Friday, May 31, 2013

All the Mr. Wrongs

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net
I love Jessica Patch. I mean seriously,
the woman has one 
awesome Southern accent.
She always makes me laugh and she packs a punch of truth.
This post...young ladies, take a look.
You want to check this one out... ;-)

I was watching Hannibal the other night (I’m still deciding if I like or not), I remembered when Silence of the Lambs came out and that got me thinking about romance—or the lack of. And that got me thinking about Mr. Right…and that led me to Mr. Wrong.

I was fifteen and my older sister set me up with her boyfriend’s older brother. And that’s what we went to see.

However, when we got to the ticket counter, the broad behind the window wouldn’t let me in. I wasn’t seventeen. Can I just say how embarrassing it is to be on a date with a guy who is older than you and not be allowed to go on that date—by a stranger! My sister, who has always argued in my defense, went to bat for me. “I’m twenty. And her sister. Can’t I get her in?”

No. She wasn’t twenty-one.

A lady behind me jabbed her finger into my lower back and spoke up. “I’m her aunt. I’m well over twenty-one, can I get her in?”

The ticket lady, with way too much power, frowned but let me in.

Pretty sure the woman behind me could’ve just whispered, “Just go with this.” Either way I was thankful, and the finger-sized bruise on my back was a reminder that people still lie, deceive, break the rules do nice things for others. Inside the theater, I was stoked to be on this date with this older guy…until he literally screamed like a four-year-old girl when Lector killed a guard. I. Am. Not. Kidding.

Hello, Mr. Wrong. I can’t be with a man who shrieks at scary movies. I’m thankful my Mr. Right is brave during movies and lets me squeeze the snot out of his hand.

The following summer, my sister forced me on yet another date. I didn’t want to go but she said, “If you go on the date with R, I’ll set you up with S.” This I could get with, as I’d been crushing on S for awhile.

R said about three words from the time he picked me up until the time he brought me home and the words were spoken from….The Burger Barn. Yes, you read that right. They were: “What do you want?”  On the way home—the sunroof open, silent tension hanging like fog over Scotland (Does fog hang over Scotland? I thought that sounded original.), he said, “Nice night for fishin’.”

Really? Is it? Um, do you see my big hair and fifty thousand bangles not to mention my hot pink jellies? Do I look like I fish? Do I? Do I?

Later, my sister tried to renege on setting me up with S because R told her I’d jumped out of the car before he could even get it stopped in the drive.

He’s right. I did. A goodnight kiss wasn’t part of the deal. And for a $2.00 burger, he didn’t even deserve a pat on the shoulder.

Hello, Mr. Wrong. I can’t be with a man who has nothing to say. I’m thankful my man knows how to carry on a conversation and is never at a loss for words. Though he says far fewer than me. So that’s a bonus. Good listener!

So she set me up with S. And that night my sister’s boyfriend gave me a piece of gum which I gladly accepted.

I had no intentions of jumping out of a moving car.

But when he slid into the backseat with me, his eyes grew wide and he frowned. “Have you been…eating popsicles or something?”

At that moment, my sister’s boyfriend cracked up and had my sister drop the passenger mirror window for my viewing.

My entire mouth, teeth, tongue…all royal blue. Trick gum. Not a nice gesture.

I almost jumped out of the moving car.

And later, I wished I had when he took me to a drag race. Yeah. Loud engines. Deaf ears. Freezing temps. He actually had the nerve to ask me if I’d had a good time.

No. No I did not. Crush over.

Hello, Mr. Wrong. I can’t be with a man who thinks I am one. (If you like these events, then this is not so much your Mr. Wrong as your Mr. Right—what if he’d taken you to the Opera? Ack!) I’m thankful my husband is romantic.

So I should probably have a point here. I don’t. These are random thoughts based on an episode of Hannibal. Well, wait a minute…hold the phone… how about this: “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Don’t fret if you get it wrong a few times. God will get you to the right destination. And hey, you’ll have fun stories to tell your kids friends and plenty of fodder if you’re a writer.

Thanks, Casey, for having me! You’re a ray of sunshine!

