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Wednesday, July 27, 2016


July 27, 2016

My Review: "Why, hello dear!" How lovely for you to drop by. Would you care for a spot of tea? Or not?  Carrie Fancett Pagels "Tea Shop Folly" is a lovely and delightful novella. This story blends perfectly introducing new characters with guests invited from "The Christy Lumber Camp" series.  "So, dearie, pin on your hat and stroll right on into this sweet story.
 
Blessings,
 
Karen Hadley
 
 
JUST FOR FUN
 
The Tea Party
I had a little tea party
This afternoon at three.
'Twas very small-
Three guest in all-
Just I, myself and me.
Myself ate all the sandwiches,
While I drank up the tea;
Twas also I who ate the pie
And passed the cake to me.
~Jessica Nelson North
 
 
 
 
 
Almost destitute, Lilly has run out of hope when she inherits her great-aunt’s home -- but it’s not the Tea Shop that a handsome young gentleman thinks it is. Lilly’s inherited house is crammed full of tea cups. Theo, a Soo Locks engineer, visits frequently in the hopes he will find the perfect antique teacup for his mother and is charmed by the lovely 'Shoppe owner.’ Lilly can’t turn the bachelor away when he persistently peruses her aunt’s collection, which she’s trying to pack up and remove from the house. Is the man only interested in the teacups, or in her? When Theo begins referring people to Lilly, and the genuine Tea Shoppe owner sets the police on Lilly for her lack of a business license, sparks fly!  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!              Visit her on Amazon, Goodreads and Facebook!
 
      Click on this link to visit Julia Bettencourt's website for a teapot theme:    http://www.juliabettencourt.com/themes/teapottheme.html
 
    
 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


JULY 26, 2016


    My favorite book to read is "The Holy Bible". Within its pages we see God's grace and mercy from Genesis to Revelation. We read about ordinary men and women, people who have messed up, sought forgiveness and God used them in their ordinary lives. If we look closely we can see ourselves in them. A reminder that we aren't perfect and that we serve an extraordinary God who can use us to accomplish His will.  Because of His love and Jesus' death, burial and resurrection I am saved!! As we read about the people in the Bible, we can also read about others in history that God saved and used in different ways all over the world. People that we may not even realize loved and served God. People such as - Florence Nightingale, Frederick Douglass, Jean-Henri Dunant, Abraham Lincoln (this one will surprise you to read how he started out in his beliefs), Joseph Lister, Louis Pasteur, Charles Dickens, John D. Rockefeller Sr. and a few others.
You will find their stories in the book "They were Christians" by Cristobal Krusen.


About the Book:
What do Abraham Lincoln, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Louis Pasteur, Frederick Douglass, Florence Nightingale, and John D. Rockefeller Sr. have in common? They all changed the world - and they were all Christians. With passion and precision, Cristóbal Krusen brings to light the little-known stories of faith behind twelve influential people of history.
They Were Christians reveals the faith-filled motivations of these important world figures who made some of the most outstanding political, scientific, and humanitarian contributions in history. Discover the true stories behind:
  • the founding of the Red Cross
  • the family crisis that drove America's favorite president to his knees
  • the supernatural call that led a beautiful English socialite to save thousands of soldiers and more
The fascinating profiles of these faithful history makers will encourage, entertain, and inspire you to deepen your faith, pursue excellence in your vocation, and serve others.

MY REVIEW: The book is packed full of information about 11 individuals and their relationship with God. It is very interesting and I learned so much about these individuals. Also, it reminds me that their are people from the past, here in the present and in the future that have untold stories of how God works in their lives. A remarkable read that you will enjoy.

Blessings,

Karen Hadley
www.karenhadley.blogspot.com 

Monday, July 25, 2016


JULY 25, 2016

I Just love to read!! But you knew that already. (hehehe) I enjoy books of different genres for the most part. I enjoy novels that are light and humorous as Shanna Hatfield's "Learnin the Ropes." 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

 All he wanted was a job...

He didn't plan on a beautiful boss, a crazy dog, and a ranch in the middle of nowhere

Out of work and out of luck, auto mechanic Ty Lewis responds in a moment of desperation to a classified ad for a job in Harney County, Oregon. Offered the position on a remote ranch, he bids goodbye to his sister and his life in Portland. When he arrives in the tiny community of Riley to begin a new adventure, he encounters the behemoth dog that rules the ranch although he has yet to meet his boss, an elusive employer named Lex Ryan.
Lexi Ryan, known to her ranch hands and neighbors as Lex Jr., leaves behind a successful career in Portland to keep the Rockin’ R Ranch running smoothly after the untimely death of her father. It doesn’t take long to discover her father did many crazy things during the last few months of his life, like hiding half a million dollars that Lexi can’t find.
Ty and Lexi are both in for a few surprises as he arrives at the Rockin’ R Ranch and begins learnin’ the ropes.


MEET THE AUTHOR:
A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and a thing for dark chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna creates character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as "reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian" while her contemporary works have been called "laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way."

She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Sweet Romance Reads, Pioneer Hearts, and Romance Writers of America.

To learn more about Shanna or the books she writes, visit her blog http://shannahatfield.com or follow her on Facebook.                


MY REVIEW: I thoroughly enjoy Shanna's books. Be ready for a "Yee Haw" rip roaring fast read in "Learnin the Ropes." Did ya see the dog on the cover? I think she's my favorite in this book with Lexi and Ty coming in at a close second. Grab yer spurs, chaps and yer horse and be ready to gallop into this fun read!!! It's a must read Buckaroo!!

Blessings,

Karen Hadley

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


JULY 19, 2016                      RELEASE DAY
                                                                                             FOR
                                                  "TO FOLLOW HER HEART"
                                                                    AUTHOR: REBECCA DEMARINO

My Review: This is book 3 of The Southold Chronicles Series. As all three books are great reads, this is my favorite. Patience name describes her perfectly as she patiently awaits for the man she loves to settle down and marry her. But when it comes to a decision in doing something she vowed never to do again, will their love bring them together? She lost him once will she lose him again or overcome her fears so they can be together? Read the Book!

Blessings,
Karen Hadley


Duty and love are powerful forces. Only one has the power to make her life complete.
It is 1664 and Patience Terry is devastated to learn that Captain Jeremy Horton’s ship has been shipwrecked off the coast of Barbados. There were no survivors. She had hoped that Jeremy would someday give up the sea and settle down with her in Southold, Long Island. Unaware his memorial service is being planned, Jeremy sails aboard a British warship with secret orders to attack New Amsterdam and claim it for the British Crown. When he makes his surprise return to Southold—and to an overjoyed Patience—it’s not quite the happily-ever-after his beloved had hoped for. With a finely tuned sense for authentic historical characters and settings, Rebecca DeMarino plunges you into a world of tall ships, daring journeys, and yearning hearts.

“A Satisfying, Emotionally Rich Conclusion to The Southold Chronicles Series”



      Rebecca DeMarino was born in Pensacola, Florida, the daughter of a Navy pilot. Her mother made a home for the family of six all over the map, including Virginia, Nevada, California, Washington, and Guam, before her parents put down anchor on a ranch in Oregon.
      As the wife of a young Air Force officer, married life brought more travel. She relied on her mother’s example of how to make a home anywhere. Her three beautiful daughters were born in Florida, Alaska and Nebraska. Retired after sixteen years with a major airline, she manages to fulfill her love of wanderlust with frequent family or research trips.
     Rebecca grew up listening to her mother’s family lore of a great-grandfather from generations ago. Barnabas Horton sailed from England in the 1600’s, to Long Island, N.Y., on a ship called The Swallow. In 1999, after she found Horton Point, L.I., on a map, Rebecca and her mother made the journey to see the lighthouse named after their ancestor.
     The legend goes that Barnabas brought a slab of blue slate with him from England, and had the epitaph he wrote himself engraved on it. The blue slate still exists in the Old Cemetery in Southold, L.I., with the Bible verse, “He being dead, still speaketh.” Much information was found about Barnabas, but none of his wife, save a mention in his will.
     Her mother passed away in 2005, but Rebecca returned to Southold many times, drawn by her Puritan roots and English heritage. Each time she wondered about her ninth great-grandmother, a young woman who married a widower with two young boys and then followed them for the wilds of Long Island, leaving behind her home and family. What were her dreams? Her motivations? Her fears?

Rebecca’s historical romance novel, A PLACE IN HIS HEART, debued with Revell, a division of Baker Publishing House, in June of 2014.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, July 16, 2016



To purchase your own copy of Going Up South, click here.

About the Book

No one told him he had a son.
Actor Dylan Conner is furious. Not only has he been left out of his child’s life, the baby boy has been given another man’s last name. Determined to be a better father than the sorry guy who’d left him and his mother, Dylan fights to ensure a significant place in his son’s life. Unfortunately, his bad-boy reputation overshadows his good intentions. Only one woman in this small town sees beyond his Hollywood image. And he’s falling for her. Too bad she’s the custody mediator.
After her scandalous divorce in the small town of Oxford, Mississippi, attorney Cassie Brooks has no intentions of practicing law again. The humiliating experience left a bitter taste for love, marriage, and her profession.
Now friends need Cassie’s help in a custody negotiation, and her role demands she remain objective. She never expected to be drawn to Dylan Conner—the actor who everyone warns is bad news. Not only is the mediation at stake, but so is her heart.

MY REVIEW: This is book 2 is the Southern Hearts Series. I would recommend reading book 1 "Leaving Oxford" first. It will help you understand the characters and their lives better. But don't let that stop you from reading this book. The author writes about anxiety disorder through Cassie's life. This is a very real and life changing disorder that many are not even aware others suffer from it. Be prepared to journey with Cassie in facing her fears. I was so impressed with how Janet weaved salvation through the very core of this book through her characters as they each face hurdles to overcome. Especially Dylan Conner, he faces responsibility in learning he has a son, hiding to keep the paparazzi from discovering and being drawn to a woman he doesn't think he is worthy of. Can he get past his reputation as a player? Will he realized he needs God? Can he be a good father? Read the book! It's southern hospitality and charm will reel you in and keep you turning the page.

Blessings,

Karen

Rating: 5 stars

About the Author

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served her church as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.

Guests Post from Janet W. Ferguson

Hi, I’m Janet W. Ferguson, and I’m so excited to meet the readers of Celebrate Lit!
I’ve always been an avid reader, but I’ve had an odd career path prior to writing.
With a Banking and Finance degree, I took my first job working at a brokerage firm handling their mutual fund trades. After the market crashed in the late 80s, I took a job managing a large, upscale apartment community. During this time, I married and became a stay-at-home mom and church volunteer. My volunteering eventually led to a staff position as children’s minister. After five years, I felt my calling had changed, and I left the job, not really sure what God had in store. Haphazardly, my husband suggested I apply at our local schools. Not long afterward, I certified in teaching and became the library media specialist at the large public high school near our home. I met so many wonderful young people as children’s minister and high school librarian.
During my times as a librarian, I had a story idea for about seven years, but never made time to try my hand at writing. Finally, after my elderly parents passed away, and I felt it was time. I wrote every evening for three months, and finished my first story which was Leaving Oxford. I spent the next three years learning about the craft of writing and editing that story. Yes, there was much to learn! In the meantime, one secondary character from Leaving Oxford demanded his own story… From that, came Going Up South.
I tend to write what I know, and I’m from the peculiar and wonderful state of Mississippi. My first story was set mostly in Oxford, Mississippi. The charming town made the perfect backdrop for book 1. So book 2 is also mostly set in Oxford, although the characters go on a mission trip to Honduras.
The hero of Going Up South, Dylan Conner, is a funny and charming actor that made a number of appearances in Leaving Oxford. From outrageous costumes to intense flirting, he just had a personality as large as the characters he portrayed on the screen. In Going Up South, he realizes that he fathered a child, but he had been left out of the baby boy’s life. Though he’d never planned to have a family, due to his disappointment in his own father, seeing the child, his child, changes his mind.
Dylan’s not sure how he’ll raise a child or what to do, but he finds help in his new friend and custody mediator, Cassie Brooks.
The scripture theme for this series comes from Isaiah 61. This particular book draws on “He binds up the brokenhearted.”
The heroine, Cassie Brooks, is still hurting from her scandalous divorce in a small town. Unlike my last heroine in Leaving Oxford, Cassie had done things the way she’d been taught, avoiding alcohol, drugs, and sex outside of marriage. And her heart was still broken by an unfaithful husband. I wanted to show that life just hands out some tough blows, no matter how hard we try to do the right thing, but God is there in the midst of it all. He does bind up our broken hearts.
I pray that you are uplifted by this story, and whatever hurts life has dealt you, that you find comfort in the arms of our faithful Father. Blessings!

