The Christmas Bargain

The Christmas Bargain

The Christmas Bargain Cover lr

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Introduction:

A confirmed bachelor from a messed up family. A woman kept hidden by her father for 13 years. A bargain that would last a lifetime. The best Christmas bargain ever made.

Characters: 1/1

Philamena starts out super shy and afraid of men. She has good reason to be that way, but when her father bargains with the banker, Luke Granger, to take Philamena instead of money for the debt he owes, she blossoms quickly. Luke is skeptical of the woman in the dowdy dress and kerchief on her head. Philamena soon earns the nickname Luke calls her, Filly, as she learns that the people around her are good people who won’t get mad at her for being herself. The way Filly and Luke develop from being a shy, scared woman and confirmed bachelor with no good opinions of marriage into a confident, loving woman and happily married man is portrayed realistically and with humor.

Dialogue: .75/1

At times the dialogue is funny and other times it is very serious. Regardless, the dialogue is realistic to the time period as well as the characters and situations. There were a couple times when I thought the heat level in the dialogue was a little too much even if they were married. That’s something they can talk about behind closed doors.

Plot/Storyline: .75/1

The main reason I didn’t give this a full star rating was because there were a few times when the heat level was a little uncomfortable for me, nothing graphic, just a little more detail than I would prefer. There were also a few historical details I thought were a little off.

Overall writing quality: .75/1

Besides the slight historically incorrect detail, I the book was well-written. There were a few typos that I noticed, but none that took me out of the story.

Un-put-down-ability: 1/1

I had read this book before and knew (roughly) what happened. And I still couldn’t put it down.

Conclusion: 4.25/5

If you like a good romance, especially one set around Christmas and don’t mind a lot of kissing and slight innuendos, you will like this book.

 

Note: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

We have a winner!

Good morning, Folks! We have a winner! Our winner is…

MamaEwe!!

Congratulations, MamaEwe! I’ll be emailing you to find out what your choice is for your prize. 😀 Thank you all for entering. It was fun to see all your favorite gifts.

My desire came true, too! Amazing Grace made it all the way up to #28 Free overall on Amazon! This picture is from earlier yesterday and before it reached #28, but it’s close. And I also made it up to #88 author ranking in the Religious & Spirituality category. 😀 Thanks to all who made this possible!

AG Free rankings 10.26

It’s my birthday! (almost)

Free October 24-26

Free October 24-26

It’s my birthday! Almost. Technically it won’t be for two more days. But instead of you giving me presents, I’m giving you one! Amazing Grace is currently free for three days to celebrate. 😀 AND, A Mighty Fortress is on sale for just $0.99! So if you don’t already have a copy, pick one up today!

In other news, Lily of the Valley is now available for preorder in both paperback Lily of the Valley Frontand ebook! To get an ebook copy delivered to your kindle on November 26, 2015, go here and preorder your copy. If you would like a paperback copy, email me at faith.blum.author[at]gmail.com and tell me how many you want. The paperbacks will be $15.00 + shipping. I also ordered the proof copy yesterday!!!!!! 🙂

Fun fact: Be Thou My Vision is now almost exactly one-year-old. It was published on October 26th of last year. Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?

Fun fact #2: I just had my first 10,000 word writing day yesterday. What does that mean? It means I wrote 10,000 words in one day. Not by hand this time, though. And yes, I am a little excited about it.

And as a bonus birthday surprise, we’ll do a giveaway! Answer the question below to enter to win a paperback copy (US only, if you are international and win, you can have your choice of two ebooks) of your choice of my books, including Lily of the Valley. The deadline for the entries is midnight Central time on October 26th and the winner will be announced on October 27th.

What is your favorite birthday gift?

I know my answer for this year. My favorite birthday gift would be for Amazing Grace to reach #1 in at least one genre category and in the top 100 free books overall on Amazon. An extra bonus would be to reach at least 20 preorders of Lily of the Valley. A girl can dream, right? 😉

While You’re Awake: a review

Introduction

WhileYoureAwake - final coverI read this novelette because it was short. I needed something to read, but I didn’t have a lot of time. I had six other books that I needed to read to review, but this one was the first that needed a review, plus it’s the shortest. And I’m glad I did. I love fairy tales. I love fairy tale retellings. And I was very curious how Amber managed to do a Sleeping Beauty retelling in modern times. I wasn’t disappointed.