JessicaR. Patch writes inspirational contemporary romances laced with suspense and humor. A passion to
draw women into intimacy with God keeps her motivated, along with heaping cups of caffeine in the form of coffee. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or teaching the new & growing believer's class at her church, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, embarrassing her daughter in unique ways, beating her son at board games and contemplating how to get rid of her irksome dog (she hasn’t attempted any of them…yet). She is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Make That a FUN Author Interview! My Guest? Melissa Tagg!!


Sometimes we just gotta let loose. Have a little fun.  Thus I had this crazy idea…and I’m pretty excited about it. Hope you love it and if you have suggestions for questions, leave them in the comments! :- )

The Basics:
Name: Melissa Tagg

Home State (completely with address so we can stalk you): Iowa (the place with all the corn). And I know I didn’t give you a full address, but honestly, there aren’t that many people in Iowa. You should be able to find me. Besides, I’m not really that stalk-worthy. Although, I might be flattered if you try.

Occupation: Grant-writer and corporate relations coordinator on a nonprofit development team by day, writer by night. I would also love to be a professional pillow tester but so far I haven’t found anyone willing to pay me for that.
 
Releases 9/15/13!
Preorder here!
Height: 5’8” I think.

Hair Color: Boring brown. J (Except for the time I dyed it red with kool-aid. It smelled good for days. Only downside was it left the bathroom sink looking like we’d killed someone.)

Goin’ Deeper:

Celebrity crush: Oh dear. This is a hard one because most of the celebrities I’ve ever had a crush on are, like…dead. Cary Grant, for instance. But for the sake of choosing someone still breathing…Chris Hemsworth. (I know, I know…you thought I was going to say Tim Tebow. But no one ever believes me that it’s his book that makes me love him.)

#1 favorite pastime: Oh dear…number one? If I say hanging out with my family, is that too cliché? Laughing. Watching old movies. Laughing. Playing games. Laughing. I know that’s more than one thing, but technically you can do them all at once.

Best book of your childhood: Christy.

Go to comfort food: Ice cream. Mmm.

Worst job you ever had: In college, this guy in the sports department asked if I’d help them work with the media because I was a “writer.” To this day, I can’t figure out what the job had to do with writing. Basically I called media outlets after games and reported scores. The bad part of it was I never had any idea what I was talking about, faked my way through sports reporters’ questions, and it was late at night when everyone else was out having fun. Yup, that lasted all of one semester.

In Ten Words or Less:

Happiest moment of your life: How to choose?!?! One happiest moment: book contract phone call. J

One thing on your bucket list: Visit Prince Edward Island.

Quirkiest aspect that annoys your spouse/friends: Writer moodiness. Enough said.

Greatest dream: To learn to love like Christ. And master crazy hair.

Biggest fear: Serious—losing loved ones. Silly—getting trapped in a carwash.


Phew, that 10-word thing was a challenge! 

Wooo-hooo! Can't wait for the release of Made to Last! I've preordered my copy, have you??

Thanks so much to Melissa for hanging out on my blog today! Come September we're going to be throwing a massive party for the release of the novel, so come dressed for the fun! :-)

My guest next month? 

The awesome Rachel Hauck! 

You won't want to miss it. :-)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Giveaway! Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade!



Welcome to Writing for Christ Becky Wade, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?

I love to play tennis!  I play indoors in the cold of winter and the heat of summer.  In the fall and spring, you can find me outdoors competing in women's doubles. 

Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?

Romance. 

When I was a teenager, I discovered romantic novels and they've been my absolute favorite cup of tea ever since.  I write contemporary romance because it suits my humorous and modern author'
s voice.  But I love to read all genres of romance: medieval settings, Regency settings, paranormal -- you name it! 

My fondness for romance doesn't begin and end with books.  I'm also a fan of romantic movies, mini-series, quotes, photographs, weddings, and anything else to do with love.

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing?

Give yourself the freedom to try out different genres and time periods!  So many of us come to writing thinking we know what kind of book God's calling us to write.  I thought I was meant to write historical romances, but I was wrong.  If I hadn't given myself permission to try a few chapters in a different genre, I wouldn't have discovered my true niche.

5 things you love?

1) God
2) My family
3) My writing ministry
4) My Cavalier King Charles spaniel
5) Reading

What novel have you recently read that has stood out to you that both teens and adults will find enjoyment in?

I'm just now finishing Shattered by my friend Dani Pettrey.  I've had such fun following along with the main characters as they traveled across Alaska and British Columbia uncovering a trail of clues and solving the mystery. 

Places for readers to learn more about you?

It's a joy for me to connect with readers! 
You can visit me on my website: www.beckywade.com
There, you can subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter: 
http://www.beckywade.com/contact_me.html
I always post a few times a week on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorbeckywade
and Twitter: @beckywadewriter

Thank you for being with us today! 

Readers, here is your chance to enter to win Becky's book!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on June 7th
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 

Friday, May 24, 2013

When God Unites


Welcome, Welcome!
I'm one very blessed girl.

Sure, sure, you've heard me say that a million times.

But it's true!

What girl is given nine soul sisters? What girl has the chance to spend a weekend with six of them and two others via skype?

Who brings ten women, all from different areas of the country and makes them friends? Without malice. With only love and respect for each other?

Yeah, God does that.

MY God does that.

I might have not been richly endowed with but more than one local friend. But I'm rich beyond belief or ability to count in the way of these nine godly women.

It's a good thing I can't earn their friendship or a place in their group, because I never could.

How many people in the kingdom of God simply love each other for who they are and what unites them? Only allowing their friendship to deepen by the gentle and strong stirring of Christ in each of our lives.

Religion doesn't unite us.

Country or origin doesn't unite us.

Maybe our writing does.

Maybe our love of laughter and good cupcakes and match-making and teasing their youngest member (ahem) does.

Praising, worshiping the God who unites us.
But I think it's our love for God, our deep desire to grow more like Him that unites us. It's a gift of easy acceptance and quick forgiveness and times of invaluable togetherness that I wouldn't trade for gold.

When I think about what God has given me, I want to weep. I mean really, who else is so blessed?

I think I could hold my own in such an argument.

Yes, our name might be a bit cheesy (wink), but our hearts our united. Our goals focused. Our dreams centered on the only One who matters.

Soul sisters.

Alley Cats.

And I love them. Every. Last. One. Of. Them.

Thank You, Jesus.




Skyping with Karen in Australia!

Melissa Tagg came to visit! There are so many reasons I love Iowa.


May you be as equally blessed with such amazing friends!



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Special Interview and Giveaway with Debut Author Serena Chase! (You Don't Want to Miss This!)


I’m excited to host Serena Chase—DEBUT author on my blog today! Welcome to Writing for Christ, Serena.

Thanks for having me, Casey!

How did you get interested in writing?

I can’t really remember a time that I wasn’t making up stories in my head. It wasn’t all that much of a stretch to start writing them down. The hard part is not the writing, it’s the refining—to get these stories I love to the point that someone else might want to read them!

Why YA fantasy?

From my first step through C.S. Lewis’s magical wardrobe, fantasy has always been my favorite genre to read. I love the scope of it, the sheer possibility of imagination, and the openness of the audience. I like
all sorts of fantasy, but I often have content issues (garbage in, garbage out, as they say) with some mainstream, adult-aimed fantasy fiction. I am much more comfortable reading YA for content reasons.

Beyond that, I really believe that some of the best writing out there happens in YA. There’s a certain attention-span that is assumed by YA authors, so the story keeps a steady pace and few veer off into the overlong and often overdone (yawn)  world-descriptive paragraphs that can lose some readers of the “older audience” books. Almost every “favorite” book on my shelf is YA—and 4 out of 5 faves that aren’t YA are fantasy.  So… I guess I write what I love to read, but I also love the audience.

Most of us want to believe we can change the world, or at least be an influence in our small sphere, but the majority of teens out there still possess the spark within that belief that makes it seem not only possible, but probable! Most have not yet been jaded by the fear of risk and the weight of responsibility that so limits us as adults. Teens have an energy and an honesty about them that draws you into their dreams if you let it. So often, however, their ideas are written off by adults as “idealistic” and their energy is seen as “immature”, but I think we, as adults, can learn from their example—if we can get over ourselves long enough to appreciate what they have to offer! I think adults who read YA fantasy (and there are many) have a bit of that spark within them, too. (Or at least we still remember what it felt like!)

I’ve heard from your co-blogger Joy, that The Ryn is an allegorical tale, how long did you work to craft this novel?

The first draft was finished in five months. That was seven years ago. So… a long, long time. I did take breaks every now and then, of course, to write other things, but The Ryn was never far from my mind. I wouldn’t call The Ryn  a straight allegory, but it certainly has allegorical elements. In all honesty, I never intended for the book to have a spiritual aspect at all, I simply wanted re-write a fairy tale. Believe me, I was surprised—and awed—when God showed up and breathed his presence into the tale.

The cover is gorgeous! One of the very best I’ve seen for a self published book, care to share why you chose to self publish?

Thank you for the compliment! The cover model, as well as the photographer who took her picture, are both teenagers, which I think is a really cool thing on a YA novel! (Plus, I got to “direct” the photo shoot, which is really cool for me, because I am a total control freak! ) But it was the genius talent of Jodie Gerling of JG
Designs in Manhattan, Kansas who took Lincoln’s wonderful pictures, mixed them up with my crazy ideas, constant tweaks, and numerous neuroses to turn them into such a lovely representation of the story, so I will definitely send your compliments to her! But beyond me being a total control freak, there are many reasons I chose to self-publish rather than take the traditional route.

The publishing industry has evolved very quickly over the past couple of years due to both technological advancements and economic challenges. On the economic side, there have been a lot of layoffs in the industry. Publishers have been fairly dependent on proven authors as “brands” for their revenue and haven’t been as willing to take financial risks by adding unknown names to their lists—which makes it hard for the newbie to even get a foot in the proverbial door. Even for “branded” authors, however, it seems advances on royalties (from publishers) are shrinking—or coming with crazy sales-or-deadline-based clauses that could make them forfeit part or all of that advance back to the publisher if their book does not earn out. So, authors are getting paid LESS, yet many publishers are expecting their authors to DO MORE. Many contracted authors are now having shoulder the expense of (and forfeit the writing time to attend to) a good portion of their book’s marketing —services publishers used to provide, contractually. I thought long and hard on it, did a lot of research, and talked to several authors who have published both traditionally and on their own before making my decision. And then the real work began!

To make these books the best they could be, I spent a small fortune on multiple rounds of developmental and copy editing before having a product with which I was satisfied. Are there times when I wish I had a wee little advance to help pay for those services? You bet! But I’m not sure I’m ready for the tradeoff. Self-publishing allows me to control the quality, the cost of book production, and the timeline, and to track my return on investment. It will likely be years before I break even on what I’ve put into building The Ryn and The Remedy (Eyes of E’veria book two), but in the words of Frank Sinatra, “I did it myyyyyy way!” And... I’m pleased with the result. Does that mean I won’t consider traditional publishing down the road? Of course I would. This is an incredibly difficult, time-consuming business! To hand even a little bit of it off (or at least receive an advance to help pay for it!) would most likely be an amazing relief. But for where I am right now . . . this was the right choice for me. And for The Ryn.

You run an incredibly successful blog between Edgy Inspirational and USA Today’s HEA site, getting quite a name for yourself! Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by all the good book choices out there?

I don’t really “run” anything! But thanks for thinking I’m that awesome. Joy Tamsin David is the brains behind EIR, I’m just riding her very comfortable coattails! And as for HEA, I’m just a contributor there – the real props go to curator Joyce Lamb who organizes everything and, when I’m slow in sending in a review, emails to make sure I’m not dead. (Yes, that actually happened once!) The industry is all “Build your platform, build your platform!” But I count myself as incredibly blessed. Not only did Joy and Joyce build the platforms, they gave me a hand up to stand on them. Joy and Joyce encourage me and advise me and give me lots of virtual hugs when I start to freak out (which is more often than I would like to admit.) I am about the most disorganized person in the world and easily overwhelmed, but I hope to be like those two wonderful ladies when I grow up!

Switching gears here for just a minute…you write incredibly fun reviews, got any tips for the rest of us to make ours as enjoyable?

You’re doing just fine, Casey! But if I must give advice, I’ll speak to newbie reviewers out there: if you truly love a book, don’t be afraid to get giddy about it. *laughs* I get giddy about books I love and . . . I’m not afraid to sound like a goofball most of the time. So maybe my advice is… be a goofball? I don’t know! But a better tip would be this: if you don’t love a book, that needs to come through honestly… but nicely. In my early days of reviewing I didn’t always follow that advice. I was honest, but I wasn’t as nice as I should have been, considering this was someone’s baby that I was talking about. There are a couple of authors that I fear meeting someday because of how awkward it might be, due to my past “honesty” considering a certain something they wrote. I could have avoided that by reserving my snark and sarcasm for good times. Use your power for good.

Congratulations on the birth of your debut novel! It’s been great to learn more about The Ryn and you! Before you leave, give us a couple places readers can connect with you.

I update my official author page on Facebook several times per week and share all giveaways, contests, and such there. I would love it if your readers would “like” me! 

Readers can also connect by visiting my website http://www.serenachase.com and by following me on Twitter @Serena_Chase

Thanks for being here, Serena!

It was fun! Thanks for inviting me, Casey!

Okay readers! Check out a FUN giveaway going on here today!

One reader will win: Serena's debut novel The Ryn and the sequel The Remedy, a series themed t-shirt, a charm bracelet and of course, writers (and reader's fuel) chocolate!

ENTER HERE: ------> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A True Pleasure ~ Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck ~ Review


Every little girl dreams of that perfect fairy tale. As little girls become bigg(er) girls we tend to get a *little* bit more realism, but never truly lose that dream of someday falling in love and riding off into the sunset. “Once Upon a Prince” has taken every little girl’s dream and given us a soul mate in Susanna.
           
Good thing to love about Susanna: she has a good head on her shoulders. If it were me and I were in love with a prince (literally a PRINCE charming. ;-), I think my hopeless romantic side would start to take dominance. She’s competent, sweet and good, with a bit of sass which makes me to just want to cheer when she says something I would *never* say.
           
The romance is just about as sweet as you can get. The writing quality is right up there with stories that simply come to life in the mind’s eye. I did get lost in all the political talk. (I think because it basically goes right over my head) and it slowed the rhythm down for me.
            
Otherwise, the ending completely made me sigh. (I was waiting for like over three hundred pages for that kiss!!). I LOVED how much Nate loved Susanna and took time to really woo her. This is definitely a story for the heart of a hopeless romantic. A true pleasure.
           
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse for my copy to review.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
More about the novel...

Once Upon a Prince, the first novel in the Royal Wedding series by bestselling author Rachel Hauck,
treats you to a modern-day fairy tale.

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.



*~*CONTEST INFO*~*

Rachel Hauck is celebrating the release of Once Upon a Prince with a fun "Royal Wedding" Giveaway and connecting with readers at her May 28th Facebook Party.

PrinceHauck300

One "royal" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 27th. Winner will be announced at the "Once Upon a Prince" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 28th. Connect with Rachel for an evening of book chat, wedding trivia, laughter, and more! Rachel will also be sharing a sneak peek at the next book in the series and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Once Upon a Prince and join Rachel on the evening of May 28th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Giveaway! Gone South by Meg Moseley!



Welcome back to Writing for Christ Meg Moseley, I am excited to have you here for a second time. :- )

What has changed in your writing life since you were last here?

Last time, I was a starry-eyed newbie. I didn’t know then what I know now: that the writing life consists largely of office work and errands that are only vaguely related to storytelling. But back then, I didn’t know the happy parts of being published, either. Now I know what it’s like to connect with readers and to know that something I’ve written has made a difference for someone, somewhere. 

What recent read stood out to you as truly spectacular?

This may be a strange choice because “spectacular” is pretty much the opposite of “mundane,” but I highly recommend a slender little nonfiction book called The God of the Mundane by Matthew B. Redmond. (This isn’t Matt Redman, the music guy. Different spellings, different people.) Matt B. Redmond is a former pastor, now a banker, who packed a lot of wisdom into these “Reflections on Ordinary Life for Ordinary People,” as the subtitle goes.   

Do you have favorite authors?

I’m so old-school that most of my favorite authors are no longer with us. Josephine Tey, Dorothy L. Sayers, P.G. Wodehouse, G.K. Chesterton…. Hmm, are you picking up the Dead British Authors vibe?

What do you find the most enjoyable part of writing or connecting with readers?


There are a lot of enjoyable parts, but I especially enjoy meeting with book groups and getting into fervent discussions about my novels. I love readers who talk about my characters as if they’re real people, because they are real…at least in my mind.  

