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

Waiting for His Return Release Day!

 

Hi Friends, It’s release day for Waiting for His Return! I’m excited to share this heartwarming holiday novella with you, and I have a special giveaway to celebrate the book launch. The story is set in Nashville, Tennessee, during the Civil War. The hero is British-born artist, James Galloway, who travels with the Union troops drawing battle scenes that are sent back to Harper’s Weekly Illustrated Newspaper.

When James is attacked and left for dead at the side of the road near the Thornton’s home, Rachel Thornton takes him in and uses the skills she has learned from her physician father to save James’s life. Her father, sister, and two loyal servants also lend a hand. But the battlefront is moving closer to Nashville, and with it, increasing danger for James, Rachel, and her family.

James and Rachel grow closer as he recovers, but he has a commitment to fulfill for Harpers Weekly. Rachel has already lost one man she loves, and she is reluctant to give her heart to another man who may soon become a casualty of the war. 

With Christmas coming, Rachel waits for news from James. Will he find his way back to her, or will she be left waiting for his return?

 Waiting for His Return was originally published in A Blue and Gray Christmas and was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award. It has been revised and updated for new readers to enjoy. The eBook is available on Amazon for $2.99 for a limited time. Download your copy today and start reading to enjoy this story!

To celebrate the launch of Waiting for His Return I’m offering a special giveaway for my reading friends!  The gifts include two adult coloring books, drawing pencils, and fine line markers, plus an Oh Holy Night Gift Set with mug, plate, tote bag, bookmark, pen, and devotional book. To enter the giveaway just share this post on social media or with a friend via email, then leave a comment below, telling me where you shared it. The winner will be chosen Monday, November 13th and notified by email. Thanks for helping me celebrate and spread the word about Waiting for His Return!

****Thanks for stopping by! The winner has been chosen – Jeanie Dannheim – and the giveaway has closed. Happy Reading, Carrie

 

 

Free Moonlight Over Manhattan

Hi Friends, As we move into November and the season of Thanksgiving, I want to say thank you to my loyal readers. I hope you’ll download your free copy of Moonlight Over Manhattan! And if you enjoy it, I hope you’ll post a review on Amazon and tell your friends about it. Word of mouth is the best publicity around. Thank very much!

This heartwarming novella is set in New York during the fall and includes Thanksgiving and Christmas events for the hero and heroine, Justin and Sarah. There’s also a sweet grandmother and her cute dog to add humor to the story. I think you’ll be encouraged by Sarah’s faith journey and the sweet romance.

It is free on Amazon 10/24 – 10/28. Thanks for helping me spread the word! Download your copy here: http://amzn.to/2yLeBI6

Until next time, happy reading,

Carrie

 

Birthday Giveaway!

Cathy Gohlke and I at ACFW

Hi Friends,  It’s my birthday today, and I thought it would be fun to celebrate with you! Keep reading for a special giveaway.

I recently returned from a wonderful week in Dallas, TX, where I took part in two special events:  CRAVE HIM – a readers’ and authors’ gathering, and ACFW – the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Annual Conference. Both were wonderful times of connecting and encouragement. Here are some photos from those events.

Lunch with reading and writing friends at CRAVE HIM 2017. Left to right: Brittany, Elizabeth L., Carrie, Staci, Staci’s daughter Gretchen, Cathy, Elizabeth E.

One of the workshops at ACFW focused on branding – learning ways to connect with readers by understanding what they expect when they read one of your books. One way to gain insight is to read reviews or ask readers what words or phrases come to mind when they think of you and your books. So, I thought I’d ask you, my blog readers, that question. And to add a little fun and motivation to get you thinking, I’m offering a giveaway to those who comment and answer this question:

What words or phrases come to mind when you think of me and my books? What feelings do my books evoke? What promise do I offer and fulfill to you, my readers? 

Dressing up like our characters at the ACFW Genre Dinner.

You have until midnight Pacific time 9/28 to answer and leave your comment. Tomorrow morning I’ll randomly choose one winner and contact them via email. As a prize, they can choose a copy of any of my books. Paperback or eBook for a US winner and eBook if the winner lives outside the US. 

I love my readers! Thank you for your kind reviews, faithful support, and constant encouragement!

****UPDATE: Congratulations to Alyssa Clark Tillett who is the winner of this giveaway!

Blessings,

Carrie

 

Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Hi Friends, 

I’m excited to show you the cover of my next English historical novel, Across the Blue and tell you about a special giveaway . . . but before I do, let me tell you a little about the story and characters.

