Something Old, Something New by Amy Clipston

Publisher’s Summary

Sometimes treasure can be found where you least expect it.

In the decade since high school graduation, Christine Sawyer has realized her dream of opening Treasure Hunting Antique Mall, the place where shoppers find gems that are new to them. Between her store, her house, and her role as a doting aunt, she’s happy with her life—if a bit lonely. But she’s used to being less lucky in love than her fraternal twin sister. Britney was always the popular one, the head cheerleader who dated the homecoming king and quarterback, while Christine stayed in the shadows.

Brent Nicholson is still trying to come to grips with the shambles his life has become. After leading his football team to a state championship, he suffered a career-ending injury. Now he’s lost his construction business thanks to his so-called best friend. So when his great-aunt Midge asks for his help readying her home to put it on the market, the opportunity to spend time with his biggest fan is a balm to his bruised soul.

But the antiques Brent finds in his aunt’s house lead him to an unexpected partnership with Christine. After being blind to her for so many years, is it too late for the former high school jock to win the heart of the self-proclaimed “nerdy twin”?

As they sift through items of the past, Christine and Brent learn to let go of the pieces they don’t want to bring into the future—and realize the value of what’s in front of them today.

Amy Clipston’s newest novel, Something Old, Something New, is an endearingly heartwarming contemporary romance. Christine Sawyer and Brent Nicholson are the main protagonists in the storyline.

Christine lives her life in the shadow of her twin sister, Britney, while Brent continues to live in the shadow of his glory days as a teenage football hero. Neither feel they are truly worthy of love or second chances.

This story was enjoyable to read. Everyone, I believe, has had the feeling that they were not “good enough” at some point. While these feelings may not have been as severe as Christine or Brent’s, they are relatable.

Brent’s Aunt Midge was my favorite character. I love when authors create someone with moxie and gumption. Both real and imagined worlds are made more lively by them.

The message of optimism, second chances, forgiveness and love in Clipston’s novel makes it the ideal book to read at any time.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

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On My Honor by Patty Smith Hall

Publisher’s Summary

A Girl Scout Troop Joins the Battle of the Atlantic


Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
 
Ginny Mathis was finished with nursing school and had no intention of staying rooted in the Outer Banks—then war broke out. With her father away, she feels duty-bound to stay and help her mother and younger sister. While working as a clerk for the Oregon Inlet ferry, naval officers ask Ginny and others to be watchful for German U-boats reportedly spotted in the area. So to help occupy her teenage sister, Ginny enlists the Girl Scout troop she leads to help watch for suspicious activity along the coast. 
 
Timothy Elliott is no stranger to death. As a British reporter working with the M-6, he’s numb to the losses of war after two years of fighting the Germans. Maybe that’s why he volunteered for this mission—to connect with an ex-German naval officer who stole the Furor’s battle plan for the Atlantic war. When the boat giving him passage to New York is bombed near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Tim is thrown from the boat and wakes up in the care of a group of young girls.
 
Ginny follows her sneaky sister on a clandestine mission and discovers the shipwreck victim. Ginny knows she must take charge, but is this man the enemy, or does he hold secrets that could turn the tide of the Battle of the Atlantic in the allies’ favor?

On My Honor, by Patty Smith Hall, is one of the “Heroines of WWII” series; however, it can easily be read as a standalone.

This fascinating, intriguing work of historical fiction centers on a Girl Scout troop located in the Outer Banks of North Carolina (a place near and dear to my own heart).

Ginny Mathis, the Girl Scout leader for her sister Ginny’s troop, is working three jobs in addition to assisting in the war effort. Though her war work is more serious, she teaches her Scouts to map coordinates, keep a lookout for strangers in the area and perform other tasks inherent to the war effort. Her ambitious pace is arduous as she and her sister grapple with how to get along.

A small slice of World War II has been vividly brought to life by Patty Smith Hall. I could feel the Outer Banks sand between my toes and its seaside breezes. I felt agony and horror as well at imagining the smell and sight of oil smeared all over the beach in the aftermath of deadly submarine attacks.

