Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #5

Hi Friends, Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt be sure to start at Stop #1 and collect all the clues through the 30 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS on 3/1 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.
  • Hunt through all the stops in a loop using Chrome or Firefox as your Internet browser, not Explorer.
  • There is no rush to complete the hunt! You have all weekend, until Sunday 3/4 at Midnight EST. So take your time and enjoy the unique posts along the way. Our hope is that you’ll discover new authors and books that you’ll enjoy!
  • Submit your entry for the grand prize by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at Stop #30. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way. Be sure to look for those!

I’m very happy to introduce award-winning author, Angela Hunt. I’ve read and loved many of Angela’s books, and I’ve enjoyed listening to her speak at writers’ conferences. She is a creative woman with many talents, including writing and photography.

Here is a brief summary of her newest release, Judah’s Daughter:  Leah, the daughter of an abusive father, is relieved when she marries Judah, a gentle giant. But when Judah’s father draws the family into war, Leah finds herself married to a warrior, and she’s not sure she can handle the change . . .

WHY I LOVE KOSHER JELLY DOUGHNUTS 

By Angela Hunt

My dental hygienist, Cheryl, is Jewish. When I was beginning to research the book that would become Judah’s Wife, I happily told Cheryl that I had learned all kinds of things about the Jews in the second century before Christ.

“Hanukkah?” She asked. “You’re learning about Hanukkah?”

I frowned. “Um . . . I haven’t gotten to that yet.”

But weeks later, I did. I learned that the Seleucids, an empire of Greek-influenced Syrians, had taken over Judea and required the Jews to abandon their acts of faith. No circumcising baby boys, no observing the Sabbath, no abstaining from pork and shellfish. Any Jewish person found practicing the Law of Moses would be tortured and put to death.

Antiochus Epiphanes, the Seleucid king who came to Jerusalem, was so intent on creating a homogeneous Empire that he visited the Holy Temple and desecrated the altar by sacrificing a pig–to Zeus, mind you. He declared that the Temple would be a place to worship Zeus, then he went back to Antioch and left his henchmen to enforce his laws in Judea.

When Judah Maccabaeus and his brothers led the ragtag army of Judea against these invaders, God granted them a mighty victory. The word Hanukkah means dedication in Hebrew, and after Judah and his men cleansed and rededicated the Temple, Judah declared that the people should celebrate for seven days. That was the first Hanukkah, and Jews have been celebrating it ever since.

When I went back to the dentist, I told Cheryl that I now understood Hanukkah. “Oh, so you heard about the oil,” she said. “The uncontaminated vial they found that burned for seven days.”
Again, I shook my head. “I’m sorry,” I told her. “But there is absolutely no mention of a vial of oil or a miraculous burning lamp in any of the original documents.”

“I’ll ask my brother the rabbi about it,” she said.

“And I’ll do more research,” I promised.

When I went back to see her six months later, with a copy of Judah’s Wife in hand, I said, “I’m sorry, but I learned that there is absolutely no mention of the miracle of the oil until hundreds of years later. Experts think rabbis created the story for the sake of young children—because it seemed unseemly to celebrate a bloody war for seven days.”

“My brother said you’re right,” she said, a little mournfully. “It’s probably just a story.”

I felt bad—who wants to burst someone’s bubble? “Well,” I said, “if it helps, we Christians have our traditions, too. People think the wise kings came to see baby Jesus on the night He was born, but they weren’t kings and they probably arrived months later. People talk about the angels singing to the shepherds, but the Bible never says they sang. People think Mary rode a donkey to Bethlehem, but if there was a donkey, it was probably carrying water jugs and food for the journey. In fact, Jesus was probably born in springtime, not in winter.”

“Still,” she said. “When you grow up believing something—”

“Hanukkah is still a miracle,” I said. “That an unskilled group of farmers and Torah scholars could overcome one of the world’s leading armies—that’s a miracle. That they could face battle elephants and horses and rolling towers and catapults—that’s a miracle. That they could turn a battered, burned, starving city into a place of refuge and restoration—that’s the real miracle of Hanukkah.”

Hanukkah offers encouragement for Christians today. The Jews of Judah’s day were being pressured—to the point of death—to conform to the world, yet the devout remained true to their God. Christians in our day are being pressured to conform to the world, but will we remain true? The Maccabees set a glorious and challenging example.

