Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Hold Me Close" by Marguerite Martin Gray" Book Tour and Give Away

Purchase your copy here:

About the Book

Louis Lestarjette, a Frenchman, arrives in Charles Town, South Carolina, in 1772 without purpose or plans. He encounters a society on the brink of revolution and is forced to make decisions that include finding meaning and direction in his carefree life. Who can he trust in his endeavors to prosper? Will he be able to stay neutral in a battle for independence? When decisive events confront him, will he stay or leave? Running from God and commitment is a constant option. Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of a prominent British citizen, believes God will hold her close in uncertain and changing times. Faced with making difficult decisions about her loyalties, she finds comfort in close friends, a devout sister, and her music. When the mysterious Frenchman with no commitment to God or Charles Town enters her life, her role in the political battle is challenged. Can she trust her heart in volatile situations? Set in pre-revolution Charles Town, Hold Me Close takes the reader into the lives of immigrants, ordinary citizens, and prominent historical figures at a time in which decisions are made that will change the world.

My Review: "Hold Me Close" by Marguerite Martin Gray is a book that is based mostly on history, pre-American Revolution and The Sons Of Liberty. Since the story is also fictional the author has taken liberties and added facts that aren't part of this time era. But, unless you are a history buff you don't notice these, another reader pointed them out to me but that fact didn't make any difference in my enjoyment of the story.

"Hold Me Close" is the first book in the (Revolutionary Faith series) and I really enjoyed it for the most part. I really liked that Louis Lestarjette changed into a character that wasn't greedy, which is how he appeared at the beginning of the story.

The story was interwoven with Biblical truth all through the novel and reminds the reader that God does "Hold Us Close" at all times.

The ending is a little disappointing because it leaves you hanging as to the outcome of Louis and Elizabeth but that could be because this is book one, I am anxiously awaiting book two, I want to know how the love story ends!

I was given a copy Of "Hold Me Close" by Celebrate Lit and the author for a honest review as part of the book tour and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

About the Author

Marguerite Martin Gray enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Recently, she received a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband and Cleo, her cat, in Abilene, Texas.

Guest Post from Marguerite Gray

I’m very happy to be a part of Celebrate Lit! Thank you for the opportunity to present my book Hold Me Close and to share a little about my journey. It has been a journey of faith, a very exciting one for me. Hold Me Close is Book One in the Revolutionary Faith series. The book’s journey is my journey. Six years ago I finally put on paper some of the stories forming and rambling in my imagination. My grown children left me some time to let God lead me into a writing career, well part-time. My husband and I decided I could work part-time and write part-time. During this period I wrote six novels. The next part of the trek took me to American Christion Fiction Writers (ACFW). I joined and have been an active student for six years. I attended three conferences and loved every minute, even the harsh criticism and “helpful” words of encouragement. Also, I became a contributing member of several critique groups within the organization. Needless to say, Hold Me Close went through many changes before it was published. My growth in faith expanded as much as my book. I thank all who had a role in the needed transformation. I went back to work full-time after a three year sabbatical and pondered over the future of my novels. Where did God want the books to find a home? Or did they remain my little hobby? The journey was not over for Hold Me Close. The book was published by Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan in December 2015. Quickly, I landed far outside my comfort zone in a world of social media and personal appearances. Even though I am a teacher and stand in front of 120 students every day, there is something intimidating about audiences of professionals and my peers. Rotary Clubs, Book Clubs, Writers’ Guilds, Church Groups! What a journey….and it hasn’t stopped. My tagline is “Entertain. Educate. Encourage.” I entertain through fiction. I educate through the historical genre. I encourage through faith journeys of my characters. It’s exciting and I hope you will enjoy the journey as much as I have.

Facebook Party

Blog Stops

June 20: Proverbial Reads
June 21: Lane Hill House
June 23: A Northern Belle
June 27: Big Reader Site
June 28: Splashes of Joy
June 28: Mary Hake
June 29: Pause for Tales

To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away a fun themed prize basket! Click to enter:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"To Follow Her Heart" by Rebecca Demarino

Satisfying, Emotionally Rich Conclusion to The Southold ChroniclesSeries
It is 1664 and Patience Terry is devastated to learn that Captain Jeremy Horton's ship has been shipwrecked off the coast of Barbados, with no survivors. She had hoped that Jeremy would someday give up the sea and settle down with her in Southold, Long Island. 

Unaware his memorial service is being planned, Jeremy is rescued and aboard a British Naval Gunship with secret orders to attack New Amsterdam and claim it for the British Crown. When he makes his surprise return to Southold--and to an overjoyed Patience--it's not the happily-ever-after his beloved had hoped for. 

With a finely tuned sense for authentic historical characters and settings, Rebecca DeMarino plunges readers into the 17th century--a world of high seas and tall ships, daring journeys and yearning hearts.

Interview with Rebecca DeMarino

What do you love to write and what inspired you to start?  Historical romance! And I fell in love with it the year I traveled with my mom to Long Island to see the lighthouse named after our ancestor, Barnabas Horton. A Puritan and a widower with two little boys, he married Mary Langton, a young Anglican woman before they sailed on a ship called The Swallow to New England in the 17th century. We discovered so much information about my ninth great-grandfather at the historical society and library in Southold, but very little about my ninth great-grandmother, Mary. I wanted to give her, and all of the courageous women who came across the pond in those early days, a voice and tell her story in A Place in His Heart.  One of the few fictitious characters in that book, Patience Terry, became my heroine in To Follow Her Heart, book three of The Southold Chronicles series from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
When did you know you wanted to write? Did any or multiple books influence this desire? I took a creative writing class in high school and always knew I wanted to write a novel. I enjoy reading many genres, but I was reading quite a bit of suspense and thought that might be what I would write. But life took a turn when I went with my mother to Long Island to see the lighthouse named after our ancestor, Barnabas Horton. So much information about Barnabas, so little about his wife, Mary. I wanted to give her a voice! And about that time I discovered Jane Kirkpatrick’s A Gathering of Finches. I loved that book! So while I believe my writing has been influenced by my passion for reading most all of my life, Jane Kirkpatrick’s stories of real people, and in particular strong women, set in fiction have been the greatest inspiration to me.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.  I love the classics, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Anna Karenina, Wuthering Heights to name a few. I love a good suspense and historicals, especially with romance. I’ve read almost all of John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks, and Jane Kirkpatrick books. Other keepers on my bookshelf right now are: Julie Lessman, Lori Benton, Carrie Turansky, Margaret Brownley, Karen Barnett, and Camille Eide— and I could go on because there are much more on my shelves, but they wouldn’t all fit in this answer! But I love the novels being published today for the CBA, and I think Christian fiction is filling a need in a way it never has before. 

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?  Helping my dad finish his own novel, The Stagecoach Murders, after he suffered a stroke. I typed, he dictated the last four chapters. It was a slow process because his speech was affected. He knew exactly what he wanted to say, but it didn’t always come out that way. That gave us a few laughs along the way! His novel is a Louis L’Amour meets Zane Grey western romance—and it is a terrific book! Dad began that novel when he was 86, and finished it at age 87. He’s 93 and still living on his ranch in Oregon with his horse Cotton ~ he continues to amaze and inspire me!

Tell us 3 things your readers might not know about you.  I was born in my parent’s Nash before Dad could even pull away from the curb. My sisters remember standing at the picture window in the house with the babysitter as my dad held me up. When we got to the hospital I roomed in with my mom because I couldn’t be in the nursery with all of those germ-free babies. Second tidbit: When I was twelve, I wrote to NASA and told them I would like to be an astronaut when I grew up. They sent back a huge envelope filled with pamphlets about the program, and pictures of Alan Shepard and John Glenn, and a very nice letter telling me thank you very much for your interest, but NASA has no plans for women astronauts. Guess no one told Sally Ride that! And thirdly: My three daughters were born in three different states: Alaska, Nebraska, and Florida. Life in the military, lol! 

