After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.
After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.
As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.
I love Jen Turano books. There’s always fun, laughter and elements of faith-a great combination!
To Steal a Heart focuses on Gabriella Goodhue and Nicholas Quinn, along with the ladies of The Bleeker Street boarding house, aka The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency.
Gabriella and Nicholas knew each other when they were orphaned children but lost touch over the years. Through a series of unique circumstances, they cross each other’s paths again, except this time danger lurks around every corner.
I loved the ladies of Bleeker Street. They are all such a hoot. The funniest in this story is definitely Daphne! Her “disguises” and antics are sidesplitting! All the ladies’ capers result in bumbling, inept escapades that somehow save the day, even when Pinkerton agents are not able to solve it!!
I always look forward to Jen Turano’s new books and cannot wait for her them. I am so excited To Steal a Heart is book one of a new series. Her stories usually focus on the Gilded Age and feature a strong female protagonist, which creates a great storyline.
Turano’s books are such a joy to read. She, without fail, has a great story from start to finish.
I received To Steal A Heart from Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
About the Author
Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.
More from Jen
“To Steal a Heart” is the first book in a new series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?
Oddly enough, this series was inspired by a lot of different things. I keep this idea box, and whenever I stumble on something interesting, I throw the idea into the box. When I was getting ready to assemble a proposal for a new series, I took out the box and began rifling through it. Unfortunately, nothing struck my fancy. What did strike my fancy though, was the movie “My Fair Lady.” I’d recently watched it for the millionth time, and I thought…hmmm…what could I do with that? Well, I didn’t want to do a recreation of “My Fair Lady” and that’s when it hit me – what if I used a gentleman instead of a lady and improved his circumstances in life with the help of a professor? That wasn’t really enough, though, for me to formulate an entire series, but then I went to New York City for a research trip. While there, I roamed around Bleecker Street for hours. It was the perfect place to set a series, and then I saw this older building that my tour guide thought might have once been a boardinghouse. That was what really started me thinking, and before I knew it, I’d created an inquiry agency run by women that came about when a resident of a boardinghouse was unjustly accused of theft. When the police would not investigate further, believing they had the true culprit behind bars, the ladies who lived in the boardinghouse felt compelled to step up and clear their fellow boardinghouse resident of the charges brought against her. The series took off from there, the first book centering around one of the lady inquiry agents, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who used to live on the mean streets of the Lower East Side and, at one point in her life, was best friends with Nicholas Quinn, the man who has now found his circumstances vastly improved from the time he knew Gabriella. Throwing the two of them back together made for an interesting storyline, especially since Gabriella believes Nicholas abandoned her all those years ago, which makes it next to impossible for her to trust him.
Are there other interesting characters in this series?
Of course. All of the lady inquiry agents come with their own secrets. Miss Daphne Beekman is a reclusive author who lives in the attic of the boardinghouse. She has the propensity to faint at the drop of a hat, which makes for a few amusing scenes in the first book. She’ll get her own story in “To Write a Wrong,” coming out later in 2021. Then there’s Eunice Holbrooke. She’s the owner of the boardinghouse, and she only wears full mourning garb, covering her face with numerous veils and refusing to speak to anyone about her past. Clearly, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved there, one that will be solved in book three, which I’m just now beginning to work on. The other residents of the boardinghouse provide a lot of color to the story, from the two sisters who work as paid companions by day to gossip collectors and carriage drivers by night, to the resident artist, Miss Judith, who has recently decided to dip her toe into the portrait market even though she’s really not proficient with painting people. There’s also a one-eyed, patch-wearing dog by the name of Winston, a parrot that likes to nick sparkly items named Pretty Girl, and a neurotic poodle that falls for Winston that goes by the name of Precious.
Did the pandemic affect the writing process at all for “To Steal a Heart?”
