Monday, January 28, 2019

~ BLOG TOUR STOP ABIGAIL ~

~ BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'ABIGAIL'  --
Author Jess Heileman
~Post Includes: Book Spotlight, Author Bio,
Excerpt & New Giveaway~ 
 
    

ABOUT THE BOOK:

For Abigail Blakeslee, becoming a debutante and entering Society is happening far too quickly. But now, foregoing her first Season has brought an unwanted invitation to join her aunt and cousins for a summer at Timpton House, the large estate of the Stanton family. Reluctantly accepting, Abigail is thrust into the vexing world of social propriety and match making. More vexing still is her cousin’s suitor, the young Timpton heir—Edwin Stanton. Moody and distant at times, remarkably endearing at others, Edwin seems a puzzle she can never solve, but can never quite put away. But then, Abigail has her own secret to hide–her own mystery to conceal. Perhaps such puzzles are better left unsolved, or perhaps love can find a solution.    

Praise for Abigail:   

 I eagerly look forward to more books by this debut author. If you enjoyed Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, then this is just the book for you. ~Deanna   

 I love a delicious story full of conflicting personalities, hidden secrets, and a budding romance, and this one is just that. I'm quite surprised that Heileman is a debut author, as I found this to be a very entertaining and engaging story. My emotions and attention were held hostage for several hours and I'm looking forward to more stories by this author! ~Katie   

I love how this story unfolded. Insight came little by little as I came to know the characters more and more. It was perfect. By the end, I really felt like a movie had just played out in my mind and in my heart. The build-up to the romantic, sigh-worthy ending was fantastic. I'm sighing just thinking about it! ~Aimee  

This is Jess Heileman's first novel, and I am excited for her to write more! Edwin and Abigail were easy to love and cheer for, and there was a host of secondary characters who were also fun to get to know! ~Alisa   

Abigail sucked me in from the first page and I had a hard time putting it down. A sweet Regency romance with all the back and forth love vs duty inherent in this type of book- which helps make them one of my favorite! The characters are well developed and believable. ~Cheryl-Lynn   

EXCERPT: 

After walking through the billiard room, we exited to a sizable corridor with wood archways. “This is where my father’s study is,” Diana said, pausing to knock on a large door. “Should we disturb him in his work?” I whispered. “My father is out today,” she said with a smile. “But Edwin should be here.” The door opened, and Edwin stood glancing tentatively between us. “She hasn’t received a tour yet,” Diana said, answering his unspoken question. “You will show us the study?” Somehow, her request sounded more like a demand. He opened the door wider. “You may come in, though I’m obliged to mention I have an appointment shortly.” Diana sent him a pout. “What dreadful timing. Had I remembered we would have ventured here sooner. Oh well, Edwin, do take over for me until your appointment arrives. I am dreadfully tired from all this walking.” “It’s a study, Diana,” Edwin said with a raise of his brow. “There is little here of interest.” “Perhaps give her a tour of the library then, we hadn’t made it that far yet.” They stared at each other in a silent battle of wills. I shifted awkwardly, deliberating how long it would last, when Edwin finally conceded. “Would you care to see the library, Miss Blakeslee?” I glanced at Diana who nodded her head in encouragement. I’d said I’d have no part in her scheming, but I was now confident whatever her goal was in bringing Edwin and me together, it wouldn’t work. He saw me as a child, a little sister much like herself—though less demanding, I was sure. “Of course,” I said, and he opened the adjoining door that led into the next room, gesturing me inside. The library was filled with books, and it reminded me of the one at Easton Manor with overstuffed shelves, large windows, and numerous seats for reading. I grabbed a thin book off a nearby shelf and held it in my hand. I traced my finger over the title, The Tempest. It had been sometime since I’d picked up a book. Mother taught me to read and had given me the joy of new worlds and unforgettable stories. I’d spent countless afternoons tucked in a chair in our library, unable to stop reading; but when Mother died, I found little delight in anything, including the things she’d taught me to love. “Have you read it?” Edwin asked, peering over my shoulder. “Of course,” I answered, placing it back on the shelf. “And I presume you enjoyed it?” “Very much. I admit I am easily satisfied by a happy ending.” I kept my eyes searching the books, having little desire to receive the look of censure awaiting me. “The Shakespeare writings I enjoy most are those that end well—Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew—the ones where love is victorious.” “A common ideal among ladies, I believe, and the reason his comedies are so popular.” I turned toward him. “Life has enough of tragedy and grief, is there something wrong with finding satisfaction in love and happy endings?” “There is,” he said. “The harm is believing in something that isn’t real, Miss Blakeslee.” He stepped closer, and my feet faltered. “Love only brings misery. To think otherwise is foolish. You just declared life is full of tragedy—” “And that is why love is needed!” “And that is what love causes.” Neither of us moved and I could feel his warm breath on me. It was only then I realized how close we stood, my neck craning to look up at him, but I had no desire to move away. “You do not understand love then,” I whispered. The resentment in his gaze caught me by surprise. “And you do?” “Love has saved me.” His eyes searched mine. “The love I know has the power to lift and to heal, to see past weakness and turn it to strength.” “Love is fickle and will fail you.” “Never.” I said, shaking my head as tears stung my vision. “I do not know what counterfeit you describe but the love I have found is faithful and unconditional.” He said nothing, and his eyes drifted from mine in contemplation. After taking a deep breath he looked down at me again. He wore the stern expression I knew so well and took a step back. “I hope you are correct in your judgment,” he said with a brisk nod. As he turned from me, I wanted to call out to him, but I was too confused to contrive a response. I followed him to the study in a daze. Edwin positioned himself near the desk with his eyes cast to the floor as Diana glanced between us bewildered. “How is it you’ve found something to quarrel about already? You were in there less than five minutes. Perhaps I should take on the role of mediator instead of chaperon for the two of you.” Neither Edwin nor I smiled. “This will not do. What was the disagreement this time?” “There was not a disagreement,” Edwin said. “Well, at least that is not what caused the discontent.” Curious what the cause had been I glanced in his direction, anxious for him to finish. A knock interrupted his revelation. Diana shot to her feet and reached out her arm toward me. “We will go out the library.” Edwin blocked our retreat. “You are fine to leave out the study door.” He shifted his gaze at the repeated knock. “Come in.” The butler opened the door, his eyes gliding over Diana and me. “The Slytons are here to see you, Mr. Stanton.” “Show them in.” The Slytons? I was familiar with the name, but surely they were not the same as I had known. My heart picked up pace regardless of what I told myself. The door opened again, and a tall, wiry lady accompanied by a shorter, burly man stepped through the door. They were older and somehow uglier, but it was them. My knees nearly gave out, and I tightened my hold on Diana’s arm for support. “Mr. and Mrs. Slyton, I am pleased you finally agreed to make the trip to Timpton. This is my sister, Mrs. Ellis, and our friend, Miss Abigail Blakeslee.” Mrs. Slyton nodded in our direction but abruptly turned her attention back to Edwin. “With such a gracious offer, how could we resist?” Her scratchy voice brought a slew of memories that made my body tremble. I cautiously turned to find Mr. Slyton inspecting me through squinted eyes. Did he recognize me? I hadn’t seen him since I was a little girl, and I hoped the years had done their job adequately enough to disguise me. I lifted my chin, attempting to appear unaffected by his presence and was relieved when Mr. Slyton turned toward Diana, appraising her with the same disgusting grimace he’d given me. I looked to Edwin and found him returning my gaze, a peculiar expression on his features. Edwin moved to my side and placed a firm hand around my waist, guiding me to the door. My ears were ringing, and I was confident he said something to me, but I couldn’t be sure. As we walked from the study, his touch retracted, and Diana took his place, directing me back down the corridor. I was uncertain where I was being led and soon found myself seated in a distantly familiar room. “Bring refreshment at once!” Diana’s voice echoed through my mind. My head was spinning, and I rested it against the chair as my vision faded into blackness.  
   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

In kindergarten, Jess won a first prize ribbon for her original creation Pigs in Wigs. It was a solid storyline: there was this pig that wore a wig–and it rhymed. Not impressed? Neither were her children when shown the very masterpiece that influenced her to become an author. “You won a ribbon for that?” Yes. Yes, she did. Thankfully, life has since exposed her to a thorough education with its share of awards and accolades–and, more importantly, to the trials and human experiences that form the heart of a storyteller and the substance of great stories. Besides her love of writing, Jess is an avid reader, shameless people observer, international café loiterer, and partially retired photographer. She loves being a mother to five amazing humans and a wife to the greatest man she knows. 


     

Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/22/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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, 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 Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

~ MMGM JACKIE ROBINSON'S CENTENNIAL BIRTHDAY ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY ~
--A POST HONORING THE 
100th ANNIVERSARY OF
THE BIRTH OF
JACK ROOSEVELT ROBINSON--
--  'JACKIE ROBINSON:  AMERICAN HERO'  --
AUTHOR SHARON ROBINSON





ABOUT THE BOOK {FROM GOODREADS}:
To tie- in with the April 2013 release of the movie 42, the life story of Jackie Robinson, this full-color comprehensive biography will feature everything there is to know about this inspiring American hero. The movie, featuring high-profile actors such as Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, and T.R. Knight, explores Robinson's history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey. The biography will explore what led up to Robinson's signing and what happened after. As the first black man to play major league baseball, his progress monumentally influenced the desegregation of baseball. Because of this, Robinson became an icon for not only the sport of baseball, but also for the civil -rights movement. Featuring photos throughout, this biography will be a sports tale and a history lesson. It will coincide with the movie and also provide many more Robinson details, introducing him to a new generation of readers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR {FROM SCHOLASTIC'S WEBSITE}:

Sharon Robinson has captivated readers with her memoir Stealing Home (Harper Collins Publishers, 1996), her recounting of growing up in the public eye, and Jackie's Nine (Scholastic, 2001), a book for young readers about the nine heartfelt, hard-won values that helped her father, Jackie Robinson, achieve his goals. Her photographic biography for children, Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America (Scholastic February 2004) received rave reviews. Her fiction novels include Safe At Home (Scholastic, 2006) and Slam Dunk! (Scholastic, 2007). Her first picture book, Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson (Scholastic, 2009) honors her extraordinary father's memory with her warm, graceful storytelling and illustrations by two-time Caldecott Honor Book artist, Kadir Nelson.

In addition to her writing career, Ms. Robinson is an educational consultant for Major League Baseball. In this capacity, she oversees school and community-based educational programs. Breaking Barriers, In Sports, In Life is the department's core program; it is a national character education program designed to empower students with strategies to help them face obstacles in their lives. The message is delivered by examining the values demonstrated in the lives of Jackie Robinson and many of today's baseball stars; since its inception in 1997, the program has reached over fourteen million children across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Prior to joining Major League Baseball, Ms. Robinson had a 20-year career as a nurse-midwife and educator. She taught at such prestigious universities as Yale, Columbia, Howard and Georgetown. In addition to her work in midwifery, she directed the PUSH for Excellence program founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson from 1985 to 1990 and was a fund-raiser for The United Negro College Fund and A Better Chance.

Ms. Robinson is Vice Chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and serves on the boards for the Roberto Clemente Sports City Complex in Carolina, PR, Metropolitan Opera, Urban America, and Omnicom Diversity Committee.

Sharon Robinson received her Bachelor's degree from Howard University in 1973 and her Master's degree from Columbia University in 1976. She went on to receive a post-Master's Certificate in Teaching from the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Robinson has honorary degrees from Medaille College (1998), Dowling College (2004), and Monmouth College (2005).

She lives in Apollo Beach, FL.

MY THOUGHTS:

I have loved baseball since I was a girl. I am interested in history of all kinds -- including the history of baseball. This interest led me to attend a presentation in honor of the 50th anniversary of the date when Dodger Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. {His first official game playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers was April 15, 1947.}

The presentation at a local university included speeches by one of Jackie's friends and teammates, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe, and prize-winning author, Roger Kahn {Boys of Summer}. The evening was interesting and educational from an historical perspective, but I also enjoyed hearing these men talk about Jackie Robinson as a friend and individual. They shared many anecdotes which the small audience obviously appreciated.

