Betwixt Two Hearts ~ A Crossroads Collection

I felt very honored to be invited to participate in the new Crossroads Collection: Betwixt Two Hearts. I bought the first three when they came out, and I enjoyed the unique concept – a collection of novellas that are each free-standing book but tied together in a theme, and one full-length book by Amanda Tru that connects them all.  (Note – most of the “novellas” were more like full-length books.)

Betwixt Two Hearts - a Crossroads Collection by Amanda Tru, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig, Carol Moncado, Kari Trumbo, and Alana TerryIn Betwixt Two Hearts,  Amanda opens the collection with a story about two people establishing an online matchmaking agency. Not a dating site, mind you, but a real matchmaking agency with the goal of setting up marriages.  Each of the subsequent books is a contemporary Christian romance about two people who meet through the Betwixt Two Hearts agency. In addition to mine, you’ll find delightful stories by Amanda Tru, Kari Trumbo, Alana Terry, Carol Moncado, Chautona Havig. and ME.

Mine is The Swedehearts Glory Quilt, the second book in my Glory Quilts series. It’s lighthearted – mostly – and features some of the same characters from The Christmas Glory Quilt.  David Reid is a sincere Christian man, eager to move on in his life. He’s an engineer, so he’s got a plan.  But is it God’s plan for him, or is it David’s?  Eleanor has no plan. Her loving, well-intentioned family wants to control her life and doesn’t understand why she would abandon the plan they made for her. So Eleanor runs away to find herself.

David signs up for Betwixt Two Hearts because he wants a wife. Eleanor’s motives are not so pure. She wants a fake boyfriend, to convince her parents she’s doing just fine in her new life.

Readers say they like flawed characters, so I’ve tried to make Eleanor a very human, flawed person. Even when she’s most annoyed with her family, she acknowledges that they’re good people.  But she occasionally crosses the line between a reasonable attempt at independence into selfishness and even lying, “gaming the algorithm” to get the perfect match and then being unwilling to confess when she finds out how much she likes the man they choose for her.  I hope her conflicted emotions resonate with readers.

As I write this, I am impatiently waiting for the publication of The Swedehearts Glory Quilt in paperback, repeatedly checking my email and hitting the refresh button on Amazon. I’m hoping to see it today, so I can share my beautiful cover! The picture on the cover is from 85mm Photography in Minneapolis – artistic, amazing wedding photographers.  They’ve “captured” Eleanor and David perfectly. 

I made a new quilt for this book – as is my plan for the whole series! – and will be offering the pattern as a bonus to anyone who purchases (or reads in Kindle Unlimited) the Betwixt Two Hearts collection or the Swedehearts Glory Quilt paperback before March 31.  More on that later.

Betwixt Two Hearts Valentine's Celebration

Right now, we are having a big giveaway as well as a Betwixt Two Hearts Valentine’s Day open house on Facebook, with prizes and fun chat.  Stop by often, to see what’s happening and join the conversation. We’ll wrap it up on February 17th and pick three grand prize winners.

Don’t miss the giveaway!

Betwixt Two Hearts Valentine's Day Giveaway

 

My good friend Chautona Havig is contributing an original painting from Marla Cosner – a vivid portrait of a mandrill. That painting is featured in Chautona’s Betwixt Two Hearts book, Random Acts of Shyness. I’d never seen a mandrill before, and if you’d asked me, I would have assumed it was some kind of bird. It’s not.

I made a wall quilt for the giveaway, using the Swedehearts Glory Quilt pattern. I like it better as a table topper, myself, and it works for both. The quilt is 24″ square, handmade by ME. 😀  I think it turned out very sweet, and I was tempted to keep it for myself, but I can make another one as I write the pattern.

The third prize is a paperback copy of the Betwixt Two Hearts collection. The whole thing – all six books in one handy volume.

ENTER HERE! 

 

In other news….

