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Sunday, February 5, 2023

My Thoughts - The Master’s Inn Author: Deb Gorman

 

About the Book

Book: The Master’s Inn

Author: Deb Gorman

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: October 15, 2022

A novel of human brokenness and God’s still-unfolding drama of redemption.

When two dysfunctional and wounded families wind up unexpectedly at the remote Master’s Inn during a December snowstorm, it’s up to owners Tom and Barb Masters to help—except they’re dealing with their own bitter issues. As the winter snowfall confines them, the three families find themselves coping with their crippled relationships and hard emotions . . . and sometimes tearing one another down in the process.

But when a secret is inadvertently revealed and a rebellious teenage girl takes off into the storm, chaos descends. Will they be tossed into more heartbreak, or will the crisis draw them together against a common enemy?

With a forest in Washington State as the backdrop, join the Masters’ at their B&B as they strive to show Christ’s love to all who cross their threshold . . . even when it threatens their own sanity and safety.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Deb Gorman, owner of Debo Publishing, was born and reared in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She still lives in her hometown with her husband, Alan, and their very smart German Shepherd, Hoka.

Deb is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, cleverly disguised as a wife, mom, grandmom, and author.

Her purpose is to connect with God’s most beautiful and clever creation, the human family, using the literary talent and imagination God gave her.

Her prayer is that as she journeys together with you, we will discover encouragement and redemption in our most important relationships.

Connect with Deb at https://debggorman.com where you will find her blog posts and information about her books, both published and forthcoming.

 

More from Deb

One Sunday morning in 2012, I listened to our pastor give one of his excellent sermons.

I don’t remember what he said to spark this idea, but I grabbed my church bulletin and began scribbling furiously. By the time the service ended I had a rough outline, character sketches, and the opening scene written. And the title—The Master’s Inn. Some details, of course, changed over the years, but the title stayed the same.

The Master’s Inn was first birthed as a ninety minute play, which my church produced over one weekend in December of 2013. I wrote the play and directed it. I had an excellent cast of characters, plenty of folks lending a hand from technical details to the dinner we hosted for our guests. It was truly a team effort.

The Master’s Inn play was the first serious effort I’d ever made at writing. After it’s success, I began thinking about writing a book. Now, ten years later, I’ve written three creative non-fiction, devotional-style books and contributed to a Chicken Soup for the Soul volume.

During the process of publishing those first three books, the characters from The Master’s Inn pestered me day and night to put them in a novel. Who was I to argue?

And so, those characters got what they wanted. They are no longer confined to ninety minutes and one weekend of publicity. They’re now out there for the whole world to see.

The Master’s Inn is a novel of human brokenness and God’s still-unfolding drama of redemption . . .

When two dysfunctional and wounded families wind up unexpectedly at the remote Master’s Inn during a December snowstorm, it’s up to owners Tom and Barb Masters to help—except they’re dealing with their bitter issues. As the winter snowfall confines them, the three families find themselves coping with their crippled relationships and hard emotions . . . and sometimes tearing one another down in the process.

But when a secret is inadvertently revealed and a rebellious teenage girl takes off into the storm, chaos descends. Will they be tossed into more heartbreak, or will the crisis draw them together against a common enemy?

With a forest in Washington State as the backdrop, join the Masters at their B&B as they strive to show Christ’s love to all who cross their threshold—even when it threatens their own sanity and safety.


My Thoughts

The Master’s Inn is a Christian Fiction that is written by  Deb Gorman. This is the first book that I have read by this author and it will not be the last. The book is well written and the characters are well developed. The author does a great job with her descriptions to ensure that you feel like you are standing there watching everything unfold. 

Barb and Tom Masters are the owners of Master’s Inn. They have some issues that have been brewing and when the snow starts falling, they don’t expect any guests. Then a family that was stranded in the snow shows up. They find themselves with a house full of guests, yet they do not have electricity. 

One of the things that I love that the author did was bring some issues that readers may face to the forefront. These topics include: death, PTSD, and adoption. The way she handled these topics is with grace and tact. 

