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First Line Friday - Last Chance Christmas

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Hosted by Hoarding Books, I am excited to share my First Line with you today! YAY for more Christmas books!!! Today's First Line comes from Julie Lessman's novella "Last Chance Christmas". 


Last Chance, California
Fall 1885
Shelter, food, and babies, Lord, that's all I ask.


Comment with your FIRST LINE below and then head over to the Hoarding Books Blog to join in more First Line fun and link up with your own post!
www.hoardingbooksblog.wordpress.com

Rondi Bauer Olson's 'All Things Now Living' Blog Tour and Giveaway


While on a scavenging trip with her father, Amy is accidentally trapped in New Lithisle in Rondi Bauer Olson's All Things Now Living. At first her only goal is to escape, but when she meets Daniel, a New Lithisle boy, she begins to question how less-than-human the people of New Lithisle are. Amy's feelings grow even more conflicted when she learns she didn't end up in New Lithisle by mistake. Her father is secretly a sympathizer. Time is running short and Amy has to decide if she will bring the computer program her father wrote to his contact or save herself. Installing the program could prevent the dome's collapse, but if Amy doesn't find her father's contact in time, she'll die, along with everyone else.

Stay up all night reading this thrilling new book from Rondi and enter to win a Kindle Fire!

About the Book
Her whole life Amy has been taught the people of New Lithisle deserve to die, but when she falls for Daniel, she determines to save him.
Sixteen-year-old Amy doesn't like anything to die, she won't even eat the goats or chickens her mama has butchered every fall, but she can't let herself pity the inhabitants of New Lithisle. In a few short months the dome they built to isolate themselves from the deadly pandemic is predicted to collapse, but her whole life Amy has been taught it's God's will they die. They traded their souls for immunity to the swine flu virus, brought God's curse upon themselves by adding pig genes to their own.
Then, while on a scavenging trip with her father, Amy is accidentally trapped in New Lithisle. At first her only goal is to escape, but when she meets Daniel, a New Lithisle boy, she begins to question how less-than-human the people of New Lithisle are.
Amy's feelings grow even more conflicted when she learns she didn't end up in New Lithisle by mistake. Her father is secretly a sympathizer, and was trying to prevent the coming destruction.
Now time is running short and Amy has to decide if she will bring the computer program her father wrote to his contact or save herself. Installing the program could prevent the dome's collapse, but if Amy doesn't find her father's contact in time, she'll die, along with everyone else.

My Thoughts

Personally, I admire the author's creativity on creating this dystopian world. Full of new creatures, new threats, and new ways of life. 

I LOVE dystopian YA, however this particular style wasn't a good fit for me, but it might be the perfect fit for you! If you love the genre and the description piques your interest, I recommend checking it out. 

I received a complimentary copy of All Things Now Living through Litfuse, from the publishers. All opinions expressed are mine alone. 


About the Author

Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader and writer from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she lives on a hobby farm with her husband, Kurt. She has four grown children, works as a nurse, and also owns a gift shop within view of beautiful Lake Superior.
Find out more about Rondi at http://rondibauerolson.weebly.com
Giveaway


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of All Things Now Living
  • A Kindle Fire
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 14. The winner will be announced December 15 on the Litfuse blog.

Charming the Troublemaker - Pepper Basham - On Tour with Celebrate Lit

Thursday, November 23, 2017


About the Book

Title: Charming the Troublemaker  
Author: Pepper Basham  
Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Release Date: November 1, 2017

Troublemaking never looked so good… When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell. Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne. When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

My Thoughts
Pepper Basham has created a community that I wish with all my heart I could hop on a plane and go visit! I would just LOVE to work in the kitchen for a day with Ma Mitchell, have Sunday dinner with the clan, submerge myself into the very midst of the Mitchell family....Why? Because the Mitchell family feels REAL. Not only do they have their share of faults and mistakes...But they have an open heart, a tenderness, a compassion, a LOVE for each other and those that God sends their way to melt even the sternest of misers...or troublemakers

Both Rainey and Alex have their fair share of hurts, betrayals, and sorrow. Howevers, their story is one that we would do well to learn from. Sometimes, God brings the most unlikely person into our lives who has all the appearances of being nothing but a troublemaker. However, that person can end up being the BEST person for us. The person we need in our lives NOW. Whether that is just for a season, or for the long haul. I truly believe that no relationship comes about by chance. God's hand is all over it from the beginning. 

Alex is SO Adorkable! Yet he is fiercely protective of those he loves. Rainey is a stubborn, and determined sort. Which means I can relate very well with her. I adore them all, and don't even get me started on all the adorable little ones running around! <3 Be still my heart!

With faith, humour, love, some smashing closet kisses, Charming the Troublemaker will enchant and amaze you until you believe that Ransom truly is a real place. 

I received a complimentary copy of Charming the Troublemaker. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone!


Click here to purchase!

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

Guest Post from Pepper Basham

I have a thing for underdogs. Misfits. Lots souls who desperately need to find where they belong. I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another. I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence. Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued. In a bad way. If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy. As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem. Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt. So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero? What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost? The answers were surprising!! Just wait. The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed. And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family. Alex rocks her world with his ready charm. And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul. Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun! AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer 😉 Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes: Anything with Sarah! Underoos All of the scenes in Rainey’s house And those in Mama Mitchell’s Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.

Blog Stops

By The Book, November 14
Just the Write Escape, November 14
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15
Fiction Aficionado, November 16
autism mom, November 16
Inklings and Notions, November 17
Faithfully Bookish, November 18
Radiant Light, November 18
The Power of Words, November 19
Cordially Barbara, November 20
Red Headed Book Lady, November 20
Smiling Book Reviews, November 20
Kat’s Corner Books, November 21
A Greater YesNovember 21
100 Pages per HourNovember 22
Splashes of JoyNovember 22
Carpe Diem, November 23
Bookworm Mama, November 23
Daysong ReflectionsNovember 25
Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25
Remembrancy, November 26
Karen Sue HadleyNovember 27

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers 😉 highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f1

Author Interview & Giveaway - Jen Turano

Monday, November 13, 2017


About the Book
Miss Gertrude Cadwalader hoped her position as the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport would be easy. But as she becomes acquainted with her employer, she realizes the wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a strange tendency to be a bit light-fingered with other people’s trinkets. Gertrude is relieved when Mrs. Davenport decides to have a quiet summer away from the social scene–until the woman changes her mind in order to help a young socialite launch into society.

When Gertrude is caught in the act of trying to return one of the trinkets by Mrs. Sinclair, the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair, the woman jumps to an unfortunate conclusion. Harrison is determined to mend fences with Miss Cadwalader, but he’s unprepared for the escapades a friendship with her will entail 

Welcome!


Welcome to Bookworm Mama, Jen! I can not believe that I haven't had you "officially" visit my blog yet! I am so honored to remedy that oversight today! 

Since I absolutely adore you and your blog, there is no place else I’d rather be today!!!  Thank you for inviting me for a visit. 

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Out of the Ordinary (Giveaway) - Apart From the Crowd Book 2 - Jen Turano

Saturday, November 11, 2017






About the Book

Name of book: Out of the Ordinary  
Author: Jen Turano  
Genre: Christian historical  
Release Date: November 7, 2017 


”With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano’s first Apart from the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles.”–Publishers Weekly on Behind the Scenes

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader’s eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion. Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can’t help coming to his friend’s defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn. “The second installment of Turano’s Apart from the Crowd series is laugh-out-loud enjoyable. The foibles of the characters, balanced out with a light-hearted yet meaningful love story, is a true treat. . . . All of the threads are tied together in the end, even the small mysteries and side stories. It makes for a very satisfying read when the last page is turned.”–RT Book Reviews
Click here to purchase your copy!

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

My Thoughts

Jen Turano's  books are on my to be read list...before I even know she has started writing a new book. Not only is she a fabulous author, but she is an even more fabulous woman.

Out of the Ordinary was placed at the very tippy top of my list for one very important reason...Harrison Sinclair! 😍 Gertrude is one lucky lady! No doubt about that. Between his handsome face, his....unique....style, his caring and compassionate heart....Oh! and he is wealthy...Harrison is simply a dreamboat if there ever was one. Gertrude has definitely not had an easy life. From losing her family to working for Mrs. Davenport...It has been one thing after. Mrs. Davenport is, eccentric to say the least, but when you find out a little more of her history, your heart will shift in her favor.

Several times the words jumped right off the page and embedded themselves into my heart. "God doesn't expect His children to live ordinary lives, but extraordinary ones." I never want to settle for the way things "should" be. Why not make life an adventure? Why not step out in faith and follow God's leading on a new (maybe even difficult) path! Trusting in Him to guide and care for us. And when things get bleak in our lives...Do we wall God off? Question His motives? I know I have asked "Why?" too many times to count. But I am learning, that even if we never know the "Why" behind the circumstances we are given, that God will be by our side through every moment. And that along the way, there will be people whose lives are changed for the better because we were put in their lives.

If you enjoy a book that will make you laugh, cry, swoon, and want to set sail on the....big...blue....wet....thing....(Muppet Treasure Island reference)...Then Out of the Ordinary is for YOU! (This is book 2 of a series, but CAN stand alone.) Harrison will sweep you off your feet (and Gertrude will probably push you overboard for it) and take you on a wild adventure filled with humour, mystery, escapades, jewel heists, the Ticklish Water Polka, and you are sure to devour this story in no time.

I received a complimentary copy of Out of the Ordinary from the Publishers through this Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author


Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

Q & A with Jen Turano

What Readers Want to Know from Jen
Hey Everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by today. Because I’m in the midst of a first draft, and in case you don’t know, I don’t actually care for first drafts – all those pesky blank pages, but…I’m getting off track…where was I? Oh yes, why I brought up first drafts in the first place. You see, I’m a little scattered when I’m doing a draft, and because of that, and because my mind is a scary place to visit while filling up those already-mentioned blank pages, I was having a tough time coming up with a post for Celebrate Lit. That’s why I reached out to my fabulous readers, and…here are some of the questions their inquiring minds wanted to know about me or my books. I hope you enjoy them!

Mansions of the Gilded Age: Search results for facebook
Why write in the Gilded Age?
When I started writing historical romance after experimenting with other genres, I didn’t write Gilded age but Regency pieces. However, when I ran across the book “The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York” by Greg King, I was intrigued, and a little baffled about how it came to be that I was so unfamiliar with that riveting time in history. It’s an era where unprecedented fortunes were made at a remarkable rate, those fortunes responsible for so many scandals that I’ll have enough fodder for stories to last me for years. The antics of the members of high society are vastly intriguing, as are the fashions of the day, which is exactly why I’ve never had second thoughts about choosing to write Gilded Age romances.

How do you come up with such unusual names for your characters?
I get asked this a lot. And, contrary to popular belief, I don’t make up the names of my characters. I search through obituaries from the 1800’s, peruse books on the New York Four-Hundred (those were members of high society – chosen by Mr. Ward McAllister, the social arbiter of the day,) and I also scour old census records. I do occasionally pair a first name with a different surname so that my main characters aren’t real historic figures because that can get tricky. Not long ago, while reading through Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: Person and Genealogical, Volume 1, I found a bit on my great-grandfather, which was cool – not that I’ll be using him, but I might have a character modeled after him at some point in time. Another interesting tidbit about choosing names is this – names only work for me if the characters decide they like the names I select for them. If they don’t like the name, they simply stop cooperating. I can’t write their stories until I choose another name. An example – I was recently going to name a heroine Georgianna – but it was like trying to write through mud. As soon as I changed her name to Myrtle, I was back in business.


What is the most ordinary thing you enjoy doing?
I love to shovel snow.

Who is responsible for your book covers? Do you choose the model/setting?
Bethany House’s design team does all of my covers, and occasionally they hire out the job to other design houses. The only input I give is when I send in a character/setting sheet, describing my heroine and listing a few scenes that I feel might be good for the background. In “Out of the Ordinary,” I suggested having Gertrude on or near a boat, and the design team then hired a model who resembled my character sketch and put her on a boat.

Which character has been the most difficult to write?
All of my characters give me trouble at some point in time, but recently, Mrs. Davenport was the character who was being incredibly difficult. For the first three edits of “Out of the Ordinary,” she was too complicated and a bit on the dark side, but after I changed her backstory, and remembered she was supposed to be eccentric, not deranged, she turned into a delightful lady, one I enjoyed writing.

