Autumn’s Harvest Blog Hop and Giveaway

What do you love about Autumn and Fall? What does it remind you of? What about reading? Do you think it’s a good subject to read? Tell me your favorite Autumn stories! 

I love Fall Covers. So in honor of my favorite Cover I am giving away a hardback copy of Saint’s Gate by Carla Neggers.

CAUGHT AT THE CROSSROADS OF ART AND MURDER

Two people, isolated by their pasts. An obsessive killer who will force them together Welcome to Saint’s Gate.

Emma Sharpe is summoned to a Maine convent, partly for her FBI art crimes work, partly because of her past with the Order. At issue is a mysterious painting of Irish lore and Viking legends. But when the nun who contacted her is murdered, it seems legend is becoming deadly reality.

Colin Donovan is one of the FBI’s most valuable deep-cover agents. Back home in Maine after his latest mission, a contact clues him in to an intrigue of murder, international art heists and long-held secrets that is too tempting to resist. As danger spirals ever closer, Colin is certain of only one thing—Emma Sharpe is at the center of it all.

Excerpt from Author Website:

Emma Sharpe steeled herself against the sights and sounds of her past and kept up with the nervous woman rushing ahead of her in the dense southern Maine fog. They came to a tall iron fence, a folk-art granite statue of Saint Francis of Assisi glistening with drizzle among purple coneflowers and cheerful golden daylilies by the gate.

The little bird perched on Saint Francis’s shoulder still had a couple of missing tail feathers.

Sister Joan Mary Fabriani stopped at the gate. On the other side was the “tower,” the private workspace where the Sisters of the Joyful Heart performed their restoration and conservation work. In violation of convent protocol, Sister Joan had escorted Emma onto the convent grounds without having her first stop at the motherhouse to register as a visitor.

And a visitor she was, in boot-cut jeans, a brown leather jacket, Frye boots and a Smith & Wesson 442 strapped to her left calf.

“The gate’s locked,” Sister Joan said, turning to Emma. “I have to get the key.”

“I’ll go with you.”

“No. Wait here, please.” The older woman, who’d spent the past thirty years as a member of her order, frowned slightly at the gate, which crossed the meandering stone walk two hundred yards from the main gate at the convent’s entrance. “I thought I left it unlocked. It doesn’t matter. I’ll only be a few minutes.”

“You’re preoccupied, Sister,” Emma said. “I should go with you.”

“The shortest route to the tower is through an area restricted to members of our community here.”

“The meditation garden. I remember.”

“Yes. Of course you do.”

“No one will be there at this hour. The sisters are busy with their daily work.”

“I’m in no danger, Emma.” Sister Joan smiled, her doe-brown eyes and wide, round face helping to soften her sometimes too-frank demeanor. “It’s all right if I call you Emma, isn’t it? Or should I call you Agent Sharpe?”

Emma noted an almost imperceptible bite in Sister Joan’s voice. “Emma’s fine.”

With a broad hand, Sister Joan brushed a mosquito off the wide, stretchy black headband holding back her graying dark hair. Instead of the traditional nun’s habit, the Sisters of the Joyful Heart wore plainclothes; in Sister Joan’s case a dark gray hand-knitted sweater and calf-length skirt, black tights and sturdy black leather walking shoes. The simple silver profession cross hanging from her neck and the gold band on her left ring finger were the only external indications that she was a Roman Catholic nun.

She looked pained. “I’ve already broken enough rules by having you here without telling anyone.”

Sister Joan hadn’t given any details when she’d called Emma in Boston early that morning and asked her to make the two-hour drive north to the convent, located on a small peninsula on a beautiful, quiet stretch of rockbound coast above Kennebunkport.

“At least give me an idea of what you want to talk to me about,” Emma said.

Sister Joan hesitated. “I’d like to get your opinion on a painting.”

As if there could be any other reason. “Do you suspect it’s stolen?”

“Let me get the key and show you. It’ll be easier than trying to explain.” Sister Joan stepped off the walk onto the lush, wet grass, still very green late in the season, and looked back at Emma. “I want to thank you for not bringing a weapon onto the grounds.”

Emma made no comment about the .38 tucked under the hem of her jeans. She’d left her nine-millimeter Sig Sauer locked in its case in her car outside the convent’s main gate but had never considered going completely unarmed.

Without waiting for a response, Sister Joan followed the fence into a half dozen mature evergreens. The evergreens would open into a beautiful garden Mother Superior Sarah Jane Linden, the foundress of the Sisters of the Joyful Heart, had started herself more than sixty years ago, in a clearing on a rocky ledge above a horseshoe-shaped cove. The sisters had added to it over the years—Emma herself had planted a pear tree—but the design remained essentially the one Mother Linden, who’d died almost twenty years ago, had envisioned.

As she lost sight of Sister Joan in the fog and trees, Emma stayed close to the tall gate. Even the breeze drifting through the evergreens and the taste of the salt in the damp air called up the longings of the woman she’d been—the possibilities of the woman she’d never become.

She pushed them aside and concentrated on the present. The morning fog, rain and wind would have attracted passing boats into the protected cove, one of the well-known “hurricane holes” on the Maine coast.

Watching guys on the boats when she was supposed to be in deep reflection and contemplation had been an early clue she wasn’t cut out to be a nun.

Sister Joan, honest and straightforward to a fault, had always known. You’re an art detective, Emma. You’re a Sharpe. Be who you are.”

Emma touched a fingertip to a raindrop on Saint Francis’s shoulder. The statue was the work of Mother Linden, an accomplished artist who’d have considered the absent tail feathers part of its charm as it aged.

The Sisters of the Joyful Heart was a tiny religious order, independently funded and self-sufficient. The twenty or so sisters grew their own fruits and vegetables and baked their own bread, but they also ran a shop and studio in the nearby village of Heron’s Cove—Emma’s hometown—and were skilled in art restoration, conservation and education. During the summer and early fall, the convent held retreats for art educators and conservators, as well as people who just wanted to learn how to protect family treasures. Various sisters were dispatched to Catholic schools throughout the region as art teachers. Hope, joy and love were central to their work and to their identity as women religious sisters.

All well and good, Emma thought, but hope, joy and love hadn’t prompted Sister Joan’s call early that morning. Fear had.

It’s a personal favor,” she had told Emma. It’s not FBI business. Please come alone.

Emma felt the cold mist gather on her hair, which she wore long now, and sighed at Saint Francis, the beloved early-thirteenth-century friar who had given up his wealth to follow a life of poverty. “What do you think, my friend?” She peered through the gate and made out a corner of the stone tower in the gray. “I know.”

Sister Joan was afraid, and she was in trouble.

About the Author:

Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels, with translations in 24 languages. Born and raised on the western edge of the beautiful Quabbin Reservoir in rural Massachusetts, Carla grew up with tales of her father’s life as a Dutch sailor and her mother’s childhood in northwest Florida.

At a young age, Carla began penning her own stories on a branch high up in her favorite sugar maple. Now she enjoys spending time at the family homestead (now a tree farm) with her six brothers and sisters and their families.

When she’s not writing, Carla loves to travel, hike, kayak, garden, and, of course, dive into a good book. She lives with her family in Vermont, near Quechee Gorge.

SITE GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

A copy of Saint’s Gate and some signed swag by Carla Neggers.

If you would like to enter the giveaway you must leave a comment with your email address.

1. Leave a comment: What is your favorite Autumn or Fall memory?

2. Follow by email: (use sidebar)

This giveaway starts on Friday Nov 9th@ 00:01 CST and will end on Monday Nov 12th@ 23:59 CST and is open to US residents only.Winner will be announced by Nov 20th.

Starting on Friday and ending on Nov 12th, over 200 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about those sexy men we know and love.

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.


But that’s not all….


We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

 1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains 10+ paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

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40 thoughts on “Autumn’s Harvest Blog Hop and Giveaway

  1. jdfaver says:

    Hi Carla!
    Great post. I could identify strongly, because I went to Catholic schools. I quickly learned the only 2 words one needs to get by…”Yes, Sister.”
    *hugs*
    ~J

  2. Eva says:

    Lots of great memories trick or treating and going on leaf peeping trips — especially my trip last October to Vermont!!

