Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Book Blogger Party and Giveaways

Welcome to our Book Blogger Party!

Over the last seven or so  months, I've had the pleasure of hosting "Book Bloggers" aka Very Busy Reviewers who blog as a way to promote their important work and have some fun along the way.

Grab a treat from our buffet, or grab a seat and let our waitstaff assist!

Sorry, it's just not an Inky party without JLM in costume.

In no particular order, here's a quick recap with link to each of my first thirteen guests:
Andi Tubbs began blogging in January 2016 after her eleventh year as a reviewer. Read her Inkwell interview here. Andi had an inspiring message as well as lots of encouragement for reviewers. Visit her at Radiant Light (" because I want my blog and reviews to be a light in our dark world"). The address is

Rachel Dixon has been reviewing/blogging for a little over 3 years now. "It's been lots of trial and error" and " it wasn’t until I got connected with other bloggers (specifically Annie on Just Commonly. and Carrie on Reading is my Superpwer ) that things really started coming together.   

 Find Rachel at BookWorm Mama
Read her Inkwell Interview here.

Katherine Good, aka "Kat" began blogging when friends kept asking her opinion and she thought it’d be an easy way to share with them. "I was writing reviews anyway and really appreciated how bloggers' thoughts helped me figure out if I’d like a book."  Read her Inkwell Interview here.
Find her at Kat's Corner Books

It's that time of the year. Bring on the Butter and Sugar!

(that's my cue to bring in Richard Armitage and a Cat)
\Okay. So, where was I?

#bonus fun! I had a chance to spend extra time with Jessica Baker in August when we drove to the Christian Fiction Reader Retreat! Here's what she has to say about book blogging: "The best part of being a reviewer is sharing my love of reading with others. I am a book nerd, there is just no getting around that. So if I can help someone find a new author, a new book, or encourage them to review on their own, I am a happy girl."
Visit her blog A Baker's Perspective here:  
And read her Inkwell Interview here

Blogger Trisha Robertson's Inkwell Inspiration visit can be found here. She says "After visiting several blogs of friends I’d made from the various review teams, I started my blog Joy Of Reading in February 2017. The first thought I had is that I’d like to bring Joy to others and thus, my blog name.  I pray that by sharing my Joy for books, that it brings others Joy in return and brings them closer to the ultimate Joy giver!  Visit her blog  Joy of Reading here  

This next guest was one of the first book bloggers I found when I started writing. Here's what blogger Jenny Blake had to say about reviewing: "Don’t be afraid to write a review even if it’s only a few sentences. Only review on the first three chapters of the book so you do not give away too much of the story. One other thing would be if the author has hidden gems in the story that are unexpected do not mention them in a review. They are there for the reader and it’s nice to have surprises. If you put in spoilers mention there are spoilers in the review." Read her Inkwell interview here  and visit her blog "Come Meet Aus Jenny" 

Our youngest book blogger is Raechel -
"I’ve been reviewing for about 7 years, I believe. As for how I came to decide on the theme of my blog, it started out just being an All-Purpose blog when I was about 14 years old - I really loved the verse and concept of being God’s Peculiar Treasures, so I adopted that into the name and kept with it. I do still use my blog for all-purposes, but reviewing is the primary posts because...well, I love books. :) "  Here's Raechel's interview!

The brave first guest for our Blogger feature was Beth Erin!

"I launched Faithfully Bookish in April 2016 but I have been actively reviewing for about two years now. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I hoped to accomplish through blogging and 1 Thessalonians 5:11 is the verse that has settled in my heart so I’ve just been trying to live that out by connecting and encouraging readers and authors." Here's the link to Faithfully Bookish and to Beth's interview at the Inkwell back in May 2017!

Probably one of the first reviewers I met online was the very prolific Kav Rees. Here's part of what she had to say: "I review a different book a day from Monday to Saturday and each book includes a giveaway opportunity. Sunday I announce the winners and post what I’ll be reviewing and giving away in the coming week."

Here's the rest of her interview!
Her blog is simply called Best Reads  and here's the Link!

Ooh. I think we all need to take a break here. I see how busy I've been hosting and need some nourishment! (I just fell off the Whole 30 wagon by looking at those pastries!)

Yes, this is me hanging out with historian Alistair Bruce, OBE,  best known from his cameo roles and input on Downton Abbey.
I actually had a good hair day so this is a unique photo I can't ignore!
Aren't you impressed?