Last year I watched the Ken Burns's PBS production of 'American Experience: Jackie Robinson'. Official Website for American Experience Jackie Robinson

I learned that this American icon was born on January 31, 1919, in a small cabin near Cairo, Georgia. Right then I promised myself I would post a Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday feature on the Monday closest to this centennial anniversary.

This book, written by Jackie's daughter, Sharon Robinson, is geared toward middle-grade students. The book is formatted into nine chapters highlighting different eras and facets of Jackie's life. A lot of black and white and color photographs are included in the book. Back matter includes a Glossary and Author Q & A.

In the Author Q & A, Sharon Robinson shares her father's motto:

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on others."

The Introduction in this book relates the story of how Jackie Robinson stole home in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series against the New York Yankees. It was a controversial play, but the author writes " . . . it illustrates Jackie's determination to win."

Two personal facts which caught my eye were that Jackie's father, Jerry Robinson, left the family when Jackie was only six months old. Second, Jackie's maternal grandparents had been enslaved and later became landowners of their own farm.

Jackie Robinson was a gifted athlete from the time he was a child. In high school he was the quarterback for his school's football team, top shooter in basketball, broad jumper in track, and tennis champion.

At Pasadena Junior College he successfully played baseball, track, and football. In February, 1939, he transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA, where he became the first athlete to letter in four sports in the same season--track, baseball, football, and basketball.

The narrative follows Jackie's military service, baseball career, family life, and work in politics and the civil rights movement. He wrote books and columns, worked in television and radio, raised funds for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People {NAACP} for their civil rights activities.

The author states that one of Jackie Robinson's biggest achievements was his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He asked those who would be voting on the induction ballot to judge him on his career baseball statistics and not on the fact he broke the color barrier.

His plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame now reads:

"Displayed tremendous courage and poise in 1947 when he integrated the modern major leagues in the face of intense adversity."

In 1997, Major League Baseball named April 15th Jackie Robinson Day and also retired his number 42 throughout every team in the league.

After he retired from baseball in 1957, Jackie Robinson was diagnosed with diabetes. He died at age fifty-three of a heart attack, but his legacy lives on through the Jackie Robinson Foundation which provides scholarships and leadership development to thousands of American youth.
 

This book was inspiring and moving. 

Highly-recommended for middle-graders, tweens, teens, and adults who are interested in famous Americans, baseball history, leadership, African American history, and civil rights.

I borrowed this book from biography shelf in the children's section of the local public library.



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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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Friday, January 25, 2019

~ WITH THIS PLEDGE BLOG TOUR ~

~ BLOG TOUR STOP ~
--  'WITH THIS PLEDGE'  --
AUTHOR TAMERA ALEXANDER
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author Bio,
Unique Guest Post by the Author & Giveaway~
Banner_WithThisPledge_BlogJR

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander, the first full novel of the Carnton series, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

9780718081836 Title: With This Pledge
Series: Carnton, Book 1  
Author: Tamera Alexander  
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: January 8, 2019  
Genre: Historical Romance  

History takes on vivid life in the stunning first full-length installment of USA TODAY bestselling Tamera Alexander’s new series, The Carnton Novels.  

What can a woman—a mere governess—do against the scourge of slavery?

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston’s quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause—but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home where she is governess is converted into a Confederate field hospital, and Lizzie is called upon to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death. Faced with the unimaginable, she must summon fortitude, even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiancé and lifelong friend.

As a young soldier lies dying in Lizzie’s arms, she vows to relay his final words to his mother, but knows little more than the boy’s first name. That same night, decorated Mississippi sharpshooter Captain Roland Ward Jones extracts a different promise from Lizzie: that she intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate his leg.

Lizzie is nothing if not a woman of her word, earning the soldiers’ respect as she tends to the wounded within Carnton’s walls. None is more admiring than Captain Jones, who doesn’t realize she is pledged to another. But as Lizzie’s heart softens toward the Confederate captain, she discovers that his moral ground is at odds with her own. Now torn between love, principles, and promises made, she struggles to be true to her heart while standing for what she knows is right—no matter the cost.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

EXCERPT

Click HERE for an exclusive excerpt!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

alexandert

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal's top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tamera’s two USA Today bestselling Southern series.  

