Tag Archive | CelebrateLit

Holly, Ivy, & Intrigue by Joanie Bruce, Alexa Verde, and Denise Weimer–Book Review

About the Book

Christmas Murder Mix-Up by Joanie Bruce

When Paige overhears her husband’s disturbing conversation, she begins to think her husband is plotting to kill her. To add to her growing doubts of her husband, a suspicious Christmas gift, a gas leak, and a break-in make her wonder if her husband really loves her or if he’s behind it all.

Holiday Pursuit by Alexa Verde

Brianna’s troubled brother has a hard time resisting the urge to steal cars, however his latest joyride may have dire consequences when he accidentally finds a murdered corpse in the trunk. After Liam runs for his life three days before Christmas, Brianna is desperate to find him before something happens to him and solve the case with the help of her foster brother Richard. Will they be able to crack the case before she or her brother get into grave danger?

A Holiday Intruder by Denise Weimer

Kelsey Jordan is trying to make ends meet while running her antique store, and bringing old antiques back to life. She is suddenly thrust into the middle of an old family mystery, and two handsome men vying for her affections when her store is broken into and robbed. Will they be able to catch the robber? Will she fall for one of two possible suitors?

Book Review

I am honored to have been a part of the launch team for this collection of Christmas novellas. I absolutely loved it! I couldn’t put it down, and so I read it in one weekend! They are short novellas, but the suspense is gripping. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. The characters were well developed, and I fell in love with each one!  I love Christmas, and I love suspense so this collection was perfect for me. For all the suspense lovers on your list this season, this would be a great Christmas gift! You cannot go wrong with this book, I highly recommend it.

 

**I received this book free from the publisher for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Be sure to check out the upcoming blog tour stops for this book starting December 3 through CelebrateLit!

Upcoming Blog Tour Stops!

Texas Book-aholic, December 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 3

Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 4

History, Mystery & Faith, December 4

Zerina Blossom’s Books, December 5

proud to be an autism mom, December 5

Mommynificent, December 6

Inklings and notions, December 6

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 6

Allofakindmom, December 7

Blogging With Carol, December 7

Blossoms and Blessings, December 8

Have A Wonderful Day, December 8

Janices book reviews, December 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

A Baker’s Perspective, December 11

Daysong Reflections, December 12

Avid Reader Book Reviews, December 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13

Remembrancy, December 13

Multifarious, December 14

Margaret Kazmierczak, December 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 15

Pursuing Stacie, December 15

Vicky Sluiter, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

 

 

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Lydia by Diane Wallis Taylor–Blog Tour

Lydia-FB-cover-copy

About the Book:

Name of book: LydiaLydia-Cover-194x300
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release Date: October 3, 2017

Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society into which she was born. Her father marries her off at age fifteen to a much older man whom she dislikes. Despite an unpleasant wedding and a marriage that doesn’t improve with age, Lydia remains a dutiful and faithful wife. When her husband is killed, years later, Lydia vows to remain single and returns to her father’s house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter.

There, a new life begins to emerge as she is trained in the family dye business. Lydia displays an aptitude for trade in the male-dominated world of first century commerce. Her brother, who had chosen service in the Roman army rather than work in his father’s business, is at odds with his sister. Jealous of her quiet success as she learns the dye business, he’s especially befuddled by what he considers to be Lydia’s obsession with the Jewish religion. When their father dies, Cassius inherits the family’s home; Lydia inherits the business, and unbeknownst to her brother, a small villa in the city of Philippi.

Lydia flees with her mother and daughter to Philippi where she sets up shop. At the mercy of a patriarchal society, Lydia needs a man to serve as the public face for her business. She discovers the right person in the handsome face of Greek man she’d hired — an employee with whom she develops a close friendship. The plot thickens as Lydia meets a strange man named Paul the apostle who is stirring up crowds in town. When Lydia’s brother shows up in Philippi, determined to force her to sell the business, he discovers plenty of fuel to accomplish his goals.
 
Click to purchase your copy.

My Review:

While this is a fictional story, it is based on the real woman in the Bible, Lydia, seller of purple. I have heard about Lydia when she is mentioned in the Bible, but we don’t know much more about her. I never thought about the facet of her being a business woman, in that day that was rare, and probably looked down on. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and it helped me have a greater appreciation for the early church. I felt like the story came to life, and I felt like I was there with Lydia seeing the world she lived in through her eyes. Things weren’t easy for Lydia, and the Lord really provided for and guided her. It is a story of a woman who learns to trust the Lord more fully, and for that the Lord richly blessed her and her household. I learned a lot from this inspiring book. I highly recommend it!

