30 May 2017

Blog Hop for Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands

"Dime Novel Suitors" is my novella in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Brides (Barbour Publishing, June 2017).  

Dime Novel Suitor by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Widow Caroline Kane is the proprietor of a restaurant and inn—and responsible for her five teenaged siblings. But she has no plans of finding a mail-order groom. Britisher Barden Granville IV is on a “cowboy holiday” when he finds himself flat broke in Kansas.  When he answers an old “help wanted” ad, Caroline misconstrues Barden is there as a potential husband. Will the beautiful and fiesty widow cause the new vicar to make Kansas his home?

This week, on the Singing Librarian blog hop, I'm talking about what went into making this novella, at blog stops on this tour. The collection includes six other novellas, including Susie Dietze's "A Clean Slate" which I'll be reviewing on OWG blog this week. We'll be featuring the collection and the several of the other authors, Cynthia Hickey, Darlene Freeman, Patty Hall Smith, Susan Page Davis, and Gina Welborn, this summer, too!

Blog Hop Stops
May 29--Reading Is My SuperPower | Soulfully Romantic | Zerina Blossom's Books
May 30--Puddletown Reviews | Wishful Endings | Bookworm Lisa
May 31--Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen | Mel's Shelves  | Blossoms and Blessings
June 1--Singing Librarian Books | Heidi Reads... | Bookworm Lisa
June 2--Cafinated Reads | Smiling Book Reviews | A Baker's Perspective
June 3--aTransParentMom | Paulette's Papers 

Note: Some of the links will take you directly to the post others just to the website. I will try to update the direct links as they are available.

18 Chances to win a copy!!!
Each stop with 10+ unique responders has a book giveaway!

There is also a Grand Prize with a Blue Kindle Fire, a paperback of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Brides, hand-made earrings and more! 

Be sure to stop by and leave comments!

28 May 2017

Overcoming The “Empty Nest” Blues by Susanne Dietze

Overcoming The “Empty Nest” Blues
By Susanne Dietze

Earlier this year, my oldest child left for college. She was eighteen, fresh out of high school, and ready to start a new adventure.

I knew it was coming. I had eighteen years to plan for it. Nevertheless, when she left I experienced Empty Nest Syndrome—the grief, lack a purpose, or depression parents can experience when a young-adult child leaves the house for the first time. While a child growing up and going to school or starting work is a normal, healthy thing, sometimes letting them go can be painful on Mom and Dad. Empty Nest Syndrome is not a clinical condition, but it’s common enough to be recognized by its name and experienced at some degree or another by many parents.

I should clarify here that my nest was not exactly empty. I still have one at home. Nevertheless, I missed my daughter’s presence in the house, her companionship and insights. I wondered how she would do, if she’d be safe or sad.

But stronger than those feelings, I wanted her to grow. To learn more about who God made her to be. To meet new people and make new friends, hopefully the ones that last a lifetime. To gain independence.

As hard as it can be to be the Mama Bird and watch our babies leave, I knew beyond the horizon God had something magnificent in store for my child. Living in the nest is a good thing, for a time. It’s intended for our safety, our growth, our nurture. But we can’t stay there. No matter our ages, we are all more the people God created us to be when we stretch the wings He gave us and fly.

And sure enough, one school year later, she has grown in independence, confidence, and happiness. She has made true friends. She’s learned things about herself, tried new things, and her relationship with God has deepened.

I’ve done all right, too.

Here are a few things I did to cope:

Talk to God.
He loves our children more than we do. I asked Him to care for my daughter and told Him all about my fears, hopes, and feelings.

Go ahead and grieve.
Take a little time to allow yourself to be sad. It’s normal and appropriate to miss a member of your family who is no longer living under the same roof!

Seek Support—but Don’t Compare.
Friends—especially ones who’ve been through what you’re going through—can be a strong source of comfort and encouragement. Take advantage of it and allow people to love you. However, it’s important for our sakes’ and our children’s sakes that we don’t compare our experiences in a way that could be harmful. Not every child is ready to go away to school at the same age, if at all, and no two families share the exact same dynamics.

Take advantage of technology.
Back when I was in college, long distance phone calls cost money, so chats with my family were scheduled things. Now, we can text any time. I’m so glad my daughter can reach me whenever she wishes to, and that I can see her face on FaceTime or Skype! What a huge difference this makes! We also send each other photos of funny things and keep up on social media. I love how we can stay connected this way.

Go Old School.
We may be able to chat over our cell phones any time, but I still send regular old snail mail from time to time. It’s a huge boost to get something in the mail, so we try to fill her postal box now and then! Letters, gift cards for coffee or a movie, and care packages are always welcome. I’ve also ordered her a shirt or two from her favorite retailer and had it shipped to her.

Pursue New (and Old) Interests.
Find something that gives you LIFE, and then do it! Pursue a new (or forgotten) hobby. Try something different. Cook something you like but your child was never crazy about. Be positive and keep moving!

Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.
Twitter: @Susanne Dietze
Subscribe to Susie's Newsletter 

Susie has TWO brand-new releases out: a novella is Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Cowboys (June, 2017 from Barbour) AND a novel 

My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight

Here's the blurb from Rebecca's Plight: Is it possible to marry the wrong man? Rebecca Rice was looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach by becoming mail-order bride to her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham—until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore, proceeded by the title Deputy. Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father, so an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad Fordham wasn't the right husband for her all along....

Purchase links:

My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight at CBD
on Amazon
at B&N

Susie also has a novella in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands, releasing this week on June 1st! 
Purchase links:
Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands (Barbour Publishing, June 2017) Barnes & Noble 

Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of choice of either of Susie's new releases! Leave a comment on this post.

23 May 2017

Carrie Turansky's "Shine Like the Dawn" -- Audiobook Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Shine Like the Dawn
by Carrie Turansky
(narration Anne Flosnik)
Tantor Audio (2017)

To be Savored!!!

I listened to Carrie Turansky's newest novel via a download from I really enjoy her books! 

One of the things about this book is that is is very well suited for audiobook because there is a fair amount of repetition to clarify things. That makes it easier to stop and start your listening. I usually listen while cleaning or if I am not feeling well. This is a sweet romance with lovable characters set in England. I loved spending time with Maggie and her family! I am hoping little sister, Violet, gets her own story later!

As far as narration, what a thrill! Anne Flosnik is one of my favorite narrators so having her narrate this book was a super treat. This also contributed to me wanting to savor the reading listening experience rather than rushing through it. Since it could be six to twelve months before Carrie's next novel I didn't want to binge listen. 

Extras: There are secondary romances in this book to enjoy. I will say that was a little bit distracting while listening. I think if read with the eyes that would all be a super bonus to the book. I will likely re-listen to this book sometime so I can catch all the lovely layers better. If you are a dedicated one-time read type of person you might want to opt for the ebook or paperback versions. 

Genre: This story overlaps a bunch of subgenres, which is fun. It is primarily a Christian historical romance but with mystery/suspense. There are mystery components as this is a murder mystery and some interesting "red herrings" that will have you wondering. 

Bibliotherapy: This is a great book for people to listen to while going through court cases or when involved in situations that resulted in death or injury. The unfairness in situations, the dealing with people lying, the stress of court -- all those things are portrayed very accurately in Ms. Turansky's book. This story is a contender for Bibliotherapy Book of the Year on OWG Blog. 

Giveaway: download of Shine Like the Dawn. Answer this question -- Have you ever had to deal with a grievous injustice? How did God get you through it?

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