Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson

About Book

Lilly Gray Corbett has just graduated from medical school and decided to accept an internship in the coal camp of Skip Rock, Kentucky. Her beau, Paul, is doing his residency in Boston and can’t understand why Lilly would choose to work in a backwater town. But having grown up in the mountains, Lilly is drawn to the stubborn, superstitious people she encounters in Skip Rock—a town where people live hard and die harder and where women know their place. Lilly soon learns she has a lot to overcome, but after saving the life of a young miner, she begins to earn the residents’ trust.

As Lilly becomes torn between joining Paul in Boston and her love for the people of Skip Rock, she crosses paths with a handsome miner—one who seems oddly familiar. Her attraction for him grows, even as she wrestles with her feelings and wonders what he’s hiding.

  • ISBN-13: 9781414339146
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/18/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Where to buy:  Amazon, Barnes&Noble, CBD

About Author

Jan Watson won the 2004 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest for her first novel, Troublesome Creek. Her other awards include being named the best Kentucky author in 2012 by Kentucky Living magazine, a nomination for the Kentucky Literary Award in 2006 and second place in the 2006 Inspirational Readers Choice Contest sponsored by the Faith, Hope, and Love Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Jan has published seven novels. As a registered nurse for 25 years at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, she incorporates her nursing experience in the hospital's mother/baby unit into her novels. Jan resides in Kentucky.

Visit Jan's website:

Watch for her next book TATTLER'S BRANCH, coming in September 2013.

My Thoughts

Lilly Gray Corbett decided to take an internship in Skip Rock, Kentucky.  Her fiancee was not so sure she should accept the internship. His main concern was it was in a coal mine camp with harsh conditions very unlike Boston.  Lily was not taken as seriously in her profession as a man would have been.  She had been raised in the Kentucky mountains under similar conditions, so she was not sure how she felt about his reaction to her going to Skip Rock.  Although she knew she would miss him dearly and would write him often.

When she arrives in Skip Rock it is a shock to the residents because they were expecting a male physician.   She knew ahead of time this would be a problem just like it would have been anywhere she went to practice her profession.  She just hoped she could earn their trust.

Joe, one of the miners, tried to avoid the new doctor even though he was so drawn to her that he watch her every move.  She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  Would he be able to hide his true identity from her?   How was it possible that she was really here?

I really enjoyed this book, it was like reading about a family friend.  I read several of the author's other books that have connection with this book.  There was plenty to keep my attention it has suspense, action packed, and a possible love connection.  The author writes of the conditions that existed in the camp which all came back to the importance for a doctor like Lily that actually cared about the miners and their families well being.

I am looking forward to reading the author's next book, TATTLER'S BRANCH to be released in September 2013.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book 5 out of 5.

Disclosure: I chose this book from Tyndale Rewards.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

If you found this review helpful vote yes or not here.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd ~ Giveaway

About Book

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend's baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word-even to the point of proposing to the child's father-a sea captain she's never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.

Amelia's detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she's forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham's strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them. 

Purchase a copy:

Length320 Pages
SeriesWhispers On The Moors
Publication DateApril 9, 2013

About Author

Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.
Find out more about Sarah at

Sarah Ladd is celebrating the release 
Downton Abbey Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!
 One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Downton Abbey, seasons 1-3
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 30th. Winner will be announced on 5/2/13 {HERE}.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

My Thoughts

Amelia Barrett,  after nine months she still grieves the loss of her friend Katherine Sterling, whom died shortly after giving birth to a precious baby girl.  Amelia has promised her friend to care for and stay with her baby always.  The baby's father is Captain Graham Sterling at sea and has not, as yet, meet his daughter.

Amelia is heiress to the Winterwood estate in Darbury, England.   She is engaged to be married and her fiancee has made it clear to her that he does not want to raise the child, he insist she send the child away after they marry.  She refuses and he becomes a totally different man from the one that she had agreed to wed he tries to dominate her actions.  She will do anything to keep the child at Winterwood with her, even if it means breaking her engagement.  She fells as if she were the child's real mother and could never give her up.

