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Wait for Me Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Wait for Me

Author: Marguerite Martin Gray

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 9, 2021

A town besieged by the enemy with just one Sovereign order: wait.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1780

With the inevitable occupation of Charles Town by the British pounding at the gates, Louis Lestarjette braces for possible imprisonment or worse. How can he provide for his growing family with the evil chains of the enemy binding his source of existence? The scenarios of imprisonment and starvation force him to realize he has no control over the outcome of the stronghold of the British. All that remains is a sense of survival at almost any cost.

Elizabeth Lestarjette faces looming confinement with both a drive to protect her children and a desire to do her part to undermine the enemy. They must thwart the British plans to imprison more men, but how? Who can they trust?

Just how long will Elizabeth’s confidence in justice withstand the constant battering of war and circumstance?
Discover the destiny of the Lestarjette family in the final book of the Revolutionary Faith Series as they hope and wait upon deliverance from a world under siege.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Marguerite enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband in north Louisiana. She writes historical fiction.

More from Marguerite

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Thank you for stopping by the Wait for Me tour. I’m so excited about the release of this novel, the finale of the Revolutionary Faith series,

I have always been fascinated with the ordinary—the simple acts from day to day. When an historical event is added, I surround my fascination with questions. What did they wear or eat? Why did they marry? Did they have children? Where did they shop? What is incredible or surprising to me about the historical event or activity was at one time ordinary to the characters whether in fiction or nonfiction.

The ordinary that I like to encounter and write in historical fiction includes how the characters dressed. I even had the dress pictured here made for me just in case I want to present in costume!

Also, I like to explore the food my characters ate. I found a wonderful recipe for a beefsteak pie in an American Girl cookbook. I’ve made it several times. Yummy!

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The ordinary activities such as going to church or to the market or mercantile make the characters real. Their lives have depth in their interaction with society. My simple faith in God’s provisions and promises flow into the lives of my characters. What makes the story exciting is the historical element linked with the dramatic background of war.

Thank you for continuing the journey with Wait for Me, rooted in the ordinary from two centuries ago.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

What a great question, that takes me way back to when I was in fifth grade. I devoured every book I could get ahold of that had to do with mystery (Nancy Drew), horses (Black Stallion Series), Anne of Green Gables, and anything about King Arthur. I started writing children’s books that I kept in a journal. Later, I majored in Journalism thinking that would satisfy my writing urge. It didn’t. If wasn’t until my children were in high school that I took the time to put my thoughts and plots from a notebook into action. In two years I wrote six rough draft novels. Now, whether I get published or not, I write two novels a year.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I choose four to five hours a day for a month. During this time frame, I can write 60,000 words that I consider a nice rough draft. I then spend a few more weeks to complete an additional 30,000 words. Once the initial words are written, I take another month of two to three hours a day to edit, rewrite, edit, and rewrite until the novel is ready for new eyes and critiques.

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

This is going to sound strange but my hero Louis Lestarjette, 1770 Charles Town, S.C. resonates with me more than any other. It’s a little bizarre because he is a guy. Why didn’t I choose Elizabeth or Jeannette? His story is full of excitement and conflict and questions. How would it have been for a Frenchman to loose his title, land, direction, and faith and end up in the New World? He has the adventurous spirit that I lack. Could I have done it? I want to think I would cross the ocean to a new life, but I don’t think I have it in me. But he does, and he succeeds where I probably wouldn’t. In a way, I’m living my alter personality through him. Also, I love anything French—the language, the culture, the food, the people.

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspirations through the many years have been my parents. They gave me the awesome opportunity to travel and explore the world at a young age. Daddy is an architect and student of history. He lives, writes, and loves the historic aspect of people’s lives, buildings, churches, cemeteries, and art. My mom stands by his side and supports his endeavors. My sisters and I lived in England with them where we received a life-changing education and experience. We traveled all over Europe, studied French, art, and people.  I “blame” them for my constant desire to travel. It really is a big deal for I’m constantly planning the next trip!

Yet, I cannot forget my husband as my biggest encourager. I would not have written one novel without his sweet, honest words of support and encouragement.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

This is such an important question. Two years ago I would say hands down—traditional books. I love the feel, the smell, the sound of the pages, the bookmark—absolutely everything about a print book. But, I also see the value of ebooks. I have a full library of books on my ipad. I like the availability of having a book for the road, the plane, etc., not forgetting the economical aspect. My bookshelves breathed easier because of ebooks. Audiobooks are a lifesaver when I on the interstate. For three years I drove 50 minutes twice a day to and from work. I “read” so many books and found some awesome authors. My answer? I’ll always lean toward traditional books but have huge libraries of ebooks and audiobooks.

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, March 26

Artistic Nobody, March 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 28

For the Love of Literature, March 29 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 29

deb’s Book Review, March 30

She Lives To Read, March 31

Betti Mace, March 31

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 1

Splashes of Joy, April 2 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 3

Texas Book-aholic, April 4

Inklings and notions, April 5

For Him and My Family, April 6

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 7 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 8

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away the grand prize package of a print copy of all five books in the series and a box of Charleston Plantation Tea!!

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/109d4/wait-for-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Heaven and the Afterlife Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Heaven and the Afterlife

Author: Kathy Carmichael

Genre: Christian Non-Fiction

Release date: October 25, 2020

What lies on the other side?
In this relevant and life changing story, Kathy Carmichael details her experiences so that you may share, learn and receive comfort from them.
Imagine being given the opportunity to meet with Angels, Saints and Jesus Christ face-to-face. Imagine watching the recently-passed step through the Pearly Gates. Imagine knowing that if you ask, God and Jesus can be an intimate part of your life. This isn’t your typical self-help book, yet reading about these events may change you and your life forever.
Journey to heaven in this firsthand account of the Glory of God and the afterlife.
Wires and tubes were connected to almost every available space on Kathy’s body as she lay in her hospital bed awaiting surgery. In the days leading up to her illness and then later post-surgery, Kathy experienced incredible supernatural events. She has been tasked with sharing what happened to her with you, bringing you evidence of the afterlife.
In this inspiring spiritual flight to Heaven and back, you will learn more about prayer, blessings, miracles and the generous love and understanding available to each of us. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1
*Have you had a near-death experience also known as an NDE?
*Has an angel ever brought you a message, protected you from harm, or visited you?
*Has your soul ever been transported to Heaven?
This book explores events such as these, and you will learn you are not alone. You may come to a deeper and abiding love for God and humanity. It’s likely you will no longer have as much fear relating to death or dying. Heaven, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are real.
This volume also includes bonus material such as:
*Thinking About Heaven: Reader Questions
*Map of Near-Heaven and parts of Heaven
*Meaningful Scripture and Quotes
*Photos relating to Kathy’s life and hospital stay
*Foreword by John Carmichael

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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With a deep and abiding love of our Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who came into this world to save us, Kathy Carmichael is compelled to share her astounding spiritual experiences with others. She believes part of her mission on this Earth is to help people feel better, whether it’s through her writing or her (at times, sophomoric) sense of humor.

