Thursday, July 8, 2021

Review: Let It Be Me by Becky Wade

About the book:
The one woman he wants is the one he cannot have. Former foster kid Sebastian Grant has leveraged his intelligence and hard work to become a pediatric heart surgeon. But not even his career success can erase the void he's tried so hard to fill. Then he meets high school math teacher Leah Montgomery and his fast-spinning world comes to a sudden stop. He falls hard, only to make a devastating discovery—Leah is the woman his best friend set his heart on months before. Leah's a math prodigy who's only ever had one big dream—to earn her PhD. Raising her little brother put that dream on hold. Now that her brother will soon be college bound, she's not going to let anything stand in her way. Especially romance . . . which is far less dependable than algebra. When Leah receives surprising results from the DNA test she submitted to a genealogy site, she solicits Sebastian's help. Together, they comb through hospital records to uncover the secrets of her history. The more powerfully they're drawn to each other, the more strongly Sebastian must resist, and the more Leah must admit that some things in life—like love—can't be explained with numbers.

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Let It Be Me is the second book in Becky Wade's Misty River series and I loved it even more than the first book. The characters just grab your heart and I felt so much for them. I wanted a happily ever after for Sebastian with Leah and yet I also felt for his best friend and his feelings for her. 

I loved following along with Leah and her search for answers regarding her DNA test. It was such an intriguing storyline and one that I think I'll remember for a while. I can't believe the ending and what was revealed. SO good!

All in all, Let It Be Me was an amazing read and I recommend it. I cannot wait to read the next book. 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Review: Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin


About the book:
For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence.
Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death?

Lena's daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy.

Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined.

The Nazi invasion propels these women onto paths that cross in unexpected, sometimes-heartbreaking ways. Yet the story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Chasing Shadows is only the second book I've read by Lynn Austin, but I need to pick up more of her books as it was another AMAZING read. It started off a little slow, but once I got about a third of the way into the book I could hardly put it down. I was drawn into the story and felt like I was there. 

The story had some heartbreaking moments, which is to be expected considering it is set during WWII, but it also had moments of pure joy. I loved the characters and their relationships. I felt like they were real people and can only imagine the pain of making some of the choices they did. 

All in all, Chasing Shadows was a stellar read and I recommend it to fans of historical reads. 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Review: Hours to Kill by Susan Sleeman

About the book:
Each Passing Hour Brings Them Closer to a Deadly Showdown
Just as FBI Special Agent Addison Leigh reaches the pinnacle of her cybercrimes investigation into a firearms-smuggling ring, she's attacked and left in a coma with no memory of the incident--or of her estranged husband who rushes to her bedside.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Mack Jordan may have let his past military trauma ruin their brief marriage, but Addison never gave up on their relationship, and he promises to hunt down the man who attacked her. Mack failed her once when he bailed on their marriage, so he's not about to let her down again, especially after a second attempt on her life is made. Soon it becomes clear that something very sinister is going on, and the killer won't rest until Addison is gone for good.

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:
Hours to Kill is the third book in the Homeland Heroes series by Susan Sleeman and it was definitely a favorite. I was blown away by the story and how much I loved it! 

I always seem to enjoy stories with memory loss or amnesia, so I wasn't surprised that I loved that aspect in Hours to Kill. It was written very well and I felt like the characters were real people and I could feel for them. 

I loved the romance and how it was kind of a "second chance" story. The suspense was also great and I was on the edge of my seat - eager to see what was going to happen next.

All in all, Hours to Kill was an amazing book and one I recommend.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Monthly Reflections (June 2021) & July TBR List


Monthly Reflections, where we take the time to reflect on the previous month.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

WWW Wednesday | June 30, 2021

I actually had a wonderful week of reading! I finished Chasing Shadows and started Provenance (which is quite good so far).

- I just wanted to quickly mention that the giveaway for a free six month subscription to Pure Flix will be ending in a few days, so be sure to enter soon if you want the chance to win. I've been loving watching good, clean movies on the website/app. 

