Thursday, August 27, 2020

Book Review: The Year the Stars Fell

For almost as long as I can remember, I have been a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her book series Little House on the Prairie.  I first became acquainted with Laura (yes, we are on a first-name basis) when the TV show aired in the 70s.  Somehow I didn’t know that there were books about my favorite TV show until I attended my school’s book fair with my second grade class.  As soon as I saw the yellow paperback book showing the back of a covered wagon with two little girls peering out the back, the decision on which book to buy was over.  The book about the black and white dog went back on the shelf and was never missed! I devoured the book, followed by Farmer Boy which my mom bought me while on a trip to town for school clothes a few months later, and followed yet again with the rest of the series that I received for Christmas.  So for the last 40+ years, I have loved historical fiction, particularly those set in the 1800s.  I love the courage and fortitude of the pioneers who faced danger on a daily basis.  I admire their hard work ethic and ingenuity in making do with what they have.

I chose to request a copy of The Year the Stars Fell and was given a copy to read.  All opinions are my own.

I originally thought I would review maybe a book a month or so for Celebrate Lit, but was quickly introduced to many intriguing books that sounded too good to pass up.  I love the title The Years the Stars Fell.  It made me want to read the book to find out where that fit into the story. Finding out the book is a historical novel set in the 1800s in Michigan Territory sealed the deal.

The Year the Stars Fell is a very good story, but not a great one (because, let’s face it, not everyone can be Laura Ingalls Wilder).  I love that it is based on real people, the first settlers of now-extinct North Newburg, MI.  It is evident that the author did extensive research to include bits and pieces of true history mixed in with engaging details from her imagination.  I love that she included the fact that the three younger sisters loved to sing all the time.  Given the time period, it makes sense that they would have sung the old hymns, many of which I am familiar with because we sing them regularly in my church.  I do wish that the words had been set apart in verse form rather than within the narrative.  Another neat surprise was the inclusion of an illustrated map at the front of the book.  After finishing the book and looking back at the map, I wish the map had included pointing out where Betsey and Aaron’s property was located.  Still, it was a welcome, nice touch.  Also true to the time period, I liked how the Bible verses were from the King James Bible (which is what I use exclusively).  {Note to the author:  the credits in the front mention both the NIV and the KJV in the same credit.  I don’t know if that’s a mistake or not.}  The Baker family is noted to have had a young child named Alexander Stevens, though no one knows the how and why he came to live with the family.  I do like how the author included him in the story. 

There were a few things that I would’ve liked to have seen improved upon.  There are some details that are repetitious.  Betsey is kind of a whiner and a worrier, and I wish that could have been shown in a different way rather than reading through a ton of her thoughts.  She was very well portrayed as a good, dutiful wife and daughter, a hard worker who sought to honor both her husband and her parents.  I saw quite a few grammatical errors which I hope will be corrected for future editions, but it didn’t take away from the story as a whole.  (I’m a teacher, so I notice these things.)  We were told the age of the eldest of the three younger sisters, but I didn’t know the ages of the two youngest.  I like to know details like that.  I also would have liked to have known what happened to Ma’s missing barrel.  Maybe it’ll show up in the next book?  I’ll look forward to finding out! 

About the Book

Book:  The Year the Stars Fell
Author: Elizabeth Wehman
Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 14, 2020

In the spring of 1833, newlywed Betsey Baker-Swain’s simple life changes when she and her husband, Aaron, make a hasty decision to join Betsey’s family on a move from Pennsylvania to Michigan Territory.

Along the way, rainstorms, freezing temperatures, seasickness, and lack of privacy pale in comparison to what the family will encounter once arriving at their destination. Soon, daily trials will include ear-piercing howls of wild wolves, bad weather, clouds of mosquitoes, and disturbing situations with the natives. Even then, Betsey wonders if this trip will finally quench her father’s adventurous spirit.

