Friday, June 29, 2018

Bookshelf Friday - AND THE WINNER IS...

Last week I ran a giveaway for one lucky person to pick one of the upcoming summer releases. There's so many wonderful people who stopped by and so many wonderful books to giveaway, I wish I could offer more books to more of you!! Alas, Mr. Budget says I must stick to my 1 book award:) SO...the lucky winner drawn via Random Number Generator IS...

SONNETTA JONES

Sonnetta, I have also emailed you directly. So let me know your pick (you were split between two) and I'll get it to you ASAP!

Congrats and thanks to everyone for entering:) I'll be reviewing the books in upcoming weeks. Have a happy Fourth of July this week!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Bookshelf Friday - So Many Books, So Little Time

Hey all! I'm running a GIVEAWAY today in conjunction with my newsletter. If you haven't signed up for it yet, go ahead and join in the fun over there on the right. I send them out quarterly to try and keep you up-to-date with all my authorly ventures:)

Typically Fridays are my review days here on the blog, but there are so many great books hitting the shelves right now that I switched things up a little. You'll see reviews of these books over the next few weeks, but for right now I wanted to highlight them and give one of you a chance to ensure one of these books makes it into your hands!

SO...if you'd like that chance to win your choice of a copy of one of these featured books, all you need to do is give me a comment below on which looks the most interesting and PLEASE INCLUDE your email address so I can reach you if you win!

Winner will be announced here next Friday.


***18+. Continental US residents only. Winner will be selected via random number generator and announced Friday, June 29, 2018. This giveaway is not endorsed by or affiliated with Blogger, Mailchimp, or Facebook. By participating in the giveaway, you release Blogger, Mailchimp, and Facebook from any liability related to this giveaway. Void where prohibited by law.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Bookshelf Friday - Falling For You by Becky Wade

Oooh! Another Becky Wade novel released in May. I cannot tell a lie, she is one of my FAVORITE authors, so I was super excited to have this one in my hands. And had life been a little slower this spring, I would have already put the review up, but better late than never because, friends, this is a book you'll want to grab if you haven't already! Here's a short blurb and then we'll chat on the other side:)


Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family's small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin--and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he's never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he's determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they're forced to confront their past and who they've become--and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

Wade does it again with this contemporary romance. In fact, I think she just keeps getting better. I've noticed a shift in her writing from character driven to plot driven, and it's only added depth to her writing which I already loved. The story Corbin and Willow are chasing down keeps readers hooked, as does the the chemistry between them. Wade is masterful at moving from moments brimming with depth and seriousness, to ones of easy banter that has you smiling and laughing right along with the characters in the book. I enjoy the sense of humor Wade continues to show on the page. Through it all she weaves the beautiful truth of God in ways that all readers can relate to. She's never heavy-handed with her faith, but neither does she shy away from it, and that lends authenticity to her characters as well. Faith is often seen best in the simple living of our lives rather than in preaching it loudly, and Wade demonstrates this with a deft hand. Truly another amazing book by Becky Wade.

I happily give Falling For You 5 out of 5 stars and you can purchase it here.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.***

Friday, June 8, 2018

Bookshelf Friday - The Innkeeper's Daughter by Michelle Griep

I was excited to pick up this historical by Michelle Griep, and when I did, life became too busy to finish it! Lucky for me, we recently had a holiday weekend:) Here's a short blurb, and we'll chat on the other side!


Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.
 
All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.
 
Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

There was so much to enjoy about this novel. Griep is always strong in her creation of male leads, and Alex is no exception. I enjoyed the way he and Joanna grew to know one another and their back-and-forth. She so desperately wanted to be strong, and he so desperately wanted to help her. They both had internal struggles they needed to walk through, and they did. I appreciably how Griep handled the themes in this story in organic ways. I also liked the unique secondary characters. While I struggled a tad in the middle which at times felt slow, overall this was another great read, and I'll happily pick up a Griep novel again!

I give The Innkeeper's Daughter 4 out of 5 stars, and you can purchase it here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Cease Striving

Sometimes the thing we're chasing can't be caught. And when we continue to pursue it we not only grow tired, but we grow restless. Or hopeless. It may be a relationship. A career. An acknowledgement. A better body. More friends. There are countless things we chase after...but the only thing we should be chasing is God.

Friends, we need to stop striving so hard for things we aren't meant to possess. How do we know if what we seek falls into that category? Simple. The second half of that verse: and know that I am God. When we know who he is, when we pour ourselves into him, he shows us who we are. He lights our path. Gives us direction. Whispers what it is that we were created to pursue. When we focus on God, everything else eventually falls into place.

Yes, we'll still experience bumps and bruises as we move toward our calling, but we won't grow weary. Tired maybe, but not weary:) We'll discover patience in the waiting. Peace along the bumpy roads. Hope that we'll make it to our destination.

Because we will.

We just have to cease striving and instead, seek Him.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Bookshelf Friday - Dangerous Obsession by Jessica R. Patch

Okay. Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres, and Patch is one of my favorite author's of it. I've been waiting for Wilder Flynn's story, and here it is! Let's take a look at the short blurb and chat on the other side:)


Security expert Wilder Flynn wastes no time putting behavioral expert Cosette LaCroix under his 24/7 protection when her stalker finds her in Atlanta. Wilder keeps Cosette close to guard her from the quickly escalating threats and attacks. But can he accomplish the mission without breaking his strict code against dating employees? Or putting his heart and life at risk?

Patch does it again! I'll admit she is a dear friend of mine who I regularly brainstorm with, so I often see her stories from inception, but I can honestly say I'd read her even if I didn't have the privilege of calling her friend. From the moment she introduced me to Wilder Flynn, I've wanted his story, and the delivery definitely did not disappoint!

Wilder is a fierce protector who's also broken, and Patch balances this dichotomy well. Cosette is his match in every way, ready to push him where needed and wait patiently when that virtue is needed. But even without their perfect pairing, the twists and turns of this story keep the reader sucked in. Patch has only grown in her ability to keep readers guessing, and this book demonstrates that in a pulse-pounding ending. This is one of my favorites of hers!

I happily give Dangerous Obsession 5 out of 5 stars and you can purchase it here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Imperfect

This past week I handed in a proposal I had been working on. In the writing world, these are my least favorite part of the job. But work is called work for a reason:) And while there are several difficult elements for a writer, the proposal is one of the toughest for me.

Now a proposal goes through several sets of eyes. It's critiqued, fixed, and critiqued again. This happens with both the synopsis and the sample chapters. Once it is finally in what would be considered the final stage, then I upload it to a voice app that will read it back to me. This allows me to catch mistakes my eyes miss. After I fix those, I send it to my agent, which I did. By that time, it should be perfect, right?

Imagine my surprise when, after I had already hit "send", I opened it to quickly check something, and I saw a very obvious mistake at the beginning of the second paragraph. The second one. And the perfectionist in me cringed! Guys, I'd read those chapters three times. I'd listened to them once. Then I'd read them again--all before I sent them off. Yet there within the first 100 words was a mistake that was far from hidden. How did I not see it?

Because I'm not perfect. I think God enjoys reminding me of this often. See, I am a recovering perfectionist and most likely will be for my entire life. I battle this beast of believing that unless I am perfect, God cannot use me. My initial response in seeing that tiny error was that the rest of my work was useless. The other 11,000 words in the sample chapter, the synopsis that showed the heart of the story, my words about how I hoped this story would benefit readers...all of those things were null and void due to a minuscule typo. Ugh. The lies that satan wants us to believe.

Friends, our imperfections--no matter what they are--don't nullify our story; they become a part of it. God uses them as a backdrop for his grace. He loves to work through our weaknesses so that HE can be seen. We can fixate on our imperfections or we can fix our eyes on him--I'm learning to do the latter:)

Being imperfect isn't anything I'll ever fall in love with, but it's also something I"ll never escape this side of heaven. Neither will you. So let's begin to reframe how we see our imperfections...they're simply one facet of an incredible story God is telling through us that ultimately shouts out his grace and mercy. Because at the end of the day, the only that story that matters, is his.