Luckily, I had already turned in the book before the pandemic hit. With that said, though, I then had to do some of the edits during the first few months of the pandemic. That was interesting. I have very specific conditions I need in order to write and edit and having Al (the husband person) working from home isn’t one of those conditions. It took me far longer than it normally does to complete the editing process, which threw off my schedule for the next book in the series, “To Write a Wrong.” Drastic measures were needed. That’s why I’m now the proud owner of a she-shed. Al thought I was joking when I first broached the subject of a she-shed, but after I had my millionth meltdown, he decided that might be a really good idea. Turns out sheds are in high demand at the moment, so getting a shed in a timely fashion wasn’t possible. It took 6 weeks for us to get a shed delivered and then we had to frame the inside and put up a ceiling and walls. I was not actually very involved with that process because I’m a danger to everyone surrounding me when nail guns are being used. 🙂 I did paint the outside of the shed, then painted the inside. Of course the air conditioning unit I had to order was delayed, so I painted in 100 degree heat. Lost about five pounds doing that, so…unexpected bonus there. I just recently finished decorating the inside, and I’m typing this interview from my new space. I’m thinking I’m going to call it “Jen’s Novel Nook” but that might change, so don’t quote me on that.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I hope everyone is surviving these crazy days. I know there are many people out there who are suffering from many different problems this pandemic has caused. Know that you’re not alone, and that brighter days will show up again. Until that time, try to remember to smile and, perhaps, read a few books.
To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of copy of To Steal a Heart, plus all three books in the American Heiresses series and a 30 second mystery kit (Link: https://amzn.to/3nqrIpC)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
By the Light of the Moon series: “Readers who love being trapped in a character’s mind should relish this finely written, gripping series. A must read for fans of historical fiction.”–The Prairies Book Review
A tale of precious things more rare than a blue moon…
The year is 1885 and unwed Vanessa Gulet must surrender her newborn son to her married twin sister, Valerie, to raise. A seed of bitterness grows in Vanessa. When the opportunity arises for her to have what she’s always wanted, Vanessa takes it despite the consequences to her family, getting more than she bargained for.
Meanwhile, Valerie, overcome with loss and grief, faces a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Will she and her husband, Felix, forge through their trials together, or will these upsets cause them to drift apart?
Will Vanessa and Valerie remain at odds, or will they allow the power of forgiveness to heal their strained relationship?
Love seems to bloom in the most unlikely of places in Webaashi Bay for an old friend of Jenay’s and a woman who owns the local dress shop. A parallel tale of love, forgiveness, and reuniting lost things is spun by a local author adding another dimension to the tale of the Gulet twins and their saga.
Fans of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, clean romance, and literary fiction will enjoy this dramatic read!
Blue Moon, by Jennifer L Knipfer, has a distinctive and dramatic plotline. The story features identical twins, Vanessa and Valerie, who are able, like many anecdotal tales, to intimately know and intuit each other’s feelings. Also, the historical and medical accuracy of the time and of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are impressive. I am sorry that Knipfer has first-hand experience with MS, thereby giving her great insight and comprehension of the disease.
I had a hard time, however, getting into the book. Knipfer jumps constantly between different time frames and POVs. This can be a great tool for revealing more about a character or characters. However, when a point of view is introduced, then changes when a character reminisces or time and locations change, then again in the span of a few paragraphs or pages, then the changes become redundant. I know for many readers this probably isn’t a vexation, but for me the story becomes ponderous. I admire the author’s ability to write a novel this way.
Blue Moon works as a standalone, as enough backstory is covered you don’t feel you have missing pieces.
I enjoyed the story overall for its uniqueness and historical accuracy.
Due to a minor amount of adult subject matter, I would not recommend this to those under 13.
I received Blue Moon from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
About the Author
Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.
Jenny’s education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions. She spent many years as a librarian in a local public library but recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability.
She authored and performed a self-published musical CD entitled, Scrapbook of a Closet Poet.
Jenny’s first three books earned five-star reviews from Reader’s Favorite, a book review and award contest company. Their praise: “Ruby Moon is entertaining, fast-paced, and features characters that are real. Blue Moon continues a well-written and highly engaging saga of family ties, betrayals, and heartaches… Silver Moon is a highly recommended read for fans of historical wartime fiction, powerful emotive drama, and excellent atmospheric writing.”
She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Historical Novel Society, Wisconsin Writers Association, Indie Christian Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.
Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set. She has self-published the first two books, Ruby Moon and Blue Moon in her four-part series. Two more novels to complete the series are planned for 2020. She is currently writing a new historical fiction series called, Sheltering Trees.
