My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah by Angie Dicken

About the Book

Name of book: My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life.

Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.

Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him. When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Gate. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.

Click here to purchase Angie’s amazing book

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MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

 

Leanna McKee was in Castle Gate, Utah because of her late husband, but now that he is gone, tragically taken by the dangerous mines, she has no reason to be here. As soon as she gets word that a position is open in California with her cousin, she’s out of here. That was before Alex Pappa as Leanna to watch his brothers children until their baby was born. But nothing can happen between them. He is Greek, she is American.

The main characters, Leanna McKee and Alex Pappas had many difficult situations and struggles as we follow their story. These two were strong and independent characters, I enjoyed her spunk and his strong will. The papas family is adorable, especially the mom. They gave the story a homey feeling! Author Angie Dicken does a really good job of weaving this story together between the Greek workers and the greedy Americans! It has a super ending that will make everyone smile, but getting there is a very difficult road.

An e-copy of this book was provide by Celebration Lit Tours and the author for me to read and review. The opinion here are mine, and mine alone.

About the Author

Angie Dicken is a third generation Greek American, the granddaughter of strong men and women who endured hardship to grow American roots. My Heart Belongs In Castle Gate, Utah is set near the birthplace of her grandfather, a Greek coal miner’s son, and published 100 years after his birth. Angie is a contributor to The Writer’s Alley blog and an ACFW member since 2010. She lives with her husband and four children in the Midwest where she enjoys exploring eclectic new restaurants and chatting with friends over coffee. You can connect with Angie at www.angiedicken.com.

Guest Post from Angie Dicken

My Publishing Story: A Journey of Perfect Timing.

”Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14

I wrote a story five years ago. My footing was finally solid on how to write, after a couple ACFW conferences and connecting with my bestie writing sister, Ashley. So in 2012, I poured my heart out within the parameters of what I’d learned.

The story I wrote stemmed from my heritage. From a very young age, I’ve been inspired by my grandfather. He was the son of a Greek coal miner who came over from Greece in the 1910’s. My grandfather always had wonderful stories to tell–he stirred up my intrigue for WWII era as he was a Purple Heart recipient (twice), and spoke of freeing concentration camps and invading Hitler’s homes; my grandfather lived a rags to riches legacy, having been born in a tent in a coal town, and then becoming a successful home and commercial builder–I declared I’d be an architect at age eleven…even majoring in Landscape Architecture in college.

Papou was one of my greatest heroes. And my novel was a tribute to him, to my Greek roots, to an American legacy.

So, at ACFW 2012, I took my novel to conference with more confidence than I had before. This story caught the attention of an agent– and I signed a contract with the Steve Laube Agency in November of that year. That was amazing…I chuckle now because the name of the room that I interviewed with Tamela was the “McKee” room–the last name of my heroine. A sign? Maybe. When she sent my story out for all publishers to see that next month, I thought my time for that book was just around the corner.

And…

Now it’s 2017, and that story is under contract with a publisher as of Fall 2016.

What timing, right?

Why the heck did it take so long? Not for lack of trying. My agent and I took every possible measure.

Why did I get rejection after rejection, and write two other books in the wait?

What happened between then?

Only in looking back, do I see why I had to wait for this book. And when I look back, I realize just how much Timing is His and there’s nothing I can do to speed it up or make it mine. All I can do is take courage, and wait.

I’ll give you a quick recap of what happened between 2013–when the book was put in the proverbial drawer of unwanted manuscripts–and now, 2017, the year it will get published (um, after a few rewrites and edits–always learning…).

In looking back, this is what I see:

My Community was Built. I fell in love with my writer friendships. A bit dramatic? Maybe, but it’s the truth. I connected with ladies who knew my heart as a writer, and allowed me into their lives in an authentic, Christ-loving way. I found hope in the writing journey because my friends held my hands and rubbed my back when all seemed lost. And in this, I grew not as a writer, but as a heart. My heart became soft for the needs of others and the value of authenticity in this short, precious life.




There was a Pride Monster, and He needed to kill it. Oh, Lord, if ever there was a pride monster, it was me. My gut reaction in every rejection, every criticism, every other person’s success was a measurement against them according to me. Yuck. Do you know what the best way to kill a Pride Monster? Starve it. Even though I had my sweet friends and my agent encouraging me along the way, my heart was set on publication and I was not getting that. I wanted it so badly that I turned ugly when it seemed to slip through my fingers with every rejection. And I spiraled and I came up for air to those authentic friendships speaking Truth in love. God knew what He was doing when He built my community, and He knew He would use it to lift me up and tear down my ugly.

The Darkest Valley Was Ahead. Everything stood still in 2014. My personal crisis gave me little room for any true focus on my writing success. If anything, it made the effort seem petty. When you go through your days wondering if you’ll make it to the next morning without a complete mental breakdown, you can’t really dream. My dream in those moments was to crawl out of my skin and run away. This was not about my writing, this was about God’s faithfulness to someone who was losing faith–in the person she loved, in the life she constructed, in the heart that was broken. Looking back (I did climb up and out of this valley), I needed this valley walk (or crawl) to happen when it did–without a book on the shelf, without confidence in something that I had accomplished. I needed brokenness to become stronger and know that my strength has nothing to do with me.

There are several other moments and signs that I see as I look back, but I’m not going for the longest blog post of 2017, but I do want to share two sweet confirmations that the timing really is His.

First, I got a book contract! You know this, but, the contract came at a time when I had grown peaceful in the journey–the pride monster lay slain, and I picked up a pen and took an opportunity. My Oklahoma Land Run book with Love Inspired Historical won the Manuscript Matchmakers contest…and WAS coming out in Spring 2018.

I had secretly told those closest to me, that it would’ve been nice for it to come out in September instead…just because that’s when the book opens–September, 1893–the historical date of the Land Run.

So, what happens after I turn in my complete book a few days before its deadline? My editor tells me they bumped up my date to September of 2017. And I am sure, for them, it had nothing to do with the history, but for me, it was everything to do with the history–and His timing. Look for my debut novel, The Outlaw’s Second Chance this September!

There’s more…

My second contract came in! And this was a wonderful surprise. My agent and I had found out last spring that a new series was being launched based on geographical places around the U.S. I immediately thought of my Coal country story. So, I put together a proposal for a book I’d written long ago…and got a contract with Barbour this Fall for my novel, My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah.

But, the timing? November 2017 is my release.

God’s Timing in its finest…The book comes out during the centennial year of my grandfather’s birth. He was born in Dec. 1917 in Carbon County, Utah. My hero and my inspiration for this very book.

I just can’t stop smiling at the chance to honor my late grandfather with a story written by his third generation Greek American granddaughter who was inspired by his roots grown a century ago.

If only he could be here now. But I know he’s smiling, too.

A century.

It took a CENTURY.

Only by God’s grace, and His perfect timing.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 31

Faithfully Bookish, October 31

Caffeinated Reads, October 31

Captive Dreams Window, November 1

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 1

A Greater Yes, November 2

Janices book reviews, November 2

Daysong Reflections, November 2

Red Headed Book Lady, November 3

Books, Books, and More Books., November 3

Just the Write Escape, November 3

Carpe Diem, November 4

Christian Bookaholic, November 4

Radiant Light, November 5

History, Mystery & Faith, November 5

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 6

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Babs Book Bistro, November 7

Kristin’s Book Reviews, November 7

Singing Librarian Books, November 8

Connie’s History Classroom, November 8

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 9

J.E. Grace Christian Author Blog, November 9

Neverending Stories, November 9

Have A Wonderful Day, November 10

Pause for Tales, November 10

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 11

Mary Hake, November 11

Splashes of Joy, November 11

Bigreadersite, November 12

Blossoms and Blessings, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Vicky Sluiter, November 13

Bibliophile Reviews, November 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of her book The Outlaw’s Second Chance!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1ff

 

Love’s Thankful Heart by Laura V Hilton, Rachel J Good & Thomas Nye

About the Book

Author: Laura V. Hilton, Rachel J. good, Thomas Nye

Genre: Amish Thanksgiving Collection

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Gingerbread Wishes

As Thanksgiving approaches, Becca Troyer finds herself overwhelmed with an abundance of winter squash and pumpkins that she isn’t a bit thankful for. Desperately trying to sell them at a farmer’s market so she won’t have mountains to can, she’s surprised when a mime drops to his knee in front of her and proposes marriage.

Yost Miller is helping the volunteer firefighter raise funds at the city park when he notices his long-time crush Becca selling vegetables. Drawn across the grass, he spontaneously proposes marriage. But afterward, Yost isn’t sure how to proceed to show her that his feelings are real.

Just as he begins to find solid footing, confidence is yanked away, leaving him floundering. Will he lose Becca to another man? Or will this Thanksgiving be a season of blessings and wishes come true?

Thanksgiving Strangers

Faithe Beiler believes God wants her to feed the poor at her family’s restaurant, but when she mistakes Crist Petersheim for a homeless man and gives him a free breakfast, he’s offended. Yet he can’t help being intrigued by this pretty waitress with a giving heart.

Crist blames God for the tragedies in his life, so the last thing he wants is to get involved with an Amish girl, who trusts God in all circumstances. He fears for Faithe’s safety, though, when she invites every homeless person in the neighborhood, including drug dealers and criminals, to a free Thanksgiving dinner. Street savvy, Crist risks his life to protect her from danger.

As Crist’s heart softens toward God, Faithe finds herself falling him. Then she discovers his deception, and her world is shattered. Can she ever trust him again?

The Thanksgiving Frolic

Monroe has the prettiest girl and the fastest horse— but pride goes before a fall.

Monroe’s girlfriend, Rosemary, and her family organize the Thanksgiving Frolic, a service project to help Amish folks who have fallen on hard times. Monroe wants to go along but his dad won’t let him. Furthermore, Monroe’s dad thinks Rosemary’s family should clean up their own messy farm before they try to help others. Will the contrast between Monroe’s and Rosemary’s families end their relationship for good? Rosemary’s grandpa tries to offer words of wisdom, but people don’t take him seriously. The Thanksgiving Frolic heats up to a fever pitch, before a moment of silence changes everything.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Authors

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with almost twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write and Putting on the New.

Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.

When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Rachel J. Good grew up near Lancaster, PA, the setting for many of her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends special time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events. Rachel is the author of several Amish series, including Sisters & Friends (Charisma), Love & Promises (Grand Central), and two books in the Hearts of Amish Country series (Annie’s Book Club). In addition, she has two Amish Quilts Coloring Books as well as stories in several anthologies, including Springs of Love (CelebrateLit).

Thomas Nye writes novels about horses and Amish life, with a touch of romance, and a foundation of faith in Christ. He and his wife, Shari, live on her family farm where they raised five children. Their six grandchildren love to visit Karma and Karla, a team of draft horses which Thomas purchased from an Amish friend. Walking a mail route for the U.S. Postal Service keeps Thomas close to nature and affords him many quiet hours which he uses to dream up novels. Over three decades of friendships with Amish neighbors has revealed a simple wisdom that he weaves into his writing. To find out more, visit: amishhorses.blogspot.com

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

Love’s Thankful Heart is complied of three different storie that center around thankfulness and Thanksgiving. Each story is short, making it easy to read each one in a setting.

GINGERBREAD WISHES

The first story, Gingerbread Wishes, by Laura V. Hilton takes us back to some of the characters in Ms. Hilton’s new Christmas novel, The Christmas Admirer. Beca Troyer and Yost Miller we sort of friends in that book, but we have their own story in Gingerbread Wishes. Becca is at the Farmer’s Market trying to sell the over abundance of squash and pumpkins from their garden when a clown comes through, singles Becca out and gives her a toy ring and proposes to her. Of course Becca didn’t know who it was, but she could hope! Later in the day Yost shows up and helps load the produce and offers to take some home to his mom. Spending time together draws the two closer. Will they make things work between them?

Laura Hilton is such an awesome Writer of Amish fiction! I have enjoyed all of her books so far, as I did this story. I appreciate how she deals with shyness, pimples, tall lanky guys, and makes something beautiful out of those who struggle with these issues. This is a good clean Amish romance that any teenage girl would enjoy. Or any adult as well! I encourage you to pick up this book for yourself!

THANKSGIVING STRANGERS

Thanksgiving Strangers by Rachel J. Good is the second story in this book, and the longest. But it is still short enough to read in no more than two settings. Faithe Beiler and her mom own an Amish restaurant the gives free meals and coffee away to people walking in off the streets. When Faithe reaches out to Crist Petershiem the attraction between the two was for sure and for certain strong! But Crist had to stay away from the restaurant, yet something kept pulling him there. But there was no way he could even think about a relationship with all of his problems!

There is something about Crist that I really liked from the beginning. He was backwards, and a little mysterious, but this did phase Faithe. She seemed to see right through to his heart. And Faithe was a very special young lady. I loved her giving heart and her willingness to do what she felt the Lord wanted of her, no matter the dangers. Another really good read from this collection.

Thanksgiving Strangers by Rachel J. Good is the second story in this book, and the longest. But it is still short enough to read in no more than two settings. Faithe Beiler and her mom own an Amish restaurant the gives free meals and coffee away to people walking in off the streets. When Faithe reaches out to Crist Petershiem the attraction between the two was for sure and for certain strong! But Crist had to stay away from the restaurant, yet something kept pulling him there. But there was no way he could even think about a relationship with all of his problems!

Thanksgiving Frolic

Thanksgiving Frolic is the third story in his collection. Monroe’s family seems to have everything they want, and Monroe is happy with the prettiest girl. It was when his girl, Rosemary and her family organized a frolic to help Amish families who needed help that changed things for Monroe and Rosemary. Monroe’s dad wanted Monroe to have nothing to do with the frolic, nor did Monroe. But then the accident happens. Did this change the Heart of Monroe?

For me, this story started out slower than the first two. But as the story unfolds, the characters come to life, and it ends up being a nice story. The attitude of Monroe’s family is sadly like some today. They couldn’t see beyond their wants enough to help others in need. But the story does take a few twists, and the wisdom and love of Rosemary’s grandfather will encourage not only the characters but the readers in this beautiful story.

An e-copy of this book was provide by Celebration Lit Tours and the author for me to read and review. The opinion here are mine, and mine alone.

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, November 4

Quiet Quilter, November 4

Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 5

Carpe Diem, November 5

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 6

Karen Sue Hadley, November 6

Pursuing Stacie, November 7

Mommynificent, November 8

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 10

Blogging With Carol, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 11

Splashes of Joy, November 11

proud to be an autism mom, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

A Baker’s Perspective, November 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 13

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Mary Hake, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 15

A Greater Yes, November 15

Vicky Sluiter, November 16

Pink Granny’s Journey, November 16

Janices book reviews, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 17


Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a Kindle Unlimited 6 month Subscription!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c403

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