Endorser Spotlight: Misty Beller

Endorser Spotlight: Misty Beller

One of the most nerve-racking parts of being an author is sending your book out into the world for the first time, knowing you can no longer change a single word of your book. Thankfully, the first people to read my novel outside of my critique partners and the Kregel team are endorsers. I am so honored and encouraged by the ladies who read my book and then wrote up beautiful endorsements. For the next few months, I’m going to feature one endorser every couple of weeks. So settle in, hear what they have to say about Counterfeit Love, and then learn about who they are, the books they’ve written, and how you can connect with them. Maybe you will be blessed to discover a new author.

At the end, I’d be blessed if you would leave an encouraging note for this author who has encouraged me so much!


I am pleased to introduce you to . . .

Misty Beller

Romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.

 

What she had to say about Counterfeit Love:

“Crystal Caudill has hit a home run with this action-packed historical romance. If you like characters who come alive, a hero to make you swoon, and edge-of-your-seat intrigue, you’ll love this story. A fantastic debut from an author I’m looking forward to reading again!”

—Misty M. Beller, USA Today bestselling author of the Brides of Laurent series

Y’all, I’m no sports fan, but hitting a homerun makes me all giddy. None of this story would have come together without God’s heavy hand in this book. May He have all the Glory, and YOU have a fun read. Thank you, Misty, for the wonderful endorsement! (And I’m shamelessly putting the link to Counterfeit Love here if you would like to learn more or preorder it.)

 

Misty’s Books

Misty is a prolific writer, so I can’t include ALL of her books. Instead, I’m including only the first book of all the series she has written, and that is STILL a lot. You can purchase them from any major retailer, but here is the link to her Amazon Author Profile where you can grab any of the titles you like.

 

Freedom in the Mountain Wind (Call of the Rockies, Book 1)

The last epic journey before her life changes forever.

Susanna Wilkins will do anything to make her father’s final dream come true, including trek along the path Lewis and Clark explored into the untamed wilds of the Rocky Mountains. Every mile is more crucial now that lung cancer is stealing Pa’s last days faster than she can come to terms with losing him. The journey becomes harder than she ever expected, but paddling upriver through fierce rapids and fighting hungry grizzlies isn’t what terrifies her the most.

Beaver Tail endured more than he can stand from the women in his Blackfoot camp, but the last disaster gave him the final shove he needed to join this band of brothers searching for one of their group who’s gone missing. The last thing he expected was to find a white woman and her sick father stranded at the base of a massive waterfall. His plan is to help them carry their oversize canoe and supplies, then leave them to their strange mission. Yet, the more he learns about the pair, the more he realizes his life is about to be derailed—again.

 

A Warrior’s Heart (Brides of Laurent, Book 1)

Brielle Durand still feels haunted by the massacre that killed her mother a dozen years before. Vowing to never let it happen again, she’s risen to be the key defender for her people’s peace-loving French settlement living in hidden caves in the Canadian Rockies. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret homes, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. But now, what to do with this man who looks at her in a strange way and insists he can be trusted?

Hoping to escape past regrets, Evan MacManus ventured into the unknown, assigned to discover if the northern mountains contain an explosive mineral that might help America win the War of 1812. Despite being taken prisoner, Evan is determined to complete his mission. But when that assignment becomes at odds with his growing appreciation of the villagers and Brielle, does he follow through on the promise he’s made to his government or take a risk on the path his heart is leading him down? Either choice will cause harm to someone.

Brielle and Evan must reconcile the warring in their hearts, if they’ve any hope to find the peace the seek.

Hope’s Highest Mountain (Hearts of Montana, Book 1)

Ingrid Chastain readily agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory. She never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. When rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, she’s hesitant to put her trust in this quiet man who seems to have his own wounds.

Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor after unintentionally bringing home the smallpox disease that killed his wife and daughter. But his self-imposed solitude in the wilds of Montana is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he’s forced to face his regret and call on his doctoring skills once again.

Micah can’t help but admire Ingrid’s tenacious determination despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on trekking through the mountains to deliver the medicine–with or without his help–he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

The Lady and the Mountain Man (The Mountain Series, Book 1)

Leah Townsend, a recently orphaned heiress, flees Richmond after discovering her fiancé’s plot to kill her after their wedding. She needs a safe place to hide, and finds herself accepting a newspaper marriage proposal from a God-fearing young rancher in the Montana Territory. But when Leah arrives at the mountain ranch, she learns her intended husband was killed by a grizzly, leaving behind a bitter older brother and a spunky younger sister.

