Monday, June 26, 2017

Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway: So Pure a Heart by Amber Lynn Perry Daughters of His Kingdom
Genre: Historical, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Liberty Publishing
Publication date: June 20, 2017
Number of pages: 346

Since the night her dear uncle gave his life for hers, Hannah Young is determined to risk everything by spying for the Patriots in order to seek retribution against the British soldier who killed him. But when her former love, Joseph Wythe, insists on ensuring her safety, she must decide if the vengeance she seeks is worth the danger of his nearness. For the love she once felt is liable to grow deeper and more threatening to her heart than it ever was before.

Leaving his young ward to join the fight for liberty is the hardest thing Joseph Wythe has ever done. Nearly. The most difficult happened ten years past, which he tries his best forget. Seeing Hannah Young again after all this time does something frightening and wonderful to his soul. Though her determination to spy for the 
​Patriots is honorable and brave, he will never allow her to take such a risk without him to protect her, no matter how she protests—and no matter how he knows he will ache all the more for the thing he always wanted and still could never have.

A Pacific Northwest native, Amber Lynn Perry lives in Washington state with her husband and two daughters. She studied humanities at Portland State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree focused on art history. As a homeschooling mom, Amber spends much of her time teaching everything from Shakespeare to science.

When she isn’t crafting with her kids, making dinner or driving to dance classes, Amber is either reading or writing about her favorite time in American history. The Revolutionary era has captured her imagination from the time she was in middle school. Through her books, Amber hopes to not only give readers a glimpse into the past, but to instill in them a lasting love of liberty.

Creating a cover is probably one of the most exciting things about the writing process—for me anyway. It brings the story to life and is the first impression that potential readers will have, so it’s got to be good. I knew before my first book was released that I wanted to dress-up and be on the cover because finding good photography or art that depicts the colonial era is difficult. I started saving my money and after I had enough, I purchased a dress straight from Colonial Williamsburg because authenticity is important to me, and I knew I could trust it to be period correct.

One of my friends was willing to take some pictures and, oh, was I thrilled how they turned out! After that, I knew I wanted to be on every cover because the result was just what I’d hoped. At first I didn’t want to make public the fact that I was on the cover, but after a little encouragement from some fellow authors, I decided to make it known—and I’m so glad I did! It’s been a great thing to talk about with readers and I think they really enjoy it. At least I hope they do. ;)

Book four was no exception. I was really excited about this cover shoot because I knew I wanted to feature a hat with my costume—I love hats!! I had it specially made by a woman who owns an incredible Etsy shop and knows more about Colonial era clothing than anyone I’ve ever spoken with. The top I wore for this shoot was also from Colonial Williamsburg, actually, as was the purple apron. I knew from the get-go that it was going to be great, but once I saw the cover all put together…I was over the moon!

I feel so grateful to get to be part of such a fun, creative process and I hope to be able to do a few more in the future. <3

Chapter One

Alone, Hannah Young stared at the dirt-covered mound as the chilled air breached the warmth of her heavy cloak.
Graves are sorry things.
The words her uncle had spoken not an hour past replayed in her mind and held solid the reality she wished not to accept, but must. Her dearest aunt Bea, her friend and confidant—the woman she’d loved as a mother—was never coming back.
Hannah looked up, gazing across the lonely hill, straining to gather any rational thought through the thick fog of sorrow. At the sight of the house a hundred paces away, and Uncle Ensign nearing the plot where she stood, Hannah’s eyes burned. There was nothing they could have done to save her. ’Twas Bea’s time, and God had called her home. Such knowledge should strengthen, should it not? Lowering her head, she smoothed her cold fingers around the soft emblem in her hand. It should, but it would never quell the pain. That she knew. For still she grieved the loss of ten years past, as if ’twas only yesterday.
“Hannah, you should not still be here.”
She glanced up at the sound of Ensign’s voice, then turned again to Bea’s cold resting place. “Perhaps.” She could say no more without weeping.
“The others have long since returned home. As should you.” He put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close as the gray clouds mourned over them. At long last his heavy tone returned to mingle with the air. “She loved you, my dear. More than you can ever know.”
Nodding, Hannah’s throat grew thick, impeding the reply that wished for release. And I her.
Ensign cleared his throat, but still his words came out thick and broken. “We shall always have the memories of our dear Beatrice. And though she is gone from us in this life, I know we shall see her in the next.”
Hot streams of tears rolled over Hannah’s cold cheeks. “You have such faith, Uncle.”
He released a quivering breath before his solemn reply. “I could not bear the grief if I did not.”
Hannah allowed his words to rest in the wintery air, consumed by both love and heartache, before the thoughts she’d been forming found shape in her voice. “She was so good to me. She loved me anyway.” Hannah glanced down at the tiny knitted booties in her hand, speaking through the tears she could no longer restrain. “Both of you loved me despite everything, and I could never repay such kindness, no matter how I tried.”
He tightened his loving grip and whispered in her ear. “There is nothing to repay, sweet child. She loved you as her own, as do I.” He coughed to clear his throat and straightened his stance. “Your father gave up a great treasure when he left you to us. He is a lost man. We must pray for him.”
The tears halted at the mention of Philo Young, and she glanced up, unrepentant for the truth that spilled out. “I fear I have given up praying for him. He will never...” She couldn’t finish the rest.
“Forgive me.” Ensign looked down at her, the deep lines around his eyes flaring before he kissed her temple. “I should not have mentioned it. I know how it pains you.”
She glanced down at the booties once again and tried to speak through the strain in her throat. “That is not all that pains me.”
An audible sigh left him, and he pulled her closer. “I know.”
Hannah inhaled a choppy breath, attempting to cleanse away the dark clouds that closed upon her mind. “At times it seems as though ’twas only yesterday. Then in the next breath, I feel ’twas a different lifetime.”
The memories she wrestled gathered hard and fast, like storm clouds darkening an already bitter night. She shifted her feet and tucked the booties in her skirt pocket, attempting in vain to tuck away the thoughts with equal ease. “Without Bea—without you both beside me—I...” I would not have lived. Hannah looked away, unable to finish the thought aloud. “And now I shall never again be able to tell her how much I loved her, how grateful I am, how I shall never forget her.”
Ensign released his hold and brushed his knuckles against her cheek. “I heard you speak such to her every day.”
“But it wasn’t enough.”
 “Dear child.” He kissed her hair once more, then moved back, one hand still on her shoulder. “You must return inside—I beg you. You have been too long in this chill.”
He turned and started down the hill, but she called after him, the cold slowing her lips as she spoke. “Only a moment more, Uncle. I cannot leave her just yet.”
Ensign stopped and glanced back at the grave, eyes red. Not moving his gaze, he answered her request with a pained smile to hide the quivering of his chin. Wiping a stray tear from his cheek, he took in a long breath, blinking as if he still struggled to accept the truth, the same as she. His mouth tightened, and he offered a quick nod before striding down the slight slope toward the house.
The cold cinched harder, stinging Hannah’s cheeks as she stared at the earthen catacomb of her only and dearest friend. She looked up, blinking against the moisture in her eyes. She had Ensign, true. And Caroline. But her cousin was in Sandwich, and though their treasured letters brightened every week, Hannah could not fathom how she would endure every day without Bea’s smiles and humor, her light and wisdom.
Again, she dropped her gaze, recalling Caroline’s most recent pleading. Nay. She hugged her arms around her chest under her cloak and rubbed them to fight against the cold. Never would she return there, no matter how her dearest cousin begged, no matter how lonely the years ahead might prove. Sandwich was the place of her youth, the place of her formative years, aye. But ’twas the place where her past still lived and breathed.
She reached into her pocket, eyes trained on the clouded horizon. Circling her fingers against the memory, she pushed back the bitterness that pressed against the doors she’d hidden it behind. Here in Plymouth she had discovered the meaning of true caring, true love of family.
Hannah tightened her fist around the soft wool as the face of the one man she longed to forget filled her vision as real as if he stood before her. She looked to the house to escape the illusion of him, but it lingered, forcing the imprisoned emotions to cry for freedom.
’Twas as much your doing as his, was it not?
The wind whipped harder now, signaling the need to find refuge indoors. Loathing to part, Hannah blew a kiss toward the lonely mound, grateful, almost, for the distraction that allowed her to leave her post without weeping.
Walking across the snow, she gripped her cloak, shivering as the memories thumped harder in her chest. Ten years had passed, and still she thought of him. Foolish. For surely he thought not of her.
At the back step she clutched the handle, breathing away her past before she could enter. The light from the house peeked through the small cracks in the wood, like her hope that refused to die.
After all they had done—after all they had lost— and still her heart betrayed her.
She grasped the handle tighter and pushed the door open.
She had forgiven him, aye. But she could never, ever forget.

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 June 26--Remembrancy | Heidi Reads...
June 27--Paulette's Papers | By The Book
June 28-- Reading Is My SuperPower | Katie's Clean Book Collection
June 29--Joy of Reading | Faithfully Bookish
June 30--Red Headed Book Lady | Singing Librarian Books
July 1--Book by Book | Getting Your Read On

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Link-up: New Releases / Free / Bargain Books!

Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
 Leels Loves Books | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | Traci Hayden
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Beck Valley Books | Jude Ouvrard
Miki's Hope | Heidi Reads...
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry | J.C. Clarke
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings 

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here

Come back and check out the new selection every week!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Heidi Reads... With You Always by Jody Hedlund

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


A Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.

The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.

My Review

The plot of this book is not quite what I expected- when I hear "orphan train" I picture the children from the city getting placed in families out West. The author instead focuses on an orphaned family being torn apart as unemployed women are sent on trains to help establish new towns where there are jobs waiting to be filled. Of course, my expectations of the quality of writing were met- I learned so much history, was immersed in the setting, and the characters came to life with emotion and feeling as they navigate complex relationship dynamics and uncertain and desperate circumstances. The main perspectives are Elise and Thorton as they embark on new ventures in Illinois, but we also see some scenes from Elise's family she had to leave behind in New York. While Elise is the strong and stalwart oldest sister who takes on the responsibility of her sisters and the young children they take under their wing, on her journey we see her vulnerability and innocence as well as her fortitude and spunk. Thorton is drawn to her and his protective feelings quickly develop into something more, despite his plan to court and marry a high society lady he believes his father would approve of. Elise challenges his town development methods and unequal treatment of the female employees, and grows to admire him as he meets her challenges and is changed through the experience. There are villains lurking and conflict arises as Thorton's deadline grows closer, and Elise's concern for her sisters is validated. They both struggle with faith but their trials prove to be a refiner's fire that strengthens them as they reconcile with the Lord and turn to Him for guidance. Highly recommend to fans of historical fiction!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't Miss the FREE prequel novella in the Orphan Train series, An Awakened Heart


Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he's grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him--plans that may include this feisty socialite?

Can't Wait Wednesday: Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

While suspense isn't my favorite genre, I never miss a book by Dani Pettrey! She expertly balances the mystery and action with the personal development of her characters which makes me more connected to the emotion of the story. The romantic tension is always off the hook, and the relationships grow throughout the series. I can't wait for Blind Spot, the third book in the Chesapeake Valor series, which releases October 3rd this year and is now available for pre-order!


FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She's sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell--and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives.

Don't miss the first two books in the Chesapeake Valor series . . .

Heidi Reads... Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey


In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet--until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern--a young social justice lawyer missing since spring--and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents.


Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright--and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead--and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. Worse, her friend can't be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.