Amusements of Old London: Clubs and Coffee-houses, via Susana Ellis


What's the craziest thing you've ever Googled while doing research for a book?
I don’t know if this is crazy, more on the lines of idiotic, but I once googled Gentleman’s Clubs when I was looking for an all-male club my hero would want to join. That was a definite mistake, especially since I didn’t include a very important word – historic. Well, the next thing you know, all sorts of naughty sites were flashing in front of my eyes, and to this day, I still get advertisements for singles looking for a good time and all sorts of other interesting…offers.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Nope, it never entered my head to pursue a career in writing, nor was I ever a person to even keep a diary or a journal. I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a movie star when I was younger, but when that didn’t pan out, I majored in fashion and spent quite a few years working for department stores. It wasn’t until my son was in third grade and we wrote a book together just for fun that I began entertaining the thought of trying to see my stories in print.

How long did it take you to break into the publishing world, and how many books did you write before that happened?
What everyone needs to understand is that publishing is a cut-throat business. I had no idea when I decided to try and get published what the competition was like, and if I had, well, I might have nipped the whole idea of getting a book into print right in the bud. But, because I knew I only wanted to go the traditional route, it soon became clear, what with all the suggestions I was getting about the work I was sending out to agents, that I needed to up my game…a lot. I experimented with quite a few different genres – middle grade, YA, contemporary women’s fiction, Regency romance, and then Gilded Age, getting really proficient with query letters in the process. It wasn’t until I started writing historical romance, though, that I really began getting requests for full manuscript. After I’d been writing for about three years, I finally signed with an agent. She never sold the book she signed on to represent, but after I wrote “A Change of Fortune,” she sold that within two months. Long story short – it took me about seven years to get published from the time I wrote my first book, and…I have seven manuscripts that will never see the light of day because they’re awful.

Is there a reason you include so many animals in your stories?
I’ve always been an animal lover, and as such, I really enjoy writing different animals into my scenes. Dogs are my favorites, followed by pigs, and most of the characteristics my animals have are traits I’ve seen in real life. Matilda, the pig in “A Match of Wits,” was inspired by a pig I used to see in New York. She was so quirky, as well as intelligent, that I knew I would have to write a pig in at least one of my stories. This current series does not have as many animals because I do want to keep my stories fresh. But, having said that, my next series finds my heroine visiting a farm, and well, I don’t know many farms that don’t have animals, especially adorable cows by the name of Buttercup that may or may not have the odd tendency of moseying into the house to eat pie whenever the urge strikes.

Last question – Have any of the crazy antics in your books been inspired by real-life events???
I seem to be a magnet for weird things happening, so…yes, quite a few of those antics were inspired by real life events. I’ll share just one since I do need to get back to that first draft. I live near Denver, and when my son was little, we used to visit the Denver Zoo. That zoo just happens to have a very large flock of peacocks – peacocks that took one look at me one day – and I must add that I wasn’t doing anything except pulling my son in a wagon, and the next thing I knew, I was being chased through the zoo by what seemed to me to be the entire flock of peacocks – all seemingly intent on trying to murder me. Funny how fast a mom can run while pulling a wagon when in fear for her life. My son thought it was fabulous fun, and bless those members of the staff who came to my rescue. They were almost successful in not laughing, and…I received a free lunch after the dastardly peacocks were chased away. That event is what inspired me to write a mad flock of peacocks in “In Good Company.”

Thank you so much for visiting me today. Hope I answered a few questions you may have about me!
All the best,
~ Jen ~

Blog Stops


Vicky sluiter, November 11

Bookworm Mama, November 11

cherylbbookblog, November 11
Book by Book, November 11
Lane Hill House, November 12
C Jane Read, November 12
The Power of Words, November 12
Smiling Book Reviews, November 13
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 13
Faithfully Bookish, November 14
Bigreadersite, November 14
Mommynificent, November 14
All 4 and About Books, November 14
Just the Write Escape, November 15
allofakindmom, November 15
Pause for Tales, November 16
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 16
Neverending Stories, November 17
Have A Wonderful Day, November 17
Christian Bookaholic, November 17
A Reader’s Brain, November 18
Karen Sue Hadley, November 18
The April Journal, November 18
Cafinated Reads, November 18
Bibliophile Reviews, November 19
Blogging With Carol, November 19
Mary Hake, November 19
Baker Kella, November 20
Rachel’s Back Talk, November 20
Texas Book-aholic, November 20
Joy of Reading, November 21
Remembrancy, November 21
Splashes of Joy, November 22
amandainpa, November 22
A Greater Yes, November 23
Radiant Light, November 24

Giveaway


To celebrate the tour, Bethany House is giving away a grand prize of Two Jen Turano Novels and a $20 Starbucks Gift Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
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