Graham the child's father has just arrived to meet his daughter and make arrangements for her care once he returns to sea.  He is staying with his brother at the estate that is next to Winterwood's estate.  He finds his daughter to be the image of his deceased wife.  He has great admiration of Amelia for the love and care she has bestowed upon his daughter in his absence.  Just maybe she would be able to continue to be his daughter's guardian while he is at sea.

Within just a few days of his arrival his daughter is kidnapped and there is several different suspects that could be responsible for the kidnapping.  Graham and Amelia create a bond while searching for the child. It is very apparent they both dearly love the child.  They must call on God to give them faith, courage and strength to get through this harrowing experience.  They trusted God to keep the child safe in His arms. 

This was an exciting read that I managed to read in one day.  I could not put it down!  It was full of action and kept you guessing as to who was responsible for the kidnapping.  The two main characters both showed resistance in opening their heart and their trust to anyone.  The author writes that when the characters putting all into God's will their hearts softened willingly them to trust in their loved one again.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book 5 out of 5.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson/Litfuse Publicity Group for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Icecutter's Daughter ~ Land of Shining Water Series #1 ~ by Tracie Peterson

About Book
As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl--she'd rather work with her father’s horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she’s been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.
When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiance shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.
Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God--and each other--when scandal threatens their newfound love?
Tracie Peterson's love for history and research fuel the bestselling stories she writes. She is the author of more than ninety novels and the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award. Tracie and her family live in Montana.

ISBN-13: 9780764206191
  • Publication date: 3/1/2013
  • Series: Land of Shining Water
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Where to buy:  Amazon, Barnes&Noble, BakerBookStore, CBD

About Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over ninety novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. 

Visit Tracie's Web site at and her blog at

My Thoughts

Merrill Krause has several very protective brothers that have been known to run off any potential suitors.  She is responsible for the care of the household chores and the cooking.  She works with the horses which is her favorite thing to do on the farm.  You will even find her working shoulder to shoulder with her father and brothers.  She jumps right in when it is time to cut, haul and store ice from the lake.  Ice-cutting is tough for the brawniest of men.  She stays so busy that it is very apparent she is having no luck in finding a suitable husband.  

Rurik Jorgenson is new to the community.  He is going into business with his uncle's in a carpentry business. He hopes to fit in with the community.  With his uncle's health becoming a concern he volunteered to go in his uncle's stead to help his uncle's friend to harvest ice from the lake.  This will definitely be a new experience for him, but he was willing to learn.  He got a big shock when he discovered one of the icecutter's was actually a beautiful young woman.  He got plenty of teasing by her brothers. Rurik would not let them intimidate him when or if he decided to court their sister.  But his former fiancee concocts some wild accusations against Rurik which puts his reputation into question.

The author has written a story of family bonds, love and loyalty to one another.  Then there is the deception that threatens to destroy a young man's future. I loved the dedication these characters had to their family through such selfless acts.  My favorite character was Rurik's uncle he was a very giving, wise and trusting man, with a strong belief in prayer and God's will for one's life.  

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House/Baker Publishing for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Official COVER REVEAL! The Remedy by Serena Chase

Excerpt: THE REMEDY by Serena Chase

The path widened and the knights moved into a more protective position around me.  Julien and Kinley galloped side by side at the rear and Gerrias was beside me.
Turning in my saddle, I met Julien’s eyes. His face was set and ready for battle. I turned to look at Kinley. He mirrored Julien’s expression. Before I could turn back to face forward, the Dwonsil warriors rounded a bend and came into sight, closing the gap between us with unbelievable speed. 
There were five of them. We were outnumbered and they had arrows at the ready, possibly wrapped with hairs from a Cobeld’s beard. We had dressed for speed, not battle. My knights wore no chain mail or armor.
The warriors nocked their arrows.
“No!” I breathed.  
As if of one accord, each archer fumbled and his arrow fell to the ground. None noticed the others’ clumsiness. Instead, each deftly reached to string another arrow.  
Did I do that? I wondered, even as the truth of it washed over me. 
My great-grandfather’s words coursed through my memory. “Each time you use one of your gifts,” he had said, “it is only by the permission of the Giver.” 
I closed my eyes and let Stanza’s reins slacken in my hands as my arms dropped and my palms rose. My face tilted toward the sky.
Please, Giver of Gifts. Protector and Sustainer, I pleaded silently, tell me what to do. Show me how to best use what you’ve entrusted to me!
Sudden heat warmed the pendant hung hidden beneath my tunic. My hand flew to where the carved Emblem of The First rested against my skin as a memory from a childhood dare danced across my mind.  
My eyes flew open. Could it work? 
It was worth a try.
I tied Stanza’s reins to the pommel of the saddle, hoping the knights hadn’t noticed the grin that had sprung across my lips at the memory of an escapade involving Rowlen and Lewys, and the dare I had accepted—and achieved—at the age of twelve. The question was: could I do it again?
I bent my left leg under me and shifted my body in the saddle. This is so much easier when you don’t have to bother with skirts! Bending my other leg, I gripped the saddle and rotated my backside. I straightened my legs and secured my feet in the stirrups, though backward, facing Julien and Kinley. 
Stanza forged ahead, unbothered by the unorthodox position of his rider. It was gratifying to know that my horse trusted my instincts, but when I finally looked at Julien and Kinley—I couldn’t say the same for the knights.
“What are you doing?” Kinley roared. “Turn around!”
I shook my head, hoping we would live long enough for him to forgive me, and concentrated on the ever-decreasing gap between the warriors and us. Just as they let another batch of arrows fly, I closed my eyes and spoke to the shafts of wood.
Without opening my eyes I saw each arrow abruptly nosedive into the ground. The arrows shook with the vibration of the impact. I allowed myself a small smile at the disbelief that crossed the minds of the warriors, but did not have time to dwell on it. They had quickly reached for fresh arrows.
We galloped through a shallow canyon. My thighs ached from gripping Stanza’s sides and my knuckles whitened on the back edge of the saddle as I knocked the new arrows from their bowstrings. 
I turned my head. Just beyond us was a fissure in the dusky orange rock of the canyon. Its sides were steep and reached at least as far above us as the vaulted entry of Holiday Palace, but its path was narrower even than the hallway that led to the palace’s Grand Hall. Wide enough for two skilled riders to enter at a time, it would be a tight fit for a skittish horse or horseman. Thankfully, none of our group fit into either of the former categories. But would it lead us out—or to a dead end that would trap us?
I looked down each side of the canyon, but I could note no other exit. The fissure had to be the way out.
The Dwonsil warriors seemed to have an endless supply of arrows.How long would it be before one of them evaded my notice and struck one of my friends? 
The gestures and nods being exchanged between my friends seemed to indicate that the knights had formulated a plan. I might not be able to interpret my knights’ nods and gestures, but I could peer into Julien’s thoughts to gauge their intent.
Julien met my eyes, nodded, and tapped a finger at his temple, giving me the permission he knew I sought. 
His colors rushed over me the second I sought his mind. I had to push away his tension, his fear for me—even his love—to find that which I sought. 
I grasped on to the thread. His thoughts were clear, warm, and true. You are the Ryn. I trust you. 
I loosened my hold just a tad and sought Gerrias’s and Kinley’s thoughts in tandem.
They were of one mind and both assumed Julien was, too. And rightly so, as I’d seen the plan in his thought, just awaiting my approval. 
Kinley and Julien intended to turn and fight, delaying the warriors as long as possible, while Gerrias took me through the fissure to meet up with our friends at Shiridyn Bridge.
I shook my head. Julien and Kinley were finely skilled knights, but against five Dwonsil warriors, and arrows which may or may not be wrapped in a Cobeld curse, the risk was too great. No. I could not, would not, lose them. Not when this predicament was entirely my fault. But how could we all escape?
I knocked the next arrows from the warriors’ hands before they touched them to their bows and looked over my shoulder at the narrow way out of the canyon and then up its rocky sides. A way out was a door, right? Could I . . . ?
With a wave of my hand I sent another round of arrows to the dirt, and then spoke into the knights’ thoughts.
Follow me through the fissure!
Kinley and Gerrias shook their heads.
A strange strength welled up within me, a feeling of authority I had never experienced before. The sudden swell of Julien’s anger, however, directed at his brother and mine, surprised me, and although he did not voice it aloud, Julien’s authority as our company’s leader clearly backed mine. Whatever his next nod and gesture conveyed, it was clearly not to be argued with.
Kinley and Gerrias exchanged a quick glance, but each nodded their reluctant compliance.
Beside me, Gerrias spoke to Julien. “This is not wise. We need to draw them away from her. She must be protected at all cost!”
 “Don’t do this, Rose,” Kinley pleaded. “Let us protect you!”
“You are protecting me. Now I need you to trust me as well. They will not be able to follow us.”
As Kinley ground his teeth, I sent another plea for strength to Rynloeft above that my words would prove correct.
Sudden shade alerted me that we were entering the fissure. I disabled another round of arrows, and even more swiftly than I’d turned to the rear, regained a normal riding posture. Untying the reins from the pommel, I leaned forward to urge Stanza faster. It was a tight squeeze with Gerrias beside me, but soon we exited the rock-walled passageway and entered a slightly wooded glen, followed closely by Julien and Kinley.  
My hand pulsed where I held Julien’s kiss. Did he know how much his belief in me, his counsel, the very potency of his presence, strengthened me?
I circled Stanza back around until I faced the fissure. 
Gerrias reached for his sword. “What are you going to do?” 
“It’s a door,” I said, gesturing to the fissure. “I’m going to close it.”  

