Tag Archives: family & relationships

Forever Home Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Forever Home

Author: Hope Toler Dougherty

Genre: Sweet Romance/Christian Fiction

Release date: August 16, 2022

With a fulfilling job and a home of her own, former foster child, Merritt Hastings, relishes her stable, respectable life. Dreaming for more is a sure way for heartache. When a contested will turns her world upside down, she must reevaluate what’s important to her, what’s worth fighting for, and what’s worth sacrificing.

Patience has never been Sam Daniels’ strong suit with his history of acting quickly and asking questions later, and he’s ready for changes in his life…now. Too bad the plans for acquiring a radio station didn’t include a contract. Now he’s out of a job, out of a radio station, and out of prospects.

While his life is in flux, at least he can help Merritt steady hers, or will he rush in and overstep …again?

Will the sparks flying between these two opposites lead to a happily-ever-after or heartbreak for both?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Hope Toler Dougherty holds a master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Her novels include Irish Encounter, Mars…With Venus Rising, Rescued Hearts, Forever Music, and Forever Home. Her recent novella, “A Hatteras Surprise,” appears in Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams and is also available as a standalone novel. She and her husband delight in visits with their two daughters and twin sons.

More from Hope

When I introduced the Daniels family in Forever Music, the first story in the Forever Series, I wrote about Josie, the little sister. I wanted to write about her brother Sam next, but after about eight chapters, the words stopped flowing and then the pandemic struck. Instead of writing during lockdown, I cleaned out closets, crocheted mask bands, and perfected a killer sourdough loaf.

I wanted to write. I tried to write. I loved Sam and wanted to discover his story, but…nothing.

When my publisher offered a slot in a novella collection, I pushed Sam to the back of my mind and wrote about his older brother, Ben. Ben’s story is set on the beautiful Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Check out his romance in A Hatteras Surprise.

Sharing Ben’s courtship with Ginny Stowe freed me to get back to Sam and Merritt in Forever Home. Their story highlights foster care, music, friendship, and radio stations.

Impatient Sam usually acts first and thinks second. His happy-go-lucky personality chafes Merritt’s stick-with-a-plan attitude. Too bad she needs his help with her livelihood. They don’t hit it off at first, but both are definitely intrigued with each other.

Readers can find subtle Italian references throughout the story. Here’s a favorite recipe friends might find in Merritt’s kitchen. I hope you like it and the story, too!

Orange Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients:
2 C plain flour                                                                               1 egg white
1 t baking powder                                                                        2 T orange zest
¼ t salt                                                                                           ½-1 C chopped pistachios
1 C sugar                                                                                       1/2 C candied orange bits
2 eggs orange juice, if needed

Directions:
Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs and egg white together, then add to flour mixture. Stir in orange zest, nuts, and orange bits. Mix until dough is smooth. If the dough is too dry, add orange juice a tablespoon at a time.

Flour hands and scoop half the dough onto one side of the cookie sheet prepared with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a 15×3-inch log. Repeat with remaining dough. The logs should be several inches apart.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Tops of the logs should be firm.

Remove to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Cut logs on a diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices. Place the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.

Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack. They will harden as they cool. Yields about 48 cookies depending on size

Author Interview

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

The character from Forever Home who speaks to me most is Sam Daniels. He loves helping people, but he usually rushes in before he thinks. I love his humor and his enthusiasm. He keeps trying no matter what and always looks for the positive. He has a lot to learn but always follows through with the lesson, even the painful ones.

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

Yes, I do hide Easter eggs in my stories, either names of people or places or family anecdotes with changes to fit the plot. In my first novel, Irish Encounter, I named a street Quinn Lane, the names of our twin sons, Lane and Quinn. It amuses me to hide references that slip by regular readers but will be treats for people who know me personally.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Ere is a strong-willed orphan who, no matter the circumstance, remains true to her moral compass even if it means rejecting what her heart most desires.

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

I have several favorite Bible verses. One is Ephesians 3:20: (God) can do more than we can ask or imagine. This verse really speaks to God’s vastness and His sovereignty and to how much He loves us.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Aspiring writers, write every day. Read the best authors in your genre. Read books on the craft of writing. Write. Attend writing conferences. Meet other writers and join critique groups. Keep writing. In other words, don’t be a writer; be writing.

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, December 14

For Him and My Family, December 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 15

Inklings and notions, December 16

Texas Book-aholic, December 17

Cover Lover Book Review, December 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 19

Beauty in the Binding, December 20 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, December 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 23

For the Love of Literature, December 24 (Author Interview)

Susan K. Beatty, Author, December 25 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, December 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 27

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Hope is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, one signed copy of Forever Home, and book swag!

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/23236/forever-home-celebration-tour-giveaway

Fighting and Flirting with my Cowboy Enemy Author Interview and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: Fighting and Flirting with My Cowboy Enemy

Author: Julia Keanini

Genre: Clean and Wholesome Romance

Release date: July 26, 2022

Jackson Ashford seems to have it all. Gorgeous looks, fulfilling job, loving relationship with his family . . . and he looks amazing in a cowboy hat. He may be a bit of a grump at times, but that doesn’t deter the women of Blue Falls from vying for his attention. So when Ruby Ellison arrives at his doorstep and hates Jackson on sight, he’s confused, to say the least.

Ruby Ellison never intended to come to the tiny town of Blue Falls, Idaho, but when her best friend’s search for her birth father takes her there, Ruby follows. She comes because she’d never let Madi down, but she stays because she quickly comes to love the small town. It’s the best place she’s ever lived . . . with one exception. Jackson Ashford. But Ruby figures she’ll just avoid him. Blue Falls is a small town but surely it’s big enough for two people to keep their distance.

But when Jackson and Ruby are both asked to coach an eight-year-old girls’ basketball team, Ruby realizes there will be no avoiding the man. She’ll just have to hate him up close rather than from afar. But as Ruby gets to know him she realizes that maybe the man she thought she knew isn’t really who Jackson is at all.

Join Ruby and Jackson as they fight and flirt their way to a happily ever after.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

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Julia Keanini is just a city girl living in a country world (and secretly loving it). She loves the mountains and would adore the beach, if it weren’t for all the sand and salt (wait, that is the beach?). A good book, a great song, or a huge piece of chocolate can lift her mood, but her true happiness is found in her little fam. She writes about girls and women who deal with what life throws at them and always about love, because she LOVES love.

More from Julia

I almost got run over by a cow when I was thirteen. I homeschooled during my middle school years and my parents decided I needed to do more with my free-time. So they sent me to work at a friend’s ranch. I was a typical very self-conscious teen and I had been near horses and cows probably at most five times in my life. You could see that this maybe wasn’t the best combination but my parents were sure and they promised me a juice at the end of every shift so I was game.

I started by brushing horses tails and braiding them. I was the oldest of five girls so this was totally in my wheelhouse. I also shoveled a whole bunch of manure. This wasn’t my favorite part of the job. But I quickly fell in love with horses. They were majestic if not a little stinky, but I loved them all the same.

Then came the big day. The cows needed to be branded and it was my job (who decided this I will never know) to get the cows into the chute where they would be branded. Granted I did this with four other grown men, the people who should have been doing the job, but I was out there as well. In the middle of this arena. Trying to not get killed. I managed for about five cows and then there was a mean one. I knew from the moment I saw her that she wanted me out of there. The moment she was let free she beelined it in my direction, letting me know that I didn’t stand a chance. Somewhere in the background I heard people yelling my name, telling me to move. But I froze. Did nothing. Thankfully one of those grown men saved me and I lived to tell the tale.

But even after all of that, I loved ranch life. I knew I would one day write a story about it. I saved it in my heart for a long time, this is book number forty-seven for me, but it finally came to fruition. A series about seven brothers (even though I grew up with four sisters) in the most beautiful land in Northern Idaho.

Welcome to Blue Falls Ranch.

Author Interview

When/how did you decide to become a writer?

I think I always wanted to be a writer. Books were some of my very first best friends. That sounds kind of sad, but I promise it wasn’t. I grew up as the oldest of six kids and found my escape from the loving but chaotic atmosphere in books. I could do chores on the prairie with Laura, I often imagined I was Anne’s bosom friend, and I was always an honorary baby-sitter. That love of reading grew into a natural love of writing. Getting to discover my very own stories has been one of my greatest life adventures.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I have to write on my couch. I know most authors need a desk or an office or even a corner at a coffee shop but I adore writing on my couch. It started because as a mom it was easier to write in the midst of everything than to escape because my boys always found me and would decide to play wherever I was. If I started in the living room with them and their toys it was actually the easiest way to get it all done. So even now that I do this as a full-time job and I could go into a writing cave, I choose not to.

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

I’m really lucky with my schedule now. When I started it was whenever I could find a free minute, typically when my boys were asleep, but now I get to choose exactly how I want things. So I write four days a week. I always work on one project at a time. I typically write about seven-thousand words a day for three or four weeks and then I edit for another one or two (depending on the length of book). I usually start writing at about nine am and try to get my words in by one.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I used to be a pantser and I miss it some days. I have to outline now because it helps me to stay on track. I’d never make my word count without an outline. Although more often than not my characters take over the book so even though I always have an outline these days, it will often be more of a guide than an actual template for what is going to happen.

