Thursday, November 30, 2023

Author Interview: Battle for the Crown by Dawn Shipman

Battle for the Crown JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Battle for the Crown by Dawn Shipman, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Battle for the Crown

Title: Battle for the Crown
Lost Stones of Argonia #3
Dawn Shipman
Elk Lake
Release Date:
October 16, 2023
Genre: YA Fantasy (Clean)

“Adventurous quests, prophetic stones, and forbidden romance! Who could possibly ask for more?” —Lindsay A. Franklin, Carol Award–winning author of The Weaver Trilogy

She’s only seventeen—too young to die. 

But the wizard, the ambitious king, and their marauding Borags must be stopped. Fulfilling the prophecy is the only way to defeat them, and after scouring Argonia for the missing gemstones, Lyric and her companions are just steps away from the final, crucial battle. 

If they fail, the world they love will sink into a dark night of destruction. 

If they fail, they will almost certainly die. 

But Lyric is a king’s daughter, and long ago she chose this path. Terrified or not, she will see it to its end, because sometimes, sacrifice is the only way forward. 

Dark magic, tragic loss, and tender romance abound in this gripping conclusion to the Lost Stones of Argonia trilogy.

PURCHASE LINKSGoodreads | Amazon

Excerpt from Battle for the Crown

Marek frowned. “What do you propose?”

She sighed. Raised her chin. “I would like you to go to the southern border. Fell trees, pile brush. Set fires if you have to. Delay them as long as possible.”

He shook his head. “I can’t do that. From the beginning, I’ve had one task on this mission—to keep you safe. I can’t do that from miles away. Don’t ask me to leave you now.”

She gazed steadily at him. “I have to. This is not just about me. It never was.”

More Books in This Series


About the Author

Dawn Shipman

Dawn Shipman knew she wanted to be a writer since Mrs. Juell’s 10th grade Creative Writing class. Since then, she’s written stories, poetry, plays, puzzles, quizzes, and a mass of magazine articles, including interviews, how-tos, and personal experience stories. She believes freelance writing is the ideal occupation for those who are nosy by nature and like asking personal questions.

She is the author of a YA Fantasy series–The Lost Stones of Argonia–-with Elk Lake Publishing in Massachusetts. 

Dawn makes her home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she lives with her long-haired, IT-guy husband, a gregarious German Shepherd, two disdainful cats, and four horses–two large ones and two very small (but mighty!) ones. She loves reading, writing, riding, and traveling. 

Connect with Dawn by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Author Interview with Dawn

Q: What was the inspiration behind Battle for the Crown?

Dawn: As the third and final book in the Lost Stones of Argonia trilogy, I wanted Battle for the Crown to show my main character and her followers, after much hardship and loss, accomplishing their mission.

Q: How long did it take you to write this story?

Dawn: The series took more than five years. Battle for the Crown took about a year

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this book?

Dawn: Warmth flooded Lyric’s heart even as her body pulled her toward sleep. “We’ve come a long way since summer solstice, haven’t we?”

“We’ve flown through the heavens,” Becca said. “We’ll never be the same.”

No, Lyric thought. They never would.

Q:What do you hope readers take away from Battle for the Crown?

Dawn: That by working together with those you love, even the greatest battles can be won. Wizards can be defeated! You can, in effect, change the world.

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

Dawn: I once rode in a 50-mile race on my Appaloosa mare, Chamaree!

Q: How long ago did you start writing?

Dawn: When I was about 12. So, a LONG time ago!

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Dawn: Seeing my books on people’s shelves! No, really, what’s best is being able to create worlds and people right out of my own head. It’s so very fun, and so very addictive!

Q: Do you prefer to read ebooks or physical copies?

Dawn: Physical. I love the feel and smell of “real” books. I worked in our public library for many years and never got over the smell of books! Also, I feel it’s good for me to get away from screens for a while. 😊

Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

Dawn: Eight? I’d have to go count! I have one whole room we just call “the library,” though there are other things there, too.

Q:What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Dawn: Ride my horse in the fields and forests around my house. I am a true horse lover, which probably explains why there are so many horses in my books!

Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will win Kindle copies of all three books in the series--Kingdom Lost, Quest of the Queen, and Battle for the Crown, plus a $10 Amazon gift card!

Battle for the Crown JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 28, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 5, 2023. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. No country restrictions. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Book Spotlight: The Color of Sky and Stone by Sara Davison

The Color of Sky and Stone JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Color of Sky and Stone by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

The Color of Sky and Stone

Title: The Color of Sky and Stone
In the Shadows #1
Sara Davison
Independently Published (through The Mosaic Collection)
Release Date:
November 22, 2023
Romantic Suspense (Christian)

She is the only one who truly sees him.
Which makes her his greatest threat.

Black ops undercover agent Tane Temauri—code name Vapor—has made it his life’s mission to stay out of sight. Given the dangers inherent in his job, the last thing he can afford is to step into the open and become a target. Again. 

Then a letter from a mysterious stranger changes everything. Although the letter was not meant for him, somehow, on a greater, cosmic scale, it feels as though it is. 

But answering it will make Tane vulnerable. 

Can he emerge from the shadows and risk everything for a woman he has never met? 

 If he does, more than his heart could be on the line. 

So could his life. 

And hers.

PURCHASE LINKSGoodreads | Amazon | BookBub


The letter wasn’t meant for him. But wasn’t it possible that, on a larger, cosmic scale, it was? Somehow it had fallen into his hands. The thought of the woman, whoever she was, going to the post office and sliding a key into the hole, only to be disappointed by the sight of the empty metal box, crushed him. Even so, it wasn’t his path that had crossed with hers, however briefly. Responding to the letter would require assuming the identity of his dead partner, his friend.

Which meant he’d be keeping Johnny’s memory alive. A tribute, of sorts.

Tane pursed his lips. The mental fencing match felt a lot like an attempt on his part to justify the unjustifiable.

Still, the picture the woman had drawn, of light shining through a window on a dark night, seeped deep into his bones.

What harm could it do? She’d never know it wasn’t Johnny who’d written her back. Tane could send a letter or two, let her know what her words had meant to him and wish her well, as she had done his partner. After that, their correspondence would end, and they could get on with their lives. While it lasted, though, they might both be able to draw comfort from it, a small amount of warmth in the midst of a cold, cold world.

About the Author

Sara Davison

Sara Davison has a passion for writing stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats—and maybe swooning a little. Beyond that, she longs for readers to discover, as her characters do, that whatever they are going through they are never alone. God is always with them. A finalist for more than a dozen national writing awards, Davison is a Cascade, Word, and two-time Carol Award winner for romantic suspense. Like every good Canadian, she loves coffee, hockey, poutine, and apologizing for no particular reason.

Connect with Sara by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a paperback copy of The Color of Sky and Stone, a $25 Amazon card, and a Romans 8:39-39 wall hanging

(1) winner will win a paperback copy of The Color of Sky and Stone

The Color of Sky and Stone JustRead Blog Tour Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 27, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 4, 2023. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Friday, November 24, 2023

Author Interview: Demolishing the Stronghold by Allen Brokken

About the Book

Book: Demolishing the Stronghold

Author: Allen Brokken

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Release Date: November 4, 2023

Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan finally found respite for their whole family in the grove surrounding the Wellspring of Life. However, the threat of the Dark One’s forces still looms over the Heathlands, and lighting the tower of Light in Blooming Glen is their only hope of cleansing their land of The Darkness once and for all. While the family plans a surprise attack on the stronghold at Blooming Glen, the Bishop calls forth the Calamitous Drake, a monster forged from the essence of The Darkness in the corrupted heart of the Iron Mountain. In the midst of the battle, the monster scatters the family, leaving Mother, Uncle, and Tye in the hands of Lord Refi’Cul and the evil giant Skull Crusher who aims to make Tye his wife and become the Master of the Heath Wardens

The children must take to the skies to forge a weapon capable of defeating the Calamitous Drake. Will Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan’s faith give them the strength to Demolish the Stronghold?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Allen Brokken is a teacher at heart, a husband, and a father most of all. He’s a joyful writer by the abundant grace of God. He began writing the Towers of Light series for his own children to help him illustrate the deep truths of the Bible in an engaging and age-appropriate way. He’s dedicated 18 years to volunteer roles in children’s ministry and youth development. Now that his children are off to college, he’s telling stories and sharing clean humor on social media.

More from Allen

As I worked to close out the Towers of Light series, I had to work hard to develop something new and different that still fit the 1800s frontier setting.  I had a lot of pressure from my readers to bring a dragon to the prairie.  On multiple occasions, I had to remind my biggest fans that there aren’t any dragons on the prairie.  But they were insistent that dragons make an appearance.

So, as I put the final touches on the previous book, Wellspring of Life, I thought that the censors spreading evil could bring evil things into the world to corrupt the prairie. So, the concept of a dragon formed from the censor’s smoke made a lot of sense.  But what would a “Smoke Dragon” be like?  I shared the idea with my Realm Makers critique group, and they helped form something that early feedback says works well.  The dragon’s name, The Calamitous Drake, is also an homage to a line from “The Hobbit” that refers to Smaug as a great calamity.

With a dragon flying about, I also had to devise a way for the kids to engage it in the air.  This took significant research as I didn’t want to introduce giant eagles or something else that didn’t exist on the frontier.  As I investigated different options, I discovered that hot air balloons were more common in the 1800’s than I thought.  It turned out they served in minor roles during the Civil War and used a technology they called a gasifier to fill them up.  I took some artistic liberty with that, and Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan now had a way to get off the ground to meet the dragon in the air.

