Joy After Noon Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Joy After Noon

Author: Debra Coleman Jeter

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February 26, 2019

Joy marries a widowed bank executive caught in an ethical dilemma and misreads his obvious frustration while struggling to integrate into her new family. This novel explores the challenges of second marriages and dealing with step-children during the crucial years of puberty and teenage angst. A college professor coming up shortly for the huge tenure decision, Joy finds herself falling apart as her career and her home issues deteriorate and collide.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Debra Coleman Jeter has published both fiction and nonfiction in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy, Christian Woman, and American Baby. Her first novel, The Ticket, was a finalist for a Selah Award, as well as for Jerry Jenkins’ Operation First Novel. Her story, “Recovery,” was awarded first prize in a short story competition sponsored by Christian Woman; and her nonfiction book “Pshaw, It’s Me Grandson”: Tales of a Young Actor was a finalist in the USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several domestic and international awards. Joy After Noon is the first novel in her Sugar Sands series. She has taught at Murray State University, Austin Peay State University, and Vanderbilt University, where she is currently a Professor Emerita. She lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, with her husband.

More from Debra

Joy After Noon

With most of my novels, several forces come together to compel me to tell the story. This is definitely true of Joy After Noon. I thought I’d share a few of those.

Carl Jung says: “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different.”Jung goes on to describe life’s afternoon as the time when we begin to shift away from the ego being the dominant force in our life and move toward a journey that has real meaning.

I also like the following quote: In the afternoon of your life, you don’t do life. You do what resonates with the callings of your soul. When does the afternoon of life begin? I don’t believe the afternoon of life begins at a particular age, or even stage of life. In JOY AFTER NOON, Ray has been pursuing career success and material acquisitions, and experiences a significant change of direction. Some fairly disastrous events in his workplace precipitate the change—events that threaten not only his financial stability but the core of who he is.

When I was a kid, I watched a movie called Joy in the Morning, starring Richard Chamberlain and Yvette Mimieux. This movie was about a young married couple, and the memory of it stayed with me for years. I remember thinking that whereas a typical romance ended when the couple got together or married, the really interesting story starts there. When I wrote Joy After Noon, I decided to focus on a couple that marry a bit later in life. He’s a widower with two teenage daughters. She’s an insecure college professor who has never been seriously romanced.

Initially, the idea for Sugar Sands Book 1 and the title of the novel, Joy After Noon, was that Joy’s life has been lonely (and joy has been elusive) since her parents died when she was sixteen, and she has about given up on finding love when she meets Ray. She comes into his ready-made family and, for a time, this seems like a mistake. However, in the afternoon of her life, she finds love and joy.

What inspired my characters:

There’s always a bit of myself in each of my characters from the least likable to the most. Here’s how I relate to some of the characters in Joy After Noon.

 

Joy Hancock

Joy is a college professor who has never been in love … until she meets the gorgeous widower Ray Jenkins. In the novel Joy struggles to adapt to her new family at the same time that she’s coming up for tenure as a college professor. I’ve been through the tenure process (with a husband and two kids at home), and I’ve seen a number of others struggle to balance career and family during this stressful process.

 

Ray Jenkins

Ray, seemingly successful banker, finds himself facing ethical dilemmas as his associates negotiate a dubious merger and then try to hide the undesirable financial consequences. I’ve taught bankers, and I have coauthored a textbook on mergers and acquisitions. I’ve also seen former students caught in ethical crises at work.

Marianne Jenkins

Marianne has aspired all her life to please her demanding perfectionist mother, even after that mother’s death. She cannot live up to her own standards of perfectionism, either as a ballerina or as a cheerleader longing for popularity. I have not studied dance or cheerleading, but I remember being a perfectionist as a child taking piano lessons. I wanted to play a piece with no errors, and I almost never succeeded.

 

Jenny Jenkins

Jenny, the younger daughter, knows she could never come near to the example set by Marianne, so why try? Jenny plays clarinet in band. As she practices for tryouts, she has a loose pad, causing her horn to squeak rather than play properly. I was a clarinet player, and had this exact experience myself. Jenny becomes friends with a wild girl named Claudia, who leads her to trouble. I had a similar friend as a teenager, and she was even named Claudia. Claudia is a tragic figure in the novel, but not an unsympathetic one.

Although Joy After Noon is part of a series, each book in the series stands alone.

Song of Sugar Sands

Sugar Sands Book 2, Song of Sugar Sands, has recently been announced as a Finalist in the Christian Fiction category in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Debra Coleman Jeter

What does success as an author look like to you?

Having readers till me they were helped or moved by my story, that they identified with my characters and their dilemmas … this is what’s most gratifying to me as a writer.

Which character did you connect to best in this book?

There’s always a bit of myself in each of my characters from the least likable to the most. In Joy After Noon, the character I most identify with is Jenny, the younger daughter. Jenny knows she could never come near to the example set by her older sister, Marianne, so why try? Jenny plays clarinet in band. As she practices for tryouts, she has a loose pad, causing her horn to squeak rather than play properly. Naturally this happens on the last night before tryouts, and she has no idea what’s causing the problem. I was a clarinet player, and had this exact experience myself. Jenny becomes friends with a wild girl named Claudia, who leads her to trouble. I had a similar friend as a teenager, and she was even named Claudia. Claudia is a tragic figure in the novel, but not an unsympathetic one.

What inspired this book?

I have always admired the writing of Daphne du Maurier, who wrote Rebecca among others. I’ve read Rebecca more than once, and the idea of being a second wife captivated my imagination, even though I’ve only been married once.

My husband and I recently watched the movie, We Bought a Zoo. Although I wrote the first draft of my novel, Joy after Noon, before seeing the movie, one aspect resonated with me. Benjamin Mee, the character played by Matt Damon, is grieving the death of his wife. At one point he remarks to Kelly (Scarlett Johansson) that a love like his for his first wife only comes along once in a lifetime. By the end of the movie, Benjamin and Kelly have not exchanged more than a kiss. Still, the question comes to mind: What would it be like to be the second wife to someone who had loved that deeply?

On the one hand, you might think he’s capable of great love and would make a wonderful husband. On the other, you might fear you would never be able to live up to his expectations. How can you compete with a ghost? I have not experienced this situation myself, but some of my readers undoubtedly have. I would love to hear of your experience.

In my novel, Joy is the second wife of a widower. Not a great beauty, Joy lacks self-confidence, especially in the domestic realm. Much of the plot hinges on her failure to express her fears and Ray’s failure to articulate his feelings. Like many men, he assumes she knows how he feels, and she’s not secure enough to tell him that she needs to hear it from his lips.

This type of communication problem isn’t limited to second marriages but extends to many first marriages (or even third) as well. Nor is it limited to one sex or the other. Too often we assume our partner knows our needs, or knows how we feel; and, too often, they do not.