And please tell us about your new release from Revell Publishing. In 1664 Patience Terry is devastated to learn that Captain Jeremy Horton’s ship has been shipwrecked off the coast of Barbados. There were no survivors. She had hoped that Jeremy would someday give up the sea and settle down with her in Southold, Long Island. 
Unaware his memorial service is being planned, Jeremy sails aboard a British warship with secret orders to attack New Amsterdam and claim it for the British Crown. When he makes his surprise return to Southold—and to an overjoyed Patience—it’s not quite the happily-ever-after his beloved had hoped for.
Patience is a fictitious character that first appeared in the A Place in His Heart book one in The Southold Chronicles. She was young and immature, and a thorn in Mary Horton’s side. But it was fun watching her grow and become a one of Mary’s best friends. And she had an eye for Jeremy by the end of that first book! Jeremy’s character is based on the real brother of Barnabas Horton, and was the captain of The Swallow, the little ship that brought the Hortons from England to the New World. To Follow Her Heart is Patience and Jeremy’s story.   

Thank you for chatting with me! It’s been fun! 

My Review: "To Follow Her Heart" by Rebecca Demarino is the third and final book in the (The Southold Chronicles). It is also my favorite of the three. I really wish there were more.

If you haven't read the other two novels in this series, you can still read "To Follow Her Heart" and enjoy the story. Yes, it has characters from the other two books, but this story is really Patience's and Jeremy's story.

This story is one that made me want to put the book down because I didn't want what was apparently happening to happen, this was a few times in the story. Yes, there were twists that I didn't see coming. Yes, I finished the book because I had to see if what I thought was gonna happen, happened or if a another twist came about.

This book is a love story that shows love is worth waiting for. It makes the tears fall also.

I was given a copy of "To Follow Her Heart" by Rebecca Demarino by the author for an honest review and have given it five stars!

Author Info: 
When Rebecca DeMarino traveled in 1999 to Horton Point, Long Island, with her mother, Helen Jean Horton Worley to discover their heritage, passions collided: her love of faith, family, travel, history, and writing. Rebecca's debut novel, A PLACE IN HIS HEART (Revell, 2014), is a historical romance based on Mary and Barnabas Horton, Rebecca's ninth great-grandparents. Book two of THE SOUTHOLD CHRONICLES series, TO CAPTURE HER HEART, is available now. Book three in the series, TO FOLLOW HER HEART, releases in July and is available for pre-order. From PUBLISHER WEEKLY ~ "DeMarino's ... strong suit is recreating history and relating it to readers."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

"More Than She Dreamt"by Sandy Mauck Book Tour and Give Away

Purchase your copy here.

About the Book

It was more than she dreamt.  But as the romance began to bud, she felt the thorns of a heartless beauty rise to tear it apart. 
Young widow, Katie Jensen, endures patiently under her oppressive uncle in desolate Arizona Territory. She tries to keep her promise to her dead aunt to be a witness and take care of her uncle but when his tirades grow worse, she gathers her two precious little ones and runs.
Making their way to an unknown land, they come to the town of White Rock, which is strangely like the place in the dreams Katie has been having. They are welcomed into the cottage of a kindly grandmother who takes in borders.
When Danny, the older woman’s grandson, comes home, he finds surprises in store: a crisis, a beautiful young woman, and her adorable children who bring laughter and life into all their weary souls.
Katie is filled with hope when an unexpected romance sparks but there is a vindictive raven-haired beauty and an old enemy conspiring to put it out—permanently.
Will God give Katie rest as she and the family pray for their enemies?
Can she stand strong in her faith when fear overwhelms her?

About the Author                      

Sandy Faye Mauck writes Historical Romance in the light of the gospel and with the heart of her Savior.
Slip into a comfy chair with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and travel back to the first years after the turn of the century.
Enjoy faithful Christian characters who have come through a spiritual wilderness into a place of hope. Stories of charming romance sprinkled with humor and topped with redemption. And be sure not to put the cup too close to the edge of the table because there are enemies lurking about.
Sandy lives in her own happily-ever-after with her Bible doctrine writer husband in the west they love. They have five children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys crocheting (a different kind of yarn) and is also a professional artist.

Guest Post from Sandy Faye Mauck

Hi everyone! Sandy Faye Mauck here! Today I launch my book on Celebrate Lit!
They say to write the book that is missing from your bookshelf. So I did. I wrote a story that brought the purity of a Christian romance with a touch of humor and endearing characters who live what they believe, with real enemies and redemptive grace.
More Than She Dreamt is set at the time just after the turn of the century. Probably my favorite time travel place if I had to choose because of the interesting changes and the lovely clothing and yet there was indoor plumbing, and lights, LOL!
My greatest writing inspiration (other than my Lord), was my favorite author, Grace Livingston Hill. She could tell a story, make you feel you were there in every sense. Grace could bring romance, excitement, and enemies and then touch your heart with a truth of God’s word that would penetrate your heart. I hope to do this as I write my heart and I add humor because that is who I am.
I hope you enjoy this Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and the special personal giveaway at the end!

My Review:
 "More Than She Dreamt"by Sandy Mauck is a fantastic book!  The fact that this book is a debut novel is really hard to believe. I mean if her first novel was this great, what are her other books going to be like, I can only image.  I also really like the cover for this novel. This was one book that I had a hard time finishing, wait it isn't for the reason you think, it is because Life kept interrupting my reading time, such as phone calls and I was babysitting but I picked up this book every spare moment I had and another reason I had a hard time finishing this book was because I just knew that when I was finished it, I would want more and I was right, I want more. 

"More than she Dreamt" is a novel that shows that when we put our trust in God, even though in our humanness we think things are going wrong, in the end He makes things right and we are blessed beyond our wildest dreams.

"More Than She Dreamt" is a novel filled with sorrow and hope and redemption.  

Yes, there is a character that as a reader I wanted to reach into the book and literally slap him until he was  my idea of what a man should be especially one that was supposed to take care of others who had no one else.  There is also a woman that doesn't know when to give up till she is literally forced to.

I adored the children in this novel, they made this reader laugh out loud a couple of times.  My favorite character in "More Than She Dreamt" has to be Grandma Gwen because I tend to like stories where grandmas are heroes maybe because my grandma was my hero.  

"More Than She Dreamt is a story of hope but it is also a clean love story. 

I really recommend "More Than She Dreamt" by Sandy Mauck to every reader who wants to  read a book that isn't all about life is good, but one that has real life struggles and the characters have to overcome trials as we real people do.

I was given a copy of "More Than She Dreamt" by Sandy Mauck by the author and Celebrate 

lit for my honest review as part of this book tour.  

I am giving "More Than Dreamt" five stars. 

 Tour Stops

June 14: cherylbbookblog
June 18: Bigreadersite
June 19: A Greater Yes
June 20: Pause for Tales
June 22: A Holland Reads
June 23: Splashes of Joy
June 26: Bukwurmzzz


To celebrate her tour, Sandy is giving away a charming keepsake box filled with some Rose Arbor themed prizes. Enter here:

Friday, June 17, 2016

Whispering To Horses" by Thomas Nye Book Tour and GiveAway

About the Book

To purchase your copy, click here
An old fence separates a modern community from their Amish neighbors, until a little boy opens the gate and breaks down barriers between them. Main characters, Matt and Eli, find friendship, hope, and a future through a mutual need, which creates an opportunity for them to learn to understand each other. Eli and his little sisters will touch your heart by Whispering to Horses.

