An Old Flame

The Fifth of November

Hannah cut through the wildflower wallpapered kitchen loaded with all sorts of vintage farmhouse wares. Slipping into Wellies she shoved the back door open into the black night and almost tripped on a shadow.

“Whoa there,” the figure caught her shepherd’s pie before it tumbled onto the mud.

“Thanks,” Hannah couldn’t distinguish features on anyone through the darkness.

“Is this going on the food table?”

“Yes.” She squinted angling her head until the bonfire light shone on his face where she could make out his ginger hair. “Rory?”

“Hannah? Gosh. How are you?” Rory threw the pie back to her.

“Fine,” Hannah lifted her feet to make a quick escape, but her boots stuck in the sludge. With nothing to balance her she wobbled on one foot and thursting the shepherd’s pie back to him. She prevented a fall by grabbing his shoulder.

“You’re having trouble.”

Hannah used both hands to tug her Welly out of the mud and hopped over a puddle landing on firmer ground. “I’m having trouble finding my cousin. I was supposed to keep an eye on her, and she’s run off.”

“How old is she?”

“Three. Sarah’s daughter. I don’t think you met her.”

“I never met any cousins.”

“Not in two years of dating?” Hannah stopped to think about it for a minute. He probably hadn’t. He’d been against family functions beyond hanging with her brother, his former best friend. Who had invited him? Her brother?

“Nope.” Rory set the pie on the table next to the baked potatoes ready to be loaded with all the fillings. Cheese, baked beans, and pot of chili for proper jacket potatoes. Hot dogs and sausages filled another pan ready to be roasted in the fire. Her sister would bring out the sponge and toffee apples later.

“Did you find her?” A shadow approached them. Her cousin Sarah.

“No. Everly wasn’t inside.” Hannah smelled rain mixed with smoke.

“Me either.”

“Which means she’s roaming somewhere in the pitch black and it’s supposed to rain more.”

“Fantastic.” Sarah’s sarcasm slipped out like the mud beneath her boots. “Can you please?”

“Yes. Sorry. I ran, literally, ran into Rory, and well-he’s going to help.”

“Rory? Rory, Rory?” Sarah’s white’s of her eyes bulged in the eerie glow finally noticing him.

“Yes,” Hannah fidgeted, avoiding eye contact, which was impossible in the edges of the bonfire light. “We’ll be off now.”

“Right.” Sarah darted over to guests preparing a figure of Guy Fawkes and Hannah heard her asking them if they’d seen a child. Her cousin was too preoccupied to be concerned about her love life.

“Dodged a bullet,” Hannah trudged through more mud.

“What was that?” Rory caught her gaze as they passed the massive fire.

“Nothing.” Hannah wove through the group of people surrounding the bonfire to the other side of the property at the edge of a field.

“Do you know your way around here?” Rory stepped ahead of her.

“More or less. Do you have your phone? Mine’s inside.” Hannah closed her eyes a few times, adjusting them as she peered into the dark field.

“Yeah,” Rory tapped on his phone’s torch, lighting a path in the overgrown field of grass as high as his knees.

Hannah ran her hand through knotted curls. “My guess is she went searching for sticks to throw in the fire. I told her to wait until her father could help her, but she has a mind of her own.”

“Like her auntie.”  Rory said then jogged off, the light from his phone highlighting his hair.

“Hey.” Hannah caught up to him at the edge of the woods.

“You know it’s true.”

            She raised her shoulders, “I only had a mind of my own when you tried to convince me to move to Scotland with you.”

Rory pushed branches out of their path waving his phone around. He crunched in fallen leaves nearing Hannah. Hannah stomped past him further into the woods. Unable to see anything a branch smacked her face. “Ouch.”

Rory came up from behind her and raised the light.

“You moved.” She faced him head on.

“That was all.” He crossed his arms, his phone light partially hidden casting jack-o-lantern shadows on his face.

“That was everything.” Hannah held back tears, happy he couldn’t see her well.

“I’m sorry. I thought the coffee shop would take off in Edinburgh. Not a little village in Derbyshire.” He motioned to their surroundings.

“I’m sorry, it didn’t work out.” Hannah shifted on the leaf covered ground.

“Really?” Rory lifted his head.

“What are your plans now?”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“Are you staying?” Hannah shivered.

“If I said I was moving back to Scotland would you go now or are you still convinced you’re never going to leave this village? I need to know that.” Rory rooted his feet.

“Are you asking me to give us another go?”

“You’re a huge reason why I returned.”


“Yeah.” He took her fingers and wove them through hers like a pumpkin vine seeking light and life.