Libraries and retailers may find Jenny’s books on Ingram. Support your local bookstores, and request a copy of Jenny’s books there. Purchase paperbacks retail on Amazon. Ebooks are available through your favorite ebook retailer.
In Blue Moon I play off a minor character from Ruby Moon, Vanessa Gulet. When Ruby Moon ended, I started wondering what Vanessa’s life had been like, rejected by Renault, her old flame who had promised her his devotion.
Vanessa’s story grew along with Valerie’s, her identical twin sister. Asking the question of what could divide twin siblings drew me deep into the drama of the Gulet sisters, and a story of desire and loss sprang from my imagination.
An even richer depth occurred when I brought the main character from Ruby Moon, Jenay, into the thick of the twins’ saga. Vanessa must come to grips with what really happened to Renault and who was involved. Will she forgive the past and the unintentional wrongs committed and embrace the new friend she has made or not?
Also, I wrote from experience in Blue Moon, as Valerie must face the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and how to live with the fear of the unknown shadowing her life. It was therapeutic for me to write some of my own feeling and thoughts through Valerie. Journaling has always been a way for me to manage my emotions, and writing via story form was no different. Chances are you either know someone with MS or know of someone with MS. The disease is very prevalent in the U.S., and through Blue Moon I want to draw some awareness to what I and many people live with every day.
I hope in Blue Moon that the theme of forgiveness will encourage readers through their own struggles and believe that choosing to forgive is always the better choice, often bringing unforeseen blessings.
Thank you for taking the time to read a little about Blue Moon and its origin! I hope you get a chance to read it and the twins’ tale of forgiveness. If you do, please let me know, and please leave a review.
P.S. Did you know I include a recipe pertaining to the story in most of my books? In Blue Moon, I include an old family favorite: butter tarts. Lily, a daughter of the man Vanessa meets and is drawn to in Webaashi Bay, loves butter tarts. Vanessa and Lily make them together. Following is the recipe.
Lily’s Butter Tart
1 C sugar
¼ C softened butter or butter substitute
juice of half a lemon
½ C golden raisins
½ C sweetened shredded coconut
Your favorite pie crust recipe for one 9” crust
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and lemon juice. Beat well. By hand mix in the raisins and coconut. Line pastry tin with pie crust and fill with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set.
I based this recipe from an old one of my grandmother’s from the late 1800’s. NOTE: You can also cut rounds of pie crust to fill muffin tins to make smaller tarts. (Lily’s style) I make the one dish version because it’s less fuss.
Genre: Christian Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Holiday Fiction
Release Date: October 10, 2020
Like Christmas ornaments, good-looking men are all glitter and no substance. Right?
Julia Metcalf tries to be content with her life in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, despite secretly yearning for more. Raising her son as a single mom might be tough sometimes, but with friends, family, and a job she enjoys, Julia has a rich life. Risking her heart again—not a good idea. Especially with a guy like Marty.
The guy is too handsome and funny for his—or her—own good.
But when Julia’s ex-husband disappears and puts her and her son in danger, Marty steps in to help.
All That Glitters, by Jennifer Sienes, is a holiday novella featuring Julia Metcalf and her son, Max, along with Julia’s estranged husband and mother-in-law and Julia’s friend, Marty.
All That Glitters, although a contemporary romance, touches on some heavy subjects such as infidelity, absentee parents and unscrupulous business practices.
Stephen, Julia’s ex-husband, puts Julia and Max at grave risk-especially when he disappears without a trace!
I adored Max. He’s such an endearing, precocious child. His interactions with those around him, particularly Marty, are adorable. Wanting to visit Santa, to ensure he gets his Christmas wishes, presents a problem when the line is so long, he’ll miss the Christmas parade. However, he decides a letter might still work. I really liked Max’s pluckiness, ability to adapt and willingness to be helpful. I would love to see Max in a more prominent role.
There are a lot of deep lessons to be learned from All That Glitters, a major feat of accomplishment in a novella. I admired the author’s Biblical insights on forgiveness, along with true friendship, discipleship and love.
Mystery, intrigue and romance tie together to create an illuminating Christmas story. I can’t wait to read other stories in the series.
I received All That Glitters from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
About the Author
Jennifer Sienes holds a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in education, but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, romance and writing—and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. Her daughter’s TBI and brother’s suicide inspired two of her three novels. Although fiction writing is her real love, she’s had several non-fiction pieces published in anthologies including several in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has two grown children and one very spoiled Maltese. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.
More from Jennifer
As a fiction author, the characters I create become as close as friends by the time my novels are complete. Maybe it’s because I spend weeks delving into their personality traits, emotional wounds, and spiritual needs. My husband recently asked me if I ever get them confused with each other. A good question, since the list grows with every story I write, but the answer was a definitive no. There is no one, except my husband, I interact with more while I’m writing a novel than my characters.
Have you ever noticed some friends are with you for only a season or two? This could be unique to me, but those I’m closest to are those who are connected by mutual experiences. When my children were young, I was the community 4-H leader, so I was surrounded by other parents with small children. Later, when I completed my degree and started teaching, it was other teachers I hung out with. Now, it’s church family or fellow writers. As we move through our lives, some of those friends dissipate as if from a long-ago dream forgotten in the light of day. The same is true for my characters.
When my publisher asked me to write a Christmas novella, I jumped at the chance to revisit my old friends Julia and Marty from Surrendered, Book 1 in my Apple Hill Series. Although they didn’t take center stage in the novel, they played a significant role in the lives of main characters Tess and Jake. I purposely left their stories unfinished and let my readers draw their own conclusions. But it appears Julia and Marty weren’t satisfied with that ending. Another example of my characters taking on a life of their own.
All That Glitters was a pleasure to write, although visions of all things Christmas were a challenge in the heat of summer. It was like hanging out with old friends for a short time. I hope you enjoy your visit with Julia and Marty, whether it’s your first introduction to them or you previously met them in Surrendered.
Ever feel like quitting? It is a choice we make every day; go on or give in! Bentley hippo meets children facing daily struggles and challenges that are both visible and not so visible. His biggest and most important lesson is convincing Julia, a patient in a hospital room to Never Give Up. This heart-warming, inspirational story is perfect to teach children that a bad day is not a bad life. Dreams do come true. Things will get better. So, pick yourself up, shake yourself off and believe that if Bentley can do it You Can Do It.Bentleythehippo.com
The Adventures of Bentley Hippo: Inspiring Children to Never Give Up, by Argyro Graphy, is a good book to use to encourage children if they have a disability or are going through a tough time medically. The animals and children share about their own disabilities, including those that aren’t seen, in order to show not everyone, (indeed no one) is perfect!
The pictures are appealing, vibrant and cute. They do a good job of illustrating each animal or child’s disability or illness, while at the same time the characters explain the same. As they are reading, or being read to, children will be able to better understand compassion and friendship towards others. I feel one of the greatest lessons to learn is optimism and that every day is not a bad day. These are among the many valuable lessons to be learned from Bentley Hippo and his friends!
The book is recommended for ages 3-8. However, I feel it is better suited to ages six and above as the subject matter may be a little “heavy” and scary for younger children.
I received The Adventures of Bentley Hippo: Inspiring Children to Never Give Up from Book Sirens. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world. Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic singing voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along. Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what happens when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?
Daughter of St. Hampton Heath Village’s pastor, Lavinia Ellison, isn’t affected by riches or looks. She believes everyone should help the poor, live modestly and own up to their obligations.
Thwarted at every turn, Nicholas Stamford, Earl to St. Hampton Heath Village, just wants to turn his duties over to his bailiff and be done with it.
I especially enjoyed Lavinia’s wit and somewhat sharp tongue. Critical of those not living up to their legal and moral responsibilities, she often had an acerbic tone. However, she was equally as condemnatory of her own failings.
Interspersed throughout the story are rich portrayals of the villagers’ pitiable homes and the landscape of the area juxtaposed against the detailed narrative of the aristocrats’ estates and opulent lifestyle. The starkness of the contrasts leaves you feeling the despair and sadness against which Lavinia struggled.
An impressively written book rich in history, the novel abounds with faith, aspirations, romance and just the right amount of intrigue and family mystery. It is so beautifully written; I had a hard time comprehending this was Carolyn Miller’s debut novel.
The main characters’ development, tempered by their faith, added a unique perspective to this tale.
Regency Era fans will love Carolyn Miller’s debut book, The Elusive Miss Ellison.
I received The Elusive Miss Ellison from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
About the Author
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc Her contemporary novels include Restoring Fairhaven and Regaining Mercy, as part of the Independence Islands series.
More from Carolyn
Mr. Darcy has a lot to answer for, doesn’t he?
I’ve long been a fan of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, and my first historical romance, The Elusive Miss Ellison, was so fun to write as I worked to weave the social commentary of Jane Austen with the wit and romantic dash of Heyer, an unwavering Christian thread, and a dash of Aussie perspective.
I’ve been very fortunate to visit many of the settings used in my Regency Brides series (of series), including the Cotswolds, Brighton, Bath, London, Derbyshire and the gorgeous Scottish castle featured on the cover of Misleading Miss Verity, and have loved seeing readers respond so positively to these stories of hope, redemption, family and love.
I love to share images of my trips and what I envisage concerning these stories at my website (www.carolynmillerauthor.com) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerAuthor) and hope readers will enjoy being swept up into an age of ladies and true gentlemen, when the code of honor was paramount, and Mr. Darcy showed that first impressions can never be fully trusted, and that there is always something deeper to the story.
Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, want to be sisters. Ginnie’s widowed dad plus Tillie’s divorced mom could equal a lifetime of round-the-
clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie come up with the perfect scheme to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ (aka OSS). After all, if they can’t get Dad to move on, Tillie can’t move in. Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and her dad doesn’t talk about—if Dad doesn’t take them away.
The Secret Sisters Club by Monique Bucheger is a sweet story about two girls, Ginnie West, whose Mom has passed away, and Tillie Taylor, whose abusive Dad divorced her Mom then moved away.
I enjoyed the story. I especially liked getting to know the girls, their families and the horses. Although the horses do not have a major part in the overall plotline, they do play an important part in the narrative.
As I read The Secret Sisters Club, I remembered how much I wanted a horse when I was younger. I really wanted a Palomino. I also wished I had a friend like Tillie. However, we moved so much I was never able to make many friends.
I believe the book would be of great appeal to pre-teen and middle school girls. There are many situations they will relate to. Instances common to tween girls include overwhelming and intense anger that appears from seemingly nowhere and makes little sense. Tweens also have an overpowering need to be able to control their own lives, while also wanting things to remain the same. Yet wanting them to change, too.
I received The Secret Sisters Club from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
About the Author
When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.
Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, twelve granddarlings, too many cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books in three series and hopes to write many more.
More from Monique
I’d like to welcome you to the first book in my Ginnie West Adventures Series: The Secret Sisters Club. This series has been a fun journey that started longer ago than I care to admit.
As a tween, Ginnie West was my imaginary friend who gave me courage. Since then, I have written her story through four novels to each become a #1 Amazon Best-selling novel.
The Secret Sisters Club is the story of 12-year-old BFF’s (Ginnie and Tillie) who want to become sisters. However, The Secret Sisters Club is more than a scheme (AKA: OSS: Operation Secret Sisters) to get Tillie’s divorcee mom to fall in love with Ginnie’s widowered dad.
The Secret Sisters Club is a contemporary, middle-grade novel about: belonging, overcoming hard things, finding joy in the journey of your life, and finding the courage to change your own stars when you don’t like the hand you have been dealt—and realizing that ‘real’ family can be friends you have chosen when the people in the family you were born to are missing because of choices they made, death, divorce, and circumstances beyond your (and sometimes their) control—and these themes are shared in an uplifting, empowering, age-appropriate way.
Because Tillie was abandoned when she was six years-old by her birth dad, six years before The Secret Sisters Club starts, she longs to for a “whole” family: with a mom, a good dad, a sister, and a brother. Tillie has always been timid, but Ginnie helps her feel brave. Tillie, in turn, helps Ginnie realize that she has a lot to be grateful for.
Ginnie has never worried about what her family looks like—because it has always “felt” right. She lives in a 3-generation farm family composed of her great-Uncle Ben, his two kids, her dad , Todd, and his brother, Uncle Jake–who were raised by Uncle Ben because they were orphaned as young tweens, as well as Ginnie’s twin brother, Toran.
Ginnie’s mother died in a tragic accident when she was 3 ½ years old, leaving Ginnie with very few memories of her mom. Which hasn’t been a problem for her—UNTIL she finds a box of her dead mom’s journals and starts reading one.
Then Ginnie realizes that she really missed out—her mom was pretty amazing: creative, energetic, courageous, funny, a nationally ranked beauty queen (which Ginnie couldn’t care less about) but also a nationally ranked equestrian and trick rider—which Ginnie cares VERY much about. And more than that—she realizes that her mother truly understood her. And while her dad loves her very much—Ginnie is constantly tossing him out of his comfort zone as he struggles to balance her need to be independent with his need to keep her safe.
The Secret Sisters Club explores the journey of two BFF’s finding strength to overcome adversities, humor in day-to day life, and courage to make hard choices as they grow up together, embracing their differences as well their similarities, to make life a totally awesome sauce adventure.
Experience God’s Unstoppable Blessings and Breakthrough!
You may be facing an issue that’s seems like an insurmountable barrier in your life. Or, your circumstances may be so difficult you feel surrounded by walls with no way out. You ask God to knock down those walls, just as He did for Joshua at Jericho. But they’re still standing. Sometimes, God removes the obstacles from our lives immediately and dramatically. But what can we do when the change doesn’t occur, when the breakthrough doesn’t come, when God’s promises aren’t fulfilled, even when we pray?
That’s when we have to plant ourselves in God’s Word and presence and let Him grow us over the wall. The breakthrough starts as our roots grow deep. This is what Joseph did when he was in the pit and the dungeon. He grew over his wall by adopting a heavenly perspective rather than an earthly one. The result was a multitude of blessings for him, his family, and the world: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22).
You can grow over your own wall of difficulty, opposition, hindrance, or limitation. As you grow, your wall won’t look as high as it used to. And one day, you will grow over it. Every negative situation will divinely position you to be where you need to be in life. You will grow over circumstances you thought were too powerful for you. You will grow over the wall of limitation that once surrounded you. You will grow over the dead end or impossibility that threatened to defeat you. The trials of life have no power to stop you from being abundant and fruitful in God, receiving His blessings, and fulfilling the plans He has for you. Like Joseph, let your branches grow over the wall. Then, your breakthrough will become a breakthrough and blessing for others, too, enabling them to grow over their own walls of difficulty.
Matt Sorger is a prophetic minister and a strong preacher and teacher of God’s Word, mentoring and equipping the body of Christ to live in the realm of God’s power and glory. He carries a unique anointing that fills entire rooms with the tangible glory of God, with many people saved, healed, set free, and filled with God’s presence. Through Matt Sorger Ministries, he has ministered in more than thirty-five nations and has reached more than two hundred nations by television and other media. He is the author of Power for Life: Keys to a Life Marked by the Presence of God. Matt and his wife, Stephanie, oversee Rescue1, an organization that rescues children from trafficking around the world. Their vision is to see at least 1,500 children set free. The Sorgers have two children and reside near Charlotte, NC.
More from Matt
Turn your pain into power and experience God’s unstoppable blessings and breakthrough.
A Christmas Tale for Little Women, by Linda Brooks Davis, is patterned after Little Women. However, it is definitely different-in a good way.
The story revolves around Christmas of 1912. Adelaide Fitzgerald, an heiress living in Broadview Estates in Needham, Oklahoma, was caring for Dahlia and Camellia Evans, two of the daughters of her friends Ella and Andrew. The other six members of the Evans family were on a mission trip to Colorado.
Adelaide and the 2 girls discussed how poverty was a stranger to them, the girls not realizing how close by those in dire straits lived.
I appreciated how the story progresses. Linda Brooks Davis did a remarkable job of drawing the parallels between the families-one of opulence and one of poverty-and how each person or family was affected. I enjoy historical fiction, and A Christmas Tale for Little Women by Davis accurately portrayed life in 1912. Yet, I couldn’t help drawing parallels to today’s society, too. A similarity I’m sure was intended.
I very much enjoy a novel that incorporates realistic lessons that are established in the Bible.
I received A Christmas Tale for Little Women from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
About the Author
Linda Brooks Davis is a lifelong Texan who devoted 40 years to special education as a therapist, teacher, and administrator. She retired in 2008 and now writes full time.
