Thursday, January 11, 2018

Awesome Book!! Awesome Giveaway!!



                    "The Valentine Verse
                         By JoAnn Durgin

About the Book:


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for February 14th anymore! Love should be celebrated every day of the year. That’s Thornton Fielding’s philosophy. In spite of a few false starts in the arena of love, he holds out hope he’ll eventually find the woman of his dreams. The problem? He loves his job, and there’s no end in sight to his travels. But when Thornton returns to his tiny hometown of Cherish, Minnesota, he meets a beautiful and intriguing woman he believes might be God’s answer to ending his bachelor status—permanently.
Vara Alexandris is soured on love and scoffs at the notion of soul mates. But soon after meeting the handsome and unconventional Thornton, the speech and language pathologist suspects he might be the perfect ally to help jump-start her stroke patient’s recovery—if only Vara can keep Thornton grounded in Cherish long enough. This man who spouts romanticized and idealistic ideas about love seems all too eager to resume his world travels. Could it be Thornton actually prefers globetrotting in order to avoid a romantic relationship?
Is it time for Vara to call the dreamer’s bluff? And can Thornton convince Vara to put past heartache behind her and trust in God’s plan for her heart?
Join Thornton and Vara in USA Today bestselling author JoAnn Durgin’s latest release full of her trademark humor, romance, and lively, small-town characters in a story of God’s fierce passion and loving guidance for His children—if only they pay attention! The Valentine Verse is sure to warm your soul during any season of the year.
My Thoughts: 


"The Valentine Verse" is a  heartwarming story of some beloved characters (from one of JoAnn's  popular series) who all must deal with previous hurts and rejections . Their future relationships are dependent on the healing that only faith and trust in God can provide. Although some characters from previous novels appear in this story line, it can be thoroughly enjoyed as a stand alone. The two main characters were realistically described making them easy with whom to identify. 

The plot moves somewhat slowly but steadily towards an expected happy ending. The story was one that I would highly recommend for those who love a sweet Christian romance.  I enjoyed the humour that JoAnn uses throughout the book, lightening the mood and making this tale one that holds one's interest from beginning to end. The message  and importance  of faith in God shines throughout. It definitely carries a strong Christian message that can be an example to us all. 
This book was a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.
 Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author:
JoAnn Author Photo (Princess Cruise)JoAnn Durgin is the USA Today bestselling author of the beloved Lewis Legacy Series as well as Prelude, the prequel to the series. Her other works include the Amazon bestselling Catching SerenityHeart’s Design and its sequel, Gentle Like the Rain, The Wondrous Love Series, Echoes of EdinburghPerchance to DreamWhisper to My HeartThee Will I CherishThe Christmas Challenge, and the popular Starlight Christmas Series.
A former estate administration paralegal, JoAnn now writes contemporary Christian romance full-time and lives with her family in her native southern Indiana. Writing Christian fiction is her passion, and she loves nothing more than sharing the hope to be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Guest Post from JoAnn Durgin

A Little More about The Valentine Verse from Author JoAnn Durgin
I adore writing and reading contemporary Christian romance, but I’ve noticed very few novels in the genre have an actual Valentine’s Day theme and/or title. Perhaps authors believe it would limit the “shelf life” of their book. The way I see it, if Christmas novels (and Hallmark Christmas movies) can be popular year-round, why not Valentine’s Day books?
I’ve always been somewhat of a rebel in my writing career. Don’t tell me I can’t do something or I might just try it (within reason)! After a Christmas release last year followed closely by the eighth installment (500 pages!) of my longest-running series, I knew I couldn’t possibly release a Valentine’s Day book. That’s when one of the primary themes of The Valentine Verse “hit” me—Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be reserved only for February 14th. Expressing our love to one another should be celebrated throughout the year! This concept became the philosophy of the hero, Thornton Fielding, and the book released in early May. Let me tell you a little more about the idea for Thornton…
I dedicated The Valentine Verse to my uncle, Mr. Thornton, and named my hero after him. My uncle was instrumental in my being able to quit my full-time paralegal job in mid-August 2014. Without going into specific details, there were three things that took place (“signs,” if you will) beginning earlier that same year, which seemed to clearly indicate I should try to make writing my full-time career. My debut novel released in late 2010, and the story of my road to publication can be found on my website at www.joanndurgin.com. By early 2014, my books were beginning to find faithful readers, and I was blessed with decent sales. The third and final “sign” and blessing came from Mr. Thornton. Truly, it was as if God were saying, “JoAnn, what more will it take for you to step out in faith?” I promised the Lord and myself that I’d take a year and see how it went…and I haven’t looked back since! I took the leap of faith, but I’m also doing what I feel the Lord has called me to do. Almost three years to the day of quitting my day job, I released my 24th novel. God is so good, and it is my great honor and privilege to write for His glory.
Thank you to Celebrate Lit for the gracious opportunity for this blog tour. The Valentine Verse features fun characters (how can you miss with a small Minnesota town named Cherish?), heartwarming lessons, *sightings* of two of my most popular heroes from another series, and even a surprising twist at the end! I hope you’ll enjoy The Valentine Verse.
Blessings, friends.
JoAnn
Matthew 5:16

Blog Stops

Mommynificent, January 10
Power of Words, January 10 (Spotlight)
Karen Sue HadleyJanuary 11
Reading is my Super Power, January 11 (Interview)
Quiet Quilter, January 12
RemembrancyJanuary 13
Bibliophile Reviews, January 15
Texas Book-aholic, January 16
Janices book reviewsJanuary 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 20
Simple Harvest Reads, January 21 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
God is Love, January 22
A Greater YesJanuary 23
margaret kazmierczak, January 23 (Interview)
Pursuing StacieJanuary 24
BigreadersiteJanuary 24

Giveaway:

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

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5dd

Friday, January 5, 2018

Bethany Kaczmarek Writes a Super Debut Novel! Enter the Author's Giveaway!

                      
                         "Strains of Silence"
                        By Bethany Kaczmarek

About the Book:
                                            
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.
Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.
Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.
Click here to purchase your copy.
My Thoughts:

As this is Bethany's debut novel, she is to be applauded on dealing with a very powerful, difficult, emotional subject in a sensitive, caring manner, while drawing the reader into the roller coaster life of the main characters. Abused women are a subject that is often addressed, however this author manages to do it in such a way that the book could be used as a counselling aid, as well as a novel to read for pleasure. 

The plot stresses the importance and power of the support of both God and family. Our God truly can heal all hurts when we allow Him to guide us through our deepest  challenges. The realism of the depth of mental and physical abuse of the victim, as well as the family, stays within the reader's soul long after finishing this book. God alone has the power to forgive and heal our hurts! This theme comes out loud and clear throughout the story. 

The characters are so realistically and well described, that you immediately travel alongside them on their difficult journey of survival during the worst of times. Their hurts become the reader's , as well as the rejoicing when difficulties are overcome. 

Bethany is to be congratulated on this five star book!! Waiting for this author's next creation!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.



About the Author: 


Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.






Guest Post from Bethany Kaczmarek

Strains of Silence: A Novel for Anyone Who Can Say #MeToo
We’re everywhere. After years of silence, many survivors of sexual assault are raising our voices. You’ve seen the hashtag. You know someone who suffered like this—a friend, a sister, a daughter.
Maybe you know personally what it’s like to be used.
I’m thankful for the conversations the #MeToo campaign has started, proud of the brave women who are speaking out. But I know some are still quiet, nursing wounds.
I could list loads of valid reasons a victim chooses to suffer in silence.
  • People won’t believe her.
  • If she doesn’t say it out loud, it’s easier to pretend it was a nightmare.
  • He’s got authority over her—at work, at church, in the family—and it’ll cost her too much. He’s done enough damage already.
  • He’s threatened to destroy her reputation, and she believes him. One, because he’ll do it without flinching. Two, because she’s already convinced that she’s living a lie.
  • Because at church, she’s supposed to be fine, smiling, rejoicing in her suffering and pressing on. Besides, people don’t want to sit with her in her pain and listen. They’d rather offer bumper-sticker theology and trite spiritual bandages.
  • The few times she’s tried to speak up, her used-to-be friend basically made her feel like it was her fault.
The list could go on, but it’s fair to say that being honest about what happened to us makes us vulnerable all over again. The idea is understandably stressful.
But you know what? Pretending we’re fine is exhausting too. We bear a great strain when we hide our hurts, for whatever reason.
Kasia Bernolak, the heroine of my novel Strains of Silence, gets it. She’s got reasons for keeping it quiet too. But when God brings some new people into her life, she realizes she doesn’t have to be alone.
And speaking up offers a freedom, a lightness, she wants.
It’s a freedom I want for my readers.
I know. Strains of Silence sounds like a heavy book right now. The themes are heavy, no doubt. There’s no glossing over and prettying up sexual assault or domestic violence. But—just like in real life—it’s how well we surround and support the suffering that can set the tone. Kasia’s friends are real, they’re funny, they’re quirky, and they believe in her.
Besides, it’s not all dark and brooding. There’s travel—an entire summer in the mountains of Peru. There’s a lot of music—Kasia’s a singer/song-writer who loves indie artists (I’ve got a playlist on my website). There’s heritage and culture—meet her immigrant family and you’ll get a delicious taste of Poland. There’s humor—enough to keep the story light when you need it to be.
And there’s hope. Kasia’s life is absolutely full of possibility.
So are the lives of everyone who can say #MeToo.
Sometimes, it just helps to see someone else fight the battle on our own horizon. And if you can do it with a fantastic new playlist and some laughs, why not?
My hope is that Strains of Silence will lead to real discussions with reader-friends, book-club gatherings that become turning points, and the true pursuit of freedom. It’s time to throw off the burdens we wear and stand up. Raise your voice, link arms with others, and fight for hope.

Healing is within our reach.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, January 6
Fiction Aficionado, January 8
Genesis 5020, January 8
Bigreadersite, January 9
Mommynificent, January 10
Texas Book-aholic, January 11
allofakindmom, January 11
Blogging With Carol, January 12 (Interview)
The Power of Words, January 12
Pursuing Stacie, January 12
A Greater YesJanuary 13
Faithfully Bookish, January 16
Carpe Diem, January 18
Remebrancy, January 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Bethany is giving away a grand grand prize a signed book, a Polish pottery mug with two of the main character’s favorite kinds of teas, 4 of her favorite albums (Josh Garrels, Waterdeep, The Gray Havens, and Andrew Greer), a box of chocolate butter cookies, and a $50 Amazon gift card.!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5dc

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A New Author Appears on the Christian Fiction Scene!! Make sure that you enter the giveaway!

      
                    "Hope Travels Through"
                      By Loni Kemper Moore

About the Book:

Genre: Contemporary Lit
TeJae Smythe gave up on God and her hometown of Evansville, Indiana, ten years ago, but a deep personal loss requires her to return to both. Her life as a stewardess is going to be perfect. She has a plan. If only life would stick to it.
In Hope Travels Through, TeJae finds the biggest challenge comes from the conflict within herself. Will she hold it all together? Or will she fall apart and embrace the beauty in the midst of disaster?
Based on actual events of December 13, 1977, a date most people don’t remember, but one many living in the Ohio River Valley will never forget, the crash of the University of Evansville men’s basketball team plane.

Click here to purchase your copy.
My Thoughts:

As this book was written by a brand new author, I had no idea what to expect! Would it be great? Would it be boring? It would be a complete surprise. 

To this particular reader, the most important message that the author is giving me is to appreciate and cherish my family and friends, at all times. You just never know what the future holds! Will there be a tomorrow to make peace and ask for forgiveness? Will you be able to heal those hurts that you wish you hadn't been the cause of? 

The plot deals with a very real event in Sports history,  which took place in Indiana in the 1970's. Those who are interested in basketball will definitely have memories of this era. 

I must admit that I had some difficulty identifying with the main characters at the beginning of the book. Eventually, with some concentration, I was able to live parts of the story alongside them. However, as I am not a sports fan, this was an unknown time to me. It would definitely mean more to a person who could recall this past time in the country's history. There were some characters that I had a particular dislike to , while others appealed to me. 

The plot was well developed , although at times , moved rather slowly. There were unexpected events from time to time that managed to hold my interest. I just found them somewhat difficult to follow. 

The Christian message of hope, caring and forgiving  , come through loud and clear. We must value each moment we share with loved ones and not let spiteful , unimportant feelings get in the way. You just never know when a tragic event could  take them away. 

All in all, this book was a good debut novel. I am looking forward to more creations by this author. 

This book was received as a gift. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.



About the Author:

Loni Kemper Moore is a Denver-Broncos cheering, Diet-Pepsi sipping, Rocky Mountain adventure-seeking kind of girl. She’s passionate for God and wants to share His beautiful love through life’s ugliness with remarkable women around the globe. Her writing came alive seven years ago after she broker her ankle. The crazy time of being laid up forced her to flip through decades of diaries which inspired the story that became Hope Travels Through. When she’s not writing, she’s an entertainer, technical support analyst; mom of a teenager named Adam; traveler with Robert, her dear “Hugsband,” stepmom to University of Evansville alumna Becca and her husband, Anthony; and spender of way too much time on Facebook. With her experiences of learning to trust God through tragedy, being employed by travel agencies and Delta Air Lines, and attending University of Evansville graduate school, she’s the best person to tell this story.


Guest Post from Loni Moore

What Made Me Write Hope Travels Through?
The weathered orthopedic surgeon shook his head and stared at the x-rays. Without making eye-contact, he said, “I usually work on Olympians and professional athletes. This doesn’t look good. She’s going to have arthritis and limp for the rest of her life.”
I hadn’t had anything stronger than Tylenol since the entire weight of my 128 (at the time) pounds crunched my left ankle, 24 hours earlier.
Robert, aka Dear Hugsband, had told me, so very graciously, when we arrived at Skate City, “Once you’re over 50, you shouldn’t roller skate.” But our son, Adam was 10 and I wondered how many more years he’d want me to hang out with him, so I’d strapped on the skates and joined the crowd of skaters. I avoided landing on the body of the five-year old who cut me off. Didn’t that count for something?
However, none of that mattered at that moment. I needed drugs, and Robert agreed to whatever that surgeon said to get my prescriptions.
One afternoon, my stomach growled on a gurney as I waited in the surgery center with IVs in my hands until a perky nurse announced, “The doctor will need to reschedule because something came up.”
REALLY? After waiting 10 days, he no-shows?
I’ve never loved Robert’s New York attitude more than the next day when by 7 pm that evening I was at Red Robin, post-surgery, eating a celebratory French Onion soup. Thanks to a nerve blocker the new, cute surgeon had provided after rebreaking bones and inserting pins.
Adam was able to complete his homeschool work with little interference from my drug infested brain and I occupied my time by flipping through decades of accumulated diaries. The story of a woman surviving tough times percolated in my brain and I remembered my mother saying, “Everyone has a Great American Novel in her. You just need to take time to write it.”
As my leg healed leaving no arthritis nor limp, I returned to the million things life demands, including a visit to our Becca at the University of Evansville, where I’d done my graduate work. As she showed us the Weeping Basketball, my protagonist informed me the story began in 1976, not 2011. The story climaxed when the university’s men’s basketball team plane crashed, but I was too busy to spend much time on it.
Three days before Christmas that year, my younger sister passed away from Lyme complications, I could barely breathe. I’ve seen it a dozen times someone’s busy life prevents her from taking care of herself until something stops them in their tracks and they cannot move on. That happened to me.
At the time, Dear Hugsband programmed Coca-Cola’s Freestyle machine (you’re welcome), so Adam and I joined him in Atlanta for several months. During that time without the cooking-cleaning-requirements and Adam insisting he preferred independence of his homeschool curriculum with minimal input from me, I processed my grief by putting the story that became Hope Travels Through on my computer.
“In a weak moment, I have written a book.” Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind
Dear Hugsband loved his project with Coca-Cola and enjoyed everything about working in Atlanta except the humidity, the traffic and the commute. Typically, he worked in Georgia every other week, and was home every weekend.
But occasionally, he’d be forced to stay in Atlanta over the weekend and tried to find something to entertain himself. One weekend, after seeing every movie running, he decided to go to the Margaret Mitchell House Museum where one of my favorite books, Gone With The Wind, was written.
He bought me a mug with the above quote on it which he said was to encourage me in my writing, along with several commonalities between myself and the famous author.
  1. She was short—I am 5 feet tall, if I stretch;
  2. Her husband was over 6 feet tall—mine is 6’3 1/2”;
  3. She started writing her novel, after an ankle injury– I started writing after I a similar injury;
  4. She used a typewriter—I use a computer;
  5. Her mother gave her the quotes she used about how to survive in an upside-down world – my mom had a Bible verse for every occasion. I think her favorite was Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind, Loni to whomever…”;
  6. It took Margaret ten years to complete her novel – I’m not far behind, at nearly eight years.

Obviously, I don’t have one commonality with Margaret, in that she died at the age of 48 in a traffic accident, but his conclusions are precious.
I’m well aware the odds of my little novel being successful, without the industry connections Margaret had, are low, but it’s been a fun journey even if no one buys a copy!

Blog Stops

Karen Sue Hadley, December 16
Jami’s Words, December 17
Quiet Quilter, December 18
Texas Book-aholic, December 19
Radiant Light, December 20
Carpe DiemDecember 21
A Reader’s BrainDecember 22
A Greater YesDecember 23
Blogging With Carol, December 23
SusanLovesBooks, December 25
Remembrancy, December 26
Mary Hake, December 26
Janices book review, December 27
The Power of Words, December 28
Just Jo’Anne, December 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Loni is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5be