My Soul Treasure Virtual Book Tour, Author Interview, and Giveaway

Tuesday, June 20, 2023


 My Soul Treasure

Written by Kate Searle

Illustrated by Alison Mutton

Ages 4+ | 28 Pages

Publisher: Kate’s Soul Treasure (2022) | ISBN-13: 978-0645415421

Publisher’s Book Summary: My Soul Treasure is a beautifully illustrated children’s book designed to teach children how to connect with their inner selves and cultivate self-awareness and self-love. It follows the story of a young girl who goes on a journey beyond her mind, body, and heart to discover her own inner treasures. The story includes positive affirmations and visualization exercises to help children develop mindfulness and self-reflection skills.

Available for purchase on Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes and Noble.


Kate Searle is a geologist, wife, and mum who lives in the southwest of Australia. Becoming a mother sparked Kate’s love of storytelling. She has an innate passion for instilling in children a sense of personal empowerment. She has woven her love of gemstones into her debut book, My Soul Treasure, to teach children about the incredible powers of their own souls.

For more information, visit the website, author's Instagram account, author's YouTube channel, or author's Facebook page.


Alison Mutton is an illustrator from Perth, Western Australia, mainly working in the children’s and educational publishing fields. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Design & Illustration from Curtin University and has been a freelance illustrator for over ten years. When not illustrating, she likes to play the piano, needle felt, walk her dog, and swing dance.


Life Is What It's Called - Why is the message in My Soul Treasure important?

Kate Searle - The message in My Soul Treasure is important because it introduces children to their soul, which can be challenging to explain! The book uses the metaphor of gemstones and jewels to illustrate that our souls sparkle and shine. Each gem represents an inner strength that we can tap into. By understanding that they have a treasure chest within them, children can discover that they are not just their thoughts, feelings or appearances, but powerful souls being human. My Soul Treasure encourages children to connect with their soul, discover their inner strengths and use them to manifest positive emotions and experiences every day.

Life Is What It's Called - What do you hope kids will learn from this book?

Kate Searle - My dream is that all children learn that they have a treasure chest inside them. By reading My Soul Treasure, I hope kids learn how powerful they are and how to connect with their soul by saying the positive affirmations and doing the gentle visualization exercises within the story. I also hope they learn to think about which soul treasure they need most that day, to help their soul shine bright, and then spend time being cosy, creative, happy, loving and compassionate, courageous, imaginative and wise.

Life Is What It's Called - What conversations do you hope this will spark between kids and adults?

Kate Searle - I hope My Soul Treasure sparks conversations between kids and adults about what our souls are. We hear this word so often in everyday life, just think - music, food, literature. But how often are we taught about this big, powerful and important part of ourselves from a young age? I hope adults are inspired by My Soul Treasure to tell kids their own stories about times when they felt each of their soul gems shine bright. For example, a time in their life when they felt their blue sapphire courage gems shine bright. What were they doing? How were they being courageous? Or a story about a time they felt their orange opal creativity gems shine bright. These stories will help them connect with their kids and at the same time, empower their kids to embody these inner strengths in their own lives.

Besides reading this book, how else can kids connect with their inner selves?

Kate Searle - Children can connect with their inner selves by spending time…Being cosy, like building a cosy cubby and relaxing in it. By being creative, like cooking their own free-style creations. By being happy in the sunshine, like riding their bike or making sand-angels at the beach. By being loving and compassionate, like making a homemade gift or writing a card for someone in their family. By being courageous, like trying something new and giving it a go. By being imaginative, like playing dress ups charades with their family. By being wise and divine, like sitting on the grass, holding a gemstone and listening to the sound of the wind and birds.

Life Is What It's Called - How has connecting with your inner self helped you?

Kate Searle - Connecting with my inner self and learning to listen to my soul has given me the confidence to follow my dreams. By connecting with my inner self I have always felt supported and never alone. It has helped me to feel comfortable being and expressing my unique self. And most importantly, it has helped me to open my heart to share my gifts and ideas with the world.

Life Is What It's Called - What is your background in writing?

Kate Searle - I loved writing as a child and often wrote and illustrated my own stories. As I grew up, my love of gemstones and the outdoors led me to a career as a Geologist. After years of working in the field exploring for minerals, I went back to university and completed my Juris Doctor law degree. My law degree taught me a lot about the art of writing and concisely expressing my ideas.

Life Is What It's Called - What writing projects are you working on next?

Kate Searle - I am getting ready to launch my new children’s game called Find Your Treasure which is a fun treasure hunt game that includes clue cards and real gemstones. The game inspires children to find their own soul treasure! I am also dreaming up the sequel to my chapter book.


Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed hardcover copy of My Soul Treasure and a Kindle!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of My Soul Treasure, signed by Kate Searle
  • A Kindle (2022 release)

Four (4) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of My Soul Treasure, signed by Kate Searle

My Soul Treasure Book Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Kate Searle. The author interview questions in this post are based on my own curiosity.

Along A Breton Shore Author Interview and Review

Friday, June 16, 2023


France, 1794

Maxence Étienne, a soldier for the République, believes fiercely in the revolution that is bringing liberty to France. But even though the monarchy has fallen and Maxence is part of a great cause, he is still searching for a place to belong.

Armelle Bernard is a young woman from Breton whose father was sentenced to death for hiding counterrevolutionaries. She decides to confront the priest who betrayed her father, and as the conflict escalates, she herself is ordered to be executed—an order to be carried out by Maxence.

Maxence has seen his share of violence and bloodshed, but he also carries a tragic secret and can’t bring himself to carry out his assignment. In allowing Armelle to escape, he is forced to combat a fellow soldier, who dies in the struggle.

Though Armelle and Maxence are strangers and on opposite sides of the revolution, they find themselves united as fugitives of the new republic. Now they must find a way to trust each other as they search for a path to peace, and to freedom.


ARLEM HAWKS began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis in print journalism, and she lives in Utah with her husband and four children. What resources did you use to write this book?


Life is What It's Called - What resources did you use to write this book?

Arlem Hawks - I always use as many primary sources as I possibly can to write my books. For Along a Breton Shore, I used everything from journals to cookbooks to maps. Several sites like Google Books and Internet Archives have scans of books from the era. I also visited Brittany when I was in college, so I got to put some of my first-hand observations into the story. My critique partner Jennie Goutet, who has lived in France for a long time, helped me find some of my sources. She proved as valuable a resource as anything! I also drew from the book Citizens, which is a great in-depth look at the French Revolution.

Life Is What It's Called - Why do you think it's helpful for readers to follow you on Instagram and see bits of your research and work development?

Arlem Hawks - I love talking about my research! I do a lot of hands-on research with historical sewing and cooking, which I share on social media. I think it helps bring history to life when you can see it in action.

Life Is What It's Called - What will fans love about this book?

Arlem Hawks - I hope fans will love the teasing and banter between Armelle and Maxence. Their interaction was so fun to write. I also hope they’ll appreciate the changes Maxence makes in his life as he goes from focusing too much on his own problems to focusing on others.

Life Is What It's Called - Will you write more historical fiction about this period?

Arlem Hawks -  I don’t currently have plans for another French Revolution book, but I would love to write more someday. That being said, I do have plans to write stories for a couple of minor characters from Along a Breton Shore that take place in the Napoleonic era.

Life Is What It's Called - What has been the best part of writing this book?

Arlem Hawks - This book turned out to be very cathartic for me to write. A couple characters in this book struggle with grief, which is something I’ve been working through with my family the last several years. I also loved the light moments Armelle brought to this book. After writing Beyond the Lavender Fields, which has two rather serious characters, it was nice to have such a positive character to counteract the dark things happening in Maxence’s life and in France.

Life Is What It's Called - Do you have critique partners? If so, how do you find this helpful with your writing?

Arlem Hawks - My critique partners are the absolute best. I have a critique group and a couple individual critique partners. They help me with writing, research, brainstorming, and just life in general. They’re some of my best friends, which I didn’t anticipate when we first started critiquing for each other. It’s incredibly helpful as a writer to have people you trust to help you make your book the best it can be.

Life Is What It's Called - What do you hope fans will learn from reading this book?

Arlem Hawks - I hope fans will learn how important it is to look at all the sides of an issue. So often opponents want similar things, they just disagree on how to get there. I also hope readers will look at people they disagree with as humans rather than opponents. Despite our differences, we’re more alike than we realize.

Life Is What It's Called - How do you think the historical time period that you're writing about applies to modern day audiences?

Arlem Hawks - The last few years have seen an increase in division between different factions of society, which is exactly what happened during the French Revolution. People during that era didn’t know where to turn or who to trust, and so many groups were battling for power and attention. The us vs. them mentality was strong then, and I think we have to be careful that our society doesn’t reach that same level.

Life Is What It's Called - How are your books different from the others in the market?

Arlem Hawks - I walk the line between historical fiction and historical romance with my books. I love a great romance with a very vibrant historical backdrop. Books that teach you something and bring history to life on top of giving you a swoony love story. So I try to emulate that in my books.

Life Is What It's Called -  What do you love about your fans?

Arlem Hawks - I love the fans who message me and tell me they learned so much from my books. I also love hearing when they appreciate historical details and research. I put so many hours into research, and having fans comment about the details makes me feel like a million bucks. Haha. My fans have been super supportive, and I’m so grateful for all of them.

Life Is What It's Called - What writing projects are you working on next?

Arlem Hawks -  I just submitted a Royal Navy novel for the Proper Romance line and hope to start a couple of French meet English romances soon.


Along a Breton Shore shares the story of Maxence, a soldier for the République. Maxence disobeys an order to kill a young woman and finds himself imprisoned. The young woman, Armelle, helps Maxence to escape and they are on the run from the République and face many dangerous obstacles to get to safety.

The author, Arlem Hawks, pulls the reader in with her masterful storytelling. She shares the danger, uncertainty, trouble facing France during its French Revolution and the many different competing sides of division. It was interesting to see a different angle of the French revolution. There are many stories of the craziness of this time period, but I felt like she gave it a more personal touch and shared different aspects of the revolution from families suddenly living in poverty and the dangers of not knowing who to trust. Hawks made the characters, setting and dangers come alive with her writing. The dangers were a constant force in this book. The characters changed over time as they learned how to adapt and take control of their circumstances. There are also many twists and turns in the story and several bold choices with scenes to tug at the reader's emotions. I had to applaud the author at not being afraid to take risks.

This could be read as a stand alone, although, to get the full impact of the story I would highly suggest reading Beyond the Lavender Fields first. In Beyond the Lavender Fields, the author first introduces Maxence and his brother, Gilles. I would highly recommend checking out these books if you love historical fiction. To learn more about Along a Breton Shore, click here.

Please note that I received a free copy to review, however, this is my honest opinion. This post is in cooperation with the publisher. This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog.

Romancing the Artist Review

Wednesday, June 14, 2023


A budding artist, a gentleman-in-training, and a fake courtship that takes both of them by surprise. Caroline Clapham isn’t a world renowned artist—she’s simply a farmer’s daughter possessed of natural talent with a paintbrush. Talent that her mentor, the Countess of Inglewood, is happy to foster for a summer at her beautiful seaside estate. Caroline wants to see the world and commit its beauties to canvas, but she fears that the season will end and she will return home as insignificant as ever. The lure of an adventure and the enchanting Inglewood estate keep her dreams alive, but when she meets Edward Everly and agrees to fake a courtship with him, those dreams begin to change.

Mr. Edward Everly is preparing to take over the management of the estate from his father. His new responsibilities are many and varied, and include marrying the girl his parents have selected for him. Unfortunately, the chosen bride is in love with another, and Edward would rather help her cause than champion his own. When he stumbles upon Miss Clapham painting in the woods, he hasn't any idea the upheaval she will cause to all his plans. The beautiful young artist agrees to enter into a pretend courtship with him, but before summer’s end, Edward’s emotions are far from feigned.

Though it starts as a ruse, Caroline and Edward’s relationship quickly deepens into something neither of them expected. Edward has a role to fill, and Caroline’s lifelong dream is almost within reach. Will their pretend courtship have the chance to blossom into more, or will Edward follow the wishes of his family and risk breaking more than his own heart?

This is the first book in the Return to Inglewood series and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. Readers of clean and wholesome Regency romances will enjoy this series.

Romancing the Artist brings Caroline Chapman to Inglewood to study art under her father's friend, the Countess of Inglewood. While she's discovering her talent, she befriends Mr. Edward Everly and falls into a pretend courtship with him in order to save him and another from an unwanted marriage. This is the first book in the Return to Inglewood series. It's a spinoff series from the author's series, Inglewood. I enjoyed the clean, wholesome historical romance in the book. Romance fans will enjoy the connections between the characters and the dialogue. The characters are likable and entertaining. I also really enjoyed learning about art at that time and how a woman's artistry may have been limited. The author delves into a bit of the art trends at that time and how a woman's subject for art may have been limited. As a reader, I gained a greater appreciation for our time and that we're not limited in what talents we want to grow. Most books in this genre delve into how a woman's marriage options may be limited or her ability to earn finances, I felt learning about women's struggles with her artistic endeavors was an interesting take. There were several themes that the author had run through the book and it really helped give the book some interesting layers. This could be read as a stand-alone, although, I would recommend reading Reforming Lord Neil first. Sally Britton's fans will enjoy this new book. To learn more about Romancing the Artist, click here.

Please note that I received a free ebook to review, however, this is my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog. This book review is in cooperation with the author.
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