**I received this book free from the author through the Celebrate Lit Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

lydiaauthorDiana Wallis Taylor is best known for her creative stories based on women in the Bible. Thousands have read and enjoyed her books including Mary Chosen of God, Ruth, Mother of Kings, Martha, Journey to the Well, Mary Magdalene, and Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors with the San Diego Library naming her one of 12 “Writers to Watch” in 2017 for Mary, Chosen of God. Her books have received Gold and Silver Medallion Awards for Christian Fiction and she is a San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild “Writer of the Year.” Mary, Chosen of God is a 2017 Christy Award nominee. An inspirational speaker, Diana also leads creative writing and poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren

Blog Stops

A Bakers Perspective, October 3
Carpe Diem, October 3
Moments Dipped in Ink, October 4
Books, Books, and More Books., October 4
By The Book, October 5
A Simply Enchanted Life, October 5
Red Headed Book Lady, October 6
Blogging With Carol, October 6
A Reader’s Brain, October 7
A Greater Yes, October 7
Just the Write Escape, October 8
His Grace is Sufficient, October 8
Aryn the Libraryan, October 9
Cordially Barbara, October 9
Pursuing Stacie, October 9
The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 10
Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 10
Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 11
Mary Hake, October 11
Radiant Light, October 12
Singing Librarian Books, October 12
Lights in a Dark World, October 12
margaretkazmierczak, October 13
Pause for Tales, October 13
Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 14
Cafinated Reads, October 14
To Everything A Season, October 14
Bigreadersite, October 15
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15
Henry Happens, October 16
For The Love of Books, October 16
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 16

Giveaway:

lydiagiveaway

In honor of her tour, Diana is giving away

Grand Prize Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, “Give Thanks” painting on plate by Donna White for The Hearthside Collection, Inc., commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

1st Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem pillar candle, cassia scented, commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

2nd Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem Spikenard candle tin with lid!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c173

Murder for the Time Being by Joanie Bruce–Blog Tour

_1murderMy Review

Lexi Wynn finds herself in trouble after her and her mother were hostages in a bank robbery. Now someone is after her and she doesn’t know why. When she first meets Drew, it’s because he ran into her truck in the drive-through, but after he saves her from a would-be kidnapper, she suddenly finds herself attracted to this man. After an attempt on her mother’s life, she decides to use her computer skills to try to help the police. Can she put her feelings for Drew aside to fully focus on finding the robbers and figure out if this has anything to do with her past? Or will she find herself in more trouble?

I was sucked into this story from the very beginning. The chapters are pretty short and concise, so it makes it very hard to stop reading. I could not put it down. I’d tell myself one more chapter and an hour later, I’m still reading. Very suspenseful, which is something I love in a good book. Also, I very much appreciated, how when the characters were scared or in danger, they looked to God whether saying a quick prayer, or encouraging one another to trust God. The characters were well developed with their own little quirks or secrets. Overall, an amazing read, and I highly recommend it! Since this is Book 1 in the Murders in Madison series, I’m looking forward to reading more in this series to see what happens next!

Grab your copy here!

**I received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Book

FINAL - Murder for the Time Being Front 72dpi
Click to purchase your copy

Book: Murder for the Time Being

Author: Joanie Bruce

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: November 29, 2016

“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.

Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

 

About the Author

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Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.

 

Guest Post from Joanie Bruce

Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.

In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.

This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.

After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 14: Ashley’s Bookshelf

March 14: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 15: autism mom

March 15: Inklings and notions

March 16: A Reader’s Brain

March 16: Blossoms and Blessings

March 17: Blogging With Carol

March 17: A Greater Yes

March 18: Radiant Light

March 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 19: A Baker’s Perspective

March 20: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 20: Karen Sue Hadley

March 21: History, Mystery & Faith

March 21: Through the Open Window

March 22: cherylbbookblog

March 22: Seasons of Opportunities

March 23: Daysong Reflections

March 24: Pause for Tales

March 24: 2014 and Beyond!

March 25: Lights in a Dark World

March 25: For The Love of Books

March 26: Carpe Diem

March 26: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 27: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

March 27: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b291

Blueberry Cupcake Mystery by Naomi Miller–Book Review

blueberry cupcake mysteryKatie Chupp is an Amish girl who works at the bakery in town. As she walks into the bakery on the day of the Fourth of July celebration, she finds that someone has broken into the bakery and stolen a good deal of their inventory. Now they are faced with finding the thief responsible and finding a place to bake all the special orders in time for the celebration. When Katie unknowingly stumbles upon the thief and realizes the situation behind the theft, she is faced with telling her boss and hoping she will understand the circumstances.
This is Naomi Miller’s debut novel, and I must say it was amazing! It kept my interest from the first page until the very end. It was shorter than usual, so I finished it in just two days! I loved the characters; they were well developed and the story was one you could relate to. The Amish genre usually is hard for me to get into, but this story was different, not like a lot of the other Amish books I’ve tried to read before. I love mysteries and if you do too, I highly recommend it. I am looking forward to book #2 in this series, the “Christmas Cookie Mystery”!
**I received this book free from the author for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

blueberrycupcakemysteryFB

Purchase your copy here.