About the Author

thomasnyecroppedThomas Nye, author of the Amish Horses Book Series, Lives near an Amish community where he grew to know and respect his Amish neighbors. During grade school Thomas developed an interest in history and loved reading anything he could find about the 1800s. His love of farm, history, and horses all came together in real-life experiences with his Amish friends, who also happen to share his Christian faith.  He purchased draft horses from Amish farmers in his neighborhood and set out to learn the art of working with horses in harness.  After years of buying, selling, and trading work horses with Amish farmers in his community, Thomas had many wonderful memories of those experiences. His novels based on those adventures. Learn more about Thomas Nye on his website.

Guest Post from Thomas Nye

Last spring, I visited numerous Amish communities throughout the state of Indiana. My original goal was to bring awareness of my Amish Horses book series to the Amish and tourists in that region. As I traveled down quiet country roads, my heart was overwhelmed by beautiful farm scenes. Conversations with Amish families, and especially Amish children, brought a new awareness and inspiration to me. Springtime and its rich aromas flooded my senses and filled my heart with a story, Whispering to Horses.
Whispering to Horses is a very short novel which spans several generations. It is the story of two families that live side-by-side for years, and yet are strangers to each other. A fence that was installed to keep livestock apart has become a dividing line, separating Amish from their non-Amish neighbors. Years ago, when putting in the fence, an Amishman remembered his grandfather’s advice, almost prophetically, “… a gate opens the way for help in time of need.” Generations later, a gentle Amish boy named Eli, seems to have inherited his great-great-grandfather’s wisdom, as he opens the gate and communication between neighbors.
Kalona, Iowa has been my home for the past 35 years. Living in an Amish/Mennonite community, I have experienced many situations exactly like the one described in this book. It is so easy for us to look over a fence and have a disdain for people we don’t know, or understand. Sometimes, a little child can use their simple wisdom to break through our misconceptions, and soften our crusty opinions. In my hundreds of visits to Amish farms, it has been the children that have surprised me most. Even though English is their second language, Amish children speak with wisdom that has become a treasure to me, and I want to share it with you. I hope the story of Whispering to Horses opens your eyes, and brings back memories of your own childhood, when we all shared that simple wisdom.
MY REVIEW: "Whispering To Horses"  by Thomas Nye is a really sweet short story. It is only 43 pages and I really liked it. I do have one complaint , it is too short for me, but I don't know if I should even mention it because it is a novella, but I wanted to read more about Matt and Eli. I must point out that the novella doesn't really leave you with a cliff hanger, I just wanted more.
                                                                                                                                                                            "Whispering Horses" is a novella about a friendship that develops between an English man and a young Amish youth.  It is also a story about childhood memories and how the past meets up with the future.  This story is a full good story! This novella shows how the English and the Amish are more alike than the two groups like to think. 

"I was given a copy Of "Whispering Horse" by the author and Celebrate Lit for a honest review in this book tour and I am giving it five stars. 

Blog Stops

June 7: Quiet Quilter
June 8: ArtisticNobody
June 8: Petra’s Hope
June 12: Bigreadersite
June 14: A Greater Yes


To celebrate his tour, Thomas is giving away an entire set of his Amish Horses Series! Click here to enter:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

" The Mystery Of Ghost Dancer Ranch" by Patrick E. Craig

Book Info : Against their wishes, cousins Jacie Masters, (Punkin), and Hannah Roberts, (Boo), are thrown together for the summer at their grandparents’ Ghost Dancer Ranch. What starts as a very boring summer turns dangerous when they find themselves in the middle of an insidious plot to steal the ranch and turn it into a Casino. By clinging to their faith, and with the help of a guardian angel and Jack Wilson, a young Native American man who hopes to lead his people back to prosperity and power through the resurrection of the Ghost Dancer Religion, Punkin and Boo overcome all obstacles to solve the mystery and save the ranch. 