Serena Chase

A life-long lover of fairy tales, Serena Chase is the author of THE RYN (3/26/13) and THE REMEDY (April 2013).  Together, these two novels comprise an expanded re-imaging of the classic Grimm fairy tale, Snow White & Rose Red and are the first two books in the Eyes of E’veria series.

A frequent contributor to USA Today’s  Happy Ever After blog and Edgy Inspirational Romance, Serena lives in Iowa with her husband, two daughters, and a white golden-doodle named Albus.  She has been known to live vicariously through her hair, however, so don’t be too surprised if she looks a tad different from one day to the next.  We all have our vices.

Connect with Serena on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & Goodreads.

Edgy Inspirational Romance:

If you don't yet have a copy of THE RYN, it's just $3.99 for Kindle and Kindle apps! CLICK HERE to go directly to the listing. Not sure it's your thing? CLICK HERE for more info!
Mark your calendar & tell your friends! The Remedy will launch for Kindle and Kindle apps on 4/22/13--which also begins the official Eyes of E'veria Blog Tour!

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund ~ Facebook Author Chat Party and Kindle Fire Giveaway!

About A Noble Groom:

Michigan, 1880

Annalisa Werner's hope for a fairy tale love is over. Her husband failed her in every way and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That'll be enough. A marriage for love...that's something she's given up on.

So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.

Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany and a former schoolteacher---or so he says. He's looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives.

With time running out, she accepts his help, but there's more to this man than he's admitting. He's also gentle, kind, charming---unlike any man she's ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.

Purchase a copy:

Meet Jody: 

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of "The Doctor's Lady" and "The Preacher's Bride". She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Find out more about Jody at 

Jody Hedlund is celebrating the release of A Noble Groom by giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting a Facebook Author Chat Party {5/8}! 


One "noble" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced at the "A Noble Groom" Author Chat Party on May 8th. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of A Noble Groom and join Jody on the evening of May 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

My Thoughts

Annalisa Werner's marriage was unlike the fairy tales she had read as a child.  She feels nothing more than a slave to her husband.  She thought there was love while courting but once she married the love disappeared.  It's like a female was worth less than a man's horse.  When their daughter was born he actually stormed out of the house angry that the child had not been a boy.  To him a daughter was worthless on the farm.  But her daughter, at age two, is unaware of her father's feelings and loves him anyway.  He has taken to drinking and gambling every penny  he had earned and every penny she had squirreled away hidden under the bed.  Now they would not be able to make the payment of the land loan.  Which means they would loose the land and their home.

But she never got the pleasure of confronting him about loosing the money because he had been murdered while working in the field and she knew who was responsible!