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

Yes! This is so fun to do. I like to do crossover places or characters. I’ll use a hotel that is central to one series in another. In Fighting and Flirting with my Cowboy Enemy I’m back in a small-town that I created for another series so it’s been fun to write characters that I haven’t been in touch with for a while. I actually have a pen as well and I’m going to start crossing a few things over between names so that readers of both names will get some exciting surprises.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 6

Inklings and notions, September 7

For Him and My Family, September 8

A Baker’s Perspective, September 9 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 11

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 13

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

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 15

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 16 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, September 16

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

Pause for Tales, September 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Julia is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and 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/2136a/fighting-and-flirting-with-my-cowboy-enemy-celebration-tour-giveaway

6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families Spotlight and GIVEAWAY!

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About the Book

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Book: 6 Hidden Behaviors that Destroy Families

Author: Dr. Magdalena Battles

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Family & Relationships

Release Date: June 9, 2020

 

Families are complicated.
There is no such thing as a perfect family…or an easy family. We all make mistakes that hurt or disappoint our family members, and we’ve all been hurt or disappointed by those we love.

 
Within our human makeup is a deep and basic need for healthy family relationships. Family was designed to provide us with love, a feeling of belonging, a shared history, traditions, comfort, affection, quality time, feedback, learning, and a safety net. When our family fails to provide for these needs, we feel a deep sense of loss.

 
6 Hidden Behaviors That Destroy Families by Dr. Magdalena Battles addresses the top conflicts in extended families that cause relationships to become strained, disjointed, or broken. These hidden behaviors are: criticism, gossip, lack of inclusion, deception, refusing to accept differences, and a failure to apologize and forgive. Dr. Battles provides practical tips and solutions based on research, biblical principles, and her own observations of what has worked in families.

 
Most families have some dysfunction, causing pain, damage, and division. While every family has problems, what really matters is how we deal with those issues. Are we working in a way that heals and resolves problems, or are we allowing them to fester, divide, and explode, causing tremendous damage to our relationships? Families are always in a state of change, and they are a work in progress. But they can function in a way where love, support, belonging, and kindness are exemplified and practiced.

 
Doing nothing about our family conflicts often contributes to the problems. The healing in your family can begin with you. To have a family that is loving and supportive, you need to be part of the solutions and healing. You just have to take those first steps! It is a process, but the result will be happier lives and more fulfilling relationships.

 

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

About the Author

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Dr. Magdalena Battles is a writer and conference speaker whose specialties include parenting, child development, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She shares her real-life experiences and professional insights on her website, LivingJoyDaily.com, and on Lifehack.org, where she was named one of their top writers. She is also the author of Let Them Play: The Importance of Play and 100 Child Development Activities (September 2019). Dr. Battles earned a bachelor’s degree in child psychology and a master’s degree in professional counseling, both from Liberty University, and a doctorate in Clinical and Academic Psychology from Walden University. She has also completed post-graduate studies on “Technologies in Education” at Harvard University. While she may seem all business, in her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, visiting national parks, reading nonfiction, decorating, organizing, shopping, spending time with extended family, and incubating/raising Silkie chickens. She is also an active volunteer in her community and church. Dr. Battles and her husband, Justin, reside in Texas, where they are raising their daughter, Brielle, twin boys, Alex and Charlie, a dog named Max, and a Silkie chicken named Marshmallow.

 

More from Magdalena

While every family has its problems—some minor, some major—what really matters is how we deal with these issues. Are we working to heal and resolve the conflicts, or are we allowing them to fester, divide, and explode, perhaps causing irreparable damage to our relationships? The six hidden behaviors that destroy families are described as “hidden” because we often ignore, deny, or cover up our family issues. The family unit is a living organism, never remaining the same. Sometimes, it is healthy and working well, and other times, it is not as healthy or functional. All it takes is one person to start a trend of love, compassion, and support that can change generations to come.

 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 11

 Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 12

Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Spotlight)

Inklings and notions, July 14

For Him and My Family, July 15

A Baker’s Perspective, July 16 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, July 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 18

Simple Harvest Reads, July 19 (Spotlight)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 20

Mary Hake, July 21

Through the Fire Blogs, July 22 (Spotlight)

Captive Dreams Window, July 22

Splashes of Joy, July 23

For the Love of Literature, July 24 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Magdalena 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/fe58/6-hidden-behaviors-that-destroy-families-celebration-tour-giveaway