In the best tradition of Franklin W. Dixon's Hardy Boy Mysteries and Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, comes The Adventures of Punkin and Boo, an exciting series of adventure/mystery stories for young children, tweens, and teens (adults will also enjoy them.) Featuring Hannah Roberts (Boo) and Jacie Masters (Punkin), these are the adventures of two teenage cousins who meet for the first time on a summer vacation and fall right into an on-going series of action-packed, page turning, "can't-put-em-down" books that will delight young readers and have them asking for more of The Adventures of Punkin and Boo.

Author Bio: Best-selling author, Patrick E. Craig, is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. He spent the next twenty-six years as a worship leader, seminar speaker and pastor in churches, and at retreats, seminars and conferences all across the Western United States. After ministering for a number of years in music and worship to a circuit of small churches in Northern California, he is now concentrating on writing and publishing both fiction and non-fiction books. In November, 2011, Patrick signed a three book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his "Apple Creek Dreams" series. His Latest work, "The Amish Heiress" (Book One in The Paradise Chronicles series) has been on the best seller lists on Amazon since August. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency. 

Patrick has an extensive background as a writer. Throughout his school years he edited high school and college newspapers. In 1964 he won a national editorial contest sponsored by the Wall Street Journal for an editorial he wrote on the death of President Kennedy, and, in the same year, acted as Senior Editor for a special issue of the University of Washington Evergreen during a summer internship for High School Editors. After a year at Whitman College, where he was a journalism major, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area where he became a fixture on the local music scene.

As a professional songwriter, he wrote with and for such artists as Bill Champlin (Chicago), David Jenkins (Pablo Cruise), Buddy Miles, The Tazmanian Devils, and many others in the secular music industry. His songs were recorded by such artists and music groups as West Coast Natural Gas, Indian Pudding and Pipe, Joey Covington's Fat Fandango, The Sons of Champlin, The Tazmanian Devils, Buddy Miles, David Jenkins, Laura Allen, The Fairfax Street Choir and in Europe by the Swedish Band Seid. He had two music albums released on Warner Brothers records, and contributed to best selling albums by artists such as Chris Isaak and others. Recently a compilation of his early work was released in Switzerland as a specialty music album.

My Review: "The Mystery Of Ghost Dancer Ranch" by Patrick E. Craig is a mystery that draws the reader into the story from the first chapter. Ok, so it's written for kids ages 8-17 but I loved it and so has other adults. I am looking forward to the next book in this series (The Adventures of Punkin and Boo.)  

"The Mystery Of Ghost Dancer Ranch" reminds me of the "Nancy Drew" books that I loved as a young teen girl but this book has Biblical Truth interwoven into the story. I was a little doubtful with part of the story at first when it was describing the evil demons but then I realized that there is evil in the world and we cannot hide from and hide them from our children and I am happy to say that Patrick Craig dwelt with this scene wonderfully in showing what happens when we apply God's words to the evil in our world. And besides, today kids watch all sorts of movies that have evil and demons without any mention of the truth about God's words.

"The Mystery Of Ghost Dancer Ranch" is a short 113 page book and I recommend it for  Christian kids and parents as well as any reader that loves mysteries that want a clean read. The scenes are well detailed that you can see them in your mind as they are happening on the pages.

I am thinking about buying another copy for my 10 year old grandson. I was given a copy for my honest review by the author and I am giving it five stars.  Don't let my mention of the evil stop you from enjoying the story, I am sure that young readers thats likes mysteries will want to be like Boo and Punkin. And if my church had a church library I would recommend "The Mystery Of Ghost Dancer Ranch" be a part of it. In fact, I  am calling my local liberty to request it be a part of it as soon as I finish writing this review.

