Saturday, June 23, 2018

There's Trouble in Appleton!

I'd like to welcome Tobias (Toby) Lee Gibson and Amy Sanderson to our Stitches Thru Time Blog today for an interview on Carole Brown's upcoming 4th book in her Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series: Toby's Troubles.

Carole: Toby, can you tell us what you do?
Toby:  I'm co-owner (with my sister Caroline--whose story is told in book three) of Undiscovered Treasures, a shop filled with antiques, collectibles. and junk.

Carole:  That's fascinating, and I know Caroline's cover made me want to delve right into your shop! Will you give us a clue of what the problem is in your book?
Toby:  Sure. To begin with, there were several break-ins in the middle of the night. I jokingly called the person a "ghost".  He/She didn't steal anything at first. But when things began getting out of hand--breaking into my friend's flower/landscaping business and making a mess, then kidnapping her--well that didn't go over so good with me. I figured if this was to be settled, I needed to dig in and find a few clues.

Carole:  Do I get a hint of romance with this Amy?
Toby:  Maybe. I can't give away all the secrets of the book, but she is a very good friend who puts up with my dilly-dallying. She's smart, owns her own business, and is beautiful.

Carole:  I see I won't get much more from you right now, so I'll ask Amy a few questions. Amy, give me a hint of what the story is about. Toby mentioned break-ins...
Amy (laughs):  Several break-ins. It's an exciting time, and Toby and I, with the help of our town police chief, do our best to find out what's going on. There's a missing treasure chest, a stolen van, a head injury, suspicious new visitors in town, a kidnapping that Toby's already mentioned, and (sigh) my sister comes home.

Carole:  You don't sound too excited about your sister's return...
Amy:  I'm not. She's spoiled, wild and trouble. Those three words describe her perfectly.

Carole:  Toby, can you tell me one thing about Amy not many would notice?
Toby:  Just one?  She loves lilacs. Oh, and one more: she has hazel eyes, which means green and brown, right? But sometimes, rarely, the color blue will shine through. Not often, and only at special times...

Carole:  And I don't think you'll tell me about those special times, will you?
Toby:  Nope.

Carole:  Amy? What about you? Can you share a not-so-well-known item about Toby?
Amy:  Love to!  He's a regular jokester and doesn't like for people to see that he's a gentle soul, and everybody loves him. He spends time after shop hours with our church's youth group and the community theater, which he worked hard to get off the ground. It's a huge success.

Carole: Sounds like the perfect place to live. Can you tell me--either one of you--when does your book release?
Toby and Amy together:  July, this year!

Carole: And it will be on Amazon, right, for us to buy?
Toby: Yep. Here's Carole's author page where you can see all her books: 

Carole: do you have a blurb for us?
Amy:  Sure. Here it is:

Toby's Troubles Blurb
Everyone loves Toby Gibson. A co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, a unique shop of antiques, collectibles, and junk, Toby is friendly, generous to a fault, the director of the local plays in Appleton and supports his church's youth functions. But the minute his sister, Caroline and her new husband, take off for their honeymoon, a “ghost” begins to haunt the shop—or maybe it's just an intruder. If so, Toby has no idea for what the thing is looking. To add to his troubles, he suspects Amy, not only is bidding for the property he's wanted forever but is in love with him. And he's not interested.

Amy Sanderson who owns the only flower shop in Appleton—Bloomin' Life—is drawn into capturing Toby's “ghost” when her own business is damaged by a destructive intruder. Having loved Toby since a teenager, she's more than willing to join forces with him. But she has no interest in being his best friend or a sister to him. And if she has to resort to schemes of outbidding him at his frequent auction attendances to get his attention, then so be it. She can be just as stubborn as the man who's determined to ignore her love.

In between the break-ins, destruction of property, thefts and personal competitions against each other, Amy and Toby work together to find the thief who seems so determined to find a valuable item, he'll stop at nothing.  

Carole:  Thank you, Amy and Toby, for joining me today! Oh, one last question. Who's your favorite author?
Toby and Amy, chorusing together:  Carole Brown, of course! We carry all her books in both of our shops. 

A Question for Readers:
If you could shop in such a shop as Undiscovered Treasures,
what would you search for?
Anything in particular?

About Carole:

Besides being an active participant in many writing groups, Carole is an award-winning author and enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense, tough topics, romance, and whimsy into her books and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? 


Friday, June 22, 2018

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

The Love Letter: Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.
When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.  
Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Heidi here. Rachel Hauck has another winner on her hands with her latest novel, The Love Letter. She expertly flipped back and forth between modern-day Chloe Daschle and Jesse Gates and the story between Esther Longfellow and Hamilton Lightfoot from centuries ago. I tell you, I kept wondering in my mind which couple I loved best, I did make a choice in the end, but I don't want to give away the ending ;-)

The historical part of this story was beautifully written, I felt like I was in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. The current-day part was emotional, thought-provoking, and almost envy-inducing as Chloe lives in Hollywood with her director father and actress mother, which means money, influence, abundant opportunities, mansions, pools, and servants.

The Love Letter held a deep spiritual message, it also kept me flipping the pages, the word choices were unique yet not over the top, and the plot moved swiftly. Pick up your copy today!   

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Captured Bride, A Book Review

I love a story that educates and edifies while entertaining, and I can always count on that when reading one of Michelle Griep's novels. What I also enjoy about her work is her characters all have a unique voice, yet one I can relate to. Her protagonists are interesting, so life-like I wish I could meet them in person. If you have not yet tried one of Michelle's books, don't wait. The Captured Bride is book three of a series, but is easily read as a standalone. Here is my review:

The Captured Bride is an exciting, fast-paced story that contains a wonderful mixture of mystery and romance. The two main characters, Mercy and Elias are complex, realistic, and I loved both of them. Mercy is strong-willed yet struggles with insecurities and guilt. Elias deals with feelings of failure and regret. As much as I love history, I don’t know more than the basics about the colonial days in America, so I greatly enjoyed the information the author weaves throughout the story. There is also an afterward that contains additional interesting historic facts. The author uses all the senses in her descriptions giving me the ability to smell the forests, horses, and campfires; hear the jingle of bridles, bird song, and raging rivers; and feel the rain on my face. The time period is rustic and rugged, and there are some violent scenes, but they are not gory or gratuitous. I was breathless by the end of the book and look forward to reading it again and again.

I received a copy of the book for free from CelebrateLit Publicity, and a positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Blurb:  Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a tem of men on a dangerous mission. Yet is it not her life that is threatened. It is her heart. 

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minutes, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort-but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.

Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, journalist, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone's throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. She is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. Linda serves as a volunteer docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee of her local public library. She lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. To learn more about Linda visit her websiteSign up for her newsletter and receive a free ebook.