What do you find the most ideal atmosphere for writing? Do you ever get those surroundings? :- )

 I’m most focused when I work on my desktop computer in my office. My keyboard and my chair are old, and they weren’t expensive when they were new, but they’re great in the ergonomics department. I can work there for hours without having back problems or anything that resembles carpal tunnel syndrome, and I’m entertained by the birds coming to the feeder just outside the window. But sometimes I get tired of those surroundings, especially when I’m on deadline and I want to escape to some tropical spot with an umbrella drink in my hand, but all I’ve got is coffee and more coffee and a calendar that’s screaming about my looming deadline. 

Okay, something fun for those writers out there: In what point of your writing career did you surprise yourself by writing the most words ever in the shortest amount of time?

Oh, boy. The word “surprise” doesn’t necessarily have a positive connotation. Years ago, I decided to enter RWA’s Golden Heart contest, which requires a completed manuscript. So I wrote an entire and entirely terrible novel in three weeks. The judges gave it very low scores, as it deserved. I have vague memories of the plot, but I didn’t keep the file or a printed copy. I hope the awfulness of the story didn’t leave permanent scars on the judges’ psyches. :- )

Thanks for being here again! It has been a joy and we wish the very best with your novels.  

Thank you, Casey! It’s always a joy to chat with you, online or face to face.

Readers, here is your chance to enter to win Meg's book!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.
For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on May 31st
Attn Readers! If you're struggling to leave a comment on my blog, please email your comment entries (in ONE email) and I will submit it for you. But PLEASE only do this after you've failed to leave a comment. My email is: caseym.writer(@)gmail.com 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogging Break!

Hello faithful readers!

I'm headed out town for the next weekend...and traveling to my favorite state to spend a weekend with my favorite gals. 

Iowa will never the same after my Alley Cats and I take over. ;-) 

I'm unplugging for the weekend, packing my bags and climbin' on a jet plane 
(well, not really, just a commercial plane...)

(and really, by the time you're reading this, I'll be IN Iowa!)

It'll be a weekend of memories, laughter and probably eating WAY too much, but I couldn't be more excited. Once in a while, God brings some really close and special friends into your life. And I couldn't be more thankful for these ladies. 



I'll have plenty to share when I get back, I'm sure!

The Monday giveaway is scheduled as usual so watch for a chance to win Meg Moseley's latest novel. 

Have a fantastic weekend...I know I will. ;-)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Emotional ~ The Offering by Angela Hunt ~ Review


There aren’t many places or many emotions that this novel doesn’t touch. “The Offering” is a tangled weave of high and lows but told in such a way that these characters come alive and almost as though you might know them.
          
  Could you imagine carrying another woman’s child because she can’t carry her own? What about finding that this baby might in fact…be your own? Is such even plausible? Could you put yourself in the shoes of our heroine? I think more than anything, the novel asks these questions above all others. Could. You. Do. It?
           
I’m not sure I could.
            
There were such deep emotional lows and not many high, highs. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like how the story was going to end. But I have to say…I liked it. And it makes our characters very, very heroic. The story walks through with great detail until you feel one with Amanda’s circumstances and surroundings. I would have liked that amount of detail in the last third of the book, but can see why it was left out otherwise the book would have been an additional hundred pages.
           
Overall, I thought it a good story with moments of strong poignancy. Definitely a read for fans (or those who like the genre) of Nicholas Sparks.
            
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
More about the novel....

One innocent mistake . . . a lifetime of consequences.

After growing up an only child, Amanda Lisandra wants a big family. But since she and h
er soldier husband can’t afford to have more children right away, Mandy decides to earn money as a gestational carrier for a childless couple. She loves being pregnant, and while carrying the child, she dreams of having her own son and maybe another daughter. . . .

Just when the nearly perfect pregnancy is about to conclude, unexpected tragedy enters Mandy’s world and leaves her reeling. Devastated by grief, she surrenders the child she was carrying and struggles to regain her emotional equilibrium.

Two years later she studies a photograph of the baby she bore and wonders if the unthinkable has happened—could she have inadvertently given away her own biological child? Over the next few months Mandy struggles to decide between the desires of her grief-stricken heart and what’s best for the little boy she has never known.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Real Life on the Pages ~ The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney ~ Review


Contemporary women’s fiction with a strong plot line that had me hooked from the back cover copy.
            
