Posted in About Me, Updates

Blog Update

Hello all!

You may have noticed that my blog posting has become quite sporadic lately. There are many reasons for this. Many of you know that I am a high-school English teacher. This school year has been a challenge to say the least. We’ve been in school full-time for four weeks so far and it has definitely been a unique time. It’s taking a lot of my energy just to get through a single day. In fact, I’m pulling back on how many books I read a month because something in my day has to give. I’m also a mom to a vibrant and brilliant and high-energy nine-year old. I need to give her my time once I get home from a long day of work.

In addition to my very busy life, I am finding that reading is a struggle for me now. Our world has become something I don’t recognize anymore. I feel the call to blog less, be on social media less, and spend as much time with my family as possible. Blogging and reading and social media-ing has been great fun, but it is time to focus more on my family and less on fictional and curated worlds.

So, what can you expect from me in the future?

I’ll post a post when I can. I’ll try to review all the books I read, but I’m definitely not going to be reading as often as I once did. And, I’ll join a street team when I feel the call to do so, but I’m stepping down from most of those, too. It’s time for me to step back a bit on all fronts.

I hope you can understand my current position, and I hope you still read my posts from time to time when they do post. Thank you for being a loyal supporter!

Posted in About Me, Updates

I’ve Been Tagged! ㋡㋡㋡

Those of you who have been long-time followers of my blog know that I don’t participate in blog “tag” posts. Honestly, I don’t really participate because I’m super busy. I have a full-time job and a daughter and a husband and chores and a review TBR pile as big as a mountain. But if I had an abundance of free-time I probably would do more because they are fun!

I was recently tagged by Millay from Millay’s Musings to complete The Currently Reading Book Tag. By the way, Millay’s blog is awesome. If you are in need of another good book blogger site, check out her site today!


The Questions

How many books do you read at once?

I typically read one book at a time. Sometimes I’ll try to read two at a time, but I’m not good at that. I get so consumed by one storyline that I forget the other book.

How do you decide when to switch between multiple reads?

My real answer is: I don’t read multiple books at the same time. But, here is the reason why — I can’t decide when to switch. Those who read multiple books at a time, how do you do it? Do you set a chapter amount? Do you time yourself? I’m in awe. I can only imagine how many books I could get reviewed if I didn’t have such a hard time reading multiple books at the same time.

Do you ever switch bookmarks partway through a book?

I primarily read off my Kindle, so I don’t use bookmarks that often. But, when I do read a physical copy of a book, yes! I admit I’m pretty bad about bookmarks. I lose them. This means that I tend to use whatever is hanging around as a bookmark. I have used PostIts, actual bookmarks, pictures, ripped pieces of paper, a sock, an old bill, my cellphone, and many other creative items as bookmarks in the past. You name it, I’ve probably used it.

What time of day do you usually read?

I primarily read at night. I am a full-time English teacher, so my day begins bright and early. Between teaching, grading, attending meetings (so many meetings), and emails, I am too busy, unfortunately, to read during the day.

To those of you who are saying, “What about during your lunch break?” I just want to say that there is no time to eat lunch most days when you are a teacher.

Typically, I can begin reading between 5-6 PM, but that is only if my daughter’s homework is done, dinner has been figured out and made and cleaned up, and any afternoon chores are completed. In reality, I don’t begin reading until about 8:30 or so at night.

How long do you typically read in one session?

This is a really difficult question to answer. I jokingly say that I have adult ADHD. Ever since my daughter was born eight years ago I’ve really struggled to focus. I can do my job and my blog no worries, but sit for a movie? Yeah, not so much! So, it depends on my brain on any given day. I can, and have, read a 250 page novel in one sitting, but I have also taken days and days to read a different 250 page book. Maybe a little is engagement factor, but truly it’s my faux adult ADHD (I say faux cause I’ve never been diagnosed. It’s really just a joke between my husband, friends, and me).

Do you read hardcovers with the dust jacket off?

This is an easy question to answer — YES! First, it drives me nuts when I’m trying to read. Second, I want to preserve it so it doesn’t get any rips or tears or spills on it. Because it hangs off a bit when reading I’m also worried it will get ruined.

What position do you usually read in?

I read in bed! So, typically laying down. LOL!

Do you take your current read with you everywhere you go?

Yes. And not just my current read. I often take one physical book and my Kindle with me as back-ups. You never know what could befall you in your journeys that would make you need a second or third book!

How often do you update your Goodreads profile?

My Goodreads profile? Never. But my feed? Often. Every time I finish a book, the first thing I do is log it on Goodreads. It’s my way to stay on top of my reading to “review on blog” process.


Tag! You’re It!

I nominate the following to complete this TAG:

Trisha @ Joy of Reading

Becca @ The Becca Files

Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective

Jen @ JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews

And, anyone who reads this and wants to participate!

Posted in Coming Soon, Cover Release, Updates

Sing in the Sunlight — Cover Reveal + Pre-Order Bonuses

I am excited to join in the cover reveal for Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly! This is the second book in the Chaparral Hearts series and will release in March 2021. 

Click HERE to read my review for book 1 in the series, Waltz in the Wilderness.


About the Book

Title: Sing in the Sunlight

Series: Chaparral Hearts

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Publisher: Wild Heart

Release Date: March 2021

Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name. Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?

Click HERE for information on Ms. Denly’s novels.

Cover Reveal

Are you ready to see the adorable cover?! Without further ado, I give you Sing in the Sunlight:

Isn’t it beautiful?! I cannot wait to read it!!!!

Check out this fun video Ms. Denly created to introduce her upcoming novel.

About the Author

Kathleen Denly writes stories to entertain, encourage, and inspire readers toward a better understanding of our amazing God and how He sees us. She enjoys finding the lesser known pockets of history and bringing them to life through the joys and struggles of her characters.

Sunny southern California, a favorite setting in her stories, is also her home. She lives there with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories.

When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, she spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

Kathleen is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the San Diego Christian Writers’ Guild. Always happy to hear from her readers, you can email Kathleen and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Pre-Order Promo

In celebration of this second book in her Chaparral Hearts series, Kathleen Denly is offering pre-order bonuses. These include a set of exclusive coloring pages (hand drawn by Kathleen for this novel) and an MP3 recording of the hymn referenced in the book, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” performed by Kathleen’s mother. Anyone who pre-orders Sing in the Sunlight no later than February 28, 2021 can register to receive their pre-order bonuses.

To register, email your proof of pre-order purchase to kdpreorderbonuses@gmail.com no later than February 28, 2021. A proof of purchase is typically a screenshot of your receipt. Please do not include any personal information such as physical mailing address or account numbers when submitting your proof of purchase. Pre-order bonuses will be emailed on the day of the book’s release to all who register.

Posted in Updates

An Announcement!

Hello to all of my dear followers!

For those of you who do not know, I am a high school English teacher. This year, my District Office directed us teachers to start the year off as online, virtual teachers. I’ve been at it for three full weeks now and I can say with great certainty that online teaching is no joke. My job has quadrupled in responsibilities and tasks by going online. I never get off the computer anymore and I am not a fan.

With that said, I have noticed that my ability to blog has lessened. I hate this! Blogging is one of my cathartic, creative outlets. But I just cannot stare at a computer screen ALL day long and then work on my blog at night. I’m getting headaches and dizzy spells.

I AM NOT GOING AWAY!

In the very recent past, I have been able to post almost daily, but I’m going to have to cut this down to only 3-4 posts a week. I don’t mean to disappoint, but I have to consider my poor brain and eyes. Too much computer screen time is really hurting me.

I thank you all for your understanding! Hopefully, I can get back into my classroom and a more normal routine so I can get back to my normal blog postings.

Posted in Coming Soon, Cover Release, Updates

As Easy as Cherry Pie — Cover Reveal

I am excited to join in the #CoverReveal for As Easy as Cherry Pie by Bell Renshaw! This is the second book in the Justin Harbor series which focuses on sweet romance and women business owners. It will release August 4, 2020. 

Click HERE to read my review for book 1 in the series, As Easy as Riding a Bike.

About the Book

Maggie Petten has perfected the perfect pie and landed herself an opportunity to expand her shop. Despite his overly booked schedule, contractor Fletcher Knight can’t seem to say no when it comes to helping others. When the two are faced with a mutual business opportunity the question remains: can they make it past the best and worst first date they shared a year ago? Or will circumstances, disaster, and awkwardness be enough to keep them apart?

Cover Reveal

Are you ready to see the adorable cover?! Without further ado, I give you As Easy as Cherry Pie:

Coming August 2020

Isn’t this a cute cover?!

Check out other novels by Bell Renshaw by clicking HERE.

Posted in Author Interview, Updates

If I Were You — A Virtual Author Chat with Lynn Austin

On June 4, 2020, I attended Lynn Austin’s virtual chat where she discussed If I Were You and answered readers’ questions. It was a fabulous experience — I learned quite a bit.

Lynn graciously sent those who participated a link to the recorded event and I wanted to share with you! To watch the author chat, click HERE.


AND, if you order a copy of If I Were You by Lynn Austin today from Baker Book House you can save 30%. But hurry because the 30% offer expires July 31, 2020.

You do not want to miss out on this deal or this excellent read!


To read my review of this superb novel, click HERE.

Posted in Updates

Summer Break

It has been an INSANE year! I don’t think anyone would contradict that.

As far as being a teacher goes, I can honestly say I’ve never experienced a school year like what I’ve just finished. I need a break…so I’m taking a break.

The Christian Fiction Girl blog will be silent for one week. I will be back with posts on Monday, June 15, 2020.

I pray you all have an excellent week!

Posted in Coming Soon, Cover Release, Giveaways, Updates

Waltz in the Wilderness — COVER REVEAL + Giveaway

WITW Cover Reveal PROMO & Post Header Image

Welcome to my Waltz in the Wilderness Cover Reveal Giveaway!

About the Book

Title: Waltz in the Wilderness
Series: Chaparral Hearts
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Length: 328 pages
Publisher: Wild Heart Books
Release Date: Feb. 4, 2020

She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancé is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?

Preorder available at:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

About the Author

Author PhotoKathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

Waltz in the Wilderness is Kathleen’s debut novel and the first in a series of three stand-alone historical Christian romance novels connected by secondary characters and their beautiful Southern California setting.

Kathleen would love it if you visited her website at KathleenDenly.com. You can also connect with her on social media:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook Author Page | Armchair Adventure Krew

To see some of the photos that inspired Waltz in the Wilderness, follow her on Pinterest.

Ready…

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Set…

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Reveal!!!

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Preorder your copy today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Preorder Incentive Promo Image

If you preorder Waltz in the Wilderness AND email Kathleen proof of purchase (screenshot) before 12:00am PT January 11, 2020, you will receive a free digital copy of Ribbons and Beaus, a Chaparral Hearts Novella on January 21, 2020! For complete details, click here.

Excerpt from Waltz in the Wilderness

October 1850
California gold fields

They were going to starve to death, if they didn’t freeze to death first. Sure, they had beans for dinner, but Eli had had to trade her spare shirt for them—the one she’d been wearing beneath her everyday shirt to keep the early-October frost from biting her skin. She shivered beside the fire. Not much left to trade for supper, but then, there wasn’t another miner in these diggings that had grub to spare even if she had something worth trading.

She studied each bean, careful not to burn a one. Her hollow stomach cramped as the sweet smell of the simmering meal mixed with the scent of wood smoke filling the air.

A pinch of rosemary would have added flavor. Would Mama have been disappointed Eli’d traded the last of their herbs for Pa’s new coat? She shook her head. If Eli couldn’t coax Pa from the creek, the least she could do was keep his shoulders warm. Mama would have understood.

A shift in the cold wind blew soot into Eli’s eyes as she lifted the pan from the fire. Brushing a grimy strand of hair from her face and blinking away the sting, she turned her back to the smoke and stirred the beans.

Time to get Pa.

She walked to where he squatted in the icy mountain creek.

He wouldn’t be happy she’d traded the spare shirt. He’d wanted it to hide her blossoming womanhood. Of course, he’d have to notice the shirt was gone first.

Standing beside the babbling water, she toed off her boots before yanking her tattered socks off. After stuffing them into a boot, she pulled up her trousers and, with a bracing breath, waded into the chilling water.

“Here, Pa.”

She held the spoon out handle first, but he shrugged her away. Afternoon sunlight bounced off his thin, greasy hair—brown like hers, but darkened by muck. His dirt-encrusted brown eyes continued squinting into the swirling pan of water. The gentle rotation of his wrists never ceased.

“Come on, Pa. You gotta eat.”

He cleared his throat and spat to the side opposite where she stood, never taking his eyes from the water. “I’m fine. You eat.”

Eli lifted the spoon higher. “But, Pa—”

“I’ll eat later.” He shifted in the calf-deep water so that her worried stare landed squarely between his broad shoulder blades.

Her fingers tightened around the spoon as she planted her fist on her hip. The rocks shifted beneath her feet. “That’s what you said this morning.”

“I’m busy, Eli. Now hush and leave me be.”

She stood there a moment longer, taking in the sight of him. That tall, too-thin frame draped in the now too-large, threadbare shirt. She’d mended that thing more times than she could count. The trousers he kept up with a rope at his waist needed mending in the right knee, but she doubted the fabric could endure another stitching. She peered down at her own trousers. The worn threads of the cuffs drifted and tugged with the current.

She frowned at the beans cooling in the pan. A body shouldn’t have to choose between clothes and food. But miners upstream caught any fish in the creek, and hunting around here was pointless. All the digging, rattling, and mining commotion scared the game away.

She’d tried to coax Pa to leave their claim long enough to hunt elsewhere to no avail.

Mama could’ve convinced him.

Mama isn’t here. Eli straightened her shoulders. “Pa, this is the last—”

“Hey, Eli!” The familiar voice cut her off.

She turned in time to see a small rock sail toward her head and managed to duck it, but the move upset her balance. She tipped backward.

The beans!

Contorting herself to right her balance without spilling their dinner, she wobbled back and forth as stones rocked beneath her. She shifted her footing, but the sloped face of a large, moss-covered rock hastened her descent. Holding the pan aloft as she fell backward, her body tilted sideways and she overcorrected—

Sending the beans spilling down her shirt and into the creek.

For a moment she sat still, the chill of the icy mountain runoff failing to cool her blood as gales of boyish laughter drifted toward her from the bank. She erupted from the creek, wielding her now-empty pan above her head. “Morgan Channing, I’m gonna have your hide for this!”

She sloshed three full steps to the edge of the creek before she froze.

The eleven-year-old had stopped laughing and was staring at her, mouth hanging open, eyes wide. “Y-you…! Y-you’re a…a…”

Eli followed his gaze to her chest, where a few beans still clung to her drenched, oversized shirt. She dropped the pan and covered herself. Oh, how brainless of her! Would Pa send her away?

Available now for preorder!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Giveaway

Cover Reveal Giveaway Promo Image

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away a “Trust in the Lord” Journal & 80+ Journal Stickers Set, along with a $10 Amazon gift card. Be sure to comment on the blogs listed below for extra entries into the giveaway.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY!

Blog Stops

Reading is My Superpower

Radiant Light

Joy of Reading

The Christian Fiction Girl

Moments Dipped in Ink

Bookworm Mama

Romances of the Cross

Fiction Aficionado

Robin’s Nest

A Baker’s Perspective

The Singing Librarian

With a Joyful Noise

Don’t forget to share this giveaway with your friends!

Posted in Coming Soon, Cover Release, Updates

The Star of Persia by Jill Eileen Smith — COVER REVEAL

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WELCOME TO THE COVER REVEAL FOR The Star of Persia BY Jill Eileen Smith.

THIS NOVEL IS SET TO RELEASE ON MARCH 3, 2020 THROUGH REVELL PUBLISHERS.

About the Book

In an effort to complete a war his father had planned to win, King Xerxes calls every governor, satrap, and official in his vast kingdom to his palace in Susa to strategize and feast. When they finally leave, he decides on one more week of frivolity, which ends in the banishment of his favorite wife, something he never intended to do. But when he discovers Esther, Xerxes is sure he has a second chance at happiness.

In her wildest dreams, Esther could never have imagined that she would end up as queen of Persia. Yet she knows better than to become complacent. Another of Xerxes’s wives is vying for position, and his closest advisor has a deep and dangerous grudge against Esther’s adoptive father. Caught in the middle of palace politics, Esther will find herself in an impossible position: risk her life or consign her people to annihilation.

With her impeccable research and her imaginative flair, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the romantic, suspenseful, and beloved story of Esther, queen of Persia.


Doesn’t this story sound excellent?!

Are you ready for the cover reveal? Scroll down to see!!!

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VOILA!

Final Star of Persia Cover

It’s so pretty! I cannot wait to read this one!!!

Pre-Order your copy of the novel HERE

Add to your TBR on GoodReads

About the Author

Author Photo - Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of The Wives of King David, The Wives of the Patriarchs, The Daughters of the Promised Land, The Loves of King Solomon series, The Heart of a King, and the nonfiction When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat, Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Email Jill at jill@jilleileensmith.com

Check out Jill’s latest newsletter HERE.

Sign up for Jill’s Newsletter by clicking the image below.

JillEileenSmith1

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

38484891

Congrats to Darlene O.

GIVEAWAY #2

The Making of Mrs. Hale by Carolyn Miller

37915027

Congrats to Maddy C.

GIVEAWAY #3

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

by Susanne Dietze (autographed copy)

32201570

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

36590922

Congrats to Lual K.

GIVEAWAY #7

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

40390724

Congrats to Marilyn C. and Cassandra D.

GIVEAWAY #8

In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

38915930

Congrats to Grace M.

GIVEAWAY #9

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

38918179

Congrats to Susanne M.

GIVEAWAY #10

The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne

28956853

Congrats to Kay G.

GIVEAWAY #11

Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn

36142303

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)

36430165

Congrats to Cassandra D.

GIVEAWAY #13

Amish Safe House by Debby Giusti

41703912

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.