Author Interview, Blog Tour and Review: Adoring Abigail

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abigail

by Chalon Linton

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (February 3, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524411515
ISBN-13: 978-1524411510

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Captain Robert Wilkins has never aspired to grandeur. So when the returned war hero unexpectedly inherits the vast estate of Cattersley from his great-aunt, he feels woefully inadequate in his new role. Out of place in his lavish surroundings, his first glimmer of hope comes when he happens upon a lovely trespasser in his gardens.

Words have never come easily for Abigail Rutherford, and she prefers the solitude of exploring the gardens at the neighboring country estate to engaging in uncomfortable conversation. But when she unexpectedly encounters Captain Robert Wilkins in her place of solace, she is surprised at the immediate ease she feels in his presence. Soon her brightest moments are those spent with the captain. But even as their friendship grows into something more, outside forces have other plans for the two. Mr. Mead, the handsome vicar, has also taken a liking to the quiet and timid Abigail and he will stop at nothing to ensure she becomes his wife.


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Abigail Rutherford has a speech impediment and her entire life has been defined by it by first her mother and then her grandmother.

“Silence was demanded by my mother, so when I was told or expected to speak, my mouth could not immediately form the words. But once they came, they came in a deluge, a tidal wave of nonsense pouring out.”

Her grandmother calls her dumb because of it and separates her from society. Trying not to be an embarrassment, those few times she was allowed to be amoung them she struggled. Having difficulties and going through challenges in life makes the characters more real and I immediately feel more protective of them.

“Grandmother thought only of the benefit to herself, not the joy I felt to be wanted as a friend. Such feelings of inclusion were entirely new to me.”

Robert Wilkins still acts as if he is Captain in the army. He views every situation as needing to have a strategy and getting ready for battle. With his new inheritance he is thrown in to situations he has problems dealing with.

“I turned around to admire Cattersley from afar. There was an enormity to the place that I could not measure and, with it, a new front. I’d chosen to be a soldier so I could defend my family, my freedom. I had no direction in this new battle, no orders from a superior commander.”

From the beginning, the vicar Mr. Mead stands out as being a good Christian example while some others in the congregation outwardly shun Abigail or say rude comments about her. People shame Abigail for her speech imperfections but then say that at least she is beautiful as if they are complimenting her. The vicar appears to be a fine upstanding Christian but he is just better at hiding his hypocrisy. His only reason for helping Abigail when she was being taunted was because he was interested in her. Then he mocks her himself. Mr. Mead is super creepy. He is hypocritical, possessive, and he gets even worse throughout the story.

“Mr. Mead, with his authoritarian posture and presumptuous expectations, had inserted himself and chased the sun away, demeaning me at every turn”

While I liked the characters and themes, I would have liked a little more of a connection between Abigail and Robert.

Adoring Abigail is told from the first person point of view and the chapters switch between Abigail and Robert’s perspectives.

This book tells of the difficulties of being a woman during this time. Abigail has someone try to force them-self on her and Hazel is expected to do whatever her brother John requests of her.

This was also a thought provoking look at people who prey on others who are considered less than normal due to physical or developmental conditions and they are often deemed weaker, less intelligent, and undeserving. This is especially bad when the person is supposed to be an example and above reproach.

“The hypocrisy of the treatment I received from those who sat within the walls of the chapel was especially brutal. How could one spew offenses while claiming to worship a deity who forbids mockery? Hypocrisy had surrounded me for as long as I could remember. It was a companion to judgment, another of the very things the Lord warned against.”

One of my favorite scenes was the beginning of the picnic. I would have loved to have seen it, and it sounded very unique.

Robert was originally in the book An Inconvenient Romance but that book does not need to be read to enjoy this one.

Some other favorite quotes:

“I had learned that some battles needed to be fought with weapons while other campaigns could be won with a little ingenuity.”

“Hope is a blessing. It provides strength in the darkest of times.”

“Truth proved to be a funny thing; it could be altered and manipulated to fit a scheme.”

“With him I had the freedom to say the things I held back. Permission to smile and laugh and live. It was all there in the oasis of his eyes. The oasis that was him.”

And who wouldn’t want two libraries?

“The west library? Does it stand to reason there is an east library as well?” I asked. “Yes, sir. However, the west library is brighter”


Interview with Chalon Linton

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What do you like most about the Regency period? Is there anything interesting you discovered about it while doing research for your books?

I love the Regency period because the romance is both subtle and boisterous. Societies restrictions limited the number of dances and physical touch between men and women so interest had to be shown another way. Of course, there were rakes and rogues, but for polite society witty conversation and flirtatious glances were used to communicate deeper feelings. I think this builds sexual tension and ensures relationships are built on more than just lust.

Are any of your characters based off of someone you know?
I rarely create a character that is an exact image of someone I know. That could harm my personal relationships and several years ago I attended a keynote address by Orson Scott Card where he warned us not to do that. I’ve taken that advice to heart. I do tend to look at my family history and often use family names for characters.

What do you want the reader to take away from Adoring Abigail?
I would hope there reader would acknowledge that making Judgements is dangerous. Everyone has a story, a history, a background that defines them. We should get to know each other as unique individuals and work to uplift one another rather than try to pull them down.


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The Major’s Daughter – Review

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by Regina Jennings

Series: The Fort Reno Series (Book 3)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 3, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764218956
ISBN-13: 978-0764218958

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She Staked a Claim on His Land,
So He Decided to Stake a Claim on Her Heart

Caroline Adams returns to Indian Territory after tiring of confining society life. She wants adventure, and when she and her friend Amber come across swaggering outlaw Frisco Smith, his dreams for the new territory are very persuasive. With the much-anticipated land run about to happen, she may just join the rush.

Growing up an orphan, all Frisco Smith wanted was a place to call his own. It’s no wonder he fought to open the Unassigned Lands to people with the same longing. After years of sneaking across the border, he’s even managed to build a dugout house on a hidden piece of property he’s poised to claim.

But when the gun sounds, everyone’s best plans are thrown out the window in the chaos of the run. Caroline and Frisco find themselves battling over a claim–and both dig in their heels. Settling the rightful ownership will bring these two closer than they ever expected and change their ideas of what a true home looks like.


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Frisco Smith is intelligent and seems tough on the outside. On the inside, however, he is still the scared little abandoned boy. Not only is he still grieving, but he believes that people don’t ever stick around. He wants to build his own town so that he is surrounded by people that won’t leave.

Caroline Adams wants to make a mark of her own as more than just the major’s daughter. She thinks a boarding house on her own 160 acres will do that.

When Caroline claims Frisco’s land, he is torn between wanting her to go and hoping she never leaves.

“Of course you’ve changed. That girl I admired, I don’t know her anymore. Instead of a beautiful wild vine, all I see now is another potted plant, trimmed and pruned to look like every other one out there. One that will only survive when handled delicately.”

There is so much meaning in the traveling case that Frisco carries around. He has never unpacked it because he only wants to unpack it when he has found his home. A place to belong. This really stuck with me throughout the story.

“He came back and found his traveling case. He paused after he opened the latches. The bag hadn’t been completely emptied since he was a child, and then someone else had packed it for him. He’d learned to keep his things ready for the unexpected, ready for heartache, and ready to be uprooted, but no longer.”

Frisco’s relationship with the other foundlings was special. It was heartbreaking how they tried to make their own little family but were torn apart from each other. Yet each one was trying to make their own way.

This book can easily be read as a standalone. However characters from previous books are in it. I love that this is also the continuation of Bradley and Amber’s story. I adored Bound and Determined but wanted to hear more of their adventures.

“He fell in love with you in August. In Oklahoma Territory, any two people who can tolerate each other in August are in love. Otherwise the heat would make them too cranky to bear.”

Jennings’ characters, story lines, and knowledge of history are all exceptional in this series. These books are both funny and tender. Even in the first chapter alone I had laughed multiple times, and Bucky the goat was a cute little sidekick.

This part of history has always interested me. I’ve read a lot about the homesteading on the 160 acres but the setting up of a town was fairly new to me. Reading the author’s note, it was amazing to find out how many things in this book actually happened.

The Major’s Daughter is exactly why I like the historical fiction genre. Not only does it have the interesting history, it also has romance, laughter, and extremely touching moments.

“He wanted a home, a family to belong to. She understood and was willing to join him, but he had to believe it would last. She couldn’t stake her future on someone who wasn’t sure he had one.”

Saving Miss Everly – Review

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by Sally Britton

Series: Inglewood (Book 3)
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Blue Water Books (October 30, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947005197
ISBN-13: 978-1947005198

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Pretending she’s her twin gets complicated when Hope is shipwrecked with a handsome castaway. When rescue comes, will she risk her heart to confess the truth or will they part forever?