I enjoyed this story - I loved all the characters and the storyline. Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27

Blogging With Carol, January 27

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 28

Bizwings Blog, January 29

Texas Book-aholic, January 30

deb’s Book Review, January 31

Cover Lover Book Review, February 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 3

Pause for Tales, February 4

Dee S. Writes, February 4

Spoken from the Heart, February 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 8 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, February 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Deb is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/23cca/the-master-s-inn-celebration-tour-giveaway

My Thoughts -Two Floors Above Grief: A Memoir of Two Families in the Unique Place We Called Home by Kevin M. O'Connor

 






Book Details:

​Book Title:  Two Floors Above Grief: A Memoir of Two Families in the Unique Place We Called Home by Kevin M. O'Connor
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  318 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Publisher:  18th Floor Publishing
Release date:  November  2022
Formats Available for Review: print-softback (USA only), ebook (Gifted Kindle)
Tour dates: Feb 6 to Feb 24, 2023
Content Rating:  PG for two languages use and use of F-word.   
Book Description:

As a child in the 1950s, Kevin O’Connor knew his house was different than those of his friends. A stately, three-story, nineteenth century Victorian. His bed tucked next to a stage in a former ballroom. His uncle and aunt lived with their three daughters on the floor below. A large electric organ stood stately in a corner of the first-floor mortuary business. Stacked caskets and an embalming room filled the basement.

Nobody had a house like his.

​Set from the 1920s to ‘80s, Two Floors Above Grief is full of fascinating details and anecdotes about his upbringing as a funeral home child, brought to vivid life through a compelling collection of letters written by various family members who lived and worked together at the O’Connor Funeral Home in Elgin, Illinois. Blending the twenty-four-hour business of death and its constantly ringing phone with joy experienced through music, radios, pets, backyard basketball games, co-parenting, faith, and celebrations, O’Connor offers a reflective tale affirming the love of family and embracing life.

Author Kevin O'Connor
Meet the Author:

Kevin O’Connor enjoys chronicling the stories of families and friends through tracing genealogical histories and writing. His prior writing includes a dissertation, personal letters, articles, anthologies, and presentations delivered at conferences, seminars, and webinars. He brings people together personally and professionally. Collaborating with friends and relatives, he plans family and class reunions.

He sings and performs in theaters and is active with SMART Ride, a bicycling group that rides annually from Miami to Key West, raising funds for HIV awareness, treatment, and education. Kevin was an elementary teacher, principal, professor, and curriculum coordinator in California, Illinois, and Florida from 1973 to 2020. He authored content and provided training in areas including support for substitute teachers, LGBTQ advocacy, and Sexual Health/Family Life.

Kevin resides in Ft. Lauderdale with his husband, Leon. Their family includes five sons and seven granddaughters.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ instagram linkedin ~ goodreads 
More from the Author
My Father Taught Me about Miscarriages
I first learned about miscarriages from a story on Dr. Kildare, one of two medical shows
that premiered in the 1961–62 television season. At twelve years old, I recall watching an
episode titled “Solomon’s Choice.” Afterward, I spoke to Dad.
“I just watched Dr. Kildare. The show talked about a lady who could not get pregnant.”
“Tell me more about the story you watched,” he encouraged.
“They mentioned a word. ‘Miscarriage.’ I am not sure what that is.”
“The story about the woman who was unable to get pregnant is what happened to Mom
and me. Do you know why there are nine years between you and your brother Barrett and only a
little more than a year’s time between your birth and your brother Kerry’s?”
“No.”
“After Barrett was born, we wanted to have more children. Do you know what happened
between Mom and me before you, Kerry and Barrett were born?”
“I am not sure.”
Dad went on to explain the functions of the male and female bodies and the physical
nature of how conception occurs. As a Catholic parochial student, I had no instruction in these
topics. Fortunately, my father was not hesitant to talk to me about miscarriages.
“We wanted to have a brother or sister for Barrett. Some married couples have
intercourse because they want to experience pleasure. Some couples have intercourse because
they want to have children. I mentioned women’s monthly cycles to you and why mom has
Kotex in the bathroom cabinet. When a woman has what is called a ‘flow’ every twenty-eight
days, blood-like fluid flows in the Kotex pad. This flow is called a ‘period.’ When there was no
flow around the date Mom expected, it meant she might be pregnant. She went to our doctor. He
examined her and confirmed she was pregnant. We were so happy. This was the same feeling we
had when we realized mom was pregnant with Barrett. ”

“In January or February of 1942, Mom started feeling sick. This went on for a couple of
days. One day, mom noticed bloody fluid coming from the area of her vagina, the word I used a
little bit ago.”
“Did it hurt?”
“I think Mom might say she felt uncomfortable. When she went to her doctor. He told her
she had a miscarriage.”
            “What does that mean?”
“It means the baby could not stay in the uterus in Mom’s body. When the baby is in the
uterus, it’s called a fetus. The fetus released itself from Mom’s body. It’s called a miscarriage.”
“What happened?”
“The doctor advised Mom to stay in the hospital for two nights. He told us to keep
trying.”
“Huh?”
“Keep trying means a month or two after the miscarriage, we continue having intercourse
and hopefully get pregnant again.”
“So, what did you do?”
“Mom got pregnant again. I think sometime in 1943. She was pregnant for about five
months and started getting sick. She lost the baby.”
“She lost the baby?”
“Lost the baby is what people say when they have a miscarriage. Lost means the baby
you thought you were having dies in the womb or shortly after birth.
“What happened then?”
“We were nervous after this second miscarriage. The doctor told us to keep doing what
we should be doing. He knew Mom didn’t have a problem getting pregnant. He encouraged
Mom and me to keep trying. In 1945, Mom became pregnant. The third pregnancy lasted a few
months. But then it happened again—another miscarriage. Mom knew the symptoms.”
“What did you do? Were you scared?”

“Yes. Mom was scared each time it happened. Me, too. After that, Mom suffered two
more miscarriages.”
“Five miscarriages?”
“It was one of the hardest parts of your mom’s and my lives. We wanted to have a bigger
family. I felt a sick feeling, like a punch in my gut. It’s like the sadness I felt when my father and
mother died. We got excited each time we knew we were pregnant, but we did not share our joy
with very many people. It was like we needed to keep it a secret.”
“Why?”
“Each time a miscarriage occurred, we were filled with sadness.”
“What did you do?”
“I was sad with Mom. She kept thinking it was something she was doing wrong. I
reminded her I was there for her. I couldn’t feel what she was feeling in her body, but I felt it in
my heart. The doctors recommended Mom have surgery.”
“For what?”
“The surgery was inside of the uterus and the areas around the uterus. They hoped the
surgery would strengthen the muscles in her body.”
“What happened?”
“Mom did well with the surgery. The doctor said to try to get pregnant again after three to
four months. In the summer of 1949, the doctor confirmed she was pregnant. On Christmas Eve,
we hung a stork bird ornament on the Christmas tree. A stork is a symbol of a person who is
expecting a baby. When people came to the house to visit for the holiday, they either saw the
stork or we pointed it out to them. We told them Mom was pregnant. You came along about
three months later.”
“After I was born, what happened?”
“Everything was going so well. We decided to do what we needed to do to get pregnant
again. When you were about six months old, mom realized she was pregnant. The doctor told us

to do everything we did when she was pregnant with you. Your brother was born on June 17,
1951. Father’s Day. He was a special gift.”
The content of the conversation was a lot for a twelve-year-old to take in. Dad did not
bring up the topic again. Neither did I. After my conversation with Dad, I didn’t feel I needed to
know more. Interpreting my conversation with Dad affirmed he and Mom wanted to grow their
family. There has never been a time when my brothers and I were unwanted.

My Thoughts

Two Floors Above Grief: A Memoir of Two Families in the Unique Place We Called Home is written by Kevin M. O'Connor. I love books where I can learn about people, family and events in their lifetime. This is a well written memoir of two families that lived above a funeral home. I myself do not think that I could live above a funeral home. 


The author does a great job in recounting his lifetime. The main focus of his memoir is the 1950’s and 1960’s. I loved that he also focused on major historical events that happened during this time period. I really enjoyed getting to know the O’Connor family. The way the author writes about his family - I felt like I knew them deeply. 



The book is well written and informative. The author’s writing style flows nicely. Reading his work made me feel like I was sitting down with a friend for coffee. Thank you to the author, publisher and IRead Book tours - all thoughts are my own.



Tour Schedule:
Feb 6 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 6 - Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 7  Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 7 - 
Jazzy Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 8  Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 9 – I'm Into Books - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway 
Feb 10 – Novels Alive - book review / giveaway
Feb 13 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight  / guest post / giveaway
Feb 14 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Feb 15 – Diana’s Book Journal – book spotlight
Feb 16 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 17  Splashes of Joy – book spotlight  / giveaway
Feb 17 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 21  Celticlady's Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 22  Books for Books book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 23 – Books and Games – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 24 – Liese's Blog – book spotlight
Enter the Giveaway:




Saturday, February 4, 2023

My Thoughts - Silver Bounty Author: Victoria McCombs

 

About the Book

Book: Silver Bounty

Author: Victoria McCombs

Genre: YA Pirate Fantasy

Release date: January 10, 2023

Never Trust a Pirate

Emme is tasked with getting rid of the king, but kings are not an easy target, and this one is bent on purging his lands of pirates. As Emme’s job becomes increasingly dangerous, she learns to survive the pirate way—cunning and merciless—while consoling herself with one fact: she’s just doing what it takes to get home.

But when Emme mistakenly takes out the wrong man, not even the protective pirate captain can save her from the consequences. In a string of betrayals, one thing is certain. You can never trust a pirate.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Victoria McCombs is the author of The Storyteller’s Series, and The Royal Rose Chronicles, with hopefully many more to come. She survives on hazelnut coffee, 20-minute naps, and a healthy fear of her deadlines, all while raising three wildlings with her husband in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

More from Victoria

Pirates are more civilized than I gave them credit for. Did you know the captain didn’t have complete authority over the ship? While researching for the book, I discovered they used a voting system, and the captain followed what the crew wanted. Usually pirate stories depict a strong captain that makes all the decisions, so it was a fun twist to include more of the democracy style of the early pirates into my story. With that, came the fun power struggles as different crew members wanted different things, and they all try to sway the command of the ship. Smaller crew alliances form, friendships are tested, trust broken, and the future of the Royal Rose comes into question as, at times, the greatest threat to them lies within their own crew.

My Thoughts

Silver Bounty is book two in Royal Rose Chronicles that is written by Victoria McCombs. I have read book one - and it was nice to see our cast of characters again. Silver Bounty is a young adult fantasy book that is geared towards grades 8-12.  My 11 year old son and I read this together. He reads at a higher level. We both enjoyed it very much. He is more into the fantasy genre then I am, but we had a good discussion after reading. We both have a love of pirates.

We especially loved that the book offers multiple POV for the characters. It helps to get the story from that characters perspective. It helps to give a bigger view of the story. We really liked Emme and Arn's characters - they are well developed and have grown with the second book. Emme has an illness that she has been battling - and it's not going well. She also wants to find her brother, but he has drowned. It was like she could not grasp that. 

Arn wants so desperately to save Emme. But does that include giving up the pirate life? There are some battles and pirate things - but they are not graphic or gory. There are a lot of twists in this story. 

My son and I are looking forward to reading more from this author. She has created a wonderful storyline that you will be drawn into within the first few pages. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this story - all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 30

Texas Book-aholic, January 31

Artistic Nobody, February 1 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, February 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 3

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 4

Blogging With Carol, February 5

A Reader’s Brain, February 6 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 7

Lily’s Book Reviews, February 7

Through the Fire Blogs, February 8

For Him and My Family, February 9

Holly’s Book Corner, February 10

Simple Harvest Reads, February 11 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Victoria is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a hardcover copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/23ccd/silver-bounty-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, February 2, 2023

My Thoughts - Barking Up the Wrong Tree Author: Janice Thompson

 

About the Book

Book: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Author: Janice Thompson

Genre:Christian Fiction / Mystery / Romance

Release date: January 1, 2023

Inquisitive, detail-oriented, Veterinarian Kristin Keller prides herself on winning over any dog. But has this self-proclaimed dog whisperer finally met her match in a Sheltie named Remington who has just won the Texas state agility course competition? The champion pooch is acting out of sorts—almost as if he is not the same dog. Has he, by chance, been switched out with another dog just before the next big competition? Kristin and the other Lone Star employees will do anything to help the Atkinson family figure out this mystery surrounding their beloved Remington.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage. She is the mother of four daughters and nine feisty grandchildren. When she’s not writing books or taking care of foster dogs you’ll find her in the kitchen, baking up specialty cakes and cookies.

