Hope Lies Ahead Q&A and Giveaway

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About the Book

Book:  Hope Lies Ahead

Author: James & Geoffrey Banks

Genre:  Christian non-fiction, Christian living, family and relationships

Release Date: April, 2020

HopeLiesAhead_Cover.inddNo prodigal is beyond the reach of God

 Every inch of my body was in pain and my skin was crawling. I couldn’t think straight or even form coherent sentences . . . How did I end up like this? –Geoffrey Banks

Geoff’s situation seemed hopeless: a heroin addict going through a nightmarish detox on the floor of an overpopulated jail cell. He had made a mess of his life.

His parents felt their son slipping away. They loved him so much and felt so powerless. And so they prayed—through the hurt, the questions, the frustrations. And through it all, God walked with them.

Hope Lies Ahead shares Geoff’s prodigal journey and James’s perspective as his father. Each man writes his own story and candidly addresses the spiritual and practical challenges families with prodigals face. As someone who loves a prodigal, you’ll know you are not alone and that there is hope!

 

Click here to get your copy

 

About the Authors

James Banks_2017

Dr. James Banks is the author of Prayers for Prodigals, Prayers for Your Children, Praying the Prayers of the Bible, Praying Together, and Praying with Jesus. Through books, blog posts, and magazine articles, he regularly encourages people to pray. Dr. Banks has been a pastor and church planter for more than twenty-five years and lives with his wife, Cari, in Durham, North Carolina. They have two adult children.

 

geoffbanks1

Geoffrey Banks serves as the high school coordinator at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. He loves reaching students where they are and helping them walk with God. He is an avid surfer and skater. Geoffrey struggled with heroin addiction throughout his teens and early twenties before coming to know Jesus and having his life radically change. Now he is host of the podcast Too Many Christians, which explores beliefs in the pursuit of ultimate truth.

 

More from Geoffrey and Dr. Banks

From James

My son, Geoff, and I chose to tell our story in Hope Lies Ahead because we believe it’s what God would have us do. So many families suffer in silence when their loved ones go down prodigal paths, and we want them to know they are not alone. God truly offers hope when it seems like none can be found.

Geoff and I could only write this book because of God’s kindness to us. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal, “My son was lost and now is found,” and I’m still celebrating. Geoff is so much more than his past sins and mistakes. He is a new creation, made stronger in the broken places by God’s amazing love. Today God uses him to reach people in ways that would not have been possible had he not been down such difficult roads. God wastes nothing—redemption is a precious, priceless thing.

God never gives up on us. He goes to lengths that defy reason to save us and love us back to Himself. Even when our children make choices that break our hearts, God doesn’t abandon them. He loves our prodigals even more than we do.

Jesus is still “a friend of sinners.” No one is beyond God’s reach. When answers to prayer are long in coming, He Himself is the best answer. In the rough and raw places where we feel numb or even nothing at all, God is able to meet us with help and healing as we cast our cares on Him.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation, keep loving, keep praying, and keep the lines of communication open. God can empower us in love beyond what we think is possible, and give us the wisdom and direction we need to face each day.

 

From Geoff

Substance abuse is so prevalent in our world right now. There is no specific socioeconomic class, community, or age that struggles with it, it is everywhere. With that being the reality, there is a lot of negative stories out there. All over the news you hear of overdoses, arrests, and other things related to this topic going on. My heart behind writing Hope Lies Ahead is that people will find some hope in the midst of an incredibly difficult time.

It is an up close and personal book for both my father and I, and that is on purpose. We looked at both of our failings, our strengths, and where we could have done things differently. For us it was an honest dialogue about what our journey through substance abuse as a family was like and how we came out on the other side. I hope that it can be the start of an honest dialogue for a lot of other families as well that will point everyone involved toward our one hope—Jesus.

As you read through Hope Lies Ahead, you will see a little bit of yourself in both of us. At times I am pretty hard on my father for some of the things that he did. The thing that I want to remind the reader of is that even when he made mistakes, it was done out of love. He wasn’t the religious Bible thumper I sometimes make him out to be but rather was driven by a deep love for his kids that sometimes got expressed in the wrong way. I think that his perspective is so unique because now he recognizes those moments for what they are and is able to help other people not fall in those same traps. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my parents, and this experience ended up sharpening both of us.

Based on what we learned going through this experience, I would say to a parent of a prodigal  above all else, maintain relationship. Let them know you love them even when they make huge mistakes. Let them know that if they ever want help you are right there waiting. Make sure they are aware of their options as far as treatment goes and when the opportunity arises to get them there, jump on it. Do it immediately. Don’t wait.

I think we often find ourselves wanting to preach. Addiction can be an infuriating disease to experience, whether you are the one who is addicted or a family member is. In the midst of that anger and frustration, we need to be reminded that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Your war isn’t with that person, it is with the sin that is dominating their life. Don’t exchange your relationship with them for an off handed comment or a sermon about their behavior. It isn’t worth it.

My prayer is that people reading this book will be encouraged in their situation and that they turn first to Jesus. I believe that ultimate redemption looks like Jesus on the cross. It is when something meant for evil gets turned around and used for good. There are many stories of people going through addiction and then using their experience to help others out of it. There is nothing more beautiful than a giant struggle becoming an incredible strength.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Dr. James Banks

What inspired this book?

The breathtaking transformation of my son’s life by God’s love.

 

Which chapter was the most difficult to write?

Chapter 5, “A Far Country,” where several mistakes I made as a dad struck me with fresh force.

 

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

That no one is beyond the reach of God’s love.

 

Which author influenced you the most?

William Cowper, a British poet and contemporary of John Newton. His depth of insight into human nature and understanding of God’s work in our hearts is genius.

 

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

2 Corinthians 5:17:  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

 

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

Santa Barbara. My wife and I met there in college and we love to go back!


What are you reading right now?

I read several books at once, but my favorite currently is a little known classic from the 18th century, Samuel Clarke’s “Precious Bible Promises.”

 

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

I love our Instapot. I use it weekly to make Greek yogurt and steel cut oats.

 

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

A large desk with each of the books I’ve written in view, an open window with a glance down the street, and a chocolate Labrador Retriever nestled against my feet.

 

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

Could I say the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel? That way I’d have shelter and an amazing view at the same time!

Thank you Dr. James for letting us get to know you better!

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Geoffrey Banks

What inspired this book?

A desire to give back and help others. When I look back at my life and everything that is in this book, I had so many people help me along the way. Some of those stories are told in the book and others I may not even remember, but the grace and kindness of so many people have helped me get to where I am today. One of those people I talked to not long ago and asked her how I could repay her for everything she has done for me. She told me to keep helping others. That is what the heart is behind this book: to help people, point them to Jesus, and give them hope.

Which chapter was the most difficult to write?

There is one chapter that I describe the process of using heroin in great detail. That was an especially difficult chapter to write because of what happened during that time in my life, and where I had to go in my head to write it. It was a dark chapter but I felt it was necessary to truly show the depths of addiction and where it takes you. My father and I tried not to pull punches in this book. Most of the people who will read it have probably been to some incredibly difficult, raw, dark places in their life with a prodigal and we wanted to honor that by being honest about what it was like for us.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

This is a big part in the book so I won’t spoil how I came to them but I have two verses that are incredibly important to me. One is Isaiah 43:2, where God is reminding Israel that no matter what, He is right there. That is a promise that I hold onto, that God is with His people no matter the circumstances. The other is Ephesians 5:1 where Paul is telling the Church in Ephesus what it looks like to follow Jesus and he tells them to imitate God as beloved children. It is a picture of a child looking at their father and wanting to be like him. That is a beautiful way to view our relationship with God.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

I go to Puerto Rico about once a year (more if I can help it) and do nothing but surf and spend time in the ocean. Some of my best friends live down there and it has become a beautiful escape for me. I love the country, culture, the people, and of course, the waves.

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

It is about 4 pm in the afternoon and the sun is beginning to get low in the sky. It is way too warm for a January day and the light is spilling through my open blinds. My huge labradoodle is poking her head above the window sill so that she can have an unobstructed view of the neighborhood cats. Through the window I can see tree roots breaking through the sidewalk in front of my house and my garbage can is still out front even though the trash came 3 days ago. Don’t tell my HOA.

Thank you Geoffrey for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 25

Andrea Christenson, April 26 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, April 27

For Him and My Family, April 28

Genesis 5020, April 29

For the Love of Literature, April 30 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, May 1

A Baker’s Perspective, May 2 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, May 3

Simple Harvest Reads, May 4 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5

Through the Fire Blogs, May 6

Artistic Nobody, May 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, James and Geoffrey are giving away the grand prize package of Hope Lies Ahead, Prayers For Prodigals and $10 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/f8f5/hope-lies-ahead-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Lost Lieutenant Reivew

About the book:

lost leutinantHe’s doing what he can to save the Prince Regent’s life . . . but can he save his new marriage as well?

Evan Eldridge never meant to be a war hero–he just wanted to fight Napoleon for the future of his country. And he certainly didn’t think that saving the life of a peer would mean being made the Earl of Whitelock. But when the life you save is dear to the Prince Regent, things can change in a hurry.

Now Evan has a new title, a manor house in shambles, and a stranger for a bride, all thrust upon him by a grateful ruler. What he doesn’t have are all his memories. Traumatized as a result of his wounds and bravery on the battlefield, Evan knows there’s something he can’t quite remember. It’s important, dangerous–and if he doesn’t recall it in time, will jeopardize not only his marriage but someone’s very life.

Readers who enjoy Julie Klassen, Carolyn Miller, and Kristi Ann Hunter will love diving into this brand-new Regency series filled with suspense, aristocratic struggles, and a firm foundation of faith.

Read an excerpt from Kregel by clicking here!

 

About the author:

 

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.  

 

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. 

 

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England. 

 

My Two Cents

Laser cut lace square frame, vector template. Ornamental cutout photo frame with pattern. Vintage background with flowers inside the cut out frame.

I LOVED, loved, loved this book! The intensity. The secrets. The suspense. I couldn’t put the book down. Even though there are a few motifs and layers to the story, Vetsch handled them well. I did not feel lost in the story and it flowed well.

It was interesting to learn the difficulties of a rector’s son being thrown into royalty and to see how women were trained to handle managing households. The Prince Regent was a great character and while you think he is an airhead, I truly think there is a method to his madness.

You want to pick up this book. Seriously. I have already pre-ordered the second book. It is a series you don’t want to miss.

 

Giveaway

 

Bitter Honey Q&A and Giveaway!

About the Book

Book:  Bitter Honey

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release Date: March 23, 2020

With God, all things are possible.
But can lost love be found again or two wounded hearts knitted together?
Young love, sweeter than honey, is separated by a natural disaster and turns bitter. After five years, a miracle reunites Samantha Adams and Silas Mercier, but it seems it’s too late. Will love prevail?

 

Click here for your copy!

 

 

 

About the Author

Praying her story gives God glory, award-winning author Caryl McAdoo continues prolificity with her new Cross Timbers Romance Family Saga series. Readers around the world enjoy her best-selling novels and shower them with 5-Star ratings galore. With forty-eight titles—and counting—her love for writing is obvious; the lady loves singing the new songs the Lord gives her as well! (Check out YouTube). Caryl gave Ron four children and the couple shares eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, the seat of Red River County, in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

Are you ready to revisit the Adams and Corbin families (from UNIQUELY COMMON and REMI)? Five years have passed, so it’s 1853, and life has gone on.

Samantha, only fourteen back then, wrote faithfully to Silas back in New Orleans as she traveled west on the Oregon/California Trail. She expected a tall stack of letters waiting on her at the General Store in Napa, but alas there were none.

BITTER HONEY is a story of puppy love time tries to dissipate, but Samantha never forgot Silas—or forgave him either! Though she had no way of knowing what tragic events had kept him from mailing the return missives, he never quit thinking of the beautiful girl who’d written of her love for him.

However, each day that passed only made it harder for him to write. Until he decided only a face-to-face talk would suffice, he worked with the man who’d always loved his mother, Claude, to rebuild his family’s vineyard, catching gators on the side.

