Blog Tour — Softly Blows The Bugle

21 Oct

Softly Blows the Bugle Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Softly Blows the Bugle by Jan Drexler, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Softly Blows the BugleTitle: Softly Blows the Bugle
Series: The Amish of Weaver’s Creek #3
Author: Jan Drexler
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Genre: Christian Historical Amish Romance

Welcome back to the Amish community at Weaver’s Creek, where the bonds of family and faith bind up the brokenhearted.

When Elizabeth Kaufman received the news of her husband’s death at the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863, she felt only relief. She determined that she would never be at the mercy of any man again, even if it meant not having a family of her own. Then along came Aaron Zook . . .

Despite the severity of his injuries, Aaron has resolved to move west and leave the pain of the past behind him. He never imagined that the Amish way of life his grandfather had rejected long ago would be so enticing. That, and a certain widow he can’t get out of his mind.

Yet, even in a simple community, life has a way of getting complicated. Aaron soon finds that while he may have left the battlefield behind, there is another fight he must win–the one for the heart of the woman he loves.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook

 

EXCERPT

“Isn’t it about time your Elizabeth married again?” Salome’s voice took on the wheedling tone that set Elizabeth’s teeth on edge. “She’s been a widow far too long.” 

“I’m not concerned,” Mamm said. “The Good Lord knows what Elizabeth needs, and he will provide.” 

“Now that she has repented of her unfortunate marriage to that outsider and has joined the church, my Levi might consider marrying her.” Salome sniffed. “The Good Book instructs widows to marry, and your daughter has many good childbearing years ahead of her.” 

“Abraham and I will let Elizabeth make her own decisions concerning her future.” Mamm’s voice had an edge to it that told Elizabeth she was trying to hold her temper. 

Salome grunted. “You should have reined that girl in years ago, before she ran off and married that reprobate. If she was my daughter—” 

“She isn’t your daughter, Salome,” Mamm broke in.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jan DrexlerPhoto Credit: Roaming Reflections Photography

Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband, where she enjoys hiking and spending time with her expanding family. She is the author of The Sound of Distant ThunderThe Roll of the DrumsHannah’s ChoiceMattie’s Pledge (a 2017 Holt Medallion finalist), and Naomi’s Hope, as well as several Love Inspired historical novels.

CONNECT WITH JAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a Softly Blows the Bugle prize package including: The Amish of Weaver’s Creek three-book series (The Sound of Distant Thunder, The Roll of the Drums, and Softly Blows the Bugle), Winter Mug & hot cocoa packets, Lavender Hand Lotion Bar from Fairchild Lamb & Wool (Canby, Minnesota), “One Minute with God” perpetual calendar, Thanksgiving Turkey shelf sitter, Laura Ingalls Wilder notepad, Jan Drexler sticky notes, bookmarks, and pen!

Softly Blows the Bugle JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour as well as our Softly Blows the Bugle Takeover Tour (October 28-30) for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 19, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 4, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Recommendations

20 Oct

I am self-aware — I know that I nag people about books. I like to call it offering recommendations. That’s what I do here on my blog, on my FB page, and at book club (or any other social gathering 😉 ). But where do I find books to read? I browse catalogs, other bloggers’ sites, readers’ groups, etc. For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, I have narrowed it down to a few that prove very reliable in discovering my next great read.

For more avenues for book recommendations, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Places for Book Recommendations

 

Award Lists — You cannot go wrong with award-winning books. For Christian Fiction, the following 3 are go-to sources. I especially like the short lists — lots of options. You can check out the archives of the organizations too to find some gems you may have missed. The links take you to this year’s winners and nominees. I am currently listening to the audiobook of The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White (Christy finalist for historical romance) and loving it!

ACFW Carol Awards

Christy Awards

Inspy Awards

Favorite Bloggers — While two of my favorite bloggers may live miles away from me (Australia and New Zealand), I find that we almost always agree on the merits of a book. So when they recommend a book I have not read, I take notice. If you like the books that I like, be sure to check them out. They are an especially good resource for internationally published books.

Fiction Aficionado

Iola Goulton

 

People in The Know — book people who have been in the business for a while are a great resource for recommendations. I follow a lot of authors and publicists on social media, but prolific reader/writer/agent/all around book pusher Rachel McMillan, author of recent release The London Restoration, is my go-to source. I follow her on Twitter and find a treasure trove of new books to add to the TBR from her posts.

Rachel McMillan

 

 

Where do you find your reading recommendations?

 

First Line Friday — Backlash

16 Oct

Happy Friday! I am on a bit of a road trip this weekend, so I need a fast-paced suspense to accompany me. Luckily, I have a copy of Backlash by Rachel Dylan ready to go! Backlash is book 2 in Dylan’s Capital Intrigue series. I am familiar with the D.C. area — my son’s family has been there for 4 years. Can’t wait to dive in!

What are you reading this weekend? Please share your first line.

The incessant knocking on her condo door made Layla Karam grumble as she threw off the covers.

CIA analyst Layla Karam is thrust into a dangerous DEA field operation against a cartel that puts a target on her back. Though Layla never wanted to be a field agent, Langley had other ideas. After one of her team members is murdered because of fallout from the op, Layla is left scrambling to find safety.

At the same time, the CIA opens up an internal investigation against her. Out of options, Layla turns to ex-boyfriend and private investigator Hunter McCoy for help finding out who might want to ruin her career.

Layla and Hunter soon discover a mole inside the DEA has sold out the team’s identity to the cartel. She must clear her name with the Agency and protect herself and her teammates from cartel retaliation. With threats on all sides, Layla must put her trust in Hunter–the man who broke her heart–and hope they both come out of it alive. 

For those who are content sensitive: this book contains non-graphic scenes and descriptions of physical and sexual assault.

Buy from your favorite retailer:Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Backlash-Capital…/dp/B087RRWCZZ/Baker Book House: https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/38671BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/backlash…/1136472124…All retailers: https://www.racheldylan.com/backlash/

Rachel Dylan is an award-winning and bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. The AtlantaJustice Series features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Lone Witness is the winner of a Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and is a Selah Finalist. 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 http://www.racheldylan.com.

For more fabulous first lines, head to Hoarding Books.

Audiobook Review: Mountain Laurel

14 Oct

With the review schedule I maintain, I usually reserve my audiobook listening for books that I can’t wait to read. It’s hard sometimes to listen only 1 hour per day, but in cases like Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton, I find lots of chores that allow me to stay plugged in. 😉 Benton’s latest historical novel set in the late 1700s is definitely a very highly recommended read!

North Carolina, 1793
Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet again― into his planter uncle’s heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona ― beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin.

Seona has a secret: she’s been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond.

As fascination with Seona turns to love, Ian can no longer be the man others have wished him to be. Though his own heart might prove just as untrustworthy a guide, he cannot simply walk away from those his kin enslaves. With more lives than his and Seona’s in the balance, the path Ian chooses now will set the course for generations of Camerons to come.

A story of choice and consequence, of bondage and freedom, of faith and family.

Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace. 

My Impressions:

Lori Benton is one of my all-time favorite authors, so I knew I had to read Mountain Laurel. I actually downloaded the audiobook on release day! Readers familiar with Benton’s earlier novel, The King’s Mercy, will recognize the setting of this book. Many years have passed and a new owner is in residence. I found Benton’s portrayal of a prosperous farm intriguing — generally books detailing the life of slaves and their masters take place during the Civil War or some few years before. But Mountain Laurel is set in the few short years following America’s independence. The new found freedom from tyranny is bittersweet as many are still in bondage. Freedom is an important theme that runs throughout the book. There are those who are free who live in bondage to their mistakes, sins, and regrets, while there are those who legally are owned by an earthly master, yet experience a true freedom. Benton uses a decidedly Christian viewpoint to convey that message. But don’t worry, faith is naturally expressed, never preachy.

