Thursday, August 16, 2018

In The Mudpit By Lynne Tagawa

Have you ever been angry with God? Oh, you might not call it that. It seems like depression, a touch of ennui, or maybe an irritableness that you just can’t shake. Everything is going wrong. Your dishwasher breaks and spews water all over the floor, your neighbor’s dog keeps pooping in your yard, your bank balance is in double digits, and just yesterday, your doctor said there is something suspicious on a scan.

Then at church the pastor speaks on giving thanks in everything. Seriously?

In my new novel, The Shenandoah Road: A Novel of the Great Awakening, one of my characters begins to slog through this kind of mire. Don’t get me wrong: he’s a strong Christian, but his circumstances pull at him. First one thing, then another, and pretty soon he’s not sure if he even wants to get things right with God.

Hasn’t he suffered enough?

John crossed to the next tree, a massive pine. The sharp, clean scent caused him to pause, as if inhaling the aroma might somehow cleanse him on the inside.

He felt dirty.

He stretched out his hands to finger the bark, tracing the wide scales with his fingers. Yes, a longleaf pine—Abigail would want this for her book. Such a strange pattern. All trees had bark that cracked—or even peeled—in ridges or grooves; this one felt more like tiny plates.

And every year the tree would grow, and the bark would break some more, sap rising to heal the wounds. Hence the piney smell—the smell of brokenness. John laid his forehead on the tree, feeling broken himself.

Was this the way of all things under the sun? Grow … and break?

Oh God … out of the depths I cry to Thee …

Maybe he wasn’t growing. Maybe it was just sin. The filth of his murderous temper.

Create in me a clean heart, O God …

He collapsed and found himself kneeling in a thick bed of long pine needles, his shoulders shuddering and heaving. No tears would come, only this shaking and gasping, like an ague that had taken him unawares.

It wasn’t just his temper. It wasn’t just his anger toward Sloan or Roy.

He was angry with God.

Find out what happens next as John and Abigail travel to the valley. The Shenandoah Road is available in print via multiple booksellers and also through kindle.

Link to buy:

Back cover copy TSR

John Russell’s heart aches from the loss of his wife, but the Shenandoah Valley frontiersman needs to marry again for his daughter’s sake. At first he believes he has found the right young woman, despite their differences in background, but his faith falters when time reveals she isn’t quite what she seemed. Can he truly love her? And what about his own failings?

Unlike her disgraced sister, Abigail Williams obeys the Commandments. At least, she thinks herself a Christian until a buckskin-clad newcomer courts her. He treats her kindly but also introduces her to a sermon by the controversial preacher, George Whitefield. Her self-righteousness is shattered, and she wonders about their relationship. If she confesses her lack of faith, will John continue to love her?

“Lynne Tagawa transports readers into the faith and hope, and sorrows and fears of 18th century colonial America. While other books feature the raw grit of frontier colonial life, this book goes deeper and reveals the heart.” —Douglas Bond, author of numerous books, including War in the Wasteland and Hostage Lands.

The Shenandoah Road is an authentic and engaging journey back to the challenges of settling in the Shenandoah Valley” —Laura Hilton, author of Firestorm (Whitaker House, 2018)

“Raw, realistic, and historically packed, this story will make you think. If you enjoy stories with deep theological themes, you will enjoy this.” —Amber Schamel, author of Solve by Christmas, winner of the 2018 Christian Indie Award

Lynne Tagawa, author of Sam Houston’s Republic and A Twisted Strand, lives in Texas with her husband.

Bio: Lynne Tagawa

About me:

Lynne Tagawa is married with four grown sons and three marvelous grandbabies. She’s written a Texas history curriculum in narrative form, Sam Houston’s Republic, and The Shenandoah Road, a story of the Great Awakening,is scheduled to be published in 2018. Lynne lives with her husband in South Texas.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Interview with Lauralee Bliss and #giveaway!!!

Today we welcome Lauralee Bliss to my blog. Glad to have you stop by, Lauralee. Lauralee is very graciously giving away one copy of this book to one person who comments. Please include contact information so we can notify the winner. USA only. Void where prohibited by law. 

