Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Red Ribbon Review with Celebrate Lit Tours

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About the Book

Book: The Red Ribbon

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian historical/suspense

Release Date: October, 2020

Red Ribbon 

An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912

Book 8 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

PepperBasham 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains where her family have lived for generations. She’s the mom of five kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at the award winning Writer’s Alley blog. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in April 2015, and the second in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuted in April 2016.

 

More from Pepper

Feuds, Moonshine, and Family Loyalties by Pepper Basham

My upcoming release for Barbour’s True Colors series is really close to my heart…and pretty close to my house.

The Red Ribbon, my first foray into a historical suspense novel, takes place in the county where I grew up. Carroll County, Virginia, is a county on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, not too far from Mt. Airy (Mayberry).  Nestled in the foothills and mountains of the Blue Ridge, it is a part of the Appalachian Mountains, and with that comes similar histories as other backwoods Appalachian communities: feuds, moonshine, and family loyalties.

One thing I love most about my Appalachian upbringing is the intense closeness of family – and when I say ‘family’ I mean, of course, my mom, dad, and brother, but also my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents…the whole “gang”, as my granny used to say.

The closeness of family, and the protection of the family name, is a big deal in Appalachia. There’s a lot of pride in the way your ‘name’ is thought of throughout the community, so when someone insults your name, there’s a good chance the repercussions aren’t going to be pleasant. Especially back in the early 1900s, when The Red Ribbon takes place. In fact, insulting someone by “stealing a kiss” is one of the events that leads to The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre/Tragedy.

A long-time feud between the Allen family and the “Courthouse Clan” came to a head inside the Hillsville Courthouse in March 1912 and this event resulted in the largest shootout within a courthouse in Virginia history. The story followed with a nationwide manhunt and made national news until the sinking of the Titanic the following month.

Growing up in Carroll County, I knew a few things about this story. Rumors and whispers, really. Most folks didn’t talk about it because it still caused a stir among those who were descendants (because another thing about Appalachia is that families tend to stay on or around family land for generations). People still took “sides”. So, when I decided to write this book, I knew I was stepping into precarious territory. Not that anyone would start up a shootout nowadays because of a book, but because people still have some deep feelings about how their ancestors are portrayed in history, and since many of my family members still live in Carroll County, I wanted to tread carefully into the events of “The Allen Tragedy”.

What I discovered was a story that still held a whole lot of mystery even one hundred years later. Bullet holes still mark the courthouse steps from that fateful day, rumors still circulate about who was to blame, and no one knows who fired the first gunshot that began the tragic shooting.

I’m not a “scary” book writer or reader, but I love a good adventure, so this book takes the reader on an adventure into Appalachia to my neck of the woods, and follows the journey of Ava Burcham and Jeremiah Sutphin as they live among the illegal moonshiners, dirty cops, and mountain gunslingers of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

(To learn more about the true events of the Courthouse Tragedy, you can read about it here: LINK

Have you ever read a book set in Appalachia? If so, what was the title and what did you learn about the Appalachian culture? Have you ever visited the Blue Ridge Mountains?

Let’s chat mountain people, mountain ways, and mountain books 😊

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

Fiction Aficionado, October 29

deb’s Book Review, October 29

Blossoms and Blessings, October 29

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 30

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Blogging With Carol, October 30

Inklings and notions, October 31

Emily Yager, October 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 31

Hallie Reads, October 31

For Him and My Family, November 1

reviewingbooksplusmore, November 1

Christian Bookaholic, November 1

Betti Mace, November 2

Genesis 5020, November 2

For the Love of Literature, November 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , November 2

Rebecca Tews, November 3

Robin’s Nest, November 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 3

Connect in Fiction, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 4

To Everything There Is A Season, November 4

Artistic Nobody, November 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 5

By The Book, November 5

Remembrancy, November 5

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 6

Britt Reads Fiction, November 6

Life of Literature, November 6

Connie’s History Classroom, November 7

Splashes of Joy, November 7

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 7

A Reader’s Brain, November 8

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 8

Through the Fire Blogs, November 8

Godly Book Reviews, November 8

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, November 9

Bigreadersite, November 9

Where Faith and books Meet, November 9

Books I’ve Read, November 10

Just the Write Escape, November 10

Adventures of a Travelers Life, November 10

Amanda Tero, blog, November 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 11

Pause for Tales, November 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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.