The story revolves around two main characters — Ian Cameron a self-styled prodigal and Seona, a young woman unsure of her true identity and place. The two feel an attraction that will not be denied, despite societal norms and restrictions. Both sides — slave and slaveholder — warn of the relationship. Heartbreak, betrayal, and redemption await the two. Secondary characters are as well-developed as the two mains. I found Benton’s characters portrayed a wealth of human emotion, including cruelty, grace, and mercy.

Listening to the audiobook was like stepping back in time — the narration was excellent. Pair that with unforgettable story and characters and Mountain Laurel is very highly recommended.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Happy Release Day! The Sowing Season by Katie Powner

13 Oct

Yay! It’s finally release day for The Sowing Season by Katie Powner. This debut contemporary novel looks so, so good. I’ve got my copy, now you can get yours!

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?

To purchase, click HERE.

Katie Powner is an award-winning author who lives in Montana . . . where cows still outnumber people. She is a two-time OCW Cascade Award and ACFW First Impressions Award winner. Katie loves candy, Jesus, and red shoes (not necessarily in that order) and is a mom to the third power: biological, adoptive, and foster. The Sowing Season is Katie’s first book.

To learn more, please visit www.katiepowner.com.

You can also find Katie on social media:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatiepowner

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katie_powner

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkatiepowner/

Top 10 Tuesday — Super Long Titles

13 Oct

So how long is long for a book title? 5 words? 7? More? I headed to my TBR shelves to find those books that grabbed me with their intriguingly or amusingly long titles for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday. Have you read any of these? I’d love to know your thoughts.

For more super long book titles, go to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Super Long Book Titles

Five

The Sound of Falling Leaves by Lisa Carter

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

Six

Dearest Dorothy, If Not Now, When? by Charlene Baumbich

To Say Nothing of The Dog by Connie Willis

Seven

Miss Hazel And The Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell

Jane And The Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron

Eight

Belinda Blake And The Birds of A Feather by Heather Day Gilbert

The Sweetness At The Bottom of The Pie by Alan Bradley

Book Review: Death in Dahlonega

12 Oct

A cozy mystery set in one of my favorite places? Yes, please! Death in Dahlonega by Deborah Malone is quick read with fun characters. Check out the details below.

A friendly adventure turns to murder and mayhem in the north Georgia mountains. Historical writer Trixie Montgomery is asked to cover Gold Rush Days in the picturesque Georgia mountain town, Dahlonega. Trixie seizes the chance to mix business with pleasure and asks her best friend, Dee Dee to tag along. Their well laid plans go awry when Dee Dee is discovered standing over the lifeless body of prominent citizen, John Tatum – the very man she’d had a run in with earlier that day – holding a bloody pickax in her hands. Can Trixie find a way to finish her assignment and keep Dee Dee out of the slammer? Winner in American Christian Fiction Writers’ Category Five writing contest!

Deborah Malone has a degree in Human Services and worked in the field several years before starting her writing career. Deborah’s first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was also nominated for 2012 and 2013 Georgia Author of the Year in Novel category and was award the Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2018 for Blooming in Broken Places. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, for the historic magazine Georgia Backroads since 2001. She has had many article and photographs published, and her writing is featured in Tales of the Rails, edited by Olin Jackson, as well as the Christian Communicator and Southern Writer’s Magazine. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association, Advanced Writer’s and Speaker’s Association and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Deborah lives with her husband Travis in the North Georgia mountains.

My Impressions:

The novella length cozy mystery, Death in Dahlonega, is full of hometown charm that captures the essence of the quaint north Georgia mountain town of Dahlonega. Newly divorced Trixie Montgomery is looking to make her position with a regional magazine permanent as she plans a weekend getaway with good friend Dee Dee to cover the town’s Gold Rush Days. But they are soon right in the middle of a murder investigation with Dee Dee a person of interest. The book follows Trixie’s efforts to assist the local sheriff find out just whodunit. The book is filled with quirky characters who all seem to have a motive for murder. The book is pure cozy with its setting and humor. It is the first in the Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery series, and I am going to tag along with her again as she explores Georgia towns and investigates crime.

A good choice for those who like cozies with real settings.

Audience: Adults.

( I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

First Line Friday — The Sowing Season

9 Oct

Happy Friday! Today I am happy to feature The Sowing Season, the debut novel by Katie Powner. This contemporary novel looks so good, and I am eager to start reading it. But in the meantime, here is the startling first line:

Cow manure spewed from the burst pipe and rained down on him like retribution.

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?

Katie Powner is an award-winning author who lives in Montana . . . where cows still outnumber people. She is a two-time OCW Cascade Award and ACFW First Impressions Award winner. Katie loves candy, Jesus, and red shoes (not necessarily in that order) and is a mom to the third power: biological, adoptive, and foster. The Sowing Season is Katie’s first book.

To learn more, please visit www.katiepowner.com.

You can also find Katie on social media:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatiepowner

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katie_powner

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkatiepowner/

For more First Line Friday fun, check out Hoarding Books.

2020 Christy Award Nominees!

8 Oct

Well, my TBR list just got bigger! So excited for the 2020 Christy Award nominees. I have read some of these books (and they are great), and now have many more to get on with. A big congratulations to all the talented authors!

Contemporary Romance

Just One Kiss by Courtney Walsh

Now And Then And Always by Melissa Tagg

Sweet on You by Becky Wade

First Novel

A Long Time Comin’ by Robin W. Pearson

The Means That Make Us Strangers by Christine Kindberg

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

General Fiction

All Manner of Things By Susie Finkbeiner

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

Historical

The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

Historical Romance

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Echoes Among The Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

The Girl Behind The Red Rope by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker

Smokescreen by Terri Blackstock

Short Form

A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

A Flood of Love by Tracie Peterson

Intrigue A La Mode by Regina Jennings

Visionary

Cry of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

Hidden Current by Sharon Hinck

The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin

Young Adult

The Means That Make Us Strangers by Christine Kindberg

The Piper’s Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson

The Winter King by Christine Cohen

Book Review: Protecting Tanner Hollow

8 Oct

Lethal Homecoming
Nolan Tanner never got over Kallie Ainsworth’s sudden, unexplained departure. Now when he comes to her rescue after an attempt on her life, all the old feelings come rushing back.

Lethal Conspiracy
When professional fundraiser Lillian Maloney sees her father’s campaign manager commit murder, she goes on the run from the men he hires to kill her. A close call brings firefighter Jason Tanner to the rescue, but the killer is closing in . . . 

Lethal Secrets
Someone wants Honor McBride dead. When Eli Murphy helps her change a flat tire and discovers the danger Honor is in, he longs to help — but Eli has secrets of his own that could get them all killed.

Lethal Agenda
When Detective Derek St. John rescues a woman he’s met only once before –and has never been able to forget — he finds himself falling for her. But he’ll have to keep Claire Montgomery alive if they’re to have a future together.


Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won numerous awards such as the prestigious Carol Award, the Selah, the Daphne, the IRCC award and more. Lynette is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

My Impressions:

I have had Protecting Tanner Hollow on my TBR shelf for a while now. I scratched out a little just because reading time and pulled it down. It was the perfect choice for a quick and entertaining reading experience. If you like romantic suspense and the novella form, this book is for you.

Each of the four novellas in Protecting Tanner Hollow take place in the small North Carolina town of the same name. Many of the same characters overlap in each story, such as Sheriff Nolan Tanner, but the plot lines are distinct. Eason also includes characters from her Blue Justice series! In true novella format, there’s not a lot of character development and the romances are quick to take off. But the twisting, turning suspense keeps the pages turning and the reader guessing. Themes such as greed, betrayal, and jealousy run throughout. Each installment is less than 100 pages — great for when you want to complete a book, but have only a little time. I read one story a day, and found that to be just right for me.

Full of fast-paced action and romantic sparks, Protecting Tanner Hollow is a fun read!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to LibraryThing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)