About the Book
Book: Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations
Author: V. Joy Palmer
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Release Date: February 14, 2019
Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.
But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon shes forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.
Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart.
But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?
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Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations is a delightful sweet read with just enough depth and character development to sink you teeth into. While at first I wasn’t sure how much I liked Apryl or her twin Courtney, I reminded myself of their youth which helped add perspective to their choices. Learning more of their past and how each sister reacted in opposites brought understanding and compassion as the sisters learned how to forgive, heal, and fall in love.
Also, a two for one! What’s not in the description is Courtney’s romance. While it’s not the focus of the story, I enjoyed watching her learn to let go and love the man God sent her.
Chance and Apryl take awhile to find their way, but in the end I find myself wishing I had a willow tree of my own. I also spent in inordinate amount of time Goggling 20’s slang.
One aspect that I struggled with was not the story, but switching from first person narrative for Apryl to third person for Chance. It took me several shifts back and forth to settle into this unique way of storytelling. Once I got used to it, I liked that I could really get into Apryl’s personality while also seeing the story from Chance’s perspective (all first person narrative stories from one POV are difficult for me). In that, it offers the best of both POVs.
I received a copy of the story for the purpose of this tour. All opinions are my own.
About the Author
Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterationsand a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.
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I’ll confess something to you guys.
For about a year, I hated these characters. Like I vehemently hated them. For their refusal to bow to my will, I counted the ways I could take revenge against them for my own sadistic pleasure, and I seriously considered printing the manuscript just so I could burn it in an oil drum while I laughed like a Disney villain. I’m told my “Ursula laugh” is uncanny.
Some of you may be laughing. Some of you may be rolling your eyes. Some of you may be gasping in horror at the thought of an author killing her beloved characters. Or some of you may smirk and say, “I’ve been there, only I did kill my characters.”
I dove into the story with a wide-eyed innocence that came from thinking I was in charge of the story. My characters slapped that doe-eyed look off my face, letting me know I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, I knew the basics… They start off arguing, then fall in love… I had a couple great kiss scenes planned… Worth in God would be explored… Jokes would be made… But I could not get these stubborn characters to cooperate, and I was pulling my hair out by the roots trying to force them to get on board with my excellent program! I didn’t understand them, and their actions didn’t make any sense. Then my computer crashed…and died…taking over twelve thousand words with it. (A part of me thinks Apryl was behind it.) Suddenly, I was at square one, but I was actually a little relieved. Now I could start over.
Cue muffled sobs here.
After the untimely demise of my computer, I went to the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers conference. At that conference, Ted Dekker said something in one of his keynote sessions that changed everything for me.
“Write to discover yourself.”
I still get chills when I think about this, and it has nothing to do with the below zero temperatures in my neck of the woods.
My writing changed after that. I made myself vulnerable, pouring my heart into Apryl and Chance’s journey like it was my personal journey. And as my literary world started to blossom, my literal world felt like it was being scorched by an exploding sun of heartache. And when that nasally (or does it only sound that way in my head?) voice whispered that I was worthless, God’s declaration of love was a big, bold font across the pages.
Through Apryl and Chance, I rediscovered my own worth to my Father.
And I hope you can, too.
I hope you laugh (the seagull scene is a favorite of mine). I hope you swoon (Apryl and Chance Forever!!). I would be especially pleased if you had to look up one or two pop culture references because I’ll just feel cool. But more than anything I hope you can rediscover your worth in our Father’s eyes, whether it’s for the first time or the seven hundred and eleventh time.
Our worth isn’t defined by our jobs, our mistakes, our families, or the plans we have. Our worth is in a loving God who calls each of His children by name. Our worth is in our Father.
Set to the tune of a romantic comedy, there are a lot of little truths sprinkled throughout Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, but our worth in God is the glue that holds it all together – at least for me! This was the truth I wanted to convey in Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations all along. But until I started to understand this (I definitely haven’t mastered it!) in my own heart, how could I write about it?
I hope you guys enjoy Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations. I hope this truth touches your heart in some way.
And I hope you laugh. A lot.
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To celebrate her tour, Joy is giving away a grand prize package that includes a signed copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations,
a signed copy of Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, a Hand-Carved Reading Willow Tree Figurine, a Character-Inspired Locket,
a Custom Roaring Twenties Book Sleeve from The Cozy Life Etsy Shop, an Anne of Green Gables Mug Rug from Bookish Star Designs Etsy Shop, and a Chai Latte Soy Candle in a Vintage Mug from Joplin House Cafe!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dfea/weddings-willows-and-revised-expectations-celebration-tour-giveaway