This story was so much fun to write, and early reviews from my biggest fans say it was the perfect end to the series.

Author Interview

What was the inspiration behind this novel?

I began the Towers of Light Series as a story for my kids. I was traveling for work 4 days a week and spent a lot of lonely nights in hotels across the country. I started writing a story about them in a fantastic setting and then shared it on the weekends. They loved it.

Q: Do any of the novel’s characters hold a special place in your heart?

Allen: Of course! The main characters are based on, and named after, my three children.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this novel?

Allen: “Your Iron Sister at your service little brother.” This comes at a point where I had a really dramatic entrance that I was trying to kind of pull of the Marvel Comics heroic jump into the scene to save the day. I just loved how the whole scene came off. It’s very cinematic and I hope that makes it into a movie some time.

Q: If the novel was made into a movie, who would like you to see play the main characters?

Allen: I don’t know that I have a dream cast overall, but I hope that some day Stacey Bradshaw who does my audiobook narration could be Mother in the story.

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers wouldn’t know?

Allen: My first big publication was a letter to the editor of the Marvel Comics Star Wars Comic #84.

Q:What are you reading now?

Allen: A friend of me put me on to a contemporary thriller called The Judge. It’s out of my normal genre and reading tastes, but I’m really enjoying it.

Q: Who is an author you would recommend to anyone and everyone?

Allen: I like funny kid books. Something that takes the edge off. Iggy and Oz: The Soda Pop Wars, by JJ Johnson, or I’d Punch a Tiger in the Eye for You by Ben Wolf come to mind. In my genre, I have a toss-up of who I admire most right now. I love Wayne Thomas Batson’s allegorical style. But I think Robert Liparulo does a great job of dropping scripture naturally in the story in a way that just feels authentic.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Allen: I play a lot of games. Lately, it’s a mix of XBOX, No Man’s Sky to be exact. I’ve got a gaming group and we’ve been playing online for over 20 years. We’re mostly all over 50 now and a bit slow. We call ourselves Team Fail and our motto is “Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory since 1999.” For my 50th birthday, we all got together in person, and it was a blast. I also play Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures battles with my eldest son on Sundays after church as a way to make sure we stay connected now that he’s out of the house.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your novel?

Allen: On my website I am also on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, November 11 (Author Interview)

Fiction Book Lover, November 12 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

Guild Master, November 15 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, November 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 17 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Blossoms and Blessings, November 19 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 20

A Reader’s Brain, November 21 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 22

Lights in a Dark World, November 23

Beauty in the Binding, November 24 (Author Interview)


To celebrate his tour, Allen 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.

Link for giveaway:

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Author Interview: Steal Fire from the Gods by Clint Hall

About the Book 

Book: Steal Fire from the Gods

Author: Clint Hall

Genre: Science Fiction

Release Date: November 7, 2023

The Human Alliance knew the war was over when the machines started using magic to cast fire, shake the ground, conjure storms, and part the seas.

We fought back anyway.

22-year-old soldier Gunnar Graves lost his faith and his family when a platoon of AI-driven war machines—led by an android fire mage— destroyed his unit. Forced to live in a machine-controlled village and hiding a dark secret, he spends his days trying to learn elemental power so he can take his revenge. After years of failure, his ability ignites when he least expects it.

On the run and hunted by the war machines, Gunnar discovers that an ancient, life-based strength has awakened to help humanity fight back. Joined by the other life mages, Gunnar is thrust into a mad world of android overlords, cyborg clans, and evil forces bent on his destruction.

To protect his newfound family, Gunnar must discover the truth behind a power he doesn’t understand and wage a war he doesn’t believe they can win.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Clint Hall is a storyteller, speaker, and podcast host. He has been writing stories since middle school, where he spent most of his time in class creating comic books. (Fortunately, his teacher not only allowed it; she bought every issue.) Known for instilling a sense of hope, wonder, and adventure, Clint’s work has been published across multiple anthologies and magazines. Find him at or “The Experience: Conversations with Creatives” podcast, available on all major platforms.

Author Interview with Clint

Q: What was the inspiration behind this novel?

Clint: Thanks for having me on your blog!

Steal Fire From The Gods came from a bizarre idea I had driving home one day. I have another (unpublished) series in which multiple worlds are at war. The most powerful planet is inhabited solely by war machines, although the other worlds have various magics to fight back.

One day, I asked myself what would happen if the war machines had magic and immediately realized that wouldn’t be a fair fight at all. I came up with this line: “The Human Alliance knew it was over when the robots started using magic.”

The sentence made me laugh, and I called my wife to share the silly idea. Trying to write a compelling story in which an already overwhelming enemy becomes even more ridiculously powerful became a challenge for me.

After that, I came up with everything else – the characters, the backstory, the world, everything. Fittingly, a modified version of that original line is the first sentence that appears in the final book.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this novel?

Clint: “In most, I saw fear. In few, I saw hope. Those few were enough.”

Every chapter from the book begins with a (fictional) quote from someone who lived through the war against the machines, which took place before the book starts. This one stands out because it reminds me that we only need the slightest spark of hope to keep moving forward. The tiniest spark is enough because it can ignite fires that burn brighter than we could have ever imagined.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from this novel?

Clint: This is a weird, fast-paced, action-packed story about a hero fighting an army of AI-driven war machines that harnessed elemental magic. If the only thing people take away from this book is an entertaining story with many surprises, that’s great.

But among the deeper messages of the story, one in which I hope some people find comfort is that often our deepest secrets and darkest shames can turn out to be our greatest sources of power, particularly when we use them to help someone else.

Q: What are you reading now?

Clint: Right now, I’m reading Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson at the recommendation of a friend. It’s a fantastic book about creativity from a spiritual perspective that I highly recommend. The audiobook is excellent because it includes excerpts from Peterson’s songs to demonstrate some of his points.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Clint: Outside of writing, most of my time is spent with my wife and our two sons. I also spend a lot of time creating podcasts and even music.

But when I can, I like to go out to my driveway and play basketball. I could stay out there for hours just taking shots. I often listen to a sermon, an audiobook, or a meditation, but sometimes I let my mind wander. It’s a peaceful place for me. I first started attending church in high school only because I got invited to play for that church’s team. I think that’s why basketball will always be special to me; in many ways, it brought me to God.

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your novel?

Clint: Just go to That has links to my social media channels, my podcast, my books, and much more.

More from Clint

When I first heard the song See A Victory by Elevation Worship, I assumed the lyrics, “You took what the enemy meant for evil and You turned it for good,” were pulled verbatim (translated, of course) from the Bible, probably one of Paul’s letters.

Despite not knowing exactly from where they came, the words stuck with me. It’s inspiring to believe that God can take the terrible things that have happened to us – or even because of us – and use them to bring about something beautiful.

When I looked them up, I found that the lyrics are actually a derivation of what Joseph said to his brothers years after they sold him into slavery. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV)

Placing the words within the context of a story makes them even more impactful for me. It’s astounding to think about Joseph’s faith and spiritual maturity to not only offer forgiveness in this moment, but also to recognize the immense benefits that have arisen from such a horrific injustice against him.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much this passage is related to my book. That’s the funny thing about writing stories. You often don’t know what they’re about until you’re done.

Steal Fire From The Gods is the most faith-based story I’ve ever written. It’s also the darkest and certainly the weirdest. It’s an action-packed book in which AI has discovered the secrets of elemental magic and used that power to overthrow humanity.

But that’s just the concept. This story isn’t about magic robots. It’s about a person undergoing a crisis of faith. And you could hardly blame him.

Gunnar Graves and his family did everything the right way. They were faithful, devoted, and kind. They prayed, studied God’s Word, and followed His laws. Then, they were decimated. As a result, Gunnar is angry at God and even at his late parents for their blind faith that – from his perspective – ultimately failed them all.

Gunnar spends much of the story trying to harness magic for what he believes is a righteous cause. But despite his altruistic intentions, it eludes him, causing him even more anger and frustration. How could an all-powerful, all-loving God place such an awesome power into the hands of oppressive machines instead of mankind?

To make matters worse, Gunnar and other characters in the story have secrets that I won’t spoil in this blog. Suffice to say there are aspects of who they are and what they have done that would cause most people to cast them out if the truth became known. So instead, they hide themselves from God and other humans. More separation. More shame. More darkness.

It often feels that way for believers. In our weakness, we can simultaneously be angry at God for what we perceive as injustice – getting what we don’t think we deserve, or not getting what we think we do – while also being convinced there is something about us that will prevent us from ever connecting with His love, joy, and peace.

But there is always hope. God often reminds us of His presence by not only saving us from our circumstances but also using our weaknesses as tools to create wonderful outcomes. Paradoxically, good comes about not in spite of evil, but seemingly because of it.

As believers, we understand this is not a function of necessity. To bring about this good, God did not need evil to occur. But He will use it to demonstrate His ability to turn the enemy’s own weapons against him.

These occurrences wouldn’t make sense outside the knowledge that there is an all-powerful, all-loving Father. That reminder of His presence – that He must be with us because otherwise, such good springing from such evil would be impossible – is in many cases a greater blessing than the good itself.

But He will not force these blessings upon us. We are free to choose whether we will trust and accept them. We do so through faith, selflessness, and surrender.

That’s where we find the power. That’s where we find goodness. That’s where we find hope.

That’s what I want readers to take away from this book.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Artistic Nobody, November 15 (Author Interview)

Exploring the Written Word, November 15

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, November 16

Guild Master, November 17 (Author Interview)

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 18

Through the Fire Blogs, November 19 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, November 20

Beauty in the Binding, November 21 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Simple Harvest Reads, November 24 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, November 24

Blogging With Carol, November 25

Labor Not in Vain, November 26

Fiction Book Lover, November 27 (Author Interview)


To celebrate his tour, Clint is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and signed 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.

Link for giveaway:

Book Spotlight: From an Unknown Sender

From an Unknown Sender JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for From an Unknown Sender by Traci Hunter Abramson & Sian Ann Bessey, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

From an Unknown Sender

Title: From an Unknown Sender
Falcon Point Suspense #2
Traci Hunter Abramson & Sian Ann Bessey
Covenant Communications
Release Date:
November 21, 2023
Clean Suspense

After spending a busy holiday season putting drug smugglers behind bars, CIA operative Cole Bridger is looking forward to spending a quiet Christmas in Vienna with his girlfriend and fellow operative, Isabelle Roberts. But when Isabelle is tasked with investigating a string of suspect financial transactions and redirects a suspicious package to a museum in Amsterdam, she inadvertently places Cole’s cousins in the crosshairs of a drug smuggling ring. 

Lars and Marit have no desire to be drawn into the deadly dealings of the criminal underworld, but when Lars’s sister, Tess’s, life is placed in danger, they willingly join Cole and Isabelle in their efforts to uncover the mastermind behind the drug smuggling ring. Unfortunately, the two couples’ involvement does not go unnoticed. And though each step brings them closer to the truth, they also reveal a startling picture of greed and corruption at the center of a dangerous organization that will stop at nothing to retrieve what it has lost.

PURCHASE LINKSGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Cole tucked his chin against his chest as he walked past the surveillance camera in the hotel hallway. The ballcap on his head would hide his face in case anyone happened to be watching—or more precisely, if anyone watched the camera’s feed later.

Not that he was doing anything illegal. Well, not really. He wasn’t sure the Budapest police force would approve of him entering a hotel room that didn’t belong to him without consulting with them first, but the little piece of paper in Cole’s pocket gave him permission to do it.

More Books in This Series

  The Danger with Diamonds

About the Authors

Traci Hunter Abramson  Sian Ann Bessy

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas as well as the skills needed to survive her children’s teenage years. She loves to travel and recently retired after twenty-six years coaching her local high school swim team. She has written forty-five best-selling novels and is an eight-time Whitney Award winner, including 2017 and 2019 Best Novel of the Year.

Connect with Traci by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, and grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales. She left her homeland to attend university in the US, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications, with a minor in English. She began her writing career as a student, publishing several articles in magazines while still in college. Since then, she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children’s books. She is a USA Today best-selling author, a Foreword Reviews Book of the Year finalist, and a Whitney Award finalist.

Sian and her husband, Kent, are the parents of five children and the grandparents of three beautiful girls and two handsome boys. They currently live in southeast Idaho, and although Sian doesn’t have the opportunity to speak Welsh very often anymore, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch still rolls off her tongue. Traveling, reading, cooking, and being with her grandchildren are some of Sian’s favorite activities. She also loves hearing from her readers. 

Connect with Sian by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will each win a $20 Amazon gift card!

From an Unknown Sender JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 20, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 27, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Friday, November 17, 2023

Epic Book Launch: The Marine’s Deadly Reunion by Loretta Eidson

About the Book:

Book Title: The Marine’s Deadly Reunion

Author Name: Loretta Eidson

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Release Date: December 26, 2023

When Sergeant Daria Gordon saves US Marine Jake Fisher and his baby niece from an attacker, she instantly puts a target on her own back. Someone murdered Jake’s sister, and now they want Jake and Daria dead. To survive, Jake and Daria must discover this ruthless killer’s identity. But can they uncover the truth and keep the baby safe . . . before the killer finds them?

Book Excerpt:

It was him. The first guy she’d ever had a crush on. He’d matured well and was more handsome than ever. She’d gone out with several of the local guys through the years, but they weren’t to her liking. Dating was the last thing on her agenda right now, although seeing Jake again might move it up the list. She couldn’t give in to her attraction. He had a baby, which meant he was already taken.

“I remember Mandy. Jake, I’m Daria, in case you didn’t recognize me.” Her heart thundered.

“I thought you looked familiar.” He rested his arm on the open car door. “Thought you wanted to be a nurse.”

“Well, I thought you were going to play football.”

With a mature and brawny Jake standing in front of her, memories of all the fun they’d had as kids resurfaced. Was he still the easygoing guy she remembered? Didn’t matter. She had to focus on proving herself an efficient, well-trained cop. Especially after her supervisor’s warning to get control of her anger issues. That disruptive vacationer and his dad six months ago had gotten on her last nerve. Richard and Tony Schneider.

About the Author:

Award-winning author Loretta Eidson loves writing inspirational romantic suspense. Her first novel, Pursued in the Wilderness, published by Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, won the 2023 Romance Novel of the Year award in AWSA’s (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) Golden Scroll Awards and was a finalist in the 2023 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Director’s Choice Award in General Fiction.

She believes in the power of prayer and enjoys challenging her characters to trust God in all things. Loretta is an AWSA Certified Coach for aspiring writers, and she lives in North Mississippi, close to her family.

Book Spotlight: It's Your Love by Rachel D. Russell

It's Your Love JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for It's Your Love by Rachel D. Russell, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

It's Your Love

Title: It's Your Love
Fox Bakery #2
Rachel D. Russell
Sunrise Publishing
Release Date:
November 7, 2023
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

When Grayson Fox is asked to return home to Deep Haven and run the wrangler activities for the local camp, the last thing he expects is to run into the one woman he never wanted to see again. Worse…she’s his boss. But Grayson has big hopes for a life back in Oregon, and he must keep the promise to the camp in order to keep his dreams alive.

Just because Beth Strauss has stuck around Deep Haven doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a bigger life. And becoming the camp assistant director is the first step to that bigger life. Of course, standing in her way happens to be the one man who has always managed to derail her dreams, way too arrogant Grayson Fox. 

But if they want to keep the camp afloat and their dreams alive, these two must learn to work together. But will these enemies become sweethearts, and if they do, will they find something better than the dreams they’re striving for?  

The next delightful installment of the Fox Family series!

PURCHASE LINKSGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | BookBub

More Books in This Series

  The Way You Love Me

Excerpt from It's Your Love

He slowed Maverick when he saw Beth leading Rex from the hitching post. He hadn’t expected her to say yes when he’d invited her to check the trails, but then, maybe he hadn’t misread that look on her face in the bakery. When he’d been nearly certain she’d wanted him to kiss her.

She wore a blue T-shirt with her jeans and had her hair hanging loose under her hat.

Like she belonged there. Like it was still natural for her to be leading a horse.

He relaxed in the saddle, drawing in Maverick’s pace to a stop near the gate. He let the horse stretch his neck out, long and low. Mav blew out a contented breath. “Ready?”

Beth tilted her head. “It’s funny—I love it. I don’t know why, but it still gives me butterflies.”

She gave him butterflies. Or something. Whatever that unfamiliar rush of adrenaline was called that swirled in his chest.

He leaned down and swung the gate open before side-passing Mav and closing the gate. “And yet you can’t help yourself.”

She looked up at him and grinned. “It seems so.” She rubbed Rex’s neck. “This feels really good.” She led her horse to a mounting block that sat outside the arena panels and hopped on. All by herself. Like she’d never been away from it.

Okay, he was maybe a little proud at the confidence she’d been building.

About the Author

Rachel D. Russell

Rachel D. Russell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers, My Book Therapy’s Novel Academy, and is a regular contributor to the Learn How to Write a Novel blog. When Rachel’s not cheering on one of her two teens at sporting events, she’s often interrogating her husband on his own military and law enforcement experience to craft believable heroes in uniform. The rest of her time is spent cantering her horse down the Oregon trails and redirecting her three keyboard-hogging cats.

Connect with Rachel by visiting to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.

Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a print copy of It's Your Love and $10 gift card to the Sunrise Shop!

It's Your Love JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 13, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 20, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Monday, November 13, 2023

Movie Review: Surprised by Oxford

 About the Movie:

Caro Drake, a brilliant but emotionally guarded American student, arrives at the University of Oxford with the goal of attaining her PhD. Through a turbulent friendship with a charming young man, she begins to open herself up to mystery, vulnerability, and love.

Surprised by Oxford is available to purchase or rent during the month of November!

Watch the Trailer:

My Thoughts:

Watching Surprised by Oxford reminded me of my English major days. Academic discussion about Romantic period authors such as Donne, Milton, and Shelley delighted my literature-loving heart, but clever narrative ensured viewer understanding for those unfamiliar with these authors.

I also enjoyed the visual footage of Oxford University. This old landmark, full of academia, history, and stories untold, created an enchanting setting for Carolyn Weber’s faith journey. Her personal development unfolded as the movie explored Caro’s struggle to acknowledge that intellect, while wonderful and necessary, does not explain everything. Likable characters surrounded Caro and bits of humor made me smile. The love story was a miss for me, but obviously it worked well for the real-life Webers. 

Caro’s post-grad experience held some grit. There’s profanity (no F-bomb), other crude language, and sexual innuendo. While it seemed edgy for a faith-based movie, it’s pretty tame compared to college experiences of today. I didn’t like the language and innuendo, but it didn’t make me turn the movie off. More conservative viewers may want to avoid the movie, while others may not be bothered by this content.

Surprised by Oxford is adapted from Carolyn Weber’s memoir of the same title, which is now on my wish list. I didn’t realize until the end credits that the real Carolyn Weber makes a cameo as a professor discussing C. S. Lewis.

Disclaimer of Material Connection: Many thanks to Evolve Studios for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Learn more about SURPRISED BY OXFORD:


One reader of this post will receive free Vimeo download code to watch the film. US only. Giveaway ends 11/16/2023 at 11:59 A. M. EST.

Enter by leaving a comment on this post that includes your full name and email address.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Movie Review: Journey to Bethlehem

 About the Movie:

A young woman carrying an unimaginable responsibility. A young man torn between love and honor. A jealous king who will stop at nothing to keep his crown. 

This live-action Christmas musical adventure for the entire family weaves classic Christmas melodies with humor, faith, and new pop songs in a retelling of the greatest story ever told—the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus. A unique new entry into the collection of holiday classic movies, this epic Christmas musical is unlike any before it. 

See JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM in theaters beginning November 10.

Watch the Trailer:

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed Journey to Bethlehem, a faith-based film focused on the events that preceded the birth of Jesus. As expected from the movie trailer, Journey to Bethlehem is a creative musical with characters that break into song and dance to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Whether the tracks were emotionally intense or lighter fanfare, the performers executed the songs and choreography with impressive precision and vocal quality.

The entire cast of Journey to Bethlehem performed well, but Antonio Banderas as the cruel King Herod was spot on. Fiona Palomo brought Mary’s humanity to the forefront of this story while Joel Smallbone (of the CCM band For King and Country) played the dark and unexpectedly fascinating character of Antipater (Herod’s son and heir to the throne).

Some favorite characters of mine in Journey to Bethlehem included Joseph, Aunt Elizabeth, and the three wise men. Joseph loved Mary well despite their unusual situation. Aunt Elizabeth didn’t spend much time on screen, but she spoke words of wisdom and humor. The three wise men offered comic relief with their interpersonal dynamics.

By accident or intention, Journey to Bethlehem held some 21st-century influence. On Mary’s journey to visit Elizabeth, she wore an orange dress that was lovely and modest, but not true to the time. Also, “aromatherapy”, “essential oils”, and “so stinkin’ good” are words/phrases of modernity with those items and experiences being expressed differently in past times.

I have read concerns that Journey to Bethlehem does not adhere to the Biblical account of events and portrays Mary as overly rebellious. In my opinion, the plot stayed true to the major events given in Scripture but filled in the unknowns with music and a creative narrative. The film presented the characters as real people with understandable challenges and emotions. Mary struggled to accept her betrothal to Joseph and expressed her feelings of inadequacy to be mother to the Son of God. However, there is never any doubt that she will be obedient to her earthly father and Heavenly Father.  Mary’s fears, desires, and emotions added depth to the story and made her feel human.

I also enjoyed the romance and the film creators’ take on how Mary and Joseph might have fallen in love and created a marriage partnership while living out their extraordinary life callings. A piece of creative license at the end allows Mary to explain that this baby, Jesus, came to save the lost – of which we all are a part. I appreciated the inclusion of humanity’s need for a Savior, though some may find a certain character’s presence unlikely. I do wish that Mary’s Magnificat had been included as it’s a beautiful passage of Scripture that could have fit seamlessly into the movie.

I watched Journey to Bethlehem with my daughters (ages 11 and 8). Both girls were okay with the content even during the darker scenes. They asked questions during the movie: “Did that really happen?” “I haven’t heard that before.” Etc.… We had a good conversation regarding the film, and it helped them understand that the Bible stories they learn hold truth, but only represent chosen parts of a person’s life.

To conclude my review of Journey to Bethlehem, I will say that watching this movie brought me edification and joy. I appreciated it all: the story, the songs and choreography, the romance, the character development of Mary and Joseph, and the humor. I plan to purchase a copy when it arrives on Blu-ray/DVD.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Many thanks to AFFIRM Films, Inc. for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Learn more about JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM:

Flash Ticket Giveaway:

One reader of this post will receive two free tickets to see JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM. US only. Giveaway ends 11/13/2023 at 11:59 A. M. EST.

Enter by leaving a comment on this post that includes your full name and email address.

Author Interview: Settlers & Toffs by Caryl McAdoo

About the Book

Book: Settlers & Toffs

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: August 23, 2023

New and old collide in SETTLERS & TOFFS as Ambrose Lee and Blaire build a hotel and a new life together with a remnant from the wagon train he captained in ’49. Settling in Auburn, California, they deal with the gold rush boom town’s growing pangs while the next Earl of Farnsworth, William Cromwell, voyages home to England with his intended Clara and her family. Though separated by a country and an ocean, troubles and trials plague them all. Revisit old friends from Book One WAGONS WEST and meet new ones in this second novel of the New Beginnings Family Saga! This story has been previously published on Kindle Vella with the same title as episodes for Season Two. Season Three, ANSWERING THE CALL episodes are now available at Kindle Vella now.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling tales—coming up on seventy titles now published—delight readers all around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen to those at her YouTube channel.

She loves working in the yard at The Peaceable, her home tucked away on twenty acres, mowing and planting flowers. She lives there with Ron, her high school sweetheart and husband of fifty-five years, five dogs, two dairy goats she milks daily, a flock of chickens, and a plethora of barn cats.

The couple shares four children and twenty-seven grandsugars, six are greats. Caryl and Ron love their quiet, country life in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas and wait expectantly for God to open the next door so they may do His will.

More from Caryl

I started writing “episodes” for Kindle Vella the first month they opened the new format with WAGONS WEST, season one in the New Beginnings Family Saga Season One. For those who don’t read at Kindle Vella, after the ”season” has been up thirty days, the author can create a book!

The episodes become chapters and WAGONS WEST debuted last November 2022! The SETTLERS & TOFFS story is “Season Two” and I’m tickled pink with it! Book One in the series was an epic wagon train story that ended when they got to the gold fields around Auburn California.

In Book Two, the characters spread out across the globe, and we follow them all. Some of those who arrived in covered wagons began to build the pioneer town of Auburn, making a new home for themselves. Some panning for gold and others building hotels and businesses the miners need.

Some travel to merry old England where one of the wagon train sojourners has been called home after his older brother’s death to be the future Earl of Farnsworth. Having fallen in love, he couldn’t bear to leave Clara behind, so arranges for her family to accompany him. So many of the main characters sail away cross the seas.

The third storyline in SETTLERS & TOFFS becomes another wagon train when the scout in book one decides with his wife to go and bring another group of settlers to the new land—a very lucrative business venture for the captains who knew the way.

There are plenty of characters who come in and out as the story progresses. I’ve come to love the primary ones. There are struggles at every turn. Trials and tribulations fill many of their days, but there are those joyous ones as well!

Through it all, the Lord—still on the throne and in control in 1850—helps His children overcome and blesses them beyond measure . . . just as He does today. He is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek him and obey His commandments—then and now.

My author’s motto is “Praying my story gives God glory!” I also pray that its readers will be drawn into a closer walk with the Almighty as they walk alongside these awesome, stalwart folks who settled the West! They had it rough, but God . . . PRAISE HIM!

They sure do! And so do I!

Author Interview with Caryl

Q: How long did it take you to write this novel?

Caryl: Because this story was originally written as episodes for Kindle Vella, it was written in little pieces here and there, sort of “around” my other books that had deadlines! So we didn’t start this one and write it right through.

But it has north of 350 pages, and at 250 words per page (average), that means a total of more than 87,000 words, that would mean—because we write an average of 1000 words per day that we took 887 days to write it! 😊 They just weren’t consecutive!

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers wouldn’t know?

Caryl: I have a herd of 8 Nubian goats and have been milking six of them twice a day! Ron and I love the creamy, raw, fresh milk! It’s delicious!

Q: In what setting do you enjoy writing the most?

Caryl: I don’t “write around”! tee hee hee All of my stories are written on Ron’s computer which is on a desk in our bedroom, usually with the television on Fox News in the background 😊

Q: What are you reading now?

Caryl: I’m reading a book my mother wrote that has Scriptures for all situations and occasions! I’m transposing it as I read so that it can soon be published! Some of the tabs in it are Alcoholism, abortion, anxiety, baptism, depression, forgiveness for starters. She was one of the ladies answering the phones when people called into the Christian TV Station needing prayer. She created this book and I believe many people would love to have her organization and Scriptures for this or that at their fingertips!

Q: Who is an author you would recommend to anyone and everyone?

Caryl: Bodie Thoene. I love her series—all of them! Every book made me laugh and cry! I love books like that! I read them twenty or even thirty years ago and still think of those characters sometimes. Excellent author!

Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your novel?

Caryl: Online, if you google Caryl McAdoo, it’s ridiculous how many pages come up! All of my titles are on Amazon, so that’s the first place I send folks. Also on GoodReads, BookBub, AllAuthor, and so many more! And of course, there’s always my website! 😊

Thanks again for having me! God bless you, Jolene, and your readers!

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 5

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 8 (Author Interview)

Books You Can Feel Good About, November 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 10

Beauty in the Binding, November 11 (Author Interview)

The Lit Lady, November 11

For Him and My Family, November 12

For the Love of Literature, November 13 (Author Inteview)

Exploring the Written Word, November 13

Holly’s Book Corner, November 14

Cover Lover Book Review, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16


To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and signed 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.

Link for giveaway: