Rae





Book:  A Life Renewed
Author: Olivia Rae
Genre:  Christian Historical
Release Date: April 2, 2020

In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason.

But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived?

Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in Germany. She loves the simple life and never wants to return to England. But her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on London and place her on the English throne again, thereby increasing his dominance in Europe. If she doesn’t agree to his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death. Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes.

Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart?



Click here for your copy!


I enjoy reading Historical Fiction and this one has a twist to it, as it is based on a real "character" from History. Lady Jane Grey was not someone I learned about in History class, but she is an interesting Historical Lady. She was Queen of England for 9 days in the 1500's. 

The book begins and it takes me a couple of chapters to really get interested in the book. Lady Jane Grey is in Germany and loves living the "simple life" and doesn't want to return to her homeland of England, as she fears execution. In order to continue to escape execution she puts begins to befriend in spy Asher Hayes. Asher Hayes is trying to coax her back to England, but then he realizes she isn't as bad as others have made him think. He begins falling for her and gains a romantic interest in Lady Jane Grey. Will Asher betray his family so he can pursue a relationship with Lady Jane Grey? Is there a romance on the horizon?? 

I wasn't so sure about the book in the beginning, but the Author, Olivia Rae, did bring the characters and the story line together very well. I actually enjoyed this book very much and I look forward to reading the next books in this new Series. FANTASTIC Book! 




Olivia Rae is an award-winning author who spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town next to a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world.

More from Olivia

The Challenge in Writing About a Real Historical Person
I like creating a story out of a kernel of information. The idea of my new book, A Life Renewed came when I took a trip to England and learned about the tragic life of Lady Jane Grey. Her life was so disastrous, I just wanted to give her a second chance at happiness. So that’s exactly what I did when she escaped her execution instead of dying as she did in real life.
My greatest challenge in writing this book was picking a heroine that actually lived. I had to do a lot of research in Lady Jane Grey’s life and her family. It was very interesting. Lady Jane was what we would call a progressive protestant. The conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants (The beginning of The Church of England) was very real and very deadly at that time. What many people don’t know is that Henry VIII was actually against many other Protestant religions (Calvinists, Lutherans, etc.). He feared their religious influence as much as he did the Catholic’s. His son Edward was more progressive, like Jane. If he would have lived, Jane’s outcome would have been totally different. After Jane’s death, Queen Mary went on a mission to turn England back to Catholicism. In her reign she killed over 300 Protestants. Hence later in history she was known as “Bloody Mary.”


Betti Mace, May 12
Genesis 5020, May 14
Bigreadersite, May 15
Mary Hake, May 15
Emily Yager, May 17


             


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away the grand prize packaged of an autographed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift certificate!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Taking Chances by Melody Carlson





Book:  Taking Chances
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre:  Middle Grade
Release Date: April 15, 2020

Zoey knows her days are numbered. At least when it comes to remaining in Cedarville. So when Louisa coaxes her to be part of a garage band, Zoey tosses her insecurities aside to make music with her friends. And she even goes out for the basketball team. But what will happen when her mom shows up and pulls the plug on everything?



Click here for your copy!


I really enjoying reading books by Melody Carlson, she is one of my favorite Christian Fiction Authors. I had never read her books for Middle School ages, and I figured it would be a good change. 

Zoey and her BFF, Louisa, have been trying to find an activity for them to enjoy together. Louisa talks Zoey into trying out for a "Garage Band". Zoey wants to enjoy the time left in the town before Zoey and her Mother move back to Seattle. Zoey is enjoying the Garage Band and then an old "enemy" comes around and makes Zoey very uncomfortable. The one thing that Zoey has been really growing in is her faith. She really feels the need to lean on her faith and be gracious to her "enemy" during these times. Will Zoey succeed or will her faith falter to the hurts of "enemy friends"?? 

I really like the message in this book. Many Middle School aged girls experience so many changes at once and can succumb to the bullying and such. Forgiveness and being a better person then the "enemy' is a GREAT message for Girls and Boys in middle school. A quick read, but a WONDERFUL book! Taking Chances is the final book in this series. It is a good standalone book, but reading the books in order makes for GREAT reading!   







Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody

Sometimes I feel guilty for ‘torturing’ my teen and tween characters, but I do it for my readers. It’s not easy being an adolescent, and reading about someone who’s facing hard times is comforting. But in the final Zoey book, I really wanted to give her some victories too. So when challenges come her way, she stands up to them. And she even puts her newly found faith to work. The goal is for readers to feel hopeful about their own lives when they see Zoey rise above her tough circumstances.


Vicky Sluiter, May 20
Remembrancy, May 21
Moments, May 25


                


To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize package of the full Being Zoey series!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Share/Bookmark Pin It Print Friendly and PDF
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