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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Murder at the Empire by Cathe Swanson





 






Book: Murder at the Empire   


Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: October 5, 2021

Gayle Wells is a killer organist, but does a killer have her in his sights?

They call him the Emperor.  John Starek fills his theater with fine artwork and treasures. He’s particularly pleased to have one of the country’s first female organists – and he thinks Gayle Wells is the bee’s knees.

Despite pressure from her social crusader mother, Gayle isn’t interested in changing the world. She just wants a car of her own – and a career playing the organ at the Empire movie palace would be especially ducky.

Then the Empire’s treasures start disappearing and employees start dying. Are a few pieces of art really enough motive for the string of murders? Will Gayle be next?

Murder at the Empire brings the Nightingale into an elegant movie palace in the roaring 20’s – but the real excitement is all off-screen.

 

Click here to get your copy!


I have read a few books in this series and they are always interesting. Murder at the Empire by Cathe Swanson is Book 4 in the Ever After Mysteries series. It is a Historical Fiction book based on a Fairytale, the Fairytale being Nightingale. 

The time is 1923 in Chicago. Gayle Wells is the First Female Organist, a grand feat during this time. She plays the organ at the Empire Movie Palace and would LOVE to make a career of doing so. John Starek owns the Empire Movie Palace and he really enjoys fine Art and Treasures and has many all around the Palace. The Artwork and Treasures begin disappearing and employees dying and things get really mysterious. Why is someone stealing the Artwork?  Could someone be trying to kill Gayle? 

I have to say, this is probably my FAVORITE of the books in this series thus far. I might be a little bias being that I am born and raised in Chicago, so the Chicago setting just makes me super happy. I have always had in interest in the "Roaring 20's" time period. The Twists and Turns in this story really kept me intrigued and interested in the book. The fact that the book was NOT predictable was very enjoyable. I did not put this book down until I was done and finished it in about 3hrs!! I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Mystery and Intrigue and Historical Fiction! WONDERFUL BOOK! 








After 40 years of wandering (but always in lovely places and not in a desert), Cathe Swanson has recently returned to her childhood home and family in Minnesota.  In the summer, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and being outdoors, gardening, hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. The long winters are perfect for writing books, playing games, reading, and indoor hobbies. Cathe’s been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years and enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper.

Everything inspires new books! A lifelong love of quilting, Cathe’s Swedish heritage and an interest in genealogy led to The Glory Quilts series, and The Hope Again series is inspired by her life in the Midwest and experiences with the elderly, the military, and inner-city ministry. As a child of the sixties, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in the Serenity Hill series.

 

Cathe writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

 

More from Cathe

The 1920’s is a fascinating era. Women had recently won the right to vote, and America adopted the Volstead Act – Prohibition – which led to the growth of underground clubs and organized crime. Women were forging new paths in social reform, politics, science, medicine and every other career. America became more urbanized, building suburbs and developing a large middle-class population. The affordable automobile changed the entire culture! It was a time of innovation and rapidly expanding technology. Synthetic fabrics, convenience foods, electric appliances and other inventions made daily life easier. People had more free time, money and access to a variety of entertainments than ever before.

 

So much happened in this brief, exciting decade between the end of WWI and the Great Depression! It’s always interested me, so I was flattered and thrilled when Celebrate Lit Publishing invited me to participate in The Ever After Mysteries, a collection of 1920’s mysteries inspired by fairy tales. I’m a great fan of mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and I read at least a thousand fairy tales as a child.

 

To be honest… I set about it backward. I knew I wanted to write about a young woman playing the Mighty Wurlitzer organ to accompany silent films at a glamorous movie palace, so I Iooked for a fairy tale to match it!

 

I chose The Nightingale, an old Chinese story about an Emperor with a beautiful palace. Everything in it was exquisite and fragile, and people came from all over the world to admire his palace. He loved to show it off and even tied little bells to the prettiest blossoms in the garden, to make sure no one missed them. When the emperor heard rumors about a bird that sang more beautifully than anything else, he sought it out and brought it home to live in the palace, where it could sing to entertain him and his guests.

At that point, the fairy tale and my story diverge. In the fairy tale, the nightingale lives in the palace singing for the court until the Emperor of Japan presents the Emperor of China with a bejeweled mechanical bird – so much prettier than the plain brown nightingale. The Chinese emperor abandons the real bird and enjoys the mechanical one until it breaks. He falls into a deep depression and is only restored to health by the return of the real nightingale.