Over the next year, the Baker family will gain incredible strength, divine trust, and unexplainable courage, but will it be enough to keep them at the tiny cabin by the twisting Shiawassee River? Will uncertainty overtake their determination or will God’s intervention sustain them enough to become a part of the history of a new land?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Elizabeth Wehman’s writing career spans over thirty years and encompasses curriculum, periodical, journalism, and novel writing.
Her dream has always been to write novels and Elizabeth launched her first contemporary fiction, Under the Windowsill, in 2014. Since then, she’s added four titles to her shelf. They include: Promise at Daybreak, Just a Train Ride, Mere Reflection, and her latest complete historical work, The Year the Stars Fell.
She found the historical genre to be filled with rabbit trail research as well as walks through bygone cemeteries. The pioneers, of the early nineteenth century, reflected an amazing stamina and a determined courage to venture into the unknown. The Year the Stars Fell is based on a forgotten village established in the Territory of Michigan in 1833. She fell in love with the Baker family and the information she discovered about them gave way to folklore and tales of the early homesteaders. Two future novels are planned that will include the continuation of the nineteenth century farming community. The series will be called, ‘The Newburg Chronicles’.
In her spare time, Elizabeth loves to read and enjoys being out in nature. Her favorite places are digging in her flower garden, listening to the birds as they herald a new day, or taking a walk on the country roads surrounding her home in Michigan.
Elizabeth has been a trucker’s wife for over thirty years which helps supply the needed solitude to produce extraordinary stories. She has three grown children, four grandpuppies, and two sons-in-law.

More from Elizabeth

My “Stars” book began to emerge after doing research about the county where I live, here in Michigan. On an information discovery about another book, I came across the story of the Baker family. They were highlighted as the one of the first farming families to enter Michigan Territory in 1833. Hosea Baker brought his entire family from Pennsylvania to settle on 600 acres in an area beside the Shiawassee River.

Joining him there were his wife, Sally, his grown son Ambrose, his daughter and her husband, Betsey and Aaron Swain, and some younger daughters. While there, they hooked up with a boy named Alexander Stevens. Their first year included: building a home and barn, clearing and planting the first crops in the county, setting up a household, and Betsey giving birth to the first recorded child in the county. Betsey and Aaron named their new baby, Julia.

So much intrigued me about their story. I was excited to flesh it out with the help of short excerpts written in a Shiawassee County history book from 1888. From these short tidbits about the family, I soon embellished a story which is a mere glimpse into what their story could have included during their first year as settlers in a vast wilderness.

Much of the story is from my own imagination, but many of the highlights include the excerpts written about the family in 1888. After writing their story, I now feel a specific kinship to them.  This is my first complete historical fiction work. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Elizabeth is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of The Year the Stars Fell and a $25 gift card to Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, which can be used online!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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Friday, August 14, 2020

Easy Email Organization Idea for Book Reviewers

About a week or two ago, I came up with a way to organize the emails I get from Celebrate Lit for the books that I will be reviewing.  I thought I would share it with you in case it would be a help.

I use Thunderbird as my email program on my computer.  The following is my setup for Celebrate Lit:


Here is my "workflow" for handling the email:  As I go through my emails and find books that I'm interested in reviewing, I fill out the application form.  At the same time, I make a new subfolder under Applied and name it the title of the book.  All emails referring to that book goes into that folder.  When I receive my Welcome email with the date that my review is due, I rename the folder according to that due date (monthday to keep it in chronological order.....aaaaand I just realized I'll have to be extra careful when I have January/February due dates!), and I move the whole subfolder to the Pending folder.  I separated August's book reviews into a separate subfolder called This Month so that I can quickly see what's coming up next (which will actually take care of January/February -- whew!).  As I finish each book review, the whole subfolder goes to the xCompleted folder.  The x in front is my shortcut for "archived" which basically means, "You'll probably never need this again, but just in case, this is where it is."  The xMiscellaneous folder is for housekeeping-type emails from Celebrate Lit.

Bonus:  You now know what's coming up on the blog!  PS The Secret Sisters Club will feature a very special guest book reviewer!  Aunt Kris will surely enjoy that one! ;-)

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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Book Review: Dual Power of Convenience

Does anybody know what today is??  It's National Book Lover's Day!!  I actually just found that out when I turned over a new leaf in our Unusual Holidays calendar this morning.  [Truth be told because the calendar got buried under paper this week, I turned over several new leaves.  Sometimes life's just that way!]

I've been most excited about today's book because the book was written by a friend of mine!  I first became acquainted with Chautona about 7 years ago when I read a book of hers called Discovering Hope.  Back then I collected free Kindle books like boys collect rocks, frogs, and dirt. {#BookHoarder}  I've read many, many books by her since then and have even pre-read a few (including this one).  Four years ago, I got to meet her when I went to California for my niece's wedding!  She is just as much fun in person as she is in her books!

Disclaimer:  I requested and was given a copy of this book to review, but since I always buy her books, I have a copy that I paid for as well.  All opinions are my own.

Dual Power of Convenience is the first book of a unique series called the Independence Islands Series.  Several things make this series special:  The setting is fictitious and is comprised of several (I forget how many) islands located off the coast of Georgia.  (I love books set in the South!) Each book features characters from a different island, but they interact with each other at different times.  This book is set on Merriweather Island; there's also an island that is nicknamed Hopper (you'll have to read to find out why!).  Most of the books' main characters will be owners of mobile businesses -- think food truck, bookmobile (OK I think it's called something else, but it makes me think of the old bookmobile-on-a-bus that used to come to my little town of Brooklyn (Mississippi! - not New York - but we do have a Brooklyn bridge!) with library books for people to check out.  Dual Power's main characters are not mobile business owners, but we are introduced to one who becomes a friend to Lyla and who will show up in Chautona's other books in the series.  The other thing that makes this series unique is that the books will be written by different authors!  This is a great way to become acquainted with authors I may not have read before.

Dual Power of Convenience was a wonderful book to read (twice!  And if I hadn't been busy getting Gracie's Fifth Grade Year started, I would've read it again!)  Lyla Santana is both strong and vulnerable, very smart, but lacking a little bit of wisdom in some areas.  Nobody's perfect, and it makes for a far more interesting book!  Richard Danforth, also quite intelligent, is a very strong, driven man with a surprising weakness that makes for a funny scene in the book.  I honestly cannot think of a single negative thing about this book.  The characters are both people you've met before and yet totally new.  I wish that the Islands were not fictitious because I want to go there!  The story combines two tropes plus Chautona's special twist of awesomeness.  Read on for the summary, to learn about Chautona, and to enter a giveaway!

About the Book

Book:  Dual Power of Convenience
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre:  Christian Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2020

When Richard Danforth inherits the family estate on Merriweather Island, he doesn’t have time to deal with it—especially not from halfway across the globe. He’s too busy working to become the world’s newest billionaire and avoiding the women who would detract him from his goals.

Enter Lyla Santana. Fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in antiques and a relationship that nearly killed her to leave, she’s eager for the isolation and treasure trove that is Danforth Hall. Lyla also is determined to avoid men at all costs. Forever.

It was supposed to be a match made on paper. With him halfway across the globe, they’d never have to see each other again.

So, what’s Richard doing on Merriweather just weeks after the wedding? And how will his arrival test Lyla’s faith, not to mention stretch their so-called relationship?

In a twist on billionaire romance and marriage of convenience, this “Merriweather book” kicks off a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Did I Really Agree to Write a Romance Series?

When my fledgling little idea for a single book transformed into a series that then transformed into a SERIES, I kind of missed the part where I agreed (and likely suggested, if truth be told), that the books should be contemporary romance.
I mean, beach reads.  Romance.  Duh.
There’s just one problem?  I rarely write a straight-up romance.  And if I do, it’s usually a short novella in a collection—often at Christmas.
Isn’t it obvious?
Despite nine kids and being married for almost thirty-two years, I am THE most unromantic woman on the planet. No habla amor.  Or something like that.
So there I was, toodling down the 395 (a treacherous bit of road between my house and the publisher’s) when all of what I’d agreed to exploded in my brain.  I’m still scraping brain matter off the windshield and trying to stuff it back in. I need every last one of those “little gray cells,” thank-you-very-much!
Romance.  My heart sank.  Boy meets girl.  They like each other.  They fight.  They get back together.  They live happily ever after.
It’s a thing, folks.  A formula.  And if you deviate, true romance readers get annoyed.  What was I going to do?  I didn’t want to write romance.  Not really. I had ideas.  The prequel book had been all about trying to bring a young woman back to the Lord.  That’s more my speed, okay?

The wheels began churning.

The ones in my head, I mean.  The tires still rolled along the ground. Fortunately, my cranial explosion hadn’t caused an accident or anything.  Just in case you were curious.
I considered making each one loosely related to a fairy tale retelling.  I’d have a Cinderella story, a Beauty and the Beast, a… nope. That made it that far and I just couldn’t.  The minute we got to Sleeping Beauty, I’d have my readers in comas.  No. Thanks.
Next came Rom-com.  We’d make it funny.  All the stuff that happens in beach romances gone wrong.  Why not?  We live once!
I was yawning before the thought finished forming.
Right about then, I think, is when I wondered what kind of tropes I needed to consider.
See, romance tropes are a thing.  I even talk about them on my podcast.  The tingling sensation that comes when a good idea is brewing happened.  A grin formed.
Tropes. I’d play with tropes.  I’d take all those familiar things and twist them somehow.  Why not?  It would be fun.