A USA Today bestseller and award-winning author, she lives on a canal along Florida’s west coast with her Scottish husband of over 40 years, one son, two cats, a part-time grand-dog, and a bevy of dust bunnies and seagulls.

Kathy has written primarily comedic clean/sweet romance, cozy mysteries, and non-fiction articles and workshops. She has been recognized by the American Library Association’s Booklist magazine with starred reviews in both the Mystery and Romance genres. Kathy is well-known for her fiction-writing seminars, including her short synopsis workshop.

Kathy loves hearing from readers.

More from Kathy

Many times as I sat down at my keyboard to work on this book, I have been encouraged by Holy Spirit to count my blessings.

Has anyone reminded you to count your blessings? If so, when you examine the numerous ways you’ve been blessed and begin to list the numerous blessings in your life, do you feel eternally grateful?

It’s part of our humanity that we tend to lose sight of those blessings while dealing with our day-to-day cares. Yet when we stop to think about how many good things are steadfast in our life, outside of the setbacks, gratitude washes over us.

I believe I was encouraged to look at my blessings as a means for me to overcome my obstacles. Healing from my physical ailments has been time consuming and difficult.

Yet, when I look at my blessings…

Like you, I have been blessed in a multitude of ways. Recently I have been blessed even more so. A large part of that blessing was my being allowed to remain alive and still walking God’s green Earth. An even bigger blessing was the amount of time I was granted to spend in Near-Heaven, which is a setting running immediately beside Heaven, and the glimpses I was permitted of Heaven itself.

Not everyone has such amazing opportunities, and even fewer have the chance to tell about it afterward.
 Please allow me to share my story with you.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I always wanted to be a writer for as long as I can recall. While in third grade I distinctly remember writing and illustrating my first “book” – in crayon. When I got older I kept putting off writing a novel because I didn’t think I was old enough, or wise enough, or dead enough to be a good author.

I stayed home with my children after they were born, but before I had children I was a very busy advertising executive and a systems analyst. When my youngest was around two years old, my husband recognized the fact that my brain wasn’t as active as it once was, and he suggested that then was the perfect time to work on becoming a writer. I had read many books about writing, and one book said that lots of people wanted to become authors, but few ever wrote an entire book. They simply didn’t persist long enough to finish. Since I’m famously stubborn, that was a war cry for me to not only start writing a book, but to finish it.

That weekend, when my husband got back into town on Friday evening, I started writing my book—no outline, no synopsis. I merely wrote. I finished it in the early hours of Sunday, without having stopped to eat or sleep. It was 78 handwritten pages front and back—and as I learned later, it was nothing but dialogue. When I found a critique group, I expanded those pages into a full-length book (by filling in things like introspection, setting, emotional reaction, body movement and so on). I went on to write several more books that were never published, but that first revised book later became my second published book (My Lady Mischief – a sweet Regency) by Avalon Books. My first published book was Chasing Charlie. Back then Avalon Books was well known as a sweet and clean publisher, so it fit my style very well. Later, Avalon Books was acquired by Amazon and it no longer exists.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

I think there have been three authors who have had huge influences on my fiction writing. The first is P. G. Wodehouse (a famous comedy writer), the second is Georgette Heyer (sweet Regency historicals) and lastly, Agatha Christie (mystery). Mainly I have written romantic comedy and comedic mystery novels, so the influence is very clear.

Now that I am also writing Christian Non-fiction, I believe my writing is influenced by the above authors as well as by Holy Spirit. I sensed Holy Spirit making suggestions and giving me direction throughout the writing of Heaven and the Afterlife. It was an unusual experience that is difficult to describe. When I write fiction, yes, I do feel led in the writing of the books. But it is not in the same manner as when I wrote this book. I would start to write something, and a voice in my head (not my voice) would say, “Rethink that. You should write about XYZ now.” It was eye-opening in that I wrote the book in a way I would never have written it on my own. The book isn’t written chronologically or linearly. It was written revolving around events instead. I believe I was given amazing and blessed guidance.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

My husband says I have five places where I write in my house. It’s not true, well, not usually. Mostly I sit either on my screened-in porch or in my dining room (that has windows onto the screened-in porch) because both look out on the canal behind my house. It’s a salt water, tidal canal that leads to the Gulf of Mexico in less than a mile. There is a bird sanctuary right on the canal, and we often have dolphins and manatees as well as incredible birds. It’s so nice to be able to look up and see all this beauty (when I’m not so involved in my book that I can’t see anything but the screen in front of me). I sit in other places based on what or how I’m writing. For instance, I sit at the kitchen table when I’m writing longhand.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I used to prefer print books, especially trade paperbacks, but not anymore. Now that my eyes are older (sigh), I truly prefer eBooks because I can adjust the font size. Also, it allows me to carry hundreds of books wherever I go. I prefer reading on my actual Kindle, but I’ve been known to read on my iPhone when I’m standing in line at a store or stuck waiting for an appointment. I wish I could listen to audiobooks, but I find them too immersive. I’m better off with words.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

I love the 23rd Psalm and go back to it time and time again when I’m worried or feeling burdened. This line particularly helped me through various health issues.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

There is so much to learn when you’re just starting out as a writer, but my best advice is to be true to yourself and who you are, rather than chasing the hot new trend. People will say, “Oh, this is where the money is,” or “You’re more likely to sell a book if you write in that genre.” I advise you to ignore such advice.

What do you most love to read? Strongly consider writing that, whatever that might be. Genre trends come and go, but your voice, your style remains a constant. Work on improving your voice, learning all you can about writing, and ignore the temptation to follow the dictates of the market. Write to yourself as a market. If you love it, there will be many other readers who love it, too. Your goal as a writer is to write what you love and find your audience. Your goal as a Christian is to follow what you know is true and good and right, and never deviate from that. And if Holy Spirit suggests you write something, as happened to me, I strongly encourage you to do so. While I never thought I would find myself writing Christian Non-Fiction, it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. It may not become an overnight success or a bestseller, but I’m so proud of being an obedient daughter and giving the book everything my skills and knowledge could provide. I want for you to have a similar experience.