At Hanukkah, Jews in Israel eat these wonderful jelly doughnuts, called Sufganiot. They are wonderful any time, and you can find the recipe here: https://www.thespruce.com/hanukkah-doughnuts-sufganiot-2121658

Traditional Jewish food for Chanukkah holyday. Luxurious looking sufganiyot. Photo (c) gburshtein-fotolia

Why not make some for your family at Easter? What better way to say we are dedicated to Christ?

Angela Hunt is the author of more than 140 books for children and adults. Read more about her work at www.angelahuntbooks.com.

Here’s the Stop #5 Skinny:

You can order Angela’s book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, or at your local bookstore.

Clue to write down: FOUND

Link to Stop #6, Angela Hunt’s own site!

***** But wait, before you go, I’m offering my own giveaway! Two books to two winners! You may choose Shine Like the Dawn or Across the Blue. This giveaway is open to US winners only. To enter, just sign up to receive my email newsletter in the box at the top right on this page, and then leave a comment below, telling me if you are new subscriber, or if you already receive my newsletters. Winners will be announced on 3/5 and contacted by email. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie

Launch Day for Across the Blue!

Hi Friends, It’s time to celebrate the release of Across the Blue!  And I can’t wait to share this new story with you! It takes me about a year to research, write, and revise, a novel . . . so I’m sure you can understand how exciting it is to send a new book out to all my reading friends! We have some fun events planned this week to connect with you and share more about Across the Blue!

Today Across the Blue is featured on several blogs. Take a look at these posts and read what reviewers are saying about the story. And don’t forget to order your copy.

Anita Ojeda – Book Talk Tuesday, 

Joy of Reading, 

It’s Story Time With Van Daniker

Lis Loves Reading

Reflections From My Bookshelf

Wednesday: I’ll be on the radio this morning at 9:00 AM EST, talking to Greg on WMPC. Catch the interview live or listen later at this link

Thursday: Join me for the Facebook Live Video Party at 8:00 PM EST, 7:00 CST, 6:00 MST, 5:00 PST on my Facebook Author Page. I’ll be giving you a behind the scenes look at the characters, setting, and events in Across the Blue. You can take part in the games and enter the giveaway! If you miss the live video, no worries. You can listen in later that night or Friday. The giveaway will be open for 24 hours. 

Friday: Local friends, I hope you stop by Barnes & Noble in the Hamilton Marketplace between 7:00 – 9:00 PM. I’m one of the featured authors on their local author night along with my husband, Scott. We’d love to meet you! I’ll be signing Across the Blue and he’ll be signing Motivate Your Child. More info at this link.

Saturday: Take part in the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and enter the giveaway!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about Across the Blue. You can connect with me through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram

Until Next Time, Happy Reading,

Carrie

Women in Journalism in the Edwardian Era

Hi Friends, Did you know in the late 1800s and early 1900s very few women worked as journalists, and the few that did were usually assigned to write women’s columns about fashion, cooking, homemaking, and childcare, or if they were fortunate, they might be asked to cover weddings and social events.

There were a few daring reporters in that era like Elizabeth Cochrane, better known to her readers in America as stunt reporter Nellie Bly. She began her career in journalism in 1885 when she was 18, after she sent a letter to the Pittsburgh Dispatch, protesting an article, entitled “What Girls Are Good For.” The article argued that women should confine themselves to domestic chores and childcare. The editor replied to Elizabeth Cochrane by asking what articles she would write if she were a journalist, and her response was that newspapers should be carrying more stories about ordinary people. And that earned her a job!

Elizabeth Cochrane became a campaigning journalist, who did undercover work, exposing injustice and changing policy on healthcare, housing and child labor. For one of her most famous stories, she pretended to be mentally ill and was admitted to a New York insane asylum for 10 days. After her release, she wrote about the harsh conditions, abusive staff, and the fact that many inmates were sane but had been falsely incarcerated by relatives who wanted them out of the way.

She is also known for writing Around the World in Seventy-two Days, which chronicles her amazing race around the globe when she was trying to best Jules Veren’s chararcters in his novel Around the World in Eighty Days.

In my latest novel Across the Blue the heroine, Bella Grayson, dreams of following her father’s footsteps and becoming a journalist. From the time she was a young girl her father read the newspaper to her, and they discussed world events. Bella is bright and inquisitive, and she longs to please her father and feel closer to him. Writing for one of his London newspapers seems like the right path to follow. But Bella learns there is a cost to following her dreams. When her secret role as a journalist conflicts with her growing relationship with aviator, James Drake, she must decide what’s truly the most important to her.

