If you make a deal with evil, be prepared for the consequences.
When a metal dragon kidnaps Alice, Hatter gathers the troops and charges off to rescue her. If only things were so uncomplicated. In the Ivory Kingdom, they find upheaval of the worst kind and all heading to civil war spearheaded by a man known as the Bandersnatch.
Turmoil and the terror of fighting against a giant wolf, the Bandersnatch is bad enough, but when the Ivory Queen’s secrets are exposed, Hatter and Alice face off in a battle of wills and points of view. How can Alice trust a woman who deceived them? Why can’t Hatter see the bigger picture? If they don’t reconcile their differences, more could be at risk than the Ivory Kingdom.
More questions than answers bombard them in their quest for truth and freedom for all. Who is stealing children? What dark secret overshadows the Ivory Kingdom? Can they avoid the Bandersnatch’s clutches? And most important of all, who can they trust?
Join forces with Alice, Hatter, old friends and new, and be prepared to discover that trust and risk are often two sides of the same coin in this next Beyond Wonderland novel.
This is a tale based on the characters in “Alice in Wonderland”. But this book is more a sci fi novel. I liked the first book in the series better than this. But there were scenes that I did enjoy in this novel as well. I recommend reading the first book first.
I received a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own.
About the Author
Tabitha Bouldinis a student at Southern New Hampshire University, where she is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she works with critique groups and provides endorsements for other authors. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart. Tabitha spent ten years working as a Medical Assistant before God opened the door which allowed her to become a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom and author.
More from Tabitha
Writing Lost in Wonderland was such a wonderful creative outlet for my imagination. After writing Madness in Wonderland, I knew I wasn’t ready to let these characters go. They were anxious for new challenges and new adventures that allowed them to explore more of the world they’d just freed.
Of course, new characters were a must, and Scarlett stepped right up to have her story told.
While Madness in Wonderland is an Alice in Wonderland and Frankenstein mashup, for Lost in Wonderland, I went with a Through the Looking Glass and Red Riding Hood mashup that gave a deeper well of storytelling for Wonderland and brought all sorts of new creatures into the mix.
Alice and Hatter face new obstacles in their journey, and Scarlett is not one to be left behind. Especially when he has her loyal guard Faolan by her side.
They Waited Their Whole Lives for Their Papa to Return
Nan and Heath Duncan, siblings abandoned by their papa and abused by their guardian, have no choice but to survive on the London streets. When a kind gentleman rescues Nan from such a life, the siblings are separated and raised in two vastly different social worlds. Just when both are beginning to flourish and years have healed some of their wounds, their long-awaited papa returns and reunites them—bringing demands with him. Nan is expected to marry a rich suitor she’s never liked, and Heath is expected to forsake his gentle spirit and become the hardened man his father always was.
Dangers unfold, secret love develops, fights ensue, and murder upsets the worlds Heath and Nan have built for themselves.
They’ve waited their whole lives for their papa to return, for tomorrow to come—but now that it has, will they be able to see through to the truth and end this whirlwind of a nightmare before it costs one of their lives?
This book was a delightful read. It has plenty of heartaches and love. There were moments I was like “ no no that can’t end that way.” Yes’ this story hagve great moments that made my heart rejoice and other times my heart cried. I would read another book about these characteristics. This book shows the power of love and belief in other human beings. It shows how cruel
People can be be also.
I received a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own.
About the Author
Hann ah Linderresides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels. She is a double 2021 Selah Award winner, a 2022 Selah Award finalist, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Hannah is a Graphic Design Associates Degree graduate who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and International bestsellers. She is also a local photographer and a self-portrait photographer. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, and ukulele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse. To follow her journey, visit hannahlinderbooks.com.
More from Hannah
Love interests me. Not just in the romantic sense, but in every sense, because love is the driving emotion behind so much of what we do. It’s the heartbeat of everything. What do we have but love? Yet isn’t it the very essence of our greatest pain?
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes love has no reason. Like a tumultuous wind or a wet branch that sways in different directions, love is often petulant and aimless and powerful. But sometimes it’s soft, like a flower lifting dewy petals to the sunshine. The epitome of everything good, sweet, and true.
What makes love change? What makes two friends who have always been fraternal one day confess romantic affection? How much wrong, how much affliction, does it take for sweet love to sizzle into hatred? Even then, is it really hatred? Or merely the charred crust of the adoration still throbbing beneath? And how strong are the cords of new love? Will they break at every pull and tug, or are they more unfaltering than anyone might think?
Maybe those are silly questions. Maybe, like snowflakes, every heart knows a different answer. But if I explored anything in When Tomorrow Came, it was this. I glided through the story and felt love shift from brotherly to intimate, from hopeful to disappointed, from untested to proven, from safe to betrayed.
Just as love is the heartbeat of life, it is also the heartbeat of this story. I hope you will find yourself falling in love with the characters and their journey as much as I did.
Strange happenings are afoot in Brenham, Texas, as dogs start showing up at the Lone Star Veterinary Clinic with a Z spray painted on them. The cops blame pranksters, while pet owners are blaming each other. Receptionist Cassidy Carter uses her social media expertise to try to get the culprit caught on camera, but Texas game warden, Jason Cameron, thinks online media attention is the last thing this case needs. When Cassidy’s post goes viral, more dogs are found painted and the clinic gets marked with a big Z too. How could her good intentions have backfired so badly?
This book was so fun to read. It is the 4th book in the series, but you don’t have to have read the others in the series to follow this story. But each book does follow the one before it. Each book is a mystery involving dogs. I love how the crime are solved.
If a reader likes dogs and mysteries then I definitely recommend this series. I received a complimentary copy from the Author, and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own.
About the Author
Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and bestselling author of more than one hundred books with over two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she is a member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, Texas A&M Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Women Former Students (Aggie Women), Texas Historical Society, Novelists Inc., and American Christian Fiction Writers. She would also be a member of the Daughters of the American Republic, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a few others if she would just remember to fill out the paperwork that Great Aunt Mary Beth has sent her more than once.
When she’s not spinning modern day tales about her wacky Southern relatives, Kathleen inserts an ancestor or two into her historical and mystery novels as well. Recent book releases include bestselling The Pirate Bride set in 1700s New Orleans and Galveston, its sequel The Alamo Bride set in 1836 Texas, which feature a few well-placed folks from history and a family tale of adventure on the high seas and on the coast of Texas. She also writes (mostly) relative-free cozy mystery novels for Guideposts Books.
Kathleen and her hero in combat boots husband have their own surprise love story that unfolded on social media a few years back. They make their home just north of Houston, Texas and are the parents and in-laws of a blended family of Texans, Okies, and one very adorable Londoner.
More from Kathleen
MEET BAXTER: LIFE THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCHNAUZER
Recently I’ve been working on a series of cozy mystery novels set in a veterinary clinic in Brenham, Texas. I love Brenham. It’s one of my favorite cities and I’m thankful that it’s very near to me. Without Brenham, there would be no Blue Bell ice cream.
But I digress.
While preparing for the release of the fourth book in the series, The Bark of Zorro, I thought about what drew me to writing this series, other than ice cream, of course. It didn’t take me long to realize it was the dogs. During the course of the series there are fancy pets and sassy strays, but they all have one thing in common: they steal our hearts.
Let me tell you about a pup that stole my heart.
Baxter has very little stress beyond whether his water bowl stays full, his food bowl is consistently replenished, and his trips outside are not withheld. In short–which he is–Baxter is a low maintenance guy, er dog.
He makes our house a home and gives us ears to scratch and a built-in vacuum cleaner to handle any kitchen messes that reach the floor.
Unfortunately, this fellow has one rather annoying habit. He likes to walk a half-step ahead of me while looking back to be sure I am following. Not the best way to make progress of any kind. In fact, life would be much less complicated if Baxter would just let me do the leading while he does the following.
I said this recently. Aloud. Yes, to a Miniature Schnauzer. And as the words left my mouth, I was struck with the thought that maybe I am guilty of the same thing.
How many times have I gotten ahead of God only to realize He wasn’t having any of it? How many more times did I think I knew exactly where God was going–or what He was going to do–only to realize I was nowhere near close in my guess? Just as Baxter –who has appointed himself guardian of our home– sometimes barks when there’s nothing there, I too, let nothing (in the form of fear, worry, angst, or just plain imagination) grab my attention and hold it.
Here’s something else about Baxter: he’s small. Eleven pounds soaking wet small, to be precise. So small, my husband has to be careful where he steps lest he accidentally squash the poor pup with his size 13 shoes.
Though we’re physical much larger than my Baxter, I cam certainly relate to that feeling of being easily overlooked. Have you ever felt small? Really, really small? The kind of small where someone could walk right past and not even notice you?
Maybe it’s the people in your world who just don’t seem to know you’re there. Or it’s a goal you’ve long since given up accomplishing because it seems there are so many others doing it already.
Life can be that way. It’s all enough to make a person want to fade into the wallpaper or hide behind a potted plant. To make us feel as though we’re not at home, even when we are home.
I know that feeling. As a writer of Christian fiction for twenty years, I have been blessed to have sold more than two million copies of my more than one hundred novels, novellas, and nonfiction books. That’s anything but small. And yet when I look at all the amazing things that others have done, compare myself to others, well…small is exactly how I sometimes feel.
There’s just one remedy for that. Stop comparing! I’m a work in progress on this issue, but Baxter has this skill mastered. There are no comparisons in the Miniature Schnauzer world—something I could definitely learn.
Baxter has another side to him, a loyal and faithful side that I adore. Where I am, Baxter wants to be. My return from a brief trip away sends him into a crazy dance of joy that requires several rooms of the house to adequately perform. My presence is his source of joy and comfort.
So, the thought struck me: what if I looked at my relationship with God like that? What if I found contentment and joy merely in resting in his presence? What if I followed Him rather than leading? What if my home was filled with the evidence that God was not just welcome here but adored. What if…
I learned something years ago about this journey called the Christian life. The more I learn about the Lord, the more I realize how much I do not know and how very far away from any sort of perfection I am. That knowledge is sobering. Humbling.
And yet it is encouraging.
I wish you could all meet Baxter. But since you can’t check out The Bark of Zorro and the other books in the Gone to the Dogs series to meet our cast of fancy pets and sassy strays. I think you’ll like them and their humans. But then what’s not to like about a handsome game warden, a red-haired office manager with a penchant for her word-of-the-day calendar and the rest of the Lone Star Vet Clinic crew? Check them out and you’ll see!
Murder. Even the word sounds ugly. Almost as ugly as the corpse on the shore.
Dallas, Texas, 1948
Opal Stedman enjoys caring for old Mrs. Farnesworth. But keeping her sister Ruby out of trouble, well that is another issue entirely. Especially now that Ruby has stepped into high society with her new beau. A dubious man. Maybe even duplicitous.
Even the handsome security guard warns her sister about him.
When a body is dragged onto the shore of the lake that borders their home, rumors and worries over the new man become assurances. But why has he involved her household in these gruesome shenanigans?
And why are Opal’s loved ones suddenly having “accidents”?
Loosely based on the little-known fairy tale of “Snow White and Rose Red” this mystery twists its way all along the banks of White Rock Lake during its heyday.
This is a love story within a murder mystery story. The two main characters are sisters who are strong and intelligent females. If you want a short read that is easy to follow and has a few surprises then this book would be an idea book for you to read.
I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit and these pinions are my own.
