Garrett Tyler thought he was leaving Ballard House for home, secure in the knowledge that love had finally won-out for his long-time friend Olivia. He steps out the door and into the past, 1769 to be exact. While finding his bearings Garrett stumbles upon a beautiful woman being attacked. He makes sure she gets home and because of his kindness, she allows him to stay in an outbuilding—even believing his time travel story—while he figures out how he will get back to his life in the future. The more time they spend together, the deeper friendship they build, but one thing is going to rip her world apart.
Mercy Hansford is a confidant, independent woman running her own tailor shoppe. Her world is shaken when she is brutally attacked after delivering one of her sought-after shirts. The consequences of this night could be more far-reaching than either of them can guess.
I try to read my Christmas novels in plenty of time so that readers can have the opportunity to grab one before the season begins. Garrett is A Yorktown Christmas Time Travel Novella. I love every word in the subtitle—except novella. Why? The story is so captivating that I wanted it to go on and on.
From the present to 1769, the reader travels with Garrett from the present reenacted historical town to the real thing. The questions that accompany this feat throw caution in the wake. How much can he help or alter situations? What if he changes too much? Will he be able to travel back to the present?
The fictional element of time travel draws me into the adventure. It is a favorite tool, allowing me to drift back, taking my present-day thoughts into a realistic past. Enjoy the journey. You won’t desire it to end.
About the Author
Izzy James grew up in coastal Virginia. She lives there still with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.
More from Izzy
Why did I write Garrett?
While I was writing Max I was working through physical therapy prior to a lumbar fusion surgery. My physical therapist’s assistant was a young man named Garrett. He was intrigued that I was a writer and asked me if I would use his name in a book one day. So I had a name.
As I finished writing Max–who came forward in time from 1769–I started thinking about what it would be like for a young person of today to find himself back in 1769.
Garrett of the book bears no resemblance to Garrett of the physical therapy office! Garrett was fun to write. I hope you will enjoy reading it.
If you’d like to hear more about my books and be included in a monthly giveaway sign up for my newsletter.
Every Christmas I send Christmas cards to each member of my Christmas Club. I pray for each reader as I sign and address the cards. If you’d like a Christmas Card from me please sign up before December 1. It does require your physical address. It will never be used for anything else.
Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling
Release date: October 5, 2021
Gayle Wells is a killer organist, but does a killer have her in his sights?
They call him the Emperor. John Starek fills his theater with fine artwork and treasures. He’s particularly pleased to have one of the country’s first female organists – and he thinks Gayle Wells is the bee’s knees.
Despite pressure from her social crusader mother, Gayle isn’t interested in changing the world. She just wants a car of her own – and a career playing the organ at the Empire movie palace would be especially ducky.
Then the Empire’s treasures start disappearing and employees start dying. Are a few pieces of art really enough motive for the string of murders? Will Gayle be next?
Murder at the Empire brings the Nightingale into an elegant movie palace in the roaring 20’s – but the real excitement is all off-screen.
As I read this series of retold fairy tales set in the 1920s, I’m learning so much about the era in our country. In Murder at the Empire, Chicago comes alive with disappearing acts and sneaky murders. The new female organist at the theater innocently slips into an intriguing yet volatile otherworld in the dark halls and creaking floors of the maze of the Empire. The mystery of good guy/bad guy propels the heroine Gayle to stay the course. But what if another murder is around the corner or in the rafters?
I have enjoyed this series. The fourth book continues to inspire me with challenges and decisions that life holds—right and wrong. I’m thoroughly entertained with page-turning plots. The historical element sets up a learning environment that binds me to the era.
Thanks, Cathe Swanson for the sojourn.
About the Author
After 40 years of wandering (but always in lovely places and not in a desert), Cathe Swanson has recently returned to her childhood home and family in Minnesota. In the summer, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and being outdoors, gardening, hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. The long winters are perfect for writing books, playing games, reading, and indoor hobbies. Cathe’s been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years and enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper.
Everything inspires new books! A lifelong love of quilting, Cathe’s Swedish heritage and an interest in genealogy led to The Glory Quilts series, and The Hope Again series is inspired by her life in the Midwest and experiences with the elderly, the military, and inner-city ministry. As a child of the sixties, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in the Serenity Hill series.
Cathe writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.
More from Cathe
The 1920’s is a fascinating era. Women had recently won the right to vote, and America adopted the Volstead Act – Prohibition – which led to the growth of underground clubs and organized crime. Women were forging new paths in social reform, politics, science, medicine and every other career. America became more urbanized, building suburbs and developing a large middle-class population. The affordable automobile changed the entire culture! It was a time of innovation and rapidly expanding technology. Synthetic fabrics, convenience foods, electric appliances and other inventions made daily life easier. People had more free time, money and access to a variety of entertainments than ever before.
So much happened in this brief, exciting decade between the end of WWI and the Great Depression! It’s always interested me, so I was flattered and thrilled when Celebrate Lit Publishing invited me to participate in The Ever After Mysteries, a collection of 1920’s mysteries inspired by fairy tales. I’m a great fan of mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and I read at least a thousand fairy tales as a child.
To be honest… I set about it backward. I knew I wanted to write about a young woman playing the Mighty Wurlitzer organ to accompany silent films at a glamorous movie palace, so I Iooked for a fairy tale to match it!
I chose The Nightingale, an old Chinese story about an Emperor with a beautiful palace. Everything in it was exquisite and fragile, and people came from all over the world to admire his palace. He loved to show it off and even tied little bells to the prettiest blossoms in the garden, to make sure no one missed them. When the emperor heard rumors about a bird that sang more beautifully than anything else, he sought it out and brought it home to live in the palace, where it could sing to entertain him and his guests.
At that point, the fairy tale and my story diverge. In the fairy tale, the nightingale lives in the palace singing for the court until the Emperor of Japan presents the Emperor of China with a bejeweled mechanical bird – so much prettier than the plain brown nightingale. The Chinese emperor abandons the real bird and enjoys the mechanical one until it breaks. He falls into a deep depression and is only restored to health by the return of the real nightingale.
None of that happens in Murder at the Empire, but there’s lot of other fun, jazzy excitement as the John Starek – the “Emperor” – fills his magnificent movie palace with fine artwork and beautiful things – including Chicago’s first female theater organist, Gayle Wells. He thinks she’s the bee’s knees, but she’s a pretty independent girl, busy working and saving money to buy her own car.
And then things start falling apart… with murder at the Empire. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Two successful women, a hundred-and-twenty-years apart, build walls to protect their hearts. Modern-day Willa, a successful interior decorator, is chosen to consult for the Grand Hotel’s possible redesign. She discovers a journal detailing the struggles of a young woman, Lily—which reveals dark secrets. The renowned singer wasn’t who she pretended to be. As Willa reaches out to Lily’s descendant, a charismatic and prominent landscape artist, she lets down her guard. Should she share the journal with him, or once again erect a wall as she struggles to redesign both the Grand and her life?
Every time I travel to Mackinac Island in one of Carrie Pagels’ novels, I find myself going home to the familiar and beloved places. In this time-split installment of Doors to the Past, the adventure threads 1895 with 2020 through a mysterious journal. Accusations buried in the past seep through the walls into the lives of islanders and visitors.
I enjoy journaling. This novel makes me wonder if my words could unlock mysteries of the past. I don’t imagine anyone will care about my simple life though. Journals help the owner express feelings that otherwise go unrecorded. It is an outlet of release, a means to move forward. In this case it is a door to the past. I’m so glad I walked through this one. Thank you for the journey.
About the Author
ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at http://www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
More from Carrie
Why I Wrote This Novel
I got a chance to write another novel set on Mackinac Island!!!
I’m the author of over twenty published stories. I have many books, both novel and novella length, set at the Straits of Mackinac including Maggie Award winner and Romantic Times Top Pick My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. In the summer, I go up to the area and I’m blessed to sign books at the Island Bookstore—sometimes hundreds of books which is such an amazing thing I can’t tell you! Now that MHBoMI is out of print, Barbour has been helping by doing limited print runs for while I am up there.
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island was originally part of a full series that I pitched but it didn’t get picked up for all three stories. MHBoMI got picked up as part of the My Heart Belongs series that Barbour put out a few years ago. The second book in my original Brides of Mackinac series was heroine Sadie’s story, which was published as a novella “His Anchor” in First Love Forever collection. So I had two of my book babies delivered out into the world and Lily’s story sat there for a while.
In the Covid summer of 2020, I arrived in my home state of Michigan and over dinner with a close friend I learned that the folks at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island were having legal trouble with their previous long-time designed Carlton Varney suing them. I’d been disappointed that the Mussers, who’d owned the Grand for generations, had sold the hotel but this new development really bugged me. While I was in the Upper Peninsula, I finished an Indy book, Dogwood Plantation, which only figures since I often write my Michigan stories while I am in Virginia and vice versa! I knew the only other book I wanted to work on was to complete my Brides of Mackinac trilogy (not exactly since they aren’t all in one series!) with Lily’s story. I also had a manuscript about 70% done that was my very first contemporary Women’s Fiction novel. When my agent encouraged me to submit a Mackinac Island story set at the Grand Hotel to Barbour’s Doors to the Past series, I knew immediately that the only story for historical I wanted to write was Lily’s. That meant that I needed, for this dual-timeline series, a contemporary story. That wasn’t just a chance sharing at dinner—I believe the info about the lawsuit was meant to be passed on to me one of those God-incidences. My modern-day heroine then became an established resort designer who had a trunkful of issues just like Lily did.
Was I ever glad that I had finally written my first contemporary Women’s Fiction (Butterfly Cottage) because that skill set came in very handy in writing the modern-day 2020 story of Willa in Behind Love’s Wall! This was the most difficult novel to write that I have done so far as I write in character and going back and forth between the 1895 and 2020 timelines could be draining. I tried to write each character and setting on separate days but that couldn’t always be managed.
I pray that this story will touch readers’ hearts. I pray that someone, like the young waitress I meant on Mackinac Island who had been spiritually moved by My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (she read her grandmother’s copy after her grandma passed away!), will read this book and feel that connection to our Maker. That’s what Christian Fiction is all about!
Happy Thanksgiving season to all of you! I hope you are anticipating good times and good food.
So, my news includes a new release in less than three months. REALLY! I’m so excited to see Labor of Love in print. You can have a preview in December. In my December 1 newsletter I will have Chapter 1 available to read, exclusive to my newsletter.
If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please do. The link to Sylvan Reads (the name of my newsletter) is http://eepurl.com/gF-3I1.
Harbors should be safe havens, but what if you’re harboring secrets?
When Alicia Roberts accepts a job with mobile veterinarian, Kendall Mulligan, she hopes the Independence Islands will give her a safe place to start over. And as much as she appreciates the Mulligan girls’ offer to stay with them while she gets settled, Alicia knows she needs her own place. ASAP.
Hooper Ear Cove Apartments on Hooper Island offers a beautiful ocean view as well as one of the landlord’s hunky son—all at an affordable price. Just what she needs to start a new life. Isn’t it?
When life knocked Jace Young in the head with a literal curveball that ruined his major league chances, he was forced to return to Hooper Island and a job as the maintenance guy at his father’s apartment complex. On the side, he leads the contemporary song service at church as his heart heals.
When Alicia moves to Hooper Island, Jace is drawn in by her sweet personality. However, something hides deep beneath the surface, and Alicia resists any discussion of God. What will it take to convince her to anchor her heart to God and to confide the secrets she harbors?
Hooper Safe Haven continues the Hooper Island stories of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
Haven, refuge, and sanctuary conjure images of security and peace. A place set aside for rest, growth, and reevaluation. It could be an island, away from the masses or a room secluded from view. Wherever the place, the person knows things could be made right, the load lightened, the fear lessened.
In Hooper Safe Haven, Alicia seeks a safe place. Considering her past secrets, she also needs someone who can share the burden of her past. Sometimes we carry so much baggage that the weight leads our focus to the contents. God is always available, waiting to shoulder the load, allowing the hope of newness to take over. Seeking a haven can be as simple as curling up in a favorite chair, reading a good book, or sharing the day with a close friend. Even if the danger is real, God has the place and the person to help in the rescue.
Bravo Rachel Skatvold for another great installment in the Independence Islands Series.
About the Author
Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.
Read an Excerpt
Alicia Roberts leaned against the railing, watching the seagulls hovering above the ferry as it prepared to dock at the Merriweather slip. They were always waiting for something—tiny fish in the surf or tiny scraps the passengers left behind. In a way, she knew how they felt. Until now, she’d been waiting, too—although it was for something entirely different. She closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of the wind whipping through her long brown hair. In deciding to work on the Independence Islands, had she finally found what she was waiting for? A new purpose? There was no turning back now. After graduating and moving out of her college dorm she had nowhere else to go.
The sound of the apron dropping to allow the cars and people off the ferry drew Alicia out of her ponderings. She approached her blue compact car, packed to the gills with all the belongings she owned and slipped into the driver’s seat as quickly as possible to avoid holding up the other passengers parked behind her. Within a few minutes, she drove up Captains Walk, spying a large RV parked in one of the lots. Kendall Mulligan greeted her the moment she parked and stepped out.
“Welcome back!” her auburn-haired friend exclaimed, pulling her into a tight embrace. “I’m so glad you decided to take the job.”
Alicia pulled back and offered a shy smile. “Me too. How could I turn down such a great opportunity right out of vet school?”
Kendall took her hand, pulling her along. “Here, come inside. There are breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and coffee from Granny’s inside. If we hurry, we’ll have a few minutes to enjoy them before patients start arriving.”
Her stomach rumbled as she followed Kendall up the steps to the mobile clinic. “That sounds wonderful. I forgot to eat this morning.”
“Now you sound like Carly. I always have to remind her to eat breakfast. She calls me a nag, but she’s hypoglycemic, so if I don’t keep on her, she can’t function very well in the morning.”
Alicia chuckled. “No one usually has to remind me. I can’t function without a bowl of oatmeal or some kind of protein first thing in the morning. I think my routine is just off with this new job and all, but I’ll adjust soon enough.” She paused, remembering something. “Speaking of Carly, I heard about her engagement to that billionaire. When’s the big day?”
Kendall shook her head with a slight roll of her blue eyes. “Next month, believe it or not.”
“Well, that was quick!”
“Yeah, tell me about it.” Her redheaded friend shrugged with a sigh. “I suppose when money is no object, a wedding can be whipped up pretty quickly, though. I never thought my little sister would get married before me. She’s always been so opposed to that kind of thing, but I guess when you meet the right one, why wait? I’m happy for them.”
“Me too. So, is that why she’s gone today? Wedding planning stuff?”
“Yeah, it’s going to be pretty crazy around here for the next month. She’ll be in and out of here a lot, but after the wedding she’s going to launch her new mobile art business with Luc. That’s why I’m so glad you could come and work with us.”
One more day for this huge giveawy! Your time to enter ends tomorrow.
I have partnered up with Celebrate Lit Publicity to do an amazing giveaway where you can win a spectacular prize of over 40 books or a $500 Amazon gift card to buy books you love to build up that TBR pile!
Be sure to enter Celebrate Lit’s Thankful for our Readers Giveaway going on now through November 13.
Today is a special day of remembrance and thankfulness for our veterans who chose to sacrifice for our freedoms. Thank you so much!
One way I honor them is through my service through Daughters of the American Revolution. We support more than the Patriots of our foundation as a nation. Ours is a constant revisiting of soldiers and servicemen and servicewomen of the ages.
Also, I place flags on the gravesites of our small town cemetery established in 1884–Gibsland Cemetery. We have 33 veterans buried here that we know about. As I try to care for the cemetery, I find more stones that are buried after years of wear. A treasure hunt. Many of the names are ones of those you served in the Civil War, WWI, and WWII. The more recent warriors are represented and marked well.
To show you how much, I have partnered up with Celebrate Lit Publicity to do an amazing giveaway where you can win a spectacular prize of over 40 books or a $500 Amazon gift card to buy books you love to build up that TBR pile!
Be sure to enter Celebrate Lit’s Thankful for our Readers Giveaway going on now through November 13.