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Q & A with T. I. Lowe Author of Under the Magnolias

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Q & A with T. I. Lowe

Author of Under the Magnolias

T. I. Lowe is an ordinary country girl who loves to tell extraordinary stories and is the author of nearly twenty published novels, including her debut, Lulu’s CafĂ©, a number one bestseller. She lives with her husband and family in coastal South Carolina. Find her at tilowe.com or on Facebook (T.I.Lowe), Instagram (tilowe), and Twitter (@TiLowe).





1. Under the Magnolias is different from your usual romance novels. What compelled you to deviate from your usual subject matter in this book? How was your writing process different?

I always write what I’m led to, and I really never want to limit my stories to a certain genre. With romance, there’s typically a loose formula to follow—boy meets girl, they fall in love, something gets in their way, they overcome it for their happily ever after. But with this book, I just wrote it like no one was looking. I wasn’t even sure where it would end up until I reached the ending. It challenged me as a writer and I loved it!

2. Can you walk us through the emotions you felt while writing this book?

My emotions were all over the place. I fully invest in my characters. When they hurt, I hurt. When they rejoice, so do I. One scene where Austin starts unraveling and doesn’t see how to hold her family together, I was right there with her. It was a tough writing day, for sure, and I walked away from the computer not knowing how she would either. I definitely stayed in my head for several months while writing this one.

3. You’ve said that this book is the most important book you’ve written to date. Why?

The subject matter of this book, even though it’s fiction set in the eighties, is so relevant today. Everyone hurts. Everyone struggles. And everyone hides their truths to some degree. I was led to write this book in a way that I hope readers will realize it’s not so healthy to hide, that it’s okay to seek help no matter what they are going through.

4. You say you are an observer of people. What do you mean by that? How do you use that to craft your stories?

People are so fascinating. I know I look like a weirdo but I’m all about people watching. I also want to understand things that I see, whether it’s from a news headline or something I’ve witnessed in person, so I work that out through my stories.

5. This book has been said to highlight the best of humanity. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Honestly, I fear the world we are living in today has forgotten how beautiful it is to be compassionate and to empathize with others. This book has characters from all walks of life and highlights how those characters choose to show kindness for no other reason than to be kind. Simple enough!

6. Some of the common themes in this book are the power of community and connectedness, as well as the impact that small and simple kindnesses can have on those around us. How do you hope those themes encourage the reader? Why did you include those themes specifically?

I hope the reader will reflect on their own actions and attitudes toward others. As I’ve already said, kindness is a simple act but can have such a profound effect on the one receiving it. Austin was able to stop hiding due to the strength she garnered from those who reached out to help her and her family. We can be that for someone—how powerful is that?


Simple act of kindness example: I’m always on people-watching duty, so when I go through a checkout line and the cashier is in a terrible mood and being rude, instead of complaining to the manager, I ask the cashier if they’re having a bad day. I can’t tell you how many times this was exactly what they needed. Just someone to take the time to acknowledge them and to let them unload a second. I’ve always left those situations with the cashier smiling at me. Simple kindness, ladies and gentlemen.

7. What was the research process like for this book? Did it require more research due to the subject matter?

The research was extensive, for sure. An entire summer was spent doing nothing more than research for this book. Mental illness is a subject that I made certain I got right. Even though it’s fiction. I spent days reading articles and watching testimonies from those suffering bipolar disorder as well as the loved ones who stood by them through it. And even more time researching treatments.

8. Why did you choose to set this book in the eighties? Why was it important to you to write a coming-of-age book that wasn’t set during the age of social media?

The eighties was a great decade, so why not! I truly wanted to get to a simpler time for this book. One with less noise, so to speak. I think it’ll be easier for someone to read this subject from afar and not have cell phones and all that to distract from it. It makes Austin different yet shows her coming-of-age journey is still relevant today.

9. You used to work on a tobacco farm. What made you choose this setting for the book? How did you draw from personal experience to create the setting?

Working tobacco was my first job and my hardest job. This job taught me that everyone has to do their part. It cannot be put on the shoulders of one person. It’s quite symbolic to the story. Austin tried taking care of her father and siblings all on her own, but the burden was too heavy and came close to ruining them until the community stepped up to take a part in helping.

10. What was your inspiration for this book? You’ve referenced some of the conversations you had with God about writing this book. Can you walk us through that a bit?

Spring of 2019, it seemed every time I turned on the news or pulled up Facebook, there was a headline that a community leader, mostly church leaders, had committed suicide. Man, did that put such a burden on my heart. I wanted to know their story and why they got to the point of feeling that hopeless. Before I knew it, I was deep into research. I discovered most times those victims were secretly suffering with mental illness. They were worried what others would think, so they kept it hidden. A lot of prayer went into the book, asking God to help me understand and to express that understanding to readers. Days of writing with goose bumps along my arms and a tightened chest, I knew I wasn’t telling this story alone.

11. This book is gritty in parts, but it also serves up a good dose of humor. Why did you intentionally include humor in this story? Can you give us an example?

Life is tough! It is gritty, yet I lean heavily on humor to get me though the rough patches of life. I also needed it to get through the rough patches of this book and I think readers will too. You will meet Phoenix, aka Peg. He is the next-to-oldest brother and boy, does he have a mouth on him. The scene where he gets ahold of a man who is making racists remarks cracks me up even now. It’s a lot of dry humor, my favorite type, and Peg always gave me some comic relief on the hard writing days with his sarcastic one-liners.

12. Why is it important to write stories about characters who deal with real issues? What are some of the real issues that this story addresses?

Sometimes I think reading about real issues in fiction is easier for us to digest than reading it in nonfiction or in a self-help book. It takes us out of it, so to speak. The issues addressed in this book are quite extensive, but it is mostly about ill-fitting labels that need to be done away with.

13. What was special about crafting the Foster children in this book? Austin Foster specifically?

The Foster children lived an isolated life out on the farm. It gave me the opportunity to explore hard topics through their curious, naive eyes with an honesty that I would not have been able to pull off otherwise.

14. Under the Magnolias features several noteworthy, misfit characters. Who was your favorite supporting character to write?

This is like asking me to pick a favorite child! Yikes! I will say it’s a toss-up between Foxy and Miss Wise. Both women faced gross social injustices. They were survivors who chose not to live like victims. They are great characters to look up too, if you ask me.

15. Why did you choose to represent characters who are marginalized or misunderstood in this book?

I don’t know about you but I am just so tired of the labels and the unrealistic boxes society creates and expects you to live up to. That’s hogwash. If God wanted us all to fit in the same box, he would have created us as carbon copies. He didn’t, so that means it’s a gift to be different and I think differences should be celebrated. I did a lot of celebrating this in Under the Magnolias.



16. Chances are readers are going to have a love/hate relationship with Vance Cumberland. He’s different from the male love interests we’ve seen in your other books. What do you love about Vance? What irks you about Vance?

Vance is different from most of my male leads because we meet him in the beginning as a privileged kid. Just as we go on the coming-of-age journey with Austin, we get to do the same with Vance. That boy had a lot of growing up to do. I love his determination, but he irked me when he succumbed to those socially labeled boxes in his younger years. He eventually gets it right, and I think he’s pretty swoon-worthy at times.

17. This book gives an inside look at the reality of mental illness, through a fictional story. How do you hope the themes of this book bring mental health awareness?

I want it to open our eyes, to start more conversations about mental health, and to be more empathetic to those suffering. Being more proactive in mental health awareness requires those suffering in silence to find their voice and for everyone else to take off their blinders and pay attention.

18. This book is very raw and real, as told from Austin Foster’s point of view. Did you draw from personal experience in writing her character?

Austin and I both lost our mothers, so I shared in her grief. And we both had a parent who was sick and we felt helpless when we realized we couldn’t fix it. I drew many parallels with my mother’s battle with cancer and Austin’s father’s battle with mental illness. Both illnesses need treatment and can be life-threatening when undiagnosed. I also think it’s important to point out that both patients are the main victims of their disease, but their loved ones endure suffering as well.

19. What was the hardest part about writing a book with such heavy themes? How did you make sure you protected and prioritized your own mental health during the writing process?

Walking away from it at the end of the day. I lived this story, even dreamed about it at times while writing it. I remember one significantly heavy writing day and how I told my friend about it. She encouraged me to take a break. To do something outside the house and away from the computer. Talking about the process with my friend helped me keep my own mental health in check.


20. Nobody is immune to hardship in life and the Fosters know that well. For readers going through a personal battle, what does Under the Magnolias offer them?

It will give them the courage to seek help in those times, realizing it’s not healthy to keep it all hidden. And that people genuinely do care and want to help.

21. Fiction is often cited by people as being a form of escapism. By contrast, Under the Magnolias holds up a mirror to the joys and sorrows we experience as people. Why did you take that approach with this story?

First off, I love a good book that is all about helping me escape reality. I mean, hello, that’s why I love writing romance. But Under the Magnolias has such a different purpose. I wrote this story with no expectations on how the reader would view it, but I have no doubt God will reach many through it. I think we need more fictional books that are brave enough to open our eyes.

22. We see a beautiful picture of what it means to be the church in this book. What do you hope readers take away from this?

Exactly as you put it in the question, the church is beautiful and I’m so sad that so many are missing out on this because they have misguided views of what church is supposed to be. I’m not an expert on theology, but I do love how Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 puts it: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

23. Why do you think it’s important for people to be vulnerable with their hurt, pain, and secrets?

We are all human and all flawed and all going through something. I think when you choose to be authentic instead of pretending to be what folks expect you to be, there’s a great freedom in that.

24. What is one thing you learned about yourself from writing this book?

I’m more aware now of how I keep things hidden. I hide my pain through making jokes, sometimes at the wrong time. I’m much like Austin in the sense that I’ve put up walls to hide my emotions. I don’t cry in public. A few instances come to mind where my eyes watered, but the only time I can actually sob is in the shower or in the car by myself and that doesn’t happen often. I don’t know how to overcome this, but I’m praying about it and talking about it.

25. What do you hope your readers walk away with when they’ve turned the last page of this book?

My hope is that they say, “Dang, that girl can write!” Ha! Just kidding. Kinda . . . No, seriously, I want them to get to the end of this book and find their own sense of freedom. To bravely go out and live without putting on airs. To exercise their compassion and empathy muscles more.




Under the Magnolias by T. I. Lowe

Softcover | ISBN 978-1-4964-5361-7 | $16.99

Hardcover | ISBN 978-1-4964-5360-0 | $26.99

May 2021

Tyndale.com


Thursday, June 24, 2021

#Giveaway | Join Pure Flix today, participate in their fun family camp, and enter to win a free 6-month subscription!

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Grow closer to your family this summer with Pure Flix Family Camp! Join us for 6 weeks (including a bonus 7th week) of family activities including games, movie nights, devotionals, and discussion questions proposed for you in our camp guide. Connect deeper with your family and with our #PureFlixFamilyCamp community this summer!


I'm so excited to share about this family camp Pure Flix is doing. It sounds like the perfect thing for families to do together and the free Family Camp Guide looks like a great companion to the movies. It has activity prompts, devotionals, discussion questions, and more.

You can download the Family Camp Guide here: http://pureflix.com/familycamp


The spotlighted movie for week one is Switched and I'm eager to watch it, as it sounds like a fun one. There are also several other movies on Pure Flix that are on my watchlist and the more I search, the more I find that I want to watch, lol! ;) I look forward to watching them soon, as well as re-watching favorites of mine. 


Pure Flix has the largest variety of God-honoring content anywhere. And for a limited time, you can become an annual member for the best price ever and save up to 30%. Largest library of faith and family-friendly movies and shows AND the best price? Sign up today!


GIVEAWAY: Enter for the chance to win a Free 6-month Pure Flix membership! This giveaway is only open to US residents and ends 7/4/2021.

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

WWW Wednesday | June 23, 2021

I've been so busy lately and it's difficult to find the time and/or energy to consistently post, but I'm hoping to get back to posting more regularly. I hope you enjoy reading this and will share what you've been reading below. :)

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Monday, May 24, 2021

Review: The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

About the book:
1906
Lady Elizabeth "Libby" Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn't favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage's former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished.

Oliver Tremayne--gentleman and clergyman--is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he's happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth's summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it's the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can't quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.