Tell us about your book:

The Belle of the Congaree, part of The Southern Brides Collection, is a novella of reconciliation between enemies. Of God’s peace and redemption through difficult times and the journey taken by Elisa, a proud Southern belle, and Mason, a Northern carpetbagger, in South Carolina during the Reconstruction period.

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I wanted to become an author ever since my teen years when I wrote a variety of science fiction stories, believe it or not. English class in school was my favorite subject, and the teachers used to give me liberty to create stories of my own making. J It’s a part of me to tell a good story. And I never want it to be boring either. Hence the reason I add in my bio that my stories are like a rollercoaster ride for the reader.

Who are your favorite authors in your genre?

Laura Frantz, Anne Gabhart, and Julie Klassen. Very talented authors.

Where did you get your inspiration for your characters? 

The inspiration comes from the difficulties we face even today among those with opposing views. That despite vast differences, enemies can unite as one in the peace of our Lord, the Prince of Peace, and help in times of need. Elisa and Mason exemplify the kind of healing we need through the kindness of others.

Which character was your favorite to write?

I do love Elisa’s spunk in trying to forge a life out of depravity. I like her wilderness living as that is how I am, a wilderness type, in my love to hike and camp in my tent in the woods. I’ve been known to stay in a tent for months! You can even check out my wilderness adventures at

Which was the hardest character to write?

Honestly I didn’t have difficulty with any of the characters. They are all there to move a story forward to a satisfying conclusion. The characters become family to me, the author, so all of them have a purpose and crucial part to play.

Book blurb:

The Southern Belle Brides Collection—where seven sweet and sassy ladies of yesterday experience romance in the southern states.

In The Belle of the Congaree, Mason Bassinger reluctantly travels to war-torn South Carolina, seeking lands his carpetbagger brother can buy. Elisa Anderson barely survives after her family’s plantation is destroyed. She welcomes visits by the handsome and wealthy Mason, who makes the cottage by the Congaree feel like a home. But when Mason’s true purpose is revealed, will her heart be broken by betrayal?

Find The Southern Belle Brides Collection at:

About Lauralee:

Lauralee Bliss is a published author of over twenty romance novels and novellas in both historical and contemporary with nearly 600,000 units sold. Lauralee enjoys writing books that are reminiscent of a roller-coaster ride for the reader. Her desire is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that speaks to the heart and soul.

Lauralee enjoys traveling this great nation, having been to 49 out of 50 states and learning unique historical lessons to incorporate into her books. She makes her home in the historic state of Virginia with her husband and dogs Eve, Buddy, and Skye. 

To find out more about Lauralee and her books online, visit:

Twitter:  @LauraleeBliss

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The House at Saltwater Point

The House at Saltwater Point 

(A Lavender Tides Novel #2) 

Paperback, ebook, hardcover, audio, MP3 cd

July 3, 2018

by Colleen Coble

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718085803

The dangerous beauty of Lavender Tides is harboring secrets that reach around the world.
Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a house flipper. But when her sister Mackenzie disappears, Ellie can’t focus on anything but uncovering what happened. Her only clue is the bloodstain on the deck of Mackenzie’s boat. Ellie knows her sister isn’t on the best of terms with her ex-husband, Jason, but he wouldn’t kill her—would he? 
Coast Guard intelligence officer Grayson Bradshaw believes Mackenzie faked her own death after stealing a seized cocaine shipment. The problem is convincing Ellie, who seems to view him as the true enemy.
Both Ellie and Grayson want truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it first appears. From international terrorism to the peaceful lavender fields of Puget Sound, The House at Saltwater Point is a thrilling race to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

My thoughts: THE HOUSE AT SALTWATER POINT is the second book in Ms. Coble's Lavender Tides series. Fans will want to read the first book The View from Rainshadow Bay first as they do sort of tie in together. I'm anxious to read the third book in this series, coming maybe in January 2019.