Linda’s debut novel, Amazon best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland,Book One in the Women of Rock Creek series, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel in 2014 and subsequently, ACFW’s Carol award for debut novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910 and is the prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, which is set in 1914, Amazon best-selling The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, Book Two. The third novella, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, releases in 2020 and is set in 1912. It is a prequel to Book 3 in The Women of Rock Creek series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, which is set in 1918.
Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.
More from Linda
Everyone worked at my home on a South Texas farm near the U.S. border with Mexico.
My playmates were children of Hispanic laborers. Language never hindered playing la casa, making mud pies, or rocking los bebés. Frijoles and tamales served from stewpots over open fires tasted delicioso in either language. I learned outside their homes a broom works great on hardened soil.
Daddy paid workers on Saturdays, some by the hour, others by production. Lining up, they extended their hands, and he laid cash across their open palms. They checked the figures they had scribbled on paper scraps, trusting el patrón to correct discrepancies. Humble, grateful people, they showed respect.
My father verified immigration paperwork for those whom he housed. Others lived in the shadows, arriving around sunup and disappearing before sundown. Each evening a car or truck would rattle alongside the field, and the shadow worker would slip inside. Then the vehicle would clatter toward the horizon. And returned another day.
Occasionally, however, an alarm shouted in Spanish would sound across the field. Dropping his cotton sack, a worker would dash toward the cotton trailer in the turn row. Like hounds burrowing under a house, he and a compadre would leap over the trailer’s sides and dig a hole in the freshly picked cotton. The first crawled in, and the other covered him.
The immigration officer making his rounds would walk into the field and occasionally stomp around inside the trailer, searching for man-sized lumps. I never witnessed the discovery of a shadow worker, but I heard about them on other farms. Worst of all, I heard about tragedies. With very little oxygen between tightly packed fluffs of cotton, a man could suffocate and occasionally would. I wondered what would lead a man to take such chances and how my law-abiding, God-loving father justified his complicity. So, I asked, and he answered, “Desperation, sugar. All they want is work. A man wants to provide for his family wherever or however he can. I can’t turn them away.”
Sounded like work was a gift. Huh? my ten-year-old brain asked itself.
Years later, I understood this principle. The second chapter of Genesis shows us that God created man not to laze around all day, but to work.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15
Therefore, not only in “the beginning,” but on our farm in 1956, a man’s strength to work was God’s gift. The opportunity to work was Daddy’s gift to the men. The fruit of each man’s labor was the gift he sent home each week and the fulfillment of his need to provide for his family.
At Christmas we enjoyed preparing bushel baskets of meats, fruits and vegetables, candy and nuts, and toys for each family. I wondered about those who stayed around for a single day. Would their children find fruits, nuts, or even a piece of candy on Christmas morning?
Answers evaded me then—-as they do now—-but as a writer in my eighth decade of life, one truth I hold onto is that the strength for each day of writing and less pain in my arthritic hands and back are gifts from God. Each opportunity to write is an opportunity not only to entertain but to inspire readers to seek God in their everyday lives. Each word, unique turn of a phrase, or plot idea . . . is my gift to Him.
Protecting our safety is a far more complicated endeavor in 2020 than it was in 1956. Threats arise like none presented five decades ago, but work is still a gift. God wired it into our DNA. Come to think of it, the ideas for A Christmas Tale for Little Women and the subsequent novel—one set in the southern tip of Texas, a story about a loving, destitute man who wants only to provide for his family—are gifts.
Those diligent workers of 1956 and other years deserve a story that honors them. My gift to them and to Him is A Christmas Tale for Little Women.
To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of all 6 eBooks in the The Women of Rock Creek Series!! (The Calling of Ella McFarland, A Christmas to Remember, A Christmas Measure of Love, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, and The Awakening of Miss Adelaide)
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
The Mind Connectory is a place where thoughts are shared in the hope that many people can relate to similar situations. I anticipate that it can become a library of knowledge from which people can draw up plans to overcome challenging situations – whether they be brought on by loss or mental barriers. The mechanisms for coping with matters of the mind are quite connected regardless of their cause. That is why I believe that learning from other people’s experiences (both successful and unsuccessful) is the key to self improvement as well as a better future for ourselves and the people around us.