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Saturday, October 21, 2017

About the Book

Name of book: Devil in the Dust
Author: Cara Luecht
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 3, 2017
June 1933
Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see.
Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplated.
Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life.
And then he comes.
His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?
MY THOUGHTS:
  I live in Southern Oklahoma but the dust bowl was up in the panhandle of the state. This book reminded me of the horrible time this was in just not Oklahoma but the surrounding states as well. I liked that the author brought the despair, hunger, feeling of hopelessness into her story. Jessie's part in sad but she was in a situation where she felt she didn't have a choice and we've all been there. Tough times hit and hard decisions have to be made. The author paints a vivid picture of the Dust Bowl.                        Blessings,                                                                Karen                                                                     Rating: 3*                                                             I received a complimentary copy of this book and all opinions are my own.
 

About the Author

Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. In addition to freelance writing and marketing, Cara works as an English Instructor for a local college. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

Why I wrote Devil in the Dust.
One Sunday after church, we decided to go to lunch with another family. We hadn’t had the opportunity to get to know this couple well, but the conversation was amazing, we laughed until we almost cried, and I’m pretty sure the restaurant manager was glad to see us go.
On the way out, the topic grew more serious, and I mentioned something that worried me. It was maybe a sentence—I was not baring my soul—but the woman with whom we had spent the last couple of delightful hours stopped, blinked, and put up her wall-of-a-Christian-smile. In an instant, I knew I had been judged as negative. You see, for many Christians, the mantras of “the battle is already won,” “faith will get you through,” and the largely American “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” have drowned out the quieter mandate to care.
I went home chased by the feeling that, somehow, I didn’t measure up. And for a time, I dredged that place of overthinking, attempting to float a reason out of that murky pond where insecurity hides.
Of course, I came up with nothing, and decided to put my efforts into deciding what my next novel would be. Unfortunately (or fortunately), at this stage, every little life experience has potential for use.
While I had been undecided on theme, I knew I wanted the setting for the novel to be in the dustbowl in the 1930s. I began researching, and I realized the scope and human impact of this disaster was much larger than I had remembered from history class. More importantly, it lasted an entire decade. For a decade, people dealt with hunger and drought and death from breathing in the ultra-fine soot. Children were lost. Families abandoned their farms. People survived on rations of canned government meat…and that’s when they were lucky. Many felt cursed.
Life was hard. I imagine that smiles were rare, even in the church.
I started thinking about what it would take for a community to survive devastation on this scale. I considered the kind of people who make up a town: merchants, teachers, police, farmers, and ministers. And while merchants and teachers, along with everyone else, would feel the change brought on by the slow death of a drought, for a minister it would be different. A minister’s purpose is to bring people the good news of the gospel. Technically, their job would stay exactly the same, except every phrase they spoke would shift in meaning because the context—the lives of those sitting in the pews—had changed so dramatically.
Growing up as the child of a pastor, I have some knowledge about how a minister’s home works. And in all my research I was left with one question: How could a minister preach every Sunday to a congregation of people who had lost everything with no hope for improvement anytime soon?
I moved my research to the Bible, and when I did, I came across the story of Lazarus. I have heard and read this story countless times, but in the light of trying to puzzle out what a pastor might do in a situation where it looks like all has been lost, I realized something about the story that I had never considered. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he cried with Lazarus’ sisters. He shared in their grief even though he knew it would end. He stayed there with them in that moment of sorrow.
I came to the conclusion that during times of suffering, our responsibility to others should look nothing like that drought-of-a-Christian-smile that I met outside that restaurant. Rather, it should emulate Jesus’ example. When we make Christianity only about victory, and turn faith into a wish book, we strip it of its most powerful message: hope. Not eternal hope, but the hope of not being alone. More often than not, we lack the ability to change someone’s circumstances. What we can do is come up alongside someone and help carry their burden even if only for a few minutes. Christianity is not a way to avoid suffering, it’s about finding meaning through the suffering.
I wrote Devil in the Dust as an exploration of what it means to be a Christian while standing in the midst of a desert. Told through the voices of three women who endure the quiet shame of poverty, Devil in the Dust is a story about what happens to faith when everything goes wrong.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, October 12
A Reader’s Brain, October 13
Blogging With CarolOctober 14
Bukwurmzzz, October 15
Books n Baubles, October 17
Mary Hake, October 19
Pause for Tales, October 20
Bigreadersite, October 20
Karen Sue Hadley, October 21
Daysong Reflections, October 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of Devil in the Dust!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c201

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley"
          by: Andrea Boeshaar



Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where...