Okay, onward and upward. Four more to go! You seriously need to check them all out in more detail whether you're a reader or an author. #ReviewersRock

An energizer bunny of the book blogger world-- Meez Carrie!  Carrie Schmidt--

"In 2015, I had newly discovered my love of reading and was having fun recommending books to my friends when they would ask (and sometimes when they wouldn’t lol). When I decided I wasn’t going to burn out on this blogging thing anytime soon, I bought the domain 
Read Carrie's interview here.

Next, Bree of Bibliophile Reviews. (another mystery lover!). Bree said,
"I love finding the piece in the book to share. I am not a blogger that summarizes the book in a review. That isn’t what authors are looking for. I am a reviewer that finds a part of the book or a character to share about. It is like a treasure hunt where I always find the treasure." Here's her blog link (Bibliophile Reviews)

and her interview at the Inkwell!

Like Jenny Blakc, Katie Donovan manages to stay one step and many hours ahead of us. I just figure she's asleep when I'm awake. Visit her blog, Fiction Aficionado, to see why!
Katie says, "I kind of crept onto the reviewing scene quietly, testing the waters for a little while, not making much of a splash and generally finding my way. But once I started connecting with authors and other bloggers, things really started taking off. I love the way those in the book-blogging community support each other.
There was never any question that my blog would be about fiction and my
love of reading. My official tag line is ‘The power of fiction, the beauty of
words, and the God who made us to wield them for His glory.’ 
Read the rest of her Inkwell Interview here! 

And my latest guest is Carole Jarvis at The Power of Words. (here's the link!)

"I started playing around at blogging back in 2008, mainly because I wanted to share about my three passions – art, music, and books – but it wasn’t until November of 2012 that I got serious about book reviews. (Actually, I still can’t believe that I’m a reviewer, because writing is very difficult for me. Let’s just say that no one could afford to pay me for my time!)"  Here's the link to her Inkwell Interview.

OKAY, you've hung on this long (and gosh I've been busy with these gals!) and now we have #Giveaways brought to you by Rafflecopter, Susie Dietze, Julianna Deering, and probably another cute waiter...

Flip through all the rafflecopter screens as there are multiple prizes!

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OF MY BLOGGER GUESTS. I look forward to another year of bringing great reviewers to the Inkwell as I work to give these amazing people a little fanfare for all of the work they do for Authors and Readers!

Now - let's hand out goodies!  We're not making you prove you've visited and liked these social media sites but that what we're hoping for. The more you follow, the more points you get for our drawing! There are five prizes so scroll through them all, then visit our bloggers. 

My Question is: (and you get a rafflecopter point for it), is...How many books do you read in a month?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 27, 2017

Death at Thorburn Hall - Blog Tour and Giveaway


Lone Star Book Blog Tours
General Links Tour Schedule
Death at Thorburn Hall
By Julianna Deering
November 28-December 7, 2017
11/28/17 Character Interview StoreyBook Reviews
11/29/17 Review Missus Gonzo
11/30/17 Excerpt Chapter Break Book Blog
12/1/17 Review Syd Savvy
12/2/17 Author Interview Texan Girl Reads
12/3/17 Excerpt A Page Before Bedtime
12/4/17 Review Hall Ways Blog
12/5/17 Top Ten List Forgotten Winds
12/6/17 Review The Clueless Gent
12/7/17 Series Sneak Peek A Novel Reality
Stop by and find out more about the series and the characters and how they came to be. Plus you can enter to win a copy of the book. Don't miss it!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Nosy Parker Series by Debra E. Marvin and Lisa Karon Richardson

Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls' Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Man Who Invented Christmas

As soon as I saw the trailer for The Man Who Invented Christmas, I put the movie on my must-watch list. Just see for yourself:

Charles Dickens (played by Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens) was the most famous author of his day. By 1842, he was 19th century rock star. And then, bad reviews and poor sales left him floundering. By October of 1843, he feared his career was over. And that was when he got the idea for a short Christmas book.

When his publisher balked at the prospect of getting a yet-unwritten book published and distributed in six weeks, Dickens borrowed enough money to self-publish the story. But could he get A Christmas Carol written, illustrated, printed, and in stores by Christmas?

Just how big a gamble Dickens took becomes more obvious when his friends and associates pointed out that Christmas wasn’t a major holiday at the time. Much of what we consider a “traditional” Christmas—decorated trees, cards, even many familiar carols—only came into vogue in the Victorian era. Dickens book (spoiler alert, he did get it done in time—but you knew that already) was one of the foremost contributors to the development of our modern notions of Christmas.

