Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Release & Book Tour - Grace Triumphant by Alicia A. Willis

My writing friend and cover client, Alicia A. Willis has done it again. Here is her latest release, a historical novel about slavery and the struggles of those who fought against it.

Profligate London, 1788. Slave ships haunt the seas, bearing human cargos to further the wealth of the rich and destroy the souls of the slave traffickers. 

Russell Lawrence is an avid skeptic. Captain of the slave ship Barbados, wealthy, and a respected leader, he views religion as a crutch for the weak. But when the debauchery of the slave trade begins to destroy his good morals, his battle becomes more than fighting pirates and mutineers. What if there really is a God?

Impressed as a cabin boy, Jack Dunbar sees his forced service on the Barbados as a God-given opportunity to witness Christ to the crew. But his efforts to influence the hardened slavers seems to be doing little good. How is it possible to live as a Christian on the sin-ravaged seas? Can his light shine bright in Africa's dark interior?

Back in Grosvenor Square, Elizabeth Grey battles opposition from society and her self-seeking fiancé. Her work with John Newton to end the slave trade is being harshly attacked. She faces life branded as a jilter and radical if she stands up for what she believes in. Will she ever glean the strength to call sin by its rightful name?

A tale of adventure on the high seas, redemption, and faith. Sin abounds. Is grace enough to conquer doubt and triumph over evil?

Available on Amazon

Alicia Willis is a homeschool graduate and avid historian. When not writing or doing endless historical research, she enjoys being a church pianist, teaching music, singing, and playing volleyball. Her other passions include working in her church and spreading the love of Jesus Christ. She also manages a monthly e-newsletter entitled "Little Corners". Be sure to like her FB page for updates:

To visit her at her website or sign up to receive her newsletter, navigate over to

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Release Post - Kate's Innocence by Sarah Holman

Today I would like to welcome one of my long time writing friends, Sarah Holman, so she can talk about her latest release, Kate's Innocence.

   Today I would like to introduce you to one of the characters my new series, Kate’s Case Files: Brian Connor. He is a unique part of the team for many reasons, but one of them is that he is the only one that is married. What are some other things that make him unique? Here are a few:

~ he has three children
~ he acts as peacemaker for his FBI team
~ if you are looking for comic relief, Brian is your guy
~ Patrick (another team member) and him are best friends
~ he has nothing but good things to say about being married
~ he met his wife, Jamie, while they were still in high school

Here is a little of his story:
   “I see I’m not the only one here early.”
   Patrick continued putting scoops of coffee into the filter. “Morning, Brian.”
   “Ooo, someone’s in a bad mood. Did Thomas give you a lecture?”
   “No, coffee is bitter on top of the fact I think I am going crazy.” Patrick switched on the coffeemaker.
   Brian came over to be near Patrick and rested his hip against the counter. “Care to share?”
   Patrick looked at is coworker and best friend. Brian looked to be in his early twenties, but was in fact in his mid-thirties. His blond hair and blue eyes had won him many admirers, but Brian had only seen one girl since his first day in high school; Jamie, now his wife.
   “I believe Kate Mayfield’s story. I know we don’t have any proof to back up what she is saying, but…” He let his words drift off.
   “You believe her anyway?” Brian picked up a cup and then reached for the sugar packets.
   Brian smiled. “So, Saint Patty is human after all. He is taken with a girl.”
   Patrick rolled his eyes. “It isn’t like that. I really do believe her. I mean, I stood there and believed her entire story even though all the evidence is against her.”
   “Patrick, all of us have gone with a gut feeling now and then without much to back us up. Besides, I heard she was rather cute.” A boyish twinkle glinted in Brian’s eye.
    “Cut that out! I don’t think she’s cute. There is just something about her that begs me to believe her.”
   Brian poured the fresh coffee over his sugar. “Maybe your instinct is right. Besides, she needed an advocate.”

Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate and sister to six awesome siblings. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour!


Welcome to the 2nd annual

Cowboys and Christmas

Blog Tour!

Raising funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

Ring in the Holidays with a Helping Hand

JCCF logoNovember 1 through Dec. 24, 10 percent of the net proceeds from all Shanna Hatfield book sales will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period. Every book purchased during this promotional period adds to the donation total. Don't forget to add books to your Christmas lists!

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Rachel! It's such a pleasure to be here with you on my blog tour.

The Columbia River Bar

As a writer, it's important to me to get the historical details as accurate as possible in my stories.
Due to that fact, I spend a significant amount of time researching information that will help bring my stories and characters to life.

The Christmas Vow features a hero who is a Columbia River Pilot back in the late 1800s. I started doing research on what this job would entail and discovered a wealth of interesting details.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Columbia River, it is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. It flows northwest and then south into Washington State before it turns west to form most of the border between Washington and Oregon. It empties into the Pacific Ocean.

The river is 1,243 miles long and its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven US states as well as a Canadian province. It is the fourth-largest river in the US and has the greatest flow of any North American river draining into the Pacific.

 The Columbia Gorge is the route the river follows dividing Oregon and Washington. The gorge is canyon that is up to 4,000 feet deep and stretches for more than 80 miles as the river winds westward through the Cascade mountain range toward the Pacific Ocean. It provides the only navigable water route through the Cascades and the only water connection between the Columbia River Plateau and the Pacific Ocean. The Gorge holds a protected status as a national scenic area and is a popular recreational destination.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Ships coming inland from the ocean or those traveling down the river trying to reach the ocean face a treacherous area known as the Columbia Bar. The jaws of the mighty Columbia River empty into the ocean at the bar where water gushes more than a million cubic feet per second and smashes head-on with hurricane-force winds creating twenty- to forty-foot swells roaring off the Pacific.

Eerily nicknamed the "Graveyard of the Pacific," this stretch of the coast lives up to the moniker.  Since 1792, there have been approximately 2,000 ships sunk in the area and more than 700 deaths. Water, weather, and geography combine to make the bar deadly.

The Columbia River flows through a narrow channel into the Pacific. As the water surges toward the ocean, it slows down, dropping sand and silt. The sand and silt then form a fan-shaped sandbar that extends more than six miles into the ocean, creating underwater speed bumps. The conditions can rip ships to pieces and force swells to sheer off, creating a freefall. Pelting rain and heavy fog add into the dangerous mix. The bar's weather and waves are notoriously dangerous for all types of vessels.

In 1846, after numerous shipwrecks, the Columbia River Bar Pilots organization formed to ensure the safety of ships, crews, and cargoes crossing the bar. The main office is located in Astoria, Oregon (12 miles upriver), where Victorian houses crowd the steep hills to the waterfront, giving visitors a reminder of a bygone era.

The men and women who belong to this organization must hold an unlimited master’s license (meaning they are licensed to pilot vessels without limits on size, power or geographic location) and have served a minimum of two years as master of oceangoing vessels. The standard of licensing for the bar pilots is one of the highest in the nation.

All vessels engaged in foreign trade are required to employ a Columbia River Bar Pilot licensed by the State of Oregon when crossing the Columbia River Bar.  The pilots board the vessels and assume navigational control, using their experience and knowledge to safely navigate the restricted channels of the Columbia River and over the bar both coming and going from the sea.

Approximately 3,600 vessels cross the bar each year – from 100-foot tugs to 1,100-foot tankers, bulk carriers, car carriers, log ships, general cargo ships, container ships and passenger ships. An estimated 40 million tons of cargo valued at $23 billion goes across the bar each year.

Another organization, the Columbia River Pilots, provide maritime pilotage services to all ports on the lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers once ships have crossed the bar. These pilots are charged with safely and efficiently piloting vessels in all weather conditions, at all hours of the day and night, 365 days a year. Headquartered in Portland, the group has a pilot station located in Astoria where pilots await inbound ship assignments.

 In my story, Adam Guthry is a Columbia River pilot, helping guide vessels from the bar to ports along the Columbia River and back again. You can read more about his work in The Christmas Vow, releasing this November as the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays series.


New Releases

To kick off the second annual Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour and the JCCF campaign,
 two brand new holiday romances will release Nov. 12! 

Capturing Christmas Cover Capturing Christmas is the third installment in the sweet holiday western Rodeo Romance series.

 Life is hectic on a good day for rodeo stock contractor Kash Kressley. Between dodging flying hooves and babying cranky bulls, he barely has time to sleep. The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as the redheaded photographer he rescues at a rodeo. Determined to capture the best images possible, rodeo photographer Celia McGraw is fearless and feisty. Not one to back down from a challenge, her biggest risk isn’t in her work. Danger lurks in the way her heart responds to one incredibly handsome stock contractor. Will Kash and Celia capture the spirit of the season?
Pre-order your copy today!
Get all three books in the Rodeo Romance series!

The Christmas Vow CoverThe Christmas Vow is the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series. Columbia River Pilot Adam Guthry returns to his hometown of Hardman, Oregon, after the sudden death of his best friend. Emotions he can’t contain bubble to the surface the moment he sees the girl who shattered his heart eleven years ago. Widow Tia Devereux escapes her restrictive life in Portland, returning to the home she knew and adored as a girl in Hardman. She and her four-year-old son, Toby, settle into the small Eastern Oregon community, eager for the holiday season. Unfortunately, the only man she’s ever loved shows up, stirring the embers of a long-dead romance into a blazing flame. When her former father-in-law, a corrupt judge, decides he wants to raise Toby, Adam may be the only hope she has of keeping her son.
You can pre-order your copy today for only $2.99!
Hardman-Holidays-block for web 
Don't miss out on the Hardman Holidays series!

Guest Author Sign

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party, Thursday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more (many of the giveaways will stay open until the following morning)! Here’s the link to the party:
The talented guest authors joining in the celebration include: 
10 a.m. - Carmen Peone 
12:30 - Rachel Rossano 
1:30 - Dani Harper

Grand Prize Photo

Enter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, Wrangler Tote Bag, Rock & Roll Cowgirl T-shirt, autographed books, chocolates, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. Winners will be randomly drawn and announced Nov. 16.

Where to Find The Books

The Christmas Cowboy Cover 
Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.
christmas bargain cover 
Travel back to a time of grandeur in the old west
with the Hardman Holidays series.
The Christmas Bargain begins the popular series
and is available free for a very limited time!

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.
When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
This USA Today bestselling author is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, and Pioneer Hearts.

  Find Shanna’s books at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple  

Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online: ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter
Make sure you sign up for her newsletter to get the latest on new releases and exclusive giveaways! Newsletter

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cover reveal! - Lily of the Valley by Faith Blum

Happy Tuesday! Today we have a blog post with a cover reveal. But, there’s a catch. The author, Faith Blum, has split her cover into 15 different pieces! In order to enter her giveaway, you need to put it together and email her your cover. Or, if you don’t want to enter the giveaway, but you’d still like to see the cover, stop by her blog on Thursday.

The Prize

The winner will have to be patient, but the prize for this cover reveal is a signed paperback copy of Lily of the Valley. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of shipping internationally, Faith won’t be sending a paperback outside of the U.S. If you are international and would like to participate and win, you will receive an ebook copy of any TWO of my published books including Lily of the Valley. To help you a little with putting together the cover, here is the description:
Howdy, Teacher! You don’t know me, but my kids talk bout you a lot. I been lookin fer a wife and mother fer a few years and was wonderin iffen we cood meet and get to no each other a bit. I’ll come after school to git yer answer. Grover Miller Unruly schoolchildren, three suitors, and too many things to do. When Ruth Brookings rejects one of the suitors, he refuses to accept no for an answer. To make matters worse, when she prays for guidance, she’s answered with a challenge instead: To encourage her friend to find a wife—whether he wants one or not. Will she lose her friend just when she needs a friend the most? Will she be able to weather the storms she’s about to face?


  • Stop by each blog listed below to get their piece of the cover.
  • Use a program like this website to put the cover together: If you get a little extra space between each piece, your cover will still count toward the prize. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long is each piece is in the correct place.
  • Email your completed cover to Faith at faith[dot]blum[dot]@gmail[dot]com NO LATER THAN October 14th at 9:00 PM Central time. (If you have problems with time zones, shoot Faith an email and she’ll help you out).
  • Stop by Faith’s blog to see the cover and who won.

Piece of the Cover #10


About the Author

Faith with Rikki-croppedFaith Blum is a 24 year old home school graduate who enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, writing, and playing piano. Her favorite genre to read and write is Historical Fiction, more specifically, Westerns. In the Hymns of the West series, she has endeavored to create clean, fun, and challenging Western stories for the whole family. She currently has three novels and three novellas published. You can find her in various places online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | New Releases Newsletter | Amazon

Author interview

Please tell me about the heroine of Lily of the Valley. Ruth Brookings is nineteen years old, a Christian, and seeking God's will. She teaches at her local school in Castle City, Montana and loves it. Though not as shy as she was when she was younger, she is still pretty shy. Today, we would call her introverted. She has brown hair and dresses simply. She is the youngest of five and has always wanted younger siblings. I would love to get to know the hero. Micah Carson is an Easterner turned Western Sheriff. He started as a deputy, but when the sheriff resigned to get another job, he became the sheriff. Sheriff Carson has been a widower for five years and has an incorrigible ten year old son. He has never had the desire to marry again, but his son may one day force him to either quit his job or get married. What about the hymn inspired you to write this book? The book inspired the hymn actually. That sounds strange. I had ideas for the book before I knew what hymn I would use. For about the first fourth of the rough draft, the title was "Come Thou Fount." Then one day at church, we sang "Lily of the Valley" and when I got home, I looked it up to see if it was possible to use. The words to "Lily of the Valley" fit much better than "Come Thou Fount."


Find the other pieces of the cover on these blogs. If you are coming in late and would like direct links to each of the blog posts about the cover reveal, please go to Faith’s website link here. She will update each link to go directly to the blog post about the cover reveal. October 12 The Overactive Imagination Rebekah Lyn Books—with Author Interview Morgan Elizabeth Huneke All Things Literary and Political Hello Precious Bliss October 13 With a Joyful Noise Ruth’s Real Life Flights from Aerie Jaye L. Knight Rachel Rossano’s Words—with Author Interview October 14 Zerina Blossom’s Books God's Peculiar Treasure Rae Wildflower Acres A Brighter Destiny Writing Dreams October 15 Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections—with full cover and winner announcement  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Tour for All Our Empty Places by Alicia G. Ruggieri

In 1935, when the bank calls in her mortgage, Sarah Picoletti – now a penniless widow – finds herself and her children on the brink of homelessness. Sick at heart, she plans to beg her brother in New Jersey to take her family in.

Then Doctor Samuel Giorgi knocks on her door. Godly and well-off, Sam seems to have put the careless ways of his youth behind him, and he also appears to have one desire: to make Sarah his wife, two decades after he broke their engagement.

However, nothing prepares Sarah for the storm that breaks once she makes her decision. Everywhere she turns, the errors of her former choices confront her, insisting on her inferiority and the irreparable brokenness of her past. Sarah begins to wonder if Christ really can bring true redemption or if He is limited by her frailty.

Meanwhile, her daughter Grace faces new challenges in her own life. When her relationship with Paulie changes unexpectedly, Grace realizes that she must make a decision with the potential to alter both of their futures.

Compassionate and intensely poignant, All Our Empty Places paints the portrait of a mother and daughter with broken pasts, who dare to step into a future overflowing with the grace of the Cross.

Alicia G. Ruggieri writes Christ-centered fiction that speaks of redemption. She received her B.A. in Communications and History from Rhode Island College and lives with her husband and their emotionally-disturbed pug on the New England coast.

Twitter: @aliciaruggieri

All Our Empty Places (A Time of Grace, Book 2) –
The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace, Book 1) – ON SALE for $0.99 through October 31, 2015 –


One winner will receive – a signed softcover of All Our Empty Places; a mug with 2 Corinthians 12:9 inscribed on it; Caramel Apple Biscotti; and Harvest Spice Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate mix. (Open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway