Friday, August 31, 2018

~ FALLING IN LOVE EVENT KICK-OFF ~

~ FALLING IN LOVE
CLEAN ROMANCE EVENT
KICK-OFF ~
--  Post Includes:  Event Description,
List of Participating Authors &
$100 Giveaway  --

Falling In Love
A Clean Romance Event
September, 2018

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September is going to be an AWESOME month for clean romance lovers! I'm excited to kick-off this month-long celebration with this $100 Giveaway. Before we get to the giveaway . . . 

Just look at this amazing list of authors who are participating!

Elizabeth Johns * Julie Wright * Jo Noelle *
  Laurie Lewis  * Bria Quinlan *  Beth Labonte *
  Sariah WilsonD.E. Malone * Delaney Cameron *
 Donna Hatch * Kimberley Montpetit * Rachael Anderson *
Mylissa Demeyere * Daniel Banner
Danielle Thorne * Aubrey Wynne * Kimberly Krey *
Jennifer Griffith * Jen Geigle Johnson *
 Cindy Roland Anderson

Here's how it works:
Each Monday through Friday for the rest of the month one of these authors will be spotlighted. There will be a $25 giveaway along with each spotlight which means there will be $500 given away in addition to this $100 giveaway! That's a total of $600 being given away plus you will have the chance to learn more about 20 AMAZING authors! 

Let's start this off with the $100 Kick-Off Giveaway!

 

Giveaway Details One lucky winner will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Code or $100 in Paypal Cash. Ends 10/1/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via PayPal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, PayPal, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 


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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

~ BOOK BLITZ 'THE PATRIOT BRIDE' ~

~ BOOK BLITZ ~
--  'THE PATRIOT BRIDE'  --
Author Kimberley Woodhouse
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Author Bio & Giveaway~ 
 

Welcome to THE PATRIOT BRIDE Blitz with JustRead Publicity Tours.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Patriot Bride
Collection: Daughters of the Mayflower, Book 4
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Release Date: August 1, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance

Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?

A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause

Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

TO PURCHASE A COPY*

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifteen fiction and nonfiction books. A popular speaker and teacher, she’s shared her theme of “Joy Through Trials” with more than half a million people across the country at more than 2,000 events. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-five-plus years have two adult children. She’s passionate about music and Bible study and loves the gift of story.

CONNECT WITH KIM: 


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TOUR GIVEAWAY


Kimberley has graciously offered one winner a wonderful gift basket filled with goodies from Mount Vernon, a gift card, and much more! Of course, the basket also includes a copy of the book!

Giveaway will begin at midnight August 27, 2018, and last through 11:59 PM EST on September 3, 2018. Winner will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open to US mailing addresses only. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.
Be sure to stop at a stop each day for extra entries!


******************

TOUR SCHEDULE

For the full tour schedule, click on either of the launch pages below.
(All stops expected to post by 12:00 NOON EST)



*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


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COMING UP SOON ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC':
--  Monday, September 3rd:  Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday feature:  Title To Be Announced.

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

~ MMGM STEAM -- GIRL WHO DREW BUTTERFLIES ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY S.T.E.A.M. FEATURE ~
--  'THE GIRL WHO DREW BUTTERFLIES:
HOW MARIA MERIAN'S ART 
CHANGED SCIENCE'  --
AUTHOR JOYCE SIDMAN


 
ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:

Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be "born of mud" and to be "beasts of the devil." Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them?


One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from Goodreads}:
Joyce Sidman lives in Wayzata, Minnesota.
www.joycesidman.com



MY THOUGHTS:
This is a beautifully-formatted and extensive biography of a pioneer in the fields of science and art. I recommend it as a read-aloud for lower middle-grade students and as independent reading for upper middle-graders.

Maria Merian was born in Frankfurt Germany in the mid-seventeenth century at a time when women were expected to be completely submissive to their fathers, brothers, and/or husbands. They were not permitted to function as independent thinkers with their own careers.

The subject of this biography broke many barriers during her lifetime in the fields of science, art, and business. Her art skills and curiosity about insects and plants astonished me! 


At the time, people believed "that all flying, creeping things are pests, born of filth and decay." {Introduction} Butterflies were called 'summer birds', and it was believed that they crept out from under the earth.


Maria was meticulous in her experiments on caterpillars and their metamorphosis into butterflies or moths. She raised her own specimens by hand and studied them carefully. She not only sketched and painted her specimens in their various stages of development, but she preserved her samples in glass boxes for others to enjoy.

When her friends and colleagues saw her sketches and sample boxes after she returned to the Netherlands from living in Surinam for almost two years, they encouraged her to publish her findings. She was one of the original indie publishers. 'Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium' {the metamorphosis of the insects of Surinam} was a 22" high volume filled with paintings illustrating the life cycle of the insects Maria had studied. The insects were posed on their home plants. The book was published in 1705 in Dutch and Latin editions. For example, one colored illustration showed a saturniid moth with its caterpillar, cocoon, and pupa on a banana flowers including young bananas. 


As was to be expected, many male scholars at the time discounted her work because Maria did not worry about the classification of her discoveries. They considered her a 'self-taught amateur'. Still others criticized her because she went to Surinam unaccompanied by a male escort. {She had divorced her husband a few years earlier}.

Her paintings of the animals and insects of Surinam in the early eighteenth century are thought to possibly be the only record of the metamorphoses of many Surinam species which are now extinct.

I was inspired by this woman's curiosity, passion, independence, and quest for accuracy in this new {at the time} area of science, natural science. She was a mentor to young women who wanted to work as artists, and she was a leader in every sense of the word.

Maria's artwork, which fills the pages of this biography, is absolutely stunning in my opinion. I love botanical prints and paintings of animals of all types so this book was a visual feast for me. I believe children will find it stimulating and interesting. Maria Merian was one talented lady who shared her gifts with the world. I believe she would be thrilled to learn young readers are still enjoying her artwork over three hundred years after her death.

There is an excellent 'Butterfly Glossary' preceding the Introduction to this book. Back matter includes an engaging 'Author's Note', a detailed Timeline, Quote Sources, Selected Bibliography, and Acknowledgments page. 

Highly-recommended for fans of women's studies, science history, seventeenth and eighteenth century European history, art, and botanical art. NOTE:  Please read my caveat about the content of this book in the following 'Content Caution' section before you read this book to or allow your middle-grade student to read this book independently.

I borrowed this book from the non-fiction Biography shelves in the Children's section of the local public library.


CONTENT CAUTION:  I want to mention that in the sidebar printed on page 90 there are three topics which you will want to be aware of before sharing this book with children. 1.) Slavery--the poor treatment of Amerindians and Africans in the Dutch colony of Surinam where Maria and her daughter lived and studied for almost two years. 2.) The fact that slaves used a particular seed to abort their children so these children would not have to live their lives in slavery. 3.) Suicide--Adult slaves killed themselves because of their religious beliefs about being born again into freedom in their native country. *It is noted that when Maria visited Surinam to conduct scientific research and document it with words and paintings she was 'shocked and appalled' at what she found there.




Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.  

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COMING UP SOON ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC':
--  Wednesday, August 29th:  Blog Tour for 'The Patriot Bride'. Post includes a book spotlight, excerpt, and giveaway. Tour organized by JustRead Publicity Tours.
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Thursday, August 23, 2018

~ BLOG TOUR HOMESPUN ~

~ FRIDAY BOOK FEATURE ~
--  HOMESPUN:  AMISH &
MENNONITE WOMEN IN 
THEIR OWN WORDS  --
Edited by:  Lorilee Craker
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Editor Bio & Excerpt ~


Story makes the world go ‘round
The stories of Amish and Mennonite women in their own words




ABOUT THE BOOK: 
Harrisonburg, VA — Behind Amish romance novels, tourist spots and “reality” TV shows stand real people, with longings and loves just like the rest of us. Every Amish and Mennonite woman has a story. What would it be like to be welcomed into their homes and share those stories over a cup of coffee?

In the pages of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words (Herald Press/ August 7, 2018/ISBN: 978-1-5138-0316-6/$15.99), Amish and Plain Mennonite women swap stories and spin yarns while the reader sits in. The book’s editor, Lorilee Craker, bestselling author of Money Secrets of the Amish, collected these personal writings and authentic perspectives on life, hospitality, home, grief, joy, and walks with God from Anabaptist women’s periodicals. Among the stories shared are essays penned by well-loved Amish and Mennonite writers such as Sherry Gore, Linda Byler, Lovina Eicher, Dorcas Smucker, and Sheila Petre.

Craker, who describes herself as a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies, grew up in Manitoba where the Mennonite community was large. Her mother’s family came from Ukraine in the 1870s and were pioneers who homesteaded on the prairies. Her father’s family arrived in Canada after World War II when they fled Stalin and his holocaust. She knew from early on there were lots of different kinds of Mennonite stories, but she never realized there was anything “different” about the way she grew up until she arrived in Chicago for college. “Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being my kind of Mennonite were one and the same. This assumption led to lots of explanations on my part about the difference between my modern Mennonite upbringing (‘like Baptist, with a German accent and special foods’) and those other related subcultures.”

Explaining the differences would eventually lead to Craker to writing her first book on the Amish where she learned for all the differences, there were many more similarities than she expected there to be. While visiting the Amish, she found a peace and gentleness that reminded her of home. As she compiled the stories for Homespun, those same feelings and many more came to the surface.

“These narratives stirred different emotions in me. My heart ached for Ervina Yoder as she described what it was like for her to be the mother of a longed-for but stillborn baby. I was inspired and encouraged by Danielle Beiler’s trust in God as her provider, and I giggled at Mary Yoder’s secondhand testimony of an Amish man whose pants were just too stretchy. Other essays enthused my soul, and I came away feeling as if I had just been to church. My cup had been filled.”

Craker hopes that readers will enjoy the stories as much as she did. “You don’t have to be a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies to do so. All you need to do is open your heart and let the homespun words of these women enlarge your worldview, extend your heart, and increase your friendship with the Creator of all good and gut things.”


ABOUT THE EDITOR:

 


Lorilee Craker is the editor of Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words. She describes herself as a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies and didn’t know there was anything “peculiar” about being Mennonite until she moved from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Chicago, Illinois for college. It was then that she realized most people outside of Mennonite communities assumed she had come from buggy-driving, bonnet-wearing, butter-churning folk. Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being her kind of Mennonite were one and the same. The experience of explaining the differences led her to writing the book, Money Secrets of the Amish (an Audie Awards finalist which she also narrated).

A freelance journalist, blogger and speaker, Craker was an entertainment writer for The Grand Rapids Press for seventeen years. She has been featured in many media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Time and People. She is the author of fifteen books, including Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me, My Journey to Heaven with Marv Besteman, and the New York Times bestseller Through the Story with Lynne Spears.

The proud founder of a writing day camp for middle-schoolers, Craker lives in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband and their three children.

Learn more about Lorilee Craker online at lorileecraker.com. You can also find her on Facebook (@LorileeCraker), Twitter (@lorileecraker) and Instagram (@thebooksellersdaughter).

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK:
“A revealing and wide ranging resource. . . . This eclectic book will interest any reader who’s curious about the plain lifestyle."
~ Publishers Weekly

“Homespun reads like a leisurely visit with an old friend. It starts off with light, chatty topics before settling into the-deep-part-of-the-heart experiences, such as a young mom recovering from the stillborn birth of her little boy. At times charming and humorous, at other times profound and heavy, this collection of true stories will linger in your mind long after you close the book.”
~ Suzanne Woods Fisher, bestselling author of Amish Peace


EXCERPT:
Introduction from Homespun: Amish and Mennonite Women in Their Own Words

Lorilee Craker, editor
Excerpt ©2018 by Herald Press

I’m just a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies.

This is what I tell people, and it’s true. As a two-week-old adopted infant, I was brought to the home of my Mennonite parents, Abe and Linda Reimer, on a slushy April day in 1968. From that moment on, I was their daughter, grafted into the family tree and over four hundred years of Mennonite history.

On my mom’s side, we are country folk, descendants of Mennonite pioneers who traveled from Ukraine in the 1870s, carrying scoops of hearty winter wheat from the Old Country to plant in the New. The Loewens and the Brandts of Rosenort, Manitoba, still speak Low German (Plattdeutsch) and partake of Faspa (a late afternoon lunch) on any given Sunday. The ties of language, food, and culture that bind them to their pioneer great-great-grandparents are startlingly durable. The Isaacs and Abrams and Sarahs and Lydias of old, who lugged steamer trunks halfway across Canada on Red River carts and abided in sod huts, would be so proud.

My dad was born in 1937, in a Mennonite colony in Ukraine. He was born into a holocaust waged by Stalin against his own people. By the time my dad was ten months old, he had lost his twin sister, Anna, to starvation. At age six, he fled with thousands of other refugees across Ukraine by foot, fleeing Stalin. He arrived by boat in Canada in 1947, a ten-year-old immigrant Mennonite boy.

You see, I knew from early on that there were lots of different kinds of Mennonite stories.

But I didn’t know until I went away to college in Chicago at the age of nineteen that there was anything peculiar about being Mennonite. Hey, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where I was raised, you can’t throw a Fleisch Perishky (meat bun) without beaming another Menno on the head. Upon arrival in Chicago, I quickly realized, much to my surprise, that most people outside of Mennonite communities assumed I had come from buggy-driving, bonnet-wearing, butter-churning folk. Everyone seemed to think that being Amish or Old Order Mennonite and being my kind of Mennonite were one and the same.

This assumption led to lots of explanations on my part about the difference between my modern Mennonite upbringing (“like Baptist, with a German accent and special foods”) and those other related subcultures. It also led to me writing a whole book about the Amish, who I came to realize were more closely tied to me and my upbringing than I had ever dreamed.

As I visited Amish homes and barns in Michigan and Pennsylvania for my 2011 book, Money Secrets of the Amish, I recognized bits of their dialect, Deitsch (Pennsylvania German), from my spotty grasp of Low German. The Amish women’s hair buns and long skirts, not to mention the tantalizing aromas of fruit strudels (Platz, to me) baking in their ovens, reminded me of my beloved grandma Loewen. I recalled my little dynamo of an Oma (grandmother) tsk-tsk-ing me about the length of my skirt. She always had a twinkle in her eye as she chided me, but I still made sure to go for full coverage as I interviewed the Amish.

Among the Amish, there was a feeling of welcome, of peace and simplicity. I felt oddly at home among my spiritual and cultural cousins. Both Amish and Mennonites are Anabaptists, a Christian group that began during the 1500s and continues in a variety of forms today.

These combined elements in my background prepared me well to curate this book you hold in your hands. I was excited to cross those hospitable Anabaptist thresholds again, if only through the writers’ words. I knew I would find a gentle spirit in the writings of my Mennonite and Amish sisters, and I was right.

Even though some of these writers drive cars and hold jobs like the rest of us in the world, their rootedness in their Anabaptist heritage sets them apart from that world. In these writings, most of which are drawn from two Anabaptist women’s periodicals (Daughters of Promise and Ladies’ Journal), I found a sisterhood of women with shared values. As I read dozens of essays and devotional pieces and true stories, all written by women, some themes arose.

  • Welcome. A deep sense of hospitality is fundamental to these women. Yet it’s not hospitality in the HGTV, your-house-needs-to-be-perfect kind of way. “It is easy to overthink hosting,” writes Vicki Kaufman. “There’s no formula for the perfect menu, the perfect conversation, the perfect music playlist. Our Lord Jesus made it look quite simple, and his hosting style can be described in one word: love.”
  • Abide. Hospitality is sacred and spiritual, but it doesn’t mean these writers don’t want to have an appealing home space in which to dwell. They want to abide in an abode, if you will, that nurtures them and feeds their spirit. “Keep it simple but significant,” says Bethany Hege in “White Space.” The writers here expound beautifully on what home means to them.
  • Testimony. Story makes the world go round. When we hear the stories—the testimonies—of others, we are better able to understand our own story and our place in the world. These narratives stirred different emotions in me. My heart ached for Ervina Yoder as she described what it was like for her to be the mother of a longed-for but stillborn baby: “I go grocery shopping and no one knows I’m a mommy,” she writes, from a to-the-bone level of honesty. I was inspired and encouraged by Danielle Beiler’s trust in God as her provider. “If God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, he can take care of my needs.” And I giggled at Mary Yoder’s secondhand testimony of an Amish man whose pants were just too stretchy. Poor guy was definitely in a “ferhoodled” state of mind!
  • Wonder. The blazing faith of early Anabaptists is evident in the openness of these writers to all things wondrous. This short-but-sweet section easily could have been filed under “Testimony,” as the four pieces are true stories of miracles, phenomenal happenings that don’t make sense from a human perspective. But these tales deserve their own section, as they highlight the possibility of the miraculous happening all around us, in big ways and small.
  • Kindred. A core value of both Mennonites and Amish is the preeminence of family—kinfolk, whether they be kindred or not. I grew up with dozens of cousins between two close-knit families, and I thought that’s how it was for everyone. Our kin shape us in ways both known and unknown, good and bad. These essays and stories speak to the tremendous influence of family, from our great-grandparents to our children. Writing about family trees, Gert Slabach offers this pearl of wisdom: “Whether we’re part of the tree from our beginning or whether we were grafted in, we belong. We not only belong to the tree; the tree is a part of us. Those knots and gnarled limbs? There’s a story behind them.”
  • Beloved. As I sifted through these essays, I was struck by the faith shining through. More than once, tears came to my eyes, and I lay down the piece I was reading to meditate on it a bit. These essays enthused my soul, and I came away feeling as if I had just been to church. My cup had been filled. There is something wonderfully elemental and childlike about the devotion expressed here, devotion even in doubt. These pieces drew me closer to the One who calls all his daughters “beloved.”
In closing, my wish for you as you read these wunderful gut pieces of writing is that you will enjoy them as much as I did. You don’t have to be a simple Mennonite girl from the prairies to do so. All you need to do is open your heart and let the homespun words of these women enlarge your worldview, extend your heart, and increase your friendship with the Creator of all good and gut things.
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COMING UP SOON ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC':
--  Monday, August 27th:  My Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday feature will highlight a biography of an amazing German woman who was an artist and scientist back in the 17th century. Please return to learn more about this pioneer in science and her illustrious career.

--  Wednesday, August 29th:  Blog Tour for 'The Patriot Bride'. Post includes a book spotlight, excerpt, and giveaway. Tour organized by JustRead Publicity Tours.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

~ BLOG TOUR MOURNING DOVE ~

~ BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'MOURNING DOVE'  --
AUTHOR CLAIRE FULLERTON
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, 
Author Bio & Giveaway~
Mourning Dove blog tour

Welcome to the blog tour & giveaway for Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

mourning dove Title: Mourning Dove  
Author: Claire Fullerton
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction  
Release Date: June 29, 2018  
Genre: Southern Fiction, Family Life  

"An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South." Kirkus Book Reviews

The heart has a home when it has an ally.

If Millie Crossan doesn't know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie's guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie's tenth birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother's upbringing and vastly different from anything they've ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn't gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley's world as they find their way to belonging.

But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

 PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

2 Claire LvgRm 3 set 2 828 465 360-1010730

Claire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA. She is the author of contemporary fiction, “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived. Dancing to an Irish Reel is a finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards, and a 2016 Readers’ Favorite. Claire is the author of “A Portal in Time,” a paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods, set on California’s hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a village called Carmel-by-the-Sea. Both of those novels are published by Vinspire Publishing. Her third novel, Mourning Dove, is a Southern family saga, published in June 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction. She is one of four contributors to the book, A Southern Season, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, to be published in November 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction.  

CONNECT WITH CLAIRE: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Mourning Dove blog tour giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY
Claire Fullerton is giving away:
  • 1 audiobook of Mourning Dove (US only)
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight August 21, 2018 and last through 11:59pm August 28, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 
Follow along with the tour at JustRead for a full list of stops!
cropped-justread-logo.png

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COMING UP SOON ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC':

--  Thursday, August 23rd:  Book Blast for an inspirational/Christian poetry book, 'The Works of Christ'. Post includes a book spotlight and excerpt. Book Blast organized by Write Now Literary Tours.

--  Friday, August 24th:  Blog Tour Stop for 'Amish Homespun' book spotlight and excerpt. Blog Tour organized by Read with Audra Publicity.
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Monday, August 20, 2018

~ COVER REVEAL AT FIRST GLANCE ~

~ COVER REVEAL ~
--  'AT FIRST GLANCE'  --
AUTHOR SUSAN L. TUTTLE 

ABOUT THE BOOK


Title: At First Glance
Author: Susan L. Tuttle
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing (Blink)
Release Date: November, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

When it comes to love and matters of the heart, she's got a lot to learn.