And it was.

Right about then is probably when I began recording my ideas.  Creosote and sage whizzed past at breakneck speeds (let me dream.  I’m not a speed demon, but c’mon… for the sake of poetic license and all?). And the ideas whizzed faster (no license needed.  They really did).
Book 1.  Marriage of convenience.  I mean, those are always fun, right?  So why on earth would someone need to get married?
Every idea I came up with has been done… and done again.
That’s when I upped the stakes. Authors do that, you know. We come up with a way to torment our characters, and then we say, “Okay, now how can I make this worse?  Nope, I need it even worse.  Oh, and…” Bam!  The story goes from interesting to can’t-put-it-down.  All because we’re not afraid to be cruel to non-existent people. Score!
How’d I do it with this one? I added in another trope. One I personally just can’t “get.”  People love the things, and I’ve got no idea why.  But it answered my first question of why someone might need a marriage of convenience or… as my gal puts it… “a paper marriage.”
My guy became the world’s newest billionaire.
Yep, you read that right. I wrote a “billionaire romance.”  Sort of.  Now, if I could figure out how on earth I’d take two people on opposite sides of the world and get them together.
*insert hands rubbing together in fiendish delight*
Oh, yeah.  I did it.  And even more than that, I love it.  I made my characters do some stupid things. I really did (you know, like how two Christians didn’t even pray about their marriage decision?  Like how they didn’t even ask if the other person was saved?  Why should they?  They’ll never see each other again… they said.  Ha!  The Lord had other ideas.  Sorta.  This is fiction, right?  Oops! I suddenly feel like that crazy Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality).

From Adelanto to Kramer Jct., I planned out that first book—Dual Power of Convenience.

(the title gives away that reason for marrying, no?  Also, links may be affiliate links that provide a small commission at no extra expense to you.)
It was almost too easy.
Then I started playing with the next ones, and the series became a reality to me.
Dual Power of Conveniencewhen a woman too afraid of men goes to work for a man who is too busy making money to want anything to do with that whole marriage and family thing.
Bookers on the Rocks— This couple’s marriage is on the rocks (that’s the trope, of course), and neither of them has a clue. They’ve been married for twenty-five years, neither is having an affair, no one wants a divorce, life is good, so why is it on the rocks?  You’ll see…
Directing Hearts— The Crawforths got tricked into allowing a reality matchmaking show film on their islands. Brooks Crawforth tangles with the director until their verbal battles turn into a different kind—a battle for their hearts (enemies to “lovers”)
Just a Memory— In this one, Mallory Barrows (who makes appearances in all of the books) comes across an old journal that tells a story she’d never heard. It’s the old Patti Paige song “Go On with the Wedding” but over forty years later!  Mallory knows something that might just create a (here comes the trope) second chance at romance.
-Printed on Her Heart— After being instrumental in so many couples’ relationships, it’s Mallory’s turn in this dual-trope story.  In this one, we get a mashup of friends to more and love at first sight.  Can’t wait to share it.  Squee!

Okay, that’s the deal.  Yes, I really did agree to write a romance series.

And yes, it probably was my idea.
I might deny it to my dying day, but it is also a whole lot of fun… so far.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

lakesidelivingsite, August 6

deb’s Book Review, August 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 7

Rebekah Jones, Author, August 7

For Him and My Family, August 7

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

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 9

21st Century Keeper at Home, August 9

She Lives To Read, August 10

Simple Harvest Reads, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 11

Adventures of a Traverlers wife, August 11

Emily Yager, August 12

Stories By Gina, August 12

CarpeDiem, August 12

cultivating us, August 13

Connect in Fiction, August 13

Livin’ Lit, August 13

Read Review Rejoice, August 14

Quiet Workings, August 14

Blossoms and Blessings, August 14

Just Your Average reviews, August 15

Rebekah Reads, August 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 15

Lis Loves Reading, August 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 16

Splashes of Joy, August 16

Pause for Tales, August 17

Captive Dreams Window, August 17

Spoken from the Heart, August 17

Lots of Helpers, August 18

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 18


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book (winner’s choice of eBook or paperback format)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
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Friday, August 7, 2020

Book Review: No Small Caper

There is just something fun about the idea of living in a tiny house!  I especially love that they are portable and you can travel while living in your own space.  I've known several people who have lived in tiny houses (not the ones you see on TV, but those that are more like RVs).  As a matter of fact, my brother and his wife recently sold their beautiful home in Florida and bought an RV to live in full time!  Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, they had to stay in Florida for several weeks before they could bust out and start traveling.  They spent a week or so in Tennessee a couple of months ago and Gracie and I loved seeing their new home which they have nicknamed "Our Place."  I was very impressed with how they pared down all their belongings and chose to keep only those things that are necessary yet still made them happy.  I'm not so sure I could do it!

Today's book review is about a girl who becomes the manager of a tiny home community in Arkansas.  No Small Caper was a quick, easy, and fun read!  On the day that I finished reading it, I had insomnia and needed something easy on the brain.  This definitely was exactly what I needed.  I really like the character of CJ.  She was a real go-getter, jumping in both-feet first in trying to do a good job as manager of a tiny-home community and in solving the mystery of who had been stealing from the residents.  Just like with most go-getters, a zealous personality can get you into a scrape or two or five.  That's what made the story so fun:  you didn't know what was going to happen next.  Although there were one homicide and a couple of attempted homicides, there was nothing too graphic (only a bullet in the head mentioned).  The secondary characters were unique and fun to get to know as well.  Of course, there's a love interest that develops despite a little bit of jealousy and insecurities.  I really enjoyed this book and would gladly read any sequels that come out.

There's a cool giveaway -- scroll down to the bottom.

I received this book free from Celebrate Lit.  All opinions are my own.

About the Book


Book: No Small Caper
Author: Cynthia Hickey
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: May 3, 2019

“No one does a final suspense scene like Cynthia Hickey!” – Stewart Writing Services

A rash of burglaries?

What kind of job had she been hired to do?

CJ Turley is excited to begin her new life as overseer of Heavenly Acres, a tiny house community in the Ozark mountains. As she’s handed the keys to her new house, by a woman who seems far too eager to leave the job to someone else, CJ is told the community is experiencing a rash of burglaries and she should visit the nearby Park Ranger for help.

Can CJ and her new friends stop a thieving murderer before they lose something far more precious than jewels? Their life!

From first day, to spending time with handsome ranger, Eric Drake, to a cast of quirky characters who are all suspect in CJ’s mind, you’re bound for a fun, hilarious, romp in this first book of a new small town, cozy mystery series by best-selling and award-winning author.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Multi-published and Amazon and ECPA Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey has sold close to a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference, several small ACFW chapters and RWA chapters, and small writer retreats. She and her husband run the small press, Winged Publications, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona and Arkansas, becoming a snowbird, with her husband and one dog. She has ten grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.

More from Cynthia

I’ve always been fascinated by tiny houses and love writing cozy mysteries. What’s better than a cozy mystery series in a tiny house community? Not an inch of space wasted. You’ve got to be creative with your storage. Even hiding things in the floor which occurs when CJ Turley takes over as manager of Heavenly Acres. The pup she inherited when her grandmother died has a nose for diamonds. Who’d guess there were so many places in a tiny house to stash things?

I don’t live in a tiny house, but my husband and I downsized from a 2100 sq. ft home to a 1,000 sq. ft. home. Guess which one we prefer? The smaller one 😊 We always know where things are, it’s easier to keep clean, and no stairs to go up and down when we forget something. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t live in anything less than 400 sq. ft. if I lived alone, but it was fun to write about those who do.

I’ve watched so many tiny house shows, I’m pretty sure I could design one with everything I’d need. We even told our son that if he moved where we live, we’d build him one in the backyard! He wasn’t amused.

On a serious note, just kidding. While my cozy series have humor, they also have murder and mayhem with quirky characters and a dash of romance. I like my readers to chuckle as the characters strive to take down the culprit without too much danger to themselves.

Happy reading!

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Cynthia 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.
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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Book Review: Katherine's Arrangement

I am excited to now be writing book reviews for Celebrate Lit!  I have enjoyed reading book reviews from a friend of mine who has been a part of it for years.  When I read that they were having an open enrollment, so to speak, I decided to apply.  I think I'm supposed to tell you that I was sent this book for free in return for giving a review of the book.  All opinions are my own.

My first book to review is Katherine's Arrangement by Blossom Turner.  You can read the synopsis of the book below.  I believe this is the author's second book (a stand-alone) and she has another one that will be a sequel to this one about Katherine's sister.

