Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Murder at the Empire by Cathe Swanson November 26, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:49 pm
Tags: ,
Murder at the Empire

About the Book

Book: Murder at the Empire

Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: October 5, 2021

Murder at the Empire Cover

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.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

6-20-2016-1000

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!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 17

Blossoms and Blessings, November 17

Texas Book-aholic, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Sodbusterliving, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

For Him and My Family, November 22

Simple Harvest Reads, November 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 25 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 25

Connie’s History Classroom, November 26

Genesis 5020, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Back Porch Reads, November 28

Through the fire blogs, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/133b9/murder-at-the-empire-celebration-tour

My thoughts:

This is the first book I have read in this series. I actually heard an interview about it on a podcast and decided I might like these stories. I am happy to say I plan on reading the rest of the this series.

This was a quick read, which I always appreciate it and very well done. I am not familiar with the fairytale this book is based on but that didn’t matter to me.

Cathe did a great job of keeping me guessing about who was behind everything and the ending was very satisfying and a bit surprising.

I liked Gayle’s spunk. She was a hard working young lady trying to break some stereotypes in the 1920s.

Overall, a very good read that I recommend.

Grab your copy at Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

 

Review and Giveaway: All is Bright December 11, 2019

All-Is-Bright-FB-Banner-1.jpg

About the Book

Book:  All Is Bright (Christmas Lights Collection 2019)

Author: Kari Trumbo, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, & Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October  17, 2019

All-Is-Bright-sm-768x768.jpg

Four of your favorite contemporary romance authors join festive forces to bring you the fourth-annual Christmas Lights Collection.

Kari Trumbo-  Merry and Dashing: Merry hates Christmas corporate greed. Jacob loves finding the perfect gift for everyone. When Scrooge and Santa volunteer at a local thrift store together, will the mix be Holly Jolly?

Toni Shiloh-  I’ll Be Home: What could be worse than being laid off right before the holidays? For Starr Lewis that would include returning home jobless, single, and, oh yeah, just in time to attend her sister’s wedding on Christmas Eve… to Starr’s ex-boyfriend. In the midst of it all, her brother’s best friend soon has her wondering if she can take another chance on love.

Cathe Swanson- Season of Change:  Charlea’s ready to sell Serenity Hill, but Drew is back in town, 15 years after their dream date ended in disaster, helping her mother and daughter turn the old commune into a commercial Christmas wonderland. Between poinsettias and sleigh rides, angst and romance collide in this Christmas second-chance romance!

Chautona Havig- The 12 Dates of Christmas : When Reagan runs into Alex, her high school nemesis, he is stunned to discover that’s how she saw him. It’ll take twelve dates and a lot of forgiveness on both sides to even hope for a Christmassy-ever-after.

Brighten your day with these four heart-warming novellas today!

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

karitrumbo.jpg

Kari Trumbo:  Kari Trumbo writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart. Kari loves reading, listening to music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up with a fuzzy blanket, a book, and a hot cup of tea by the wood stove. She loves her make-believe people almost as much as the real thing. You can find out more about her and her worlds at karitrumbo.com

 

 

 

ToniShiloh.jpg

Toni Shiloh:  Toni Shiloh writes ethnically diverse characters that could be your best friend. She writes to understand the Lord more and shares her lessons with her readers. Visit her at www.tonishiloh.com.

 

 

 

cathe-swanson.jpg

Cathe Swanson:  Cathe Swanson, the author of the Great Lakes and Glory Quilts series, enjoys gardening, sewing, papercrafting, and kayaking on the beautiful Wisconsin rivers. As a child of the 60’s, she’s having fun writing about hippies and the Jesus People movement in her new Serenity Hill series.

 

 

 

 

chautona-havig.jpg

Chautona Havig: Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com

 

 

 

 

 

More From Chautona

Christmas in “The Christmas City”

 

I wrote most of 12 Dates of Christmas in Noel, Missouri, otherwise known as “The Christmas City.”  That’s kind of funny, because Noel isn’t pronounced No-ell.  It’s “Nole”—rhymes with pole.  As in North. 😉

By the time I’d finished, it was almost time to leave the little town and head home after nearly six weeks with old and new friends.  I had to say goodbye to memories I might never visit in person again, and it was difficult to imagine.

So, I did the only thing I knew to do.  I wrote a super-short story.  It’s just over seven thousand words (including a bit of history behind different people, places, and things in the story), but it captured things near and dear to my heart—my mother’s house, the church I’ve loved for so many years, town traditions, and now characters I’m not sure I can let go of.

In fact, I am considering writing a full-length novella next year for the fifth-annual Christmas Lights Collection next year!  I think Rob and Lissa deserve to have their full story told.

As my thanks to readers who purchase or read the collection on Kindle Unlimited, I’m offering this short story, “A Noel Christmas,” FREE.  Just send me your receipt or a screenshot showing you’ve completed the collection and it’s yours.  Visit https://chautona.com/bonus for more information or just zip an email to any of the authors in the collection. We’re all happy to send it on.

We all hope you have a very meaningful Christmas this year—one that offers bright spots in your days. May God richly bless you now and in the new year.