This story has a second love story, that of Claude and the prostitute he rescues Odette, so there’s plenty of action to keep readers flipping pages. A story of first love and late, second-chance love with a taste of the Cajun life in Louisiana, BITTER HONEY is about restoration and following God’s will.

I hope you enjoy BITTER HONEY and all the other Lockets and Lace stories!
BLESSINGS!

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Caryl McAdoo

What inspired this book?
This is my third year to be a part of Lockets and Lace Collection with the bloggers of historic tidbits at Sweet Americana Sweethearts.

Last year my title for this series was UNIQUELY COMMON wherein my readers met a young girl thirteen years old named Samantha. Her mother had died, her aunt was marrying, and her father had sold the family brownstone in New York to start a vineyard on Napa Valley. Except Aunt Christina’s fiancé dumped her at the last minute and she has to go with her brother and nieces.

Then in my Prairie Roses Collection title in 2019, REMI, readers got to know this young lady a little better as she played matchmaker for her father. So, when I started thinking about my 2020 Lockets and Lace title, I decided to let Samantha grow up and have her own romance. Five years passed quickly and at nineteen she has suitors coming from all over the Napa Valley.

What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

It’s so hard to choose just one verse as so many have affected my life for the better, but when thinking of a “life verse,” one stands out: Habakkuk 2:3.  God’s prophet says this: For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

This verse is so important to me because God gave my husband a vision back in 1975, calling him to an end-time ministry. He shared it with me and in the years following, the Lord added instructions and more details, speaking to both of us. As David said, “Now I am old.”

Ron and I turn seventy this year (November 2019 and May 2020) and we are still “waiting for it,” certain of its truth, God’s Ramah Word to us when we were in our twenties. We’ve thought many times it was THE time, God’s appointed time, but it tarried still. My Father gave me this verse (as marked in the margin of my Bible) in the 1980s and confirmed it three times in one day. And so . . . I wait still.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading my next release over right now, LILAH. It’s my contribution to the Prairie Roses Collection Two, a series of covered wagon stories with strong heroines! It will be launching on my seventieth birthday, May 3rd and is my fifty-first title to be published. I just love this character; Lilah is a hoot!

And this book has a little more about the Native American tribes in the Northwest than my other stories. Readers will get to know them a little better. I very much enjoyed the research.

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

Does the computer count as an appliance? You’d think I love it the most since I’m on it from morning until night almost every day. 😊 It definitely is well used, but I’d almost say it’s a love-hate relationship.

I loveLoveLOVE it when it’s speeding and working properly and there’s nothing more frustrating when it isn’t. I’ve recently been through a crash and OH. MY. GRACIOUS. What a time-wasting hassle that was, but I know God can and will use even THAT to my good, so with a sigh, I choose to rejoice and trust Him!

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

Well, I type at a desk computer that sits on a big over five-foot-tall, six-foot-wide desk. Because I’m here so much, it’s plenty cluttered.

My view is of a coffee cup and my sweet tea glass (both green) on either side, my apple cider vinegar and water enhancer, my phone, a cluster of oils, lotions, and prescriptions, about  twenty to thirty little notepad pages filled with green ink scribblings, a little desk lamp to shine on my keyboard (I type by the Bible, seek and ye shall find), my datebook, pill cups, books, addressed envelopes I need to mail off to readers who’ve won my giveaways at all the parties I had this past month, a scripture verse, picture of my son and his daughter Lillian, the printer and my husband’s new c-pap machine!

He’s had only two days, and his side of the bed is next to my desk, so it serves as his bedside table, too. I need to get it organized and straight. I know I’d enjoy it more!

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

I would want to have music for certain, and it would be a praise and/or worship composition. I’m thinking Handel’s Messiah’s Hallelujah Chorus! That would keep me fulfilled and at peace until my Father either called me home or sent a boat to rescue me. I’d spend my days praising and worshiping Him!

Thank you Caryl for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, April 23

deb’s Book Review, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 25

For Him and My Family, April 26

Simple Harvest Reads, April 27 (Author Interview)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 28

Texas Book-aholic, April 29

Betti Mace, April 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 1

For the Love of Literature, May 2 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 3

Artistic Nobody, May 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connect in Fiction, May 5

Lukewarm Tea, May 6 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand prize of a $25 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/f8f4/bitter-honey-celebration-tour-giveaway

The House at the End of the Moor Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  House at the End of the Moor

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre:  Christian Historical

Release Date: April 2020

An Opulent London Opera Star Escapes to the Rugged Landscape of the English Moors

Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

 

Click here for your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“True justice starts with repentance. How can we ask God to show justice in the world while willfully nursing our own hidden prejudices, selfishness, lusts, greed…our own broken relationships?”

Another home-run for Michelle Griep! Set in Victorian England of 1861, this story follows two unlikely pair – an opera singer hiding away and a runaway convict – in a tale of justice sought, forgiveness received, redemption embraced, and renewal begun. Wrapped in intense intrigue and mystery, the story combines the best of suspense and historical romance to bring a tantalizing read that you won’t be able to put down.
Maggie, the opera singer, has a present-tense first person voice in the story which pairs extremely well with past-tense third person voice of Oliver, the runaway convict. Their unique perspectives emphasize the shroud of intrigue as they join forces to bring to light the lies that wrongly put Oliver in jail and forced Maggie to flee into anonymity. The plot has plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing as to what will happen next. Oliver is such a swoony hero – a champion of the poor and downtrodden, loyal, clever, and intelligent with a sense of humor. Maggie is sweet, gifted, and brave even when grief threatens to overwhelm her. Redemption and forgiveness that can be ours for the asking are portrayed clearly in the characters’ journey through the book.

If you are a fan of historical romance, you will love this book. It reminded me a little of Les Miserables, especially with a constable doggedly hunting Oliver down after his escape from prison. I received a copy of the book from Barbour 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

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 More from Michelle

What comes to mind when you hear the word moor? For some, images of Jane Eyre spring to life. For others, The Hound of the Baskervilles starts barking. But for most, it’s a big fat goose egg. The fact is that most Americans don’t have a clue what a moor is, but never fear, my friend…after you read the next few paragraphs, you’ll never again go blank-minded when you hear the word moor.

 

Last summer I skipped across the pond and tromped around Dartmoor with my daughter and husband. What an awesome experience. I learned first-hand just how windy this vast stretch of land can be, for that’s really what a moor is at heart: a vast stretch of land. Webster’s defines it as an expanse of open rolling infertile land. Sounds rather desolate, eh? Yeah. Kind of. But it’s oh so much more.

 

In spring and summer, green does abound. Gorse bushes. Scrubby grasses. Lambs and sheep and goats. All these animals roam free so there are trails worn into the dirt that you can hike along. But I hear you…where could you possibly go if there’s nothing besides some farm animals roaming around the place?

 

You could hike to a tor, which is a “high, craggy hill.” Some of them can be a little treacherous to climb, but sweet mercy, what a view! The earth stretches out like a green and brown quilt. As I hiked that day last spring, whispers in the wind inspired me to wonder a lot of what-ifs, and those what-ifs came together in a story of intrigue and betrayal.

 

What would you do if you found a half-dead man bleeding in the middle of nowhere? Find out what heroine Maggie Lee does in The House at the End of the Moor.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, April 18

The Avid Reader, April 18

Life of Literature, April 18

The Power of Words, April 18

For Him and My Family, April 19

Texas Book-aholic, April 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 19

Among the Reads, April 20

My Devotional Thoughts, April 20

As He Leads is Joy, April 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 20

Just the Write Escape, April 21

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 21

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 21

Where Faith and Books Meet, April 22

deb’s Book Review, April 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 22

Inklings and notions, April 22

Remembrancy, April 23

Hookmeinabook, April 23

Christian Bookaholic, April 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24

Britt Reads Fiction, April 24

Emily Yager, April 24

Betti Mace, April 25

Stories By Gina, April 25

Adventures of a Traveling Wife, April 25

Blossoms and Blessings, April 25

Splashes of Joy, April 26

Simple Harvest Reads, April 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Vicky Sluiter, April 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26

Blessed & Bookish, April 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 27

Pause for Tales, April 27

Through the Fire Blogs, April 28

Hallie Reads, April 28

Faery Tales Are Real, April 28

To Everything There Is A Season, April 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29

Bigreadersite, April 29

Older & Smarter?, April 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 29

Genesis 5020, April 30

Read Review Rejoice, April 30

By The Book, April 30

For the Love of Literature, April 30

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 1

Bookishly Beverly, May 1

Daysong Reflections, May 1

Artistic Nobody, May 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

 Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free 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/f8e2/the-house-at-the-end-of-the-moor-celebration-tour-giveaway

Beauty for Ashes Author Interview and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Beauty for Ashes

Author: Kathleen Neely

Genre:  Christian Contemporary Romance

Nathan Drummond’s actions at the age of eighteen had devastating consequences. Writing became therapeutic, leading him into a successful career as a mystery writer. With seven novels to his name, Nathan is rapidly becoming a household name.

When family responsibilities force him to return to his home town, he meets Angie Hernandez. Nathan doesn’t count on falling in love, and certainly not with a woman who has the power to shatter his peace.

Being at home pushes him too close to painful memories, and as guilt threatens and panic attacks set in, Nathan begins to write a novel paralleling the tragic event from his youthful folly.

Will the novel be seen as a work of fiction, or will it expose his secret and threaten his future?

 

Click here for your copy!

About the Author

Kathleen Neely is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes, and The Least of These.  She is a former elementary teacher. Following her years in the classroom, she moved into administration, serving as an elementary principal at Eden Christian Academy in Pittsburgh, PA and at Shannon Forest Christian School in Greenville, SC. Kathleen is an alumnus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and Regent University in Virginia.

Among her writing accomplishments, Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions. She continues to speak to students about writing. Kathleen is a member of Association of Christian Fiction Writers.

 

She resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading.

 

More from Kathleen

I’ve always been an avid reader, but began writing at a period in my life when I didn’t have time to commit. While raising three sons, I also worked full time as a teacher, then later as an elementary principal. That left little time for writing. I’d plug away at my manuscript then neglect it for months. Those months became years. Every now and then, I would pull it out, re-read it, then add a little to it. When retirement approached, I thought of that old, abandoned manuscript. That’s when I began to take writing seriously. I joined a writing group, attended conferences, and met with two other writers weekly to critique and be critiqued. That manuscript is now a published novel.

I truly love writing. I can get lost in my own thoughts when planning a story. Characters become real and take on their own personality, sometimes different than I originally intended. Nathan, the protagonist in Beauty for Ashes, is a novelist. This excerpt is scripted from the book as he attempts to explain his trade with Angie. His explanation describes my approach to writing.

Excerpt: “They’re real people. I have to make myself become them. My mind lives out each scene. What would they feel? How would they react? I’m an actor playing a role, except that I have to play each role, each character. I immerse myself completely, then find words to capture it.”

I hope you’ll visit the pages of Beauty for Ashes and meet Nathan. He loves writing as much as I do, but hides a deadly secret. His past triggers challenges that leave him with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. Writing has always been a balm for Nathan—until he writes his own story.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Kathleen Neely

Question: Which author influenced you the most?

I’m an avid reader, and have many authors on my favored list. It’s difficult to choose one favorite. However, in writing Beauty for Ashes, I can point to the influence of Charles Martin. I finished reading his wonderful novel, Water From My Heart, and I knew I wanted to write something with a similar theme. Seeing the consequences of a sinful act; devastating guilt; seeking restitution. My story is different from his—different plot, setting, and characters, but readers will see thematic similarities.

Question: Which scene was the most difficult to write?

The setting of Beauty for Ashes is Greenville, SC, where I currently live. It’s set in a fictional urban center providing after-school activities for teens. Nathan, my protagonist, is an author who is becoming well known for his mystery novels. I loved writing Nathan’s story in scenes where I had to opportunity to share his insights into plotting and characterization. However, this same character challenged my writing skills when I had to show the depth of his guilt, his fear of consequences, and the moral struggle he faced. Those scenes are scattered throughout the novel.

 

Question: Which character did you connect to best in this book?

Angie was a joy for me to write. Her positive outlook on life contrasted with Nathan’s ever-present burden. Angelina Hernandez, of Puerto Rican descent, was in part created after my good friend, Jackey. She helped me to stay authentic to the traditions and culture of Puerto Rico. Angie and I both love music. Her talent as a classical violinist required some research on my part. I was able to authenticate this element with the help of a first-chair violinist with a major symphony orchestra.

Question: What are you reading right now?

I like to vary my reading genres. I believe it helps authors to experience a wide range of reading materials. I’m primarily a writer of contemporary fiction, but I’m currently reading Claiming Canaan, the third in the Daughters of Zelophehad series. Author Barbara M. Britton adds this series of Biblical fiction to her other Tribes of Israel series. I admire her ability to transport readers to a different time and place. Her research is evident in the details and she does an excellent job of maintaining the voice of a different culture.

Question: What is your favorite Bible verse or life verse?

Even though I don’t write Biblical fiction, the richness of scripture influences my writing, whether overtly or subtly. You’ll find a scene where Nathan discovers the power of God’s word. John 8:32 is a pivotal verse for Nathan. As for me, I love the words of Zephaniah 3:17. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a Mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

Thank you Kathleen for letting us get to know you better!

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, April 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 22

Simple Harvest Reads, April 23 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 24

Texas Book-aholic, April 25

For the Love of Literature, April 26 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, April 27

deb’s Book Review, April 28

Through the Fire Blogs, April 29 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, April 30

Read Review Rejoice, May 1

Blossoms and Blessings, May 2 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, May 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Batya’s Bits, May 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize of a 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/f8f3/beauty-for-ashes-celebration-tour-giveaway

One Hundred Valleys Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  One Hundred Valleys

Author: Bonnie Leon

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: March 15, 2020

After the death of her mother, Emmalin Hammond discovers she is not the heiress she’d always assumed she’d be. The revelation exposes her fiancé true intentions when he withdraws his marriage proposal, leaving Emmalin heartbroken and humiliated. When she discovers the father she believed to be dead is still alive and living in the Oregon Territory she decides it is time to meet the man who has been hidden from her all of her life.

Accompanied by her Uncle Jonathon she sets out for the Oregon Territory in search of answers and hoping for a renewed relationship with her father. When tragedy strikes, she confronts the terrifying challenge of completing her quest alone. Faced with few options, she entrusts her life to a mountain man named Jacob Landon who agrees to transport her to a small settlement in Southern Oregon called Deer Creek, a place also known as the Land of One Hundred Valleys.

Emmalin is not prepared for the hardships of life in the Oregon wilderness. Each day presents a new challenge. Newfound friends, including the reserved Jacob Landon, come alongside to help her adapt and she gradually finds her way. Yet, she feels out of place. Should she brave the arduous journey back to Philadelphia and the life she once knew or remain and hope for something better in the Oregon wilderness?

 

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“They understood there can be no mountaintops without valleys.”
This is the first book by Bonnie Leon that I have read and I’ve been wanting to read her books for a while. Set during the time when the west is exploding with miners, the backdrop of the untamed wilderness is stunning and the in-depth look at the Native American’s lifestyle and culture is fascinating and educational. The harshness of making a living in the wilderness is tangible and daunting but the tenacity, faith, and loyalty of the people forging a new life for themselves out in the vastness are admirable and noteworthy.
Jacob has only known the west as his home and is kind, skilled, and guided by faith. He finds himself helpless as the war against the Native Americans intensifies because he spent a good part of his life with kind-hearted and generous group when his biological family perished. Emmalin is a well-bred Philadelphia socialite who finds herself without money and fiance after her mother’s death and feels compelled to go out west looking for a father whom she never knew. Her journey is fraught with danger and trials and even when she arrives at her destination, she is still surrounded by danger and trials.
Though a sweet story, I did not connect fully with the characters and wished Jacob had more of a voice. Some parts of the plot were a bit slow for my taste and other parts seemed to skip a bit too quickly. I am sure those who enjoy historical romance, especially those stories set in the west in mid-1800s, will enjoy the book.

I received a copy of the book from WhiteFire 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

Bonnie Leon is the author of twenty-two novels, including the recently released Return to the Misty Shore, the popular Alaskan Skies and bestselling The Journey of Eleven Moons. Bonnie’s books are being read internationally and she hears from readers in Australia, Europe, Poland, and even Africa. She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and mentoring up and coming authors.

Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

 

More from Bonnie

 

Why this story?

 

In the spring of 1980 my husband and I, our two-year-old son, and our infant daughter left city life in Washington state and moved to Southern Oregon. We gave up our community of friends and family along with my husband’s reliable and well-paying job. Our friends thought we were crazy, but we were determined that Oregon was where we belonged. We were scared but not deterred.

 

I think the change in my own life as a young woman had a lot to do with why I wrote this story of Emmalin Hammond. To be sure, Emmalin’s level of difficulty and danger is distinctly different than mine, but there are similarities. We both experienced adventures, joy, and, yes, even danger.

 

Oregon has been my home for forty years now, and I am glad my husband and I made the decision to move here. We’ve had a good life in this wild and beautiful country. Sometimes I wonder about the women who made that choice during the nineteenth century. Emmalin set out on her harrowing journey to Oregon in the spring of 1855. Many who began that journey did not make it across the plains and desserts of America.

When I put down roots in Douglas County, Oregon I was thrilled to be here, but the changes weren’t all easy. The old farmhouse we lived in had more broken windows than intact ones. It was mouse infested. The plumbing needed major repair. And yet I loved it. The countryside was lush and green, and the rolling hillsides were dotted with farm animals, wildlife, and broad-limbed oak trees. There were wild blackberries sprawling along the farm’s fences and fresh fruit in our orchard. It looked much the same as the Oregon Emmalin discovered in my story, One Hundred Valleys.

I loved hard work and spent a lot of time splitting logs for our only heat source—a wood burning stove—felling trees on our new property, and working alongside my husband in our vegetable garden.

I had run-ins with things like poison oak and skunks, but that did not dampen my enthusiasm as a new Oregonian. I loved picking wild blackberries, fishing the high mountain lakes, hiking mountain trails, and fishing the North Umpqua river. I cherished those days as a farm wife and mother. Those were the best years of my life. I have never regretted our move to the beautiful land of one hundred valleys in Southern Oregon.