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

****SPECIAL FEATURE -- GUEST POST BY THE AUTHOR:

SIX  BEHIND-THE-SCENES FACTS ABOUT THIS BOOK:


1.)  Captain Roland Ward Jones and Elizabeth ("Lizzie") Clouston, the two main characters in With This Pledge, are people who really lived. And With This Pledge is their love story.

2.)   The Battle of Franklin is a real battle that took place in the final days of the Civil War—on November 30, 1864 in the small town (at the time) of Franklin, Tennessee, some 20 miles south of Nashville.

3.)  Tempy, a secondary character in With This Pledge and Christmas at Carnton—and the McGavock’s cook and house slave—is based on the real woman who served in the McGavock household the majority of her life.

4.)  Nearly 10,000 men were either killed, wounded or captured during the five-hour Battle of Franklin.

5.)  All of the letters in the novel (with two exceptions noted in the Author’s Note) are real letters (and love letters) from people who truly lived.

6.)  The recipes in the back of the novel are all wonderful, tried-and-true Southern recipes just waiting for you to try!

Learn more about what’s truth and what’s fiction in With This Pledge, a Carnton Novel on Tamera’s Website—www.TameraAlexander.com



TOUR GIVEAWAY

giveaway_withthispledge_jr

(1) winner will win a release copy of With This Pledge + $10 Amazon Gift Card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 14, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm January 28, 2019. US only for a print copy of the book. International winners will receive an ebook. Gift card prize will be issued as an e-gift card. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks 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 at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

~ WHO I AM WITH YOU BLOG TOUR ~

~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
BLOG TOUR STOP FOR:
--  'WHO I AM WITH YOU'  --
AUTHOR ROBIN LEE HATCHER
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author
Bio, Excerpt & Giveaway~


ABOUT THE BOOK:

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

 
Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have broken their hearts, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am with You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

Who I Am with You is the first book in Robin’s new “A Legacy of Faith” series.



EXCERPT:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

GIVEAWAY:  


{Note: This giveaway ends at 11:59PM ET tonight, Friday the 25th of January, so don't delay!}


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

~ RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY ABIGAIL ~

~ RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY ~
--  'ABIGAIL'  --
Author Jess Heileman
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author
Bio, Excerpt & Giveaway~

  

ABOUT THE BOOK: 
 
“A beautiful coming-of-age story with just enough romantic tension to keep you reading late into the night.” 

Since the death of her mother, Abigail Blakeslee has lost all desire to become a debutante and enter Society. But now, foregoing her first Season has brought an unwanted invitation to join her aunt and cousins for a summer at Timpton House, the large estate of the Stanton family. Reluctantly accepting, Abigail is thrust into the vexing world of social propriety and matchmaking she had hoped to avoid. More vexing still is her cousin’s suitor, the young Timpton heir—Edwin Stanton. Moody and distant at times, remarkably endearing at others, Edwin seems a puzzle she can never solve, but can never quite put away. Bet then, Abigail has her own secret to hide—her own mystery to conceal. Perhaps such puzzles are better left unsolved, or perhaps love can find a solution.
   
   

EXCERPT: 

The library was filled with books, and it reminded me of the one at Easton Manor with overstuffed shelves, large windows, and numerous seats for reading. I grabbed a thin book off a nearby shelf and held it in my hand. I traced my finger over the title, The Tempest. It had been sometime since I’d picked up a book. Mother taught me to read and had given me the joy of new worlds and unforgettable stories. I’d spent countless afternoons tucked in a chair in our library, unable to stop reading; but when Mother died, I found little delight in anything, including the things she’d taught me to love. 

“Have you read it?” Edwin asked peering over my shoulder. 

“Of course!” I answered placing it back on the shelf. 

 “And I presume you enjoyed it?” 

“Very much. I admit I am easily satisfied by a happy ending.” I kept my eyes searching the books, having little desire to receive the look of censure awaiting me. 