The Heroine – Isabella Grayson, is the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate. She longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year.

The Hero – James Drake, is an aspiring aviator, and when he crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

Ready to see the beautiful cover? 

I’m thrilled with the design! It perfectly captures Kent, England, and the white Cliffs of Dover, which play a huge part in this story. Bella’s hat is divine and just right for the 1909 time period. And when you see how fragile James’s airplane really is, it makes you appreciate his courage in attempting to be the first to fly across the English Channel!

I can’t wait to share Across the Blue with you! It releases February 20, 2018, and you can preorder a copy from your favorite retailer by following this link.

If you’re on GoodReads I hope you’ll click this link and add it to your “To Read” list!

And now I have a Giveaway for you! Help me spread the word, and you can enter in a drawing for a set of my four English historical novels: The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, A Refuge at Highland Hall, and Shine Like the Dawn! To enter just share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media sight and then leave a comment below, telling me where you shared it. I’ll draw one winner on Thursday, July 13th. If a US winner is chosen he or she will receive paperback copies, and if an international winner is chosen he or she will receive eBooks. Thanks for helping me spread the word about Across the Blue!

Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading!

Carrie

Happy Fourth of July ~ Free Book

Hi Friends,

I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing Fourth of July weekend! Just a quick note to let you know my novel, Surrendered Hearts, is FREE on Kindle July 1 – 5! This is the perfect summer story to enjoy this weekend. 

Here’s a summary: Jennifer Evan’s life changes forever when a gas pipeline explodes and causes a fire at her apartment. Losing her home and beloved dog are terrible blows, but the ugly scars that cover her arm, neck and shoulder steal her confidence and cause her fiancé to desert her. With her funds depleted and her job on hold, she heads for Vermont where she hopes to reconnect with her brother and find a way to rebuild her shattered life.

Bill Morgan, her brother’s roommate and the head naturalist at the Wild River Nature Center, is a strong, quiet man whose faith runs deep. His efforts to share his faith with Jenn seem to push her farther away. But caring actions sometimes speak louder than words, and Jenn’s heart is drawn to Bill in spite of the spiritual gulf that separates them. Will she hold on to the pain of her past, or will she surrender her heart and find the faith and love she seeks?

Surrendered Hearts has more than 180 great reviews on Amazon including this one: “The author has created a powerful, moving story with Surrendered Hearts. I loved this novel. Loved Bill Morgan. He’s the hero every girl dreams of, and Jennifer Evans was a likable character as well. . . The book is heartwarming and touching, and I loved the ending. This story is a five all the way in my book. This was the first time I’ve read this author, but it won’t be the last. In fact, I just purchased another book by her and can’t wait to read it. This is a well-woven story.”

Download your copy at Amazon and enjoy it today!

Blessings and Happy Fourth of July,

Carrie

2017 British Blooms and Books

Hi Friends,

Welcome to the second annual British Blooms and Books Giveaway! This week, we’re celebrating the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show and some lovely historical novels set in England. After enjoying this post, please visit each of the other five authors’ blogs (links provided below) and, after a bit of reading fun, follow one simple instruction and leave a comment on each blog. You’ll be entered to win a fabulous, British Blooms and Books prize. (US winners only, please, due to shipping the petit fours.) Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by!

Touring the Gardens at Cragside ~ Morningside Manor

Cragside House and Gardens are the inspiration for the setting of Shine Like the Dawn, my latest English historical romance. When I first researched the story I was fascinated by the photos I saw of the beautiful gardens surrounding Cragside House. And when I read the story behind them, I was even more eager to include those amazing gardens in my story.

 

Cragside house was built on a rocky moor area with few trees, but William Armstrong, the original developer and owner of Cragside decided to create a lush woodland garden around his home with three lakes, miles of carriage drives, bridges, and beautiful rock gardens. 

Rhododendrons and azaleas flourish there and make a sunning display each spring. I hope you enjoy these photos and video tour. Viewing them will add to your enjoyment when you read Shine Like the Dawn!

To enter the giveaway, Please sign up for my newsletter in the box on the upper right hand column of my blog post (if you’re already signed up, just let me know in the comments). Then, comment below and tell me one of your favorite flowers, and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win the grand prize! Thanks to broadoak2006 for this beautiful video tour of Cragside!   