Another complication that often arises in second or third marriages is the relationship between the children and their new step-mother. Ray’s step-daughters resolve to bring Joy down, and for a time their plan seems to be working—until it backfires with dire, unforeseen consequences.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1st Corinthians 13: 12-13

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading Washington Square by Henry James. I so want things to work out for the sweet Catherine Sloper, though her father seems determined to thwart her. My husband and I often agree on books and authors, but Henry James is one where we agree to disagree. My husband thinks he’s boring. I think he’s fascinating.

Thank you, Debra, for allowing us to get to know you better!

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, August 17

lakesidelivingsite, August 18

Splashes of Joy, August 19 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 20

Artistic Nobody, August 21 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inklings and notions, August 22

Simple Harvest Reads, August 23 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 25

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 27 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, August 29 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, August 29

Texas Book-aholic, August 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Debra is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a signed 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/ff18/joy-after-noon-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blush Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Blush

Author: Danielle Ripley-Burgess

Genre: Nonfiction

Release Date: September 15, 2020

NOBODY SAID growing up is easy. For Danielle, the safe suburbs of Kansas City always felt warm. Inviting. But one day, everything changed. Not only did she hate what puberty was doing to her body, she had spotted a few scary specks of blood after going number two. Gross. As an insecure tween who blushed during “the talk,” one who refused to buy toilet paper at the store, nobody could know her little secret. So she hid it from everyone—Mom, Dad, her brother, and her friends. This went on … for years.

Busted. Eventually, her secret came out. Danielle was rushed to the doctor and into a colonoscopy. Shock took over when she was diagnosed with a rare colon cancer (something the internet called an “old man’s disease”) just a few weeks after her seventeenth birthday. Seriously!?

High school mornings in classrooms morphed into nightmare days in cancer-center waiting rooms. Yet Danielle stayed hopeful, even grateful, for her illness. The way she saw it, fighting cancer spiced up her otherwise-boring testimony. And it brought her true love. Not until she heard the dreaded “It’s cancer” again at age twenty-five did she start to resent so much suffering and question her faith. Yet Danielle wasn’t about to stop. From Times Square to the White House, she became an outspoken survivor by starting a blog, as well as a young wife and a mom. Eventually, she found the self-acceptance she’d been looking for—it was guided by a still, small voice that had been with her all along.

In this soul-baring memoir, Blush: How I Barely Survived 17, Danielle reminds us that growing up is never easy, and she shows us how to go head to head with God. With out-of-body wisdom beyond its years, Blush beautifully inspires us to accept our imperfections and embrace every season of life.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Danielle Ripley-Burgess is a two-time colon cancer survivor first diagnosed at age seventeen and an award-winning communications professional. She writes and speaks to encourage those facing trials, under a motto of “faith that survives.” She’s the author of Blush: How I Barely Survived 17 (Redemption Press, 2020), The Holiday Girls (Little Lights Studio, 2018), and Unexpected: 25 Advent Devotionals. Her story has been told around the world through outlets like The Today Show, BBC’s World Have Your Say, Sirius Radio’s Doctor Radio, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, among others. Home is in Kansas City with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Mae. When she’s not writing, she can be found baking her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s a good one. Follow her blog at DanielleRipleyBurgess.com or connect on social media at @DanielleisB.

More from Danielle

I walked into the classroom, hung my backpack on a designated hook and glanced at the chalkboard as I took my seat. Sigh. It was spelling bee day. I’d dreaded it for weeks.

Most people probably didn’t realize I loathed the spelling bee, especially my teacher. As a book-loving student who aced nearly all English exams, anyone could have rightly assumed I would be jazzed about the competition. I was a great candidate to represent our class. But there was one little problem: it sounded like a nightmare. I wanted nothing to do with it. The idea of the whole school looking at me on stage—the chance of people noticing the zits on my face, seeing a bra underneath my shirt, or calling me a nerd because I was a strong speller—sounded awful. No thanks.

“Riiinnngggg”

A buzzer echoing throughout the hallways kicked off our school day. My teacher, dressed in a popular floral dress from the 1990s, walked to the chalkboard to take control of our classroom. The pledge of allegiance, math worksheets and recess distracted me from the schedule until the dreaded hour came.

“Everyone please stand up, push in your chairs and join the circle,” my teacher insisted as she waved her hands to gather us. It was time.

Fortunately, I had a plan: I was going to cheat.

If my spelling test grades were any indicator, I had a good chance of making the spelling bee. So, I decided to purposely spell my word wrong. I would use a wrong vowel toward the end of the word and pause to hear, “I’m sorry but that’s incorrect.”

Let’s just say my plan worked like a charm. Relief flooded my chest when I was asked to sit down and join the others who were knocked out of the competition. A few weeks later during the school-wide spelling bee, I deeply exhaled and smiled widely as I watched my classmates compete on stage from the gymnasium floor. I was so glad it was them and not me.

Today, 25 years later, this memory is both a victory and a tragedy. I can’t help but see my younger self, a tween girl who felt embarrassed about her body, and feel proud of her for identifying what she did and didn’t want. That moment in fifth grade helped her find her voice. Yet her empowerment came at a high cost.

Convinced that hiding her true self—her body, her smarts and her opinions—was the only way, this thinking led to her nearly losing her life. If I could go back and chat with her today, I’d affirm her fears yet encourage her to see God gave her the smarts—being a strong speller and a good writer is a gift and not a bad thing. I’d challenge her to accept herself and say that dominating the school-wide spelling bee could actually be a great thing.

Blush is a memoir that tells many other stories like my fifth grade spelling bee. The book is dedicated to my daughter, who is just now becoming a tween. As I’ve relived my life by writing this book, I’ve not only found nuggets of truth to pass on to her as she navigates adolescence, but also confidence and redemption in my story.

Many of us have believed the lie that to be accepted, we must hide. I wrote Blush not only for my daughter, but for anyone looking for inspiration and hope. It’s a book especially for those who are ready to finally face their insecurities and consider how to stop sitting it out and instead take the stage.

 

Danielle Ripley-Burgess is a two-time colon cancer survivor first diagnosed at age 17, an award-winning communications professional and author of Blush: How I barely survived 17. Follow her blog at DanielleRipleyBurgess.com or connect on social media at @Danielleis

Mindy’s Q&A with Danielle Ripley-Burgess

What does success as an author look like to you?

I used to think author success meant signing a traditional publishing contract that got my book into big box stores, or at least becoming a top seller and having agents approach me. And while that still sounds like an author’s dream, it’s not quite how I’d define success.

I think about all the writers who literally wrote the letters and stories that became the Bible. These people, most who are nameless to us, used their gift of words and language to share what was said or heard about God, and now we can hold a book called Scripture and experience life change. That’s what I’d call ultimate author success.

Which chapter was the most difficult to write?

In the middle of Blush, there’s a chapter called Shackles that talks about some of the hardest days when I first faced cancer as a teen. I explain my heartbreak over lost friendships, the anger at arrogant doctors, the violations I felt after repeated medical exams and the desire to return to “normal” life. Not only was that chapter difficult to actually live through, but it was tough to revisit and write down.

