Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Release Day Frenzy Schedule: EVANGELINE’S HEAVEN by Jen Braaksma

Evangeline’s Heaven
 by Jen Braaksma
By: SparkPress
On August 30, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 304
Format: Ebook, Paperback 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Nobles
Age requirement: 12+


War is ravaging the Seven Heavens. Lucifer and his Commoner supporters, the lowest class of angels, are rebelling against God’s plan to exile them to the new Earth. When Lucifer departs on a desperate war mission, he leaves his daughter, Evangeline, to defend their home in First Heaven. Fiercely loyal and trained to fight, Evangeline stands ready to do her father’s bidding.

But things change when Evangeline overhears the archangel Gabriel forming a plan to destroy Lucifer–because, as he tells his son, Michael, he believes Lucifer’s plan is to find the Key to the Kingdom and claim the power of God to control all the Heavens for eternity. Refusing to believe her father capable of such treachery, Evangeline sets off to alert her father.

As she battles through the Heavens, however, Evangeline is shocked to discover that what she believed she knew about her father might not be true after all. For the first time in her life, she begins to question whether or not her father’s motives are pure. With the fate of the Heavens hanging in the balance, she must decide who she’s going to be: her father’s daughter, or her own person.

 “Evangeline is a principled character who leads us on an emotionally charged journey through a heaven we recognize only in name. This story is as thought-provoking as it is rewarding. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Evangeline’s Heaven will have you racing to the finish.” —Max Turner, author of the Night Runner trilogy

About Jen Braaksma

Jen Braaksma is a writer and book coach. After ten years as a journalist, she spent nearly two decades in the classroom as a high school English and writing teacher. Now she helps other writers develop and share their stories. With a focus on fiction and memoir for writers of every ability and experience level, she loves to assist in shaping stories exactly how the author wants them, from the inception of the idea through revisions.

Growing up in a Christian/Protestant environment, Jen has always been interested in spirituality and the binary contrast of good versus evil. Combined with her time spent among teens and YA literature such as The Hobbit, Shadow Hunters, and Harry Potter, it became the inspiration for Evangeline’s Heaven, her first published novel. A believer in true love and soul mates, Jen lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband, two teen daughters, and four cats.

You can find Jen on her socials: Instagram | Twitter| Facebook

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Matters of the Heart


About the Book


Book: Matters of the Heart

Author: Heidi Gray McGill

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: July 15, 2022

When those experiencing the same fate she endured show up at her doorstep…

Katie determines to be their champion, no matter the fallout.

Will the man who fought for the other side also fight for her?

Unconventional Katie empathizes with the widows and orphans of the Civil War, searching for a place to call home in Shumard Oak Bend. But with no one to help her, she’ll need to do it secretly, a challenge she readily accepts. She’s taken charge before, and she’ll do it again, no matter who she has to outwit to get the job done.

He vowed to be his own man and stop doing everyone else’s bidding. But he follows orders when a pair of emerald green eyes, blazing red hair, and freckles that dance on the bridge of a pert nose conscript him to duty. Be his own man. Who is he kidding? Skunks don’t change their stripes. They leave disasters in their wake wherever they go, just like him.

Overcoming personal obstacles and finding your true self doesn’t mean going it alone. Yet the answer isn’t always in the one you seek.


Click here to get your copy!


I really enjoyed this slow burn Christian Historical Fiction by the author. This is the first book I've read by her but I'm definitely going read the other books in this series. I loved the lessons weaved throughout the story, it was a great reminder of things happening in God's timing not ours "When our identity comes from anything or anyone other than God,we fail. It's in the time between when we ask, and God answers that He brings to light what we value or what has become an idol." Thank you to the author for following your heart and seeking God's plan as you use writing to reach the masses that may not have otherwise been reached and bringing reminders of God's love and faithfulness to those of us who may have lost our way or felt like we lost our purpose. Katie's determination to follow her purpose and stand up for what she believed in was inspirational. Though PTSD was not a known thing after the Civil War, it is clear that Hans suffered from it as I'm sure many soldiers did, but God put just the right people in his path to help him find his way. Seeing this two souls slowly come together was beautiful. 

About the Author

Heidi is an optimist who chooses to find the silver lining in life’s clouds of doubt. This plays out in her writing. Her ability to weave scripture seamlessly into the lives of her characters will uplift and encourage you, while her masterful storytelling will keep you turning page after page and wishing for more.

Heidi lives with her husband of thirty years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend.

Fusing Faith and Fiction™

True Christian Fiction. Relatable Characters. Life-changing stories.


More from Heidi

Where did the idea for Matters of the Heart originate?


Before I was an author, I was the founder and director of an English as a Second Language ministry. The program touched the lives of students from 35 different countries. Regardless of culture, religion, language, or age, I found a substantial similarity in these students—they all wanted to improve their lot in life and that of their children.


Stories abounded of walks across deserts, financial hardships, desperate attempts to explain emergencies to medical professionals or law enforcement, failed verbal connections with schoolteachers, and an inability to obtain work because of their lack of language skills. Prejudice and distrust blocked them, culture shock took them outside their comfort zones, and the urgent need to survive made them scramble to dig deep inside and find creative ways to secure shelter and put food on their tables.


It wasn’t that these immigrants weren’t capable of achieving success. In their home countries, vocations varied from chemist and biologist with PhDs, to teachers, lawyers, and medical professionals. Others came from poverty and had little education but were not afraid of hard work, long hours, and low pay. They were tenacious, and they worked with relentless determination and a bullheaded resolve to achieve their goals. They relied on each other and soaked in everything around them in their desire to assimilate into the American culture and find a new place to belong.


Immigrants in the late 1800s were not much different. Individuals came to improve their lot in life and be a part of the greatest country in the world. In Matters of the Heart, Hans Korhonen left Finland with his brothers to take advantage of the land grants. Together, they worked to establish a farm large enough to sustain four families and support troops during the Civil War. Yet, in their desire to belong and give back to our great nation, Hans’s idyllic life changed through his service as a Union soldier.


Kathleen Murphy, or Katie, came to the United States to escape a life of extreme poverty and abuse in Ireland. Working in her aunt and uncle’s boarding offered more than a job. It provided the love and support of a family. Katie rose from her previous station and started fresh with hope on the horizon. She found a source of ministry that gave her life a purpose she’d not had before.


My association with my former ESL students helped me develop the characters in this book into individuals with which readers can identify.


Join Katie and Hans as they establish themselves in their new home of Shumard Oak Bend.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Texas Book-aholic, August 6

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, August 6

Inklings and notions, August 7

lakesidelivingsite, August 8

For Him and My Family, August 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 11

Blossoms and Blessings, August 12

deb’s Book Review, August 12

Connie’s History Classroom, August 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 15

Pause for Tales, August 16

Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, August 17

To Everything There Is A Season, August 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 18


To celebrate her tour, Heidi is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the first three books in the series!!

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

Violet Made of Thorns


TITLE: Violet Made of Thorns

AUTHOR: Gina Chen
PUB. DATE: July 26th, 2022
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
GENRE(S): Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy, Romance
TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING(S): Child Abuse, Emotional Manipulation, Violence, Death, Body Horror, Self-Harm, Racism
BUY LINK: https://bookshop.org/a/11727/9780593427538


A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.


An amazing debut novel! A sort of fairytale retelling with a fresh new twist of rich fantasy,morally gray characters, intriguing magic, epic enemies to lovers, political issues, unforseen turns and twists that keep you guessing to where the plot will go next so you stayed emersed into the story to the very end and still leaves you begging for more. I can't wait to see where the author takes us next in the second installment of this storyline! The story is told from Violet’s POV and eventhough she is unapologetically brash you can't help but relate to her. Cyrus is the charming Prince that seems to have all the women but Violet under his spell. However, none come close to being his equal or the Queen he needs to rule by his side while a curse looms over his head and the nobleman would rather see him fail or just not ever be King. When Violet starts getting visits from the Fates in her dreams and her life and that of Cyrus’s hangs in the balance they must look past their long feuding to find a solution. Now the solution I saw from the beginning or maybe just wishful thinking but there's much that takes place as things become heated between them and within the Kingdom. A foretold prophecy is approaching but it is unclear exactly what was meant by it or if it is even true as the Seer who spoke it was on her deathbed but as a rot in the Kingdom begins,it is clear that the Cyrus must find a wife as she is supposed to be his saving grace.


Gina Chen spent most of her life thinking she hated writing, until she churned out a few hundred thousand words of fanfiction and decided that maybe she was a writer. Her stories lean toward the fantastic, featuring heroines, antiheroines, and the kind of cleverness that brings trouble in its wake.

A self-taught artist with a degree in computer science, she generates creative nonsense in all forms of media and always has a project stewing. She has particular fondness for fairy tales, demon tales, romantic comedies, and quiz shows. Currently, she resides in Southern California, where the sunshine is as plentiful as its tea shops.


Up for grabs we have ONE (1) finished copy of Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen. This giveaway will be available from July 24th to August 7th at 11:59 PM CST. Open to US residents only. No giveaway accounts allowed. To enter, click the (link/button) below!

GIVEAWAY LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d72/?