Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Children of the Light by Donna Hechler Porter πŸ’• Guest Post, Series Tour & Gift Card Prize Pack Giveaway πŸ’• (Historical Romance)

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Children of the Light by Donna Hechler Porter πŸ’• Guest Post, Series Tour & Gift Card Prize Pack Giveaway πŸ’• (Historical Romance)

A woman with a past, a man determined to uncover the truth, and a secret that could tear them apart forever.

A Grieving Husband: Amon Cayle needs a seamstress. He has spent the last year rebuilding his life after the tragic death of his wife in a kitchen fire, the same fire that nearly took the life of his eldest son as well. The business of grieving their loss, as well as the work of his tobacco plantation, has caused him to neglect the simplest of tasks. His family now needs clothes and despite his dislike for Mary McKechnie, and their shared past, he offers her the job.

A Desperate Mother: Mary McKechnie needs a job. Her brother has threatened to take her daughters and place them into indentured service if she can’t provide for them. He hasn’t made it any easier by insisting she work only for fellow Friends. When Amon Cayle offers her a job, she has little choice but to accept.

A Devastating Secret: The last time Amon spoke with Mary, after she walked away from him into the arms of another man over twenty years ago, she assured him she was not keeping secrets. He didn’t believe her then, and he doesn’t believe her now. While she is working for him, he is determined to find answers. She is just as determined to not give them.

Will Mary be able to save Amon from the past? Or will his love threaten to destroy them both?

Keeping Secrets is the first book in the Children of the Light Series. The Society of Friends (Quakers) and 1750s colonial Virginia, on the cusp of the French and Indian War, provide the backdrop for this sweeping historical about families trying to live their faith in a new land. Fans of series books will enjoy this series of faith, love, and redemption.

“I do not do business with outsiders.”
He let go of her arm as if he had been stung. “I am not an outsider.”
“I cannot do business with wayward Friends either.”
“Oh.” He drew the word out. “How strange. I do not feel lost.”
She reddened.
“Sister Mary, do you know what it cost me, personally, to come and ask thee to do them?”
Her throat tightened. What it cost him? Did he ever think of the humiliation it had cost her to listen to him request her to be a seamstress for his family?
Every time I see thee, it costs a part of me.
“’Tis just a job. You can find someone else.”
The deep furrow next to the man’s mouth twitched. He yanked the hat from his head. His fingers bent the straw to his will. The crunch grated into her ears.
“I will start cutting tobacco next week. I have to start work on the kitchen soon. I do not have time to find another seamstress. Surely we can work out something.”
“I do not think so.”
“I am seeking restitution. It will be handled at the next monthly meeting.”
“Is your daughter?”
“No, she is not.” His chiseled chin jutted forward. “If you will not work for her, will you at least do the work for the rest of us?”
“No. I think it would be best if you found someone else.”
“I have not the time.”
“Abigail has been gone for almost a year. You are the one who has not hired a seamstress.”
“I have been busy.”
“’Twas not busy. ‘Twas neglectful.”
“You can talk to me about neglect when your wife dies.”
Mary’s eyes widened.
“I mean husband,” he quipped.
It took him a minute to realize his mistake. Then, his face reddened.
He shot her a shy smile. Their eyes locked. Her heart slammed against her throat.
“Please, Mary. I need a seamstress, and I know you need the work.”
He had dropped the formal address of Sister. That, combined with the smile, was shattering. She lowered her gaze. The dark curly chest hair waved at her from between the folds of the loosened cravat.
That was no better. She took in a deep breath to still her nerves. “I would very much like to, but I just cannot.” She spun around before he could launch another protest.
She would have done almost anything at that moment to see that smile on a regular basis. But, she could not lose her girls.
And it should have been of little consequence other than the loss of the money. It was just a job she could not do. Amon Cayle was simply an employer she could not work for.
So why did she feel as if a piece of her heart had been cut out?

A woman dedicated to peace, and man destined for war, and a journey that will change them forever.

A Haunted Young Woman
Annie McKechnie is desperate to go to the backcountry to her twin sister, Katie McKechnie Sawyer. She is convinced doing so is the only way to end the dreams that haunt her nights and follow her days. The one man who can help her find peace is David Cayle, and she hates him for it.

A Devoted Son
David Cayle, back from a tour of duty with the Virginia militia, is determined to mend the breach he created his with father. Taking the man into the backcountry to rescue his wayward sister, however, was not what he had in mind. Annie’s insistence on going makes matters worse, until it becomes obvious that leaving her behind is more dangerous than taking her along. Or is it?

A Harrowing Journey
A young nation fights for its destiny, and the backcountry is no place for the faint of heart. Only the stoutest souls and strongest minds endure.

But can David keep his promises? And what secrets is Annie still keeping?

Breaking Promises is the second book in the Children of the Light Series. The Society of Friends (Quakers) and 1750s colonial Virginia, on the cusp of the French and Indian War, provide the backdrop for this sweeping historical about families trying to live their faith in a new land. Fans of series books will enjoy this series of faith, love, and redemption.

Annie’s head rocked and rubbed against David’s shoulder. He had shaved while at the Lynches. The hint of new hair on his
jaw tickled her forehead while his arm, draped across her legs dangling off the left side of the horse, set up a weakness in her spine that was, oddly, quite pleasurable.
When he had sat behind her on the horse, she had felt weak and confused. She had attributed it to her exhaustion and her fear. The ferry accident and the bones had wracked her more than she cared to admit. She had tried to put on a brave front, but David had seen her terror. ‘Twas why he had offered his hand each night. She had reasoned it was what a good brother would do.
But brothers did not kiss their sisters like that. She might be naΓ―ve in the ways of men and women, but she knew that much. To make matters worse, it had been warm and sweet and fiery all at the same time. She had not wanted it to end.
Mrs. Lynch had been right.
And how could his touch set her skin on fire at the same time his arms, wrapped around her like a husk around corn, take all her cares away? ‘Twas the first time she had felt truly safe since leaving Cayle Farms.
Sort of.
That kiss was anything but safe. It set something afire deep inside her. She was curious and terrified all at the same time.
Was that what had happened to her mother? Had she been unable to hold herself back from Amon as a young girl? Her mother had said there was more to it, that their families were opposed to a marriage, and she and Amon were feeling desperate.
And then she always ended the conversation with a warning that once you start kissing things can go so fast you end up somewhere you do and do not want to be. The few times Annie had asked for clarification, her mother quit talking.
What was somewhere like? And why, for the briefest of moments, had she been willing to go there with David Cayle?
The thought caused a quiver to her limbs.
David tightened his hold.
She wanted to jump from the horse, but she was too tired and her mind too spent. She gripped his shirt harder, the fabric bunching between her fingers.
Mercy, but that kiss was sure to be her unraveling.

A woman without hope, a man determined to save his family, and a past that could forever change their future.

An Estranged Husband
David Cayle wants nothing to do with his wife. He may have broken promises, but she kept secrets. Important ones. His only hope to mend his shattered self is to start over in the backcountry far away from her and Cayle Farms. But walking away from her is not as easy as he thought, for she is not done with her secrets, and this one will change his life forever.

A Frightened Mother
Annie Cayle faces an unknown future. Despite her last days at Cayle Farms and the danger she left behind, she is desperate to return home. When David Cayle arrives unexpectedly in Richmond, she asks him to change his plans for the sake of her unborn child. But home is not safe, and neither is David Cayle.

A Child that Binds
With their friendship torn apart, and their marriage shattered beyond repair, David and Annie must forge a new destiny for the sake of their child. But when old enemies exact revenge they are forced to confront past secrets and broken promises.

But can David face his deepest fears to save his wife? Or, in the end, will the past destroy them both?

Binding Fire is the third book in the Children of the Light Series. The Society of Friends (Quakers) and 1750s colonial Virginia, on the cusp of the French and Indian War, provide the backdrop for this sweeping historical about families trying to live their faith in a new land. Fans of series books will enjoy this series of faith, love, and redemption.

“Alright.” His hands came up. “We can leave first thing--”
“No.” Her voice was rising with the hysteria. “We have to go home now.”
“Annie!” His mouth fell open. Surely the birthing had snapped her mind. “’Tis the middle of the night. It is cold and damp, and look at you.”
The child gurgled, unlatched, then spit up most of what she had taken in.
Annie hoisted the babe to her shoulder. The child burped and set to howling all over again. This time she drew her knees upward against Annie’s shoulder.
“You are still in quite a bit of pain.” He had seen it on her face every time she lifted the child to her breast.
“I do not care about me.” A hunted look swamped her eyes. “Something is dreadfully wrong. I cannot stand to . . . to lose . . .”
He lurched to his feet and paced in circles this way and that, his hand in his hair, then gripping his neck. “How will I keep you warm?”
“I will hold her, and you can wrap us both in a quilt. I have two.”
“Two quilts? Annie, ‘tis still dripping rain outside, and the fog is so thick it will turn your bones to soup.”
“If you cannot take care of both of us, then take her. Leave me here and come back.”
The woman was truly mad.
“I cannot leave you here.” He upended his shaky palms. “You cannot even stand to your feet to stoke the fire. And what would you eat?”
“Then if you will not leave me, you must take me.”
He eased to the bed. “Do you realize how much agony you will be in on that horse?”
“If we stay here our daughter will be dead by tomorrow.” The tears sheeted down her face. “Please, I will do anything to save her.”
Was she right? Was the babe really that ill? Or was she making more of it than need be?
No. He did not remember John’s birth, but he remembered Thomas’. He remembered Abby’s well. They did not cry as if their insides were rending apart.
But still. To take them both home? Now?
She grabbed his wrist. “If you get us home, I promise I will do anything you ask of me.”
The hair on the back of his neck rose.
“I will cut you from the marriage. I will make an effort to fix the marriage. I will follow you to the backcountry and never complain.” She tightened her hold. “I will even join with you again if you wish to have more children.”
He yanked free of her hot grasp and jerked to his feet. “Fine. I will saddle the horses and bring them around.” He grabbed a candle from the table, another one of those items he had tried to get her to leave behind and headed out the door. He could barely see the decrepit barn, and it had little to do with the dark and more to do with the thick, cold fog that wet his face and lifted his skin with bumps.
The candle wavered. It was not likely to stay lit long in the damp air.
Join with him again? For another child?
The thought sent an unwelcome heat into his gut, but he doused it readily enough. The other options he could consider. By God’s teeth, he might even make good on forcing her to the backcountry.
But joining? Not a chance. They already were tied with this child, and he could never be completely free of her.
Another joining with the woman would kill him.

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Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an

I always wanted to write books. I mean – ALWAYS. Like in first grade always. I dabbled at it off and on for years, and in fifth grade wrote a book on notebook paper called “The Tweedles.” It was a knock-off of “The Borrowers.” (I think my mom still has it somewhere.) When I got into researching my family tree when I was about nineteen, the stories exploded into my head. They just never really left even as I went to college, taught school, and later married and had the twins. Then, I reached my 45th birthday, and I knew it was “now or never.” So I started reading how to plot and create characters. I started taking online classes through groups like RWA. And here I am today!

What is something unique/quirky about you?

I absolutely despise the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
I know! Who doesn’t like that song?
Of course, “The Wizard of Oz” is on my least favorite movie. So there’s that, too.

Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!

This is going to sound odd, but I think the most interesting thing that has ever happened to me is having identical twins.

What are some of your pet peeves?

Junk laying around the house – especially in the living areas. I mean – there’s a trash can in each room. People get up from chairs. Why can they not take their trash / food / dirty plates with them?

Where were you born/grew up at?

I was born in Baytown, just east of Houston. I grew up there, went to and graduated from Baytown schools.

If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

That is quite a poignant question considering my husband passed away this past May. It was sudden and totally unexpected. If I knew that was going to happen to me? I would spend every last breath with my family, especially my boys.
Who is your hero and why?
My parents. My mom has always been my biggest champion and supporter. She taught me I could do anything I wanted if I was willing to work hard enough to make it happen. My Dad has had some tough health challenges the past few years – a hip replacement, a triple bypass, prostate cancer – but he keeps up with his lunch buddies, teaches some driver’s ed, and plays lots of poker, and he turned 82 this past December! He has taught me to keep on moving no matter what, and to take each moment you are given. Oh, and did I mention – they have been married 58 years!

What kind of world ruler would you be?

A tired one. LOL.
I would want to know every person under my rule. I would want to teach them a skill so they could make their own way. I would want to encourage them in whatever dreams or endeavors they had. I would want to know them all by name and on and on.
Yep, I’d be one tired princess.

What are you passionate about these days?

My writing.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

A long walk unwinds me, as does a soak in the tub and a good book. Sometimes I will meet a friend for lunch or go thrift shopping. Sometimes, just being in the house alone and with my work-in-progress is relaxing.
But the best thing I do is find my big tom kitty (he weighs 15 pounds) and we curl up on my king size bed. He crawls on my chest and I pet him. We usually fall asleep that way at night. Something about digging my hands into his fur and rubbing slowly this way and that settles me down, and I can feel the stress slipping away. At least for a time.

How to find time to write as a parent?

When the boys were little, it was hard. I wrote a lot in the evening or early morning before they woke up. They are older now, but one has been ill the past few years. This past Thanksgiving and Christmas we were at Cleveland Clinic for surgery. He is on the mend, but I will be getting a job soon. It is going to be a challenge to find time to write then. I will have to let you know how that goes!

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Stubborn, Melancholic, Bossy, Old-fashioned, Hyper-sensitive

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

This is going to sound strange, but it was when I commissioned new covers for my first four books. I don’t know why that stands out as marking me as a writer. Perhaps it was because the covers were so magical, and it was hard to believe my name was even on the front.

Do you have a favorite movie?

One favorite movie? Not really. But the top three favorites are – The Last of the Mohicans, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Princess Bride.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Really, any of them – but I think “The Rood” would be fantastic translated onto the big screen. The plot is fast-paced and different with the hero being a Scotsman and the heroine being a French Acadian. The setting of the French and Indian War is not done nearly often enough. Thomas and Elizabeth traveled through real places on their way to the Indian towns, and it would be awesome for people to get a flavor for the wildness and beauty that was America before it became filled with towns and cities.

Donna Hechler Porter graduated from Texas A & M University with a B.S. in Education. After many years of teaching, she now homeschools her twin sons and is active in her local homeschool group. Her first foray into fiction, her "Children of the Light Trilogy," has already won numerous awards. She is a member of Romance Writer's of America, as well as the subchapters Hearts Through History and Northwest Houston's Lonestar Chapter. In addition to fiction, she has published five genealogy books and a short biography on her struggles with hypothyroidism titled "Will Someone Please Shoot the Cuckoo?" She is currently working on her fourth novel. You can visit her at her website/blog at


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