My rating:
 5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Whenever I see a new historical novel from Roseanna M. White, it pretty much automatically goes on my "want to read" list, and this was no exception. I expected to love it and was not disappointed.

I felt like the story started a bit slow; but, as I continued reading, it picked up and towards the end I didn't want to put it down. I loved the characters and the treasure aspect. It was such an intriguing story and one that sticks with you. 

All in all, I loved this story and definitely recommend it. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series when it releases. Side note: the cover is absolutely gorgeous - especially in person. <3

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon (aff link), Goodreads

Friday, May 14, 2021

A note from the past | Guest Post by Stephenia H. McGee

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Guest Post by Stephenia H. McGee


A note from the past


Hello,

I need your help.

I’m Maddie Palmer, and I’ve somehow found myself stuck sixty-five years in the past. If you’ve found this, then I’m guessing you’re probably staying at The Depot. Proceed with caution. Trust me. Touching objects that look like they are doing weird things sends you on quite an adventure.

It’s not all bad, mind you. 

I’ve just met the man of my dreams. We have the same taste in music and he’s what my Nanna would call a dreamboat. Never mind that he would be old enough to be my grandfather if I ever get back home to the present. The real problem is that he wants to fly into hurricanes for a living.

Can you imagine?

This man wants to climb into a big metal death box and fly right into the center of a massive storm that all the sane people are trying to escape. Okay, sure, I know the information they send back helps save a lot of lives. And yes, there’s something about a man in uniform going off to do heroic things that makes a gal’s stomach fluttery. 

But…a hurricane?

I’m feeling like my heart is in one now. Anyway, I better get going if I’m going to straighten things out here. Say a quick prayer for me, would you? And if you see Mrs. Easley, would you see if you can convince her to help me get home. I have a party I wasn’t supposed to miss.

Thanks!

Your friend stuck in 1956

Maddie


About the book:

What would you do if you finally found Mr. Right…in the wrong time?

Maddie Palmer is done with dating. Internet matchmaking landed her one dud after another. Tired, frustrated, and finished with love, Maddie stays the night at a quirky Victorian bed and breakfast on the eve of her grandparents’ sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. When she suddenly wakes up in 1956, she gets the unexpected chance to witness her grandparents’ fairy tale love unfold and finally learn the secret to finding “the one.” But what is she going to do when she meets her own Mr. Right—only to discover he’s Mr. Wrong Time?

Nathanial Hall is set on one mission. Pass his training exam and join the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base. When he mysteriously finds himself on base sixty-five years too early, there can only be one explanation. He has to save the crew destined to die in Hurricane Flossy. But when a beautiful singer snags his heart and derails his carefully planned life, he has to decide if staying in the past is worth risking his entire future.



Pre-order now, read May 11. Available in kindle, paperback, and audio. Book one, A Wagon Train Weekend is available now!


About the author: 

Award winning author of Christian historical novels, Stephenia H. McGee writes stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. She’s a homeschool mom of two boys, writer, dreamer, and husband spoiler. Stephenia lives in Mississippi with her sons, handsome hubby, and their fur babies.

Visit her website at www.StepheniaMcGee.com and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get sneak peeks, behind the scenes fun, the occasional recipe, and special giveaways.

Facebook: Stephenia H. McGee, Christian Fiction Author

Twitter: @StepheniaHMcGee

Instagram: stepheniahmcgee

Pinterest: Stephenia H. McGee


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Guest Post: Depression Era Lesson for Today By Stephanie Landsem

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.


About the book:

A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.
As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown, and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.

Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help Mina escape corrupt police on the take and the studio big shots trying to frame her. But even her quick thinking and grit can't protect her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.




Depression Era Lesson for Today

By Stephanie Landsem 



My dad, who was a child during the Great Depression, had a saying that still holds true today:


Use it up.

Wear it out.

Make it do

or do without.


Good advice, and after the upheaval of 2020, we can see the wisdom of that little ditty and take heed of it in our modern lives. Here are some ways our parents and grandparents put this advice to use in the hard times of the 1930s. We can do the same today.