A crackling sounded, she pulled away. “What’s that?”

“The bonfire.”

“We can barely see it through the trees. Shh.” She strained her ears and made out a whimper. Hannah motioned to Rory. “Everly?”


“It’s Cousin Hannah. Are you all right?” Hannah stepped into Rory’s light and found the girl tugging at a tiny tree.

“It won’t come out.” Everly seemed unaware she wandered in the dark. Her arms were laden with sticks.

“Your mama has been so worried. Let’s find her.”

“No. I need this stick.”

 Hannah watched Rory yank the branch from the ground. “There you are.”

Everly allowed Hannah to lift her on her hips. Rory touched the small of Hannah’s back and warmth ran up her spine. Was she really gonna give an old flame another go? If he decided to move again, she’d have to go with him. Maybe marry him. He reached out a hand and she placed her free hand in his.

The Green Monster

I was given tickets to a baseball game by a MLB player who I’ve had the privilege of teaching his girls these last two years. In honor of tomorrow’s game-and I pray there’s no rain! Please Jesus, stop this storm!-

I’m sharing this baseball story I wrote thinking of the time I danced at a baseball game and all the times my grandmother taught me about the Red Sox.

This dad of my student’s doesn’t play for the Red Sox, but my next favorite team that I picked up from living in its city. Somehow it feels like my grandma is up in heaven telling God-send this family into her life…just for fun. Because sometimes God is fun. As long as there’s no rain I’ll add photos later.

So here’s my story…it was supposed to be romantic flash fiction and was published online with Spark Magazine, but is no longer on their website. So here you are!

The Green Monster

Gabby tugged on the massive green monster head she wore. Its color was unlike any shade of grass she’d seen, a copy cat of the Red Sox’ mascot, representing the wall at Fenway Park. Miserable heat, but she was shielded from the sun’s bright rays. Besides, she didn’t like people seeing her face. Dromeo Vasquez, main pitcher for a farm team that fed players right to the Red Sox, had just walked off the playing field.

The end of the inning meant it was Gabby’s turn to hype up the crowd. A dance contest this time. She pulled a few kids onto the turf, dancing the Macarena. The crowd cheered as the tiniest boy wowed everyone with his impressive moves. The cuteness factor always trumped skill with these things, and she handed him the free cap he’d won. Gabby led the kids back to their families, dancing near the dugout as the players got ready to go up to bat.

“You know you’re pretty graceful for a monster.” Dromeo Vasquez was actually speaking to her!

“Ten years of ballet.”  She wasn’t supposed to converse in costume, but she knew no one else could hear her soft muffled voice.  This might be the only chance she got to talk to the most beautiful baseball player she’d ever laid eyes on. 

His big blue eyes looked surprised she’d answered.  “Ah.  Me too.  Well, not ten years.  One year.  My football coach’s orders.  Then I dropped it all to focus on baseball.”

Gabby nodded her giant head giving him a thumbs up, staying in character.  Encouraging the players was part of her job.

He laughed. “I shouldn’t distract you.  Find me after the game.  Some of us are grabbing dinner.  We’ve never seen your face, and we’re all wondering what you look like.”

Gabby shrugged, caught off guard.  She recoiled as the pitcher struck out the first batter with a hard throw.  She slumped her monster shoulders and lowered her heavy green head to show disappointment.  The team wondered what she looked like?  She liked that no one knew.  She sighed and hoped they wouldn’t be put off by her face.  They’d see it soon enough.

The game ended with a loss 3-0.  Gabby sprinted to her locker room and heaved off the cumbersome head.  She brushed her long dark bangs across the thick scar that covered approximately three inches of her forehead.  She’d known eventually the players would see it, but it had been nice hiding.  She took off the rest of the costume and put it in her locker for tomorrow.  Then she waited outside the men’s locker room.

A waft of body odor and cologne came with a couple of players as they exited. They ignored her, and she could feel her heart pounding. Would Dromeo know she was the monster? She was about to give up waiting when she saw him. No tight pants or baseball cap. Just shorts, t-shirt, sunglasses, and wet blonde head that studied her. “Green monster girl?”

She smiled, timidly checking her bangs. “That’s me, Gabby.”

He hadn’t even flinched at the scar. “Finally. Hey, Joe!”

One of his teammates stopped.  “There she is.”

“See, I told you she wasn’t an old lady.”  Dromeo winked towards Gabby looking her over intently.  She moved her eyes to his broad shoulders.  Gabby could see every muscle in his arms, not an ounce of fat.  

“We had bets going,” Joe laughed.

“I won.  You’re beautiful, like I expected.” 