For the type of book that it is (I would call it historical romance), it is well-written.  There is a lot of description, but it doesn't fall into the info-dump category.  From the beginning, you get a good sense of who Katherine is but you are not told her whole life's story in the first chapter.  Katherine is a bit multi-layered, which is always good: strong yet vulnerable in some areas (understandably so).  Her arranged husband Josiah is a gentleman in every sense of the word but has a jealous streak that causes big trouble in their marriage.  One of the things I like best in the book is that it shows redemption and you see several people in the story come to Christ.

For the most part, there were no big surprises in the book, although some things I figured out |just| before it happened.  The one surprise in the book is part of what made the book feel very heavy and stressful in the middle, but it all worked out in the end.  There were a lot of descriptions of Katherine's and Josiah's physical attributes and how they set off butterflies and growing fires of desire in each other.  I don't really go for that kind of description in the books that I like best, but it is worth noting.

About the Book

Book:  Katherine’s Arrangement
Author: Blossom Turner
Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 4, 2020

Marrying him is her only choice to save her family, but Josiah Richardson isn’t at all the man she expected.

Katherine William’s family was left destitute when their home was burned to the ground by Yankee soldiers, so the ready solution presented by the prominent Mr. Josiah Richardson seems almost too good to believe. He’ll provide a home, work for her pa, and a new beginning for her family…if only Katherine will accept his proposal. A marriage of convenience is the last thing she wants, but there doesn’t seem to be a better option for her family or herself. Setting aside her dreams of love, Katherine agrees to the arrangement.

The gentleman in Josiah Richardson can no more force his frightened bride into his bed, than he can force her into loving him, so he sets out to gently woo her. He works hard to befriend her, to earn her trust and win her love.

Katherine is pleasantly surprised to find herself drawn to the man she thought she would never love, until an unexpected friendship tears apart all they’ve worked for. Where once the promise of love had budded between Josiah and Katherine, now they wonder what to do with their so-called marriage. Is love strong enough to weave its healing power through two broken hearts?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Blossom Turner is a freelance writer published in Chicken Soup and Kernels of Hope anthologies, former newspaper columnist on health and fitness, an avid blogger, and author. Her authentic understanding of the power of love is woven through the pages of Book One in the Shenandoah Bride series—Katherine’s Arrangement. She and her husband, David, have two grown children and live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Read more at

More from Blossom

From the time I was a little girl I had a love for reading, a wild imagination, and the desire to write. At twelve, I received my first Bible and read all the way through a King James Version. My love for Jesus was cemented. I day-dreamed of a Cinderella happily-ever-after story. The traumatic childhood I was living in was gentled by the dream of being whisked away by a handsome prince and truly loved. Put that all together, and the building blocks for writing romantic fiction are all in place.
But how did I get to writing historical romance? Well that was for one reason only…I loved reading stories of arranged marriages and wanted to write one. The drama, the tension, the love that can flourish out of nothing, I just loved the concept but…the scenario had to be believable to me. Thus, the wheels of imagination started turning. What better than right after the Civil War, in the Shenandoah Valley where houses were burned and people left destitute? I’m Canadian and had a smattering of knowledge of that time period, so had to do extensive research to pull it off. To be historically accurate was much more difficult than writing my first novel, Anna’s Secret, set in today’s era. Now I am hooked on writing historical romance. I’m both a sensitive and an old soul and it fits my personality perfectly. Who knew? God did.
I think when you read Katherine’s Arrangement, you will agree that the drama that brings this couple together is both believable and engaging. I am so excited to write this five-book series on five sisters and their love stories, as I come from a large family with six sisters and one brother. I write from family dynamics I know all about.

The reason I write is two-fold. I believe when writing fiction that one must deliver a love story that touches the heart, that draws people in, that makes them both laugh and cry. The entertainment value must be there. Then, I weave in my love for Jesus in a non-preachy, realistic way, with the hopes and failures of everyday people. The resounding theme in Katherine’s Arrangement is that God can work all things for good when we choose to place our life in His trustworthy hands. It is uncanny how love can grow in the fertile soil of good choices. But don’t be fooled, as with most of us, Katherine had to go through her gamut of bad choices before she surrendered.
I pray you will find a little bit of your story in Katherine’s story, and that, above all, you will enjoy the read.

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To celebrate her tour, Blossom is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
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