With Very Little Left of the Family Farm, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight and despite a poor start, the two become friends. . .if only he were financially stable to offer her more.

When Lily’s life is threatened and his whole future goes up in flames, Mac truly becomes a man without means, and Lily is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?

Journey into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where a woman’s dreams and future happiness are on the line.





MY THOUGHTS:
           
 I always enjoy Andrea's books. This is such a great story. Lilly is a sweetheart and trusting, too trusting. Her two brothers are ornery but adorable. Mac becomes her neighbor but fights any attraction to her. She can't resist him, his charm or his being her knight in shining armor. Elliott, oh he made me so mad, I hoped Mac would knock his lights out. 
 I hope there is a 2nd book.  You will too when you read this book.

Blessings,
Karen Hadley
Rating:5*
"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."

Andrea Boeshaar has been married for nearly 40 years. She and her husband have 3 wonderful sons, 1 beautiful daughter-in-law, and 5 precious grandchildren. 

Andrea's publishing career began in 1994 when her first novel was released by Heartsong Presents (Barbour Publishing). She went on to write numerous romances for the book club and was voted one of the line's "Favorite Authors" several times over. 

Over the years, Andrea has written books for such publishers as Summerside Press, Guideposts, Charisma House/Realms, and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Andrea's book "A Thousand Shall Fall: A Civil War Novel" is set in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in 1864. Through the efforts of the Seymour Agency, it is contracted with Kregel Publications and released in the autumn of 2015. Additionally, Andrea contracted with the Prism Book Group for a collection of 3 romantic novellas called "Seasons of Love." Her latest book, "Too Deep For Words: A Civil War Novel" is book 2 in her Shenandoah Valley Saga. 

In 2000, Andrea co-founded ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) with author Lynn Coleman and served on the organization's advisory board for a number of years. Although no longer in leadership, Andrea maintains her membership in the organization and her local ACFW-WISE chapter. 

Andrea worked as a literary agent under the tutelage of Joyce Hart and the Hartline Agency. Andrea saw much success. But in 2007, Andrea realized she was more of a coach than literary agent. She earned her certification in Christian life coaching. Now she is the purveyor of Steeple View Coaching for Writers. Recognizing one of her client's gifts and potential, Andrea wrote a novella with debut author Christina Miller called "One Way to the Altar" (Convenient Brides Collection). The anthology made its way to #15 on the ECPA's Bestseller List for August.

For a complete listing of Andrea's books, and information about her business, log onto: www.andreaboeshaar.com

Friday, October 6, 2017




Series: The Nosy Parker Mysteries
Genre:  Journey Fiction, Historical, Mystery 
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: August 1, 2017

Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy 
Heights Girls' Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy 
Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes,
 and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to
 work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little
 corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more 
sensible careers. Until... 
Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led 
to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her
 Master's Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance
 exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel 
in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately,
 on her first night working in the Archives room, she 
discovers the dead body of a visiting professor,
 the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again. 
As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame
 Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, 
whom can she trust? How can she clear her name?
 The police and the American Consul have plenty 
of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive
 and opportunity: Heather and the quiet 
Scottish historian she longs to believe in.

GOOD MORNING AND FRIDAY IS A COMING!          
      Okay, I hope you are having a great week. Mine has been crazy and
that is okay because I’m a little crazy too. For example, yesterday I was
typing this review, had it finished and went to save it and it disappeared
into cyber space or wherever things go when you can’t find them. So,
there ya go but you know what I’ll rewrite the review and life will go on.
The Case of The Clobbered Cad” reminds me of my youth when I read
The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. I love the who-dun-it books. This is a great mystery with all the character and the trying to figure out “WHO-DUN-IT” you’re looking for.
       Heather is so brave to be in a foreign country with no family trying to finish her degree. Throughout she finds friends she can rely on or can she. You will twist and turn trying to discover the culprit. Is
it someone she knows, has she been set up or maybe it’s someone she doesn’t expect at all. I will say that Mrs. Kintyre is my favorite character. She’s nosy and likes to play detective and she doesn’t let
anyone stop her. She is a hoot!!!
            My advice on this book: READ IT!!!