Blog Stops

July 8: Bigreadersite
July 11: Pause for Tales
July 17: Quiet Quilter

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away some fantastic prizes including a $50 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9e33

Friday, July 15, 2016


 


                                                                                                                   Purchase your copy here.
JULY 15, 2016

HOWDY!!!  How's everyone this fine July day? The book I'm reviewing today is Melissa Wardwell's "Dance and be Glad". While reading this it was like "Wow", is she a mind reader? Why do I ask? The heroine Jillian faces many emotional changes. I think everyone can relate to her experiences. We may not have gone through exactly what she did but we can relate to the emotions involved. Not only was this book enjoyable but reminds you of forgiveness, salvation, restoration and hope.  So, get the book, grab a cold glass of tea and relax! Your gonna fall in love with Jill, Mike, Emily, Katie and Sarah.

Blessings,

Karen
 
 I give this a 5 star rating!



About the Book

Jillian Matthews is a widowed mom and owner of a dance studio in a small farming community. When her husband died nine years ago in the desert of the Middle East, a piece of her died as well and she lost all joy in the day to day blessings. Tiny dancers and her daughter, Katie, are her main focus until an old flame, Michael Emerson, waltzes back into her life, awakening things she thought dead and gone.


Dr. Michael Emerson told himself he was happy with his bachelorhood after a messy divorce. He thought his life as an ER doctor and yearly missions work left  no room for a wife and family. When tragedy strikes and he is left with an unforeseen situation, he must evaluate his life and make some major changes.

About the Author

I am an independently published author of Christian romance.
I wear many hats from one day to the next. I am a devoted wife, basketball and dance mother, teacher, taxi service, friend, caregiver, daughter, sister, and now, published author. Seeing all that is enough to make my head spin. But more importantly, I am the Daughter of the Most High King.
I was raised in and still reside in a little farm town in Mid- Michigan called Corunna. It’s quiet and simple, just the way I like it. If I can’t live out in the country among the corn fields and trees then living in this small town works for me.  My husband and I have been together since high school and have 3 children, all of whom we homeschool. It has been quite the journey, but I couldn’t ask for a better life.
I decided to give writing a try because I needed something to occupy my down time, but after reading my first draft of my first book, What God Brings Together, I then understood that God had a much bigger plan.  God does not give His children a desire just so that it can go to waste. I never anticipated the journey God would put me on through writing, but I am excited to see what He has in mind for the future.
I have always felt a call to reach out to women and mothers, to encourage them in their lives. So naturally, all my stories revolve around women who are mothers: single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.
My greatest hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life. Lord, knows we have earned it.

Guest Post from Melissa Wardwell

When I wrote the first book in this series, “What God Brings Together”, it wasn’t supposed to become a series. It has seemed to have a mind of its own and is spiraling into other books.
You met Dr. Michael Emerson in the first book as the third wheel to Emma and Ryan’s crazy triangle. As soon as I finished it and read through it one last time, Mike’s character begged to have his own story. I felt bad giving such a nice guy a sad ending. So an idea formed for a story focused on him but it took me a while to decide on who his other half would be. I was sitting in front of the dance studio two of my kids attend, and it hit me. A Dance teacher and studio owner. From there the story went out of control- in a good way. The dance studio is the actual studio my kids dance at, and much of the descriptions of the location are the same as the space. The town is even the real town this studio is in. It is such a quiet place and I love it.
I live in the area this series takes place. The county has a funny name as it is a Native American name – Shiawassee. It is nothing but small towns and farm land. New Lothrop, the main location for this story, has a population of approx. 600. I spend many hours there because of dance and I have grown to love the quiet little farm town.
I like to bring light to actual business in some of my work, so when I chose to write in Infinity Dance Company I had to include the location. There is also a neat little coffee shop that I talk about in this book that is also an actual coffee shop.
I am all about promoting local business, so if I can plug a cool business in my books, I will.
You will see a bit more of another character from the first book, Tiffany, and you’ll get some insight into her story as well but you won’t get the full picture until the release of “I Know the Plans” which is set to come out no later than next spring – hopefully. I also introduce a new character in “Dance and Be Glad” whose story is heartbreaking but you won’t know much more until book four “Redeemed Through Grace” comes out in 2018.
“Dance and Be Glad” is about finding joy in the middle of uncertainty and the scary moments in life. We can let the sudden changes bring us down or we can look at them as an opportunity to learn something new. I have witnessed a lot of tragedy and sudden losses in my personal life to learn that God still has me in His hands even when I feel like my world is crumbling. My prayer is that each reader can have a similar revelation.

Blog Stops

July 13: Carpe Diem
July 14: Sue Stinnett
July 15: KarensKrayons
July 17: Petra’s Hope
July 17: Splashes of Joy
 July 24: Quiet Quilter

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away a wonderful package that includes a hand-crafted necklace. Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9ec0






Sunday, July 10, 2016





Purchase your copy here.

About the book

Out with Murphy and in with O’Reilly!

O’Reilly’s Law: Murphy was an optimist!
Marriage has been good to Aggie. After a few years and a baby under her belt, she’s confident that she can take on anything–including adding child number ten to the home! Blessings aren’t always easy, and Aggie is about to discover that in a whole new way!
When their near-idyllic life was turned upside down by senseless vandalism, Aggie and gang spent a week on “Aunt” Willow’s farm. Luke worked day and night to get them back home for Thanksgiving. But when things, once more, seem to pile up, Aggie flounders. Her pregnancy grows precarious, and her husband doesn’t recognize her anymore.
Only the Lord can soothe her rumpled spirit, but will she allow Him to comfort her as only He can?
Aggie’s sure that she just needs to “knuckle down” and “ante up” to keep from losing ALL her marbles.
Ante Up! is the fourth book in the Aggie Series

About the Author

Chautona lives in a small, remote town in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and six of her nine children. When not writing, she enjoys paper crafting, sewing, and looking forward to retirement from home education. Chautona writes stories of fictional people who have real problems, weaknesses, and triumphs. Through their stories, she tries to share the Hope that is within her.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

“You have eight kids? How do you do it? I can barely manage with the one (or two or three) that I have! I could never do eight.”
How many times had I heard those words? Ten? Fifty? A thousand? I suspect it was between fifty and a thousand. I guarantee it felt like a million. And the reason wasn’t that people were rude or unkind about it. It was simply because they assumed things that weren’t reasonable. They acted as if I’d woken up one day with eight kids and never had a problem with adapting to it.
The cold, hard truth? I never planned to have children—ever—much less the eight I had then or the nine I have now. I didn’t like children, and even now, I really just prefer mine and others’ in very small doses. I’m naturally a very selfish person. So the comments that made me sound excessively patient and maternal were, in a word, ridiculous.
I had one answer I always gave—just one. “I didn’t get them all at once. I got them one at a time, the old fashioned way. And with a minimum of about eighteen to twenty-two months of getting used to having two, three, six, seven before I got the next.”
But that thought haunted me for weeks. What would happen if someone did get eight at once? How would she handle that? Not like the women with multiples—five, seven, eight at a time. No, I was thinking of what it would be like for someone to have my kids just dumped on someone all at once with all those different ages to deal with. I think I should have known at that moment that my childhood dream of being a writer would come true, because my next thought was, “And what if she was single?” From there, I added more. A grandmother-in-law to rival any horror stories of mothers-in-law, home renovations with kids (every mother’s nightmare), grieving, and accident prone kids who can’t stop calling 9-1-1 and you had all the worst things I could think of without becoming ridiculous.
I had originally decided that Aggie would remain single. Yeah, that didn’t happen. So, I gave her personal convictions to follow. I added to that her sister’s convictions, just to keep things interesting. I wanted to show that people have convictions for a myriad of reasons, and just because they hold one, doesn’t mean they look down on those who don’t. That original story grew from a sixty-thousand word single book into a trilogy—each book being over one hundred twenty thousand words! I was sure people would hate the length, hate the story, and ride me out of the country on the proverbial rail. I just hoped I landed in the southern Atlantic—nice and warm.
Instead, Ready or Not has been my best selling book—an Amazon bestseller. The first promotion we did resulted in the book being downloaded every 3.6 seconds in a twenty-four hour period. I was flabbergasted. I did the math a dozen times to make sure. When the last book came out, fans bemoaned the loss of their favorite character. I added more of her to another series, Past Forward. That helped—a little.
Eventually, I agreed to write a fourth book. I waited, and I’m so glad I did. Nearly five years have passed since Aggie inherited her eight nieces and nephews, and nearly four have passed since she married and began a new journey with him. She’s a mother now, not “just” an aunt. She’s a wife. Her life is rich and full of the craziness readers have come to love. So in this book, I decided to explore what happens when life throws just one too many curve balls. I decided to show the children growing up and facing new trials and temptations. And, I wanted to give just a little bit of joy in the extended family front after three books of trials there. I thought it was about time.
My goal for these books has always been to point my readers to the Lord. I did that through one character’s wisdom, another’s steadfastness, and of course, through Aggie’s songs and bite-sized prayers (p-mails). In this book, I wanted to point readers to the Lord through Aggie again, but in a different way. I hope it is as encouraging to them as it was to me. I learned so much in the writing of this book. It laid open my heart before the Lord and I saw things in myself I didn’t want to see but needed to. The Lord is so good to us.
Don’t forget—for those who purchase before July 7, 2016, we’re giving away a FREE bonus devotional, Tune My Heart: 25 Hymn-Filled Moments with the Lord. Each chapter corresponds to the book and examines some of the themes of the book, so you don’t want to read it before you’ve read the book! To get your free copy, just forward your Amazon receipt to THIS EMAIL.


MY REVIEW: Hang on to your seat because this book is going to take you on a roller coaster ride that will leave you cheering for Maggie, Luke and their circus of 9 children with one on the way. There is never a dull moment in this household. In the midst of chaos and life you will find a family that loves deeply, cares sincerely and faces whatever pops up in their path. This tight and close family will teach you about forgiveness, compassion and loyalty. Even in the midst of difficulty whether it is, physical, emotional or spiritual, they learn to pray, encourage and their love for each other is the glue that binds them.

Blessings,
Karen Hadley

Blog Stops

June 30: Quiet Quilter
July 2: Mary Hake
July 7: Cassandra M’s Place (spotlight)
July 10: Karens Krayons
July 11: cherylbbookblog (spotlight)

Giveaway

 


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a Kindle Fire! Click to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9d3a