Ms. Coble is  a top-notch romantic suspense writer, and this is a sweet one, easy on the romantic tension, and easy on the murder even through there is some.  I was so caught up in the story I forgot to try to figure out who-dun-it and just concentrated on story.  

There are some tense moments, some moments when you wonder if the criminals are amateurs or not and some where you wonder what-in-the-world, is that even plausible? But over all the story is good, well told, and enjoyable. 

I love the tall ships theme. I saw and toured tall ships in Muskegon, Michigan and enjoyed the experience. It enabled me to see and understand Mac's fascination with the tall ships. 

Recommended for fans of romantic suspense. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

A Promise Kept

A Promise Kept 

(Buckeye Promises #3) 

ebook, paperback

by Cara Putman (Author)

  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Whisper Valley Press; 2 edition 
  • Publication Date: March 20, 2017
  • ASIN: B06XS713DZ

A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman: 

Can new love endure heartbreak? 

Josie Wilson’s newlywed life is perfect—until her hopes and dreams are shattered by a miscarriage. She’s not sure her wounded heart will ever heal. Then Art asks her to open their home to a distant cousin who’s been evacuated from England. Will the child open her heart? Or will she remain closed off to the prospect of future pain? 

Art Wilson adores his bride, but he never anticipated how challenging marriage could be. When grief over the baby they’ve lost forms a chasm between him and his new wife, he wonders if he has made a horrible mistake. Why can’t Josie support him and understand his long hours are necessary as the industry is reeling in the early days of World War II? 

Will the ravages of war and personal grief tear Josie and Art apart, or will they keep the promises made to each other on their wedding day? 

My thoughts:  A PROMISE KEPT  is the story of Katherine's (Kat in a Promise Forged) big sister. A PROMISE KEPT is more women's fiction than it is romance, as Josie and Art are married throughout the book and the story is more about how she adjusts to married life and how she wants children and how she supports or not her husband in a new job, a new home, a new city, away from family. 

I liked the way Josie kept in contact with her family. I wish Art would've done the same for his. As a mother of a married son I know how much it hurts when they go the extra mile for her family but you don't have a clue what is happening in your son's life.  So I felt really sorry for Art's mom. His grandfather, however, seemed to be very sharp and kept his eye on his family and I love the way this book ended with grandfather's magic touch.   

This isn't a romance nor romantic suspense, but it is women's fiction. 

I received a copy free and have no obligation to review.  Stay tuned for review on A Promise Born. 

Other books in this series: 
Canteen Dreams 
Sandhill Dreams 
Captive Dreams 
A Promise Born 
A Promise Forged

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Winter Snow Fun: God Gives Us Friends When We’re Ready for Adventure

Winter Snow Fun: God Gives Us Friends When We’re Ready for Adventure 

(Tales of Buttercup Grove) 

Hardcover, ebook

August 7, 2018

by Wendy Dunham (Author), Michal Sparks (Illustrator)

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Tales of Buttercup Grove
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736972079

Winter Snow Fun is one of four books in the Tales of Buttercup Grove early reader series. 

Join Skunk, Raccoon, and the rest of their woodland friends as they share a wintry fun-filled day of sledding, building a snowman, drinking hot chocolate, and then ending it with belly-laughs as they engage in a spontaneous 'snowball fight' with their extra marshmallows. 

In the tradition of timeless classics such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Many Adventures of the Winnie the Pooh, The Tales of Buttercup Grove series introduces young readers, ages 3-8, to the many fun adventures of Skunk, Raccoon, and the rest of their woodland friends. Along the way, children will learn timeless values, such as sharing, compassion, kindness, encouragement, and patience.

My thoughts (reviewed by Kaeli): WINTER SNOW FUN is a wintery book with woodland animal friends waiting for snow. When it finally falls, they hurry and play in it and have a big old time flinging marshmallows in a "snowball fight".  This was fun to read, the pictures were engaging, and it made me want to go play in the snow and drink hot chocolate. 

It promotes teamwork, and a happy heart is good medicine from the Bible.  

