19 August 2018

Seasons of Change by Carrie Fancett Pagels & Giveaway!

Mackinac Island Harbor, View from the Fort

Seasons of Change
by Carrie Fancett Pagels

It's that time of year again--Summer's end! Here around the Straits of Mackinac, tourists are still flocking to see the beauty of the area. But there are fewer and fewer families, fewer children. Many, you see, are preparing to go back to school. Some students have even begun their studies, again. Meanwhile, in Virginia, temperatures still hover around 90 degrees. Yikes! We've had an unusually warm (frequent days in the 80's) here in upper Michigan and quite dry, triggering concern throughout the state for this excessive dry spell.

Like the seasons of the year, seasons in our life evolve. For some people, the season of end-of-life brings many things to the forefront, particularly family and possible regrets and also the focus on joys previously experienced. Entering the "Golden Years" of life also brings its many issues -- loss of friends who have died, loss of physical strength yet also the wisdom that comes from having experienced many things in life and also the joy of an expanding family with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mackinac Island's beautiful Arch Rock -- from the Road

For first time kindergarteners, first year in middle school, that big freshman year of high school, and entry to college -- all are major stepping stones in life. Very exciting yet also potentially stressful, especially for students with special needs.
Fort Michilimackinac's late summer garden -- Mackinaw City, Michigan

I'm working on my first Women's Fiction in over a decade and I've been focusing on the changes women face in their lives. This has been a summer season of coping with health challenges and trying to get in book signings, author speaking engagements, and find placement for books as well as doing research for this current Work-in-Progress and other stories I've been working on. It's been an exciting time and a very different type of lifestyle than I normally have!
Entrance to Mackinac Bridge, Sunset over Lake Michigan, from Michilimackinac's Park in Mackinaw City, Michigan

I'll be gone from Michigan before the beautiful autumn leaves begin to change, but I'll have enjoyed this gorgeous summer season.  How about you? Have you enjoyed your summer or this particular season of life?

My Christy Lumber Camp Series' covers have gotten an update! Change is everywhere isn't it?

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a set of these books (one long novella and two short novels!) set around the Straits of Mackinac in the 1890's -- in Mackinaw City, St. Ignace, Mackinac Island, and Newberry, Michigan!

16 August 2018

My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas: Madeline's Search by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Barbour Publishing (2018)

Publisher Summary:
Journey now to Galveston, Texas, of 1880...
Where is Mrs. Smith's granddaughter? Who is the mysterious Mrs. Smith?

Pinkerton agent Jonah Cahill is hired by the mysterious widow to find her lost granddaughter, rumored to be living in Galveston, Texas. Though Jonah prefers to travel alone, Mrs. Smith insists that she and her companion accompany him. Madeline Latour, investigative reporter, has been acting as Mrs. Smith’s assistant for several months, and Madeline will not allow anyone—even a Pinkerton agent—to ruin the story of a lifetime. The pair forges an uneasy truce as the investigation grows dangerous.

Is there a bigger story beyond a missing girl to be revealed?

Andrea Stephens' Review

I don't think I'm spoiling anything if I say, “Yes. There is a bigger story beyond a missing girl!”
What a great story it is too! Kathleen Y'Barbo gives us an adventure-filled tale of a missing granddaughter, possible pirate treasure, mysteries and the reluctant reuniting of a formerly engaged couple. Will they be able to get over past betrayal and find love again? You will have to read the book yourself to find out!

Jonah Cahill grew up in a house built on top of land that famed pirate Jean Lafitte built and burned his house down, leaving behind the legacy of the possibly buried treasure. As a child, Jonah enjoyed digging holes in the basement but never found anything. Now grown, he is a Pinkerton Detective working a private case for Mrs. Smith, searching for her long lost granddaughter.

Madeline Latour, comes from a family of professional secret keepers. She works at a newspaper in New Orleans but is posing, undercover, as a writer working for Madame (Mrs. Smith) putting all her memories on paper, while secretly hoping to find a bigger story.

I liked how Jonah says, “Hello, Madeline.” when he sees her. The banter between the two is very entertaining. The two are not exactly happy about working with each other in the beginning, but do eventually remember that they once “made a good team.”  Once they overcome their past, they realize they still make a good team.

As Jonah and Madeline search for Madam's granddaughter, we meet many interesting characters, some with mysteries of their own that need solving.

It's very hard to write a review for this book without giving spoilers. There are many plot twists and several surprises. I will tell you that I loved it and did not want it to end.
The faith element is lightly sprinkled throughout the book and I really liked how Jonah listened to “that still small voice.”

This is another 5 Star book for me! I highly recommend it. If you are a history buff, Kathleen provides some very interesting author notes, telling us some real history and where she had to bend it a little for this fictional story.

The My Heart Belongs series is taking a summer break and will return in November with
My Heart Belongs in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Clarissa's Conflict by Murray Pura. I can't wait to read it!

Purchase: You can view ALL the My Heart Belongs books and find links to purchase at this link:

Giveaway: A copy of My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas: Madeline's Search by Kathleen Y'Barbo. Answer this question: What is your "happy place" for vacation?

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