It was interesting to look back at women’s roles and see how much they have changed in the last 100 years! 

Across the Blue releases February 20th and is available as an eBook or paperback. Check you local bookstore or order online from your favorite retailer.

I hope you’ll join me for the Across the Blue Facebook Live Release Party Feb. 22 at 8:00 PM EST! Follow this link and click going, and I will send you a reminder that day. See you there!

Happy Reading,

Carrie

Aviation Flops and Triumphs

Hi Friends, Only one week until the release of Across the Blue on February 20th! I’m very excited to share this new English historical romance with you!

We’ve all heard of the Wright Brothers and their amazing first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, but they were not the only aviation pioneers trying to achieve powered flight. Several men in Europe and the US were working on their own designs, conducting experiments, and attempting test flights. They had some wild ideas and creative designs as you can see when you click on the video below.

When I was writing Across the Blue, I wanted to feature a hero who combined the creativity, dedication, and bravery of these early aviation pioneers. So I created James Drake, a young Englishman with a shadowed past, who was raised by Professor Thaddeus Steed. Their goal is to design a powered flying machine, but it only seems like a dream until they watch Wilbur Wright’s flight demonstration at LeMans, France, in 1908. They take what they observed back to their workshop to modify their design and improve their flying machine. Soon James is taking off and flying across Kent.

Bella Grayson, heroine of Across the Blue, has her heart set on becoming a journalist who reports on the exciting events of the day, including the advancement of aviation. But her parents have a different plan for her future. They want her to marry well and help them move up in society. Bella goes to great lengths to pursue her dream, and she learns some very important lessons along the way as her faith and relationship with James grow.

Bella’s father is a wealthy newspaper owner and aviation enthusiast. He offers a prize of one thousand pounds to the first pilot who will make a successful flight across the English Channel. James and Professor Steed are determined to win that prize and establish themselves as respected airplane designers. But the twenty-two mile flight path between England and France requires James to fly over choppy sea with turbulent wind currents. He’ll need every ounce of skill and courage to make a successful flight.

I loved stepping back in time to Edwardian England and the first days of aviation. It was inspiring to read about the dedication of these early pilots and airplane designers. Even if you don’t know much about aviation, I think you’ll enjoy James and Bella’s story and the romance and inspiration they find as they pursue their dreams!

Across the Blue will hit the bookshelves very soon! I hope you’ll pre-order your copy and enter the pre-order giveaway at this link. I also hope you’ll plan to join me for the Facebook Live Launch Party on February 22, 8:00pm EST on my Facebook author page. I’ll give you a behind the scene look at the characters, events, and setting. We’ll play some fun games, and there will be some great giveaways! Visit the Facebook event page and click going, and you’ll receive a reminder that day.

If you’re a local friend, I hope you’ll join me for a special Book Signing and meet and greet at the Hamilton, New Jersey, Barnes and Noble, in the Hamilton Marketplace. I’d love to meet you and sign your copy of Across the Blue! For more information just click on the image below. 

Until Next Time – Happy Reading!

Carrie

Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Hi Friend,

This month I’m hosting a giveaway for my email newsletter subscribers. To enter the giveaway, sign up for my email newsletter in the box at the top right, then leave a comment on this blog post. If you already subscribe to my email newsletter, just mention that in your comment below, and your name will be included in the drawing. Don’t be confused, I have a blog and an email newsletter. The email newsletter goes out every other month to subscribers with book news and author updates. I post blogs 3 – 4 times a month with articles related to research, travel, movies, and all kinds of fun posts like this giveaway, so come back to this blog page and visit me often.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m giving away three romantic stories, The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White, Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli, and The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd. I enjoyed them and recommend them to you! For more info about these books click on the covers below. I’ll be drawing the name of three winners on Valentine’s Day and let you know by email.

I’m working hard on my next novel, Finding Her Way Home (working title, which I’m sure will change). It’s set in Edwardian England with romance, family drama, adventure, and inspiration. You can check my progress on my website in the column on the right to see how I’m doing.

My new English historical novel, Across the Blue, releases in less than three weeks! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? Visit the Across the Blue Book Page for more info and easy order links. We have a Pre-Order Giveaway going on now . . . and a Facebook Live Book Launch Party on February 22! Visit the party page and click going, and I’ll send you a reminder. Check back here often so you don’t miss out on any of these fun events! Thank you for being a faithful reading Friend!

