Saturday, July 16, 2022

Where You Are and How to Get There - Spotlight Book Tour



Where You Are & How to Get There
by Nolan Ryan Recker

Release date: August 4, 2022

Have you ever had the thought or asked yourself the question, “How did I get here?”

You know, the kind of question examining the indirect decisions and circumstances that led you to the point life that you even need to ask such a question.

One of the oldest questions ever recorded in human history speaks to this very question we ask ourselves in moments of doubt. What if that ancient question was a question we ought to ask ourselves on a regular basis?

Journey with me as we wrestle with a question that if meant for us, today, would change everything about we view the life we choose to live.



When we ask the question how,” most of the time we arent asking for an explanation. 

Oftentimes, we are really asking Why?” Though this question is more about wanting to know or understand something, maybe seeking some sort of explanation, as if we need someone or something to blame. 

This almost happens so often to a point where we think knowing the reason for something will make it better or easier to understand and accept. 

Why did that person drink, drive, and killed my daughter? 

Why didnt God save my marriage? 

Why did the bank lend me that money? 

Why didnt the President pass a better tax bill like they promised? 

These questions seem right whenever we ask them. 

How often does satisfaction come from the answers to these questions? 

If something didnt work out the way we wanted it to, asking why” is part of the process, but we often get distracted by the pain or disappointment. 

We cope. 

We deny the pain and move on with our lives. 

Eventually, we find ourselves asking the same questions over and over, as though we are only taking right turns in a corn maze. 



Links to All Excerpts:





Nolan’s toughest and rewarding opportunities are being a husband and a father. As a husband and a father, Nolan wants his family members to discover and live a flourishing life. Nolan’s life experience has covered the spectrum from being a camp counselor to a school teacher to a custodian to a Lead Pastor of a church. This, is why he writes. If he wrestles with the ideas he writes about, maybe others wrestle with the same things, and if they do, would they benefit from a different perspective? He’s honored to listen to anyone who graces him with their time to tell their story; especially if it involves coffee or pizza.



Sunday, June 26, 2022

Much Ado About Persuasion - Book Review and Giveaway!





Much Ado About Persuasion
by Barbara Cornthwaite


Some duel with swords, others with ships. In love, however, they duel with hearts.

When Sir Walter Elliot, secret admirer of the Navy, invites officers to visit his estate, what could be more natural than for his two daughters to find themselves in love?

Elizabeth Elliot’s legendary, bitter pride clashes with Admiral Baldwin’s stubborn conceit until any hope of a match seems impossible. They say love conquers all, but does it?

All looks hopeful for Anne Elliot and the dashing Captain Wentworth, but when a cousin steps in and sets evil plans into motion, is their love enough to withstand the storm, or is it best to let the captain sail that ship… alone?

Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion in this story about trust, disappointment, and disguises.

 Click here to get your copy!



As much as I love Shakespear and Jane Austen, it was so exciting to learn that this book would be a mingling of both authors stories.  That is to say that this author, Barbara Cornthwaite, wrote this book with two of their stories in mind--Much Ado about Nothing and Persuasion.  Even before I knew this, I could recall certain events from these books throughout the pages of Much Ado About Persuasion, which was simply marvelous!  

It is interesting to see how Cornthwaite is inspired by these two amazing classic authors as she takes note and inspiration from their work to pen her own words.  This was such a fabulous idea for a modern day story--of course, even though Shakespeare and Austen are from generations ago, we can still learn so much about life and friendship from them today.  If you enjoy classic literature, I recommend picking this book up!  Happy reading friends!  

 


Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her six children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

 

More from Barbara

I discovered Jane Austen in college when I was required to read Pride and Prejudice. This was in the dark ages before the famous adaptations, and I knew nothing about the storyline. In fact, I expected it to be depressing, probably because the title sounded similar to War and Peace. It was a delightful surprise to be charmed by the novel, and I went on to read all Austen’s other books on my own. Each of them have a special place in my heart. I love Emma so much that I wrote a two-book parallel novel for it (the George Knightley, Esquire series). I also have novellas based on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma in the A Very Austen anthologies. This book, however, is the first thing I’ve written based on Persuasion.

Shakespeare I met in high school, and furthered my acquaintance with him in college. Much Ado About Nothing is, I think, my favorite of his plays (although there are several close contenders for the top spot). His grasp of character is unmatched, and his language, even after five hundred years, is striking.

Mixing the stories of these two authors has been great fun, and redeeming a couple of characters who didn’t learn anything from their mistakes in the original stories gives my version a spiritual twist. I hope you enjoy it!




To celebrate her tour, Barbara 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.

Enter giveaway here!


Saturday, June 25, 2022

To Kiss a Wallflower - Excerpt and Spotlight Book Tour




To Kiss a Wallflower 

by Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore, and Anneka R. Walker

Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction


BOOK DESCRIPTION

To Kiss a Wallflower is the nineteenth book in the Timeless Regency Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories reveal that eventually, all wallflowers will have their chance at love...this is where it begins.


“The Wallflower’s Dance,” by Jen Geigle Johnson


Lottie Hughes likes people, as long as they aren't too close. Does it bother her that no one asks her to dance? Yes, but she's not sure how to drum up dance partners when she has almost no dowry, no title, and freezes up when anyone tries to talk to her. When she suddenly inherits a huge amount and is the new center of attention all over London, her secret dreams might come true but also her worst nightmares. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. Men ask her to dance. And she is inundated with interested suitors. She fights to stay close to the few friends she knows are true. One man saw her before her life changed forever. But does she want to accept his help when he, too, might be insincere?


“Letters to a Wallflower,” by Heather B. Moore


Ellen might be beautiful and considered a diamond of the first water by Society, but she is so very tired of the pressure to marry a titled gentleman so that her beauty won’t go to waste. When her cousin Dinah dares Ellen to attend a ball with no frills and to stand with the wallflowers, Ellen takes on the dare. What’s in the wager for her? The prize cuttings of her aunt’s extraordinary roses. But what Ellen isn’t expecting is Lord Ravenshire to engage her in the most interesting conversation. When she confesses to him of her opposition in marrying for a title, he confesses his distaste of the London scene. They strike a bargain together, one which will either push them apart or lead to a future sweeter than either of them could have imagined.


“To Marry a Wallflower,” by Anneka R. Walker


Charlotte Winters is destined to spinsterhood until she turns down an unwanted proposal and everything changes. With gossip rampant, her father attempts to salvage her reputation by betrothing her to another. Soon she is sent off to her aunt’s to meet Lord Templeton, her intended. Anxiety-ridden, Charlotte begs her aunt to let her observe Lord Templeton from afar before their introduction. She never planned to pretend to be her fictional cousin to learn more about him, or to fall in love with Lord Templeton’s friend in the process. Lord Templeton dreads returning to the empty halls of Newcliff Manor. When his father’s old friend, Mr. Winters reaches out for assistance, Lord Templeton finds himself returning home engaged to a woman he has never met. Desperate to learn more about Miss Winters, he befriends her cousin. He wouldn’t have spoken to her, or lied about his identity, if he’d known the quiet woman would sneak into his heart.

ABOUT THE SERIES

Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.  

 

ADVANCE PRAISE

·         “5 STARS - I loved the unique twists that each author used in their stories and how they tied them into the theme.”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads

·         “What a great set of stories! If you have read any of these three authors you know you are in for a treat. If you aren’t familiar with them, prepare to add their names to your list of favorites.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads

·         “I thoroughly enjoyed all three of these novellas. They were lighthearted, fun, and took me away from my worries for a while.”— A Bookish Romantic, Goodreads

 

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS



Letters to a Wallflower

by Heather B. Moore

Chapter 1

London, 1817

Miss Ellen Young was tired of being called beautiful.

As she gazed into the gilt-framed mirror, wrinkling her pert nose, pursing her rosebud lips, and narrowing her lake-blue eyes, she scowled at her reflection. Perhaps if she held this facial expression for an hour, a wrinkle would result. Or perhaps if the rain would stop for an afternoon, she could traipse through gardens and earn a few freckles.

“There you are, dearest,” Mother said, coming into the bedroom. “Why, Ellen, you’re not even dressed for the ball. Cousin Dinah is downstairs, ready and waiting. What will I tell her?”

Without turning, Ellen said, “Tell her she’s ready an hour early, and that I’ll be ready on time.”

Her mother sighed her usual sigh. In a couple decades, Ellen would probably resemble her tawny-haired mother, with gentle lines about her eyes and lips.

“Now be sure to tell Sally to add plenty of curls to your hair. Curls are most becoming on you.”

Ellen hid a grimace. “Of course.”

Her mother’s gaze was full of affection and admiration, which should make Ellen feel guilty. But it didn’t. Stepping forward, Mother smoothed a hand over the sleeve of Ellen’s day dress. “The Society papers were right. You are the diamond of the Season, dearest. I only wish I had the funds to buy you the latest fashions from Paris—”

“You’ve spent enough on my gowns,” Ellen cut in. “I don’t need extra frills or more luxurious fabrics.”

Mother tutted. “You’re right. You’re stunning without them, and you’ll have a marquess, or an earl, or even a baron proposing to you in no time.”

“Not all men of the ton are desirable, Mother,” Ellen cut in with a firm voice. “In fact, most of them are rakes—is that what you wish for my future? A cold marriage bed after I’ve delivered the requisite heir and a spare?”

“Ellen Constance Young! I did not raise you to speak of such vulgar matters!”

Ellen felt a little contrite, but only just. “I apologize.”

“Now,” her mother said, her tremulous voice taking on a new calm. “You must listen carefully to my advice, since I will not be attending tonight.” She brought a handkerchief to her mouth and coughed delicately.

Everything about Mother was delicate, even when she was ill.

“There will be many eligible gentlemen there, and Cousin Dinah knows who’s who. Don’t accept dance invitations from any men beneath your station.”

“Of course not,” Ellen murmured.

“I will send Sally in,” Mother said. “Expect her shortly. Make sure that she takes extra care with your hairdo tonight by adding in the orange blossoms that Aunt Margaret went to all that trouble to send for. They’ll set you apart from the other young misses, and you’ll earn compliments in the Society pages again.”

Ellen nodded, as if she lived and breathed mentions in the Society pages.

This was par for the course—the typical admonitions Mother had been giving her all Season. Thankfully, the Season was half over, and Ellen was happily counting down.

It wasn’t that she didn’t want to marry—unlike Cousin Dinah, who was thirty-one and a declared spinster. Having a wealthy husband certainly would have its perks, but did Ellen have to be on display to secure a husband? Parade in front of the hostess and the eligible bachelors, as if she were at a horse auction?

She couldn’t think of one sincere conversation she’d ever been a part of at a social function this Season. It was all gossip, judgement, and speculation: who was dancing with who; who was wearing the most fashionable dress; who had obviously eaten too many sweets the week before.

Would all the henpecking end with marriage?

No.

Married women were criticized even more: who was with child; who drove the nicest carriage; who had the invitation to dine with royalty; who had produced an heir; who was hosting the best event of the Season.

Instead of going to ball after ball, Ellen would prefer to tend to her small garden of flowers and herbs—the one that widowed Aunt Margaret allowed her to fully plant and care for by herself on the back terrace of her London townhome. It had become Ellen’s solace, her sanity while she and her mother spent the Season here. Ellen’s father had passed away a few years before and left them a widow’s cottage, but the estate had gone to the nearest male relative.

 

 




Jen Geigle Johnson is an award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well. 

She loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.

 

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Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She's lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.


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Anneka R. Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor's degree in English and history. When she isn't dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children. 

 

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