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08 May 2021

Review of Butterfly Cottage by Teresa S. Mathews

 


Butterfly Cottage by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Hearts Overcoming Press

5 Stars*****

I have been following author Carrie Fancett Pagels since she first started writing and her books have always been more to me than just an enjoyable read. During this journey I have come to realize Ms. Pagels’ love for the Straits of Mackinac, and Mackinac Island, flows from deep in her heart, right onto the pages of her books.

Dawn Charbonneau has until September to decide when she is retiring from her travel agency, if it wasn’t for this nagging medical problem, she might hold out a little longer. When her hubby Jim, of almost 50 years suggests that she go a little early to their summer Cottage at the Straits of Mackinac, near Mackinac Island, Dawn once again invites their daughter Tamara and granddaughter Jaycie to come and to her delight they accept. 

Tamara Worth was so ecstatic to have won Teacher of the Year. Wanting to celebrate with her husband of almost 25 years, Brad, she decides to surprise him with a romantic night out. When she goes to pick him up at the local gym, she is the one that is surprised and devastated. Not only is she dealing with an unknown medical problem, now she has another life crisis. When her mom suggests she meet her at their beautiful family cottage for a time of relaxation and perhaps healing, Tamara agrees.

Jaycie Worth, soon to be archaeologist is worried that she hasn’t yet gotten her summer internship, or any assistance for fall classes so she can continue her studies at Oxford. She was also hoping to hear those four little life changing words from her handsome boyfriend. Instead, her life takes a totally different turn, and she finds herself on a plane headed to meet her Mom and Grandmother at Butterfly Cottage, a place that has always been special to her since childhood. 

Butterfly Cottage had my emotions all over the place. I’ve loved all of Carrie’s books but this one spoke to my heart so many times that I continued to reach for my tissues. The characters and storyline enticed me to continue reading just to see if the storms of life each one encountered could turn out to be as beautiful as the flowers and butterflies on Mackinac Island on an enchanting summer day.

Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your heart with us in what I’m sure will be an award-winning novel. If it were possible, I would give this story a 10-star review.

 *I received an ARC of this from Hearts Overcoming Press and the  author but was in no way required to post a positive review. *

You may purchase a paperback or ebook copy of Butterfly Cottage on Amazon.

Carrie is giving away a copy of  Butterfly Cottage to one blessed commenter.  Please leave your email address in case you are the winner! 


27 April 2021

Character Interview for Bent Tree Bride by Denise Weimer


BACK COVER COPY:

Susanna Moore can’t get him out of her mind—the learned lieutenant who delivered the commission from Andrew Jackson making her father colonel of the Cherokee Regiment. But the next time she sees Lieutenant Sam Hicks, he’s leading a string of prisoners into a frontier fort, and he’s wearing the garb of a Cherokee scout rather than the suit of a white gentleman.

As both Susanna’s father and Sam’s commanding officer, Colonel Moore couldn’t have made his directive to stay away from his daughter clearer to Sam. He wants a better match for Susanna—like the stuffy doctor who escorted her to Creek Territory. Then a suspected spy forces Moore to rely on Sam for military intelligence and Susanna’s protection, making it impossible for either to guard their heart.

https://www.amazon.com/Bent-Tree-Bride-Denise-Weimer-ebook/dp/B08Q8K5YD6/

 

Today on the blog, I believe we may have a first. Rather than the plucky heroine, Susanna Moore, of Bent Tree Bride, Denise Weimer’s newest Southeastern frontier romance, I’ll be chatting with someone who witnessed most of her adventures in Creek Territory during the Red Stick War … her twelve-year-old brother, George Moore. Welcome, George. What brings you here today?

 

George: Well, the lady who wrote down our story told me your readers might want to hear about it. Susanna is always distracted with Sam these days. I’m sure readers wouldn’t be interested in how they fell in love, because who wants to know about that, but there is a lot of adventure in Bent Tree Bride. I’m the best person to interview. Sam’s too modest. He’d rather talk with you about all the books he’s read than how brave he was in battle. And how he saved Susanna’s life. 

 

Well, George, I have a feeling you may be wrong about our readers wanting the details of Sam and Susanna’s romance, but for now, tell us how the novel starts. When did you first meet Sam Hicks? And do I understand correctly that he is the son of a Cherokee chief?

 

George: He is both Cherokee and white, but we didn’t know that at first. When he showed up at our house in the fall of 1813, all we knew was that he was a clerk for Indian Agent Colonel Meigs. He dressed and looked and spoke like a white man, all proper. He brought the commission that made my father a colonel of a new Cherokee Regiment that was being formed to join General Andrew Jackson’s Tennessee militia to go fight the Red Stick Creeks, the Creek Indians allied to the British. 

 

You see, Father was chosen partly because my mother, Polly, is a Cherokee. Susanna’s mother was a white woman, but Sam didn’t know that either. He kept making eyes at Susanna at dinner, especially when Father gave his permission for Dr. Hawkins to court her and she almost choked on her food. I was just trying to get Father to let me sign up.

 

I take it Susanna did not care for Dr. Hawkins?

 

George: Dash it, no. He was a lot older and had a bunch of children from his first marriage. I helped us figure out a way to follow Father to Creek Territory after he got sick that fall. Mother is a great healer, and she agreed we might accompany her. But who should insist on escorting us but Dr. Hawkins? He said he wanted to volunteer his services, but I know he really wanted to be with Susanna. We went to Turkey Town, where my mother’s family lived, then to Fort Strother to find the army. We also found Sam Hicks. And boy, was Susanna in for a surprise.

 

Why was that?

 

George: Because Sam had signed up as a lieutenant in a Cherokee spy and scout company. He knew four languages and had been trained to fight by chiefs even though he’d never been in battle. He’d spent more time in his father’s library. His father had been a clerk for the army before him. Susanna got into a bit of a scrap with a militiaman, and Father assigned Sam to be our bodyguard. Susanna convinced him to teach us how to defend ourselves. We both wanted to show Father we could survive on the frontier so he wouldn’t send us home. Mostly, Susanna didn’t want to be forced to marry Dr. Hawkins. 

 

How did that work for her?

 

George: Not so well. Sam didn’t want to teach her for some reason … I think after he realized her mother had been white, so Father wouldn’t let him court her. Father was scared of the Cherokees losing their land even though they were fighting with the Americans, so he wanted our plantation to go to Susanna and a white husband. But I could tell Sam and my sister really liked each other. He kept getting close to her, like on the range when he showed us tomahawk and knife throwing. Her face turned all red. I got between them like any good brother would. And once, I caught him holding her hand—even though he claimed it was only because she needed salve from doing too much hospital laundry. Then when she got sick, he had me take her some kind of poem. Yuck! Once she got better, she rode with him on the way back to Turkey Town. They were betwattled for sure, after that.

 

Did your story end once you left the fort for Turkey Town?

 

George: Not hardly. Someone was trying to kill our principal chief, and Sam and his men had to help guard him. Sam and the doctor were at odds all the time too. I wished they’d just fight it out. I know who woulda won. But eventually, Sam had to go off to fight a real battle. Then, Susanna got abducted when she walked right in on the man trying to kill our chief. And Sam had to leave the army to rescue her from deep in Red Stick Territory. But that’s where the lady who wrote our story down said I should stop talking, so’s folks want to read the book.

 

All right, then. We’ll stop there. Thank you, George, for joining us today. You sound like a wonderful brother. 

 

George: I try to be. Folks don’t give me enough credit for what I can do. Did I tell you I can bark chip a squirrel out of a tree at sixty paces and not lose an ounce of meat?

 

No, but thank you for sharing that with us. I’m sure that’s just the sort of thing our readers are most interested in. They’ll look forward to getting to know more about you … and Susanna and Sam, of course … in Bent Tree Bride. And the author, Denise Weimer …

 




Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s a managing editor for the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of almost a dozen published novels and a number of novellas. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses!

Connect with Denise here:

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Website

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

 

 Thank you, Denise, for sharing with us on OWG blog!!!


GIVEAWAY: We have a giveaway of this new book for one of our readers. Leave a comment for a chance to win!!!

 

 

14 April 2021

Debbie Lynne Costello's Sword of Trust - Giveaway



Blurb: Deirdre Mackenzie has spent her life hiding from her father and hating the English. However, when she is caught stealing from an English laird, his unexpected kindness begins to melt away her hatred and strums lonely heartstrings longing for love. Bryce Warwick discovers the “boy” caught with his livestock is actually a young woman. After several attempts to lure the truth from her, he determines she is as deceitful as his late fiancĂ©e who nearly cost him his life. But the woman is the least of his worries with the turbulence brought on by threats of another border war and by King Richard’s distrust of the nobles. 

With old wounds in need of healing and adversaries who would ruin their chances at true love, both must learn to trust in a way they never knew possible.

The stakes are high, secrets prevail, and treason is just a kiss away.

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy.



13 March 2021

Upcoming Releases by Carrie Fancett Pagels!



APRIL!!! Audiobook Version!

Dogwood Plantation, part of my James River Romances series, which released as an e-book and paperback in the fall, 2020, will soon be available through Audible.com! Evelyne LaBelle with Carpe Librum Designs did the beautiful covers. Aletha Duncan is the narrator for the audiobook. 

If Amazon does like they did with The Fruitcake Challenge, if you've purchased the ebook they may end up giving you a discounted rate for the audio version. Watch for an upcoming sale on the Dogwood Plantation ebook when the audiobook releases!

4.4 Stars on Amazon and Goodreads!


Blurb: When a deadly yellow fever outbreak draws Cornelia Gill back home, her new independent life must be abandoned. Injured veteran, Carter Williams, likewise must return to Dogwood Plantation when he suffers grievous family losses. Both become caretakers to younger family members. As the War of 1812 heats up, two wounded hearts begin to heal. But can they manage all that life has handed them?

~*~*~*~*~*~


Releasing early May!!! Butterfly Cottage

 My first contemporary novel--and first Women's Fiction (with romantic elements)! 

I am SO excited about this novel. I started writing it in the summer of 2018. I'd stopped writing for a while and then God convicted me to tell a story that would honor my mother's last wishes before she died. This is a multi-generational story!

This cover was also designed by the uber talented Evelyne LaBelle at Carpe Librum Designs! It's my first cover of this type, since I've only had historical romance titles published (over 20!) in the past!

One liner: Life-changing journeys begin when three generations of women unexpectedly spend a summer at the family’s small town lake cottage.

Blurb: Three generations of women unexpectedly head out to the family’s cottage at the Straits of Mackinac for a small-town Michigan summer together. Each has her own journey to pursue during this short respite time from “normal” life. One of them has a secret that will change all of their lives. Can she make this one special summer to remember or will all be devastated? Faith for family and friends will be tested, with some finally able to put the past behind them and begin anew.
(Set in 2018, pre-Pandemic.)

Available for pre-order now on Amazon!!! 

                                             ~*~*~*~*~*~

JUNE! Re-release of Expanded Novella!


Love's Escape originally released in The Captive Brides Collection from Barbour, which is now out of print. That means that the authors, myself included, have their rights back and can re-release their novellas. 

Love's Escape by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Virginia, 1850
Part of the James River Romances series

With her life in peril, Lettie seeks escape from slavery. When Nathan offers to "conduct" her North via an unusual segment on the Underground Railroad, will his efforts help or do them both harm?


My novella actually has two couples, two escaped enslaved women and two male friends from Richmond who try to help them get North. The advantage of getting my rights back is I can flesh this story out more. I'm developing the plot, characters, and settings a little more for this next release!

~*~*~*~*~*~

Holt Medallion Finalist! 
Audiobook Releases early summer!



The Steeplechase is one of my favorite stories that I've written. It's set near where I live, in Virginia. Most of the scenes are in Williamsburg and some are in Yorktown and in Gloucestershire. These are all in my "Stomping Grounds" of Hampton Roads, Virginia. To have been a Holt Medallion finalist was a tremendous honor as I have a lot of respect for this prestigious contest.

This cover will get a tweak once my narrator is done! So far, she's doing an amazing job!!! 


More!
I also will be getting rights back to a few more out of print books within the next few months. These are all novella-length fiction but will be getting expanded for re-release. And in November, 2021, Behind Love's Wall is available for pre-order and will release as part of Barbour's Doors to the Past series!!!

Do you LOVE my stories and want to support my writing ministry? Do you want to be part of my Pagels' Pals reader community on Facebook? Want to get opportunities to become a Beta reader, and advance reader, or part of a promo team? If so, send me a message via my contact page on my website.  Look to the center of my website Contact page to send your info to me! Thanks!

GIVEAWAY: Winner's choice of any one of these books in your choice of format, ebook, paperback, or an audiobook code (where available). Leave a comment to enter. 

07 March 2021

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher

 


The Moonlight School

By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Narrated by Pilar Witherspoon


I have just started listening to this audiobook, which I purchased through Audible.com, but I am really enjoying it! Much of  family is from Eastern Kentucky, and I grew up hearing stories of what it was like to live there. We've visited once and I would like to return.

Thoughts so far: Cora is quite eccentric and she really does put poor Lucy into some dangerous situations. Mountain people as not always quite welcoming to strangers, especially if they are moonshiners. I have a couple of family members who were. 

I've really enjoyed reading about logging in that area during that time because my great-grandfather would go up to Northern Michigan to log up there. So I thought Kentucky had been pretty well logged out by then in that area. My grandfather ended up being born in Traverse City, Michigan, even though he was from Kentucky (which explained why we couldn't find a birth record for him in Kentucky!) That was in 1906, before the start of this novel.

