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Celebrate Lit Giveaway & Book Tour “The Three Faces of Nellie”

Were you a Little House on the Prairie Fan?  Me, too!  I loved watching the television show and imaging that way of life.  What did you think about the character Nellie Oleson?  She certainly wasn’t one of my favorites at the beginning.  However, she grew up and I remember her changing into a much nicer person.

In her book “The Three Faces of Nellie” author Robynne Elizabeth Miller enlightens readers on the real people whom Nellie was.  Interestingly, Nellie was a compilation of three different people and not an individual. Nellie Owens, Stella Gilbert and Genevieve Masters were the women that together made up Nellie.

This is a rather short book that will probably only interest fans of Little House.  It is very well researched and organized.  In fact, it reads a lot like a research paper or project.  References are cited, there is much data presented, and some speculation.  I am not sure what I was expecting, but this was a surprise.  It is more of a history lesson.

I would only recommend this to fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House on the Prairie.  It took me a bit to finish even though it was short.  I rate it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.  I was given a copy by Celebrate Lit but under no obligation to write a review.  This is my own, honest opinion.

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GENRE; Non-Fiction, Historical
PUBLISHER: Practical Pioneer Press
RELEASE DATE: November 26, 2016
PAGES: 142

Whether you love her, hate her, or love to hate her, Nellie Oleson is one of the most recognizable literary figures of the 20th century. But Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie series in which Nellie appears, had a secret. . .Nellie wasn’t a real person! Instead, she was a composite character created from three girls Laura knew in childhood: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Estella Gilbert.

The Little House character of Nellie Oleson is one-dimensional: snobbish, selfish, and thoroughly unpleasant. But what about the real women behind Laura’s creation? They were an intriguing mix of the not-so-nice and the unexpectedly redeemable. In short, they were human.

Discovering the true stories behind Nellie, Genevieve, and Estella has been a fascinating journey. All three ended up on the West Coast at one point. . .true westward movement! One was widowed twice, one ended up divorced, and one died way too young. Two only had one child, and one had three, though she outlived her youngest by a very long time. There’s even some “Nellie-like” drama in there: Embezzlement. Lying on censuses. Shady land deals.

But there are some beautiful things, too. . .like the enduring love of a husband after his young wife died. Or the rare closeness of a mother and daughter who shared their lives as adults. Or the strength of a young widowed mother who not only cared for her son, but headed out west, in true pioneer fashion, while she did so.

Laura Ingalls Wilder did a masterful job of creating the character of Nellie Oleson. But the three real-life women behind that iconic character are, in my opinion, infinitely more intriguing.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Robynne Elizabeth Miller is a speaker, writing coach, and author of multiple books, articles, and essays. Her larger projects include From the Mouth of Ma, Pioneer Mixology, The Three Faces of Nellie, and Nonfiction, Memoir, or Fiction? Dissecting the Works of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Robynne speaks nationally at writing and historical venues and teaches at writer’s workshops and conferences. She also serves as the Board President of Inspire Christian Writers, as well as their Director of Leadership, and leads two Northern California critique groups.

She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Westmont College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction from Ashland University.

She lives with her wonderful British husband and the youngest of their four cheeky children in the snowy woods of the Sierra Nevada mountains. When not writing, Robynne loves singing, felling trees, and making bacon from scratch.

From the Author

Nasty Nellie Oleson. One of the most iconic literary characters in literature. Whether you loved her … or hated her … or loved to hate her, she probably left a lasting impression on you. At least if you were a fan of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder like I was growing up!

As a young girl, I loved Wilder’s tales of wagons, prairies, and grand westward adventures. Strangely, growing up didn’t change my love for all things Little House one tiny bit. But I did become deeply curious about the real life people behind some of the more fascinating Little House characters.

Namely, Nellie Oleson.

As I began to research Nellie, I learned a ton of interesting things. She wasn’t one person, for example. Laura Ingalls Wilder wove three girls she knew in childhood into one composite character for her books. One of the first “Nellie’s,” Nellie Owens, did have a brother named Willy, but did you know that he went blind from two separate incidents, one in childhood and one in adulthood? And did you know that all three of the “Nellies” ended up on the west coast at one point? Talk about true westward movement! One married a man who eventually went to prison for embezzlement, one did some shady land deals, and one shouldn’t have been a “Nellie” at all.