**Update: Congratulations to Dawn Hogue who is the winner of the Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

New Releases February 2018

Hi Friends, Are you looking for some new books to read this month? These are the February releases from American Christian Fiction Writer member authors. 

Biblical:

A Passionate Hope, Hannah’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith — Hannah has spent her life trusting God, loving her husband, putting up with abuse from a second wife and still she has no child–until one day she discovers the secret to her own heart’s longings and rejoices in what will soon become God’s promised hope. (Biblical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)


Contemporary Romance:

Focus On Love by Candee Fick — In the standalone sequel to Dance Over Me, photographer-turned-actress Liz meets a freelancer who has put his career on hold, but when Ryan shows her what true love is all about, her life may never be the same. (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

Love by the Numbers by Laura V. Hilton — When false allegations by the bishop back home catch up with Lydia and threaten to ruin her reputation, can she clear her name and find lasting happiness? Or will her sunny disposition fade away into heartbreak? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)


Historical Romance:

This Treacherous Journey by Misty M. Beller — Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing arrest. Innocent of her husband’s crimes, she and her brother hope to make it through the Rockies to Canada for a clean start. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on Simeon Grant’s doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects memories he’s worked hard to forget. Widowed and childless because of his own bad choices, can he overcome the past that haunts him to give her the safety she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all? (Historical Romance, ACFW Qualified Independently Published)

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron — Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman speaks of a secret past and castle ruins. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . . But her grandmother suffers from Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley to unearth its secrets before time silences them forever. (Historical Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

The English Lieutenant’s Lady by Evelyn M. Hill — I’m not your enemy.” He held her gaze, willing her to believe the lie. It’s 1845. Britain and America both claim the Oregon Territory, and neither side is willing to back down. To survive, British Lieutenant Geoffrey Montgomery and American Lia Griggs both are pretending to be someone they’re not. The last thing either of them wants is to fall in love. And as the threat of war grows stronger, choosing to stay together could cost them everything they have. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Widow of Rose Hill by Michelle Shocklee — Widowed during the war, Southern slave owner Natalie Ellis strikes a bargain with a Union Colonel to save her plantation and her son’s inheritance: in exchange for use of her family’s property, the army will provide workers to bring in her cotton crop. Natalie Ellis is everything Colonel Levi Maish loathes: a Southern slave owner. But the plight of the beautiful Widow Ellis stirs to life his compassion and the heart he’d thought hardened by war.  (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin — As D-day approaches, an American naval officer and a British Wren work together on invasion plans. But if he succeeds, will he destroy what she loves most? (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

 

 

 

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky — A determined young aviator who strives to be the first to fly across the English Channel also longs to win the heart of an aspiring journalist who is secretly covering the race across the Channel. (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

The Mail-Order Brides Collection by Megan Besing, Noelle Marchand, Donna Schlachter, Sherri Shackelford, Michelle Shocklee, Ann Shorey, Liz Tolsma, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — Nine advertisements for brides lead to inconvenient complications in romance. Traveling west alone on a promise of marriage, each woman has her reasons to accept a husband sight unseen. Some are fleeing poverty or abuse while others simply seek hope for a brighter future. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Romantic Suspense:

High Treason by DiAnn Mills — CIA Operative Monica Alden and FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson face the challenge of their careers when a Saudi Prince’s life is threatened on American soil. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)

 

 

 

Kill Shot by Susan Sleeman
As the ballistics and weapon’s expert for the FBI’s special task force nicknamed the White Knights, Rick Cannon has known the Department of Defense was developing self-steering bullets and feared their effects in the hands of the wrong people. Now his fear is coming true. The ammunition been stolen, and the Knights are called in to find the thief and stop the killings. When therapist Olivia Dobbs discovers one of her military clients moments after he is murdered, she becomes both the FBI’s prime witness, and suspect. But with a sniper now training his rifle on her, Rick must recall all the skills he learned as a Marine sniper to make sure the next bullet fired isn’t a kill shot that takes Olivia out. (Romantic Suspense from Faith Words [Hachette])


Supernatural Thriller:

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart — In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul. (Supernatural Thriller from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)


Western:

Cheyenne Sunrise by Janalyn Voigt — Can a woman with no faith in men learn to trust the half-Cheyenne trail guide determined to protect her? (Western by Mountain Brook Ink)

 Until Next Time, Happy Reading!

Carrie