Pretending to be her sister, Hope Everly finds an adventure at last. The Caribbean’s warm waters and tropical islands fulfill nearly all her dreams. When an excursion to visit another island with a naturalist expedition is interrupted by a storm, Hope is stranded on a desert island where she and her fellow castaways are dependent on a handsome stranger for their survival.

Alejandro Córdoba, trapped and alone on the island long enough to give up all dreams of rescue, knows nothing of what has become of his war-torn homeland or his family. When he finds the beautiful Miss Everly washed up on the shore, along with her companions, he does not know if their arrival is a blessing or a curse.

Hope’s behavior, acting one way with Alejandro and another with her friends, further confuses things when they begin to fall in love. If rescue ever comes, will telling Alejandro the truth mean losing him forever?


Alejandro Córdoba has been alone and stranded on an island. He believes that his dream has come true when an “angel” washes up on the shore. However, this angel is not alone.

Hope Everly is torn between pretending to be her twin sister in front of her friends and wanting to be herself with Alejandro.

I loved the character of Alejandro, and he was so perfect for Hope. Hope has spent her entire life being compared to her sister and found wanting. Alejandro sees her for who she really is.

I liked that there were a number of challenges and everything didn’t wrap up neatly. I also found Grace’s first meeting with Alejandro very funny.

I have never read a book about people being shipwrecked during this time period. It was an interesting take on the concept.

Returning to this little club of friends from previous books felt so familiar. I am looking forward to reading Isaac’s story.

Misleading Miss Verity – Review

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by Carolyn Miller

Series: Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (November 26, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825445914
ISBN-13: 978-0825445910

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Verity Hatherleigh has a mind of her own—but her actions do not impress her viscount papa. When she gets into one scrape too many, he sends her off to the wilds of Scotland to rethink her headstrong ways.

Anthony Jardine relished his role as curate, but his new duties as laird of Dungally aren’t always to his liking. Though he thought his new inheritance would be a blessing, somehow he’s finding nothing but trouble on these estates. And the intelligent, compassionate, feisty lass who was sent to rusticate in his territory is one of the biggest problems. He’s falling in love with her, but she doesn’t share the faith that’s his foundation—not to mention he’s been lying to her about who he really is. For the truth-loving Verity, that may be unforgivable.

The tangled web these two have woven may spell disaster for their happiness—and for the tenants of Dungally.


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Verity Hatherleigh is a hoyden who doesn’t believe in God.  She was raised by unbelieving parents and thinks of the Bible as a fairy tale. While Verity is intelligent and helpful to others, she is always getting into trouble and not living up to her mother’s expectations.

Anthony Jardine is a former curate who feels called to bring the gospel to those abroad. However, he is forced to return to Scotland and take on a new title after his cousin’s death. Anthony has a soft heart and he truly wants to help others.

“Despite his upbringing, despite the wretched condition of so many, he had come to renewed awareness that there truly was no difference between men, neither convict nor free, English nor native, that all men were considered equal in the sight of God, that all were loved by God.”

Verity and Anthony share a similar sense of humor, and they both hide who they really are.  They each want to be known for who they are instead of what they are. While I had some issues with Verity and Anthony’s “hopeful” truth, it shows they really are perfect for each other.

“I have found that those without a sense of humor invariably fail to understand those fortunate enough to possess one.”

Verity believes that she is a mistake because her parents wanted her to be a boy.  While Verity always seems bold and outspoken, she becomes incredibly vulnerable when she thinks about not being lovable.

“If God did see her heart, then He would see how cracked it was, fractured with disillusionment, disappointment, and rejection. She was a fool, a failure, a mistake, unloved by her parents, unloved by the only man she ever cared for. Ergo, Verity Hatherleigh was unlovable.”

As Verity shows, there are all matter of ways that people are drawn to God and finally accept Him into their lives. Some find God in the eye opening experiences and others come to Him in the quiet moments.

As humans, Verity and Anthony are both flawed.  Anthony knows that God looks at the outside, but he has a number of shallow outward thoughts about people that he has to work on.  Even after coming to God, Verity still struggles with honoring her parents while also obeying God.

“She possessed fire and spunk that Grandmama might applaud but so many others openly deplored. God couldn’t want her, too. Could He?”

The side characters were as well developed as the main characters and the story line was a unique one.