I suppose I was hoping for a good, old-fashioned redemption story. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the mean girl in Wilder’s stories grew up to work with orphans or rescue unwanted animals? Alas, that’s not exactly what happened. But the stories of these three women were fascinating all the same.

I hope you have as much fun discovering the real stories behind the famous Nellie Oleson as I did!

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 6

Blogging With CarolDecember 6

multifarious, December 7

Carpe Diem, December 7

Bibliophile Reviews, December 8

The Morning Chapter, December 8

Just the Write Escape, December 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

A Reader’s BrainDecember 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 10

Maureen’s Musings, December 11

A Baker’s Perspective, December 11

Girls in White Dresses, December 12

Artistic Nobody, December 13

Connie;s HIstory ClassroomDecember 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 15

Pause for Tales, December 15

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 16

Texas Book-aholic, December 16

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsDecember 17

Janices book reviews, December 18

margaret kazmierczak, December 18

Lots of Helpers, December 19

Bigreadersite, December 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robynne is giving away a grand prize of a Little House Treasures basket that includes an authenticated piece of the original Loftus Store is De Smet, authenticated sand from Laura’s Plum Creek in Walnut Grove, a Loftus Store slate and slate pencil, chokecherry preserves from De Smet, a Christmas Tree ornament from De Smet, a corn-cob doll kit, a tin cup, maple syrup, a set of pioneer recipe books, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s actual gingerbread recipes, and other treasures from various Little House sites!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries in to the giveaway!

Click HERE to enter.

 

 

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Book Tour & Giveaway, The Amish Midwife’s Secret by Rachel J. Good

My Review of The Amish Midwife’s Secret:

It is no secret I like to read Amish fiction.  Lately there have been books in various genres about midwives and healing.  I enjoy those also.  This book was especially enjoyable because it had all of those.

Author Rachel J. Good knows about the Amish culture.  She has researched it and has friends that are Amish.  That is one reason her books are authentic to their way of life.  This author has an easy way with words.  Her characters are well rounded and described.  I felt as if I knew Leah, Kyle, and the old doctor.  I was invested in the story early.

The story was organized written, organized, and planned so that there were a few twists.  I wanted to keep reading and longed to visit Amish country again after finishing this delightful book.  Christian inspiration was sprinkled throughout along with life lessons.  It is a sweet romance.

I would recommend it.  It earned a 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.  I received a copy from Celebrate Lit.  All opinions are my own, honest ones.

About the Book

The Amish Midwifes Secret

Book: The Amish Midwife’s Secret

Author: Rachel J. Good

Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance

Release Date: November 27, 2018

“A beautiful story of forgiveness and second chances.” -Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author

They won’t see eye-to-eye until they meet heart-to-heart…

Kyle Miller never planned on becoming a country doctor. But when he’s offered a medical practice in his sleepy hometown, Kyle knows he must return… and face the painful past he left behind. Except the Amish community isn’t quite ready for Kyle. Especially the pretty midwife who refuses to compromise her herbal cures and Amish traditions with his modern medicine…

The more Leah Stoltzfus works with the handsome Englisch doctor, the more she finds herself caught between the expectations of her family and her own hopes for the future. It will take one surprising revelation and one helpless baby in need of love to show Leah and Kyle that their bond may be greater than their differences… if Leah can find the courage to follow her heart.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

rachel goodInspirational author Rachel J. Good writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. The author of several Amish romance series, she grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for many of her stories. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel’s Amish series include Sisters & Friends (Charisma House/Harlequin), Love & Promises (Grand Central), Hearts of Amish Country (Annie’s Book Club), and Surprised by Love as well as several anthologies—Springs of Love, Love’s Thankful Heart, Plain Everyday Heroes—and the Amish Quilts Coloring Books.

