[Book Blast] The Romanov Heiress by Jennifer Laam @hfvbt @jenniferlaam.writer @hfvbt @JenLaam @hfvbt @JenLaam

Publication Date: March 20, 2023.
Genre: Historical fiction. Russian. Early 20th century.
Pages: 351.
Format: Available to pre-order a Kindle copy @ Amazon.

#TheRomanovHeiress #JenniferLaam #HFVBT

At Goodreads: The Romanov Heiress.

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours is the host for the Book Blast.


Four sisters in hiding. A grand duchess in disguise. Dark family secrets revealed…an alternate future for the Romanov sisters from Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar and The Lost Season of Love and Snow.

With her parents and brother missing and presumed dead, Grand Duchess Olga Romanova must keep her younger sisters safe. The Bolsheviks are determined to eliminate any remaining holdovers from the tsarist regime, hunting down the last Romanovs and putting them to death. Now living in England, the Romanov sisters remain hidden to protect their identities, even as isolation strains their relationships.

But they can’t distance themselves from the world forever.

Olga learns that a peer of the realm has accused the late Empress Alexandra of betraying Russia and her allies during the Great War. Under the spell of the scheming Grigori Rasputin, Alexandra disclosed military secrets to the enemy and pursued a separate peace with Germany. If this rumor becomes history, it will destroy her legacy and her family’s future.

Disguised as “Olivia,” a wartime nurse turned maid, Olga accepts a position in Lord Hammond’s household. There, she works to discover the truth about her mother. When Olga meets his lordship’s heir—an alluring, enigmatic war veteran—her situation grows even more precarious. Could she fall for the son of her new enemy? As she learns more about the tragedies of his past, Olga realizes the connection between their families is more complicated than it appears.

About the author:

An avid history nerd long fascinated with the Romanov sisters, Jennifer Laam’s next books, including The Romanov Heiress (March 2023), will explore their stories with several “what-ifs.”

A proud native of Stockton, CA, Jennifer currently lives in Sacramento with a spoiled tabby cat named Jonesy. When not reading or writing, she enjoys planning cosplay for the next San Diego Comic-Con, experimenting with vegetarian recipes (to mixed results), and obsessing over House Targaryen or Baby Yoda.



Enter to win an eBook of The Romanov Heiress by Jennifer Laam!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Direct link to the giveaway.


An interview with Paul Tautges, Author of A Small Book for the Hurting Heart

A Small Book for the Hurting Heart

Loss comes in many forms: the death of a loved one, unemployment due to downsizing, a relationship ripped apart by conflict or divorce, even the loss of a dream. The list goes on and on. Although the specific circumstances of each grief are as unique as the person grieving, what remains the same is the inner pain being experienced and the need to apply God’s gracious promises to each one of them.

Grief may threaten to overtake us or destroy our joy. In A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing by Paul Tautges, men and women will see Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, who is well-acquainted with grief and sadness. Tautges walks with readers through their grief to see the one who nourishes their faith and heals their soul.

Q: Can you tell us about the format of A Small Book for the Hurting Heart and how it is intended to be used? Who will benefit most from your devotional?

A Small Book for the Hurting Heart is a collection of 50 brief meditations drawn from small portions of Scripture which apply God’s hope and healing to our hearts and minds in the midst of life’s losses. Second Corinthians 1:3–4 says that God comforts us, not only to meet our deepest needs by applying his healing balm to our hurts, but in order that we may be equipped to be a conduit of grace to others. Ultimately, I wrote this book to come alongside hurting people and direct them heavenward.

The pain that accompanies loss does not subside quickly or easily. Therefore, the book is intended to be read slowly, one meditation a day, with thoughtfulness and a prayerful spirit. Each meditation ends with a suggested way to apply scriptural truth. Some readers may want to keep a journal for the purpose of interacting with these truths and responding to the applications. Most likely it will primarily be used personally, individually, but I would also love to see it read with a friend, or in a larger setting, perhaps a grief support group. This book is for anyone who is experiencing the grief that accompanies any kind of loss.

Q: When we think about grief, we first think about the loss of a loved one? What other types of grief and loss do you speak to in the book?

Mankind’s original sin in the garden impacted every area of human life. Therefore, nothing and no one remains untouched by our fallenness. When Adam and Eve chose to go their own way—away from the goodness of God’s design and the peacefulness of walking in his presence—the door was opened to an untold number of traumatic experiences and griefs. As a result, our losses come in many, many forms.

Of course, there’s loss through the death of a spouse, child, or other loved one. But there’s also the loss of relationships through conflict, betrayal, estrangement, divorce, or a move across the country; loss of financial security due to business failure, foreclosure, or long-term unemploy­ment; loss of innocence and dignity through abuse, loss of health or personal dreams because of disability or terminal illness. And the list goes on and on. Though the specific circumstances of our griefs are as unique as each of us, what remains the same is the inner pain we experience and the need to apply God’s gracious promises to each one of them.

Q: You’ve served not only as a pastor and counselor, but as a hospice chaplain. Does the weight of the grief of those around you ever become overwhelming?

Yes, bringing God’s comfort to those who are hurting can become overwhelming. So, personally, I have to consciously remind myself that, though I am one of the means that God uses to spread comfort to others, I’m not the ultimate comforter. God is our tender and faithful Father, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and the Holy Spirit is the comforter whom Jesus sent. The Spirit is also the divine author of Scripture, which indicates one of the chief ways that the comfort of God is brought to our hearts; that is, through Scripture.

God’s Word has the power to heal. It applies grace to our deepest hurts, since it is the voice of the one who created us and redeems us through Christ. This is key to not becoming swallowed up by grief—my own or that of others. Our role as comforters is to faithfully come alongside others in order to walk through their valley of loss with them, but God is ultimately the healer of their hurts.

Q: Grief has struck your own family in a deep way recently. Would you mind sharing about your own grief journey?

Only God knew that between the time that I first submitted the manuscript for this book and today, our family would experience significant loss. Two losses we felt most acutely were the deaths of a loving, godly father, and our infant granddaughter who lived for only 45 minutes outside of her mother’s womb. Both of those losses took the wind out of our sails for a time. But in the valley of sorrow, we anchored our faith to three stabilizing truths drawn from three portions of Scripture.

First, God ordains the length of each person’s life, even before they are born (Psalm 139:16). Second, death is a defeated enemy (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). Third, grief hurts, but God’s comfort is real. Indeed, he is the God of all comfort who comforts us in any affliction (2 Corinthians 1:3–4). Knowing and embracing these truths does not eliminate all of the pain but applies God’s healing grace while reminding us to look forward to the day when God will wipe away every tear and make all things new (Revelation 21:4–5).

Q: Grief can tempt us to want immediate answers to our pain which may result in thinking that God has forgotten us or is far away. What biblical truths can we choose to focus on during the times we have unanswered questions?

It’s helpful for us to remember that God’s ways are impossible for our finite minds to fully comprehend, but he is always wise and good. In Deuteronomy, Moses writes, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV). We cannot know all that he is doing in and through our suffering. But we can know the truths revealed in his Word, one of which is that God is “good and [does] good” (Psalm 119:68). The hand of Providence is mysterious, but there is no reason to ever doubt his love for us (Romans 8:31–37). Loss gives us the opportunity to embrace this truth and rest in the Lord.

We can also choose to remember that, though God’s purposes may be unknown to us, he is the rock in whom we can always trust. Like King David, we can em­brace this truth: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2). In addition to being our refuge and strength, the Lord is “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He is always present with us. We can al­ways run to him in our time of need.

Q: What are some things you can do to minister to someone who is hurting?

Move in closer. Be present. Listen much and speak little. And when you do speak, try to simply acknowledge their pain, and assure them of your love. Say something simple, but genuine, like, “I’m sorry. This must hurt really badly.” Give them the freedom to grieve in their own way and according to their own timetable. Grief is common to us all, yet it is unique. Whatever you do, avoid doing nothing! Don’t avoid the grieving person because of your own fears and insecurities. Acknowledge their loss. Try to feel their pain.

Sometimes, we as Christians think we always have to say something profound or super spiritual. We mean well, but that may not be what a grieving person needs the most. Instead, they just need to believe that you truly care. They need you to overcome your fear of not knowing what to say, which pushes you away from them and validates the sense of isolation they already feel. When the time is appropriate, then ask the Lord to help you graciously speak healing words of truth with care.

Q: If you could share just one piece of encouragement about grief to those you counsel or to readers, what would it be?

Whatever your grief, whatever your pain, whatever your loss, there is comfort available. This comfort is rooted in the character and work of the Trinity. God the Father is attentive to your every loss, and he loves and cares for you. Jesus Christ the Son of God is the com­passionate and understanding Savior who ex­perienced grief in every way imaginable. And the Holy Spirit is the heaven-sent comforter who brings you into the body of Christ, and skillfully applies the words of Scripture to your heart for the sake of inner healing.

Don’t allow the enemy to take advantage of your grief and hurt, and push or pull you away. Lean into the Lord. He will meet your needs. He will fill your heart and mind with His enduring hope and peace. One of the primary ways the Holy Spirit will do this is through daily meditation on Scripture. As you regularly spend time in the Word of God, you will gradually experience its healing, hope-filled balm. Then, as you are comforted from the promises of Scripture, look for ways to pass on the help you receive to others who are hurting.

All Scripture links courtesy of Bible Gateway.

A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing by Paul Tautges.
Publisher: New Growth Press
Publishing Date: March 9, 2020

Amazon link

Book Blast, Clash of Empires: A Novel of the French Indian War by Paul Bennett

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Publisher and Publication Date: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. December 8, 2016.
Paperback and eBook.
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Pages: 224 Pages.
ISBN-13: 978-1540666628
Series: The Mallory Saga, Book #1

In 1756, Britain and France are on a collision course for control of the North American continent. The eventual result can be described as the first world war, known as the Seven Year’s War in Europe and the French and Indian War in the colonies. The Mallory family uproots from eastern Pennsylvania, and moves to the western frontier, where they find themselves in the middle of war. Daniel, Liam, and Liza (the three Mallory siblings) become involved in the conflict in ways that lead to emotional trauma for each. The story focuses on historical events and includes historical characters. Clash of Empires is an exciting look at the developments leading to the events of July 1776, which are chronicled in the sequel as we follow the exploits and fate of the Mallory clan.

I feel both educated and thoroughly entertained by Mr. Bennett’s debut novel ‘Clash of Empires’. Rich in detail mined from the author’s clearly painstaking research, we find lessons that should have been learned from the distant past rising to the fore once more; cannons boom, bullets fly and tomahawks spin through the air as the war builds towards a brutal climax. A fresh voice and a cracking tale. Recommended! – Author Gordon Doherty

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About the Author:
Paul’s education was of the public variety and when he reached Junior High he discovered that his future did not include the fields of mathematics or science. This was generally the case throughout his years in school as he focused more on his interest in history; not just the rote version of names and dates but the causes. Paul studied Classical Civilization at Wayne State University with a smattering of Physical Anthropology thrown in for good measure. Logically, of course, Paul spent the next four decades drawing upon that vast store of knowledge working in large, multi-platform data centers, and is considered in the industry as a bona fide IBM Mainframe dinosaur heading for extinction. Paul currently resides in the quaint New England town of Salem, Massachusetts with his wife, Daryl. The three children have all grown, in the process turning Paul’s beard gray, and have now provided four grandchildren; the author is now going bald.
For more information, please visit the Mallory Saga Facebook page. You can also find Paul on his Blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Direct link to the giveaway and tour information @ Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.