About the Author
Marji Laineis a graduated home-schooling mom of four with two college students staying in the nest for a little longer. She and her hubby of 34 years also share their North Texas home with a rescue pup named Rosie. When Marji isn’t editing or publishing the books for her authors at Write Integrity Press, she indulges in penning her own mystery, suspense, and romance novels. She loves acting in musical comedy, has directed many stage productions, leads a high school Bible study and sings in her church choir. She prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, NASCAR to football, Magnolia pie, white roses, green, and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. You can find her at her website: MarjiLaine.com
More from Marji
A Troll Falls is set in my hometown of Dallas, Texas around the time that my grandfather served as one of the fire captains in the area. I have pictures of my mom and my aunt posing near the spillway of White Rock Lake.
Yep, White Rock Lake is a real place less than ten miles from the central district of Dallas. I remember doing a Walk-a-Thon around the lake and playing softball on Saturday mornings at Winfrey Point, overlooking the lake with a view all the way to downtown. Swimming in the lake was never an option in my lifetime, but my mom remembered swimming there. Because the lake was a major reservoir for Dallas, they had to close it to swimming in the early 1950s due to a drought. By the mid-1950s, boating had made the lake dirty and crowded, so the city of Dallas closed it to motor boats that traveled faster than ten miles per hour. Aside from little fishing boats here and there, White Rock Lake is primarily a sail-boat lake now, and a beautiful sight on a clear day with a light breeze.
The Bonnie Barge is a real thing as well. The double-decker party and dance boat sailed around White Rock Lake from 1945-1956. Fraternities, church groups, reunions, and all types used the Bonnie Barge. Even such famous people as Gypsy Rose Lee and Billy Graham are rumored to have sailed on it, though not at the same time! Johnny Williams, Jr. grew up on the barge that his father built, often steering it even though he was underage. The young man who has the “find” in the Prologue is fashioned after him. Johnny actually did find a body once when he was sixteen, in a similar manner to what I described, except the deceased was a woman who had fallen into the lake and drowned after a night of drinking. The Bonnie Barge was a mainstay on White Rock Lake, but it relied on speed boats to come help in case of trouble. When the speed boats were ousted in 1956, the Bonnie Barge floated her last party as well. You can learn more about the Bonnie Barge here: https://lakewood.advocatemag.com/a-boat-named-bonnie/
On the shores of that lake lies the Dallas Arboretum, a beautiful collection of gardens that I visited often, field trips for my homeschooled kids. The focal point of the Arboretum is the DeGolyer House. Built in the 1930s, the house is fashioned after a Spanish Hacienda. I heard rumors about the house and the rare book collection that Mr. DeGolyer kept locked away in his library, and it became the inspiration for the Halling Estate in my book. You can learn more about the Dallas Arboretum (well worth the visit!) and the DeGolyer House here: https://www.dallasarboretum.org/
My fictional Halling Estate is situated on the lake about where the DeGolyer House still stands, but my imaginary house is a two-story hacienda instead of a single story. I also created a covered drive (called a dog-trot) that separates the kitchen from the garage and the servant apartments above the garage.
While I took some liberties with my 1948 Dallas, the Adolphus Hotel is the real deal. (I shared about it in my first book, A GIANT MURDER, too.) They really did have ice skating shows in their Century Ballroom in the 1940s and 50s. And the dance floor really did glide back over the ice for dancing after the shows were over. You can learn more about it here: https://flashbackdallas.com/2014/10/26/century-room/
I’ve always loved writing mysteries. I love the unexpected twists, and I usually have an idea of who the murderer will be before I start the story. Adding the element of history to the mix has been sheer pleasure. I love setting my stories in and around real places, events, and people. I hope you enjoy A TROLL FALLS as well!
Ivy Zimmerman is successfully navigating her life as a young Mennonite woman, one generation removed from her parents’ Old Order Amish upbringing. But when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, Ivy’s way of life is upended. As she deals with her grief, her younger sisters’ needs, the relationship with her boyfriend, and her Dawdi and Mammi’s strict rules, Ivy finds solace in both an upcoming trip to Germany for an international Mennonite youth gathering and in her great-great-aunt’s story about Clare Simons, another young woman who visited Germany in the late 1930s.