“The Shakespeare writings I enjoy most are those that end well—Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew—the ones where love is victorious.” 

 “A common ideal among ladies, I believe, and the reason his comedies are so popular.” 

I turned towards him, “Life has enough of tragedy and grief, is there something wrong with finding satisfaction in love and happy endings?” 

 “There is,” he said. “The harm is believing in something that isn’t real, Miss Blakeslee.” He stepped closer, and my feet faltered. “Love only brings misery. To think otherwise is foolish. You just declared life is full of tragedy—” 

“And that is why love is needed!” 

“And that is what love causes!” 

Neither of us moved and I could feel his warm breath on me. It was only then I realized how close we stood, my neck craning to look up at him, but I had no desire to move away. 

“You do not understand love then,” I whispered. The resentment in his gaze caught me by surprise.

“And you do?” 

“Yes! Love has saved me.” His eyes searched mine, “The love I know has the power to lift and to heal, to see past weakness and turn it to strength.” 

“Love is fickle and will fail you.” 

“Never.” I said shaking my head as tears stung my vision. “I do not know what counterfeit you describe but the love I have found is faithful and unconditional.” 

He said nothing and after a moment his eyes drifted from mine in contemplation. After taking a deep breath he looked down at me again. He wore the stern expression I knew so well and took a step backward. “I hope you are correct in your judgment,” he said with a brisk nod. “Thank you for telling me.” As he turned from me I wanted to call out to him, but I was too confused to contrive a response. I followed him to the study in a daze. Edwin positioned himself near the desk with his eyes cast to the floor as Diana glanced between us bewildered. 

“How is it you’ve found something to quarrel about already? You were in there less than five minutes! Perhaps I should take on the role of mediator instead of chaperon for the two of you.” 

Neither Edwin nor I smiled. “This will not do! What was the disagreement this time?” 

“There was not a disagreement,” Edwin said. “Well, at least that is not what caused the discontent.”

   

PRAISE FOR ABIGAIL:   

I loved reading Abigail! The writing was witty and descriptive, providing a beautiful, vivid, and deep world to visit in my mind as I read. The characters were real and relatable, causing me to suffer or swoon as occasion permitted. A perfectly clean, charming yet profound, wonderful novel! – Kim, AZ

 Abigail is one of those stories that sweeps you into another world and won’t let you put it down. It’s a beautiful unlikely love story that you’ve never heard before. The storyline is enchanting, and you will easily see part of yourself in Abigail’s character as she explores the world beyond the walls of her precious Easton Manor. – Wendy, NV 

Most definitely a book that keeps you reading, even past your bedtime. Helps you forget about all your responsibilities in life until the last word, on the last page. – Larissa, UT    

I loved Abigail! I couldn’t put it down and read into the night. Great plot and character development. I hope there’s more books to come! – Carrie, AZ   

 Abigail is an enchanting look into a historical time period full of tradition and social propriety. As Abigail struggles to fit into that society, she stands out for her willingness to be herself. I was quickly drawn into the story and a desire to follow Abigail through her adventure built quickly. The story does not disappoint. The visual images of places and events created in my mind were amazing. It was so engaging I couldn’t stop reading. – Kim, ID

    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In kindergarten, Jess won a first prize ribbon for her original creation Pigs in Wigs. It was a solid storyline: there was this pig that wore a wig--and it rhymed. Not impressed? Neither were her children when shown the very masterpiece that influenced her to become an author. "You won a ribbon for that?" Yes. Yes, she did. Thankfully, life has since exposed her to a thorough education with its share of awards and accolades--and, more importantly, to the trials and human experiences that form the heart of a storyteller and the substance of great stories. Besides her love of writing, Jess is an avid reader, shameless people observer, international café loiterer, and partially retired photographer. She loves being a mother to five amazing humans and a wife to the greatest man she knows.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/15/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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, 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 Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.    

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~ MMGM ENCORE POST FOR VETERANS DAY 2019 ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE MONDAY BIOGRAPHY FEATURE ~ --  'THE POPPY LADY:  MOINA BELLE MICHAEL AND HER TRIBUTE TO VETERANS'  -...