What would you like your readers to get out of this book?

When I first went public with my story, it was to help others know that young people like me can get colorectal cancer and to inspire other teen girls struggling with embarrassment to not hide their bodies. Over the last 20 years, I have realized my message is even bigger. Blush is ultimately a story of hope. I want all readers to be inspired to embrace hard conversations. To be honest with themselves and others. And, to keep the faith and listen for God’s still, small voice in their lives.

What is your most well-loved and well-used house appliance?

My red Kitchen Aid mixer that has been known to bake some of the best chocolate chip cookies in the whole world.

Why write nonfiction?

I write memoir, which does feel like a calling from the Lord because 1) it’s tough to strike the right balance on what to make public versus keep private and 2) many publishers discourage people, especially people like me under age 40, to write memoir. But, I enjoy reading memoirs and I hope I’m not alone. I’ve also watched memoirs penned by young females become powerful prose that is culture-shifting. Biographies have always gripped me, I love real, authentic human stories. It’s out of obedience and joy that I share mine.

Thank you, Danielle, for allowing us to get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 22

Simple Harvest Reads, August 23 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, August 23

For Him and My Family, August 24

Inklings and notions, August 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 26

Spoken from the Heart, August 27 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, August 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Get Cozy Book Nook, August 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 31

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 1 (Author Interview)

Emily Yager, September 2

Lights in a Dark World, September 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Danielle is giving away the grand prize package of Danielle’s favorite local coffee, Betty’s Recipe from the Roasterie in Kansas City & a signed copy of the book!! (here’s a link to the coffee: https://theroasterie.com/product/bettys-recipe/)

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/ffa2/blush-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Crushing Depths Review and Giveaway

Crushing Depths FB banner

About the Book

Book: The Crushing Depths

Author: Dani Pettrey

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 30, 2020

Crushing depthsThey know the power and peril of the ocean.
But as they get closer to the deadly truth…
An even greater danger lurks just beneath the surface.

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.

Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems like it’ll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they’re cut off from any rescue–and right where the killer
wants them. It’s a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“Living in the past only gives people who’ve hurt you more power over you. It’s best to forget them and move forward, never looking back.”

It’s another winner from Dani Pettrey. The author clearly knows how to write engaging romantic suspense with plenty of action and thrill in the plot, supported by captivating characters. In this book, there is also a secondary plot of suspense and mystery which is completely separate from the main plot but works nicely to introduce Brooke, whom I’m assuming we’ll see more of in the future. I recommend that you read The Killing Tide first before reading this second novel in the series since the cast of characters in this Coast Guard Investigative Service office is large but every character is unique and worth getting to know.
Rissi and Mason share a haunted past of surviving traumatic childhoods in a group home for orphans. Now Rissi is a master profiler and has become a strong, independent, determined woman of faith who is excellent at her work. Mason is a diving expert who has just joined Rissi’s team and their unspoken young love for each other from their teenage years blossoms into something deeper and more meaningful. As they reconnect, they are also thrust into a volatile situation between an environmentalist group and an oil company when unexplained mechanical failures and untimely deaths on an oil rig call for CGIS to investigate. While this is happening out at sea, a Coast Guard medic Brooke is targeted in her home and Noah works to protect her and catch the one responsible.  Both of the plots have plenty of surprises that will have you scratching your head one minute and gasping in realization in the next.
This book is also a nice set up for the next books in the series; it delved a bit more into Logan and Emmy’s workplace friendship and introduced another character who may be a possible match for Caleb….but that remains to be seen.

If you enjoy romantic suspense, Dani Pettrey will thrill your suspense-seeking soul with this series. I received a copy of the book from Bethany House Publishing via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Dani PettreyPraised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today). She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit www.danipettrey.com

More from Dani

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy this special recipe for a Lavender and Honey Latte that makes a special appearance in my book!

Blog Stops

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 12

Losing the Busyness, August 12

deb’s Book Review, August 12

Texas Book-aholic, August 13

Fiction Full Of Faith, August 13

For Him and My Family, August 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 13

Artistic Nobody, August 14 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 14

Through the Fire Blogs, August 15

Mia Reads, August 15

April Hayman, Author, August 15

Emily Yager, August 15

Inklings and notions, August 16

Stories By Gina, August 16

CarpeDiem, August 16

Betti Mace, August 17

Lighthouse Academy, August 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 17

KarenSueHadley, August 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 18

lakaesidelivingsite, August 18

Livin’ Lit, August 18

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 19

Life, Love, Writing, August 19

Blogging With Carol, August 19

Life of Literature, August 19

Older & Smarter?, August 20

Inside the Wong Mind, August 20

Mary Hake, August 20

Melissa Wardwell- Back Porch Reads, August 21

Southern Gal Loves to Read, August 21

Empowermoms, August 21

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 21

Amanda Tero, August 22

Splashes of Joy, August 22

Simple Harvest Reads, August 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, August 22

Blossoms and Blessings, August 23

Worthy2Read, August 23

Spoken from the Heart, August 23

Hallie Reads, August 23

The Artist Librarian, August 24

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , August 24

Daysong Reflections, August 24

Hebrews 12 Endurance, August 25

Live. Love. Read., August 25

Remembrancy, August 25

Lights in a Dark World, August 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dani is giving away the grand prize package of a necklace, tumbler and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/ff51/the-crushing-depths-celebration-tour-giveaway

Caleb’s Destiny Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Caleb’s Destiny

Author: Carole Brown

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 2020

Mr. Michael, Destiny Rose McCulloch, and Hunter have a mysterious history. Why were three fathers, all business partners, murdered under suspicious circumstances while on their quest to find gold?

Hunter is determined to protect his boss and the precocious young lady who he suspects holds a key answer to his questions.

Mr. Michael wants only to be left alone to attend to his property, but what can he do when Destiny refuses to leave and captures the heart of every one of his employees?

Destiny almost forgets her quest when she falls in love with Mr. Michael’s ranch and all the people there. And then Mr. Michael is much too alluring to ignore. The preacher man back east where she took her schooling tried to claim her heart, but the longer she stays the less she can remember him. She only came west to find a little boy she knew years ago. A little boy all grown up by now…unless, of course, he’s dead.

Three children, connected through tragedy and separated by time, are fated to reunite and re-right some powerful wrongs.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:
Caleb’s Destiny is a Historical Romantic Suspense by Carole Brown. It is set in 1879 in the Western , USA.

What I think about this book:
I have read many of Brown’s contemporary fiction books and enjoyed them, so I was very interested to see how her historical fiction would be. I was very pleased to see that Brown has continued to write a complex story with great characters, intrigue and suspense. The story started off with three heartbroken Children and moved on to a Wild West tale full of adventure! I enjoy a story when the characters are realistic and can draw me in. I found myself fussing at Destiny, I know she was sheltered, but she was making some really dangerous choices at the beginning of the book. However as the story progressed she showed that she had brains and spunk. Mr. Michael was just as infuriating as Destiny at times, but together they made a great story. I loved all of the supporting characters of the book, especially Maria and Hunter. I would love to read a series that follows the characters of this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own

About the Author

DSCN4465 (3)

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

More from Carole

Sharing God’s Love Through my Novels by Carole Brown

Once upon a time, there was a child—an expressive child who used her hands to convey her emotions and her imagination to talk with others, older people, and neighbors who found her amusing and relatives who loved her and encouraged her to develop her creativeness.

 

That child’s elementary fellow-students clapped when she gave childish presentations. She received good grades on her first written works of imagination in school. In high school, she and her best friend spent hours creating pensive and lovesick poems that they thought expressed their feelings.

 

Years later, that child/teen grew up. She married, birthed two sons, traveled and ministered alongside her husband and family then finally realized it was time to use her imagination and creative talents seriously. Although she was good at English, she soon learned she still had much to re-learn about writing novels. She joined critique groups, went to conferences and soaked in every bit of advice that came her way.

 

Today, she’s celebrating the release of her 10th full length novel, a new adventure because she ventured into writing an Historical Western Romantic Suspense.

 

Caleb’s Destiny. She began this novel several years ago, thinking she might enter it into a contest, but didn’t finish it then. Last year was a tough year of little writing, but once 2020 hit, inspiration sprang into renewal, and she determined this would be the year to finish it. Finish it she did in two and half months.

 

Since I’m that little girl, all grown up, I’ll confess that I love using my God-given talent for Him. Developing stories that encourage, gently show God’s love and power and wisdom for his children is the best thing in the world. I love being an author. I love sharing with others the stories God places on my heart showing that faith and goodness will always prevail. I love knowing I’m using the talent God gave me.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, August 10

Rebecca Tews, August 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 12

lakesidelivingsite, August 13

Texas Book-aholic, August 14

deb’s Book Review, August 14

For Him and My Family, August 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 16

Artistic Nobody, August 17 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Mary Hake, August 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 19

Connie’s History Classroom, August 20

Captive Dreams Window, August 20

Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Emily Yager, August 22

Pause for Tales, August 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away the grand prize package of a mug, a throw, and the winner’s choice of a Kindle or paperback 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/febc/caleb-s-destiny-celebration-tour-giveaway

Katherine’s Arrangement Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

Book: Katherine’s Arrangement

Author: Blossom Turner

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: August 4, 2020

Katherine's Arrangement_final (1)Marrying him is her only choice to save her family, but Josiah Richardson isn’t at all the man she expected.

Katherine William’s family was left destitute when their home was burned to the ground by Yankee soldiers, so the ready solution presented by the prominent Mr. Josiah Richardson seems almost too good to believe. He’ll provide a home, work for her pa, and a new beginning for her family…if only Katherine will accept his proposal. A marriage of convenience is the last thing she wants, but there doesn’t seem to be a better option for her family or herself. Setting aside her dreams of love, Katherine agrees to the arrangement.

The gentleman in Josiah Richardson can no more force his frightened bride into his bed, than he can force her into loving him, so he sets out to gently woo her. He works hard to befriend her, to earn her trust and win her love.

Katherine is pleasantly surprised to find herself drawn to the man she thought she would never love, until an unexpected friendship tears apart all they’ve worked for. Where once the promise of love had budded between Josiah and Katherine, now they wonder what to do with their so-called marriage. Is love strong enough to weave its healing power through two broken hearts?

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

 Katherine’s Arrangement by Blossom Turner is a Christian Historical Fiction.This is the first book in the Shenandoah Brides series.  It is set in the Shenandoah Valley in 1865, which is immediately post Civil War.

 

What I think you might need to know:

Katherine was assaulted in the past and it impacts her relationships in the book.

 

What I think about this book:

The book was such a roller-coaster of emotions.  Katherine was the opposite of most beautiful girls, instead of being praised for her beauty she has been shamed for her beauty by her Mother, the woman who should have been most supportive of her no matter what. I really felt sorry for her. She showed such strength in caring for her family.  Josiah was used to women who would have happily married him, so he was not prepared for his spunky wife. I enjoyed how he was patient and caring with Katie at the beginning of the book, but I do not like who he became in the later part of the book.  The story was full of twists and turns and ups and downs and I just wanted to make things better for them. I am very interested to see where Turner goes with the next book in the series.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Blossom Turner_small (1)Blossom Turner is a freelance writer published in Chicken Soup and Kernels of Hope anthologies, former newspaper columnist on health and fitness, an avid blogger, and author. Her authentic understanding of the power of love is woven through the pages of Book One in the Shenandoah Bride series—Katherine’s Arrangement. She and her husband, David, have two grown children and live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Read more at blossomturner.com.

More from Blossom

From the time I was a little girl I had a love for reading, a wild imagination, and the desire to write. At twelve, I received my first Bible and read all the way through a King James Version. My love for Jesus was cemented. I day-dreamed of a Cinderella happily-ever-after story. The traumatic childhood I was living in was gentled by the dream of being whisked away by a handsome prince and truly loved. Put that all together, and the building blocks for writing romantic fiction are all in place.

But how did I get to writing historical romance? Well that was for one reason only…I loved reading stories of arranged marriages and wanted to write one. The drama, the tension, the love that can flourish out of nothing, I just loved the concept but…the scenario had to be believable to me. Thus, the wheels of imagination started turning. What better than right after the Civil War, in the Shenandoah Valley where houses were burned and people left destitute? I’m Canadian and had a smattering of knowledge of that time period, so had to do extensive research to pull it off. To be historically accurate was much more difficult than writing my first novel, Anna’s Secret, set in today’s era. Now I am hooked on writing historical romance. I’m both a sensitive and an old soul and it fits my personality perfectly. Who knew? God did.

I think when you read Katherine’s Arrangement, you will agree that the drama that brings this couple together is both believable and engaging. I am so excited to write this five-book series on five sisters and their love stories, as I come from a large family with six sisters and one brother. I write from family dynamics I know all about.

The reason I write is two-fold. I believe when writing fiction that one must deliver a love story that touches the heart, that draws people in, that makes them both laugh and cry. The entertainment value must be there. Then, I weave in my love for Jesus in a non-preachy, realistic way, with the hopes and failures of everyday people. The resounding theme in Katherine’s Arrangement is that God can work all things for good when we choose to place our life in His trustworthy hands. It is uncanny how love can grow in the fertile soil of good choices. But don’t be fooled, as with most of us, Katherine had to go through her gamut of bad choices before she surrendered.

I pray you will find a little bit of your story in Katherine’s story, and that, above all, you will enjoy the read.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, August 4

lakesidelivingsite, August 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 5

For Him and My Family, August 6

21st Century Keeper at Home, August 6

Texas Book-aholic, August 7

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 8

deb’s Book Review, August 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 9

Betti Mace, August 10

reviewingbooksplusmore, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, August 12

Read Review Rejoice, August 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 13

Splashes of Joy, August 14

Pause for Tales, August 15

Happily Managing a Household of the Boys, August 16

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, August 16

Simple Harvest Reads, August 17 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Blossom is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/fe96/katherine-s-arrangement-celebration-tour-giveaway

Healing Thru Service Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Healing Thru Service

Author: SGT Q

Genre: Nonfiction

Release Date: April 22, 2020

In this new war, the battlefield of the mind, hope would become my new ammunition, and the mission field would be the centerpiece of my new battlefield.