Kari Trumbo, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, and Chautona Havig

 

P.S.  If you read the short story, do let me know if you think I should turn it into a full-length novella/novel. I’d love to know your opinion.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, December 6

Texas Book-aholic, December 7

janicesbookreviews, December 8

Through the Fire Blogs, December 9

Mary Hake, December 9

Genesis 5020, December 10

Inklings and notions, December 11

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

CarpeDiem, December 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 14

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 15

Batya’s Bits, December 16

She Lives To Read, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 17

Lots of Helpers, December 18

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, The Christmas Lights Authors are giving away the grand prize of a six-month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!

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/f2b3/all-is-bright-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

What a fun collection. Each story is unique and you get a taste of each author’s writing style.

I really enjoyed the first story, it definitely had a “hallmark” feel to it.

I liked the second story as well and Starr’s struggle with fitting in with her family. I have felt that at times myself.

The last story also had a great message about forgiveness. What better time of year then now to move past the things in our past and embrace the future.

Grab your copy at Amazon or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson March 30, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:11 pm
Tags: ,

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Click to purchase

Book: Baggage Claim

Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: February 14, 2017

 

There had to be at least one healthy branch on his family tree…

Who can he trust?

Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, enjoys his easy, uncomplicated life. He likes his work and has a competent nanny to manage his household. Everything is good until he decides to seek out his biological parents and discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches.

His comfortable life crumbles when he gets caught up in a criminal network of fraud and conspiracy at his new job. When Ben is forced into a dangerous alliance, he scrambles to find a safe situation and protection for his children before setting out to clear his name—all without getting himself killed in the process.

A nanny with a past…

Becoming a nanny was the perfect solution when Teresa Cooper needed a place to hide ten years ago, but now that she’s no longer in danger, she’s ready to move on and make a new life for herself. When Ben asks her to take the children to an unknown relative in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she finds herself in hiding again, this time with four children in tow.

As the children explore the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, Teresa begins to wonder about God’s plan for her future. Who is this stranger Ben trusts with his children? Why here? Can a city-bred nanny find joy in this wild corner of God’s creation?

About the Author

Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years. They enjoy spending time with their family and being outdoors, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and fishing, but summer is short in Wisconsin, so it’s important to have indoor hobbies, too. Cathe has been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years, and she enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper. She enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

 

Guest Post from Cathe Swanson

When I was in high school, I thought I might like to become an occupational therapist. Instead, I got married, had babies, raised the children and launched them into the world. I took a few years to regroup, and then I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Shortly after that, my dad had a stroke, and when he came home from the hospital, I was fascinated by the work of the visiting therapists. I did some research and learned that physical and occupational therapy assistants make pretty good money and are able to do the best part of the job – the therapy. Therapists are often bogged down in paperwork and periodic assessments. The assistant has all the fun, and it’s just a 5-semester program.

So I trotted on down to the local community college and asked what I had to do to get signed up. The counsellor talked for a while about prerequisites, petitions, waiting lists, internships, and other such things. Eventually I realized she was trying to tell me that I was too old to embark on this career. Too taken-aback to be offended, I went home and wrote a book about it instead. After all, I’d invested a lot of time in research.

I’d been writing stories for years, and already had the bones of Baggage Claim. Once I gave my young hero a job as a physical therapy assistant, the story took on life. My mother’s interest in genealogy had sparked a question: What if a nice, normal person wanted to track down their biological family and it blew up in their face? So that’s where I sent my hero, and as one of my reviewers said, “It was not a Hallmark moment.”

I’m very happy as an author and have no real interest in becoming an occupational therapist. Indeed, that rejection was a turning point for me. I could have pushed forward and got that degree, but instead I went home and wrote. I have no regrets.

Blog Stops

March 28: Books. Books. And More Books.

March 28: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 29: Chas Ray’ s Book Nerd Corner

March 29: A Greater Yes

March 30: Genesis 5020

March 31: Reading Is My SuperPower

April 1: Quiet Quilter

April 2: autism mom

April 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews

April 3: Moments Dipped in Ink

April 3: Faithfully Bookish

April 4: Inklings and notions

April 5: Blossoms and Blessings

April 6: Blogging With Carol

April 7: Carpe Diem

April 7: A Baker’s Perspective

April 8: Christian Bookaholic

April 8: Karen Sue Hadley

April 9: History, Mystery and Faith

April 9: Bigreadersite

April 10: His Grace is Sufficient

April 10: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away Grand prize themed gift box that will include:
A decorative suitcase box
Earl Grey Tea
A handmade mug rug
A pretty mug
14 handmade all-occasion cards
And a paperback copy of Baggage Claim!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2c8

My thoughts:

This is a book full of many layers. There is so much going on there is never a dull moment. Cathe is a gifted storyteller. She has crafted a story that will certainly engage you.

I was really interested in this book because part of it takes place in Michigan’s upper peninsula, which is one of my favorite places of all time. I love that we get a peek at in the winter.

At first I wasn’t sure how everything was going to connect. We have Teresa’s story of her in hiding and then we have Ben’s story of trying to find his family and also everything that is going on at work. I knew there was something funny (not ha-ha funny) going on there and before long it comes to light.

I dreaded knowing something bad would happen to Ben and his sweet family.

Cathe did a wonderful job of painting Ben’s family life with his kids. So normal but still very interesting.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon,  or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through The Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.