Friday, December 20, 2013

Romance Through the Ages Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

I have read books from several of these authors. This looks amazing!
Romance Through the Ages
Coming February 1, 2014 Romance through the Ages brings you SEVEN NOVELS from 7 bestselling authors (including New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers). Join us for a fabulous collection.   *7 Romance Novels, 7 Bestselling Authors, 1 Amazing Price*   99 cent Romance Boxed Set for a limited time only!

 Running Barefoot by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Amy Harmon!— Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.

Masquerade by Janette Rallison, who has sold more than 1 million books!— It's hard for a woman to keep up the masquerade when her boss is as handsome as Slade Jacobson and the job takes her to Hawaii with him. In between handling his whirlwind four-year-old daughter and dealing with a whole cast of Hollywood personalities, Clarissa has to keep a tight hold on her heart.

The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson, Amazon Bestseller!—Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town's charity event, Shelter’s Bachelorette, Taycee Emerson is in for the ride of her life. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it's up to the viewers—not her—to decide which bachelors stay or go.

Pride and Precipitation by Heather Horrocks, Amazon Bestseller!— Breezy Jones is crazy about the weather, rain or shine, which makes her job as the local television station’s meteorologist perfect. That’s before she meets the attractive new general manager, Noah Drake, who is determined to repackage everything—including Breezy’s down-home delivery.

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White, Amazon Bestseller!— Lizzie falls hard for Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy character and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. When she meets two men, Chad—a science teacher, and Matt Dawson—who looks and acts like Mr. Darcy, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

She Owns the Knight by Diane Darcy, Amazon Bestseller!— Why does Gillian Corbett have to travel seven hundred years through time to find a decent guy?... Why can't Sir Kellen Marshall find a lady who is obedient, submissive... or at least not trying to kill him?

Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore, Amazon Bestseller!— A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . . What more could Eliza Robinson want? Except for maybe her life. When Eliza discovers that Jonathan Porter’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/1/14 Bloggers who put up a spotlight post about these books on their blog can enter to win an additional $25 gift card or paypal cash. See details in the Rafflecopter. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash.

Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Keeper's Defiance Blog Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to the blog tour for Kelly Nelson's third book in The Keeper's Saga. Read more about The Keeper's Defiance below and enter to win a signed copy!

The scream of a dragon woke me. Wide-eyed, I scrambled to my knees, searching for a place to hide. Then it dawned on me--within the clutches of the enemy, I was perfectly safe from the dragons.--Chase Harper.

When Chase found the gold counter buried in a cave, he went back in time, setting in motion events that would change the course of his life and forever alter the destiny of the new world. After he and a small group of soldiers rescue his girlfriend Ellie from the Shuylians, they are overtaken during their race for the Algonian border. Chase falls into enemy hands, leaving Ellie to fend for herself. As time passes, he is believed dead--forever lost. So when Davy, Perception's Keeper, is charged with seeing to Ellie's safety, will his persuasions turn her heart away from Chase?

The Keeper's Defiance on:

Kelly Nelson was raised in Utah and now resides in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys life on a ten-acre horse property with her husband, four children, and of course lots of horses. Kelly has a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and worked as a CPA for several years before opting to stay home and raise a family. As a young girl she was an avid reader and had a passion for creative writing. Her travels to England, France, Egypt, Israel, West Indies, Mexico and across the United States sparked a love of history, adventure and exotic places. This led to the inspiration behind her debut novel, The Keeper's Calling, Book 1 in The Keeper's Saga.

 The Keeper's Calling (book #1) $2.99 on Amazon     The Keeper's Quest (book #2)

Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win a signed copy of The Keeper's Defiance! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blog tour stops:

Monday - Britney Gulbrandsen's Blog and Bonnie Harris' Blog
Tuesday - Laura Johnston's Blog
Wednesday - Kylee Shield's Blog
Thursday - Rebecca Lamoreaux's Blog and Cami Checketts' Blog
Friday - Donna K. Weaver's Blog

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blog Tour This Week!