I love that Boo and Punkin are just normal girls that have to visit their grandparents farm against their wishes and aren't happy at first. This fact just makes the story more believable and isn't that why we read fiction because we want to believe it could be real. There is also real life characters from history interwoven into the story, like Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and the Battle of Little Big Horn and the uprising at Wound Knee. These history facts are just mentioned, not the actual story. I think this is going to be a wonderful new series to be caught up in  for all mystery lovers. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Blog Post for "Promise Of Deer Run" by Elaine Marie Cooper ( not a review)

Book Title: Promise of Deer Run (Book 2 of Deer Run Saga)

Author: Elaine Marie Cooper

Release Date: June 16, 2016

Genre: Historical romance

Back Cover Blurb:

The year is 1790.

The American Revolution is long since over, yet the battles still live in the hearts of the survivors.

One young veteran is haunted by the painful memories of war. He still awaits a father who has never returned from battle and feels the sting of betrayal from a former love. He withdraws into his own world, clinging to one hope: Perhaps his father still lives. 

Only one person in Deer Run seems to understand him: Nineteen-year-old Sarah Thomsen, who feels a kinship with the loner veteran. She senses the wounds in his spirit as much as she struggles to bury her own traumatic memories of war. And the veteran’s search for his father touches a chord of empathy in Sarah, as she feels the loss of a father she never knew.

While the couple begins to find hope in a mutual affection, others determine to destroy it. Slander and misunderstandings ignite a fire of doubt and mistrust, destroying whatever faith they had in each other.

Can two souls longing for healing and trust love again? Can faith—and a family—be restored? 

Author Bio: 

Award winning author Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of Fields of the Fatherless, Bethany’s Calendar and the historical trilogy called the Deer Run Saga. Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ, and the history of the American Revolution. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her historical novels.

Her upcoming releases include Saratoga Letters (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, October 2016) and Legacy of Deer Run (CrossRiver Media, Dec, 2016)

Cooper has been writing since she penned her first short story at age eleven. She began researching for her first novel in 2007. Her writing has also appeared in Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson and the romance anthology, I Choose You. She has also written articles for Prayer Connect Magazine, Splickety Prime Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, and Life: Beautiful Magazine. She began her professional writing career as a newspaper freelancer.

                 Blog Post for launch of Promise of Deer Run

I will never forget my childhood friend named DeDe. She was smart and had a great sense of humor. But that is not the main reason I remember DeDe. She is the one friend in elementary school who taught me about being a friend to the friendless.

There was a girl in our class—I’ll call her Jennifer—who was afflicted with a congenital problem that left her with difficulty speaking, an awkward gait, and an odd look to her face. Jennifer was shunned by most in the school, except for DeDe. She was totally unafraid of what others thought and she made every effort to be kind to Jennifer.  Her bravery caused me to be kind to the shy classmate as well. I admit I was still a bit uncomfortable hanging out with Jennifer, and it took patience on my part to wait until Jennifer could painstakingly speak even just a few words. But DeDe always cheered Jennifer on in her attempts to communicate.  It was such a lesson in kindness to me.

In Promise of Deer Run, the character of Sarah Thomsen befriends the social outcast of the village—Nathaniel Stearns. The young veteran is seven years her senior, but Sarah has memories of the kindness that Nathaniel had extended to her when she was a little girl. It was a kindness never forgotten. Sarah looked past the recluse who seemed so different awaiting the return of his father from war. Many in the town laughed behind Nathaniel’s back. Why would this veteran who frequented the local tavern on a regular basis and who still believed his father was alive, be of a sound mind? Even the churchgoers snickered and avoided him like the plague. 

But not Sarah. She saw past the exterior to the heart and soul of Nathaniel Stearns. She dared to speak to him. She dared to befriend the friendless. 

It reminds me of DeDe looking past the physical anomalies of Jennifer. 

A few years ago a friend from high school told me they found out Jennifer had become a nurse, helping others in their need. I was amazed but pleased—and I remembered DeDe leaving her comfort zone of hanging out with the “cool” kids. I sometimes wonder if DeDe was the one who had given Jennifer hope for a future, years before on the playground at school. 

I wonder how many other lives can be changed for the better by befriending the friendless. I pray that I will be the brave one.