Characters

1/1

Tired Girl and Angel Boy (their nicknames for each other) were so real. They both had their own faults and perfections. They both had different fears and each is so tangible I could be afraid right along with them.

Dialogue

1/1

The dialogue was alternately breathtaking as Ava hears the first buzz when she steps in the door (okay, so that would be monologue) and hilarious like when Keegan first brings his two dogs to meet Ava and calls them his friends. Read it. It really is more funny than it sounds. And then there are the midnight texts when Ava is afraid and Keegan gets her calmed down enough to sleep. And I won’t spoil it for you, but the ending dialogue is…perfecto.

Plot/storyline

1/1

Tight, but not too tight. Detailed, but not too detailed. Short, but not to the point of being stingy.

Over-all writing quality

1/1

I don’t recall a single typo. Which is rare. The writing itself was showing rather than telling. Well done!

Un-put-down-ability

1/1

I had to put it down once to make lunch. But I really didn’t want to. So I brought my kindle down with me and stirred it while I read.

Conclusion

5/5

It’s only $0.99. Forego your coffee for today and buy this novellette and read about the “Angel” at the coffee shop and the writer who drinks the coffee instead. It will take you less than an hour unless you read very slowly or just want to savor it and enjoy it more fully.

Note: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

An American/Medieval Fantasy Culture

TC Blog Tour Graphic

As I mentioned yesterday, we have a very different blog post today. Instead of summarizing it, I’ll let you read it. And if you missed the giveaway yesterday, you can enter today.

An American/Medieval Fantasy Culture

By Morgan Huneke

I’m a genre mixer. Why stick to one genre when you can throw a few together? It makes it more interesting, less cliché. After all, Across the Stars is a magic-free fantasy with a sci-fi spaceship instead of a portal. It’s fun to mix. My worldbuilding tends to be that way as well, only with eras. I love history, but I love so many different parts of it that it’s hard to pick just one to write about. Fantasy provides a solution for me. Because why stick to one era when you don’t have to?

I don’t have anything at all against strictly medieval fantasy. I like so much of it. And I’m rather partial to knights and swordfights and the age of chivalry. Not to mention peasant life. Yes, I’ve always been more interested in the poor people than the rich people. But I love American history as well. I couldn’t help wanting to include some. And then Jaye L. Knight’s Facebook posts about gladiators made me want to toss a bit of Ancient Rome in for extra flavoring. Here’s what I came up with.

Calhortz has a somewhat typical fantasy/medieval government. In other words, they’re a monarchy and that monarch lives in a castle. The queen, Toarna, also tends to dress in regal robes instead of the typical attire of the people, which I’ll get to later. They also primarily fight with swords and the soldiers wear medieval armor. Toarna has ladies-in-waiting, often insists on a court musician, and in general behaves like a medieval (tyrant) queen.

I pretty much always knew that the true people of Calhortz were slaves, and therefore I turned to the stereotypical ante-bellum South. Now, as a history nerd and a southern girl, I am quite adamant that there is way more to that era than the stereotype, but this isn’t the place to get into that. Most of the strytes who live in Calhortz live on plantations which they run with human slaves. They feed them little, punish them hard, and work them to death, separating families on a whim, caring little for the slaves’ feelings. Though because I couldn’t say every plantation was like this, George had a decent master. I also took the stryte fashion from this era. Those Southern Belle dresses with the hoop skirt and the tiny waist like you see in Gone With the Wind? That’s typical female stryte attire. (Not a huge fan of Gone With the Wind, though, once was enough.)

The strytes also have a Roman thirst for bloody entertainment. So you’ve got the men in their frock coats and the women in their hoop skirts flocking to the arenas to watch slaves kill each other. Yikes.

There aren’t many seafarers from Calhortz, but Toarna does employ privateers. Their ships are about colonial period, and cannons are the smallest firearm anyone has been able to make. Since most seafarers come from the Yatachee Islands where fashion is quite behind the times, knee breeches are most common among the sailors, both merchant and pirate.

Era mixing is great fun. It’s not exactly easy to do, but it’s quite rewarding to write about your favorite time periods all at once.

 

About the Book

“M’lady, it has been fairly well confirmed that the Redona was hidden away by the merfolk at the conclusion of the Great War instead of destroyed as was commanded. My brother has confirmed to me Joseph’s belief that it was concealed at the Crossways.”

Toarna pressed her fingertips together in thought. “It must be recovered and destroyed as was at first intended.”

The CrosswaysEmily, Allan, Jill, and Joey have been reunited with their long lost ancestors. But with that reunion comes the true beginning of their quest: free the rightful king of Calhortz so that he may be restored to his throne. The Redona, the only object that can free him from his long imprisonment, is rumored to be concealed in The Crossways, a mountain across the sea which cannot be entered.

A slave since birth, Adriel’s resentment and hatred towards the strytes only grows as his family is continually ripped from him. He longs for the freedom the Time Captives are prophesied to bring, but he doubts their existence, just as he doubts God’s love. Circumstances in Calhortz are so dire. How could they ever improve?

Who can enter The Crossways? Will the king ever be freed? Or will the slaves of Calhortz lose all hope of freedom before it is even offered to them?

The Crossways is the second book of the Time Captives trilogy, a tale of faith, family, fantasy, and a fight for truth and freedom.

Buy Now

Kindle ~ Paperback ~ Signed Copy

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About the Author

Morgan Author pictureMorgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

 

Giveaway

Join in the excitement of Time Captives and enter to win a special prize! The first prize winner will receive a signed copy of The Crossways. The second prize winner will receive an eCopy of The Crossways in the eBook format of his/her choice. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

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Schedule

Monday, October 19

Tuesday, October 20

Wednesday, October 21

Thursday, October 22

Friday, October 23

Saturday, October 24

Monday, October 26

Eleanor, Time Captive

TC Blog Tour Graphic

Character Spotlight ~ Eleanor

Physical Appearance: Small, with dark red, curly hair. At home, she often wears overalls, and generally is barefoot.

Time Period: 1940

History: Eleanor grew up during the Great Depression. She has one older brother and two younger brothers. Being the only girl made her somewhat of a tomboy, and living through the Depression made her resourceful. She was a fun-loving girl, liking to play jokes. It made it easier to deal with hardships…back when she was with her family. However, later on, her perspective on laughing through her trials changed significantly. Continue reading

The Cover is Here!!!

Today is finally the day! Thank you to all who participated either by entering the contest or being part of my cover reveal. I really appreciate it! There were seven entries total and random.org chose the first of those entries! So, our winner is…

Raechel Lenore!

Congratulations, Raechel! As soon as the paperback books are available, I will email you for your mailing address and mail you your very own copy of Lily of the Valley.

Continue reading

Lily of the Valley Giveaway

LotV Cover Reveal Banner

Due to an error in the original blog posts about my cover reveal, the entry for the giveaway has been extended more than one full day! You have until noon Central time on Friday, October 16th to enter the giveaway. If you tried to email the cover before, please do so again, this time with the following, CORRECT email address: faith.blum.author[at]gmail.com. Thank you! And remember, the posts with the pieces of the cover can be found on my website at this link.

Lily of the Valley

LotV Cover Reveal Banner

Today we have a blog post with a cover reveal. But, there’s a catch. I have split the cover into 15 different pieces! In order to enter the giveaway, you need to put it together and email me your cover. Or, if you don’t want to enter the giveaway, but you’d still like to see the cover, stop by my blog on Friday.

The Prize

The winner will have to be patient, but the prize for this cover reveal is a signed paperback copy of Lily of the Valley. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of shipping internationally, I won’t be sending a paperback outside of the U.S. If you are international and would like to participate and win, you will receive an ebook copy of any TWO of my published books including Lily of the Valley. Continue reading

Fire and Ice: a review

Fire and Ice

Introduction

After having read the first two books in the series, Tried and True and Now and Forever, when the opportunity came to read and review this one, I wanted to read it. Though Mary Connealy isn’t my favorite author, Bailey and Gage were the two characters I most liked in the other two books, especially with all the hints about Bailey.

Characters

1/1

Bailey and Gage were everything I hoped they would be. They were real and they both had issues to deal with, including a mystery and a controlling mother. Continue reading