Robin Lee Hatcher’s A PROMISE KEPT Kindle HDX Giveaway and Facebook Party!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

About the book: God was going to save her marriage, Allison was sure of it. But neither her husband nor her marriage had been saved.

What had become of His promise?

Tony Kavanagh had been Allison's dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.

The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she'd misunderstood.

Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma's attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.

As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma's life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord?

Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher's emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers---in His own time and His own ways.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/sK3Ti  


  Meet the author: Robin is the author of 65+ novels and novellas. Her home is in Idaho, where she spends her time writing stories of faith, courage, and love; pondering the things of God; and loving her family and friends.

Learn more about Robin at: http://www.robinleehatcher.com




Don't miss Robin Lee Hatcher's stunning new novel, A Promise KeptRobin is celebrating with a fun giveaway and an encouraging Facebook Author Chat Party.


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 One winner will receive:


  • A Kindle Fire HDX

  • A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher


Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 6th. Winner will be announced at the "A Promise Kept" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 6th. Connect with Robin and friends for an evening of encouraging book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Robin's next book!





So grab your copy of A Promise Kept and join Robin on the evening of February 6th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)




Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on 2/6!



My Thoughts:

On certain levels I could completely identify with Allison. I was living life in Virginia in 2008 when I found out about my husband's infidelity and because of that, I had to move to Nampa, Idaho. I was not thrilled about that, yet it worked out to be the best thing for me. 
I enjoy Robin's books so much because they are set in Idaho and having only lived here for a few years I learn more about the state.
This book was a fast and enjoyable read with alternating points of view between Allison and Emma.
This would be a perfect book for a cold winter evening.

I highly recommend it!!





 

Scraps of Evidence

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Scraps of Evidence
Abingdon Press (January 21, 2014)
by
Barbara Cameron


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Word from the author:

CBD, CBA, and ECPA bestselling author of 35 books (including new series upcoming for Abingdon Press in 2011/2012) including fiction and non-fiction books for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, and other publishers.

I sold three films to HBO/Cinemax and am the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.

My two novellas won the 2nd and 3rd place in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest from the Faith, Love, and Hope chapter of RWA. Both were finalists for the novella category of the Carol Award of the American Christian Writers Award (ACFW).

ABOUT THE BOOK

Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those few nights a week she spends with her quilting guild. Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home, and the woman acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan is attempting to communicate a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together, or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?

If you would like to read the first chapter of , go HERE.




Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman, resorting to a mammoth hat pin for protection on her way to and from the school where she teaches. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast she quickly discovers she is no match for rum-soaked brute strength.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite jiu-jitsu, but it seems he has little choice in the matter. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But when Nick suddenly leaves town, Allison realizes he’s a fraud just like all the rest of the men she’s cared for. Does she dare love again?







You can purchase the book here Amazon 
In both paperback and electronic form.

About this author
:
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and winner of 14 RWA awards, Julie Lessman was voted #1 Romance Author of the year in Family Fiction magazine’s 2012 and 2011 Readers Choice Awards, #1 Historical Fiction Author, #3 Author, #4 Novel #3 Series and Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Inspirational Fiction. Julie resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. You can contact her through her website at www.julielessman.com, where you can also read excerpts from each of her books. 