Guest Post from Rachel

The Amish and Herbal Remedies

As many of you know, my Amish novels are based on real life. I get ideas from hanging around Amish friends, hearing their stories and observing their lives. I’d never invade their privacy by telling their stories exactly as they happen, but the things I learn trigger plot ideas.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way the Amish approach healing. Once thing I’ve learned is that, although they’re usually willing to visit doctors, they don’t always take the medicines that are prescribed. Instead, they often substitute herbal remedies. That, and several visits to one of my favorite Amish natural products stores, gave me an idea for one of the conflicts in The Amish Midwife’s Secret.

Leah, an Amish midwife, prefers herbal remedies. Of course, that puts her in direct conflict with Kyle, the new Englisch doctor in town, who only believes in science and traditional medicine. Put the two together and lots of sparks fly. Of course, some of those sparks are also of a romantic nature.

Leah is not only a midwife, but her family owns a natural products store. She knows the best herbs for healing. Rather than sending a small boy to the hospital for pneumonia, Leah covers the baby’s chest with a warm mixture of onions and other herbs and spices (some Amish friends prefer raw onion for congestion), and she feds the baby fresh pineapple juice for his cough.

As a doctor, Kyle is horrified. He wants to admit the baby to a hospital at once. And he expects the old country doctor he’s replacing to back him up. Instead, Dr. Hess informs Kyle that many of the Amish go to doctors for a diagnosis, but then rely on herbal treatments rather than prescriptions.

Kyle, who’s been debating about whether to stay in Amish country or move to a big-city hospital, decides to remain in Lancaster and make it his mission to prevent the Amish midwife from harming newborns and their mothers. He certainly doesn’t expect to have his eyes opened to other ways to handle illnesses. But he has to admit, Leah’s methods do seem to work. When a crisis comes, they soon discover that it takes both of them to save a baby.

***

A extra little secret: Those of you who get my newsletter already know this, but Kyle in The Amish Midwife’s Secret appeared in two earlier books. The Midwife story stands alone, but if you want to know more about Kyle and Emma’s past, you can find it in the Sisters & Friends series, Book 1, Change of Heart, and Book 2, Buried Secrets.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 27

Christian Bookaholic, November 27

KarenSueHadley, November 27

The Avid Reader, November 28

A Baker’s Perspective, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 29

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 29

cherylbbookblog, November 29

Because I said so- adventures in parenting, November 30

Bigreadersite, November 30

Quiet Quilter, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Bibliophile Reviews, December 2

Britt Reads Fiction, December 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 3

Captive Dreams Window, December 3

Cafinated Reads, December 4

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, December 4

Carpe Diem, December 4

Maureen’s Musings, December 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, December 5

Janices book reviews, December 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 8

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 8

Moments, December 9

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, December 9

Texas Book-aholic, December 9

Miss Tinas Amish Book Review, December 10

The Becca Files, December 10

Vicky Sluiter, December 10

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize package of two faceless Amish dolls and an autographed copy of The Amish Midwife’s Secret and Plain Everyday Heroes!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d66f/the-amish-midwife-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Book Tour with Giveaway Ruth, Redeeming the Darkness by Andrea Thom

My Review of Ruth, Redeeming the Darkness:

Ruth is one of my favorite biblical heroines.  She took care of her mother-in-law and vowed never to leave her.  In this bible study, Ruth, Redeeming the Darkness, by author Andrea Thom, I was offered an opportunity to dig deeper and reflect upon one of my favorite bible lessons.

The author has researched this scripture and book of the bible well.  She presents her study in an organized well written manner that is easy to follow.  Her words are eloquent, flow smoothly, and are easy to understand.  She gives insight into Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz that might have been missed in earlier studies or just individual readings.

The questions presented are thought provoking.  Even after finishing the study my mind still revisits it.  The author has taken this and made it relevant for today.  Who hasn’t had trials, sadness, frustration, and needed help?  Who hasn’t needed a faith boost?

I highly recommend this lovely Bible Study.  Whether you do it alone or in a group, you with glean information not only about the biblical people but about yourself, too.  I rated this a 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a copy from Celebrate Lit but all opinions are my own, honest ones.