A proud Marine since right out of high school, Aaron Quinonez (Sgt Q) was trained to fight the enemy and was prepared for war. When he volunteered for a combat tour in Iraq, little did he know his real battle would be fought in his mind. After eight years of military service, Sgt Q suffered from depression, anger, and panic attacks and was diagnosed with PTSD. He nearly ended his own life in the parking lot of a church, where later he was redeemed by Jesus Christ, who gave him a new life.

Sgt Q traded the battlefield for the mission field and found healing and purpose through building homes and churches, feeding children, and supplying precious hope to struggling communities worldwide. God then called him to form QMissions, a pathway for veterans—Sgt Q’s fellow warfighters—to replace the battle scars of their minds with the joy of serving. In Healing thru Service, you’ll find:

  • personal recons—Sgt Q’s anecdotes and adventures
  • scientific research on recovering from PTSD and using hope to create new, positive triggers
  • the award-winning step-by-step process of healing through mission service, leading to a life of gratitude, fulfillment, and purpose

Although originally aimed at struggling veterans, this book also offers help for anyone in crisis and may be your ticket to a more fulfilled life.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Aaron Quinonez (Sgt Q) gave eight honorable years to the US Marine Corps. After volunteering for a combat tour in Iraq in 2003, he was diagnosed with PTSD and contemplated suicide, until Jesus Christ rescued him and gave him a new life and a new purpose. Today he heads QMissions (Qmissions.org), restoring hope and purpose to struggling veterans through mission service. In 2017 Sgt Q was named Seattle’s Hometown Hero. He’s married to Holly, who cofounded QMissions and serves as its director of development.

More from Sgt Q

I am excited to release my first book, Healing thru Service, a Warrior’s guidebook to overcoming trauma. My sincere hope is that this book will lead you on a path of healing and restoration. That the lessons within will help you to to lead a more fulfilled life free from your past. God has been so gracious with me as He led me through this process as I am sure He will be with you as well. Each chapter is structured so that I mentor you through the process building one concept on top of another until we get to the final chapter where you will be challenged to put the things you have learned into practice.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with SGT Q

What does success as an author look like to you?

 For me success as an author would be that others found value in my writing and that it was able to show people a pathway to overcome the trauma they’ve experienced in their life. I would hope that they would take these lessons that I have learned and be able to apply them to live a happier more fulfilled life and that if I did a good job as an author they would be able to repeat the same steps that God-taught me.

Which chapter was the most difficult to write?

 I think the last chapter, the healing thru service one was the hardest to write because it really truly is something that you have to experience 1st hand. It’s hard to replicate in a story because the sense of accomplishment and the healing that happens in your heart in those moments that you are serving others is a very difficult thing to capture in words or even on video it’s something that truly has to be experienced. That’s why we have created a pathway for people to be able to go on mission with us. We also we have a video series that people can download and go through. It’s the same classes done the same way that we teach in Mexico.

What inspired this book?

 What inspired the book was my desire to help other veterans heal from the traumas of war, and the traumas that they’ve experienced in their life. that’s why I started taking veterans on mission in the first place.

Which author influenced the you most?

 The author than influenced me the most? Wow, that’s a tough one. There’s a lot of authors. It would have to be the book that has influenced me the most, and for that I say The Bible. I just really loved the book of James and how the knowledge in there is so practical, real and applicable to our lives. James tells you that faith without works is dead, show me your faith you can not but I will show you my faith through my works and I so love that.  But to answer the actual question. A modern author that I really enjoy and I’ve honestly only read one single book from him, would be mark batterson. He wrote the book In the pit with a lion on a snowy day. To really long title and a really short book but he wrote that and I recommend it to everybody who comes on mission with me.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

You know I have a lot Of Bible verses that I really enjoy that the parable of the sheep and the goats is an amazing story I love some other things from James that really resonate in my heart but the only one I have actually tattooed is psalms 144  “blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.” so that was written by David obviously and he was a Warrior and so it really speaks to my Warrior heart and so it has a dual meaning for me one of physical battle you know being a marine being in special forces unit and being in war I truly do understand that Bible verse and a resonates with me but now my physical Warrior days are over but my spiritual warfare days are upon me in so dealing with mental health.

What would you like your readers to get out of this book?

Honestly the best thing that could come out of this book is that people write me letters and tell me what they’re doing in life to practice healing through service.

What is your vacation spot?

My favorite vacation spot I would have to say in Mexico. Along the sea of Cortez there is an amazing little beach community called zaka Tito’s.  It’s in the middle of nowhere, there’s no electricity or running water. There are no stores, you have to truck in all your own water but it’s just simply amazing because you can be out there and nobody is going to bother you you’re going to find peace and quiet absolutely love it

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading  Extreme Ownership. Its written by a pair of Navy seals and is really neat because they talk about my unit quite extensively in the book.

What is your most well-loved and well-used house appliance?

 It’s probably the coffee maker but it’s not a coffee maker that you would expect to see in the house. Its not even really an appliance because it has no power to it. The coffee maker that I used and have abused for years and years and years it’s called the nano preso and it’s made by this small little Japanese company and they make this hand held espresso maker.  You keep pressing and pressing.  Your pressing your pressing and then Psssssss the coffee comes out and you can smell the sweet aroma of the coffee as it begins to shoot into your cup and so that has to be the most well used and well worn appliance in my house. I take it everywhere with me it has been all over the world Cambodia Kenya Mexico Haiti man I take this thing everywhere.

Why write nonfiction?

I wrote nonfiction because I wanted people to be able to relate to veterans with P TSD and I wanted veterans to know that it’s OK to struggle with mental health.  So even though I struggle with mental health it doesn’t mean that I still can’t perform I still can’t be a contributing member of societies its just is a little bit harder for me but I can still make it happen. So I write about these things to give other people hope that they can do these things to.

Thank you, SGT Q, for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 8

Texas Book-aholic, August 9

Spoken from the Heart, August 10 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, August 11

For Him and My Family, August 12

deb’s Book Review, August 13

Through the Fire Blogs, August 14 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 15

Artistic Nobody, August 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Simple Harvest Reads, August 17 (Author Interview)

Captive Dreams Window, August 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 20

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Sgt Q is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book. free access to the online curriculum, and an opportunity to join Q Missions on a mission in 2021!!

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/fe9e/healing-thru-service-celebration-tour-giveaway

Season of Hope Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Season of Hope

Author: Carol James

Genre: 20th Century Christian Historical Romance

Hope Stockton’s life is dead, frozen in a winter of guilt, deceit, and fear. When a handsome young pastor, Josh Lewis, comes to serve in her church, she wonders if she can trust him with her past. Will he be able to help her find the answers to the questions that have been buried in her heart for years? Or will his own secrets drive them apart and prevent him from helping Hope find her spring of forgiveness?

Set in small town Texas in the years during and following the Vietnam war, Seasons of Hope is a story of forgiveness and restoration.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

 

About the Author

Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell “Terrorist,” Zoe.

Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she’d been encouraged by the works of other authors of inspirational fiction.

Her debut novel, Rescuing Faith, has been a number one best seller on Amazon.

Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. And most days, in the late hours of the night or the wee hours of the morning, she can be found bringing her newest novel to life.

 

 

More from Carol

Overcoming the Darkness

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

I’ve read or heard this verse hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. But I remember exactly the moment I truly understood the picture it paints.

I sat in church one Sunday morning. For weeks, I’d been elbow-deep in crafting a manuscript set in the years following the Vietnam war. The title was Season of Hope.

In the squeaky voice our congregation loved, Pastor Buddy read this scripture and then asked a simple question. “Have you ever thought that light always overcomes darkness?”

Of course I’d thought that. I knew The Light was Jesus. I knew through His perfect sacrifice, He overcame the darkness of sin and death to give us life and light.

But then, in his folksy manner that would sneak up on you and drop the truth right in your lap, Buddy’s sermon began to paint a poignant illustration.

You can walk into a dark room with any amount of light, no matter how small—a candle flame, a flashlight beam, or even the illumination from the face of your phone—and the light will always…always…invade the darkness.

But the opposite is never true. No matter how great the darkness and how small the light, darkness never prevails. Never overcomes the light.

And what little you manage to see in the darkness is distorted, not an accurate representation of reality. Because darkness hides reality. It shows us only colorless, indistinct imitations. Light, however, shows us beauty and truth.

Simple, right? Maybe. But like so many truths in the Bible, the idea is rich and full of meaning when you meditate on it.

When I left church that day, I knew my heroine’s battle was to be a clash between light and darkness, truth and lies.

In Season of Hope, Hope Stockton’s heart is frozen in the dark winter of her past. She’s spent so many years hiding her failures and fears from the light of truth, she questions whether her heart will ever feel the warmth of spring again.

Then she meets Josh Lewis, and she wonders, can she entrust him with the dark secrets that have been buried in her heart all these years?

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Carol James

Which character did you connect to best in this book?

            Of course, I’m going to have to say Hope. Season of Hope is set in the time during the Vietnam war. These were also my high school and college years, such a time of unrest and changing social mores. I remember the fear I felt at friends and loved ones going to war and the rebellion against societal conventions. I can relate to Hope’s fears and doubts.

Which scene was the most difficult to write?

            Without giving too much information away (because it’s a crucial plot point), the scene I struggled with and rewrote multiple times is the one in which our hero, Josh, returns from a fishing trip, discovers Hope in his room, and realizes she has gone through his things. I had to make certain that their reactions were true to both characters.

What inspired this book?

            Guilt can be a crippling force. Especially if people believe their actions have caused tragic consequences in the lives of friends and loved ones. Hope struggles, as I think people often do, with the belief that negative circumstances or outcomes may be punishment for wrong choices. And, as Hope does, in guilt we can be tempted to run away from God rather than toward Him. This book is a story of accepting God’s forgiveness and learning to forgive yourself.

Which author influenced you the most?

            Karen Kingsbury. Her Baxter Family series was the first Christian fiction books I read that seemed to deal with real-life problems. Everything was not a glorious, white-washed world of fictional Christianity. Her books showed me that Christian writers can, and should, deal with the messiness of life that our readers are living. I met her at a book signing, and her influence was instrumental in my receiving my first writing contract.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

            Oh, my. That’s like asking me my favorite child or grandchild. But the verses that God gave me as a promise when I began writing, and that I continue to claim, are Isaiah 43:18-19. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

            Anywhere my family and friends are. I especially enjoy escaping to the mountains. Walking and sitting outside among the trees. I also enjoy taking historic trips and tours. We have some traveling buddies with whom we are striving to visit all fifty states. We have three left to go.

What are you reading right now?

            One of the things I am reading, and loving, right now is Heavenly Lights, a Biblical fiction novel by Barbara Britton, the second in a series about the daughters of Zelophehad.

What is your most well-loved and well-used house appliance?

            I’ll have to say the microwave. LOL Not very exciting, but certainly the most used.

Describe your view as you’re sitting in your writing chair. 

            My desk is nestled in an alcove between two floor to ceiling bookshelves. It faces toward the window, so as I write, I can see beautiful, tall trees and today a bright blue sky. To my right is a hand-painted copy of Isaiah 43:18-19. Hanging on the divider between the double windows is a copy of a writer’s prayer and a quotation from Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Never give up, for that is just the place and time the tide will turn.”

If you could have one piece of art or music a deserted island, what would it be and why?

            Aaron Keyes’ CD Not Guilty Anymore. Such a beautiful and uplifting reminder of God’s love for us.

Thank you, Carol, for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7

Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, August 9

For Him and My Family, August 10

deb’s Book Review, August 11

Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Author Interview)

CarpeDiem, August 13

SusanK. Beatty, Author, August 14 (Author Interview)

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 15

Musings of Sassy Bookish Mama, August 16

Sodbuster Living, August 17

Batya’s Bits, August 18

Blossoms and Blessings, August 19 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of a digital copy of Season of Hope and a $40 Amazon gift card!!

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/fe97/season-of-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dust Review and Giveaway

Dust FB Banner

About the Book

Title: Dust

Authors: Kara Swanson

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Swanson - DustThe truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London…and a boy who shouldn’t exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins. The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

Dust by Kara Swanson is the first book in the Heirs of Neverland series. It is a young adult fantasy based on Peter Pan and Neverland. The story does not conclude with this book, it is a cliffhanger.

What I think you might need to know:

Claire’s brother is missing. Claire has what she thinks is a medical disorder and has battled severe depression and attempted suicide. Parts of this are mentioned in the book.

What I think about this book:

I always love reimaginings or extensions of classic stories. I love to  see the twist and turns that an author gives beloved characters. Swanson did a wonderful job, she stayed true to many of the beloved ideas from the original, but made it her own. Peter has been out of Neverland long enough that he is starting to grow up, but is fighting it all the way. Peter is battling a lot of evil, ,some of it coming from very unexpected places.  All Claire wants is her brother back, but is torn between two worlds and not everything is how it appears.

As a Mom of a YA reader, I am hesitant to recommend this book to my young YA reader, but would recommend it to high school readers or above.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kara Swason _ Floral Headshot-1000As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairy tales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com

More from Kara

I wrote Dust not just for those who grew up loving the original Peter Pan story — but especially for the children who were left behind. Those of us who never escaped through a window to a magical world, whose childhoods oftentimes felt a little shadowed.

Dust follows Peter Pan when he is cast out of Neverland, grounded in London. For the first time, this Peter has to start thinking about someone other than himself—and become a beacon to remind any Lost ones that there is still magic to be found.

Dust also follows a young woman named Claire who can create pixie dust, but is desperately afraid of herself because when her fears and insecurities leak out, her dust starts to burn. Claire has seen too many shadows to believe in fairytales anymore and is doing everything she can just to lock away the strange dust dripping from her fingertips. But when she meets Peter, he challenges everything she thought she knew.

I wrote Claire for those of us who may feel too weighted to even remember what it feels like to have hope lift your soul. Who can look at ourselves and all we see are our own shadows and shortcomings.

Throughout the course of the novel, Peter has to teach Claire how to see the spark of light inside herself that is far brighter than the darkness. As he helps this girl learn how to fly, Peter rediscovers what it is that truly makes him Peter Pan: the unquenchable childlike belief that there are weightless thoughts in all of us that can lift us out of the shadows.

This story is a love letter to anyone who has ever needed that reminder. We have value simply because we exist. We do not have to be weighed down by our shadows. There is still light that can lift our hearts if we have faith, trust…and a dash of the impossible.

Blog Stops

Andrea Christenson, July 31

Rebecca Tews, July 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 1

Texas Book-aholic, August 1

For the Love of Literature, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 2

Emily Yager, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Blessed & Bookish, August 3

Through the Fire Blogs, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Losing the Busyness, August 5

Adventures of A Travelers Wife, August 5

Remembrancy, August 6

Wishful Endings, August 6

Inklings and notions, August 7

April Hayman, Author, August 7

For Him and My Family, August 8

Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, August 8

Inside the Wong Mind, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Nancy E Wood, August 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 10

Mia Reads, August 10

Simple Harvest Reads, August 11 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Faery Tales Are Real, August 11

Artistic Nobody, August 12

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 12

Pause for Tales, August 12

Just the Write Escape, August 13

Blossoms and Blessings, August 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away the grand prize package of a Dust-themed bundle that includes a signed hardcover, bookmarks, character cards, Peter + Claire art print, and an exclusive Dust pin!!

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/fe3a/dust-celebration-tour

Fierce Wholeness Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Fierce Wholeness

Author: Robin Meade

Genre: Nonfiction

Release Date: March 5, 2020

When the Bible talks about the third- and fourth-generational curse, that’s so true. If the curse is not broken by you, then who will stop it dead in its tracks? Dealing with forgotten pain, things you stuff down just to survive, is serious business. But that’s what Robin Meade did. Growing up, she was criticized, put down, and stomped on—by her own family. She chose to bury her pain.

Fierce Wholeness: Finding Myself after Childhood Emotional Trauma is Robin’s story—in all of its raw and messy but authentic and beautiful transparency as she unpacks the trajectory of her life from childhood to adulthood and seeks to repair the dam that had been busted, the riverbed that had been washed away, the landscape that had been obliterated by her family of origin.

Readers who grew up in the clutches of the branches of emotional abuse will be empowered by Robin’s story because of the freedom that Jesus gives. Robin’s story is raw and authentic, and readers will be encouraged by how they too can find fierce wholeness in Christ.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Robin Meade grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but now she walks with God in the beautiful suburbs of Chicago. For nearly five years she has led and taught as part of the women’s ministry team at New Life Brookfield Church. She loves her dog and great food, but mostly she loves Jesus, and strives to encourage people to experience God’s restorative healing and for God to be glorified through it.

More from Robin

There’s a level of ‘fierce’ that we all need to reach in our journey with Christ; to be real about the journey. When you experience abuse as a child, there is a ‘normal’ way of perceiving your surroundings that’s set, and if not corrected, stays with you into adulthood. My desire for this book is that people who have suffered childhood emotional abuse know they are not alone, that they can experience of healing through a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible talks about being ready to give an account and running the race striving for first place and working out our salvation with fear and trembling – some of that has been lost in our Christian culture. Jesus isn’t a wimp or a doormat because he is kind and forgiving and neither should we be. I hope my story will be a blessing to many in their faith walk, to get to their level of ‘fierce’.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Robin Meade

Which author influenced the you most? 

For this book or in general?  In general, I would say Charles Dickens and CS Lewis.  They both speak the truth in a profound way through their characters that is very relatable, that I feel very deeply.

For this book there are many and I list these as recommended reading at the end of my book, but the main influence is God and His word.  Hosea 4:6 says that God’s people perish for lack of knowledge.  Studying, understanding and being confident in God’s promises couldn’t happen if I wasn’t in God’s word and prayer.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse? 

1 Samuel 17:26. “And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel?  For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

I LOVE THIS VERSE because David walks into the situation and sees everything in a different way.  He has a completely different perspective.  David is not in the army.  He came in to bring supplies to his brothers who were in the army.  He has not been immersed in the fear that the Israeli soldiers have been immersed in.  For David, taking this giant out of the way is a formality.  Why?  Because David knows who he is, David knows who God is and David knows who he is in God’s eyes, he isn’t afraid of any giants.

What would you like your readers to get out of this book?

I’m sharing my faith journey so others who have suffered childhood emotional trauma will know they are not alone and there is a path to wholeness through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

What is your vacation spot? 

I love to travel.  My favorite spot would be Sarasota, Florida.  I absolutely love the beach there.  If I’m vacationing to relax, pretty much wherever there is warm sand and surf is where I want to be.

What is your most well-loved and well-used house appliance? 

My home computer, lol.  Seriously my gas fireplace.  I love sitting on my couch reading with the fire going.  This is for sure my happy place.

Thank you, Robin, for your time in letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 3

My Devotional Thoughts, August 4 (Author Interview)

Genesis 5020, August 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 6

Blossoms and Blessings, August 7 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, August 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 8

For Him and My Family, August 9

Simple Harvest Reads, August 10 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, August 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 12

For the Love of Literature, August 13 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, August 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 15

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 16 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away the grand prize package of a basket with a signed copy of the book, the Fierce Wholeness Companion Journal, and $10 gift cards to Joann’s, Starbucks, Amazon and a stuffed moose!!

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/fe95/fierce-wholeness-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dual Power of Convenience Review and Giveaway

Dual Power of Convenience FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Dual Power of Convenience

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 28, 2020

Dual Power of Convenience-sm (3)When Richard Danforth inherits the family estate on Merriweather Island, he doesn’t have time to deal with it—especially not from halfway across the globe. He’s too busy working to become the world’s newest billionaire and avoiding the women who would detract him from his goals.

Enter Lyla Santana. Fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in antiques and a relationship that nearly killed her to leave, she’s eager for the isolation and treasure trove that is Danforth Hall. Lyla also is determined to avoid men at all costs. Forever.

It was supposed to be a match made on paper. With him halfway across the globe, they’d never have to see each other again.

So, what’s Richard doing on Merriweather just weeks after the wedding? And how will his arrival test Lyla’s faith, not to mention stretch their so-called relationship?

In a twist on billionaire romance and marriage of convenience, this “Merriweather book” kicks off a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Donna Cline

What I think you should know:

 

Dual Power of Convenience by Chautona Havig is the first book in the Independance Island Series. This series does follow Christmas on Breakers Point which introduces us to the islands and to many of the characters in the series however it is not necessary to have read it prior to Dual Power of Convenience.

 

What I think you should know:

Lyla is a survivor of Domestic violence, while this book does not focus on it it does impact Lyla in many of her choices.

 

What I think about this book:

 This was such a fun book, I love marriage of convenience stories because I love to see how the author works everything out. Lyla and Richard are two really unique characters. Richard is set on proving he is worth his family name, but in the process he has lost himself. Lyla has closed herself off from the world and thinks she is happiest that way. The two create a story that is so interesting to read. I love how Havig brought the story to life when she was describing island lids including the bridge. I was holding my breath for Lyla as she was driving the bridge. This was a wonderful story of two people who didn’t know how much they needed each other! I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

media-headshot-smChautona 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 on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

Did I Really Agree to Write a Romance Series?

When my fledgling little idea for a single book transformed into a series that then transformed into a SERIES, I kind of missed the part where I agreed (and likely suggested, if truth be told), that the books should be contemporary romance.

I mean, beach reads. Romance. Duh.

There’s just one problem? I rarely write a straight-up romance. And if I do, it’s usually a short novella in a collection—often at Christmas.

Why?

Isn’t it obvious?

Despite nine kids and being married for almost thirty-two years, I am THE most unromantic woman on the planet. No habla amor. Or something like that.

So there I was, toodling down the 395 (a treacherous bit of road between my house and the publisher’s) when all of what I’d agreed to exploded in my brain. I’m still scraping brain matter off the windshield and trying to stuff it back in. I need every last one of those “little gray cells,” thank-you-very-much!

Romance. My heart sank. Boy meets girl. They like each other. They fight. They get back together. They live happily ever after.

It’s a thing, folks. A formula. And if you deviate, true romance readers get annoyed. What was I going to do? I didn’t want to write romance. Not really. I had ideas. The prequel book had been all about trying to bring a young woman back to the Lord. That’s more my speed, okay?

The wheels began churning.

The ones in my head, I mean. The tires still rolled along the ground. Fortunately, my cranial explosion hadn’t caused an accident or anything. Just in case you were curious.

I considered making each one loosely related to a fairy tale retelling. I’d have a Cinderella story, a Beauty and the Beast, a… nope. That made it that far and I just couldn’t. The minute we got to Sleeping Beauty, I’d have my readers in comas. No. Thanks.

Next came Rom-com. We’d make it funny. All the stuff that happens in beach romances gone wrong. Why not? We live once!

I was yawning before the thought finished forming.

Right about then, I think, is when I wondered what kind of tropes I needed to consider.

See, romance tropes are a thing. I even talk about them on my podcast. The tingling sensation that comes when a good idea is brewing happened. A grin formed.

Tropes. I’d play with tropes. I’d take all those familiar things and twist them somehow. Why not? It would be fun.

And it was.

Right about then is probably when I began recording my ideas. Creosote and sage whizzed past at breakneck speeds (let me dream. I’m not a speed demon, but c’mon… for the sake of poetic license and all?). And the ideas whizzed faster (no license needed. They really did).

Book 1. Marriage of convenience. I mean, those are always fun, right? So why on earth would someone need to get married?

Every idea I came up with has been done… and done again.

That’s when I upped the stakes. Authors do that, you know. We come up with a way to torment our characters, and then we say, “Okay, now how can I make this worse? Nope, I need it even worse. Oh, and…” Bam! The story goes from interesting to can’t-put-it-down. All because we’re not afraid to be cruel to non-existent people. Score!

How’d I do it with this one? I added in another trope. One I personally just can’t “get.” People love the things, and I’ve got no idea why. But it answered my first question of why someone might need a marriage of convenience or… as my gal puts it… “a paper marriage.”

My guy became the world’s newest billionaire.

Yep, you read that right. I wrote a “billionaire romance.” Sort of. Now, if I could figure out how on earth I’d take two people on opposite sides of the world and get them together.

*insert hands rubbing together in fiendish delight*

Oh, yeah. I did it. And even more than that, I love it. I made my characters do some stupid things. I really did (you know, like how two Christians didn’t even pray about their marriage decision? Like how they didn’t even ask if the other person was saved? Why should they? They’ll never see each other again… they said. Ha! The Lord had other ideas. Sorta. This is fiction, right? Oops! I suddenly feel like that crazy Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality).

From Adelanto to Kramer Jct., I planned out that first book—Dual Power of Convenience.

(the title gives away that reason for marrying, no? Also, links may be affiliate links that provide a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

It was almost too easy.

Then I started playing with the next ones, and the series became a reality to me.

Dual Power of Conveniencewhen a woman too afraid of men goes to work for a man who is too busy making money to want anything to do with that whole marriage and family thing.

Bookers on the Rocks— This couple’s marriage is on the rocks (that’s the trope, of course), and neither of them has a clue. They’ve been married for twenty-five years, neither is having an affair, no one wants a divorce, life is good, so why is it on the rocks? You’ll see…

Directing Hearts— The Crawforths got tricked into allowing a reality matchmaking show film on their islands. Brooks Crawforth tangles with the director until their verbal battles turn into a different kind—a battle for their hearts (enemies to “lovers”)

Just a Memory— In this one, Mallory Barrows (who makes appearances in all of the books) comes across an old journal that tells a story she’d never heard. It’s the old Patti Paige song “Go On with the Wedding” but over forty years later! Mallory knows something that might just create a (here comes the trope) second chance at romance.

Printed on Her Heart— After being instrumental in so many couples’ relationships, it’s Mallory’s turn in this dual-trope story. In this one, we get a mashup of friends to more and love at first sight. Can’t wait to share it. Squee!

Okay, that’s the deal. Yes, I really did agree to write a romance series.

And yes, it probably was my idea.

I might deny it to my dying day, but it is also a whole lot of fun… so far.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

lakesidelivingsite, August 6

deb’s Book Review, August 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 7

Rebekah Jones, Author, August 7

For Him and My Family, August 7

Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 9

21st Century Keeper at Home, August 9

She Lives To Read, August 10

Simple Harvest Reads, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 11

Adventures of a Traverlers wife, August 11

Emily Yager, August 12

Stories By Gina, August 12

CarpeDiem, August 12

cultivating us, August 13

Connect in Fiction, August 13

Livin’ Lit, August 13

Read Review Rejoice, August 14

Quiet Workings, August 14

Blossoms and Blessings, August 14

Just Your Average reviews, August 15

Rebekah Reads, August 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 15

Lis Loves Reading, August 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 16

Splashes of Joy, August 16

Pause for Tales, August 17

Captive Dreams Window, August 17

Spoken from the Heart, August 17

Lots of Helpers, August 18

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book (winner’s choice of eBook or paperback format)!!

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/ff14/dual-power-of-convenience-celebration-tour-giveaway