Posted in Clean Read Romance, Free Books, Giveaways, Historical Fiction, Introduction, Release Day

A Smuggler’s Heart (2020) — Book Spotlight + an Excerpt + Release-Day Giveaway

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♥♥♥ Happy Release Day ♥♥♥

About the Book

wp-1581983348757.jpgBook: A Smuggler’s Heart

SeriesGentlemen of the Coast #1

Author: Danielle Thorne

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: February 28, 2020

Can she save her family from his wicked influence?

The murky waters of the marsh are treacherous and haunted by smugglers and deserters from the war. There are even whispers the Savannah coast is home to the deadly pirate, Alligator George, but Christine Fryer needs a peaceful escape from her father’s disapproving stare.

Captain Nathaniel Butler knows it’s time to put his smuggling operation to bed now that the American Revolution is over and won. He just needs to sail one last expedition to pay off his remaining debt, but his plans are threatened by the meddlesome sister of his best friend.

As Savannah society brings a privileged young woman and a man desperate for success together, the marsh will reveal their secrets—and their hearts. Christine will do anything to stop the rogue captain from influencing and ruining her brother, but she never expects that the crew of Alligator George is watching and waiting.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

If you love Pride and Prejudice, pirates, sitting on the beach, homemade cookies, Mexican food, holidays, Pinterest, small children, cats, dogs, or long naps… we should be friends. I’m a romantic and my worst critic; a left-handed, dry-humored, quirky wallflower with a serious bucket list that includes traveling whenever possible and trying new things—even if they scare me. I coupon, cruise, shop consignment stores, and am addicted to Chick-fil-A. I love the mountains and the sea. I believe in a loving, patient, and forgiving God. I love people and care about others around me deeper than I can sometimes express.

Officially? Danielle Thorne writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of clean and inspirational historical and contemporary romance. Danielle is a graduate of BYU-Idaho. Besides writing pursuits, she’s also worked as an editor for Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her first book with Harlequin’s Love Inspired line will be out this summer.

Website  ℘   Twitter  ℘   Facebook

An Excerpt from A Smuggler’s Heart

A low hum drifted through the air that was not mosquitoes or bees. Christine looked up as she reached the bank along the brackish water. She recognized the sound as blended voices and peered across the inlet to the other side. Two men stood on the distant shore near a small skiff bobbing up and down in the shallow water. A tall heron tiptoed nearby. 

The conversation across the marsh grew loud making Christine squint in the April sunshine. One man looked squatty and rough in his old weathered hat and bell-sleeved tunic. He also wore a gun belt crossed over his chest. She hesitated mid-step. 

The other man towered over his companion. He was broad-chested and muscled with a thick headful of dark umber hair. He frowned then jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “…waxing moon,” he insisted in a loud voice that carried across the wetlands. The shorter companion shook his head and said something that must have mollified the other.

They didn’t look like fishermen. Whatever could two men be doing discussing their business here? 

The taller of the two, dressed too neatly to be out gathering clams or crabs, replaced a fine cocked hat and without warning glanced her direction. Christine froze. She realized she looked like an eavesdropper, but this wasn’t anyone’s land. The marsh around the inlet was too wet and dangerous to build upon. 

The squatty man saw her, too, and his mouth dropped open. With a look of unhappy surprise, he splashed off through the water to climb into his skiff. The clamor made the heron take flight. It launched itself over the water, unfolding its enormous wings as it glided past Christine’s head. 

She should have turned away and pretended to be preoccupied, but instead, she glimpsed back after the bird’s departure. The tall fellow had not waded out to the boat with his friend. In fact, he stood opposite her with no more than a furlong of water between them. He stared at her from beneath his hat as his mouth melted into a forbidding line. Christine realized with a start that he had familiar bright eyes—and a hand on the belt around his waist. 

Noting the light sword at his side, she knew she’d interrupted a meeting intended to be kept private. Pirates? The coast and waterways south of Savannah were lately rumored to be the hunting grounds of Alligator George. 

The man frowned, and she stumbled a few feet backward, her black riding boots tripping over mounds of grass as her straw hat slid awry. He looked offended and perhaps angry. Uncertain if she knew him, for he seemed like someone she should recognize, she turned on her narrow heel and hurried across the lumpy ground toward the trees. When she glanced back, she saw the mysterious gentleman had disappeared, but a tingling warning crawled up her neck, and she realized he was coming around the inlet’s point. 

She’d been a fool. To leave home without Abigail or one of the stable boys and wander away from town was rash. Besides roaming criminals or a threatening band of Indians, she’d put herself at risk.

Frantically jerking the knot loose on the rope, she threw it over the gelding’s neck and scrambled up onto the horse in the most unladylike of positions. Branches overhead creaked, and she skipped the stirrups and dug her heels in to flee. 

“You! ‘Vast, there!” someone called. 

The man broke into the grove of trees and darted forward with a grim look on his face. Christine yelped and slammed her boots into Janus’s side. Sensing her fear, the old horse lunged forward and carried her off wildly while she clung to the reigns and his mane. With one last hurried peek over her shoulder, she saw her pursuer had stopped. 

He stood with a black boot planted on an overturned tree. The look of fury on his face turned the air in her chest to ice, and she urged Janus to go faster back down the game trail. There was no reason to stop or pretend to be friendly. She lowered her head to keep her hair from blowing across her face and dug in her heels.


GIVEAWAY

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In honor of her release day, Danielle Thorne is giving away ONE (1) paperback copy or ONE (1) eBook copy of A Smuggler’s Heart. The giveaway begins 2-28-20 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Friday, 3-6-20 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter the giveaway, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

Congrats to Nancy P.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses AND International mailing addresses.*** If the winner resides in the Continental U.S., he or she will win a paperback copy of A Smuggler’s Heart. If the winner is from an International address, he or she will win an eBook copy of A Smuggler’s Heart. One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here at https://christianfictiongirl.blog/. Winner information will only be shared with the author for purposes of awarding the winning novel. NO personal information is shared ever under any other circumstances. For full disclosure and policy information go to https://christianfictiongirl.blog/disclosures-and-policies/.

Posted in Free Books, Giveaways, Updates

Spring Giveaway 2019

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It’s spring cleaning time, and that means I am giving away some books.

The giveaways are simple; all you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter link for the book you want. Follow the very simple prompts, and you will be entered to win. All giveaways will begin today, April 30, 2019, at 3:00 P.M., and will go for SEVEN days, ending on May 7, 2019, at 12:00 P.M. Good luck!

If you are not sure about a book, click on the book’s title for either my personal review or the Goodreads page to read a summary.

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.


GIVEAWAY #1

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

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Congrats to Darlene O.

GIVEAWAY #2

The Making of Mrs. Hale by Carolyn Miller

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Congrats to Maddy C.

GIVEAWAY #3

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

by Susanne Dietze (autographed copy)

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Congrats to Marilyn C.

GIVEAWAY #4

Searching For You by Jody Hedlund

38484810

Congrats to Marilyn C.

GIVEAWAY #5

Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette

36436246

Congrats to Maddy C.

GIVEAWAY #6

An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White

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Congrats to Lual K.

GIVEAWAY #7

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

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Congrats to Marilyn C. and Cassandra D.

GIVEAWAY #8

In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

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Congrats to Grace M.

GIVEAWAY #9

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

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Congrats to Susanne M.

GIVEAWAY #10

The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne

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Congrats to Kay G.

GIVEAWAY #11

Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn

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Congrats to Melani C.

GIVEAWAY #12

A Ready-Made Amish Family by Jo Ann Brown

AND

Amish Refuge by Debby Guisti

(two books in one)

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Congrats to Cassandra D.

GIVEAWAY #13

Amish Safe House by Debby Giusti

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Congrats to Amy S.

GIVEAWAY #14

Mojave Rescue by Tanya Stowe (autographed copy)

35140622

Congrats to Kay G.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.

I GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT.

Posted in Biblical Fiction, Christian Romance, Free Books, Giveaways, Historical Christian Fiction

A Light on the Hill (2018) + Giveaway

35069181A Light on the Hill (2018) by Connilyn Cossette is the first novel in her Cities of Refuge series. This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 323 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very busy six-year old at home, this novel took me several days to read (it was an insanely busy week this week!). I purchased a copy of this novel to review from Amazon on January 30, 2018. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give A Light on the Hill 5+++++ STARS. This novel is Biblical Christian Fiction.

About the Book

Though Israel has found relative peace, Moriyah has yet to find her own. Attempting to avoid the scorn of her community, she’s spent the last seven years hiding behind the veil she wears. Underneath her covering, her face is branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods, a shameful reminder of her past captivity in Jericho and an assurance that no man will ever want to marry her.

When her father finds a widower who needs a mother for his two sons, her hopes rise. But when their introduction goes horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the newly established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face and the enemies — and unexpected allies — she will encounter on her way.

Amazon     ♥     CBD     ♥     Goodreads

My Thoughts

Connilyn Cossette is, without a doubt, one of the best Biblical fiction authors of our time. Her writing is flawless, her research is tremendously in-depth, and her ability to weave a fascinating and realistic story every time sets her apart. Connilyn Cossette has definitely been blessed by God with immense writing prowess, which is deftly illustrated in her fourth novel, A Light on the Hill.

When I was in prayer this morning asking God for guidance in writing this review, I was immediately flooded by images of the one scar I have that has bothered me. I actually have many scars — life has been a bit rough on me — but I see the majority of my scars as war wounds. They remind me of all that God has brought me through. This one scar does remind me of what God has done to save me, but it also reminds me every now and then of my shortcomings as a woman. The scar I’m talking about is my emergency c-section scar. I won’t get into the gory details about what happened on the day my daughter was born, but I will tell you that on the day Bella was born I was told that I could NEVER have children ever again. At the time, so many bad, scary things were happening that never getting pregnant again sounded like an exceptionally great idea to me.

I’m actually quite OK that God meant for me to be a mommy to only one child. I know I am super blessed to be Bella’s mommy. But sometimes I see my scar and I’m reminded of my extreme failure as a woman. I cannot carry a baby to term. My own daughter could only make it to 28 weeks. There is a broken timer inside of me that will not allow me to safely get to 40 weeks with a child. The difficult part is that I have been surrounded by highly fertile women my whole life — my grandma had four healthy babies, my mother and aunt had four healthy babies each, and my sister had three healthy babies. I genuinely believed that I would be just like them and follow in their fertile footsteps. But that was not to be.

Why am I sharing this? What does any of this have to do with A Light on the Hill? Moriyah, the heroine of A Light on the Hill, also has a scar that has changed the way she sees and values herself. At the start of this novel, Moriyah has basically self-exiled herself to her home. She is never without her veil, even within her house, and hides from everyone — including God! But at a very crucial point in the novel, Moriyah has a change in perspective. This is my most favorite theme in the whole story.

CollageMaker_20180902_111707925.jpgAt one point in her life, Moriyah’s wounded pride and broken spirit convinced her that hiding from everyone was her best option. Moriyah was filled with shame because of her scar and what it represented. Her real self became hidden in plain sight, which let the bad win. She didn’t stand up for herself, ask God what He wanted her to do, or consult with the family He gave her. Instead, Moriyah took matters into her own hands and locked herself away into a tower of her own making believing that God had abandoned her. But she eventually comes to realize that “perhaps it was not Yahweh who had stopped whispering to her heart…but, [rather it was she] who had built a wall” between herself and God (183). As soon as Moriyah changes her perspective, she feels God’s very present presence. It’s the most beautiful moment in the entire book!

This amazing novel asks us readers to consider our own need for perspective changes. For a long while after my daughter’s scary birth, I did feel like a veritable loser of a woman. I truly believed that God had abandoned me and unfairly locked up my stupid womb. All I could feel was a complete and terrorizing sense of fear. And, I hated my scar. I loathed it! But then one day my perspective changed, just as Moriyah’s did. God hadn’t abandoned me. God had absolutely saved me. I should be dead — not one of my doctors could understand or tell me how I survived the night Bella was born. BUT GOD!!! God can explain it — He saved me. Now when I look at my scar I am reminded of His success, of His defeat over death again. God is so good ALL the time, and my scar reminds me of this daily.

This one theme doesn’t even begin to cover the depth that exists within the pages of A Light on the Hill. I have like 22 more marked pages throughout this book that I would love to discuss, but I won’t. Truly, one review could never do this book justice. You have to read this beautiful book for yourself! If you can’t tell, I highly recommend this book. I am so blessed to have read it, and I know you will be, too!


GIVEAWAY

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I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette. The giveaway begins today, 9-2-18 at 1:30 pm (PST) and ends on Thursday, 9-6-18 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

CONGRATS TO BECCA W.!

YOU HAVE WON THIS GIVEAWAY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.

IT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway, and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.

Posted in Christian Romance, Free Books, Historical Christian Fiction

A Search for Refuge (2018)

38229186A Search for Refuge (2018) by Kristi Ann Hunter is the first story in her soon-to-release series, Haven Manor. This novella was just released this past Tuesday, March 6, 2018, by Bethany House Publishers. This novella comes in eBook format, and is 129 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very busy five-year old at home, this story took me two days to devour! Currently, this novella is free through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and CBD. I downloaded a copy to read and review from Amazon on March 6, 2018. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give A Search for Refuge 5 STARS. This story is a Christian Historical Romance.

About the Book

Margaretta Fortescue desperately needs to disappear from London society, and her only hope is to follow the rumors of another young woman who recently made a life for herself away from the glare of society. Her search leads her to the market town of Marlborough where, in spite of her efforts to avoid attention, she can’t seem to elude local solicitor, Nash Banfield. 

All Nash wants is a quiet, sedate life—no risks or surprises. When Margaretta, clearly on the run and unwilling to answer questions, interrupts his solitude, his curiosity and his principles won’t let him leave this determined woman without assistance.

But will the truth of what Margaretta is running from be worth finally opening his heart up to a chance at love?