Lucy is a really sympathetic heroine. I'm dying to find out what happened to her little sister. Also interested in hearing more about the illiteracy. My mother and her siblings attended school in Kentucky and my grandfather was able to read and write. This story makes me wonder about the previous generations. What a blessing that educators did reach out to help adults attain literacy!


Publisher's Summary

Haunted by her sister's mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.  

Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?  

As Lucy emerges from a life in the shadows, she finds purpose; or maybe purpose finds her. With purpose comes answers to her questions, and something else she hadn't expected: love.  

Inspired by the true events of the Moonlight Schools, this stand-alone novel from best-selling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings to life the story that shocked the nation into taking adult literacy seriously. You'll finish the last moment of this enthralling story with deep gratitude for the gift of reading.


Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy. The Moonlight School comes in paperback and also ebook versions, too.




21 February 2021

Giveaway: Toni Shiloh's New Release - An Unlikely Proposal



An Unlikely Proposal by Toni Shiloh

I am delighted to announce Toni Shiloh's new release with Love Inspired! Toni is an amazing lady and an active member in ACFW Mid-Atlantic Zone and has been a leader in our writing circles.

Author bio –
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com.

An Unlikely Proposal Back cover Blurb –

Their friendship can survive almost anything…

For two best friends,

marriage could be their greatest test yet…

Trinity Davis must not have heard firefighter Omar Young correctly. Did her handsome widowed best friend just suggest they get married? Omar needs a mom for his adorable little girls, and it’ll fix Trinity’s financial woes. But saying “I do” isn’t just business. Especially when the only vow they’re in danger of breaking is their promise to not fall in love…

Buy links –

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D6QZFKS/
Shortlink: https://amzn.to/3mU3rYA
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54565474-an-unlikely-proposal
Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/m2ZGER

Social media links –


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Toni's new release!

13 February 2021

Giveaway: Debut Author Amanda Wen's New Release



Roots of Wood and Stone, Sedgwick County Chronicles, by Amanda Wen (Kregel, 2021), ISBN: 9780825446689.

From Amanda's publicist:

Roots of Wood and Stone  is a warm, delightfully written split-time novel that will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God’s plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.

 

Sloane Kelley was abandoned at birth, and while she wants more than anything to learn where she came from, her family roots remain a mystery. As curator of the Sedgwick County Museum of History, Sloane has dedicated her life to making sure others can connect with their history. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn’t expect much from the common artifact; after all, the museum has a few on display and more in storage. However, she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now, she’s on the hunt to see if there’s more where it came from. 

 

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother’s historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. He’s always been the responsible one, and with her advancing Alzheimer’s, he can’t afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles after he takes a few things to the local museum: Sloane, who’s fallen in love with both the diaries and the old house, and his own heart, which is drawn to Sloane. Selling the house that holds so much history will disappoint both Sloane and his sister, Lauren, who is doing her best to care for their grandmother, but Garrett finds himself in an impossible situation.

 

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love—and a God who faithfully carried her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

 

And Sloane may just find her roots in a place she never would have expected.

 

Roots of Wood and Stone is set in the area of Kansas Wen has lived in most of her life. In fact, the story is inspired by aspects of her own family history. “One of my favorite things about split time is watching the contemporary characters dig into the past,” Wen explains. “My mother is a genealogist who’s been tracing our family history since before I was born, and her passion for uncovering our family’s stories has been an important backdrop my entire life. Her research has given me an appreciation for those who came before and a desire to pass along this appreciation to my own kids.” As an homage to her mother and all the rest of her ancestors, Wen named many of the people and places in the book after family. Parts of their stories are even woven into the historical portion of the book.

 

Wen not only offers readers two plotlines filled with plenty of history and romance wrapped into one story, she mixes in a healthy dose of humor and strong faith elements as well. “All my characters have deep needs that they try to fill through other means (achievement, research, hard work, planning, etc.), but throughout the story they learn that only God can fill those needs,” Wen shares. “He has a beautiful plan, one that goes far beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine, and he takes all our broken pieces and loose ends and weaves those trials into a tapestry more beautiful than we could possibly imagine. He is always there, faithfully guiding our steps, even—or perhaps especially—when we’re not aware of it. I hope my readers will trust him, his individual love and care for each of us, and his perfect plan just a little bit more after they close this book.”

 


Amanda Wen  is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.

 

Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, releases from Kregel Publications on February 2, 2021.

 

In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

 

To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen)Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen)



Giveaway: OWG blog is giving away a copy of Amanda's debut release in Christian Fiction. Leave a comment to enter!


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