A riveting and gripping tale, On My Honor, is a story you won’t want to miss, especially if you enjoy unique and engrossing stories of WWII.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Celebrate Lit Tour-Dog Days of Summer by Kathleen Y’Barbo with Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Dog Days of Summer

Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Christian/Mystery/Romance Fiction

Release date: October, 2022

Trina Potter, Nashville country music star, buys a ranch near her hometown in Brenham, Texas, to help her niece open a rescue facility for dogs. Her presence in town stirs up some old high school rivalries—and romance. Finding property to buy is a challenge, convincing her mother to move there with her is daunting, and navigating a string of strange accidents is perplexing. Sometimes Trina feels like she’s purchased her own three ring circus instead of a beautiful piece of land. But her first priority will be figuring out who wants Second Chance Ranch shut down before they even have the grand opening.

Click here to get your copy!

Kathleen Y’Barbo hooks you from the start in this second installment of “Gone to the Dogs Mysteries” and won’t let go until you finish. Dog Days of Summer truly showcases Y’Barbo’s humor, which I really like! Simply wait till you read about Mama Peach’s antics and the incredible antics of her cat Hector. The book works as a cozy mystery as well, since you are continuously attempting to figure out “whodunit.”

Since I am blatantly pro-Texas and lived there for a significant amount of time, the fact that the novel is set in the little Texas town of Brenham immediately caught my attention. The story’s animal rescue theme piqued my interest because some of my children were involved in animal rescues. (At one point, we had several fish and tadpoles, two cats, eight dogs, and an anole lizard. We also had a mouse and a hamster shortly before that! We had 14 dogs one time, too!) Along with all the odd occurrences in the story, two dogs by the names of Patsy and Cline keep everyone on their toes.

I enjoyed catching up with other acquaintances from the series’ first book, Off the Chain. If you haven’t read the first book, don’t let that stop you from reading Dog Days of Summer as it works well as a standalone.

I received a review copy of this book from Celebrate Lit through NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

About the Author

Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.

When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.

Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.

More from Kathleen

Do you love dogs…or cats…or both…? I’m firmly in the “both” category. Since childhood I’ve always lived in homes that had at least one or the other, usually several of each. With every dog or cat comes at least one good story. One of my favorites is the tale of Bandit, the inspiration for the cover of my cozy mystery DOG DAYS OF SUMMER.

Once upon a time there was a black and white dog named Bandit. He was an English Springer Spaniel by birth but was completely convinced he was human. Bandit loved his people—three growing boys and a baby girl—even more than he loved popcorn and playing keep away (his version of catch). After many years, Bandit’s people grew up and he grew old. Toward the end of his very long and pampered life, he was plagued by the unwanted and yet much appreciated friendship of an ornery orange striped cat named Baby and a snooty pedigreed feline named Fifi.

Everyone loved Bandit…except the territorial squirrel who lived in a tree in our back yard in Southeast Texas. From the moment Bandit joined the family, the furry fellow was determined to rid himself and his back yard of the trespassing canine. The squirrel’s favorite tactic was to tease Bandit until the dog chased him up a tree. Once treed, the crafty critter would run around the trunk just out of Bandit’s reach. Once the squirrel tired of this, it would retreat to a limb. There, the battle of the backyard beasts would commence again but with the squirrel lobbing pinecones and the dog trying to catch them.

While every good story has a beginning, middle and end, unfortunately at the end of this one there was no winner in the dog vs. squirrel wars. A job transfer led us to Houston where squirrels were in abundance in our new neighborhood but none of them were nearly as much fun as the one Bandit left behind. The last time I spoke with the owners of our old house, they told the funniest story: they loved their new home, but there was this squirrel in the back yard that kept throwing pinecones at everyone.

In DOG DAYS OF SUMMER, I tell the story of another Texas back yard. This one is located in Brenham, Texas, and it is about to become a very special place for some very special dogs named Patsy and Cline. Have I mentioned these dogs belong to a country singer named Trina who has a mother named Mama Peach who happens to own a cat named Hector that dislikes almost everyone and can open doors? Then there’s the problem of the next door neighbor and his penchant to forget to close the lid on his grill when he’s cooking? Did I mention that Patsy and Cline enjoy nothing more than whatever they happen to find on an unguarded grill? While the two furry scoundrels are rounding up trouble next door, there is even more trouble happening at the building site for Second Chance Ranch Dog Rescue on the other side of the property. Apparently not everyone is happy about the new neighbors. The mystery is who that person might be. While you’ve got to read DOG DAYS OF SUMMER to find out, I can give you one hint: it’s not the squirrel!

I’ve told you mine; now tell me your favorite dog or cat story. I can’t wait to read them.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 28

Texas Book-aholic, October 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

Blogging With Carol, October 29

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 30 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, October 30

Inklings and notions, October 31

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 1

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 3

Remembrancy, November 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 6

Boondock Ramblings, November 6

Labor Not in Vain, November 7

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 7

Pause for Tales, November 8

Mary Hake, November 8

For Him and My Family, November 9

Divine Perspective, November 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 10

The Book Club Network, November 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/2244a/dog-days-of-summer-celebration-tour-giveaway

#NetGalley #DogDaysofSummer #CelebrateLit

On Tour with Celebrate Lit: Anything But Plain by Suzanne Woods Fisher with Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Anything But Plain

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Amish fiction

Release date: October 4, 2022

It’s not easy being the bishop’s daughter, especially for Lydie Stoltzfus. She’s not like other Amish girls, as much as she wishes she were. The only thing she does well is disappoint others. Leaving her family and church seems unbearable, but staying might be worse.

Knowing Lydie is “between” jobs, the local doctor asks her to fill in at the front desk for a few months. To Lydie, this is a boon. It gives her time to figure out how she’s going to say goodbye to her neighbor, Nathan Yoder–the main reason she needs to leave Stoney Ridge. Nathan claims he’s in love with her, but she knows she’s not good enough for him. If in doubt, Nathan’s father reminds her frequently.

As Dok spends time with Lydie, she recognizes symptoms of an uncommon disorder among the Amish. She offers treatment for Lydie. But will it be enough to make her stay? Or has help come too late?

Click here to get your copy!

In Anything But Plain, Suzanne Woods Fisher introduces us to a young woman who is “anything but plain” in the traditional Amish sense.

Lydia “Lydie” Stoltzfus, a young Amish girl, seems to be an accident waiting to happen. Everything she does or attempts to do, it seems, ends in failure or turns into a disaster. Her track record of failing jobs is infamous and legendary.

Nathan Yoder struggles to assist his father in managing their farm, which has deteriorated from outmoded and destructive agricultural practices.

Despite the fact that Lydie and Nathan care for one another, external factors (including Lydie) work against their relationship. Can kindhearted “Dok,” the neighborhood physician and Lydie’s relative, help?

I always enjoy reading Suzanne Woods Fisher’s books, and this one is no exception. I especially enjoyed the premise of the story. Her Amish stories are real and wholesome. Anything But Plain will deeply move you and tug mightily on your heartstrings.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit through NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a Christy finalist, a Carol Award winner, a two-time ECPA Book of the Year finalist, and the Publishers Weekly, ECPA, CBA, bestselling author of more than thirty books. Her genres include contemporary and historical romances, Amish romance, and women’s fiction. She and her husband live in a small town in California, where everyone knows everyone else, knows what they are doing and why. Most folks act a little nervous around Suzanne because they usually wind up in one of her novels. She has four grown children and enough grandchildren to keep her young. Visit Suzanne at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

More from Suzanne

Easily Distracted? 8 Strategies to Help Stay Focused

Anything but Plain is a story about a young Amish woman with undiagnosed ADHD. Lydie Stoltzfus feels like a square peg in a round hole. She just doesn’t fit in and, to make matters worse, she’s the bishop’s daughter. At this point, the only path forward she can see is to leave Stoney Ridge. Leave her church, her friends, her family, her neighbor Nathan Yoder. It’s better to leave, Lydie decides, than to keep disappointing everyone she cares about. I won’t say anymore so that I don’t spoil the story for you.

ADHD is not a common diagnosis among the Amish and many might assume it’s not a real thing. Of course, they’re mistaken. ADHD is a real thing. While I don’t have ADHD, I do have many friends and family members who have been diagnosed. It’s challenging! And something we should all take seriously. Here’s why:

Evidence is mounting that a growing dependence on digital devices could be giving all of us some ADHD-like symptoms. Have you wondered if distractibility is becoming a problem for you? Or has a spouse or child or friend remarked on how often you pick up your phone to check a text message or scroll Instagram? You might remain physically present but your mind has wandered away. For me, the answer is, regrettably, yes.

There’s a recurring phrase in Anything but Plain that comes from an old-fashioned farming term: Walking the beans. Literally, it means weeding by hand. Figuratively, it means paying attention to our priorities. To pull the weeds before they take root.

One of the takeaway lessons of this book is to “walk the beans” of technology’s role in my life. So…I’ve been working on a few strategies. When I practice, I see a difference. Life is calmer. More manageable.

So…I wanted to pass these tips along to you. (If you have little children, these might not work for you. Not when your little ones are awake, anyway.) Hopefully, you’ll find them to be useful, and maybe spark some strategies of your own.

  • Make a plan. I start the day with an index card and write down the day’s priorities. And I check off tasks as I finish them!
  • Go off-line. Create an environment that helps you stay focused. Turn your cell phone to silent. If working on the computer, close your email app. Put yourself in distraction-free mode until you’re accomplished what you need to do
  • Finish one task before moving on to the next. Even little tasks.
  • Distractibility is at its peak during transitions. Build in margin. For example, arrive a few minutes early instead of rushing in a few minutes late.
  • When distractions are high, make tasks smaller and break down your large projects into smaller tasks to help you concentrate and give you a sense of accomplishment and progress.
  • When I’m facing a big task, I’ll break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  • Set a deadline for a task. Beat the clock! Use a timer.
  • Rewards! When I beat the clock, I’ll take a break from computer work and pop up to the garden, text a friend, walk the dog. Something that feels good.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 7

She Lives To Read, October 8

The Write Escape, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 9

Vicky Sluiter, October 9

lakesidelivingsite, October 10

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Lighthouse-Academy, October 11

Simple Harvest Reads, October 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, October 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

Elly Gilbert, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

For Him and My Family, October 15

Holly’s Book Corner, October 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 16

Splashes of Joy, October 16

Empowermoms, October 17

SusanLovesBooks, October 17

Mary Hake, October 17

Bigreadersite, October 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 18

Blossoms and Blessings, October 18

Cats in the Cradle Blog, October 19

Pause for Tales, October 19

Spoken from the Heart, October 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 20

Cover Lover Book Review, October 20

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a 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/21e05/anything-but-plain-celebration-tour-giveaway

#CelebrateLit #NetGalley #AnythingButPlain

A Quilt for Christmas: A Christmas Novella by Melody Carlson

Publisher’s Summary

Christmas should be celebrated with family. But for Vera Swanson, that’s not an option this year. Widowed and recently relocated, she is lonely in her condo-for-one–until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door needing help. With her mother seriously ill and her father out of town, Fiona enlists Vera’s help, and when she finds out her new neighbor is a quilter, she has a special request–a Christmas quilt for Mama.

Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request. Between free-spirited artist Tasha, chatty empty nester Beverly, retired therapist Eleanor, and herself, Vera has hopes that Christmas for the Albright family will be merry, after all–and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way.

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to cuddle up this holiday season with this cozy story of giving, forgiving, and a little bit of romance.

Years ago, I happened upon one of Melody Carlson’s Christmas tales in a bookstore. It has now become a Christmas tradition for me to read her latest book each holiday season.

You will undoubtedly be enchanted and enraptured by the events that Fiona, a charming, delightful and precocious young girl who lives near Vera, a newly widowed neighbor, sets in motion.

Eleanor, a new friend to Vera, was someone I struggled mightily to like or even feel empathy for. Although we have all experienced tumultuous, trying and occasionally sad or heartbreaking times, this does not give us license to treat everyone who crosses our path unkindly. When she urged the other quilters in her group to use her large home rather than Vera’s modest apartment of her own volition, I found it even more difficult to understand her caustic, demeaning attitude. Though I never really warmed up to her, thankfully, as the novella goes on, she starts to show a few redeeming qualities.

The narrative is essentially one of friendship, kindness, hope and optimism. Vera’s life has drastically changed when the story opens, and you will be devastated by Fiona’s situation. But as time goes on, the knowledge of a Divine plan becomes awe-inspiring.

Your holiday spirit will be filled with all the warm fuzzies after reading A Quilt for Christmas. It is so very sweet and endearing.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

#AQuiltforChristmas:AChristmasNovellabyMelody Carlson #AQuiltforChristmas #NetGalley

To Win a Prince by Toni Shiloh

Publisher’s Summary

As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Oloro Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a business to help citizens in impoverished areas. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins.

Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his countrymen. To pay for his actions against Oloro Ilé, he’s forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely–but he can’t allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status.

As Iris strives to get her business off the ground while keeping her heart intact, will her dreams of happily ever after survive the challenges she faces?

I was so excited to read To Win a Prince, by Tony Shiloh, since this book is about Iris Blakely, Brielle Adebayo’s best friend (from In Search of a Prince – my review).

Iris is a staunch and steadfast friend to Brielle, queen of Oloro Ile, a fictional African island. Anyone would value and appreciate having Iris as their friend, too. She has a strong desire to assist Oloro Ile’s female population to escape abject poverty. To accomplish her goal, she puts her fashion sense to the task and starts a business.

Ekon Diallo’s assignment to finish his community service by working as a business consultant at Iris’s fledgling commercial enterprise leaves her feeling more than a little overwhelmed, and for good reason.

Shiloh has a gift of exquisitely expressing the island’s richness and beauty as well as the kindness and forgiving nature of the characters. She does it in a way that piques your interest and your desire to take a trip there in order to see and experience all she details. This story is a wonderful romance, sprinkled with dashes of humor, religion, and realism.

Despite being a sequel, To Win a Prince can be read independently and is easy to follow along.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

#ToWinaPrince #NetGalley

The Heart of the Mountains by Pepper Basham on Tour with Celebrate Lit, Includes Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Heart of the Mountains

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction / Romance

Release date: July 1, 2022

Can their hearts overcome the darkness of the mountains?

To escape a forced marriage, Cora Taylor travels from England to the Blue Ridge Mountains in search of her brother, who is working as a teacher in a mission school. She hopes to find a place where her nursing skills and independent ideas will be accepted and appreciated, but nothing prepares her for the wild mixture of isolation, community, brokenness, and hope within these mountains…or in the person of Jeb McAdams.

Returning from the devastation of World War 1 emotionally damaged, Jeb McAdams struggles against the rampant mountain alcoholism to soothe his nightmares. It’s easy to hide within the mountains, or it was, before Cora Taylor arrived. Now, she seems to show up at every turn, bringing her modern ideas, curiosity, and beautiful eyes with her.

Bound by their shared war history, the pair develop an unlikely friendship, which unexpectedly hints to something more. But when Cora’s desire to help the women of the mountains crosses an unspoken line, will Jeb be able to protect this feisty flatlander from the wrath of the mountain men or will he end up losing much more than his heart?

Click here to get your copy!

Pepper Basham has been a favorite author of mine for a long time. Her heart for the people of North Carolina and Blue Ridge Mountain area is endearingly real and heart-warming. Her passion for the locals and the region is richly illustrated and vividly expressed in The Heart of the Mountains.

Cora Taylor and Jeb McAdams have both seen what war can do to someone – Jeb from personal experience and Cora from nursing experience. Both have fled to the mountains, albeit for different reasons.

Basham’s story deeply resonates with empathy, kindness, faith and hope as the main characters struggle to find their way in circumstances neither had ever imagined. The Heart of the Mountains is a poignant story about overcoming adversity and deepening faith. Cora and Jeb’s endearing love story will stay with you long after you have read the last page.

I received a review copy of this book from Celebrate Lit through  NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can learn more about Pepper at her website http://www.pepperdbasham.com or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter.

More from Pepper

It’s so interesting how one idea can influence an entire series, or…how one person’s story can.

The idea for The Heart of the Mountains started in Laurel’s Dream with a hint of a family history story about a girl named Kizzie. (Someday, I hope to bring Kizzie’s story to the pages of a book). From there, the idea began to grow out of a love for my Appalachian culture into a series of books which highlighted (and fictionalized) stories from my family history.

The main story in The Heart of the Mountains is about Jeb and Cora, two different people with similar servant hearts, but the secondary story that touched me so much was the one based on my great grandfather’s life. I write about it in the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, so I won’t go into detail about it. However, what I loved getting to do is bring the truth of God’s redemption in my great grandfather’s life…to life again.

I never knew “Papa Rat”. I only knew the stories handed down to me by my granny and my mama, but in writing this story, I feel as though I had a tiny opportunity to “meet” him in these pages. He was a gruff mountain man with a broken past which led him to make a whole lot of broken choices, but his story is incredibly encouraging, because it points to the God of broken people. My great grandpa wasn’t left in his brokenness, but, after years of running away from God, he would later recount that God pursued him. The beauty of Sam McAdams’ journey in The Heart of the Mountains is only a little glimpse into what I imagine my great grandpa’s redemption story looked like.

Because my great grandpa was forever changed when Jesus saved him (as any of us should be).

I think that’s what my granny and her siblings (and even “Papa Rat” himself) would want most -that his story would point to Jesus. I hope that’s what you see when you read about Sam McAdams in The Heart of the Mountains.

Have you ever read a book based on family history? One of my favorites is Catherine Marshall’s Christy.

Blog Stops

Bizwings Blog, July 28

Rachael’s Inkwell, July 28

Bigreadersite, July 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 30

Boondock Ramblings, July 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 31

Reading With Emily, July 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 31 (Author Interview)

lakesidelivingsite, August 1

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 1

Daysong Reflections, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Live. Love. Read., August 2

Betti Mace, August 3

Book Looks by Lisa, August 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 3

Remembrancy, August 4

For Him and My Family, August 4

Blossoms and Blessings, August 4

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

By the Book, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

For the Love of Literature, August 6

Books, Books and More Books, August 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 6

Connie’s History Classroom, August 7

SodbusterLiving, August 7

Splashes of Joy, August 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 8

Back Porch Reads, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 9

Pause for Tales, August 9

Labor Not in Vain, August 10

Miriam Jacob, August 10

To Everything There Is A Season, August 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e- gift card and a paperback 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/20389/the-heart-of-the-mountains-celebration-tour-giveaway

#NetGalley #CelebrateLit  #TheHeartoftheMountains

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold

Publisher’s Summary

Aidyn Kelley is talented, ambitious, and ready for a more serious assignment than the fluff pieces she’s been getting as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. In her eagerness, she pushes too hard, earning herself the menial task of writing an obituary for an unremarkable woman who’s just entered hospice care.

But there’s more to Clara Kip than meets the eye. The spirited septuagenarian may be dying, but she’s not quite ready to cash it in yet. Never one to shy away from an assignment herself, she can see that God brought the young reporter into her life for a reason. And if it’s a story Aidyn Kelley wants, that’s just what Mrs. Kip will give her–but she’s going to have to work for it.

Debut author Sara Brunsvold delights with this emotional multigenerational story that shows that the very best life is made up of thousands of little deaths to self. You’ll want to be just like Mrs. Kip when you grow up!

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold piqued my interest with its intriguing title. I simply wasn’t sure about reading it. But I felt compelled to read it after hearing so much about it and after reading all the positive reviews. I’m so grateful I did. The depth and significance of this book prevents me from fully doing it justice.

Aidyn Kelly, a tyro for The Kansas City Star, was assigned to write Mrs. Kip’s obituary. Because Mrs. Kip is still living, Aidyn felt as though the task was a punishment.

The 79-year-old Mrs. Kip (Clara) has a lot to teach Aidyn, a young woman who is just starting her profession. She actually has a lot to teach anybody who reads this transcendent, inspirative story.

The book is a stirring and beautiful debut that is packed with countless Biblical truths and nuggets of wisdom that are sure to touch readers’ hearts. Clara’s memories and her current antics and kindnesses are all covered. Brunsvold succeeds in giving you the feeling of journeying with Clara through her recollections yet connecting with her present friendship.

If you only read one book this year, I implore you to choose The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Off the Chain by Janice Thompson on Tour with Celebrate Lit, with Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Off the Chain

Author: Janice Thompson

Genre: Christian Fiction / Mystery

Release date: July 1, 2022

The Town of Brenham, Texas, Has Gone to the Dogs!

Curl up with your pup and sink into a delightful small-town mystery as riddles and rescues stack up in book one of a new cozy mystery series.

Marigold Evans’ first attempt at rescuing an abandoned pooch lands her in a drainage pipe in Brenham Texas. . .and almost in jail, until Parker Jenson comes to her rescue. Then a bad day only gets worse as the Lone Star Vet Clinic, where they both work, is vandalized and the list of suspects starts to climb. With the help of her fellow employees, Marigold sets out to simultaneously solve the crime, rehab the rescued dog, and help more dogs in crisis. But why would anyone continue to work against all their good efforts?

Click here to get your copy!

Janice Thompson’s delightful cozy mystery, Off the Chain, is written in her signature witty way. Thompson’s tales elicit chuckles, belly laughs, warmth from the religious components and a lot of contemplation.

Marigold “Mari” Evans, one of the major characters, is caught in a drainage pipe while attempting to rescue a dog. When a local police officer tries to save her, he misidentifies her as a homeless person, causing chaos and mayhem. This is only the start!

Grandma Peach, Mari’s grandmother, was one of my favorite characters. With her wisdom and penchant for making dog costumes, she’s sure to steal your heart. She is a genuine “character,” who is just zany enough to be endearingly funny and lovable.

If you love animals, you are certainly going to enjoy Book One of the “Gone to the Dogs” series, Off the Chain.

I received a review copy of this book from Celebrate Lit through  NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

About the Author

Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage. She is the mother of four daughters and nine feisty grandchildren. When she’s not writing books or taking care of foster dogs you’ll find her in the kitchen, baking up specialty cakes and cookies.

More from Janice

Dogs, dogs, and more dogs! My world is full of dogs. If you follow me on social media you’re probably overwhelmed with dog photos, but I simply can’t help myself. I’m in love with pooches of all shapes and sizes.

My fascination with dogs began when I was six years old and I got my first pup, Spunky. He was a mixed breed terrier. From that day until now I’ve had the pleasure of owning many, many pups—some purebreds, some street dogs that needed a safe place to stay, some elderly with chronic or acute health issues. I can’t get enough. They offer unconditional love, after all!

A few years back I was asked to foster for a local rescue, My Chi and Me. The rest, as they say, is history. For a quick glimpse at some photos, follow this link. You’ll see that I’m mostly enamored with small dogs. (Hey, I live in a tiny townhome and have limited space!) That said, I’m always willing to take on one more.

My most recent rescue ventures landed me squarely in the middle of a book idea: Why not use a dog story as the basis for a cozy mystery? My editor at Barbour Publishing wanted something dog-themed and I was happy to oblige. That’s where the idea for Off the Chain (and the whole Gone with the Dogs series) came from—a simple idea involving dogs and crime.

I took the opportunity to focus solely on rescue dogs as the idea developed. These days (especially post-Covid) the need for homes for these pups is great. I linked arms with my BFF, Kathleen Y’Barbo, and together we set our series in Brenham Texas, not far from our stomping ground in the Woodlands. I felt strongly that we should merge two separate dog worlds: rescue and veterinary. (Hey, Brenham is close to A&M and they know a thing or two about veterinary training!)

Thus, the Gone with the Dogs series was born. And writing the first book, (Off the Chain), was a blast! I hyper-focused on one primary point of view character, a vet tech. (As the owner of three dogs I feel like I’m always in the vet’s office!) My stories, which is written in first person, took me back to my writing roots. I love, love, love writing in first person because I “become” the character. Fun, right?

My editors loved the book and it got some fun endorsements, so I’m excited to see what my readers think. I can’t wait to get their feedback. I hope it’s not too “Ruff!”

But, seriously. . .I’m hyped! And I’m feeling so blessed to merge my worlds—dogs and writing!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 26

Texas Book-aholic, July 27

The Book Club Network, July 27

An Author’s Take, July 28

Remembrancy, July 28

deb’s Book Review, July 29

Pause for Tales, July 29

The Avid Reader, July 30

For Him and My Family, July 30

Christina’s Corner, July 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 3

She Lives To Read, August 3

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 4

Blogging With Carol, August 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 6

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, August 7

Labor Not in Vain, August 8

Books I’ve Read, August 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Janice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a paper 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/1ffe2/off-the-chain-celebration-tour-giveaway

#CelebrateLit #NetGalley

A Christmas in the Alps by Melody Carlson

Publisher’s Summary

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.

I have read several of Melody Carlson’s books and found them to be very enjoyable. My favorites, though, are always her Christmas tales. Every year, I eagerly anticipate and can’t wait to read them. A Christmas in the Alps did not let me down!

Every component—from the mysterious letter to the hasty choice to fly to France, from the enigmatic Kyle to the clockmaker factory—built upon the others and helped to create a beautiful, suspenseful story that had me fascinated and hooked from the start.

The French Alps provided the ideal backdrop for Christmas. I could almost physically feel the cold, see the icy landscapes, and imagine the breathtaking views.

The faith component was understated and subtle. However, it complemented the story well.

A Christmas in the Alps is a novella which makes it the ideal book for a quick read when you are feeling nostalgic for Christmas, or during the holiday season.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.