Readers don’t often get to see a story that includes South Wales during this time period.  I also liked reading more about Scotland during this time. Clearly Miller puts a lot of research into her books. The author’s note at the end is interesting and mentions the history that went into this book.

Misleading Miss Verity was the perfect conclusion to the Daughters of Aynsley series.

Serving Up Love: A Harvey House Brides Collection – Review

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by Tracie Peterson, Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, and Jen Turano

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 076423269X
ISBN-13: 978-0764232695

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Bestselling novelist Tracie Peterson joins Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, and Jen Turano in this collection of four novellas, each featuring a Harvey Girl heroine. From Kansas to Texas, the Grand Canyon to New Mexico, the stories cross the country with tales of sweet romance and entertaining history.

In Karen Witemeyer’s “More Than a Pretty Face,” a young woman works her hardest to escape poor choices from her youth. Tracie Peterson offers “A Flood of Love,” where reuniting with an old flame after more than a decade offers unexpected results. Regina Jennings’s “Intrigue a la Mode” delights with a tale of a young woman determined to help support her family, despite warnings of danger nearby. And Jen Turano’s “Grand Encounters” heads to the Grand Canyon with a tale of a society belle intent on finding a new life for herself.


Serving Up Love is a collection of tales of adventure and love as the Harvey Girls are able to explore the country as well as discover more about themselves.

A Flood of Love by Tracie Peterson

A Flood of Love was packed with historical details. I love that this was based on true stories and events.

Timing seems to be everything for Gretchen and Dirk. They have only ever loved each other but have been pulled apart. If only communication in those days had been easier.

Katiann is adorable. She seemed to know everything about everyone and is so curious about the world around her. I’m surprised her nannies had such a hard time handling her. I loved that when someone compliments her she says, “I know” instead of “thank you”.

Tracie Peterson is the only author I haven’t read, though I have a number of her books on my TBR list. Now I know why she was so often recommended to me.

More Than A Pretty Face by Karen Witemeyer

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I’m glad that Rosalind from More Than Words Can Say gets her own story. The title of this novella was perfect for her.

She made a bad choice in her past, and she is trying to hide from it. Unfortunately she is transferred back to her home state of Texas and is right back where she started. No matter where she goes now, she cannot hide from her past mistakes. Even after someone repents, our sins can still follow us from the past and have consequences.

After none of his charms had been working, Caleb tried to spark Rosalind’s interest by using a Pigpen cipher. As someone who solves cipher puzzles for fun, I can’t say how much I loved that Caleb and Rosalind wrote to each other in secret code.

“How on earth was she supposed to resist a man who left her a note penned in secret code.”

While Caleb knew of Rosalind for awhile, I think he fell in love with her before he knew her personally. I wish there had been a little more personal conversations before the declarations of love.

“You snuck up on me. Luring my heart little by little with your ciphers and outings, your kindness to old ladies and adolescent dishwashers, until it became fully yours.” “My heart belongs to you for as long as you desire it.”

This story seems a little more serious than a lot of Witemeyer’s other books, but with some of the topics it has to be.

Intrigue a la Mode by Regina Jennings

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I immediately liked Graham and Willow and found their story very engaging. I also liked the historical details and descriptions about the Harvey Girls.

The pace was perfect and the story seemed well developed for a novella. Though it felt complete, I would love to know more about Calista’s adventures and their legendary family tree.

Graham’s secret way in to the depot was funny. He also had some other funny lines.

Grand Encounters by Jen Turano

It seemed like Jack was so smitten with Myrtle before he had even had one conversation with her. Then after months of being awkward with her and only offering one random word, it’s like the floodgates were opened. I did find many of the characters shallow and physically assaulting someone is not a form of humor.

When they did finally have conversations with each other, I liked them as a couple. I also liked Jack and Myrtle’s hobbies of hiking and reading.

Turano has written a number of books about New York Heiresses during this time, and it was interesting to see what would happen if one of them left their high class society to become a Harvey Girl.

A Pursuit of Home – Review

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by Kristi Ann Hunter

Series: Haven Manor (Book 3)
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764230778
ISBN-13: 978-0764230776

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In early 1800s England, Jess Beauchene has spent most of her life in hiding and always on the move in an effort to leave her past far behind her. But when she learns the family she thought had died just might be alive and in danger, she knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long.

Derek Thornbury loves the past, which has led him to become an expert in history and artifacts. He knows Jess has never liked him, but when she requests his help deciphering the clues laid out in an old family diary, he can’t resist the urge to solve the puzzle.