Announcing The Keeper's Defiance blog tour starting today over at Britney Gulbrandsen's blog. I will be hosting tomorrow's stop. Here is a sneak peak at the rest of the week's stops with links to each blog:

Monday - Britney Gulbrandsen's Blog and Bonnie Harris' Blog
Tuesday - Laura Johnston's Blog
Wednesday - Kylee Shield's Blog
Thursday - Rebecca Lamoreaux's Blog and Cami Checketts' Blog
Friday - Donna K. Weaver's Blog

There will be a signed copy giveaway and additional fun facts each day so be sure to stop by! Thanks.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Book Signing Event

Thank you to everyone who came to support me and contributing author Diane Elarde at our book signing event last week at Changing Hands Bookstore! It meant a lot that so many of you would show up. Every copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven was gone by the end of the night which was awesome. We had a lot of fun!
Me and Diane Elarde

Story Reading

Book Signing
Be sure to check out Diane's website, A Star in My Hand. Also, a quick shout-out to Changing Hands Bookstore. This store is awesome (must go see!). Thanks to everyone at Changing Hands for making it such a great night.

Have you been to any book signings or launch parties? What do you think makes a great event? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Short Clip to Make You Smile

Oh my goodness, I am totally excited for my sister-in-law Kelli who put together this awesome clip. It just got picked up by a company! My brother makes an awesome Iron Man and my nephews, Captain America and Thor ROCK! This is certainly the coolest tooth-pulling experience I've seen or heard of. You have to see little Thor "put the hammer down." SO cute!

My dad used to get out a knife and pliers whenever I had a loose tooth. Ek! My brother has come a long way from that method.

How were your teeth pulled?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Author Interview with Amy Harmon and Blog Tour Giveaway

Today I'm excited to have Amy Harmon, author of Making Faces, A Different Blue and other novels, on my blog. A friend recommended Making Faces to me on Goodreads (thank you, Holly!) and I ordered it on my Kindle right after the blurb sucked me in. I had a few other titles on my to-read, but this novel swept me away, and I finished in no time because I couldn't put it down! Read below for more of my thoughts on Making Faces as well as an author interview I did with Amy Harmon. Also, be sure to enter her awesome blog tour giveaway below!

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My Review
A beautiful, heartrending story of finding love and seeing the true beauty within. MAKING FACES is an emotive, gripping read!

Author Interview

Welcome, Amy! Tell us a little about your start as a writer and what inspired you to write.
I've always been a writer. Ask my mom. But I really decided to jump off the proverbial cliff about three years ago after my fourth child was born. I wasn't working so I could stay home with the kiddos, my oldest son was really struggling with his health, and my husband worked out of town all week long and came home on the weekends. We were exhausted and broke, and I knew something had to change. I'd already written Running Barefoot and I researched self-publishing, decided I had nothing to lose, and just went for it.
How did you come up with the premise for Making Faces?
My brother joined the National Guard with a few of his friends and they went to Iraq together on their first tour. It made me start thinking...what if? Also, my youngest son was born with a port wine stain on half of his face. (see recent blog post on goodreads) We've gotten used to the stares and the comments, but it made it easy to write about facial disfigurement. There are so many elements that go into a story, that it wasn't just one idea, but the building of ideas as I continued to craft scenes and flesh out my characters.
I love hearing about how stories start out. Thank you for sharing! Making Faces was packed with emotion; you put so much into this novel and the characters. Fern, Ambros, Bailey and all of your characters are so rich and unique; I felt like they were real people. Each character has so much heart and personality. Can you share some of your tips on crafting unforgettable characters?
For me, a good book is all about the characters. Some writers are great with plots, some fabulous with description and setting, but for me the characters tell the story. I work long and hard on my characters, and they are never entirely the way they start out. I like to do a free write describing the main characters. As I describe them, I ask myself questions. Okay...she's a redhead. How does she feel about red hair? She likes romance novels...but why does she like romance novels. etc. As the characters are developed, the story line emerges.
Great thoughts. Do you typically write with an outline or just see where the story goes? Which method works best for you and why?
I start with the character development free write. Then I branch off with ideas and write a general synopsis - almost like a book blurb. The Making Faces book blurb was written before I was even a third into the book. But a blurb isn't a story, so it gives direction without nailing me down. Then I write scenes.
As I said before, that blurb was what initially sold me on your story. I bought it right away! What was the hardest part about writing Making Faces?
The hardest part was writing about Ambrose's injuries. I wanted to be accurate, and it was very difficult to find good information about facial injuries in Iraq, even though so many soldiers have suffered through them. Also, some of the final scenes with Bailey...incredibly difficult making the chain of events effective, realistic and meaningful.
What books/authors inspire your writing?
So many. Honestly, I can't name just a few. I have been reading so long and so voraciously, that I have a million writers who have gone before me who I owe a great deal to. And truthfully, I really love Stephenie Meyer. I truly believed when I read the Twilight books that if she could do it, I could to.