Annalisa's father owned a farm just across the road from her farm and he will be making all decisions for her now and he has decided she is to marry someone of her father's and  uncle's choosing.  A complete stranger to her from their homeland.  But what choice did she have, she had her daughter and an unborn child to provide for and she knew she could not do it alone. 

Carl Richard's arrives with a letter from her uncle, but not as her groom but as a man seeking refuge from an injustice in the Old Country.  He has agreed to help her with the farm until her groom arrives.  But after working the farm and becoming acquainted and then friends with Annilisa how could he possibly stand by and see another man marry her.  Could she possibly have the same feelings towards him that he holds for her.

This story touched my heart.  I felt the pain she must have experienced, not being able to provide for her children and the emotional cruelty she had been subjected to by her husband.  The fact that she thought all men were like her father and husband was sad.  

The author shows just how hard it was for the German immigrants to squeeze a life out of the land.  She writes of near starvation, arranged marriages and spousal abuse.  There is redemption, reconciliations and love to be found in the pages of this book.  You will feel like cheering Annalisa on throughout the book.

This is not an everything is coming up roses story.  But you will find love, hope and faith in God!  Sounds a little like reading from the book of Job in the bible.  

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5+ out of 5.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group/Bethany House for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Waiting in Wonder ~ Growing In Faith While You're Expecting ~ A Devotional Journal ~ by Catherine Claire Larson ~ Giveaway

About Book

A devotional journal inviting women to embrace the spiritual journey that awaits as they prepare for the high and holy calling of motherhood. 

Expecting a baby is a wonderful and exciting time for a mother-to-be. She’ll experience many joys as she shares the news with family and friends, hears the baby’s heartbeat for the first time, and bonds emotionally while dreaming about the baby to come. She’ll also experience anxieties such as the trials of morning sickness, anticipating the process of labor, and wondering if she’ll be a good mother. They are all times to be remembered and treasured for a lifetime. 

With Waiting in Wonder, readers are guided through the weeks of pregnancy with devotions for reflection and guided questions for pondering deeper into their experiences both spiritually and physically. Each devotion includes Scripture and journaling space for writing personal thoughts, prayers, dreams, even love letters to the growing baby. And when baby is born, mother will be spiritually blessed and hold a lifelong keepsake for rereading and reliving a truly wonder-filled time.

Publication April 16, 2013
  • Thomas Nelson

About Author
I’m Catherine, lover of dappled light, and Blue Ridge hues, of closing my days nestled in my husband’s prayers, and of mornings which bud with baby coos and the voice of my tousled red-headed calling for mama, (that name I wondered if I’d ever get to wear). I’m a collector of words, a cataloger of wonders, and a curator of grace stories.

Visit Catherine's Website:

Provided by Thomas Nelson
1 Winner
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(I need your email to contact you if you are the winner)
Ends April 26th, 2013
Winner announced on April 27th, 2013

My Thoughts
How do I describe this book other than if you are expecting and wish to share your experience with God and the child   He will be gifting to you, this devotional journal will go from week one of until you hold your precious gift from God.  

This journey will give you devotionals and scriptures to meditate on while also explaining the stages along with a peak into the growth of your child titled The Wonder Within.  It even provides a place to write down your thoughts and interpretation of the devotional and scripture,  not only to God but to your child.  The verses are provided as memory verse in each devotional.

I was impressed at the way the book is set up and wish I had this book when I was expecting.  I have five daughters and I am pretty sure they will not be blessing me with anymore than the already fifteen grandchildren.  This year four of my granddaughters with be turning seventeen so I will definitely be recommending this book for their hope chest. I am sure they will not be needing this book for at least five or more years yet. 

My favorite excerpt is page 162, Patient Partners, Patient Parents, and the verse provided: 

Love is patient, love is kind. 
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
1 Corinthians 13:4

This is a wonderful Keepsake, shower gift and more.

I highly recommend this book. 

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Promo for Deborah Heal's New Release: Every Hill and Mountain ~ Blog Tour Spring 2013

Blog Tour Banner

  Visiting another century…not the summer vacation Abby had planned. Those who have read Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy, the first two books in the young adult time-travel trilogy, know that Abby Thomas, is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And you know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house. And the Old Dears’ old house, and…well, any old house.