The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe SwansonThe Kindle version of The Christmas Glory Quilt is now available for Kindle and in paperback. (It’s free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, of course, )

If you read and enjoyed it in the Comfort & Joy Christmas Lights collection, I’d be thrilled and grateful if you’d leave a review on the Amazon page or on Goodreads. Thank you!

If you missed the free Christmas Glory Quilt pattern,  you can purchase it on Etsy. The Swedehearts pattern will be available after March 31.

 

Be sure to enter the Betwixt Two Hearts Valentine’s Giveaway!

ENTER HERE

 

11 Reasons to gift Kindle Books ~ Have a merry clutter-free Christmas

How to Give a Kindle Book as a Gift - Have a Merry Clutter-free Christmas

Why to give Kindle Books as Christmas Gifts

Everyone knows that books make great gifts, and digital books are especially nice because they are:
  1. Inexpensive – most Kindle books are under $10. Some are much cheaper!
  2. Environmentally friendly – no physical production or transportation “footprint.”
  3. Fast – forgot to shop in advance? Order online and have the gift delivered instantly. You can also schedule the delivery for later, if you are shopping early.
  4. Convenient – shop from home, in the proverbial pajamas.
  5. Abundant – you can find almost any title on Amazon.
  6. Easy to send – you only need the recipient’s email address.
  7. Free to deliver – you don’t have to pay postage or stand in line at the post office.
  8. Clutter-free – many of us have plenty of “stuff” and limited bookshelf space.
  9. Personal – we share books that we think other people will like.
  10. Easy to read – you can read Kindle books on a tablet, phone or computer. Or even on a Kindle.
  11. Returnable – if your recipient already has the book or is not interested, they can exchange it for an amazon gift card of the same value.

How to Give a Kindle Books as a Christmas Gift

 

Amazon has two options for gifting kindle books: they will send a personalized email and code directly to the recipient, or they will send it to you so you can print it out and deliver it yourself.

 

Amazon makes it easy for you, of course!

 

Comfort & Joy

 

First, find the book you want to send. This is a good one, and it’s just 99 cents, so you can send it to everyone on your list!

Comfort & Joy: the 2018 Christmas Lights Collection

Four heartwarming stories to fill this Christmas season with comfort and joy.

 

Kindle books giftsClick on the “Buy for Others” button:

 

 

 

And fill out the form – super easy!

You can send a fairly long message with it. 

 

Have you ever given a Kindle book as a gift? 

 

Kindle Books Gifts

 

I wish you a bright and blessed Christmas, with time to curl up with a good book!

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Comfort & Joy Bonus ~ Gifts for early purchasers and readers!

Comfort & JoyIt’s here! Comfort & Joy, the 2018 Christmas Lights collection, has four brand-new books from Chautona Havig, Toni Shiloh, Alana Terry  — and me! My contribution, The Christmas Glory Quilt, features all the most heartwarming things I know: quilts, family, sewing, Minnesota winters and Swedish traditions. Add in a large homeschooling family with fun characters of all ages, a great aunt with an interest in genealogy, an old family farmhouse, and a unexpected family heirloom… what more could you want in a Christmas romance? Oh right… the romance! That’s

sweet and heartwarming, too.

And we have TWO bonuses for early purchasers/readers of this y ear’s collection.   Chautona has a terrific short story to accompany her novella. You can find more information HERE.

 

The Christmas Glory Quilt Pattern

Do you like to make quilts? I’ve been teaching quiltmaking for over 25 years, but this is the first time I’ve featured quilts in a book. It was fun!  As a special bonus for Comfort & Joy readers, I am giving away the quilt pattern for the quilt featured on the cover of the book: the Christmas Glory Quilt. Just forward your amazon.com receipt or a screenshot of a finished novella from Kindle Unlimited for Comfort & Joy: Christmas Lights Collection 2018 to books@catheswanson.com by November 30.  I’ll send out your free quilt pattern in a pdf file within the next two weeks.

The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson

The pattern is clear and simple, but if you like to have even more illustrations, I’ll have step-by-step photo tutorials on my GloryQuilts website soon, and I’m also working on a YouTube tutorial series to go with the quilt pattern. You can follow me HERE on YouTube to get a notice when I upload the tutorials.  The pattern will be for sale on my website, GloryQuilts, and in my Etsy shop, after November 30, but you can get it FREE if you purchase or read Comfort & Joy before then.

 And when you’ve made the quilt, send me a picture!

Comfort & Joy Bonus by Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig

Remember to send your receipt by November 30th to get your Comfort & Joy Bonus!

 

 

 

Christmas at the Unity Plenkiss

Christmas at the Unity Plenkiss by Cathe SwansonHave you read my Great Lakes Christmas books? If not, this is the time to pick them up, at a discounted price.  Christmas at the Unity Plenkiss includes both books – Snow Angels and Hope for the Holidays.

Life at the Unity Plenkiss Community Center is always interesting.  There are so many different kinds of people in this Chicago neighborhood. I think you’ll be touched and entertained by the stories.

The first book in the Great Lakes series, Baggage Claim, isn’t set at the Unity Plenkiss at all, but you’ll meet some of the characters there. There are two more books in this series. Chasing Grace will be available this winter, and Home Run will happen next summer.

As always, my books are Kindle Unlimited library, so if you are a subscriber, you can read them free!

Snow Angels

When Lisa Marsh is roped into serving Thanksgiving dinner at the local community center, she encounters hundreds of children, lively teenagers, stubbornly independent veterans, eccentric elderly people, and a particularly rude and scruffy homeless man named Pete. The evening ends in disaster, but when her best friend challenges her to reach out and help other people, Lisa decides to take on the project of reforming Pete – whether he likes it or not.
Her plan is simple: Help him find a job and become respectable. All he needs is a helping hand and some guidance. And a shave. Definitely, a shave.

Pete is willing to work, especially if it means spending time with the pretty volunteer, but her tactless determination to “reform” him makes him dig in his heels. Her creative ideas for employment become increasingly outrageous, but every time he tries to put an end to her meddling, she charms him with her good intentions and willingness to serve others.

Lisa finds herself unaccountably attracted to her vagabond protégé and irresistibly entangled in the lives of the other people she meets at the community center. Before she knows how to stop it, her one small service project snowballs into an extraordinary Christmas ministry that just may change her life forever.

Hope for the Holidays

Newly arrived from her home in the Congo and armed with a brand-new degree in nonprofit management, Carrie Strough is eager to organize and improve the Unity Plenkiss Community Center. Unfortunately, no one wants to be organized, and only Micah Neresen, the charming and handsome pastor of the local church, is interested in her plans. Or is he just interested in her?

With a cast of lively and eccentric characters including a homeless vet with PTSD, a con man, an elderly couple with an over-the-top Christmas display, a feisty committeewoman with a past of her own, and a police investigation, Micah and Carrie wonder if there is any hope for the holidays this year

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

I’ve been busy preparing for the launch of Comfort & Joy, the 2018 Christmas Lights novella collection, but I took time to enjoy the new Liz Johnson book, A Sparkle of Silver.

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

I’ve read other books by Liz Johnson, so when I was offered an advance reader copy of A Sparkle of Silver, I accepted it gladly and appreciated the break from my own writing! I really enjoyed it.  (Her book, not the break.) Millie and Ben are relatable – broke. burdened with responsibilities and guilt, doing the best they can in hard circumstances. They’re genuinely good people we like to root for.

We want them to succeed at finding the treasure because they aren’t just doing it for fun, being greedy. They need the money. Ben is stubbornly trying to make restitution for something that wasn’t his fault. Millie is desperate, working against a deadline to find enough money to pay for her grandmother’s care.

The setting – an opulent 1920’s era mansion with a history of lavish parties for the wealthy elite of Georgia – was intriguing. To gain access to the house, Millie got a job as a reenactor – dressing in the vintage clothing and putting on a show for guided tours through the historic building. I would have liked to read more about that, mostly because it sounds like a great job!

The historical romance and mystery were related through diary entries. Liz Johnson did a good job with this character. Ruth was a guest, not part of the rich crowd, and I could easily imagine her writing out the events and her feelings, a little overwhelmed and confused by her surroundings.

The ending is delightful for both timelines.  There is a swoony romantic scene and a not-too-outlandish happy resolution. I enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

I look forward to the next book in this series, but unfortunately, it’s still nearly a year away. In the meantime, I recommend Ms. Johnson’s Prince Edward Island Dreams  series – especially if you’re an Anne of Green Gables fan!

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman ~ review and giveaway ~ Cathe Swanson

Romantic suspense/mystery is my favorite genre. I used to stick to vintage books from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, but in the last few years, Christian authors have been writing top-quality books, and i’m finding many new favorites. When Delayed Justice came my way (that sounds like a song title, don’t you think?), featuring a lawyer, a military hero, a service dog and a little girl, I gladly accepted an advance copy.

There are layers to this book – no one-dimensional characters or plot holes.  The heroine was “damaged” by her past but she went on to become a strong, intelligent woman.  The hero was… a hero. I like over-the-top good and Godly men.  🙂  Over the course of the book, with the help of  Chandler and her friends, Jaime discovers that God is the one and only true healer, and He is more than sufficient.

The use of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was beautiful. (That’s a link, because if you don’t have a copy of this C.S. Lewis classic, you really ought to get it.)  It’s hard to do non-cheesy evangelism in fiction, but Ms. Putman did a fine job.

Delayed Justice and the other two books in the Hidden Justice series, Beyond Justice and Imperfect Justice, feature a trio of lawyers devoted to  (surprise! getting justice in some very contemporary social issues. The legal aspect of the book was well-developed without becoming tedious.  She did a good job with her portrayal of PTSD (and also civilian PTSD), and  I liked the way she presented the trauma of sexual abuse with strong emotion instead of just a factual recital.

This is a good book, and I’m going to read the previous two books in the series. I’m always glad to find a new author of Christian mystery and suspense books!

 

About the Book

Book Title: Delayed Justice

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: Legal Romantic Suspense

Release date: October 15, 2018

She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard. Delayed Justice by Cara Putnam, a review from Cathe Swanson

Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jamie, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.

Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.

This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

Cara Putnam Delayed Justice ~ Hidden Justice series #3Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.

Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.

Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com

 

Guest Post from Cara

Delayed Justice was a hard story to write.

I’d known from Beyond Justice that Jaime had a hard story, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. She tried to hide from her past. She tried hard, but in the end it slowly spilled out. A young girl wounded deeply by someone who should protect her. And now as a professional young woman, Jaime is still fighting the shadows.

She believes she’s okay, or as okay as she’ll ever be.

Instead, she has to learn that there’s so much more waiting for her. Freedom from the chains of a past she didn’t choose. A love that will never end. And a God who has always loved her even when she questions His existence because of her past.

I think we’ve all lived that. There’s a place in our hearts that seems beyond His reach. For some of us, it’s a barrier to knowing Him. To others of us, it makes us question what we thought we knew about God. And for others of us, it presses us deeply into Him. Jaime’s book, Delayed Justice, explores this space. The space where some days we scream at the heavens Where are you, God? And the days we just curl into ourselves because life is too hard.

And in that space of shadow and light, God ultimately shines brightest. This is a truth that is slowly revealed through friends and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.

 

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman

Read what others have to say about

Delayed Justice

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Giveaway

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman

To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize package that includes a Courage Dear Heart bracelet, a The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe print, a copy of Delayed Justice, and a box of Turkish Delight!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d5c4/delayed-justice-celebration-tour-giveaway