More Than Meets The Eye

Hi friends! After a long absence, I am hopefully back for a while! I’ve been fighting some pretty intense health issues as well as family emergencies; it’s been an intense month. But, I know this: God is faithful. Back in June before it all got crazy I spent a happy Saturday reading Karen Witemeyer’s latest release, More Than Meets The Eye. It is finally getting a post!

“Love stayed. Even when things became messy
and unpleasant, love stayed.”

more then meets eyeMany consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers. 

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline? 

My Review

IMG_6671Evie has a unique condition called Heterochromia that causes her two eyes to be completely different colors. It’s an interesting “disorder” that may present within one eye, or both (as Evie has) and can be similar colors or very different (again like Evie). It can occur in humans, dogs, and cats! Looking up facts about Heterochromia, I learned that eye color is the distribution of melatonin within the eye. I knew that it had a role in skin color , but never knew it had bright colors.

This is one of the reasons I love fiction – learning cool stuff, because how else would I come across random information to file away? Now, if I ever meet someone with Heterochromia, I’ll be able to understand a little. I admit that I’ll still be insanely curious and probably still stare (sorry, Evie), but that’s because I find learning things fascinating and new facts enthralling.

“‘People might try to hide their broken places and pretend to be whole, but the truth is that we all have failings. That is why we need each other.'”

I love Evie’s cheerfulness. She often faces prejudices and people believing lies about her, but she chooses to look on the bright side of life and draw closer to her Savior. She learns a lesson that most of us struggle with our whole lives; that we are good enough and our identity is in Christ, not what other people (or ourselves!) think. I relate to the mean teasing Evie endures from struggling with weight my entire life. Most people are too polite to say something, but sometimes you get the look. You know the one; it makes you feel like crawling under a rock. I too struggle with feeling beautiful and accepted, and just like Logan, my hubs tries to speak into that place as much as possible. However, there’s no replacing letting the truth that God loves me no matter how I look sink into my soul.

I also enjoyed the family dynamics in this story. While it’s certainly a romance, there is a thread about the love between these chosen siblings. In a way, it’s a coming of age story; while the characters are grown adults, they’re learning how to function in their new world that is changing every day as they each try to find their place.

If you’r a Karen fan, or of historical set westerns, then check it out. If you’re not a fan of either of those, I’d encourage to get a copy from the local library and read; you never know when you’ll find a new favorite.

I was provided a copy of this story by the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.

About The Author

Karen WitemeyerKaren maintains a super fun Facebook group, The Posse. Join the fun!

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

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

First Line Fridays – A Vast and Gracious Tide

A Vast and Gracious Tide Blog and Review Tour

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

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

Vast GraciousTide

A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

“Sergeant First Class Caden Wallis grinned as his CO whistled – perhaps the fifteenth time today – that same tune again.”

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 AUTHOR

lisa_carter2_2000px

Award-winning author Lisa Carter describes her Southern suspense novels as “sweet tea with a slice of murder.” She is the bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels, four historical novellas, and a contemporary Coast Guard series. Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.

CONNECT WITH LISA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


AVGT giveaway

Don’t miss your chance to enter this great giveaway prize pack! One winner (US only) will receive:

Print copy of A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter
Sea glass jewelry set (see here)

A Defense of Honor

Happy Tuesday, all! I don’t know about ya’ll, but it hasn’t gotten crazy hot here in Baltimore. Perfect reason to curl up with a read while sequestering myself in my bedroom- the only room in the house with air conditioning.

A defense of honor

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

My Review

Kristi approaches some hard topics in this story that I think are great that a Christian Fiction author is getting into. I also appreciate how none of the characters and black and white – not all good, not all bad. Kit struggles with the motivations and decisions she felt forced into to create a stable environment for the women and children she strove to help. Given the same situation, I don’t know what decision I would’ve made. It brings to the forefront the question of “do two wrongs make a right?” And if it doesn’t, how do you survive when there seems to be no other way? I relate to Kit’s internal battle as I’m also someone who just figures out a way to take care of everyone without stopping to trust God and let Him provide for me.