There are many profound messages in this novel, including true beauty, love, friendship and more. The emotional journey this story took me on was incredible! What message, above all, do you hope readers grasp from Making Faces?
I just want them to feel better about the world. People are good and life is sweet, even when it's difficult. I want people to have hope.
Which scene from Making Faces was you favorite to write?
I adore love scenes. I know. People who've read the book will say "what love scenes?" because there isn't any sex in the book. But love scenes are different than sex scenes. Sex scenes can be love scenes...but they aren't always. I like scenes that make me melt and that make me, as a reader, fall in love right along with my characters. I also really love funny dialogue. Bailey was a hoot in this book, and I literally laughed until I had tears at certain parts. I'm convinced you have to be a little crazy to be a good writer.

Those types of love scenes are my favorite, and you had some great ones! And you're right, Bailey was a hoot. :) Thank you, Amy, for taking the time to be on my blog today.

Don't forget to check out Amy's books and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

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Friday, November 1, 2013


It's here, the month thousands of authors commit to writing an entire novel in one month. November is the National Novel Writing Month--click the link for more info. While my rough draft is going to be very very (very!) rough, I'm doing it! I even buckled down and cleaned my whole house last night with a resolute zeal after the Halloween festivities so I'd be good and ready. 

I have a lot of my current YA work in progress outlined so I am super excited to get the rest of my ideas down. 

Fellow writers, are you in?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's here! Chicken Soup for the Soul, Miraculous Messages from Heaven

Today is the day! A non-fiction short story I wrote is published in the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul book, released today. For more information, you can find Miraculous Messages from Heaven on Amazon or on Goodreads.

Happy day! :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Challenge #4, October Madness Write-a-Thon

My Challenge #4: Revision
For today's challenge on Britney Gulbrandsen's blog, we are supposed to pull out the last page we wrote and revise it, varying verb usage, eliminating adverbs and overused words. We were also asked to pick one sentence and work on it until it sparkles. This challenge was perfect for me because I have been hauling through word count with my limited writing time this week; it was good to go back and rework some of it! The sentence I picked to work on was plain, plain, plain. Now it shines and even includes a simile that also ties into the setting. Bonus!

Britney also pointed out a website called Wordle. You paste in your text and it tells you how many times you used each word. Sweet! I will have to remember this one whenever I want to check for overused words.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Challenge #3, October Madness Write-a-Thon

At first, I wasn't sure how this challenge would pan out for me. For challenge #3 of Britney Gulbrandsen's October Madness Write-a-Thon, we were instructed to take the main character from our current work in progress, set a timer for five minutes, and write our character into a scene from the book we are currently reading. Okay, so I cheated a bit. I took a character from a book I just finished and worked him into the setting of MY novel. And I liked it! I learned a couple of things about my character. Check it out below. :)

Challenge #3:
“For your girlfriend?” I ask as I place the lid over the chocolates.
Pretty boy practically turns red. “No, for me.”
The dude walks into the bakery and orders a dozen chocolates. What am I supposed to think?
“Maybe they should be for her though,” he says.
Ah, he does have a girlfriend. Figures. The guy is hot, I’ll hand him that much. Not my type, but I’ll bet a lot of girls would faint if he showed on their doorstep with these chocolates.
“Should be?” I prod.
He offers a half grin and shrugs. “She likes someone else.”
“Oh,” I say and start ringing the chocolates up at the register. “But you like her a lot?”
“How much?”
By the way his eyes suddenly widen, I can tell he wasn’t expecting my boldness. Get used to it, buddy.
“A lot,” he finally admits.
“Then tell her.”
He looks a little blown away at this idea. The he suddenly becomes interested in the formica counter, staring at it like he’s actually considering my suggestion. “Just…tell her? Just like that?”
“No, idiot,” I say. “Kiss her.”
At first, he thinks I’m pulling his arm. He laughs out loud, not taking me seriously. And I am serious.
His laughing dies down when he can tell I’m not joking. Lest he thinks I’m an imbecile in these matters, I add, “Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.”
He nods, his smile growing. “All right,” he says.
I’m not sure what will come of him and his girl, but this customer is leaving a whole lot happier than he was when he came in. Mission accomplished.

