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Monday, December 18, 2017

About the Book

Name of book: Christmas Embers
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Contemporary Christmas
Release Date: November 25, 2016
It’s a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you try to hide it.
Emily Byrne sits in her daughter’s classroom listening to the deepest wishes of twenty kindergarteners as she sketches them. But when little Joey Cordell breaks down, weeping and insisting the only thing he wants to find is his father, she isn’t sure where her Christmas project will take her.
Davia Cordell came to Rockland for one purpose–find her son’s father before she dies. An ex-prostitute, she’s well aware that the news will cause waves, but what’s a mother to do?
As these women join forces to search for Joey’s father–a Rockland area pastor, no less– Emily learns compassion for a woman who just wants the best for her son and can’t quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her.
Each day, Davia weakens until Emily isn’t confident she’ll find the boy’s father in time–if at all. Doubts form. Should she look? Is it right to risk destroying a family like this–an entire church? The weight of that responsibility crushes her as Davia wastes away before her eyes.
A mother’s love. A boy’s confidence. A family’s faith. A preacher’s failure. Is redemption even possible anymore?
Christmas Embers: a story of love, failure, and redemption.
MY THOUGHTS:
As I sit here to write this review, tears come to my eyes. How does one review such a tender topic that leaves destruction in its path. Remember, God love is unfailing and let that wrap around your hearts in this season as we celebrate the person sent because of God's love.
Blessings,
Karen
Rating: 5*
I received this book as a gift and all opinions are my own.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Infidelity to the Tune of Adeste Fideles

“I think my husband is having an affair.”
 An explanation followed. Look, I tend to be one who assumes the best of others—to a fault even. I read the “evidence” and frankly could see it going either way. It’s hard to tell across thousands of miles. While others on the message board saw red flag after red flag—and frankly, I did, too—I also saw perfectly innocent explanations for things. It’s a curse sometimes—that ability to see both sides of an issue. I cautioned against assumptions no one would want other people to make of themselves. And I prayed she was wrong.
 She wasn’t.
 It wasn’t the first time I’d come face to face with infidelity. As a child, there was an extended family member. As a newlywed, one of my wedding party—then another. Then another. The excuses, the justifications. Friends and I went to confront a sister in Christ on her affair with her husband’s best friend. We foolishly asked “what happened?” regarding her marriage. Her words: “We drifted apart.”

I wanted to scream the words that battered my brain and heart. “Then row back together!

But over the years, it just grew worse. One by one, wives and husbands tossed aside vows made to a brother or sister in Christ—vows made before the Lord—in favor of what sometimes were serial affairs. Abuse. Horror.

I’ve prayed women I love through court cases, medical visits, and disclosures from children no mother should ever have to hear. I’ve prayed for men I didn’t even like because of the pain their wives inflicted each time she left them alone with the kids. He knew. He always knew.

Adultery is real. It’s ugly. And there’s absolutely a cure for it. Jesus. 100% surrender to Jesus. But as long as we rely on those little loops on the back of our boots instead of the saving, healing, strengthening power of Jesus, we’re just as vulnerable as the next person.

And that’s why I wrote Christmas Embers. I took every heartbreaking story I’d observed over the years and put in each character for a reason. Every scene, every plot point, every twist—I put them exactly how and where they are for a reason.

They’re there as a warning.

This isn’t your lighthearted Christmas novel. Some have suggested I shouldn’t have set it at Christmastime. But you know what? Over half the disclosures I’ve ever heard of happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I couldn’t get the idea of Joey’s story out of my head. And to write his story, it had to be at Christmas.

Let me say it again. While Christmas may not seem like the optimal time for a hard-hitting book like this, I had to do it. Adultery is reaching epidemic proportions in the church. There’s a solution. His name is Jesus.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, December 5
Mary Hake, December 5
Daysong ReflectionsDecember 6
Fiction Aficionado, December 7
Genesis 5020, December 7
Blogging With Carol, December 8
The Power of Words, December 8
BigreadersiteDecember 8
A Greater YesDecember 9
Radiant LightDecember 9
Just Jo’Anne, December 10
For The Love of Books, December 10
Aryn the Libraryan, December 11
Quiet Quilter, December 13
AllofakindmomDecember 14
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
Pursuing StacieDecember 14
Pause for Tales, December 15
margaret kazmierczak, December 15
Red Headed Book LadyDecember 16
Purposeful Learning, December 16
Janices book reviews, December 17
Christian Bookaholic, December 17
Karen Sue Hadley, December 18
Remembrancy, December 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a 6 month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c512

Saturday, December 16, 2017

About the Book





Author: 
Amber SchamelName of book: 
Solve by Christmas
Genre: Historical Christmas
Release Date: September 1, 2017
When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.
“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”
Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.
As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living?
“Amber Schamel’s engaging prose weaves together not one, but two edge-of-your-seat threads in this historical mystery. With the hero racing against time to solve the two cases readers will be kept guessing as they attempt to crack the case. “ ~ Laura V. Hilton author of Christmas Admirer (Whitaker House)
 MY THOUGHTS:
What a fun read! I love the name Jasper for a detective and his favorite saying "Details, people, Details."  You will feel like you are on the two cases Jasper is seeking to solve. Along the way he finds himself with an assistant and possibly a girlfriend. It is a great read.
Blessings,
Karen
Rating: 5*
I received this book as a gift and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year Award in Historical Fiction. Between ministry, family and working in their family-owned businesses, Amber loves to connect with readers and hang out on Goodreads with other bookish peoples. Find her on the Stitches Thru Time blog, or on any of the major social media sites. Amber is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Pick up your copy here.

Guest Post from Amber Schamel

Thank you so much for joining us on the Celebrate Lit blog tour for Solve by Christmas!! I am so excited you’re here. For this special event, I wanted to share the inside scoop behind the story.
Solve by Christmas is a historical Mystery set in Denver during the great blizzard of 1913. It has a unique storyline, so people often wonder where the idea came from. Honestly, it was one of those ideas that just popped into my head, then took on a life of its own and evolved over several weeks.
I wanted to give my readers a new story before the year was out, but I didn’t have a specific plot in mind. I did know I wanted to write a Christmas story. So, I had that much. Then I decided I wanted something with a firm deadline.” If this doesn’t happen by this date, everyone dies” sort of thing. Then “By Christmas” popped into my head and flicked on a light. What if Christmas was the deadline?
I’ve always loved detectives and mystery stories, and they go perfectly with deadlines. So, then I thought, what if a detective must solve the case by Christmas or death wins?
Sometimes, as an author, there are ideas and thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Almost like God dropping a card into your mental mailbox. The next point of Solve by Christmas was that way. What if a detective was assigned a case that he had to solve by Christmas, but it wasn’t a real case –at least not the type of case he wanted—but something completely different? From there, the story began to really take shape.
The next step, of course, is to come up with a character to be the detective. I wanted the story to have a Sherlock Holmes feel, so I started by studying his character a bit. But my story also has a less serious side since it isn’t a murder mystery and takes place at a sugar factory. I wondered…what would happen if you took Sherlock Holmes and meshed him with Barney Fife?
Now THAT would be hard to pull off. But I was determined to try. So, I made a list of Sherlock Holmes traits, and one of Barney Fife’s traits. I began to see that they actually DO have several similarities. They’re both a bit socially awkward. They both have a very similar flavor of pride. And they both have this air of authority…although Sherlock can back his up while Barney struggles in that area. Then I began to pick and choose between the traits that were left, this Barney trait, this Sherlock trait, and pretty soon I had Detective Jasper Hollock forming on the page. Whether you will get a Barney Fife and Sherlock feel when you read Solve by Christmas, I can’t say. But I do believe I was successful in creating a unique, quirky character that will bring this Christmas mystery to life.
There you have it. The scoop behind Solve by Christmas. I hope you enjoy the story, and best wishes in the giveaway! I will be stopping by along with Jasper and Denny (the two main characters) to answer any questions you may have about the story or the characters, so please do leave us a comment.

Blog Stops

BigreadersiteDecember 13
Genesis5020, December 14
Baker Kella, December 15
Daysong ReflectionsDecember 15
Karen Sue HadleyDecember 16
Aryn The LibraryanDecember 18
A Reader’s BrainDecember 18
Bibliophile Reviews, December 19
Mary Hake, December 19
Texas Book-aholic, December 20
Simple Harvest Reads, December 20
Babs Book Bistro, December 21
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 21 (Interview)
Just the Write EscapeDecember 23
The Power of Words, December 23
Live.Love.Read., December 24
Carpe Diem, December 24
Blogging With CarolDecember 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Amber is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas themed basket which will include a paperback copy of Solve by Christmas and The Swaddling Clothes (my two Christmas books) as well as a Christmas terrarium jar, and a Solve by Christmas notepad!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5bb


About the Book

Name of book: Hope Travels Through
Author: Loni Kemper Moore
Genre: Contemporary Lit
TeJae Smythe gave up on God and her hometown of Evansville, Indiana, ten years ago, but a deep personal loss requires her to return to both. Her life as a stewardess is going to be perfect. She has a plan. If only life would stick to it.
In Hope Travels Through, TeJae finds the biggest challenge comes from the conflict within herself. Will she hold it all together? Or will she fall apart and embrace the beauty in the midst of disaster?
Based on actual events of December 13, 1977, a date most people don’t remember, but one many living in the Ohio River Valley will never forget, the crash of the University of Evansville men’s basketball team plane.

Click here to purchase your copy.
MY THOUGHTS:
         A somber reminder to cherish your loved ones while you can. TeJae found herself learning that life isn't all about her and has regrets with the relationship with her mom.
The tragedy in Evansville also reminds us that life is short and also to be cherished.
My favorite character is Mikel and his love for the Lord and to reach out to TeJae.
Who does God want us to reach out to during this Christmas Season.

Blessings,
Karen
Rating:5*
I received this book as a gift and all opinions are my own.

