Category Archives: Guest Post

Sherry Rummler: Taking a Stand Against Domestic Abuse & Burning Suspicion #BookGiveaway #LadiesinDefiance

Welcome to the You Put The Grand in Grandparent Giveaway Hop!

This event is brought to you by MamatheFox and On Honeysuckle Hill.

At each stop you will find awesome prizes perfect for any grandparent or care taker. Sunday, September 11th is National Grandparents Day! Be sure to call, hug and reach out to the grandparents in your lives.


Please check out the other giveaways going on at my site ———————————->


Thank you Sherry for stopping over today and sharing about Domestic Abuse!

“The topic of domestic abuse is a current trend in our recent headlines. The question that seems to perplex most people is: “Why do people stay in abusive relationships? Why don’t they just leave?” The answer is not so simple. I know. I was a victim.

Burning Suspicion is a psychological suspense novel based on two characters that become involved with a narcissist. Make no mistake; no two stories are the same. This is not a memoir. However, the traits of the abuser and mind control are similar and are shown throughout this gripping narrative. Relationships are complex. Falling in love can be described as the highlight of our lives yet sometimes love is not so simple. It’s downright dangerous. Why? Because physical bruises heal but the after effects of emotional and spiritual abuse are devastating and linger long after the relationship is over. Don’t be surprised to find out that domestic abuse doesn’t only happen to women; many men suffer internally and are ashamed to come forward as well. It is a passion of mine to entertain but also enlighten through this work of fiction. An acquaintance read Burning Suspicion and told how she broke off her relationship and thanked me for saving her from making a very bad long-term mistake. This has only propelled me further to publish this work. I’m currently working on the second novel in the series: Burning Quest to follow…

Please note: Leaving an abusive relationship exasperates abuse; a proper exit strategy needs to be in place. If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation please seek help.”


 

Sherry Rummler is the internationally acclaimed author of Entrusted. For more information about this author visit: http://www.sherryrummler.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sherryrummlerauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6849634.Sherry_Rummler

burning suspicion by sherry rummler

A fatal fire leaves a question burning in the mind of Meredith Walsh: Did Ian Johnston murder his parents? When Meredith confronts her fiancée, Ian, about his parents’ death, he challenges Meredith’s accusations and claims to authorities that she is mentally unstable. Ian’s words and actions continue to wreak havoc on Meredith’s mind after he skips town, leaving her to question her sanity and fear for her life. Andy Hall, a rookie detective at NYPD, is ready and eager to take the case. Convinced the fire is a homicide, Detective Hall wonders why his boss is so willing to push the case to the back burner. As each detail of truth surfaces from the ashes, he soon realizes the situation is far more sinister than originally thought. Will Andy and Meredith warn the latest victim, Eva Garrett, in time? Or will Eva fall prey to Ian’s cunning spirit…and become his latest casualty?

The Giveaway

The winner will receive a paperback copy of Burning Suspicion courtesy of the author. This giveaway is open to US addresses only. Enter through the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run through September 15, 2016 and the winner will be announced on September 16.

You Put The Grand In Grandparent

If you’d like to find other blogs offering awesome giveaways, click on the blue frog and start “hopping!”

MamatheFox, On Honeysuckle Hill and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

KyLee Woodley: In Defiance of Miscontrived Heroines #LadiesinDefiance

kylee woodleyAs a reader of romance, and a woman in love, I am in defiance of miscontrived heroines who are either domineering super humans or weeping damsels in distress. The portmanteau word “miscontrived” is a combination of the prefix mis- (meaning: “badly”, “opposite”, or “not”) and the adjective contrived (meaning: obviously planned or calculated; not spontaneous or natural; labored).

Allow me to elaborate on these two heroine types. In the beginning of the story the would-be domineering heroine is simply the girl next door. But halfway way through the book she morphs into an iron pumping superhuman and the only individual capable of intelligent thought. She no longer works with supporting characters to develop the plot; she owns the plot. So, what does this blast of notorious femininity bring to a romance? A light so spectacular her counterpart is set in shadow. With unmatched intelligence and strength, what does the heroine need a hero for? Thus, the Girl Next Door, having conditioned Ronda Rousey capabilities overnight, has little to offer her Average Joe in way of a well-rounded relationship.

Angled on the opposite side of the miscontrived-heroine line, we have Miss Prima Donna. Women want to be her. Men want to be with her. She is beautiful, gentile, poised, and confident. Like the Girl Next Door, Miss Prima Donna undergoes some change in the story only she develops unreasonable insecurities. Tears well in her eyes over the slightest emotional instance, and any courage she may have possessed to begin with is gone. G. O. N. E. Gone! Unable to cope with everyday life, she despairs and is cast into some “unforeseeable” dilemma where her hero counterpart (who could be Napoleon Dynamite and still shine like a greased bodybuilder compared to the heroine) swoops in to the rescue. And, they live happily ever after. Oh, except for the counseling our heroine needs due to her issues of codependency, alternate personalities, and depression. Extreme? Yes. Humorous? I think so. Miscontrived—having been intentionally formulated yet turned in opposition to her established characteristics? Yes.

So what is the medium between the iron pumping super-heroine and the weeping damsel? A fully developed feminine character, as imperfect and flawed as you and me. These relatable characters possess a variety of personalities. They are blessed with different body-types and diverse nationalities. As for romance, the differences between women and men are complicated and wonderful. The entire romance genre celebrates them. Having a well contrived heroine opens the door for her equally well contrived hero. Whether the heroine is a drill sergeant, scuba diver, the Queen of England, a poor peasant girl, or the ultimate cowgirl, may she be real and feminine, holding true to her story and also every woman outside of fiction. So read and write well contrived heroines, because fiction is real life with the boring parts cut out and the fantastic moments amplified. Thus, we need aspects of reality amid that which is amplified concerning our characters.

About KyLee

KyLee is a Christian, mother, wife, aspiring author, and lover of books. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest–Oregon to be exact. When she became a mother in 2006 she chose to put away her dream of becoming an author, but that dream just wouldn’t die. In 2013 she began writing historical romance, just for fun, and then joined American Christian Fiction Writers in 2016. When not working on manuscripts, her blog, or critiquing for friends, KyLee works as a customer representative for a call center handling cellular phone claims.

You can find KyLee at her site: https://kyleeawoodley.wordpress.com/ and

on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/kyleeawoodley/

Kari Trumbo: Writer’s Block or Defiant Main Characters? #LadiesinDefiance

A Heroine in Defiance

To Love and Comfort (Western Vows Book 4) by [Trumbo, Kari]I’m one of those lucky authors that writes by the seat of my pants and rarely has to deal with writer’s block. However, the lead in my latest release To Love and Comfort was the one and only time I can honestly say it happened. She was tough and kept turning on the silent treatment.

I would be writing along and enjoying the story, feeling the flow, and all of a sudden she would shut me out. I wrote the story four times. On the first try, I got to about 40k words and then she clammed up. I had read about writer’s block so I figured she would start again eventually and worked on another project, trouble is, she never started again on that manuscript. She would rather have her story untold than the way I’d written it. I had already promised her story to readers so I read what I had and fixed some areas but it was enough. Did I mention she’s stubborn?

On the second try, I left the first chapter as it had originally been. I really felt that first chapter was right and I guess she agreed with me because we got along nicely for about the first 30k words. Then, she left me high and dry. I read through what I’d wrote and seriously wanted to scream. Margot, what gives?

I thought there was a problem with the interaction of two characters, so I changed how the story went to avoid putting those two together and again, things went great for the first 40k words. I thought things were going well and was about to bring her father back into the story and BOOM, radio silence. If I were a cussing woman, now would have been the time to start. At this point, I’d invested more time on this story than any one I’d written to date…and it wasn’t finished.

Finally, I gave the story to the Lord as I realized I was also writing in defiance of Him. I hadn’t asked for His guidance in the story. I asked him to please tell me what was wrong, what lesson did I need to learn so that I could write this the way He would like it written. He gave me insight into why my character was being so defiant. She had something painful to go through and I couldn’t blame her for bucking me. I wouldn’t want to live through what I was going to have to put her through to tell her story.

Displaying FullSizeRender (4).jpgShe is one of my strongest, most favorite characters to date. She isn’t strong in the sense that she could tussle with you, but she is strong in character and inner strength. She showed me that while defiance can be incredibly frustrating, it can lead you see strength in others you never dreamed was there.

Connect with Kari:

www.KariTrumbo.com (blog)

www.facebook.com/KariTrumboAuthor

Find Kari on Amazon!

Amber Lynn Perry: Women in Defiance of Tyranny #LadiesinDefiance

Thank you so much for having me! I love your theme of “defiance”, and am thrilled to be able to talk about “women in defiance of tyranny”. My series, Daughters of His Kingdom, features women in 18th century who are fearless in the face of difficult challenges and defy the simpler road, to follow the more difficult path of truth.

During the American Revolution when many of the men joined the army, the women were equally courageous at home. Many women, though saddened at the thought of their husbands and sons leaving for war, ushered them out to “win the cause” of freedom they so passionately believed in. The wives and daughters who stayed home cared for the farms and businesses their fathers and sons had left behind. This left the women at great risk, as the British soldiers would often come and take whatever they wanted—from the farms, and also from the women.  But these women were fearless. One account recalls a mother, upon seeing the British approaching, set fire to her entire crop, so the British could not benefit from stealing it. Another account tells of a group of women who formed their own local militia, to protect their town while the men were away.  I am always inspired by the countless stories of heroism and courage these stalwart women displayed. They defied the idea that women could not understand or involve themselves in “politics” or “matters of state”. They understood perfectly well what was at stake. They showed they would not be frightened into submission, but would fight equally hard for the independence they so desperately wanted. They worked for the cause at home, yes, but they also worked as spies, and smugglers; they fired muskets and cannons in battle; they made their voices heard as they wrote to the congress to state their opposition to King George. These women were incredible.

It’s difficult for many of us in the 21st century to comprehend what was at stake for the patriots who fought for liberty. At the time, defying the king and striving for independence was considered treason and anyone caught going against the wishes of the crown could be hanged for their actions. This was a very real and very frightening prospect, but it didn’t cool their passion—in fact, it fueled it. Together, these women made a powerful and indelible impact on the future of America. I pray I will be as courageous and steadfast in my own beliefs, and honor their legacy as I strive to follow the path of truth God has given me.

Amber Lynn Perry
Penning the past to inspire tomorrow
 
 

A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears Q&A #BookGiveaway #LadiesinDefiance

Please welcome Melissa Jagears to Ladies in Defiance! Her latest book, A Heart Most Certain, has just released and it looks to be another winner!!!


Please check out the other giveaways going on at my site ———————————->


How was one of your book heroines, “A Lady in Defiance” of the times or circumstances in which she lived?

In A Heart Most Certain, my heroine becomes a lady of defiance in the book–that’s her main growth arc through the novel. She starts out believing what most do about the poor and unlovely in town and doesn’t want to disturb the waters within her moral society group. But my hero–as a requirement for obtaining the donation she wants–brings her face to face with how the church treats the sinners in town and calls for compassion….though he does it in a rather Mr. Darcy-ish way, and they butt heads. But working together makes them realize they have to defy the social mores of the day and be bold about it.

Your husband sounds like quite the adventurous guy with his love of blacksmithing, knife-smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Have you ever needed him to give you insight on “mountain man” workings for your books?

He comes in handy for so many things! Along with the list you have, he also has a martial arts and military background and he was a bouncer once . . . he’s like a literal Jack of all trades. So in A Bride for Keeps I said “I need a guy who is drunk with a knife, in this sort of space, and I want another character to do this and that, but I don’t want this to happen, etc. etc.” He came back the next day with a choreographed fight scene for me. He led me through the paces as victim and aggressor (hopefully no one was looking in through our windows) and then after I wrote it, he “signed off” on the fact that I had described it right. I also always ask him my gun questions. I have a blacksmithing novel in my “want to write” box, and you better believe I’ll be getting his help!

Being that you are a former English teacher, I’m sure that you’re a stickler for the wording and grammar in your writing. Have you ever been stuck on trying to find just the perfect word or phrasing to put into your story? Any examples to share?

I LOVE grammar. I am probably the only college student in the world whose grammar professor told me I needed a life after listening to me excitedly explain how I’d thought all weekend about a more precise way to diagram a sentence that had stumped everyone including the professor. But you’ll find out I’m not a grammatical purist in informal settings (which fiction is). I speak ungrammatically a lot. If someone is communicating well enough in an informal situation, I don’t want to pull my hair out over occasional incorrect grammatical usages. When my students would catch me saying something wrong, I’d always say, “I know it’s wrong, but I know the rule behind it, can fix my mistake, and diagram the sentence, can you?” 🙂 Sometimes I want to write things ungrammatically for reasons of cadence and intonation. Sometimes writing grammatically makes fiction sound stilted.

There is often a war between my writer side that wants things to roll off the tongue nicely and my grammar side that wants everything perfect. I even tend to edit emails 4-5 times before I send them, though I’ll leave some things ungrammatical, because if it was perfect it wouldn’t look like I was simply having a conversation anymore. But I do tend to write as grammatically perfect as possible, though I am not adverse to breaking the rules for good reason. Deciding if I can live with myself for breaking the rules and putting it in print is a struggle!

I see that up to now, your published writing has been historical fiction. Have you thought to dabble in a non-fiction book of some kind?

I have all kinds of stories in my head. The first book I wrote was a young adult romance, but early on, I realized that I had to build an audience with one genre first. I chose historical fiction because that’s my favorite genre to read, and I have tons of historical story ideas. But I have a few books of different genres in my head that I may write one day.

The only books I’ve ever wanted to write non-fiction-wise were textbooks for high school English language learners because I didn’t like any of the textbooks on the market when I was teaching. But since I haven’t taught ESL for over a decade, that’s not something I’ll be pursuing anymore!

Do you have a favorite quote from A Heart Most Certain, your latest book, you can leave us with?

I am never good at picking quotes from my books. All the lines I like that don’t require context are quips. So can I leave you with a line from my RT Review that made me all warm and fuzzy? “The romance is a real treat here, and the story has an almost fairy-tale like quality to it, plus an utterly romantic ending.” Sigh, that line right there would put any book on top of my To Be Read pile, and so it makes me happy that it’s mine!

a heart most certain by melissa jagears

A Fresh Voice in Historical Romance!

While Lydia King’s reasons for joining the Teaville Moral Society might be suspect to some members, her heart is in the right place. Because of her father’s debts and her mother’s persistent illness, her best chance at a secure future and curing her mother is to impress the politician courting her. Her first task–to ask the town’s wealthiest man to donate–seems simple enough . . . until he refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas Lowe wants to help others, but prefers to keep his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, but Nicholas still intends to do things his own way. Neither predicts what they’ll learn about true charity or foresee the complications their actions will bring to the town, forcing Lydia to decide where her beliefs and heart truly align.

The Giveaway

Thank you so much Melissa, and as a bonus, she has offered to giveaway a copy of A Most Certain Heart to one lucky winner. Due to shipping costs, the winner must have a US address. Enter through the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run through August 16, 2016 and the winner will be announced on August 17.

Penny Richards: Living in Defiance of the Easy, “Normal Path” #LadiesinDefiance

WOMEN IN DEFIANCE

an untimely frost by penny richards

 

Lilly Long, the heroine of my new Lilly Long Mystery series for Kensington Publishing, is a woman ahead of her time. In an era where women were looked upon as a means of getting an heir, someone to fetch and do for their men folk, who were expected to keep any opinions they might have to themselves and had few freedoms or rights, Lilly blatantly defies the mores and conventions of the 1880’s.

As we all realize, defiance comes in many forms. Why does a young girl defy her parents and run away with the man she loves? Why choose an occupation known to bring only heartache and shame? Why flaunt society by doing something as forward-thinking as going into trade when the norm demanded women to stay at home and raise children? Why go on stage? Why go to a battlefield to tend the wounds of soldiers or become a prostitute, or hundreds of other choices made daily? What makes a woman choose a different, sometimes unacceptable path for their lives? Are they born with a bold and courageous spirit, are they too timid to speak up for themselves, or does circumstance leave them little choice?

Born the illegitimate daughter to a traveling actress, my character “heard” her mother being murdered by a lover who had played her the fool by promising to leave his wealthy wife. Though she doesn’t realize it, the incident scars Lilly in more ways than she is aware of.

When Sir Pierce Wainwright, the theater troupe’s manager, takes her under his wing, she has little choice but to follow her mother’s footsteps onto the stage, not the best vocation for any woman who wanted to be considered decent. Like the stars of today, some few actresses like Lillian Russell, Mary Anderson and Sarah Bernhardt were looked upon in favor by their fans, but in general women performers carried the stigma of being little more than prostitutes. In actuality, women who “trod the boards” had a more equal footing with men who shared their profession than women who chose a more conventional path, receiving equal treatment and pay for their work.

Fearful of becoming like her mother, Lilly “saves” herself for marriage to Timothy Warner who repays her love and innocence by roughing up her dearest friend and stealing Lilly’s life savings. Does Lilly sigh and moan and take to bed with a megrim? Hardly. Despite the many dangers of a dark Chicago night and suffering from a slight head injury, she dons her cloak and the persona of her latest stage character, the hard-headed Pricilla Dunlap, and heads for Timothy’s favorite hangout, McGregor’s Tavern, determined to get her money.

For a decent woman to even enter such an establishment was unthinkable, and those who did were supposed to use a back door. Not Lilly. She marches through the front door, dismissing the bouncer with a stern look and confronts the owner concerning the whereabouts of her missing husband. When she learns that Tim is not only a thief and scoundrel who owes money to everyone and that he has defiled their marriage bed, she does the unimaginable: she files for a divorce, something few “decent” women would have the courage to do.

Then, while recovering from her injury, spurred on by her anger and her hurt, Lilly sees an interesting newspaper advertisement and chooses another audacious course. Considering how her mother’s and her own pasts have influenced her life and understanding that many naïve, inexperienced women are taken advantage of by unscrupulous men, she decides to leave all that is familiar and embark on a new and very different life path. In a move both rash and bold, she sets up an interview with the prestigious Pinkerton National Detective Agency and finagles her way into a job, one where she can use her acting skills to help other wronged women find justice.

Lilly’s new role will require her to make many choices that are not in keeping with an acceptable way of life for women of her time period, yet it is women like Lilly, women with a mission, women with intelligence and grit and determination who paved the way for changes that benefit women…actually everyone, today. Think of the many women who have chosen unusual, hard, paths to make the world a better place. Often they reap sorrow, humiliation and even loathing. Is it really defiance that drives them, an unusual amount of courage, moral outrage, or maybe just the experiences of life? I’m a firm believer it’s all of the above. Things happen; we react. How, depends on our personalities and our upbringing. Defiance is the choice of many, and thank goodness it is.

penny richardsYou can connect with Penny here:

Her site: http://www.pennyrichardswrites.com/

E-mail: pennyrichardswrites@yahoo.com

https://www.facebook.com/Penny-Richards-Author-310567989068947/?fref=ts

On Twitter: @pennyRwrites

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ay7ndz

Tracie Peterson: Standing in Defiance of Poor Research & A Beauty Refined #BookGiveaway #LadiesInDefiance

tracie petersonAnyone who knows me knows I am a stickler for doing your research when you write a book. Having been on both sides of the writing fence – as an author and a managing editor of Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line – I think I’ve seen and heard just about all when it comes to this topic.

Research for me is an important part of my job. History and the historical setting almost become characters all their own and it’s my job as an author to give the reader an accurate portrayal, without boring them to tears. It’s a fine line to walk.

When I first began reading, I was easily drawn into the settings and time periods. I remember as a child going in search of the historical facts as I read a particular book. One of my favorite books was Pride and Prejudice and so I wanted to know more about England and the 1800’s. It happens that way even now when I read historical fiction. I think that’s due in part to the author’s ability to relate the history in an intriguing way. But, to do so requires work on the author’s part. In the case of Jane Austen—she was writing contemporaries. She wrote about what she knew, which is the writer’s first encouragement in basic writing classes. Research accuracy is just as important in contemporary stories as it is for historical. Nothing is worse than to be reading along about a place you know and have the author describe it inaccurately. For instance, I grew up in Kansas where there are no mountains, but I’ve read poor fiction that put them there.

When I was managing editor I received a lot of manuscripts from would-be authors and attended numerous one-on-one appointments with the same. In many cases the historical details were either few and far between so that the story was simply a contemporary in period clothing or the details weren’t there at all. Worst of all were the stories where there were a ton of historical details, but most of them were wrong. In dealing with one author whose historical facts were mostly historical inaccuracies, I ask her why she hadn’t done her research. I pointed out detail after detail, explaining to her that publishers check facts and want accuracy. She was completely indignant and replied, “Why? It’s just fiction.”

As a storyteller who loves to write historical fiction I am in defiance of poor research. I want my research to be as detailed and accurate as possible. People who read my books know this and expect it. It’s a trust between my readers and me. They know when they pick up my work, I will have done my job. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes—because I have and do. And when I do, my readers love to point it out. Keeping that in mind makes me work all the harder. Sometimes, however, I do get called on the carpet for what the reader believes to be inaccurate when in fact it might be a detail that was subjective to the individual or the location. I had one reader berate me for details I had in a character’s breast-feeding, yet the issues were documented and I’d even talked to women who’d experienced the same. So you have to keep in mind that sometimes facts can vary. Another issue that’s hard to deal with at times is the reader who writes to tell me that what I wrote can’t possibly be right because their grandmother told them stories about the same event and my details were different. I always try to explain that if you have ten eye witnesses to the same event – you’ll most likely get ten various opinions. When researching I usually go for the details that seem most often agreed. As a historian, my husband taught me early on to use the “rule of 3”. Get at least three various sources regarding the detail I’m researching. If they all agree, it’s probably accurate.

Keeping that in mind, when I sit down to plot out a story, I make notes about the location, time period and events that might have taken place in the locale. I start reading as many non-fiction books as I can and watch documentaries. Right now I’m working on a series set in Oregon Territory in the 1840-1850’s. I have about twenty books on my desk that deal with the time period, location and events. I have an additional ten on my Kindle or computer that are public domain. Many of these are diaries from people who lived in my time period and location. I listen to lectures from experts on my topics and dig into government records. The series I just finished writing deals with the discovery of Yogo sapphires in Montana. I had to research sapphires and how they were found, how they are treated and faceted, and what goes into actually creating jewelry. I found a wonderful team of folks who still mine Yogos and create jewelry to advise me. In fact, I even bought my own Yogo sapphire ring. Hey – it’s research, right?

With each book I have historians I talk to. I go to the places that I write about (if at all possible) and I even go to the trouble of learning various arts and crafts that might pertain to my story. For instance, right now I’m learning to use a spinning wheel. In the past I’ve learned to tat, make soap and candles, panned for gold and even drive a stage coach. The travel and learning are fun for me and make my stories come alive. Best of all, I hear from the readers who have found themselves intrigued enough that they want to visit the places I’ve written about. Homeschool moms have told me they’ve used my books to interest their daughters in history. Seniors RVing through their retirement have told me about reading my books on the road to each other and suddenly remembering stories about the location or events that were handed down to them from great-grandparents.

Another aspect of this trust regarding accurate research is that my writing is a ministry for me. I often speak at events and when I do I explain that I’m unapologetic for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you find that offensive, you’ll find my books to be the same and we might as well get that matter settled right up front. I want to share the Gospel message and Bible application for everyday living, without beating people over the head with the Bible. In doing my historical research accurately, hopefully it will also encourage the reader to believe I’ve done my Biblical research as well. That’s important to me and definitely stimulates my defiance of poor research. I want to share my faith, because it’s the foundation of all that I hold dear. It’s my life and of course is going to come out in my writing.

So when you pick up a Tracie Peterson novel, remember that a lot of research went into the story, location and time period. Know that you can trust me to have done my homework to bring the history alive in as accurate a way as possible. And, if you find that I’ve made a mistake—you may feel free to write me about it. I promise I won’t be at all defiant. Now, I must be off. I’m plotting a story with three young women who will work at a chocolate factory so I have to go research chocolate.


a beauty refined by tracie peterson

Phoebe Von Bergen is excited to accompany her father when he travels from Germany to purchase sapphires in Montana. Little does she know that her father’s plans–for the gemstones and his daughter–are not what they seem.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie–a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything. Phoebe is determined to stay in America, regardless of her father’s plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger as the deception begins to unravel.

The Giveaway

Tracie has also offered a book giveaway to celebrate the release of her latest book, A Beauty Refined. The winner will receive a paperback copy and is open internationally. Enter through the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run until July 19, 2016 and the winner will be announced on July 20.

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Visit Tracie’s web site at: http://www.traciepeterson.com.


The Courageous Brides Collection by Johnnie Alexander Guest Post & Book #Giveaway #LadiesinDefiance

Nine determined women of yesteryear are pulled into dangerous situations involving wartime battles, cattle drives, race relations, criminals, the Pony Express, the Underground Railroad, and accidents. Compassion and bravery compel these women to take action beyond expectations, which attracts the attention of eligible bachelors.


Please check out the other giveaways going on at my site ———————————->


The Healing Promise

Moon Hawk’s eighteen-month-old daughter, White Buffalo Girl, died shortly after the Ponca tribe was forced from their home on the Niobrara River (Nebraska) by the U.S. Army.

The Ponca were a peaceful tribe but a mistake in treaty negotiations had given their land to the more hostile Sioux. To “protect” the Ponca, the government decided they should be relocated to Oklahoma Territory.

As the storm raged around them, the Poncas headed south. Because of White Buffalo Girl’s illness, they camped outside the small community of Neligh. The next day, the townspeople attended the toddler’s funeral.

We know nothing about the grieving mother except she didn’t attend her daughter’s burial. Her husband did, and he asked the townspeople to care for his child’s grave as they would one of their own.

The Neligh community still keep the promise made by their forefathers almost 140 years ago.

When I heard that Barbour wanted novellas for The Courageous Brides Collection, I imagined a story based on this poignant event. Marcy Whitt, the fictional heroine of The Healing Promise, bravely faces her fiancé’s disapproval and a torrential downpour in her attempt to console Moon Hawk.

It’s a story of love amidst grief that I hope honors the memory of the Ponca Trail of Tears and especially White Buffalo Girl and her parents.

The Healing Promise by Johnnie Alexander

During a forced march to Oklahoma, the Ponca Indians camp outside Neligh, Nebraska. When Marcy Whitt is unable to save the life of a Ponca child, she risks her reputation and her engagement to help the grieving family. When her compassion and courage attract the attention of a man who is more worthy than her fiancé, will she give him her heart?

Johnnie AlexanderBio

Johnnie Alexander writes stories of heritage and hope while raccoons and foxes occasionally pass by her window. Her debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, was a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. Where She Belongs, her first contemporary romance in the Misty Willow Series, was Library Journal’s Pick of the Month (February 2016). Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, and stacks of books. She lives near Memphis with Rugby, the princely papillon who trees those pesky raccoons whenever he gets the chance.

Purchase Link for The Courageous Brides Collection

http://johnnie-alexander.com/book-table/

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Courageous Brides collection Johnnie Alexander

Ride into adventures alongside nine determined women of yesteryear whose acts of compassion and bravery attract male attention. Marcy helps displaced Indians. Emmy tends wounds at Fort Snelling. Ronnie stows away on a cattle drive. Daisy disguises herself as a Pony Express rider. Elinor becomes an abolitionist. Mae tames wild horses. Hannah gets help for accident victims. Lucy’s curiosity unnerves criminals. Kate nurses soldiers on the battlefield. Will real dangers douse the sparks of love?

The Giveaway

Thank you so much Johnnie, and as a bonus, she has offered to giveaway a copy of The Courageous Brides Collection to one lucky winner. A US winner will have a choice of paperback or e-copy and an international winner will receive an e-copy. Enter through the Rafflecopter below:

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The giveaway will run through July 15, 2016 and the winner will be announced on July 16.

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If you’d like to find other blogs offering awesome book giveaways, below is the list, so start “hopping!”

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The Courtship Basket by Amy Clipston Q&A and #BookGiveaway #LadiesInDefiance

Are you a fan of Amish fiction? Did you know that Amy donated a kidney that helped save her husband’s life?

A big hello and warm welcome to Amy Clipston! Learn more about her own personal story and her fictional ones too. 😉


Please check out the other giveaways going on at my site ———————————->


You have been writing Amish fiction best-sellers for a while now! Have you picked up any super-secret and wonderful kitchen tips or recipes you can share?

After reading my book The Forgotten Recipe, several folks have asked for my recipe for raspberry pie. I’m happy to share my dear Amish friend’s recipe.  Enjoy!

Black Raspberry Pie

2 unbaked pie shells

Bring 2 quarts of water to boil

Meanwhile, moisten 1 cup *Therm Flo with ¾ cup water

Whisk together, then whisk into boiling water

Add ¾ cup sugar

Remove from heat and add one quart fresh raspberries

Pour into pie shells (don’t overfill, you may have extra)

Top with pie crust; cut holes in dough to allow steam to escape

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour

*Therm Flo is a modified food starch derived from waxy maize. It is used in canning and freezing home-prepared foods as a clear thickener.

In The Gift of Love, you share your personal story of making the sacrifice of donating one of your kidneys to help save your husband’s life. Did this experience give you a small view of what Jesus did to save mankind?

Wow!  I had never thought of my kidney donation in terms of what Jesus did for us. I had the opportunity to give a kidney to my husband’s donor’s wife, meaning that I gave to a woman, and on the same day, her husband donated to my husband.We swapped kidneys with another couple. I’m honored and thankful I had a chance to donate a kidney and help the family that touched my family so deeply.  When I donated my kidney, I helped two little boys get their mother’s health back, and, in turn, their father gave my sons my husband’s health. We blessed each other, and I’m grateful God gave me the opportunity to be a part of the kidney donation.

How does someone even get started with becoming a blood or organ donator? Are there other ways people can get involved to help?

If you are healthy and interested in donating blood, then you can contact your local blood bank. Be sure to ask about restrictions as far as medications you may take.

As far as becoming an organ donor, the first step you can take is choosing to be an organ donor when you renew your driver’s license.  If you want to be tested as a possible kidney donor for a friend or loved one, you should contact the recipient’s kidney transplant doctors and find out how to get tested. A simple blood test will find if you are a match.

Is there a favorite quote from The Courtship Basket you can leave us with?

The following Scripture verse has a special significance in the book: 2 Corinthians 1:7: And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

The verse really spoke to me, and I hope that it touches the hearts of my readers when they read the book.

the courtship basket by amy clipston

Years ago, a picnic basket brought two hearts together. For Rachel and Mike, history may be about to repeat itself.

Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Rachel is determined to keep her mind off the pain, and she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities.

Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns that his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal.

With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship.

The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?

The Giveaway

Thank you so much Amy, and as a bonus, she has offered to giveaway a copy of The Courtship Basket to one lucky winner. Due to shipping costs, the winner must have a US address. Enter through the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run through July 12, 2016 and the winner will be announced on July 13.


Kristin Holt: Standing in Defiance of Bigotry #LadiesinDefiance

kristin holtI had the privilege of growing up all over the United States. My father had served eight years in the Air Force—our moves weren’t about the military, but about his not-yet-tenured professorships at various universities. When we lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan someone (mayor? legislature?) decided racially segregated schools must begin integration.

My parents were the only ones to allow their first grade child to be educated alongside children of a different race.

We don’t like what we don’t understand. In fact, it scares us.

Hmmm…reminds me of a Disney number:

[Mob:] We don’t like

What we don’t understand

In fact it scares us

And this monster is mysterious at least

Bring your guns

Bring your knives

Save your children and your wives

We’ll save our village and our lives

We’ll kill the Beast!

~ Lyrics from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: The Mob Song

Bigotry: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself. [Google]

I vividly recall my first grade year and the wonderful teacher (a beautiful young black woman who had every reason to dislike me and all I represented) who taught me to read quickly and smoothly—because I asked how she did so. She loved me and taught me with as much warmth and affection as she did the children of her own race. I loved her back. Those 25 other children (in my class) were my friends. With utter racial-blindness those kids included me and I learned far more than a first-grade curriculum—I learned race is irrelevant, long before I knew racial prejudice existed.

I am grateful to my parents for suppressing concerns and fears and standing in defiance of the norm (segregated schools).

I thank God social freedoms are significantly improved and vastly more equal since the darkest days of bigotry and oppression in my beloved nation.

The United States is a melting pot of cultures, races, and peoples. Some emigrated for religious freedom. Some emigrants fled intolerable living conditions (famine, pogroms, oppression, etc.). Some sought employment. Some were forced, shackled in iron.

The result: a confluence of languages, creeds, religions, races, and attitudes…and a stark spectrum of wealth. Intolerance drew visible boundaries between Chinatown and whites in every railroad town. The wealthy separated themselves from all others: exclusive property locations, exclusive clubs and exclusive circles.

Toss all these variables in the mix with an often lawless boomtown or mining camp or a city suffering severe growing pains (e.g. San Francisco in the 1850’s). Bigotry sometimes flashed past heated words and escalated to mob violence.

Lynch: to kill (someone), especially by hanging, for an alleged offense with or without a legal trial. [Google]

Many surviving scraps of history paint a picture of alarming non-politically correct reactions to range wars, claim-jumpers, horse thieves, and marauders.

Treatment of Native Americans, African-Americans, and Chinese illustrate abhorrent bigotry by 2016’s standards.

Is it possible to stand in defiance of bigotry, so prevalent in history? Is it possible to make a conscious choice to do better?—to effect an improved tolerance of those whose norm differs from our own?

I submit it is possible—and preferable—to embrace the lessons of the past and allow those realizations to work a change of heart within us.

Abolish fear of differences. Refuse the mob mentality reflected so beautifully in Disney’s The Mob Song as led by pride-filled Gaston.

2 Timothy 1:7, King James Version:

7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Let us defy bigotry, discrimination, racism, bias, sexism, and injustice. Let us increase understanding and tolerance. Let us acknowledge and celebrate differences in culture, race, creed, religion, ideas and opinions. Let us include rather than exclude. Let us find common ground with our neighbors, coworkers, and associates. As members of the human family, we have much in common. Let us talk less and listen more until we truly hear and understand.

John 14:27, King James Version:

27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

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