A Christmas Carol is an annual favorite at our house. We have several print copies (abridged and unabridged), the Patrick Stewart audio version, the musical Scrooge on video, and I think even the Muppets version on video. My husband and eldest son were in a community production of Scrooge some years back, as Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. The more familiar you are with that story, the more you will enjoy this movie since it is loaded with lines from the book.

A lot of the movie deals with Dickens’ creative process as a writer, particularly where he got his inspiration and how he developed his characters. He has entire conversations with his characters, and Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) practically steals the show.

Don’t be misled by the trailer for TMWIC. The movie itself has numerous darker moments and contains more depth that one would guess. Unlike other authors of the time, Dickens used his writing to bring attention to the problem of poverty in industrialized London. In addition to the 1843 setting, it includes several flashbacks to a pivotal event in Dickens’ own unhappy childhood. The two timelines converge at the end in a surprising way.

TMWIC is in a limited number of theaters. We had to drive about 40 minutes to see it. It was worth it thoughmy husband loved it so much, he analyzed it the entire way home. I give it 5 "God bless us, everyones" and 0 humbugs.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Free Christmas Fiction!

This is a great time of year to consider GIVING fiction. If you have a family member with a kindle, who might like a good old-fashioned sweet Christmas Romance, COMMENT and let me know.

We're celebrating Thanksgiving with a Five Book Giveaway.

Five of you will have the chance to GIFT a member of your family or a friend with this five story collection!

All across America are quaint towns with nostalgic Christmas names. In this collection are five such towns full of romance and Christmas spirit as couples find the true meaning of the holidays and love. Grab your favorite blanket, a hot cup of cocoa, and curl up with romance of a by-gone era

This promotion runs until Dec 2 when I pick five random winners! double your entry Click to Tweet

(To make it easier to contact you, consider visiting (liking) my Author Facebook page. I have three super deals coming up in December as well!)

Monday, November 20, 2017

This Means War! Thanksgiving: When it Comes to Cranberries, Which Side Are You On?

Creative Commons by Cjboffoli
No turkey dinner is complete without cranberry sauce, is it? Depends on who you ask, but I like it.

People in North America have been enjoying cranberries for a long time--the Wampanoag people probably offered some to the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving, but it wasn't in a sauce. Sauce requires sugar, for one thing. For another, the first recipe for cranberry sauce didn't appear on the scene until several decades had passed. 

When it comes to Thanksgiving, how do you like your cranberries?

According to Ocean Spray, over 60% of us serve it each Thanksgiving. 

Of those, over three-fourths of us buy the canned version. The rest of us make our own. 

That's where things get sticky, because apparently our preferences are based on our hometowns, which shocked me.

Recipe site Daily Mail says if you cook your sauce, you are probably from out west. Northeastern folks make a relish, using uncooked berries chopped finely. Southwestern cooks add spice to their sauce.
File:Cooking cranberries.jpg
Creative Commons by tracy found here
My mom used to make a relish with oranges, and she's not a Northeasterner. My grandma used to make a jello mold with a can of cranberry sauce and a cream cheese layer. I make a sauce with cranberries, chopped orange and apple, lemon juice, sugar and water. It cooks for three hours. 

Nowadays there are recipes for everything cranberry from compote to cocktail. The value of this little berry is becoming more and more celebrated, and it's helpful to our bodies as a source of Vitamin C and in fighting infections.

But it's also a tradition, one we remember this time each year. 

What's your preference? What side of the cranberry debate are you on? 


Susanne Dietze will be busy making her cranberry sauce on Wednesday. She wishes you a happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Hope of Christmas - On Sale!

Five Historical Novellas Celebrate Faith and Love during Christmas

On Sale for a Limited Time | 99 cents Kindle or FREE on KindleUnlimited

All Ye Faithful by Gina Welborn

Friday, November 17, 2017

Meet Book Blogger Carole Jarvis of The Power of Words!

Debra: Hi Carole! Thanks for visiting the Inkwell. How long have you been reviewing and how did you decide on the theme for your blog?
Carole: My blog is The Power of Words and the link is
I started playing around at blogging back in 2008, mainly because I wanted to share about my three passions – art, music, and books – but it wasn’t until November of 2012 that I got serious about book reviews. (Actually, I still can’t believe that I’m a reviewer, because writing is very difficult for me. Let’s just say that no one could afford to pay me for my time!)
In addition to my main focus on books, I also feature a lot of art on my blog because beautiful paintings simply speak to me, although I can’t draw a straight line. And then there’s my favorite humorist, Erma Bombeck. Here’s a great Christmas post from one of her books: The Christmas Pageant. But my personal “art” is music, and I plan to start a regular feature called With a Song in My Heart. My first post featured Joni Eareckson Tada and the beloved gospel song, Farther Along.

Debra: What’s the best part of being a reviewer?
Carole:  As much as I enjoy reading and discovering new authors, I have to say that the best part is often getting to connect personally with the authors behind some of my favorite books. Getting to know them – their personalities and struggles – makes their writing come alive even more. And when I meet someone with such a great sense of humor as you, Debra … well, that’s even more special!
D: (blushing) That’s very sweet, Carole. I truly am impressed with all the work that bloggers do. And writing reviews is so very difficult for me that I am in awe of anyone who does it. That said…what’s the most difficult part of the ‘the job’?
C: That’s easy, and probably the same answer you would have, Debra – deadlines! Like most reviewers, I just can’t seem to say ‘no’ to a book that appeals, and get over-committed as a result. Reviews need to be posted in a timely manner for a book to succeed as it’s released, but that doesn’t mean I have to like tour deadlines!
D: Pushing to hit deadlines can take the fun out of it, that's for sure!
What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
C: Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke, a World War II drama that, for me, has the “Wow!” factor. Reviewed at

D: Cathy Gohlke is an incredible author. I won “William Henry is a Fine Name” many years ago, and haven’t forgotten it.
What do you do when you aren’t making authors happy? (I assume you have a life outside of fiction. Maybe not!)
C:  I’m officially retired, but still work part time doing sermon research for my pastor, and I play the piano in our worship band.
D: Very nice! Being part of the worship team is a big commitment, but obviously it’s so much easier when it’s something you love.
What would you like to share about yourself that few people know?
C: As a retirement gift several years ago, my church gave me a trip to NYC where I attended a music conference at The Brooklyn Tabernacle, the highlight of which was singing with their world-famous choir on Sunday morning – a small taste of heaven on earth. Also on that trip, the father of one of my daughter’s friends, who was the producer of Law & Order: Criminal Intent at the time, invited us to their set – and I got to meet Chris Noth. He was very friendly and personable, and spent several minutes visiting with us.
D: That sounds incredible. Wow! And wow!

So, Carole, as far as fiction goes, what is your favorite setting? Place and time?  Genre?
C: Favorite setting: Anywhere in the British Isles
Place & time: Colonial America, especially during the American Revolution
Genre: Contemporary or historical drama, with murder mysteries being a close second
D: Oh yes! great choices. (and I think you'll enjoy Backcountry Brides, the Barbour Collection coming in May!) What’s your favorite movie to watch if you had a rainy afternoon alone?
C: The Sound of Music … So hard to choose only one! Top picks would also be The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Music Man, and November Christmas (Hallmark).

Now here's a classic!
D:  One of my best friends would have said Sound of Music right away, too. I saw it in the theater when it came out...which was over fifty years ago. Gosh, that sounds crazy to me now. We went as a class trip. But I haven't seen Molly Brown in forever! Thanks for the reminder.
If you could wiggle your nose and be in a new career, what would it be?
C: My career has been music – church pianist, worship assistant, piano teacher – and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anything else.

D:  That’s something wonderful. So many of us might have made different choices, so I’m pleased for you! Congratulations! what a blessing to have done the thing that brings you so much joy.

What piece of advice would you offer authors who are just starting out?
C: I’m not a writer, but these are some things I’ve noticed from working with authors … Write the story that God puts on your heart, because that’s what will touch readers – and don’t get discouraged when doors are slow to open. Be persistent. Fellow authors and review bloggers are very supportive, so connect with a few of these and let them help.
And Debra, you are so very gracious in featuring review bloggers! It is a privilege to work with authors like you and I’m especially honored to be included. You bless us with your writing.

D- I’ve said it before. It just came to me one day. I tired of trying to come up with topics of interest and … this happened. Reviewers and Bloggers in particular put a lot of time into this very important part of the publishing world. For free!
Thanks so much for indulging me!

Here are more ways to find Carole online!

COME ON BACK for our party on Nov 29 when I collect all my past book blogger guests for a little virtual partying and some book giveaways from Inkwell Authors!

Follow me (gosh how could you resist?) to be reminded.

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How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.