GIVEAWAY

 

  My Thoughts

I have read a few of Pepper’s books and so I was excited to pick up a copy of this book. I love the idea of this book series of true crime and have read a couple of the other books. I think this is the best book in this series so far. Pepper adds a bit more character development and a tad more romance to this book compared to the others. There was just more depth to the story line.

This book wasn’t terribly suspenseful and moved a tad slow for me but it was still a good quick read. I think each book Pepper Basham writes is better than her last. I am excited to read what she comes out with next!

 

“I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. All opinions are my own and I am not required to write a positive review.”

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Nothing Short of Wondrous

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 About the Book

It is 1886, and the government has given the US Cavalry control of Yellowstone. For widowed hotelier Kate Tremaine, the change is a welcome one. She knows every inch of her wilderness home like the back of her hand and wants to see it protected from poachers and vandals.

Refused a guide by Congress, Lieutenant William Prescott must enlist Kate's aid to help him navigate the sprawling park and track down the troublemakers. But a secret from his past makes him wary of the tender feelings the capable and comely widow raises in him. When her 6-year-old son is kidnapped by a poacher who wants the boy to guide him to the place where the last of the Yellowstone bison congregate, Will and Kate must work together to rescue him, save the bison, and protect the park. In doing so, they may just find that two wounded hearts can share one powerful love when God is in control. (Goodreads)

 

BUY HERE

 

My Thoughts

 

I love National Park history so most any book that has to do with that subject I get excited to read. This book started off pretty good. Of course the setting of Yellowstone is wonderful and I loved the peek into what it might have been like in 1886. I really struggled in loving the characters and that is what made this story simply not my favorite. I think the story line was okay but I just didn't love Kate or William. There are some great chapters that made me keep wanting to read what would happen next. I think if you enjoy National Parks you might enjoy this story. 

 

Three Stars. 

 

"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sound of Falling Leaves

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About the Book

 After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. She retreats to her aunt's apple orchard in rural North Carolina to collect folk ballads. But amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community, she uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. Tessa gets a glimpse into an almost-forgotten world, encounters a corrupt, small-town political dynasty, and finds superstition and prejudice at every turn.

She's also drawn to Zeke, the handsome but enigmatic orchard caretaker, who shows her that mountain justice is neither impartial nor just. But battling a conspiracy of silence, Tessa isn't sure if she can trust him. Yet somewhere in the mists of the Blue Ridge Mountains, evil lurks, and a killer is determined to keep the past where it belongs--dead and buried. (Goodreads)



BUY HERE

My Thoughts

 

The story line of this book intrigued me so I thought it would be a great book to read this time of year. The characters are all very strong willed and add a certain flair to the book. The story was a tad slow for me at times. I really enjoyed the history of the rural North Carolina area and there are some great secondary characters that make this story all the better. Zeke had me puzzled for a while and I just wasn't so sure about him but by the end of the book I thought his character developed nicely. I wasn't on the edge of my seat reading it but I still enjoyed the book. 


Four Stars. 


"I received this book for free from the publisher. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."







Saturday, October 24, 2020

My Thoughts on The Love Note

 
 
 
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About the Book

 Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1859 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight. (Goodreads)

BUY HERE

My Thoughts

 

The cover of this book is stunning and after reading Joanna Politano's previous novels I knew I needed to read this one. I completely fell in love with this story and the characters. This is Politano's best yet and I couldn't set it down. I love the mystery and setting and probably my favorite character is Aunt Maisie as she added a lot to the story. The romance is very well written and I also appreciate the strong willed women who believe they are capable of bigger things. The ending takes you on an extra adventure you won't expect and while slightly rushed (I didn't really want it to end) it wrapped things up nicely. 