As Jess and Derek race to find the hidden artifact before her family’s enemies, they learn as much about each other as they do about the past. But can their search to uncover the truth and set history right lead to a future together?


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The reader is immediately drawn into A Pursuit of Home by a story from Jess Beuchene’s past in the intense prologue.

Throughout the book there is an important mystery that must be solved. It will lead Jess Beuchene and Derek Thornbury on a journey together where they must rely on each other.

Jess and Derek are so different. He is book smart and her intelligence comes from her unique life experiences.

“He always seemed perfectly happy to be his odd self.”

He is so awkward and could spend every moment discussing paintings or telling someone a random fact.

“At least he was moving toward the carriage, even if he couldn’t stop himself from reciting every obscure fact about the smallest thing that no one in his vicinity even knew about, much less cared for.”

Even when Derek thinks of his attraction for Jess, he thinks of it from a painting’s perspective. Jess sees people and their actions and motives. She doesn’t want to get close to people because of what she has lost, and she doesn’t want to be emotional.

“Anyone who insisted on foisting their romantic notions on her could find themselves with ipecac in their tea.”

Although they are so opposite and even argue with each other in multiple languages, they are still perfect together. This is especially true when they are able to open up, like the really sweet scene when Derek is teaching Jess how to knit.

“This was different from attraction, different from friendship, different from anything she’d ever known. This made her feel vulnerable. This was terrifying.”

My favorite book by Hunter is A Noble Masquerade and I absolutely love that Ryland and Miranda return in Jess’ story. While there are returning characters from the Hawthorne House series and others from the earlier books in the Haven Manor series, any of these books can be enjoyed on their own.

A Pursuit of Home is a story of mystery, adventure, and love that will keep you guessing what will happen next.

An Old-Fashioned Texas Christmas – Review

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by Karen Witemeyer

File Size: 5485 KB
Print Length: 165 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2019)
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07YCVH1G4

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Celebrate the joy and warmth of the holidays with two historical romance novellas from Karen Witemeyer, including a brand-new story that provides a glimpse into what the Archer clan has been up to.

“An Archer Family Christmas”
It’s Christmas Eve, 1893, and the entire family has gathered to celebrate the holiday. This day is always bittersweet for Jim and Cassie, who lost a child on Christmas Eve three years earlier. Cassie has devoted herself to being the favorite aunt of the Archer children, whisking her nieces away to a nearby schoolhouse to create decorations for the Christmas tree that the men and oldest boys are venturing out to chop down.

When an unexpected knock at the schoolhouse door reveals a desperate pregnant woman on the run from a dangerous outlaw, it’ll take a Christmas miracle–and the entire Archer clan–to make sure no danger befalls the child born on this beloved holiday.

“The Gift of the Heart”
A widow and her young daughter move to Hope Springs for a fresh start, but with no money to secure a home, Ruth must convince a wealthy resort owner to accept her heirloom brooch as collateral. Will the pin that brought love to three generations soften the heart of a wounded recluse and give Ruth a second chance at love as the holidays draw near?


An Archer Family Christmas

Before you pick up this book, make sure you have plenty of time because you will not want to put it down. Also, be prepared for “all the feels”. This book will make you very emotional.

Those who have read others in the series will enjoy the return of their beloved Archer family and new readers will fall in love with Jim and Cassie.

There is such a love and loyalty in the Archer family.

“They didn’t need words. Their hearts could read each other perfectly.”

 

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Karen Witemeyer creates characters who are not perfect. She has the ability to make her characters strong while also being incredibly vulnerable.

I loved the Biblical connection to the Ruth and Boaz story. Besides the names, there were so many little connections as well.

Beauregard “Bo” Azlin was one of those characters you feel an instant connection to. The back story of Bo’s childhood where his mother considered him damaged goods is heart breaking. Bo tried to be fair to everyone and not give special treatment but he also helped protect those in need. I liked the scene where Bo is holding the heirloom and vowing to keep it safe for Ruth. It was also sweet how he liked to keep the heirloom near his heart.

Witemeyer’s books always contain some funny moments. When Bo calls the stray cat a miscreant, little Naomi mistakenly believes that the cat’s name is Miss Creant. Bo and Naomi have a number of sweet and funny conversations.

While this felt like a very complete story, I want it to continue. I’m not ready to leave these characters.