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The Sound of Emeralds Birthday Blog Tour!



Hello readers and friends, and welcome to The Sound of Emeralds birthday blog tour! Today, I’m posting about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s third installment in the Steadfast Love series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century!

Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds and The Sound of Silver, the first two books in the series. She has also written Write Well, a guide for writers! Last summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the Steadfast Love series! Today, I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Emeralds and spread the news about the amazing giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win signed copies of all three books!

About The Steadfast Love Series

In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

About The Author

Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago--her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March 4th!

Author Links

Instagram (@RachelleReaCobb)

About The Sound of Emeralds

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

The Sound of Emeralds Links


Giveaway!

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below to win signed copies of ALL THREE of Rachelle’s novels. The whole series, signed!

International friends, this giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive all three e-books.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



An Interview with Rachelle Rea Cobb

1. When and where did you first get the idea for the Steadfast Love Series?

A song I was listening to on the radio inspired the title of the first book. So I wrote Diamonds, but when I finished it, I realized to my great frustration that the characters weren’t done with their story, even though I had been quite adamant that I would write a stand-alone novel. But the story wasn’t finished, so I kept writing.

2.  Readers often pick out favorite quotes from a novel. Do you have a favorite of your own from The Sound of Silver?

Yes! In fact, my friend Mindy, a calligrapher, even created a beautiful piece of art from one of my favorite quotes: “Within the pages of books one’s heart can be revealed.”

3.  Can you tell us what first drew you to writing Inspirational Historical Romance?

My first exposure to the genre came when I read Heartsong Presents novels when I was twelve. Those small books introduced me to how much I believe in the power of story, especially love stories set in times gone by.

4.  I saw on your website that you also write reviews, articles and offer editing services. What's one of your favorite things beyond writing novels that you enjoy?

Editing is such fun! I daresay I enjoy editing a page full of my own (or others’!) words just as much as I enjoy splashing words onto a blank page. I recently released my first nonfiction book, Write Well, which is a short ebook designed as a guide writers!

And there you have it! Congratulations to Rachelle on her wonderful series! Good luck to all those entering the giveaway!
                          

-Miranda Atchley

Review: River's Song by Melody Carlson


by Melody Carlson


Anna Larson Gunderson grew up on the Siuslaw River in Oregon. In her youth, she never appreciated her Native American heritage, her mother having been embarrassed of their ancestry, though she listened to her grandmother’s stories of the Siuslaw tribe for most of her life. Now in the late 1950s, Anna is grown with a teenage daughter. Following her mother’s passing, she comes back to the river with plans to sort through her mother’s belongings. Life has been unkind to Anna, having been tormented by a cruel mother-in-law and left to take care of a husband who came back from WWII with mental illness until his untimely death. Her plan is to only stay on the river long enough to sort through her mother’s things and figure out what to do with the estate, yet she finds herself enchanted by the river, with its shining waters. After becoming reacquainted with the people she grew up with, Anna decides to turn her mother and father’s old store and home into an inn- a place where guests can come for peace and healing. Anna looks forward to this new phase in her life, yet old ghosts continue to haunt her.

This is one of my favorite books by Melody Carlson. I really liked the setting, and all the descriptions of the river, as well as reading the stories passed down from the Siuslaw people. Anna seems like such an unhappy person and one feels sorry for her, yet she is the sort of character you pull for and hope the best for. Her life changes drastically over the years of living on the river and it is a wonderful thing to see. The assortment of characters in this book is another thing that I liked. From French immigrant Babette, to the strong-willed Hazel, and all the other friends Anna makes along the river; it made for a richer story.

All in all, River’s Song was a wonderful start to an interesting series rich in Native American culture and set on a beautiful river.


I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Lately 4.9.2017



I have certainly neglected this poor blog, haven’t I? This is a little disheartening, but that’s simply the way things go sometimes. Yet today I wanted to pop in with a post about what I’ve been reading and writing lately.

Reading

I’ve recently re-read two of Jean Webster’s novels, Just Patty and When Patty Went To College. I read them a couple of years ago when I first got my Kindle and found the plethora of classics that are offered for free in the Kindle Store. I love Jean Webster’s writing; it’s just so witty and snappy. I wish she had published more novels. Now I’m reading River’s Song by Melody Carlson.

Writing

I’ve been working on book three in The Abi Hensley Series. I’m slowly getting the word count up after cutting out 15,000 from over 23,000 words last month. It’s coming along and I’m looking forward to seeing what all will take place in this book. I’ve also been working on a few other small projects that might turn into something in the future.

Other

A Castle in the Sky’s first birthday is coming up this month! I’m going to do something fun to celebrate it; tune in later in the month to see what I have planned.

So there’s my life lately. Hope you all are doing well! Until next time…


-Miranda Atchley

Three Years



Today makes three years since my first book, Stephanie’s Story, was published! I’m thankful to have been able to write and publish as many books as I have, and I look forward to writing as many more as possible.

You can read all five of my novels today on your Kindle! Or if you love curling up with a paperback, you can order copies on Amazon today! Information is listed below.



originally published March 18, 2014, re-released on Amazon in 2015

Stephanie Green hates the way she looks. She’s always been bigger than other girls her age and is getting fed up with looking different. She’s been told that it’s what’s on the inside that counts and God loves her no matter what, but these days, she isn’t buying. After yet another unsuccessful day at the mall, Stephanie vows to shed some weight before her high school graduation- no matter the cost.
But the diets she tries just don’t seem to work and soon Stephanie finds herself at her wit’s end. She’s convinced that this is necessary and she can’t be happy until she is thin. But she’s in for a rude awakening when God uses an unlikely character to get a vital message to Stephanie- before it’s too late.



published July 15, 2015

It's Stephanie Green's freshman year of college and things aren't as easy as she thought they'd be. She shares a dorm room with her best friend Hayley, who's been acting a little strange lately. Stephanie's boyfriend is M.I.A and her sister Danielle is caught up in a whirl wind romance and getting ready to say "I Do." Add to all of this the stress of starting college, the uncertainty of what lies ahead, all the while trying to adjust to her new independence, and it seems like a recipe for disaster.
Stephanie's friends were there for her when she was in need. Can she do the same for them?
Growing up is not for the faint of heart in the sequel to Stephanie's Story, but it is a road not traveled alone.



originally published November 13, 2014, re-released on Amazon in 2015

Growing up different is hard; especially when you're a Goth in the Bible belt. No one knows that better than sixteen-year-old Madeline Warner. The teasing from her peers, many of whom claim to be Christians, has hardened her heart toward the people around her and the God they claim to serve. If they can be so unkind, then what would God Himself have to say to her?
Lonely and in the middle of sophomore year, Madeline gets a new locker buddy, punk rocker Alice Wang. With her colorful make-up and hair and unique taste in music, Alice seems like friend material, but some of her choices may keep the two apart. And on top of that, Madeline's Bible toting Grandma is on her way for a visit.
All things considered, Madeline can't help but wonder; how can she survive this season in her life? Find out in this story of rejection and ultimately hope.



published April 26, 2016

In 1915, it is believed that there isn't much hope for a woman beyond marriage. Yet Abi Leigh Hensley, lover of the written word, believes otherwise. Growing up as the daughter of a wealthy lawyer in the gold mining town of San Francisco, Abi never felt like she fit in with her mother and father's stilted lifestyle. And though she's been raised to believe that her lot in life is to marry, she's always loved to read and write, and has dreamt of being an author all her life.
After her parents' failed attempt at an arranged marriage, Abi leaves the comfort of her wealthy upbringing in San Francisco to pursue her dreams of becoming an author in New York City, a place she has always loved. Excitement seems to loom around each corner, yet Abi may be in for more than she bargained for.
Full of hopes, dreams, and self-discovery, A Castle in the Sky is a novel fans of historical fiction are sure to love.



published February 21, 2017

In the year 1917, times are changing. In the midst of WWI and the women's suffrage movement, the world seems divided. Abi Hensley finds herself, as well as those around her, affected by these events. As she continues to pursue her dreams of writing, her third novel is published, and is an instant success. Though this does bring with it more pressure, as it seems everyone she knows is curious as to her standing on the social changes taking place within the world. New people enter her life and help her to see things in a different perspective. Abi also meets a sad young woman with a background very similar to her own, who longs for guidance.
Throughout this difficult time in history, Abi and her friends learn to face things together with strength as they look forward to all the future holds.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased and read my books these past three years. It means a lot to me and I can’t wait for you all to read more of my stories!

-Miranda Atchley

Review: Write Well: A Grammar Guide



by Rachelle Rea Cobb

In this short guide, author Rachelle Rea Cobb sets out to teach us the basics of grammar. In an hour’s time, you will learn why grammar is important, when to trust it and when not to, as well as the proper way to use punctuation marks. Many of us will even be introduced to the Known-New rule. Yet above all, we will learn a very important rule of writing; to respect the reader. The goal of this book is to teach the reader the basics of sentence structure, which is an important part of writing well.

This was a handy little book. Whether you’re learning the basics of writing, are a confirmed grammar-geek, or it’s been a while since you learned the tricks of the trade and need a little refresher course, you will definitely enjoy this guide book during your writing journey. It’s easy to follow and to the point, sprinkled with witty bits of advice. The chapters are short, yet informative, and you’ll be able to read this book in no time. I wish this eBook had been around back before I published my first book!

All in all, Write Well is a great guide that I would recommend to any writer.


I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Review: The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era



by Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis

In this beautiful book, we are introduced to the third series of the hit period drama, Downton Abbey. After enduring WWI, the Crawley family now find themselves entering the 1920s. Lady Mary and Matthew are engaged to be married, Lady Sybil is now married to the former chauffer Tom Branson and the two are expecting, while Lady Edith is still looking for her place in life. Lord Grantham has gotten the family into some financial troubles while Lady Grantham stands loyally beside him. Below stairs things are stirring as Mr. Bates is wrongfully in jail and new servants come to work at Downton. The book gives you a background of each prominent character on the show, complete with pictures of each as well as everyday items used during the time. Peppered throughout are historical facts and quotes from real duchesses, countesses, earls, dukes, butlers, and cooks from the time. For fans of the wildly popular PBS program, this book offers a detailed and interesting look into the show’s arrival into a new era.

I loved this book. I only recently read it when I found it at our library, but I still loved it. I love any excuse to watch or read about Downton Abbey and this book was so enjoyable. The pictures are beautiful. I thought it was neat how they featured pictures of the different household items, such as hair brushes, cans of toothpaste, cold cream tins, kitchen tools, etc... from the early ‘20s. I also like that they mentioned things that weren’t Downton specific; they also talked about other aristocratic families during this time, and in other periods. Even though the show has gone through three more seasons and has been cancelled since this book was published, I still enjoyed it. Just to read about the drama, inspirations behind some of the characters, and facts about the early 1920s, was so interesting.

All in all, this was a great book that any fan of Downton Abbey will love.


I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

February in Review



February really flew by. As in, I don’t know where it went. I finally finished and published All The Future Holds this month. Thank you so much to everyone who has purchased a copy; it means the world to me and I really hope you enjoy it. After I finished writing All The Future Holds, I decided to take a little vacation. I must admit I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I thought I would; I really missed writing and am happy to be getting back to it.

Books Read in February
All The Future Holds by Miranda Atchley
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
A Will, A Way, and A Wedding by Melody Carlson

Is it silly to put my own book on this list? I don’t think so. I did read it several times while editing it, and it is a book, so it counts. It took me a while to read the Susan B. Anthony biography. I’d been reading it here and there for a few months. In the end, I found it pretty interesting. I loved Mere Christianity; it was a really good book. A Will, A Way, and A Wedding was a good book; it isn’t my favorite type of story to read, but it was a nice quick read and offered the conclusion I was hoping to see for Daphne.

Given the release of my book, I haven’t blogged all that much this month. It may not be ideal, but sometimes you just need a bit of a break.

Favorite Posts From February

Thank you all for stopping by today! I hope you all have a great month in March.

-Miranda Atchley