If you are searching for a new adventure look no further. Five stars! 


"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."






Thursday, October 15, 2020

Texas Holiday Hideout Review with Celebrate Lit Tours

 

Texas Holiday Hideout Banner

About the Book

Book:  Texas Holiday Hideout

Author: Virginia Vaughan

Genre:  Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date:  October 1, 2020

Texas Holiday Hideout Cover 

When her identity’s exposed,

hiding on a lawman’s family ranch is her last hope.

After her mother is killed, Melissa Morgan’s shocked to learn she’s spent her life in witness protection. Now it’s US marshal Miles Avery’s job to keep her and her little boy safe. And with a mole in his agency, the only way to evade the killer is to hide Melissa on Miles’s family ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

virginia-vaughan-HR-2 

Virginia Vaughan is a multi-published author of inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love of writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger.

 

More from Virginia

What if one day you discovered you were in the Witness Protection Program and didn’t know it?

This is the premise for my October book, TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT, which releases this month. My heroine, Melissa Morgan, learns she and her mother entered the program when Melissa was a child. Her mother never told her and, when Melissa witnesses her mother being murdered, she becomes the assassin’s next target. US Marshal Miles Avery steps in to protect the single mom and her son from a killer, but a leak in WITSEC leaves him with little options except to take his witnesses to his family’s ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.

So, in celebration of TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT releasing this month, here are 10 things about the Witness Protection Security Program (or WITSEC) I learned during my research for this book.

  1. The program is voluntary. No one can be forced to enter.
  2. You can leave the program at any time—although it is not recommended.
  3. No person in the program, who follows the rules, has ever been killed.
  4. People entering WITSEC sometimes keep their same first name and/or initials so that if they mess up and start to sign their name, they have time to correct.
  5. Since WITSEC is a federal program, many states have their own programs to protect witnesses of gang or street-level crimes.
  6. If you get married while in WITSEC, you must lie to your new spouse to protect your true identity in the event the relationship doesn’t last.
  7. Protected witnesses are mostly criminals. Only about 5% are innocents despite the popular trope in movies and fiction.
  8. Local law enforcement may or may not be notified when a protected witness is relocated to their jurisdiction.
  9. Divorced, non-custodial parents have had their children hidden from them and now must agree to allow their children to enter the program.
  10. WITSEC protected witnesses are expected to eventually become self-sufficient. They do not get to live off the government for the rest of their lives.

Did any of these facts about WITSEC surprise you? I’d love to hear which ones. I had a lot of fun researching WITSEC for TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT. I hope you enjoy Miles and Melissa’s story! Look out for the next book in the series—middle brother Navy SEAL Paul Avery’s story—coming in TEXAS TARGET STANDOFF in March of 2021.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, October 8

Genesis 5020, October 8

Hallie Reads, October 8

Artistic Nobody, October 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 9

Texas Book-aholic, October 9

reviewingbooksplusmore, October 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 10

deb’s Book Review, October 10

The Cafe Scholar, October 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 11

KarenSueHadley, October 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 11

Older & Smarter?, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 12

Simple Harvest Reads, October 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

She Lives To Read, October 13

Hebrews 12 Endurance, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 13

Betti Mace, October 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 15

Lighthouse Academy, October 15

To Everything There Is A Season, October 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 16

Blogging With Carol, October 16

Book Love, October 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 17

Batya’s Bits, October 17

Emily Yager, October 18

Labor Not in Vain, October 18

HookMeInABook, October 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 19

Mary Hake, October 19

Daysong Reflections, October 19

For the Love of Literature, October 20

Bigreadersite, October 20

EmpowerMoms, October 20

Blossoms and Blessings, October 21

Splashes of Joy, October 21

Pause for Tales, October 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Virginia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Texas Holiday Hideout!!

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

 ENTER HERE

 

 

My Thoughts

 

Characters that are some how tied to the witness protection program fascinate me. I found this book to be interesting because of the research the author has done on the subject. I liked Melissa's character and the overall idea for the story line. At times I felt like things got a bit slow. I liked the setting and Miles family is fun to read about. While this was a quick easy read I wish it hadn't ended so abruptly but I know that is difficult to avoid when writing a LoveInspired novel. For a quick read this one was enjoyable just not my favorite. 