Each of us have different paths and our own unique ways to spread the word. Sometimes it’s through making someone laugh during times of trouble, sometimes it’s providing an emotionally draining read to divert the reader’s attention from their own situation. And sometimes it’s testifying in person. You will know when you find the path intended for you. And don’t let anyone deter you from it. Be true to you.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 10

Texas Book-aholic, March 11

Cats in the Cradle Blog, March 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 12

For Him and My Family, March 13

For the Love of Literature, March 14 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, March 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 17

Blossoms and Blessings, March 18 (Author Interview)

Godly Book Reviews, March 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 21

Through the Fire Blogs, March 22 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, March 23

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kathy 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/1095b/heaven-and-the-afterlife-celebration-tour-giveaway

Catching Hope Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Catching Hope

Author: Kathy Cassel

Genre: Young Adult, action/suspense

Release date: February 1, 2021

Catching Hope—a pursuit fraught with danger.

Newly adopted Lexi Michaels is taking her first real vacation as she, twin brother Levi, adoptive brother Chad, and new cousin Jen head to Haiti where their dad, a pediatrician, will be volunteering in an island clinic. But who is the man who displays such hatred for the Michaels when they arrive at their resort? Is an attempted burglary as random as it appears? Will Jen ever accept the newcomers to the family? When the four teens set out to explore Haiti’s sights and history on their own, an unexpected encounter and natural disaster plunge them into adventure and danger. With their very survival at stake, can the four teens work together or will Lexi’s dream of a “forever family” end in tragedy?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Kathy Cassel lives in the Florida panhandle with her husband and four of their eight children, five of whom are adopted. She is a motorcycle rider, scuba diver, and loves spending time with her family. Her debut novel, Freerunner, was published by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. in 2019.

More from Kathy

My Experience with Haiti

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Prior to the 2010 catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that caused immense damage to the country of Haiti, many people would not have been able to tell you that Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola just a two hour flight from Miami.

I knew where it was because our family had adopted a child from Haiti in 1997. At the time the earthquake took place, my husband and I were in the process of adopting twins from a different orphanage in Port au Prince Haiti. It had been over three years and our adoption was not yet complete. During those three years I visited the twins at the orphanage five times. Other family members went with me on some of those trips, and at one point, all of our children still living at home went to visit the orphanage.

This was an eye opening experience for my family. In fact, I volunteered us to do the daily wash. That meant hand washing clothes and sheets for 135 orphans using large metal tubs and harsh soap, then rinsing the clothes in other tubs before hand wringing them and hanging them on clotheslines. Once home, my children no longer complained about unloading the dryer!

Cooking was done in large pots over open fires and mainly consisted of rice and beans, or red sauce over rice. The cooks originally prepared the food in a wooden shack, but more than once one of them would get so hot she’d pass out, so an outdoor area was set up for food preparation.

After the earthquake, there was a mountain of paperwork to be done to get refugee status for children in the orphanages who had families waiting for them. Finally the children were brought to the United States, although some of the orphans went to other countries too, to be united with their forever families. Sadly, many were held in the airport for days before being released. For our family, the long wait was over January 25, 2010. Now our family is complete with three birth children and five adopted children, three of whom are from Haiti.

Some of the places mentioned in the book resemble real places in Haiti, although they have been fictionalized. I hope you will not only read Catching Hope, but will also take time to learn more about the country of Haiti.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I always enjoyed writing but never thought it could be a career, so I went into teaching. But moving around with my Air Force husband meant trying to recertify in different states, so instead of teaching, I parented and worked on my writing. I had several devotion books published before feeling a passion to write issue-based teen fiction.

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

James Scott Bell. I reread Write Your Novel from the Middle and Plot and Structure quite often, especially when starting a new project.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I want to understand my characters, their hobbies, interests and so on. This had led me on some interesting adventures such as whitewater rafting, certifying in scuba, and getting my motorcycle certification. I never know where my writing will lead me.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I have to grab a little time here and there to write. But if I need to get a lot done and have time free, I head to the library where there are no distractions.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A pantser with a few key points in mind. I have a vague idea of where the story is going, but write it as I go. I really need to learn how to create an outline.

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

I have a home office I’ve fixed up, but more often I simply set on the living room couch with my computer.

Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?

There are some really amazing authors who write historical fiction in an authentic way. I’m not one of them. I want to reach today’s teens by tackling the issues they face each day in order to provide hope and healing.

Describe your book in five words.

Despair gives way to hope.

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

Lexi. She so badly wants to fit in with her new family, yet she’s afraid to hope for that coveted happily ever after.

Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?

No. I just want them to identify with the main character, be riveted by the story, and find a sense of hope for themselves.

What are your hobbies?

Scuba diving, photography, traveling with my family and finding new places to visits and things to try.

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

Don’t really know.

What is your favorite book?

No one book, but Mary Higgins Clark is my favorite author. I like her style and sense of story. I like her Under Suspicion series.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I drive a lot, so I listen to books much more than read them.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

I really like the key verse for this book, I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NLT. My other favorite is Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

That’s a tough question. I know I would not want to live in one of Mary Higgins Clark (favorite author) books for fear I’d be the victim!!

If you could meet one author, living or passed, who would it be?

Mary Higgins Clark. Unfortunately she passed away, so that won’t happen.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Study your craft. Invest in the James Scott Bell books I mentioned earlier or other writing books that appeal to you. Read the kind of books you want to write—but don’t copy them. Find your own voice.

Blog Stops

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

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 27

For the Love of Literature, February 28 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, March 1

Inklings and notions, March 2

For Him and My Family, March 3

Wishful Endings, March 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, March 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 5

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 6

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

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 8

deb’s Book Review, March 9

Simple Harvest Reads, March 10 (Author Interview)

Lots of Helpers, March 10

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million 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/1089e/catching-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Midwife’s Heart Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Midwife’s Heart

Author: Brenda Ray

Genre: Historical

As Abraham’s descendants prepare to cross into the Promised Land, led by Moses, Hannah, a disillusioned midwife will be tested in ways she cannot imagine. She wanted love, a home, and children, but gave up on that dream long ago. One heartbreak and humiliation was enough.

Ze-ev is a commander in the army, protecting his people. Busy doing what must be done, finding a wife is not his priority. Besides, when his childhood sweetheart marries another, he lost interest in securing a match to be his bride.

When he meets Hannah, they are both tested. Will either of them let down their guard long enough to trust again?

Set on the Plains of Moab, amidst attacks on the camp, spies, plague, and the unprecedented request of Zelophehad’s daughters, Ze-ev and Hannah must navigate the thorny path of the heart.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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RWA award-winning author, Brenda Ray, grew up along the Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida. A University of Florida trained nurse-midwife, she traveled as a military wife and raised three remarkable sons. She is now retired and writing full time in Vero Beach, FL. A graduate of the University of Florida, as well, she is always confused during football season, but she is never confused about loving feedback from her readers. You may contact her at: www.wildwolfwomanwriter.com

More from Brenda

I didn’t set out to be a writer. In 1997, I was a practicing nurse-midwife, blessed to have delivered hundreds of babies. In one day, latex allergy abruptly ended my career, ended my job, and took my health. Seven years of college felt like a waste. At times the grief felt bottomless.

My strong faith in God got me through that dark time. My daily meditation and clinging to God’s Word were by lifelines. One morning, while reading the second chapter of Exodus, (which I had read many times before) the story of Puah and Shiphrah struck me in a new way.

I began asking myself how that came to be. Why would a pharaoh order his future workforce murdered? Did all the babies arrive before the midwives could arrive or did the midwives lie? With much research and study and my own experiences as a midwife, the answers to those questions became The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth.

The book started a flood of writing that continues today. Writing is a creative process and as the Holy Scripture teach, “In the beginning, God created….” We are told we are made in God’s image. Thus, we ourselves are destines to create. For me, it has been quilting, sewing, cooking, and writing. I also write under the pen name of B. K. Ricotta. Two of a Kind is my first book under that name. A sweet novella will be released soon by Wild Rose Press entitled A Love So Sweet by B. K. Ricotta. Finally, the finishing touches are being done on a historical romance set in Northwest Florida when it was a new state.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

Writing chose me.  In 1997, I was a practicing nurse midwife.  When I anaphylaxed to latex, my career was over.  One day I was reading my Bible and I re-read the verses in the second chapter of Exodus that talks about Puah and Shiphrah, the midwives of Egypt.  It grabbed me.  In asking myself questions about how that transpired, a book was born, which was The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth.  I knew that I could write, but most of my writing prior to that was technical for my master’s thesis.  So, I began studying creative writing. I joined RWA, and began plotting the first book in the Hebrew Midwives Trilogy.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

In the past, my stories have been written intuitively, but I am now working on writing with plotting the stories before writing them.  I think that when I master that, I can be more productive, and the storylines will be tighter.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  It is a very spiritual book, but not religious.  It teaches us how we live as women.  It was life changing for me.

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I adore a print book.  Over my lifetime I have probably owned thousands of books, but as a former military wife, I could not take them all with me, so I learned to read books and only keep the one’s that are most loved or those I know I will read again.  I also keep research books.  With that said, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve downsized and only own a small bookshelf of books now.  I read most of my pleasure reading on my Kindle.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I would advise them to study creative writing as if it were a job, because it is a job.  Study things such as plotting, character development, etc.  They should network with other writers, such as joining a critique group.  If they have a favorite genre, join professional writer’s organizations, and get involved with their chapters for various genres.

Second, if someone wants to write and be successful, they must treat it like a job.  Set aside time each day to just write or work on writing projects.  Create a space that is dedicated to and conducive for writing.

Finally, never give up.  I heard Susan Wiggs speak many years ago and she told the story about how when her husband built her writing studio, she wallpapered the bathroom in it with her rejection letters.  Great writers must learn to keep moving forward and don’t take rejection letters as a sign that you are no good.  It’s simply a “this story is not right for us” letter.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 5

For the Love of Literature, February 6 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6

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

Texas Book-aholic, February 8

For Him and My Family, February 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Older & Smarter?, February 12

Inklings and notions, February 13

Through the Fire Blogs, February 14 (Author Interview)

Our Whiskey Lullaby, February 14

Connie’s History Classroom, February 15

deb’s Book Review, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Brenda is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of “The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth (1st edition) and a few rainy day comfort items!!

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/1073f/the-midwife-s-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

A Season to Dance Scavenger Hunt and Author Interview with Patricia Beal

A Season to dance scavenger hunt

About the Book

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Book: A Season to Dance

Author: Patricia Beal

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: May 6, 2017

Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start towards her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

About the Author

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Patricia writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. She is a Genesis Award semi-finalist, First Impressions finalist, and the author of A Season to Dance and Desert Willow (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2017 and 2020). She writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Visit her at http://www.patriciabeal.com for more.

More from Patricia

When I wrote the first line of my first novel in January of 2011, I wanted to get published because I was desperate to feel important.

I finished writing A Season to Dance that fall and hired coach Gloria Kempton via Writer’s Digest to look at the whole thing and tell me if it was any good.

She saw potential in the story of a small-town professional ballerina with big dreams, but explained I needed a clearer quest, more telling details, better scene structure, and better balance between sequels and dramatic scenes. I joined Gloria’s critique group and spent a year rewriting.

During that year, my husband got orders to move the family from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Germany, and he deployed for the sixth time soon after we settled on a lovely mountaintop in Idar-Oberstein.

When I finished rewriting, Gloria said the novel looked good and had everything a novel was supposed to have. But… “Something’s still missing. I don’t know what it is. We’ve covered it all.”

So of course I did what any writer desperate for validation would do. I told my coach that surely nothing was missing and that it was time to query. I hired a service to blast queries everywhere for me. I know… Shame on me… But God used that.

God’s Plan—Phase One

One query ended up with Mrs. Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary. The novel wasn’t Christian—I wasn’t a Christian. She shouldn’t have received my query. But she did. She sent me a note saying she liked the storyline but that in Christian novels the protagonist couldn’t live with her love interest without being married. She was very kind and said that if she was missing the point and if the novel was indeed Christian that I should resubmit explaining the living together piece.

When I read it I laughed and rolled my eyes. I started typing a condescending reply. Something about Christian fairy tale brains and me living in the real world, but I decided not to send it.

Days passed. A week passed. A month passed. And all I did was collect rejections. I became bitter. Bitterly sad at first. Then bitterly discouraged. And then bitterly ugly. I’d never been ugly before. Not like that.

See, up to that point, I’d believed that there was some kind of “god” and that somewhere, somehow, being good was right and that it paid off. But with the disappointments of the publishing journey those beliefs became a joke to me. I stood in the middle of my empty German kitchen—husband deployed, kids at school, my first dog had just died. And I looked at that inbox full of rejections and stated to whomever or whatever was out there: “God is dead.”

Mercy. Surely I said that to the “god” of my imagination, and not to the real God—God as He reveals Himself in the Bible. But I know that He was in that kitchen with me. And phase two of His plan was about to start.

Luke 22:31-32: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

God’s Plan—Phase Two

As I lost all restraint and became the worst version of myself, God removed me from my green German mountaintop.

After less than eighteen months in Germany, we were sent back to America, to the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. To a place called Fort Bliss—a place from which you can see a Mexican mountain with the words: “Cd. Juárez. La Biblia es la verdad. Leela.” That translates to “City of Juárez. The Bible is the truth. Read it.” Gotta love it. God is good.

During the first six months back in America, I went to two secular writers’ conferences and met more rejection. My lack of restraint and my selfishness didn’t really make me happy. I wanted to go to therapy. I wanted a job. I still dreamed of that book deal that had to be just around the corner. I wanted, I wanted…

But nothing happened, and it didn’t matter how hard I tried to get help, get happy, and find any kind of relief for the pain I felt. Nothing. Happened. I’d never seen so many closed doors—slammed-shut doors—ever in my life. Even the shrink kept double booking, closing early, and somehow cancelling on me. It was ridiculous.

The One Open Door

When God planted our family in the desert, He planted us two blocks from a friend from the Fort Benning years. A friend whose claim to fame was church shopping whenever the Army moved her family. I asked her to take me to church on the first Wednesday of January of 2013.

I fell in His arms. Surrendered, defeated, and dependent. Or what God likes to call—ready. I was born again two weeks later and was baptized on Super Bowl Sunday that February.

Gloria’s “Something Missing”

I had tickets to go to New York for the Writer’s Digest conference that spring, but sometime in March, it dawned on me: “You silly goose of a girl. You wrote a salvation story without the salvation piece.” My first coach, Gloria Kempton, had been right all along. There was something missing!

A Season to Dance isn’t just the story of a small-town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York and the two men who love her. It’s also the story of a girl desperately trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with often misguided career and romantic pursuits.

I deleted Mrs. Hart’s email that week. Yes, it was still in my inbox. Job well done, Mrs. Hart.

Now, I had work to do. I spent 2013 and the first half of 2014 rewriting the novel. Five ladies from my Sunday school read chapter after chapter as I produced them and cheered me on through that gruesome process. I couldn’t have done it without their support. God is good.

Jeff Gerke edited my novel in the summer of 2014 and had me read Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes. God is good.

I went to my first Christian writers conference, the ACFW 2014 in St. Louis. Two weeks later, Les Stobbe offered to represent me. God is good.

ACFW 2015 was fantastic and many houses are looking at that first manuscript. God is good.

My family got saved, too. My husband in July of 2013. Our son in December of 2013. My mom in the fall of 2014. And our little girl just this past summer, the summer of 2015. God is amazingly good.

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Author Interview

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser all the way. The novel began in my mind as a single scene—a ballerina stuck at the top of a marquee, something that kind of happened to me once. From there it grew a chapter at a time, one per Saturday, during a six-month period.

I wasn’t a Christian when I wrote the first version of A Season to Dance, so the story was initially just about big dreams and dreamy suitors. But the whole time, God had me writing my own salvation story.

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but for most of my life I believed there had to be some kind of god out there and that being a good person was important. But in the summer of 2012, that early version of the novel was rejected in three different continents on the same week. I was tired and lonely, and I freaked out. I decided the notion of a loving god was absurd. There was no loving god, if there was a god at all.

Self-gratification became the chief end of my existence, and I looked behind every door for happiness and satisfaction. I didn’t find anything worth keeping though, and at the end of every new pursuit, I was still tired and lonely.

Then Jesus passed by. I was born again in January of 2013, and soon after that, I realized the novel wasn’t complete. I cancelled a trip to a secular writers’ conference and started a fourteen-month rewrite. This book, A Season to Dance, wrote me—not the other way around. I journeyed with Ana and pray that now others will journey with us, beyond expectations and suffering and to the very heart of Christ.

I think God is a plotter. He knew where the whole thing was going all along. But how could I have known that I was writing my own salvation story? ❤


Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?

Do I ever! I’m big on this. Huge! If you go to the reading guide at the end of the book, I reveal several hidden things one might have missed… 😉


Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?

Yes! I love all the stories about less-than-perfect people who were greatly used by God. How sweet of Him to show us time and again that we don’t need to be stellar to be family and be His hands and feet.

Remember the story of Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32? That might be my absolute favorite… So much in. I love both God’s actions and Jacob’s refusal to let go.

What does God do before blessing Jacob (self-reliant, self-seeking) and naming him Israel (prince, powerful with God)? God touches the hollow of Jacob’s thigh. The hollow of Jacob’s thigh was now out of joint. Jacob would be forever weakened by that injury. God saps strength out of Jacob. He breaks Jacob of Jacob.

God grew him by making him weak. He grew Peter by making him weak (let the devil sift him as wheat). He grew Paul by making him weak (didn’t remove the thorn in the flesh).

Our trials are making us weak and loosening us from the shackles of self-reliance that are holding us back. All we have to do is cast ourselves at His feet daily and acknowledge that we can’t do life and service on our own. He already knows. He wants us to know.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5 😊

Celebrate Lit Scavenger Hunt page:

http://www.celebratelit.com/a-season-to-dance-scavenger-hunt/

Giveaway

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The grand prize is a $50 Amazon gift card!

https://promosimple.com/ps/10068/a-season-to-dance-celebration-scavenger-hunt-giveaway

The Seer Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Seer

Author: Erin R Howard

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: February 27, 2018

Viktor has one order to follow:
Kill the girl before her eyes are opened.

For thousands of years, his job has been to torment and kill seers: humans that have the gift of seeing the spiritual realm. So it was no surprise when his brother Matthias was once again sent to stop him and protect the girl.

Now the last of the seers’ bloodline hangs in the balance, as the estranged demon and angel brothers are forced to work together to save a girl’s life and escape to the sanctuary city of Bethesda.

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

 

About the Author

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Erin R. Howard is a Developmental Editor, YA Urban Fantasy Author of The Kalila Chronicles, and has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, fueling her craft addictions, and teaching writing workshops. Erin is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the KenTen Writers Group. She resides in Western Kentucky with her husband and three children.

 

 

 

More from Erin

If I’ve learned anything these past few months, it’s that I’m still not a fan of change. It’s always been hard for me to transition from what I know, to the unknown, and then find a new normal. Let’s be honest. Stepping out of our comfort zone isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to challenge and stretch our faith. And as a result of stepping out, we hope that we will learn and grow.

I love messy characters, because life is messy, and it doesn’t always work out the way we expect. It’s full of changes and situations. The characters in my series, The Kalila Chronicles, are no different. Each character has unique challenges. For some, they didn’t ask for change, and for others, they are stepping out on their own.

Here’s a little bit more about The Seer. The first book in The Kalila Chronicles:

For thousands of years, Viktor has carried out his orders from Lucifer faithfully. But after a recent demotion in rank, he has grown weary of the bloodshed. His latest order is to kill Thea, a seventeen-year-old Seer before her gift manifests, and she can see into the spiritual realm. However, his estranged angel brother, Matthias, intervenes on his plans. Seeing this as his way out, Viktor proposes that in exchange for leaving Thea alive, Matthias must escort him to the sanctuary city of Bethesda. Although, getting through the portal isn’t as easy as Viktor thought, and now he has to work with Matthias to protect the very girl he was ordered to kill.

 

Author Interview

 

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. It came from a love of reading and grew as I got older. Through middle and high school I was writing short stories and poetry. When I was in my twenties I started writing novels, but never finished them. It wasn’t until I switched genres from chick lit and fantasy that I started getting really serious about completing a novel.

 

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I wish I had a set schedule, but I tend to write whenever there’s free time, which is never at the same time each day. I have three kids, and I’m re-opening my retail store since my youngest son finished  Leukemia treatments about a year ago. Now, I will have an office to go to every day, so that will help. When I’m home, I can get distracted. LOL!

 

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

Most people are surprised when I say that Viktor is my favorite character because he’s a demon. But he’s got all of these conflicting emotions waging war within himself. I think Viktor’s character shows that it’s never too late to try to change.

 

What are your hobbies?

I love to read and play games. My family enjoys playing board games and computer games. I’m also addicted to crafting. I teach craft classes, like crochet, string art, and door hangers.

 

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I love holding a book in my hands. But I also appreciate ebooks and audiobooks. Ebooks are great for taking on traveling, and I love to listen to audiobooks while I’m driving or cleaning the house.

 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 21

For the Love of Literature, July 22 (Author Interview)

Rebecca Tews, July 22

Through the Fire Blogs, July 23

Inklings and notions, July 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 25

Just the Write Escape, July 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 27

Artistic Nobody, July 28

deb’s Book Review, July 28

For Him and My Family, July 29

Wishful Endings, July 30 (Author Interview)

April Hayman, Author, July 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 2

Emily Yager, August 3

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Erin is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of The Seer, a Behind the Story Booklet of The Seer, and a $25 Amazon 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/fe2f/the-seer-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

The Ring Does Not Fit Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: The Ring Does Not Fit

Author: Sunshine Rodgers

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Christian, Fantasy

Release Date: November 19, 2019

Alena is stuck in a mundane marriage and longing for something
different. New clothes. Bigger bling. Flashy cars. Miraculously and
inexplicably, it all happens in a flash and she is finally married to
the man of her dreams, but something still seems to be missing. In all
her excitement, the one thing she’s looking for is the one thing she
can’t seem to keep.

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 

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Sunshine Rodgers is an International Best-Selling author, speaker and
motivator who excels in sharing the hope and light of the gospel in
her books. Her characters experience the love and grace of Jesus
Christ and the beauty of Heaven. Sunshine hopes her pages will get you
passionate about your faith. Her books have been made into audio books
and translated in different languages. Her social media sites and
personal blog reach thousands of readers a week. Sunshine has appeared
in magazines, newspapers and live media interviews and is working on
her merchandise line (available on her website!). Sunshine now enjoys
her days traveling for signings, author events, speaking engagements
and book tours.

 

More from Sunshine

 

Why are we never satisfied? I mean, we can have
houses, cars and money and still want more! If I were to break it
down, I would have to say…insecurity. Maybe we feel like we’re not good
enough. I don’t know about you, but I compare myself with others
all the time just by looking at social media and feeling like I don’t
measure up.
My book “The Ring Does Not Fit” concentrates on appreciating what is right in front of you, celebrating those who are still with you and staying humble.
Because the grass is not always greener on the other side and there
is always more going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about.
I wanted to explore the issue of contentment in my book.
The only way to really get over any personal frustration
and constant comparison is to have
an attitude of thanksgiving and praise where you are thankful
for what you have, no matter how little or big it is.
That’s the first step to loving life.”
– Sunshine Rodgers

Author Interview

 

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

I enjoy anything from C.S. Lewis and I  definitely incorporate  a lot
of his influence on my pages. In fact, my best selling book “After
You: A Demon is Always Lurking Nearby” is a modern-day twist on his
classic novel “The Screwtape Letters.”

My all time favorite author is John Eldredge because the passion for
his faith just jumps off the pages and that’s what I want for my
books…. where people are inspired by my message and in love with the
content.

 
Describe your book in five words.

Heaven intervenes in Alena’s marriage

 

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge. I have read that book so many times; I have it memorized! I own the paperback copy and audio book version of his book. Though this book  is primarily written for men, I still answer the call to Eldredge’s challenge to open up to life’s adventures and to live a daring life.  This book has truly helped me to be the person I am today! And since Eldredge is my favorite author, I have read mostly all of his books, truly captivated with each page!

 

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I prefer traditional books, hardcover or paperback.  I like to “dog-ear” the pages, highlight parts I enjoy, underline and write on the pages. I have three bookshelves in my home-library completely full of just books, books and more books! Some stacked on top of each other, others in a separate plastic case near the floor. And for birthdays and holidays,  my wish-list is always…you guessed it, more books! I can read 2-3 books at a time! I’ve never read an eBook and I only own one audio book.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

This is a three-part answer.

First, I would say…know your audience. I write in the Christian genre because I read in the Christian genre. I know what the audience in that genre expects. And I write with my audience in mind and promote my books with keywords associated with the target audience.

Second, Ask the personal question… “Why are you writing?” If it’s because you have a passion and a calling to share your craft, then you’ll make it! A writer faces intense scrutiny when it comes to critics, reviews, readers and publishing rejections.  Successful Authors need to be able to  stand on their message and constantly go back to the original  reasons why they started writing in the first place.

And third…knock down those walls. Throughout my writing career, I  faced a lot of dead-ends and I’ve had to come up with Plans E, F and G to further proceed with my vision. So be creative in pursuing publishers. Think outside the box when promoting your work. And know that there are options for you as a writer, you just have to be innovative when moving forward and soon, you too, will see your literary dreams coming true!

 

 

 

Blog Stops

Quiet quilter, July 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 9

Through the Fire Blogs, July 10 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, July 10

 Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 11

Texas Book-aholic, July 12

Blossoms and Blessings, July 13 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, July 14

Inklings and notions, July 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 16

For the Love of Literature, July 17 (Author Interview)

Andrea Carmen, July 17

Quiet Workings, July 18

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 19

Just Your Average reviews, July 20

Artistic Nobody, July 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Sunshine is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Visa 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/fda3/the-ring-does-not-fit-celebration-tour-giveaway

Flowers From Afghanistan Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Flowers from Afghanistan

Author: Suzy Parish

Genre: Christian War Fiction

Release Date: August 10, 2018

Weighed down by guilt following the death of his two-year-old son, Mac McCann accepts a year-long position training police officers in Afghanistan. Leaving his wife Sophie to grieve alone, he hopes the life-or-death distractions of his self-imposed exile will build a wall between him and his pain.

As camaraderie builds between Mac and the men on base—including a local barber and his precocious little boy—Mac’s heart becomes invested in stories beyond his own tragedy and he learns he is not the only one running from loss. But when the hour of attack arrives, will he be able to see past his guilt to believe there’s still something—and someone—worth living for? With touching details based on true events, Flowers from Afghanistan is a redemptive journey of healing, a chronicle of hope in crisis, and a testament to the faithfulness of God through it all.

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

 

 

About the Author

 

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Suzy Parish wrote as a Community Columnist for the Huntsville Times. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Suzy discovered her love of books as a child in Richmond, Virginia when she took refuge from the summer heat in the local Bookmobile. She believes the power of literacy can change lives and stewards a Little Free Library in a local park. She currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband, a retired Investigator from the Huntsville Police Department. Their tennis-ball addicted dog, Charlie, is her writing companion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More from Suzy

Have you or a family member served in the military or as first responders? I had you on my heart when I wrote Flowers from Afghanistan. You might say this novel is my “Thank you” to families all over who sacrifice their time and sometimes even their lives to help make the world a safer place.

It’s also my hand, reaching out through my keyboard to beautiful children like the character Bashir. These children want the same things as any child the world over, shelter, food, and to know they are loved. And finally, this book is a love letter from myself to Jesus Christ. He is the reason I write.

 

Author Interview

 

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

 

Two events shaped me as a child. The local Bookmobile was a shelter for my brother and me during the Summer months. We rode our bikes there and would sit for hours inside on the airconditioned floor reading. One day I picked up a book with an embossed medal on the cover. My love of reading made me want to write a book that would be of such quality that it would win a medal.

The second event impressed on me the power words had to affect positive change in the world. My third-grade teacher volunteered to give a speech to the school on Student Government Day. Though I was terrified, when I stepped behind the podium, it felt terrific to see people’s reactions to words I had written. I realized the truth of Spider-Man use of the quote, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

 

Which author has most influenced your own writing?

 

Mark Twain, whom William Falkner called “The father of American Literature.”

 

 Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

 

Our camper because it’s bright and cozy. It has a great view, even when parked in our driveway.

 

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

 

I created Sophie to represent military and police spouses. She is my homage to the grit and determination these women exhibit. It’s a calling and an honor they take on with little complaint.

 

Who was/is your biggest inspiration?

 

Corrie Ten Boom, along with members of her family, was arrested for hiding Jews during the Nazi Holocaust of World War II. She is one of the people I most want to meet in Heaven. Corrie lived serving others as an author, speaker, and “Tramp for the Lord.” Her faith is an inspiration to me.

 

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 3

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 4 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, July 5

Genesis 5020, July 6

Inklings and notions, July 7

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 8

For Him and My Family, July 9

Artistic Nobody, July 10 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, July 11

Through the Fire Blogs, July 12

Quiet Quilter, July 13

For the Love of Literature, July 14 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 14

Read Review Rejoice, July 15

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzy 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/fd90/flowers-from-afghanistan-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Jane Doe Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Jane Doe

Author: Lillian Duncan

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 26, 2020

A Broken Body. A Broken Mind. What If She Wasn’t The Last Victim?

Raven Marks survives a brutal kidnapping but just barely. Along with a broken body, her mind is broken. She wants to put the past behind her, but nightmarish memories won’t let her. . .At first because she doesn’t have them, and then because she does.

Even though her fractured memory can’t recall every detail, she’s haunted by one thought: What if she wasn’t the last victim? Her search for answers leads her to the highest politicians in the land. Each reclaimed memory brings her closer to the truth—and to even more danger.

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

About the Author

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Lillian Duncan… turning faith into fiction.

Lillian lives in a small town in Ohio with her husband. She writes the types of books she loves to read. Even though her books cross genres, they have one thing in common, faith-based stories that demonstrate God’s love—and lots of action. OK, that’s two things.

She was a school speech pathologist for over 30 years but retired in 2012 after being diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors due to Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), a rare genetic disease.

Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word. To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillian-duncan.com.

 

 

 

More from Lillian

JANE DOE is my latest novel and it’s a doozy!

What’s the genre you ask? It’s suspense with lots of drama and action…but it also a political thriller…but it also has a lot of mystery components…but there’s the romance element as well… and let’s not forget the spiritual message! No matter what genre you classify it as, it’s one I think you’ll enjoy!

So how did JANE DOE come about?

I’d finished all my edits on a current book and was feeling very uninspired. I had no idea for my next story, so I went on FB and asked people to send me an idea for my next suspense novel. An old high school friend sent me the suggestion to write a story where the main character struggled with memory loss.

Mmmm… but the old amnesia plot has been done and it’s a big no-no that writing experts warn against. I took the challenge and wrote JANE DOE. It’s definitely not your typical amnesia plot, but the main character is haunted by her memories.

First, because she doesn’t have them and then because she does!

Raven Marks survives a brutal kidnapping but just barely. Along with a broken body, her mind is broken. Even though she can’t remember the details of her kidnapping, she’s haunted by the thought that someone else is being victimized by the kidnapper she can’t remember.

Her journey to discover the truth leads her to the highest politicians in the state and then the country. Each reclaimed memory brings her closer to the truth—and to even more danger.

I’m not going to give away the plot, but there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading late into the night!

 

Author Interview

 

Do you have a favorite or special place to write?

When I’m at home, I write in my office and only in my office. But when we’re camping, I write in our camper or even sit outside at a picnic table if weather conditions permit.

 

Describe your book in five words.

JANE DOE: Overcoming a tragedy with God.

 

Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

Definitely the main character, Raven (Jane Doe) Marks. Though our circumstances are quite different, I definitely experienced the brokenness that she experiences in the story. I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors in 2012. For the next five years, I struggled with symptoms, treatments and the effects of the treatments. But in the struggle, I developed a trust in God that I would never have had without the brain tumors.

 

Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?

I prefer traditional books but do read a lot of ebooks since they are much more convenient. Audiobooks are a NO for me—one of the effects of the brain tumors was a significant hearing loss so…no audiobooks.

 


What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t quit! It took me fifteen years to get a traditional book contract. Now I have more than twenty published books, have had bestsellers, and was a finalist for a national book award. What would have happened if I’d given up at year 10 or 14 or 14 ½?

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 2

Just the Write Escape, July 3

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, July 4

Inklings and notions, July 5

Betti Mace, July 6

Andrea Christenson, July 7 (Author Interview)

Hebrews 12 Endurance, July 7

For Him and My Family, July 8

Texas Book-aholic, July 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 11

For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)

Bigreadersite, July 12

Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, July 14

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Lillian 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/fd8f/jane-doe-celebration-tour-giveaway

Something I Am Not Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Something I am Not

Author: Cher Gatto

Genre: YA Fiction

Release Date: January 25, 2019

A father who never loved him…
A woman who stole his worth…
And a brother he couldn’t protect.
Where does someone run in the face of his deepest shame?
 
Billy McQueen works hard to keep his life together … and concealed. At seventeen, he dreams of an escape from the barroom, his father’s manipulation, and the advances of his father’s girlfriend. However, on his eighteenth birthday, Billy is introduced to a younger brother he never knew he had. An eight-year-old who is barely capable of navigating the corrupt world of his father’s boxing club.
 
Now, in order to secure his freedom, Billy must fight for it. But to save his little brother who is next in line for the slave trade … he must die for it.
 
SOMETHING I AM NOT, formerly titled Billy, won the ACFW Genesis Award for the Contemporary category. It was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas.

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

 

About the Author

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Cher Gatto is a native to NJ and lives with her husband (pastor) and five teenagers. Their family spent 10 years in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids (see more about the ranch below) and founded an addictions ministry (R-HUB) back in the states. Cher has a Master’s in Psychology and serves as president of the ACFW NY/NJ chapter. Cher’s debut novel won the Genesis Award in 2016 and the Christian Indie Award for Best YA in 2020. Her new novel, Regent, is scheduled to release this fall, and she has begun a sequel to Something I Am Not.
 

 

 

More from Cher

I never meant to be a writer. It’s something that happened to me when I wasn’t looking. Our family (my husband and I and our five children) lived in Mexico developing a horse ranch for kids, at-risk youth, and broken families in impoverished villages surrounding the ranch. Our co-workers ran a women’s shelter in the city, and we used the horses to love on the girls there. I say “women’s” shelter, but most were children (13, 14, 15 years old) trying to raise babies of their own. Many of the babies a result of abuse, rape, or incest. Some had been drawn out of trafficking. Their stories tragic and incomprehensible.

About a year after we got on the field, the shelter closed down for a dangerous breach in security. All the girls were sent back to where they came from. We could do nothing. Nothing at all, but watch them go. A few months later, I saw one of the girls at church escorted by her “father.” When our eyes met, the vacancy in hers shattered my heart. I will never forget it. And one day, while I was cleaning a horse corral, I had Billy’s story. Not the whole thing, but a piece of it.

I hid myself away whenever I could for months and wrote furiously. I had no idea how the story would unfold, or even what themes would develop. But three hundred and fifty pages later, I was done. I guess it was all in there, needing to come out. I thought I was writing a fiction novel, but Billy’s journey gave me the key to process and heal from things I saw around me but couldn’t change. Things that broke my heart.

I needed a different ending—a redemption. Billy’s story became an allegory on life. He lives under the wrong “father,” as an orphan, believing the fear and shame that those lies wield. But in finding the right Father, he finds where he truly belong. Billy’s story is about coming home. It’s his story, and it’s ours.

Something I Am Not was published by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. It won the 2016 Genesis Award for the contemporary category and 2020 Christian Indie Award for best Young Adult fiction.

 

Author Interview

 

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

The truth is I never meant to be a writer. It’s something that happened to me when I wasn’t looking. Our family (myself, husband and 5 kids) lived in Mexico for ten years developing a horse ranch for kids, at-risk youth, and broken families. Our co-workers ran a women’s shelter, and we used the horses to love on the women. I say women, but most were children (13, 14, 15 years old) trying to raise babies of their own. Many of the babies a result of abuse, rape, or incest. Some had been drawn out of trafficking. Their stories tragic and incomprehensible.

About a year after we got on the field, the shelter closed down for a dangerous breach in security. All the girls were sent back to where they came from. We could do nothing. Nothing at all, but watch them go. A few months later, I saw one of the girls at church escorted by her “father.” When our eyes met, the vacancy in hers shattered my heart. I will never forget it. Then one day, while I was cleaning a horse corral, I had Billy’s story. Not the whole thing, but a piece of it. Just one distinct scene, actually.

I hid myself away whenever I could for months and wrote furiously. I had no idea how the story would unfold, or even what themes would develop. In truth, I had no idea it connected to my life at all. Three hundred and fifty pages later, I was done. And I guess it was all in there, needing to come out. I realized later that Billy’s journey had given me the key to process and heal from things I saw around me but couldn’t change. Things that broke my heart.

I needed a different ending—a redemption story.

I thought I was done after that. One novel in me and that was it. But one turned into the next, and now I’m hooked.


Which author has most influenced your own writing?

I would say it was the classics in general and Charles Dickens specifically. I loved his writing and absorbed all of his books at a formative time when my own thoughts and writings were most influenced. I miss the rich vocabulary found in these earlier works that’s missing from our modern writing.


Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?

With the inspiration behind Billy’s story, and journeying with him through the depths of depravity and the miracle of redemption, he is by far the character who speaks most deeply to my heart. His message is for all of us—that there is no place too far down where God cannot reach. It is the truth of what happens when brokenness and God’s grace collide, and we find our way home.


If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?

I think Alice in Wonderland! At least, that’s the first to come to mind. I like pushing the limits of my imagination and living outside of the box. Except for the Queen who would want my head, it would be a fantastic journey!


What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I would say, hang on and keep writing. The road to publication can be a slow, unglamorous process. It can be grueling, and the learning curve is steep. It’s those who stick with it day in and day out who reach that goal. But even more importantly, our writing can be a vulnerable process and can take captive our identity like nothing else. We expose our insides to the world, and that can be scary. As authors, we experience good days and bad days. Approval and rejection. All of us. We can tend to give too much power to a stranger’s opinion, so we need to be grounded in something more. Something greater that doesn’t bounce our value around with each ebb and flow. It makes a huge difference when I start my day with that deeper understanding of who I am.

 

Blog Stops

By The Book, July 4 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 5

Book of Ruth Ann, July 6

Artistic Nobody, July 7 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, July 8

Wishful Endings, July 9 (Author Interview)

Rebecca Tews, July 9

Inklings and notions, July 10

For Him and My Family, July 11

For the Love of Literature, July 12 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, July 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 14

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 15 (Author Interview)

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, July 16

Just the Write Escape, July 17

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cher 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/fd98/something-i-am-not-celebration-tour-giveaway