What has become of Jill? Kidnapped? Run away? Nervous breakdown? Lost? Dead? Three hundred pages of trying to find this woman who has simply disappeared off the face of the earth. Husband Mitch is such a character to feel for. What is he to do? Searching, passing clues to the police and each one is a dead end. Can one even imagine being in such a position?
          
  I think the story does a good job of what that must feel like to have someone you love just disappear and you have no clue why. The story plays with great realism and yet still keeps our main characters likeable and as real as the people who might live next door.
            
The ending is heartbreaking. It’s one you know is coming, you have a pretty good idea of what has happened after reading the entire book. And on one hand my heart was saddened, on the other I was grateful our characters had their “answer”.
         
   The story is the struggles faced with every human life. It’s a love story twined through as real life story as what might be ripped from the headlines. It’s a story that has its moment of difficulty as I traversed the literary landscape, but one I walked closely by each of the characters.
           
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse for my copy to review.



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More about the novel....
From the award-winning author of "After All," a man finds his wedding vows tested after his wife
disappears.When Mitchell Brannon's beloved wife of twenty years kisses him goodbye one morning, he has little idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised Jill's car isn't in the garage. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. "Hey, babe, I'm just now checking out of the hotel, but I'll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you." Hours later, Jill still hasn't returned, and Mitch's irritation turns to dread.

When the police come up empty, Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill's best friend, Shelley, to help search. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, Mitch and Shelley's friendship grows ever closer--and decidedly more complicated. Every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.


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Contest Info!

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Deborah is celebrating with a fun "Date Night" Giveaway (win a $200 Visa Cash Card!) and an Author Chat Party on Facebook! {5/30}
Face-of-Earth300
   One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one – your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whomever!)
  • The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 29th. Winner will be announced at the "The Face of the Earth" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 30th. Connect with Deborah for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Deborah will also be sharing a sneak peek of her next book and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Face of the Earth and join Deborah on the evening of May 30th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 30th!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Brave Enough to be the Queen's Servant? ~ Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd ~ Review AND Giveaway!!


The third in a historical trilogy, “Roses Have Thorns” is set in the Tudor period, a time rife with conflict and rich in more than just the jewels and costumes.
           
Much like a movie playing out before the mind’s eye, this novel follows richly on the its cover’s promise. Dark and deep, telling in its portrayal of real life characters through the eyes of a fictional heroine, the novel takes place over more years than most titles can pull off.
           
A reader can travel years within one chapter, but a tip of my feather-decked hat to never once making me feel as though I were rushed. I would have really loved to see the layer of Thomas and Helena begin much sooner in the novel. I wanted to delve deeper into their relationship and their struggles.
          
  To be a servant to the queen? A woman with enough power to sever your head from your shoulders without being questioned? I don’t think I’d be brave enough. Helena was. 16th century England was nothing short than a walking booby trap. What faith!        
         
   I felt much of the novel was circular. The same events happening over and over and with this, I lost a great deal of my initial interest. While the story as a whole, had great potential for good, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as “To Die For” (novel #1)
           
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.



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More about the novel....

From the acclaimed author of To Die For comes a stirring novel told that sheds new light on Elizabeth I and her court.Sandra Byrd has attracted countless fans for evoking the complexity, grandeur, and brutality of the Tudor period. In her latest tour de force, she poses the question: What happens when serving a queen may cost you your marriage—or your life?


In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth’s circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen’s downfall, Helena is forced to choose between an unyielding monarch and the husband she’s not sure she can trust—a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences.

Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.

*~*CONTEST INFO*~*

Would you like to win your own copy of Sandra's latest novel and the pictured Elizabethan necklace?

I thought so. ;-) I'd enter myself, if I weren't hosting it!

Leave a comment below about why YOU'D like to read this book and I'll add your 
name to a drawing to win the title, Roses Have Thorns and the pictured necklace (actual prize might appear slightly different than pictured)

Standard contest rules apply. Only U.S. entries please! One entry per entrant in this contest. :-) 

I'll draw a winner and email them privately next Saturday, May 25th

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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