Devine Delights Tea Hats Treats

Giveaway Rules: One grand prize winner who comments on each of the six authors’ blogs and agrees to the one boldfaced condition posted at the end of each post will win a signed copy of each of the books plus delivery of six English hat petit fours to enjoy while you read! Name will be drawn via random.org

Please visit these other fabulous authors of historical novels set in England to see what flowers mean to them and their heroines.

Links to the other authors:

Melanie Dickerson’s Post link: http://melaniewrites.blogspot.com/2017/05/second-annual-british-blooms-books.html

Melanie Dobson’s Post link: http://melaniedobson.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-books-giveaway/

Julie Klassen’s Post link: http://inspiredbylifeandfiction.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-books-giveaway/

Roseanna White’s Post link: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/2017/05/2nd-annual-british-blooms-and-books.html

Sanda Byrd’s Post link: http://www.sandrabyrd.com/2nd-annual-british-blooms-and-books-giveaway/

Until Next Time . . . Happy Reading!

Carrie

 

Honoring Mom

Hi Friends, 

****Update: the winner is Bethany Brewer!

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Do you have plans to celebrate and honor the special women in your life this weekend? I’ll be enjoying Mother’s Day morning with my Calvary Chapel Living Hope family, and then in the afternoon I’ll get together with family and a few friends for a picnic lunch, hopefully outside on the patio. It’s a beautiful time of the year in New Jersey, and I often plant annual flowers in my yard on Mothers Day weekend. Geraniums, marigolds, and snapdragons are some of my favorites. Here’s one of my patio pots.

My mom, Dorothy Swain, with me at my cousin’s wedding.

I’ll also be remembering my mom, Dorothy Swain, and thanking the Lord for her influence in my life and the gifts she’s given me. One gift is the love for art and creativity. She was an accomplished painter, commercial artist, and quilter. She also used her artistic skills to remodel and decorate our home. She encouraged me to try painting at an early age and made sure I had art supplies to continue exploring and developing my artistic abilities. I also love decorating my home and bringing beauty there for my family to enjoy.

This painting by my mom features a historic home in Astoria, Oregon, and hangs in my living room.

Another gift my mom gave me was a love for family and especially a desire to collect family stories and pass them on to the next generations. I’ve enjoyed reading the stories she collected and viewing the drawings she made to go with them. My mom was a writer as well as an artist and some of her articles were published in our local newspaper. 

Mom’s love for stories sparked my creativity, and I think she’d be very happy to see me writing historical novels that often feature families and beautiful settings. 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m giving away an audio book copy of Shine Like the Dawn. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this blog post and tell me one interest or quality you share with your mom. I’ll announce the winner on Monday 15th. You can order a paperback or audio copy of Shine Like the Dawn by visiting my website

Happy Reading until next time,

Carrie

The Elusive Miss Ellison

Hi Friends, today I want to introduce author Carolyn Miller and give you the inside scoop about her new Regency novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison, and her book launch giveaway. Keep reading for details!

Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller’s The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way. Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.

{MORE ABOUT THE ELUSIVE MISS ELLISON}

The Elusive Miss Ellison (Kregel, February 2017)

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.

That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Find out more about Carolyn at https://www.carolynmiller.org.

Giveaway ~ Shine Like the Dawn

 

Hi Friends, 

My new English historical novel, Shine Like the Dawn, released earlier this week, and we are continuing the celebration with a fun Prize Package Giveaway for my readers! Please read on to enter the giveaway, but first here’s a description of the story:

“In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister, Violet. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. When Maggie discovers her father’s journal she begins to wonder if what happened to her family might not have been an accident.

Maggie’s childhood friend, Nathaniel Harcourt, returns from serving in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to Maggie’s family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie is uncertain if she can trust her old friend, especially when his family may be tied to the tragedy that changed the course of her life. Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate–and being reconciled with God? Will the search for the truth about the tragedy draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

Enter the Prize Package Giveaway by filling out the Raffllecopter form below and help us spread the word about Shine Like the Dawn. The prizes include a set our journals, a pen set, a reading journal, and a copy of Shine Like the Dawn! The Giveaway runs through March 6th. Good luck to you! 

You can read Shine Like the Dawn’s prologue and first chapter on this page. Visit your local bookstore or order your copy online.  

 

I’m also delighted that Shine Like the Dawn is being featured on a Celebrate Lit Blog Tour February 21 – March 6. Follow the tour and enter the giveaway! For more info visit the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour Page.

Thank so much for purchasing your copy of Shine Like the Dawn and joining in the celebration with me!

Until next time . . . Happy Reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway