Saturday, March 16, 2019



Book Review: The White City by Grace Hitchcock


About the Book


Book: The White City

Author: Grace Hitchcock

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release Date: March, 2019

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair

Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?





Click here to order your copy.




My Review

The White City by Grace Hitchcock is a phenomenal start to this new historical series based on true crimes in America's past.  As a reader, I love reading both historical fiction and suspense novels.  This novel did not disappoint in either of these categories.  I am not easily scared, but this novel had me cringing a lot.  I think that this novel was harder to read in some respects because it was based on true crime, a crime I already knew a lot about, and I knew how horrific things could turn out for the main character.  Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed the author's retelling of H. H. Holmes' crimes, reimagined through the eyes of her character.  I loved Winnifred, the main character. She is the perfect counterpoint to H. H. Holmes and his evil.  I can't wait for more books in this series.  This is the first novel that I have read by this author, but it will not be the last.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations.  These opinions are entirely my own.



About the Author


Grace Hitchcock is the author of three novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. The White City is her debut novel and releases March 2019 with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.




Guest Post from Grace

True Colors—Fiction Based on Strange, But True, American Crime Stories

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through 6 unique stories of historical romantic suspense in the exciting new True Colors series.

In book one, The White City, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped while attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a detective, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

The Real Criminal Behind the Story

While Winnifred Wylde is a fictional character, Doctor H. H. Holmes was very real and became infamously known as America’s first serial killer. Learn more about him HERE.




Blog Stops

The Lit Addict, March 14
Multifarious, March 15
Back Porch Reads, March 15
Livin’ Lit, March 16
By The Book, March 18
EmpowerMoms, March 19
Bigreadersite, March 21
Genesis 5020, March 21
The Becca Files, March 21
Emily Yager, March 22
Pause for Tales, March 22
Mary Hake, March 23
Book by Book, March 23
amandainpa, March 25
Older & Smarter?, March 26

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The White City!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dd7d/the-white-city-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Book Review: Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron


About the Book


Title: Castle on the Rise

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Christian Historical Romance


Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

A storied castle. A band of rebels. A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom. And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within—for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.



Click here to purchase your copy.





My Review

Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron is a fascinating book. The author skillfully weaves the book together out of three stories in different time periods, all set in Dublin. You’ll be turning the pages fast to see what happens in each of the stories. The present day story tells the story of Laine, the friend of the main character in The Lost Castle.  Even so, this book definitely can be read as a stand-alone novel.  Why read this book?  Read it for the compelling women main characters who all face tragic circumstances but learn how to overcome them. Read it for the gorgeous descriptions that make Ireland come alive and make you feel like you are there. Read it for the fascinating bits of Ireland’s history throughout time. Read it for the stories of good people who overlook differences and discover the power of love to overcome all. I absolutely loved this novel and can’t recommend it enough. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.



About the Author




Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping Series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal’s Best Books, RT Reviewers' Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

To stay connected, visit www.kristycambron.com.



Kristy’s Research Trip to Ireland





Blog Stops

Back Porch ReadsFebruary 19
Maureen’s MusingsFebruary 19
The Power of Words, February 19
Livin’ Lit, February 20
Texas Book-aholic, February 20
Fiction Aficionado, February 21
Gensis 5020, February 21
Blogging With CarolFebruary 21
Bigreadersite, February 21
Just the Write Escape, February 22
As He Leads is Joy, February 22
Inspired by fiction, February 23
Connect in Fiction, February 23
Carpe Diem, February 23
Bibliophile Reviews, February 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 24
Lis Loves Reading, February 24
Emily Yager, February 25
Moments, February 25
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 26
Mary Hake, February 26
Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, February 28
Inklings and Notions, February 28
Pause for Tales, March 1
The Becca Files, March 2
Book by Book, March 2


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Kristy is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy each of The Lost Castle (book 1) and Castle on the Rise (book 2)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d9d0/castle-on-the-rise-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Book Review: Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano


About the Book

Title: Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Christian Romance

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.

Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country—an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.

Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.

Click here to purchase your copy.