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Book: Ruth, Redeeming the Darkness                  92ABDC0D-2569-4F19-8215-542D6C837C9B

Author: Andrea Thom

Genre: Non-Fiction; Bible Study

Release Date: November, 2018

An in-depth, gospel-centered bible study on how Christ redeems even the worst forms of darkness lurking within and around us.

RUTH: Redeeming The Darkness uses God`s truth to touch our daily realities:

  • Fractured relationships
  • Processing feelings of bitterness, confusion, and doubt
  • All-in Christianity
  • Our response to the faithfulness and sovereignty of God

Have you ever felt like God has left you? Struggled with feelings of bitterness or doubt? Hopelessness? Ruth’s message is not presented as a five-point sermon, but as a spectacular, romantic drama. Its story woos us into relationship with its characters and storyline, yet is also true, living history. This workbook-style bible study approach tackles important life topics including fractured relationships, all-in Christianity, God`s faithful devotion, and rightly processing bitterness and doubt.

Ruth is unlike any other book of the bible because words like love story and theatrical are accurate descriptors of its text alongside being historical, and gospel-centred. She’s small enough in her four chapters to rest as a cute hardback on your coffee table, yet profound enough to explode hope and redemption into your darkest pain and everyday frustrations. It is not only magnificent because of its breath-taking storyline between a man and a woman, but because God sovereignly orchestrated and sealed it within the scriptural canon so that we can experience Him as the ultimate lover of our souls. Ultimately, Ruth conveys the love story of Christ coming to redeem His people. Christ is coming for you. The host has ripped your ticket for Ruth’s next performance and you’ll be sitting front row centre as His guest of honor. Come expectantly and settle into your seat prayerfully. The orchestra is cued, and the curtain is pulling back for Act 1…

Can God be kind and all-powerful when the world is filled with despair?

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Andrea Thom is a wife, mom to three great kids, and a therapist. Known for being both deeply reflective yet quick-witted, she`s the parent on the sidelines yelling a little too loud for the home team, but also the one who loves to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea on a rainy day…or any day. She loves. Her family and friends – the whole messy lot of them. She loves unexpected belly laughs. Putting on warm clothes straight from the dryer. The colour blue. Efficiency. Reason. Tidy cupboards. Easter. Quietly gleaning through scripture’s pages at night before exhaustion folds her into her pillow. That`s a special space – it`s just Jesus and her there – – a hallowed, secret union that is theirs alone. She wants to live with eternity in mind and be consumed with what she’ll be enjoying forever – Jesus. That’s why she loves God’s word so much. Jesus is the only trustworthy One to offer real hope and redemption for our eternal futures and everyday realities.

Guest Post from Andrea

The Bible is not a book about God, it is God actually speaking! In fact, throughout history, Scripture is the primary and most trusted way that Christ reveals Himself to the world. Ever notice how our experiences become more powerful when understanding runs alongside the experience? A sports match is more exciting to watch when we know the rules of play. The theatre is more captivating when we comprehend the dialogue. Music can impact us more deeply when the sweep of the notes collide with lyrics that we actually grasp. The power of our experience of Jesus is connected to the depth of our understanding about who He actually is!

No matter what you’re like or who you are, the same Jesus who spoke creation to life wants to speak life into your circumstances now through His Word. Pursuing biblical depth is not just reserved for the academically elite who are into that sort of thing. We consume food to survive, but we consume His Word to truly live! So grab some friends to join your Bible study journey because the pursuit of truth through His Word is essential, doable, and awesome. Come – just as you authentically are – and prepare to meet Jesus for who He actually is…

Looking for a new Bible study series with FRESH commentary and RELIABLE gospel-focus?