Blessings,
Karen Hadley
Rating: 4*
I received this book as a gift and all opinions are my own.




Debra E. Marvin is a member of ACFW, Sisters in Crime, a Grace Awards Judge, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She’s one of the founders of Inkwell Inspirations Blog, and is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, Journey Fiction and contracted with Barbour Publishing. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University in upstate NY, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling   with her childhood friends.

                     
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | AMAZON | WEBSITE




  1. We reference “The Girl Detective” but we never actually use her name!  You know who I’m talking about though, don’t you?
  2. The book is set in 1956.  Can you guess why I chose that particular year? Go ahead. You won’t offend me!
  3. Heather’s first trip abroad is to the U.K. Sixty years later, Debra made her first trip abroad and was greeted in the Edinburgh airport by a lovely customs agent with a broad Scottish accent. (Debra grinned like an eejit!)
  4. The Case of the Clobbered Cad was originally set in Old Sturbridge Village because I wanted to visit there. The heroine was a history major doing an internship.  When I made the last minute decision to buy a ticket to Scotland, I asked my publisher if she minded if I changed the setting! She loved the idea!
  5. Like Heather, my grandfather was Scottish. (though mine was born in the U.S. to a Scottish immigrant family). He insisted I was “Scots t’ the backbone and prood of it.” What a thrill to be able to visit the village where his my great-grandparents called home.
  6. I visited the Archeology Department at the University of Edinburgh and went inside the archives room. If you read the book, you’ll understand why that was so important! (Though in 1956, the setting was completely different!)
  7. I actually stayed on both of the Edinburgh streets used as ‘home addresses’ for two of my characters.
  8. Some retired policemen and professors answered my questions, including a gentleman with an OBE.  You do know what that means, don’t you?
  9. Lisa Richardson, author of The Counterfeit Clue designed the covers!
  10. While my earlier published works have been sweet romances, mysteries are my first love and I hope to take Heather elsewhere in Scotland and Ireland.

         
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October 2-Reading Is My SuperPower
October 3-Bibliophile Reviews
October 4-Singing Librarian Books
October 5-Joy of Reading 
October 6-Karen Sue Hadley
October 7-Fiction Aficionado
October 9-A Baker's Perspective
October 10-allofakindmom
October 11-The Power of Words
October 12-By The Book
October 13-Ponderings of a Poet & Procrastinator
October 14-Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen 




                                                     Enter the giveaway HERE.



Monday, October 2, 2017

Riveting New Series Offers Legal Suspense                                                                   with a Romantic Twist
Rachel Dylan's new release "DEADLY PROOF"


In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower's allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer. 

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he's intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial.



MY THOUGHTS:
              I am never disappointed in Rachel's suspense filled books. This was a intriguing read. Just when I thought I had it figured it out I would read something that left me "Whoa, where did that come from?" And I love that in a book. Within this book you will find crime, murder, theft, suspicions, struggles of all kinds, hustling to make one's mark in society, danger and always being on guard because one doesn't know who can be trusted. The past comes forth to be faced, memories flood places that shatters the hope that no one find out about the past lives of the characters. Be prepared-you'll be surprised at the ending. I totally was, it was great!

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








Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. The Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta kicks off with Deadly Proof. Lynette Eason described Deadly Proof as "a legal thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night." In addition, Rachel writes the Danger in the Deep South including Lethal Action and Devoted Defender which appeals to fans of edge of your seat romantic suspense. Rachel also writes the Windy Ridge series including Trial & Tribulations and Fatal Accusation. These legal thrillers with elements of spiritual warfare are great for fans who enjoy books by Peretti or Dekker. Trial & Tribulations was a Selah finalist in 2016. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at www.racheldylan.com.