Estate planner Penny Thornton loves dusting off items others gloss over, especially since she relates to feeling tossed aside for the "bright and shiny". When her younger sister’s approaching wedding launches Penny back into the throes of her dysfunctional family, she decides to use the festivities to close the gap in their relationships—even if it means appeasing them and finally losing the few pounds they’ve hounded her about for years. But she doesn’t expect to meet two very different men in the process. East Fisher, the personal trainer who personifies everything she believes she could never attain, and Jonah Black, a man who reminds her so much of herself. Both men are more than they appear at first glance, and both seem interested in her romantically. As Penny uncovers their hidden layers, she discovers when it comes to love and matters of the heart, she’s got a lot to learn about estimating value.

TO PURCHASE A COPY--
Pre-Order the Book on Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan L. Tuttle lives in the Mitten State where she’s a homeschooling mom of three and happily married to her best friend. Between raising her teens and leading the women’s ministry at church, she finds time to write. She’s firmly convinced that letters were meant for words, not math, and loves stringing them together into stories that inspire and encourage. Romance, laughter, and cookies are three of her favorite things, though not always in that order. Connect with Susan at www.susanltuttle.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) Winner will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally), courtesy of the author.

Giveaway will begin at midnight August 20, 2018 and last through 11:59 PM EST on August 27, 2018. Winner will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.  Open to US mailing addresses only.  For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

Be sure to stop at a stop each day for extra entries!

TOUR SCHEDULE

For the full tour schedule, click on either of the launch pages below.
(All stops expected to post by 12:00 NOON EST)
Launch Post @JustReadTours
Launch Post @JustCommonly

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
COMING UP SOON ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC':
--  Wednesday, August 22nd:  Blog Tour Stop for 'Mourning Dove'. Post includes a book spotlight, excerpt, and giveaway. Tour organized by JustRead Publicity.
--  Thursday, August 23rd:  Book Blast for an inspirational/Christian poetry book, 'The Works of Christ'. Post includes a book spotlight and excerpt. Book Blast organized by Write Now Literary Tours.
--  Friday, August 24th:  Blog Tour Stop for 'Amish Homespun' book spotlight and excerpt. Blog Tour organized by Read with Audra Publicity.
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Sunday, August 19, 2018

~ MMGM RETRO FICTION BEVERLY CLEARY ~

~ Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday
Retro Fiction Feature ~
--  'BEEZUS AND RAMONA' &
'RAMONA THE PEST'  --
AUTHOR BEVERLY CLEARY
Post Includes:  Book Spotlights, Author Bio &
My Thoughts




ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from Goodreads}:


Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. Her characters are normal children facing challenges that many of us face growing up, and her stories are liberally laced with humour. Some of her best known and loved characters are Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus"), Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.

Beverly Cleary was born Beverly Atlee Bunn in McMinnville, Oregon. When she was 6, her family moved to Portland, Oregon, where she went to grammar and high school. She was slow in learning to read, due partly to her dissatisfaction with the books she was required to read and partly to an unpleasant first grade teacher. It wasn't until she was in third grade that she found enjoyment from books, when she started reading The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins. Thereafter, she was a frequent visitor to the library, though she rarely found the books she most wanted to read — those about children like herself.

She moved to California to attend the University of California, Berkeley, and after graduation with a B.A in English in 1938, studied at the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned a degree in librarianship in 1939. Her first job was as a librarian in Yakima, Washington, where she met many children who were searching for the same books that she had always hoped to find as a child herself. In response, she wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, which was published in 1950. Beezus and Ramona, Cleary's first novel to feature the Quimby sisters as the central focus of the story, was published in 1955, although Beezus and Ramona made frequent appearances in the Henry Huggins series as supporting characters.

In 1940 she married Clarence T. Cleary and they moved to Oakland, California. The Clearys became parents to a set of twins, Marianne Elisabeth and Malcolm James, in 1955. Clarence Cleary died in 2004. Beverly Cleary currently lives in Carmel, California.

She has also written two autobiographies, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet.

ABOUT THE BOOKS {from Goodreads}:



Ramona Quimby is the youngest of all the famous characters in Mrs. Cleary's wonderful Henry Huggins stories. She is also far and away the most deadly. Readers of the earlier books will remember that Ramona has always been a menace to Beezus, her older sister, to Henry, and to his dog Ribsy. It is not that Ramona deliberately sets out to make trouble for other people. She simply has more imagination than is healthy for any one person.

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This is the second title in the hugely popular series about Ramona Quimby. Ramona doesn't think she's a pest - she knows that she isn't a pest on purpose. So how in the world does Ramona get in trouble? Why does Davy run away whenever Ramona comes near him? And how does she manage to disrupt the whole kindergarten class during their rest time? Beverly Cleary is one of America's most popular authors and has won many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.