About the Author




Loni Kemper Moore is a Denver-Broncos cheering, Diet-Pepsi sipping, Rocky Mountain adventure-seeking kind of girl. She’s passionate for God and wants to share His beautiful love through life’s ugliness with remarkable women around the globe. Her writing came alive seven years ago after she broker her ankle. The crazy time of being laid up forced her to flip through decades of diaries which inspired the story that became Hope Travels Through. When she’s not writing, she’s an entertainer, technical support analyst; mom of a teenager named Adam; traveler with Robert, her dear “Hugsband,” stepmom to University of Evansville alumna Becca and her husband, Anthony; and spender of way too much time on Facebook. With her experiences of learning to trust God through tragedy, being employed by travel agencies and Delta Air Lines, and attending University of Evansville graduate school, she’s the best person to tell this story.


Guest Post from Loni Moore

What Made Me Write Hope Travels Through?
The weathered orthopedic surgeon shook his head and stared at the x-rays. Without making eye-contact, he said, “I usually work on Olympians and professional athletes. This doesn’t look good. She’s going to have arthritis and limp for the rest of her life.”
I hadn’t had anything stronger than Tylenol since the entire weight of my 128 (at the time) pounds crunched my left ankle, 24 hours earlier.
Robert, aka Dear Hugsband, had told me, so very graciously, when we arrived at Skate City, “Once you’re over 50, you shouldn’t roller skate.” But our son, Adam was 10 and I wondered how many more years he’d want me to hang out with him, so I’d strapped on the skates and joined the crowd of skaters. I avoided landing on the body of the five-year old who cut me off. Didn’t that count for something?
However, none of that mattered at that moment. I needed drugs, and Robert agreed to whatever that surgeon said to get my prescriptions.
One afternoon, my stomach growled on a gurney as I waited in the surgery center with IVs in my hands until a perky nurse announced, “The doctor will need to reschedule because something came up.”
REALLY? After waiting 10 days, he no-shows?
I’ve never loved Robert’s New York attitude more than the next day when by 7 pm that evening I was at Red Robin, post-surgery, eating a celebratory French Onion soup. Thanks to a nerve blocker the new, cute surgeon had provided after rebreaking bones and inserting pins.
Adam was able to complete his homeschool work with little interference from my drug infested brain and I occupied my time by flipping through decades of accumulated diaries. The story of a woman surviving tough times percolated in my brain and I remembered my mother saying, “Everyone has a Great American Novel in her. You just need to take time to write it.”
As my leg healed leaving no arthritis nor limp, I returned to the million things life demands, including a visit to our Becca at the University of Evansville, where I’d done my graduate work. As she showed us the Weeping Basketball, my protagonist informed me the story began in 1976, not 2011. The story climaxed when the university’s men’s basketball team plane crashed, but I was too busy to spend much time on it.
Three days before Christmas that year, my younger sister passed away from Lyme complications, I could barely breathe. I’ve seen it a dozen times someone’s busy life prevents her from taking care of herself until something stops them in their tracks and they cannot move on. That happened to me.
At the time, Dear Hugsband programmed Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machine (you’re welcome), so Adam and I joined him in Atlanta for several months. During that time without the cooking-cleaning-requirements and Adam insisting he preferred independence of his homeschool curriculum with minimal input from me, I processed my grief by putting the story that became Hope Travels Through on my computer.
“In a weak moment, I have written a book.” Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind
Dear Hugsband loved his project with Coca-Cola and enjoyed everything about working in Atlanta except the humidity, the traffic and the commute. Typically, he worked in Georgia every other week, and was home every weekend.
But occasionally, he’d be forced to stay in Atlanta over the weekend and tried to find something to entertain himself. One weekend, after seeing every movie running, he decided to go to the Margaret Mitchell House Museum where one of my favorite books, Gone With The Wind, was written.
He bought me a mug with the above quote on it which he said was to encourage me in my writing, along with several commonalities between myself and the famous author.
  1. She was short—I am 5 feet tall, if I stretch;
  2. Her husband was over 6 feet tall—mine is 6’3 1/2”;
  3. She started writing her novel, after an ankle injury– I started writing after I a similar injury;
  4. She used a typewriter—I use a computer;
  5. Her mother gave her the quotes she used about how to survive in an upside-down world – my mom had a Bible verse for every occasion. I think her favorite was Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind, Loni to whomever…”;
  6. It took Margaret ten years to complete her novel – I’m not far behind, at nearly eight years.

Obviously, I don’t have one commonality with Margaret, in that she died at the age of 48 in a traffic accident, but his conclusions are precious.
I’m well aware the odds of my little novel being successful, without the industry connections Margaret had, are low, but it’s been a fun journey even if no one buys a copy!

Blog Stops

Karen Sue Hadley, December 16
Jami’s Words, December 17
Quiet Quilter, December 18
Texas Book-aholic, December 19
Radiant Light, December 20
Carpe DiemDecember 21
A Reader’s BrainDecember 22
A Greater YesDecember 23
Blogging With Carol, December 23
SusanLovesBooks, December 25
Remembrancy, December 26
Mary Hake, December 26
Janices book review, December 27
The Power of Words, December 28
Just Jo’Anne, December 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Loni is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5be