As Ivy grows suspicious that her parents’ deaths weren’t, in fact, an accident, she gains courage from what she learns of Clare’s time in pre-World War II Germany. With the encouragement and inspiration of the women who have gone before her, Ivy seeks justice for her parents, her sisters, and herself.
This was a long story but well worth the read. It deals with the treatment of the nazi of children with handicaps. There were surprises in the book that were really unexpected. I recommend this book to readers who likes stories about the Amish and Mennonites and based on history.
I was given a complimentary copy from the author and Celebrate Lit and these opinions are my own.
About the Author
Leslie Gould (www.lesliegould.com) is a Christy Award-winning and #1 bestselling author of over 35 novels, including four Lancaster County Amish series. She holds an MFA in creative writing and enjoys studying church history, research trips, and hiking in the Pacific Northwest. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon, and are the parents of four adult children.
More from Leslie
The historical thread of my dual-time novel A Brighter Dawn is set in Nazi Germany from 1937 to 1939. During that period of time, Germany incorporated Austria, mandatory registration of all Jewish property began, and concentration camps opened. Then came the Night of Broken Glass—the anti-Jewish pogrom in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. Soon following was the German occupation of Czechoslovakia before the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939.
My main character, Clare Simons, is a Mennonite young woman from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who is staying with her uncle and cousins in Frankfurt, Germany. She doesn’t follow current events much and struggles to balance the Nazi propaganda her uncle and oldest cousin believe with the events unfolding around her. Slowly, she begins to see the truth behind the Nazi lies.
One thing that broke up the narrative of the heavy events I researched and wrote about? The food.
When I traveled in Germany with my husband (who had lived there during his Army service years ago), I marveled over the scenery, became engrossed in the history, and definitely enjoyed the food. My background is Swiss, so it wasn’t that the food was unfamiliar. It was just at a level I hadn’t experienced before!
As I researched what Clare would fix for meals, I pored through cookbooks. For added inspiration, hubby and I ate at German restaurants. Jägerschnitzel (seared pork with gravy). Rinderbraten (paprika and caraway spiced beef roasted in red wine gravy). Wienerschnitzel (breaded and fried pork loin with warm potato salad and a vegetable remoulade.)
I noted food in research books, documentaries, and films. The entrees became focal points in the stories, including rabbit stew, a Christmas goose, and Sauerbraten with Spätzle and red cabbage. So did the desserts, including trifle and Black Forest cake.
When I visited Germany with my hubby, one of the things I really loved was stopping in a café for Apfelkuchen (apple cake) and coffee in the afternoon. In one scene in A Brighter Dawn, when Clare and her cousin Lena stop for coffee, they order apple cake too. Then, in another scene, Clare bakes an apple cake for the family of the nearby Jewish grocer who will soon lose their property.
Below is a recipe for a simple and dense German apple cake (which may have originated in Poland and been influenced by a Jewish apple cake recipe).
The food in A Brighter Dawn doesn’t take away from the narrative, but it is a reminder that a nurturing soul, such as my character Clare, can stand against the lies of an evil regime.
German Apple Cake
1 cup salted butter, melted
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
5 cups apples—peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (to soften apple slices before baking, place in a microwavable dish with a lid and microwave them with a Tablespoon of water for 3–4 minutes)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan.
Beat butter and eggs with an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla; beat well.
Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture; mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Fold in apples and walnuts by hand using a wooden spoon. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45–50 minutes. After 30 minutes, put a sheet of foil over the top of the cake to keep it from burning. Cool cake on a wire rack.
Crumble: ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, ½ cup flour, 4–6 Tablespoons softened butter. Combine ingredients and evenly spread over the top of cake.
Butterscotch: Sprinkle a package of butterscotch chips over the top of the cake.
Almonds: Sprinkle almond slivers over the top of the cake.