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MY THOUGHTS:
I adored Beverly Cleary's books as a middle-grade student. I remember one of my favorite teachers reading each of these two books to us after lunch. She also read many other good books such as 'The Boxcar Children' and 'My Side of the Mountain'. We were expected to read on our own, but the daily time she set aside to read aloud to the entire class was treasured by me.

As a teacher, I read to my students after lunchtime each day, every day of the school year. When I taught fourth grade I read 'My Side of the Mountain' to my class and was thrilled when they experienced the same sense of wonder I had experienced when my teacher read the book aloud. When I taught first grade, I began the school year by reading picture books each day. As the students matured and their attention spans lengthened, I gradually changed up the stories to chapter books and non-fiction picture books. 

Without fail, every school year, I began finding favorite books on my desk with little notes stuck inside saying, "Please read this to us again, Mrs. Jacobs!" or "We love this story. Read it again, please!"

People, including other teachers, used to ask me why I was reading aloud to ten-year-olds when they were capable of reading to themselves. How do you impress upon someone that there is just something magical about an adult or older student/sibling reading aloud to a child? The listener is carried away into a different time and place. Cares about peer pressure and being cool are long forgotten, instead those concerns are replaced with enjoyment and engagement with the characters and the events in the story.

I recently reread the above two 'Ramona Quimby'  books in preparation for this Retro Fiction feature. I must say that with the exception of Christian Wild West Romance author Mary Connealy's books and Amish fiction author Jennifer Beckstrand's books, I have not laughed more or louder in the past few years or so than I did while reading about Ramona's antics.

Ramona is a headstrong, imaginative, curious little sister who loves to be in control of every situation in which she is involved. Family life at the Quimby's home revolves around making Ramona happy-- because if the family doesn't, she revolts and causes misery for her parents and big sister, Beezus. In Kindergarten {'Ramona the Pest'}, Ramona wants to be her teacher's favorite. She yearns to be the student her teacher feels has hung the moon and the stars in the sky.

I found the characterizations of children in the books to be age-appropriate and accurate with the time period in which the books were written, 1955 for 'Beezus and Ramona' and 1968 for 'Ramona the Pest'. A majority of American mothers stayed at home to take care of the house and children while father spent his days away at his job. Children as young as Kindergarten were allowed to walk to school alone. Teachers were considered to be the authority and were respected by students and their parents.

The singular element which makes these stories stand up to the test of time is the author. Plain and simple--Beverly Cleary understood children. She was a master at humor, physical comedy, and kids' feelings about themselves and the world around them. She got the fact that sometimes it's all right for a child to be the center of attention--when she/he wants it. Mrs. Cleary also understood the fact that there are times when it is not appropriate for a child to be the center of attention because of a child's embarrassment, shyness, fear, etc.

I will close with another personal story. I went to school in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area; Mrs. Cleary lived nearby in the Oakland/Berkeley area at that time. After our teacher had read these two books aloud to us, she told us that this author loved receiving letters from children and that Mrs. Cleary had the reputation for personally responding to letters from her readers. 

So each of us wrote a letter to Mrs. Beverly Cleary. Several weeks later our class received a letter from Mrs. Cleary. She apologized for not having the time to write individual replies to each student, but she wrote a letter of thanks to our entire class. Hearing back from this woman meant the world our entire class. Just another reason I consider this author to be in a class of her own. 

Oh, and did you notice that Mrs. Cleary turned one-hundred two years old this past April?

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COMING UP SOON ON 'READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC':
--  Wednesday, August 22nd:  Blog Tour Stop for 'Mourning Dove'. Post includes a book spotlight, excerpt, and giveaway. Tour organized by JustRead Publicity.
 
--  Thursday, August 23rd:  Book Blast for an inspirational/Christian poetry book, 'The Works of Christ'. Post includes a book spotlight and excerpt. Book Blast organized by Write Now Literary Tours.
 
--  Friday, August 24th:  Blog Tour Stop for 'Amish Homespun' book spotlight and excerpt. Blog Tour organized by Read with Audra Publicity.
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~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE MONDAY ACTION & ADVENTURE FEATURE ~ --  'IGGY & OZ:  THE PLASTIC DINOS OF DOOM'  -- AUTH...