 

Three Stars. 

 

"I received this book from the author for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

My Thoughts on The Sowing Season

 

 

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About the Book

 After he's forced to sell the family farm he's labored on his whole life, 63-year-old Gerrit Laninga doesn't know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for the land--his time, his health, his family--with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him.

Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters has growing doubts and fears about The Plan--the detailed blueprint for high school that will help her follow in her lawyer father's footsteps. She's always been committed to The Plan, but now that the pressure to succeed is building, what was supposed to unite her family in purpose, may end up tearing it apart.

When their paths cross just as they each need a friend the most, Gerrit's and Rae's lives begin to change in unexpected ways. Can they discover together what really matters in life and learn it's never too late for a second chance? (Goodreads)

 

 

BUY HERE



 My Thoughts


I am always excited to read a new author and this book is pretty fantastic. It isn't a fast paced book but it holds a lot within the pages. The two main characters are so well written. Gerrit is my favorite and honestly I giggled my way through this book. Rae reminds me a lot of myself when I was her age so I enjoyed getting a peek into her world. I love that the author takes two unlikely characters and forms a relationship. I also love this story because it is real life. She touches on a lot of things that you wouldn't expect. Her writing style reminds me a little bit of Fredrik Backman's books and I found it to be unique and fresh for the Christian fiction genre. 

If you are looking for something new I highly recommend this book! 


Five Stars. 


"I received this book from Bethany House for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Price of Valor Review



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 About the Book

 Former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones thought that the love of his life was dead. But when a girl claiming to be his daughter shows up with a dire message from his wife, Ham knows he will stop at nothing to find her and bring her home.

Kidnapped by rebels while serving as an interpreter in Ukraine, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to Ham for safekeeping. She's ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.

When Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for his wife and love for the nation he has vowed to protect. Will he save the many? Or the few?

USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren takes you on a global search and rescue mission where the stakes are higher than ever in this final installment of her popular series. (Goodreads)


BUY HERE

My Thoughts

 

I really enjoy Warren's books and this is the ending to a book trilogy. There are a lot of other characters in this book that are tied to her other books so it is helpful to have read her previous series as well. I loved the first book in this trilogy. By the time this book came out I was more than ready to read what happens with Ham. While this book holds all the excitement and near death experiences it ended up not my favorite. There are so many things that happen that just seem too unrealistic. There is a lot to keep track of between all of the people and the stories it is just a bit much. I still enjoyed the story but the way it all ended didn't have me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the other main story line with Jenny perhaps a bit more than Ham and Signe. It was nice to have that conclusion as well. Overall this is a fun series it just isn't my favorite that she has written. 


Four Stars. 

 

"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review. "








Saturday, October 3, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020

My Thoughts on Until I Met You

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 About the Book

 When she hears that the small town of Heritage, Michigan, is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a storage closet stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.

All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished so he can do right by the family business and then extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town's new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints--and possibly even his heart?

Novelist Tari Faris invites you back to the small town with a big heart in this second book in the Restoring Heritage series. (Goodreads)


BUY HERE


My Thoughts

 

This was just a fun book to read. I loved the first book and this one was just as good. You need to read book one though prior to reading book two. I loved the characters and all of their flaws. Austin drove me a bit insane the majority of the book but I also understand he had a lot he needed to deal with. The setting is just the best and Otis the hippo I thought was hilarious and a "Gilmore Girl" type thing to add to the story. The writing of this novel really makes me think of Susan May Warren novels. Tari Faris does have her own way with words and I just enjoyed this book so much I didn't set it down until the end. It is definitely a contemporary romance and maybe a bit more on the romance side. My favorite part of this book though is Libby. Maybe it is because I felt like I could relate to her but I really enjoyed reading her character develop within the pages. 


I can't wait to read more by this author! Five stars. 


"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."