 

None of that happens in Murder at the Empire, but there’s lot of other fun, jazzy excitement as the John Starek – the “Emperor” – fills his magnificent movie palace with fine artwork and beautiful things – including Chicago’s first female theater organist, Gayle Wells. He thinks she’s the bee’s knees, but she’s a pretty independent girl, busy working and saving money to buy her own car.

 

And then things start falling apart… with murder at the Empire. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 17

Blossoms and Blessings, November 17

Texas Book-aholic, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Sodbusterliving, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

For Him and My Family, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 25 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 25

Connie’s History Classroom, November 26

Genesis 5020, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Back Porch Reads, November 28

Through the fire blogs, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 29




To celebrate her tour, Cathe 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/133b9/murder-at-the-empire-celebration-tour






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Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Road to Freedom by Cheri Swalwell





Book: Road to Freedom

Author: Cheri Swalwell

Genre: Christian Woman’s Contemporary Fiction

Release date: October 5, 2021

Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

Wynn and her best friend Addie have been inseparable since kindergarten. Growing up together in the same community, they shared activities, friends, and even the same job. But behind closed doors, their lives couldn’t be more different.

Zane has loved Wynn for four years. Yet Wynn is adamant she doesn’t need a boyfriend. After all, she will never get married. Ever. In an effort to uncover the why behind her ‘no,’ Zane discovers more than he expected.

When Wynn unlatches the door and allows Holly in as a mentor, will she learn trust is just like riding a bike and find the healing she so desperately needs?

Road to Freedom, Book 4 in The Redemption of Green Pines series continues to disclose the messiness of real life. Join Wynn and her friends as they discover how an encounter with God can bring freedom from fear, healing from pain, and the joy of belonging when we choose to let others into our lives, even, or especially, the messy parts.

 

Click here to get your copy!


I have enjoyed many of Cheri Swalwell's books. Road to Freedom is Book 4 in The Redemption of Green Pines series. I have read Books 2 and 3   in this series and I am excited to be able to read this one also. 

WOW, I must say this series keeps getting better and better with each book. The main Character, Wynn, whom we met in Book 2, is now an adult. She has some struggles in life due to what happened in her Youth. Zane has had a LOVE for Wynn for sometime, but Wynn is not interested in a relationship. Zane is determined to find out what is holding Wynn back from LOVING someone. Wynn eventually reveals to Zane why she is not interested in a relationship now or EVER. Will Zane be able to change Wynn's mind? Will there ever be a romantic connection for the 2? 

The main thing I really like about this series is though it is Fiction it reads like "True to Life" stories. Cheri Swalwell touches on some Sensitive topics, including Church Leaders abusing their position and a few others, but she does so with sensitivity and eloquence. The Book has a strong Faith based message and I really appreciate that aspect of the book also. I truly enjoy this series and this book! FANTASTIC BOOK! 







Cheri Swalwell is a Christ follower who thoroughly enjoys her calling to be a wife, mother, writer and speaker, in that order. Cheri loves to encourage people through her fiction series and many nonfiction books including devotionals, Bible studies, and compilation books. For a full list of books visit www.cheriswalwell.com. If you want to sign up to her newsletter to stay updated on all the latest news, you will also receive a free gift as her way of saying thanks for joining! To read one of her many articles on life from a Christian perspective, visit her blog at www.cheriswalwell.com. She loves to interact with her readers, so send her an email at clSwalwell99@gmail.com. You can “like” her on Facebook as well here or join Heart Speaks with Cheri Swalwell, a private Facebook group where we encourage each other and share life together.

 

More from Cheri

The Redemption of Green Pines is a series about community. We first meet Wynn and her friends in Journey Back Home when they attended youth group. While Pastor Jace and Holly remain a constant presence throughout all six books, Road to Freedom takes us deeper into the lives of four friends – Wynn, Addie, Zane and Owen, who graduated from youth group and began working for Holly’s catering business. They also babysit the Cooper kids from time to time and have become part of the family.

Since the beginning when we were introduced to Wynn, she carried around a secret she wouldn’t share with anyone, not even her best friend. Road to Freedom is Wynn’s journey of truly discovering who she is as a Daughter of the King, and learning how good it feels to live in freedom instead of burdened by other’s choices.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Wynn and her friends as much as I have!


Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Inklings and notions, November 14

CarpeDiem, November 15

For Him and My Family, November 15

deb’s Book Review, November 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17

Pause for Tales, November 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 21

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24



To celebrate her tour, Cheri is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card!!

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/1339d/road-to-freedom-celebration-tour-giveaway





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Monday, November 22, 2021

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Shut The Front Door by L.M. Karen





Book: Shut the Front Door

Author: L.M. Karen

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release date: July 15, 2021

The zany story of an alpha male pursuing a headstrong woman and the hilarious entanglements that follow.

Maddy’s dating profile couldn’t be more together. Maddy, however, feels utterly not together when Derek is in the room. She thought living next to her best friend Brittany, (who happens to be married to her brother, Matt) would be the best move of her life; not realizing it came with the complication of Brittany’s older brother Derek. Their undeniable chemistry and passionate personalities make it hard for Maddy to continue ignoring his determined pursuit. This is a feel good romantic comedy with a hint of excitement.

 

Click here to get your copy!


Shut the Front Door by L.M. Karen is book two in the Oak Street Series. I have read the first book in the series and wanted to continue with the series, as I enjoy Book Series. 

I have to admit it took a couple of chapters to really get into the storyline of this book, but once I finally did, I enjoyed the book. This book focused on Maddy, who is the Best Friend of Brittany from Book 1 and the sister of Brittany's husband, Matt. Maddy is wanting to find love and never realized LOVE was right there in front of her. Brittany's older Brother, Derek, and Maddy begin a relationship. The new couple are actually pretty funny and make a WONDERFUL couple. I really like how the pair started out "hating each other" but then realized how great they could be a couple. I also got  a kick out of the fact that a pair of Siblings are now 2 couples. The book is Christian Romance, but it seemed more focused on the Romance then Faith. Honestly, there were a couple parts that seemed a little too much romance for a Christian Book. I do recommend the book for those who like a Good romance story. If you are looking for strictly Christian Romance, this book might not be fitting for you. Good Book!





LM Karen writes contemporary Christian fiction romance. As a longtime lover of words, she can generally be found behind her laptop or with a book in her hand. A graduate of Toccoa Falls College, her heart is in the mountains. She eventually made use of the voices in her head by putting them on the page.

 

More from LM Karen

I like writing characters who are flawed but are loved anyway. Who have maybe made a mess of things, or are consumed by fear, or have some growing to do, because isn’t that all of us? All of my characters get happy endings because as Christians we all get the happy ending. We are flawed, we are human, we are sinful, but we are loved. We are forgiven.

One of my favorite things about Maddy in Shut the Front Door is that she is fearless. She is bold and unapologetic about who she is. But even Maddy with all her confidence still has insecurities about being accepted, and just wants to be loved at the end of the day. She just wants to know that she will be received for all she is by the one person she loves the most. I think that’s a very relatable desire and what we all really want. One of my favorite things about Christian fiction is that we are reminded within the fun and sweeping nature of romance that we are always and eternally loved by God.


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 10

CarpeDiem, November 10

Texas Book-aholic, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 11

Inklings and notions, November 12

Living’ Lit, November 13

For Him and My Family, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

deb’s Book Review, November 15

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 17

Kayem Reads, November 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 18

Wishful Endings, November 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 19

By The Book, November 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 21

Remembrancy, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads , November 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, November 23



To celebrate her tour, LM is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed 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/13399/shut-the-front-door-celebration-tour-giveaway




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Sunday, November 21, 2021

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Hooper Safe Haven by Rachel Skatvold





Book: Hooper Safe Haven

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: October 26, 2021

Harbors should be safe havens, but what if you’re harboring secrets?

When Alicia Roberts accepts a job with mobile veterinarian, Kendall Mulligan, she hopes the Independence Islands will give her a safe place to start over. And as much as she appreciates the Mulligan girls’ offer to stay with them while she gets settled, Alicia knows she needs her own place. ASAP.

Hooper Ear Cove Apartments on Hooper Island offers a beautiful ocean view as well as one of the landlord’s hunky son—all at an affordable price. Just what she needs to start a new life. Isn’t it?

When life knocked Jace Young in the head with a literal curveball that ruined his major league chances, he was forced to return to Hooper Island and a job as the maintenance guy at his father’s apartment complex. On the side, he leads the contemporary song service at church as his heart heals.

When Alicia moves to Hooper Island, Jace is drawn in by her sweet personality. However, something hides deep beneath the surface, and Alicia resists any discussion of God. What will it take to convince her to anchor her heart to God and to confide the secrets she harbors?

Hooper Safe Haven continues the Hooper Island stories of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 

Click here to get your copy!


I have been enjoying the Independence Island series. Hooper Safe Haven by Rachel Skatvold is book 16 in the Independence Island series and this one takes us to Hooper Island. The great thing about this series, is that each book really reads great as a Standalone. A variety of Authors write the books and each book flows great. 

I was hooked on this story from the very first chapter. Alicia Roberts is a sweet young woman who finds strength in independence. I LOVE how she forms a friendship with Jace Young, her landlords son, upon arriving at Hooper Island. Jace recognizes how Alicia's Faith is struggling and he has a strong faith and really wants to help her. Alicia has never felt safe anywhere as she has some Secrets she is keeping. Jace is a KIND and LOVING man and only wants the best for Alicia. I enjoyed watching their relationship go and eventually Alicia does feel safe in Hooper Island and the friends she has made. Hooper Safe Haven is a book about Faith, Friends, Trust and moving forward. A FANTASTIC BOOK! I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction Romance. 








Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

 

Read an Excerpt

Alicia Roberts leaned against the railing, watching the seagulls hovering above the ferry as it prepared to dock at the Merriweather slip. They were always waiting for something—tiny fish in the surf or tiny scraps the passengers left behind. In a way, she knew how they felt. Until now, she’d been waiting, too—although it was for something entirely different. She closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of the wind whipping through her long brown hair. In deciding to work on the Independence Islands, had she finally found what she was waiting for? A new purpose? There was no turning back now. After graduating and moving out of her college dorm she had nowhere else to go.

The sound of the apron dropping to allow the cars and people off the ferry drew Alicia out of her ponderings. She approached her blue compact car, packed to the gills with all the belongings she owned and slipped into the driver’s seat as quickly as possible to avoid holding up the other passengers parked behind her. Within a few minutes, she drove up Captains Walk, spying a large RV parked in one of the lots. Kendall Mulligan greeted her the moment she parked and stepped out.

“Welcome back!” her auburn-haired friend exclaimed, pulling her into a tight embrace. “I’m so glad you decided to take the job.”

Alicia pulled back and offered a shy smile. “Me too. How could I turn down such a great opportunity right out of vet school?”

Kendall took her hand, pulling her along. “Here, come inside. There are breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and coffee from Granny’s inside. If we hurry, we’ll have a few minutes to enjoy them before patients start arriving.”

Her stomach rumbled as she followed Kendall up the steps to the mobile clinic. “That sounds wonderful. I forgot to eat this morning.”

“Now you sound like Carly. I always have to remind her to eat breakfast. She calls me a nag, but she’s hypoglycemic, so if I don’t keep on her, she can’t function very well in the morning.”

Alicia chuckled. “No one usually has to remind me. I can’t function without a bowl of oatmeal or some kind of protein first thing in the morning. I think my routine is just off with this new job and all, but I’ll adjust soon enough.” She paused, remembering something. “Speaking of Carly, I heard about her engagement to that billionaire. When’s the big day?”

Kendall shook her head with a slight roll of her blue eyes. “Next month, believe it or not.”

“Well, that was quick!”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” Her redheaded friend shrugged with a sigh. “I suppose when money is no object, a wedding can be whipped up pretty quickly, though. I never thought my little sister would get married before me. She’s always been so opposed to that kind of thing, but I guess when you meet the right one, why wait? I’m happy for them.”

“Me too. So, is that why she’s gone today? Wedding planning stuff?”

“Yeah, it’s going to be pretty crazy around here for the next month. She’ll be in and out of here a lot, but after the wedding she’s going to launch her new mobile art business with Luc. That’s why I’m so glad you could come and work with us.”


Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Inklings and notions, November 13

lakesidelivingsite, November 14

She Lives To Read, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

Connect in Fiction, November 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings, November 16

Aryn the Libraryan, November 17

Daysong Reflections, November 17

For Him and My Family, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

deb’s Book Review, November 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 19 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 23

Kayem Reads, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

Splashes of Joy, November 24

Simple Harvest Reads, November 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)





To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a $50 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/133ba/hooper-safe-haven-celebration-tour-giveaway





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