IMG_6629The women in this story make/have made mistakes and are trying to figure out how to move forward and do life in the culture of their time. Illegitimate children were a huge problem in the regency period with soaring numbers where women faced all the consequences, the the men mostly none. With the intensifying recent awareness of the #metoo movement, Kristi gives us a peak into the lives of women facing the same challenges in the early 1800’s. Add to it the Christian worldview without getting preachy or judgmental, framed in a genre that gets serious, but not overwhelming, I count it as a must read.

Kristi has mentioned some of the statistics in a live video and I emailed her for more info to share. She says, “Basically, prior to the extended Regency period (late 1700s to about 1830) the percentage of children born out of wedlock in the UK was around 3%. During the Regency period that number rose to somewhere between 7% and 9%. The church’s backlash against this – for better or for worse – is, I think, part of what drove into the strictness of the Victorian period. Laws around the care of illegitimate children were changed in 1834 to try to discourage it. ”

I am looking forward to diving into Daphne’s story and getting more into the questions of how do we move forward after we’ve made a mistake? How do we face God and forgive ourselves? I admire Daphne’s strength and joy that appears to come from within and her relationship with God.

I was provided a copy by the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.

hunter_headshot

About the Author

Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

She also has a super fun FB group, so go join!

 

The Accidental Guardian – Just Read – Giveaway

justread_TheAccidentalGuardianBLOGWelcome to the blog tour and giveaway for The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

9780764219290Title: The Accidental Guardian
Series: High Sierra Sweethearts, Book 1
Author: Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance / Western
+To Read: Goodreads

She’s the Only Witness to a Wagon Train Attack. Keeping Her Safe, Though, Means His World Is about to be Turned Upside Down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

PURCHASE A COPY*: Amazon l ChristianBook l Book Depository l Itunes

 

MY REVIEW

Sometimes, I wish I could use emojis in my reviews. If so, this one would start out something like Trace heart heart heart heart, because I loved him. He just might make the book boyfriend list for this year. Trace is awkwardly wonderful. He’s a powerful man, doesn’t know what to do with diapers, and thinks women are strange, but he’s endearing while doing it. Some of his thought processes definitely made me laugh.

My favorite thing about Deb is her smarts. She’s not one of those helpless damsels in distress who runs into situations where you as a reader are yelling “Don’t do that!!!!!!!!!!!” But, while being strong and able to take care of herself, she also acknowledges her limits and knows when to depend on Trace and the other men. I think she’s a great balance of independence and dependence. She’s also very practical. She knows what she wants and isn’t one to hold out to wait for just the right circumstance of sweet words to happen to give into that. (Which might not make a lot of sense, but I’m trying not to give away spoilers!) Sometimes we ladies, myself included, want the menfolk to break into sweet nothings but forget to look at all of their actions and how those tell us they care for us. Deb reminds us of that. (But I can always use more sweet whispers.)

I also really liked all of the sub-characters; Adam, Utah, Gwen. I am very much looking forward to Gwen’s story next and I’m hoping we’ll get Adam’s as well. Utah appears to be an older character, but I sense love and loss in his past and would like to see him with a happily ever after as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for this tour. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own!


The next book in the series, THE RELUCTANT WARRIOR will be released later this year in October, 2018!

Reluctant Warrior Spine.indd


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MaryConnealy by Ginger Murray Photography

Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

CONNECT WITH MARY: website, facebook, twitter, instagram

You can also find Mary at these sites: Seekerville and Petticoats & Pistols


 

 

GIVEAWAY

justread_TAG_BlogGive

(1) Winner will win:

  • The Cimarron Legacy by Mary Connealy (all 3 print books)
  • The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy (print)

(US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only) Full terms & conditions noted on Rafflecopter form.

To Enter, use the Rafflecopter giveaway below (or click on the Giveaway banner above). Be sure to stop at every post on the tour for additional entries!

ENTER HERE

For the full tour schedule for more giveaway entries, head to JustRead’s Launch Page HERE (or click on the Tour Banner below).

justread_TheAccidentalGuardianBLOG

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Falling For You – Prism Tours – Giveaway


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Falling for You
(A Bradford Sisters Romance #2)
By Becky Wade
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
May 1st 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

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.

GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook DepositoryChristianbookiBooksKoboGooglePlay

My Review

As much as I related to Nora in True To You with her nerdy bookish self and the adoption themes (as you can tell from Tuesday’s post), in a lot of ways I relate more to Willow. I will never be model material and only consider myself beautiful on good days, but Willow struggles with two big things that I have as well: shame from a past relationship, and growing up, the feeling that I had to be the perfect child.

These two themes are threaded throughout Willow motivations and decisions her whole life. She struggles to take risks and have fun, but has a kind compassionate heart. She spends a lot of time arguing with herself and talking herself out of her feelings. Girl, I so get that. At one point Becky puts into words what Willow feels and it’s perfect. Willow goes through all the people in her life who never gave her a reason to doubt their love then goes on to say. “God had never given her a reason to doubt His love. Even so, her internal drive to be good…had never relented.”

Corbin is determined to draw her out. Since I have my own real life Corbin to draw me out of my safe shell, I understand Willow’s love/hate relationship with that aspect. We want to be safe, but also want to venture out…safely. These men God puts in our lives do that; I can’t hide under my rock too long. My favorite quote is from Corbin’s internal processing, “He needed her to love him And so he was going to make sure that she did.” Way to take the initiative, Corbin! But, he also had to learn how to be humble and surrender their future to God. A humbled man is a mighty thing to behold.

And now we get a sneak peak at Britt beginning to soften and Zander being brave enough to step past his self-protective boundaries and get out there. I can’t wait for their story!

I received a complementary copy of this story for review on this tour. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own!

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

WebsiteBlogGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram

Tour Schedule

April 30th:
Launch
Amy Watson Author
Remembrancy
Author Austin Ryan
Heidi Reads…
May 1st:
Author Kelly D. Scott
Radiant Light
Cafinated Reads
Jen Around the World
May 2nd:
The Barefoot Reader
Loraine D. Nunley, Author
Moments
The Mary Book Reader
May 3rd:
The Power of Words
Kat’s Corner Books
I Am A Reader
Book by Book
May 4th:
Getting Your Read On
cherylbbookblog
The Green Mockingbird
Author Toni Shiloh
May 7th:
Bringing Up Books
My Scribbler’s Heart
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Hearts & Scribbles
May 8th:
Facebook Party at 8 PM EDT/5 PM PDT
Author Christen E Krumm
God is Love
100 Pages per Hour
Just a Little Creativity
May 9th:
Wishful Endings
Mel’s Shelves
Rockin’ Book Reviews
The Great Adventure
May 10th:
Jorie Loves A Story
`Candle Reviews Chivalrous Romance
Flowers of Quiet Happiness
Author Deborah Hackett
May 11th:
Redeemed Hope Dweller
Singing Librarian Books
Locks, Hooks and Books
Dawn’s Dreams
May 12th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

Celebrate the release of Becky Wade’s Falling for You by entering to win a fabulous prize pack that includes some of Willow Bradford’s favorite things!

One grand prize winner will receive*:

  • A model-worthy Kate Spade bracelet
  • A $100 cash card (so you can feed a housewares and home décor addiction like Willow’s)
  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • Roasted in Seattle Rainy Day Coffee
  • A delicious scone mix (so that you can enjoy scones just like Willow and Corbin do while having high tea)
  • Cozy book-lover socks
  • And of course, a copy of Falling for You

Two runner up winners will receive*:

  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • A copy of Falling for You

*Due to shipping costs, US entrants only.

Grab Our Button!

 

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