Amazon     ♥     B+N     ♥     CBD     ♥     Goodreads

My Thoughts

I love Kristi Ann Hunter’s novels. She is such a masterful storyteller. She creates wonderful worlds, engaging and deep characters, and her sense of wit and humor is excellent. I will read anything she writes. So, when I heard A Search for Refuge had released, I had to make room in my review schedule to read this book immediately! Boy, am I glad I did. I love Margaretta and Nash’s story, and I cannot wait for the next book, A Defense of Honor, to release in June! I fear it’s going to be a long wait.

Nash is an excellently written hero, and my favorite part of the book. He is handsome, of course, but he is way more than that. He is kind and compassionate, and he cares so deeply that tragedies hurt him a little more than the average fellow. Nash has a big heart for the people in his community, especially for Mrs. Lancaster, an elderly widow (who is a total hoot, and I can’t wait to see her again in A Defense of Honor), but he holds everyone at arm’s length. A few years prior to the start of this story, Nash lost his sister. The pain he felt, and the pain he witnessed from his sister’s husband, made Nash vow to keep people out. He would not allow a deep connection with anyone, especially a woman he could potentially fall in love with. I appreciate this very realistic aspect to Nash’s character. I get this need to protect one’s self from pain. Why make such a deep connection with someone when it’s quite possible to lose them? How could anyone ever get over the hurt and the pain of such deep loss?

Ten years ago, I was with a very close friend on the day she was told her son had been killed in a horrific train crash. The conductor of the train had been on his cell phone and didn’t see the yellow light and two red lights telling him another train had right of way. It was a terrible crash that took the lives of many innocent passengers, and it all could have been prevented if one person was paying attention.

I will never forget the empty look, the tears streaming down my friend’s face, the absolute terror she exuded as the cop relayed that she would never see her child ever again. I remember thinking that 18 years is not enough time to have with your child. And, I remember a deep sense of fear settling in the pit of my stomach. How could I ever put myself into a position where one day a cop could tell me a loved one has been lost? That day, I felt the walls to my heart close up. I was determined to not let anyone in. I was going to “protect” myself if it was the last thing I did.

I will not lie. My friend will never be the same, and for the first two years after her son’s death, I worried for her and her husband’s health. Things were not good. BUT, time passed. My friend and her husband will miss their child every day. How could they not? But life keeps going. Today, my friend smiles, she laughs, and she loves. She has three grand babies who bring her such joy that she lights up when she talks about them. She found purpose in the foundation she and her husband created as a way to teach people the importance of cellphone-free driving. My friend survived by allowing her heart to hurt, then heal, then thrive.

I have learned a great lesson from my friend. There is an order to grief. Tragedies happen and they are awful. People have to allow time to grieve and hurt. But, they also have to allow time to heal so they can get back to living. People cannot stay in the grief-and-hurt-and-fear mode. If they do, they will live paralyzed lives. They will be like Nash — lonely and separate. This is not a lifestyle God desires for us to have. God wants us to love and live and experience and grow. Over the course of A Search for Refuge, Nash realizes that a life lived without love is not a life being lived, it’s a life being wasted. After making this revelation, Nash smiles to himself and feels free. He is free from the fear of potentially losing someone, and allows joy into his life. He finally claims the life God wants him to live. And, this reminder — that I need to live the life God gave me with joy and love and hugs and kisses — is the absolute best part of the book.

I did learn from my friend’s example. I opened my heart to life. I did fall for my husband, and we have a wonderful blessing in our lives — our beautiful daughter, Miss Isabella. I cannot imagine my life without my husband and daughter. Yes, I could lose them to an accident or sickness, but to not have had them in my life would have been even more of a loss. I am choosing God’s path for me rather than the fear that I experienced that day ten years ago when my friend lost her child. This choice to follow God’s path, and not my fear, has made my life more meaningful, and I feel a joy that is beyond anything I could have imagined for myself. God is SO good!

A Search for Refuge is a fantastic novella, and I cannot recommend it enough. This brief story lays an excellent foundation for what I am sure will be a phenomenal series. If you are looking for a fast-paced, highly engaging, romantic story that includes a timely and wise message, then I encourage you to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Christian Book today and purchase a free copy of this book. You will not be disappointed that you did!

Posted in Free Books

Two Free Books

I am part of Cindy Woodsmall’s book launch group for her upcoming novel Gathering the Threads (due out in August). The publisher sent me two extra copies of Ties that Bind (book 1 in The Amish of Summer Grove series) and Fraying at the Edge (book 2). I would love to give these novels away to someone eager to read the books.

Both books are brand-new, unopened, straight from the publisher. If you are interested, please send me an email at cfgbloggerbookgiveaways@gmail.com. This is a totally free offer — you pay nothing!

Update on 7-1-17, 8:11 am PDT: I have been emailed and these books now have a home! Thanks everyone who checked this page out!!!