About the Book

In the small town of Abbott Creek, mystery is as much a part of daily life as The Sweet Shop’s sugar cookies.

Katie Chupp spends her days at The Sweet Shop, taking care of customers and baking delicious treats . . . not exactly a profession where one expects to be thrown into the midst of mysteries and mayhem.

But when the bakery is broken into, someone has to find the thief . . . besides finding another place to do the baking and get the orders to the customers.

Is this a random theft, or is the thief trying to ruin the town’s Independence Day celebration?

About the Author

Naomi Miller mixes up a batch of intrigue, sprinkled with Amish, Mennonite, & English characters, adding a pinch of mystery – and a dash of romance!

Naomi’s day is spent focusing on her writing, editing, and blogging about her experiences with writing. When she’s not working diligently to finish the next book in her Sweet Shop Mystery series, Naomi tries to make time for attending workshops and writers conferences. One of her favorites is the four-day event that the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization holds annually.

Naomi also enjoys traveling with her family, singing inspirational/gospel music, taking a daily walk, and witnessing to others of the amazing grace of Jesus Christ.

Guest Post from Naomi Miller

Hello! I’m Naomi Miller — and I’m honored to be featured on Celebrate Lit!

I want to share with you how the title and cover for my debut book, Blueberry Cupcake Mystery, was chosen. This is a story I haven’t shared with anyone else — yet. The story behind the blueberry cupcake…

I was actually writing an Amish suspense novel last winter, when God placed it on my heart to write a shorter story — a cozy mystery, with no suspense, no danger, but plenty of faith, family, compassion and community.

While thinking of the best way to begin the story, my daughter made a batch of blueberry cupcakes, which happen to be one of my favorite treats. Of course, the idea to use a favorite treat was too good to resist. Then, during the early days of writing, I began experimenting with the idea of baking cupcakes — but adding blueberries before baking. Two favorite treats in one!

And there you have it . . . once we had a picture of a blueberry cupcake, the designer quickly sent back a cover I fell in love with (although there were a few more tweaks before the final cover was approved).

I actually began writing many years ago — 1990 to be exact. But I had just become a single mom and I didn’t have time to pursue it. I wrote notes, letters, articles, short stories, and I occasionally thought about a career as a novelist, but not once did I consider that dream to ever become a reality.

Several years ago, after my children were grown, my daughter challenged me to write a novel. I began a sweet, Amish fiction story about a young girl—but about halfway into the story, someone was almost murdered! Needless to say, I was surprised, but kept going. Once done, I went back to the beginning to do a major re-write on what was now an Amish suspense novel.

And that’s . . . the rest of the story.

I’m also excited to be doing two special giveaways — 1) a gift bag full of treats and 2) an advanced reader digital copy of Christmas Cookie Mystery (but you’ll have to wait for it)!

In the meantime, here’s the recipe for those delicious blueberry cupcakes

Blueberry Cupcakes

Ingredients
1 white or yellow cake mix
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water

Prepare cake mix according to the directions. Add blueberries and fold into batter. Bake following instructions on cake mix box.

Icing
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp. milk
additional milk as needed

Directions
Prepare icing, mixing small amounts of confectioner’s sugar with milk to desired consistency. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Blog Stops

August 23: A Baker’s Perspective

August 23: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

August 23: Blogging With Carol

August 24: cherylbbookblog

August 24: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 24: Running Through The Storms

August 25: A Greater Yes

August 25: A Holland Reads

August 25: Mary Hake

August 26: Gypsy Road

August 26: D’s Quilts & Books

August 26: Cassandra M’s Place

August 27: Bigreadersite

August 27: Bibliophile Reviews

August 27: Christian Bookaholic

August 28: Book Babble

August 29: Karilyn Putt

August 30: Karen’s Krayons

August 30: Daysong Reflections

August 31: Quiet Quilter

August 31: Blossoms and Blessings

September 1: Lights in a Dark World

September 1: Just Commonly

September 2: Singing Librarian Books

September 2: His Grace is Sufficient

September 3: Bukwurmzzz

September 4: Ashley’s Bookshelf

September 4: just the write escape

September 5: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 5: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

Giveaway

_1giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Naomi is giving away a gift bag full of treats and an advanced copy of her new book Christmas Cookie Mystery! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a20c

 

**This post contains affiliate links!

Through Raging Waters Blog Tour

 

My review

throughragingwaters

While the waters of Timber Creek begin to rage, Melissa Hampton and the Fitzgerald siblings are all trying to save the town. Follow them through a series of events as they try to keep the small creek that has turned into a raging river from destroying everything they have ever cared about, which means they must overcome their past and learn who to trust.