My Thoughts:  OUTSTANDING!!!! OUTSTANDING!!!! SPORGENTE!!!!
When you pick up a Julie Lessman novel you are guaranteed:
Snark
Sass
and Romance! Oh, the romance!
Alli McClure has been bit by the romance bug three times and lost, will the fourth time be the charm?  
Nick Barone (long e) dislike's the upper crust with a passion. When he and Alli meet sparks fly, or rather her pointer does. 
Alli has joined her mother in teaching disadvantaged girls on the Barbary Coast of San Francisco.  Nick Barone (long e) is a detective and he is determined to keep the girls and those that work at The Hands of Hope school for girls safe. Alli wants independence and she is going to get it no matter what it takes. 
Barone (long e) or as the girls that live at Miss Penny's home call him Mr. Cranky Pants, Alli calls him Mr. Grunt and Garaon. 
When Nick is offered the opportunity to teach Alli self defense he reluctantly agrees.The more time he spends with this snarky little teacher, a deep friendship begins to develop, and Nick realizes his heart needs some protecting too.
Along with Alli, and Nick there are returning characters from Love At Any Cost. Cassie, Cait, Uncle Logan, Jamie, Rosie, Mr. Bigley, Hadley, Maddie, and new ones that will melt your heart, like little Lottie who will just steal your heart. When she grabs Nick's face with her little six year old hands and tells him "We're family" you want to just hug her.
True to Julie she weaves a story not only rich in sass and romance, but one rich in godly principles. Seeing Uncle Logan come face to face with what was keeping him from a relationship with Cait McClure was pure God, because no one can change someone's heart but God.

Dare to Love Again is a book that will stay with you long after you close the last page, and then you will want to start the book all over again, because you will have left your heart in San Francisco.






 

Adoption

Wednesday, January 22, 2014



This story is getting a lot of debate. I am adopted and am a huge advocate of adoption. However, I have a real problem with someone using the system to their advantage. Apparently this birth mother chose a family and they had paid 6K worth of lawyer fees for this adoption and were then lied to about the babies. For me that is not cool.
As a birth mother if you start a process with a family, and they have paid money in expectation of adopting the baby(ies) at the end of your pregnancy, and you pull a fast one on them, there is no word to describe how cruel that is.
These twin girls were born on Christmas Eve, and the birth mother told the first couple that she would be keeping the babies, then they found out that she adopted them out to an older couple who had more money. The second couple have already raised four sons, while the first couple were infertile, and didn't have any kids.
They were prepared, their church had given them a shower, they had a beautiful nursery set up for these girls.
I tell you this puts a stench on adoptions that are on the up and up, with children like myself and younger brother whose birth parents couldn't care for us and our parents who were infertile were able to adopt us.


For the Love of Pete

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
For the Love of Pete
B&H Books (January 15, 2014)
by
Debby Mayne


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debby Mayne is a best-selling author who has published more than 25 books and novellas, 400 short stories and articles, and devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader. Her novel, Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from RT Book Review, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July. She and her husband Wally have two grown daughters, and live in Palm Harbor, Florida.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Widow Bethany Hanahan is trying in vain to fill an empty heart and an empty nest. The result is a home filled to the brim, but something is still missing. That’s when her new gardening club friends come to the rescue, encouraging her to let go of the past as well as the present clutter –emotional, spiritual, and physical. It’s not long before Bethany is finding friends, not bargains, to fill her days. But has her life become too full for someone like Pete Sprockett, a childhood friend, for whom her romantic feelings are beginning to bloom? Join the quirky, loving community of Bloomfield as they do what they do best – poke their well-meaning noses in and intervene in times of need –in author Debby Mayne’s second novel in what has become a five book series about a community where life is simple and love is real.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of For the Love of Pete, go HERE.

My book just arrived, I will post a full review when I get it finished.

The Blood that Cries in the Ground

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Christian Books Today Ltd (October 22, 2013)

***Special thanks to Jason Richardson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gregory Bellarmine is the author of the bestselling Monthly Roman Breviary. He lives a
happy though sometimes sleepless life in the UK with his wife, two children and rather
cheeky Parson Russell Terrier.:

Visit the author's website.


SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The Greatest Myth ever dispelled. Italy. A tough master of novices, Father Dante encounters the bold young priest Antonio who challenges his identity and accuses him of being the Saint Nicholas. But despite the Father faking his death, a determined Antonio discovers a rather alive Dante arrayed in kilt and armor.
In return for Antonio’s silence—and to protect the town from attracting all manner of darkness—Dante agrees to tell his life story. Without explanation, Dante orders Antonio to meet him at night in the abandoned Cathedral, the site of a former battle that the Church has kept secret for a generation.

Until today.

The Criskindl. Ice Steeds. The Unborn. Saint.

From the Dark Ages’ when Poet-Sorcerers ruled kings, to the Holy Land when a new civilization was rising, to Revolutionary France where love is lost and gained, Father Dante pursues the one responsible for both his master and his mother’s deaths: Black Peter, his brother.


Product Details:
List Price: $14,99
Series: the Father Dante Journals
Paperback: 218 pages
Publisher: Christian Books Today Ltd (October 22, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1907436472
ISBN-13: 978-1907436475


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Please go here and press 'Look Inside' to see the chapter.

Shadowed by Grace by Cara Putman

About the book: She found peace in a time of war.

Desperate to save her dying mother, an American woman accepts her newspaper's assignment to travel to Italy where she takes photographs dangerously close to the front lines during World War II. But Rachel's real motive in this journey is to find the father she never knew, an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive at such a desperate time.

In her quest, Rachel becomes involved with what will become the Monuments Men effort to save great monuments and works of art from the Third Reich. Soon enough she will find more than she ever imagined---in war, in love, and in God.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/sCIbG





About the author: Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, Cara is active in women's ministry at her church, teaches graduate courses at Purdue University, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Indiana.

Learn more about Cara at: http://caraputman.com







Cara Putman is celebrating her latest historical suspense novel, Shadowed by Grace with a fun "Past & Present" giveaway! 




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One winner will receive:



  • A Polaroid Instant Camera

  • A beautiful antique AFGRA camera (learn more here)

  • Movie passes to see The Monuments Men movie (with George Clooney and Matt Damon)

  • Shadowed By Grace by Cara Putman


Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 8th. Winner will be announced February 10th on Cara's blog.






Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Cara's blog on the 10th to see if you won.



My Thoughts:
WWII is not a historical era that I am too familiar with, yet through great authors like Cara, I am learning more and more about this time in our history.

I was drawn to this story not only because it is set in Italy, but because my birth great grandparents came to America from Genoa in 1905.

Cara paints the Italian countryside with a wide brush. I felt like I was there with Rachel and Scott as they went from Rome, Florence, and places in between to capture photographs and gather information on stolen Italian art.

Rachel wants to find the father she never knew, in the process she ends up finding her Heavenly Father who has Shadowed her by His Grace.

I was up late reading, and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I highly recommend this book! 






Shadowed by Grace (Story of Monuments Men Book 1) by Cara Putman

Monday, January 13, 2014


Shadowed by Grace is the first in a stirring new series of stand-alone historical suspense novels by acclaimed author Cara C. Putman. Desperate to save her dying mother, Rachel accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy to captures images dangerously close to the front lines of WWII. Her real motive – to find the father she never knew -- an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive. It’s an unlikely situation for love and faith to flourish, but soon Rachel not only finds herself, but also her long-lost earthly father, and ultimately, the man her Heavenly father created to cherish and provide for her.







About this author

:
Cara C. Putman lives in Indiana with her husband and four children. She’s an attorney and a teacher at her church as well as lecturer at Purdue. She has loved reading and writing from a young age and now realizes it was all training for writing books. She loves bringing history and romance to life.

An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska and George Mason University School of Law, Cara left small town Nebraska and headed to Washington, D.C., to launch her career in public policy.

Cara is an author chasing hard after God as she lives a crazy life. She invites you to join her on that journey. Her 15th novels releases this fall along with a fresh edition of another book. Please check out her website to learn more about her books and read first chapters. 

                                                  
My Thoughts:
WWII is not a historical era that I am too familiar with, yet through great authors like Cara, I am learning more and more about this time in our history. 
I was drawn to this story not only because it is set in Italy, but because my birth great grandparents came to America from Genoa in 1905.
Cara paints the Italian countryside with a wide brush. I felt like I was there with Rachel and Scott as they went from Rome, Florence, and places in between to capture photographs and gather information on stolen Italian art.
Rachel wants to find the father she never knew, in the process she ends up finding her Heavenly Father who has Shadowed her by His Grace.
I was up late reading, and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I highly recommend this book!


                                                 

                                                   


 

 

Dead Eye Will

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

R Frederick Riddle; 1 edition (December 5, 2013)

***Special thanks to R Frederick Riddle for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in 1943 in the middle of WWII, R. Frederick Riddle early developed a love for history and literature. Reading was a great delight to him, especially when it concerned adventure.

In 1962 he joined the United States Navy and served as a radioman aboard two cruisers. After leaving the Navy, he worked in the telecommunications for 25 years. Owned Internet bookstore (Christian Writ Bookstore) for four years (2005-2009), while pursuing his writing career.
Mr. Riddle and his wife currently reside in Port Charlotte, Florida.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

William Riddle quickly earned the moniker of 'Dead Eye' in the War of 1812. Whether serving in the army or after the war as a special agent, he proved himself to be a hero. But it wasn't until he trusted Christ that he became an American hero.


Product Details:
List Price: $2.99
File Size: 704 KB
Print Length: 223 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: R Frederick Riddle; 1 edition (December 5, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00H5Z5MEW