My Tuesday Progress: 1500 words written in my new YA! Woohoo!

Monday, October 7, 2013

October Madness Write-a-Thon Challenge #1

October Madness

I think today's write-a-thon brainstorming challenge on Britney Gulbrandsen's blog might have been just what I needed. The plot/scene I came up with and the characters I made up for it work perfectly for my new YA novel that I'm outlining. I needed an extra character to fill a certain role within my novel and I discovered who he is through this challenge!

Okay, so I rolled the dice and set a timer as instructed, and this is what I came up with:
Character #1: A Princess
Character #2: A Grandfather
Setting: Airplane
Object: A Piece of Paper

Sixteen-year-old Julianna used to be her grandfather's "little princess." Now, the two are at odds. To make matters worse, her grandfather is now flying in from California to live in a rest home in her neighborhood. A recent widdower and confined to a wheelchair, he is in need of constant care. Julianna's family's 2-story house won't accommodate him and her parents are too poor to even dream of buying another house. Especially after her brother, Vic, stole all of the family valuables and sold them for drug money.

At odds and nothing alike, Julianna and her grandfather stare each other down (Julianna with a courteous grin, Grandfather with a permanent scowl) as he arrives at the airoport. With an all-knowing smirk, Granfather holds up a piece of paper--a letter!--and says,"On second thought, I'm going to hold onto this. You're not ready for it."

Ah, I love it! Don't you? lol. Coming up with new writing material is always exciting. Thanks, Britney!

ANWA 2014 Writers Conference

It's here again! I really enjoy the American Night Writers Conference and I'm looking forward to attending again. There are some awesome instructors this year. I've already highlighted some of the classes I plan to attend! The 2014 conference is scheduled for February 20-22. Visit the ANWA conference website to learn more and register.

Will I see you there? Let me know in the comments! :)

October Madness Write-a-Thon Kickoff!

It's here! Today marks the beginning of a one-week stint of writing madness hosted by Britney Gulbrandsen (be sure to check out her blog!).

October Madness

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I'm happy to be a part of Cami Checkett's blog tour today for her latest novel, Blog This. Read a little more about Cami's book as well as an excerpt from her novel below!

Will protecting children throughout the world cost Natasha her own family?
Devastated by the loss of her brother, Natasha Senecot works to expose the dangers of Matthew Chrysler’s violent video games, succeeding in bankrupting and humiliating him.
Chrysler retaliates and sends a hit man after her. Natasha is forced to fake her own death to protect her children, but after witnessing another tragedy, Natasha won’t hide any longer.
In a race against time, can Natasha expose Matthew Chrysler before his assassin murders her family and shatters her world?

Praise for Blog This
From the very first chapter, Blog This grabs your gut and your heart with surprising action and touching moments. Cami Checketts blends suspense, humor, and good clean romance into a story that will stick with you.
Daniel Coleman, Author of Gifts and Consequences

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Have read all of Cami’s books but Blog This is on the top of my list. Read it twice and enjoyed it just as much the second time. Just when you think you know what is going to happen you’re led into a different direction. Had a hard time putting the book down and was anxious to see how it was going to end.
Elsa Akinason

Blog This will be $2.99 during the blog tour - September 30th - October 16th. Click here to purchase or read the first few chapters.

About the author
Cami is a part-time author, part-time exercise consultant, part-time housekeeper, full-time wife, and overtime mother of four adorable boys. Sleep and relaxation are fond memories. She’s never been happier.
Please refer to her website – for more information about her books. 

Excerpt from Blog This

     Natasha sighed. “You don’t need to stay until Detective Bentley comes.”
     His eyebrows rose. “You want to be alone with the detective?”
     Natasha grabbed a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water from the door of the fridge. “I just don’t want Jace and Lily to wait too long.” She turned to face him, taking a sip of the cold water.
     Tony held her gaze with his warm stare and edged a step closer. “I wanted to make sure that you’re okay.”
     “I’m fine.” Natasha clutched the glass in her palm. “I can take care of myself.” Why was she lying to him?      She tried to shoo him away, when she really wanted to beg him to stay until Alex was apprehended and maybe even after that.
     Tony set the water bottles on the counter. “Oh, I don’t doubt you can take care of yourself, but maybe it’s time to let someone else help.”
     He took two more steps toward her. She could smell his PS cologne. She’d given him a bottle the first year they were married and told him it was her favorite scent. The fragrance brought back tender memories she wanted to displace and plugging her nose right now might be a little awkward. Natasha raised the glass to her lips to try to block the tempting aroma and create some distance between them. Why was Tony still wearing the same brand?
     “What if I want to take care of you?” Tony asked.
     Sounds wonderful. She took a long drink, but it didn’t quench the heat in her face.
     Tony took the glass from her fingers and set it on the counter. “What if I want to take care of you?” he repeated quietly. He gently took hold of her palm and studied her face for the correct answer.
     “I think you’re too late,” Natasha whispered, studying his pressed cotton shirt to avoid his
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Monday, September 30, 2013

The Book Thief Read Along FINAL DISCUSSION

Today's discussion is hosted by Kathy on her blog, Read This Instead. I love her blog so be sure to check it out!

1. How did you feel when Max had to leave the Hubermanns? What did you expect would happen to him?
Sad. Scared. I feel Hans' regret for him. And I can't imagine how the Hubermanns must have felt when the soldiers didn't punish them further for Hans' actions with the bread. Max could have stayed!

2. Why do you think Liesel ran out to Max when they finally did cross paths, even after she had seen what happened to Hans earlier in the book?

Okay, am I the only one who wonders if Liesel and Max get married? I know she loves him like a brother in a lot of ways, but is there a special connection that runs deeper? The age difference isn't all that crazy. I know from losing my dad at a young age that it means a lot to me that my husband knew my dad. There is something special about being with someone who knows where you've come from, and Max definitely knows where Liesel has come from. Could Liesel move on after such a tragic youth and start over completely, or would part of her always want to hold on to those memories from Himmel Street? Does Liesel love Max more than a brother!? I'm dying to ask the author this.

3. What did you think of Death spoiling the ending a couple chapters before it actually happened? Did the warning make it easier to handle?
I do think it made the ending a little easier to handle, in a way, but I still cried!

4. Which death impacted you the most?
Honestly, Max's death would have. That's why the ending was still so sweet (in a very small way) for me. I'm not sure why his character intrigued me so much. I think it has to do with the greatness I see within his character, the greatness that was squelched due to circumstance. I doubt he lived to his full potential as he could have had he been born during a different era. He could have been a great boxer! He could have done so many wonderful things.

Rudy's death was super sad. I loved Rudy! Why couldn't Liesel have just kissed him!? Hans' death definitely wrenched my heart out the most though!

5. How did your view of Ilsa Herman change over the course of the book? 
Ilsa definitely grew on me. I loved it when she left cookies for Liesel and Rudy, and I loved how she gave Liesel the black book/journal.

6. The power of words is such a big theme throughout the book. Which instances of powerful words stuck out to you? Or, which quotes from the book stuck out to you?

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

“He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.”  (Death)

“She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and Leisel kissed her best friend, Rudy Steiner, soft and true on his lips. He tasted dusty and sweet. He tasted like regret in the shadows of trees and in the glow of the anarchist's suit collection. She kissed him long and soft, and when she pulled herself away, she touched his mouth with her fingers...She did not say goodbye. She was incapable, and after a few more minutes at his side, she was able to tear herself from the ground. It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on...” 

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it."

“His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do - the best ones."

And SO many more!

7. In this post Markus Zusak says:
In many ways I felt that the book is about Liesel’s different kind of loves - for Hans, for Rosa, for Rudy and Max, and for books and living in general.
Which of those loves resonated with you most?

Her love for Max and Hans.

8. Thoughts on Liesel and Death finally meeting? 
I wanted more of that scene! It ended too quickly. They shared so many experiences, in a way, with each other. It's like they were old friends reminiscing endearingly painful memories together.

9. If this was your first time reading The Book Thief, is it what you expected?
If it was a reread, what did you notice this time around?
This was my first time. I think the narration was the most surprising aspect of this novel. I quickly fell in love with it though. This book was amazing. The story was so intriguing, so emotionally intense. Everything from the point of view to the characters and the way the story was told made this novel unique. The characters felt real to me. Their story is deep, tender and painful. I laughed, I cried. The Book Thief is a story I will remember.

10. Will you see the movie?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ripple Effect Romance Series

I have read and/or met several of the authors featured in this series. Don't these covers look awesome? Read a little more about each story and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card below.

The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series 
Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors.

"Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love."

Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford
Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin
Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson
Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White
Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver
Book 6: Immersed in Love by Jennifer Griffith

Home Matters by Julie N. Ford

According to her mother, Olivia Pembroke was born to be a star. But how is she supposed to be famous when she can't even get a decent acting gig? Her lucky break comes when she lands an audition for a wildly popular home improvement show. Even though she has no design training and has never even held a power tool, she refuses to let that stop her. She's confident that her destiny is finally within reach.

When her affections are torn between her heartthrob co-host and the irritating, yet somehow endearing lead contractor, does she continue to reach for the stars? Or does she design a new happily ever after? One that leads not to the fading lights of fame and fortune, but to a love that will burn forever.

Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin

Drew Westfall wants nothing more than to forget what he had to do in the name of "smart" business. Cutting off all ties with his parents—including handing over the entire contents of his trust fund to a charity—he takes off for Bridger, Colorado where his best friend has an extra room for him. It doesn't take long for him to realize that his business degree won’t do him much good in a town as small as Bridger, but he's broke and has nowhere else to go.

Eden Torresi has every reason to wallow. Not only did she lose her mother, but she had to drop out of nursing school and is in a relationship with a guy unwilling to commit. But Eden isn't the wallowing type. Instead, she chooses to spend most of her time taking care of the seniors at Silver Linings Nursing home. When she learns that her boyfriend's new roommate is down on his luck, her caring nature makes her want to reach out to him and offer what help she can. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated things get, especially when the seniors of Silver Linings decide to play matchmaker.

Righting a Wrong by Rachael Anderson

Seven years ago, Cambri Blaine fled her small hometown of Bridger, Colorado after her senior year ended in a fiasco. Only Jace Sutton knew the real reason why—that she was a spineless coward. Now, seven years later, her father's been in an accident and needs help, and Cambr has no choice but to return home. So with trepidation, she takes a leave of absence from the landscape architecture firm where she works and boards a plane, hoping against hope that Jace is no longer around and that the past can stay where it belongs—in the past.

If only life worked that way.

Jace never expected to see Cambri again. After she’d led him on, bruised his heart, and left town without a backward glance, he was forced to pick up the pieces and try not to hate her for it. Eventually, he put it behind him and moved on, creating a life for himself in his beloved hometown. But now that Cambri is back and looking more beautiful and sophisticated than ever, some of those old feelings resurface, and Jake instinctively knows, for the sake of his heart, that he needs to avoid her at all costs.

If only it were that easy.

Lost and Found by Karey White

Lydia was supposed to have an adventurous and exciting summer. Instead she's done nothing more than read and eat takeout. Now it's time to go home, and what does she have to show for it? A big fat nothing. Unless, of course, her trip to the airport somehow turns into something more than just a flight home.

Blake feels like he's been sent on a wild goose chase. While work is piling up back in Denver, he's on the other side of the country, hunting for some mysterious box that his grandfather left him. Well, no more. Nothing inside that box could possibly be more important than the opportunity to make it as the youngest partner at his firm. So he's going home, and that's that. But that's before he discovers his flight has been cancelled.

When these two strangers meet at the airport, they make a split-second decision to search for the box together. Maybe with both of them on the hunt, Lydia can have her adventure and Blake can find the box. And maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll even find some romance.

Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver

Thirty seven year old Francie Davis, a recent widow and empty nester, gets to attend college at last. She’s sure her luck has changed when she also lands a job on campus that will pay her tuition, as administrative assistant to a history professor. When her handsome new boss yells at her on the first day of work, Francie worries she will never be good enough.

For Professor Alex Diederik, life is going downhill fast. Not only is his bitter ex-wife trying to poison their only daughter against him, but now his one place of solace—his work environment—is being complicated by his attractive new administrative assistant. She drives home his feelings of failure as a husband and father, and Alex wonders if hiring her was the right thing to do.

Francie will have to put aside her hurt and insecurities or risk her dreams, while Alex must look outside himself if he’s to mend the breach with his daughter. And, perhaps, find someone who can help heal his pain.

Immersed in Love by Jennifer Griffith

Lisette Pannebaker speaks five languages and has a brilliant business plan—personal language immersion. Clients can hire her to shadow them and speak all day in any language they need to learn for business or travel—whatever.

But there’s a major hitch: she’s far too pretty. Clients with less than honorable intentions sign up just have Lisette at their side. Solution? A make-under. Way under.It works like a charm. None of her male clients show her the least bit of interest.

Until… Erik.

Erik Gunnarsson is charming, kind, and smart—everything she’s ever looked for. Even though he seems to have a secret and she swore she'd never date a client, Lisette is tempted to shed her disguise—even if it means jeopardizing her career.

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 10/31/13

Bloggers who put up a spotlight post about these books on their blog can enter to win an additional $25 gift card or paypal cash.  See details in the Rafflecopter.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

The Book Thief Read Along Discussion #2: Parts 4-6

All right, Rosa has some redeeming qualities. I'm actually starting to like her. She's protecting and caring for a Jew! And when she shows up at Liesel's school with crazy hair going off on Liesel about taking her hair brush, all to secretly inform Liesel that Max is awake? Loved her.

Today's read-along discussion is hosted by Kami, so be sure to check out her awesome blog!

1.    What emotions have you felt while reading? Are they strong emotions?
Above all, sadness. I know what is coming and I can't help my mind from imagining what these character's lives could have been like had they been born in different times. Would Max have become a champion boxer? Famous instead of hiding in a basement? And Liesel?

2.    Several characters mention similarities between Max and Liesel. What similarities have you noticed, and why do you think the author made these characters relate to each other?
They both have dreams that haunt them. I think Death is so intrigued with these two individuals because they share a deep-rooted fear of him (don't we all?). They are also very strong individuals, however, who are determined to defy Death. They both hate the Fuhrer. They both long for the world to be different. They have both come close to Death many times.

3.    What do you think of The Standover Man aka the book Max wrote for Liesel.
Very sweet.

4.    How do you feel about knowing who is going to die in the end and what are some of your predictions?
Death's foreshadowing and even blatant revealing of the future of these characters certainly makes for a different type of story. It is odd, because this naturally strips some of the tension and suspense from the novel, yet I am so intrigued with this story. It sucks me in!

5.    What do you think of Rudy's rebellious attitude? 
Honestly, I love the kid.

6.    Is Rosa growing on you?
I concede. Yes, she is!

Rosa Hubermann stood in the doorway. One or two gasped at the sight--a small wardrobe of a woman with a lipstick sneer and chlorine eyes. This. Was the legend. She was wearing her best clothes, but her hair was a mess, and it was a towel of elastic gray strands...

Great part!

7.    What do you think of the relationship between Max and Liesel?
I keep wondering whose death will/would be more devastating to Liesel: her real brother's, or Max's. Their trials and circumstances have drawn them incredibly close, and I really like both of their characters.

8.    Why do you think Liesel is so determined to steal from the Mayor's library?
Revenge is the first thing to come to mind. I also think she misunderstands the Mayor's wife. Perhaps she despises Ilsa for having so much. She doesn't think Ilsa's sadness is justified. Liesel's pride (from the bottom looking up) and her hatred drive her to steal from their library.

9.    What really stands out to you in the story and why?
Max. Especially in this section of the book. His fire, his determination, his humility and his love for Liesel have endeared me to his character.

One of my favorite excerpts:
They fought like champions.
For a minute.
Just when it was getting interesting, both boys were hauled away by their collars. A watchful parent.
A trickle of blood was dripping from Max's mouth.
He tasted it, and it tasted good.

I instantly liked the guy!

10.    If you were in Hans' position, would you have helped/hid Max?
Yes. I know this is a ridiculously hard decision to make, but I really think I would. (Okay, so I have kids. After reading Britney's thoughts, I have to admit that I'm really not sure at all. I'd like to think I would, but then again, what position would that be placing my children in? What would I really do?). Tough question!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

October Madness Write-a-Thon

Hooray for Britney Gulbrandsen's October Madness Write-a-Thon! I need it. I have so many ideas for this new YA contemporary, I can't seem to find enough time to put it all down. I participated in Britney's write-a-thon last year and loved it. It really pushed me to not only write more but to learn new writing skills through completing the challenges Britney comes up with. All around, it's awesome, and ya'll should join in on the fun if you have some writing goals!

October Madness

Here's a little more about the write-a-thon:

The October Madness Write-a-Thon is a six day challenge hosted by Britney Gulbrandsen. It will run from 12:01 AM Monday, October 7th until 11:59 PM Saturday, October 12 in whatever time zone you are in. This write-a-thon is meant to be fun. It's a personal challenge to push yourself to write more than you normally would, no matter how much or how little that is. Any type of writing is allowed: brainstorming, fiction, articles, blogging, book reviews, journaling, editing, etc. Writing sprints, twitter chats, challenges, and giveaways will accompany the write-a-thon, but all are optional. Please visit for more details.

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Short Story in an Upcoming CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL!

I have some fun news to share: a short non-fiction story I wrote is being published in an upcoming edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul! Miraculous Messages from Heaven will be available on October 15, 2013. Woohoo! 

This story is very close to my heart. I felt like I should share this quick story about how God comforted me in a time of loss and need after my dad passed away. Thanks to everyone at Chicken Soup for the Soul for giving me this opportunity!

Find out more about Miraculous Message from Heaven by following the links below. Thank you for visiting my blog and sharing in my excitement!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Clean Author Event is hosting a special event today celebrating authors who write clean novels. This website looks awesome! I definitely enjoy finding books that have minimal swearing and no explicit sex scenes, so this is perfect. Today, Friday the 13th, a lot of the eBooks are 99 cents or FREE today! Time to go buy some books!

If you'd like to show your support for clean authors, be sure to LIKE the Clean Author Facebook page, and head on over to their you want a good deal on some clean novels.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Book Thief Read Along Discussion: Parts 1-3

Okay. I will admit that I opened this book yesterday, realized I had a good 175 pages to read for today's discussion and thought crap. But life has been busy, and yadda yadda yadda... Turns out, I had NO PROBLEM reading well past Part 3 all in one day. This book is so unique, so good. I will try to put my finger on just what sucked me in as I answer the discussion questions for today.

1. What's your first impression of Death as a character/narrator?
For real, the dude creeped me out. At first. All those colors. Coming to take souls away. But then Death mentioned a couple of things. A) he tries not to stay around, he (and Death is a man, right?) tries not to watch, he tries not to care, B) Death does care as evident when he mentions that he feels bad for the ones who are left behind, and C) he closed the first chapter with "I saw the book thief three times." Ah, he has counted. This book thief means something to him. Instantly, I went from being weirded out to curiously liking him. And it only grew from there.

2. What's your first impression of the unique writing style?
Actually, I liked it right away. I enjoy watching authors infuse their poetic style into their writing. It's different, that's for sure, but I think it suits the narrator well (knowing who he is and all).

3. Which character stands out to you the most so far and why?
Let me get one thing out: I HATE Rosa. I feel better just putting that down. Evil, mean foster mother. Why does that sweet Hans stay with her?! Now that that's over, I must say that I am most intrigued with Liesel and Death (does the narrator count?). I want to know more about why Liesel has acquired Death's interest so and why Death cares. I've got a good feeling I won't be disappointed.

4. What do you think the author is trying to say about the power of words?
Words, to Liesel and so many others, mean everything. The power of knowledge, of being able to read another's story and write down your own, takes a bit of the sting of death away. Perhaps this is another reason why Death makes such a great narrator here. Perhaps, by story's end, Death will learn something about why words are so important to the souls he takes away.

5. How do you feel about all the foreshadowing that's going on?
I think the foreshadowing is appropriate for our narrator. Although I don't like to think about it, death is always a foreshadowing of what's to come. I also think the foreshadowing is part of the reason I didn't want to put the book down yesterday.

6. Also, how do you feel about all that German swearing?!? 
I don't notice the swearing as much because it's in German. It's comical, at parts, I guess, especially because there is an undercurrent of love (ironically enough) communicated between some of the characters who bash each other.

7. What do you think about the relationship between Hans and Rosa?
I wish I had a better answer here. Truthfully, I have yet to know why Hans ever got together with Rosa. She doesn't deserve him. I also have yet to understand Rosa and the reason behind why she is such a witch. I do think that, at times, there is a playful banter beneath the constant bashing. Rosa does love her husband.

8. What do you think about the relationship between Rudy and Liesel?
Super cute. I want more of it! I'm excited to see what happens between the two of them. I hope something does.

9.  What are your feelings on the politics of the time that we've seen so far?
So, so, so incredibly sad. Reading books about this time period, watching movies about this time, visiting the Holocaust Museum--it always breaks my heart. So many people on all sides were powerless to make things better, and that's just not right.

10. What images and/or symbols stand out for you in this story so far?
Hmm. Colors, for one. Books, mud (on Rudy), and WORDS. 

Any other participants of The Book Thief read along hosted by It's All About Books out there? Let me know what you thought of parts 1-3 in the comments!