This was an amazing read. The characters were very well developed and very relatable. There were several times I found myself feeling like I was in the story with the characters. I loved every minute of it. The plot kept me guessing all the way until the end, and then there were still twists I didn’t see coming! I thoroughly enjoyed the way that the characters showed their dependence on God in tough circumstances. For example, when faced with a challenging circumstance that comes up in the book, the Fitzgerald brothers stop to pray before they make any move. If you’re looking for a great Christian romance with some suspense, this is a book you need to check out!!

Get your own copy here.

**I received this book free from the author through the Celebratelit blogger program, in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

(Be sure to check out the giveaway below!)

About the Book

If Mother Nature has her way, Timber Springs will never be the same…

A warm spring and early rainstorms melt the snowpack. Spring runoff compounded by the storm of the century sends Timber Springs into a tailspin.

Tossed into the role of rescuer, local pharmacist Paul Fitzgerald must face his past before the whole world falls apart. While he fights to contain the beast around him, he finds his steadfast control slipping through his fingers. And life…everyone’s life…hangs by a thread…once again.

She isn’t a hero. Melissa Hampton has her own demons to battle. After she learns of her mysterious beginnings amidst her mother’s keepsakes, she faces more than just the river rushing outside her door. Now, she must discern friend from foe…but as waters rise and tension climbs within Timber Springs, she needs to rise to the challenge or lose the only man she’s ever loved.

Can two people find each other through raging waters?

About the Author


Renee Blare’s nose has been buried in a book for as long as she can remember. Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, she started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.

Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, she lives in Wyoming with her husband, crazy dogs, and ornery cat. She serves her beautiful small town as a pharmacist while penning her stories about struggling Christians as they travel along the journeys of their lives. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.
Blog: Renee’s Inspirational Moments
Group Blog: The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction
Website: Renee Blare|Christian Author Website

Guest Post from Renee Blare

I Wrote a Book

Five years ago, I wrote a book…and then I wrote another and another and another. Many said that the words flowed like a river onto the page. Or I painted a picture with letters. As for me? I simply write what I see so you can see it too. What about you? Do you want to write a book?

If so, there’s one thing I’d like you to know. A book’s like a child. It starts out small or simple with garbled language…often repetitive and indistinguishable. Kind of like when a baby babbles “dada” over and over. And then that moment comes when you rejoice because you hear him say “mama.” That’s the growth every book…writer…reader…yearns for.

Different stories float around inside an author’s mind, flowing in a way much like labor. Some authors plot, others don’t. And still others combine the process in a convoluted method. But like birth, no matter how the words eventually find their way to the page, the development of a book doesn’t stop with its first dawn. It takes time, energy, and growth.
Take my first release, To Soar on Eagle’s Wings. Five years ago, I wrote it, my very first book, in three months. And it was awesome! I couldn’t believe it. God brought the plot together in a phenomenal way. But publication wasn’t the next step. I had a lot to learn before that could happen.

My latest release, Through Raging Waters is the example of a writer’s growth, but also her soul. I learned that I had to leave more than my knowledge and my heart on the page. I needed to leave a piece of my soul. When you read Paul’s struggles, you read mine. Melissa’s fear and confusion? Yes, they’re mine. The anger, the pain . . . the trials, the lessons learned are scriptural but also first-hand, taught by my Father.
Writing is more than a job. It’s more than a hobby. It’s sharing your knowledge, your hope with the world. So if you want to write a book. Do it. Then take that next step, and the next. You’ll get there. Oh, and I can’t wait to read it!

Blog Stops

July 19: Pause for Tales
July 20: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
July 21: Captive Dreams Window
July 21: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
July 22: Singing Librarian Books
July 23: A Reader’s Brain
July 24: A Greater Yes
July 24: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog
July 25: bigreadersite
July 25: Cassandra M’s Place
July 26: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
July 26: Splashes of Joy
July 27: Blossoms and Blessings
July 27: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
July 28: Daysong Reflections
July 29: Quiet Quilter
July 30: Texas Book-aholic
July 30: Lights in a Dark World
July 31: Bukwurmzzz
July 31: Through the Open Window
August 1: Carpe Diem


Giveaway

Through Raging Waters Grand Prize
To celebrate her tour, Renee is giving away a wonderful package that includes a $20 Cabelas gift card, a set of her series paperbacks (books 1 and 2), and fleece blanket. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9f08

 

**This post contains affiliate links.