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Y’all are in for a treat, reader friends!!! Today’s featured author is sharing five of her favorite childhood books, plus an excerpt of her latest release, AND a giveaway! I’m a really big fan of this story and I think y’all are going to enjoy it!
About the Author
Elizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace on their way to their own romantic happily ever after.
Five Favorite Childhood Books
Elizabeth: The Mummy Market by Nancy Brelis – this book was recommended to me by my elementary school librarian (who I considered pretty much my best friend in elementary school.) It’s a delightful story with magic and hijinks and at the end of the day, the children learn that even though you think a new mom is just what you need, you’re probably wrong.
(There’s a terrible movie loosely based on the book. Don’t watch that. Just find the book if you can. Sadly it’s out of print. Less sadly, my husband was able to find me a copy for Christmas two years ago so at least I can enjoy it with my own kiddos.)
Hildy and the Cuckoo Clock by Ruth Christoffer Carlson – another librarian recommendation (and also now out of print – sorry!) This book is the story of a girl whose new house has a magical cuckoo clock—and so fun things like snow in the middle of summer happen when she wishes.
I had such fond memories of this story that I scoured around until I found a copy of it that wasn’t outrageously expensive. I’m pleased to report that, for me at least, I found the story held up delightfully.
I loved traveling through space to rescue Father. I loved that there was the subtle message that hey, it’s okay to be smart at math and still be a girl. And I loved the cohesion of the family even when they got annoyed with one another.
In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen Lawhead – this is one of the first fantasy series I remember simply devouring as a child. It’s a rich story of adventure as Quentin must carry a message to the Queen and isn’t sure who to trust.
This is also one of the first Christian fiction books I remember reading and it opened my eyes to the idea that the spiritual message didn’t have to be heavy-handed in order to be meaningful.
The Trixie Belden mysteries (Can I do a whole series as one book or is that cheating?) If I have to choose my absolute favorite of them all, it’d be Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Queen’s Necklace where the crew is in England for the summer and a mysterious grey figure stalks them through London and across the countryside.
But I really don’t want to choose just one – I loved every book I got to spend with the Bobwhite crew.
Beth: I feel like I’ve really missed out by not reading any of these! I’ve put them on a list for my kids!
Tell us about your latest release
Elizabeth: My latest release is Muffins & Moonbeams. It’s book one in the Baxter Family Bakery series, which is part of the larger Arcadia Valley Romance multi-author series. I had so much fun writing about my two introverted main characters!
Malachi is deaf. He’s also shy. This means he’s a lot happier in the online world where he can hide behind an avatar and not let people see the real him. Ursula is hiding from a lot of friend wounds from the past and also prefers to hang out online rather than interact in person.
Introverts are a little more challenging as main characters, because to make a book interesting, people need to be talking and out doing things and interacting. But there are so many of us introverts out there in the world, I figured it was time I let two of them fall in love.
(Do I need a spoiler alert for that? It’s romance, so you’re all probably assuming that’s the case. Hope so.)
Beth: A romance without a happily ever after isn’t a romance at all! I say you’re spoiler free and I make the rules around here (except my policies and disclosures page, bleh!)
Malachi Baxter is happy to hide in the background and manage the business-end of the family bakery. He’d much rather live in the online world of computer games where he can explore the galaxy and no one has to know he’s deaf.
Ursula Franks designs websites during the day and spends her evenings battling alien races online where relationships are easy and uncomplicated. When she agrees to design a website for the local Community Supported Bakery, she has no idea that Malachi is the real man behind her online persona’s best friend and her own secret crush.
As the two work together on the website, they uncover an attraction, but will they be able to put aside past hurt and insecurity to find love?
Beth: I adore this story!!! Hop over to my review!
“Can I help you?” The man behind the counter set aside the book he’d been reading—a recent sci fi novel that was on her list as well—and stood.
Ursula’s breath caught in her lungs. No baker should look that good. Shouldn’t bakers be chubby and grandfatherly rather than broad-shouldered hunks with just the right amount of scruff on their chin to make a woman’s mouth water?
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah. Great. Hi. Sorry.” Heat flooded her face as Ursula stepped closer to the counter. “My mind wanders.”
The corners of his mouth poked up. “I have that problem sometimes too. First time here?”
She nodded and scanned the display case. They definitely leaned toward bread—which was what the man who’d emailed told her—but bakery conjured images of donuts and cookies and cakes. None of which were in evidence. “I’m Ursula Franks. You just hired me to do your website?”
“Sure. Hi. I’m Malachi. We emailed briefly yesterday.” He leaned his arms on the case. “What can I get you?”
“Maybe a loaf of the asiago?”
His smile did crazy things to her belly. “Sure thing. That’s one of our best sellers.”
As he turned to get a bag and tongs, Ursula scanned the other offerings in the case. “You make all of this on site? By yourself?”
Malachi turned back, reached into the case, and slipped the bread into a bag. “Anything else?”
Her eyebrows lifted. Rude or…? “You made this?”
“Me?” He laughed, shaking his head. “No. My brothers are the bakers. I do the books and the dishes. You want to talk to them? They ran out to help my sister, but they should be back soon.”
She considered. It might be nice to meet the actual bakers, get a feel for them and the business. But like she’d told MalRen last night online, she didn’t need that face-to-face connection in order to do a good job on a website.
That said…she wouldn’t necessarily mind getting to know this brother a little. Even if nothing could come from it. “Tell you what. Would you mind if I ran down to Benita’s and got some cheese and brought it back? I was going to make a lunch out of it at the park, but I could hang out and wait if you’d join me?”
He gave a little shrug. “Sure. I can slice this for you.”
“Nah. I’ll just rip off chunks.” He made a valiant effort to control the wince, but she still saw it. Ah well. She handed him a ten, took her change, and glanced at the table in the corner, then back to him. “Okay if I leave it here?”
“Be right back.”
Beth: That is a great excerpt! I love that scene (and many others)!!!
Tell us about your next release
Elizabeth: Next up for me is the release of A Heart Reclaimed. This is book two in my Peacock Hill series. Book one (A Heart Restored) came out as part of the Love at First Laugh box set in early March, and book two will also start out in a box set, this one called Cherish.
Cherish releases April 25th and will be available only on Amazon (as part of the Kindle Unlimited program.) When the box set closes out, I’ll be taking my Peacock Hill romances out to other retailers, however, so if you’re not a Kindle reader, don’t fret.
Beth: Eeep! I’ve almost made it to your story in the Love at First Laugh set! So far, the stories have been fabulous!!!
Thank you for sharing your bookish news and favorite childhood books with us, Elizabeth!
Elizabeth Maddrey has offered to giveaway an ebook copy of her latest release Muffins and Moonbeams to one fortunate reader.
What is one of your favorite muffins or a favorite childhood book?