 

More from Janice

Barking up the Tree is book three in the Gone to the Dog series. Kathleen Y’Barbo and I are writing six books, in total, and we’re very excited about this series. I happen to be in the dog rescue business. I’ve worked with multiple Houston-based dog rescues over the past five years and have been blessed to care for over fifty dogs in nearly every shape, size, and breed. I am always interested in dog-themed stories.

As a Texan I wanted to place this series in my neck of the woods. Kathleen and I settled on Brenham, Texas, a town not far from where we both live. It’s the home of Blue Bell ice cream (yum!) a favorite here in the Lone Star state. We created a large fictional cast of characters and placed them in a town we know and love.

Along with writing books I’m also a baker and run a baking blog (www.outoftheboxbaking.com). With that in mind I would love to share a recipe from the book. Enjoy!

Nanny’s Coconut Pecan Cake (aka Italian Cream Cake)

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut (flakes)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding (powder)

 

FOR THE FILLING/TOPPING:

  • Toasted coconut
  • Toasted chopped pecans

 

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 1 cup (two sticks) salted butter (softened)
  • 1 block cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 rectangle Crisco (can omit if you prefer traditional cream cheese frosting)
  • 1 bag (7-8 cups) powdered sugar
  • Clear vanilla extract

 

Instructions

MAKING THE CAKE:

  • Combine all ingredients except nuts and coconut. Mix well.
  • Work in the nuts and coconut.
  • Grease and flour three 9” pans.
  • Divide batter between the three pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (approximately) until cake springs back to the touch.

MAKING THE ICING:

  • Bring ingredients to room temperature.
  • Mix butter and cream cheese until soft and creamy.
  • Add Crisco and continue to beat until incorporated. (You can leave out the Crisco if you prefer traditional cream cheese frosting.)
  • Add extract and then lower the speed of your mixer to add powdered sugar (more or less to desired consistency).

 

FILLING AND ICING THE CAKE

  • Level all three cakes.
  • Put one cake on your cake board and add a layer of cream cheese frosting.
  • Pipe a ring around the edge of the cake and add some toasted pecans and coconut.
  • Continue to stack and fill.
  • Turn the top cake upside down, so that it’s bottom up.
  • Ice the cake with a crumb coat and chill.
  • Once chilled, ice liberally with frosting.
  • Add chopped (toasted) pecans and coconut to the sides and top then pipe trim or rosettes to add further d├ęcor.

My Thoughts

Barking up the wrong tree is written by Janice Thompson. This is book three In the Gone to the Dogs series. While each book can be read as a stand alone, the characters are so much fun and you will find yourself invested in them.

This is Dr. Kristin Kelley’s story. She’s the other vet at the Lone Star Veterinary clinic. She’s had such a crush on her fellow vet and boss. It was nice to start to see that romance building. Kristin sees one of her usual clients whose dog Remington is a Texas Agility champion. However the dog is off his game. His owners have noticed a change in behavior. They soon find out that it’s a different dog completely. The Lone Star crew is then on the case.

There’s are plenty of suspects. The second place dogs owner who owns a dog food company that the vets refuse to endorse. The groomer that lost Remington as a client. The older Mr. Flores who seems to have dementia. The not so reputable dog breeder. So many suspects.

The author has written a fun story with a mystery woven in. I loved seeing the characters again and have gotten to know them so well. Their stories are well written.

I have enjoyed this series so far. I can’t wait until the next story. Thank You to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 26

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 27

Remembrancy, January 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 28

For Him and My Family, January 28

Texas Book-aholic, January 29

deb’s Book Review, January 30

Mary Hake, January 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

Cover Lover Book Review, February 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 3

Pause for Tales, February 4

The Book Club Network, February 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 5

Blogging With Carol, February 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 7

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, February 7

Labor Not in Vain, February 8

Divine Perspective, February 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Janice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/23cc8/barking-up-the-wrong-celebration-tour-giveaway