This was a fun book to read. 

I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars 

Paperback, ebook, hardcover, audio, audio CD

August 16, 2016

by Mark Batterson (Author)

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429292

Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase.
You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is inspired by one of the most obscure yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture, a blessed and audacious act that left no regrets: “Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it” (2 Samuel 23:20 -21). 

Unleash the lion chaser within! #InAPit

My thoughts:  IN A PIT WITH A LION ON A SNOWY DAY is the first book I read by Dr. Mark Batterson. My son read it before I did, then my sixteen year old daughter read it, and now finally I was able to finish it (I started it a long time ago, but it was taken away from me by children so they could read it.)  

I was fascinated by the quotes I read from this book on twitter and I finally went and looked it up on Amazon and bought a copy (so I am a verified buyer, if Amazon kept track of that back then). 

This is based on an obscure passage of scripture, which I went and looked up and read several times, asked my  pastor husband about, and studied up on myself.  And this book IN A PIT WITH A LION ON A SNOWY DAY tells some of Dr. Batterson's stories about starting his church, dreaming big, reaching for the dreams, and basically chasing down the lions that want to kill your dreams and killing them.

My son and daughter and I all greatly enjoyed this book and I bought two more books by Dr. Batterson to read. My daughter said "Mark Batterson is quickly becoming my favorite nonfiction writer."  I said "You mean, pastor?" And she said "No, writer.  I've never been to his church."  Me neither.  So yes.  He is definitely ranked among my favorite nonfiction writers too. 

IN A PIT WITH A LION ON A SNOWY DAY is a great read, encouraging, motivating, and inspiring. If you haven't read it yet, you'll want to. Highly recommended. 

I bought a copy of this book, all opinions are my own and I was not required to write a review. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Promise Forged

A Promise Forged 

(Buckeye Promises #1) 

Kindle Edition, mass market paperback

by Cara Putman 

  • Print Length: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Whisper Valley Press; 2 edition
  • Publication Date: March 21, 2017
  • ASIN: B06XSKW2J7
Kat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her.
A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman:
Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin.
Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again.
When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?

My thoughts: A PROMISE FORGED is a reprint of one of Ms. Putman's earlier Heartsong Presents novels that has been republished with a beautiful new cover.

Kat is seventeen, a softball whiz, and a redheaded spitfire though she tries to contain that part. Jack is a college graduate, a sports-reporter who dreams of bigger, better things than writing about a womens' softball team. Really? Who ever heard of such a thing?  Apparently baseball fans felt the same way because turnout was terrible. So Jack is tasked with writing positive things to fill the stands.  

Kat immediately catches his attention and his heart, but what is he thinking? She's just a "baby in diapers" and he's "older than her brother". Besides, she needs to finish school and wants to go to college.  

This ends with the possibility of a HEA and with the age of the heroine, that is acceptable. I'd hesitate if my almost seventeen year old fell in love with a man in his mid-twenties.  At that age, there is a huge difference.

Fans of Ms. Putman's romantic suspense might want to read her earlier books that contributed to her becoming the writer she is.  This is not suspense, but it is sweet, squeaky-clean romance with a strong faith message.  

I was given a copy free (included in Ohio's Brides collection with Barbour) and all opinions are my own.  

Until August 15, you can pick up the ebook of A Promised Forged for $.99! What a great deal on this sweet .

Stay tuned for a review on A Promise Kept by  Cara Putman. 

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.
Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.
Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at <>.

Guest Post from Cara

Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.
And I started thinking.
What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?
And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?
I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.
He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school.
As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.
A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, August 4
C Jane Read, August 5
Genesis 5020, August 6
Carpe Diem, August 7
Mary Hake, August 8
By The Book, August 9
Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Lighthouse Academy, August 10
Remembrancy, August 10
100 Pages per Hour, August 11
Bigreadersite, August 11
Godly Book Reviews, August 12
Cafinated Reads, August 12
A Reader’s Brain, August 13
Book by Book, August 13
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 14
amandainpa, August 15
Pause for Tales, August 17


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.