Thursday, June 28, 2018

Kelly Irvin, Amish Novel


POSTS ABOUT BOOKS BY CHRISTIAN AUTHORS
WEEKLY BOOK GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment on THIS post through Tuesday, July 3, 2018, to be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see right sidebar to follow), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. I may or may not have read books offered for giveaways. The mention and giveaway of books on my blog do not in any way indicate any manner of my endorsement of said books. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To help provide you with security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post. 




BENEATH THE SUMMER SUN
by Kelly Irvin


Kelly Irvin
Kelly Irvin is the author of several Amish series including the Bliss Creek Amish series, the New Hope Amish series, and the Amish of Bee County series. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine. The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as A newspaper reporter, mostly in Texas-Mexico border towns. A retired public relations professional, Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-nine years. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.


From the book’s back cover:
Jennie Troyer knows it’s time to remarry. Can she overcome a painful secret and open her heart to love?

It’s been four years since Jennie’s husband died in a farming accident. Long enough that the elders in her Amish community think it’s time to marry again for the sake of her seven children. What they don’t know is that grief isn’t holding her back from a new relationship—fear is. A terrible secret in her past keeps her from moving forward.

Mennonite book salesman Nathan Walker stops by Jennie’s farm whenever he’s in the area. Despite years of conversation and dinners together, she never seems to relax around him. He knows he should move on, but something about her keeps drawing him back.

Meanwhile, Leo Graber nurtures a decades-long love for Jennie, but guilt plagues him—guilt for letting Jennie marry someone else and guilt for his father’s death on a hunting trip many years ago. How could anyone love him again—and how could he ever take a chance to love in return?

In this second book in the Every Amish Season series, three hearts try to discern God’s plan for the future—and find peace beneath the summer sun.

From Jo:
Kelly Irvin continues to write beautiful love stories and her latest is a compelling read. Jennie is a widow whose Amish community thinks it’s time for her to remarry for the sake of her seven children. First, she must get past her emotional scars from her first husband. She must choose between Leo, an Amish man who has loved her since she chose her late husband instead of him, and Nathan, a Mennonite book salesman. Both men also cling to emotional scars from their pasts. You’ll keep turning pages to learn Jennie’s choice.

I’m offering a paperback copy of Beneath the Summer Sun to one commenter to this blog post.

Commenters, to enter the book drawing please leave your comment on this post through July 3, 2018, and remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner.


The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of A Twisted Strand by Lynne Tagawa is Kathy. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling. 


CAN’T GET TO THE BEACH THIS SUMMER?

“Wow, this book starts out strong and keeps getting better. I laughed, cried, tried to warn them, rejoiced and prayed along with them.”—Amazon Reader Review

TIDEWATER SUMMER, set in 1952 on an island off the South Carolina coast. You can read more about the book here, and you can read the Prologue here.



Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lynne Tagawa, Romantic Suspense Novel


POSTS ABOUT BOOKS BY CHRISTIAN AUTHORS
WEEKLY BOOK GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment on THIS post through Tuesday, June 26, 2018, to be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see right sidebar to follow), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. I may or may not have read books offered for giveaways. The mention and giveaway of books on my blog do not in any way indicate any manner of my endorsement of said books. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To help provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post. 


A TWISTED STRAND
by Lynne Tagawa


Lynne Tagawa
Lynne Tagawa is a semi-retired science teacher by trade, the wife of a wonderful husband, mother of four sons, and grandma to three. We all live in South Texas. 




Welcome, Lynne. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Or would you return to somewhere you’ve already been? 
Virginia. Our dream vacation is Scotland, but I’m currently writing a series set in colonial Virginia, and I want to know the tiny details—the texture of the soil, the smell of the Blue Ridge trails—that can’t be gleaned from the internet.

What surprised you the most about the writer’s journey—publication, representation, platform building, the writing itself? 
Rules. There are rules for fiction that truly startled me: some of the things that pepper my writing are said to be “old-fashioned” by some or quasi-illegal by others. I’ve conformed to some of it, but you will have to pry my semi-colons out of my cold, dead hands. And then there’s “preachiness.” Apparently, I write way too “preachy” for most publishers. That shocked me. I thought, “Aren’t we Christians? Can’t we quote Scripture in a book?” But apparently, the larger publishing houses dislike more than a few verses.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 
As a newbie fiction writer myself, I would say to be humble enough to receive criticism and seek it out, but at the same time remember that you have a story to tell and a style all your own. Preserve that. Rewriting is hard work, but persevere, and don’t hold back in cutting excess flab or weak verbs. Finally, write the story you’d like to read—not the latest best-selling genre. Don’t write for the market. Don’t write Amish if your passion is medieval or vice versa. 

Lightning Round:
Vacation: Beach or Mountains? Mountains—I’ve been to the beach!

Y’all or You Guys? y’all and all y’all (everyone!)

Biscuits or Dinner Roll? Is chocolate-filled croissant not a choice?

Spring, summer, winter, or fall? spring

Laptop or Desktop? Anything with an apple logo

Mug or teacup? Mug, with coffee

Please tell us a little about your novel, A Twisted Strand.
After dragging her heart through a divorce, Rachel Davis is ready to settle down on their South Texas country home, raise her kids, and find some peace. Can she find the secret to making her heart whole again?

William Davis, MD, would do anything to take back his horrible mistake, but infidelity is more than his wife can forgive. He goes home to an empty house in Austin every night, trying his best to be a good dad to his kids from afar.

When Rachel discovers their Jersey heifer dead from a hemorrhagic fever, she quickly realizes that the danger may spread to humans. Working for an epidemiologist, she joins the investigation. Is it natural? Or terrorism?

The family vet sickens, and Will enters the fray. Could this become an epidemic?  

Estranged from God and from each other, both Rachel and Will encounter the truth of the gospel and struggle to make sense of it all. Is there hope? And is there hope for their relationship?

Where can readers find you online?

Where can readers purchase A Twisted Strand

Lynne, thanks for visiting with my readers and me. Lynne is offering winner’s choice of a paperback or eBook copy of A Twisted Strand to one commenter to this blog post.

Commenters, to enter the book drawing please leave your comment on this post through June 26, 2018, and remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner.


The winners of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Dancing in the Rain by Jennifer Slattery are Connie and Mindy. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.


My latest book is out – Her Reason to Smile, a novella. Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jennifer Slattery, Contemporary Novel


POSTS ABOUT BOOKS BY CHRISTIAN AUTHORS
WEEKLY BOOK GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment on THIS post through Tuesday, June 19, 2018, to be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see right sidebar to follow), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. I may or may not have read books offered for giveaways. The mention and giveaway of books on my blog do not in any way indicate any manner of my endorsement of said books. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To help provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post. 


DANCING IN THE RAIN
by Jennifer Slattery


Jennifer Slattery
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She’s the author of six contemporary novels and maintains a devotional blog, "Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud." She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.


Please enjoy the following article by Jennifer Slattery:

Does your child know you’re on her side? That every time you ground her or take away her iPad, you have her best in mind? That no matter what, you are always for her? Or has she begun to see you as the enemy?

When our daughter was young, I felt like I lived in constant correction mode, and often our home felt more like a battleground than the sanctuary I so wanted to create. But even in the hard times, my daughter knew I was on her team. She understood I tried to remain focused on her long-term good. 

This team-mentality parenting, the kind that says, “I’m for you,” didn’t just happen. It was the result of intentional and consistent communication, a continual evaluation of my parenting, an ever-present awareness of my failings, and a commitment to let God use even my biggest blunders for our daughter’s benefit.

I communicated the why behind my parenting decisions.

Some may argue this point, saying it’s important our children learn to obey for obedient’s sake. While this is true, even that has a why. Or should I say, in obeying, your child has a why. Perhaps it’s to please you or avoid punishment. Or maybe it’s because they know obeying you honors God. Regardless, if we don’t connect the dots for them, they’ll come up with their own reasons, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust a five, six, ten, or twelve-year old’s reasoning skills.

More than that, they won’t understand our heart behind our actions. They certainly won’t think long-term about how that behavior, action, or habit can affect their adulthood. Not unless we tell them. 

I wanted to make sure my daughter knew, because my goal wasn’t behavior modification, which is often short-lived, but rather, heart change.

Here’s what it looked like:

When we were in a conflict and she lost her temper, I’d set a clear boundary: “That behavior is unacceptable. Please go to your room until we can discuss this calmly.” Then, once she had time to calm down, I’d discuss with her how that behavior might look in a marriage, at work, or with her friends. I helped her see how her behavior, if left unchecked, would ultimately hurt her. Then I always ended our conversation with a statement similar to, “I want more for you. I want you to grow up to be a well-adapted, successful adult.”

And every. Single. Time. Her anger diffused. Because she knew I was for her, and that turned me from her enemy to her greatest ally. Though she often remained frustrated with the consequences, her wisdom grew and our relationship remained intact.

I continually evaluated my parenting. 

This, of course, implies that my parenting choices truly were for her benefit, not my comfort or preference. When I viewed our home life through that lens, I discovered many battles I felt tempted to fight weren’t important. Such as what she wore on Sunday morning. 

I loved dressing her up, and toting a well-attired child into Sunday school with her hair done made me feel like a better mom. Or at least, made me think I looked like a better mom … even if it took an insane amount of tears, cajoling, foot-stomping, and screaming to create that image. What, or perhaps who, would it hurt if I allowed her to pick out her clothes? Would wearing a pink and green polka dot skirt with her yellow rubber boots and red Elmo shirt derail her life?

I decided no, and as a result, I had the most originally dressed preschooler in church. Our Sunday mornings were also relatively stress-free.

I recognized my failings and weaknesses and apologized for them.

Most of us operate on a heap of baggage that influences our perceptions and behavior. Add in our normal selfishness, impatience, and sinfulness, and we can pretty much guarantee making major mistakes.

I did. A LOT. The issue is not will we fail our children but rather how will we respond once we do?

I determined to respond with humility. I refused to sugar coat my sin, justify my behavior, or make excuses. Instead, I called it what it was, apologized, and told her God was actively working on changing that part of me. In so doing, I showed her what it looked like to live in grace.

Let’s talk about this! Does your child tend to see you as his enemy or greatest ally? How have you created a team-mentality in your home? What are some things you can do, today, to further that? Share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from each other!

Welcome, Jennifer. Please tell us a little about Dancing in the Rain.
On the verge of college graduation, Loni Parker seeks employment as a music teacher, but no one will hire her since she’s blind. Or so she thinks. To take her mind off her troubles, her roommate invites her to spring retreat at Camp Hope in the gorgeous North Carolina mountains. 

Unbeknownst to Loni, Michael Ackerman, the director, is an ex-con responsible for the accident that caused her blindness. When Loni warms up to camp and wants to return as a summer counselor, Michael opposes the idea, which only makes Loni want to prove herself all the more. Though she doesn’t expect to fall for the guy. Still, her need for independence and dream of teaching win out, taking her far away from her beloved Camp Hope . . . and a certain director.

Camp director Michael Ackerman recognizes Lonie instantly and wants to avoid her at all costs. Yet, despite the guilt pushing him from her, a growing attraction draws him to the determined woman. She sees more with her heart than the average person does with his eyes. But her presence also dredges up a long-buried anger toward his alcoholic father that he’d just as soon keep hidden. When circumstances spin out of control, Michael is forced to face a past that may destroy his present.

Where can readers purchase Dancing in the Rain?
Amazon

Jennifer, thanks for visiting with my readers and me. Jennifer is offering an eBook copy of Dancing in the Rain to TWO commenters to this blog post.

Commenters, to enter the book drawing please leave your comment on this post through June 19, 2018, and remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner.


The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Alana Candler, Marked for Murder  by  Joanie Bruce is Kim. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling. 


My latest book is out – Her Reason to Smile, a novella. Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Joanie Bruce, Suspense/Romance Novel


POSTS ABOUT BOOKS BY CHRISTIAN AUTHORS
WEEKLY BOOK GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment on THIS post through Tuesday, June 12, 2018, to be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see right sidebar to follow), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. I may or may not have read books offered for giveaways. The mention and giveaway of books on my blog do not in any way indicate any manner of my endorsement of said books. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To help provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post. 


ALANA CHANDLER, MARKED FOR MURDER
by Joanie Bruce


Joanie Bruce
As an avid reader, Joanie Bruce welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considered it a wonderful way to honor the Lord. She has three published Christian suspense novels, two suspense novelettes, and has illustrated a children’s picture book, which released in April 2018.

Joanie and her husband, Ben, live on their Black Angus cattle farm near Madison,
Georgia. She has three married children and one grandchild. Writing and painting from her home in the country is an opportunity she loves. Other activities she enjoys are making jewelry with polymer clay and taking long walks on the farm.


Welcome, Joanie. How do people react when they find out you write? 
They are quite surprised. Writing was always something I kept secret … even from my family. I’ll never forget the look on the faces of my husband and children when I told them I had been offered my first publishing contract. We were sitting in the den one evening when I received an email from a publishing company who wanted to publish my first book. My family was stunned. I had to laugh because I wasn’t sure if they were more surprised that I had written a manuscript worthy of a publishing contract, or that I had been writing in the first place.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it? 
No, I’ve never had writer’s block, and I’m not sure if I believe in it. I can always think of something to write when I sit down at my computer. I admit that there were times when I can’t think of the perfect solution to a plot problem or a character’s reaction to a certain situation, but if I leave my writing and do something around the house, the answer always pops into my head. My best inspiration time is at night, usually in between lying down and falling asleep. Of course, I have to get up and jot the idea down, or I’ll never remember it in the morning. 😊 

Why do you feel compelled to write—in your genre or at all?
I write because I love showing my readers how rewarding and fulfilling life is when you have God watching over you. Hopefully, my readers will never have to face the suspenseful situations my characters live through, but even the smallest frustration in our lives can be easier if we trust the Lord to lead and guide us. He is with us, no matter what difficulties we go through.

I write suspense because I love reading that type of story myself … that heart-pounding action and anticipation. Because many others also enjoy reading a good suspense, they put up with a little bit of faith thrown into the story.  That little bit of faith can encourage them even if they’re not close to the Lord.

Lightning Round:
Vacation: Beach or Mountains? Mountains

Y’all or You Guys? I’ve used both, but Y’all usually pops out of my mouth first. 

Biscuits or Dinner Roll?  I cook biscuits for my family, but I love to eat both.

Spring, summer, winter, or fall? Even though I love something about all the seasons, I would have to say fall would probably be my favorite. 

Laptop or Desktop? Definitely Laptop! I have several choice places where I love to sit when I write. One of my favorite places for writing is outside, in a shade, with a bright blue sky and puffy white clouds floating above my head.

Mug or teacup? Mug

Please tell us a little about your novel, Alana Candler, Marked for Murder
Alana Candler is on someone’s hit list. But why?

A stalker is breathing down her neck at every turn, hiding in the shadows, waiting for her to make a mistake— to freeze long enough for him to make his hit. 

When the stalker kidnaps her from a hotel and leaves her to die, Jaydn Holbrook, CEO and owner of the largest company in Tennessee, saves her life and promises to protect her. Jaydn’s high school friendship with Brad, Alana’s brother and the City’s Police Chief, gives him the incentive to protect Alana and shelter her from the growing danger. Alana’s trust in God’s protection intrigues him and compels him to explore her faith further, but when she mentions her aversion to rich, executive-type bosses, Jaydn keeps his position at his company secret—trying not to destroy their fragile bond. 

As tensions build, Jaydn and Alana are caught up in a dangerous web of hiding from the pursuer trying to kill them and fighting the attraction they feel for each other. While Brad scrambles to find her stalker and Jaydn struggles to keep her safe, Alana searches her memory to find the motive someone might have for murder.

Where can readers find you online?
Website
Blog Page 
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram
Pinterest
Amazon Author

Where can readers purchase Alana Candler, Marked for Murder?
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books-A-Million
CBD

Any parting comment?
Thank you for allowing me to visit with you and your readers today, Jo. I enjoy telling others about my books because I hope it inspires them and encourages their trust in the Lord to take care of us, even in suspenseful situations. 

Leave a question you’d like readers to answer. (Commenters aren't required to answer question to be entered in the book drawing.)
Have you ever been in a situation where God was the only one you could trust to help you?

Joanie, thanks for visiting with my readers and me. Joanie is offering a paperback copy of Alana Candler, Marked for Murder to one commenter to this blog post.

Commenters, to enter the book drawing please leave your comment on this post through June 12, 2018, and remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner.


The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Callum’s Compass by Sara Foust is Vivian. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling. 



My latest book is out – Her Reason to Smile, a novella. Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here.