Review: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge


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I’m going to admit something that may not be popular here. As a Jane Austen fan, one of her books I like least is a favorite of many. There’s just something about Sense and Sensibility that has always bothered me. Maybe it’s because Marianne Dashwood seems more flighty than heart-on-her-sleeve to me, or that Elinor and Edward spend so little time together that I never get the feel for their relationship.

Whatever it is, I’m happy that there have been some adaptation of the original story that I have enjoyed reading. And Hillary Manton Lodge’s contemporary take on this classic tale is delightful and engaging.

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Guest Post: Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Janell Butler Wojtowicz. She’s graciously agreed to stop by and handle the blog today, so as soon as I introduce you to her (and she tells you how to pronounce her last name), I’ll leave it in her capable hands


About Janell

Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. Her summers on the farm were rather boring, but she enjoyed the challenge of making mowing a huge lawn edged by prickly rose bushes with a push mower sound adventurous.

Janell attended the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in, naturally, Written Communication/Journalism Emphasis. She returned to Iowa where she worked as a reporter/editor at three small town newspapers for 10 years.

Janell left the small town Iowa life when she married, Frank, a family friend, who lived in Minneapolis. (By the way, her Polish last name is pronounced “Why-tow-vitch.) She worked in public relations at her alma mater, the University of Northwestern; Leadership Foundations, a nonprofit organization supporting inner-city Christian ministries; and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Today, Janell owns a freelance service, A Portrait in Words, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

She and Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota, a pleasant suburb of the Twin Cities. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law, and three step-granddaughters.

Twitter – @janellwoj

Blog –



Guest Post from Janell

A few of my favorite things

Raise of hands: How many of you know the words to the Sound of Music’s, “My Favorite Things?” You know: “Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.”

Since readers like to know interesting tidbits about a book’s characters, I’m sharing the favorite things of Embracing Hope’s main characters. Recently-widowed college dean Drew McKinley is a well-bred upper-class New England professional. Allison Bennett, a grad student and the new employee in the dean’s office, is a self-confident woman accustomed to financial hardship and personal struggle.

And I thought I’d throw in my favorite things as an Iowa farm girl living in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

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The Secret Slipper by Amanda Tero (Guestpost, Review & Giveaway)

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book title: The Secret Slipper

Author: Amanda Tero

Release date: May 25, 2017

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Being a cripple is only the beginning of Lia’s troubles. It seems as if Bioti’s goal in life is to make Lia as miserable as possible. If Lia’s purpose is to be a slave, then why did God make her a cripple? How can He make something beautiful out of her deformity?

Raoul never questioned the death of his daughter until someone reports her whereabouts. If Ellia is still alive, how has she survived these ten years with her deformity? When Raoul doesn’t know who to trust, can he trust God to keep Ellia safe when evidence reveals Bioti’s dangerous character?

As time brings more hindrances, will Raoul find Ellia, or will she forever be lost to the father she doesn’t even know is searching for her?

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Social Media Saturday: Melissa Tagg

This week, I’d like to introduce you to an author whose posts are often hilarious but other times honest, open and thought provoking. Meet Melissa Tagg.

About Melissa Tagg

Award-winning author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant-writer and total Iowa girl. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named to one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Spring 2016 Top Ten lists. Her most recent releases include Keep Holding On (Sept 2016) and One Enchanted Eve (Nov 2016). Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as workshops and women’s retreats. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever–not that she’s biased–watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book.

Visit here for the rest of her story



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Review: Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

What a unique and fun read from Karen Witemeyer! Those who read No Other Will Do (the first book of the Ladies of Harper’s Station series) already have an introduction to many of the lovable residents of the town.

In Heart on the Line, readers get a peek into the lives of telegraph operators. And what a peek it was!

My favorite part of this book was the secret language Grace and Amos had developed in their careers. Another fun angle was that Amos isn’t your typical romance hero. He prefers riding a bicycle over a horse, wears glasses, and is mocked by women in his hometown.



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