Tag Archives: Christian Mystery

Slashed Canvas by Liz Tolsma with a Giveaway On Tour with Celebrate Lit

Slashed Canvas

About the Book

Book: Slashed Canvas

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: February 1, 2022

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Held prisoner by all she’s lost, Katarina’s about to lose all she has.

Grand Duchess Katarina Volstova barely escaped the Russian revolution, arriving in Paris just before the birth of her twin daughters. With her heart still captive in her homeland, she haunts the Louvre each day, spending hours gazing at one painting, lost in her pain.

Not the man he once was, Timothy Smythe never returned home to England after the Great War. Instead, he hides himself away doing maintenance in the Louvre and watching the beautiful woman whose pain seems riveted on one painting.

When Katarina returns home to find her daughters and their nanny missing, the loss opens her eyes to all she has to lose now.

Frantic to find her girls, her distress causes Timothy to offer his assistance. Together they put together clues to a puzzle they must complete before the kidnapper ensures Katarina and her daughters are never reunited.

Slashed Canvas offers a retelling of The Lost Princess that mingles self-centered grief, spoiled little girls, and proof that nothing will stop a mother from saving her children.

Click here to get your copy!

Slashed Canvas, by Liz Tolsma, is a one-of-a-kind and distinctive reiteration of The Lost Princess. It’s also the eighth installment of the “Ever After Mysteries.” It may, however, easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

After the death of her husband in the Russian revolution and just before the birth of her twins, Grand Duchess Katarina Volstova fled to Paris, France. She never felt at ease among the strangers and does very little to try and fit in. However, she goes to the Louvre daily, spending many hours in quiet reflection.

Every day, Georges Velvey, a disabled military veteran, works at the Louvre and sees Katarina there every day. Naturally, his curiosity is piqued when it comes to this lovely and mysterious woman.

From the start, the plot is engrossing and intriguing. The story is interesting, but for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, it didn’t quite click with me. This is the only Tolsma story I’ve read that wasn’t part of an historical or romance anthology.  Nonetheless, if I had been more interested in murder mysteries and intrigue, I would have appreciated and enjoyed the tale more. Don’t let my reservations stop you from reading Slashed Canvas. I believe I went into the novel expecting one thing and receiving another, which is entirely my mistake and not the author’s.

Slashed Canvas is an absorbing book to spend an afternoon or evening perusing.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

How Slashed Canvas Came to Be

It was the last evening of the SoCal Christian Writer’s Conference three years ago. A group of us decided that frozen yogurt sounded good, so we walked the few blocks from the university where the conference was being held to the local fro-yo shop.

On the way back, I was walking alongside fellow author Chautona Havig. We were chatting about various projects we had underway, and she mentioned that she and Sandy Barela from Celebrate Lit had come up with an idea for a boxed set. This involved taking a fairy-tale and turning it into a 1920s mystery. Would I be interested?

You don’t have to ask me twice if I’d like to be in a set with Chautona that’s put out by Sandy. Before I knew what was happening, I was agreeing to it. Then we got talking about what fairy tales I might use. As soon as she said The Lost Princess, an idea sparked in my brain. It really was that instant. 1920s. Princess. Russia. Exile.

This might come as a surprise to both Chautona and Sandy, but I really didn’t know the story of The Lost Princess. Not at all. When I was working up the idea, I had to read the story and figure out how to make my idea mesh with the fairy tale. Thankfully, the story did work well with what I intended to do with Slashed Canvas.

And that title? Well, that was quite difficult. At the time, my niece was staying with us and interning for me. One night, we sat and ran through idea after idea until we came up with “Something” Canvas. I wanted a strong adjective and we offered and rejected many until we came up with Slashed Canvas. I hadn’t written a word of the book, but I managed to work a slashed canvas into the story.

And what about the painting in Slashed Canvas? I knew I wanted it to be by a Russian artist and hang in the Louvre, but there weren’t (and aren’t) many paintings like that in the Louvre. Russia has been loath to allow any of its art to leave the country. So what was I going to do? I really was going crazy.

Then I spoke on the phone to Kristy Cambron. Not only is she a fabulous author, but she also has a degree in art history. It was her idea to make up my own painting. That way, I could make it work however I needed it to for the story. What a relief. I did just that, and the story flowed from there.

And the clues to the mystery? Those were my dad’s ideas. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything!

So that’s how Slashed Canvas came to be. It was the work of so many different people. Authors, much as we hide behind our computers, never work in a vacuum. Very often, there are many fingers in the pie to make the finished product.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Texas Book-aholic, March 8

For the Love of Literature, March 8

Inklings and notions, March 9

Christian Bookaholic, March 9

For Him and My Family, March 10

Elly Gilbert, March 10

deb’s Book Review, March 11

By the Book, March 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Blossoms and Blessings, March 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 13

Paula’s Persuasion, March 13

Connie’s History Classroom, March 14

Genesis 5020, March 14

Babbling Becky L’ s Book Impressions, March 15

Older & Smarter?, March 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 16 (Spotlight)

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Simple Harvest Reads, March 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 17

Maureen’s Musings, March 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 18

Connect in Fiction, March 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 19 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, March 19

Mary Hake, March 19

Through the Fire Blogs, March 20

The Book Club Network, March 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1b4c3/slashed-canvas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Within Golden Bands (A Home for My Heart Book 2) by Norma Gail

Within Golden Bands, Norma Gail’s newest book, transports you to the beautiful area of Loch Garry in Scotland where the main characters, Bonny and Kieran MacDonell, live. The descriptions portray a peaceful, calm and tranquil area. However, it is anything but for Bonny and Kieran.

I was unaware that Within Golden Bands was the sequel to Land of My Dreams. I found though, that except for one or two small exceptions, I was able to follow the story quite easily.

The book is full of action, suspense, mystery and intrigue, along with following the honeymoon and getting to know one another phase of the MacDonell’s lives.

There were several things I appreciated about the story. For instance, the way Gail describes a devastating but very real loss and its effects on both the characters and their family and friends. The faith storyline was skillfully written without self-righteousness or holier than thou. Nonetheless, there were several aspects of the book I struggled with. I could not comprehend how any one person, much less two, could bear up under the constant, non-stop onslaught of pain, tragedy, fear and horror in this story. Some of the more descriptive pages of the aforementioned horror are truly horrific.

I would caution anyone with PTSD or other such difficulties that there are several heartbreaking and heart-stopping scenes.

I received this book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child.

But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. When faith in love is not enough, where do you turn?

#WithinGoldenBands

Dead Letter, A Meddlin’ Madeline Mystery by Chautona Havig on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Dead Letter, A Meddlin’ Madeline Mystery

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian historical, mystery

Release Date: February 19, 2019

For the first time, Madeline has permission to meddle.

Something’s not adding up in the Wintherwood, Ohio bank, and Madeline’s there to figure out why.

Sent by the Rockland Pinkerton’s office to investigate shady banking practices, Madeline finally has the opportunity to try out all her developing detective skills. From her new disguise to an assumed persona, complete with non-existent fiancé, Madeline takes on embezzlement in Wintherwood, Ohio.

Now, to find the culprit and get back to Rockland before Amy arrives, before Mrs. Barnes gets any sicker, and before Russell writes her off as a hopeless, heartless girl.

As Madeline figures out what’s happening, even Mr. Flint begins to lose confidence in her. How will she prove who is taking the money and why–especially after her primary suspect ends up dead?

Dead Letter is the fourth book in the Meddlin’ Madeline series.

Click here to purchase your copy.

***A NOTE FROM ME***

I haven’t had the opportunity to read this story yet. However, I read the other three books in the series and enjoyed them, so I wanted to promote it. I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one, too.

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

“This is book four, right?”

I nodded.

He looked at me with those eyes that conjure up the idea of puppy dogs begging for treats. So deceptive. “You’re going to have to up the stakes then.”

“Well, this is the one where she goes into official active detective mode and decides if she even wants that kind of life.”

“Not enough.”

He was right, and I knew it. Fortunately, I’d prepared for this moment. You see, I know him well. He’s a horror writer. He likes to torment in ways that make my worst meannesses seem petty (like the time I suggested killing off Chad in Past Forward—trust me. That was kind compared to his ideas).

So, I pulled out my bigger gun and plopped it on the table. I added ammunition. And grinned.

Look, you guys are going to hate me for it, but trust me. It needs to be done. You’ll forgive me… eventually. Maybe. I hope.

Then he did it. He gave me that look. No, not the, “Yeah, baby!” look you want to see when you’ve hit a hole in one. The, “Is that all you’ve got?” look.

The work began. He suggested one thing. I toned it back. He looked like that puppy again—except this time I’d kicked him. Bless his heart, he does love his horror.

Still, he whistled his way out the door a short while later, and I grinned. Compromise is beautiful. But what does that mean for YOU?

3 Reasons You’ll Love the Book and Hate Me

First—

Love the book: Madeline as Jane Sempleton is a hoot. She cracked me up from the beginning, and I’m still chuckling.

Hate me: Madeline’s faith and integrity are tested in this one—exponentially. Without giving away too much, her father even rebukes her!!!

Second—

Love the book: Mrs. Barnes is such a sweet mentor to Madeline

Hate me: Mrs. Barnes. That’s all I’m sayin’. Mrs. Barnes.

Third—

Love the book: Snippets of the heart get revealed.

Hate me: Russell. That’s all I’m sayin’. Russell.

So, there you have it. All the reasons you should read this book… and remember that the series isn’t over. Not by a long shot. It’s darkest before dawn. And um… a whole bunch of other clichés.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, March 18

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 19

Mary Hake, March 19

Aryn, The Libraryan, March 20

Back Porch Reads, March 21

Carpe Diem, March 22

Through the Fire Blogs, March 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 23

For Him and My Family, March 24

janicesbookreviews, March 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Bigreadersite, March 28

Lots of Helpers, March 28

Multifarious, March 29

A Reader’s Brain, March 30

Blogging With Carol, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 31

The Becca Files, March 31

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of Dead Letter, a Madeline-inspired book cozy, and a book-themed candle!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dee6/meddelin-madeline-dead-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway