Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Laurie Tomlinson | Author Chat

It's coffee (or tea) time and a chat with author Laruie Tomlinson who...
is an award-winning contemporary romance author and cheerleader for creatives. She believes that God’s love is unfailing, anything can be accomplished with a good to-do list, and that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles. Her novella That’s When I Knew was featured in the Love at First Laugh collection, and her debut novel, With No Reservations, is now available from Harlequin Heartwarming.
Let's get real...

Would you rather live in a story world you’ve created for a year OR live three days in a story world someone else has created? If second option, which story world?
You don’t have to ask me twice! I would live three days in the Harry Potter world. After I asked Molly Weasley to teach me how to get my entire house to clean itself, I’d use an invisibility cloak to explore the Hogwarts grounds, sneak into the headmistress’s office, and talk to Dumbledore’s portrait.

How many words do you write a day?
I’ve learned not to measure my days in word count because I’m slower, although if you count work, my numbers would be much more impressive. I prefer to write in “chunks” (if you haven’t read Allie Pleiter’s Chunky Method stuff, you must!)—half an hour before my kids wake up, fifteen minutes while my dinner is finishing off in the oven, two hours at a coffee shop on a rainy Friday night. Some way or another, it gets done!

Share about a failed meal you’ve made.
When I first got married, I would pick a recipe from my cookbooks with no knowledge of how hard it was to execute. I tackled a spring vegetable risotto from Ina Garten (her highness), which called for homemade chicken stock and a lot of stirring. Once my triceps had turned to Jell-O, it was ready and tasty…until I accidentally dumped an entire container of black pepper on it. Pretty sure I needed ice cream for dinner after that.

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters?
I would cast Peter Mooney (Canadian actor from Rookie Blue) as Cooper and Dianna Agron (American actress from Glee!) as Sloane. Swoon! They are so beautiful!

What’s one thing you must have/do in the morning?
Ideally, my new She Reads Truth Bible. I’m obsessed with it. It’s a combination of the Word, plenty of contextual information to satisfy my geeky ways, and gorgeous design. Right up my alley! But I also need a good brain dump in my planner to make sure everything gets fitted in. Right now, I’m balancing 5K training, a few jobs, working on a new book proposal or two, launching my debut novel well, and making sure my children have the most magical summer ever before my daughter goes to kindergarten in the fall!

What does a ‘normal’ day look like for you?
Wake up. Get a little work done. Make breakfast for my kids and finish working while they watch their morning cartoon. Take them to the gym and get my sweat on (or read on the treadmill) while they play with friends. Run errands or do something fun with them. Make lunch and put the baby down for a nap. Finish more work or get some word count in while he’s napping (or watch my latest Netflix binge if I cannot brain that day). Dinnertime and cleanup. Family walk around the neighborhood. Kids’ bedtime routine. Husband time. More work or word count.

Favorite dessert?
The Mile High Chocolate Pie from Antoinette Baking Co. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s a layer of buttery pie crust, a layer of chocolate cookie crumble, a generous amount of chocolate mousse made rich with espresso, topped with barely sweetened whipped cream and more cookie crumble. I die.

Name one song/artist you're embarrassed you like.
Never. I will never be embarrassed of my music. But I suppose my husband would ask me to turn down the volume when I’m jamming to Elton John, 98 Degrees, or the cheesiest, most glorious 90s R&B with the windows down.

Connect with Laruie on her website, Facebook page, and Instagram

Laurie has graciously offered a copy of her book for a giveaway! Enter below:

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Sprouts of Love by Valerie Comer | New Novel News

Sprouts of Love 
by Valerie Comer

Published: May 16, 2017
Publisher: GreenWords Media
Purchase: Sprouts of Love

Single mom Evelyn Felton takes on a third part-time job managing a greenhouse and garden project for Grace Fellowship. Formerly homeless, she’s thrilled to offer truckloads of fresh produce to the Arcadia Valley food bank.

If only Ben Kujak weren’t running Corinna’s Cupboard singlehandedly, he’d be delighted to be on the receiving end. But Evelyn and her dynamo daughter, Maisie, won’t take no for an answer, even if it means restructuring Ben’s charity.

Soon Ben finds himself wishing they’d transform his personal life, too, but can true love sprout when their pasts collide with the present?

Get to know Valerie...

What’s one thing you must have/do in the morning?
 Make my bed! The whole house could be covered in dog hair, knee-deep in laundry, and a sink mounded with dirty dishes, but the bed must be made.

What are the names of your pets?
Brody is our 9yo black Lab cross. Brody means ditch-runner, which turned out to be an apt name. Our two cats, Coonie and Moxie, are 7yo tortoiseshell littermates who get along as good as any sisters do, anywhere…

Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
Haida Gwaii, aka the Queen Charlotte Islands, lie a seven-hour ferry ride off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. With giant trees, shell-covered beaches, and ocean waves all around, it’s a place I hope to return to!

Connect with Valerie: http://valeriecomer.com/

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Uraveling by Sara Ella | Blog Tour

Welcome to the: Thomas Nelson's Young Adult Summer of 2017 Feature

Emilie here: Yay! I'm so excited to host Sara here with her new book (book 2 in her Unblemished Trilogy). Below you'll find out a little bit about the book, an excerpt, and the chance for a giveaway! Make sure you've pre-ordered your copy that comes out July 11th!

About the Book

Title:  Unraveling
Series: Unblemished, Book 2
Author:  Sara Ella
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  July 11, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy
In the second installment of the Unblemished Trilogy, YA author Sara Ella asks, “What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?”

Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After capturing the Void and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about—like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

With the Verity intertwined with her soul and Joshua finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something—or someone—is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her connection with Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections—and keep herself from falling for him in the process?


Taken from “Unraveling” by Sara Ella Copyright © 2017 by Sara E. Larson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

I’m not ready for this.

My shoulder is going to rip from its socket. My bicep is a torch, igniting my forearm. His fingers are sliding from mine, and I can’t hold on any longer. All I see is the gorge below, the beads of sweat dewing his temples.

He shouts, “Hold on!”

But the cliff crumbles with each passing blink. If we remain this way, we’ll both be swallowed by the chasm below.

I loosen my grip, my clammy palm slipping.

His eyes plead. Beg. Implore. “Don’t!” His cry echoes.

The river crashes and curls. Waiting to swallow. Devour. Obliterate anything entering its territory. But it isn’t the river I’m afraid of. It’s the black hole beyond it. The beginning of the end.

I know if we disconnect he might be lost forever. “I love you” is what I want to say. Instead I ask him, “Find me?”

His expression corkscrews, a mask of raw emotion. “Always.” His voice is weak, his energy drained. He’s not strong enough. Because of me.

So my fingers splay.

I let go.

About the Author
Sara Ella is the author of Unblemished, book one of the Unblemished Trilogy. Once upon a time, Sara dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a castle, and she did work for Disney! Now she spends her days throwing living room dance parties for her two princesses and conquering realms of her own imaginings. She believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

CONNECT WITH SARA:  website ⎸facebook ⎸twitter ⎸pinterest ⎸instagram ⎸youtube


(3) Winners will each win a finished hard copy of Unraveling by Sara Ella, courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson Publishers. Giveaway ends June 2, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST.

Tour Schedule

5/22 - Melony Teague (Author Interview)
5/23 - Thorn & Vine (review) & Between the Pages of This Bookish Life (Spotlight)
5/24 - A Baker's Perspective (review), Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight) & YA Book Divas (Spotlight & Excerpt)
5/25 - My So Called Chaos (review) & Thinking Thoughts (Spotlight)
5/26 - Reading is My SuperPower (review)
5/27 - The Green Mockingbird (review)
5/28 - Bookworm Mama (Spotlight)
5/29 - Just Commonly (review)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Delia Latham {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Delia...

Writing Heaven’s touch into earthly tales, Delia Latham puts her characters through the fire of earthly trials to bring them out victorious by the hand of God, His heavenly messengers, and good, old-fashioned love. You’ll always find a touch of the divine in this author’s sweet tales of romance.

Delia lives in East Texas with her husband Johnny. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and author of inspirational romance…with a finger or two immersed in the design pool, where she creates beautiful marketing material for other authors. Delia treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. She’s got a “thing” for Dr. Pepper and loves hearing from readers.

Connect with Delia...

Website: http://delialatham.net
Blog: http://chirpnchatter.blogspot.com
Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/delialatham
Facebook: http://facebook.com/delialatham
Twitter: http://twitter.com/delialatham
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/delialatham

Get to know Delia...

You and Writing

Let's talk about you...

Writing is a part of my soul. I’ve always said that I’ve been writing something ever since I could wrap my tiny, baby fingers around a pencil…and it isn’t far from the truth. My earliest memories include an attachment to pencils and notepads. I wrote little poems, songs, and stories. Didn’t matter to me, back then, about critiques and edits, and I didn’t know the term “internal editor” even existed. I just loved to write. It was a grand feeling!

I also loved to read right from the get-go. As soon as I was old enough, I became totally addicted to Grace Livingston Hill and Emilie Loring. My pastor/uncle’s wife was a wonderful, encouraging mentor who convinced me I had writing talent…and despite my own self-doubts, it was enough to set me on the “write” track. I’m still wandering that same delightful path, and still enjoying every step along the way.

Your Writing 

Tell us a little bit about your book...

Why are you/did you write it?
Summer Dreams is book 2 in my Paradise Pines series (preceded by Spring Raine). Each story takes place during a different season of the year, and is set in Cambria, California—a beautiful little village on the Central Coast. I wanted each book to encourage and uplift readers, and God certainly delivered in Summer Dreams—at least, I was encouraged and uplifted as I wrote Summer’s story. It always helps when God allows His special messengers into one of my books, as He so often does. I think readers will enjoy this portion of the Paradise Pines quadrilogy. (Sounds pretentious, doesn’t it? Yet, I’m told that’s what a set of four books is called. Why not just, “set of four books”?)

What did you learn while writing it?
I knew in my heart that my shy, quiet heroine was a praise dancer…but I’ve been around praise dancing very little, and have watched praise dancers dance only a time or two, and from a distance. Needless to say, I had some research to do.

I spent a great deal of time online, watching praise dancing on video, and reading about it in a good many articles. I had such a wonderful time learning about this beautiful form of worship, and about the meaning of different moves, the clothing worn and the accessories used. Now I want to learn to praise dance!

What’s your favorite snack while writing?
Well, chocolate comes to mind… 😀

Actually, I don’t snack a lot while writing. It’s a little difficult to eat with one’s fingers occupied on the keyboard. But I do like to have some sort of snack that I can just grab and pop in my mouth now and then…M & Ms, nuts, etc. I don’t like trying to deal with “messy” foods, because I hate having tacky residue on my keyboard. Besides, greasy, sticky fingers are distractions, and I have enough of those without creating more. So, yeah, I stick with easy, no-mess snacks. And if that snack happens to include non-messy chocolate, that’s a definite plus.


Let’s talk about your writing life...
What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”? We hear this a lot, but dig deeper. Is there something else that helped you?

Never start a writing session without praying first. Invite God to write through you. I consider myself nothing more than His transcriptionist, and I can’t transcribe if He isn’t dictating. Besides, praying first opens the heart and mind to His leading and inspiration. I, for one, can’t imagine even trying to write without those two things.

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters?
From the world around me. I love to people watch—in the mall, at a restaurant, sitting in a waiting room, walking in the park. Wherever people are, there are things for authors to use in books. Facial expressions, tones of voice, overheard snippets of conversation, body language…and on and on.

Writers tend to be solitary people. I’m probably the most solitary of them all. But it is important to get out of the house and into the world now and then. You cannot write about life if you’re not living.

Ideas are everywhere. I once wrote an article about ideas being like chameleons…they’re there, but they blend into the surroundings. A writer must keep his/her eyes peeled at all times, watching for the little signs that allow the chameleons to be spotted. Read that article here.

Do you listen to music when you write?
Not a chance! I’m very one-track minded. If I’m listening to music, I can’t concentrate on the story line. If I’m focused on a story line, I can’t enjoy the music. I need silence, which is why I do my best writing late at night, after the rest of the world is asleep.


What is a favorite memory you have of your mother? 
My sweet little mother was an unforgettable character. She wasn’t quite five feet tall, and she never weighed much at all…but packed into that tiny frame was a powerhouse personality. Mama only finished 2nd grade in school, but she managed the finances and household for eight children and a husband without blinking. I tried repeatedly to teach her how to use a calculator, but she just couldn’t quite grasp the concept. Nevertheless, by the time she reached the checkout in a grocery store, no matter how packed her grocery cart, she would have calculated—in her head—how much money she’d need to cough up for the clerk, and she was never off by more than about a quarter.

No one was more “mother” than mine. Every memory of illness or heartbreak or any other type of need, Mama’s sweet face and firm, but gentle hands, are right there in the midst of it. I can’t wait to see her again in Heaven!

If you had to choose one type of food, what kind would it be?

I love Oriental food. Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc. I did have a surprising experience with Thai food once. The waitress asked if I wanted hot or medium spice. I said hot, because I really love spicy food…but apparently the Thai idea of hot and my idea of hot are worlds apart. My tongue still burned two days later. My mistake. The next time a Thai waitress raises an eyebrow when I say “hot,” I will immediately downgrade to “medium.”

What are you currently reading?
Well, it’s still a little while until this interview goes live, so I’m not likely to still be reading the same book. Right now, however, I’m getting ready to delve into Mary Manners’ Christmas novella, Sugar Cookie Kisses.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

J.M. Hackman | Author Chat

I'm so excited to welcome author J.M. Hackman to the blog for an author chat. So grab your drink of choice and let's get to know J.M. ...
I’m an only child and have lived most of my life in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. I married my soul-mate 22 years ago (this June), and we have two fantastic, beautiful daughters, 17 and almost 12.

I’ve always written. Articles, essays, poems, to-do lists, even (bad) song lyrics. I began writing my first novel in 1995. After taking a hiatus to have two incredible kids, I came back to writing in 2006. I won the Editor’s Choice Award for the Realm Makers Short Story contest in 2015. That story, “The Escort,” was published in the anthology RealmScapes. At the Realm Makers Conference in 2015, I pitched Spark to L2L2 Publishing. The rest, as they say, is history.

My free time is spent reading, card making, and cheering the Penn State Nittany Lions football team on to victory.
Let's get real...

How did you start writing and why are you still writing?
I started writing when I was very young (probably around five years old) and I’ve continued to write because of joy. Despite the difficulties (after all, there are no “perfect” jobs), the joy of creating worlds, characters, and stories to share with others keeps me going. Right now, I feel I’m where God wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do.

That's great! So then...why do you write? 
Because the stories keep coming! There’s always one or two ideas percolating, but I can’t write fast enough. I’m a very slow producer, as well as being a wife and mom of two girls. So I use notebooks and index cards to capture the ideas before they slip away. They’ll be there when the current work in progress is done.

Let's talk a little bit about your book, Spark. Why did you write it? (P.S. LOVE that cover by the way!)
After my daughters were born, I started reading the Harry Potter series. When that was finished, I picked up Gregor the Overlander (by Suzanne Collins), then the Percy Jackson series, followed by the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I started to wonder, “Where are the girls?” (The Hunger Games and Divergent series hadn’t been released yet). Girls need to read about a female leader, not a sidekick, who is strong, yet vulnerable—a character looking for something special inside that makes her valuable.

Oh, I love that! Very true. So, do you have a favorite character in the book? If so, why are they your favorite?
Although all of my characters are special, Brenna’s my favorite. She’s a blend of a younger me and both of my daughters. Even so, sometimes she surprises me with what comes out of her mouth. What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with? Brenna, who struggles with insecurity and ADHD, eventually accepts the new role she’s been created to fulfill. Everyone has a unique gift. Everyone has a purpose, something only they can do on this Earth. I hope others, whether they deal with ADHD, autism, a learning disability, or some other problem, can relate to Brenna and her struggles and come away knowing that these struggles are not what defines them. Their gifts and talents and how they use them are what makes them special.

Let's talk about the details for us writers. How long did you write before you got published?
A loooooong time! I started writing Christian romance in 1995 and finished three novels before I got pregnant with my first daughter. At that point “the voices in my head” went silent. They stayed quiet until after my second daughter was born. Apparently, hormones and creativity don’t mix! I started playing with words again around 2006 and never stopped. Only this time, I was interested in speculative fiction. So I’ve been on the writing journey for about 15 years. Last year my short story was published in the Realm Maker anthology, RealmScapes. And my debut novel Spark was released on May 16 from L2L2 Publishing!

We often here "keep writing" as advice for younger writers. Do you have any other advice or encouragement that you can share?
Become content with where God has you, right now. I spent a lot of years obsessing and wondering why I kept getting rejection after rejection. But every rejection taught me something so that my writing improved. It helps to view the writing profession as a marathon, not a sprint.

It also helped when I understood I was writing because I had to, because it made me a better version of myself. I realized if I died without publication, I’d still lived a pretty great life. And always, always, always, keep reading!

Are you a Panster or Plotter?
I’m a hybrid. I usually know the starting incident and where I want the plot to go, but I give the characters a lot of leeway in between major plot points. I’ll list the major events that must occur on index cards and give myself permission to keep things fluid.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite is creating characters and worlds. The actual writing itself is fun if it’s a good day. If not, I’d rather have a root canal, although I force my way through it so I have something to edit. My least favorite would be writing the synopsis because it’s so different from writing the story. Explain what happens in a 200+ page book in a single page?!? Who comes up with this stuff?

In honor of Mother's Day, do you have a favorite memory of your mother you'd care to share?
My mother is an amazing woman. She gives some of the best advice (even sometimes when I don’t want it!) I was bullied in high school, and my mother became my sounding board. Her common sense advice was a life-line (and I’ve found myself sharing it with my kids!) When you’re faced with the negative every day, every month, every year from a classmate, you begin to wonder why you’re unlovable. My mother and father were my advocates and made sure I always knew I was loved.

Care to share what are you're currently reading?
Right now, I’m reading So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane. It’s an older YA book (1986) that was mentioned somewhere as a good read. The first line on page 1 completely pulled me in.

Thanks so much for being on the blog J.M.! Reader Friends, check out her amazing giveaway below and make sure to connect with her through these links: 

--> Website: http://jmhackman.com/
Blog: Jilligan’s Island, found at the same address as above, as well as co-contributor to Lands Uncharted http://www.landsuncharted.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15648309.J_M_Hackman
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jmhackman/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jm_hackman

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber | Blog Tour

Welcome to the: Thomas Nelson's Young Adult Summer of 2017 Feature with


Emilie here: I'm so excited to be hosting Mary Weber on the blog today with her new release, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow! I've started an advance copy of this amazing book and am in LOVE already. Check out the information below about the book, the excerpt, and then hop on over to pre-order your copy! It comes out June 6th!

About the Book

Title:  The Evaporation of Sofi Snow
Series: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, Book 1
Author:  Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  June 6, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Sci-Fi

For fans of Ender’s Game and Blade Runner comes a story of video gaming, blood, and power.

Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel—Earth’s charming young playboy—the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

From the award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, step into a diverse cast of characters spanning from the electric metropolises of earth to the chilling alien planet above, in a story of re-finding yourself in the midst of losing the one thing you love. Before it all evaporates.


Taken from “The Evaporation of Sofi Snow” by Mary Weber Copyright © 2017 by Mary Christine Weber. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

The ice-planet arrived in the dusky heat of summer twilight during Earth’s Fourth World War. Just when the moon’s jeweled fingers were slipping through that one broken slat in the barn roof that Papa always said he’d fix but never did. The same slat through which he’d pointed out Ella’s favorite star to Sofi and her brother, Shilo.

As if everything within Papa’s wrecked heart was trying to keep their focus off Earth’s brutality by reminding them of their half sister’s spot in the heavenly skies. As if their forsaken little hearts needed any reminding of where her spot—or their mother’s—should be.

“Shh.” Papa put a finger to his lips and beckoned Sofi over to watch the planet settle in place. “I won’t let anyone harm you. See how it’s moving across the moon?”

Six-year-old Sofi mimicked him to her brother, putting her own finger to her lips. “Shh. They’re coming, Shi, but we won’t let them harm you.” To which baby Shilo spit and giggled before swatting at a firefly.

Sofi pulled his tiny hand into hers as the sinister globe stopped a good distance beyond the moon—and

Uncomfortably too close to Earth. To them. To their little broken-slatted barn that sat planted like a patch of sumac right on the decimated border of Old North Carolina and the rest of the starving, war-ravaged world.

“Planet Delon” the broadcasters had called it.

“The Delonese Death” was what her expatriate neighbor, Mr. Watte, was calling it.

“The blasted planet from the pit of you know where” was what Sofi had decided to call it . . .

That had been years ago.

Eleven to be exact.

But now here she was . . .

Standing in the same place, same barn—just missing a few walls—with Shilo.

Still calling it that.

A sudden rustling emerged from the overgrown bushes, causing Sofi to glance around.

“You think it’s the tech buyer?” Shilo’s twelve-year-old voice cracked mid whisper.

She peered into the dark. “I don’t know, but if I tell you to run for the hover, you run.”

He looked insulted. “And ditch? More like I’ll kick whoever’s sorry bu—”

A boy emerged. Two boys in fact, each barely older than she was. Clearly drugged up. Skin and bones. Like many in the populations being “overseen” by the United World Corporations. The bigger kid held out a broken-tipped knife and Shilo slid in front of Sofi—never mind she was half-a-head taller than her brother.

Sofi scowled. She shouldn’t have let him coerce her into bringing him. Especially for the thrill of earning a few extra bucks off her old tech devices.

About the Author
Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings 80’s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.

CONNECT WITH MARY:  website ⎸ facebook ⎸twitter ⎸instagram

Tour Schedule

5/15 - Reading is My SuperPower (review)
5/16 - Thorn & Vine (review) & A Baker's Perspective (review)
5/17 - My So Called Chaos (review) & Between the Pages of This Bookish Life (Spotlight)
5/18 - Bibliophile Reviews (Review),  Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight) & Thinking Thoughts (Spotlight)
5/19 - Bookworm Mama (review) & YA Book Divas (Spotlight & Excerpt)
5/20 - Just Commonly (review)


(3) Winners will each win a finished hard copy of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber, courtesy of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Giveaway ends on May 26, 2017, 11:59 PM EST.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal | New Novel News

A Season to Dance
by Patricia Beal

Published: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Bling! Romance, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Purchase: A Season to Dance

Small town professional ballerina Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and her future with fiancé Peter Engberg all figured out—until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, shows up in Georgia to dance with her and win her back. Claus kisses her after a Romeo and Juliet rehearsal, a kiss Peter witnesses from the darkened audience. Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, he breaks off the engagement.

Rejected by Peter, and knowing Claus is dancing at the Met soon, Ana decides to repave her path to her dream. With her 2002 Torch Red Ford Thunderbird and Baryshnikov, an old dog crippled by arthritis, she moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own memories of Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success.

Get to know Patricia...

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters?
Peter would be Blake Shelton. Claus would be Mikhail Baryshnikov, a young Mikhail Baryshnikov—I’m thinking late eighties, when the movie White Nights was really popular. And Ana would be me and you. I think there’s a bit of Ana in each of us.

Favorite season? 
A Season to Dance. Yes, I had to go there 😊

What are the names of your pets?
My yellow Labrador is Kendra Simões Beal—the greatest champion. She’s the daughter of a famous Hungarian champion and her future was bright. Then I bought her. Apparently my dog-rearing skills are as good as my child-rearing skills. Kendra is the champion of mischief and of all things goofy.

Connect with Patricia:  http://www.patriciabeal.com/

Patricia has graciously offered a copy of A Season to Dance! Enter below:

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Brave is the New Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum | Re:View

Powerful and inspiring, Brave Is the New Beautiful will draw you in with true-life stories that showcase real women with real struggles and a real God who is there to heal, comfort, and empower. 

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Lee Wolfe Blum proposes a new and powerful definition of beauty in Brave is the new beautiful. Her focus on "finding the courage to be the real you" is a message all women need to hear no matter their life situation, age, status, or past.

What first intrigued me about this book, aside from the eye-catching title, was the fact that Lee used stories from women that she had known to create the majority of her content. As someone who loves reading biographies and real-life stories, I was really intrigued to see how Lee would incorporate the stories into a book that was devotional in nature.

Each chapter is titled with a single word like Hoping, Belonging, and Trusting etc., and mingles Lee's personal history in counseling, her mental health work, and personal struggles along with stories from women she's come in contact with. Then, at the end of each chapter, there are "For Reflection" questions which make this a great tool for Bible studies and group sessions.

This book is powerful. Not all of the stories told are wrapped up with a happy little bow on top or told in a way to make you feel good about yourself. Instead, they depict real life and encourage you to ask God the hard questions without fear knowing that He will answer you. I was brought to tears many times during the course of reading this and found myself craving the next chapter to see what else Lee had to say. I think this was (at least in part) due to the fact that Lee is very open in this book, detailing her own struggles with a frank honesty that is refreshing and encouraging.

I think this quote sums up the focus of the book perfectly:
"Be vulnerable. Be real. Be raw and let your naked bravery shine bright. In doing so, you help others see hope. You help others have faith. That is brave. That is beautiful."
(Brave is the new Beautiful, page 215)
I highly recommend this book to all women! It would be perfect in a small group setting (or even a slightly larger group). With a focus on being raw and honest with one another, I think women could truly see lies exposed, walls broken down, and true, beautiful bravery as the result of reading and discussing this book along with prayer and Bible reading.

My rating: 4.5*
Purchase: Brave is the New Beautiful

Book Description
(from Amazon)
In a culture that bombards women with "thinspiration" messages and pressure to "do it all" while wearing the mask of perfection, women are left feeling alone and overwhelmed. How can they stop comparing themselves to others? How can they live out who they really are?

Lee Wolfe Blum offers stories from everyday women who have answered these questions with their lives—and found true beauty in the process. In Brave Is the New Beautiful, Blum weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically. Through call-to-action questions and ideas, she encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are.
I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.