When Gideon Bryant finds an eastern lady standing in his log cabin, his first thought is to send her back where she came from. He’s lost too many people to the wild elements of these mountains––his parents, his wife, and now his brother. His love for this untamed land lives on, but he’s determined not to open his heart to another person.

But when an accident forces Leah to stay at the ranch for seven more months, can Gideon protect his heart from a love he doesn’t want? Has Leah really escaped the men who seek her life?

 

A Pony Express Romance (Wyoming Mountain Tales, Book 1)

After growing up as an orphan, Josiah English wants nothing more than to have his own ranch and raise Arabian horses. Riding for the Pony Express seems like the ticket to his dream. And when he meets the stationmaster’s beautiful sister, it seems he may be within reach of the happy life he craves.

Mara Reid is thrilled to finally meet the man of her dreams, and the fact that they both want to raise horses in the Sweetwater River valley seems like confirmation straight from God.

But when the Express shuts down and Mara’s family home is in peril, the danger looming over Mara’s life may not be half as destructive as that threatening her heart.

 

The Rancher Takes a Cook (Texas Rancher Trilogy, Book 1)

When their South Carolina home burns to the ground, Anna Stewart’s only choice is to move with her younger brother to the wilds of a Texas ranch. Their prospects are beginning to look better, until the rancher’s son, Jacob O’Brien, shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well-controlled plans.

When danger escalates in the form of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release control to God’s capable hands…and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen her heart?

 

 


Leave an encouraging note for Misty Beller in the comments. This writing journey is rough, and I’d love to bless her as much as she has blessed me.

Beyond These War-torn Lands by Cynthia Roemer

Beyond These War-torn Lands by Cynthia Roemer

Beyond These War-torn Lands

by Cynthia Roemer

The Civil War is a complicated time in history and far from black and white. Not every Confederate was a villain and not every Unionist a hero, and depending on where you live today, the opposite might be the light they are cast in. Either way, humans are involved, and, let’s face it, humans are complicated people. That is why I love this story so well. The characters displayed on both sides of the War were real, messy, and trying to do what they believed best for their families and their country. As a reader, you didn’t have to agree with them, but you understood where each character came from, and that is so important for developing an understanding of and interacting with people of opposing viewpoints today.

Caroline is a young woman who wants to help others, but her faith and societal beliefs are challenged when she stumbles upon an enemy soldier who will die without her intervention. Her choice to be Christ-like and to hide and care for the Union soldier puts her and her family in a dangerous position while opening both her and Sargent Gallagher’s eyes to aspects of the War neither had previously considered. Although eventually separated by circumstances and war, the love these two developed for each other holds steadfast and true while pushing them to become better individuals. This is a story where readers become and grow with the characters through circumstances no one wants to endure. Faith and viewpoints will be challenged, and readers will walk away thinking about the character long after the story has ended.

I recommend this story to those who enjoy Civil War history, want characters who are challenged and grow as individuals and couples, and want romances that are sweet but enduring.


Genre: Historical Romance, Civil War 1864 – Maryland & Virginia

Plot Overview:

The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?

While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.

After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher fears he’s seen the last of Caroline. Resolved not to let that happen, when the war ends, he seeks her out, only to discover she’s been sent away. When word reaches him that President Lincoln has been shot, Drew is assigned the task of tracking down the assassin. A chance encounter with Caroline revives his hopes, until he learns she may be involved in a plot to aid the assassin.

What I loved: The realness of the characters’ struggles really drew me in, especially Andrew’s as a soldier. The horrors of war were made real, and the struggle between wrong, right, and what is necessary were equally felt. It really brought to life a part of history that is hard to wrap my head around.

Favorite Character and Why: I really loved Andrew. He was steadfast yet did not cower from having his beliefs challenged. He was a man who allowed God to work in him, and always strove to do what was right, even at the potential cost of his life.

Who would like this? I recommend this story to those who enjoy Civil War history, want characters who are challenged and grow as individuals and couples, and want romances that are sweet but enduring.

Special Notes: This was one of the best stories written from a soldier’s perspective that I’ve read in a long time. Also the handling of opposing viewpoints was masterfully done and not glazed over.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon     Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Indiebound.org

December RCR: Stealing Jake

December RCR: Stealing Jake

Welcome to the LAST month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focused on YOUR favorite time period, and my choice of story was Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman. Once you read my review, don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy.

*Want more interaction and/or suggestions each month? Join the Facebook Group. Want a bookmark with the monthly themes? Fill out this Google Form.*

Stealing Jake by [Pam Hillman]

Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman

 

I picked up this book on clearance because it hit some of my favorite story elements for a fun read: a lawman, crime rings, a reformed criminal, and orphans. I wasn’t familiar with Pam Hillman, but after reading this, I will definitely look into some of her other books and novellas. While I wouldn’t say there were any unexpected plot twists, it was a fun and engaging story that I will likely reread in the future.

I loved the premise behind the criminal ring of street children being bought for use in sweatshops. I hadn’t read a story that touched on that dark side of our history (and let’s be honest, it is still going on today in a different format), and I really enjoyed seeing the town’s opinion of those kids change over the course of the story. As a former street kid and current sweatshop escapee, Livy’s and Luke’s perspectives really added to the understanding of these kids’ plight that garners compassion for a group that is easily written off. The tension between the romance was on the lighter side, but it was fun watching Livy and Jake fall in love and overcome the obstacles of prejudice and fear that stand between them. 

Overall, I’d recommend this story for those looking for a light read, and those who enjoy criminal plots, lawmen heroes, sweet romances, and stories where communities learn to accept a previously rejected group of kids.


Genre: Historical Romance, 1874 Illinois

Plot Overview:

When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-Fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy—literally while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town—as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off—Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

What I loved: I loved the plot with the street children and how the town’s view of the kids changed throughout the book. 

Favorite Character and Why: I really enjoyed all the street kids and orphan kids as a whole. Luke in particular was one who will live on in my memory for a while. He really struggled to help those still stuck in the sweatshop while trying to save his brother. Learning to trust was hard for him, but I loved how resourceful and determined he was. He’ll make a great hero one day. 

Who would like this? I’d recommend this story for those looking for a light read, and those who enjoy criminal plots, lawmen heroes, sweet romances, and stories where communities learn to accept a previously rejected group of kids.

Rating and Why: Four Stars. I enjoyed the storyline and characters and the character arcs were satisfactory. It was a good read that kept my attention but was easy to set down and pick back up when family interruptions occurred–even if those interruptions still annoyed me.

PURCHASE LINKS

*This is an older book that if you choose to purchase will probably be used, on clearance, or an ebook.

Amazon    Barnes & Noble     Christianbook.com


Monthly Giveaway

For your chance to win a print copy, comment with what book YOU read for this month and you will also be entered into the year-end Grand Prize Reader Basket. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on January 7th at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced don’t the Rafflecopter widget. *Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 End of the Year Giveaway

Each time you commented on what book you read, I added your entry to my database. After all entries are added after December 7th, I will draw the winner for the 12 books and announce it in a post after contacting the winner. So don’t forget to get your last entry in before January 7th.


What did YOU read in December? Will you be participating in the 2022 Challenge? (Details here.)

This Is My Story – Tara Johnson’s Podcast

This Is My Story – Tara Johnson’s Podcast

As I haven’t had time to get a book review written this weekend, and won’t have time until the next weekend, I’m sharing instead about the wonderful Tara Johnson and her podcast, “This is My Story” where I was blessed to be a guest this past week. We covered all sorts of fun and inspirational topics over the course of about 40 minutes, so I hope you’ll get the chance to listen in.

Episode 3: Silver Strands and “Even Ifs” with Crystal Caudill

https://blubrry.com/thisismystorywithtarajohnson/83281318/episode-3-silver-strands-and-even-ifs-with-crystal-caudill/

On today’s show, Tara and Crystal chat about messy families, the power of not being perfect, plastic Christianity and balking heroes of faith. Crystal shares how escaping PE class led her to Christ. The ladies talk about classics, Christian fiction, wild research, and Crystal’s new release Counterfeit Love. Also on this show… Silver strands, Bearing Precious Seed and what God teaches us when we say “even if”.

Links: www.crystalcaudill.com

Bearing Precious Seed- www.bpsmilford.org

Pre-order Crystal’s upcoming novel here: Counterfeit Love: Caudill, Crystal: 9780825447402: Amazon.com: Books

Endorser Spotlight: Amanda Cox

Endorser Spotlight: Amanda Cox

One of the most nerve-racking parts of being an author is sending your book out into the world for the first time, knowing you can no longer change a single word of your book. Thankfully, the first people to read my novel outside of my critique partners and the Kregel team are endorsers. I am so honored and encouraged by the ladies who read my book and then wrote up beautiful endorsements. For the next few months, I’m going to feature one endorser every couple of weeks. So settle in, hear what they have to say about Counterfeit Love, and then learn about who they are, the books they’ve written, and how you can connect with them. Maybe you will be blessed to discover a new author.

At the end, I’d be blessed if you would leave an encouraging note for this author who has encouraged me so much!


I am pleased to introduce you to . . .

Amanda Cox

Poignant Stories of Hope, Healing, and Home

Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers.

Connect with her at:

Website: https://amandacoxwrites.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandacoxwrites/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandacoxwrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandacoxwrites/

Blog: https://hopeperch.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20033571.Amanda_Cox

What she had to say about Counterfeit Love:

“Full of intrigue, Counterfeit Love is sure to delight fans of historical romantic suspense. As Caudill immerses readers in the world of counterfeiting rings and the early days of the Secret Service, she weaves a tale that is simultaneously well-researched and action-packed with delightfully flawed characters who will leave readers rooting for their redemption.”

—Amanda Cox, author of The Edge of Belonging and The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery 

There are so many things to love about this endorsement, but well-researched makes me beyond thrilled. I did a LOT of research for this series, and I am so relieved that it came through. Thank you so much for your endorsement, Amanda! (And I’m shamelessly putting the link to Counterfeit Love here if you would like to learn more or preorder it.)

 

Amanda’s Books

Amanda’s books will pull at your heart and take you into deep places you never want to leave. I’m not a contemporary reader, but I love her books. You can purchase them from any major retailer, but here is the link to her Amazon Author Profile where you can grab any of the titles you like.

The Edge of Belonging

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

 

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery

Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons–but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

 


Leave an encouraging note for Amanda Cox in the comments. This writing journey is rough, and I’d love to bless her as much as she has blessed me.

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham

The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham

The Mistletoe Countess

by Pepper Basham

I have been in a season of reading books by audio only, and I have to say, this one had me laughing so hard that I had to stop listening while I ran an archery tournament because I was afraid of disturbing the kids with sharp pointy arrows. This was my first Pepper Basham book and I will definitely be reading more. I’ve known her reputation as the kissing queen for a really long time, and well, she deserves that title. I’m a girl who can’t watch cartoons kiss, and this book had me blushing or laughing out loud pretty much the whole time. Grace is a girl who lives life by the books–fictional books, and the ways it affects her thinking and her actions result in probably one of the funniest stories I have ever read. Add in Fred’s sweet way with Grace and his own view of her exuberant personality and it’s a knock out winner of a story. It will definitely be a rereader for me. In fact, there were some scenes so funny, I pulled family and friends aside from Thanksgiving festivities to share because I couldn’t keep the enjoyment just to myself.

I recommend ANYONE who loves romantic comedies, marriages of convenience, mystery, danger, and romance, go and pick this book up immediately. It will have you laughing until you can’t breathe or cry, or maybe both!


Genre: Historical Romance, Blue Ridge Mountains/England, 1913

Plot Overview:

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick’s Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she will trust in her faithful novels and overactive imagination to help her not only win Frederick’s heart but also to solve the murder mystery of Havensbrook Hall before the ghosts from Frederick’s past ruin her fairytale future.

What I loved: All the bookish love and imagination in this story combine with the humor created a story I will never forget and will probably reread every Christmas season.

Favorite Character and Why: Grace was the absolute best. Her sweet demeanor, vivid imagination, and naivety were a combination that leaves me smiling just thinking about her.

Who would like this? I recommend ANYONE who loves romantic comedies, marriages of convenience, mystery, danger, and romance, go and pick this book up immediately. It will have you laughing until you can’t breathe or cry, or maybe both!

Rating and Why: Five stars. It was HILARIOUS and the characters absolutely perfect.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon     Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Christianbook.com     Indiebound.org


Have you read it yet? What books are your absolute must rereads every year?

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