Make it yourself. From clothes to knitting to bread to soap and cheese, if they couldn’t make it themselves, they often did without. There’s great satisfaction in taking a loaf of bread from the oven or making the last stitch on a knitting project—and an appreciation for the finished product that lasts longer than the thrill of purchasing something ready-made.


Grow it yourself. Anyone who had a few square feet of dirt planted seeds and grew their own garden. It’s what saved many families from both hunger and malnutrition. From microgreens to herbs to an all-out vegetable garden, even those of us in urban areas can grow something, whether on the kitchen counter or in the backyard.


Fix it yourself. In the thirties, clothes were patched or remade for younger siblings. Cars were held together with bailing wire and a prayer. Appliances in those days were made to be repaired and to last for decades. Shoes were resoled when they became worn, and many Depression-era folks cut new soles from rubber or cardboard, then stitched and glued their shoes together again. These days, it’s often cheaper to replace something than to fix it. But the cost to the environment, we know now, can be devastating. Buy the best quality you can afford, my dad always said, then keep it in good repair and fix it when it breaks. 


Use it up. In the dire days of the 1930s, household objects were repurposed out of pure necessity. Flour sacks were made into dresses and shirts. Worn-out clothing was made into rugs. Rubber tires were used for flower pots. Tin cans and jars were reused for food and storage. Before you throw something away, look at it again and see if it can be used for something new—saving the environment and your pocketbook.

 

Entertain yourself. Hollywood was big in the thirties, and going to the movies was a popular event, but plenty of people couldn’t afford the twenty-five cents to see a show. Board games became a thing, with classics like Sorry! and Monopoly coming out at the time. Playing cards was a common family activity. Picnics were a popular community activity, as were games like Red Rover and Blind Man’s Bluff, which needed nothing more than enthusiasm and an open field. Try turning off the TV and unplugging the WiFi for a night of old-fashioned fun.


Help your neighbors. As bad as people had it in the thirties, they knew a lot of folks had it worse. Whether it meant bringing extra food to the family next door or helping out on the neighboring farm during harvest, charity in hard times was the norm. It was the right thing to do, and everyone knew they could be the next family in need. In these times of isolation, reaching out to our neighbors can bring hope and healing for both the helper and the helped.



 



Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she's explored ruins, castles, and cathedrals on four continents and has met fascinating characters who sometimes find their way into her fiction. Stephanie is just as happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four adult children, two cats, and a dog. When she's not reading, researching, or writing, she's avoiding housework and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Spotlight: Falling for the Fifties: A Time Travel Historical Romance (The Back Inn Time Series Book 2) by

I'm excited to share with you this spotlight for the second book in the Back Inn Time series. I really enjoyed the first book and what I've read of this one so far. :) 

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Falling for the Fifties: A Time Travel Historical Romance (The Back Inn Time Series Book 2) 

What would you do if you finally found Mr. Right…in the wrong time?

Maddie Palmer is done with dating. Internet matchmaking landed her one dud after another. Tired, frustrated, and finished with love, Maddie stays the night at a quirky Victorian bed and breakfast on the eve of her grandparents’ sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. When she suddenly wakes up in 1956, she gets the unexpected chance to witness her grandparents’ fairy tale love unfold and finally learn the secret to finding “the one.” But what is she going to do when she meets her own Mr. Right—only to discover he’s Mr. Wrong Time?

Nathanial Hall is set on one mission. Pass his training exam and join the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base. When he mysteriously finds himself on base sixty-five years too early, there can only be one explanation. He has to save the crew destined to die in Hurricane Flossy. But when a beautiful singer snags his heart and derails his carefully planned life, he has to decide if staying in the past is worth risking his entire future.

♥ The Back Inn Time series short novels are fun, faith-filled stories of what it might be like to suddenly experience life in a different time. These clean historical romances are packed with humor and adventure. Perfect for fans of dual timeline or time slip stories and Christian historical romance, these books answer the question every historical fiction fan wonders—what would it be like if I went back to that time? If you enjoy the wholesomeness of Amish, Western, or frontier fiction and adore romantic comedies, then a visit to a seaside Victorian inn where you can “step back inn time and leave your troubles behind!” is for you.

Available in Audio, ebook, and paperback. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
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