First Line Friday – The Cowboy’s Christmas Reunion

45736442_441622926242320_3980111309478821888_nI just love this quote from The Cowboy’s Christmas  Reunion, don’t you? But, it’s not the first line. Thanks to Valerie (via Paula) for the image!

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today’s first line is from:

The Cowboy’s Christmas Reunion

by Valerie Comer

“So how many households does that make?” Kade Delgado shifted his sleeping toddler in his arms, but Jericho snored on.”

This is also available as part of a boxed set in A Christmas to Remember: Eight Christian Romances Celebrating the Gift of Christmas.

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Reunion-3D-556x800Cowboy Santa: helping his ex-fiancée have a merry little Christmas…When Kade Delgado joins his buddies in a Cowboy Santa program to shower Christmas blessings on old folks and single moms, he doesn’t expect his former fiancée to return to Saddle Springs, in need and with a child in tow. Does God really expect him to treat Cheri the same as the others on his new Christmas list?Cheri Mackenzie has never forgiven herself for the pain she caused Kade by fleeing a week before their wedding, but undoing the past is impossible. Circumstances force her back to her aging grandparents’ Montana ranch, where Kade, now a widower with a toddler, is making himself cheerfully indispensable. When she receives kindness instead of the hostility she surely deserves, she can’t help but pray for a Christmas reunion with the cowboy she’s never stopped loving.Is there any hope for a second chance at love?

kats-corner-cat-amazonkats-corner-cat-goodreads

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie-Comer-150x150Valerie Comer is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner who writes where food meets faith and fiction. She has been called “a stellar storyteller” as she injects experience laced with humor into her green clean romances.

Valerie’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for her stories of contemporary Christian romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local foods movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Connect with Valerie in her Facebook Reader’s Group!

 

Literarily For Keeps AND Freedom’s Kiss

Sarah Monzon kept me company on my travels last week with both Literarily for Keeps and Freedom’s Kiss. I only had one problem: I wanted to read both at the same time and didn’t want to put either down to read the other. It’s tough wanting to read ALL THE BOOKS.

About the Book: Literarily for Keeps

literarily for keepsShe only has to pretend to be married for five days. What’s the worst that could happen? 

Literature professor Ashleigh Darmody never imagined her life would turn into a classic trope, but that’s exactly what happens when her sister Claire calls with a bizarre request–quickly find a fake husband. Backstory is a powerful thing, and Ashleigh’s has plenty of shadows, but is her past so shady that it requires an elaborate scheme to ensure Claire’s prospective father-in-law, renowned TV evangelist Ken Abrams, will give her his blessing to marry his son? 
Already divorced from a man who turned out to be other than he claimed, Ashleigh now has to pretend to be blissfully married to a stranger for the next five days. But when the lines of fiction and reality blur with each tick of the clock, could a temporary deal turn into something for keeps?

About the Book: Freedom’s Kiss

Freedoms kissThey were both prisoners of their past. Could legacy be the key to setting them free? 

Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie. 

A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart. 

Florida, 1816 
Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the west shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?

My Thoughts

I’ve yet to meet a Sarah Monzon book I haven’t liked and these two add to the count. I’ve had Freedom’s Kiss patiently waiting for me for awhile, and Literarily for Keeps just came out. I thought it’d be fun to focus on one author while traveling and so loaded both on my ereader (and on the Ipad, and the phone, because, you know, things happen and you don’t want to be BOOKLESS).

The books share some similarities: solid characters, contemporary settings, toe curling romance, and tough topics. Both stories deal with sexual abuse, so trigger warning for some. Personally, I think Sarah did great job of lending gravity and the seriousness the situations without requiring a box of Kleenex, breaking the tension with well placed levity. I also appreciate her note at the end of Freedom’s Kiss. Throughout both stories, Sarah weaves faith in naturally, never getting preachy while incorporating solid Biblical truths. Her characters aren’t perfect and have made mistakes, but all learn that God takes us as we are, not where we think we should be.

Literarily for KeepsThis is a quick fun read perfect for passing a Sunday afternoon. But don’t think it’s too sweet. It’s a first person narrative (which I usually avoid, but guys, it’s Sarah Monzon, so I couldn’t not read it) with an internal monologe that I related to so often, I wondered if Sarah had tapped into my own head. Granted, I don’t have quite as many literary reference bobbing around, but I think most will relate to the rambling monologue that frequently occurs in those 5 seconds before you make a decision but if you wrote it all down would take 3 pages.

Freedom’s Kiss: I’m a Carrington family fan for sure; weekly game night sounds ideal. For the first two books we see Adam as a secondary character, but I kept wondering what was going on with him and what his story was; now I know. I was a little surprised at how quickly the romance developed, but it made such a great platform for romantic tension for the rest of the story and allowed some toe curls. When I think about, Adam is such a passionate and compassionate man, he couldn’t help but jump in with his whole heart right away- he’s all or nothing.

I appreciated getting to know a slice of history I wasn’t familiar with and ended up with some time on Google reading up, so I know Sarah was trying to fit a long timeline in, but I found the secondary historic story a little jumpy at times. Being light skin, it will always be hard to understand the struggles that can come with dark, but I feel that I gained some understanding, especially of the Native American culture of that area. The book opened up a conversation for me with a Native American friend where we could talk points of spirituality. As she’s not a believer, I was happy to have some thoughtful questions I could ask as a result about the culture she was raised in and share a bit of my faith with her.

I received a copy of Freedom’s Kiss from the author. I was not required to post a review. These opinions are my own.

Imperfect Promises – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

Imperfect Promises FB Banner copy

About the Book

nei5 Imperfect Promises

Book Title: Imperfect Promises

Author: Elizabeth Noyes

Genre: Action, Suspense, Romance

Release date: August, 2018

Award-winning romantic suspense author, Elizabeth Noyes raises the bar in this stunning conclusion of The Imperfect Series!

Former Special Forces operative, Jonas Cameron, traded his past and his service for his family back in Idaho and the ranch he loves. But ghosts have a disturbing way of not staying where you leave them.

Shea Townsend is on her way to becoming a chef extraordinaire until her father’s illness pulls her from culinary school and back to Montana to care for him. After his death, disinherited and alone, she sets out to make a new life for herself, one which may or may not include the too-alpha, too-sexy Jonas Cameron.

Jonas learns of a homegrown terrorist threat against him and his family at the same time a mysterious stalker sets his sights on Shea. Determined to neutralize both dangers, Jonas calls on old friends for help and draws upon his own very specialized skill set to end the menaces to Shea and himself.

As the danger escalates, secrets are revealed and the truth emerges in a deadly cat and mouse game with Shea caught in the middle.

Fast-paced action. Heart-pounding adventure. This is not your ordinary romantic suspense story!

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

This was my first novel by Elizabeth Noyes, but it won’t be my last!

This is a military style romance, but occurs after Jonas is out of the military. I liked that aspect because it had some of the action without getting overwhelming. It also gave me a glimpse into a solider struggling to adapt back to civilian life. While I know there are several types of this kind of story, I always appreciate a new viewpoint with a well written story that gives me some understanding into another’s perspective. But, I also got frustrated with Jonas for not talking to Shae – while I get he can’t reveal anything classified, he could still just talk about struggling with nightmares and coping with the transition back. I know it’s super difficult, especially for guys, but part of committing to a life together is sharing those dark places.

I liked Shae’s passion for the diner. Often waitresses or diner cooks are typed in fiction as restless or not content with their job, so it was a nice change. I also admired her for taking time to reconnect with her brothers and finish school (that’s not too much of a spoiler). Although the story gets a bit jumpy towards the end, I like that Elizabeth put the time passing in to allow healing in both characters as frequently the timeline is condensed in fiction for the sake of the story (and sometimes seems forced).

Overall, I read in mostly one sitting and it kept me turning pages, not cleaning my house like I should, and put the others in the series on my TBR pile. I hope you enjoy!

I received a copy of this book for this blog tour. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Elizabeth Noyes

Elizabeth Noyes—professional writer, aspiring author, dedicated dreamer—lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and best friend, Paul, who listens tirelessly while she regales him with all the tales in her head of damaged, but very human characters clamoring to be heard.

A native of the Deep South, she claims to still “speak the language,” even after traveling around the world for most of her adult life. Recently retired from a career as a professional business writer and editor, she now fills her days editing, critiquing, reading, playing with the grandkids, learning more about Social Media than she ever wanted, and putting her stories into words to share with others.

Guest Post from Elizabeth Noyes

The Imperfect Tie Between Characters, Themes, and Titles

I love reading across all genres. If it’s well- written, I’m an easy catch. What I don’t like is when fictional characters are portrayed as model-worthy with perfect looks, perfect physiques, and perfect personalities. Yuk! I’ve never met a perfect person.

To quote Mark Twain, “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.”

I want characters with the same flaws as you and me—judgmental, short-tempered, guilt-ridden, egotistical, defiant, withdrawn, too-skinny, compassionate, couch potatoes, foolish, silly, serious, low self-esteem, arrogant, hurt, guilty, deceiving, generous… in other words, real people. These are character traits I relate to, and they come alive on the pages, giving hope that we can also learn from our mistakes and grow into something better.

The characters in the Imperfect Series let themselves and others down. They struggle with life issues, make poor decisions, grieve over mistakes, and then pick themselves up and go on.

In Imperfect Wings, guilt and low self esteem plague TJ, while her male counterpart, Garrett, struggles with anger issues. In Imperfect Trust, yeah, trust was a problem for both Lucy and Wade. With Imperfect Bonds, Cassidy fights for her sister’s forgiveness as she deals with feelings of inadequacy … both of which carry over into her relationship with Derek. In Imperfect Lies—yep, another obvious theme. Lies from the past come back to haunt Mallory and James.

In the final book of the series, Imperfect Promises, the main male character, Jonas, is by a nature a control freak. He suffers from guilt over a perceived failure when at his deepest core he is a protector and perfectionist. Shea, the female protagonist, rose from the ashes of a devastating childhood to forge a new life for herself. Both discover that promises made to themselves and to others can’t always be kept. Despite best intentions, life sometimes gets in the way.

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, September 27

Bigreadersite, September 27

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 28

A Baker’s Perspective, September 28

Multifarious, September 29

Real World Bible Study, September 29

Because I said so – adventures in Parenting, September 30

Simple Harvest Reads, October 1

Kat’s Corner Books, October 2

Carpe Diem, October 2

Maureen’s Musings, October 3

Margaret Kazmierczak, October 3

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis & Christ Collide, October 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 5

Blogging With Carol, October 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, October 7

proud to be an autism mom, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8

Bibliophile Reviews, October 9

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Janices book reviews, October 10

Giveaway

amazon gift card 50

To celebrate her tour, Elizabeth is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/d296/imperfect-promises-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Christmas with the Cowboy – JustRead – Giveaway

christmaswiththecowboy_BlogBanner

Welcome to the JustRead Publicity Tour’s BLOG TOUR for Christmas with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe.

ABOUT THE BOOK

9781335509796Title: Christmas with the Cowboy
Series: Big Heart Ranch, Book 3
Author: Tina Radcliffe
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: September 18, 2018

Home for the holidays
A second chance at love on Big Heart Ranch

Former Navy SEAL Zach Norman has been avoiding his ranching roots—and the woman he couldn’t have. Back to visit his brother’s widow, Emma Maxwell Norman, and her adorable toddler twins, the bah-humbug cowboy is roped into helping prepare the ranch for the holidays. Working side by side, can Emma and Zach overcome their troubled past…and receive the greatest Christmas gift of all—love?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | iTunes | Book Depository | BAM! | Book Bub

MY REVIEW

Zach has finally come home! Or so Emma believes. I enjoyed this sweet Christmas read, emphasis on CHRISTMAS. It’s filled with all Christmas all the time with Emma slowly but surely converting the Christmas crumudgeon, and two little cuties help!

One thing I like about this story of a sister-brother -in-law falling in love story is that Zach respected Emma’s and Steve’s relationship- he never tried to convince Emma otherwise at some time in the past and Emma truly loved Steve; her feelings for Zach didn’t morph until in this story. That is something that this troupe in general often annoys me – the whole “I had feelings for you, but I married your brother anyways for whatever reason.” Tina did no that which made me like the characters and connect more. I also respected Zach and admired him even, for choosing to remove himself from the situation. While I don’t agree with avoiding his family, I get it.

The secondary characters are also great. This is the first book in the series I’ve read and I didn’t feel like I missed anything, but I’m definitely going to catch up!

I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina March 2018 2Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency (a branch of the NSA) stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. Her move to Colorado led to a career as a library cataloger. A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tinamanages Seekerville, 13 author blog which is starting its tenth year. Seekerville is a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers award winner.

Tina is a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 ACFW Carol Award finalist, a 2014 ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist, a 2014 Golden Quill finalist and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. In 2016 Safe in the Fireman’s Arms was a Holt Medallion Merit Award finalist and a Detroit Bookseller’s Best finalist and a NERFA finalist. She has won first place in over twenty RWA chapter affiliated contests in her career. Tina is also a short story writer and has sold over twenty short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. She currently resides in Arizona where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.

TO CONNECT WITH TINA: website, facebook, twitter, pinterest,instagram, Book Bub

Tina also have a great newsletter filled with fun facts and great giveaways for her newsletter subscribers. Sign up for her newsletter HERE.


GIVEAWAY

christmaswiththecowboy_Blog_GiveTina has graciously offered (1) winner an awesome Christmas with the Cowboy prize pack that includes:

  • An autographed copy of Christmas with the Cowboy
  • LED Christmas Bulb Necklace
  • $50 Amazon gift card.

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Complete prize open to US mailing addresses only. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


TOUR SCHEDULE

(All stops expected to post by 11:00 AM EST)

Launch Page @JustReadTours
Launch Page @JustCommonly

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

The Love Letter – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

The Love Letter FB Banner copy

About the Book

The Love Letter

Title: The Love Letter

Author: Rachel Hauck

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Genre: Contemporary

Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

For all my fellow end-readers out there: JUST SAY NO. Do not read the end of this book before all the rest. I got nervous part way through, almost read the end, but something whispered, wait for it. I AM SO GLAD I WAITED. Wait for the ending, friends, don’t rush this one!

Rachel is known for seemingly weaving together a contemporary and historical story, and this novel is no exception. From the start, the two stories develop, back and forth, keeping me turning pages. The historical story is filled with angst and delayed love, but is well balanced by the sweeter contemporary story, which keeps the drama from getting overwhelming. I really like Jesse and Chloe, as well as several of the minor characters from both stories, but I struggled to connect with Esther and Hamilton and their lack of standing up for their love as well as admitting and committing to it.

It was very interesting getting a small peek into the back story of getting a movie produced, and I admire the way Chloe, and the director, Jer (who happens to share a name with hubs!) find a way to move forward and make it work when challenges come up.

…and the ending. I can’t even. It’s perfect. I was definitely nervous part way through, wondering how it was going to work out, how it was going to satisfy when we knew he didn’t send the letter (which is not a spoiler because you know that from start!). But…oh, my gosh. It surprised me but was awesome.

I received a complimentary copy of this story. All opinions are my own and honest, I promise! I can’t fake the ending gushiness.

About the Author

Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:

”Really? So why did you do that?”

”Have you sought help?”

”Was it love at first sight?”

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?

”Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”

”You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?

I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time.

But a bonafide love letter?

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.

Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?

Saw you at your window. You looked hot.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.

Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21

The Avid Reader, June 21

Genesis 5020, June 21

ansel book blog, June 22

Blogging With Carol, June 22

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, June 22

Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, June 23

The Power of Words, June 23

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 23

Janices book reviews, June 23

C Jane Read, June 24

Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25

Faithfully Bookish, June 25

By The Book, June 25

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 25

Kat’s Corner Books, June 26

Maureen’s Musings, June 26

Ladybug Chronicles, June 26

Carpe Diem, June 26

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 27

Mommynificent , June 27

Godly Book Reviews, June 27

God’s Little Bookworm, June 28

Radiant Light, June 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 28

Have A Wonderful Day, June 28

Novels corner, June 29

Blossoms and Blessings, June 29

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 29

Bigreadersite, June 29

Pause for Tales, June 30

Bibliophile Reviews, June 30

Splashes of Joy, June 30

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 1

Simple Harvest Reads, July 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 1

A Baker’s Perspective, July 1

Remembrancy, July 2

amandainpa, July 2

To Everything A Season, July 2

proud to be an autism mom, July 3

Texas Book-aholic, July 3

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, July 3

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, July 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 4

 

Giveaway

kindle

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 Semi-Grand prize of a book basket 2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d071/the-love-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway

Beneath The Surface – Just Read -Giveaway

Happy Tuesday, all! I’m excited to be posting again with JustRead Tours. Today’s post is a bit different in that rather than a book review, I get to post about a topic book-related and close to my heart: adoption.
justread_BeneaththeSurface_Banner

ABOUT THE BOOK

9780800729387
Title: Beneath the Surface
Series: Dive Team Investigations, Book 1
Author: Lynn H. Blackburn
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer–one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final heart-pounding page.


ADOPTION

What’s my story? I could write about it forever, so if you want more info, send me an  email! While I’m not adopted, I have been touched by adoption throughout my life; it has shaped and molded my worldview. I’ll tell you how in just a minute.

In the book, both Leigh and her brother, Kirk, are adopted internationally from two different countries. This is a wonderful form of adoption. In my years of research and training I’ve read lots of stories about kids/families adopting this way and their joys and struggles, and while that isn’t the focus of  Beneath The Surface, I appreciate how Lynn touches on a few of these challenges and how Leigh’s parents handled them. I love that Leigh is secure in knowing she was loved and her parents were open with her about their struggles with infertility and their joy of being Leigh’s and Kirk’s parents.

One summer I nannied two 2 year old “twins.” It’s a God story about a mom who had dreamed of twins but struggled with infertility. They signed up for a baby girl from China (a long and arduous journey), and had just about given up hope when the husband’s co-worker knew someone in their town who needed to give up her son. They jumped on the chance to take the little boy. Well, a time after he was home, they got the call from China. And guess what…it turned out that their little girl was born ON THE SAME DAY as their little boy. God provided twins in a way they had never planned or expected. Isn’t that just like God?

I knew from an early age that our family was different. My twin brother and sister were adopted. Also, they are African-American while mom, dad, and I are Caucasian. I don’t recall when this first occurred to me as it’s always been my normal, but it became much more important as my siblings became teenagers. As I watched them struggle with figuring out who they were and what adoption meant to our family, I found that God was shaping me as well.

Of course, being older siblings, there were plenty of years that they tried to convince me I was adopted (and some days, I thought it might be true!). My mom talked openly with me about the loss of her children before us, a fact I appreciate to this day and realize it’s not talked about openly enough. But, that also means that I saw how it was possible to love a child not of your womb. My family has their issues, whose doesn’t, and adoptive families face particular challenges, but they’re mine and I love them. I LOVE THAT WE WERE A FAMILY THAT WAS CHOSEN. While each sibling has a different perspective and memories, I saw my parents love us the same, but also uniquely to fit who we were.

We were lucky to have baby photos of my siblings as they had been in foster care before adoption and I would often look through the albums wondering about this family who cared for my siblings before they came home. Wondered how they could’ve let them go, but thankful they did. That sparked in me a desire to one day be able to foster children.

Over time, a deep seeded truth became the fabric of who I am; God created me to love the fatherless. You know that verse (James 1:27) that’s used in reference to adoption so often? About God telling us to care for the orphaned? The Greek word for orphan here can also mean “bereaved of parents.” Wow. How many kids are bereaved of parents even though they might be alive? How many in foster care? How many fatherless? How many with one or two parent households where the kid exists, but isn’t really seen? All these kids are bereaved. All of them need to be adopted.

You see, adoption as a concept extends beyond just a legal guardianship. We can look for those on the periphery and LOVE them. Adopt them into our homes, our families, our churches. Pour onto them as God has poured onto us. This idea of kids being raised in a village, of living in community, wasn’t one I was exposed to as a concept until adulthood, but I found it was natural to me; I craved it. I knew that whatever came in life, I could parent, I could adopt others, I could choose family.

This became critical many years later as my world fell apart. I was momming it for two beautiful foster girls, but behind the scenes my marriage was falling apart. We ended up making the heart-ripping decision to focus on our marriage and stop fostering. IT BROKE ME. Who was I if I wasn’t a mother, if I never had children?

It’s a question we all ask: who am I?

In that deepest pit, God met me and reminded me that I was HIS. I was chosen. I was adopted into His family. My identity was first and foremost as His daughter, a princess of the King. Adoption became a whole new concept for me.

Today, my heart is still yearning to be a mom. Since the above, we’ve been down the road of one failed adoption. I don’t know if God means us to be parents in the traditional sense of the word, but until then I’m adopting all the needy kids I can into my momdom, loving on them, and clinging to God’s promises.

 


ABOUT LYNN

blackburn_lynn

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy (Love Inspired, June 2017) and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

GIVEAWAY

justread_BTS_Giveaway

(3) Winners will win:

  • (1) Print copy of Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn
  • Surprised Bookish Treat

(US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only)

ENTER HERE

(or click on the Giveaway Banner)

Be sure to stop on every stop on the Tour Schedule for more chances to win!

justread_BeneaththeSurface_Giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

April 23
Create Explore Read – Author Interview
A Baker’s Perspective – A Day with Special Agent ___

April 24
Savings in Seconds – Quote Hightlight
Grace in Our Moments – Guest Post from Author

April 25
Christen Krumm – Guest Post from Author
Among the Reads – Beneath the Surface & the Power of Prayer

April 26
Blooming with Books – Character Profile
Fiction Aficionado – Did you know this about diving investigators?

April 27
Remembrancy – Photo Tour of Carrington
Stories by Gina – Quote Highlight

April 30
The Christian Fiction Girl – Quote Hightlight
Daysong Reflections – Underwater Investigations & Evidence

May 1
Worthy 2 Read – Quote Hightlight
Kat’s Corner Books – Beneath the Surface with International Adoption

May 2
All of a Kind Mom – A Character Like Me
Robin’s Nest – Quote Hightlight
Edits & Reviews by Leslie – Food Beneath the Surface

May 3
By the Book – Quote Hightlight
Cafinated Reads – Quote Highlight

May 4
Book by Book – Playlist
Pacific Northwest Bookworm – Cookies Beneath the Surface

 

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today is a special installment. As far as I know this is the first feature of this story in a FLF. I LOVE it when authors’ book babies that they’ve been dreaming of for a long time finally come to be. Big congratulations to my friend Rachel. I’m so glad you found the courage to share Klaus with the world.

 

Love in Three Quarter cover

Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

“If Evelyn Watt’s life were projected on a movie screen, it might look like the strand of Laura Linney’s story in Love, Actually.”

But, I have to say, guys, that while this is First Line Friday, I absolutely adored the last paragraph. They don’t get enough love, and this one is so full of it. Read it so you can see what I mean!

Giveaway

To celebrate the last day of my Blogiversary week, I’m giving away an ebook copy of Rachel’s Love in Three Quarter Time so you can relish in the romance yourself. The giveaway will be open for one week. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Remember to enter the other giveaways this week!

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Book Boyfriends 2017

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.