 

I am thankful for the early explorers who challenged the wilderness in the Oregon Territory more than a century ago. It is their courage and determination that made it possible for me and my family to live and thrive in this beautiful place.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, April 15

Through the Lens of Scripture, April 15

Texas Book-aholic, April 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 16

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 16

For Him and My Family, April 17

Read Review Rejoice, April 17

Inklings and notions, April 18

Bigreadersite, April 18

Emily Yager, April 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 19

Lis Loves Reading, April 19

Stories By Gina, April 19

Betti Mace, April 20

Pause for Tales, April 20

My Devotional Thoughts, April 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 21

Splashes of Joy, April 21

deb’s Book Review, April 21

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

To Everything There Is A Season, April 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 23

Worthy2Read, April 23

Daysong Reflections, April 23

Older & Smarter?, April 24

Through the Fire Blogs, April 24

Blossoms and Blessings, April 25

janicesbookreviews, April 25

For the Love of Literature, April 26

Vicky Sluiter, April 26

Mary Hake, April 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 27

Genesis 5020, April 27

Artistic Nobody, April 28 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

With a Joyful Noise, April 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Bonnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon Gift Card and Vintage Oregon myrtle wood porringer bowl!!

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/f8e0/one-hundred-valleys-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Multicultural Church Spotlight and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  The Multicultural Church

Author: Dan Willis

Genre:  RELIGION / Christian Church/Growth

Release Date: February 21, 2020

Despite the progress our country has made in Civil Rights over the past century, Sunday morning is still one of the most segregated times in America. It seems like the only people striving to lead in the area of racial reconciliation are politicians, activists, and celebrities. Pastor Dan Willis wants to know… Where is the church? What can the people of God do to become leaders again and not just be Johnny-come-lately followers? The art of bringing harmony to the masses lies in the love all should see in the church of God. If the church is to make a difference and return to relevance in this world, the only option is multicultural ministry. If leaders are not prepared to minister to this growing culture, then American Christianity is in danger of becoming nonessential to the body of believers. For years, Dan Willis has led a growing, multicultural Christian community in the suburbs of Chicago. In The Multicultural Church, Dan shares what he has learned, the mistakes he has made, and what can be done to successfully minister to a diverse culture.

 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

As a boy, Dan Willis’s dreamed of becoming neurosurgeon until the fateful day when, at age sixteen, he was called to “temporarily” take over as pastor of a local church. Dan took that small ministry of sixteen people and nurtured it into the largest multicultural church on the south side of Chicago, consisting of over five thousand members. Today, Dan still serves as senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church of All Nations, in Alsip, Illinois. The driving force of Dan’s ministry has always been one of uniting the races. To look out over the congregation during a typical worship celebration, you will see men, women, and children from over seventy-two different nations. Dan is also a gifted singer, musician, and producer. He founded a community choir called The Pentecostals of Chicago, bringing together black, white, Hispanic, and Asian singers from over twenty Chicago area churches. This group, now known as The All Nations Choir, has six albums to its credit and has performed with artists from Celine Dion to Kirk Franklin, and has served on missionary trips to the orphanages of Kingston, Jamaica.
A celebrated television host, he created and hosted the Emmy-nominated shows Inspiration Sensation and I’m Just Sayin’. Dan has traveled the country ministering and teaching men and women through the Starting Line Prison Fellowship organization and has also been a national and international speaker on the topics of music, ministry, racial reconciliation, leadership, and community development. Dan is the author of Freedom to Forget and most recently, Praise Is My Weapon. Dan continues to live in Alsip with his wife, Linda, and is father to four grown children and eight grandchildren.

 

More from Dan

I have led a successful and growing multicultural congregation in the Chicago suburbs for over twenty years. I wanted to write a short book packed with practical information sharing my personal stories of successes and failures in cross-cultural ministry.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 17

Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray, April 18

Artistic Nobody, April 19 (Spotlight)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 20

Texas Book-aholic, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 22 (Spotlight)

Inklings and notions, April 23

For Him and My Family, April 24

A Reader’s Brain, April 25

A Baker’s Perspective, April 26 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, April 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 28

For the Love of Literature, April 29 (Spotlight)

CarpeDiem, April 30

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Dan is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Starbucks 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/f97b/the-multi-cultural-church-celebration-tour-giveaway

Desert Willow Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Desert Willow

Author: Patricia Beal

Genre:  Romance

Release Date: February 12, 2020

After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?

College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.

Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?

Click here to get your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

“It’s daring to dream dreams so big that only God can get you there.”

Patricia Beal has such a charming and unique voice that speaks through pain, broken dreams, sin, and suffering to bring forth redemption, forgiveness and restoration. Seen from third person perspectives of Clara and Andrew, the reader gets the opportunity to travel through time and space as the heartbreaks of three generations of women in Clara’s family unfold. Both Clara and Andrew are quite likable and their struggles real. Sent on a journey to deliver a letter for her ill grandmother, Clara finds herself in El Paso, Texas with only her love for her grandmother and degree in dance to see her through the mission. There she finds Andrew, a dedicated Army captain who is nothing like any man she’s ever known before. Their relationship is riddled with past hurts and uncertainty but God uses even these difficult circumstances to bring them closer to Himself. Clara’s redemption is heartfelt and amazing to behold. Though a mature Christian, Andrew does struggle with temptation and forgiveness and he’s not painted as a two-dimensional perfect believer, which was refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed the world of ballet that makes up Clara’s world and the world of service and everything Army that makes up Andrew’s world.

If you enjoy uplifting contemporary romance, you will enjoy this book. I received a copy of the book from LPC Books 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

Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Her second novel comes out in February of 2020. Patricia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and has worked for the U.S. Army as a writer and editor for many years. Patricia writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children. You can find more info about Patricia on her website here.

More from Patricia

Desert Willow: A Love Song to the City of El Paso, to Family, and to Prince Harry

I enjoy this story so much! It’s great to finally get to share it with you.

Desert Willow started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2015 and has a lot of my grandma’s history in it—life in the German colonies of the south of Brazil, the beginning of the shoe industry there, and the story of the most influential man her town has ever known, my great-grandfather.

And what does that have to do with El Paso and Prince Harry?

Well, my Prince Harry lookalike, a young Army captain named Andrew Lee James who lives in El Paso, is helping the protagonist deliver her grandmother’s last love letter, a letter she was urged to write all those years ago after what happened in Brazil.

The contemporary story of Clara (protagonist) and Andrew was fun to write too because I’ve been around the Army since the nineties. We moved to Fort Bliss/El Paso in 2012 and lived there for six years. I thought I was going to hate it, but I loved it, so I just had to write an El Paso story.

Now I think that what I enjoyed the most about writing this novel was making all the connections and showing how the actions of a distant past affect and inform the modern story so deeply.

Some of you have journeyed with me for a while and know that my debut, A Season to Dance, was my salvation process. What comes after salvation can be hard. What’s that? Well, looking at past mistakes through God’s eyes and realizing just how wrong we were, for starters.

We know how quickly God forgives us, but can we forgive ourselves and each other as quickly?

Desert Willow deals with all that. And with Prince Harry… 😊

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 13

The Power of Words, April 13

For the Love of Literature, April 14

Robin’s Nest, April 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 15

Batya’s Bits, April 15

She Lives to Read, April 16

Older & Smarter?, April 16

Texas Book-aholic, April 17

deb’s Book Review, April 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 18

Writer Without a Space, April 18

The Christian Fiction Girl, April 19

Rebecca Tews, April 19

Emily Yager, April 20

Simple Harvest Reads, April 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Hallie Reads, April 20

Inklings and notions, April 21

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 21

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 22

Godly Book Reviews, April 22

For Him and My Family, April 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 23

As He Leads is Joy, April 24

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, April 24

A Reader’s Brain, April 25

janicesbookreviews, April 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26

Pause for Tales, April 26

April Hayman, Author, April 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Patricia is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 (https://amzn.to/37TEN21)!!

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/f8de/desert-willow-celebration-tour-giveaway

Dove Strong Q&A and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Dove Strong

Author: Erin Lorence

Genre:  Christian YA

Dove Strong loves God. She loves standing chin up and fists clenched when facing Satan’s attacks. But there’s one thing she doesn’t love—other people. So when this spiritually-gifted, antisocial teenager is chosen to join other believers in a trek across Satan’s territory, rattlesnakes and evil-intentioned Heathen aren’t her biggest challenges.

But failure isn’t an option. In a month, the Christian Councils will decide the Reclaim, a vote on whether there’ll be a war between Christ’s followers and Satan’s to take back America. It is up to Dove, God’s messenger for peace, to reach her Council in time. Because if she doesn’t, things could get bloody.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Erin Lorence grew up in rainy Western Washington, an avid reader and the daughter of a published nonfiction author. She attended Washington State University (WSU) where she met and married her husband, Brian. Together, they recently moved to Apex, North Carolina with their two amazing daughters (who also love to read) and their beagle Charlie (who doesn’t read). Her lifelong love of literature, her gratitude to God, and her enjoyment of hiking in Central Oregon all inspired her to write the Dove Strong Trilogy. Visit her at:  www.erinlorence.com.

 

More from Erin

I politely smile and keep what I really think inside. But my main character, Dove Strong, doesn’t. She blasts people with the full force of her words. Sometimes Dove’s words sting…but she’s never merely polite or hum-drum boring.

I secretly hug the random and ridiculous moments of life to myself, preserving my appearance of normalcy. But when I write, the true ‘uncool’ me escapes. It is responsible for the caterpillar dangling from a character’s nostril as well as for the little sister who won’t stop harping on about her precious bag of chips.

I write to escape and to help others escape. I write to laugh and make readers smile. I write so ‘the lost’ will wake to find that they crave an intimate relationship with The One who loves them most.

This is why I write. And that is why I wrote Dove Strong.

Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Erin Lorence

Which character did you connect to best in this book?

Unfortunately, I connect best to one of my wimpiest characters, Melody, Dove’s sidekick. I struggle with anxiety, and Melody is me at my worst moments. She apologizes often and unnecessarily. She’s eager to follow instead of lead. On the flip side, Dove is me at my strongest—when I shoulder responsibility, wave aside the what-ifs, and stride forward with absolute faith that God leads.

What inspired this book?

It was the last day of a year-long Bible study of Genesis. I sat listening to the wise speaker, reflecting on how awesome it is to be chosen by God. And how sometimes it is downright scary and difficult. Just look at Joseph’s life in Genesis! The speaker’s podium held an engraving of vegetation. Some parts of the etched leaves looked as if they were hiding down low, and other leaves reached tall toward the sky. I reflected on what kind of Christian I would be if the world was against Christians in the dramatic way it had been at times long ago when the Bible was written. Would I be the kind of Christian who hides safely below ground or the kind that ventures out boldly, reaching high and calling out truths? In that moment, the premise for Dove Strong took shape.

Which author influenced you the most?

My mom is the author who has definitely influenced me the most. Although she wrote nonfiction, and I write fiction, when I was a child, she often voiced her encouragement that I would someday be an author. She introduced me to amazing literature, and she used tough love to hold me accountable to a high standard of writing. My mom was the ideal role model of what an author should be. She wrote on topics she loved and always finished with a product that was award-worthy. At her memorial in February 2018, I was able to display almost 40 of her published books. She is still such an inspiration! Miss you, Mom.

What are you reading right now?

I have a problem. Once I begin a book, I can’t stop reading. And this week, I’m studying for an exam in my Master’s Program to become a teacher, so I decided I wouldn’t allow myself to read for fun. I would only read to study. I was doing so well—I didn’t check out any new books from the library when I took my daughters. Then suddenly I spied a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book in my daughter’s bedroom that I hadn’t yet read—Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle! Long story short, I have now read all the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books.

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

Having lived without electric power for five days after a recent and difficult move to North Carolina, I have rediscovered my joy and love of all my household appliances. A working fridge is my family’s most important appliance—keeping our milk cold in a bucket of ice was a pain. But my most loved appliance would have to be our oven. To me, home is family gathering around the oven-baked lasagna or turkey or meatloaf on the dinner table. Home is the cozy smell of cookies in the oven wafting through the rooms. I really love my oven!

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

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 12

Genesis 5020, April 13

Artistic Nobody, April 14 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 16 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, April 16

Inklings and notions, April 17

Simple Harvest Reads, April 18 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, April 18

Emily Yager, April 19

For the Love of Literature, April 20

Rebecca Tews, April 21

Vicky Sluiter, April 22 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize package of paperback copies of Dove Strong and its sequel Fanatic Surviving!!

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/f8da/dove-strong-celebration-tour-giveaway

If For Any Reason Extended Preview Review and Giveaway

If for reason FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  If For Any Reason

Author: Courtney Walsh

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 3, 2020

If for any reason coverEmily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.

As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

 

Click here for your copy!

Guest Review from Mindy Houng

This review is for extended preview of Courtney Walsh’s If For Any Reason. I received a copy of this extended preview from Tyndale House Publishers via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

Courtney Walsh has a way of drawing you completely in to her setting, characters, and plot. From page one, you will feel like you are traveling to Nantucket with Emily as she relives her summers spent on the island and tries to forge a new life renovating her grandfather’s cottage. She embarks on this journey bogged down by sense of failure from her failed theater production but encouraged by her deceased mother’s book of letters and fond memories of her Nantucket days. There is a sense of mystery and intrigue as Emily’s mother’s story slowly unfolds parallel to Emily’s. Hollis, a retired baseball player, is a somber, practical, protective hero who is trying to find his way to his preteen daughter during the summer days on Nantucket. Hollis and Emily’s friendship goes way back and their reconnection is sweet. There is a lot of heartbreak even in the beginning chapters of this book but there is also a glimpse of hope and healing on the horizon.  Courtney Walsh does an amazing job, as always, creating her characters that you want to read more about them with each turn of the page.

If you enjoy heart-tugging contemporary romance, you will want to read this one. Fans of Courtney Walsh will fall head over heels again and newbies to her writing will find a new favorite author.

About the Author

Courtney WalshCourtney Walsh is the author of ten inspirational novels. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright.

 

More from Courtney

3 Bits of Wisdom Every Mother Hopes Her Daughter Cherishes

By Courtney Walsh

 

There are so many types of mother-daughter relationships, and I’ve discovered that in most of my novels, these relationships are explored in one way or another. My most recent book, If For Any Reason, delves a little deeper into this universal relationship, as the main character’s only connection to her late mother is a book of letters she left behind for daughter when she died.

 

It was interesting to think through the advice and wisdom I would want to be sure to share with my own daughter, if for any reason I wasn’t here to share it in person. There’s so much I would want to say, so many lessons I would want to share, but if I had to boil it down to three bits of wisdom, I think it would be these:

 

Ask for help when you need it.

 

I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to admit we need help sometimes, but in the past year and a half, my family has faced some pretty significant medical challenges, and I learned that it’s necessary to let other people help you. One of the quickest ways to burn out and get overwhelmed is to try to do everything on your own. Now, I’m not talking about laziness. I’m not talking about figuring out ways to get other people to do things for you that you don’t want to do, but genuine help in this journey of life—spiritually, mentally, physically—all the ways that you need to be strong and healthy. You were never meant to figure everything out on your own. And it’s less lonely when you let people in.

 

Mistakes are good . . . as long as you learn from them.

 

Okay, it’s inevitable. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to make a million mistakes and sometimes you’re going to really, really regret them. It’s okay. It’s okay to make the wrong choice now and then . . . but only if you learn from it. Because even though there’s a lot of grace for your mistakes, there are still consequences, and if you’re not willing to learn what you did wrong, you’re just going to keep making a mess of things. Don’t do that. Don’t be stubborn and unmoving. There are opportunities to learn something new every single day, and there are people all around you who can help teach you—but only if you humble yourself, realize you don’t know everything, and are willing to learn. Remaining teachable is one of the greatest things you can do. Learn this lesson early, and you’ll go far.

 

Be yourself.

 

This is one of the most important and most challenging lessons any of us could learn. It’s a platitude, isn’t it? Advice you’d find on the outside of a coffee mug or embroidered on a throw pillow. But it’s more than that, this whole idea of being who you are, who God created you to be. Here’s the tricky part—how do you know who that is? The only way I can tell is to spend time with yourself. And to not be afraid to sit in the quiet with your thoughts. Learn what God says about you so that if those ideas are challenged or someone else tries to put a label on you that you don’t want, you’re armed with the truth. This will serve you well as you work to discover who you are.

 

The truth is, as a mother, I’m constantly learning. As a person, I’m constantly learning. And while these are just three bits of wisdom I hope my daughter carries with her, there are so many other lessons I hope she learns, lessons I hope I can teach her so she doesn’t need to learn the hard way.

 

What about you? What’s one bit of wisdom you want to be sure to pass along to the next generation?

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 7

Remembrancy, April 7

Through the Fire Blogs, April 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Robin’s Nest, April 8

Texas Book-aholic, April 8

Wishful Endings, April 9

deb’s Book Review, April 9

Read Review Rejoice, April 9

Batya’s Bits, April 10

Just the Write Escape, April 10

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 11

Just Your Average reviews, April 11

Inklings and notions, April 12

Life Love Writing, April 12

Worthy2Read, April 12

Lighthouse Academy, April 13

Hallie Reads, April 13

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 13

A Baker’s Perspective, April 14

Splashes of Joy, April 14

Older & Smarter?, April 15

Cultivating Us, April 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 15

Simple Harvest Reads, April 16 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Inside the Wong Mind, April 16

Blessed & Bookish, April 17

Back Porch Reads, April 17

Writing from the Heart Land, April 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 18

Vicky Sluiter, April 18

For Him and My Family, April 19

Mia Reads, April 19

My Devotional Thoughts, April 19

Artistic Nobody, April 20 (Guest Post from Donna Cline)

Bookishly Beverly, April 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Courtney is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Nobles 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/f92f/if-for-any-reason-celebration-tour-giveaway