And now their computer program is starting to attract attention. Since the program worked so well for the Old Dears’ family tree project, Abby’s college roommate Kate hopes it will help her find out more about her ancestor Ned Greenfield. And Kate’s fiancĂ© Ryan thinks the program has lucrative commercial potential. Abby and John reluctantly agree to help Kate, but only on the condition that she and Ryan promise to keep the program a secret, because if it fell into the wrong hands…well, no one wants Big Brother invading their privacy. The two couples take a trip to the tiny town of Equality, set in the hills of southern Illinois and the breath-taking Shawnee National Forest. 

According to Kate’s research, Ned Greenfield was born there at a place called Hickory Hill.

 The mayor, police chief, and townspeople are hospitable and helpful—until the topic of Hickory Hill comes up. They seem determined to keep them away, telling them, “There’s nothing there for you to see.” Eventually they find Hickory Hill on their own—both the mansion and the lonely hill it sits upon. Built in 1834, Hickory Hill stands sentinel over Half Moon Salt Mine where the original owner John Granger accumulated his blood-tainted fortune.

Abby and her friends meet Miss Granger, Hickory Hill’s current eccentric owner, and they eventually get the chance to time-surf there. Their shocking discovery on the third floor concerning Kate’s ancestor Ned Greenfield is almost too much to bear. What they learn sends them racing to the opposite end of the state to find the missing link in Kate’s family tree. And there they are reminded that God is in the business of redemption—that one day he’ll make all things new.

sticker pictureDeborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again time travel mystery series, was born not far from the setting of her book Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again

Today she lives with her husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, three grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob).

She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her website and her Facebook author page

Her books may be purchased on Time and Again Unclaimed Legacy Every Hill and Mountain

Enter the Rafflecopter contest below for a chance to win a set of signed books--the whole trilogy! Open to U.S. addresses only. Winner will be announced. May 16, 2013.

trilogy covers
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bring Your Money Into the Light Article, written by Christy Fitzwater, author of the e-book Going Cash, Free ebook

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For the first two decades of our married life, I handled all the finances and did it poorly. Of course, I didn't know I was doing it poorly, but now I do.

I thought it was great that I was taking care of the money, so my husband didn't have to worry about it. It seemed like a good wifely thing to do, taking that burden off his already heavy plate. But now I see that what happened was me and the money went into a dark room, and bad things happen in the dark.

Matt's really frugal, and he didn't need money for stuff most of the time. But then every once in a while he would say, Hey, can we buy... I would go ballistic. Are you crazy? Do you know what our finances look like? No we don't have money for that!

Of course he didn't know what our finances looked like.

The money was in the dark.

A few years ago my monthly spending got really bad. We were starting to spend money we didn't have, encroaching into the next month's paycheck ---a dangerous place to be. I realized one day that I was swiping the debit card without evening looking at the amount I was spending. I would leave the grocery store having no clue what I had just done to our monthly budget.

Until the bank statement came, and I would be appalled at what I had spent. But that's what happens when the money is in the dark.

So in frustration three years ago, I decided to follow my friend's lead and go to using all cash.

Best decision EVER.

You know what happened? I went to the bank and saw the money in the envelope. I put money for Matt in
separate envelopes for his spending ---right out there where he could see how much he had. I placed real money in see-through plastic sleeves in a purse-sized money organizer. Now even the kids can see how much clothing and allowance money they have.

Jesus says, "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3:21 NIV)

I used to be horrified to talk to Matt about the state of our finances. It didn't seem nearly so bad when it was just me and the money in the dark, but when I pulled out the truth for him to see I would realize how bad it was. Now that we have gone to using all cash, I have no shame. We all can see how much money there is. Our spending is well under control. (Thank God!) It has brought a peace into our marriage that I didn't know was missing until I experienced it.

So let me ask you---is your money in the dark where things go bad, or have you brought your finances into the light?

To read more from Christy Fitzwater or download Going Cash, visit her blog at or follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@Christy_Fitz).