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

September 1813
It was a beautiful autumn day. Except for the robust singing of the marching soldiers, it would have been an equally quiet day. The voices were not particularly soothing to the ear, not that the birds were complaining. Moments before, the birds suddenly took flight from their tree roosts and flew away.
The suddenness of the flight caused the men to pause. Silence hung in the air as the troops waited in dread expectation.
Thus the flight of a single arrow and its impact on soft flesh was heard by all.
The 134th Regiment had been marching through the Ohio woods with each soldier trying his best to keep pace and stay in line. Yesterday, they were in southwestern Pennsylvania, leaving in high spirits with songs in their hearts, as well as on their lips. The idea of war sparked their imagination, each man thinking in terms of honor, glory, and fame.
Now, on the second day of marching, the songs having ceased, subdued with a quiet unease, the silence was broken by the sound of the arrow striking flesh and then a sudden barrage of arrows and bullets assailed them. A sense of panic filled the air with the men looking about for a place to run.
As whooping Indians on horseback charged out of the nearby forest, the officers began shouting orders. The sound of their voices, calm and demanding settled the soldiers' nerves.
“Indians! Defensive formation!”
The soldiers quickly formed two lines.
"Steady. Aim."
The soldiers in the first line raised their muskets, each man taking aim at a charging Indian.
“Fire!”
A volley of shots rang out over the fields with many Indians shot from their horses. Then the first line stepped backward and the second line moved forward.
Fortunately these soldiers were used to shooting; some were actual woodsmen. The Indian attack had been sudden, violent and noisy, but the soldiers returned fire with a vengeance, breaking the attack before it really got started. The second line, now the first, fired.
Many of the Indians were shot off their horses, mortally wounded. Some had their horses shot from under them, forcing them to flee on foot. But when their chief was shot point blank, the remaining Indians turned and fled. As they rode away, many reached down and grasped the outstretched hands of their fellow Indians, who immediately leaped with fluid grace upon the backs of the horses. Peace once again settled over the Ohio fields.
The air was filled with smoke and one could smell the mixture of gun powder and death that hung in the air about them. Some brave Indians rode into the field to help their wounded. The soldiers watched uneasily, suspecting another attack.
The Indians were not the only ones to have wounded warriors. Several soldiers had been wounded as well. Even so, all but one of them were able to get up, rejoin their fellow soldiers, and resume the march. But one fallen soldier did not move. Lying still, barely conscious, he sensed them moving away.
“Where’s James?” he whispered.
Turning his head, he immediately felt dizzy. Everything looked hazy to him as he looked for his older brother. Trying to lift himself up, he saw the familiar shape approaching. Then everything turned dark.
&&&
When James spotted his wounded brother, he ran over and knelt beside him.
“Will. William Riddle, do you hear me?”
Only a moan and glassy stare met his inquiry. Fear gripped his gut as he considered that his brother may be dying.
But he felt immediate relief when he saw that his thirteen-year old brother was still breathing. Carefully examining Will's body, he looked for blood or a sign of injury. It was with another sigh of relief that James discovered there was only one wound and it was only a gash made upon the boy's head. Just a scratch. Good thing you have such a hard head, Will.
“He gonna live son?”
Startled, James looked up. His eyes immediately took in the beautiful brown horse bearing an officer sitting ramrod straight in the saddle. The officer was dressed in a blue waistcoat with a high white collar, blue stripes and oversized cuffs. James’ eyes moved up to the face and sudden recognition lit his eyes. It was Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Hosack, the commander of the 134th, looking down at him with his familiar frown. Leaping to his feet, James saluted.
“Yes, sir.”
A slight smile played on the colonel's face as he studied the fallen soldier. He looked up and watched as his men were marching toward the forest.
“Then let's get a move on, soldier. Make him as comfortable as you can and leave his weapon. If he is able, he can rejoin us later. Right now, we have need of you.”
Without another word the colonel spurred his horse and rode away. James watched in admiration. The Colonel was well known for both bravery and smarts.
Looking down at his brother, James considered his options. Will's only thirteen. Tall for his age and stronger than most thirteen year-old boys, but he'll be all alone here in a strange land. Not to mention Indians. He looked in the direction the Indians had fled, then back at Will. He sighed, An order is an order. He'll know what to do.
He pulled out a scrap of paper and wrote a quick note.
Kneeling alongside his brother, he moved William into a more comfortable position. Setting him against a tree, he placed the boy's musket by his side and stuck the note in his coat pocket. Looking at the battlefield, he considered the possible return of the Indians. Without their leader, it is unlikely that they will come back here soon. At least not until they get a new leader.
Standing and saying a silent prayer for his brother's safety, he grabbed his own musket and hurried back to find his regiment. When he caught up to them, he saw that Colonel Hosack had the men once again marching in formation. Only this time they each carried their muskets at the ready position. James couldn't help but look back toward Will, but trees and distance now separated them.
He'll be all right.
Even though he felt confident that his brother would be all right, a hint of worry persisted in the back of his mind.
&&&
William Riddle had more than his father's last name, he also bore a striking similarity to Edward Riddle. Whereas Edward stood 5'3" tall, William was already at 5' 6" with many years of growth still ahead. But it was the red hair and the facial features that most struck anyone who saw them together.
Having served in the Pennsylvania Artillery during the Revolutionary War, Edward was a hero in all of the boys' eyes, but perhaps more so in William's. As a child, he had never grown tired of hearing his father's war stories. That was part of the reason why he now lay against a tree, alone in an Ohio forest.
Now, as the darkness of his mind settled into a dream, his father was sitting on a stool and telling him about a place called Stony Point.
“It all began son when Sir Henry Clinton, the Red Coats Commander-in-Chief, decided he wanted to take West Point, which controlled the Hudson. Well, he ordered his men to take two of our posts, one on each side of the Hudson River. One was called Fort Lafayette on Verplanck's Point, while the other was called Stony Point, which was a fortified peninsula jutting out into the river.
“Well, the garrison at Stony Point saw them coming, burned the blockhouse, and abandoned the works without firing a shot. Fort Lafayette was forced to surrender.
“You want to know what the weakness of the Red Coats is? Pride. Yep, pride. That Sir Clinton was real prideful. He was so full of pride and confidence that he started calling Stony Point 'Little Gibraltar'.
“Well, he figured without taking General George Washington into consideration. General Washington decided to attack and retake Stony Point. That son, is how I ended up at Stony Point. I had been temporarily transferred from the Pennsylvania Artillery to the Forlorn Hope, actually the 6th Pennsylvania, which was led by Lt. James Gibbons.
“Just before midnight on July 15th, we moved forward. Our job was to precede the attacking force. Twenty men strong, we led the way, cutting gaps through the felled trees, (they called them abates) to eliminate the advance sentries. It was deadly business.
“We soon came under heavy fire, but we pushed ahead. We'd been chopping the trees, when suddenly a soldier to my right was shot in the shoulder. He refused to quit and continued chopping. The soldier to my left was killed only minutes later. Still, we continued. Then the soldier on my right was shot again, this time fatally.
“Except for a minor wound in the thigh, I was unscathed. When we were done, there were only three of us left. But we had done our job. That, son, is what soldiers do; no matter the danger, soldiers fight on and do their job.
“We won that battle and we won the war because men performed their duty!”
Will tried to respond, but the vision of his father was vanishing until nothing was left.
&&&
Two hours after the regiment left him, William awoke to a silent world. He lay there looking up at the bright sky, listening for a sound. But there was no tramping of feet, no boisterous singing, and certainly no sound of whooping Indians. Just total silence!
But the words "no matter the danger, soldiers fight on and do their job" kept repeating themselves in his mind.
Slowly turning his head, he saw his musket leaning against the tree right by his side. Reaching out and grabbing it, he immediately felt safer. But other than his musket, there was no sign or sound of war. He was alone.
Easing himself into a better sitting position, he felt better. He checked his uniform for blood and found nothing. I seem all right. Might as well get up and move on.
Finding a note in his coat pocket, he pulled it out and read it.

“Will,
You'll be OK. Catch up as soon as possible. I’ve got to go.
James”

His mind still a little cloudy, he had to read the note several times before understanding its message. Then he folded the paper in half and stuck it back into his pocket.
Rising to his feet, he suddenly felt dizzy and started losing his balance. Quickly grabbing the tree and clinging to it, he waited for the dizziness to clear. It took several moments before he felt normal again.
“Where am I?”
His voice sounded unusually loud in the glen. Looking around quickly, he remembered the possibility of Indians.
“Ohio,” he said in a softer voice. “And we were just south of Lake Erie. I was with my brother James.
“That’s right! We were, I mean, are part of the 134th Regiment of Pennsylvania commanded by Lieutenant Hosack. We were attacked by Indians. I remember we formed lines. I was in the first line.
"I fired and was about to move to the back when I must have been shot. I don’t remember anything else. Except this aching head.”
Still feeling a little lightheaded and weak, he sat and leaned back against the tree. A weak smile played on his lips as he remembered how he’d gotten into this mess. Alexander and James were both old enough to join, but Mother wanted me to stay home. Said I was too young.
Dad would have convinced Mom eventually, but I couldn't wait. A month later I slipped away and followed my brothers to their camp. James ordered me home, but I refused saying I would join with or without his help. That was only weeks ago, but it sure seems longer!
In spite of himself, he chuckled. I wonder if Mother's Irish temper got the best of her when she learned I'd slipped out and joined the army. Immediately, his conscience struck him. He loved his mother and had never wanted to hurt her. But I belong in the military!
He sighed as he remembered his mother. Her refusal to allow him to join had been of fear he would die. She'd just seen two of her sons leave for war and didn't want him leaving also.
At first his father had not interfered, but after a couple days of observing mother and son at odds, he decided it was time for action. He took his son aside.
“Son, I know how you feel. I want you to know that I have complete confidence in you. I also want you to understand that I will do everything I can to change your mother's will, but it will take time. When I was your age, I would have slipped away in the night. But that is obviously not going to happen.
“Be patient. This war's not ending anytime soon. You'll get your chance.”
That very night, Will climbed out of his bedroom window, and left. He thought about taking a horse, but he was afraid of making a noise. With a long sigh, he began walking in the same direction he had seen his brothers take two days earlier.
Now as Will sat against a tree, alone and still weak, he looked in the direction he knew the regiment must have taken as they marched. His regiment was heading north to Lake Erie to fight the British. He'd heard the British might attack the small American Fleet protecting America's Army. The army was hoping to retake Fort Detroit, which the British had recently captured. But to succeed, the Americans needed to control Lake Erie.
He suddenly felt an overpowering desire to sleep.
“I can’t sleep. I’ve got to find the regiment.”
But sleep came anyway.
&&&
The battle for Lake Erie was raging in Put-in-Bay on the western end of Lake Erie. There, Commodore Perry, aboard his flagship Lawrence, was engaged in a battle with the British fleet. Everyone knew that this battle was critical to winning the war. Lose Lake Erie and they might be doomed. Win and the war might end!
The 134th Regiment, out of Mercer County of Pennsylvania, was rushing to the Ohio shore to join the fight against the British. James and Will had joined the regiment back in Pennsylvania. While both were excellent marksmen, neither one had ever shot at another man or been shot at. Still, the whole experience had been exciting.
As Will slept, he dreamed of James, Samuel, and himself taking on the whole British army. As the dream progressed, he could hear the roar of cannons. That's when he awoke.
In the distance he could hear thunder. Sitting up, he looked to the sky and was surprised that it was a clear blue with hardly a cloud. Suddenly, a thought struck him. Could that be cannon fire? Straining to hear the sound, he could not determine its exact nature. Were they army guns, naval or a coming storm? He couldn’t tell.
Once again he got up, this time keeping his feet. Grabbing his musket, a Springfield 1795, he slowly made his way northwestward. Fortunately there were hoof prints near his tree. Kneeling, he examined them and determined that they were left by shod horses. This could only mean one thing to him, they belonged to his regiment.
Excitement filled him and he broke into a trot, which moments later came to an abrupt halt. His head felt dizzy again. He slowly moved over to another tree and leaned against it, waiting for his head to clear.
Once the dizziness was gone, he resumed following the trail, albeit at a much slower pace.Feeling much better, he felt the urge to run, but common sense prevailed. He continued following the trail until night made it impossible to continue on. Reluctantly, he found a small knoll with a single tree and settled down, wearily allowing sleep to overtake him.
&&&
In a matter of days Commodore Perry would score a major victory over the British. While he lost his ship, he won the battle. He would write to General Harrison: “We have met the enemy and they are ours: Two Ships, two Brigs, one Schooner & one Sloop.” Lake Erie now belonged to the Americans!
&&&
But the young man was oblivious to all this exciting news. In the morning, he arose and checked his appearance. Like any soldier in this war, he was dressed in a uniform coat, a white linen shirt, a black neck stock, and straight bottom trousers. To complete the look he had half gaiters, low quarter shoes, and a shako (U.S. Army hat that had a felt body with leather edge, Brim, sweatband and drawstring liner). In addition, he still had a cartridge box with white buff sling, a white buff baldric for bayonet scabbard, a haversack, a knapsack, and a wooden canteen. A tall thirteen (he often was mistaken for eighteen), he looked like a real soldier!
Satisfied, he opened his knapsack, looking for food. All he had was a small loaf of dry, hard bread. Considering himself lucky, he bit into it. To his hungry soul, it tasted wonderful!

Songs of the Shenandoah

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Songs of the Shenandoah
B&H Books (January 1, 2014)
by
Michael Reynolds


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels published by B&H Publishing Group. These highly acclaimed books are available in bookstores and libraries across the nation and beyond.

Michael is the writer and producer of an Emmy and Telly award-winning series of documentaries titled, Crystal Darkness. These thirty minute anti-meth films have been heavily promoted and broadcast in cities and states throughout the United States and Mexico. They have been viewed collectedly by more than 10 million people and the message has reached more than 30 million to date.

He also has wide experience as a speaker and on-air personality and has been interviewed on a variety of newspapers, radio stations and televisions networks throughout the nation. Michael earned his B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego and lives in Reno with his wife and three children. He is active in marketplace, marriage, small group and men’s ministries as a leader and speaker.

ABOUT THE BOOK

At the onset of the Civil War, Seamus heeds his wife’s wishes to return to her beloved family farm in the South, where he takes a post as chaplain for General Stonewall Jackson’s brigade. As Seamus ministers to the troops, his sister Clare ministers in a different way—by being a powerful voice in the Northern cause toward freeing the slaves. All this while their youngest brother Davin, who became wealthy during the Gold Rush, struggles to find love and identity in a fallen world. It’s a clash of loyalties and beliefs that threaten the entire family, each of them trying to hear God’s encouragement in the midst of the tragedy of war. The dramatic conclusion to the acclaimed Heirs of Ireland Series.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Songs of the Shenandoah, go HERE.

Julie Klassen’s “The Dancing Master” giveaway and “All Things Jane” webcast 1/23!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village...and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.













 Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She has been an advertising manager, fiction editor, and now works as a full-time novelist. Her 3rd book, The Silent Governess, won the Christy Award for Historical Romance, and was also a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and the RITA Awards. Her latest books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and The Girl in the Gatehouse, have also won Christy Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.

You can learn more about Julie at her website:  





Best-selling author Julie Klassen will be hosting a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a live webcast event (1/23) to celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Dancing Master. Enter and RSVP today!




dancingmaster-400

 




One winner will receive:



  • A Kindle Fire HDX

  • The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen


Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 23rd. Winner will be announced at the "All Things Jane (from Austen to Eyre)" Live Webcast Event on January 23rd. Connect with Julie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Julie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, Jane Austen DVDs, fun "Jane" merchandise, and gift certificates throughout the evening.





So grab your copy of The Dancing Master and join Julie and friends on the evening of January 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)






Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!




My thoughts:  Julie's books never disappoint. I was immediately drawn into the Regency period of England. Alec has to move his family and is prepared to take care of them using his trade of teaching dancing, like his father before him. However, his uncle informs him that dancing is illegal, and he will have to find other employment. When Alec says that he could teach fencing, his uncle says that it would be very unlikely that anyone would take classes. 
Julia meets Alec and is immediately taken by him, she knows her mother will never approve, but she is determined.

A great read full of love and mystery! Highly recommended.




Temptest Course

Monday, January 6, 2014

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tempest's Course
Abingdon Press (December 17, 2013)
by
Lynette Sowell


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lynette Sowell is an award-winning novelist. Her most recent novel, Tempest’s Course, is part of the Quilts of Love line from Abingdon Press. When Lynette’s not writing, she divides her time between editing medical reports and chasing down news stories for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Lynette was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but makes her home in Coppress Cove, Texas, with her husband and a herd of cats who have them well-trained.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Kelly Frost, a textiles conservator, is invited to the Massachusetts coastal city of New Bedford to restore a 150-year-old Mariner's Compass quilt. But there is one stipulation: she must live and work in Gray House, a former whaling captain's home, where the quilt is stored. There she meets Army veteran Tom Pereira, the caretaker of Gray House, whose heart seems as hard as the rocky Massachusetts coastline. Over the long-lit months as Kelly works to restore the quilt, she and Tom grow closer. And as she reads stories in a daily journal penned by Mary Gray, she learns the secrets of the quilt and Mary's own sad tale of regret. Then Tom learns secrets of his own family's past, and both Tom and Kelly learn they are tied to Gray House in ways they never imagined.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Tempest's Course, go HERE.

My Thoughts: I have just started this book, and I am enjoying it.
 
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