My Review

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano is such a fun read.  Foodies will love the baking techniques and everyone will enjoy the mouthwatering treats described in this book. Be prepared to crave freshly baked loaves of bread and sweets of all kinds. This book will test your diet! Readers who loved The Saturday Night Supper Club will love this book. It revisits the characters from that book and has a similar feel to that book, but the plot is completely different. It can be read as a standalone novel, but why wouldn’t you want to read the other book first? Both books are an absolute delight to read and I highly recommend them. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.




About the Author





Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.



Guest Post from Carla

“Confessions of An Erstwhile Baker”

Like most females, baking is encoded somewhere deep down in my DNA. Call it nature or call it nurture, but at the earliest age, I figured out that the cute boy in my English class would talk to me if it involved chocolate chip cookies. Got my heart broken or had a friend betray me? I grabbed the mixing bowl and went for the brownies (even better if they’re served à la mode.) My friend was having a birthday? I made a cake drowned in pounds of buttercream.

I quickly graduated from the boxed mixes to the real thing when I got married and had a kitchen large enough to roll out dough. I would comb magazines for the best recipes and spend my weekends trying them out. I quickly became known for bringing beautifully iced Christmas cookies and delicious homemade cakes to work.

Then my husband and I moved our young family from Los Angeles to Denver, a relocation that was about 1000 miles northeast and 5000 feet up. Suddenly, every recipe I’d perfected in the previous eight years failed. Cookies burned to crisps, cakes fell, and don’t get me started on candy making. Gradually, I adapted my recipes (my beloved never-fail Toll House recipe took eight tries to get right) and even became an avid artisan bread-baker.

Then disaster. Or at least, what a baker would consider a disaster. After developing chronic health problems, I discovered that among other things, I was sensitive to gluten. The horror! In order to heal, I turned to the paleo diet, which eliminates all grains (there goes most gluten free recipes) and all processed sugars (there goes everything else). I’ve tried baking paleo-style, and while I can now make cakes that even my gluten-fiend family enjoy, it’s just not the same.

So what’s a once-obsessive baker do when she can’t eat her creations? She bakes for other people and goes on faith that they actually taste good… considering she can’t taste them herself.

It struck me that there was a spiritual lesson in that, and an obvious tie to Brunch at Bittersweet Café, which deals in large part with Melody’s faith journey. There are times when we have no idea if things are working out the way they’re supposed to, in which case we just have to trust the “recipe” and the input of friends and family who love us. Sometimes our instincts tell us when we’re off track, and sometimes we need that outside nudge from our “taste-testers” to put us back on course.

In any case, what Melody and I have in common is that we both bake to show our love for the people around us. And the process of baking my favorites, even knowing that I can’t enjoy them myself, can still be a selfless way to show people they’re important to me.

Fortunately, macarons, which happen to be made with almond flour, are still on the menu.



Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, February 12
Among the Reads, February 12
Lighthouse Academy, February 12
By The Book, February 12
The Power of Words, February 13
As He Leads is Joy, February 13
Cultivating Us, February 13
Blossoms and Blessings, February 13
Fiction Aficionado, February 14
The Lit Addict, February 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, February 15
100 Pages per Hour, February 15
Splashes of Joy, February 15
Bibliophile Reviews, February 16
Texas Book-aholic, February 16
C Jane Read, February 17
Moments, February 17
Back Porch Reads, February 17
Cordially Barbara, February 18
Genesis 5020, February 18
Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Livin’ Lit, February 19
Kat’s Corner Books, February 19
Life with the Tribe, February 19
Remembrancy, February 20
Vicky Sluiter, February 20
2014 and Beyond!, February 21
Daysong Reflections, February 21
Inklings and Notions, February 21
Pause for Tales, February 21
Cafinated Reads, February 22
Ashley’s Bookshelf, February 22
Two Girls and a Book, February 23
For the love of books, February 23
God is Love, February 24
Book by Book, February 24
Janices book reviews, February 24
Lukewarm Tea, February 25
Carpe Diem, February 25
Bigreadersite, February 25

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize package of a macron baking mat, a macron book, and a paperback copy of Brunch at Bittersweet Café!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db0f/brunch-at-bittersweet-cafe-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: The White City by Grace Hitchcock About the Book Book : The White City Author : Grace Hitchcock Genre : Ch...