RUTH – REDEEMING THE DARKNESS

Have you ever felt like God has left you? Struggled with feelings of bitterness or confusion? Hopelessness? Ruth – Redeeming The Darkness is an in-depth, gospel-centred bible study on how Christ redeems even the ugliest types of darkness that can lurk within and around us. The book is one of the most exquisitely written love stories ever penned. Words like love story, theatrical, and screenplay are accurate descriptors alongside historical, and gospel-centred. It’s small enough in its four chapters to rest as a cute hardback on your coffee table, yet profound enough to explode hope and redemption into your darkest pain and everyday frustrations. The book conveys the love story of Christ coming to redeem His people – now Christ is coming for YOU. The host has ripped your ticket for Ruth’s next performance and you’ll be sitting front row centre as His guest of honor. Come expectantly and settle into your seat prayerfully. The orchestra is cued, and the curtain is pulling back for Act 1…

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“I have completed a lot of bible studies over the years, but few have grabbed my attention as quickly and held it as powerfully as ‘Ruth: Redeeming the Darkness’. Andrea guides the reader through the book of Ruth and takes them straight to the cross. This study will grow your appreciation for the Word of God, increase your competency in handling the Word of God, and bless your heart. It is my joy to recommend ‘Ruth: Redeeming the Darkness’ as a powerful tool to aid you in your study of God’s Word.” Bible study participant

“Using beautifully descriptive, poetic language, Andrea does a masterful job of plumbing the depths of both the historical context and modern-day parallels and applications. Its message is both surprising and incredibly encouraging to those of us who find ourselves much like Ruth – pursuing ordinary lives in the midst of God’s great Love Story.” Bible study participant

“As the vivid picture of Naomi reveals your own feelings of hopelessness, bitterness, and despair, you will be captivated by a love story that becomes your own.” Bible study participant

RUTH’S EASY HOMEMADE HONEY-WHEAT BREAD

(No Bread Machine Required)

INGREDIENTS2 cups warm water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tbsp active dry instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3-5 cups all-purpose flour

Ø Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work all-purpose flour in gradually.Ø Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in an oiled bowl. Turn several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Ø Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves, and place into two greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pans.

Ø Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.

Blog Stops

Midnight Bookaholic, November 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

Bibliophile Reviews, November 25

Texas Book-aholic, November 26

Janices book reviewsNovember 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 28

Genesis 5020, November 28

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Multifarious, November 30

More Of Him, November 30

Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 1

Mary Hake, December 1

Real World Bible Study, December 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior PrincessDecember 3

Moments, December 3

whispering the Word, December 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 4

Godly Book Reviews, December 5

A Diva’s Heart, December 5

Carpe Diem, December 6

Inklings and NotionsDecember 7

BigreadersiteDecember 7

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Giveaway:

To celebrate her tour, Andrea is giving away a grand prize “Loving the Word” theme basket that includes a gorgeous writing journal with Scripture at the bottom of each lined page, 6 stunning magnetic book page markers,“Be still and know that I am God” Bible verse key chain, Highlighter/ Pink post-it note, Old Testament Bible Reading Checklist by LOVE the Word | LIVE the Word, & RUTH-Redeeming The Darkness Bible Memory Companion Sheet!!

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/d62b/ruth-redeeming-the-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Lost Christmas Memories Giveaway & Book Tour by CelebrateLit

It is that time of year when I gravitate toward books with Christmas in their titles.  This one is a contemporary Christian suspense mystery romance Christmas fiction by author Dana Mentink.  Since it is a Love Inspired Book, it is a little smaller in length and size, but the good news it has a healthy size print.
Lost Christmas Memories is the fourth and final book in the author’s Gold Country Cowboy Series.  It also happens to be the first book I have read by author Mentink.   I was able to catch on to the story which opened dramatically.  However, at times I felt a bit at a loss even with the recaps.  It would be much better to read the series.
This is the tale of Tracy and Keegan.  The characters were well defined right down to their flaws making them realistic.  The author writes in a descriptive manner that drew me in from page one.  I could feel the panic and imagine the scene without a problem.
The romance moved a bit fast, but it always does in short books.  Dialogue was plentiful and flowed easily between the characters.  The book contained inspiration and touched on faith, forgiveness, and hope.  There was plenty of action, emotion, twists, and a bit of humor.
I would recommend this, but I would also recommend reading the other three first.  If you enjoy suspense, cowboys, and fast paced action books, you definitely will love this one.  I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by CelebrateLit but the review is my own honest opinion.
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Book: Lost Christmas Memories

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense/Christmas

Release Date: November 1, 2018

A witness with amnesia

Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life?

Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com.

Guest Post from Dana

Writing this book was bittersweet for me. It was lovely to finally be able to tell youngest Thorn brother Keegan’s story, but I sure am sorry to say goodbye to this series! It was such fun to write about these four kinsmen and the family bonds that held them together through all manner of murder and mayhem! Here at Mentink Manor, we have recently sent a bear cub away to college for the first time. It feels like I have lost a limb now that my Boo Boo is gone! Fortunately, we will enjoy having her home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Though it won’t be a cozy country Christmas like it is for Keegan (we live in a city of 80,000 here in Northern, CA) we will be thrilled to have all our family home to celebrate together (Mama Bear, Papa Bear, two cubs, a naughty terrier, and a senior citizen box turtle!) I hope you enjoy this last installment in the Gold Country Cowboy series. I am sending along our best wishes for a blessed holiday season, from our Mentink household to yours!

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 22
Inklings and Notions, November 23
Blogging With Carol, November 23
Moments, November 25
Genesis 5020, November 26
SusanLovesBooks, November 26
Remembrancy, November 26
Pause for Tales, November 27
Quiet quilter, November 28
Book by Book, November 29
A Rup Life, November 29
Older & Smarter?, November 30
Cafinated Reads, November 30
KarenSueHadley, December 1
Lighthouse Academy, December 1
Daysong Reflections, December 1
Bigreadersite, December 3
Texas Book-aholic, December 4
Carpe Diem, December 4
Godly Book Reviews, December 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Lost Christmas Memories, a $50 Amazon gift card and this cute reading charms necklace!!
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/d626/lost-christmas-memories-celebration-tour-giveaway

Giveaway and CelebrateLit Book Tour Shelter of the Most High

What is your opinion of biblical fiction?  Do you like it, hate it, read it or not?  Personally, I don’t like having the Bible retold adding in extra things.  Leave the Bible alone please for this lady.  This series, Cities of Refuge, by author Connilyn Cossette, however, is a delight for biblical fiction readers. In her second book Shelter of the Most High, readers are able to follow along without having read Book One. It does continue the story of Moriyah and Darek so I want to go back and read Book One now.

Author Cossette has an engaging style of writing. Her book was well researched and took me back in time to a place and era of which I have often read. This time instead of reading about it, I experienced it. The year was 1388 BC, a time before Christ had come to earth. People were much different.

My emotions ran deep as I read. I had become immediately invested in the lives of the well developed characters. Sofea was the daughter of a pagan high priest. She and her cousin, Perez, were violently taken from their home in Sicily and ended up in Canaan. Aboard the slave ship they were beaten and starved. The tragedy was heartbreaking. One minute you are home and the next your home is attacked. You are enslaved and sent on a ship to an unknown land that cannot understand your language. I needed tissues.

Times of joy brought happiness to me. I was frightened with the characters. They experienced violence and such trauma. The girls received love and compassion. I could relax then.

One of the things I really loved about this book is that it is not about a biblical, historical person. As I said earlier, I don’t like it when people add words or thoughts to an actual biblical person. This is much better. It still provides a venue to enlighten readers to the people, area, and customs of the time.

The Old Testament is known for being a bit violent. This book has manslayers, murder plots, kidnapping, and slavery. It also has love. There is a sweet love story and a greater one. One inspiration message is that God loves us. Another is to let our light shine forth to others. Not everyone really knows about the one true God, our God. We can share Him with others and help them.

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I highly recommend this captivating book. If you like bible times, you will adore this. It is packed with action, intrigue, romance, history, culture, and inspiration. There is much food for thought in its 335 pages. After the story are Author Notes and Discussion Questions. I love books that include those because it makes reading groups so much easier. Rating this book 5 out of 5 stars was my recommendation. A copy was provided by the publisher but I was under no obligation to write a review. All thoughts are my own, honest ones.

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About the Book

Shelter of the Most HighBook: Shelter of the Most High

Author: Connilyn Cossette

Genre: Christian Biblical Fiction

Release Date: October, 2018

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a city of refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood, yet chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Can they uncover the betrayal in time to save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

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Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out From Egypt series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the Christy Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing’s Best Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of twenty years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com.