Gabby’s dark eyes widened.  No one had ever called her beautiful.  Not since the accident when she had tripped and hit her head on a rock playing a game of softball.

“Are you ready?”  Dromeo’s eyes twinkled at her.


“The others changed their minds.  It’s just us.  Is that ok?”

“Yeah, sure.” It was more than ok. Her family was never going to believe she’d let the players see her face, or that Dromeo Vasquez had called her beautiful.

High Wire Heartbreak

Anyone love a good circus story? I grew up near Bridgeport, CT home of PT Barnum and the old Barnum Museum was always a fun and creepy visit.

This novel made me realize I need to get myself over to Sarasota sometime now that I live in Florida.

Chloe is a famous author writing about her great mother’s life as a trapeze artist in the circus. But as she searches she realizes there’s a scandal and disappearance she knew nothing about.

High-Wire Heartbreak kept me on the edge of my seat from the beginning. But not in a scary or suspenseful way, but in a way that made me want to know what would happen next. It’s a dual timeline novel.
Lucy’s story is unveiled to us slowly as Chloe uncovers information. She’s a brilliant trapeze artist, but perhaps a little gullible and naive. I don’t want to give away too much.
This one is for people who enjoy the circus, want to know more about Ringling, like a light mystery, a little romance, enjoy historical research, like Florida, and don’t mind being very angry at a character.


About the Book

Book: High-Wire Heartbreak

Author: Anna Schmidt

Genre: Christian/Romance/History

Release date: January 1, 2022

In 1936–A party at the Ringling mansion Ca d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida, leads to a robbery–and possibly death.

A successful historical mystery writer, Chloe Whitfield comes to Ca’ d’Zan to research her next novel. Chloe’s fascination with the circus is rooted in family stories of her great-grandmother Lucinda Conroy, who reportedly was a trapeze artist of some renown. She’s heard hints of scandal—and perhaps larceny, but no details.

Chloe’s grandmother—rumored to be Lucinda’s only offspring—was raised in an orphanage and never knew her mother. Intrigued as she is, Chloe has no intent of writing about Lucinda until she sees a poster featuring Lucinda as the star performer for a 70th birthday gala for John Ringling in May of 1936. From there the trail goes cold.

Who was Lucinda and what happened to her?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author


Anna Schmidt is the author of over twenty works of fiction. Among her many honors, Anna is the recipient of Romantic Times’ Reviewer’s Choice Award and a finalist for the RITA award for romantic fiction. She enjoys gardening and collecting seashells at her winter home in Florida.

More from Anna

It’s hard to split time living between Wisconsin and Sarasota Florida and NOT get caught up in the circus world! The Ringlings are icons in Sarasota where a LOT of things are named for them! But the five circus brothers got their start right here in Wisconsin. So, when the opportunity to create a story for DOORS TO THE PAST came my way, it was pretty much a no-brainer that I would go with John and Mable Ringling’s incredible home, Ca ‘d Zan as the setting. Then somehow, I stumbled on this picture:

and I knew she was my character of Lucinda, the trapeze artist whose story would drive my novel. I hope you fall in love with her—and Chloe—as I did, and most of all I hope you’ll be in touch to let me know what you thought at

HAPPY READING and all best wishes, Anna

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 25

Remembrancy, January 25

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 25 (Author Interview)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 26

For the Love of Literature, January 26

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 26

Genesis 5020, January 27

Texas Book-aholic, January 27

Inklings and notions, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 28

Rachael’s Inkwell, January 28

Austen’s Angle: Jane Austen’s Influence in Modern America, January 29

For Him and My Family, January 29

Rebecca Tews, January 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 30

deb’s Book Review, January 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 31

Wishful Endings, January 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31

Bizwings Blog, February 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 1

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, February 1

Older & Smarter?, February 2

Connie’s History Classroom, February 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 3 (Spotlight)

Bigreadersite, February 3

Blogging with Carol, February 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 4

Life of Literature, February 4

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 5

Joannabair, February 5

Blossoms and Blessings, February 6

Pause for Tales, February 6

Labor Not in Vain, February 6

Splashes of Joy, February 7

Through the Fire Blogs, February 7


To celebrate her tour, Anna is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and paper 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.

Queen of the Rockies

Queen of the Rockies is a cute novel set in 1889 Helena, MT which I don’t think I’ve ever read about. Calista is a wealthy socialite with a lot of compassion for animals and those less fortunate than her. When she sees a starving little girl in the freezing cold-I can’t even imagine how cold Montana gets in winter- she essentially kidnaps the girl from her position as an indentured servant and hides her in her family’s barn.

All the while Albert is trying to save his inn as well as celebrate Montana becoming a state by hosting a pageant. Calista wants nothing to do with the pageant until she’s distracted and learns she can use it to help orphans.

This is a fun quick read. I enjoyed the lighthearted story and Calista had me laughing a few times.

The novel is available online at Amazon, BN, CBD and all your favorite places to find books.

Below are more details and the chance to enter a giveaway!

About the Book

Book: Queen of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: September 1, 2021


What will her courage cost?
1889 (Helena, MT): As the gold rush era ends in the most elegant and modern city in the world and Montana emerges as a state, one woman must decide if social pressure will prevail over her own beliefs. Calista Blythe enters the first Miss Snowflake Pageant celebrating Montana at Christmastime to expose the plight of street urchins. But hiding an orphan could unravel Calista’s reputation, and her budding romance with pageant organizer, Albert Shanahan, if her secret is revealed. Will love or social pressure prevail? Courage is choosing to do the right thing regardless of the cost… Romantic, comedic adventure set in picturesque Helena, Montana written by a bestselling author who is also a professional genealogist.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author


Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, bestselling author, and screenwriter. She’s also the Christian Authors Network president. Angie lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angie can also. Don’t miss her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach! Find her on social media: @AngBreidenbach

More from Angela

Queen of the Rockies captured my imagination and my interest in the originality of Montana’s entrance into the United States of America. The people of Montana are quite varied, a true but much unknown fact. People here come from around the world, completely different genealogical origins as well as backgrounds. The influence of gold mining, transportation, and entrepreneurship as well as the exploration of the wild and beautiful lands inspired amazing creativity for both survival and communities.

From completely uncivilized mining camps to stunning old world know-how of the native peoples to about 100 different immigrant nations brought Montana to statehood. Today, many of those descendants still are here farming, mining, doing business. Many of those languages are still spoken. We have immigrant populations that have continued to come. So though Montana is thought to be nearly all white Americans, that’s not anywhere close to the real Montana. Don’t believe everything you see on TV 😉 Come see for yourself.

Vibrant wildlife, dangers of the wilderness and weather, and the opportunity partnered with intensely hard-working conditions created more millionaires in one place than had ever been before. But that didn’t mean everyone knew how to handle that new wealth. Vigilantes, including a sheriff who robbed those he was supposed to protect, ran the ranges for years. The women who brought civilization tamed the men who couldn’t quite keep themselves under control. It’s these incredible women who braved the elements and the hardships that are the stars in my books. Come and meet them. They continue to inspire me today!

Touring and researching through Montana and especially the three original capitals (finally ending up with Helena) fascinated me. There’s so much to do year-round here. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote short travel articles at the back of each book for my readers. I really hope those articles will intrigue people to come and visit the ghost towns, living history towns, hot springs, mountains, and small cities. Each book in this 6-book series will share something special that may not be well-known but will be unforgettable for you as a tourist.

I hope the stories are fun, full of historic entertainment and romance, but also that you’ll have a fresh view of Montana that fires you up to come and visit our beautiful state.

Please remember to pop over to my website and send me a note through the contact page if you’d like an autographed bookplate for all of your copies of the Queen of the Rockies series. If you’re an eBook fan, I’ve heard of the brilliant idea to keep an album of your favorite authors bookplates. I’d be happy to send you those for an album as well.

Best wishes,

Angela Breidenbach


To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize 20-minute genealogy consultation to a winner via Zoom!!

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


A princess cursed from birth, a loyal knight worthy of being king, and a sword that can determine their destiny.

Jody Hedlund’s sequel to Enamored continues the sage of knights in a King Arthur fashion. If you liked Idylls of the King then you’ll enjoy this one.

I actually liked this one more than the first since it reminded me a little more of King Arthur, minus Lancelot and Guinevere.

It’s a happy tale following peasant girl Lis who’s grown up far from the castles and knights imprinting with a dragon and loving rural life. Her world is shaken in the first book when a princess hides on her farm. Come to find out the princess has a long lost sister-Lis.

It’s mostly a love story of the Knight Ansgar who recovers on Lis’ farm and falls for her despite their different upbringings.

If you like Melanie Dickerson or any of Hedlund’s other books you will enjoy this one!

Turning Points

Do you ever have things happen where you think-ok this is a turning point in my life?

I can’t believe it’s been seven maybe eight years since I started blogging and chronicling my journeys around Europe.

Tonight as I’m planning my costume for storybook character day tomorrow I sat down for a moment to remember Liliana, who passed away six years today and I was reading an old post about her being two.

And I had the realization that I now work with kids that age all the time. It’s my job. And it has been pretty much since I left Malta in one way or another. I’d never thought about it before because her death was a turning point for so many things in my life. Yet now it seems like the most obvious one is that her life was the first of hundreds of 2 year olds to come into my life.

After taking care of her I moved back to Malta and took care of a girl with cerebral palsy. So she also was the beginning of me taking care of kids with special needs. Her middle brother was 2 and he was my buddy that year.

When I worked at the gym I was with the preschoolers every day. Then I nannied for two year old twins. And now my current job is two year olds. God had a plan all along apparently.

In high school adults always would ask me if I was going to be a preschool teacher or if I’d be a writer. I’d give an adamant no or a scoff of some sort. I’ve since learned I’m an enneagram 4 and that’s typical-I do not like being put in a box with anything and if people put me in one I will counter it. Thus dance.

I know I was called to dance and I still dance a lot, but it’s not my job. Like maybe we’re not created to do just one thing. Maybe God has lots of plans. People often box themselves into one job. One big picture. One large plan. But maybe it’s about a lot of little plans stitched together like the costumes I used to sew. All in preparation for one long dance. Each prop, actor, and lighting design all staged perfectly.

Sometimes I’m in awe how God took me from dancing in New York and teaching dance in Connecticut where I felt like all my dreams had come true-to realizing there were so many things I’d never dreamed about that were now being fulfilled. Random ones like wanting to live in the Mediterranean or childhood ones like wanting to live in Florida. To tiny ones like who’s in my class. Or giving me a dog. Or my roommate calling me up telling me she’s looking for a place to live the day I start looking at houses. Only a creative creator could be so detailed.

So tonight we were singing about God’s goodness and thanking Him for all He’s done. And I went through out loud thanking Him for all these things. Thankfulness is the key to contentment. And joy. And peace.

Fabrics are still being sewn, dances choreographed, and I have no clue how it will all come together. But it’s neat to watch it weave together and I’m thankful for the experiences that lead to new ones. And I’ll always be grateful for that turning point year where I ended up taking care of the sweetest, feistiest, little girl.

A Heart’s Forever Home

I had the privilege of attending a workshop by this author and she had us all in tears by the end. Her heart for people and ministry comes out even in her writing. You can tell she’s the sweetest person with years of wisdom behind her. I so appreciated hearing her and had to read this one.

Traesa is an orphan who’s come on the orphan train to Texas and has been adopted by a wealthy family. The grandmother passed away and the estranged son returns for his inheritance. There’s plenty of family drama in this one, but I love her descriptions of food. Every mealtime-and there are a lot-I found myself wanting to eat what the characters were eating and I am not a foodie at all.

The story was a quick and pleasant read if you’re looking for a light hearted old fashioned western Christian romance.

A Heart’s Forever Home Kick-Off Package

About the Book

Book: A Heart’s Forever Home

Author: Lena Nelson Dooley

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 17, 2021

A single lawyer whose clients think he needs a wife. 

A woman who needs a forever home…or a forever family…or a forever love.

Although Traesa Killdare is a grown woman now, the discovery that her adoption wasn’t finalized sends her reeling. Especially when her beloved grandmother dies and the only siblings she’s ever known exile her from the family property without a penny to her name.

Wilson Pollard works hard for the best interest of his law clients, even those who think a marriage would make him more “suitable” in his career. And when the beloved granddaughter of a recently deceased client comes to him for help, he knows he must do whatever necessary to make her situation better.

As each of their circumstances worsen, a marriage of convenience seems the only answer for both. Traesa can’t help but fall for her new husband—the man who’s given her both his home and his name. But what will it take for Wilson to realize he loves her? Will a not-so-natural disaster open his eyes and heart?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Lena Nelson Dooley has been an author for 36 years. Her 51st book released in June 2020. Raised in Arkansas, she married a Texan 56 years ago. They have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. She is an active member of ACFW and one of the founding members the DFW local chapter. She’s often been a speaker for other writers’ groups and conferences, both as a keynote speaker and a workshop teacher. Her fans love reading her books filled with characters who grip your heart.

More from Lena

I’ve been a lover of history for decades. In college and graduate school, all my elective courses were history. Of course, I chose the countries and eras I wanted to learn about. When I began writing novels, my first one was a contemporary story. After that at least 75% or more of my novels have been historical, all the way from 1805 through the early 20th century.

One of the hallmarks of my historical novels is the authenticity I write into the stories. Because of the amount of research I’ve done over the years, I’m kind of an expert in 19th century history. My characters and their stories are completely fictional, but the other things in the book are mostly true. I search until I find what I need to know or until I reach a complete dead end.

The history of the orphan trains has interested me since I first learned about them. One of them ended in Fort Worth where a pastor and his wife helped find the last orphans a home. A few didn’t get a home, so they took them in. In the 20thcentury that became an orphanage, then a home for unwed mothers.

A Heart’s Forever Home has three settings—Fort Worth, Texas; Waco, Texas; and New York City. It’s a Marriage of Convenience story and much more. This is another type of story I like to read and I like to write. Finding a different reason for the necessity of the marriage is interesting.

I’d found an event that occurred north of Waco in 1896. It was so bizarre I wanted to include it in a book. It was a perfect fit for this story and became an important catalyst in the story.

I’m what’s called in the industry a seat-of-the-pants author, more or less. I do have the complete outline of the story in my head. When I sit down to write, I know where I’m going, but I don’t have every single scene plotted out as some authors do. And I pray… a lot. During the time I’m writing a book, God drops ideas into my thought processes. Not just while I’m writing, but other times, too. That’s the exciting thing about writing. This keeps it fresh for me.

When you’ve finished reading this story, I hope you’ll let me know what you think of it. I really like getting reader feedback.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 12

Maureen’s Musings, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 13

The Book Chic Blog, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 14

Bizwings Blog, October 15

Reviewingbooksplusmore, October 15

By the Book, October 16

Kathleen’s Book Review, October 16

lakesidelivingsite, October 17

For Him and My Family, October 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 19

Inklings and notions, October 19

Vicky Sluiter, October 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 22

Joanna Bair, October 22

Bigreadersite, October 23

Mary Hake, October 23

Connie’s History Classroom, October 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 25


To celebrate her tour, Lena is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

The Petticoat Spy

This one is a surprisingly adventurous story. The cover makes it look solely like a romance, but it’s not at all. Set towards the end of the Revolutionary War in Charles Town, South Carolina the novel covers much of the history of the war which I found really interesting. Swamp Fox, spies, and both sides of the war are seen, though I didn’t sympathize with any tories.

You get a good feel for what it was like to be a civilian living in towns that were destroyed, hiding so people didn’t know what side you were on, and all the dangers that come with living during a war.

As I said, the romance was there, but subtle and clean. I feel like I’m this case the novel is way better than it’s cover, so yeah don’t judge a book by its cover.
I really enjoyed the novel and would recommend it for any wanting to read about the south during the American Revolution.

About the Book

Book: The Petticoat Spy

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: October 5, 2021

A Charles Town belle and a blockade runner ignite fireworks in more ways than one during the American Revolution.

To Anna Grace Laurens, the war is like a distant bad dream until her family’s Charles Town plantation is burned and her parents murdered by those loyal to the king. She flees on horseback and leaps into the Cooper River to escape her pursuers.

As John Cooper Vargas sails his sloop down the river, he spots a woman diving into the water. After firing on the Tory raiders chasing her, he rescues her and offers to take her with his parents to an island hideaway for the duration of the war. But she has other plans, including revenge for her parents’ deaths. She insists he drop her off in Charles Town, even with the British planning a massive attack by land and sea to retake the city, the Pearl of the South.

John employs his sailing skills for the patriots, risking capture and death, but he enjoys his skirmishes with the British navy blockade to bring goods from the islands to aid the cause. But when Charles Town falls to the British, he docks his ship in a secret cove and joins Francis Marion’s militia. This decision lands him wounded on a harbor prison ship where more men die than on the battlefield.

Anna Grace braves the deprivations, first of a city barricaded against the British, and then one surrendered and ruled by fists of iron under the English flag and injustice. Can she find a way to rescue John before it’s too late?

As both American and English armies gather near Yorktown, Virginia, for a pivotal battle, can John and Anna’s love for each other and their faith in God preserve them and help forge a new nation?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Elva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at

More from Elva

I loved researching and writing this historical novel in a day when our nation’s true history is being threatened by political change agents. My faith in our godly heritage and the courage and faith of so many true Americans was confirmed as never before. Who can ever discount the wisdom, bravery, and escapades of Francis Marion, Andrew Pickens, and Thomas Sumter that helped save South Carolina after the British retook Charleston? Who can doubt the prayers and courage of George Washington and the Continental Army, and the many brave patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice, or who suffered privation and loss of property but who never gave up the dream of a free nation? We are the land of the free because of the brave.

In honor of the brave patriots, I placed quotes from leaders in this period at the head of each chapter. Here’s the quote I chose to introduce the book:

The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in the course of the war that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith. –George Washington, August 20, 1778.

Many interesting tidbits I found in my research surprised me. Francis Marion was dubbed the Swamp Fox by his British pursuers who could never catch him. His battle tactics gave him the distinction of being the father of modern guerilla warfare and the inspiration for Mel Gibson’s character in The Patriot. Also, Marion did not drink alcoholic beverages. The drink he prescribed for himself and required of anyone who joined his militia was the old Roman drink of water mixed with a little vinegar. Today we know this as a fortifying concoction, and it probably prevented scurvy and was a natural antibiotic for the militia.

Another surprising tidbit I learned was about George Washington. Barely into his second term as president (1793) the popular French Ambassador Genet stirred up a furor with a lot of the colonists. He wanted to force Washington to join France in their renewed war against England. Having just won our independence, the president refused to lead our fledgling nation back into war. Ten thousand people gathered in the streets of Philadelphia, the nation’s then capital, day after day, and threatened to drag Washington out of his house, raucously demanding that America take up France’s struggle for liberty as France had done for America. The peace and unity of the new nation seemed to be hanging by a thread.

Just when it seemed like the new nation would fall over the precipice into anarchy, America was ultimately saved, according to the later retired Vice President Adams, by an outbreak of Yellow Fever in the capital city. “The coolest and firmest minds,” he told Jefferson, “have given their opinions to me, that nothing but Yellow Fever…could have saved the United States from a total Revolution of government.”

The exploding epidemic sent those who could afford to, fleeing the city, and those who couldn’t, locked themselves up inside their homes.

I discovered this incident of heated colonial protest during the recent rioting and destruction of property that rocked our American cities in the summer and fall of 2020. It actually gave me hope for our nation. It seems there have always been hotheads in every generation who rise up against the rule of law and order. However, America and our wonderful Constitution have been preserved, and we give God the praise, and pray for His continued help.

The Petticoat Spy is, above all, Anna Grace Laurens and John Cooper Vargas’ love story. It’s also the story of the patriot dream and victory over an undefeated British military while also dealing with serious supply shortages and conspiring neighbors who hated the dreamers.

It is my prayer that both threads will inspire hope and encouragement to all my readers.

Elva Cobb Martin

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 5

Life, Love, Writing, October 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 6

Rebecca Tews, October 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8

Texas Book-aholic, October 9

Joanna Bair, October 9

Inklings and notions, October 10

Betti Mace, October 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 11

For Him and My Family, October 12

deb’s Book Review, October 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 15

Connect in Fiction, October 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 16

Connie’s History Classroom, October 17

She Lives To Read, October 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 18


To celebrate her tour, Elva is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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

A Warrior’s Heart

Hey all!

I’m starting something new on here! As some of you know I’ve been reviewing books on Instagram for the last two years. Since I haven’t felt like sharing my personal journey as much I’m going to be sticking to books and writing on here.

That said I am excited to share with you A Warrior’s Heart by Misty M Beller.

I first discovered her a couple years ago. she writes historical wilderness survival stories.

I had a hard time putting this one down at the end of my lunch breaks(when I usually read on kindle).

Set in the middle of no where Canada in a mountain cave dwelling a little after the Revolutionary War, you have never read anything like this.

A man stumbles into the community of untrusting cave dwellers and is held prisoner. Even though the war ended fifteen years prior the people have no clue America even exists.
Brielle is a tough warrior girl with a kind heart who grows on you almost as much as her prisoner. The story is believable, flows so well, and has lots of action that keeps it moving. I loved this well written novel so much and will recommend it to anyone looking for a good wilderness historical novel.
I’m super curious about communities like this that may have existed. The man is also looking for an element found only in these caves and that fascinated me. If you don’t know there’s amazing caves I explored when I lived in Malta and when I moved back to CT I discovered some Native American cave dwellings in Seymour CT which were so fun to explore in winter. I kinda pictured those when I pictured this novel, even though they’re not Native Americans. So crazy to think people lived so isolated for so long and through such cold!

I received a copy from celebratelit and these opinions are my own.

You can find the book at any of your favorite places to buy books. Keep scrolling to find out more!

About the Book

Book: A Warrior’s Heart

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 31, 2021

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.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Misty M. Beller is a USA Todaybestselling 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 children 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.

More from Misty

A secret village living in hidden caves for a century…

One of the fun things about being a writer is letting your imagine run away with itself at times. In general, I’ve never considered myself a creative person. Not like my grandmother, who’s an amazing artist and decorator. She can look at something plain and normal and, with a little paint, create something truly beautiful.

But little by little, I’ve finally learned that just because I don’t feel creative like she is, I still have an imagination that can come up with intriguing ideas.

For example, I was listening to a historical podcast a few years ago that talked about the Vikings and the female warriors who would sometimes gain fame among them. As the hosts talked about the first Viking raids to North America, I started thinking… “What if one of those groups went farther west than any of us thought? What if they found the Rocky Mountains and lived there in a hidden community for centuries?” The thought took hold, and little by little, the idea for the Brides of Laurent series came to life.

I eventually changed the village to be a French settlement named Laurent. The village’s primary warrior was a woman named Brielle Durand, who’d worked hard to win her place as Le Commandant, leader of the Guards and Hunters. I love Brielle’s strength and wit, but also how real her personal struggles became as I wrote her character.

Add in a mountain man spy working for the United States government, and you have the secret for a romance with sparks to light up the mountain sky!

I pray you love A Warrior’s Heart, the first book in this new series. And keep an eye on some of the other characters in the book who might get their own stories soon!



Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 30

An Author’s Take, September 30

Remembrancy, October 1

Bigreadersite, October 1

lakesidelivingsite, October 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 2

Joanna Bair, October 2

Inklings and notions, October 3

To Everything There Is A Season, October 3

Reviewingbooksplusmore, October 3

Wishful Endings, October 4

For Him and My Family, October 4

Mary Hake, October 4

deb’s Book Review, October 5

Life of Literature, October 5

Betti Mace, October 6

Blossoms and Blessings, October 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 6

Blessed & Bookish, October 7

Connie’s History Classroom, October 7

For the Love of Literature, October 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 8

Connect in Fiction, October 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 10

Through the Fire Blogs, October 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 11

Simple Harvest Reads, October 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 12

Pause for Tales, October 12

Live. Love. Read., October 12


To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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


It’s been a minute. More like two years since I blogged. The reasons being everything I learned or felt blogworthy wasn’t really for the public eye. But I’m finally out of what I’d call a chaotic stressful season where my main goal was to survive but I’m finding peace and joy again.

Last night we(my roommates and I have been hosting) had people over for prayer. The Lord brought us to the garden of Eden. It’s a theme I haven’t thought on much since my dog, Eden passed, and I said when I got a new dog I’d name it Canaan because that’s the promised land. And I knew God had promised me a place of my own in Florida. I had a dream of it four years ago and last summer the Lord showed me again a house of prayer. But my new dog came with a name. Charley. So I looked it up and it means “free”.

I think the Lord is saying something in that. He’s brought me freedom. Freedom from sickness-finally. Freedom from stress. Freedom from pain. And with all the freedom I have peace which had been so violently stolen from my life with the seizure, but is something I strive for. It’s in my name. Joanna Leigh. God’s gracious gift. From the meadow. What’s in a meadow? Peace.

What was in Eden? Peace. Freedom. Rest.

The Lord is bringing us into summer which for teachers is a season of rest. In the north it’s also garden season where everything flourishes and blossoms.

God wants to bring our lives back to how it was in the garden where He could just walk and talk with them. I just finished a book I was reviewing (Huge thanks to Bethany House for sending me a hard copy ARC!) Paint and Nectar by Ashley Clark and it’s so beautifully written entwining painting, artistry, creation, and the garden of Eden in her writing about Charleston in the 1920s-present day.

The Lord gave us all the plants and animals in the garden to eat. It was perfection, which makes me think nothing was poisonous. There was a mist that came up from the ground. No bad weather. There was work, but no hard labor.

So when a job is fun-which for me has been teaching dance, or other times I know I’m 100% in God’s will and focused on him it doesn’t feel like work.

When I’m blessing my food and eating whole foods like what was in the garden I don’t get so sick as I do with processed stuff. A whole other topic, but throwing it out there.

When a scary animal attacks or bad weather comes I’ve told them to stop or go away in Jesus name and they do. God gave us authority over them in the garden and that authority did not go away. Jesus reminds us of our authority when He came to earth. Because Jesus came to restore everything that was lost in that garden.

We are made in God’s image. Adam and Eve thought if they’d eat the fruit they’d be like God. But they were already created in His image from the beginning!

How many times do we believe lies from the serpent telling us we aren’t like God enough or not a certain way? How much do we compare?

When really God created us exactly how He wanted us with our unique DNA.

On the seventh day God saw everything He created was good. Then He rested. He blessed the seventh day and made it Holy.

My friend, it is ok to rest. Rest in the garden with Him. Go back to the beginning. In the resting there is joy and peace. That’s where strength is gained. Where freedom is found. Walk with Him in the cool of the evening. Listen to His voice. He’s calling out for you.