  3. Veronika says:

    Autumn is my favorite season! I like all the beautiful colors outside and the weather is not that hot anymore but not freezing cold either. It’s just perfect! Thank you for the giveaway!

    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. Alicia says:

    Favorite fall memory . . . I’m going to go with this past October, I am away at school and I was feeling a bit homesick so my parents came up to surprise me :).

    Thanks for having the giveaway!

    Following by email – dmr8888 at yahoo dot com

  5. JoAnna B says:

    Love seeing the sights when the leaves have changed color.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    beckerjo at verizon dot net

  6. Crystal Young says:

    I love the cooler weather, changing colors and campfires with family and friends. Thanks for the giveaway.
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  7. My favorite Fall memory is going to the LA County Fair as a young teen and competing with my Ag friends. My family came and we all had such a great time!

    Fall? I love it because it gets cooler meaning more time by the fireplace snuggling and cuddling!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    3girlzmama at gmail.com

  8. Natasha says:

    My favorite memory going trick or treating. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  9. miriam roman says:

    i love watching the mountains around me go from green to brown when all the grass dies to snow covered in early fall. thank you for joining the hop!
    miriam.whitewolf@gmail.com

  10. Cassandra Hicks says:

    My favorite memories are playing in the leaves as a child with my family 🙂
    I’m an email follower
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    cassandrahicks1989@yahoo.com

  11. […] 86. SMARTMOUTHTEXAN (US) […]

  12. I love Carla Neggers! Thank you for this great giveaway. My favorite memory is when I went Trick or Treating as a child with my parents. I have three children of my own now and I have soo many memories with my family. One of my favorite memories, which also occurred during the Autumn season, was watching my house being built. My husband and I bought 7 acres of woods and cleared out 1 acre for our house. It was lovely watching it being built with all the vibrant leaves on the trees and the crisp air. It really is a great memory.

    ~Julie K
    kornhsl@yahoo.com

  13. Elie says:

    I love reading about things that go bump in the night (with a touch of romance) this time of year.

    thanks for the fun!
    zenfoxflower ATyahooDOTcom

  14. Sassy Chassy says:

    Fall is my favorite season & I love everything about it! I love the colors, the crunch of leaves, hot apple cider, and bonfires.

    Sassychassy333@gmail.com

  15. […] 86. SMARTMOUTHTEXAN (US) […]

  16. April says:

    I adore autumn because of the amazing colors, bundling up in sweaters, Halloween and my birthday! Autumn also means cuddling up with a good book and a cup of cocoa!

    grapeapril75(at)gmail(dot)com

    I love the hops cause of all the awesome new books I find to add to my to read list!

  17. Rita Wray says:

    One of my favorite memories is raking up the leaves with my kids. I still enjoy raking leaves.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

  18. liese2 says:

    My favorite memory is: every Thanksgiving while dinner was cooking my sisters and I would color in a brand new Night Before Christmas coloring book with our own new box of crayons!

  19. JanD says:

    When I was younger, I remember the ground just a walk away from the house filled with orange and yellow fallen leaves. The leaves didn’t need to be raked because they were in a little patch of woods within the subdivision.
    bituin76 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  20. Love the cooler weather.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  21. belindaegreen says:

    I love the burst of colors! The fall earth tone colors are very festive and beautiful. I am lucky to live where you can see the seasons change. I love reading any time so the season doesn’t matter.

    Thanks for the opportunity for both of us to share.

    Belinda G
    belgre@comcast.net

  22. BeachHouse Writer says:

    beachhouse dot writer at gmail dot com

    Friday night high school football games in the bleachers with my fella and Saturday college foot ball games snuggled on the floor.

  23. Urb says:

    Love, love, LOVE autumn leaves. I lived in Southern Cal for 15 years, and had to come home every autumn to see the oaks, maples, and roses! Thanks for participating in the blog hop!
    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

  24. tanna4abak says:

    My favorite thing about Autumn/Fall is the changing color of the leaves. They are so pretty. My least favorite thing is raking up those pretty leaves. LOL I love to curl up by the fire and read a hot romance book on a cold fall evening. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  25. Jo says:

    I love hot apple cider donuts – I know I can get them year round, but they taste so much better in the fall.

    jochibi AT yahoo DOT com

  26. Staci aka Patches says:

    I love the crisp air as it wraps around you and adds that extra step

    staci1964@hotmail.com

  27. Beckey says:

    The upcoming holidays, seeing family that I only seeing during Thanksgiving…

    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

  28. shaylacy says:

    I don’t have a favorite memory. I love fall every year. The last few years every fall has been a photography journey in search of waterfalls. Tramping through woods for miles, up at dawn to photograph the sunrise, catching the sunset on film, capturing all the colors in digital, saying wedding vows for the second time in the smallest chapel in the U.S. while wearing hiking boots and a winter coat.

  29. Kaci Verdun says:

    I love the Fall because of the football games and tailgating with friends and family! And of course having a campfire with roasted hotdogs! Thanks for the chance to win a great giveaway!

    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com

  30. My favorite fall memory is the fall before my uncle passed away. My father died when I was five and my aunt and uncle had not been married very long. My uncle fell into my dads shoes. He was always there for us and would do anything he could to help us and our mother. We lived in Waco,Tx in the seventies and trick or treating became a very bad thing to do. I found needles in my candy apple. So my uncle decided we would have haunted house that way he could keep us safe. So every year we would set up a haunted house in my aunts home. Coffin,vamps,witches,mummies the works our vamp would pull grown women in the coffin with him for a little snack. Well this was a hit the first year and we did it every year until they moved away. Then I carried that on with my own children Two months before he passed my aunt wanted to do it one more time before we lost him so we all traveled hundreds of miles with costumes and now grand babies. We had a costume contest, carved pumpkins with the babies took them to a real pumpkin patch of course had junk food and way to much sugar. My uncle was truly happy truly happy for the last time in his life he passed two days before Christmas that year But he went happy I really believe. He got to see us pass on that tradition to his great great nieces and nephews and knew in his heart we would keep them safe. I di not remember this as a sad time in our lives. We were making memories and bonding as a family should My uncle was our strong one he held it all together And he knew at that time he could let go, that he had taught us well every fall I think of him and the memories we shared and the traditions we set shihtzushappens@gmail.com

  31. Tobi H says:

    I LOVED making leaf piles with my sisters and dive bombing!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    tobihelton at gmail dot com

  32. Carla says:

    Thanks for joining in the hop. It was great to be introduced to your work.
    My favorite part about autumn is that the cool weather gives me the perfect excuse to keep my oven full of yummy deliciousness that I really can’t do during two of the three other seasons. I love the feeling of being able to have yummy stuff baking while I nestle in with a good read.
    planterofhope(at)aol(dot)com

  33. Mama Meme says:

    Autumn is like a cool, smooch on the cheek from Mother Nature, with a promise that spring will come again. It allows you express a gentle goodbye to summer. Autumn is riotous collage of red, orange and golden leaves floating, blowing, crunching everywhere in a kaleidoscope of intense of color. It’s the scent of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon in the air. Pumpkin bread. Succulent turkey. The taste of tangy crimson cranberry sauce.

    Autumn is the time to curl up with a good “who done it” book. Or maybe with a tender romance, or a powerful supernatural with the hard chiseled Vampire lead, I love all genres. It’s moving from the porch swing or from the window seat, relocating to my just “Febrezed” antiquated recliner that creaks and groans like my knees and back every time I sit in it. Fall is the lazy season of life.

    I want to thank all those who made the Autumn Harvest Blog Hop a success and also for the opportunity to discover new authors. Thank you!

    Gail djgandyfan@gmail.com

  34. lisarayns says:

    I love the memories of my family at Thanksgiving. Thanks for the giveaway!
    lisarayns at gmail dot com

  35. Isabelle says:

    Since I live in Brazil autumn always reminds me of hunting eggs during Eastern. I still do it with my kids. 🙂
    Thanks ,
    morebooksthanlivros@gmail.com

  36. donnas1 says:

    Driving out along the highway just to see the changing colors.

    Great hop! Thanks for sharing!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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