 

Guest Post from Connilyn

Shelter of the Most High, the second book in my Cities of Refuge Series, will be the first I’ve written to have been influenced by my trip to Israel last year. When I started writing Biblical fiction almost nine years ago, I was limited to exploring the Land of Promise via Google Earth, books, and through a plethora of photos on the good ol’ world wide web, but of course nothing can compare to actually experiencing the atmosphere and scenery for yourself.

So although I’d already written Shelter of the Most High by the time I hopped on a plane to join fellow author Cliff Graham’s GoodBattle Tour, once I returned my editing was filtered through the sights and sounds I’d witnessed for myself. It had been a life-long dream to go to Israel and it did not disappoint, in fact it just went way too fast!

One of my greatest fears was that I would see the places I’d written about in my books and realize I totally messed up my descriptions, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that for the most part I’d been fairly accurate (although I did tweak a few things here and there).

Standing on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee I was able to envision Eitan, our hero in Shelter of the Most High, sitting on one of the black boulders there, defeated and weary as he searched for his love. I was able to look toward the snowy peaks of Mount Hermon in the north and over the fertile Hula Valley just below the ancient ruins of Kedesh, the city of refuge, and consider how Sofea must have felt as she experienced the landscape of her new home for the first time, both the fear and the awe.

One of my favorite sites was Tel Dan and although it does not feature in Shelter of the Most High it’s lush greenness and dense forest gave me a better sense of what Israel must have been in the past before deforestation, war, and shifts in climate have done to the fertile land God himself called a land of milk and honey. Since I was so affected by Tel Dan (or Laish in ancient times) that city will be one of the settings in my upcoming third installment of the Cities of Refuge Series, Until the Mountains Fall.

Being a super visual person who is highly sensitive to sensory input, I took great pleasure in absorbing with all my senses as we walked paths, climbed mountains (yes, mountains), slogged through a long, cold, and wet tunnel deep beneath Jerusalem, hiked up to the secret oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul, and rocked along on a boat over the glassy surface of the Galilee. I felt like a sponge just soaking up every little detail and every grand vista.

Smelling the salty breeze off the Mediterranean and hearing the waves crash against the sandy beach in Tel Aviv and Caesarea Phillipi made me imagine our heroine Sofea looking over that enormous, blue expanse and wondering what sort of god had control of such a powerful thing.

Feeling the timeworn cobblestones beneath my feet gave me a sense of what it must have been like for Eitan and Sofea to walk through the streets of Kedesh, their own sandals scuffing against the rough-hewn stone as they went about their daily activities.

Running my fingers along the pitted surfaces of ancient buildings and tracing the chisel marks from craftsmen of the Bronze Age wrapped me in a whirl of imagination about who the people were that hefted those same rocks into place and the ingenuity it took to create structures that have lasted so long.

Tasting the unique spices and flavors of the Middle East gave me a sense of the passion Moryiah (our hero’s mother) has for creating delicious new dishes to feed her growing family and the guests at her inn.

Although I write fiction, my stories are woven into Biblical accounts so going to Israel was a perfect reminder for me that the people that lived between the pages of Genesis to Revelations were real. They breathed, they cried, they loved, they mourned, they suffered, and they celebrated with their families. I am so grateful to have gleaned some great new insight into the Land and its resilient, vibrant people and hope that through Shelter of the Most High readers get a small sense of the beauty and wonder I experienced there. I cannot wait to go back!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

The Power of Words, November 20

Among the Reads, November 21

Gensis 5020, November 21

God’s Little Bookworm, November 22

Book by Book, November 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Remembrancy, November 23

Real World Bible Study, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

The Becca Files, November 24

Baker Kella, November 24

Bibliophile Reviews, November 25

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 25

By The Book, November 26

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 26

Aryn The Libraryan, November 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 27

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 28

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

For the Love of Literature, November 29

Janices book reviews, November 29

The Lit Addict, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Just the Write Escape, December 1

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 1

Connect in Fiction, December 2

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 3

Purposeful Learning, December 3

Carpe Diem, December 3

Giveaway

 

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To celebrate her tour, Connilyn is giving away

Grand Prize: All five of Conni’s novels, including Shelter of the Most High, plus AHAVA Dead Sea Bath Salts

Three other winners will receive a copy of Shelter of the Most High!!

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/d66d/shelter-of-the-most-high-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher

     Yes, I am a bookworm.  I love to read.  Books take me to times and places I have never been if the author is skilled.  They introduce me to a wide variety of new friends within their many pages.  Today, let me share one that I just read with you.  It was exceptionally moving.  I loved it and know you will, too.
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     Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher is spectacular.  I picked it up to read a few chapters and found myself staying up all night long until I finished it.  Yes, it is that good!  The characters are endearing, well rounded, and believable.  I easily became invested in their stories.  My imagination kicked in and I felt like I was there in Idaho with them.  I laughed at their humor, got teary at times, had emotional highs and lows right along with them, and wanted to play with the dog in the story.
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    This is a contemporary Christian romance that has a bit of mystery throughout and a parallel story from the 1930’s.  Opening the story the author teases us with just enough information to become interested, very interest, and want to know a lot more details on her characters.  For me this quickly became a “don’t put me down until the last page book.”
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     It has humor, life lessons, a sweet romance, history, and a well planned story.  The writing is exquisite.  It flows without a hitch.  The author is a talented wordsmith.  Conversation between characters sounds natural and not forced.  Details are just right without being too much or boring.
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     When reading a Christian novel, it is important to have an inspirational message in it.  I dislike the weak, watered down ones.  This one did not disappoint at all.  I love books that teach me things, especially historical things I did not realize.  Again, I gleaned some things from this, too.  Another thing I love is discussion or questions for thought at the end of a book.  Again, this book has that.    It will make a great book club read.  There is a lot to chatter about after finishing this jewel.
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     I highly recommend this book.  Highly!  An advanced reader copy was provided by the author but I was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest thoughts.  The rating for this is an easy 5 out of 5 stars.

If I Won the Lottery, I Would . . .

Many people buy lottery tickets.  Are you one of them?  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and frenzy when its numbers get high.  My friends and I play what my hubby calls the “What if” game.  What if we won the lottery?  What would we each do?

To begin with we would first need to buy a ticket.  Just like their add says, you can’t win if you don’t play.  As much fun as winning would be I don’t think donating my money would make me happy.   So for our game, I need to pretend I would buy a ticket.

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We all decided a lot of the money would be put to good use.  We would help family and friends in need.  I see you nodding.  You would do the same.   Charities and churches would get donations, too.  We weren’t all selfless.  We would keep some for ourselves.

Some wanted to travel the world and others wanted nice homes.  One friend wanted a mountain home, beach home, and another near family.  We all wanted different things but decided we wanted the luxury of not working and having enough money to do whatever we wanted.  Notice I said whatever we wanted and not what we needed.

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What would winning the lottery do to our spiritual life?  Would we continue to attend church each weekend or would we be too busy traveling?  If things were always going our way, would we talk to our Heavenly Father as much as we do now?  Our daily prayer time might not be as important if we had most all of the things we thought we wanted.  Would we still want more?  With all of our extra time where would God fit in?

Money used correctly does help a lot of people.  Wanting and obsessing over money tears  marriages and families apart.  It can destroy a person.  Scripture tells us in Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

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It is cliche but true.  Money cannot buy everything.  Think about all the true blessings in your life.  They are priceless.  You didn’t purchase them and they most likely cannot be replaced with money.

Be aware of what you have that cannot be bought.  Take inventory of your own personal lottery winnings.  Are you kind?  Would people say you have integrity and morals?  Do people trust you?  Are you loved?   You, my friend have won!

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Other life lottery blessings would be a loving, supporting family.  Friends that are always there for you and a circle of prayer warriors to intercede on your behalf are irreplaceable.  Money cannot buy any of these.

I agree the “What if I won the Lottery” game is fun, but is it really something Abba wants for our life?  We are His children and parents know from experience it is not always good to allow children to receive everything they want.  For instance what happens when kids have too much candy, too little sleep, or play unattended?

Our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us and what would happen if we won the lottery.  What do you think would happen?  Would we still be the same people and be as close to Him?  If not, I say keep the money and just give me Jesus.

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